On the list of important birthday anniversaries, from that very first birthday party to a young woman's quinceanera or Sweet 16, turning 18 is not only cause for celebration but it is that critical turning point from childhood to being an adult.
No sooner than the Turlock Chamber finished hosting thousands of guests on our fairgrounds for the Fourth of July, our team at the Stanislaus County Fair has shifted into high gear to prep our grounds and buildings for a celebration of our own.
I was throwing sticks for my dog into the Snake River on Sunday evening, watching a fully loaded ocean-going barge on the slack-water of the river. The barges move mountains of goods all around the Pacific Rim, including from my part of the inland Pacific Northwest to Asia. This year it has looked to me like the intensity of barge traffic is down, I assume due to the global recession.
In case you missed it, the Stars and Stripes 4th of July Celebration was a wonderful event to end a great day.
I hope you played with your food when you were young. Perhaps you experimented at some point with pushing a drinking straw through Jello. If you twisted the straw as you removed it from your food, you could sometimes trap a column of gelatin in the straw. You then had the choice of either blowing the Jello at a sibling or, if your parents were at the table, gently squeezing the gelatin out of the straw onto your plate with your fingers.
I don't know about you, but I am just now recovering from the last election season and the next election cycle has already begun.
When my alarm clock went off at 6 a.m. on Sunday it took me a few moments to comprehend what was happening. I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. I'm not sure I could even tell you what time the sun rises. But there I was, brushing my teeth and applying make-up at what I could only assume was the crack of dawn. What could make me sacrifice my one day of sleeping in this week? I was going to a parade!
There are always those who obstinately cling to technology of the past. Like that one person in line at the grocery store who whips out their checkbook to pay the bill while the impatient debit card users roll their eyes. Or the final few Americans without a cell phone who don't want to be reached by others 24/7; and, I must admit, the Turlock Journal can also be called technology sluggish. Our current Web site is more reminiscent of 1999 than 2009.
Remember when you were a child, playing outside on one of those hot summer days, and all of a sudden music started faintly lilting across your front yard?
As another Father's Day comes and goes, there are many who cringe when they see television-perfect children and their dads fishing together or playing catch. The ideal father-child relationship portrayed by Madison Avenue marketing types to sell more ties, lawn mowers and tools is just a reminder to some that a model father is nothing but fiction. But there is a way for the men in our community to reclaim Father's Day and become the ...
At the ripe old age of 14 I entered the American work force and I haven't been without employment for more than a month's time in over 20 years.
If I were to make a list of people that I'm not envious of, "Turlock City Councilmembers" would be sitting pretty at number one.
When news of the two probable swine flu cases in Merced County broke in our newsroom, editor Kristina Hacker called reporter Alex Cantatore with a request.
The following is an excerpt of California State University, Stanislaus' President Hamid Shirvani's 2009 commencement remarks.
For the past couple of weeks, I've been snapping photos and jotting down notes at various local graduations but if it's still June 6 and you are reading this over breakfast, good morning and by the way, I'm the one graduating! Today I'm participating in the commencement ceremony at California State University, Stanislaus and I'm newly unemployed.
While the official start of summer is still three weeks away - June 20, to be exact - the season began for many last weekend. Local lakes, rivers and parks were full of families looking to start summer with a bang - or a splash and the sizzle of a grill.
It doesn't have to be "us" against "them" in California water politics.
A sophomore at Sequoia High in Redwood City in an English honors class is caught cheating and is kicked out of the class. His parents sue as it may hurt his chances of getting into an Ivy League school.
It's time that common sense guided higher education spending in California.
I spent two hours the other day standing in front of the greeting card display at my local grocery store trying in vain to pick out the perfect Mother's Day card for my mom. Mother's Day is the one day in the year that I take the time to express just how much I love, appreciate and admire the woman who put up with me for over three decades. I finally realized that ...
Turlock itself has seemingly been at the center of my priorities these past few weeks. I recently participated in the 2012 Ode to Turlock Poetry Contest, in which I composed a seven stanza poem praising Turlock as a locus of culture, strength, and agriculture. I was both honored and humbled to be selected as one of the winners of the contest, and was invited to present my poem at a poetry reading night ...
I had an opportunity this week to acknowledge and help commemorate a genuinely transformative event in American history. The action itself was simple – the stroke of a pen. And, as it turned out, the man wielding the pen has been immortalized for very different achievements. But this one, in its own way, changed the world. It was 1862, and President Abraham Lincoln, in the midst of the Civil War, signed a piece ...
Today the American economy is continuing to heal from the great recession. Unemployment rates are falling, and we've added private sector jobs for two straight years. That means more than 4 million Americans are back on the job. At the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we're focused on growing the economy in rural America and I am proud of what we've accomplished. One important part of our work has been supporting homeowners who ...
What is wrong with us?
Americans have a fixation on sex scandals. A short list includes: Gary Hart, Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, Charlie Sheen, Rob Lowe, Rev. Jimmy Swaggart and Ceres' own Gary Condit. So it comes as no surprise that James Hooker seized the nation's interest.
As we head full-steam into Relay for Life season, it's hard to miss the purple ribbons strung on lampposts down Main Street and the car wash, barbecue, and candy fundraisers Relay teams all across town are holding almost every other day. Every time I come across these Relay events I am reminded of the millions of people who battle cancer every day - and those who passed away due to the disease, leaving ...
As the daughter of a farmer, I grew up with a love of the land and a deep respect for nature - you might say a native understanding that every day was Earth Day. My father worked the land. He took care of it and it took care of us, as well as many other people consuming what our farm produced. As California's secretary of agriculture, I welcome the attention that the annual observance of ...
Go ahead, trash California.
California high-speed rail is primarily about bringing two points together - downtown Los Angeles and downtown San Francisco.