As everyone who watches the evening news knows, in the western United States wildfires and forest fires are common enough in the late summer. Young people work diligently on fire-crews here in the West, fighting one of nature's great forces. Out-of-control blazes in our National Forests are all but an annual event, with only the number and intensity of the fires varying from year to year.
When I came into work on Thursday at the Turlock Journal, I was surprised to hear that there had been a protest at California State University, Stanislaus that morning. I had spent the last three hours in class at Stanislaus and I hadn't heard a word about it. I took a look at photos and a cutline by Meagan Martens, and found that a group of about 30 students had organized a morning march to the president's office. That's pretty out of character for CSU Stanislaus.
While today's criminal justice system can, at times, seem to favor the guilty and punish the innocent, all one needs to do to get the proper perspective is read the history page published every Saturday in the Journal.
My 84-year old mother bent over the cookbook one day recently and read aloud to me as I wolfed down a chicken sandwich I'd made at lunchtime. The reading was a lesson in how to make a traditional - and very fine as it turned out - pork roast.
I'll be the first to admit that I do my best to avoid national news, despite being absolutely fascinated by the intricate politicking that goes on in Washington.
I am a strong believer in going to college and getting a degree. It is essential to progress in a professional career and most companies require a bachelor's degree at minimum. But with the increased tuition prices, it is making a bachelor's degree almost unattainable let alone getting a master's degree or a doctorate.
Last week, the California Legislature passed a water package that many lawmakers are lauding as the solution to our state's problems. What this dysfunctional legislature really passed is three more layers of unneeded bureaucracy along with a bond that will not create a drop of water for at least 15 years - if at all.
Turlock voters made a statement on Tuesday: They want change. And change they will have, as it looks as if almost half of the Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees will be replaced. There are 13,000 to 15,000 mail-in ballots that still have to be counted and could potential change the election results, but I doubt it. I must admit that I was a little shocked at the outcome of Tuesday's TUSD board election. ...
The countdown has begun. There are only 51 days until Christmas. "Christmas," you say, "How can that be? It seems like just last week I was sweltering in Indian summer heat." I know what you mean. How can it possibly be time to bring out the holly and tinsel again when I haven't even had time to put away my summer clothes? On top of the seemingly supersonic season changes, finding the extra money for ...
I like to think of Turlock as a caring community. There are dozens of service clubs, places of worship and volunteers who give of their time and money all year long to make our town a little bit nicer place to live. But I'm sure that the majority of people living in Richmond, Calif. also thought they lived in a caring community - until last Saturday that is. The Contra Costa Times reported that up ...
I, along with many of my co-workers, took time out of the busy workday on Thursday to watch a giant helium balloon float over the Colorado countryside while it was chased by a plethora of emergency vehicles.
This year is the 400th birthday of science and engineering. It's an occasion worth noting and giving thanks for because each day those twin disciplines improve the lives of billions of people around the world. (Beyond that, science and engineering are awfully fun, so their total effect is sort of like combining doing good all around the planet with the pure joys of playing chess.)
Democracy is a great thing. A government by the people, for the people sure beats a system that caters to a dictator or a royal family. But like many good and wonderful things in this world, democracy must be nurtured, watched over and protected by everyone involved in order to maintain its greatness.
As a manager, I have the usually frustrating and always time-consuming job of interviewing candidates for open job positions. This is one of my least favorite aspects of my job.
With over 700 bills sitting on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk waiting to be signed or vetoed in the latest version of partisan politics between the Governor and the State Legislature, sheriffs and other law enforcement leaders from around the state have joined forces to urge the Governor to put aside political haggling and sign a critical yet obscure bill, Assembly Bill 286. Frankly, there are a dozen or so bills of importance to day-to-day operations ...
It's a different world than when I was a teenager. I've known this for awhile now, but a recent article in the Ceres Courier made me realize just how different.
President Obama and I have worked hard to build thriving, sustainable economies communities in rural America. This is essential to the strength of our nation, but government cannot do it alone in these tough economic times.
Whenever a school board election comes around I can't help but think of the pioneering days when all the parents in a community would get together to build a school, purchase the books and hire a teacher. It really was a community-wide project.
Today marks my fifth day of being Facebook-less.
These are the good times.
Recently, the Pew Research Center released a poll gauging public sentiment on the nation's three big entitlement programs: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Most Americans believe the programs are in trouble and need to be completely rebuilt or changed substantially. But an even stronger majority wants the programs' benefits to be left alone.
The news that Turlock's Borders bookstore will be closing its doors is not only a tragedy to the city's economic development, but also a hit to literacy.
The Ferris wheel - an icon of fair fun - is once again making its rounds above Turlock and the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds.
After being involved in this year's budget negotiations, a lot of people have been asking for my opinion of what went wrong. I haven't said much before now because I spent all of my time trying to work on the details of a solution, rather than attacking people in the press. Even after setbacks and frustrations, I remained quiet because I saw no value in fighting with the people I ...
In a time when getting by with less money and fewer resources is the norm and every other week a government agency is cutting more employees and services, it's nice to know there are people still out there fighting the good fight.
There's no doubt that the realm of sports continues to influence our society. Not only does remarkable athletic ability in itself appear to impress folks near and far, but we consistently put those individuals with great physical health and strength on a pedestal of nobility. Athletes seem to represent high artistry, striking character, and grand fortune – regularly setting standards and creating ideals to which we, the public, aim to ...
These past months have brought tough times for folks across the nation. Unusual weather patterns – too much water in some places, not enough elsewhere – have driven thousands of Americans from their homes, and threatened their livelihoods.
Casey Anthony killed her daughter. She may not have meant to, and she may have been much more interested in her own social life than in her daughter's well-being, but I have absolutely no doubt that she was responsible for her daughter's death.
With recent rains filling the State reservoirs and the above average snowpack in the Sierra, Governor Jerry Brown declared California's three-year drought officially over on March 31 of this year. While the "state of emergency" may be over, the problem is not going away. Anyone who has lived in the Valley for the last decade knows that next year could see a return to below normal rainfalls and snow. ...
I just wanted to extend a tip of the cap to the Turlock Unified Board of Trustees for their proactive approach to forming new trustee districts. I feel they did a fine job of doing it.