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.
This summer has been filled with acrimony about the federal budget, with red versus blue politicians squaring off to hurl criticisms at each other. For a lot of us, turning on the news has felt like an exercise in masochism. Imagine my pleasure, then, at going to a recent meeting where Americans from quite different walks of life were gathered to learn together about something we all need – a nutritious food supply.
Can you hear it? The sounds of brand new pencils being sharpened mean that school is about to be back in session.
In the words of John Ciardi, "The classroom should be an entrance into the world, not an escape from it." Of course, this essayist, poet, columnist, and author was no newcomer to adventure himself. From the spectacles of seven states to the battles of World War ll, this son of Italian immigrants journeyed throughout America and far beyond its borders – and by the time of his March 30, 1986 ...
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.