I love summer but the icing on the cake, for me, has always been looking forward to visiting the Stanislaus County Fair. Must-do things on my fair list are checking out the photography exhibits, looking at all the handiwork crafted by FFA and 4-H kids, seeing the farm animals – invariably there is always a big mama pig and her piglets – nesting in sawdust, viewing the putt-putt antique engines and checking out the floriculture and yard exhibits. Occasionally, I will ride rides at the mid-way. And I watch the people, seeing how they act and dress.
Isn't life quite a bit easier with apps on your phone and fast Internet connections? Broadband-high-speed Internet-has become a crucial tool for rural and urban residents alike.
Every year at this time the county gets a little smaller. This phenomenon is not caused by a rip in the space-time continuum or is it a matter of geographical wonder - it's called fair time.
"Uncle Sam may hope someday…to Americanize the world," proclaimed an early twentieth century edition of the New York Morning Post. While the U.S. has undoubtedly positioned itself as the Western world's locus of popular culture for decades, the latest piece of news is revealing our even broader influence.
If you weren't at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds on the Fourth of July, you missed one heck of a show.
At least once a month a well-meaning friend or acquaintance will take me aside and ask with a grim look on his or her face, "So, how's it going at the newspaper?" I assume my questioner is expecting a negative response and that's why he or she is talking to me like I just lost my favorite pet.
Politics in America remains downright sharply polarized. Discernment, however, is required to recognize hypocrisy when it's being flung about the landscape.
Diversity is the spice of life. The longer I live, the more truth I find in that saying. Growing up in rural Indiana, diversity was not that common. I can count on one hand the number of students I went to high school with who were not white Protestants from a nuclear family.
The year was 2008 and five candidates were vying for two open seats on the Turlock City Council. The campaign season began just like any other with formal announcements of candidacies, followed by some neighborhood door knocking and debates held by the Chamber of Commerce, League of Women Voters and the Turlock Journal. Election same-old, same-old.
Want to see an end to California's perennial budget crisis?
I work just a couple of blocks from a special kind of bank. It doesn't accept money for deposit, it won't finance a new car, and it wasn't part of the housing bubble. This unusual kind of bank deals mostly in seeds that it preserves, sometimes propagates, and often disperses without charge to anyone who has a research use for unusual strains of crop plants.
It is irksome to know that California legislators continue to look upon sacrificing the state's education system and prison system as the best way to reverse the deteriorating financial situation.
As the days get longer and the temperature rises, a familiar feeling of wanderlust comes over me. I don't know if it's the sunshine or a flashback to the "school's out" mentality of my youth, but I feel the need to travel.
While the kids are exuberantly shouting, "School's out!" many parents may be quietly worrying just how they're going to feed their kids all summer long. I want to assure those moms, dads and caregivers that USDA has a program that can help.
I could hardly believe my eyes as I approached the intersection of Keyes and Hickman roads on the morning of Sept. 14, 1984. The carnage of the aftermath of a grinding crash in the path of my 1974 Camaro was less than five minutes old. It looked as though a bomb blew over a tractor-trailer rig with a set of axles in the road, a set of trailers blocking the southbound lane and a load of grapes scattered about the scene.
Where's the outrage?
Next week is Thanksgiving, my second favorite holiday after Christmas. It is a time when we reflect on the many blessings we enjoy. I have been here almost one year, and I have noticed many great qualities of our Stanislaus communities. I would like to express my thanks for those qualities, and what they have meant to me and my family.
Barrack Obama is not the Wizard of Oz.
More than a quarter-million American women served honorably in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. These brave women sacrificed much to keep us safe. Now that they are home, our country has a solemn obligation to help them transition back to civilian life.
Page 1 of 1