Last week I became a statistic. I was one of the over 6,700 cases of whooping cough reported in California for 2010 - the most cases reported in 63 years.
I used to know Denair as a small town where I would go to visit an old friend who showed sheep. Just a small town, not too much going on, but a pleasant Central Valley community.
"No man is an island," begins the famous poem of the same name by John Donne.
On Election Day, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case Schwarzenegger vs. Entertainment Merchants Association. The irony of this case name was obvious: The celebrated violent-action-hero governor of California had signed a bill into law in 2005 forbidding the sale of ultraviolent video games to minors, a law that lower federal courts prevented from ever going into effect.
"The taxpayers gave and they also took away. On one hand, the people said by a majority, 'Give us a budget.' On the other hand, they said, 'Don't pick my pocket.'" This was Jerry Brown's verdict on California voters' picks on ballot measures delivered at his post-victory press conference Wednesday.
The day after an election can be difficult for many. Of course, there are those candidates whose hard work, sincerity and perseverance didn't pay off and they now have to deal with the reality of losing a race for office. Many candidates are social people and failing in such a public manner must be hard. Everyone knows you didn't get the job - tough break.
Air travel has always been a part of my life. The moment my Indiana-born dad met my California-born mother and fell in love, my flying destiny was sealed.
For half of the candidates on Tuesday's ballot, these are the days you remember.
Election season advertising campaigns are always insufferable, but this year is the worst in recent memory.
Last week a press release came across my desk that killed a dream of mine. The news was innocent enough; it congratulated an Elk Grove college student on his upcoming appearance on the TV show "Jeopardy!" For me, however, this press release ended four months of waiting and hoping on a phone call from the "Jeopardy!"casting staff. You see, I was also in the running to compete in ...
I'm not usually one to rail against new technology. I'm a geek, a nerd, a certifiable tech-addict with more gadgets, gizmos, whozits and whatzits than "The Little Mermaid" could ever dream of.
Education, like politics, is local. You want it close to home, the better to monitor it. That's how it should be.
Back when our country was young, political candidates relied on their friends to spread the word about their accomplishments and suitability to hold office. In fact, historian Samuel Eliot Morison wrote that candidates "were supposed to play coy, obeying a call to service from their country, saving their energies for the task of government. Electioneering was done by newspapers, pamphlets, and occasional public meetings." <p style="margin: 0in 0in ...
You hear stories of courage every day. A man survives cancer and goes on to climb Mount Everest. A woman born without legs opens her own business and becomes an inspirational speaker. A child becomes badly burned in a house fire and, despite the pain, is cheerful and full of hope.
It's Thursday morning at 4 a.m. and I can't sleep. It's a common occurrence when I'm carrying a big load at work-my brain just doesn't turn off even though my eyelids are closed. So, instead of counting sheep, I'm doing a mental roll call of my to-do list at the office. But, I have a rule. If I'm still awake after 30 minutes of lying in the dark, ...
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.