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.
As both high school and college graduates don their academic regalia and stand before family and friends in a public display of triumphant, it's easy to read the enthusiasm and optimistic outlook on their faces. These newly-minted grads are ready to take on the future – whatever it may hold.
Even if you don't have kids in your household, you could be exposed to serious diseases that often affect children. And at the moment there's a sharp spike upward in one contagious disease that you could help protect yourself and youngsters against by getting a simple shot at the doctor's office.
Americans get angry when they learn of government bureaucrats spending lavishly at a Las Vegas hotel or Secret Service agents consorting with prostitutes. As well they should. Such conduct wastes money and drains Americans' respect for their government.
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.
The older I get the more I think about what I will leave behind when my days here on Earth are done.
Two thirds of the world is worried about staying alive.
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