Lately, I've been encouraged to see more bicyclists pedaling their way around town. With the Valley's air quality issues, the increasing childhood obesity rates, and a country-wide emphasis on "greener" power, bicycling is a beneficial activity.
It is a sign of the times.
As Occupy Wall Street activists clogged New York's Zuccotti Park protesting "corporate greed" and Occupy SF hit San Francisco's Financial District on Wednesday protesting "corporate greed," the world learned that Steve Jobs, perhaps America's most beloved modern capitalist, had died at age 56.
Our deep blue has always been engulfed in a rich and remarkable legacy. After all, its Portuguese name "pacifico" was chosen by explorer Ferdinand Magellan to mean peaceful, steady, pacific. But such times are quickly changing.
"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."
The Central Valley Water Project implemented during the Great Recession helped lift the lot of the poor in the San Joaquin Valley by providing the means to turn fields into fertile farmland.
If your business was failing, would you keep doing the same thing, or would you try something new?
One hundred years seems like a long time in most situations. When someone turns 100 years old, I can't help but marvel at all the technological changes that one person has seen just in his or her lifetime.
Today I had the honor of meeting some impressive VIPs and I don't think I will ever forget the time we spent together. They were patients at Emanuel Cancer Center. As I tell you about some of them, I'm going to use fake names because of patient privacy, but they were anything but phony. These were real men and women involved in a major battle for life.
According to my desk calendar, Friday was the start of autumn. I usually don't like to argue with inanimate objects, but I made an exception when temperatures reached 98 degrees Fahrenheit on what was supposed to be the start of a cooler season.
The political world is so toxic that I needed some relief, so I tuned into a reality show more real than anything on television. I wasn't disappointed. The stories I heard were at once harrowing and inspirational. And they were deeply connected to the future of the country.
For those of you too young to remember the television show "MacGyver," allow me to share about the 1980s American action-adventure series. The show was about a secret agent, Angus MacGyver, who employed his resourcefulness and knowledge of chemistry, physics, and technology, and often a little duct tape and a Swiss Army knife, to resolve what were often life or death situations.
With the unemployment rate hovering above 9 percent, today's job market is bad for everyone. One group does seem to fare better than the rest, however: The jobless rate for workers with a bachelor's degree or better is just 4.3 percent, compared with 14.3 percent for high school dropouts.
I am one of the fortunate people who do not fear public speaking. When you put me in front of a captive audience and ask me to talk about one of my passions - like community newspapers - watch out, I might just talk your ear off.
For those of you who don't know me well, you may be surprised to read that I grew up on an almond ranch. My two sisters married almond farmers and have lived happily ever after in what I refer to as "the dirt." I, however, fled to suburbia as soon as I turned 18. As Eva Gabor used to chant during the Green Acres theme song, "Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue."
California's countryside green is fading fast to gold.
Cruella and Dante are dogs.
The worst drought in most of our lifetimes has focused attention on how all Californians use, conserve and recycle water. Three years of historically dry winters - and no assurance that the next one will be any better - require each of us to examine how we can preserve this precious resource.
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