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.
Medical science increasingly has some evidence of a principal your mother warned you about: there really is too much of a good thing. A few folks throw themselves headlong into aerobic exercise. Most of these hard-core endurance athletes start young. Many fall by the wayside in middle age, but there are also those who keep going, completing marathons and similar events well into retirement age. What happens to the heart muscles of ...
Gas - as one Valley billboard proclaimed last summer - is $1.10 per gallon.
Some election cycles it seems that nothing changes. The incumbents are reelected, or candidates with the same ideology take their place. On Nov. 6, Turlock voters elected to replace incumbent City Council member Mary Jackson with newcomer Steven Nascimento. What, if any, change will this bring to the City Council? While Jackson has, in the past, supported more traditionally Democratic ideals and Nascimento is currently a district director for Republican State Senator ...
Thursday was our nation's 223rd Thanksgiving.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau I just reached "middle age," or the approximate mid-way point in the expected lifespan of a female living in the United States. This factoid is surprising to me because I feel like I just graduated high school a few years ago. This warp in my time perception also extends to other events in my life. I still talk about when I was a Journal sports reporter "a ...
It's open season on law-abiding Californians.
With another Presidential Election safely tucked away for four more years, some folks may be relieved to revert once again to their set of typical tasks. But try as we might to return to normalcy, one concept seems to forever trickle into our lives - patriotism. Are we patriotic enough? Or perhaps the more important question: do we need to be? I would like to believe that patriotism is just as relevant ...
Every year, our country comes together on Veterans Day to honor the brave men and women of our armed services who risk their lives daily to protect our freedoms and to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending our country. America would not be what it is today without the heroism and sacrifice of those individuals bravely serving our country. Our service men and women risk their lives to protect our country and ...
The republic is still standing.
The fact I'm typing this on an i-Pad may lead one to believe that I would be right at home with a Kindle. I'm not.
Detroit's city leadership is probably relieved that the Tigers didn't win the World Series.
The scariest time of the year is almost upon us.
Contemplate this little tidbit the next time gasoline prices push the $5 a gallon mark: The nation's largest known shale oil reserve is in our own backyard. The Monterey Oil Shale that encompasses virtually all of the San Joaquin Valley, with the Santos Oil Shale covering the Los Angeles Basin area, has 15.4 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil reserves. The U.S. Energy Information Administration notes that is three times more recoverable reserves ...
Let's be honest. Neither Proposition 30 nor Proposition 38 will solve California's school financial problems. Education spending is the 900-pound gorilla of the never-ending state budget crisis. And until such time as the entire system is reformed from pensions to hacking away - and restructuring - the administrative structure above the district level school cuts are going to keep getting more and more dire. States that have taken bold and decisive pension reform measures ...
They're kids. Well, actually young adults. And at age 20 they're part of the Percentage People. The 99 percent. The 47 percent. The 7.8 percent. They aren't part of the wealthy. They don't pay income taxes. They don't have jobs. That doesn't mean they aren't industrious. It doesn't mean they are living on entitlements. And it doesn't mean they don't want to work. They are dealing with reality. Good people come from tough backgrounds. ...