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, ...
With the 2012 Presidential Election just around the corner, the American public is caught in the midst of a torrent of propaganda. As the popular trend of politicians fashioning their own facts abounds, folks here and around the nation encounter the same issue: what are we supposed to take to heart? I think the newer generation is hit hardest by this difficult decision. They're the most impressionable, having only recently been exposed to ...
Walter Reuther - a labor leader if there ever was one - was once given a tour of a modernized Ford assembly plant.
It's commonplace to observe that we live in very partisan times. Red versus blue factions dominate our public discussions, and there often seems very little room made for agreement in the middle.
Give us your garbage, your hardcore felons, and your air pollution.
I am in the midst of planning an extended family camping trip - a venture that will, hopefully, include at least six different households and bring cousins together for more than just a few hours of chit chat. Family reunions and get-togethers are nothing new; it's been an American tradition for decades. The trouble I'm encountering is getting my family members to commit to a date that is far enough in the future to ...
Sarah is frustrated.
Sugar taxes are not about health.
What did the San Joaquin Valley do wrong?
The success of food banks is based on relationships in local communities with individuals, faith-based organizations, retailers and food service businesses -just to name a few. Additional partnerships with food producers and processors assist with sourcing local, fresh foods that can be provided to needy families. Some of these relationships have innovative roots, and fairs are an example of that.
Whenever I travel back to my hometown in Indiana, the first thing I notice as the airplane makes its decent into Indianapolis is the vast swath of green that seems to cover the entire state. You don't realize how few trees actually grow naturally in California's Central Valley until you see an aerial view of Midwest lushness. Tree climbing is a mandated childhood activity in Indiana and no house has fewer than three ...
Why are deer getting killed by a car crossing the freeway?
The rapid approaching of another school year raises an idea that has unfortunately been buried beneath years of disregard. Writer and social critic John Ruskin put it well with his eloquent remark: "The entire object of true education is to make people not merely do the right thing, but to enjoy right things; not merely industrious, but to love industry; not merely learned, but to love knowledge." No doubt, it is quite ...
Like many people around the world, I am a fan of science fiction. The genre asks the question "what if?" and then allows for an infinite number of answers. What if is fun to ponder, but a new scientific development - and the implications of its usage - have me wondering, should we? It's always fun to watch classic science fiction movies that portray the future - which is usually close to the ...
I have never met Joseph Greenwood. By all indications, the 18-year-old Ripon High graduate is a solid citizen with a great attitude. The former wrestler and track athlete is also a fighter. Joseph is being treated for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Joseph - and others like him - are the reason I set aside a three-hour block of my time every three weeks to donate platelets. Platelets are critical in fighting leukemia, ...