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Depending on medical pot for budget fix is not a prudent action
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While the folks at City Hall are licking their chops over the windfall of money pledged to come from Kase Manufacturing, the forthcoming medical marijuana company, let me play devil's advocate.

Putting the city's hope in one company seems a bit risky. The company isn't even up and running and the some on the council are already counting on using half of the $600,000 expected in the first 12 months for the 2017-18 budget. Linda Ryno and Mike Kline were the voices of reason when they suggested, no, the city should not depend on that new source of revenue. It's like counting your chickens before they hatch. And any farmer knows that sometimes chickens don't hatch. Sometimes they get to the stage of breaking out of the egg shell and die.

I'm not saying that will happen, of course. What I am saying is that counting on money that's not here yet also allows the council to escape or minimize difficult decisions that should have been made years ago. I've noticed that the council doesn't like making hard decisions about employee cutbacks, and I get that. But banking on money from a company that isn't even in business seems a bit tenuous.

What happens when the city gets addicted - pun intended - to the new funds and it somehow goes up in smoke?
What happens if Kase can't deliver on its promise? It seems mind-boggling that the company is offering to pay the city $50,000 per year for months one to 12, $75,000 per month in months 13 through 24, and $100,000 per month for the third year. That's a total of $2.7 million! Talk about the goose that lays the golden egg. That's almost too good to be true.

Something that Mike Reynolds said to me raised my eyebrow. "After three years we'll review (the fee) and if it's too much then we'll talk..."

Wow, is there that much profit in medical marijuana that a company can pay exorbitant fees?

* * * * *

I had a very interesting conversation with the top five students at Ceres High School. They are five quality individuals and their parents - and community - can be proud of them.

As I complimented them about their standing, I mentioned how people my age shake their heads at the new generation. Some of them agreed that they are astounded by the behavior of their peers.

I asked what the problem is?

One student piped up that technology and constantly being on the phone is part of the problem.

"I feel it's distracting people," she said. "Everyone's on their phone at school. They don't care."

Another student suggested having information pushed at people through smart phones all the time robs the love of learning. "They don't even have to work to learn it," she said.

I chimed in that people accept everything the media feeds them, never questioning the slant. If it's from a reputable news source, people just assume it's coming as unvarnished truth, when in reality the national media has a huge agenda to promote leftist causes and slamming conservatives or people who are against the liberal agenda - often unabashedly.

One student notices how people can read a news item on their phone and believe they have enough information to make informed opinions. "They enter argument believing they know everything. I've even caught myself (thinking) I don't know anything about this, why am I arguing about it? I think that's really the big problem with what we're seeing now - overconfidence in knowledge that you don't really have."

* * * * *

When the news of the Highway 1 rockslide went on social media, it quickly turned into a partisan fight. How? Some were blaming the sliding of a hill on Brown. "If the state would take care of there (sic) infrastructure and less on helping illegal immigration, this might stop happening to the poor people of California" wrote Terry Shulmire.

While I agree we are catering to illegal immigrants, I know rock slides happen regardless of who is governor. What do you expect when you build roads between the coast line and cliffs that rise up a thousand feet? The earth would have done that with people or not.

Another - this one on the left - charged that "Climate change is a hoax ya right chump wake up! It's the beginning people we need to take heed and obey nature! If we protect it it will protect us!"

Sure, protect us as in spew lava on us, shake us off its back like a tick on a dog or wash oceans over us in a tidal wave. Who is this Jeanne Macey kidding?

Shifting dirt has nothing to do with climate change.

At least Danielle Crofford Fetters hit the nail on the head when she said: "People seem to forget that this planet is in a constant state of change. The other day I watched a clip of an ocean eruption creating a new island in a short span of time. Trump, global warming, infrastructure funding have very little to do with this planet's continuous changes."


* * * * *

It's graduation week. I like to share words from a poster that I saw in a sandwich shop - located doors down from the law office of Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois - titled, "Food for Thought," is worthy of required reading for graduates.

RULE 1 - Life is not fair - get used to it.

RULE 2 - The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

RULE 3 - You will NOT make $40,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with car phone, until you earn both.

RULE 4 - If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.

RULE 5 - Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping they called it "opportunity."

RULE 6 - If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

RULE 7 - Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

RULE 8 - Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

RULE 9 - Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

RULE 10 - Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

RULE 11 - Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Do you have any feedback about this column? Let Jeff know by emailing him at He will read it, promise.c