Apparently a lot of you like this new format where I discuss a number of topics in brevity and break them up with spaces and asterisks rather than write one long column that demands more of your time. After all, this is the age of social media with its short attention span and proclivity against reading lengthy blocks of copy.
From the mail bag came this comment on my last column: "Spot-on on all subjects and succinctly stated. My only disappointment is that you are not (I assume) syndicated so as to cast your words of wisdom upon a much broader field. Keep up the good work and ever increasing notoriety to you."
Thanks for the nice compliment, Claire!
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A resident of North Central Avenue called and wanted an update on the vehicle-to-vehicle shooting that critically injured a man and woman on the evening of Aug. 11, 2016. The incident started out when a Dodge Durango was being chased by a dark-colored vehicle westbound on Caswell Avenue at Fifth Street where the first volley of gun fire was heard. The chase turned north on Central Avenue when a second volley of gunfire was heard. The man and woman had been hit and stopped in a driveway next to the Central Avenue General Baptist Church. The man driving the pickup sustained a gunshot wound to the back while his girlfriend passenger sustained a gunshot wound to her face and jaw.
Ceres Police Detective Sgt. Danny Vierra told us both victims are doing fine. The woman underwent plastic surgery to fix the damage to her face.
The suspect? He was no more. He was identified as Jesus Bustamante, 23. On Nov. 23, he was found by the California Highway Patrol shot to death in a car in the Stockton area. Word has it that Bustamante was involved in a drug cartel.
As far as I'm concerned this story that had a good outcome. It's unfortunate that the street vermin didn't learn sooner that if you want to shoot people, you're always entitled to die in the same manner.
Thanks for asking, Mrs. Allison.
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Why do people always try to make a point about education funding when talking about building more jail space?
I saw a comment made on the Courier Facebook page by Anjni Kumar who was responding to a quote of Sheriff Adam Christianson made during a celebration of the expansion of our county jail last week. The expansion includes programs to try to turn around the ways of the common dirt-bag. Anjni said: "An amazing opportunity? More money and facilities for prisoners while cutting funding for college students ... wow."
Hit the pause button, please.
If you remember, a judge ordered Gov. Brown to reduce prison overcrowding. He decided to comply by releasing the "best" of those behind bars. Turns out they went back to their thieving and dope dealing ways. So the state said, okay, counties, they are yours. To deal with the problem they helped expand local jails, the state helped build more local jail space.
So I need to respectfully ask, Anjni Kumar, what does college education have to do with dealing with criminals after they commit crimes? If we have a crime problem it's not because criminals were not afforded an education. Last time I checked students must go to school and as far as I know no kid in California is denied space in a classroom.
I consider it important that people who misbehave - especially those breaking into our cars and homes and stealing - are locked up, until they learn to behave. It would be great if they all learned their lessons when they get out, but it's not always the case.
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State Assemblyman Adam Gray was outraged when one of his Senate colleagues - and a Republican at that - was forcably removed from the floor while she tried to protest Tom Hayden from being honored by Democrats. Gray introduced House Resolution 27, to prohibit the removal of any member from the Assembly chamber without a two-thirds vote.
Last month the Democrats shut up Sen. Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) as she tried to offer a "different perspective" of the draft dodging liberal Hayden who died in October. Senator Bill Monning, D-Carmel, didn't like what she had to say so declared her "out of order." When she failed to bow down to him, presiding officer, Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, had the Senate bullies remove her.
Gray responded by saying the "actions are counter to the very purpose of our democracy to elect representatives who debate, discuss, and vote on the issues and policies of the day. To silence any of our elected officials is to silence everyone they represent."
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You know the country is in trouble when a liberal hogwash controversy like this pops up in the heartland, of all places. I think our Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves on this one.
Did you hear about the fuss of students of Valley High School in Iowa wearing patriotic red, white and blue during a basketball game against Des Moines North High School? Seems that could have been construed as "offensive" by the other team, which apparently has a lot of "immigrant" students.
"Any normal person, any educated person can look at that and think, ‘What the hell are these kids thinking?'" North High School assistant coach Morgan Wheat told WHO TV.
North High basketball coach Chad Ryan suggested Valley had sinister intentions because North has a "diverse" student population.
Coaches with skulls full of mush too?
Valley High's Student Council sent a note of apology to the other school, saying, ""It has been brought to our attention that the decision by the Valley High School student section to wear USA apparel at our game last night was offensive to members of your community and fan base. We are deeply sorry if we have offended anyone in any way."
No, no, no. For what? Displaying patriotism?
(Quick Beyer High Patriots, better grab for your guns. Whoops, I forgot that guns aren't politically correct either).
Even immigrants came here because America is a better country than the one they left. And they're offended at our country's colors? If that's so, maybe they should pack up their bags and find a new home.
This is America, d-a-m-m-i-t. Remembering a slogan back when I was a kid? America: Love her or leave her.
The problem is they don't love America: just the gravy train she offers them. Sad.
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Many of you may not be aware that I recently started contributing to the 209 Magazine, which is a product of our publishing group. The February/March issue contains an eight-page feature I wrote on movies and TV shows that were filmed in our area.
I had no idea our area was being used so extensively by Hollywood until I was a child. We were headed in the family station wagon southbound on Highway 99 sometime around 1974 and as we were in the Keyes area I saw a northbound truck painted with the Little House on the Prairie logo. It was headed to Tuolumne County to meet Michael Landon for filming. Lots of filmmakers have come here.
The next issue, April/May will include a feature I wrote on finding the location of the Black Bart robberies in Calaveras County. And yes, I did find it!
The 209 Magazine may be found at the sales office at Valley Verde, 1606 Morello Drive in Ceres; or at Bonita Ranch 4900 Lucinda in Keyes; or at Fontana Ranch sales office at 2000 Thomas Taylor Drive in Hughson. Or you're guaranteed to find one at our offices shared by the Turlock Journal at 138 S. Center Street in Turlock. (Yeah, I'd rather be in Ceres like I was for 25 years so don't write me nasty notes; it wasn't my decision!)
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Nope, I still don't have a clue when my second appearance on Pawn Stars will be aired.
I'm monitoring it and will let you know. Or you can do your own search on TV Guide by checking to see if a signed photo of Buffalo Bill is mentioned.
That would be me.
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Enough about me. What about you? Are you a story that needs to be told? I'm always looking for ideas to do a Neighbors feature in the same vein as ones I have done on Sid Long, Dick and Isabel McKay, Floyd and Helen Sneed, Bill and Betty Bilson, Gladys Robirds, Jack and Shanna Marshall, Tom Dimperio, Betty Lee Taylor Baker, Jim and Joann Delhart and a host of others.
Drop me a line if you think you might be a good subject for a feature by me. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and give me a brief sentence of two and a way to get you on the phone!
Do you have any feedback about this column? Let Jeff know by emailing him at email@example.com. He will read it, promise.