Big changes are coming to the Courier circulation system that you should know about.
As of June 1, we will no longer have youth carriers deliver the Courier to neighborhoods in town. Things have been changing in our culture and fewer and fewer children have expressed an interest having a newspaper delivery route as a part-time job. The change was probably long overdue since less than 20 percent of the Courier circulation was being delivered via youth carriers. The handwriting was on the wall.
We understand if it's a disappointment to see the great all-American tradition of the newspaper delivery boy or girl end in Ceres. But like I said, our world is changing. Beginning next month, the Courier will be delivered by motor carrier. We hope that this improves delivery.
To help support your local newspaper - which we feel offers the best coverage of news in our town - you have the option to show your appreciation and support through a voluntary $3-per-month payment. To participate, all you need to do is send us check to the Ceres Courier, 138 S. Center Street, Turlock CA 95380. If you'd prefer not to mail payments every month, a one-time amount would be appreciated as well.
Please don't confuse our voluntary pay program with our mail subscription program. You also have the option of having the Courier mailed to your box each week. The cost for that is $30 for three months, or $50 for six months or $85 for the year.
Of course, fresh print copies of the Courier may be purchased from merchants and newsstands around Ceres. The Courier is sold at places like the Food-4-Less, Chevron station on Whitmore Avenue, AM/PM stores, Bob's Coffee Shop, Sam's Café, Liquor King, Chevron on Mitchell, Country Market, Walgreen's, Save Mart, George's Liquors, the 7-Elevens, Dennis' Save-On Liquors, Whitmore Market and Valley Liquor Mart.
We still believe in hometown journalism and we think we better the lives of Ceres residents who enjoy staying informed about what's going on in the community - both good and bad. We believe our product, information, makes our community better and strong. Don't you?
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Is this really true? Kids who aren't reading well by the fourth grade have a 67 percent chance of being incarcerated or unemployed as adults?
Makes perfect sense to me. It might also make perfect sense why we have an electorate who doesn't know what they're doing at the polls.
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Recently I bumped into a pastor of a church in Livingston. He asked what I do for a living. I told him that I wrote for the Ceres Courier and worked out of the Turlock Journal office. He shrugged his shoulders at what I told him and he said, "I don't read papers. Does anybody?"
Wow, we are in trouble as a country.
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Perfect segue into my next topic.
I don't think there's any question that homelessness in Stanislaus County - or across the nation for that matter - is on the rise. We all are noticing it more and more.
I also don't believe you can lump all homeless into one category but suffice to say mental illness and substance abuse goes to the heart of the problem.
My patience wears thin at times, especially when I see how dumpster divers make a huge mess by throwing trash outside of receptacles. Or when they leave purloined grocery carts filled with their possessions in public places or when they curse at traffic. I was driving down Oakdale Road in Modesto recently when a strange-acting man caught my attention. His skin didn't look healthy and he was acting, well, like a goofball. As my car passed by, I saw him lower his trousers and stick his rear into bushes right at the sidewalk. I could hardly believe my eyes that he was using a landscaping bush in front of Crystal Pool & Spa - in full view of traffic - as his toilet!
We used to arrest people for vagrancy. Those were the days when vagrancy was more out of sheer laziness. Now we have thousands who were strung out on so long they don't have much of a brain or ambition left.
You would think that, with our government wasting so much money on stupid programs like high-speed rail, that we could build homeless shelters and staff them with all the people who are on the public dole who otherwise aren't being productive. Sounds win-win. But then again, if it makes sense the government probably isn't interested. Meanwhile, we all suffer and so do the homeless.
Sometimes it's hard to soar like an eagle when you're in a cage filled with turkeys.
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Leftist ding-aling Alert of the Week:
A North Carolina high school recalled its yearbook because students were allowed to share quotes and one shared this one of Donald Trump: "Build the Wall" and apparently the wardens didn't like it. I believe the vast majority of educators are leftists, of course. "As a district, we do not and will not tolerate inappropriate conduct toward any of our students," said the high school.
Gee, calling for a wall as a way to secure our borders and keep out illegal immigrants is "inappropriate conduct" aimed at students? Protecting our national sovereignty should not be offensive to any American; it should be embraced. But that's how nutty the left-wingers in the educational system have become. What a horrible lesson in freedom of speech.
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I've written much recently about the organized effort to shout-down Congressman Jeff Denham wherever he goes.
A document was leaked to us showing that the California Democratic Party is behind the agitation. It confirmed what I suspected all along.
The memo is from Lucia Nunez, a "Senior Regional Organizer" with the California Democratic Party working in the 10th Congressional District. "This is all part of the March Into '18 project that I'm focused on" she writes.
The "agitator" letter gives instructions on where to have protestors show up to hound Denham. For example, when Denham appeared at the Dustbowl Taproom in Turlock on May 9, Nunez's minions were to be "outside to let him know what we think about his betrayal of his constituents." The memo instructs party hacks to "bring your signs and your voices to tell Jeff Denham we are unhappy with his actions, we are not going away, and we will remember this in 2018!"
"We will remember this in 2018"? As if Democrats were open to being supportive of Denham before his vote to repeal the Unaffordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare!
Nunez instructed Democrats to meet at Starbucks "to discuss tactics of the conversation" with Denham to be held that morning in Riverbank. Was this really about conversing with the congressman or running the agenda with "tactics"?
In reviewing her memo, Nunes gladly shares news of one of their marches in which placards were held, reading "No Wall, No Ban" as if unbridled illegal immigration were a good thing. (Apparently her band doesn't believe in the rule of law.) She also urged everyone to wholeheartedly endorse Planned Parenthood carte blanche, even though some in her party are against the slaughter of yet-to-be-born babies. And get this: Nunez also coaxed everyone to come out to watch a film highlighting a 73-year-old black transgender woman who has been "fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years." Let me get this straight. We have a national debt of $19 trillion, a huge unemployment problem, California desperately need to build water storage, crime is up, gangs are running drug circles around our kids, Americans are becoming addicted to opioids at alarming rates, families are breaking up, homelessness is a huge problem, we've got North Korea running loose with nukes as if they're toys and Democrats are worried about a man who chopped off his male parts to become a "woman" fighting for rights? Hey, if you want to cut off your genitals and masquerade as a different gender, have at it, but don't expect everybody else to think that's normal behavior. And don't expect all of society to accommodate your where-to-go-to-the-bathroom problem afterward.
Speaking of Planned Parenthood, they don't do mammograms for women as Obama claimed in a 2012 debate. Their primary business is abortion as evidenced by most of their revenue from abortions. Republicans rightfully have a problem with spending a half billion dollars for the Planned Parenthood abortion mill which kills 300,000 American babies a year.
Nunez's marching orders illustrate all smoke and mirrors at play. Denham protests are being portrayed as a groundswell of local dissent against the congressman but it's really more about outside-the-district money and political posturing. They are banking on media coverage of their contrived events to taint Denham's image and they're getting it. The protestors are political pawns. Nunez also even offers to coach people on how to write letters to the editor, which tells me that she has little confidence in her side's ability to express one's self. That in itself is a sad commentary on the state of our civic engagements.
A recent ABC News poll found that 67 percent of Americans think the Democratic Party is out of touch with average working Americans. Maybe you can work on that, Ms. Nunez.
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To illustrate how vile the left has become, journalist Kurt Eichenwald tweeted that he hoped every congressman who voted for the Obamacare repeal like Denham "sees a family member get a long-term condition, lose insurance and die." When asked why he said he wanted people to die, he said "because I want them to be tortured."
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I'm one Californian who is very tired of corruption and the good-old-boy system of politics - and the corruption of politicians feathering their nests.
There is a blistering new state audit that alleges UC President Janet Napolitano formed a slush fund of $175 million while interfering with an audit investigation. The audit found that the UC Office of the President had spent less than it budgeted, while asking for increases in future funding based on the previously overestimated budgets. Napolitano says her slush fund is not $175 million but $38 million - a figure she says is "modest" for an organization the size of her domain.
State Attorney General Xavier Becerra - always eager to go after any company on environmental grounds - has stated he won't investigate Napolitano. While saying politics was not a consideration and vowing to "go after any entity that is taking advantage of the California public," he says he's not interested in looking into it. Why wouldn't a state attorney general investigate a credible report of wrongdoing? Because it might give his party a black eye? What a sham.
That's not all. Napolitano has come under fire for allowing campuses to enroll a surge of higher-paying, non-Californians to help bring in more revenue into the University of California system. She also spending lavishly: $4,200 on a retirement party for Laine Farley, a former director of the UC's California Digital Library in 2015. Napolitano played dumb, saying, "This is a $31-billion-a-year organization so a particular retirement party wouldn't cross my desk." Maybe she would care if she had to pay for that lavish party out of her own pocket. The audit found that $862,000 was spent on Napolitano's Oakland apartment over the past four years. That cost includes the $11,500 monthly rent for the 3,400-square-foot apartment, which is also paid through endowment funds.
I'm very much troubled by politicians who are so free with the people's money.
Do you have any feedback about this column? Let Jeff know by emailing him at email@example.com. He will read it, promise.