DeletSpecial Agent's Perfect Cover
As we ease in to the New Year, some changes 'are afoot' for The Oakdale Leader and its companion papers, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News.
After some discussion and observation, it seems to me that most people make New Year's resolutions that are related to better health. They usually go something like this: join the gym, lose weight, stop smoking, cut back on the beer, and so on.
And so the menagerie grows. Despite my best intentions, we seem to continue to add more pets to the household. Perhaps it is because I have long wanted to be a volunteer at the Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center – I love animals – but haven't found the time to fit it in to my schedule.
As I've mentioned before, my childhood was a bit unorthodox. We didn't celebrate Christmas or birthdays or any holiday (with the exception of Thanksgiving) and I always felt left out when my friends returned from winter break with new clothes or at the least cool holiday stories to share. So when I was old enough, I tried to make up for lost time. I went overboard buying my sisters and brother Christmas presents and when I had children of my own, I wanted to do everything I felt I'd missed out on in my own childhood and ...
When I was a little kid I assumed that everyone celebrated Christmas exactly the same way that my family did. Christmas shopping was done no sooner than two weeks before Christmas. The outside lights did not go on the house until after Dec. 9, which happened to be my sister Sandra's birthday. And above all I knew that Santa did not wrap the presents he left on Christmas morning.
Due to some out-of-the-ordinary circumstances this year I'm dealing with a time crunch, so I'm all about convenience for the holidays.
I'm beginning to wonder if I am outnumbered.
Friday night didn't end the way football fans in Escalon or Oakdale had imagined – or hoped – as both previously undefeated teams took their first, and final, losses of the season in their respective Section title games.
Black Friday has come and gone but it roused more emotions this year because many stores decided to jump the gun and start their sales at midnight on Thanksgiving Day instead of some ungodly hour the next morning.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.
Everyone has their favorite holiday - that one special time of year that holds nostalgic charm or warm memories - and for me, it's Thanksgiving.
Did you vote on Nov. 8? If not, you weren't alone. According to Stanislaus County Registrar of Voters Lee Lundrigan's office, there were 35,876 ballots counted for the unofficial results released on Nov. 9. There are 15,000 or so vote-by-mail ballots that still have to be counted before the official results are released on or before Nov. 21. In a county of 514,453 people, only 227,278 are registered voters, and only around 60,000 people actually voted in this election.
Much has been said and covered by the news media in regard to the recent decisions from a St. Louis County and New York grand juries not to indict police officers in the separate deaths of two subjects by the police officers involved.
Well, I resisted as long as humanly possible.
That loud clacking sound everyone heard Wednesday morning, Nov. 5 after the elections was the sound of area deadbolts latching in homes after the passage of Proposition 47 – the initiative that reduced penalties for drug possession and other "nonviolent" crimes.
October is over. And on a brief shopping excursion on Saturday, Nov. 1, I noticed with more than a little horror that the Halloween costumes that were placed on 75 percent clearance were right next to the brightly decorated Christmas trees, tinsel and holiday wreaths.
I've been covering Oakdale government and crime regularly now for nearly three years and in that time I can honestly say I've seen a serious concerted effort by elected officials and city staff to save the city money, making cuts where available, and directing resources for maximum efficiency.
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