SLY: Farewell party for Cogdill in September

July 16, 2010 

Dave Cogdill, who is leaving the state Senate at the end of the year — of his own volition — is among three valley lawmakers who will be honored at a dinner in Fresno.

The Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno, also will honor outgoing Assembly members Juan Arambula and Mike Villines at the Sept. 9 dinner. I suspect it will be a who's who of valley politicos, crossing traditional party lines. Cogdill and Villines are Republicans. Arambula is now an independent; he formerly was a Democrat.

The ticket price is hefty — $225 until Aug. 1, $250 after that — but a portion is tax deductible and net proceeds go to the institute, including its worthwhile legislative intern scholar program. More information: or 559-278-1133.

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In my mind, Modesto lost a true public servant on July 4. Rafael Rodriguez didn't have a big title behind his name, but he sure had an influence in our community, helping neighborhoods that wanted to get rid of — and stay rid of — graffiti, illegal dumping and other problems. Code enforcement isn't a job that wins many friends, but Rodriguez had a charming way that went far to persuade people to comply with the rules. He also helped to create the program that enlisted citizens to help code enforcement. Rodriguez was only 47, far too young to lose.

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Many candidates disappear from the scene after they lose an election. Not Jim Standart, who was unsuccessful in last fall's Modesto City Schools board election but continues to attend board meetings and serves on at least one district committee.

Sly is editor of The Bee's Opinions pages. Contact her at 578-2317 or

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