Let's see, we're counting the days until Christmas after we just finished counting our blessings for Thanksgiving. Shoppers are counting on big discounts, and retailers are counting on sales to make their year profitable.
With numbers on the minds of so many, it only seems fitting to feature a few numbers of note on this last Saturday of November:
7 This is the jersey number of Colin Kaepernick, pictured, the former Pitman High School star from Turlock who had an outstanding showing in his first NFL start with the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night and appears to have earned the starting position again for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.
Kaepernick has been a familiar name to local fans for years, as they followed his successful career in high school not just in football, but also in baseball and basketball. He went on to play at the University of Nevada in Reno, where he became the only player ever to pass for 10,000 yards and run for 4,000 in his collegiate career.
Kaepernick had impressive numbers in Monday's game, but he's also been impressive in interviews since then, with a demeanor that makes us all proud. Congratulations to Colin and his parents, Rick and Teresa Kaepernick.
6,346 This is the number of acres that were planted in producing almond trees in Stanislaus County 50 years ago. There were almost 99,301 acres planted in almonds in 2011; a number is going to grow significantly with the investment of Trinitas, a partnership that columnist Jeff Jardine wrote about earlier this month. The company will plant nuts on much of its 7,300 acres. Will it one day lead to an almond glut with farmers producing more than can be sold domestically or abroad? Probably, but such a glut has been predicted for a couple of decades and hasn't happened yet.
2,800 This is the estimated number of people who will be employed full time at the new state prison health care facility under construction off Highway 99 in south Stockton. According to The Record, the project manager said that the $900 million facility could be in full operation by the end of 2013.
590,788 This is how many Californians signed up to vote using the new online registration system, which went into effect in mid-September, less than two months before the presidential election. And, not surprisingly, nearly half of them were between 18 and 29 years old the age group not only most comfortable with computers but expecting to handle most of its business online. Combining totals for online and paper applicants, the state registered 986,290 new voters in the 45 days before the Oct. 22 deadline, according to The Sacramento Bee's Capitol Alert. Of that number, 46 percent were ages 18 to 29, Secretary of State spokeswoman Shannan Velayas said.
66 percentage of Stanislaus County's eligible voters who cast ballots Nov. 6, according to the almost final results released Wednesday evening. That turnout could rise to just under 68 percent if all of the 3,500 remaining provisional ballots are deemed to be eligible and not duplicates. By comparison, 70.8 percent of eligible county voters participated in the 2008 presidential election. In Merced County, about 64 percent of eligible voters marked ballots.
3 The number of ballot measures already confirmed for the state ballot in November 2014. They are: The $11 billion water bond proposal, twice postponed from the 2010 and 2012 elections; an initiative on health insurance rates; and a proposed constitutional amendment saying that initiatives and referendums should only go before voters in November elections in even-numbered years. So yes, we'll be voting on when we get to vote.
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Our national columnists
'Conservatives have been dreaming that a political reincarnation of Ronald Reagan would lead them to an electoral promised land. I never put my faith in such a possibility, because the past is a dangerous place in which to live. Yet among the contemporary political figures that closely represent the substance and style that made Ronald Reagan who he was is Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican. ... It's a long way to 2016 and there are many good potential presidential candidates, but Marco Rubio could be the one candidate conservatives have been waiting for: the second coming of Ronald Reagan.' Cal Thomas
'We're in the midst of a perfect storm: a Great Recession that has caused a sharp increase in unemployment and a Great Inflection a merger of the information technology revolution and globalization that is simultaneously wiping out many decent-wage, middle-skilled jobs, which were the foundation of our middle class, and replacing them with decent-wage, high-skilled jobs. Every decent-paying job today takes more skill and more education, but too many Americans aren't ready. This problem awaits us after the "fiscal cliff." ' Thomas Friedman