All over the valley there are young men and women lacing up their cleats, practicing their kicks, swimming their laps and spending time on the driving range. Most young athletes look up to the heroes of their sport the Buster Poseys, Mia Hamms, Missy Franklins and David Beckhams of the world.
Now we have our own local hero for young people to emulate Colin Kaepernick. We all have a pretty good case of "Kap Fever," and it is sure to increase should the 49ers win the Super Bowl on Sunday.
It is a lot of fun to celebrate the successes of a polite, focused and hardworking young man, as opposed to those who bring negative attention to our region. We wish Colin well Sunday and regardless of the final score are proud of all he has done to represent our valley well in his short time in the national spotlight.
Kaepernick isn't the only person deserving a High Five this week:
To Jerry Morris, who is retiring after 22 years as director of Homeless Services at The Salvation Army in Modesto. He helped countless people over that time, showing compassion and dignity to homeless individuals in addition to helping provide them with a place to sleep and eat in the shelter at Ninth and D streets.
To the creators and volunteers of Turlock's Carnegie Arts Center and their success in the center's first 15 months of operation. A 2005 fire gutted the historic building, but the effort to renovate it and make it a showcase for visual arts prevailed. As Bee staff writer Marijke Rowland described in a story in Monday's Bee, the center has welcomed 15,000 visitors and hosted 3,300 class participants since fall of 2011.
A new exhibit opened this past week, featuring the paintings, sculpture and other works of former California State University, Stanislaus, art professor John Barnett. The center is at 250 N. Broadway Ave. For more info: (209) 632-5761 or www.carnegieartsturlock.org.
To Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, who now represents all of Stanislaus County and southern San Joaquin County. He's made a concerted effort to connect with his constituents, appearing at all sorts of local events and in front of the Stanislaus Board of Supervisors and the Modesto City Council. He's opened a new district office at 4701 Sisk Road, Suite 202. It's referred to as his Modesto office, but it's actually off Highway 99 in Salida, just south of the library.
Denham defeated former astronaut Jose Hernandez to win this 10th Congressional District seat. We think it's commendable that he has formed an Hispanic Advisory Council and met with its members Wednesday to learn about their views on immigration and other high- interest topics.
To Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, for the thoughtful statement he offered this week on immigration reform. It read, in part, "It is our role as elected leaders to change the status quo when things are not working. We need to act immediately if we want to keep the problems with illegal immigration from growing. I am encouraged by the work that we are finally seeing on the federal level. I support the actions that are being taken and want California to be at the forefront of immigration reform."
Cannella also has broken from many in his party and is supporting driver's licenses for illegal immigrants who qualify as a way to promote safe and responsible drivers. The proposal has been introduced this session as AG 60. "It is not only a safety issue, but the right thing to do. We must recognize the hard work and contributions of our immigrant population and remember that we are all immigrants to this great country," Cannella said in his statement.
To Stanislaus Animal Services Agency, which offered amnesty to dog owners who had never licensed or were late in licensing their pets. The amnesty was only supposed to be for the month of January, but after having issuing 4,000 new licenses, the agency extended amnesty through February. Dog owners in Modesto, Ceres, Patterson, Waterford, Hughson and unincorporated areas are eligible. And there's a bonus free microchipping of the dog by the Animal Services Auxiliary, to ensure that licensed Fido gets home safely. We also like the agency's clever campaign offering "all makes and models" of "certified pre-owned pets" for adoption. The shelter is at 3647 Cornucopia Way in south Modesto. Contact info: (209) 558-7387 www.stancounty.com/animalservices or .
Medical experts refer to the "golden hour," the time perhaps only a few minutes immediately following a trauma or attack during which the fate of the patient is often determined. People expect a quick response when they're in a medical crisis and often the source or vendor of that care is secondary. It is for the concern of patients throughout Merced County that we appreciate the reconsideration being made for ambulance services. The Merced Board of Supervisors realized flaws in its evaluation process and acted to remedy it through a new bidding process to span the coming year an important golden hour for the critical care and health of all residents.