We typically use this space for a thumbs up-thumbs down approach and then once a month to offer some numbers of interest. Today's theme is simply things to think about, based on news items from around our region and state. As always, readers are welcome to share their thoughts, either in a letter to the editor or on modbee.com, using the comment function.
Friday is the deadline for state legislators to introduce bills. As of late Thursday, according to The Sacramento Bee's Capitol Alert, 355 bills and eight proposed constitutional amendments had been introduced in the Assembly; and 268 bills and 11 constitutional amendments in the Senate. The good news, perhaps: There's some duplication of topics in that count. Thirty-nine bills relate to 2013 budget.
The five Stanislaus County Board of Education members will use laptop computers instead of paper for their agendas and other materials. It's a step that several other elected bodies have taken as well, notably the Modesto City Council. The county board of education will use castoff computers from the county Office of Education. Wouldn't it be great if this sort of thrifty practice was so commonplace that it wasn't newsworthy?
While we don't have a Super Bowl win to celebrate this year, we can still relish the World Series victory by the San Francisco Giants. The Giants' World Championship trophies will be on display here Tuesday, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Modesto Centre Plaza. Viewings are free with a suggested donation of $2 per person to the local Junior Giants League that is hosting the event.
How do we encourage children in our community to take more of an interest in science, math and technology subjects that could lead to a successful and interesting career? One way is to introduce them to the wide number of things to study and how science matters. To that end, Modesto Junior College Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Division is again offering a series of free mini-seminars to the public, young and not. All are held Wednesdays from 4 to 5 p.m. in Science 115 on the east campus. Upcoming topics:
Wednesday Laurie Hatch, MJC, "The Heart-Brain Connection: Why Love Nurtures Intellect"
Feb. 27 Teri Curtis' zoology class term projects
March 6 Bret Keller, "Benitoite, An Artistic Impression of California's Gemstone"
March 13 Ron Durbin, UC Merced, "UC Merced's Solar Thermal Cooling Project"
It might be interesting to take note of what shows up in your mailbox today. And do the same next Saturday and for the next several weeks. Ask yourself, what hardship would this create for me if this hadn't arrived until Monday? The U.S. Postal Service has proposed stopping Saturday residential delivery in August. According to a Gallup Poll last week, 63 percent of Americans were OK with that idea.
A new poll suggests voters would support a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages if the money went to nutrition and physical activity programs in the schools. According to the Field Poll results, 68 percent of California voters would support the tax for that purpose. Support dropped to about 40 percent if the money wasn't designated for student health initiatives. Do most people realize that sugary drinks are bad for them? Yes. Does it mean they've stopped drinking them? No.
Beyer High School lost 136 students because of transfers in 2012-2013. An incorrect number appeared in a graph on this page Friday.