MODESTO — Have you heard? The Modesto City Schools Board has determined that citizenship, learning and athletics are equally important in the process of helping to raise well-balanced children, and are reviewing recent controversial policies.
Specifically, they will look for ways to maintain the quality of the elementary school library instruction program, while restoring physical education classes. Meanwhile, kids who want to participate in sports still will be required to meet certain levels of citizenship. It's amusing to think that this is newsworthy, given these were standard parts of education for decades, but I guess old is new again.
Waiting for the light at Briggsmore and Lakewood avenues, I spied a sign posted by Covenant Grove Church announcing that "Jesus loves Zombies." Hmmm. I wonder what he thinks about vampires?
It's official! Local retailers have at last realized what we've all known for years. Nobody wants to see Christmas ornaments in September and Valentine's stuff at New Year's. They've agreed to start a trend and begin promoting the holidays just a month out, convinced that by minimizing buyer annoyance they can actually improve sales.
Have you heard? Salida residents are so determined not to be annexed by Modesto and turned into a retail strip mall or industrial park, because of the town's close proximity to Highway 99, that they've initiated talks with Ripon about being annexed by them instead. It may require a reconfiguring of Stanislaus County's borders.
Salmon can now breathe easier. After caustic debate between farmers, environmentalists, the state Water Resources Control Board and the Turlock and Modesto irrigation districts, the participants are at last realizing that both sides are right, and that unless a balanced and constructive approach is taken for the long and short term, there won't be any fish in our rivers or vital wetlands for migrating birds, and the West Side farmers can forget about getting water as average rainfall continues to decline. Did I mention we're on our way for record-low rainfall this season something that was forecast years ago as a part of our region's climate change?
And why is there all this debate anyway? As soon as Bay Area residents rediscover their home prices are once again ridiculously high, they will start to spill over the Altamont Pass and demand housing. And we will yet again go through our umpteenth mad build-a-house-athon, paving over prime farmland as our city leaders renew the debate as to whether it's a good idea to do that. But maybe that's a good thing. Paved farmland doesn't require as much water. So that can be used for the salmon instead.
Did you hear about the surge in people wanting to become part of the Modesto City sewer workers department? After seeing the jewelry and gold found in the sewers, and given that gold is around $1,600 an ounce, it's the region's newest gold rush!
Finally, please check the date on the top of the page. Gosh, it's April 1! In other words, April Fools! Except the part about the sign and zombies that was really there.
Newcorn is a a Modesto marketing consultant, author and freelance writer. Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.