SATURDAY SHORTS: Enterprise zone overhaul bills have strong valley ties

ModestoJuly 12, 2013 

To twist a proverb, success has many friends as well as fathers, and that was evident this week as Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the plan to overhaul the enterprise zone program and use other types of tax credits and incentives to encourage business development in California.

As is his custom in signing a law he especially likes, the governor made a to-do about signing the two bills — Senate Bill 90 and Assembly Bill 93 — and invited plenty of others to the party.

The event was at Takeda, a biotech firm in San Diego, because it will be one of the immediate beneficiaries and because it fits the governor's philosophy that California's best economic hope rests on building on its intellectual capacity and its strong universities.

The new economic plan moves away from hiring credits, which were being abused, and will use sales tax exemptions for manufacturing and research companies and other tax credits.

We would still like to see Brown come to Stanislaus and-or Merced counties, which we consider the epicenter of the state's troubled economy, for such ceremonies. But we do note that Sens. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, and Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte, were among those invited to the signing ceremony. Cannella especially had a hand in negotiating compromises that should help our region.

Our region's other state senator, Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, was the primary author of Senate Bill 90.

For more on the business approach, go to the state website intended to show California is business friendly:


Michelangelo would approve  

Anyone upset with Colin Kaepernick's coverless appearance on the cover of ESPN's magazine and its website probably should avoid taking any trips to Italy.

Kaepernick's physique is (how do we say this without sounding envious?) spectacular. It's no wonder he was chosen for conspicuous display.

That he has a well-toned body isn't surprising. Kaepernick is, after all, a professional football player, an occupation that demands strength, agility and durability. But Kaepernick, who grew up in Turlock and whose parents live in Modesto, clearly goes beyond being "in shape" — which the photos amply prove.

Strategic positioning ensures there's nothing lewd about the images. And they remind us of nothing less than the world's most famous sculpture — Michelangelo's David, which stands 14 feet tall in the Italian city of Florence.

And that brings us to the fact that some people are upset with the photos (and, presumably, the photos of other similarly unclothed athletes) in the magazine.

Those folks should take a deep breath.

Even 500 years after his arrival in downtown Florence, no one tut-tuts David's lack of apparel.

There's no historical record about who posed for Michelangelo as he carved David. But Kaepernick might want to do a little digging to see if there are any Italians in his family tree.


Illegal fireworks blamed for big loss  

We've heard a lot from letter writers about the problem with illegal fireworks, but to our knowledge no one in our coverage area was seriously injured this past week and there were no major fires. In Stockton, however, illegal fireworks are believed to have sparked a blaze that nearly destroyed the M. Calosso and Son box-making plant.

The worst part of this story, as noted by The Record newspaper of Stockton, was that as firefighters battled the huge blaze, people in the nearby neighborhood continued to fire off their rockets and bombs.

Undoubtedly many growers from our area have used packaging made by this company over the past 91 years. It's sad that the family-owned firm won't be able to provide their products as harvest arrives.

Fireworks are part of our national heritage, but fireworks in the hands of careless fools are dangerous and costly.


A toast to the best  

The New York Times recently published a story entitled "Nation of Wineries," noting that every state now grows wine grapes. Some, however, do it better than others. There were short profiles of up-and-coming wine states. But when it came to California, The Times said simply: "California: World Champion." It reported that California accounts for 90 percent of the nation's wine production and that one winery in particular, Modesto's E.&J. Gallo, has 16,000 acres of wine grapes. 


It's ugly, but it's important  

That old axiom about pictures and thousands of words, it's true. University of California at Merced health psychology Professor Linda Cameron proved it. She studied the difference in anti-smoking labels that have images of the carnage that smoking can do and labels with only words. Guess what? The images did a better job discouraging young people from smoking.

So, as you read this, imagine a blackened and pock-marked lung; think of tar-stained teeth; conjure a wheezing, gasping elderly person longing for just one more puff. Get the picture?

We hope so. And it only took 22 words.

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