Saturday Shorts: School has started in Modesto area; please watch out for the kids

August 16, 2013 

Education Reporter

Nan Austin/naustin@modbee.com Sylvan Union School District buses made the rounds on the first day of class, passing Sherwood Elementary in north Modesto, Ca., on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013.

NAN AUSTIN — The Modesto Bee Buy Photo

It seems to get earlier and earlier every year, but most area schools are officially back in session. This means more early-morning traffic in school zones, lots of pedestrian traffic and frequent school bus stops. It also means an increased need for driver awareness and safety. When you're around school zones, remember to slow down a bit, put down the cell phone and watch out for the kids.

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Diners and moviegoers in Modesto will have to be a bit more cautious in coming weeks as the City Council this week decided to re-open the Tenth Street Plaza area to vehicular traffic. It's unfortunate to see one of Modesto's downtown charms devolve, but we hope that those council members who voted for the change — Mayor Garrad Marsh, Dave Lopez, John Gunderson and Dave Geer — are right in their belief that it will revitalize and reinvigorate downtown commerce.

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It was a good news, bad news kind of week. Good for the Sisters of the Cross, who celebrated their 25th year in Modesto. Originally brought to Modesto from Mexico in 1988 by the late Stockton Diocese Bishop Donald Montrose with help from Marie Gallo and others, the nuns live in their cloistered convent, praying for the priests and people of the diocese, as well as for community, state and national residents and issues. They bless us all.

Bad news for fans of Beardsley's Book and Bible, which is closing after 38 years. The once- thriving store with locations in Ceres, Stockton and Modesto has struggled recently, moving to a smaller location in McHenry Village. It finally fell victim to the economy and the cultural shift as more people buy their books and music online and through direct distribution.

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The Stanislaus County Health Services Agency is asking county residents over the age of 18 to respond to a survey about a variety of habits including: transportation, safety, eating, insurance, health care and exercise. The survey, which will be used as part of the forthcoming Public Health Report, helps the county direct funds. It takes about 10 minutes and is completely confidential. An English version is at www.surveymonkey.com/s/N76C6DN. Spanish and Farsi versions can be obtained by calling (209) 558-7400.

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If you haven't heard the cheering from John Thurman Field, you likely will soon if the winning streak of the Modesto Nuts continues. On Thursday night, the Nuts swept a series with the San Jose Giants, putting them two games ahead with 17 games remaining in the race for the second-half title in the North Division. After a lackluster start to the season, the Nuts are heating up and look forward to an exciting push to the end. Let's go, Nuts!

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