Heres a thought. In about four years, Colin Kaepernick is going to be in his quarterbacking prime. Hes good now, but four years from now hell still have the wheels to run, that rocket-launcher right arm and hell be even better at reading defenses, finding receivers or finding routes into the end zone. And hell be playing in a new stadium.
The thought of being able to hop on train in Modesto then get off in front of the new stadium in Santa Clara is downright exciting. The thought that it might cost as little as $12 seems like an almost illegal bargain. Certainly too good to pass up.
But we might. The Altamont Commuter Express now has daily trains departing from Lathrop. It wants to extend service to Modesto by 2018, but thats a $161 million project. Considering theres only an estimated 350 Stanislaus County commuters using the train each day now, that works out to $460,000 per rider. Even spread over 20 years, thats a big investment simply for commuters. But, how many people would take the train over on special weekends and not just when the 49ers are playing if given the opportunity? How many would ditch their cars and ride the train if it didnt involve a commute from Lathrop?
One way to help raise the money to pay for such a project is to pass a countywide transportation sales tax. Perhaps you dont think smoother, wider roads in places that facilitate business makes any sense. But maybe a chance to ride the train to see Kaepernick & Co. does.
Were going to need a lot more rain, but its nice to see that were getting at least enough to make the grass grow.
Were supposed to get up to 2 inches of rainfall over the weekend. Thats good news for ranchers, whose pastures had remained brown well into the winter. And it will help us bank a little in our reservoirs though its not nearly enough to get us even half way to normal.
So were going to need to be creative in looking at ways to conserve. Weve already recommended that home owners turn off your sprinklers and individuals take shorter showers, alter your flushing habits and let their cars go dirty.
We hope that local business owners will do their part, too. Were not sure what to say to the owners of car washes, but perhaps they could offer discounts on future washes if you buy them now but dont use them until weve got enough water. And speaking of cars, we know that everyone expects to see shiny cars for sale on the new car lots, but do they have to be washed so often? How about a down and dirty discount on cars that you drive off the lot dusty? If not that, then at least dont wash them on days its supposed to rain.
We read with interest reporter Garth Stapleys report Monday on how much it cost the new Modesto Irrigation District board members to get elected. Drawn from election filings, his report was thorough. The most expensive was Division 4, which had five candidates. While Stapley reported that Mortensen spent $33.82 for each vote cast for him, Jake Wenger appeared to have gotten a much better bargain at $10.90 each.
But there are always several ways to have fun with numbers. For instance, there were a total of 5,294 votes cast in Division 4 (meaning roughly 15,000 voters who live in the division which encompasses much of north Modesto, Salida and Wood Colony, didnt bother to vote but thats another editorial). So Mortensen spent $6.71 per actual voter and Wenger spent $5.69. If youre a candidate trying to figure out how much money you need to raise to win an election in Stanislaus County, these numbers might provide a good starting point. Of course, how you spend it is probably more important.
The words of Jamie Garner the sixth-grade math teacher at Walnut School in Turlock left a lasting impression this week. She is one of 51 teachers nationwide honored with the Presidential Award of Excellence.
I dont know how you do this if your kids dont love being here, she said.
First, we believe shes stressing exactly the right thing not math, though its important. She is stressing the love of being in that classroom and learning. Secondly, she said your kids, as in her kids. That denotes ownership; Garner is clearly invested in each students success; each students love of learning.
Along with former Modesto resident Julie Hammari (who now teaches in Utah), were certain that Garner is deserving of this award. Her students are lucky to have her.