OUR VIEWS

Our Views: Oh goody, Modesto area is on another list

May 9, 2014 

If you haven’t yet grown thoroughly tired of lists, we’ve made another.

No, this one isn’t any better than the others that have been used to defame and deflate the Modesto area. According to a website called Wallethub.com, Modesto is the worst place in America to start a career. Perhaps this one shouldn’t be so surprising. The Central Valley was among the hardest hit regions in the U.S. during the Great Recession and it is taking us longer to recover. So perhaps it’s understandable that young people graduating from college or high school would have a more difficult time starting their lives here.

But the very worst? To be fair, we weren’t the worst in all categories. In fact, we weren’t the worst in any category. It was when you added it all up that we sank to the bottom. For instance, Modesto was the 65th “best” place in terms of rent for a two-bedroom apartment, and we were 43rd of the 150 cities on the poll in “economic mobility.” But we were 135th in entry-level jobs and 124th in leisure activities.

Wallethub, which usually weighs in with financial advice on subjects like finding the best bank or worst credit card, based its rating on a variety of factors. One of them, though, makes us a little dubious of the entire list: mating opportunities. The researchers considered the number of people over the age of 15 who had never been married. Fifteen? Mating opportunities? Really? We arrest people around here for that sort of thing. No wonder the Wallethub folks are not recommending Modesto.

Raising your voice for Mom

If you’d like to get an early start on Mother’s Day, you can check out the Modesto Immigration Coalition’s For Our Moms testimonial event at El Concilio, 1314 H St., today at 9 a.m. It’s part of a national effort to encourage Congress to pass immigration reform. Among the speakers will be Riverbank’s Virginia Madueño. The more voices raised in this effort, the better they will be heard.

Guides on the path to literacy

The Stanislaus Literacy Centers is asking for help in teaching 32 adults how to read. There’s an enormous range, from a 52-year-old immigrant from China to a Texan, 43, who dropped out of school and now wants to improve his skills. The fun thing about this opportunity is that you can see the results almost immediately. If you’re interested in helping someone become a more fully functioning part of our society, call (209) 558-4505 to volunteer. There will be an orientation and training on June 5 and June 7, both at LearningQuest, 1032 11th St. The program is partners with the Stanislaus County Library, which last year helped tutor 1,500 adults in reading, writing and English.

Time to start voting

County Registrar of Voters Lee Lundrigan put Stanislaus County’s absentee ballots in the mail Friday. If you don’t get yours within the next few days, you might want to give her a call. Since a significant portion of Stanislaus voters now use the mail to vote every time, it’s important to make sure your ballot arrives.

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