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If George Souliotes had served 16 years in prison for robbery or multiple burglaries and his conviction were overturned, then we would question whether the Stanislaus County district attorney's office should prosecute him again. But Souliotes was found guilty of killing two young children and their mother. The public expense of a new trial should not be a factor in what happens next. The only priority is for justice.
It's going to be a dry, ugly summer. We're only in May and fires have begun erupting around the state. Our reservoirs aren't close to capacity and they won't get help from the remaining snowpack.
It's hard to fathom that such a tiny creature can have so large an impact on our food supply. But honeybees are essential components in the production of fully one-third of the food U.S. residents eat. That's why the massive collapse of bee colonies in Europe and the United States represent a crisis of major proportion.
This week's segment of The Maddy Report will be "Cap & Trade: What's the Forecast for California's Climate Change Program?"
Modesto's Catherine Everett Elementary School has a 50th anniversary celebration Thursday evening, in conjunction with its annual open house.
Modesto Mayor Garrad Marsh held his quarterly town hall outside in the city at Gregori High School in Salida so it's no wonder that the few people who showed up were more interested in talking about his proposal for Modesto to annex that unincorporated town.
Imagine you go to the grocery store and find long lines at the checkout. A clerk approaches and says, "You can wait in line, or if you're willing to pay four times more, we can get you out right away." That, in essence, is what Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, is proposing for California's community colleges in Assembly Bill 955.
We have great respect for the legal profession. Most attorneys adhere to a strict code of ethics and many provide service to the downtrodden, victims and underdogs. Then there is Miguel A. Custodio Jr.
You know the stereotype: Teens today don't have the skills or attitude that businesses need in their employees. But as with any stereotype, it's exaggerated and in some cases just not true. Seventeen students at Valley Charter High School in Modesto are among the exceptions.
Today marks the start of a five-year contract that should assure Stanislaus County residents a quick and professional response when they call for an ambulance.
By the calendar, we're midway through spring, but the weather is very much like summer. That makes it a good time for a few reminders.
Barack Obama was right to call for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay when he first became president. Four years on, his cause is even stronger. The camp for terrorism suspects is a no man's land that violates core legal principles. It is a sinkhole for taxpayers' money. It is a recruiting tool for extremist groups. Every day it stays open, it deepens the stain on America's standing in the world.
In recent years, Stanislaus County supervisors have established an admirable track record of orderly deliberations even on the most divisive subjects. Many of their votes reflect divided views, but the five board members manage to make decisions, then move on. That's essential, given the dizzying array of topics with which the county deals.
Fund-raising for the opening bash planned for the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge scheduled for Labor Day weekend has been suspended. That's the clearest indication yet that the new span's cracked bolts and other problems pose serious risks to a safe opening of this bridge.
In February, the Modesto City Schools board voted to drop its rule that two or more unsatisfactory marks in citizenship for the preceding quarter would make students ineligible to participate in sports.
Public safety realignment making counties responsible for housing and supervising most low-level felons is not working well, but neither is it the cause of, as one Republican senator claims, "the carnage that's occurring on our streets." Stanislaus County has been fortunate in obtaining state funding to build additional facilities.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein hit a bull's-eye when she said last week that Yosemite National Park's "popularity is also its greatest challenge." Feinstein's comment accompanied bills that she and Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, introduced to expand Yosemite's boundaries by nearly 1,600 acres on its western edge near El Portal.
One of the Legislature's worst practices is rushing through bills at the last minute, giving the public and even Capitol observers little chance to comment or know what is going on.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval still has plenty of explaining to do about his state's cavalier policy of busing mentally ill patients unescorted to all corners of the country.
Battling Jerry "Bulldog" Brown is back, and with the right cause. He vowed Wednesday "to fight with everything I have and whatever we have to bring to bear" to overhaul what his budget calls the state's "overly complex, administratively costly and inequitably distributed" school funding system.
How do you measure success of California's community colleges, which try to be so many things to so many people? It's easy from the angle of the individual students. An associate degree, smooth transfer to a four-year university or a certificate that leads to a job or a better job all would count as successes.
There are plenty of eyesores in our community. You know and see them the abandoned houses and stores, the neglected yards and the graffiti-laden walls. Local governments struggle to force their owners to clean them up and occasionally just do the job and try to collect for the expenses. These are the pits.
During his 10 months as interim president of California State University, Stanislaus, Joseph Sheley has impressed many as an effective, down-to-earth leader who is a good fit for the campus. The decision to work toward making his appointment permanent seems to be a smart one.
It appears that the Water Advisory Committee of the Modesto Irrigation District is able to do something that its elected board of directors has not been carry on objective discussions and reach some reasonable conclusions about what should be done to improve the irrigation system that is the lifeblood of our local ag industry.
After a year-and-a-half under public safety realignment, counties are deep into preparing plans for 2013-14. Have they done better or worse than the state in reducing re-offense rates for those convicted of nonviolent, nonserious, non-sex offenses? The jury is still out, primarily because legislators and the governor failed to include statewide collection of data. That needs to change.
As a country, we have not yet accepted that in the understandable fear and anger after Sept. 11, suspected terrorists were tortured. An independent review released last week can be an important step to reach that truth and to make sure it never happens again.
Assembly members blasted Paul Clanon, executive director of the California Public Utilities Commission, last week for tolerating a cozy relationship with utilities while ignoring safety. The lawmakers' anger was clearly justified, but their aim was too narrow.
Tonight, the four elected members of the Local Agency Formation Commission two city council representatives and two county supervisors will choose LAFCo's next public member, a citizen who could end up being the tie-breaker on important growth decisions and annexations.
Nevada's practice of busing patients with mental illness to all corners of the country is reprehensible. The response is not much better.
Former City Councilman Denny Jackman, one of the community's most ardent advocates of farmland preservation, has proposed a residential urban limit that would push new housing developments toward lesser soils at the northeast corner of Modesto. His idea surely has merit, but we're not sure there's sufficient time for full public review and feedback by early August.
Gov. Jerry Brown has some explaining to do about his repeated promises to bring clean, safe drinking water to people in California's rural communities. The state is sitting on a big pile of federal money $455 million designated for safe drinking water.
Indian gambling in California has exploded well beyond the "modest increase" voters were promised when they approved casino gambling just 13 years ago. While most casinos are still in remote locations, a new push by tribes to buy additional land at lucrative freeway locations threatens to kick off a whole new Indian casino land rush. The Legislature should reduce that threat by rejecting a pair of ill-conceived gambling compacts.
In one of the few bipartisan efforts in the U.S. Senate, four Republicans and four Democrats have crafted what would be the first major overhaul to the nation's immigration laws since 1986. Senators and the American people deserve public hearings and a vote on this complex 844-page bill.
Raise your hand if you're happy this week is over. We agree. It's been a long one. We have a few thoughts on the news elsewhere, what it means here and then a few numbers of note.
A modest, common-sense expansion of background checks for gun buyers was blocked Wednesday by a minority of U.S. senators who caved to pressure from the gun lobby and put their own political futures ahead of the country's best interests.
Crime on 'The Maddy Report'
Where does nature end and human ingenuity start? And what type of "discoveries" are truly deserving of patent protection? Those two important questions now rest in the lap of the U.S. Supreme Court. Monday, the court heard arguments on whether private companies should be allowed to claim patents on human genes that they managed to "isolate" as opposed to genes that are modified in some way.
Yosemite National Park has extended the public comment period for the Merced Wild and Scenic River Draft Comprehensive Management and Environmental Impact Statement, or MRP, through April 30. It was set to close today.
California's $3.3 billion payday lending industry preys on the poor and the financially unsophisticated. Attempts to rein it in have failed. Senate Bill 515 would offer minimal protections to prevent borrowers from being ensnared in a cycle of repeat borrowing at triple-digit interest rates.
As a community, we hear and talk a lot about eyesores houses and other buildings made ugly by vandalism, disrepair and general neglect. Those are the pits. But what about the peaches?
Modestans, what do you want your city to focus on for the next three years? You are invited to tell the mayor, City Council and top city leaders your priorities at a forum from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday in Tenth Street Plaza.
Listing priorities for Modesto's future.
It is now alarmingly clear that President Barack Obama and U.S. officials are secretly conducting a drone war that goes far beyond what they have said are its aims. A primary weapon in the war on terrorism is being used to kill too many people, including civilians, who pose no real threat to Americans.
When school boards ask voters to approve bond measures to build and upgrade facilities, they always talk about the need to do right by our children. They promise the property tax increase won't be much for the average homeowner.
As a community, we hear and talk a lot about eyesores houses and other buildings made ugly by vandalism, disrepair and general neglect. Every week we carry at least one letter from a local resident frustrated by a street or something in their neighborhood that detracts. Those are the pits.
Minor league baseball is a fun and relatively inexpensive family outing, and the Nuts have many promotions to help lure people to John Thurman Field, such as Fan Fest today and fireworks tonight.
Because of potential contamination problems at the old Ray Starn Auto Body Shop, the Stanislaus County Office of Education no longer is considering buying that property at 431 10th St. for a meeting and event center. Future street widening nearby also was a factor in the decision, according to Assistant Superintendent Sue Rich.
No one is expecting Gov. Jerry Brown to visit China on a trade mission and then lecture his hosts on their human rights record. Just imagine how a California governor would respond if he were host of a foreign delegation that lectured him on, say, conditions in California's prisons.
An asylum of last resort. That is what California's state prisons have become for the seriously mentally ill since the state began emptying its state psychiatric hospitals in the late 1960s. And while conditions clearly have improved since the 1990s, U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton in Sacramento was scathing in his April 5 rejection of Gov. Jerry Brown's attempt to free the state prisons from federal oversight.
While low prices might seem like a good thing, we see no reason to celebrate the fact that farmers in the Modesto Irrigation District will continue to pay far less than what it costs to deliver their irrigation water.
Jonathan Thomas, who chairs the oversight committee for California's stem cell institute, has taken important steps in reducing the potential for conflicts within this agency.
The airport neighborhood should eventually join the city of Modesto. Many steps will be needed to make that happen. One of them should be taken tonight, when the City Council decides whether to put on the November ballot a measure about eventually extending sewer service to the 460-plus residential parcels in that area.
Assembly Bill 1263 by Speaker John A. Pérez seeks to improve and expand medical interpreter services for Medi-Cal patients. Access to care can be difficult if patients don't speak English well, but this bill has flaws.
This is the month that state legislators' many proposals are shaped, molded and chopped. For a bill to progress, it must be approved by its house of origin the Senate or Assembly by the end of May.
Garrad Marsh offered some bold plans for Modesto shortly after he was elected mayor 14 months ago. He was riding high after winning a tough runoff campaign against fellow Councilman Brad Hawn.
It's with mixed emotions that we applaud completion of Stanislaus County's new juvenile commitment facility off Blue Gum Avenue in northwest Modesto.
On Thursday, a very fast jet carrying a very important man and his entourage streaked across the Central Valley sky. That's the closest President Barack Obama will get to the part of California where mortgages are upside down, where unemployment is disgracefully high and where levees are in need of rebuilding.
The unfunded liability at the California State Teachers' Retirement System is $73 billion currently and growing at the astonishing rate of $17 million per day. If corrective action is not taken that is, if the state, school districts or teachers don't contribute more to the fund CalSTRS could deplete all its assets by 2044.
Stockton is broke. What everyone but some Wall Street financiers conceded months ago is now official. Federal Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein declared it so on Monday. "The city of Stockton was, by any measure, insolvent on June 28," the judge said, "specifically, cash insolvent, unable to pay debts as they came due."
According to Buddha, "There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed." A torrent of greed is ripping apart the Chukchansi tribe, which owns a Las Vegas-style casino and resort below Yosemite National Park.