When does summer end? Officially, early the morning of Sept. 23.
Unofficially, after Labor Day. This also used to be when children went back to school. That sure doesn't apply anymore.
There are only 2½ weeks left in summer for students in Modesto and a number of other valley school districts. They return to classes Aug. 11.
Fall term at California State University, Stanislaus, starts Aug. 23 -- two weeks earlier than the previous year. That's because the university has gone to a two-semester academic calendar, eliminating the monthlong winter term. So the fall semester begins in August, and the spring semester begins in January, which no one would typically think of as the start of spring.
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Modesto Junior College's start date for fall is Aug. 30. Its spring classes begin Jan. 10. A lot of things have changed in our world, including the belief that students go back to school in the fall.
Congratulations to Bev Finley, the only Stanislaus County resident to make the latest cut for California's first Citizens Redistricting Commission. Finley, a former hospital executive long active in community affairs, is among 120 candidates for what ultimately will be 14 seats on the panel, which will draw boundaries for state Senate and Assembly seats. Nearly 31,000 people applied, so it's quite an honor to be among 120 chosen for personal interviews. The field was narrowed to 40 Republicans, 40 Democrats and 40 decline to state or other party. Finley is in the last category.
Tempers are hot at many public meetings these days, especially when layoffs and pay cuts are on the agenda. Anger surfaced at Monday's meeting of the Oakdale City Council, where one police officer uttered what may qualify as the understatement of the year: He said he's "fed up" with the recession and the associated budget cuts. To which we have to reply: Well, aren't we all? But it's not over yet, especially in the San Joaquin Valley, and especially for government agencies. Public agencies, which rely on the property, sales and income taxes generated from the private sector, aren't looking for a turnaround for at least a couple of years.
Academics occasionally study the rest of us mere mortals, how we behave and all that, but they don't necessarily speak or write like we do. That's evident from the accreditation report released this week about California State University, Stanislaus. It is 36 pages long and contains at least 19 different acronyms, from APR to FSSE to HSI to WPST. Many segments are readable, but then there are sections that appear in the special language of university scholars, such as this sentence: "Although the EO1033 outcomes differ, there are many commonalities that could easily be mapped onto the existing CSUS GE outcomes (CFR 2.2a), which draw heavily from the essential learning outcomes defined by the Liberal Education and American Promise (LEAP) initiative and which are a valuable resource in this process." Got that?
Here's something a lot more straightforward: If you want to donate food to The Salvation Army, it's as easy as taking some canned food to the Modesto Certified Farmers' Market, the original one on 16th Street, between H and I streets, the last Saturday of each month. The market is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Finally, we congratulate Larry Weis, the very capable chief executive of the Turlock Irrigation District who has been selected to head Austin Energy in Texas. This is TID's loss, but we respect his desire to move to a larger agency and a more challenging position.