September 27, 2013

Do the math: Dog license far cheaper than fine

In most of Stanislaus County, it costs $12 a year to license a dog that has been spayed or neutered. And by late fall, the penalty for not licensing your dog could be $100, plus the $12 for the license.

In most of Stanislaus County, it costs $12 a year to license a dog that has been spayed or neutered. And by late fall, the penalty for not licensing your dog could be $100, plus the $12 for the license.

The goal, which we applaud, is to motivate people to license their dogs, which also means they need to be vaccinated for rabies. Most responsible dog owners already do those things, but far too many have ignored the courtesy notices left at their door by representatives from the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency canvassing the neighborhood.

The problem has been that there were no consequences for ignoring the 30-day courtesy. With the fine, there also will be a 30-day window to comply. If the dog owner obtains the required license, the fine will go away.

We hope that obstinate and neglectful dog owners will just do the math and realize that buying the license is cheaper than paying the fine. It’s also the right thing to do.

The ordinance was approved by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors and will go into effect for Ceres and the unincorporated areas of the county in mid-November. Modesto and the other cities that are partners in the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency are expected to follow suit.

Other numbers of note as we wind up the ninth month of 2013:

76 years – That’s the age of the Modesto Junior College Basketball Tournament, the city’s longest running sports event. And the tournament has gotten a title sponsor over the next three years with a $5,000 contribution from Hughson farmer Ron Martella and his family-run Grower Direct Nut Company. In December, Martella and his teammates from the 1963 season will gather for their 50-year reunion. There will be special activities through the week of Dec. 3-7, with discounted tickets for veterans, students, seniors and youngsters on different days. It’s a generous move that will benefit many.

6 – The number of golf management firms that submitted proposals to operate Modesto’s Dryden and Creekside municipal courses. On Tuesday, the City Council will consider awarding the contract to KemperSports of Northbrook, Ill., for two years starting in just two weeks. We hope this will lead to some stability and less red ink for the city associated with its golf courses.

33 Percent of every California utility’s power must come from renewable sources by 2020. As of 2012, Pacific Gas & Electric got 19percent of its power from the so-called green sources. A recent staff report to the Modesto Irrigation District board projected that in 2014, the MID would get 26.7 percent of its power from renewable sources, suggesting it is right on track to meet the state mandate.

Other sources of power for the MID: Natural gas, 21.1 percent; coal, 21 percent; purchased power from the city and county of San Francisco and other large hydro sources, 24.5percent, and Don Pedro, 6.5 percent.

11 hours, 53 minutes and 53 seconds The length of daylight hours today. Yes, it is getting dark earlier, at the rate of about two minutes earlier each evening. And the sun rises about a minute later each morning.

23 days The time remaining to register to vote in the Nov. 5 election.

14 years The time that UC Merced Professor Miriam Barlow has spent researching antibiotic resistance. She is sharing her expertise via Project Protect, an online program available through Facebook ( www.facebook.com/resistomics) and Twitter, @ProjectProtect1.

People can submit questions to Barlow via those social media and Barlow will answer them or she and her students will refer people to our sources of information, according to the UC Merced media office. Like many, Barlow is concerned that antiobiotic resistance is growing because antibiotics are over-prescribed, or given for illness they cannot cure, such as viral infections.

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