Dickens Faire was another success
The annual children’s event during the Dickens Faire at the McHenry Museum was successful and well attended. Families happily bounded into the beautifully decorated museum to begin celebrating the holiday season. They colored a snowman ornament, iced a sugar cookie, listened to flannel board stories, got a seasonal “tattoo” and were mesmerized by the talented Central West Ballet dancers wearing gorgeous costumes from The Nutcracker. Special thanks to Johansen and Downey high school students, Save Mart No. 86, the CWB dancers, Christina Kekai owner of the new magazine Central Valley Sun, local author Ken White and McHenry Museum docents and community members. Join us next year on the first Saturday of December and find time to explore this treasured museum.
Kaye Osborn, Modesto
Rail crossing on Hatch dangerous
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I almost got rear-ended at Hatch Road and Santa Fe Avenue. The railroad crossing at that intersection is going to get people killed. They have two sets of lights for eastbound traffic. One for the rail crossing on either side of Hatch Road and one for the Hatch and Santa Fe intersection that hangs over the roadway. But they are not sync’d. I saw that the rail-crossing light was red and slowed then stopped after seeing the “Stop here on red” sign, only to have another car nearly rear-end me as the driver was only seeing the actual intersection light, which was still green.
The rail guards had not dropped yet, but I could see a train coming. Still, I drove across before I got rear-ended. County has to fix this problem before people are killed!
David Livingston, Ceres
We pay to make a few growers rich
We are a major exporter of almonds, which require large amounts of water. California has weak laws on groundwater. As a result, the almond industry has exploited our groundwater by pumping at an industrial scale. Did they get a raise in rates? No. We have subsidized much of the cost and the results are reflected in Modesto Irrigation District and city of Modesto utility bills. The scarcity of water due to climate change has been increased by overuse by a very few at the expense of everyone who lives in Stanislaus County. If you are against our water being sold elsewhere, realize the export of almonds from California amounts to the same thing. Selling almonds for export amounts to selling our water.
Editor’s note: Almonds grown within Modesto Irrigation District use mostly surface water from the Tuolumne River. Since the construction of the water treatment facility, pumping has diminished and the water table beneath Modesto has risen – even during the drought years.