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Because I Say So

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The Buckhorn

Copyright (c) 2010
Winters Express
312 Railroad Avenue, Winters, CA 95694
(530) 795-4551
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Mistakes can happen to anyone

I know I’m not perfect, but lately I’ve been making a lot of mistakes. Some are simply forgetting an appointment or losing track of the time and ending up being late to a meeting. Spelling errors in my column don’t count, I was never a good speller. When it comes to the legal notices, mistakes are not allowed, ever. I’m waiting to miss a pubic notice or some other important ad that can’t be fixed. I’ll put that off as long as possible.
Men at Ten, a coffee group named by Jiley Romney, has started talking more about health issues than job related problems. I’ll admit that I start a lot of those conversations. I read a joke this week that is starting to sound like our group. “At coffee someone mentions that their hand hurts so much that they can hardly lift their coffee cup. Someone says that they had a hard time putting on and tying their shoes that morning. Another mentions that they can’t turn around to see who is coming through the door anymore; one old guy keeps saying ‘what’; but an older woman just laughs and says, ‘at least we all still have our driver’s licenses.’” Unfortunately, not that far from the truth.
I was reading in the Sacramento Bee last week about the changing demographics around the world and then listened to Tom Sullivan on demographics in the United States. We are an aging population, if you haven’t looked around in awhile, that may come as a surprise to you. According to the Bee they now sell more adult diapers in Japan than baby diapers. There are now more millennials (born 1981-1995) in the United States than baby boomers (1946-1964). There were more of us at one time but we are dying faster than millennials.
Millennials are more fiscally conservative than their parents, but a lot more socially liberal. It will be interesting to see what happens when there are a lot more of them than us, and they take control of the government. I wouldn’t be surprised if they looked at boomers and told us to pay off our own debt, pay for our own medical problems and take away our government benefits that they are being saddled with. They may/should transfer government services to their benefit and who can blame them?
We may holler and scream, but they will listen to us as much as we listen to them. It may not be too late to start listening to those that are expected to pay and take care of us as we age. The oldest paperboy around has a bumper sticker on his wall that reads, “Take care of your children, they will pick your nursing home.” If we don’t take care of the younger generations, they will most certainly pick our health care and housing.
There are times when you make decisions that affect your future and your children’s future. The people in Washington, D.C. do it with Medicare promises, deficit spending and tax manipulation. Winters mostly uses housing to change our future, both for the good and not so good. We have been building a lot of smaller homes on smaller lots and at some point that will come back to haunt us. We need larger lots and a variety of home sizes if we are going to attract a mix of people to keep Winters going.
The subdivisions working their way through the planning commission and city council don’t offer us the diverse type of housing I think we need. There is even a rumor that developers want to have Mello-Roos Districts in Winters. That is where the home owners pay for infrastructure (storm drains, sewer expansions, roads, etc.) for 20 or 30 years, while the developers take their profits and rides off into the sunset. We don’t have Mello-Roos Districts in Winters and shouldn’t in the future.
Another issue with Mello-Roos Districts is that the people saddled with Mello-Roos taxes won’t vote for additional taxes on anything. They believe, and rightly so, that they are paying for something that everyone else got without extra fees on their property taxes. When a school bond comes along, they vote no. When a city tax is on the ballot, they vote no. And what happens when the residential development can’t pay the Mello-Roos bond? Everyone loses and they go into default with the city/school district left holding the bag.
It is time to pay attention to what the planning commission and city council are approving. We’ll try to keep you informed, but it wouldn’t hurt to have you show up at their meetings to voice your concerns, or support for the projects.
One last question. When are Anderson Avenue and Neimann Street going through?
Have a good week.



If you’re offended, tough, get over it

When gunmen killed 12 journalists/cartoon-ists working for Charlie Hebdo in France last week, it affected a lot of people to their core. Even at the Winters Express we have been threatened over the years, mostly for naming people in the police report.
It isn’t easy to listen to phone messages calling you names with veiled threats. And no, they do not leave their names. I call them cowards, you can call them what you like, but cowards fits. If you have a problem with me, tell me to my face. I’ll tell you what I think of you to your face; fair is fair.
Charlie Hebdo published on schedule this week, and published another cartoon of Muhammad on its cover (left). It says they forgive those who killed their employees and “We are Charlie.” Just publishing a picture of Muhammad offends a lot of Muslims, and I have a problem with anyone who thinks it is okay to kill someone because they offend you or your religion. If a cartoon depicting your leader can cause you to go berserk, you need to find a new religion.
I’m hoping every newspaper in the world reprints the Charlie Hebdo cover this week. Most major U.S. papers already have. I don’t watch Fox News, but I’m hoping they show it on every news program this week along with CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC.
My staff may not be comfortable with me publishing the Charlie Hebdo cover, but you cannot hide from terrorists or they have won the war. Are there crazies out there? You bet, but we live in a free society where you don’t have the right to not be offended. I was offended by the guy who put a cross in a jar of urine and called it art, but I didn’t consider phoning him or threatening him with certain death.
Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, whoever that is, said running the cartoon has “added more salt to the wound.” What wound would that be? The newsroom at Charlie Hebdo has to be a place of mourning and quiet reflection, but they all showed up to work. How about the 61 journalists killed around the world last year or the five killed in the United States since 1992? And people are offended by cartoons.
When world leaders gathered in France to show solidarity, millions marched with them. President Obama decided that he didn’t want to go and didn’t send anyone else, either. That offends me.
If you are offended by the cartoon let me know and I’ll cancel your subscription and refund your money.
Have a good week.