A sign of the times

March 18, 2017

On March 31, 1892, The Madera Tribune will celebrate its 125th anniversary. And today is another auspicious day for this humble publication. Our parent corporation, Madera Printing and Publishing, was founded 12 years ago, on this day in 2004. I have been with the newspaper since June 12, 1995.


Spring has sprung, fall has fell, summer’s here and its hotter than … all get out. This little ditty rang out on my schoolyard during recess as jump-ropes turned and little girls hopped and skipped up and down to the rhythm and the rhyme. The boys played tag or four-square, while some others just stood around, scratching and spitting.


Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and Monday is the first day of spring. This year is flying by.


According to weather folklore, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, meaning that the beginning of the month will debut with severe weather conditions and end with calm winds and moderate temperatures.


So far, so good.


While this week the east coast is buried under mounds of snow our next best shot at rain will come Tuesday, Friday and Saturday says The Weather Channel.


After five years of drought it would seem people have forgotten how to drive in the rain. It isn’t that difficult a task: slow down when it is raining because the roads are slick.


It would seem weather is about the only safe subject to discuss in polite society. Politics and religion are two subjects that should be avoided unless whoever you’re talking to is someone who shares your opinions.


Celebrity gossip can be a harmless topic because real people have a hard time understanding how the rich and beautiful can be so miserable and ungrateful. Kim and Kanye have named their latest child North West. That is just cruel.


Is it just me or does Almond Avenue irritate everyone? It terminates on South Pine Street and then begins again on Stadium Road. The most convenient way to get from Howard Road to the doctor’s offices and Madera Community Hospital is to drive by Madera High or Madera South High and Alpha schools. The speed limit sign on Avenue 13 also known as Pecan Avenue says 45 miles per hour. A second sign reads 25 miles per hour when children are present.


That one always makes me ponder. Just to be safe “children present,” must mean during school hours. But I would hate to be the prosecutor on a speeding case if the judge allowed the “all the children were in class so not technically present,” defense.


Madera has some interesting street signs.


Are there other towns whose idea of flood control is to post permanent signs that read “Prone to Flooding?” There are two of these signs on Sunset Avenue near Fourth Street. That just seems lazy.


Another thing about Madera I do not understand is why remittance for our water and garbage bill payments are mailed to San Francisco. There is a drop box in the finance office at City Hall, but should you choose to mail your payment in the included self-addressed envelope, it goes to San Francisco.


How long does it take to credit the customer’s account, for the City of Madera to get its share of the money and how much of it does the bill-collection firm in Frisco keep?


The city has a finance department; wouldn’t it be better for city employees to process the payments?


Have a great weekend.

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