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Nature changing into her October raiment

The leaves are gradually changing colors and autumn is progressing on this first day of October. I love this time of year as the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop.

Sweaters and scarves replace tank tops and shorts.

Mid-month I chalk up another year because October is my month. Halloween decorations fill the stores and many of the creative residents in Madera turn their yards into horror shows. Scarecrows, ghosts and pumpkins, spider webs and creepy crawlers lend that spooky aura to the neighborhood.

Unfortunately many of the stores are already selling Christmas decorations, too. There really should be a law that forbids Christmas ornaments to appear until after Thanksgiving.

The paradox of turkey day is that we gather to give thanks on the fourth Thursday of November for all the blessings in our lives. However by dawn the next day black Friday madness descends as these same people are fighting to buy more stuff. We live in a crazy world.

Along with Jack-o-lanterns leering from the porches this month, floods of monster movies are back on television. The Universal Studio versions of Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman and the Mummy are classic entertainment. Sure, in some of the scenes you can see the outline of the zipper running up the back of the monster’s suit, but considering the makeup, costumes and special effects were created in the 1930s and ‘’40s they are works of art. The fake computer-generated images of today’s movies in my opinion pale by comparison.

This just serves to remind me that I am not in the demographic group being courted by the film industry. Now the termlife insurance people, the AARP and the Geritol company, those guys are all interested in my business.

While I enjoy witches, goblins and things that go bump in the night there are real life monsters that are scarier than these could ever be.

This general animosity toward law enforcement and the added danger posed by it is a different type of frightening. Not to jinx the streets of Madera but my superstitious nature makes me hesitant to be thankful in print that the insanity between the public and the police has yet to cross over the borders from Fresno to Madera county.

The protest marches and the recent attack on the CHP vehicle in Fresno on Sunday were committed during an unlawful street race. News reports state there were out-of-town agitators because the videos of the incident posted online were tagged #Bay2Fresno.

The valley has enough home-grown criminals without importing them from the city.

It is easy to believe that many of these acts of violence between the public and the police are fueled by alcohol and drugs.

At what point does violent criminal behavior become elevated to a terrorist attack? The hate crime statute should apply anytime an officer is attacked.

Police work can be described as periods of boredom followed by intense moments of terror.

Television news reports and Crimestopper bulletins deliver nightly segments on repeat offenders. Why are these people granted bail and allowed out to commit additional crimes? It is a travesty and makes a mockery of the system.

Our lawmakers need to fix the justice system to keep these folks behind bars and away from the law-abiding taxpayers. More police officers on the street are only part of the answer.

We need more jail cells and correctional facilities.

Two measures on the November ballot will change the way California handles its death penalty cases. The passage of Proposition 62 would outlaw the death penalty and make life without parole the top punishment for murder. Proposition 66 aims to streamline the path to execution for the 748 prisoners on death-row. Proponents say instead of taking 20 to 25 years to exhaust the appeals process the new law would fund more public defenders and resolve the cases in five years.

The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 8 election is Oct. 24. Register in person at the Madera County Clerk’s Office, 200 W. 4th St, by mail or online at

Have a great weekend.

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