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Voter registration time is dwindling

I had a very pleasant birthday and the party continues tonight at the Rotary Halloween Ball. A limited number of tickets at $55 are still available by calling Alex Salazar, 325-5668.

Thanks for all the calls, messages and emails! The best gift is when someone tells me they enjoy this column. I appreciate everyone who reads the Madera Tribune, online or on newsprint.

The gifts that touch my heart are usually little things someone sees and it makes them think of me.

My nephew-cousin Ryan and his wife April Scott got me a soda cup and straw with Ouija Board graphics! They saw it at a Halloween Spirit store and knew I would love it! My nephew-cousin Rick Dorris is my date for the Halloween Ball and he is doing my makeup! His mom Laurie Brooks baked me a cake with spiders, webs and my name, so talented. My cousin Louise and Jim Scout decided we needed to barbecue on Sunday and my cousin Rick Dorris (his dad) had the party in his back yard that is a brilliant patio complete with awnings fans and more! My family rocks!

My sports editor and all around Tribune stalwart Tyler Takeda gave me a great MHS Lady Coyote from Floral Fantasy and with her posture you can almost hear her howling at the moon! My lead-photographer Wendy Alexander gave me a laughing and dancing Snoopy dog for my Peanuts collection.

Attorney Bruce F. Kennedy commented on my claiming and celebrating the whole month of October as my own for my birthday.

“My ma always said she was in labor two weeks before I arrived, so the first two weeks are for her. The last two weeks are for my coven!” I said.

Seriously though, no one knows just how many birthdays (holidays of any type) we have left. Treasure each one because “Every day this side of the dirt is a gift!”


The elections are approaching and this one is going to be strange. The deadline to register to vote is Monday. The Madera County Clerk’s office, 200 West 4th Street, Madera, will remain open until 7 p.m. Vote by mail ballots may be delivered to the clerk’s office anytime until 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8. Early voting is already available there too.

Visit the office, sign in, get your ballot and vote on the spot.

There are a truckload of important Propositions that are vital to the future of Madera and California. Measure K on its face sounds like a good idea. No matter how it is dressed up it is a half-cent sales tax on every dollar spent. The income remains in Madera and under local control. This tax is fair to everyone who spends money in Madera, distributing the pinch of a new revenue source to everyone who spends money.

This can mean hiring more police officers, firefighters and upgrading the emergency 911 system. The part of the literature on the sample ballot that makes me nervous is in the last sentence. The money can be spent on any legitimate government expense. The people who are charged with distributing these funds need to be under the microscope to keep the money from away from frivolous expenditures, such as a new construction of city hall or other big ticket items that will drain the fund.

Proposition 56 wants to add $2 a pack tax to cigarettes and other tobacco products to offset health care costs for low-income patients. They love to go after the smokers. They can’t outlaw tobacco so they keep piling on the costs to penalize smokers. The television commercials in support of the measure drags out the idea that states with higher taxes have lower incidence of youth smoking.

The spokesman says he lost his mother to lung cancer and if the tax saves one life it is worth the effort.

These states also have higher instances of cigarette smuggling that don’t carry the state tax stamp. No one ever smoked a cigarette and ended up with a DUI unless there were drugs or alcohol involved too.

Let’s tax the liquor industry more to support the victims of drunk drivers and all the booze-fueled unplanned pregnancies. How has that never appeared on the ballot? We need to fund morning-after pills or — put delicately — emergency contraception. There should be dispensers in every public access restroom in the country. Lower the population, lower the crime rate.

Cigarette butts on the ground are disgusting, and yet the courtesy ash-trays outside buildings have all but disappeared. I extinguish my cigarettes, pick up the butt and throw it away in the nearest trashcan. If there is no receptacle available I put it in my pocket until I get to one. I have done this for years. Because in addition to being disgusting, cigarette butts carry the smoker’s DNA. Magical beings can wreak havoc on a person with just a tiny bit of their essence. Plus leaving cigarette butts on the ground is bad karma.

Madera Community Hospital has decreed that its entire campus is tobacco free. Seriously? When the hospital opened patients and visitors could smoke in their rooms and waiting rooms. Through the years they have moved the no smoking line further and further back. This week I had an attendant in a doctor’s office knock on the window and gesture to me that I wasn’t allowed to smoke there. I moved to another shady spot out of her line of vision. I kept expecting the black helicopters with security to swoop down on me. Ease up and give me a break, please. Smokers are already put outside all the buildings like misbehaving dogs.

Another ballot measure I am watching is Proposition 64. The legalization of recreational marijuana. Had I been part of the group to push for this legislation, I would have lobbied for it to be designated Proposition 420. For the unenlightened, 4:20 is stoner code for a good time to fire up a doobie, meaning 4:20 a.m. or p.m. — in other words anytime.

I know people with medical marijuana cards and the positive effects of cannabis on cancer patients and other conditions are nothing short of miraculous.

The television commercials in favor of this measure stress that the product must be in childproof containers and made into consumables that will not appeal to minors. I have never seen a container a determined 4-year-old can’t open. The law forbids any marijuana-laced consumables that appeal to kids.

Most kids will eat anything but their vegetables. So are they going to put the reefer in, Lima beans or succotash?

Have a great weekend and see you at the ball.


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