Music to My Ears

Frustratingly, I remain the worst musician in the history of sound. Practice, which is supposed to make for Perfect, in my case only gives rise to noise. But what’s worse than maladroit fingering is my memory. It does not linger. I resume with my favorite guitar, a semi-hollow custom dual split-coil Telecaster, and can almost […]

“The People Themselves Are Responsible for Policing Local Government”

The inquest began with Judge Valeriano Saucedo taking the stand in his own defense. Initial questioning centered around his background, and emphasized his many friends, family and colleagues who obviously care for and respect the man. Interwoven with Saucedo’s career is a particular thread of affirmative action against “whites” which predominates much of his path to the bench. As a child of migrant farm laborers, he […]

Not Playing With A Full Deck

I’m writing this on my birthday–the 52nd–and it feels the most portentous yet. Twenty-one bounced off, for instance, and turning 40 was meaningless. It is not that I dread a beckoning mortality, or even feel–in fact–that it is approaching. As I have said before, there have been days when death has seemed the attractive option. Neither is it the […]

Guest Commentary on Animal Control from Ronald Pierce

The recent coverage of the emerging problems inside Tulare County Animal Control (TCAC) is of public interest, where it resurrects issues significantly impacting county residents–particularly disabled persons relying upon service or support animals. From the November 20, 2014 Valley Voice article, “Tulare County Sued by Former Animal Control Employees”: “In 2013, Animal Control took in […]

Tulare-Kings PFLAG

Founded in 2008, the Tulare & Kings Counties Chapter of PFLAG continues to serve the parents, families, friends, and supporters of the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning) community in Tulare and Kings Counties.  From its founding in New York City in 1972 by Jeanne Manford, a mother determined to support her gay son, […]

Re: Net Neutrality

Dear Friends, Democratic commissioners on the FCC have adopted net neutrality rules, which will allow the FCC to regulate Internet Service Providers as public utilities. It’s hard to see the need for this action, since the Internet has been thriving without these regulations. Furthermore, these rules may stifle innovation and could be exploited to ram […]

California Veterans Benefits

California offers many benefits to its veterans. The College Fee Waiver Program offers children and dependents of service-connected disabled or service-related deceased veterans a waiver of tuition fees for California Universities, and State and Community Colleges. Benefits are awarded on an “academic year” basis, and are based on the student’s income.  Students are required to […]

Not A Shot In The Dark

I am more than perturbed by the fact that vaccinations–which in my childhood were not only free, but compulsory, and conveniently administered at school–are now something of a political hot potato, particularly for those on the right. Don’t get me wrong. There are liberal enclaves where the vaccination rates are not as high as they […]