Los Banos

Saturday’s Los Banos Street Fair will provide healthy books and omelets

Breaking eggs to make an omelet under watchful eyes during Rotary club’s omelet and pancake breakfast.
Breaking eggs to make an omelet under watchful eyes during Rotary club’s omelet and pancake breakfast. Los Banos Enterprise

This Saturday people in and around Los Banos will be able to improve the health of their minds and bodies at the Los Banos Spring Street Fair by buying books and eating eggs.

At the street fair students from the Los Banos campus of Merced College will sell used books to benefit their leadership club, and Rotarians will serve made-to-order omelets.

The semi-annual Rotary omelet and pancake breakfast will take place between 7:30 and 11:30 a.m. at the Westside Union Elementary School cafeteria. An $8 ticket will provide omelets, pancakes, coffee, milk and orange juice. Tickets will be sold at the door.

Used books will be sold in at the corner of J and Main streets. Prices are reasonable ($1 for hardbacks, 50 cents for paperbacks). Avid readers can get a real bargain — a box of books they select for just $10. All proceeds benefit the local college campus’s student MEChA Club, which promotes higher education, culture and history.

John Spevak, columnist for The Enterprise Enterprise file

Recent research has verified the health benefits of both printed books and eggs.

Although many books are now available on screens (like I-pads, Nooks and Kindles), studies have shown that reading a printed book is better for your eyes and brain. The mentalfloss.com website lists seven scientific benefits of reading books in print rather than on screens, including absorbing more information, helping children become better readers, providing less strain on the eyes and improving sleep.

Eggs, which for many years were not considered a healthy food, have now been shown to be an important source of protein and other nutrients, while the adverse effects of eating moderate amounts of eggs are now considered relatively minimal. According to the Harvard School of Public Health website, eggs contain “nutrients that may help lower the risk of heart disease” when eaten in moderation.

The Los Banos Spring Street Fair, which runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., will also provide other opportunities for good values on crafts and food. But the book sale and omelet breakfast provide some of the best opportunities for a healthy life, while also benefiting good causes.

The MEChA Club uses proceeds from the sale to enable students to attend statewide leadership conferences and to benefit the community. Proceeds from the omelet breakfast will used for Sober Grad Night in June.

The Sober Grad night allows graduates from Los Banos, Pacheco and San Luis high schools to celebrate their achievements in a safe environment, bypassing what could be a night of excessive partying with a disregard for the consequences of bad decisions.

Traditionally Rotary’s financial support of the event pays for prizes awarded to those who attend the event and stay to the end to see if they won a prize, such as an iPad, laptop or other items that young people appreciate.

On another note: I am grateful to be one of several Los Banos Enterprise contributors to be honored with a George F. Gruner Award last month. The award is named in honor of a journalist who worked for newspapers for 46 years, including 33 years with the Fresno Bee, during which time he served as the executive editor.

Gruner Award winners are selected once a year from journalists working throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Sponsors of the award are the McClatchy Co. and the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at California State University, Fresno. Judging is done by professionals outside the Valley.

This year the journalists associated with the Enterprise who won awards included Gene Lieb for sports photography, reporter Vikaas Shankar for public service, Mike Dunbar (recently retired Enterprise opinion page editor) and me for columns and Rob Parsons (the Enterprise’s senior editor) for news writing.

I am proud to be associated in some small way with Mr. Gruner, who set an example for journalists today, wherever they may work. In a speech Gruner gave two years ago to journalists at the awards presentation, as recorded by The Fresno Bee, Gruner said, “Times have changed. But what has not has not changed is you. The key tool in the newsrooms is not the computer. It still is the human element — the desire to get the facts, whatever they tell us.”

It’s good for Enterprise journalists to be recognized as Gruner Award recipients. It’s even better to see the awards as validation for the work they’ve done as they try to provide excellent writing and photography each week to their readers.

A final note: My compliments and thanks to Guido at Bruce’s, who was kind enough to have his technicians remove a nail and then repair the hole in the tire on my old Buick at no cost. Guido is one of the many examples of Los Banos businesses who go out of their way to provide exceptional service to their customers.

John Spevak wrote this for the Los Banos Enterprise. His email is john.spevak@gmail.com.