Finally, Atwater can begin healing
Atwater’s long and painful nightmare may be over. The recent election brought out a record number of voters who overwhelmingly selected new city leadership. That means city council meetings no longer will be a battlefield, where its leader presides as a general rather than a mayor. No more acrimonious and vicious accusations hurled by the mayor or his pro tem sidekick. It’s a new morning in Atwater and it begins with a new mayor, Paul Creighton.
He was elected by the largest margin in recent Atwater history. He comes aboard with a distinct and unfortunate advantage – things couldn’t be much worse. His plan for recovery calls for eliminating the budget deficit, fixing the streets and bringing back city employees to full time and it’s already in motion. Consultations have been completed, the research has been done and decisions have been made. Now comes the action. I can almost hear the lyrics from that song commemorating the end of World War I, “Happy Days Are Here Again!”
Fred Warchol, Atwater
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We must put justice over politics
With Michael Cohen pleading guilty to lying to Congress about President Trump’s role in discussions to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, the issue of Russian collusion is more troubling than ever. Though innocent until proven guilty, Trump’s repeated backpedaling in statements and his unbelievable weakness in his summit with Vladimir Putin paint a concerning picture.
Emile Durkheim, one of the fathers of sociology, argues for the power of bureaucracy and how its structure lends strength to our institutions. With clear lines of power and institutional checks, our government should be able to sort out the truth to the allegations of collusion. Unfortunately, I fear that with political parties more committed to supporting party lines than working to make good law, politicians may not see their responsibilities and do what is best for those who elected them.
All Americans should think critically about the evidence coming out about President Trump’s campaign and business partners. If President Trump ends up on the stand, it is our responsibility to leave partisanship at the door, contact our elected officials and make clear that we expect justice based on truth.
Axel Inglis, Merced
Trump breaks America’s promise
According to President Donald Trump, making “America Great Again” means building a $25 billion wall separating United States and Mexico. The United States government will shut down if Congress does not fund the wall, promises our President. The wall will keep “illegal aliens” out of the United States, Trump promises. There has been constant use of inappropriate labels and the demonization of other countries. Mexico has been targeted as a scapegoat. The United States has created a system where its actions have been justified through the dehumanization of Mexico.
But concentrating on crimes committed by people of color more often than those committed by Caucasians is the beginning of a new era of racial discrimination.
President Trump has called Mexicans “rock throwers” and characterized the Border Patrol as brave. There is greater concern for the Border Patrol being hit by rocks than for the families separated at the border and the use of tear gas by Border Patrol officers. The money used for the wall would be better spent helping America recover from natural disasters. The promise of liberty and justice for all has been broken by our President.
Jasmine Martinez, Merced
Help in overcoming your fear of falling
Has the fear of falling restricted you from doing things you enjoy? Have you fallen within the last two years? If you answered yes to either question, Merced County has the perfect class for you – A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns about Falls. This award-winning, evidence-based, eight-week program is intended to help aging adults manage falls and increase their level of activity. It encourages cognitive restructuring so that participants can think positively and view a fear of falling as something controllable. The goal is to reduce risk factors and help aging adults live free of fear.
It is common for older adults to fear falling, especially if physical activity is not embedded in their daily lives. A Matter of Balance can help reduce this fear, which often decreases the number of falls by aging adults.
If you are 60 or older and have ever fallen or feared falling, Merced County invites you to these free classes, at the Adult and Aging Services building, 2115 W. Wardrobe Ave. starting Jan. 9 and continuing every Wednesday from 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. for eight weeks. Call 209 354-2525 to reserve a seat.
Janet Kasper, Merced