Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Vote Smart Merced...

With election time coming up I feel this is an appropriate subject to talk about.  There are many new faces running for City Council as well as for Mayor and I feel the need to caution you accordingly.  I think Merced is in a place where we need some serious change, however at the point that change comes with consequences, we must rethink.  I am very excited to say that there are many capable candidates running and wish them all the best of luck.  Now on to the voters, what do you see happening in Merced in the next 10 years? Do you see potential or are you just as frustrated as the next person? Think about these questions long and hard over the next few months and try to come up with a conclusion before you vote.  My personal opinion is that I will be voting for those who have a backbone.  Everyone who knows me probably has gotten the vibe that I will be running for City Council in the near future, and although this year is not my time to shine, I still hold this election close to my heart.  I think many people get caught up in the glamour of holding a position like this and truly forget why they should be running or why they were elected.  As voters it is our job to remind them.  We want change, we want level headed people who do not put themselves first but put their people first.  I think we need to break up the good ole boys club and actually take this serious.  We are not voting for ASB President's in High School, we are voting for the future of our city and if you have the nerve to complain about one ounce of it, you better vote or else you have no room to speak.  I have noticed after talking to quite a few people, a lot of members of this community feel the same way I do.  So what do you say? Lets try to make a change this year and take a positive step forward. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Uplifting NEWS!!

First off, have I really not posted anything since April??? Ahh! Well let me apologize, I took the summer off to enjoy my small bit of freedom from anything closely relating to school.  However, now I feel guilty that it has taken me so long to get back in the swing of things! Now on to my exciting news! For the first time in years I actually stayed in Merced to do my shopping! I know, you probably do not care about where I shop but I do! This morning I went to the mall and for the first time since I was a kid I did not leave disappointed.  (The only reason I did not leave disappointed as a kid is because I was easily amused with KB toys, which used to be where Work World is now.)  Anyways, I was so excited to see that Tilly's made it to our mall and for the whole duration of my shopping time I felt like I was no where near Merced.  I was shocked at how sweet and helpful all the staff was and how they went out of their way to get any size or style I needed.  This is HUGE for Merced.  I am so excited that finally we have a store with style and that is clean.  This is only one of the positive steps forward Merced is making.  My opinion is that if we encourage big chain stores to see the potential in Merced, this could only be the beginning.  I am completely positive about the future of Merced and I feel this is only the beginning.  I hope everyone supports Tilly's and Children's Place now located in the Merced Mall.  We need to support stores that are fairly priced and have people working for them that actually value their job and care.  Good job Tilly's! Now lets get more stores interested in Merced!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Construction.. Give em' a break...

Exciting things are happening around Merced.  For anyone who lives here you have probably noticed all the construction around town.  Some may be inconvenienced and upset that their routine is slightly thrown off, however I am thrilled.  I used to be one of those people who always got angry when I had to take a detour, normally because I was in a hurry to get some place, however now I think differently.  I guess you could say I had an epiphany the other day.  If there is construction going on, workers are getting paid, if workers are getting paid they are spending money, more than likely they are spending money in our stores and at our restaurants, resulting in a boost in the economy.  I for one, am grateful to see people being put to work in such hard economic times.  Not only are we getting new roads and state of the art overpasses, we are helping the economy while doing so.  I thought it was so uplifting the other day to see so many workers working on the Bradley overpass project, the sign holder smiled at me and I smiled back, he was probably just being nice but I was so happy to see new things happening in Merced.  Everyone should take the time to be grateful for our construction in this town, it is helping our community in so many more ways than just what meets the eye. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Homelessness: Here we go...

After recently attending a homelessness seminar in Merced, I have a few comments, concerns and thoughts.  After sitting and listening to the issues at hand regarding our issue of the homeless, my mind blew in a million different directions.  The following is purely from personal expierence and I in no way mean to offend or upset anyone.  I come from a very hardworking family. I will admit I never really had to worry about when the next meal would make it to my mouth.  My sympathy for the homeless has recently fallen short after attending a seminar that's intention was to build it.  I realize given the current economy is it really hard to find a job right now, I will never deny that.  However I find it hard to believe that those who are less fortunate than I have all tried to find a job.  Everyday when I drive to school and pass the church on the corner of M St., and Yosemite Ave., I can not help but notice, the majority of the people living in tents on the lawn look perfectly capable of hard work.  I was raised to work as hard as possible and exhaust all means of working before you ask for a hand out.  I am a college student and even at the age of 21, almost 22, I hate asking my parents for anything.  Call it what you will, prideful and such but I simply feel since I am now healthier than ever that I am more than capable of hard work, why should they have to fund my entire life.  I became upset at this recent seminar because the whole time the testimonials were going on, I couldn't help but feel like I was being penalized for having a job and not being considered poor.  There were multiple issues that came up the other day and one caught my attention the most.  A few of the people who were there to state the hardships they have fallen upon also stated they do not think it is right that they should have to obtain a permit to ask for money on the median of major streets.  They felt that was not fair and discriminated them, and here is where I almost blew, then they called out Valley Children's Hospital for the fact they were allowed to sell Kid's Day papers in the median and not have to obtain a permit.  My take is, that money goes to Valley Childrens Charity, to help little kids fight cancer and help provide medical care to children who's parents may not have been able to afford it.  I am absolutely astonished that, that statement was even a matter of discussion.  That money goes to families who's parents are working themselves thin barely making a dollar but still WORKING just to be able to maybe put food on the table, and now you are stating that it should not be allowed? I completely disagree.  I would have thought that being homeless most of the people at that seminar would have compassion for little kids who would otherwise die without the care that Valley Children's provides, however I guess I am wrong.  Our solution to ending homelessness in Merced is not going to go anywhere if we sit and point the blame at eachother and play a childish game of politics when it comes to chairties.  I have an emmense about of compassion for those who have lost their job recently and/or a loved one causing strain on their financial situation.  However there are places that offer help.  Most churches will never turn their back on a person in need, they offer food and clothes possibly even places to stay, yet most of the time the people who I see standing on street corners have never once set foot in a church building to ask for help.  Some programs require that the person stays clean from drugs and alcohol however if you can manage, they will help you.  There are always opitions out there if you are persistant and try hard enough.  The choice is up to them.  I donate to these churches, and these programs and will only donate to them for this cause.  I do not give out money any longer when I am out about the town.  After a woman approached me at Applebee's with one story then the VERY NEXT NIGHT approached me at IN N OUT with a very different story yet still asking for money.  My response to her the second night was, I am sorry I will buy you a hamburger however I donate my spare change to my church which I can give you the address to and you can ask them for help.  They will not turn you away.  Her response to me was a sarcastic laugh and then a "Ha! No thanks." From that day forward I promised myself I would only donate to programs who are helping homeless the right way, and I have. Once again this is only my opinion and I am in no way telling everyone to stop giving money on the street, I am just asking that you educate yourself enough to know a persons true intentions.    

Monday, March 7, 2011

More Like Palo Alto.... Please!

After a recent trip to Palo Alto, Ca, I absolutely became consumed with fabulous ideas on how to transform Merced.  I see a lot of similarities between these two cities.  However the difference is that Palo Alto supports education at all costs.  Palo Alto has a very successful Medical School, Stanford University.  Merced has a University of California, which can be a successful Medical School.  This very idea is in the works.  I think Merced does not support education as much as Palo Alto.  If you are drive through Merced you see homeless people, graffiti, and the look of sadness.  If you drive through Palo Alto you see an exciting night life, people laughing and having a good time, and barely any graffiti.  My theory, if we support education, that sparks knowledge and if we support people who are trying to achieve an education, we are keeping them off the streets in the future.  I do not see how this is a hard concept to accept, however some of the officials in Merced do not agree.  Those very officials came to Palo Alto to see how they were so successful as a college town.  What was their outcome you ask? A LOGO! After spending the day in Palo Alto, their only conclusion was that Merced needed a logo! Ummm ever since I was a kid I was told Merced was the "Gateway to Yosemite."  Is that not a logo??  I think we are looking for answers in all the wrong places.  If we get to the root of what the problem truly is maybe we can correct it.  Safety: If people do not feel safe being downtown at night, they will not spend money and be out at night downtown.  Palo Alto appears to have their violence under control and when walking downtown at night there really is no fear factor that you may become in danger.  I commend Palo Alto for their appearance and their knowledge of just how to make a college town thrive. When I come to Palo Alto I see the possibility of Cancer being cured, the hope that tomorrow they will take one more young adult and teach them how to live a life away from the streets, and how to actually get people to come out and spend money at their downtown stores.  I think the officials of Merced need to accompany me on a little trip to Palo Alto, I would show them that Merced needs more than just a logo!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Being Young Doesn't Mean You're Useless...

From as far back as I can remember I have always been taught that being young should be an advantage not a disadvantage.  So many people these days have lost faith in my generation and coming from that generation, I have almost lost faith myself.  I would not consider myself that different from the rest.  I have always had a passion to change the things I see wrong.  I have a voice, a loud one at that, and I intend to use it.  Merced is a place where I have always been, I've gone away and ended up back right where I started.  So what is it that keeps bringing me back? Maybe the way Starbucks knows my name when I walk in the door, maybe how whenever I go to Target I see someone I know, or maybe its the way that every time I walk in to Raley's I feel like I am their only customer.  This town is important to me because it is the place I call home.  My generation needs to understand that Rome was not built in a day, just like Merced will not be a thriving college town overnight.  If this town is ever going to get picked up off the ground it is going to take a team effort.  I am 21 years old and have a vision unlike any other.  I want to see this place become the next Palo Alto.  Some can sit there and laugh while reading this and think that I am just on a power trip.  I know this is an uphill battle, but if I'm the only one speaking up we will never get anywhere.  Now is the time to appreciate the town we live in, it is time to start making a change instead of taking the easy road and deeming it the 3rd most miserable city in the U.S.  After all, I was always taught, you have no room to complain unless you make a conscious effort to change what you are complaining about.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Just a Dream?

Lets see, for about 2 years now I have had a dream of owning my own bar and grill here in Merced... I have thought of a million different ways to make this happen and sadly none of them seem to be possibilities... I have looked for investors who have the funds to back this project and have found none.   I have been told by many that this is a crazy idea, but to be honest I do not see their reasoning.  Yes, I live in a city that is known for businesses coming and going, but then again, someone needs to step up to the plate and start something great.  My theory is, if I give high school and college students a safe place to go, in a good part of town, it will cut down on their boring nights in Merced.  This town has so much potential and so much land it would be a shame not to use it.  I think that if we do not start giving our young people something to do, they will leave and never come back.  With the UC in place we have the opportunity to bring in money from all over the world.  If parents are sending their kids to college here, and spending their money here, maybe if it is exciting, they will want to stay.  Maybe they will tell their parents what a great place to live and their parents will move and bring with them a new wave of homebuyers.  Sadly, I doubt this will happen, because we all know how hard it is to get a business approved for Merced, then actually survive in this economy... However I have hope, that one day I will be the proud owner of a bar and grill, that is the "favorite" restaurant of choice on a friday night for college students.  Just a dream? Or the makings for a new exciting place to be on the weekends?  I would love feedback on this topic especially!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jobs.... Wouldn't you like one?

Over the last couple of years jobs in Merced have become quite scarce.  For anyone that knows me they know just how passionate I am about jobs and bringing new and exciting things to Merced.  One thing I am less than enthusiastic about is the fact that people are not quick to try to improve our problem.  The Walmart Distribution Center has a million opportunities that it can bring to our community and I remain a supporter of its possible presence in Merced.  I understand that they may not offer the highest paying jobs or the best benefits but hello... ITS A JOB! I think we have seriously become a community that is more worried about Ferry Shrimp that the welfare of our city.  I am all for pure air and green pastures, but seriously? What is it going to take for environmentalists to step back and look at the bigger picture.  I have beaten this subject to death and I get the feeling people agree with me, they just do not raise their voice like I do.  Now, I find it interesting that if this distribution center was to have picked another city, more than likely they would have already broken ground or have it close to being completed by now.  So what is it with Merced?  I wish I knew the answer.  If Merced is going to ever pull itself out of this downward spiral, it is going to need a pick me up.  I am not saying that Walmart is going to be the best job you ever had, but it is a job, with a paycheck that can feed hungry families and support those who are trying to better themselves.  A person who is jobless more than likely is not going to turn down a job because it does not pay $15.00 an hour, they are more than likely going to take it because they need to feed themselves and their family.  Think about it...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dumbest City? I Think Not!

Well lets see, after months of being quite sick and the holidays, I am back to doing something I love... Thinking of ways to improve Merced.  After multiple people asking what has happened to this blog, my only response is lack of energy.  When I mean lack of energy I do not mean a lack of passion.  Over the last few weeks I have continued talking to Merced residents and one of the most recent issues is our lack of intelligence.  Now unlike certain public journalist and reports regarding Merced's collective intelligence, I do not think that Merced is stupid.  I am very frustrated just like many others that a report was issued stating that Merced was the dumbest city.  I personally think that our "unintelligence," does not come from those who affected the poll, but those who published that article.  If we are going to turn Merced around we need positive things in our news, not negative.  I feel very sorry for those who feel the need to bash our city.  It is their loss they do not see the good in our community that I do.  Sure we may have a few residents that are not as well educated as others, but is it their fault?  Schools are rapidly having to cater to more and more difficult standards for their students which is causing children to fall behind and not learn.  Colleges are having to cut classes and staff due to the ever failing economy which are causing young adults more strain on getting an education.  There are teachers who have surpassed their prime when it comes to effectively communicating the subject they are teaching and yet are still aloud to teach because they have their tenure.  Maybe before someone publishes that we as a community are dumb, they should do their research as to why.  If a 21 year old full time college student and employee can figure this out, why can highly educated journalists not?  Ill leave that question for you to answer.  It is time to put an end to negative publicity.