We need to get it done.

We can get it done.

That would be finding at least some answers to these startlingly tragic mass shootings in a nation that supposedly has the best there is.

I don’t profess to have the answers, nor do the many in our community who have expressed concern about these tragedies. But the killings themselves aren’t likely to stop without some drastic measures being taken by this nation’s leaders. They make the laws and set the rules. They have the responsibility to take action.

I had a short phone discussion early this week with Marilyn Hoobler, longtime secretary of our annual Apricot Fiesta. Our annual event, its 50th year coming up late next spring, is much smaller in size than the Gilroy Garlic Festival, yet packs thousands of people into our downtown.

Fiesta security, Marilyn explained, is reviewed each year with City Hall and the Sheriff’s Department. That security makes itself plainly visible on our crowded circle and in our downtown parks. But I’m sure the people of Gilroy, just as those in El Paso and Dayton, felt safe in their environments until the unspeakable happened.

The general public in this country support getting assault weapons off the streets, but our Congress fails to act. That same public should take action of its own.


Work on the city’s Center Building that houses our downtown museum is scheduled to begin next Monday, Aug. 12.

The work by Harris Builders of Hilmar is expected to include the west porch arbor and base, some structure work in the basement, sidewalk repair, replacement of water-damaged sheetrock inside, painting, the downspouts, and work on the ADA-required entrance ramp. The same firm has done repair work on City Hall across the street, according to the city’s Xavier Gularte, project manager.

While the city is contributing part of the cost, a $114,000 grant has been received from the California Historical Environment fund.


Those of us who visit downtown Patterson almost every day are delighted to witness the construction work progressing on the new Patterson Family Pharmacy building.

Heck, the building even unfinished looks 10 times better than the former Quonset hut that loomed at us from the same site.


We often hear complaints about the weather and seismic events, but here’s one I’m glad we haven’t experienced.

Las Vegas is currently experiencing an infestation of grasshoppers. So many that they can be picked up on radar.

The hoppers litter the sidewalks and make other messes, but are considered harmless. Their cause? Unusually heavy rainfall in that area.


The younger generation doesn’t speak the same language as us Persons of Maturity, or so it seems.

In our younger days we used words and phrases such as hunky dory, life of Riley, gee willikers, Kilroy was here, and nincompoop.

When’s the last you’ve heard any of those?


Before we get into the college and professional football seasons, we have to endure meaningless babble on the sports pages.

To earn their keep, the writers must speculate on which teams will do what. Here in Northern California we get a regular diet of productions about the 49ers, Raiders, Stanford and Cal. None of it means much until the real action begins on the field.


Our community has lost two more of its well-known citizens in David Klein and Mike McNaughton.

Patterson native Dave was a retired teacher and coach who was highly respected in coaching circles around the valley. He received numerous awards, and the high school gymnasium was renamed in his honor.

Mike came here as a teacher at the one-room Harney School over into Santa Clara County back in the 1960s. He and his late wife Maryke lived in the hill country. They moved to Patterson where he became a realtor and involved himself in community affairs. He later lived in Newman and most recently in Turlock.

Ron Swift is editor/publisher emeritus of the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at ronkay@gvni.com.

PI editor/publisher emeritus

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