You can ask readers and website and social media viewers for their opinions and comments on any number of things … and you just never know what will spark their interest or what will fall flat.
Sometimes the most profound and relevant questions are left untouched — the silence is deafening. Other times, there is a bunch of people ready to comment.
But there are a couple of sure-fire topics. Post something about a truck getting stuck under the railroad bridge and you'll get swarms of comments.
And potholes … ask people where the bad potholes are and you get gobs of responses in no time at all. Everyone has a favorite most-hated street or segment of roadway or killer hole.
We're working on a 2017 edition of the pothole story. We'll be checking with cities and counties on road maintenance progress. It's especially a big deal in Marysville, where the budgets of past years haven't allowed much upkeep — but that could change with the additional sales tax revenues it will have available.
And we'll check with legislators about funding in light of falling gasoline tax revenues … any predictions on what the chances are that the state of California will come up with a plan?
Thumbs Down/Up: We were saddened a while back about the passing of Hardial Singh Hunji. But at the same time, the centenarian could be held up as a great example of the many people who came to this country, started from scratch, worked hard, and did much good by setting examples and contributing when possible. The longtime local agronomist died Jan. 2. His family and friends can be proud of his example.
Thumbs Down/Up: Another loss: Ryan Jessen, just 33 years old, died at Rideout, it was reported, from an intraventricular hemorrhage in his brain.
A story both sad and inspiring was printed recently — he was the patient whose dog, a boxer mix named Mollie, was allowed to come visit him in the hospital to say goodbye. A video of the visit was posted to Facebook by Ryan's sister, Michelle Jessen. As of a week or so ago, it had already had more than 19 million views.
Our condolences to the family. It was a tragedy. But those parents can be proud of their kids.
And we're happy that Rideout Regional Medical Center cared enough to make arrangements so that the visit could be made. It was a laudable and humane act.
Thumbs Up: Our congratulations to all the winners announced last night at the Yuba-Sutter Chamber of Commerce. The annual gala is always well-run and the awards program is not only a way of handing out well-deserved praise, but also a way of informing the rest of the business community about what certain members are doing — innovations, opportunities, perspectives.
We'll look forward to featuring some of those winners in upcoming editions.
Ugh: This was forwarded to us a while back by one of our retired pilot friends:
Woman: Do you drink beer?
Woman: How many beers a day?
Man: Usually about three.
Woman: How much do you pay per beer?
Man: Five dollars, which includes a tip.
Woman: And how long have you been drinking?
Man: About 20 years, I suppose.
Woman: So a beer costs $5 and you have three beers a day, which puts your spending each month at $450. In one year, it would be approximately $5,400 correct?
Woman: If in one year you spend $5400, not accounting for inflation, the past 20 years puts your spending at $108,000 correct?
Woman: Do you know that if you didn't drink so much beer, that money could have been put in a step-up interest savings account and after accounting for compound interest for the past 20 years, you could have now bought an airplane?
Man: Do you drink beer?
Man: Where is your airplane?