Election Day is officially Nov. 3, but balloting starts much earlier.

From a practical standpoint, the elections are just a month away, with ballots to go in the mail starting October 5.

This might be the most exciting presidential raise in a generation or two, but don't forget how important local government is: there will be dozens of races for local seats -- city, county, schools and more.

The Appeal will again be teaming up with the Chamber of Commerce to present a series of candidate forums. Here's what the lineup is looking like as of this date (could change; all the town hall-style events will be virtual meetings):

-- Sutter County supervisors and Yuba City Council candidates on Sept. 23.

-- Yuba County supervisors and Marysville City Council and mayoral candidates on Sept. 24.

-- U.S. Representative candidates on either Sept. 29 or Oct. 1;

-- Live Oak City Council Sept. 30.

The Appeal will be emailing simple questionnaires (who are you; what do you want to accomplish) to all candidates starting next week and will print responses as they come in.

Have a question you'd like to hear candidates address? Send ideas to me at smiller@appealdemocrat.com.


Thumbs Up: The Leadership Yuba-Sutter fellows are trying to raise money to build and stock clothing closets at a couple local schools.

The program was revitalized this past year through the Chamber of Commerce to help local citizens develop leadership skills. Part of the curriculum is carrying out a community project.

The closets would be built at Ella Elementary in Olivehurst and Bridge Street Elementary in Yuba City. The goal is to help students from families with financial challenges -- allowing kids to discreetly pick out clothes and basic supplies they need.

The group figures it needs about $20,000 to do all it wants to do. Help them out at www.gofundme.com, in the search bar type in "yuba-sutter clothes closet."


Thumbs Down: We're known for our love of festivals and events here in Yuba-Sutter-Colusa. And almost all of them were wiped out this year due to the pandemic.

But there are a couple that would be coming up that are especially big events and put us on the map: the annual Stampede; and the annual Sikh parade.

The Stampede is just a lot of fun, brings thousands together (including tourists) for a local tradition spanning a weekend in September -- the sport of rodeo is celebrated with hometown legend Flying U Ranch putting on a great show. The multiple related events, the logistics, the professionalism, the crowd appeal ... there's nothing like it.

The Sikh parade helps define this community. Thousands of Sikhs and onlookers come from out of town to build up a crowd of some 100,000. That immensity alone makes the event special. But the sharing of the Sikh culture with the rest of us, the shopping bazaar, tours of the temple, etc., make it a great event the first weekend of every November.

Organizers have not yet flipped the switches, but are expecting the worst. We're going to miss these events.

Let's do all we can to help organizers come back stronger than ever in 2021.


Thumbs Up: Here's a good example of what a local education can lead to: Los Alamos National Laboratory senior scientist Sam Clegg got his start here in Yuba City.

The Perseverance Rover is on its seven-month trip to Mars, carrying machinery developed by the local native.

Clegg graduated from Yuba City High School in 1987. His early aspirations were to be a chemistry teacher like his YCHS teacher and mentor Dave Hummel. But his arc took him to work with NASA. He's been at the lab since 2003 and for most of the last 17 years he's been teaming up to build a mechanism, which, using laser technology, will help scientists analyze samples of material collected on the surface of our neighboring planet.

The thumbs up isn't just for Clegg, but is also for public schools and educators who make a difference.



Ugh: These came by way of a famous local pirate who stole them from somewhere:

-- That guy who fell on an upholstery machine last week? He's fully recovered.

-- People who get too big for their britches are usually exposed in the end.

-- A dentist and a manicurist got married, but it didn't last. They were always fighting tooth and nail.

-- No matter how much you try to push the envelope, it will always be stationery.


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