New year, new beginnings

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Three weeks of vacation flew by so quickily it made my head spin. Before I had time to put up my Christmas tree and decorations, it was time to take them down, but I dragged my feet. My family would come over to my apartment and remind me that Christmas was over and it was time to move on. So out went my beautiful tree, down came the holiday decorations, and in came 2014 with new beginnings.
It was a new year to prepare new resolutions and think about what I was going to change.  It was also time to think about changes and challenges going in the world.
Our beloved state of California has not had rain since heaven knows when and the weather looks like spring instead of winter. Farmers and wine growers are suffering and the governor has had to declare a drought.
The Swine Flu has taken 17 lives in the Bay Area so far, and now they are saying they are getting low on flu vaccines. We are nowhere near the peak of the flu season and if you have a weak immune system or are other wise at risk it is recommended you get vaccinated.
A 13 year-old boy was Oakland’s first murder victim of  2014. He was coming home from the Boys Club on New Years Eve with some friends, when he was shot in a drive- by shooting.  I feel for the mother because her other son was also shot and killed on the streets of Oakland just a few days after they buried the young boy.
It is said that it’s supposed to be getting better in Oakland, especially regarding black-on-black crimes but I don’t think so. I lived in Oakland for 30 years and because of the violence and drugs I decided to move to a smaller town.
There has not been any news lately about the brain dead 13-year-old girl. They now have her in a hospital where they were able to have someone insert a feeding tube. I hope everything will work out for the best for the family.
BART police are in the news again for another so-called accidental shooting. In 2009 a young African American male was shot and killed while being subdued at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland.
Now they have to figure out how one of their own was shot while trying to serve a warrant on a person who wasn’t even there at the apartment. I really think BART police do not get enough training on how to handle and use guns.
Then we have our California Highway Police doing the job of the Oakland Police Department. Recently there have been two shootings in Oakland concerning the CHP. I always thought the CHP’s job was the freeways and highways, so it makes me wonder what they were doing in Oakland shooting people.
Wow, 2014 started off with a bang in Oakland. Thank goodness our problems here in Pittsburg and Antioch are less severe than those in San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco.
San Jose and San Francisco have been having their own share of problems involving the safety of people crossing streets. It is not only adults but children who are being injured or killed by drivers who do not want to take time to slow down and let people walk across the street.
It is disgusting that these drivers have so little respect for life. They are in such a big hurry going nowhere. We need to have concern for the lives of others.
Life is precious, but once it is gone, we cannot get it back. That also goes for the police too.
This is a New Year so it is time to make some changes in our lives and how we do things. Show some concern and compassion for the lives of other people.

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