Welcome to the morning after. In the news business, as in the politics business, there is nothing quite as deflating (or deflated, maybe) as the day after an election.
The excitement and pressure build for weeks, and election day itself is pure adrenaline for everyone closely involved. All right, the folks working my polling place inside the Westside Church of Redding were not exactly filled with adrenaline on Tuesday. There were a few yawns while poll workers assisted a slow trickle of voters. But for the people actually hustling to count ballots, as well as the candidates and their supporters and those of us in the news media, election day and night can provide a dose of intensity that’s hard to match.
And then it’s all over. Win or lose, many candidates fall off the face of the earth for a period of time that started this morning. And the journalists who cover political campaigns are usually too tired to care that no one is answering the phone. Only the dependable folks in the county clerk’s office and secretary of state’s office continue to grind away, counting returns, examining provisional ballots and preparing the official tallies. Campaigning for November’s general election will start soon enough.
My congratulations to Tuesday’s winners, and condolences to the losers.
Now go take down all those damn signs.
• I know some of us have to work or go to school. Such a drag. But if you’ve got a little free time, don’t forget about the appearances of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom host Peter Gros at Turtle Bay today, June 9, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. He’ll have a bunch of critters with him while he shares stories from the world of nature. Plus, Turtle Bay admission is half-price all day today.
• Downtown Weaverville is getting something of a makeover these days. On Monday, Caltrans and contractor Mercer Fraser of Eureka started work on building islands, sidewalks, bike lanes and crosswalks on Highway 299 through the historic middle of the Trinity County seat. The idea is to get traffic to slow down and make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists to get around town. The $560,000 project is funded in part with $305,000 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
• If you eat at Applebee’s in Redding between 5 and 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 10, the restaurant will donate 15% of the ticket price to the Redding Police Chaplain program. The chaplains aren’t preachers. Rather, they help people during some of the worst moments of their lives. They’ll be on hand Thursday to talk about their roles, so stop by for dinner or at least desert. You’ll need to present a coupon to ensure Applebee’s makes the 15% donation. Coupons should be available Thursday evening, or you may email Chaplain Debbie Ivey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• A big cheer for Cottonwood’s Randy Houston for his clean sweep in the Airport Auto Brokers late model stock car race last Saturday at Shasta Speedway. The longtime Shasta racer set fast time, won the A dash and then claimed the 75-lap main event from the 10th starting position – all while competing against a first-rate, 18-car field from all over Northern California. The next race at Shasta is set for June 19, during the fair. The traveling late model series will return in October.
• If you can’t wait for the next oval track race at Shasta, then check out the straight line action this weekend at Redding Drag Strip. Cars will be hauling butt down the quarter-mile strip all day Saturday and Sunday – and you may watch for free.
Paul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and seldom votes for the winning candidate. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at email@example.com.