Category Archives: State

Fresno County gem attraction: Madera Wine Trail

The Madera Wine Trail is a collaboration of nine family wineries in Madera County, belonging to the Madera Vintners Association. As such, the wineries are quaint; cute and relatively small. This gives you an opportunity to potentially meet the winemakers themselves (I can attest to that at Papagni’s). Six of the wineries are near the 99, with three to the west and another three to the east. The other three of them are further up north on the 41, between Oakhurst and the 145.

I would consider the Madera Wine Trail the Central Valley’s hidden gem; a gem that should be visited especially if you live in Fresno or Fresno County (since the wineries aren’t very far!).

As of last week, it seems as though all of these wineries are open, at least on weekends. Be sure to check out the Madera Wine Trail map (the featured image of this post) for each winery’s hours, website, and number before visiting them.

Happy ordination birthday to me

Today marks the sixth anniversary of my ordination with Universal Life Church, The Monastery.  I was approached once by some friends about officiating their wedding ceremony.  They were running into some pushback from some local ministers about their same-sex marriage so they were putting feelers out to friends and family as a back up plan.  After some reflection and research I decided to take out credentials so I could marry them if they needed me to.  This ordination is completely legal in California, and in many other states, and affords me the right to officiate a wedding and sign county clerk marriage certificates.

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Fresno County COVID-19 vaccination schedule

Operation Vaccinate Fresno is well under way in the central San Joaquin Valley as it presents the only real way we are going to get the upper hand on this pandemic. This schedule was updated on March 1st. We are currently in Phase 1B of the rollout. The big date to circle on your schedule would be March 15th. That’s the day when the flood gates open people 16 years of age and up are eligible.

Don’t be fooled people, while there is a chance that a very few will have some sort of adverse or allergic reaction, it is safe to get vaccinated. Vaccines do not kill people, viruses do, and we all need to do our part and participate in building a wally of immunity to keep COVID-19 out of our lives and out of our economy. Vaccines do not cause autism, they don’t stunt growth, and they do not cause mental retardation. These are false and fearmongering tropes of religious and social conservatives.

We all have a social and moral responsibility to join together and fight this pandemic, protect our families, and restore order in the realm of public health. We have an obligation to protect the elderly, who are more vulnerable in this pandemic, our communities and our livelihoods. There is light at the end of the tunnel but we can’t take our foot off the gas now. Keep wearing your mask, keep socially distant, wash your hands frequently, and stay home as much as humanly possible.