A woman was raped in the early morning hours, Sunday, in the 2200 block of Nanu Street while walking to her car. Two armed robbers, demanding money, shot a man to death defending the cash register in his market Saturday.

World to need 10 bln-plus more cooling machines: Report

Although these two sentences are of fiction origin, they sound exactly like the first sentences which are under many headlines of our local newspaper. Here is a headline from an area newspaper, from just the other day. Boy, sixteen, sought in stabbing death opticlimate. The first sentence of that headline is as follows: Teen suspected of stabbing group home supervisor. (Visalia Times Delta, 16, June 07.) The town we live in is plagued by gang warfare, teenagers doing drugs, armed robberies, and murder. I have lived in this town for about three years now, and I have seen this crime first hand.

I lived in a town in Nebraska after moving there from Los Angeles in 1992. The name of the town is Hastings. It is roughly the same size in population as Porterville, and is almost dead center of the state, ninety miles from the southern border of Kansas. Most residents are Caucasian, descendants of German settlers who came here many years ago. There is a limited Hispanic population, drawn to the area by the meat packing plant twenty-two miles north of Hastings, in Grand Island. The town is clean and air pollution free. The sky is deep blue and reminds me of the color of the water in the ocean surrounding Hawaii. There are many trees dotting the area, such as cottonwoods, spewing their cotton into the air to float dreamily onto coils of air conditioners, only to be removed by frustrated homeowners. Pine trees dot the area, and project their green hue all year around. Many oak and maple trees stand still, and let their leaves fly everywhere after they have turned the prettiest of colors in the fall. People are friendly, and will extend many Good Samaritan qualities. Activities for children are numerous, and they range from sports outdoors, to many indoor things for fun and exercise, catering from the very young to the young adult. I have a six-year-old boy, plus two-step sons, ages ten and sixteen, so they never run out of things to do. In my opinion, Hastings, Nebraska, and the surrounding area is the best place to raise them.

I’m sure some people who have lived in California their entire life, think California schools are the best in the nation. I know from experience and research, that Nebraska schools present a higher level of education. Elementary through high school is right at the advanced level of reading and math, compared with the education of California, which is somewhat below that.

Many people from this area don’t believe me when I tell them crime is almost nonexistent in Hastings Nebraska. There are no gangs, or graffiti. The entire twelve years or so I lived there I never heard of an armed robbery. A guy went off the deep end once in 2001, and killed his parents. (Hastings Tribune 6, June 2001) That story was on the front page of the local paper for almost a whole year. Here, our kids are exposed to murder, rape, robbery, and drive by shootings, on a daily basis. Here is a headline from the Hastings Tribune, in Hastings, Nebraska: Painting the town green. (Deanne Stump, Hastings Tribune.) This headline and story is about an award, Hastings received recently, for having the greenest town in Nebraska. That is usually the extent of the content I expect to find in The Hastings Tribune, and newspapers from the other towns, in the surrounding area.

Many people who live in California like the climate. I think the criminal element is drawn to the climate as well. Hastings Nebraska Winters can be very cold, with snow, and icy streets, snowdrifts as high as ten feet or more, blizzards producing white out conditions, and power outages. Walks and driveways must be cleared, before you can walk around, or drive anywhere, and the streets must be cleared, by the City of Hastings before they can be navigated. Then of course, the chemical that is put on the streets to melt the ice is very damaging to your car, and must be washed off. Summers are very hot with stifling humidity, which makes you feel like you are in a greenhouse, not able to breathe. You can’t ever be very far away from an air conditioner. It takes all your energy away from you. That is the trade off.

I like California, but my kids’ safety, health, and well being come first. They deserve to be raised in a violent free, gang free environment, with clean air, and an exemplary education.