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Terri Miles

My name is Terri Miles, I've been covering the Town of Orange for about 15 years, first with the Amity Observer and then for an online news site. I was moved to start my own site because of a strong desire to give Orange residents what they want and deserve, a 24/7 news site without fillers, regional stories or blogs. Just news and events from YOUR town and your children's High School. Why? Because I know you and I care. A relative financed the domain name and other little details for me so I wouldn't go stir crazy after departing from my last job.

School’s Open, Know The Rules Of The Road

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Aug 312021
 

stop for school bussesThe answer to the most asked question (here at Orange Live) with a new comprehensive illustration.

The most read story on Orange Live all year long is one that was originally published in Feb. 2013, “What Happens If You Don’t Stop For A School Bus With Flashing Lights?”

Watch out, Bus drivers are keeping an eye out and police responding to complaints of drivers who do not comply with the laws regarding stopping for stopped school busses.

In Aug. 2014, the Orange Board Of Education Vice Chairman said, “Coming soon to Orange: if you pass a bus, a camera will take a picture of your vehicle and you will get a summons.”

From the State Website the whole story, including fines:

You want to know the legislative history of the act requiring police, on receipt of a written complaint from a school bus driver, to issue a written warning or summons to a motor vehicle owner for illegally passing a stopped school bus.

For your information, we also have appended a chart showing the disposition of cases in which vehicles failed to stop for a school bus from 2007 through 2011, according to figures provided by the Judicial Branch. We were unable to determine how many of these cases were based on a bus driver’s written report. Representatives of the Chief State’s Attorney’s office and the Judicial Branch said the state does not track those numbers.

BACKGROUND

A motor vehicle cannot pass a stopped school bus displaying flashing red signal lights, but must stop at least 10 feet before or behind such a bus (CGS § 14-279). Under the law, police must issue a written warning or a summons to the owner of a vehicle who illegally passes a school bus “upon a written report from any school bus operator…specifying the license plate number, color and type of any vehicle” the bus driver sees violating the law. The driver’s report must also note the date, approximate time, and location of the violation.

PA 85-71

A provision allowing police to issue a written warning to a vehicle owner on receiving a bus driver’s written report was enacted in 1985 (PA 85-71, originating as HB 5749). The act also allowed anyone over age 18 to submit such a written report.

The Transportation Committee held a hearing on HB 5749 on February 4, 1985. Several people testified in support of the provision, arguing there was insufficient enforcement of the school bus passing law. A Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) representative spoke against the bill.

Sharon Ward, school transportation safety director for a school bus contractor, said “the statute must be changed so that local police and state troopers are required to make arrests when drivers give an adequate amount of information…the marker number, the color and make of the car.”

Another witness, Robin Leeds, executive director of the Connecticut School Transportation Association, said the bill “represents an attempt to address the most serious problem in school transportation, the danger in the unloading zones. Not only do all our fatalities occur here, but our most severe injuries as well. Already this winter, we have seen at least five children hit and seriously injured by motorists who did not stop for the flashing red lights of the school bus. In two of those instances, the motorist said to the officer…I didn’t know I was supposed to stop.”

“It is safe to assume,” she continued, “that those motorists had passed a school bus before. If their license numbers had been turned in by a bus driver and accepted by a policeman…who then sent a written warning…they would have known they were supposed to stop before they hit the children.” She said 20 states already had similar laws.

John O’Connell, DMV’s public transportation administrator, opposed the bill, saying the department had “some…concerns regarding the question of constitutionality and an abuse of such a statute about drivers picking up the plate numbers…”

The House of Representatives considered the bill on April 10, 1985, and passed it after amending it by voice vote to allow, rather than require, police to issue a written warning on receipt of a bus driver’s written report (LCO # 5478).

Speaking in support of the amended bill, Representative Wilber said “the feeling of the [transportation] committee was that most people do not pass school buses intentionally, but they do it forgetfully, and if a warning is issued, they probably will not do it again, or not so likely to do it again.”

Representative Frankel opposed the bill, saying its “fatal flaw” was that it was directed at vehicle owners, rather than the person driving the vehicle when the violation occurred. But Representative Ward, arguing for the bill, said school bus drivers “faced…a dilemma. They see a vehicle pass them illegally…They do not know who the operator is, but they clearly can get a marker number.”

“Nothing in this bill prevents a ticket, if you know who was the driver,” Ward said. “It takes the extra step, however, of allowing a warning to the owner of a vehicle when you cannot identify the operator.”

The House passed the amended bill by a 117 to 32 vote.

The Senate debate occurred on April 17, 1985. Senator Giulietti opposed the measure, saying it did not “really have any teeth” because it allowed, rather than required, police to issue a warning. He also objected to “making school bus drivers or any other person over 18…policemen.” Senator Consoli also objected to giving “non-police personnel” the authority to make a complaint in these cases.

Senator Morano, speaking on behalf of the bill, argued that “any tool…to teach people not to go racing by stopped school buses would be good legislation.” Senator DiBella, also speaking on behalf of the bill, said it would allow a policeman “to issue a warning without being on the scene.”

The Senate passed the bill, as amended by the House, by a vote of 30 to 3.

SUBSEQUENT CHANGES TO THE LAW

PA 85-71 was codified in CGS § 14-279. The statute has since been amended several times, as follows (excluding technical changes):

PA 86-155 changed the law by (1) explicitly requiring vehicles to stop for stopped school buses displaying flashing red signal lights on any highway, private road, parking area, or school property; (2) eliminating the ability of “other persons 18 years of age or over” to submit written reports of vehicles failing to stop; and (3) requiring, rather than allowing, a police officer to issue either a written warning or summons on receiving a school bus driver’s written report.

PA 01-192 expressly required emergency vehicles, such as fire department and police vehicles, to stop at least 10 feet from a school bus displaying flashing red signal lights.

PA 11-255 replaced the fine for a first offense of between $100 and $500 with a $450 fine and allowed video evidence of failing to stop for a school bus.

 

(originally published 2016)

 

Full Buck Moon Still Big and Beautiful

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Jul 232021
 

full buck moon

Tonight, Friday, July 23, the full moon rises after sunset, look towards the southeast to watch it rise above the horizon. It reaches its prime at 10:37 p.m.

The July full moon is known as any of the following:

• Full Buck Moon – because in July the antlers of male deer (bucks) are in full growth mode. Bucks shed and regrow their antlers each year, producing a larger and more impressive set as the years go by.

• Full Thunder Moon – because thunderstorms are most frequent during this time.

Another name for this month’s Moon was the Full Hay Moon, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

May 282021
 

Orange Live has been in business for 9 years. Over that time I’ve had many “favorite stories” and with Memorial Day coming up this weekend, my thoughts immediately went to this pearl from our second week online.  

I was talking to Denise Mirto near the bleachers during the ceremony at the gazebo and right before our eyes, this happened:

For the longest time Parade Committee Chairman Kevin Gilbert and his crew worked to plan the perfect Memorial Day Ceremony and parade.

On Sunday, May 27, the streets were lined with residents anxious to see the parade pass by, while others gathered on the Orange Fairgrounds for the Memorial Day Ceremony, which included a special tribute to WWII Veterans.

The Asst. Police Chief jumped into action during a medical emergency at the Orange Fairgrounds on Sunday.

Everything was running smoothly at the gazebo, with Orange First Selectman Jim Zeoli giving one of his now-famous “off the top of his head” speeches and Grand Marshal Jim White being brief, but inspirational in his words to the audience.

The air was thick with humidity and the heat rather stifling, but that didn’t stop the veterans from enjoying themselves or keep the lines of National Guardsmen, Volunteer Firefighters, CERT members, or the Police honor guard from standing tall in their formations.

As Chief of Staff Vito DeVito began his speech, there was a “thump” near the bleachers to the left of the gazebo, an audible gasp as someone recognized an elderly resident who had fallen from his third-row seat.

People who knew what to do rushed to help, among them Asst. Police Chief Edward Koether, who had witnessed the fall from his vantage point in the gazebo.

It’s a well-known fact that Orange Police Officers are all first responders and trained EMTs. Koether recently earned his EMT certification and quickly took control of the situation, making sure the elderly man was breathing and then had room to breathe as more and more Good Samaritans gathered around him.

Several people instinctively called 911 and brought water to the scene. Police officers arrived with their medical supply bags, Walter Bespuda rushed to his car to get an umbrella to help keep the patient out of the hot sun, and an ambulance arrived with paramedics to provide advanced medical assistance while state Rep. Themis Klarides held the umbrella over them.

The ceremony was delayed for several minutes until the patient’s condition was stabilized and then, when we were assured that he would be alright, the program continued.

The buzz on the far right of the gazebo was not about the patient, but about the Asst. Chief, who surprised and amazed many members of the CERT group who were at the best vantage point.

It seems that Koether saw the man drop to the ground and he didn’t want to waste time walking around the ramp or risk tripping over a speaker wire, so he simply “flew” over the gazebo railing and hit the ground running in what was described as a perfect 10.

CERT member Annie Davis said, “He just jumped over the rail like a track star and made a perfect landing, then took off. It was amazing.”

CERT Leader Al Mushin said, “He one-handed that railing and went over it like a professional athlete. I’ve said before we have a great professional police department in Orange… and you can see why by the leadership.”

Koether’s wife, Peggy, later told Orange Live that her husband was on the track team in High School (more than 30 years ago) and jumped hurdles.

After he was cleared by AMR, the patient joined Koether in the shade of the gazebo and stood for the remainder of the ceremony out of the hot sun.

Chief Robert Gagne leaned into Koether and asked, “Did you jump over the railing?”

“Ya,” Koether responded with a smile.

The only thing wrong with Koether’s remarkable feat is that no one captured it on video.

Editor’s Note: Never one to blow his own horn, Koether had no official comment about the event. But the look in his eye said it all — he was just doing his job.

Congratulations to you, Ed, and all the responding officers, for a job well done.

— originally published on May 28, 2012

How Do I Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs?

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Mar 312021
 

 hard-boiled-eggsI learned how to make hard-boiled eggs from my mom who had to make enough every year to satisfy her three kids’ creative desires at Easter time,

You need to hard boil the eggs to the perfect texture so they don’t crack while they are boiling and are easy to peel when you are ready to eat them.

My granddaughter loves these!

Let’s get started:

Put your eggs in a single layer in a large saucepan, and cover them with an inch or two of cold water. Starting with cold water and gently bringing the eggs to a boil will help keep them from cracking. Add a tablespoon of vinegar and a half teaspoon of salt to the water. Put the burner on high and bring the eggs to a boil. As soon as the water starts to boil, remove the pan from the heat for a few seconds.

Turn the heat down to low and return the pan to the burner. Let simmer for one minute.

After a minute, remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let sit for 12 minutes.

Depending on the number of eggs you’ve made, you can check one egg to see how it’s done. Remove from the pan, run under cold water, and peel if it’s to your liking, rinse the other eggs under cold water, let them sit in the cold water for a while, then remove them and let them dry any way you prefer, on paper towels on a cake rack (whatever). When they are dry and cool you can get to work coloring them.

Store in the refrigerator in a ziplock bag or covered bowl to keep the egg smell from your fridge.

Do Christians Have To Eat Fish On Ash Wednesday?

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Feb 172021
 

Adam Cole/NPR

Adam Cole/NPR

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

So what are the rules for fasting and abstaining from eating meat during Lent?

According to the website catholicism.about.com

Some religions are stricter than others.

Episcopal

Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday.

Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Roman Catholics in the United States

Every person 14 years of age or older must abstain from meat (and items made with meat) on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Fridays of Lent.

Every person between the age of 18 and 60 must fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Eastern Catholic Churches

On the days of penance the Christian faithful are obliged to observe fast or abstinence in the manner established by the particular law of their Church.

Is Fish considered meat?

Christians have been eating fish on Fridays for hundreds of years. Fish are cold blooded and therefore considered fair game.

Some choose to go the route of the vegetarians and abstain from the flesh of all living creatures.

You know your faith. You know how seriously you take your religion. But if you are uncertain if it’s okay to stop for a burger this afternoon, it may be best to order the tuna or fish filet instead.

 

 

Need To Know: Proper Shoveling Technique

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Jan 312021
 

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 3.33.59 PMSoon you will be heading outside to start tackling the snow if you haven’t already.

Most of us will feel the pain of shoveling 1, 2, or 3- feet of the heavy white stuff, mainly because we don’t use the proper technique. (from thespinalcolumn.com)

Here is what you should know:

• Feet should be kept wide apart. Weight should be placed on the front foot close to the shovel. Use your leg to push the shovel straight ahead.

• Shift weight to your rear foot with a load of snow close to your body. Lift the load with the power of your legs and arms.

• Shift your body in the direction of the snow instead of twisting your waist.

Proper technique

Proper technique

Improper shoveling technique

Improper shoveling technique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire Marshal Offers Tips For A Safe Holiday Season

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Dec 182020
 

th-1The winter holidays are a time of celebration and that means cooking, decorating the home and entertaining. 

The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office offers some safety reminders to ensure that the holidays will be happy for you and your family.

Home fire safety is always a major concern. Decorations should be fire resistant or non-combustible and located a safe distance from heat sources, such as cooking and wood stoves, fireplaces, space heaters or televisions. 

If smoking is permitted in your home, provide a place for smokers to discard their cigarettes. Place all used ashtrays in the sink and wet down the contents to prevent an accidental fire. Keep all matches and lighters out of the reach of children. And, check all smoke detectors to be sure they are working properly. 

cat-candle-angela_n-smOne of the most common causes of accidental home fires during the holiday season is unattended candles, as December is the peak time of year for candle fires. Candles are often knocked over by children or pets, causing injuries and fires. Before lighting any candle, secure it in a properly fitting holder with a wide base to catch the hot dripping wax and to prevent the candle from tipping over.  

Trim the wick to one-quarter inch. Extinguish taper and pillar candles when the wick is within two inches of the holder. Votives should be put out before the last half-inch of wax begins to melt. Keep candles at least one foot from combustibles on tables, beside window treatments or decorations. 

More than one-half of candle fires began when something flammable was too close to the candle.  After the candle is lit, it must be supervised until properly extinguished. NEVER leave candles burning when leaving a room or going to sleep.  During a power outage, avoid carrying a lit candle. Use flashlights. 

thBefore displaying any electrical decoration, be sure it is tested and approved by a testing facility such as Underwriter’s Laboratory (U.L) or Factory Mutual (F.M).  Use only lights designed and approved for the outdoors when creating an exterior display. Check all light cords and plugs for worn-out or exposed wiring. Replace any damaged light strings or decorations with new items.  Do not overload electrical circuits.  Use multi-outlet surge protector power strips when running multiple applications of decorative lights.

Due to the cost of home heating fuel, the use of fireplaces and wood-burning stoves for alternative heating sources is at an all-time high.  Have the fireplace or wood stove flue inspected and cleaned at least once a year.  Creosote build-up is the number one cause of chimney fires.  Check for cracks in the mortar or deterioration of the piping before lighting a fire.  Don’t forget to open the flue.  Make sure that the safety screen or doors are in place to prevent sparks from igniting flammable furnishings or interior finishes. 

smokie-fireplaceNever use lighter fluid or any other flammable liquid to start a fire.  Use kindling and paper which is weighed down to prevent it from flying out of the chimney or fireplace.  Once the fire is out, put the cool ashes into a metal container with a lid, outside and well away from the home The container should be placed on a non-combustible surface.  To prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide, keep a window slightly open to allow fresh air to enter the home. Electric heaters should be at least three feet from any combustible materials. The use of kerosene heaters is not recommended. 

Christmas tree safety begins with the selection of a fresh tree that holds its needles. Trim the trunk at least 1-inch above the original cut before placing the tree in a sturdy stand.  For the first watering, fill the stand with hot water to open up the sap channels so the tree can consume water efficiently. Use cool water thereafter. The tree may be kept inside as long as it kpic-120508-burning-christmas-treeremains fresh and moist. When it begins to lose needles and starts to dry, discard the tree.  Make sure artificial trees are labeled as fire-retardant. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, near an exit.  DO NOT attempt to extinguish a fully involved tree fire.  Leave the house and call 9-1-1.  Follow these tips for a safe, happy holiday season. 

The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office has a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Program that provides and/or installs 10-year lithium battery alarms and carbon monoxide detectors free of charge to Orange residents.  If you have any questions regarding fire safety or wish to have smoke and/or CO detectors provided and/or installed in your home, please contact our office at (203) 891-4711, Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM or visit the website at www.orangefiremarshal.com.

Republican Headquarters Opens In Orange

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Oct 132020
 

screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-8-41-23-pmThe Orange Republican Headquarters is located at the former Battle Zone, 371 Boston Post Road.
As the November 3 elections get closer, they are always looking for volunteers.  This is also a good opportunity for high school students for service hours.  All are welcome.
For more information call 203-915-6629.

Where Were You When Terrorists Hit Our Shores 19 Years Ago?

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Sep 112020
 

twin-towers-images2Where were you 19 years ago today? The memory of 911 is still etched in my brain. I recall the conversations I had with a co-worker as I gave him blow-by-blow reports of what was happening in America. The newsroom at the newspaper did not have televisions and when I first told him that the South Tower had collapsed he didn’t believe me.

Then I told him that the North Tower was “gone.” By then the bosses had begun watching the horror on the internet and every editor stopped whatever they were working on to find a local angle from his or her town to include in a 911 edition of the papers.

For me, Tuesday was deadline day, so I didn’t have enough time to find Orange, Bethany, or Woodbridge residents with a personal connection to the tragedy.

(source: https://bit.ly/2cBabrB)

(source: https://bit.ly/2cBabrB)

Instead, I wrote a column documenting my day from the time I was awakened by a phone call telling me to “turn on the tv”; to seeing the second plane hit the south tower; to the conversations with my co-worker and his reaction to what I was telling him; and finally the numbness I felt that day.

What I remember most from the 911 attacks is just how kind everyone was for nearly an entire week afterward.

My children and I answered the call when the donation of heavy work gloves, dust filter masks, bottled water, and socks (to help protect the search and rescue and cadaver dogs’ feet).

In 2001, my kids were 14 and 15 years old. They knew what was going on, they witnessed it on TV at school and, I remember they didn’t need a lot of reassurance. They were upset but didn’t dwell on it.

I have not been back to that area of New York since that day.

For all the kids who are now in High School and were too young to remember and for all the children who were born after 2001, here is a timeline of what happened that day 19 years ago:

8:46:26 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 11 impacts the north side of the North Tower (1 World Trade Center) of the WTC between the 94th and 98th floors. American Airlines Flight 11 was flying at a speed of 490 miles per hour (MPH).

9:02:54 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 175 impacts the south side of the South Tower of the WTC between the 78th and 84th floors at a speed of over 500 MPH. Parts of the plane including an engine leave the building from its north side, to be found on the ground up to six blocks away.

The Pentagon in Washington, DC gets hit by American Airlines Flight 77 at 9:37 a.m.

(source: https://bit.ly/2cBabrB)

(source: https://bit.ly/2cBabrB)

9:59:04 a.m.: The south tower of the World Trade Center suddenly collapses, plummeting into the streets below. A massive cloud of dust and debris quickly fills lower Manhattan. It is later explained (disinformation) that the collapse was not directly caused by the impact, but the intense heat caused by the fire fueled by the jet’s fuel weakening the steel support beams of the concrete floors. The WTC towers were built to withstand a 707 being flown into them. A 767 carries almost the same amount of fuel as a 707.

The Palisades seismic data recorded a 2.1 magnitude earthquake during the 10-second collapse of the South Tower at 9:59:04 and a 2.3 quake during the 9-second collapse of the North Tower at 10:28:31 a.m.

10:06.05 a.m.: According to seismic data, United Airlines Flight 93 crashes near Shanksville, PA, about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

Here is a breakdown of the victims:

Deaths by Area of Attack Deaths
World Trade Center 2,606
Airlines 246
Pentagon Building 125
Hijackers 19
Total number of people who died in the 9/11 attacks 2,996
Casualties in the World Trade Center and Surrounding Area Deaths
Residents of New York 1,762
Persons in North Tower (Tower 1) 1,402
Persons in South Tower (Tower 2) 614
Residents of New Jersey 674
Employees of Marsh Inc. 355
Firefighters 343
Employees of Aon Corporation 175
Port Authority police officers 37
Police officers 23
Paramedics 2
1 firefighter was killed by a man who jumped off the top floors

Talking To Your Kids About 9/11

My granddaughter is 8 (almost 9 years old) and I asked her last week if she knew what 9/11 was all about.

She said she’d heard about it, but “not really.”

I asked if she wanted to know more, and being an inquisitive child, she, of course, said “yes.”

I had found a documentary that I’d DVR’d a few years ago, that I thought would give her a sense of what happened without upsetting her or scaring her too much. It didn’t show the people jumping from the upper floors, or anyone on fire running through the lobby of Tower One. It didn’t dwell on the heartbroken family members pasting photos of their loved ones up on the bulletin boards near the site. Just the basics.

And as she watched it, I shared some thoughts about what she was seeing. I told her that I knew a Paramedic and a Priest from Bethany who helped the people deal with the terrible things they’d seen and the guilt they felt about surviving on that day when so many others died.

She has an appreciation for the first responders who risked their lives to help save others, and the many who gave their lives during that effort.

She liked that her mommy and uncle were willing to help donate things that the rescuers needed in the days after the attacks. And she understands so much more than most kids her age without having night terrors about what she’d learned. Just the knowledge and appreciation for those who were willing to help.

Last night she said a prayer for the people who died and their family members who are missing them on this day.

Once Again, For Those Who Choose To Accuse… Orange Live’s Political Policy

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Aug 242020
 

Screen shot 2013-06-13 at 2.17.31 PMSince launching Orange Live in May 2012, some residents, and politicians wondered how I would go about covering local, state, and national elections.

The answer is simple — fairly.

I will post information about candidates, issues, and events as they are submitted as long as it is not an attack piece on an opponent.

If there happens to be more information about one party than another, it is simply that one side has a better publicity person than the other.

Note: In a past state election, I got some grief from a reader who believed I was taking sides by running one candidate’s press releases and nothing from another candidate. This was because HER camp sent me press releases and HIS didn’t. I do not go out looking for political commentary.

I will not be endorsing local candidates on Orange Live but I will do profiles of the key candidates. I do not attend political fundraisers, simply because if I can make it to one, but am busy during the other party’s event I will be accused of choosing sides. I will though, accept a well-composed photo from these events and publish them.

If I request a candidate’s profile information or photograph, please send it to me as soon as possible to orangectlive01@gmail.com.

However, I will not run anything that resembles negative campaigning on Orange Live. Some may call that censorship — but I believe that candidates need to run on their own merits, and I plan to allow my readers to learn about the candidates without the mudslinging that will be found on many other news media outlets.

Orange Live readers know that I don’t allow comments on the website, but comments may be posted on our Facebook page. BUT If I notice people attacking or insulting others I will remove the negative comments, so, it’s simple, be kind. We DO have many young people who follow Orange Live and we will not be a party to exposing them to political negativity. Be civil. Praise your own candidate, but do not post anything ugly about their opponent on any Orange Live related pages.

Just as I do not step up to the voting table with you and help you fill in the circles on your ballot, I will let YOU decide who the best candidate is for YOU and your family.

I will go to the polls, take photos of  Democrats, Republicans, and Independent candidates and try to have an equal amount of photographs from both sides (After 20 years of covering Orange, I know that some people actually count images and judge) and finally, I will get the results up online ASAP.

… and that is my political coverage policy.

 

This policy has been in place for 6 years and will never change.