A little bit about a lot of things:

The first day of another school year has come and gone.....that’s always an adventure.

There are time-honored traditions that go with the first day of school.....photographs, hugs, welcome-backs and so much more.

The day is particularly meaningful when a child goes off to school for the first time.....now that’s a milestone to which all parents can relate.

There are usually some tears, but I think that the first day is often more traumatic for the parent than it is for the child, as witnessed by the reluctance with which parents sometimes turn their child over to the care of their teacher and the foot-dragging as they leave campus.

Hey, as a parent what is more important than your child? I believe, though, that our children are in good hands when we entrust them to our local schools.

The first day of school brings an amazing energy, something that is really special to witness.

And unlike my childhood years, when we trudged back to the classroom with little fanfare at the start of a new year, local schools seem to go above and beyond to make the opening day a festive event. I like the “red carpet” welcomes and other special touches.

Each “first day” cracks open a fresh chapter in the life of a child, and while some may hide their enthusiasm for school quite well the majority seem genuinely excited to be back at it.

Make it a great year!

• So....turns out a “Raptor” isn’t just some Jurassic Park dinosaur or souped-up vehicle designation.

Newman-Crows Landing parents are becoming quite familiar with the Raptor name....it’s the school district’s new visitor management system.

A photo ID is now required of campus visitors, and their name and date of birth are checked against a national data base of registered sex offenders. I’m good with that, but saddened by what it says of our world and our society.

The system helps schools keep track of who is on their campus, where and why. Fair enough.

But I really don’t like having to display a sticker with my driver’s license photo on my chest whenever I’m walking around a campus. That image is better left in the dark recesses of my wallet, safely secure and out of public view, shared only with TSA security agents during airport screenings and only then because I have no choice.

I like my Costco card photo much better.....wonder if I could talk them into using that one instead.

• Was very encouraged to learn that the Newman-Crows Landing Board of Trustees and the Newman City Council seem seriously interested in doing what they can to work together to bring a pool to the community.

Too many years have passed since Newman last had a community pool, though not for lack of effort on the city’s part. There is a whole generation of kids who have essentially grown up in Newman without a community pool, and how many families who live in Newman today never knew that a municipal pool once existed?

It would now appear that the most feasible course of action may be to include a pool as part of the school bond measure which most likely will go before Newman-Crows Landing voters next March, with an shared facility use agreement in place which assures community access to the facility as well as school use.

That last part? That’s essential, and my concern is that there may be sticking points in reaching an accord, particularly when it comes to the cost of maintaining a pool - although I certainly hope not.

Ultimately, if a pool is constructed using any form of tax measure floated by either the school district or the city, there is one important point that should always be remembered.

Neither agency could or should lay claim to building the long-awaited pool, and although stewardship would rest with both agencies the “ownership,” if you will, would be with the community.

If that scenario comes to pass the “we” who build the pool will ultimately be we the taxpayers. That should not be overlooked.

I do think there will be a school bond put before Newman-Crows Landing voters in March, and believe some interesting discussions are going to be in store when it comes to determining what projects will be promised voters as part of the campaign.

As a taxpayer, I am very curious to know what makes the cut.

Dean Harris the Managing Editor of the West Side Index and Gustine Press-Standard. He can be reached at dharris@mattosnews.com or by calling (209) 243-8104.