A little bit about a lot of things:

• Enjoy the weekly farmer’s market held earlier this summer in Newman?

Well, there’s more in store.

The city and Newman Chamber of Commerce are once again teaming up to sponsor a market.....this time a “harvest market” featuring autumn produce, crafts and much more.

The market will be held for four consecutive Fridays, beginning Sept. 20, from 3-7 p.m. in the downtown plaza.

We greatly enjoyed the summer market, and are looking forward to seeing what the fall edition has to offer.

The weather should be perfect, and the downtown plaza is a perfect venue for events which bring out the community.

We’ll bring our readers more information about the market in next week’s editions.

• Scary incident last Tuesday at Newman’s Hurd Barrington Elementary School, when a man armed with a knife attempted to gain entry to the campus for reasons largely unknown.

But thankfully the story turned out to be little more than that, as the individual was unable to enter the campus and was taken into custody in short order by officers with the assistance of a K-9 unit. Students and staff, we’re told, for the most part didn’t even know until after the fact what had transpired.

Security is obviously at the forefront for local schools in today’s climate. Truthfully, I am not at all a fan of the imposing fences and the no trespassing signs and all that, but incidents like the one which occurred last week remind us that we are, sadly, living in a different world.

Who knows what would have happened had the individual been able to slip onto campus? 

We’re told that Barrington staff handled the situation promptly and properly, implementing an immediate lockdown and summoning authorities.

The protocols in place were implemented and worked as they were meant to, Superintendent Randy Fillpot advised later in the week, starting with the door being locked to secure the multi-use room.

Any time a significant incident occurs the district takes a close, critical look at its response to make the matter a learning experience and improve incident response protocols, Fillpot added.

He acknowledged that, in retrospect, the notification which went out to parents could perhaps have been phrased a bit differently but added that the district is not going to get out in front of an active police investigation or share details that are essentially in the law enforcement domain.

I applaud the willingness to self-critique, which is never easy, but hate that we’re dealing with such things in the first place.

The bottom line, though, is that everybody involved did what was supposed to be done and no harm came to students or staff.

Had the individual involved made his way onto campus, there would have been many very different ways in which the incident could have ended.....several of them bad.

• Mosquito abatement officials are continuing to emphasize the importance of what they refer to as “dump and drain,” which speaks to the public’s role in helping keep mosquito populations in check.

In short, residents are asked to eliminate any sources of standing water in their yards and property which may serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Mosquito abatement is serious business, as the insects can prove to be a health threat as well as a nuisance because they carry virus.

This time of year is typically the West Side’s peak season for mosquito populations and West Nile Virus activity, and both abatement districts which serve our communities (Turlock Mosquito Abatement in the Stanislaus County portion of the West Side and Merced County Mosquito Abatement in the Gustine/Santa Nella area) have been busy by ground and by air as they fight the fall influx.

But John Q. Public is instrumental in that campaign. Everybody is better off is we just take a few moments to check property for even small amounts of standing water......it doesn’t take much stagnant water to create an explosion in the mosquito population, which in turn increases exponentially.

A new development in Newman is changing the game for the Turlock district. The discovery of the non-native Aedes aegypti mosquito in the community carries a number of ramifications. Those mosquitoes tend to be aggressive, painful biters which are active in the daytime and quite comfortable in close quarters with humans. The invasive mosquitoes also pose a health risk because they can transmit diseases such as Zika virus and yellow fever should those diseases be introduced in the area. That would most likely happen by way of a traveler who has contracted one of the viruses elsewhere.

Mosquito-borne diseases are serious business.

Protect yourself from exposure, and don’t put the welcome mat out for unchecked mosquito breeding by allowing even small amounts of water to stand on your property.

Drain it and dump it.

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.