Congratulations are due to the elected officials who recently were elevated to top positions during recent reorganization meetings. In particular, we wish good luck to Thurston "Smitty" Smith, who was named to a second term as Hesperia's mayor; Hardy Black, who became the new president of the Hesperia Unified School District's board of education; and Rebekah Swanson, who was named president of the Hesperia Recreation and Park District's board of directors.


May your reign bring productivity and prosperity to those you serve!


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Congratulations also to Steve Williams, the editor of the Daily Press' Opinion page, for 30 years of service with the newspaper. Williams, who was recognized during Freedom High Desert's holiday party last Friday, previously served as editor of the paper, a position now held by Don Holland.


The party was held at the Greentree Inn's new Grumpy Golfer banquet complex, which was a wonderful spot to hold a work-related party. In a room next to the Daily Press affair last weekend was a party for Snowline Unified School District employees. It appears the Grumpy Golfer is helping to bring smiles to people attending festivities there.


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Speaking of the world of local journalism, congratulations are also in order for Kris Reilly. Kris, who has served as the Daily Press sports editor for the past few years, was recently named editor of the Lucerne Valley Leader. Kate Rosenberg, who became editor of the Leader when the publication became part of the Freedom High Desert family a few years back, has accepted a police beat position in Texas. Good luck to both Kris and Kate in their new endeavors.


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I heard some shocking statistics on the Bill Handel show last week. According to Handel, who now has two shows on KFI-640 AM radio, the number of federal employees making $100,000 or more has risen from 14 to 19 percent.


Furthermore, while the average private sector worker makes $40,000 a year, the average federal worker makes $71,000! And those figures came as the recent recession was kicking into full gear, he said.


"This is a scandal," Handel exclaimed.


He also wondered why the Obama administration doesn't put a stop to this outrageous situation.


"It's so blatant, so obvious to me what should be done."