Sleep Train open at Reynolds Ranch

Sleep Train opened in Lodi last week, the first of a number of businesses coming in to the Reynolds Ranch retail center that includes Costco and Home Depot.

The mattress retailer’s PR firm sent a press release noting the opening. Starbucks, Five Guys burgers and a Verizon Wireless store are also on the way there.

Sleep Train is open from 10 to 9 p.m. weekdays; 10 to 8 p.m. Saturday, and 10 to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

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Lodi Unified responds to Millswood arrest

Lodi Unified released the following statement a day after police reported the arrest of Millswood Middle School Secretary Susan Taylor for allegedly embezzling $2,000 from the Parent Club.

From Personnel Director Mike McKilligan:

“We are aware of the arrest of a Lodi Unified School District employee by local law enforcement authorities.  Lodi Unified is cooperating fully with the police department during this investigation.  We are committed to ensuring that the legal rights of our students and staff are protected.

This is a new development.  There will be no rush to judgment.  As this is an ongoing investigation, there will be no further comment by the district until the investigation and any legal proceedings provide us with information that would warrant a particular action.

Lodi Unified School District values the participation of parents in the education of their children.  We understand how important this is to the community which we serve.”

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Lodi girl, McNerney ask Obama to declare Oct. 6 “Coaches day”

Lodi 12-year-old Madeline Woznick stood before the City Council last week and honored her swim coach and asked for support in creating a National Coaches Day to honor all coaches who give their time and knowledge to youth sports.

Lodi Council members supported her, and now she has Rep. Jerry McNerney’s support. McNerney is even asking Pres. Barack Obama to declare Oct. 6 National Coaches Day. Here is what he asks of the President:

 

September 9, 2013

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Obama:

 As you well know, sports are enjoyed across the United States, from the timeless tradition of baseball to uniquely American football. Sports are one of the most effective community-building institutions, especially within schools. They bring together athletes, coaches, students, teachers, and parents. None of this would be possible without the work of coaches, which is why I am respectfully asking you to recognize and proclaim October 6, 2013, as National Coaches Day.

 Many school sports programs would not be possible without volunteer coaches, who selflessly donate countless hours and resources to help student-athletes. Coaches are community leaders that provide essential support and mentoring to student-athletes throughout the country. Furthermore, students who participate in sports not only have improved physical outcomes, they also have higher academic performance and a lower drop out rate. At a time when national childhood obesity rates are just beginning to turn the corner, it is more important than ever to promote physical activity. Efforts such as First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign have been an effective tool in promoting this message.

 As President Nixon said when he recognized the first National Coaches Day in 1972, coaches “do not work for personal glory. Their satisfaction usually comes through the achievement of others whom they have helped.” Again, I respectfully ask you to recognize and proclaim October 6, 2013, as National Coaches Day.

Sincerely,

 

Jerry McNerney

Member of Congress

 

No word yet on if the President has responded to McNerney’s request.

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A proposed fire service change

Lodi City Councilman Bob Johnson has suggested the city look into a two-man firefighter/paramedic team that will be deployed during peak hours to make medical calls throughout the city.

The idea to do so comes from a similar plan in Stockton, and would take some of the wear and tear off of the department’s fire apparatus, which are used now to make all calls.

Two men in an SUV or truck fully equipped with all the necessary life-saving gear could be a cheaper way to provide the service, Johnson suggested.

City Manager Rad Bartlam said he’s been talking to Fire Chief Larry Rooney and the idea might be a fit.

So, question to the public – is this a good idea?

 

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The Record’s gun discharge editorial

The Record’s Opinion page includes an editorial today on the Lodi Police accident where an officers gun discharged at a youth reading event.

The editorial board asks: 1. How did this happen? 2. Why did Lodi Police wait so long to inform the public?

What does the public think?

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Hunter’s safety teacher, from Lodi, dies

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife released the following:

CDFW Commemorates Longest Serving Hunter Education Instructor

California’s longest serving volunteer Hunter Education Instructor (HEI), Alvin Richard Pecchenino, 79 of Lodi, passed away on Aug. 15, 2013, after 60 years of service.  Pecchenino was a pillar of the HEI community well beyond California’s border and will be deeply missed.

Pecchenino first started instructing with the National Rifleman’s Association in 1952, when a troop of Boy Scout Explorers were in need of a firearms safety course. Pecchenino began his service with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) hunter education program as an instructor when the program launched in 1954.

Pecchenino was a California native from a family of hunting and fishing heritage. In a 2004 interview, he described himself as having been “born with a rod in the right hand and a gun in the left.” Pecchenino conducted classes in Stockton, Lodi, Galt, Holt and other rural areas in and around the San Joaquin Valley. Because of Pecchenino’s years of dedication to the hunter education program, he was named International Hunter Education Instructor of the Year by Winchester International in 2005. The prestigious award singled out Pecchenino among hundreds of volunteer Hunter Education instructors worldwide.

“Al’s 60 years of volunteer service to the state of California is an unprecedented record that I am sure will stand for years to come,” said CDFW Capt. Roy Griffith. “He made a difference in the lives of generations of new hunters. It was an honor to know him.”

In a continued effort to reduce firearm accidents, the state of California requires all first-time resident hunters, regardless of age, to complete hunter education training or pass a comprehensive equivalency test before purchasing a hunting license. More than 850 volunteer HEIs conduct training throughout California. Each year approximately 30,000 students complete the state’s 10-hour minimum hunter education course.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer Hunter Education Instructor, or those interested in taking a Hunter Education course, can find more information at www.dfg.ca.gov/huntered/.

 

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Council keep city staff to run financial systems upgrade

The Lodi City Council on Wednesday night approved a financial systems replacement, at a cost of $3.3 million.

As $3 million expenditures go, it’s boring stuff. The city simply needed new computer hardware, software, memory capacity etc. for its financial record keeping, billing processes and other accounting stuff.

Where the vote became more compelling, however, is the debate over whether to spend $3.3 million over seven years to have city staff run the Financial Systems or to hire a vendor that uses web-based servers and would perform the bulk of the work done by city staffers.

The vendor option is less expensive – $2.6 million over seven years in this case.

Council members voted unanimously to spend the extra $570,000 to keep city staff running the system. They liked the option of having city employees at the ready, and there seemed to be some concern about the web-based format.

The City Council has asked the City Manager and his staff to bring them options like this, though. It started with staffing for the new water treatment plant. The city could have saved $1 million to hire a private firm operate the plant. The City Council chose to keep city staff on that job as well.

So, as per the council’s request, cheaper options are being presented. As of now, those options are being passed on.

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Smart(phone) education

When I was in college, I’d hear from my professors (and other elders)  that my generation had a leg up on those who came before us.

They had slide rules. We had graphing calculators.

We had email and (at least the earliest forms of) the Internet. They had typewriters and maybe access to a fax machine.

The list goes on.

Now, I”m looking at the situation the other way – amazed how college kids have it so easy now with wi-fi and smartphones apps. I’m not mad. Maybe just a tad jealous.

Check out these cool apps that help with homework from the US News & World Report via Yahoo!.

 

I think the iFormulas would have been the most significant for me. I remember using my graphing calculator as a storage device for such information.

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Got Milk?

Lodi Unified High Schools all participated in the Got Milk Challenge for a chance at $3k.

Here’s a photo and caption from the Got Milk PR staff:

McNair High School students were on hand to kick-off their participation in the Sixth Annual Got Milk? Breakfast Challenge. McNair is one of four schools in Lodi Unified School District participating in the statewide program for a chance to win $3,000 towards student activities. Recent studies show that students who have breakfast in the morning have better test scores, reduce absenteeism and tardiness and have a greater high school graduation rate.

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Temple Baptist expansion well underway

Construction on a $6 million expansion at Temple Baptist Church in West Lodi is well underway. The building will house the  Lodi Christian School, complete with a multi-purpose room.

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