How cycling changed two lives

Iraq war veteran Jose Jauregui’s life was hampered by devastating injuries he suffered while in service. But thanks to the group Ride 2 Recovery, he can ride a specially outfitted bike. Jauregui’s story is reminiscent of Daniel Lopez Alfonso, who lost both forearms in childhood accident. Both stories are amazing in their own right. Read about Jauregui in a piece by Record reporter Joe Goldeen. Alfonso’s story was told well by The New York Times.

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Curious bit of rural road dumping

This was a curious sight to see as I was riding south on Thornton Road, just a few miles south of Flag City on Sunday.

The front part of a car, hood and chassis, at the side of the road. It appears to be shorn in half and dumped in this area as opposed to it being remnants of an accident.

I cannot say definitively that this was not the result of an accident. So I. could be wrong, but  if I am right then this  serves as another illustration of how large a problem dumping is in San Joaquin County.

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Still an hour ahead

It has been more than 2 ½ years since the Bank of Stockton shuttered its building at 301 E. Main St. The reason for closing the more than century old building was simple: not enough business.

The building has been vacant since but it still serves as a landmark as it sits at the corner of Main and San Joaquin streets, near the Bob Hope Theatre and San Joaquin County Courthouse.

Yesterday showed that sometimes things take a little time to be set right.

As of late Tuesday, the clock had not been adjusted for the end of Daylight Saving Time.

(Note the time stamp in the lower right corner. it was 4:51 p.m., not 5:51 p.m.)

I had not noticed the time being off before, so my guess is eventually it will be corrected. They just need a little more time…


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New biz coming to town

Bradley’s bar closed 18 months ago, a victim of Stockton’s staggering economy. Brad Koster, who owned the Bull ‘n’ Bear midtown pub from 1993 to 2005, opened Bradley’s at 116 N. Hunter Street in 2006 as the downtown renaissance took flight. And business was good as the courthouse workers and young crowd kept the place going. And then the economy turned. The crowd got smaller and the business shut its doors in April 2012.

But recently an application for an alcohol license for Picasso’s Tapas appeared in a window of the former Bradley’s.  A quick search showed this to be a San Jose-based franchise specializing in Spanish food. Surely, there is more to come on this story.

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We have heard daily about the government shutdown.











And of course, it is something else to be impacted directly by it or to see it.

It was surprising to come up the Cosumnes River Preserve on an early Monday and see that the gates closed, locked and signs posted to stay out.











As a Bureau of Land Management facility, it has been closed like the other federally operated parks. The parking lot is empty, signs to keep out posted at the entrance and the gates locked.











A friend and I were just riding by on our bikes. We were not nearly as disappointed as the person who drove up with a canoe atop his or her vehicle, planning to go for a ride in the river.


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The art of scheduling

In sports, scheduling is an art.

Is it better to play tough teams and lose or is it better to schedule cupcakes and win?

This tenet often becomes most prominent when it comes time to postseason play. Look no further than the NCAA basketball tournament when we hear of mid-major schools, strength of schedule and good wins and bad wins.

A story by Record sportswriter Stephen Roberson took a local look at this issue.

Lincoln High’s football team is winless. But the team has played Elk Grove (5-0), Pitman of Turlock (4-1), Vacaville (2-2)  and St. Mary’s (3-1). Those teams are a combine 14-4, outscoring their opponents 730-377. Lincoln hosts Granite Bay (3-1) tonight.

Edison High is undefeated, having won its first four games while outscoring its opponents 156-59. Yet those teams are a combined 6-11 and only one – Franklin – has a winning record.

So which is better?

Lincoln coach Brian Gray said his team is prepping for the playoffs. In a way, there is no better way to prepare for those tough games by playing tough opponents. Think of the number of teams that have played in demanding environments that have performed well in the postseason, provided that they qualify of course.

Conversely, coaches with programs that have struggled recently like to play winnable games. Even if the opponent is not one of the better teams. Those coaches would argue that winning begets winning and that you have to get the W’s first and try to qualify for the postseason before being concerned about being good enough to advance during the postseason.

In the end, on the field, it is about building a winning program. And after that is accomplished it is about sustaining that success and growing the program.

For a program like Lincoln that has achieved the first step the next is going as deep into the playoffs as possible. For a team such as Edison, it is about learning to win.

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Maybe even better than a pink Cadillac

Some things just make you stop and look. They cry: “Look at me!”

This was pink early model Ford Mustang was one of them. It was parked in front of the beauty supply store on Main Street between California and Sutter streets.

Mary Kay cosmetics is known its car program in which sales associates that meet certain goals have opportunity to get a car, a pink one, through Mary Kay. Those cars have been pink. Most notably, a pink Cadillac.

And although I have seen a pink Cadillac a pink Hummer and other pink cars, I cannot say that I have previously seen a pink Mustang.

So it was a treat to see this one.

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Back to school night at Colonial Heights

Back to school nights are a good time to reacquaint with students, parents, teachers and staff who you have not seen during the summer.

Parental involvement is a key to student achievement, so it was good to see a large number of parents at for Colonial Heights’ back to school night for first-sixth grades on Wednesday.

A good turnout for Back to School Night at Colonial Heights School

And as with a number of school events, this one too was attended by a Lincoln Unified trustee. On this night, it was Don Ruhstaller who said it had made it to a number of school openings. (I think he said all, actually with just Sierra Middle School remaining as of Wednesday.)

Lincoln Unified School District Trustee Don Ruhstaller, left, and Colonial Heights Principal Maureen Oechel chat during back to school night.

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Debt-ridden Harrisburg, Pa. trying to avoid Stockton’s fate

The city of Stockton collectively should send the city of Detroit a thank you card for filing for bankruptcy.

Once Detroit did that, it claimed the moniker of largest U.S. municipality to file bankruptcy, ripping the not-so-appealing title from Stockton.

There is no interest in being No. 2. Anyone else remember that Avis rental car company ad campaign?

While the nation focuses on Detroit, locally Stockton can go about its business without the national fanfare.

But other cities struggle to avoid the scarlet “B.”

Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania is one of them. There city officials are working out a deal with its creditors to avoid filing for bankruptcy.

One can only guess if what happened in Stockton, Mammoth Lakes, San Bernardino and Detroit has helped Harrisburg on some level.

Stockton was unable to work out deals with creditors before it went into bankruptcy. Harrisburg’s creditors are negotiating with city officials; the result would be a reduction in Harrisburg’s debt. Perhaps creditors realize the alternative of not negotiating now and dealing with a city in bankruptcy would be worse.

You can read more about it in this story at


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Sweet business leaves behind sweet memories

When Cupcake Mania opened nearly two years ago it was part of a burgeoning cupcake business scene in Stockton. Business there seemed to be doing well and the cupcakes were creative and downright delicious.

Cupcake Mania in the Hammer Ranch shopping center on Pacific Avenue near Hammer Lane, Stockton

It was a family owned and operated affair with retired American Medical Response executive Louis Meyer and his daughter Jennifer Winters. Winters was the primary baker and visionary behind the delectable treats sold. Meyer could from time to be found working the front counter


Hence it was surprising and disappointing for customers when the business shut down suddenly on July 6. An announcement was made on Cupcake Mania’s Facebook page on just the previous day.

Cupcake Mania closed its doors for good on July 5.

“It had to do with a family health issue with my daughter who was running the bakery,” Meyer said recently. He said the work was affecting Winters some “compressed discs,” he said. “We opted to take that stress off of her” and close the business.

But Cupcake Mania’s closure does not mean that Winters’ creations are gone forever.

On Cupcake Mania’s Facebook page she said that she would be taking private special orders in a few months. An announcement, she said, would be made on Facebook when that time comes.


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