Tighter turns the spigot

San Joaquin County government is moving closer to putting mandatory water restrictions in place that could carry fines of up to $1,000 for violators. The Board of Supervisors gave its initial OK to a new water ordinance that includes four new stages of emergency measures to conserve water. County staff plans to recommend instituting the first stage next month.

Here are the conservation measures:


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(Video) Witnesses describe end of fatal pursuit

The hour-long pursuit after a Stockton Bank was robbed on Wednesday afternoon passed through a section of Thorton Road at least once before it ended near the Stockton Ballroom. At last update, a suspected bank robber and a hostage were confirmed dead.

Video shot from security cameras at Community Tire showed at least 50 police cars zipped past before the pursuit ended in a hail of bullets a little bit further down the road. Neighbors describing hearing gunfire from the speeding vehicles in the neighborhood, before the chase led up toward Lodi and back again.

Here are a couple of accounts from people gathered behind the yellow police tape after the pursuit ended.

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Red’s war on trash

Otis “Red” Shaw has lived in French Camp for all of his 65 years. He first started taking walks around the neighborhood to pick up trash when he was 9 years old. He’s done that off and on since then. But for the last year and a half he has been doing it as much as he can, in spite of some minor setbacks, like a broken hip.

I talked with him on his porch.


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(Video) Why we vote

Tuesday’s election in San Joaquin County had historically low turnout. But people did vote.

I talked to some of them on Tuesday after they voted.  A common theme among voters I ran across was a sense of duty and responsibility to do the act itself. In general, people voted because they vote. Not voting would have felt wrong to them.

Former City Councilman Clem Lee described it as the single-most important and first step to participate as a citizen.

Some didn’t vote alone, like Patricia Gamez, who came to vote with her mother Teresea Guzman.

Poll workers I spoke to were upbeat and seemed genuinely excited about the role they were playing as people cast their votes. Here’s Jerica White, who was at the polling place set up at the Whiskey Barrel on the Miracle Mile.

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Late mailers (Updated)

(UPDATE: Added a link to a better view of one mailer. Also added another mailer.)

We’re in the final stretch before voters hit the polls tomorrow, which means the last-ditch mailers have been hitting mailboxes. Some of those  have been sent by Vice Mayor Paul Canepa and City Councilwoman Kathy Miller in their contest for the District 2 seat on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.

Miller’s campaign has a Monopoly-themed mailer that unfolds into a poster-sized game board, with all the well-known properties replaced with Stockton locations. (Waterworks is Stockton Municipal Utilities District. Boardwalk is Brookside.)

At the center of the board is a list of the 2012 cost to provide pay and benefits to Stockton police employees.  We’ve seen the list in a previous mailer.  The current mailer reads: “For decades, Stockton public safety unions played Monopoly with taxpayers’ money. Kathy Miller championed fiscal reforms that helped dismantle Stockton’s $200,000 club — the elite club of Stockton police employees who earned more than $200,00 per year.” It goes on to tout Miller’s role in the fiscal reform at the city.

Both mailers are a response to an independent-expenditure group — Law Enforcement for a Safe San Joaquin — which has been supporting Canepa by attacking Miller with its own ads.

The last time Miller used those figures in a campaign mailer,  Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said it was a blow to department morale and made it harder to recruit much-needed officers.

Jones’ concerns resurfaced in a new mailer from the Canepa campaign. One side of the mailer focuses on the Jones response, and the other highlights Canepa’s position on crime, including his support of building modular units to add capacity at the San Joaquin County Jail. It’s an issue that has split candidates, and not just in this race.

(UPDATE: Here’s a link to an image of the Stockton Monopoly mailer that’s a clearer than my photos.

Here’s the Monopoly poster (click the thumbs for a larger image):






More from that:







And here is the Canepa mailer:







(UPDATE: Added a mailer sent by District 4 Candidate Manuel Lopez. He’s running against Chuck Winn and Russ Munson.)

Here’s a mailer that recently went out, according to the Lopez campaign.

There’s a second side to this mailer. I’m having some difficulty compressing the file to fit in the blog, though.

Here’s a link to the uncompressed file.



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SJC Board Chairman endorses Munson in race for District 4

San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bob Elliott endorsed candidate Russ Munson in race for the District 4 seat on the board. He’s running against Ripon Mayor Chuck Winn and retired County Administrator Manuel Lopez.

Here’s the press release.

San Joaquin County Board Chairman Bob Elliott Endorses Russ Munson for County Supervisor

LODI, CA, May 29, 2014 – Bob Elliott, retired US Army Special Forces Colonel and current Chairman of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, has announced his support for Lodi businessman Russ Munson in the June 3rd contest to replace outgoing Supervisor Ken Vogel.

“Russ Munson’s 30 years of successful business experience will be a tremendous asset as we work to rebuild San Joaquin County’s local economy,” said Elliott. “Russ shares my commitment to improving our economic climate, ensuring safe communities and protecting our agricultural industry.”

Munson has received endorsements from Lodi Mayor Phil Katzakian; Tasso Kandris, former Chair of the Woodbridge MAC; Jerry Hermann, Chair of the Morada MAC and the Lodi Chamber of Commerce. He has also received the endorsement of former County Supervisor Leroy Ornellas and Bob Lauchland, Past President of the Lodi District Grape Growers.

“It’s an honor to be endorsed by respected local government, business and agricultural leaders who are committed to serving San Joaquin County,” added Munson. “Supervisor Elliott is working hard to bolster San Joaquin County’s economy and I hope to bring a fresh perspective as a local business owner. I want to bring that experience to the Board of Supervisors working with our elected officials to restore opportunity to our region.”

Munson was born and raised in Lodi, upon graduation from San Jose State  he served as a Naval Aviator. Following his military service he returned home to Lodi to run a variety of successful businesses. Along with his wife, Kathryn of 45 years, he is the Managing General Partner for Lodi’s Wine and Roses Hotel, Restaurant and Spa.

Elliott grew up on a farm near the city of Osborne, in the great plains of north-central Kansas. He served his country for 30 years in the United States Army, and retired as a Colonel of the US Army Special Forces (the Green Berets). He served in diplomatic assignments at the U.S. Embassies in Tokyo, Japan, and Seoul, Korea. After leaving the Army, Elliott joined General Electric Company and served in a variety of positions with various GE affiliates. He subsequently served as a program manager for Westinghouse Electric Company in the company’s nuclear energy business. He was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2012 representing a portion of Manteca and all of Tracy and Mountain House and assumed the Chairmanship in 2014.

Additional information on the Russ Munson for San Joaquin County Supervisor campaign can be found at russmunson2014.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/russmunson2014, and on Twitter athttps://twitter.com/RussMunson2014.

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Television ad launched in race for County Supervisor

The independent-expenditure group Law Enforcement for a Safe San Joaquin has started airing attack ads against City Councilwoman Kathy Miller on television. The group opposes Miller in her run against city Vice Mayor Paul Canepa for the District 2 seat on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.

The TV ads includes a police officer in a wheelchair and the wife of a police officer with her eight children before using a video snippet of Miller taken from a meeting at The Record last year.  The group has already targeted Miller in this race. You can read more about the group, the video clip and previous attack ads in this article.

And here is the TV ad.

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More mailers from District 2 race

The state’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan is controversial. And in runs for the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, nobody supports the plan, and its most controversial component — a pair of tunnels that would divert river water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to water-exporting pumps.

Stockton City Councilwoman Kathy Miller is against it. So is her opponent for the open District 2 seat on the board, Stockton Vice Mayor Paul Canepa.

Miller’s latest mailer that has been turning up in mailboxes in the district focuses on water. It starts with opposition to the tunnels, but then goes on to promote her aqua bone fides.

And here it is.

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Slate-mailer site scrubs endorsement

Some Stockton voters might have been surprised to see a slate-mailer arrive recently that included an endorsement for Larry Ruhstaller. He isn’t running for the District 2 seat on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. He is coming to the end of his two terms in office.

The No Party Preference Voter Guide endorsed Ruhstaller and slammed Kathy Miller, the candidate who Ruhstaller had endorsed for the seat. But the endorsement, complete with a photograph of the supervisor, remained on the slate-mailer’s website.

Today, Ruhstallers legislative aide Stephen Reid sent an email to the site, requesting the  removal of Ruhstaller’s “unauthorized county picture and misleading quote immediately.” It is gone, now.

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Stockton Police Chief Jones reacts to Miller campaign mailer

Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said that figures for the cost of Police Department employees that landed in mailboxes in Stockton as part of a political campaign are misleading and could hurt the city’s efforts to recruit and hold onto police officers.

The figures were on a chart in a campaign mailer from City Council Kathy Miller, who is running against Vice Mayor Paul Canepa for an open seat on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.

The uses the chart entitled “Stockton’s Top 99 Police Employee Earners” as an answer to the question: “Why are police unions funding an attack on Kathy Miller?” It’s a reference to attack ads that have come out against Miller from an independent –expenditure group called Law Enforcement for a Safe San Joaquin, which has been funded by the Stockton Police Officers Association.

The states Miller “fought for fiscal reforms” that saved about $30,000 a year per officer. The accompanying chart lists the total compensation cost for 99 officers, sergeants, lieutenants and department brass. The mailer states that total compensation includes more than salary and lists what it counts.

But what it doesn’t say is that many of the people on the list either don’t work in the department anymore and or are not part of the union, Jones said. For the people who retired in the year the numbers were put together, the cost is higher because it included the end-of-career payouts the retirees received.  Jones came in the No. 4 spot on the list, behind his predecessor, a captain and a lieutenant. He said the figure for him appeared accurate.

And for the officers, the chart does reflect a lot of overtime, but that is because overtime was needed to cover staffing shortages.

The truth, Jones said, is that officers are paid below the “market rate” earned by officers in the region, and to imply that they are overpaid is inaccurate and could cause some to worry that more cuts could be on the way.

“I’m proud of the work they’re doing on a daily basis,” he said. “I didn’t want those misleading numbers to paint them otherwise.”

Jones described morale as “fragile,” and he said it was “unfortunate” that the mailer came out at a time when the department is struggling with recruitment and retention issues.

“I don’t’ get involved in political campaigns … (but) I really feel I must speak to this issue.”

Here’s a link to the mailer.

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    Zachary Johnson

    Zachary Johnson has been with The Record since 2005, when he began as an intern fresh out of grad school. He stayed on at the paper and covered education for the next two years. Now he covers, among other things, San Joaquin County Government and ... Read Full
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