14 common spots in homes where mosquitoes can breed

Courtesy of San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District

Mosquitoes can breed just about anywhere, as long as they have half an inch of water for more than five days. Officials with the San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District said the warm weather this winter has started the population growing early. But residents can help slow it down by eliminating breeding spaces in their homes and gardens.

Here are some of those places, and how to keep them mosquito-free:

Record File 2004

Trash bins: keep lids shut tight and drill drain holes in the bottom

Boats: check boat covers every week for puddles

Bird baths and fountains: clean or hose out every week

Rain gutters: keep clean

Tires: drill holes in tire swings, store tires in covered areas

Water bowls for pets: rinse and fill once or twice a week


Record File 2007

Water troughs and ponds: stock with free mosquitofish provided by the district

Drains: make sure drains are not clogged

Lighting: check inside and on top of outdoor lights for water

Rot holes in trees: check with an arborist how best to deal with these

Record File 2011

• Chain-link fences: cover fence posts with caps

Water under home: remove using a sump pump

Septic tank: cover vent pipes with fine mesh, cover manhole lids with plastic and place several inches of dirt or sand over most of the area

Wheelbarrows: remove collected water or store them upside down

— Source San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District


Posted in Mosquito and Vector Control, Special Districts, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The 411 on 211

Today’s story was about a referral database that officials decided would be redundant when San Joaquin County gets a 211 system later this year. Basically, 211 is a phone number people can call to get hooked up to services. There’s a website, too.

I’m told that San Joaquin is the largest county in the state to not yet have a 211 system. But that is expected to happen later this year. Actually, it is expected to go live on April 1. That’s what Kay Ruhstaller told me when I checked in on its status today. She’s the executive director of the Family Resources and Referral Center, which is running the system.

The nonprofit organization is looking for any other nonprofits that have not already signed up to be a part of the system.  They can call (209) 948-1553 and ask to speak to Tran Nguyen.


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Advocates planning next steps after immigration decision

Since I filed my story about the response to a judge’s decision to halt executive action from President Obama that would allow millions of undocumented residents to work and live legally in the country I heard that planning is already underway on what to do next in San Joaquin County.

Catholic Charities Executive Director Elvira Ramirez and El Concilio President Jose Rodriguez said the local coalition met this morning.

There will be workshops in Stockton and elsewhere in the county in March for people interested in applying for the two programs can get help, Rodriguez said. One program expands a program allowing people who entered the country illegally when they were children to remain. The other program focuses on parents of citizens and legal residents.

“We are talking about real people with real lives,” he said. And those lives are being put on hold because of the court ruling he said.

But he think it will only be a delay, and encouraged people to count on turning in their applications.


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Old investigation into Supes still open

In the past month of brouhaha surrounding the chairmanship of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, there’s been a lot of talk — and some action – about calling for an investigation into whether or not the state’s open meeting laws had been violated at the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.

It’s not something that falls under the purview of the Fair Political Practices Commission. But the political watchdog does currently have an “active and open” investigation into members of the Board of Supervisors, according to the FPPC today.  Here’s the original story about the complaint filed in 2012. Here’s a story on the creation of the PAC.

That was the year Measure D failed. It would have extended term limits. The political action committee supporting the measure was primarily funded from the campaign committees of former Supervisor Ken Vogel and current Supervisors Steve Bestolarides and Carlos Villapudua.

An opponent of the term-limits measure thought the three had run afoul of state campaign-finance law and filed a complaint that led to the investigation, which is still open more than two years later.



Posted in Bestolarides, Elections, Supervisors, Villapudua, Vogel | Leave a comment

New French Camp VA facility in proposed budget

Local and regional veterans who have had to drive as far away as Palo Alto for appointments in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health system have been pushing for years for the building of new facilities in French Camp.

The latest push has been to make the project a high enough priority to be included in the federal budget. Well that just happened. At least funding was included in President Barack Obama’s proposed FY2016 budget.

It’s inclusion drew bipartisan support from San Joaquin County’s two congressmen, who released  joint statements praising the news.

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton:

The president heard our bipartisan call for action and included funding for the French Camp project in his budget for the VA. … I have been pressing the administration since I came to Congress to build this facility. Veterans in the Central Valley are waiting too long and driving too far to get the quality care they have earned.

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock:

The inclusion of the French Camp Veterans Affairs clinic in the President’s budget request is a major step forward to bringing high quality healthcare to veterans right here in the Central Valley. … However, it is clear that we must remain vigilant in our oversight to ensure that the project is completed on-time and on-budget. We worked on a bipartisan basis to get to this point, and I’m pleased to see French Camp funding take priority in the President’s budget.

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Former supervisor calls for investigation of current board

The big news from the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors this past month has been on the usually-uneventful selection of its chair. After voting 3-2 to select Kathy Miller as chairwoman on Jan. 5, the board undid than re-did her selection on Tuesday. Here’s that story.

But it’s that first meeting that drew the attention of former Supervisor Leroy Ornellas. He thought it looked like Miller’s ascension to the chair was a done deal before the meeting even started. If that’s true, it would be illegal. On Friday, he sent me a letter he sent to San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber-Salazar and state Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Miller said the accusation is completely unfounded, and that its not unheard of for people to call foul if they don’t like the way a vote turns out.

Here’s the letter: Ornellas_letter


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San Joaquin County reps. react to SOTU

In the flurry of reactions to come after President Obama’s State of the Union address, were a pair from the two congressmen representing San Joaquin County, Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, and Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton.

Both mentioned Obama’s plea for bipartisanship.

Denham: “I hope he’ll follow through on his remarks by taking up some of the bills that have already passed the House this Congress to create jobs and extend opportunity for all.”

McNerney: “I support his call for bipartisan work on Capitol Hill, and hope all my colleagues are ready to work towards commonsense solutions for our middle class families.”

Here is Denham’s statement:

“The President spoke tonight about working together to craft bipartisan solutions. I hope he’ll follow through on his remarks by taking up some of the bills that have already passed the House this Congress to create jobs and extend opportunity for all. I hope he’ll heed his own advice when it comes to tackling tax reform and work with us to establish a fairer, flatter, simpler tax code to save American families and small business owners time and money. I hope he’ll remember his comments and come to the table to work out a fiscally responsible plan for much-needed updates to our water and transportation infrastructure.

“I also hope to see the President working to follow through on the intentions of the law he signed last summer to transform healthcare and benefits system for our veterans. One project ready to make a huge difference in the quality of care for Valley veterans is the planned clinic at French Camp. Yet for years, delays with funding and planning have prevented the VA from breaking ground on the project. It’s time for the VA to re-align their priorities and get construction funded at French Camp before the President’s next State of the Union address.”

Here is the reaction McNerney posted on Facebook:

“Tonight’s State of the Union address was one of President Obama’s best. He shared the good news about the national economy, the success of Obamacare, and the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan. He discussed America’s leadership in natural gas production and wind power, record graduation rates and more. He promised to veto bad legislation, while advocating for equal pay, a fair minimum wage, and more robust efforts to fight climate change.

“I support his call for bipartisan work on Capitol Hill, and hope all my colleagues are ready to work towards common sense solutions for our middle class families.”


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More from Election 2016 preview

The race to replace Supervisor Steve Bestolarides after he terms out is already starting to take shape. Stockton City Councilman Moses Zapien and Stockton business owner Tom Patti are already jockeying for position. Here’s a little bit more about them, in this story.

Both candidates had filed initial paperwork with the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters Office last year. Zapien, though, sent out a press release as his official announcement.

Here is that announcement:

Stockton City Councilmember Moses Zapien announced today that he is seeking to represent the residents of San Joaquin County’s 3rd District on the Board of Supervisors which encompasses north and west Stockton neighborhoods, Lathrop and most of the City of Manteca.  Zapien was originally elected to the Stockton City Council in 2012 and has been a vocal advocate for quality of life issues like crime reduction, promoting economic development, improving literacy and cleaning up blighted and disadvantaged neighborhoods.  In addition, Moses has worked on regional issues on the San Joaquin Council of Governments (COG) addressing transportation, farmland preservation, sustainability, land use and housing challenges throughout the county.

Councilmember Zapien’s work in the community has earned him the support of a number of current and former elected officials and leaders in San Joaquin County.  Former County Human Services Agency Director John Vera believes that “Moses’ proven experience, leadership and strong work ethic will be a great asset to the County Board of Supervisors.  He has a unique life experience that allows him to understand the needs and perspectives of people across the social spectrum.”  Manteca Mayor Steve DeBrum states that “I have worked closely with Moses on the San Joaquin COG Board and have found him to be an extremely hard working and well prepared board member who understands the regional transportation and planning needs and issues facing San Joaquin County residents.  He will be an honest and effective leader on the Board of Supervisors.”  Stockton City Councilmember Susan Lofthus is supporting Moses because of his “proven leadership, willingness to tackle tough issues like public safety, fiscal responsibility and economic development while being open, honest and approachable to those he represents.”  He is also supported by the Vice President of the San Joaquin Delta College Board of Trustees Claudia Moreno “because of his focus on increasing literacy in the county and spearheading the Little Free Libraries program that promotes reading and education in disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout the community.”  Zapien has also received the endorsement of former San Joaquin County Supervisor Larry Ruhstaller for “his work in fighting the state’s efforts to ship Delta water to southern California and for his efforts in protecting our local water supply.  Moses has been a vocal advocate for the water needs of San Joaquin County farmers and residents. ”

Born and raised in Stockton, Moses’ parents taught him the value of hard work and service to the community.  After attending the University of the Pacific and the University of Southern California, he joined his family’s denture manufacturing business in Stockton. Following his dreams of becoming an attorney, Moses earned his law degree from the Laurence Drivon School of Law. During law school, he served as President of the Student Bar Association, where he established the Annual Student Bar Gala fundraiser to support student scholarships. Moses is also a graduate of Leadership Stockton and the San Joaquin County Superior Court Community Leadership and Liaison Program.

Moses’ professional experience also includes serving as the Coordinator for Senior Legal Services at El Concilio and working for the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, assisting victims of crime. He currently practices immigration law at the Sacramento law firm of Oh and Choi.

Moses is active in the community and serves on a number of boards. He currently serves as President of the San Joaquin County Bar Association, the first Hispanic to hold the prestigious post.  He recently spearheaded the Association’s efforts to establish a free legal clinic to serve the needs of the greater community. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Library and Literacy Foundation of San Joaquin County, and has played an integral part in the Little Free Libraries Stockton movement to establish 100 neighborhood book exchanges in Stockton. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the Tiger Elementary School Mentoring Project.  Moses previously served as Chair of the Stockton Civil Service Commission from 2010 to 2012, and on the Board of Directors of the California Young Lawyers Association, as one of 20 attorneys state-wide to represent the interests of young lawyers.

Moses is dedicated to serving the residents of Stockton. During his term, his focus will be on improving public safety, promoting economic development to facilitate job creation, and ensuring fiscal responsibility and accountability.

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A rundown of an eventful year in San Joaquin County

During his remarks at Monday’s changing of the guard, Supervisor Bob Elliott looked back on his year as chairman of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. He also submitted an Op-Ed piece to The Record that went into further detail.

Here’s that letter, in its entirety:

While serving as Chairman of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors this past year, I’ve witnessed many challenges facing our region, as well as tremendous progress and significant achievements.  The Board has taken numerous actions over the past year to set San Joaquin County on an exciting path toward continuing financial stability, cutting-edge innovation, and becoming a magnet for economic development and new jobs.

First and foremost, the County’s financial affairs are in order.  We achieved a structurally balanced budget for the first time in the past six years. We partially restored the County’s reserve and capital improvement funds by returning $17.4 million to those accounts. We owe it to our taxpayers to manage their money responsibly, and I’m proud to have helped achieve that goal with our 2014-15 budget.

While bringing our financial house under control, we have also worked diligently to become a regional hub for economic development and job creation.  Recent activities indicative of improvements in economic opportunities include:

  • Docking of the Google Barge at the Port of Stockton;
  • Expansion of the Amazon fulfillment center in Tracy to recruit 200 additional employees;
  • Tesla’s announcement of a 431,000 square-foot advanced manufacturing facility in Lathrop;
  • Groundbreaking for a 1 million square-foot facility at Cordes Ranch in Tracy for Prologis Inc., a global leader in industrial real estate;
  • Development progress at River Islands, Austin Road Business Park, Blossom Hill Industrial Park and Mountain House;
  • Expansion of services and facilities at Stockton’s Metropolitan Airport, to include adding passenger flights to Phoenix, pursuing options to offer international flights, terminal and runway improvements, and commencing apron reconstruction to accommodate five aircraft rather than one; and
  • Expansion of the County’s economic development program that promotes San Joaquin County as “Greater Silicon Valley” to entice expanding companies, as well as entrepreneurs looking to jump-start their businesses, to locate in San Joaquin County.

Another exciting development was the official formation of the Innovation Hub (iHub) San Joaquin program which will promote economic advancements in the County and improve the State’s competitiveness by stimulating partnerships, economic development, and job creation around specific research clusters, such as Health Care, Sustainable Construction, and Agribusiness Technologies.

Regarding the County’s agricultural industry – our number one industry – our 2013 Agricultural Report showed that agriculture had a banner year despite the drought, with gross value of agricultural production reaching another all-time high of nearly $3 billion. We must work closely with the legislature to ensure that this premier industry continues to thrive.

We can’t discuss agriculture without highlighting the Board’s efforts to protect the Delta.  San Joaquin, in partnership with the Delta Counties Coalition, has worked tirelessly for the past seven years to educate State policymakers and the Administration about the fatal flaws of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and its devastating effects on the Delta. Recently, the federal Environmental Protection Agency came to a similar conclusion, stating that the proposed $50 billion tunnel plan would violate federal law.

We’ve also worked extensively to improve Veterans Services. The County continues to aggressively advocate with Congressional and VA representatives in support of Federal funding for the VA Central Valley Clinic and Community Living Center in French Camp.  Additionally, the County secured a contract with Triwest allowing the VA to refer Veterans to San Joaquin General Hospital for medical services to alleviate excessive wait and travel times for Valley veterans.

In July, San Joaquin County achieved Federally Qualified Health Center Look-A-Like designation for County Clinics.  This designation will provide expected increased revenues of $8.4 million annually, which will allow expansion of clinic services and enhanced access to care for patients, as well as assuring future stability and viability of our County Clinics.

In an effort to strengthen public safety throughout the County, Supervisor Villapudua and I reconvened the City/County Criminal Justice Task Force late last year, and continue to use it to engage elected officials and decision makers in improving our criminal justice system.  The Board approved additional staff for the Sheriff and District Attorney.  We also upgraded security at both our Honor Farm and the County Jail.  Our County Community Corrections Partnership continues to develop methods to effectively manage AB 109 released State prisoners.

An initiative that I’m particularly proud of is our effort to improve openness and transparency in local government.  An excellent example of this is the implementation of an OpenGov application on our County website (www.sjgov.org,) which enables individuals to see where their tax dollars are being spent with the click of a button.  In addition, we initiated a “Take Government to School Day” by holding a Board of Supervisors meeting at Kimball High School in Tracy, providing students an opportunity to gain an orientation and insight into local government.

It’s truly been a pleasure to serve the County as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, and to provide highlights of our achievements over the past year.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to make continued progress in the coming year.

Byline: Supervisor Bob Elliott is the Chairman of the San Joaquin Board of Supervisors. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He served his country for 30 years in the United States Army, and retired as a Colonel, US Army Special Forces (the Green Berets.) Chairman Elliott was elected to the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors in 2012 and represents the Fifth Supervisorial District, which covers portions of south San Joaquin County, including Tracy, Mountain House, half of Manteca, and a portion of Lathrop.

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Amador concedes in Congressional race

Congressional candidate Tony Amador thanked his supporters in a concession message posted on Facebook late Thursday. The Republican said his campaign made inroads with independent and Democrat voters, but the number of votes left to count was not enough to make up the gap remaining after San Joaquin County released updated totals earlier in the day.

He challenged Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, who declared victory after the Associated Press called the race after Contra Costa County updated its totals last Friday.

Here’s Amador’s Facebook post, pasted in its entirety:

To all of my relatives, friends and supporters who gave me encouragement, worked and contributed what they could to OUR campaign, financially and otherwise, THANK YOU. There are approximatly 5,700 Provisional ballots which will be counted tomorrow and Saturday if necessary. At this point I am over 4,900 votes behind the incumbent. This race is now over for all practical purposes. At this point I received 54,989 votes to the 59,919 votes for the Congressman, out of the 114,908 votes cast to date in the 9th Congressional District. We knew it would be a challenge as my opponent had a 13% Gerrymandered advantage in registration. This was unlike the evenly divided registration numbers in the district 4 years prior. The incumbent had nearly $ 1,000,000.00 to work with compared to our $ 55,000.00. We did extremly well where we made our presence known, obviously garnering votes from Independents/Decline to state and Democrats also. I believe voters crossed over to vote for me because I ran as an independent “representative” and not as a politician. Evelia and I have no regrets. We are proud of our team who did the best we could. God Bless you all.

Posted in CD09, Elections | Leave a comment
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