Page 3 Girl


(Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/11 w/ fill-flash. ISO: 200)

When Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation bought Dow Jones and Company, ostensibly to get at the Wall Street Journal, it also purchased The Record. You see, Dow Jones owns the Journal and Ottaway Newspapers Inc. Ottaway in turn owns eight daily newspapers (and 15 weeklies) including The Record.

One of media mogul Murdoch’s “innovations” is the Page 3 Girl. Introduced in the Murdoch-owned British tabloid The Sun in the 1960s, it features a picture of a topless young woman on page 3 of the paper, hence the name. The circulation of The Sun is over 3 million.

Murdoch has a reputation for putting his two-cents worth in headlines and content in his media holdings. There may be changes at the Journal, but The Record is a pretty small fish in the News Corp. scheme of things, so tinkering is unlikely. This is probably as close as we’ll get to running a Page 3 Girl in the paper.

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Baby, it’s cold inside


Employee Francisco Beltran drives the zamboni as he resurfaces the ice at the Oak Park Ice Arena in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/60 @ f/2.8. ISO: 800)


Young skaters wait and watch as employee Francisco Beltran drives the zamboni as he resurfaces the ice at the Oak Park Ice Arena in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-35mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/125 @ f/2.8. ISO: 1600)

Being the Zamboni driver at the Oak Park Ice Arena in Stockton is one the coolest jobs around, literally. Employee Francisco Beltran drives the machine to resurface the ice 4-8 times a day, depending on how much use it gets.


Looking to beat the heat, youngsters take to the ice after the zamboni finished cleaning the rink at the Oak Park Ice Arena in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-35mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/125 @ f/2.8. ISO: 800)


(Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 34mm. Exposure: 1/125 @ f/2.8. ISO: 1600)

A thermometer inside the rink reads 28 degrees fahrenheit, about 80 degrees less than the outside temperature. While people who work outdoors are sweating and drinking copious amounts of water to stave off heat stroke, Beltran cooly pilots the his machine with the demeanor of Santa out for a leisurely sleigh ride.

Tony Foo of Stockton, helps his 5-year-old son Aiden learn to skate at the Oak Park Ice Arena in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 155mm. Exposure: 1/125 @ f/2.8. ISO: 1600)


Novice skater Jada De La Rosa, 9, clings to the wall at the Oak Park Ice Arena in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-35mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/60 @ f/2.8. ISO: 1600)

The arena has its “Half Off Hundreds” deal. For every day the the mercury climbs above 100 degrees, skaters get admission and skate rentals for $5.00. With the hot weather and low prices, the arena is a popular place to go to have fun and keep cool at the same time. Novice and first-time skaters fill the rink, some holding onto the wall for dear life. With the added traffic on the ice, the zamboni has been getting a workout these past few days. But I don’t think Beltran is complaining much.

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Baby, it’s hot outside


Mick Murphy works under the hot sun as a part of a crew from Stockton Fence replacing the chain link fencing around the baseball fields at Stribley Park in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/22 w/fill-flash. ISO: 200)

The saying goes: “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”, but its been hot, really hot, these past few days. Record setting-temperatures have been well into the 100′s. While some people have no choice but to labor under the sizzling sun, others have sought refuge from the heat.


9-year-old Cassidy Ruiz of Stockton cools off from the heat by zipping down one of the watersldies at the Gora Aquatic Center in Galt. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 35mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/11. ISO: 200)


5-year-old Zak Ali of Lodi cools off from the heat in the spray of a fountain at the Gora Aquatic Center in Galt. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 200mm. Exposure: 1/2000th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 200)

Water has been the mode of choice of most people to cool off. Anywhere they can stick at least their feet into the wet stuff, people gather. There used to be a couple of waterslides in the county, but Golfland in Stockton is now a strip mall and the famous Manteca Waterslides at the Oakwood Resort were demolished to make way for new homes. The closest on now are two small (but still fun) slides at the Gora Aquatic Park in Galt (technically in Sacramento County, but still fairly close).


2-year-old Jaidan Sullivan, left, and 17-month-old Zachary Rosado, both of Mountain House cool off in the fountain at Central  Community Park in Mountain House. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 200mm. Exposure: 1/1000th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 200)

10-year-old Julian Vasquez of Tracy cools off in the fountain at Central  Community Park in Mountain House. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 200mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/9. ISO: 200)

The latest craze are interactive fountains. From Stockton to Ripon to the newest one in Mountain House, these fountains feature squirting jets of water for those seeking relief, young and old, to play in. I have to admit, when shooting one of these parks on a hot day, I have the urge to step into and cool off in the waters dancing before me.


Erika Barcus, 5, cools off her father Doug Barcus of Lodi, as he sits in a lawn chair in the water on the beach area of Lodi Lake in Lodi. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 500mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/9. ISO: 320)


11-year-old Lilly Palacio, left, and 10-year-old Alexander Rodriguez cool off with a garden hose while playing on Occidental Drive near Shimizu Drive in  Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 26mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/9 w/ fill-flash. ISO: 200)

Other people find simpler ways to keep cool. Finding a lake or river or even a simple garden hose helps one beat the heat with a minimal impact on your pocketbook.


2-year-olds Lance Drost of Ripon, left, and Ella VanderMeulen of Escalon, cool off by playing in the interactive fountain at the Mistlin Sports Park in Ripon. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 200mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200)

Christian Rodriguez of Stockton cools off in the interactive fountain at the Lincoln Village West Beach Club in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 200mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/11 w/ fill-flash. ISO: 200)

From the looks of things so far, whatever means people choose to keep cool, it looks like they’re going to used it a lot this Summer. To paraphrase President Harry S Truman: If you can’t stand the heat, get into some water.

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Be all that you can be


(Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 160mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/11. ISO: 200)

I spotted this group marching and jogging up and down the Calaveras Bike Path in Stockton. I shot them as they came towards me and I wondered who they were. School is out so it couldn’t be a JROTC group and there aren’t any military bases in Stockton. Led by Marine Pfc Ruben Smith, he said that the group was with the Stockton Marines recruiting station. They were recruits on the delayed entry program which helps them prepare for the physical rigors of boot camp. It was well over 100 degrees and I started sweating as soon as I stepped out my air conditioned car. Smoke from the hundreds California wildfires returned to the valley and hung in the air like a smoky curtain. Yet these guys were out there in the thick of it. Although it was tough for a few of them, most kept with the pace. All of them certainly did better than I would have.

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Got your back


(Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 110mm. Exposure: 1/500thsec. @ f/7.1. ISO: 200)

I went out to a grass fire along Mormon Slough just behind the Stockton Cold Storage facility at the Port of Stockton on Saturday. The fire started on the banks of the slough and spread to a pile of sawdust and junk at the facility’s compound at the west end of Weber Avenue. I arrived there virtually the same time the firefighters did (they actually got there a little ahead of me, but were stymied by a gate which they had to cut the lock off of).

The firefighters set up the their hoses and quickly knocked down the blaze which caused a minimal amount of damage. I noticed that one of the two-inch hoses that a firefighter was using to put out some hot spots had sprung a leak. As he sprayed in one direction, the leak shot a steam of water in the other direction. Maybe it wasn’t a leak, but a new type of hose where two fires could be fought by one person at the same time.

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Out to pasture

Aragorn: “I do not know what strength is in my blood, but I swear to you I will not let the White City fall, nor our people fail.”

Boromir: “Our people, our people. I would have would have followed you, my brother… my captain… my king.”

Aragorn: “Be at peace, Son of Gondor.” – The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring


(Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/125th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 200)

This wooden model of a water-powered saw mill sits on the front porch of the Sierra Nevada Logging Museum in Arnold. The 6-inch figures manning the mill looked a bit familiar to me.

(Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 55mm. Exposure: 1/125th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 200)

I’m a fan of the Lord of the Rings movies and I recognized that they were the action figures of Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Boromir (Sean Bean) from the films. I guess with the defeat of the Dark Lord Sauron and the destruction of the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom, there’s very little for a hero of Middle-earth left to do.

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What’s in a name?


(Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 52mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/4. ISO: 200)

Reporter Dana Nichols and I went tromping around in the woods near the in Mother Lode town of Arnold with Sierra Nevada Logging Museum board member Patrick Karnahan. As Karnahan showed us where the museum proposed to build a recreation of a logging camp and rail line, I spied these wildflowers.

They grew in small patches here and there along the Blagen Road area. Karnahan didn’t know what the flowers were but Dana guessed it was a legume of some kind. I took a sprig back to the museum and asked a docent if he knew what it was. I thought a brightly colored blossom like this just had to have some colorful and folksy name like western hounds tongue or fiddleneck or monkey flower. Keen-eyed Dana had gotten it right, it was indeed a legume, a sweet pea according to the docent.

So no quaint or historic moniker for this colorful flower. Still, it was pretty despite it’s ordinary name.

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Hair raising


Amanda Sams of Stockton has her hair blown about by gusty winds as she  helps her 10-month-old son Edward White IV, to walk on Weber Avenue and San Joaquin Street in downtown Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/5. ISO: 200)

“Gimme head with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen” – Gerome Ragni, James Rado: From the Broadway muscial “Hair

Windy weather is one of those situations where you have to get out into the elements to get a good photo. No shooting from the car or through a window. I’ve spent hours standing on street corners on blustery days looking for just the right moment, a wind-blown tie, a swirl of hair or an inside-out umbrella. And when I get back to the office my hair, especially if I need a haircut, can defy gravity. Kim Jung Il, Don King, Carrot Top, Phil Spector, those are just a few of the names that come to mind after I’ve been in search of a wind picture. At least I can relate to some of my subjects after I get a shot of them.

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Beam me up, Scotty


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 16-35mm @ 16mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/6.3. ISO: 200)

Wasn’t this used as an alien landscape on the original Star Trek series? You know, the one where the intrepid Captain Kirk, fights the lizard-like Gorn. Ok, ok, you’re right. I watched too much TV as a kid.

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Orange is the new green


(Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 16-35mm @ 20mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/6.3. ISO: 200)


I saw what looked like an bright orange stain on some rock formations near the Point Reyes Lighthouse. At first I thought it was some rust or that it was some spray-paint graffiti. A closer look revealed that it was something growing in the stone. I asked the park ranger what it was and she said that it was actually green algae that had an orange pigment that blocked the chloroplasts in its structure. Even though it was a different color, it was still green algae.

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    Clifford Oto

    Clifford Oto, an award-winning photographer, has been with The Record since 1984. Through the changes from black and white to digital photography, he’s kept his focus on covering the events, people and life of San Joaquin county. This blog deals ... Read Full
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