Author Archives: Alex Breitler

Alex Breitler

A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in Stockton. He has given up on ever finding a giant garter snake, San Joaquin County’s gnarliest-sounding endangered species.

Green menace

This blog will be silent for a few days. I leave you with this image provided by the Port of Stockton, showing what the hyacinth-clogged Deep Water Ship Channel looks like on the radar of an oceangoing ship. Here’s hoping your week is free of entanglements.

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Last word on #TracyBear

After 10 years as an environment reporter at two newspapers, I’ve done my share of urban wildlife stories. Mountain lions hiding in trees. Huge salmon lurking in the smallest city streams. That dolphin in Stockton’s Deep Water Ship Channel. Never have I seen the kind of community interest generated by Tracy Bear. (Lodi’s Tom Kettleman [...]

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Where our hyacinth headache started

Someone asked me on Twitter what the most viable plan is to attack water hyacinth. Here is my expert opinion: First, invent a time machine. Second, travel back in time to one day prior to the 1884 Cotton States Exposition in New Orleans. Third, hogtie whichever knucklehead dreamed up the idea of handing out hyacinth [...]

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‘Everything seems to be accelerating’

Daffodil Hill is closing for the season before it normally even opens. The flowers are already past their prime. Such is the weirdness of this “winter” (it is still winter, no?). Everything’s early this year. Stockton has already hit the mid-80s (84 degrees on March 14). December was 7 degrees above normal, January was 3 [...]

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Not extinct — at least, not yet

A Delta smelt story by Capital Public Radio could be misconstrued by those who don’t read beyond the headline. No, the smelt is not extinct. At least, not yet. It’s true that the smelt population is the lowest on record, as demonstrated in an annual survey by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. And [...]

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‘Don’t wake me up, don’t piss me off’

If you plan to illegally dump toxic substances, don’t do it right in front of Otis “Red” Shaw. The French Camp resident, who is known for picking up roadside trash, caught some folks in the act a couple of weeks back. It was about 9:30 a.m. on a Wednesday morning, and Shaw was sleeping. “I [...]

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Sturgeon rescue

Check out the patience of state fish and wildlife officers, who spent 20 minutes reviving this large white sturgeon on the Sacramento River near Clarksburg last week. The fish was taken by a poacher who had thrown the fish in the back of his truck, officials said. Officers stopped the car and found the 61/2-foot-long [...]

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Counting salmon

Times are tough enough for salmon without a reporter shortchanging them. In last weekend’s story recapping the fall salmon run, I reported that just 1,832 adult salmon migrated up the Stanislaus River this past season. But that number refers to the salmon carcasses that were later counted by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. [...]

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Zombies: Good news and bad news

Some smart people at Cornell University found a way to simulate a zombie attack. And they prepared a nice little interactive game where you can place a single zombie anywhere in the United States and see how quickly the invasion would spread. Like so: Apologies for the quality of the video, but you get the [...]

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Competitive climate

Expect tough competition for the hundreds of millions of dollars in cap-and-trade funds now being made available across California. Case in point: About $130 million is offered for “affordable housing and sustainable communities” projects. Visionary Home Builders of Stockton has already applied for its Grand View Village downtown development, pictured below. But the state’s Strategic [...]

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    Alex Breitler

    A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in ... Read Full
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