Category Archives: Uncategorized

Would you walk down this street?

This photo begs the question: Would it be wise to create walkable communities before spending money to promote walking? Moments before I snapped this picture of a larger-than-life San Joaquin County Supervisor Bob Elliott smiling down from a billboard, I watched as a little girl with a backpack carefully stepped across the mattress and box [...]

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Meet the new neighbors; MWD comes to town

Polite pleasantries were exchanged. A chocolate brownie was offered as a “welcome to the neighborhood” gift. But in the end, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s visit to the belly of the beast — i.e., downtown Stockton, where the Delta Protection Commission met on Thursday night — revealed few new insights about the southland’s [...]

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I’m ready for this — are you?

Snow fell at Sonora Pass today, the first sandhill cranes have arrived in the Delta and the high temperature in Stockton is in the upper 70s. If we haven’t turned the corner after another long summer, we’re darned close.

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The man who spread straw, and hope

Calaveras County farmer and activist Michael Kriletich died a few days ago. I’m hardly the one to write a news obituary about him. I only met Michael once, in fact. But the impression that he left with me — and the fact that I’d exchanged emails with him just a couple of weeks ago — [...]

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Ready, set, flow

San Joaquin County is gearing up for the next big water tussle — new flow requirements on the San Joaquin River and its tributaries, including the Stanislaus. By definition, if more water must stay in the river, then water users must take less. So you can see why this will be a big deal. KQED [...]

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High Sierra helo rescue

Check out this helicopter rescue of a woman hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. The 66-year-old hiker was suffering symptoms of a stroke, but was able to activate a locator beacon indicating that she was in trouble, the Fresno Bee reported. The California Highway Patrol and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office took it from there. I’ve [...]

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‘Still an opportunity’ to save the smelt?

Shortly before state water officials announced today that most urban water providers will no longer be subject to mandatory conservation targets, three environmental groups pleaded with the same panel for emergency flows through the Delta to prevent extinction of the smelt. It’s normal for some smelt to die off this time of year as juveniles [...]

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Tunnels hearing: The view from the cheap seats

Just for fun, here are a few random thoughts after the first three weeks of the water board’s twin tunnels hearing. Disclaimer: I haven’t attended in person yet, and I’ve probably seen less than half of the hearing on webcast. Gotta have some time to actually report on this and other subjects. That said, here [...]

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Whose logic is ‘nonsense?’

Got into a Twitter feud on Saturday night with someone who says my previous blog post, which attempts to put a human face on climate change in Stockton, is “nonsense.” The post describes how a mentally disabled man who refused to use his air conditioner died in that monster 2006 heat wave. @Recordnet @alexbreitler his [...]

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Putting a human face on climate change crisis

For those who consider climate change to be a far-distant threat, or no threat at all, meet lifelong Stockton resident Christopher Barron. He died 10 years ago today in the horrible 2006 heat wave that was exacerbated, at least, by global warming. At just 46 years old, he was one of the youngest victims in [...]

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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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