South Stockton assessment: If it was a Yelp review, you wouldn’t go there

The Reinvent South Stockton Coalition will hold its first-annual summit Saturday at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds. Details are in this story from today’s paper.

As part of the preparation for Saturday’s event, organizers last summer conducted a community assessment to amass data showing how residents feel. The results probably will not come as a surprise, considering the history of neglect suffered by the south side. You can read the full report and view the survey results here.

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Fire union honcho comments on chief’s imminent departure

As reported in today’s paper, Stockton Fire Chief Jeff Piechura soon will be leaving for another job in parts unknown. As the story mentioned, top officials from the Stockton Professional Firefighters Association did not respond to requests for a comment yesterday ahead of our deadline.

But at 10:58 last night, union president Greg Biddle sent this email:

“Sorry for the delay in getting back to you today. I was on duty and it was pretty busy today. In regards to the resignation of Chief Piechura, the Local is looking forward to working with his replacement and hopes that an individual with strong leadership abilities will be selected to take over as Chief of the Fire Department.  This change should prove to be positive for our members and for the citizens of Stockton as well.”

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A downtown groundbreaking is planned

Initial work began last month on the Cal Weber affordable-housing project, which, if you cannot tell from its name, is at California Street and Weber Avenue in downtown Stockton. The developers announced today that an official groundbreaking will be held May 14. You can read details in this press release. Cal Weber is seen as a significant milestone in the effort for major downtown revitalization in the years to come.

Below is what the site looked like this morning, and if you scroll down, you can view the latest artist’s rendering of what it will look like upon its scheduled completion next year:




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In exiting bankruptcy, all Stockton did was “eliminate the paper boy”

Always interesting to check the morning inbox:

“This city will exist chapter 9 and be back in 5 yrs
“All they did was eliminate the paper boy  the real expenses are in entitlements. Not in bond interest.  Let’s see how quick retail investors will back when their contracts mean nothing   How will new schools b built. New buildings    Liberals have to accept that they given away too much to unions”

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Early view of Grand View

It’s been four months since the proposed Grand View Village project was announced. It’s the affordable housing project that intends to be anchored by a ground-floor supermarket. If all goes well, it could open in 2017. If you’re interested in learning more about it, there’s an open house tomorrow.

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Audit committee meets this afternoon

Stockton’s audit committee holds its monthly meeting this afternoon at City Hall. The agenda is here.

Audit watchdog Ned Leiba says he will not attend, but he did submit this advance letter to the committee.

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Reduce building fees?

The development community would like to see Stockton’s building fees cut, as reported today. They say it would spur lagging development.

What would a building surge mean for the local economy? A report by the University of the Pacific addresses the topic in detail. Read it here.

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Series of Midtown Neighborhood Meetings scheduled

A group of residents from midtown Stockton has planned a series of meetings aimed at improving “the livability and vitality” of their neighborhood. All meetings will be held at El Dorado Elementary, 1540 N. Lincoln Street, Stockton, Calif. 95204.

Here’s the schedule:

Thursday, April 9, 4 p.m.: meet with principals, school counselors and teachers.
Saturday, April 11, 1 p.m. : meet with neighborhood residents.
Wednesday, May 13, 4 p.m.: meet with neighborhood businesses and organizations.
Wednesday, May 13, 6 p.m.: meet with neighborhood residents.

More information: or or (209) 645-1209.

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More on the dispute between Sanchez and LGBT leaders

@recordnet right now (LINK) and in Tuesday’s paper you can read about a controversy involving activist Motecuzoma Sanchez, Mayor Anthony Silva, Councilwoman Christina Fugazi and leaders of the LGBT community.

For those interested in learning more, here’s some reading material, with screenshots of some of Sanchez’s Facebook posts at the bottom.

A call to action from the San Joaquin Pride Center.

Details on a “March to end homophobia” Tuesday in Stockton.

A letter Monday from Motecuzoma Sanchez to the City Council and Mayor Anthony Silva.

A letter Monday night from Pride Center Director Nicholas Hatten to the City Council and Silva.

A written response from Christina Fugazi on Monday to questions about the dispute between Sanchez and the LGBT community.

Written comments from Mayor Anthony Silva.

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Councilman Michael Tubbs offically running for Board of Supervisors

Michael Tubbs, Stockton’s 24-year-old councilman from the south side, confirmed today he will not seek a second term in 2016. Instead, he is running for the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. It’s hardly a surprise. Tubbs said last month he was considering a run.

Tubbs has established a campaign committee for his bid to replace termed-out Supervisor Carlos Villapudua. Miguel Villapudua, Carlos’ 44-year-old cousin, also has formed a committee and is running. Miguel Villapudua is a long-time member of the county’s Planning Commission.

With his paperwork filed, Gustavo Medina says he is running, too. Medina is the 35-year-old husband of former Councilwoman Dyane Burgos Medina. He is the legislative director for Assemblywoman Susan Eggman.

Former Councilman Ralph Lee White, 72, has said he, too, will run for the District 1 supervisors seat, though he has yet to establish a committee.

Tubbs had planned to announce his candidacy Monday, which is why his news release announcing his plans is dated March 9. But Tubbs’ plans went public when his formation of a committee appeared on the website of the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters.

You can read Tubbs’ news release here.

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