Greatest Show on Earth becoming elephant-free zone

Since elephants are renowned for their good memories, let’s not forget what Ringling Bros. spokesman Stephen Payne told The Record late last year:

“The Asian elephant is the treasured symbol of Ringling Bros. and has been for 145 years. It’s a great responsibility that we take very seriously.”

Payne made the comment at a moment when the Stockton City Council was considering legislation that would have forced Ringling Bros. either to treat its elephants more humanely or not bring them along when the circus performed at Stockton Arena.

In December, Payne insisted there was no reason for Ringling Bros. to defend its treatment of elephants.

“We provide the highest level of care for elephants and all animals. We’re inspected almost constantly, which we’re fine with. What these ordinances come down to are a vocal group of animal-rights activists making claims that simply are not true.” 

Today, though, we learned that Ringling Bros. will not be bringing elephants to Stockton — or anywhere else — by 2018.

Score one for elephants and for “vocal groups of animal-rights activists.”

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Retired library director: Money there to reopen Fair Oaks

Colleen Foster, the retired director of the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library, sent a letter this week to the mayor, City Council, City Manager Kurt Wilson and several other Stockton officials.

It’s the latest in a series of calls by community members to reopen the east Stockton Fair Oaks Library branch, which was shut down as the city’s finances were failing in 2010. For more background on the matter, click here.

In Foster’s letter, she says the money is there for Fair Oaks, on East Main Street, to be reopened. In part, she wrote:

“In recent past years, each department’s budget was charged a portion of the money needed to address bankruptcy issues. With the passage of Measures A and B and the emergence of the City from bankruptcy, this budget assessment should no longer be necessary. The money formerly allocated to bankruptcy in the Library’s budget could be reallocated to the reopening of the Fair Oaks Branch without increasing the Library’s budget.”

You can read the entire letter here.

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Best wishes to former Teachers College of San Joaquin dean and her ailing husband

Catherine Kearney was dean of the Teachers College of San Joaquin when it opened its doors six years ago at the San Joaquin County Office of Education. For eight years before that, and for the six years since, Kearney has been juggling jobs in the educational world with the realities of caring for her desperately ill husband, Bob.

Bob, 61, had a liver transplant late in 2012, but the benefits lasted barely more than one year. Most recently, Catherine has been with Bob at a hospital in New Orleans and the prognosis is not promising.

“I really wish there was a different outcome,” Catherine said this morning. “But I think Bob is really tired and it’s time to say, ‘Enough.’ I’m OK with that. I’m at peace. We’re going to refocus our priorities to a lot of comfort. We’re surrounded by a lot of love.”

Catherine said today she has accumulated nearly $20,000 in lodging and related living expenses during Bob’s illness, not the least of which was the cost of the flight to New Orleans and of the flight that will be needed home to California sometime in the coming days.

For more information, visit the family’s site and the family’s Caring Bridge site. Catherine said her husband probably wishes most of all that “somebody would buy his book.” She added, “That would give him more pleasure.”

During his working life, Bob was a social worker for Child Protective Services in Sacramento County. Catherine said her husband first became ill less than three months after they were married 15 years ago.

“We’ve had a really happy life together,” she said. “It hasn’t been all about his illness. There has been tons and tons and tons of joy.”

Keep them in your thoughts.

ALSO: Here’s an update on the Caring Bridge site.

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City: Yeah, Office of Violence Prevention manager Jessica Glynn really was fired

Jessica Glynn shared news of her Feb. 13 firing with us Wednesday. Until late Thursday afternoon, the city acted as if she had simply evaporated, dissolved or melted. But in a two-sentence email Thursday to Michael “@stocktonopolis” Fitzgerald, city spokeswoman Connie Cochran confirmed Glynn’s firing.

Cochran wrote, “Jessica Glynn has shared with The Record that she was terminated.  The City can confirm that she was terminated.”

The reason, however, remains uncertain.

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City Manager Kurt Wilson posts open letter on bankruptcy exit

Read it here.

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Stockton announces city to exit bankruptcy tomorrow

The official announcement went out shortly after 12 p.m. today. Stockton exits bankruptcy tomorrow after 32 months.

“We have spent the last several weeks finalizing dozens of complicated legal and real estate documents and making preparations for thousands of checks that must be issued for the effective date,” City Manager Kurt Wilson said. “After 2 1/2 years, the timing and synchronization of everything to culminate on a specific date is a huge effort by everyone involved.”

Read the city’s news release here.

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Weston Ranch insurgents, Fair Oaks Library advocates plan City Hall turnout

Former Councilman Dale Fritchen and resident Richard Smith are leading a movement to have Weston Ranch separate from Stockton. The “Free Weston Ranch” group is planning what it says will be a mass turnout at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting (5:30 faceoff). Secession is a daunting process but Fritchen and Smith insist they are ready for the fight.

They won’t be alone. Advocates for the reopening of the Fair Oaks Library say they also plan to turn out for the council meeting. The southeast Stockton branch was closed as the city’s financial free fall accelerated in 2010.

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All of the library posters for your viewing pleasure

The advocacy group Strong Libraries=Strong Communities is embarking on an effort to raise the profile of the public-library system in Stockton and San Joaquin County. The first step is a poster campaign. You can view all 10 posters here.

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Mayor Silva: Takes to Facebook to explain limo incident, blast media

You can view it here. You may need to hit Ctrl-+ to enlarge the type on your computer screen in order to read.

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Silva acknowledges he was there for limousine incident

The story about Mayor Anthony Silva’s wild limo ride broke on Recordnet at 8:45 p.m. and was updated at 9:56 p.m.

Also there is this: The news release from the incident put out by the CHP in December. Mayor Anthony Silva’s name is not mentioned but this is the incident he acknowledges being at, one in which all of the limousine passengers were “heavily intoxicated,” according to the CHP.

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