Gung Hay Fat Choy

And if you see Val Acoba’s Red Dragon Theater, wish them Happy New Year.

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A Central Valley “ecotopia”

“First proposed nine years ago, the development would create a new city from a dusty stretch of ranch land midway between the Bay Area and Southern California. Solar arrays bolted to its rooftops, spread across its water reservoirs and clustered elsewhere would generate more electricity during the day than the city’s 25,000 homes would need, exporting excess power to the grid, Hays said. Wastewater and storm run-off would be captured, cleaned and reused.”

Oh, yeah. And it’ll have the hyperloop.

It’s Quay Valley, a “sustainable city straddling Interstate 5 in Kings County,” reports the SF Chronicle.

“The Central Valley has unlimited potential, waiting to be unlocked,” the developer says.

Check it out here.

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The weird handling of Jessica Glynn

The apparent firing of Jessica Glynn raises questions about the rollout of the Marshall Plan and the management style of City Manager Kurt Wilson.


Glynn: gone.

Glynn was hired last October. But she was forbidden to talk to the press for almost a month. When she was finally allowed to talk, City Manager Kurt Wilson sat in the room.

Now she’s gone. The city won’t even say whether she was fired. She says she was.

As management goes, that seems a bit heavy handed.

Glynn says she’s considering legal recourse. Meaning she might sue and wind a judgment against the city.

I interviewed Wilson shortly after he became city manager. I appreciated his time. But he worked as hard as humanly possible to say nothing, and he was so successful that I had no material for a column.

This is understandable to a degree. Coming into a city where factions have divided over the bankruptcy, and over the mayor, a newcomer has to be careful. Still, Wilson gave the impression he prefers a world with minimum press intrusion. He reinforced that impression today.

Indeed, there are confidentiality rules regulating disclosure of information in personnel matters. Those rules are valid. They are also the most frequently abused.

As for the rollout of the Marshall Plan, Mayor Anthony Silva expressed concerns in our recent chat. “Is the Measure A, are we giving the people what was promised?

Answer: not yet. It’s been upside of a year since the tax was passed. Even allowing for the delay of one quarter before the first tax was amassed, the delay is more than a “slight lag” as put in this story. It is a concern.

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Random trivia from UOP

NPR recently did a story called “Marathon Mania in American History.” It included these antics at University of the Pacific:

“The Associated Press reported on March 21, 1958, that two University of California undergrads were trying to break the 110-hour sitting-on-a-seesaw record set by College of the Pacific students in 1957. Friends planned to feed the participants and shine floodlights on them throughout the night. “This time we also have a burglar alarm on them, which our engineers say is foolproof,” one of the watchers told the reporter. “Because two years ago, somebody tried to kidnap the two teeters.” The Teeter-Totter Marathontradition has had its ups and downs.”

Parrump-tschhh. Here’s the NPR story.

Here’s a clip showing the UOP teeter-totter marathon.

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The mayor’s other ideas and goals

In a wide-ranging conversation that formed the basis of today’s column, Mayor Anthony Silva also said:

—He’s raised $20,000 towards the Mayor’s 4th of July Fireworks.

“Social media helps me. It’s a good way to reach 20,000 people.”

—If Steve Bestolarides challenges him for mayor: “As soon as that happens, I’m going to stick 11 more people in the race. It’ll be to my advantage.” Presumably the advantage would come form splitting the anti-incumbent vote.

Stockton mayor Anthony Silva donned a Calgary Flames baseball cap when the Flames bought the Stockton Thunder.

—The mayor’s most substantial policy thoughts were on homelessness. Most made the column. Sacramento converted a 101-unit apartment complex to homeless housing, Silva said, “One with rules and a security guard.” And a formerly homeless resident manager.

I aired a concern. Homelessness is a regional issue. If a homeless-friendly city is surrounded by stingy cities, the homeless gravitate to the friendly city. Silva even corroborated this to an extent, saying he’s seen homeless with bus tickets from Bakersfield and Fresno. Was Silva concerned about making Stockton a magnet for homeless people?

“It is our responsibility as a society to do what we can to help the less fortunate,” Silva said.

Silva also said — and he didn’t elaborate on this — he envisions two homeless camps, “one with rules and one without.” The problem is liability, he said.

—The mayor repeated his longstanding support of a family fun center. Something to replace kid-friendly places such as Naughty Nick’s and Golfland. “Then, after 10:30, it’s for adults.”

—Silva brought the now-notorious limousine incident up himself. I omitted it from the column because the spirit of my visit was to let him have his say and not to dwell on that incident.

“In a million years, Mike, I couldn’t have known these guys would get in a fight,” Silva said.

The mayor grew animated. He sprang up from the couch, mimicking a man in handcuffs. “I want you to picture this. Do you think in a million years I’m going to say ‘Hey! I’m the mayor of Stockton!?”

Instead a female CHP officer approached him and said something like, “Are you the mayor of Stockton? It’s OK to tell me, I know anyway,” and Silva acknowledged that he was.


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Those Weston Ranch secessonistas

The “Free Weston Ranch” bunch that wants to remove the southwest neighborhood from the city and join the county is back in the news.

“The centerpiece of the … complaints last week was that more than $900,000 in what (neighborhood leader Dale) Fritchen called “landscape maintenance district fees” paid by residents are not being spent in the neighborhood.

“It’s additional money that can only be used for Weston Ranch parks and landscape,” Fritchen said. “And it’s not being used for that. I don’t know what it’s being used for.”

Then it is premature to secede. That was my take in the first column: that the two neighborhood leaders driving the disincorporation have not completed their homework. Instead they have formed a parochial vision of the way things ought to be that seems detached from the reality of Stockton’s bankruptcy.

On the other hand, that bankruptcy arguably is justification by itself. If they have strong grounds to believe that a county-governed Weston Ranch will be a Mayberry of stronger public safety and pleasant parks notwithstanding the Great Recession, and, as today’s story points out, their own homegrown vandals, they have the right to campaign for change. But when doing the math I wold not be loosey-goosey about figures upside of $1 million. That’s just sloppy.

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Careful about what, President Sheley?

I’m puzzled by the remarks of CSU Stanislaus President Joseph F. Sheley to the San Joaquin Partnership this week.

Sheley said this about the drive to create a CSU Stockton:

“Right now, anything that promotes (a discussion) is a good thing,” Sheley said. “Anything that forces a discussion is a good thing. But we need to be very, very careful. ”

The story does not quote any explication of Sheley’s warning. So, forgive me if I’m being obtuse, but … careful of what?

Careful of giving educational equity to the largest city in California without its own four-year public university? Careful of addressing the high dropout rates here? The low percentage of people who earn a B.A. or higher degree?

Careful of addressing the region’s illiteracy? Of creating a highly educated, highly skilled workforce to compete for high-paying 21st century jobs?

Or careful of … creating competition for CSU Stanislaus? If the latter, we should be careful, to work out win-win scenarios that help all area institutions of higher learning to be successful. But we should also be careful of self-serving opposition to a project that would vastly improve this area’s core deficiencies and potentially transform our quality of life.

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High-speed rail: centered in Stockton?

Bill Reis-Knight forwards thoughts from Silicon valley techie Karl Auerbach:

“My guess is that the center of manufacturing for HSR components will be in the central valley of California.  A lot of people have mentioned the city of Merced because of its old Air Force base and position on one of the HSR routes.  But I suspect Stockton will be more attractive because it has a seaport. I anticipate that many of the locomotive and car frames, motors, and wheels will be built overseas and be too heavy to ship by air. The California shops probably will be used for assembly, integration, finishing, and testing.  (Stockton also has great access to California’s existing rail lines, and will also eventually be on the HSR route.)

“Sacramento also has ocean access, but its land prices are probably much higher than a few miles south in Stockton.”

Interesting. I’ve heard Fresno bandied about as the likely location, but the port argument makes sense. If HSR gets built. The polls aren’t looking too good right now.

Still. Is City Hall lobbying to attract this operation? HRS will be big business. Worth asking.

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Silva: bad press is bad for dating

Mayor Anthony Silva invited me to City Hall for a chat today. Silva spoke rapidly for over an hour on such a wide-ranging variety of topics that I can’t cover them all today. I’ll blog a few more in the next few days.

But here is one: Silva fumed that bad publicity complicates his love life.

“Imagine how I feel,” he said. “I go on Google, and my life is pretty much f—ed up. As a man,” he said to me, “you go on a date, you know, she’s going to google me. It’s awful. It’s awful! Tell me who wouldn’t be depressed.”

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Limogate: reactions

Here’s the column on Mayor Anthony Silva’s limousine debacle.

Here’s a sampling of reader reactions.

We’ll start with Jack Hauser, who says calling the mayor’s antics “trailer park” is a insult — to trailer parks.

“I have to take issue with that sentence,” Hauser said. “I live in a n adult, high-end 55-plus trailer park in San Andreas. We don’t have trailer park rampages around here.”

Mike Wilson writes:

“If Mayor Silva had common sense he would have immediately reported the incident to the other city counsel people, along with the city manager. Instead of common sense, however, he seems to prefer arrogance. He’s lucky he didn’t get arrested for being drunk in public.

“You also mentioned Councilman Tubbs.  He did it right and I respect the fact that he took responsibility for his actions. I also noted that Mr. Jose bailed, not wishing to be involved. Smart.  Not so with mayor Silva. (He) seems to always want to point fingers in other directions.”

Jim Hanley writes:

In the event you are running your 6 words to describe Stockton next year, I would like to put in my submission early.  That is of course if he is not impeached, imprisoned, indicted, resigned, recalled, or anything of the like that would be good for Stockton.  My submission is as follows:

“Low hanging fruit for a mayor.”

Jeff Garrison writes:

“LOL — cracked me up; reading about da mayor. Or, maybe it should be “duh” mayor. … Instead of a blowhard for mayor we need a person who inspires. It looked like Tubbs might be it, for a while, but I don’t know… But, Silva … His judgment elevator stops on the 13th floor.”

Leroy Ornellas writes:

“When you are the mayor of Stockton you don’t go clubbing in Sacramento. Keep your butt home and go to crab feeds in your community.”

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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