Author Archives: Michael Fitzgerald

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.

Lawmakers punt on “gigaplant”

The L.A. Times reports that state lawmakers failed to pass a package of incentives to lure the Tesla battery “”gigaplant” to the state. That’s potentially bad news for Stockton, previously identified as the leading California candidate. Thanks, lawmakers. The story quotes one unnamed “policymaker” as saying, “The administration gave up about a week ago.” Thanks, [...]

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The Valley: Republican time warp

What does it say about the San Joaquin Valley that it is one of the last redoubts statewide of the Republican Party? The positive interpretation is that the Valley’s connection to the soil is part and parcel of a fundamental social sanity people instinctively want to conserve. Hence conservatism. The negative interpretation is that the Valley [...]

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Drones, drones on the range

Wes Rhea of Visit Stockton writes: “Thought I would share this cool site which shows how prolific drone use is worldwide and especially in Europe.  Some really cool videos! The context here is Monday’s Fitz’s Stockton about Visit Stockton’s new drone. I clicked on some of the drone videos from France. Wow.

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Jennings: Uncle Sam helping kill BDCP

Uncle Sam helped harpoon to near-death the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan, says Bill Jennings of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance As I blogged yesterday (see item, below), public comment rained heavy blows on the destructive plan to two 35-mile long tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to divert Sacramento River water to desert farms down south. [...]

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A turkey in full retreat

State officials have sent the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan back to the drawing board. The latest delay could be interpreted as a triumph of public input. The BDCP was all about limiting and managing certain public input — such as the Delta region’s — and drafting a dubious state water plan in a bubble of special [...]

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Fine art photos of Stockton mini libraries (?!)

Mas’ood Cajee writes: “This year, internationally-renowned Documentary Photographer Robert Dawson has been collaborating with the Library and Literacy Foundation for San Joaquin County and the Stockton-San Joaquin Public Library to document the culture of public libraries and literacy in San Joaquin County. “The artist and writer Ellen Manchester is also gathering stories of how people [...]

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Researchers: Let Delta levees fail

A reader sends a UC Davis study with a startling conclusion: “This initial analysis indicates that it is economically optimal not to upgrade levees on any of the 34 subsided Delta islands examined, mostly because levee upgrades are expensive and do not improve reliability much. If upgrades can improve reliability more, it becomes optimal to [...]

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The drought is lifting them thar hills

The drought is sinking the Valley, but it’s lifting the mountains, says the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Even as groundwater pumping causes subsidence on the Valley floor, California’s mountains have risen a squidge over a half an inch, Scripps says. “How is this possible?” asks a science writer in Salon. “We’re talking about a lot [...]

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Delta levees’ strength proves their weakness (?!)

Delta levees didn’t fail in the Napa quake — proving Delta levees could fail in an earthquake, Gov. Jerry Brown says. Brown made these remarks Tuesday on San Francisco radio. “There’s a real, real risk there in the Delta area,” Brown said on KGO radio. “And that’s one of the reasons we’re looking to build a [...]

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Hammett’s “Midget Bandit” not from Stockton

In his biographies, Dashiell Hammett, the great American author of hard-boiled detective novels, said the character of “Wilmer,” the pint-sized but dangerous gunman in “The Maltese Falcon,” was based on a diminutive Stockton crook whom the papers nicknamed “the Midget Bandit.” The story was that this kid, who was short in stature but cocky, stuck up a filling station here. [...]

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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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