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.

When the gravy train is insane

Fresno’s Deputy Police Chief was just convicted of distributing heroin and pot — and he gets to keep his $93,000 annual pension. Which is nuts. This cop was part of a heroin ring, for cryin’ out loud. He should not be rewarded with public benefits intended to reward honorable service. That was my argument in 2005 [...]

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Beckman: The obsolescence of suburbs is a myth

John Beckman, CEO of the Building Industry Association of the Greater Valley, responds to a blog post about the downtown narrative. “The narrative is just a fancy way to hide the truth. “The data shows there is a shift of what people want, 20 years ago about 90% wanted single family detached and only 10% [...]

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E-mailer “pans” city signs

tmazzera writes: “I was glad to see that you, unlike the City of Stockton, know that ‘panhandling’ is one word and not two separate words. “Throughout downtown restaurant windows, and at the end of certain freeway off ramps, you will see signs stating the prohibition of “pan handling” which gives a whole new meaning to [...]

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A ‘panhandler van’ that offers ‘the dignity of work’

Here’s the TED talk by Albuquerque’s mayor, Richard J. Berry, on ABQ’s “Better Way” van. Here’s the City of Albuquerque’s home page for that program, with another video and more information. Here’s the column on the van.

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Trump’s main man is a Valley guy

  “On paper, McCarthy is the second-most powerful member in the House after Speaker Paul Ryan, but in reality, no politician has more clout with the Trump White House than he does.” “He” being House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield. McCarthy is a remarkably gifted politician. He seems able to get along with anybody, including [...]

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Stockton, out of synch with sprawl

  Part of the narrative behind downtown Stockton’s budding revival is that sprawl is over. Demographic groups such as Millennials and empty-nest Boomers want to live in a high-density, walkable, live-work downtown. The Sierra Club’s Eric Parfrey has even called single-family, detached homes built on greenfields “obsolete.” But a couple stories this week offer a [...]

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Brown proposes pulling a Stockton

Instead of cutting costs, Stockton tried refinancing its huge pension debt with a $124.5 million penion obligation bond. Unfortunately, the city did so at the top of the market. When the recession took the economy south, tax revenue plummeted, and the city lacked the means to service the bond debt. Bankruptcy ensued. Now Gov. Jerry [...]

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What a difference

Mayor Michael Tubbs’ first State of the City Address provided a complete contrast to any done by his precedessor, Anthony Silva. Silva, of course, donned a weird medieval helmet and waved a mace around during his first address. Leaving many to wonder what kind of Bozo Stockton has put in the mayor’s office. But the [...]

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Introducing Calli Grace

Gina Ortega writes: “My daughter … Calli Grace … is a local 15 year old singer/songwriter.” “Through the help of friends and family in the community, Calli was able to produce a music video to an inspirational song she wrote, “Legend.” … “Proceeds generated from the sales of “Legend” on iTunes will be donated to [...]

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Scared into district voting

  When I express reservations about district voting, some readers recoil as if I had produced the hood of a Grand Kleagle from a drawer and pulled it over my face. I look at district voting vs. Stockton’s former hybrid system as I look at internal combustion vs. deisel engines. Both have advantages, both have [...]

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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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