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.

Sick of sycamores

Marianne Duncan writes: “I would like to add my two cents about the sycamore trees along Brookside/Riverbrook Rds.” “My home borders this thoroughfare and had I known the problems these trees created, believe me, I would not have purchased here. And here are a few reasons why. “Like Mrs. Manning, I walk my dog twice [...]

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“Rock and roll’s all-time worst day”

Forty-seven years ago this week, one of rock ‘n’ roll’s darkest days took place on the Altamont Pass. The Rolling Stones played a terribly organized concert. The Hell’s Angels, hired for security — was there ever a worse idea? — got demented on LSD, barbiturates and booze, became violent and killed a man, and beat [...]

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“Republican strategy … has reached a new low”

That’s from a letter sent by Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton) and others to President Obama. The letter urges Obama to issue a veto threat against the Water Resources Development Act Bill of 2016 if the California drought rider remains in the legislation. The rider would “devestate the Delta, weaken protections for Califoria fisheries on the brink [...]

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Another great (but tragic) Valley mayor

  We’ve been talking about what Valley mayors can be. In today’s SacBee, Marcos Breton grapples with the complicated legacy of Mayor Kevin Johnson. “He once told me what he wanted most of all was for Sacramento to be a cool place. You know what? It is now … ” Yes, Johnston infused the office [...]

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How not to go bankrupt

The city goes bankrupt. The city “preserves preserves pension benefits for employees and retirees, though employees will have to contribute more to their pension plans and benefits were modified for new employees.” Retirees  lose some health benefits. “Meanwhile, some bondholders and unsecured creditors will be paid only 1% of what they were owed.” Sound familiar? [...]

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The flying actor contraption

It’s called the Track on Track system, and it was invented by Peter Foy in 1962. Here’s a diagram and explanation. Here’s the result.

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Stockton: most un-recovered housing market

HSH.com analyzed the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Home Price Index.   Most recovered metro areas Percent above “boom-era “ peak Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 58.18% Austin-Round Rock, TX 53.52% Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX (MSAD) 46.60% Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 44.49% Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (MSAD) 36.81%   Areas with largest recovery gaps Home price gains Percent needed to regain peak [...]

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The Republicans come for the Delta

  They didn’t waste much time. A Republican rider on a water projects bill “undermines both state and federal environmental protections for the Delta ecosystem,” House Democrats say. “The House Democrats, though, have little ability to stop the bill,” reports McLatchy. The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act is likely to pass, though the [...]

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If Modesto can do it …

“San Diego (see item, below) is not alone,” writes Larry Parlin. The City of Modesto, to has a city service app: GoModesto! Says the city website, “This intuitive, on-the-go reporting tool provides quick, easy access to online systems in twenty two languages and helps residents instantly submit service requests to the appropriate department. With one [...]

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What a Valley mayor can do

The Fresno Bee sums up the successful 8-year tenure of Mayor Ashley Swearengin: she turned around a city on the precipice of bankruptcy, kick-started downtown revival, weaned Fresno from excessive groundwater dependence, beefed up mass transit and synched it with an infill-oriented General Plan. Not bad at all. Fresno was on the same spiral towards [...]

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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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