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.

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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A modest proposal for pension spikers

Readers respond to Sunday’s column about the state pension system resisting reform: —Scott Thompson writes, “Introducing the NEW California Alternative Pension System for Spikers! “CalPERS recently thumbed its underfunded nose at the governor and legislature, saying, in effect, “We are going to continue to allow spiking, as we have been doing for many years, and we’ll continue to burden [...]

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9,999,999 absolute idiots

Brian McElwain, a local deputy sheriff, completed the Rickshaw Run, a crazy adventure race across India in motorized, three-wheel rickshaws. McElwain’s unnamed sidekick blogged as they went. As the pulled into the city of Goalparat he wrote, “It has a population of a measly 10 million. 9,999,999 of which are absolute idiots behind a wheel.” He elaborated. “What just baffles [...]

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Walters on CalPERS: “It’s just nuts.”

Sure, getting a fatter pension for temporarily filling in for somebody is objectionable. The media made that point yesterday about a pension-fattening step taken by CalPERS, the state pension giant. But that much-criticized provision is only one of 99 CalPERS enacted to dig deeper into the public pocket. The SacBee’s Dan Walters looks at other [...]

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CalPERS: hey, let’s revive pension spiking!

Sure, why not? Pension spiking helped drive three California cities into bankruptcy. It’s part of a pension package driving municipalities and the state itself into the red. It’s such a bad actor the governor specifically outlawed it in a reform bill a couple years ago. Let’s do it! As expected CalPERS, the state pension hogzilla, [...]

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What Robin told Steve

Steve Carrigan, Stockton’s economic development director until 2009, writes: “My good friend, Steve Pinkerton, was very close in his description of the elusive Robin Williams connection to Stockton but I want to clear up a few things up. “Let history show that Robin Williams married Marsha Garces-Williams, his children’s nanny. They hired a new nanny and [...]

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Speaking of vultures …

…which we are in today’s column, a French woman fell off a cliff. Vultures picked her carcass clean in under an hour. That story here. So watch your step when you’re in Colonial Heights. Mel Stagnaro sends along a copy of a letter to the editor: “There needs to be some balance to Micheal Fitzgerald’s mostly negative [...]

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Why the water bond looks OK

State Sen. Lois Wolk spells it out in a SacBee op-ed piece: “The Delta community won strong protections in this bond:” she writes. “• It will have a voice in every Delta habitat project. This bond specifies that the state will coordinate and consult with the city or county in which a project occurs. “• It funds [...]

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The Gravy Train

CalPERS, the state pension monster, is trying to subvert the will of the governor and public opinion and reverse pension reform. It is expected to approve rules today increasing pensions to 99 new categories of new public employees. Writes the SacBee editorial board, “Officers could get more if they are physically fit or a good [...]

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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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