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.

The stonecutter’s gift

As this column reported, amoral metal thieves were working away to steal the bronze plaque outside historic Temple Israel Cemetery. Stockton Monument found a solution: It replaced the bronze plaque with a stone. Civic-minded owner Mike Contreras even donated the engraving labor. “We’re grateful,” said cemetery superintendent Sheldon Barr. “We really appreciate it.”

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A rain poem

The cataract of the cliff of heaven fell blinding off the brink As if it would wash the stars away as suds go down a sink, The seven heavens came roaring down for the throats of hell to drink, And Noah he cocked his eye and said, “It looks like rain, I think, The water [...]

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Disneyland in Fresno?

Zocalo Public Square says yes. The (tongue-in-cheek) logic? That Californians should have a constitutional right to visit Disneyland, which hasn’t built enough parks to keep down the price of admission. “The state should acquire and give Disney a piece of land, with all environmental approvals and entitlements in place, large enough to build another park [...]

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Stockton blew “golden opportunity.”

“The failure to significantly address public pension debt and make structural changes to the pension systems in both Stockton and Detroit does not bode well for the economic future of either city post-bankruptcy.” —Lance Christensen and Victor Nava in Fox and Hounds, the latest pundits who presumably never ran a city to opine Stockton missed a [...]

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The Gravy Train: Stockton cop makes $221,877

Transparent California released 2013 public employee compensation data for 400 cities and 826 special districts statewide. The Valley story: “Average full-time compensation for employees of 48 Central Valley cities was $99,678 in 2013, with hundreds earning more than $200,000 a year and over 35 making at least $50,000 in overtime alone.” “The data show that [...]

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E-mail of the day

I thought I’d seen it all, but this is a new one: Hi Mike, Just a quicky. Your blog excites me! it’s a great looking and well kept blog. Unusual these days! Anyway, I’m part of a team of rockstar bloggers and I blog for lots of brands. We are always on the lookout for [...]

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Rainfall and Valley oaks

Yesterday’s rainfall was most welcome, of course. But if you live under oaks, as I do, your worry is that a truly gigantic chunk of Quercus lobata will come crashing down on your house or car. Sure enough, this limb came down. It fell in the street, and did no damage. But it was blocking [...]

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A gift to power consumers? Or to PG&E?

At first glance, it looks like PG&E took one on the chin yesterday. A local commission voted to allow South San Joaquin Water District to elbow the giant utility aside and take over as the power company for for 38,000 homes and businesses in south San Joaquin County cities such as Manteca. But there’s a catch: [...]

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A brief public service announcement

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Franklin: cold as ice

The reasoning behind Franklin Templeton Investment’s legal attempt to stay Stockton’s emergence from Chapter 9 seems clear. The Plan of Adjustment is an interwoven structure of deals. If it goes forward, the Plan, including Franklin’s haircut, would seem to be a done deal. Franklin presumably worries it could never undo the ruling on appeal; the [...]

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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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