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.

Speaking of neon …

Which we did here … and here … (and here … and here) … … L.A. has reopened its Museum of Neon Art, writes Chuck Barnard, who used to design giant neon dazzlers for Las Vegas. “They’ve gone a little crazy with clocks it seems, but the contemporary neon pieces could be interesting, though small,” Barnard [...]

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‘Who would touch them must stun them’

“More than 4.1 million people visited Yosemite in 2015, the first time in history the park has eclipsed four million visitors in a year, according to new statistics from the National Park Foundation,” reports a Sacramento Bee article. I am beyond disgusted. San Joaquin This valley after the storms can be beautiful beyond the telling, Though our city-folk [...]

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So very sorry, Bakersfield

Remember when Bakersfield’s hockey team held a home game against Stockton themed “Our City Isn’t Bankrupt?” Bakersfield residents were mighty pleased with themselves. Kern County’s oil-based economy was booming. They weren’t above giving Stockton a friendly little kick while this city was down. And when a sports editor took exception, they called us humorless. The [...]

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Letter of the day: “Watch what you ask for”

Tom Zimmerman writes: “I just finished reading your blog from the other day entitled “Public safety and the public trust”. Just an observation:  You lament in your piece on police officers (and I would add Firefighters as well) leaving the City in droves due to better compensation packages in other municipalities.  This is true, and foretold [...]

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The right to shoot yourself in the foot

I’ll say this for Alex Appleby, the 9th Congressional District candidate: he knows how to get media attention. Appleby’s gimmick of raffling off a 9mm handgun at his Stockton fundraiser raised his profile from obscure to instantly branded Libertarian. But what is good media strategy may be bad politics. By making guns his signature, Appleby [...]

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Score one for ambiguity

I never understood Ralph Lee White’s campaign to enforce his unlikely interpretation of council/mayoral term limits on the city. He seized on an ambiguous provision in the city charter: “No person elected as either Mayor or Councilmember shall be eligible to serve, or serve, as either Mayor or Councilmember for more than two (2) terms.” [...]

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Public safety and the public trust

The opponents of Measure A had a slogan: “Don’t trust them.” For now, at least, it appears they were right. In exchange for 120 new cops, Stocktonians shouldered the highest tax rate in the state — and, “the force currently has only one more officer than it had at the end of last June,” reports [...]

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Andal: Wilson’s aloofness hides mismanagement

Fiscal watchdog Dean Andal writes: “The reason the City Manager doesn’t show up at unfavorable forums or explain himself on large issues (pensions, water, Measure A police hiring) is because he doesn’t have to and it is effective public relations strategy. “He actually had good answers for the City’s water position (which I agree with), [...]

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The city’s communications breakdown

One thing clear at the water forum — which Mayor Anthony Silva grasped — is that City of Stockton communications are not reaching a whole raft of citizens. “We have to do a better job of communicating,” Silva said. He’s right. City officials should listen to him. The communications breakdown is clear. The city put [...]

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Another side of Erin

Hollywood exaggerated what Brockovich did. The town of Hinkley, which Erin Brockovich got $2 million for “saving,” is worse off than ever, says this Mercury-News story. As Brockovich admits: ”I’m almost ashamed to say that after all we had been through with PG&E, I thought that PG&E would have addressed this (the cleanup),” Brockovich said. “I [...]

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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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