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.

Delays plague bullet train

The Merced-to-Bakersfield segment of California’s bullet train was supposed to be done by Sept. 30. “Not even close,” reports the Fresno Bee. “And while all of the stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has indeed been spent and construction is happening in earnest in Fresno and Madera counties, much of the Valley [...]

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America’s need to transcend tribalism

Andrew Sullivan writes a must-read essay about growing tribalism in American politics. And how damaging it is to our democracy and our planet. “Over the past couple of decades in America, the enduring, complicated divides of ideology, geography, party, class, religion, and race have mutated into something deeper, simpler to map, and therefore much more [...]

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Stockton’s loss, Lodi’s gain

Shan Swoverland writes: “A couple years ago I had my art club help me paint a mural dedicated to our Delta. It has Mt Diablo in the distance with a proud oak silhouetted in front of it. A few sandhill cranes and a few water hyacinth floating made it complete. It was in my classroom [...]

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CalPERS’ unbelievable arrogance

A state senator asks CalPERS to analyze eliminating COLAS — perpetual raises — from public employee pensions, and lowering pensions modestly going forward. And State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, gets this from CalPERS board president, Rob Feckner: “Feckner said he won’t repeat what he said on first seeing the Moorlach letter. He said the request did [...]

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A bad sign? Stockton money watchdog resigns

Dave Renison, the citizen watchdog of public money who heads the San Joaquin Taxpayers Association, resigned as of today from the Measure A Advisory Committee. Renison said in a letter City Hall refuses to be as transparent and accountable as they promised when asking citizens to approve the Measure A sales tax. That’s troubling. The [...]

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Fresno gives a pedestrian mall back to cars

In the Sixties, Uncle Sam gave cities money to try an experiment in reviving flagging downtowns: pedestrian malls. It didn’t work. In Stockton, a once-bustling section of Main Street from Hunter to Commerce was closed to vehicle traffic. It killed the segment for commerce. If you walk that several-block stretch you are struck by the [...]

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Cabbie recalls giving D.B. Cooper a ride

  Ralph Vallejo, a retired cabbie, called from Valley Springs. Vallejo, 75, said “My memory sure got the hell shook out of it,” when he saw my stories about D.B. Cooper in Stockton, and the documentary by Tom Colbert. “I picked him up at the airport in Stockton,” Vallejo said in a voice mail message. I [...]

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Juggalos: the Stockton angle

Appropos of the Juggalo rally in D.C. over the weekend, I’m reprinting a column I did in 2010. A local prosecutor tried to get a gang enhancement (and extra time) slapped on a violent defendant because he was a Juggalo — a fan of the rap duo Insane Clown Posse. In my opinion, the only thing [...]

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The complete statement from Silva’s lawyer

  N. Allen Sawyer sent this statement: “Criminal grand juries continue to be one the most critiqued aspects of the criminal justice system for two reasons: • “one, they are inherently flawed because they are one sided in that they only allow the prosecutor to choose what the grand jury hears; • “and two, they [...]

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German eats first burrito

Most of us ate our first burrito years ago. And uncounted burritos since. But not Oskar (whose last name I didn’t catch). A recently-arrived exchange student from Leipzig, Germany, Oskar has never eaten a burrito. Nor seen a burrito. Or a taco. Or a whole lot of other things we routinely eat in California. Wednesday [...]

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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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