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 world’s wettest drought

The U.S. Drought Monitor map. Being completely unreal, the U.S. Drought Monitor says most of San Joaquin County remains in“severe drought.” Can these guys see out the window? State officials, for their part, seem determined to keep beating the drought drum as long as any part of the state is behind in rainfall. “We know from [...]

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Trump’s “vulture capitalists” and Stockton

  Stocktonians should have a special affection for two of Donald Trump nominees: Steven Mnuchin for treasury secretary and Wilbur Ross for commerce secretary. Under Mnuchin’s ownership, IndyMac — which has been called a “foreclosure machine” — foreclosed on 36,000 families in California alone. Since Stockton was Ground Zero, it’s highly likely many of those [...]

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“I cannot sanction the inauguration”

Congressman Jerry McNerney (D- Stockton) issued a statement about Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration. “I will not be attending the inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump on January 20th.  Instead, I will be in my district serving my constituents, as I was elected to do. “The election of Mr. Trump lacks legitimacy due to Russian hacking, which Mr. Trump [...]

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“Greedy and foolish men”

I’m glad somone wrote this column about the death of the Tunnel Tree — though, ironically, the writer is a developer. “The Pioneer Cabin Tree at Calaveras Big Trees State Park was a victim of our recent stormy weather, but its ultimate demise started nearly 150 years ago at the hands of greedy and foolish [...]

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Bullet train cost soars

About cost overruns on California’s high-speed rail system, I have half-seriously joked that the Valley deserves a boondoggle of its own. That does not mean that egregious cost overruns and delays should be dismissed. The Los Angeles Times obtained a confidential internal report from the Federal Railroad Administration that says the first segment alone of California’s $70 billion [...]

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Stockton’s relative income decline

This chart shows San Joaquin County’s per capita incomes (the dark black line) relative to the U.S. (the broken blue line going straight across), Sacramento and other counties. Note we have improved in recent years. This seems less a permanent upward trend than a rebound from the depths of the Recession. Here’s a Forbes article [...]

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Mother Nature spares Stockton

  … So far. In the Bay Area, levees broke on Van Sickle and Grizzly islands. In Lodi, the Mokelumne River burst its banks at a couple points. In Sacramento County, the Mokelumne also spilled over, closing numerous county roads. A levee boil on the Cosumnes river prompted a voluntary evacuation order at Winton. The [...]

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Chargers move; Spanos reviled

I’m uninterested in sports, but fascinated and dismayed by the way cities bend over to accommodate billionaires’ sports teams. Except San Diego. Voters there were too smart to subsidize the Spanos family’s San Diego Chargers team. So Dean Spanos, son of Stockton’s Alex Spanos who bought the team, is packing up the team and moving [...]

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Raising taxes to feed Hogzilla

Public employee pensions are a stealth attack on your wallet, writes Joel Fox in Fox and Hounds. “Voters will never see a pension tax measure on the ballot. The effort to meet pension obligations will be subtler. Want more police services? Raise your taxes. Want to improve schools or parks? A tax increase is called [...]

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The benefits of high-speed rail

  Annie Parker, a spokesperson for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, writes: “As a follow up as per the end of our conversation, I wanted to leave you with some quick facts about the benefits the program has demonstrated so far in the Fresno area. “Currently, we are under construction on approximately 119 miles of [...]

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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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