Author Archives: Michael Fitzgerald

Bloggus interruptus

I’m taking Thanksgiving week off. Have a great holiday, and I’ll see you back here on Monday, November 27.

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Sketching Tubbs’ first year

Towards the end of the year, as always, I’ll do my best to evaluate the year Stockton had. That always includes the leadership of the mayor, city manager and others. I can see the contours of several themes about Mayor Michael Tubbs. One, that the extra $20 million a year taxpayers are sinking into crime [...]

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Where there’s smoke …

Selma’s city manager was arrested Wednesday on 13 embezzlment counts.  One of two sorry similarities between Selma and Stockton. A D.A. slapped Elias, a resident of Fowler, with 13 counts of misappropriating public monies by a public officer. Here, of course, former Mayor Anthony Silva faces four felony embezzlement and money laundering counts. “The charges stem [...]

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Other cities have boondoggles, too

In San Diego, leaders spent $2 million on a public restroom. This objet d’art was “designed by an artist to evoke “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” the popular 1970 novella about a seagull that wanted to be special,” the L.A. Times reports. “It was welcomed at the time as a sophisticated new addition to San Diego’s “front porch” [...]

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Chinese trackless trains: a solution for Stockton?

The city of Zhouzhou, China has launched a prototype autonomous “trackless train” that uses sensors to follow painted street markings. “In essence,” writes CityLab, “trackless trains hit every objective high-quality transit systems should: They fit lots of people, run in dedicated lanes, are electric-powered, and are relatively cheap and easy to build.” These battery-powered babies [...]

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Paying and preserving at Yosemite National Park

  Today’s column is nominally about the noxious proposal to jack Yosemite entrance fees way up — which may be just another poorly tought out policy idea by the Trump administration. But it’s also about my perennial concern for Yosemite: that the forces of exploitation are winning over the forces of preservation. I have actually [...]

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Uncle Sam invests $2.25b in Valley bullet train

The one big thing the Obama administration did for the San Joaquin Valley (which he barely set foot in) was to appropriate stimulus money to fund the Valley segment of the high-speed rail system. It was a needed boost. Around 2009, the statewide unemployment rate was 12.4 percent. the Central Valley rate was 17 percent. [...]

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If you really want a headache …

… enlarge this chart. It was part of a 2015 PowerPoint presentation by a Stockton city official trying to explain the multiplex deal to the Council. As part of the deal, the city promised to build certain things in the Coy Garage and Hotel Stockton. But thanks to the recession (and it’s own fiscal improdence) [...]

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Love that Lulu Lemon

A pricey yoga clothing store called lululemon athletica was a major beneficiary of alleged embezzler Mimi Nguyen, a forensic auditor’s report says. According to the report, Nguyen made “A total of 40 seperate purchases for $8,684.82 … Purchases were made at locations in Sacramento, San Francisco, Costa Mesa, Santa Rosa, Walnut Creek, Pleasanton, Roseville and Berkeley.” [...]

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DA charges Mimi Nguyen with embezzlement

Mimi Nguyen, the former head of the Miracle Mile Improvement Association whose “resignation-termination” came in July after she admitted taking association funds, has been charged with felony embezzlement. Without public notice, the San Joaquin County District Attorney apparently filed two felony counts against Nguyen yesterday: Grand Theft by Embezzlement — for allegedly embezzling $59,800 — [...]

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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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