Author Archives: Michael Fitzgerald

The Sperry Building goes up for sale

The 1888 Sperry Building, a small but lovely vestige of Stockton’s pioneer waterfront, is on the market again. I guess the Monterey couple who bought it in 2015, the Kovaliks, couldn’t find a tenant. I wonder how, if at all, the city’s purchase of the twin towers for a new City Hall will affect the [...]

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“This could work out well”

  UOP economic analyst Jeff Michael gives thumbs-up to the city’s purchase of the Twin Towers for its new City Hall. “I was skeptical when I first heard about this plan,” writes Michael, the Executive Director of the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific, “mostly concerned about the City [...]

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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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    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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