Author Archives: Michael Fitzgerald

The Ashley Drain jury prism

  Activist Ralph Lee White called to object that the lone black woman on the Ashley Drain voter fraud trial, a juror who was the lone holdout on a jury voting 11-1 to convict, was removed form the jury and replaced. “Do you know what that do to the Black community?” asked activist Ralph Lee [...]

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Not loving SB1, even with the pork

    Gene Beley does not share my approval of SB1, the transportation bill with a special earmark for the Valley: “You could’ve interviewed a few citizens ranging from seniors to truck drivers to get their feedback on the damages that will be done and how everyone will be paying more for every commodity produced [...]

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Another hooray for the General Plan vote

“I cannot overstate how big Tuesday’s vote was for the future of Stockton.” —Blogger/infill developer David Garcia on his Stockton City Limits blog, extolling the Council for selecting a General Plan 2040 that prioritizes infill and fixing the existing city over sprawl. Garcia goes on: “I have a long held belief that a number of [...]

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Shadowbird: a complete fiasco

Back in 1989, a self-righteous slow-growth group called the Land Utilization Alliance sued the Grupe Co. developers for building Brookside. The market was hot, so Grupe settled by giving LUA money and land and got on with building. Grupe bought LUA off. As part of a settlement, Grupe set aside two properties on Wright-Elmwood Tract. [...]

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Galgiani helps land big ACE expansion

  Gov. Brown’s drive to pass the big transportatin plan, SB1, gave certain lawmakers the chance to hold out for earmarks in exchange for votes, and Sen. Cathleen Galgiani was one of them. Galgiani helped land a $400 million expansion of ACE Rail to Modesto and Merced. She called it a “big win.” It is. “This [...]

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Why initiatives can’t reform pensions

  Because California Attorneys General, elected with strong support from labor, will always skew the crucial ballot language of pension reform initiatives to make reform sound bad. Kamala Harris did it. And in this spot-on L.A. Times story new Attorney General Xavier Becerra sounds like he’ll do it, too. “Do I want to see someone like [...]

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Did bad planning hike water bills?

Water bills likely are going up again. By 11% this time. That’s the case with most everybody in California. The cost of the waterworks is paid for by water bills. Californians are using less water, first because of drought cutbacks now because of the rains, so the utilities are making less money. So they have [...]

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Did asparagus growers “spear” themselves?

A Delta farmer writes: “Here is a little known factoid on the Mexican connection with our own growers. Ready for this? In the early-mid 1980s they were the same growers. “Several SJ farmers looked to having second homes in Mexico and a few (2) of them realized the ground was perfect for grass. Initially it was [...]

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Jesus Andrade’s “personal” vote

Before the Council voted 6-1 last night for a General Plan that favored infill and fixing existing neighborhoods, District 6 Council member Jesus Andrade told a story about his upbringing. “I grew up in the south side. I grew up in Sierra Vista. And when my parents were able to get a little money they [...]

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Study: Illegal immigrants contribute billions

  One of my intellectual frustrations — besides not having much of an intellect — is the immigration debate question whether unauthorized immigrants are a net gain or drain. For every report that says they’e a gain, there’s one that says they’re a drain. This San Jose Merc story contains both views. It’s pegged to [...]

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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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