Category Archives: Uncategorized

E-mail from a cultured canine

Duncan, mascot and leading connoisseur of The Haggin Museum, writes: “Dear Mr. Fitzgerald: “Just wanted to thank you for running my  favorite Leyendecker painting. Dad takes it down occasionally so that I can study in greater detail.” “You’ve got to admit, that turkey looks mighty tasty. My best wishes to you and your family for a [...]

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The adamancy of union greed

“That’s right,” writes George Skelton of the L.A. Times.”The treasury is spilling over, but some unions want to keep collecting income taxes at the highest rate in state history.” “Some unions” meaning primarily the California Teachers Union. The state is projected to amass a reserve of $11.5 billion, with a b. Yet the CTA wants [...]

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More local Thanksgiving

Mysteriously, my editor did not think a column about the impact of decreasing investment revenues on public employee pensions was a fitting subject for Thanksgiving. So I wrote this. But I left some stuff on the cutting room floor.  Here it is. • Hebert’s Meats in Louisiana claims to be the inventor of the turducken, [...]

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The case for less experience ?!

Read this provision of Stockton’s Charter: “No person elected as either Mayor or Councilmember shall be eligible to serve, or serve, as either Mayor or Councilmember for more than two (2) terms.”’ I read that sentence the way city official say it was intended: council members get two terms and mayors get two terms. But [...]

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Franklin Templeton’s lonely war

Franklin Templeton Investments, the lone holdout from Stockton’s bankruptcy, is beginning to remind me of Hiroo Onoda. Onoda was that Japanese soldier who refused to surrender when Japan did. He held out on an island in the Philippines for 30 years.  Franklin, too, refuses to face the reality that they lost. The company reportedly refused [...]

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Atheists criticize Silva’s prayer day

Lawyers with The American Humanist Association sent a strongly worded letter to Mayor Anthony Silva  demanding he “stop this excessive entanglement with religion and with religious organizations.” The letter came after a local atheist complained about Silva’s all-day prayer rally Nov. 16. “Mayors and other public officials cannot use the machinery of the state to push [...]

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The return of Walmart City

Things have changed since Stocktonians, appalled at plans for six Walmarts in Stockton, supported a big box ordinance banning Walmart superstores. The city went bankrupt. It may be heading into dire straits again, thanks to those disgraces at CalPERS (see this post). So it needs sales tax revenue. Plus, Weston Ranch is restive. Residents, feeling [...]

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Will CalPERS bankrupt Stockton again?

CalPERS, the state pension manager, has long hidden the true cost of pensions by exaggerating their rate of return on investments. Now, the pension Hogzilla is moving to correct that — and it will cost the already strapped city of Stockton millions. The deceptive execs at CalPERS projected a rosy 7.5% return on investments. With [...]

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Channel head happenings

A water hyacinth-gobbling boat worked on the mass of hyacinth at the Channel head today. The weed whacking boat reportedly got much of the stuff, but not all. Meanwhile a harbor seal was seen swimming about. It’s not easy to see, but the seal appears to be eating a fish, as an envious seagull looks [...]

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Smith Canal and the rich jerk syndrome

A small knot of rich people are fighting the Smith Canal floodgate, even though if they win thousands of economically disadvantaged people will be burdened with costly flood insurance. This reminds me of several studies around 2012 that showed wealth reduces compassion. Why? Scientific American wondered, too. “But why would wealth and status decrease our [...]

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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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