Category Archives: Uncategorized

“He gave his guts.”

For the 50th anniversary of the Delano grape strike, KQED did a good piece on the forgotten Filipino role. It features Stockton-born historian Dawn Mabalon talking about Stockton labor leader Larry Itliong. “Even though she’s in her late 20s, Melanie Retuda says she learned about the Filipino origins of the strike only last year. “I’d [...]

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The mayor’s race: Now we’re talkin’.

Why does Stockton stumble along the way it does? One reason the city has seethed with crime, blight and antipathy towards City Hall for decades  is — looking back now — leaders’ laissez faire attitude towards the poverty and struggles of the economically challenged parts of the city. Where poverty so deep becomes the trigger [...]

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CalPERS: Always needing more

The cost to cities — to taxpayers — of pensions is rising 50%, but CalPERS, the state pension Hogzilla, is working on a strategy that will cost you even more. The L.A. Times explains why. “Last year, governments sent CalPERS $8.8 billion in taxpayer money, while employees contributed an additional $3.8 billion, according to financial [...]

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Stockton’s most powerful man

The 5th most powerful person in California lives in Stockton. He’s Joe Nunez, head of the California Teacher’s Association, the state’s most powerful union. Nunez, a former Stockton teacher, was named the 5th most powerful in Capitol Weekly’s Top 100 ranking. One observer told me a story about a meeting between Gov. Jerry Brown, the [...]

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One more star for the walk of fame

A Stockton luminary I forgot to include in today’s column is Harriet Chalmers Adams. A female trailblazer, she was an intrepid explorer who circled the globe, sharing her discoveries with National Geographic. A scholarly piece on her here. Her Wikipedia entry here.

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Besto gets his appointment

I never held with those who cried foul over the $5,150 in campaign contributions Steve Bestolarides made to his fellow Supervisor Chuck Winn, who voted to appoint Bestolarides county Assessor Tuesday. The contributions were transparent. So voters who think Winn sold his vote are free to vote against Winn come next election. What bugged me [...]

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The grueling battle for pension reform

A bellwether case of pension reform is heading towards a negotiated settlement. In June of 2012 San Jose voters overwhelmingly approved Measure B, a pension reform measure. San Jose had to do something. The cost of pensions rose from $73 million in 2001 to $245 million in 2011. Over the last two decades, the cost grew [...]

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Before the train comes the pain

California’s high-speed rail system may be 8-10 years from reaching Stockton. If it ever does. But the railroad has reached Fresno in a big way. The High-Speed Rail Authority has purchased scores of properties right through the heart of Fresno — or seized them by eminent domain. That amounts to a whole bunch of drama, [...]

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Stockton billboard’s last day

Since 2012 this billboard has greeted people entering Stockton from I-5 north at Lathrop: “Our original thought process revolved around a welcome sign as Stockton does not have any official welcome signage,” said Wes Rhea of Visit Stockton. Today, the contract for the billboard lapses. “So it will soon be gone I am sure,” Rhea [...]

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Another brother in bankruptcy

Hillview, Ky., population 8,000 has filed for bankruptcy, only the second city since Stockton (and Detroit) to do so. The straw that broke the little city ‘s back was losing a multi million dollar lawsuit. But, like Stockton the city was badly overextended. It lists $10 million in assets and $100 million in liabilities. There [...]

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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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