Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Gravy Train

This one’s a classic: A former city manager who railed against public employe overcompensation tried to spike his pension by 42 percent and retire on $307,000 a year. And he worked in Vallejo, which went bankrupt. “(Joseph) Tanner was 59 when he took the top job in Vallejo in 2007 with the clear intention of boosting his [...]

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Andal questions tiny houses; Tubbs answers

Fiscal watchdog Dean Andal sent some questions about mayoral candidate Michael Tubbs’ proposal to use tiny houses to get homeless people off the streets of Stockton. I forwarded those questions to Tubbs. He answers, below. 1. Since the dwellings are not in the current general plan, I assume the general plan would have to be [...]

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The real lead poisoning

A Texas mom who is loudly pro-gun got into an argument with her two daughters and killed them. Police killed her. Boing Boing has it. And this is guns — or the side of guns Second Amendment diehards don’t face. Every mom in the world gets into arguments with her daughters. Without guns in this incident, [...]

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A lead balloon

The discovery of slightly elevated levels of lead in the water of one Stockton home got strong play in today’s paper. It would have been equally valid to say testing in 70 homes found amounts well below federal safety levels in some homes and no trace whatsoever in others — and levels exceeding standards in [...]

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A church in Stockton’s DNA

In today’s column I didn’t get much into the schism in the Methodist Church that underlied the founding of Grace United Methodist Church in pioneer Stockton. But the schism explains why the church was founded and why it moved north. In 1844, as churches do, the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church split into [...]

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An SF Supe’s promising homeless measure

A San Francisco Supervisor has come up with what seems like a comnon-sense plan to reduce homelessness. Worth a look by Stockton policy makers (and voters) is the “Housing not Tents” ballot measure. Reports KQED: “The measure would permit the city to remove tents, provided it offers specific shelter or housing opportunities to the people [...]

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McNerney joined House sit-in

Life’s not all sweetness and solar panels. Sometimes you have to get in the face of recalcitrant Republicans and demand desperately needed change. And that presumably is why Congressman Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, participated in the historic House sit-in to protest the Republicans’ do-nothing stance on gun control. McNerney issued a statement. An excerpt: “My Democratic [...]

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A movement to raise The Phoenix

    In 2010 I had some fun helping to solve the mystery of The Phoenix of Hiroshima, a historically significant boat that had vanished in the Delta. The 50-foot double-end ketch made international headlines in 1958 when its owner, radiation expert Earle L. Reynolds, sailed into the off-limits waters of Bikini Atoll to protest [...]

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“A long history of being out of sync”

That’s what City Manager Kurt Wilson said about Stockton vis-a-vis other cities in his annual budget message. For years Stockton outspent other comparable cities. Now, ironically, it is under-spending compared to them, locked into a misconceived post-bankruptcy budget that wrongly gauged competitive levels of public employee compensation. A federal judge signed off on it, so [...]

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The Bay Area’s exodus

“A recent poll revealed that an unsettling sense of yearning has descended on people in the Bay Area: About one-third of those surveyed by the Bay Area Council say they would like to exit the nine-county region sometime soon.” —The San Jose Mercury News, reporting that “the number of people leaving California for another state [...]

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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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