Category Archives: Uncategorized

When pirates attacked the bridge

An additional tidbit about the Hwy. 12 swing bridge: State records include a May 2, 1952 report that a 16-inch bronze ship’s bell used to warn highway traffic of bridge openings was stolen in the night. Thieves broke a pane of glass and let themselves in a door. The bell was the only thing stolen. [...]

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Basketball in paradise

A better photographer would have gotten there 10 minutes earlier when the ground light was stronger, and would have deployed a better camera than my iPhone’s. Still, I wanted to share this photo of last night’s celestial sunset. To top it off, a blue moon — or the nearly full precursor to tonight’s blue moon [...]

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Homelessness and the failure of Stockton leadership

Below, I wrote that Stockton governance has generally improved, in some cases markedly. An example of where it has not is Stockton’s homeless problem. Mayor Anthony Silva told me in an interview that he receives a constant stream of complaints and pleas for help from Stockton businesses afflicted with homeless campers, litterers, loiterers, defecators, metal [...]

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The pension reformers speak truth

“From a purely financial perspective, retirement promises and their debts are driving California’s fiscal crisis – but politicians are the real problem, unable to say “no” to the powerful government labor union bosses that fund their campaigns and then make expensive demands at the bargaining table.” —Chuck Reed, former Mayor of San Jose, and Carl [...]

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Hijacker’s lawyer to McNerney: stop speaking out

Jason Flores-Williams, Esq. of Santa Fe, N. M. writes: “Congressmen McNerney was on the plane that was allegedly hijacked from Albuquerque to Cuba by my client, Mr. Hill in 1971. Congressmen McNerney has very recently written a letter to President Obama and Secretary Kerry  seeking Mr. Hill’s extradition. The following is our official response: “While we [...]

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Giving City Hall its due

Recently, I quoted Bob Deis, Stockton’s city manager 2010-13, who said of City Hall, “The level of mediocrity and sheer incompetence I have never seen in any organization before.” I dredged up that biting quote in connection with the city of Stockton’s Byzantine events policy. But that policy, and the bureaucracy that implements it, is [...]

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The pension reform measure will save big bucks

Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor said this week that the pension reform measure heading for the 2016 ballot would result in “likely large savings” to governments. Taylor sent his analysis of the Voter Empowerment Act to state Attorney General Kamala Harris. Here it is. Money grafs: “Lower Costs for Defined Benefit Pensions. “Under this measure, defined benefit pension plans [...]

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Your tax dollars at work

CalTrans has released a video of its projects in San Joaquin County. One of the projects gave me a column idea. Can you guess which one?

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Ostriches of the new normal

Stockton’s post-bankruptcy finances require citizens to step up and be part of the solution. Or, as today’s story about the dangerous flowering pear tree shows, complaining works, too. Residents around this tree said it was an imminent threat to life and property — and promptly demonstrated how serious they took the situation by doing acting [...]

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The mayor’s shift on homelessness

“I’ll be honest about this,” Mayor Anthony Silva said in the interview behind this column. “I was overly compassionate about the homeless.” Silva came to realize some want a hand up and others a handout. “They (churches) have time and time again gone down there an given these folks banquets, and food after food after [...]

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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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