I don’t believe in the supernatural, but I’m afraid of it anyway. Particularly when giving thought to the city of Stockton’s bad luck.
As reported in this story, the city plugged its drains for one day during the Asparagus Festival — and Mother Nature chose that one day to break a historic drought and rain.
Just that day.
It pooped the Asparagus Festival party, tipping the event into insolvency and killing it.
It flooded the basement of City Hall.
There’s a context for lamenting Stockton’s bad luck. Remember the city was Ground Zero of the foreclosure crisis. Of all the cities in all the land, this city had the misfortune to be the hardest hit. So in addition to bankruptcy, the city generated tons of bad press.
This city has bad mojo. Not the sort of issue the International City Manager’s Association routinely handles.
I’m too rational to believe in curses. But let’s bring in a multi-faith squad of priests, pastors and shamans so that prayer and incantation — sacrifices, whatever — can lift the curse off Stockton. Just to cover all the bases.
If ever a heartening story can make you feel good about your city’s future, it is this one.
It has it all: phenomenal leadership by Councilman Michael Tubbs, the prescription and treatment of Stockton’s substandard civic culture and young people who believe they can make a difference.
Stockton tried civic betterment through capital improvement projects. Ones such as Paragary’s didn’t work, in part because we neglected the human capital. A whole swath of the population felt left out by government they saw as elitist and unresponsive to their priorities. Connecting to them — connecting them to a healthy civic culture — is the groundwork for civic success, not only in capital improvement projects, but the quality of city life and the realization of this city’s awesome potential.
The search engine giant lofted huge balloons from a Merced airfield the other day. Google guys envision the balloons forming a wireless network in the stratosphere so residents of rural Merced County can have WiFi.
I have a million questions. Only a few of which are answered by this article.
Meanwhile, big buzz around the Google barge has died down. What’s new on that front? “Nothing,” says Port Director Rick Aschieris. “They pay their dockage fees on time, and nothing else is happening.”
Stockton painter Jun Jamosmos does “live painting” Saturday at the Barrio Fiesta Filipina at Elk Grove Regional Park.
Jamosmos, 51, is a self taught artist from the Philippines who has become a full-time painter after working as an accountant in the last 30 years in the Philippines and in Stockton.
John Kindseth writes:
I noticed the Stockton teachers are whining, moaning and complaining again about their situation. Here is “Jake’s Guide to Teachers Complaints:”
1. “Its for the children”…….Its the money
2. “Support Education” …. Pay the union goons, pay more money.
3. “Schools need your support” … Give more money till it hurts.
4. “California doesn’t support its children”….We demand more money
5. “Its not about money”…..Its about money.
6. “I have a 5 year degree”……[so do many working in fast food.]
7. “California doesn’t do enough for its children.” ….We want more money.
6. “Evaluation standards are not fair”…..I am an awful teacher, but I still want full tenure protection.
7. “Administrators want to get rid of high priced teachers”…. Administrators want to get rid of perverts, molesters, and scum.
8. “How can my skills be evaluated”….I am above the law.
In one of California’s all-too-seldom acts of genuine progressivism, Jerry Brown kicked down millions of dollars to poor school districts. The money is supposed to help poor kids to learn through after school programs and the like. The Stockton Teacher’s Association wants that money for its members. I’ll probably write abut the issue this week.
I have always argued that high-speed rail will be a boon to Stockton and the Valley. But sometimes it seems the Valley fights those who would lift it out of its low-wage agrarian economy.
Fresno’s city council is the latest in a long list of blinkered politicians and south-Valley residents to come out against the bullet train. Thankfully, a PoliSci professor from Fresno State has called them on it.
“Many of these elected officials tout jobs as their No. 1 priority in office, but they also reject the biggest jobs program that this local region will see in the next 50 years,” writes Jeff Cummins.
“Make no mistake,” Cummins writes. “high-speed rail is a game-changer for the Valley and here’s why.”