September 2013

By: Alex Breitler

More than $1 million that could have gone toward protecting Stockton from future floods will instead be spent proving that levees strengthened as recently as the late 1990s remain structurally sound.

The San Joaquin Area Flood Control Agency argues the levees are fine. But the agency had little choice in deciding this week to spend the public money.

Federal regulations have changed, and failure to act could eventually have triggered mandatory flood insurance for 400,000 Stockton residents.


Click here to

By: Carol Ornelas

The Sept. 1 opinion piece from John Beckman of the Building Industry Association, “Small, vocal group in S.J. seeks fewer single-family homes,” misrepresents the growth in the San Joaquin Valley and how we can turn our region around after one of the worst economic recessions in our history.

We should be seeking lessons from this recession and asking ourselves, “Why was the San Joaquin Valley the No. 1 region for foreclosures in the nation?” The Valley is changing. We cannot continue to grow in the same fashion as we did before.

With all due respect, Beckman’s assessment for continued single-family housing is short-sighted. Shame on all of us if we did not learn from the housing crisis that we are still recovering from. Do we want to do this again? I would hope not. Not one person can say they were not affected by the housing fiasco that created the temporary demise of our economy.

Click here to

Jim  MarshSONORA – Retired Lincoln Unified School District teacher Jim Marsh has been named a 2013 Artist in the Woods for the Stanislaus National Forest.

That means that fans of Marsh and his multimedia creations will have a chance to join in the fun on Sept. 14 when Marsh holds a workshop in Hermit Valley on Highway 4 east of Bear Valley.

The honor was announced Thursday by Stanislaus National Forest Supervisor Susan Skalski. As a result, Marsh will stay in a cabin in the Calaveras Ranger District for two weeks through mid-September.

During that time, he is asked to create an original piece of work representative of his stay and to conduct a public workshop. Marsh is a musician, sketch artist, photographer and multimedia designer. He is also a member of an acoustic trio, Mom’s Chili Boys.

Marsh is known for his public art creations. In 2011, he and a team of students crafted larger-than-life fish sculptures that were part of the Stockton Steelhead Festival.

Click here to