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The water is rolling back, but the work isn’t

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POSTED March 3, 2017 12:59 a.m.

It looks like the immediate threat of a flood in South San Joaquin County is suspended for the time being.
And with only occasional rain – the earliest of which will come on Saturday – in the forecast for the month of March, it also appears that reservoirs will have the time they need to release water to make room for the record-setting snowpack in the watershed above.
But that doesn’t mean that questions don’t still need to be asked.
Earlier this week Lathrop Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal said he would push for funding – be it from the federal or state government – to dredge the San Joaquin River of the massive silt deposits that are cutting into the river’s ability to handle large amounts of water.
While Lathrop has been working day-and-night to find the money needed to overhaul its levees to comply with a state mandate that all levees protecting developed areas be able to withstand 200-year floodwaters, the fact that Dhaliwal is looking at other avenues that could more easily be implemented to complement the SB5 compliance efforts is a very good sign.
Ultimately there’s not much man can do to stop the raw power of nature, but with modern engineering we can, in a sense, corral it – strengthening levees and removing silt buildup that will allow water to flow more freely through the San Joaquin River.
A lot of the focus has been on strengthening and repairing the levees, but the fact that Dhaliwal is reaching out to other cities that could be affected by a levee breach and pushing the matter in every political arena is something that is a very good sign that things are being done now to prevent this scare from happening again in a few years when another extremely wet winter becomes a reality.
Nobody thought that the amount of snow that has been generated this winter was even a possibility. Some Lake Tahoe ski resorts have received more than 40 feet of snow so far this year. That is insane on so many levels, but it’s also a blessing – California’s own Powerball jackpot.
Hopefully dam operators are able to manage their way through the millions of acre feet of water that will be coming between now and the end of the spring melt without being forced to create the same kind of scenario that South Manteca residents found themselves smack dab in the middle of last week.
Steps are being taken.
And that’s all one can ask for at this point.

What’s going
on in Stockton?
If you ever thought that Manteca politics were combative – and they have been in the past – they can’t hold a candle to what is going on in Stockton right now.
Earlier this week Stockton Police Officers in riot gear cleared the council chambers after a group apparently became disruptive.
This is the second time in a month that police officers have had to step in to quell conduct at a Stockton City Council meeting – first when they shut down the meeting after Mayor Michael Tubbs was threatened and escorted the elected officials out to their vehicles.
And now, this.
Last year a Southern California legal office used statistics from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Index and local and regional sources to determine the most dangerous cities in California. The only city higher on the list than Stockton was San Bernardino. While Oakland ranked highest in crime, Stockton was No. 3 – ratings that took poverty, foreclosures, and community issues into account in facilitating the ranking system from the data.
And while crime may have hit a 15-year low last year thanks to the work of Police Chief Eric Jones and a swift response to escalating violence that began when he took over in 2012, it’s still something that needs to be taken into consideration.
I realize that the disruptions at the council meetings stemmed from parents who are upset that their children were killed by Stockton police, but it also appears that outside agitators were also to blame for stoking the flames of fear. I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a child, but each of those individual cases as reported by the police seem to indicate that the idea their lives may have been in danger has a shred of truth.
But of course, as Facebook tells us, it’s all part of a big conspiracy that involves city officials and even the Stockton Record to cover up the truth about what is happening.
Rome is burning, and instead of dealing with the heavy issues in front of them, Stockton’s elected officials are now having to worry about their own personal safety more than the safety of the constituents they are sworn to protect.
And as long as that continues, the problems and the issues that exacerbate the violence will continue.
Considering that Stockton is the county seat and Manteca’s neighbor, that should be troubling.
Baseball Boy
Is it too early to start indoctrinating my son with love for the San Francisco Giants?
Six months is old enough, right?
I mean, it works for music – when I walk him around at night I shower him with Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen and Jack Johnson and Frank Turner and Sublime and Ed Sheeran – and I’ve discovered that when he’s antsy, putting on a song as I walk around calms him down almost immediately and is a surefire way to get him to pass out.
Maybe he’s bored to sleep by it. Maybe it’s calming. Either way, it’s one of my favorite things to do with him, and sitting him on my lap next month as we watch the San Francisco Giants start their season is something I can’t wait for.
Perhaps I should test this theory on the World Series games of 2010, 2012 and 2014 first just to see how he likes them.
Then again, he isn’t such a fan of facial hair so maybe Brian Wilson would scare him.
There’s only one way to find out, right?

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