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They want to know what city is doing about dust

Gun thefts from homes along Woodward Ave.

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POSTED May 3, 2017 1:21 a.m.

How bad is dust in parts of Manteca?
It’s so bad that several people are reporting people are running red lights when heavy dust blows at traffic signals at Main Street and Atherton Drive.
And an effort to remediate blowing dust put in place on the northwest corner may be making safety conditions even trickier. A cover was put on the chain link fence at that location to stop the dust.
“This has created a very hazardous condition, as the traffic traveling eastbound on Atherton cannot see traffic coming over the freeway traveling south,” reader Michele Painter noted in an e-mail. “My husband has personally witnessed three cars on separate occasions, traveling south, run the red light.  At that time the covering was not there to block his view, and he did not proceed on the green light because he was able to see that the vehicle was not going to stop.  Had the barrier been there, he would have been struck by this vehicle.”
 Last summer after a windy day it wasn’t unusual to see small sand drifts in the gutter backed up against the curb on the southeast corner of Atherton Drive and Main Street.
Painter said it is worse this year after almond orchards were pulled out on the southwest corner. Last week the parcel was disked breaking up the dirt and adding to the dust issues at the intersection as well as blowing into nearby neighborhoods.
“Come on City, someone should be held responsible for keeping these fields wet down, or be fined big time,” a frustrated Painter noted. “This is unacceptable, and so is sticking your heads in the sand.”
Painter isn’t alone. After Thursday’s dust storm that darkened  the 120 Bypass in the late morning between Airport Way and McKinley Avenue  prompting drivers to hit the brakes due to reduced visibility, dust in Manteca has becoming a topic of discussion especially for residents south of the 120 Bypass and near the Airport Way corridor that are impacted the most.
 The main culprit for the dust in most cases is construction related work. The Bypass dust was kicked up by a city project to install a sewer main beneath the freeway. The dust from that storm coated cars in the nearby Costco parking lot as well as homes south of the 120 Bypass.
Making this all the more frustrating is the city has policies in place to deal with the problem plus as anyone who has lived in Manteca during the spring, summer and fall knows once the temperatures hit 80 degrees and the dry winds return it doesn’t take much to give areas of the community the feel of living in a dust bowl.
Gun thefts from homes
along Woodward Ave.
A rash of gun thefts during residential burglaries south of the 120 Bypass has a few residents on edge.
One gentleman — who asked that his named not be used — noted the break-ins occurred near the East Woodward Avenue corridor between Union and Tinnin roads. The primary targets were guns.
Manteca Police note that almost all guns used in crime are stolen from law-abiding citizens that are victimized. Gun safes, they note, are the optimum deterrent.
Barring that the gentleman would like to see any surveillance photos published given that it appears criminals may be casing neighborhoods on bicycles.
A number of years ago a photo the Bulletin took of a 17-year-old who was the leader of a juvenile burglary ring was published in the paper. The teen even smiled for the camera as he sat curbside along Wawona Street bragging to the photographer that he was s juvenile and not much would happen to him because it wasn’t a violent crime.
The smart aleck’s photo was printed the next day. Two days later a woman called police when she recognized a boy who was acting suspicious in her neighborhood as the burglary suspect whose photo was in the paper. Police nabbed him before he broke into a  home.
He continued to press his luck until he was arrested for burglary after 18. He went away for an extended vacation courtesy of the State of California.
Arming citizens with information as well as encouraging them to work together by forming Neighborhood Watch groups is a proven deterrent to crime.
It is what Manteca Police Chief Jodie Estarziau is working to step up her department’s efforts to encourage the formation of Neighborhood Watch groups.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email

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