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Keeping things just ducky in Manteca

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Keeping things just ducky in Manteca

One of the resident ducks at Orchard Valley.

DENNIS WYATT/The Bulletin/

POSTED January 19, 2018 1:13 a.m.

Paula Brillon has spent nearly two years making sure things are just ducky for the 16 abandoned ducks that call the small manmade lake that’s adjacent to the AMC Showplace Manteca 16 theater home.
The Manteca resident stops by on a regular basis to make sure the ducks are eating properly, feeding them a high quality scratch she purchases out of her own pocket from McGowan Feed Store on Lathrop Road.
“A lot of people feed them pieces of bread but that really isn’t good for them,” Brillon said Thursday as the ducks started leaving the water the second she arrived.
She added some toss the ducks popcorn as they leave the cinema which also isn’t the greatest thing for them to eat.
She said the ducks have been dropped off over the years by people who had them as pets and apparently tired of them.
Brillon keeps close tabs on the ducks noting that one duck was injured by a boy who kicked it.
She said one time when she was out-of-town for an extended period and returned the ducks immediately recognized her as she approached the small lake with her bag of scratch mixed with other feed.
Brillon works at Bass Pro Shops where her duties include tending to the numerous animal displays that have become a unique Manteca tourist attraction. It’s rare to be in the store marking its 10th year in Manteca without seeing people snapping photos with cameras or their smartphones of the various animals as well as the large aquarium that is home to a host of fish found in the Delta.
She noted the lake itself now has a number of fairly large fish.

Tesla more than doubles
Manteca supercharging
stations at Orchard Valley
Manteca is a popular charging spot for Tesla owners that access the firm’s supercharging station at The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley just off the 120 Bypass at Union Road.
Eight charging stations were put in place at Orchard Valley more than a year ago. Since then 12 more stations have been added.
As of December 2017, Tesla had 1,063 supercharger locations worldwide including 443 in the United States. Among all of the locations there are 7,320 supercharging station or an average of seven per location. As such that makes Manteca one of Tesla’s larger locations for supercharging.
Most charging of Tesla vehicles takes place at the owner’s home or workplace.

Social media pundits
giving Juniper
undeserved bad rap
The 164-unit Tesoro Apartments being built at Atherton Drive and Van Ryn Avenue has prompted a lot of misinformation on social media not only about the units being built by also the neighbioring Juniper Apartments to the east.
They are not subsidized apartments. They are being built by a partnership led by Mike Atherton and will be managed by the same firm that manages Paso Villas to the west where Atherton also is a part owner. Rents will be at-market and comparable to Paseo Vilas where a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment rents for $1,615 a month.
Some have referred to Juniper Apartments as Section 8 housing and made disparaging remarks that it is destined to be a slum.
The 153-unit complex is workforce housing subsidized by tax-free bonds and are owned and operated by a non-profit corporation — Community Development Trust — that has a solid 19-year history of maintaining its properties.
Workforce housing such as Juniper Apartments are rented to working people who typically make 80 percent of the median household income of an area which in Manteca’s case is almost $50,000 a year as year. It essentially targets those who work at local businesses that are being squeezed out by housing prices. They pay a set percentage of their income in rent.
Section 8 is a government program that pays the balance of a qualified renter’s payment that exceeds 30 percent of a renter’s monthly income. That’s a huge difference.
Atherton and his partners originally planned on developing the site where Juniper apartments are located. When the opportunity was presented to have a workforce housing project built by the non-profit that looks like a kissing cousin of Paseo Villas from the outside although it has less upscale touches such as marble and such inside and was well-managed, the partnership thought it would fill a big need in Manteca.
It is given the waiting list that has been reported to be in excess of 200 people all of whom are gainfully employed.

Happy Pet Owners
need help reducing
kitten population growth
The volunteers with Happy Pet Owners are working to reduce the Manteca-Lathrop cat population as they have for years.
The organization has fixed over 50 feral cats in the last two weeks alone, which will prevent hundreds from being born. They’ve also placed over 100 kittens in loving homes since September.
With the spring kitten season fast approaching, the 501(c)3 is out of money and unable to have more cats fixed except for those that the two women who founded the organization — Karen Duke and Melanie Parker can do out of their own pockets.
That is why Happy Pets volunteer Cindy Biaggi is hoping people who are able to make small donations will contact Melanie Parker at 898.6553 or Karen Duke at 858.2124. They also can be reached on Instagram at @happypetowners_501_3c.

Praying for rain and
praying for it not to
In his opening invocation at Tuesday’s Manteca City Council meeting Tim Kempter of New Hope Church made a point with the prayer he offered that should get us all a bit to think about.
He prayed for rain to help the farmers and prayed for it not to rain to help keep the homeless dry.
It was a reminder the needs of people are often different and clash.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email

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