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It’s dark on the southern end of Spreckels Avenue these nights

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POSTED November 6, 2009 2:28 a.m.
The darkest park in Manteca once the sun goes down?

Try Spreckels Recreation Park.

A lady who takes her evening constitutional along the Spreckels Avenue bikeway said seven street lights along Spreckels Avenue and one on Moffat Boulevard adjacent to the park have been out for months. She questioned the safety and whether Manteca was paying PG&E for electricity to lights that weren’t working.

An e-mail alerting the city of the situation earlier this week brought back no response.

The city’s first solar park lights, though, along the yet-to-open BMX track are working just fine.

The lady contacted the Manteca Bulletin Tuesday and said since Daylight Savings Time she’s stopped her twilight walks. She pointed out, though, that it is still “awfully dark” for even traffic along Spreckels Avenue.

Two Mantecans died in World War I
Much has been made of the sacrifice of Hope McFall – the first Mantecan to fall in World War I.

His memory and along with others from the Manteca area who gave their lives serving America will be recognized during Wednesday’s Veterans Day services that starts at 11 a.m. at Library Park.

Manteca historian Ken Hafer notes that the sacrifice of Earl Woodward is often forgotten.

The 28-year-old Manteca man died the same day, Nov. 15, 1918, as McFall did. He was part of the same military division – the 363rd Infantry – that McFall was.

Manteca lost just the two men in The Great War. McFall’s son John – whom he never saw – went on to not just become congressman representing Manteca and the valley but rose to the position of Democratic Party majority whip.

Manteca delivers on B. R. Funsten
In the “miracles never cease” department, the B.R. Funsten warehouse expansion is virtually complete.

It probably represents something of a record response from Manteca City Hall to move a project forward.

B.R. Funsten was ready to relocate its flooring distribution center at Industrial Park Drive and South Main Street to bigger quarters in Stockton and take 130 jobs with them.

City leaders got wind of the plans, sat down with company officials and discovered they had misinformation about the cost of municipal fees and whether they could expand on site. B.R. Funsten was also on a tight schedule wanting to get out of a lease for another distribution center for flooring they operate under the Tom C. Duffy name in Fairfield.

Not only did city leaders provide the correct fee information – it will end up being less than $400,000 – but he also got a firm commitment from key city departments to make sure the 86,000-square-foot addition to the warehouse and 6,500-square-foot addition to the office will be able to be completed by Dec. 1.

The approval process is being squeezed into four months instead of the usual 18 months. Community Development Director Mark Nelson brought key people together in all city deparments in connection with the project to make sure everything from environmental impact reports to plan checks got top priority. Approval of the foundation plans is expected in the coming weeks.

Funsten opted to stay as the $600,000-plus difference in fees and the ability to consolidate operations on a tight time frame made economical sense.

It means 130 Manteca jobs won’t be lost nor will a large source of municipal sales tax.
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