Now the real fun begins.
The four words I fear the most.
I was trying to make up my mind between job offers in Manteca, Merced, and Las Vegas some 19 years ago.
Modesto has a population of 202,000 residents.
Sanity is about to return to one of Yosemite's most enduring features – Half Dome.
It takes a lot of cash to get rid of our trash.
Hiram Johnson and his contemporaries were mortified at the chokehold Southern Pacific Railroad had on California in the early 1900s.
"We have met the enemy and he is us." – Pogo in Walt Kelly's 1970 comic strip of the same name
Recently, San Joaquin County received correspondence from the Veterans Administration notifying us that the properties around the County Hospital, which we had offered for the location of the proposed Regional VA Facilities, had been eliminated from consideration. We were astonished at this revelation.
Imagine Manteca so small that everyone knows everybody. So small that the area where St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church and the houses along that stretch of East North Street is just open fields. And small enough there are only about 5,000 people who call this Spreckels Sugar town home.
Palm Beach in Florida is the winter play land of the Eastern Seaboard's old money.
It is abundantly clear with each passing day that PG&E – a key player in plunging California into a downward spiral and helping set the stage for the recall of Gov. Gray Davis when it successfully greased politicians in Sacramento to deregulate power in the Golden State – never intended to play by the rules it helped create.
Three young men apparently thought it would be fun Tuesday night to go around with flashing red and blue strobe lights and pull over unsuspecting motorists and ask for their identification.
If you are clinging to the side of a capsized boat in the middle of shark infested waters praying for rescuers to come to your aid, would you deliberately slash yourself to let blood flow into the water?
There was a time when a princess phone was the cat's meow when it came to high tech from your phone company that you affectionately referred to as Ma Bell.
Death and taxes.
Roads wear out. Bridges fail after a number of years. Sewer lines deteriorate.
Berkeley doesn't want you to smoke.
So what's going to be costlier when it comes to your pocketbook - the drought or a hypothetical 200-year flood event?
The English Coonhound settles in the Central Valley sun, sprawling out across a lane in the Best Western parking lot.
So how goes Manteca's war on the homeless?
There is a fine line between being cautious and paranoia.
It's nice to know I'm not the only one that doesn't trust the Internal Revenue Service or the Franchise Tax Board.
The steel framework of the 3,600-square-foot building going up on Moffat Boulevard is more than just the future home of the Manteca Veterans Center.
Salinity levels at Vernalis south of Manteca would not be so high if the Hypocrites-by-the Bay in the Green Environmental Perfection movement did their fair share to protect fish.
PG&E is paying $300 million too much for the 2,425 violations of federal and state safety rules in connection with an investigation following the 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people and destroyed more than three dozen homes.
Amanda Buhay could have died in mid-December in a Manteca High classroom.
I miss the good old days.
I love books. I taught myself to read at the age of 5 and haven't put a book down ever since. As a child I won several "Queen of Children's Readers" contests held at the local library, where they kept track of every book I borrowed, and several years in a row I came close to the number 300.
As strange as it might sound, Manteca is ahead of the curve when it comes to stepping up its game to conserve water.