Manteca Unified School District Superintendent Jason Messer and the Board of Education have been investing time and money in pushing the slogan, Proud to be MUSD, which is aimed at focusing on all things positive about the district - from students' accomplishments and teachers' innovative instructional approaches, to a slew of progressive-thinking educational programs such as the $30 million Going Digital and the be.tech vocational charter school that has shown phenomenal growth in the mere three years it has been open.
All four of Manteca's City Council members live in neighborhoods built in the last 15 years. Two reside in the Woodward Park neighborhood, one along the Airport Way corridor and the other in Union Ranch. All three neighborhoods are in the outer ring of the city.
Less than two blocks from my home Saturday there was a man washing his three cars with an open hose in his driveway. The water run-off ran the length of the block, turned a corner and was flowing down into the storm drain at a nice steady rate.
There are more than 12,000 homes on the drawing boards that various developers would like to build in Manteca during the coming years that reflect the Leave it to Beaver American Dream on steroids crossed with a McMansion version of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
It's come down to this: Death penalty foes who have consistently done everything they can to block California from executing those on death row now want the death penalty declared unconstitutional because the state doesn't put them to death quick enough. They argue lingering on death row for an uncertain execution is cruel and inhumane punishment.