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Texting while driving killing more city trees

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POSTED February 27, 2018 12:33 a.m.

Cause and effect is an interesting thing.
Consider downed city street trees, copper wire theft, and tossed dumpsters as examples.
Talk to city workers and they will tell you six or seven years ago the number of street trees taken out yearly in auto accidents could be counted on one or two hands.
Now there seems to be an epidemic of trees getting mowed down.
Are vandals running amok stealing cars to crash into trees given only a complete nut case would intentionally use their own vehicle to do so?
The number of trees biting the dust started escalating when texting and driving became a problem. Before the advent of texting trees would be taken out by a drunken driver, reckless driving at a high rate of speed or the offshoot of two cars colliding. That still happens but most trees are now taken out in one shot wonders on streets when traffic is at a minimum which, based on the logic too many people use, is a great time to text or check your messages.
Upwards of a dozen trees and a few street light poles as well have been taken out just on Woodward Avenue in solo accidents where speed per se wasn’t a factor.
Then there’s the 2 a.m. bicycle census on Manteca streets. You still see significant numbers but there are less carrying big plastic bags of recyclable cans or odds and ends of copper and other metals.
Could it have anything to do with the metal recycling business on Moffat Boulevard just down from the Manteca Transit Center being permanently closed down? It obviously hasn’t stopped all such thefts but if you have to take scrap metal you’ve requisitioned out of town on a bicycle to redeem it you’ve reduced the number of people willing to work up that much of a sweat.
It should be noted you used to be able to tell what neighborhood was on the recycling route later that morning by where the bicyclists laden with bulging plastic bags were pedaling from.
Most of them are smart enough now to clean up after themselves and not draw attention to their thievery from the city’s blue carts by placing items they don’t swipe back into the carts.
The final cause and effect is the advent of the city’s locked orange carts for food waste that are used by places such as supermarkets and restaurants.
The problem of dumpster divers tossing trash about looking for items such as food waste and recyclables have dropped significantly in the past year. While there is still diving for recyclables and trash than can be repurposed as part of makeshift shelters, the messy food tossing has plummeted.
So if you think driving and texting is a smart move, check out the missing street trees in Manteca and think about the damage jumping the curb and taking one of them out — or perhaps a street light pole — can do to your car.
And in terms of cutting down on quality of life crimes and petty theft done by the homeless and/or meth heads check out how implementing city strategies for an entirely different purpose such as converting food waste to fuel or a metal recycling firm going out of business can improve the quality of life in Manteca.

66 year-old
chandelier going
to Steve Winter
Jim Pereza must have thought his wife Wendy King had lost it.
They were just getting dinner served at a Mexican restaurant at the center now anchored by Cal-Fit Manteca a number of years ago when she was told the former Winter home was for sale.
King said she immediately told her husband to have the dinner packed to go as they weren’t going to waste a second. They then made a beeline for the home at Raylow Avenue and Pine Street.
Growing up King, like a number of other longtime residents, looked at the home built by the late beloved physician Robert Winter as “the house in Manteca.” When it was built in 1952 it was in the country and looked upon as one of the grandest homes in Manteca along with the Cabral house and Whittaker house.
The home sits on just over a half an acre and has 3,500 plus square feet in a one-story floorplan.
King and Pereza — the fourth owners of the house — have just put it up for sale with an asking price of $649,000.
They are going to give the original chandelier that is still in the dining room to one of Winter’s sons — retired Manteca High Principal Steve Winter.
Winter, his wife Frona, and one of their sons along with his wife and children were guests of King and Pereza earlier this month as Steve shared stories of what it was like growing up in the house as well as recalling stories about his dad.
For details on the home call King at (209) 612-7005.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email

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