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Assaults continue on veterans center
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Can Manteca take back Moffat Boulevard?
After spending well over $15 million since 2005 in a concerted effort to clear out bight and put in community gathering points such as the Spreckels BMX Park, the Moffat Community Center/Manteca Veterans Center, and Manteca Transit Station it is clear that the criminal element as well as the homeless are still a problem.
Sometime late Sunday night or early Monday morning the city’s new $1.3 million community center was struck by vandals. They did $2,500 worth of damage to a trash enclosure plus cut a hole through the fence securing a shed and the air conditioning unit.
Surveillance video shows a station wagon driving down the Tidewater Bikeway under cloak of darkness behind the community center.
City Manager Karen McLaughin Monday arranged to have a city crew fix the hole in the cyclone fence. She is also working on a solution to replace the cyclone fence with wrought iron-style “cage” that can’t be easily cut through without a cutting torch and is extremely difficult to scale much like the fence put in place near the skate park to prevent kids from crossing the train tracks.
When it is installed it will greatly enhance security.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars could also store a grill and BBQ — the apparent target of the vandalism of the separate trash enclosure — inside the wrought iron cage once it is in place
VFW Commander Carlon Perry noted that the responsible parties apparently were interrupted as they only got a few of the nuts and bolts off the trash enclosure gate before leaving without taking the BBQ or grill.
And while the homeless temporarily seek shelter for the night in makeshift shelter between the landscaping and railroad fence along the Tidewater before moving on in the morning, Perry doubts the latest vandalism had anything to do with the homeless.
As an added noted, Perry is grateful that the Manteca Police will — as time allows — do security checks at the community center as they do at other municipal buildings that have had problems with vandalism, graffiti, and theft.

Trim a shrub, take
away a place for
homeless to sleep
Speaking of homeless, to those that think this is a new development in recent years, just ask people whose homes back up to the Tidewater Bikeway.
Since the landscaping started to mature, the Tidewater — which is essentially a municipal linear park — has been a popular place for the homeless to bunk down.
City crews periodically will trim back trees and such. The once-a-year Second Saturday and “Love Manteca” effort that enlists volunteer work parties will perform additional trimming to minimize the ability for the homeless to cobble together shelter.
Usually they will pile dead vegetation near trees with low branches and shrubs to screen themselves off from the bike path.

The $300,000
concrete static art
at Library Park
The interactive water play feature at Library Park — which is seeing no play due to the drought — may never be turned on again. And it’s not just because of a proposed water conservation ordinance before the Manteca City Council tonight.
State mandates that currently prohibit any type of fountain that doesn’t recycle water from being used are expected to become a permanent rule.
The play feature with a design that incorporates area history and trains was completed just over seven years ago to the tune of $300,000.
The city nixed plans for another water play feature at Woodward Park a few years back due to the high cost to comply with rules that required the water to be recycled and treated.
Latrhop’s two water play features as well as the one at Ripon’s Misltin Sports Park all use recycled water.
City Manager Karen McLaughlin said she will have staff make inquiries about how much it would cost to retrofit the Library  Park play feature to determine if it is something the City Council may want to pursue.