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At site of next Manteca Fire station
The city owned site for the planned fifth fire station at Woodward Avenue and Atherton Drive was covered with weeds in excess of 6 inches on Wednesday afternoon.

Remember the good old days when roadside hawkers sold bags of oranges and flowers?
Wednesday afternoon a vendor was trying to sell plush, oversized armless chairs in various patterns along Airport Way just south of Louise Avenue. And just like ordering it from Amazon they had boxed, ready-to-assembly versions ready for you to buy and put in your trunk to take home.
One’s got to wonder what Manteca’s furniture store owners that actually have to adhere to zoning codes and business licenses think of this new trend? Of course they can’t compete with the ambiance of buying from the back of a pickup truck next to a weed choked field on the dirt shoulder of crumbling Airport Way pavement.

Note to city: Don’t
forget to cite yourself
for weeds at site for
next Manteca fire station
It’s just a couple of days away from the start of weed abatement inspections by the Manteca Fire Department and the burning question is have you attacked your weeds that are 6 inches or higher?
The department is starting weed abatement inspections a full month earlier this year due to the wet winter creating lots of potential fuel for a fire. That means after April 1 firefighters are going to be checking neighborhoods for six inches or higher weeds and issue warnings over the course of the next two to three weeks on violations they can see from the cab of their fire engines.
Let’s hope what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. One of the vacant lots that has traditionally been among the last to be abated long after most residents and owners of other vacant lots have compiled is the city owned site for the next fire station at Atherton Drive and Woodward Avenue. The city usually contracts the work out instead of having municipal workers due to the task.
The fire station site was choked with high weeds Wednesday.
Any bets on whether city hall gets a warning on the need to abate the weeds?

Now kids are
without parents
with them in Manteca
Former Manteca Jack Snyder called attention to what he thought could be a new disturbing trend — young kids, presumably homeless, panhandling with no adults in sight.
He came across the kids on Historical Plaza Drive where intersects with Spreckels Avenue behind the Chevron station and adjacent to the Spreckels Historical Plaza.
The plaza is where Bill and Demetri Filios threw in the towel after years of battling homeless ripping out electrical wire on lights and irrigation controllers, depositing human feces, dumping garbage and generally trashing and marring what was intended as a nice tribute to Spreckels Sugar that cost them $200,000 to create and countless dollars to maintain.
Snyder reported the kids were standing along the temporary fence put in place to secure the plaza against the onslaught.
A quick check of the area after he called turned up no kids. However, a few days after that three preteens were there — assuming they are the same ones — with signs saying they were hungry.
Parked perhaps a hundred yards away was a couple in the Target parking lot that appeared to be keeping an eye on the kids.
There are plenty of church groups and non-profits in Manteca providing food on a regular basis — some even step up in an emergency situation.
The kids were able to shake down several people for money is the span of a minute or so.

Perhaps the street
light pole jumped
in front of them?
So are people driving too fast, reckless or are preoccupied texting or a combination thereof.
Yet another street light standard was taken out a week ago in a solo accident. This time it was along Atherton Drive in front of the Paseo Villas apartments where there are four lanes, a continuous left turn lane and no visibility issues.
Less than a quarter of a mile to the south on the segment of Woodward Avenue between Van Ryn Avenue and Main Street solo accidents have managed to take out a half dozen street lights and trees during the past five or so years.
Since both streets have extremely smooth pavement compared to many other roadways in Manteca that don’t have such a rash of solo accidents involving trees and street lights perhaps crumbling pavement and potholes are de facto speed bumps.

A map to homeless
hiking trails in
Manteca might be nice
Maybe the Manteca Convention & Visitors Bureau can put together a walking tour of homeless encampments in Manteca.
If they do they might want to include Manteca’s homeless trails alongside the 120 Bypass midway between Union Road and the Highway 99 interchange.
It is so well beaten that the ground has been pounded to the point of no vegetation being able to grow.
Caltrans long time ago gave up trying to replace fencing that the homeless have repeatedly ripped down. While it may not matter too much along Moffat, but is it wise to have a bicycle path that a lot of kids use along Van Ryn Avenue to have unobstructed access to the freeway right-of-way and ultimately the 120 Bypass?
Caltrans removed errant trees and shrubs in these areas last year in a bid to cut down on homeless encampments. Extensive heavy rains have create bumper crop of weeds creating ideal camouflage. This won’t last for long as Caltrans will be doing weed abatement to combat another perennial problem along the 120 Bypass — grass fires.

Atherton Drive
landscaping is
looking good
There’s a lot that is going right in Manteca including a decade or so ago to try and soften the proliferation of four lanes of asphalt on mayor roads.
After a decade or so of maturing the medians on Atherton Drive between Van Ryn Avenue and Woodward Avenue have softened the look a lot making area more appealing and less harsh.
It is part of a landscape maintenance district being handled by City of Manteca crews.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email