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Going Digital glitches part of expectation
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System hiccups caused computer outages across the Manteca Unified School District on Wednesday.

It is something that Superintendent Jason Messer said the district staff and partners such as Cisco Systems, Panasonic and Microsoft in Going Digital expected and are prepared to respond to immediately. Messer said that is why they planned the rolling deployment as they did.

When you’re adding 23,000 tablets to a system it’s bound to create glitches. That manifested itself on Wednesday when computers were knocked out for awhile in the Weston Ranch High office and some computers were forced off-line at Shasta School. The district office also experienced challenges with running their computers.

The expanded network is being tweaked as schools are added to the Going Digital initiative.

Messer stressed that there is a separation between business and student systems.

Going Digital was designed to be phased into the education curriculum first by having students spend the balance of the school year basically becoming familiar with the devices and how they can employ them to enhance their learning experience. Starting in August, they will be fully integrated with curriculum.

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Three of 100 in United States

Speaking of Microsoft, Manteca Unified School District Superintendent Jason Messer along with his wife and fellow educator Kristen Messer and teacher Tammy Dunbar were recognized Tuesday by the Manteca City Council for being named Innovative Educator Experts for 2015 by the Redmond, Washington-based software company.

Microsoft has recognized only 800 worldwide and 100 in the United States with three of them being in Manteca Unified.

Kristen Messer and Dunbar have each trained 400 teacher apiece in the software being used with Going Digital while Jason Messer trained 100 teachers. The district’s 1,200 teachers received their Going Digital computers a year ago in a bid to gear up for the rollout.

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State suspends minimum water flow requirements

Just how serious is the drought?

Consider this: The executive director of the State Water Resources Control Board issued a wide reaching order Wednesday approving a Temporary Urgency Change Petition filed by the California Department  of Water Resources and the Bureau of Reclamation regarding permits and licenses for the State Water Project and Central Valley Water Project.

The mumble jumble essentially means the state is suspending — at least for the next two months — established minimum water flow requirements on various rivers including the Stanislaus River that was required for water quality and other issues.

It is a concession to what is growing more obvious with every passing day — California is going to be in a world of hurt as the fourth consecutive year of drought unfolds.

It is real critical for those that depend on the South San Joaquin Irrigation District and the Stanislaus River for water. Average natural run-off into New Melones Reservoir  is 1.1 million acre feet of water. Four months into the water year there has only been 60,000 acre feet of water flow into the reservoir so far with the snowpack at only 25 percent.  Experts are projecting the runoff this year will come in somewhere between 200,000 and 400,000 acre feet. If that’s the case, New Melones is going to be empty this summer without some relief from regulatory requirements.

The storm hitting the Sierra this weekend isn’t expected to be very cold. That means snow — that is critical to 60 percent of the state’s developed water supplies — won’t be heavy. That said a lot of rain in the Central Sierra would certainly help even if Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop see just a sprinkling.

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The bores in Manteca poles

 The crews seen around Manteca the last few days boring holes in the base of wooden power poles are a private firm that tests them to determine their condition and if they need shoring up or replacement.

The 8-inch bores are done on random poles. It is a requirement that PG&E and other utilities perform to comply with safety regulations outlined by the California Public Utilities Commission.