By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Mr. Mayor, remove that bulb!
The bulb that Councilwoman Debby Moorhead wants removed. - photo by DENNIS WYATT

The calendar has turned to 2015 which means a new year but the same old refrain.

Ten years ago in 2005 the Manteca City Council was being asked by then Manteca District Ambulance Executive Director Dana Solomon who has since retired to consider taking out the infamous landscaping bulbs in the 100 block of North Main Street.

They had been put in place several years earlier as the traffic solution du jour after elected leaders continued to get mixed signals from residents and merchants alike about whether they wanted to shove four lanes of through traffic through downtown on Main Street or else keep parking and make the corridor more pedestrian friendly. The solution was designed to beautify but also make parking movements less disruptive. And in the case of the 100 block of North Main Street, it was to discourage alley traffic — especially large semis — from crossing Main Street that created not just safety issues but also impeded the flow of traffic. Supporting Solomon’s request was Brenda Franklin.

They caught the ear of then Councilman Steve DeBrum who asked that the issue of what to do with the bulbs be brought back before the council. The end result was a staff proposal that four bulbs be removed — two on Main Street impeding right turn movements and two on Maple Avenue. The council ultimately ordered the removal of the two bulbs on Main Street removed and converted Maple Avenue into a one-way street to eliminate traffic back-ups on Maple Avenue and Yosemite Avenue caused by people trying to reach the post office.

Fast forward to Tuesday night; DeBrum is now in the mayor’s chair. The muncipal staff is once again being instructed by the council to revisit the bulbs. This time the request came from Councilwoman Debbie Moorhead and concerns just one bulb on the west side of North Main by the alley.

Just like Solomon pointed out 10 years prior, tire marks are on the bulb as well as the center median from vehicles misjudging turns. Moorhead noted the tree in the planter has been knocked down several times and replaced. She had a photo of the tree leaned over. It was removed by Wednesday afternoon with just a support pole left standing.

What — if anything — will happen this time around?

• • •

Panera Bread rising in Manteca

What’s cooking on the site of the former Manteca Bowl next door to where McDonald’s was once located? 

The answer is simple. Construction crews are starting to raise the walls for the long-awaited Panera Bread.

The restaurant is being built on just under an acre immediately west of the Taqueria La Estrella restaurant in the shopping center anchored by Grocery Outlet.  It will have access to that shopping center’s parking lot as well as a yet to be developed parcel between the Panera Bread site and the former McDonald’s restaurant site.  A new driveway accessing Yosemite Avenue will be constructed to serve Panera Breads and the remaining parcel fronting the street as well as anything that may develop behind them toward property owned by Doctors Hospital of Manteca.

Panera Bread will include an 800-square-foot outdoor dining areas plus a drive-thru window along with 42 parking spaces.  There are 102 seats planned inside the restaurant. The patio seating area will face Yosemite Avenue and will feature an extensively landscaped area between it and front parking spaces.

The building features a modern design with clean lines and natural materials. The exterior paint colors include earth tones with dark and light wood tile accents. Bronze aluminum awnings are included.

• • •

Lottery winners to sell fireworks legally in Manteca

Fourteen non-profits won the right to sell fireworks in Manteca for the Fourth of July at a lottery conducted last week at Manteca City Hall.

Twenty-nine organizations were in the running.

The organizations in the order they were drawn were Robbie Taberna FFA Memorial Scholarship, Manteca High School Athletic Booster Club, Manteca Historical Society and Museum, Anderson’s 209 BMX Race Team, Place of Refuge, Sequoia Heights Baptist Church, Victorious Elite All Stars, East Union Band Boosters, Northgate Community Brethren Church, Christian Worship Center, His Way Baptist Missions, Agape Villages Foster Family Agency, and Order of the Eastern Star/Pentalpha Chapter #339.