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Child molesters worry councilman
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Now that 1,765 more kids are walking to school due to Manteca Unified budget cuts that has dropped much in-town busing, Manteca Councilman Vince Hernandez believes law enforcement needs to step up public awareness of registered sex offenders.

Hernandez’ request – that Police Chief Dave Bricker concurred was appropriate – came during Tuesday’s City Council meeting when elected leaders extended the trial period from 30 to 60 days for a Manteca Transit route serving southwest neighborhoods that lack safe access to areas of Manteca where schools are located.

The routes aren’t exclusively for students going to and from Veritas School and Sierra High. It also meets federal requirements that it not be an exclusive school route by connecting it with existing fixed routes that require a transfer for students to reach Sierra High.

The neighborhoods straddling Airport Way south of High 120 Bypass have only one way to reach Veritas School by foot and that’s along narrow Woodward Avenue that lacks sidewalks, street lighting, and even a shoulder between Airport Way and Union Road.

Hernandez noted that Megan’s Law provides a map that list locations of registered sex offenders. The councilman believes increase purpose awareness now that more kids are walking to school will enhance the safety of children.

Megan’s Law information – from listings, maps to descriptions of registered sex offenders – is available on the Manteca Police department website by going to

The Manteca Unified School District board extended no-bus zones an additional half mile. The no-bus zone distance for kindergarten through eighth graders was increased to 1.25 miles and for high school students to 2.5 miles.

It was a move that saved the district more than $300,000 as part of its need to slash $30 million in spending. In doing so, however, it meant 1,074 elementary students and 691 high school students in Manteca who were previously bused to school had to find other means of getting there including walking.

Staff will evaluate the additional Manteca Transit service and ridership and will provide the council with a report after 60 days of operations end in mid-October. At that time, it will be brought back to the council for what to do next – either drop the service or continue it.

The southwest Manteca service starts at 8:30 a.m. at Wawona Street and Union Road and then hits Airport Way and Atherton Drive at 8:35 a.m., Purple Sage Way and Sparrowhawk Street at 8:39 a.m., Pagola Avenue and Collins Street at 8:44 a.m. and Wawona Street and Union Road at 8:45 a.m.

The afternoon service starts at 3:25 p.m. The fare is 75 cents.