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2004: Caltrans mower starts 120 grass fire
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10 years ago

May 13, 2004

Forgive Manteca Police Chief Charlie Halford if he sounds a bit like a real estate agent when touting the virtues of the proposed public safety complex on South Main Street as “the ideal choice” for a South County regional court facility. Manteca is competing with Tracy to secure a consolidated court facility for the San Joaquin County Superior Court in the South County.

Wednesday afternoon, Tom Stewart, alongside his wife Mary, stopped by Manteca Auto Plaza to pick up a brand new 2004 Pontiac Grand Am — the grand prize of the Online Hot Button Second Chance Sweepstakes. Until Wednesday, Stewart had never had a Pontiac in his driveway – but was more than willing to make some room.

Tuesday’s dose of irony involved a Caltrans mower and an acre of scorched earth. The mower started a late morning fire on the Highway 120 Bypass. The irony lay in the fact that Caltrans was mowing the dry grass between the highway and the South Main Street off-ramp to reduce the likelihood of such fires—in compliance with the Manteca Fire Department’s weed abatement program.

Don’t wait until 4:30 p.m. to drop your letter in one of the city’s mail collection boxes if you want it to be processed that same day. Now you’ll have to make sure your mail is dropped an hour and a half before that. The Post Office has moved the day’s final pick-up time for mail at the city’s 28 collection boxes to 3 p.m. in the interest of faster service.

Manteca is within a year of providing an alternative way for the general public to get around the city. Manteca is moving toward launching a fixed bus route serving exclusively within the city limits. A transit system manager, Adam Emmer, who performed the same duties for Tuolumne County, started work two weeks ago.

It was a whale of a good time on Saturday at the annual “Hooked on Fishing, Not Drugs” Fishing Derby. The derby took place just outside of Longs Drugs at the corner of Louise Avenue and Main Street. Sunrise Kiwanis member Veronica DeBrum said, “It’s a great chance for those who don’t have the time to go to the river or the lake. We simply bring that opportunity and time to them.”

Manteca—long identified with mobile homes, RV’s and manufactured housing sales—is about to break new ground. What could arguably be the most extensively landscaped modular home sales facility in the Northern San Joaquin Valley is being proposed backing up to the Highway 120 eastbound off-ramp west of Airport Way on Atherton Drive.

Four existing elementary schools—New Haven, Shasta, Nile Garden and French Camp—are the first major benefactors of the $66 million Measure M bond approved in March by Manteca Unified School District voters. The apparent low bid for the projects that involve modernizing libraries and some classroom wings is McFadden Construction. The school board on Tuesday will be asked to award the contract so work can start this summer.

Toters—those molded brown, blue and green garbage cans on wheels—are the target of a number of residents who are pushing to have the Manteca Seniors Helping Area Residents and Police enforce property maintenance laws. The law is clear. The Toters may not be in view from a street except after sundown the night before your garbage collection day and to sundown the day of collection.