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Will higher fences help deter crime?
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Do high fences keep crime down?

Several city residents expressed that opinion after reading the Manteca Police Department wasn’t crazy about a Community Development Department proposal to allow the maximum allowed height of residential fences to be increased from 6-foot to 7-foot.

The police’s reasoning is that it would make it harder for the department’s canines to clear. Police officers rarely scale fences due to the dangers involved.

But as Joe who lives in a Woodward Park neighborhood and declined to give his last name noted that was “precisely the point.”

“If a cop can’t climb the fence (easily) then the bad guys can’t either,” Joe said.

One caller whose home backed up to an alley said she was tired of people “shopping” her back yard noting that a 6-foot fence is not only easier to go over than a 7-foot fence but is also more conducive to casing a home.

The city staff recommended the change to eliminate confusion between 7-foot fences that the state allows without a building permit and the current Manteca 6-foot standard.

The Manteca City Council will have the final say.


are a’coming

Say what you want about the drought impacting crops, but there appears to be one crop that is headed for a bumper season — Manteca tumbleweeds.

The Atherton Drive sidewalk between the Paseo Villas apartments and South Main Street is lined with tumbleweeds. It is no different than other areas around Manteca such as along Moffat Boulevard between the 120 Bypass and Woodward Avenue plus large swaths of the surrounding countryside.

Unlike other weeds when tumbleweeds die they become traffic hazards given they become even more stiff and don’t wilt into a pile.

The advent of development south of the 120 Bypass in the late 1990s eliminated most of the annual “Dance of the Tumbleweeds” on the 120 Bypass. They would sometimes pile up three or four deep along the sound wall on the northern side of the freeway.

Before the Bypass went to four lanes from a hybrid two-one configuration that periodically was flipped, the concrete barriers put in place to prevent head on collisions would catch tumbleweeds effective making them driving hazards for high speed traffic heading eastbound on the 120.

Call goes out to

EU, Manteca

‘block alumni’

The Manteca High Block M Alumni Association is celebrating 40 plus years of rivalry between the Buffaloes and Lancers this Friday by issuing an invitation to all East Union Block EU Alumni to join them by gathering in the southern end zone of the Gus Schiemdt Field either at halftime or between the varsity and junior varsity contests.

Manteca Block M Alumni Association’s Keith Jackson said details of when the gathering will take place are still being worked out with Manteca High Principal Frank Gonzales. School staff is working on a way to recognize both alumni groups.

During the past three seasons, Manteca High alumni — both men and women — have gathered in such a fashion at a home Buffalo football game.

“(It is) a great time to see old friends and share memories of years gone by,” Jackson noted.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email