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‘Finish line near for election rhetoric & the $100M check
Jason Campbell

By the time I write this column next week, a whole lot of things will be decided. 

For one, our Manteca City Council will be formed for at least the next two years, and we’ll determine who our mayor will be for the rest of the decade. 

That means no more arguing on Facebook, at least temporarily, about the best way to deal with the homeless problem and no more figuring out ways to assign blame for the fact that Manteca doesn’t have as many police officers as it should. 

It also means that we’ll know, for certain, whether the gas tax will remain in place to fund the necessary roadway and infrastructure projects that have long been overlooked in California. 

And so far this election cycle I have made this statement to everybody that has told me that they were voting in favor of the repeal – you lose, in my book, your right to complain about traffic. 

Surely this cannot be enforced in any real way, and at the end of the day I’m not the arbiter of what people can and cannot complain about. But it seems as though complaining about traffic is as California as it gets, and for the first time in a long time there is an infrastructure in place that will tend to the massive backlog of transportation projects that are making an already horrible problem even worse. 

The Highway 99/120 Bypass Interchange, for one, will likely lose its place on the list of regional projects that will be completed in the near term if the repeal goes through, and things like the massive expansion of the ACE Train will most assuredly vanish into thin air if the money that has been earmarked to pay for them dries up overnight. 

I’m not going to sit here and say that paying an extra 12 percent on every gallon of gasoline – or even more for diesel – is something that should be taken lightly, or that the California legislature didn’t do somewhat of an end-around to get the legislation that made the tax possible squeezed through. 

But I don’t honestly believe that any of those take away from the simple fact that these are interchanges, rail lines, roadway extensions and overhauls that are absolutely vital to ensuring a healthy and vibrant economic region moving forward during an unprecedent period of growth. 

The $100 million check

By 2022 River Islands may have its own high school. 

And unlike almost every other high school built in this area, it looks like it will be done without any funding from the State of California at all. 

That simply doesn’t happen these days.

Instead of sending Banta Elementary and Tracy Unified School Districts fees for mitigating the impact of future students from River Islands on the individual schools, the developers have agreed to instead fund the construction of the schools themselves outright – bypassing the need for the State of California to get involved in the process and create any of the additional steps that would entail. 

So, in a sense, the owners of River Islands will be writing a $100 million check to build Lathrop’s second high school, and they believe that by circumventing a lot of the costs that come with building things up to the standard of the Division of the State Architect – which is a requirement with state funding – they can come close to offsetting the $50 million gap between the agreed-upon amount and the total cost of a full, comprehensive high school.

It will be interesting to see how things progress moving forward. 

Pigskin Pickin’

After week, we have a clear case of a tie heading in the first week of the playoffs, and we as a group have decided to keep this this thing going for as long as we can. 

While Chris Teicheira is all but mathematically eliminated at this point and Mark Condit slid back into second place for the second time this season, Eric Wohle and I emerged as the clear-cut leaders in this outfit of misfit sports enthusiasts. 

Does that mean we’ll come out on top when the dust settles? Who knows. But it makes things spicy for at least another week, and we’re going to ride this horse until they tell us we have to get off. 

Here’s what we think heading into Week 11:

Teicheira (24-13): Chris is currently suffering from his annual flu battle because he apparently doesn’t understand that you can walk into Walgreen’s and get immunized these days, so he wasn’t able to put anything together of real wit this week. 

If he did, I’m sure it would be something about how he stands true to his teams – Raiders…blah…Manteca…pride…blah – and when he’s scheduling his next head-shaving around a wedding nine months from now, he’ll be able to look at himself in the mirror. 

We’ll save everybody the NyQuil fever dreams, and just let everybody know that Chris picks Pacheco over Sierra, Manteca over Luther Burbank, the Raiders over the 49ers, Washington State over Cal and Washington over Stanford.

Condit (28-9): “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. Feel The Force around you Gentlemen of the Thread, in this paper, in our text messages, in Chris’  tractor. . .Put some Prince on, and take Yoda’s picks to the betting window. Rewarded you will be. In a game nowhere near the standard of Diamonds and Pearls, I’ll pull “a Teicheira” and go with my red and gold heart in the Thursday NFL game. Come Friday night I’ll get Delirious and take the Panthers and Buffaloes to roll over the Timberwolves and Titans (Commish here: Mr. Condit could not be reached for confirmation, but the league office is recognizing this as a pick of both Mante.  Then on Saturday Let’s Go Crazy and take the Cougars and Cardinal to win. “

Wohle (29-8): “Guess who’s back in first place, and no, it’s not either of the green shirted buffalo twins.  After a fairly decent week of picking, both Campbell and I are sitting back atop the heap, while Condit and Teicheira fight it out for the honor of buying diner for the group at the end of the season.

While I achieved my goal of pulling back into first, I also took a good bit of public shaming from Teicheira for picking Manteca over EU.  Much to his delight, karma had its way of getting even with me. My penance for going against the Lancers was having a to watch the debacle that was the Washington Husky offense from the 6th row of Memorial Stadium.

This week I foresee a rebound in my Dawgs for a win against Stanford.  And, I’ll hold my nose to pick Wazzu to beat Cal.  At the HS level, I’m taking the home teams; Pacheco over Sierra and Manteca over Burbank.  Picking either of the Bay pro teams this week is like playing Russian roulette.  It’s a no-win scenario but if I have to pick, I’m betting on red.”

Campbell (29-8): “Another week, another person sharing first place in the league with me. I should be used to it by now, but don’t mind the company – it gets pretty lonely here at the top by yourself. I’m going with my 49ers in the Thursday Toilet Bowl, and on Friday with Pacheco over my Alma Mater and Manteca over Burbank. On Saturday, I have to agree with Wohle that the Huskies will rebound from their poor showing against Cal, and I don’t know if Cal has what it takes to beat two ranked teams in two consecutive weeks, so I’m going with Wazzou. 

Until next week!”

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.