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Ripon doing indoor soccer better than Manteca?
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Big League Dreams won’t be the only show in town anymore when it comes to providing a quality indoor soccer facility.
On Thursday morning I got an email from Tony Mistlin – the longtime owner of Modesto’s Mistlin Honda and a generous Ripon benefactor who funded a large portion of the River Road sports complex that bears his name – informing me that he would be donating money to the City of Ripon so that they can build an indoor soccer complex of their own.
As if that wasn’t enough, he also said that part of the contract agreement with whatever company comes in to run the facility will require a portion of the income to be set aside for regular field replacement whenever the wear-and-tear renders it unsafe or unplayable.
It’s a far different approach from the park that has become the go-to place for people who want what is supposed to be a first class sports experience.
Exposed concrete and loose patches of turf are regularly faced by the die-hards that have played at the indoor complex since it opened, and even though there are other options available – indoor facilities in Modesto and Stockton, and Futsol league in Ripon – the groups are mostly loyal to what has essentially become their home pitch.
But will they be so loyal when Mistlin unveils his latest addition to what has become one of the nicest public sports facilities in the Northern San Joaquin Valley?
Time will tell on that one. My guess is, no.

Helping the homeless one
conversation at a time
When Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion held his first public meeting on how to address the issue of the rising number of homeless in the community, he stressed the fact that local government couldn’t handle this problem on their own.
It sounded obvious, but for some reason people actually expected the police to come riding in like saviors of the small town that isn’t quite as small as people imagine it to be.
As somebody that loves the San Francisco Bay Area – its natural beauty as well as its quirky attitude – I know that the more people you pack into a condensed space, the more issues are going to arise. I absolutely love taking BART into Berkeley and catching independent movies that don’t ever make it over on this side of the Altamont, and I’ve come to accept that there’s a good chance that I’m going to run into a homeless person who will scream at me or call me “ a fascist pig” because I refuse to give him money.
That last one is funny on so many levels.
But I still go back – mostly because I love the vibrant attitude of Berkeley, the way that the University is intertwined with the community, and the fact that I can shop at stores that we just don’t have over here in the Central Valley.
As Manteca grows and the convenience of not having to drive to Stockton or Modesto – two cities that have long had homeless problems – to do our extended shopping becomes a reality, people also need to realize that the same problems we’re used to seeing elsewhere will eventually end up here as well.
Its how they’re dealt with, and who gets involved to deal with them, that will make all of the difference in the world.
While Obligacion’s words might not have been completely well-received by some who heard them at that first homeless summit, they were on full display at the last earlier this week when Officer Mike Kelly led the first breakout sessions of the group that has made providing essential services to the homeless and less fortunate a top priority.
It was people community helping people in the community with assistance from government agencies and non-profits well versed on the issue – the way it should be done.
And it was a beautiful thing to watch.

Bye bye Oakland Raiders
Mark Davis must really hate his fan base.
Exactly 15 years to the day of the infamous Tom Brady “tuck” play, the Oakland Raiders have filed for relocation to Sin City.
And they only need 24 votes to make it happen.
While as a dyed-in-the-wool 49ers fan I should be excluded from commenting on the matters of the other team from the Bay Area, this warms my heart for an entirely different reason – it sends the message that the people of Oakland won’t put up their tax dollars to line the pocket of a multimillionaire so he can simply find a new way to print money.
I was beside myself when the Downtown Sacramento arena – which snarls already with horrible traffic – was approved with taxpayer money footing the majority of the bill after the billionaire team owner threatened to relocate if it didn’t go his way.
Maybe I’m cynical and maybe I’m jaded, but I tend to have loyalty for things that are loyal back to me – whether that be friends, family members or even sports teams. My local progression to invest more of my time into the San Francisco Giants (a team I have always loved) became solidified when the 49ers abandoned all of the last-ditch efforts being made to keep the team in The City in pursuit of that Silicon Valley money and sunshine.
The only time I’ve set foot in that stadium was to watch Manteca High School play Oakdale, and I don’t ever plan on going back.
So while I feel for fans of the Oakland Raiders who are essentially being abandoned by their beloved franchise, I pose this question again – why be loyal to somebody who isn’t loyal to you? Why spend money on plane tickets and hotel rooms and continue to line the pockets of greedy men who are only in pursuit of more money?
Obviously giving them more money is exactly what they want.
Good riddance.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.