Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday random thoughts ...

• A secret anti-scrapbook agenda? I'm waiting for someone to say that I'm happy a local business is leaving the old JC Penney building because of today's column about the departing scrapbook store. Not true. I think it's a cool store and belongs downtown. I simply don't think it was the best fit for a 20,000-square-foot building.

• Here tough times: Some will no doubt scramble to blame the coming $9.6-million 2008-09 city deficit on Measure A. The slowdown in home construction instigated by Measure A definitely affected revenue. However, if city growth had been sensible to begin with, voters never would have had to pass Measure A, and this mess would be much more managable, even with a tanking economy.

• There tough times: Tracy Unified School District faces budget cuts of $6 to $7.5 million for fiscal year 2008-09. That means something's gotta give in an already stretched-thin district budget — arts programs are probably already in the crosshairs.

• Everywhere tough times: Despite Stockton's claim to fame as the nation's foreclosure capital, Nevada leads the country as far as states go. About 3.5 percent of the Silver State's homes are in foreclosure.

• Cheap thrill of the week: When I saw snow Monday on the hills south of Tracy — and again on the hills east of San Jose on a drive to the coast — I was giddy. True story.

• Enough to upset an anti-war guy, even: The Berkeley City Council voted 6-3 to tell the Marine Corps recruiters in the city they're "unwelcome and uninvited intruders." These council members should direct their beef to the asleep-at-the-switch Commander-in-Chief, not the men and women turning their lives over to their country's service. Even if we succeed in de-glorifying war and understand it for the grisly mess it is, we should still thank the heavy lifters of the armed forces for what they do.

Message to Berkeley: It's best not to make these guys feel unwelcome in the country they're pledging to protect. Especially when that includes you.

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