One of the neat things about Tracy and this county is that it's small enough that you get to know people and run into folks in unlooked-for places. It's a sense of community you just don't get in a place like L.A. or S.F.
Trying to track down facts for a story on graffiti with the county sheriff, I ran into, via phone, an old buddy, Matt Cook, who works for the department. We go back to kindergarten, when nap time was the second-best part of the day. (First best, of course, was recess. Still is, now that I thnk about it.)
Of course, run-ins like that could become less and less common. Right now the county is drawing up plans as part of a valley-wide blueprint process to project growth as far away as 2050. The county's also going to work on a new General Plan beginning next year. And you can be developers of single-family tract homes are getting their message across to planners.
We need growth, but not at the expense of our area's defining characteristics — agriculture, open space, low cost of living, and a sense of community. Let's hope our leaders remember that.