Thursday, December 30, 2010

More from Holly Drive shooting

A story that detailed a shooting on Holly Drive on Wednesday, Dec. 22, left out some harrowing information, according to a man named Ted.

Ted didn't want to give a last name, but evidently he is the man of the house that was the backdrop for the drive-by shooting.

Ted said that at least one bullet sprayed by the cowardly shooter flew through his house, missing the heads of a 7-yera-old and a 10-year-old "by inches."

It's likely that the shooting had something to do with gangs, and it's likely a stabbing on Dec. 29 on Eaton Avenue was retaliation for the shooting. Not surprising, as most of the violence in Tracy seems to be directed between members of rival gangs.

However, the Holly Drive shooting is a sobering reminder that, eventually, innocent people will get caught in the crossfire. Letting the thugs kill one another off isn't an answer. Because sooner or later, they're not going to just be killing themselves.

Not such a terrorist

On Friday, Dec. 24, a man was arrested at the Tracy Wastewater Treatment plant and booked into county jail. He was charged with a felony — making terrorist threats — for allegedly initiating a chlorine leak. He was ordered held without bail.

Pretty serious stuff, it seemed, when we reviewed the police records earlier this week.

But the man, whose name we will withold here for soon-to-be-obvious reasons, was released from jail and had all charges dropped. According to local police sources, the man might have been a little out of it, but didn't do anything illegal or terroristic.

Holiday stress, maybe?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Judge hits water issue nail on the head

Judge Oliver Wanger recently decided that restrictions on pumping Delta water to protect an endangered species weren't based on the best science available, forcing the Fish and Wildlife Service back to the drawing board.

But the real nugget of truth in the judge's 225-page ruling didn't have to deal with the Fish and Wildlife Service or the challenging conglomeration of exported water users who chellenged the restrictions.

The money quote — which perfectly summarizes the failure to manage the state's water supply and the Delta imparticular — comes as the judge scorns lawmakers for their "failure to provide the means to assure an adequate water supply for both the humans and the species
dependent on the Delta."

"Legislative failure." It kinda sums up the history of Golden State water management.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tracy goes nuclear?

Right now, Second Thoughts is poring through the Sustainability Action Plan to see what the City Council is likely to soon approve, after the planning commission gave it a unanimous thumbs-up last Wednesday.

Appendix A of the plan contains community feedback. Thinking it might be interesting to see what fellow residents suggested for making Tracy a more sustainable city, I took a peek.

The winner for most colorful suggestion (and no, I am not making this up) is...

"Nuclear laser to manage garbage."

Just another reminder for all of us to take our perscription medication.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Not such a gullywasher after all

The storm predicted to dump up to five inches of rain in the Central Valley and up to 10 feet of snow in the Sierras has certainly wet the streets the past three days, but it hasn't quite been enough to float away an ark, either.

According to the Tracy Press rain gauge, Tank Town collected 0.90 inches between Friday and Monday. That brings the season total to 4.66 inches, well ahead of last year's same-date mark of 2.73. (The grand total for 2009-10 was 11.64 inches.)

Despite the blue skies that peeked out Monday, predictions say clouds will continue to sprinkle Tracy over the next couple days, so the storm total could very well rise. But it looks like it'll take some serious cloudbursts for the weathermen to be proven right on this one.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

At the corner of East and 11th streets

Just got reports of a tussle outside Tracy High School, involving teens jumping out of cars stopped in the middle of the street and shouting at passers-by.

No word of any injuries or serious mischief, but we'll keep you updated in tomorrow's police log. Just check back at at about noon or so.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fire a cannon down 11th Street

Jim Meservy, the 2010 Male Citizen of the Year, has been around Tracy a good long time. Fifty-five years, to be exact. And the longtime resident, volunteer and honest-to-goodness-humble man shared some of the changes he's seen when I talked to him today for an upcoming article on his COTY honor.

Because he hasn't just seen some of the changes. "I've seen all of them, you could say."

Most vivid of his recollections was when Interstate 205 was laid north of town, turning 11th Street into a ghost boulevard.

It was so devoid of cars, he said, "You could almost shoot a cannon down it."

That was bad news for Meservy, who owned the Chevron service station at 11th and Adams streets (a station that's now a Valero). He said it cut business by about 50 to 75 percent.

But the cars eventually returned to the city's main east-west thoroughfare, as any afternoon drive down the old Lincoln Highway will easily demonstrate. In fact, from what Meservy told me, it looks an awful lot like it did back in the day, when 11th Street was main street.

Taking the jolly right out of Christmas

Ornaments and decorations are springing up all over town — including those of the award-winning variety. We'll soon announce the winners of the annual Rotary decorating contest.

In the meantime, though, we have this to report: Thieves in several neighborhoods appear to be scarpering with folks' expressions of merriment.

One woman I recently ran into in the police department who was there to discuss what she could do told me that she had lost several items that she had long held dear, and that two of her neighbors had been hit as well.

She didn't know if the thefts were connected, but I'll bet they were.

Sad that nothing's sacred.

Second Thoughts blog, reborn

Any alert readers of Second Thoughts have noticed the blog's been dead for a few months. No longer.

The blog is being re-invented as a Cutting Room Floor clearinghouse. I can't fit everything I learn while on assignment into news reports and columns, so this is the place I plan to show off that stuff.

Management at Second Thoughts hopes the extra tidbits gives a better, more complete picture of the people, trends and events that make Tracy tick.