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Carne Asada with the Candidates and First Deferred Action Forum in Stockton

Update August 2, 2012 – Event will be held at 11:00AM

STOCKTON, CA- Statewide and local non-profit organizations bring and opportunity and space for the community to meet with local candidates and learn more about the recent Deferred Action policy on August 4th at La Jamaica located at 609 S. Lincoln St. Stockton, CA 95203.

The event aims to get communities to become more familiar with local candidates and get to meet them personally and so build a strong relationship between community members and political leaders across the Central Valley.

The forum will provide information about the Deferred Action Announcement by the Obama Administration on June 15 and give the community time to ask questions and express their concerns.

Stockton Approves Agreements with Six LAbor Groups

STOCKTON, CA – The Stockton City Council approved labor agreements with six of its nine employee labor groups Tuesday, July 24. Continue reading

New Deputy City Manager for Stockton


(Stockton, CA) – Stockton’s City Manager has announced the appointment of Kurt Wilson as Deputy City Manager, replacing Mike Locke. Mr. Wilson will join the City of Stockton on September 4, 2012. His Deputy City Manager position oversees the departments of Community and Economic Development, Public Works and Municipal Utilities.

“I believe that we have appointed excellent new department heads who know their fields well,” said City Manager Bob Deis. “I have confidence in them; therefore, I was looking for a generalist manager who demonstrated qualities such as leadership, problem solving, accountability and assisting in “closing the deal.” I feel that Kurt fits that bill.”

Mr. Wilson serves as the city manager of Ridgecrest, California, with previous roles in the cities of San Bernardino and Rialto. In addition, he has extensive private sector experience. He also served in the Schwarzenegger administration as the Chief of external affairs for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Executive Director of the Corrections Standards Authority.

“While recent events have overshadowed Stockton’s successes, the fact remains that Stockton is a strong city with enviable natural resources and endless potential,” said Wilson. “I’m excited about being part of Bob’s team, and I am anxious to get to work.”

Information provided by the City of Stockton

“¡Todos a Votar!” (“Let’s Vote!”) National Tour Makes its First Stop in Stockton

STOCKTON, CA- Stockton is the first stop of the national campaign ¡Todos a Votar! (Let`s Vote) tour to register and mobilize Latino voters.

Led by six national Latino advocacy groups, ¡Todos a Votar! Campaign kickoff was held on Thursday, July 26 at the Comision Honorifica Mexicana, “La Jamaica” and is expected to travel to four cities and five other states.

The 2012 presidential election could be one of the most important for Latinos because the political party debates are polarizing issues close to home, such as jobs, taxes, immigration and health care.

“We will decide who will be elected president of the United States and who will be running the congress…  we will also make sure that the issues that we care about are placed on the agenda,” said Eliseo Medina, Service Employees International Union International Secretary Treasure.

Vanessa Maciel and Adriana Granados, two volunteers of Mi Familia Vota, walk through the streets of Stockton encouraging people to cast their vote.

Labor rights leader, Eliseo Medina

Through the door to door campaign Vanessa Maciel (23) and Adriana Granados (14), two of the thirty volunteers in Stockton, are determined to increase the Latino voter turnout in the San Joaquin County.
Are you registered to vote? is the question that Maciel and Granados continuously  ask as they walk through the streets of Stockton, hoping to register as many new voters as they can.

“I am Latina…I really want to get out there and help,” said Macias. “I been a volunteer for two weeks…the message I want to get out is to encourage the community to vote.”
The goal of the campaign is to nationally register 650,000 new voters, – two thousand of them in the San Joaquin County.
For the labor rights leader, Medina, this November the election will also determine whether 1.2 million dreamers and eleven million workers, will legalize their immigration status.The Latino electorate is not a “sleeping giant,” says Arnulfo de la Cruz, California State Director of “Mi Familia Vota,” one of the national participating Latino advocacy groups.

“We [Latinos] are working one to three jobs, we are taking care of the children, we are up early, so we are not sleeping; we are an ignored block,” said De la Cruz. “I don’t think candidates and the political infrastructure do enough to reach Latino voters.”

“Political campaigns have limited money, so they will spend it on people who always vote to try to convince them to vote for them,” explains De la Cruz.  “They will not go out to a Barrio (neighborhood) where there’s Latinos not participating to try to engage them to vote.”

With 30 volunteers in Stockton and 25 Modesto, the campaign plans to triple the number of volunteers as the election gets closer.

The ¡Todos a Votar! National Tour will next travel to Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego, to eventually reach Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Florida and Colorado.

According the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), in California, New Mexico and Texas, at least one in five voters will be Latino.

“These are all states where the Latino vote will play a decisive role,” said Medina. “Democracy works best when we all participate.”

Contact Dennise Rocha,

Slain Calif. carjacking suspect ID’d as parolee

MERCED, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say an attempted carjacking suspect who was shot and killed at the end of a police chase on a Northern California highway was a parolee who was wanted after another chase.

Turlock police say Joseph Davis was shot by officers when he jumped out of the stolen car he was driving after a pursuit on Highway 99 a little after 6 a.m. Saturday and tried to carjack a passing pickup truck by firing at the truck.

Turlock police Sgt. Stephen Webb says officers shot the 29-year-old Davis to protect the driver. Davis was pronounced dead at the scene.

One police officer was wounded in the leg. He is expected to recover from his injuries.

Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin told the Modesto Bee ( ) that Davis had served time on drug, burglary and car theft convictions. Turlock police had been looking for Davis after a chase last week.

Recipe: Lavender Thumbprint Cookies with Lemon Curd Filling

by Angela Wright


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks (reserve egg whites)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon(s) dried lavender flowers (Look for dried lavender flowers in spice shops. If using lavender from the garden, make sure it hasn’t been treated with chemicals.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup(s)Lemon Curd, or store-bought
  • 1  egg white
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans


1)      Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with mixer until well blended. Beat in yolks, vanilla, lavender and salt. With mixer on low speed beat in flour just until moist clumps form. Gather dough together in bowl to bind. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2)      Heat oven to 350 degrees ºF.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or nonstick liners.

3)      Shape scant tablespoons of dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in egg white, then nuts. Place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. With your thumb make a deep indentation in the center of each ball.  Bake cookies until firm and lightly golden on bottom, about 19 to 20 minutes.

4)      Remove cookies from oven and immediately fill indentations with curd.  Return to oven and bake 2 minutes longer to set curd.

Lemon Curd:


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice


In the top of a double boiler, beat eggs and sugar.  Stir in lemon juice, butter and lemon peel. Cook over simmering water for 15 minutes or until thickened.

Brown’s Tunnel Vision: The Governor Promotes the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan, Again

A Portrait of Governor Brown in the Capitol Building

(BW) California — Flanked by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Gov. Jerry Brown announced on Wednesday, July 25, that he will forge ahead with a $23 billion plan to build two massive tunnels around the Delta. The Bay-Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), also known as the tunnel conveyance system or peripheral canal, would carry part of the Sacramento River’s flow underneath the Delta in a 37-mile long tunnel system to the California Aqueduct.

“Analysis paralysis is not why I came back 30 years later to handle some of the same issues,” the 74-year-old former governor said in Sacramento Bee report. “At this stage, as I see many of my friends dying — I went to the funeral of my best friend a couple of weeks ago — I want to get s— done.”

Brown’s move is seen by many as igniting an age-old water war, between northern and southern California. The BDCP is financed primarily by south of Delta water contractors, particularly the Metropolitan Water District in Los Angeles.

Brown advocated the peripheral canal in his last term as governor, but it was defeated in a referendum in 1982. His father, former Gov. Edmund G. Pat Brown, helped develop the original State Water Project and the California Aqueduct, when he served from 1959 to 1967. Taxpayer-funded bonds provided 78 percent of the financing for the construction of that project.

Funding for this project is not yet determined, but the costs have been estimated. According to the BDCP, the total cost for the entire project is approximately $23 billion, which includes construction, habitat restoration, monitoring and adaptive management. The debt servicing costs associated with financing the project are $1.1 billion a year for 35 years, which significantly increase the price.

In addition to the cost, the BDCP faces considerable hurdles, such as water availability and environmental review. Water in California has been over-allocated and over-promised to a variety of groups, and water needs to go back into the Delta to keep it alive.

The Delta is home to more than 750 species of plants and animals, 33 of which are endangered, and likely to go extinct within the next 25 to 50 years, if not sooner. This includes chinook salmon, Delta smelt and steelhead. While the Delta’s decline is due to many factors, including pollution, invasive species and loss of wetlands, one of the primary reasons for species loss are water diversions and excessive pumping in the estuary. The San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers are the Delta’s primary tributaries. The San Joaquin River has often run dry due to diversions, and the Sacramento River, which once flowed out to sea, is used to convey water to federal and state pumps for export.

The Delta and River Tributaries

The BDCP plan, as set forth in March 2012, would increase water exports to 5.9 million acre-feet, which is 16 to 24 percent higher than average. The most recent version of the tunnels reduces their pumping capacity by 40 percent, from 15,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 9,000 cfs, and it may reduce exports, as well. But that change still gives the tunnels the capacity to export 6.5 million acre-feet of water, which is about the annual average flow of the Tuolumne, Merced, Stanislaus and American rivers.

Increasing exports directly conflicts with the public trust recommendations for the Delta, as set forth by the State Water Resources Control Board. The doctrine of public trust indicates that water is jointly owned by the people, and that it should be managed for the best benefit of everyone, including aesthetic, recreational and ecological values. Those recommendations suggest the need to increase river flows and decrease Delta water consumption by nearly 50 percent, or 13.7 to 14.6 million-acre feet.

While these recommendations will be weighed against economic needs, the point is clear: California has to reduce use to keep its ecosystems intact. And it’s been well-documented that the cheapest way to reduce use is via water conservation, recycling and newer technologies, which improve efficiency.

So why build the tunnel? The pumps, which sit in the southern part of the estuary, are used to convey water up and out of the system. As they do, they kill thousands of fish annually via entrapment. They also alter the habitat of the estuary by creating a north to south flow across a tidal ecosystem, which would naturally flow east to west. The proposed tunnels would move the intake upstream to locations that might be less harmful. The BDCP would also secure water exports from threats such as earthquakes, floods and sea level rise. Some state and federal contractors view the project as vital to the state’s economic well being, but others are critical.

The Sacramento River

Those on the critical end held a rally on the same day of Brown’s declaration. The rally included legislators, citizens, farmers, fishermen and activists from Friends of the River, Restore the Delta and the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance. Senators Lois Wolk (D-Davis) and Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) condemned the announcement. “I’m disappointed. Californians resoundingly rejected the same ‘plumbing before policy’ approach in the Delta 30 years ago,” said Senator Wolk, who spoke out against the BDCP at the rally. “We already learned this lesson. It doesn’t need repeating. This is a step backward,”

Wolk and DeSaulnier represent most of the Delta counties in the State Senate. Contra Costa, Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties have all voted to oppose the plan.

“We’re being asked to take a lot on faith,” said Senator DeSaulnier. “We’re being asked to believe that in the future the amount of water diverted from the Delta will be based on science, when science has been persistently ignored up to this point. We’re being asked to believe that fish will miraculously need less water to survive in the future, and that returning water exports to the levels that first decimated Delta fisheries will help restore the estuary. That’s a lot to ask. Too much.”

An updated set of joint recommendations for the BDCP was published July 16. An analysis of that report along with other aspects of state and federal water policy is forthcoming.

San Joaquin County Reports First Detection Of West Nile Virus Infection

STOCKTON, CA (July 20, 2012) — San Joaquin County Health Officer, Dr. Karen Furst, confirmed that a 48-year old male living in Stockton is the first human with West Nile Virus (WNV) infection in San Joaquin County this year. Continue reading

Voters to Consider New Term for County

(BW) SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, CA – On July 17, 2012 the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors decided in a 4-1 vote to place a measure on November’s ballot to increase Board of Supervisors term limits to three terms in a lifetime. Continue reading

Kaiser Permanente joins San Joaquin Medical Society in giving students an interactive look at the medical field and increase the number of minority physicians.

MODESTO, CA— Local high school students considering a career in healthcare visited Kaiser Permanente in Modesto and experienced firsthand what is like to work at a hospital through the program “Decision Medicine” on Thursday, July 19. Continue reading

New Walmart Opens at Trinity Parkway

STOCKTON, CA- The new Stockton Walmart held its grand opening celebration on Wednesday, July 18 at the Spanos Park West shopping district in North Stockton.

“It’s a great pleasure to be here today and welcome the Walmart family to Stockton,” said Stockton Mayor, Ann Johnston at the ceremony.

In a time of financial difficulties for Stockton, having a new major retailer opening its doors will provide sales tax revenue for the city, added Stockton`s Mayor.

Located in 10355 Trinity Parkway, the 212,000-square-foot store brings approximately 380 new jobs to the community.

Walmart`s ribbon cutting ceremony

“I know firsthand of the quality of careers that you can have at Walmart,” said store manager, Larisa Lujan.

“I started with Walmart 13 years ago. I was 18 years old; I came from Ukraine and started as a cashier. My story is not unique; Walmart nationwide embraces everyone and gives them great career opportunities.”

However, the debate if Walmart is a poison or antidote for communities like Stockton continues.

Many worry about the impact Walmart will have on small businesses, other say it will benefit local businesses as additional customers are attracted to the regional shopping area.

Yet shoppers seem to like the “always low prices” and the 24/7 schedule offered by the world’s largest retailer. In fact, just before 8 a.m. some were already lined up outside the doors ready to shop.

The Walmart Foundation presented a total of $33,000 in donation money to community organizations.

“Walmart will be a great community partner with the area’s nonprofits and neighbors,” said Mark Martinez, CEO of the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SJCHC).

During Wednesday`s ribbon cutting ceremony, the Walmart Foundation presented a total of $33,000 in donation money to community organizations. $25, 0000 for the SJCHC Foundation and $8,000 among Stockton Emergency Food Bank, the Greater Yosemite Council Boy Scouts of America and United Way.

“Just this year Walmart gave our Chamber a large grant to help fund our Student Financial Aid and College Awareness Workshop that will help families plan for higher education,” said Martinez.
The Student Financial Aid Workshop is a partnership between the University of Pacific and Stockton Unified School District that hires SJCHC to coordinate volunteers that help students fill out FASFA forms.

Local Galleries offer coordinated effort of Art

Stockton, CA — for the second month in a row art galleries, not-for-profit organizations, and independent artist, and businesses orchestrated art exhibits in what has become ART Splash.  Continue reading

Recent Pacific Grad victim of the Colorado theater shooting

STOCKTON, CA- Petra Anderson ’12, who graduated in May as a composition major in the Conservatory of Music, of the University of the Pacific was caught in last night’s shooting at a Colorado movie theater. The latest information provided is that Petra is undergoing surgery in an Aurora hospital. Continue reading

Opinion: A defect in Women

A defect in Women

Story by Lila Towns

God made women in the sixth day.   It was an intense journey of hard work and extra hours.  An angel appeared and asked: “Why do you dedicate so much time to the creation of this creature?  And the Lord answered: Have you read the project of what I want to accomplish with this creation?   It must be able to wash, but not made of plastic, it has to have more than 200 movable pieces, each exchangeable and be able to function with a diet of left overs o anything, it has to have shelter for four children simultaneously, must have a kiss that can heal anything from a knee up to a broken heart y and it will do everything with a simple two hands. Continue reading

I Have a Voice:Ramon Medina-Building History

Medina leaves his Stockton home at four in the morning and heads to Oakland, California; the reason of his routine travel? To start a new day of work at a construction site —of one of the busiest bridges in the country— the new San Francisco’s Bay Bridge. Continue reading

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