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Posted: Thursday, March 9, 2006 10:00 pm

Lodi's water purchase agreement extended

The Woodbridge Irrigation District Board of Directors voted unanimously Thursday to extend the city of Lodi's water purchase contract by four years and increase the amount of water the city can bank for future use.

Lodi and the district had a 40-year agreement to purchase a maximum of 6,000 acre feet of water from the district each year. Board members voted to approve a resolution that extends the agreement by four years and allows the city to hold on to 24,000 acre feet of water.

While Lodi has been spending $1.2 million a year for the water, city leaders have yet to finalize a plan for using it. Lodi could have lost some of the water because the purchase agreement previously allowed the city to bank only 18,000 acre feet.

The city may have lost water this year without the extension from the district's board.

Lodi has settled on two options for the water: Building a treatment plant and using it as drinking water, or spreading the water over recharge basins and letting it trickle down to the region's aquifer.

Included in the resolution is a recommendation from the district that the city develop a water treatment plant so it can use the district's water to complement the city's drinking supply.

"The Board of Directors also wishes to inform Lodi that the district believes strongly that the highest and best use of the water by the city would be through a new surface water treatment plant and delivery to the city's customers rather than through groundwater recharge," according to the resolution.

Lodi City Council members are expected to discuss the city's options for the water during a meeting April 5.

Developer makes offer to save historic building

Lodi Unified school board members will continue with plans to buy land in Lockeford that would require demolition of the historic 12,000-square-foot Winn Building. The plans are moving forward, despite an offer from a developer to buy the site.

Developer Jack Kautz has offered to pay $650,000, the amount the district is paying for the site where it plans to expand Lockeford Elementary into a K-8 campus.

John Anderson, who spoke at Tuesday's school board meeting on behalf of Kautz and the Lockeford Historical Society, was unable to provide a specific plan to renovate the building, which is more than one century old and is in need of repair, so the board will not change course, Superintendent Bill Huyett said Wednesday.

"There's a concern for the board about the building, its safety and its negative effect on the school and the children."

In other matters, trustees voted to use more than $200,000 in special federal grant money for technology that would help instruct kids in the district's lowest-ranking schools.

The board also heard a progress reports on academies, or small learning communities, operating throughout the district's high schools.

Proponents say academies help students form more closely knit groups on heavily populated campuses and strengthen student-teacher bonds.

Academies currently being tested are the Sun Institute for science and technology and Apple, a program for students interested in a career in education.

Advance tickets on sale for Spring Wine Show

Tickets for the March 24-25 Lodi Spring Wine Show are on sale for $25 now through March 23.

Advance sale tickets can be purchased at Longs Drugs in Lodi, Lakewood Liquors, Raley's in Lodi, the Grape Festival Box Office or online at http://www.grapefestival.com. Tickets will be $30 at the door.

The show offers wine tasting from more than 40 wineries, food live music and fun.

For more information, call 369-2771 or visit http://www.grapefestival.com.

City hosting mobility workshop on Eastside

The City of Lodi, in conjunction with the Lodi Improvement Committee, Community Partnership for Families, MOLE and other local groups, will hold a community workshop on March 29 to help identify desired street improvements for a portion of the Eastside neighborhood.

The event is part of a Caltrans-funded project that is seeking to provide improved safety, mobility, access and community identity on stretches of three important thoroughfares - Sacramento Street (from Pine to Lodi), Lodi Avenue (from Sacramento to Central) and Central Avenue (from Lodi to Tokay).

"We want to make sure that future improvements in the neighborhood reflect and enhance the sense of community and cultural heritage in this vital part of our city," Peter Pirnejad, Lodi's planning manager, said in a press release issued by the city.

"At the meeting, which will be conducted in English and Spanish, we will ask community members to identify improvements that will make the Eastside friendlier for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users, as well as motorists. Possible projects could include sidewalk improvements, street trees, bus shelters, gathering and resting places, pocket parks, signage and public art."

The community workshop will be held from 6-8 p.m. at Heritage Elementary School, 509 Eden St. Childcare will be provided at the school, and hors d'oeuvres and refreshments will be served.

For more information, call Pirnejad at 333-6711.

PAWS receives bogus $95,000 donation

Someone gave a fake $95,000 donation to a wildlife rescue group. The Galt chapter of the Performing Animal Welfare Society, also known as PAWS, was the victim of the hoax. According to a PAWS news release, the unexpected donation came in last week from someone claiming to represent the O'Reilly International Corp. from New Jersey. "And since it was a cashier's check, we put the donation to work immediately - purchasing much-needed medical equipment and supplies," said Pat Derby, PAWS founder and director.

The bank called Derby on Monday, explaining that the cashier's check was a forgery and part of a scam. The letter also warned PAWS officials they might receive a second letter from the scammers asking for a refund, claiming the rescue group was given more than was intended.

The corporation alerted the U.S. Postal Inspectors Office and has filed a complaint with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Meanwhile, PAWS is asking for public donations. All gifts to PAWS are tax-deductible. The donations can be sent to Forged Donation Check Replacement Fund (FDCRF) at 11435 Simmerhorn Road, Galt 95632; or PAWS at P.O. Box 849, Galt 95632.

District unification topic of chamber luncheon

Representatives from Galt's elementary and high school districts will discuss the possibility of the districts unifying into a single district at next week's Galt District Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

The $10 buffet luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at Hunan House Restaurant, located at Galt Plaza shopping center, 1067 C St.

For reservations, call the chamber at 745-2529 or send at e-mail to info@galtchamber.com.

World's tallest horse, Goliath, coming to town

The world's tallest horse will visit Lockeford Hay Station from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Goliath, a Percheron gelding who lives in Texas, is 19.1 hands tall, or 6 feet 5 inches at the shoulders, and weighs 2,200 pounds. The 2005 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records says that Goliath is the tallest horse.

Lockeford Hay Station is located at 18503 N. Highway 88.

Nottoli may be only supervisor candidate

Don Nottoli of Galt has filed for a fourth term as a Sacramento County supervisor.

Nottoli, whose district includes Galt, Herald, Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova and Rancho Murieta, appears to be headed to an uncontested election. No one else has pulled nomination papers for the seat, according to the county's Voter Registration and Elections Department.

Today is the filing deadline for the June primary election. In offices where the incumbent doesn't seek re-election, the filing period is extended until Wednesday.

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