Man pleads not guilty to loitering in bathroom
A man accused of peering under stalls in the women's bathroom at Lodi Lake and looking at young girls pleaded not guilty Thursday.
Rocky Critser, 24, of Ohio, was arraigned on two counts of annoying or molesting children and one count of loitering in a public toilet to commit lewd acts, all misdemeanors.
Critser, who has been staying at the Salvation Army in Lodi since the end of September, was arrested Tuesday when a citizen called police from Lodi Lake.
He had allegedly been in the women's bathroom for more than an hour and had peered under the stalls at two children, according to Lodi Police Detective Dale Eubanks.
Critser had come to Lodi by bus, looking for a young actress who appeared in "Spy Kids 2," according to Eubanks.
On Thursday, Critser was appointed a public defender, who asked that he be released from jail. San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney, in turn, asked for bail and argued that Critser is a "serious risk to the community."
Judge David P. Warner set bail at $45,000 and scheduled a pre-trial conference for next Thursday.
Woodbridge design guidelines up for review
Written comments on proposed design guidelines for Woodbridge's business district on Lower Sacramento Road will be accepted through Tuesday by the San Joaquin County Community Development Department.
The draft design guidelines are available at the county's Community Development Department, Development Services Division, 1810 E. Hazelton Ave., Stockton. Comments may be sent to the same address. The zip code is 95205.
The county Planning Commission is scheduled to conduct a public hearing on Nov. 17 and make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. For more information, call 468-3164.
State farm bureau appraises legislators
Most area lawmakers received high marks from the California Farm Bureau Federation in its annual scorecard on votes cast on legislation the federation identified as key to protecting the state's family farms.
Rating lawmakers on floor votes on bills ranging from increasing the minimum wage to the labeling of beef to expanding penalties for some pesticide violations, the farm bureau scorecard gave a perfect 14-out-of-14 score to state Sen. Chuck Poochigian, R-Fresno. It was released Thursday.
Sen. Mike Machado, D-Linden, received a score of seven, voting against the farm bureau's position on seven of the bills, including an increase in the minimum wage and requiring farmers to report groundwater use to the state.
Assemblymen Alan Nakanishi, R-Lodi, and Greg Aghazarian, R-Stockton, received perfect 15-out-of-15 scores. Assemblywoman Barbara Matthews, D-Tracy, received a score of 11.
Possible scores between the two houses differed because one bill, AB 805, which would have created new standards for laborers working in temperatures above 90 degrees, passed the Assembly but was held in a Senate committee.
The scorecard gave Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger a 9-out-of-10 rating for vetoing seven bills the farm bureau opposed and signing into law two bills it supported. The governor differed from the farm bureau's position by signing AB 1328, which altered water rights in the Cache Creek area.
Pombo warns that levees need attention
WASHINGTON - The House Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power held an oversight hearing Thursday on protecting California's Central Valley and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta from natural catastrophes.
The hearing focused on the role of the federal government's work with state and local interests to avoid and respond to a Katrina-like disaster in California.
Congressman Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, issued the following statement following the hearing:
"Sacramento and the Delta are some of the most flood-prone areas in the nation. It's important that we learn from our experts and from breaks that have resulted from decayed levees across the country as we look to protect our region from flooding. There's a time for talk and there's a time for action. The time to act is now."