Here are the latest tidbits gathered by News-Sentinel reporters around town:
Fire and brimstone: Part of the Greenbelt Task Force's recently unveiled separator plan includes a provision that churches not be built on the mile-wide strip along Armstrong Road. That didn't sit well with one of its members, Pastor Bill Cummins, who said at the group's Tuesday meeting that such a limitation would be grounds for legal action.
Cummins wasn't the only person unhappy with the no churches rule. Domenicio Della Maggiora, a greenbelt landowner who was in the audience on Tuesday, relayed those feelings to the task force toward the end of the meeting.
"You're going to hell for that," he said, drawing chuckles from the audience.
Wedding bells: It's official. Wine Rack owner Lynette Litton and Mocha My Day owner Brad Mamer tied the knot earlier this month, giving the happy couple one more reason to break out the bubbly (or the Java City joe) and celebrate.
Heard it through the beer mug? Since it opened three weeks ago, the Lodi Beer Co. on South School Street has blown through approximately 2,000 gallons of frothy brew. That's an estimated 16,000 pints of beer -- more than 750 a day. Popular brews have included the hoppy Marzen and the Lodi Light lager.
And people say Lodi is a wine town … .
Burgers? How about books? In-N-Out burger reportedly closed escrow on land in the new Lowe's Shopping Center but won't start building until spring. Chili's just started construction in the same center and should be open in three to four months. No word yet on what might replace the current Wal-Mart if a Supercenter is built, but it may be a combo of several tenants, such as a bookstore (hip-hip-hooray!) coupled with an electronics retailer and crafts center. Meanwhile, amazingly, we hear that Home Depot, which was once set for the site now occupied by Lowe's, may still be interested in Lodi.
Boot camp for council electees: Newly elected council member Bob Johnson recently spent an hour in City Clerk Susan Blackston's office going over everything he needs to know before next week's big swearing-in ceremony. It included reviewing California's open meeting law and electronic agendas, and scheduling meetings on issues ranging from the budget to contamination litigation. There's a lot to know before you get on the hot seat.
Leaf me alone: The city's leaf pick-up service began last week, but it probably won't help the Lake Street man who called police to complain that his neighbor was blowing leaves into his yard.
Tip: Pile the leaves on the street, not in your neighbor's yard.
Did ya hear? At the recent State of the City address during Mayor Larry Hansen's closing remarks, cell phones started ringing quietly. The hot news coming across on the other side: Scott Peterson had been convicted of killing his wife and unborn fetus.
With late-breaking communication like that, how many people read the next day's newspaper?
Seconds on salad: City Attorney Stephen Schwabauer was recognized by Hansen at that event not for being the first in line for seconds, but for his work over the last year on the city's contamination litigation. So we'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate the attorney for eating his veggies, even if he was the first (and only?) to go back for seconds at the luncheon.
Kudos to Kurt: Chamber of Commerce CEO/President Pat Patrick invited, and reportedly even paid for, members of the former Small City Preservation Committee to attend the State of the City address. He and the committee have been at odds over Measure R, the retail size limit initiative that failed in this month's election.
However, only Kurt Roberts, the occasional newspaper column-writing member, showed.
S. Sacramento Road? Not to be confused with South Sacramento Street, this street sign sits at the corner of Lower Sacramento Road and Corbin Lane … and it's been sitting there for more than 25 years, according to one city employee.
Coco for mayor: Yes, it's been mentioned, in jest of course, that Hansen's dog should become the next mayor. That gives a whole new meaning to barking orders from the lectern … or running around in circles … or digging for the truth … We'll stop now.
More animal talk: Electric Utility Director Alan Vallow couldn't restrain himself at last Wednesday's City Council meeting when asked to speak on a new temporary building for the animal shelter.
"We are not installing a cathouse," he announced, to the amusement of the sleepy council members and sleepier audience members.
Under the weather? Hansen recently asked Interim City Manager Janet Keeter if Lodi was getting sick (financially, we presume), had the flu or had contracted pneumonia.
She responded, "The flu, but there are no flu shots available."
That's sticking it to the citizens.