The concert that didn't happen: The recent news that the city of Lodi successfully signed George Thorogood & The Destroyers for a July 24 concert reminded us of the last time someone had booked a show at the Grape Bowl. Back in 2003, the Lodi Chamber of Commerce had secured the country band Lonestar for an August performance.
Pat Patrick, the chamber's president and CEO, recalls that the concert was intended to reinvigorate the stadium as a music venue and serve as a fundraiser for the chamber. However, about a month before the concert, the chamber came to realize that with the city's rental fee, concession costs and lackluster ticket sales the concert just wasn't going to cover its costs.
The chamber ultimately decided to cancel what would have been the Grape Bowl's first concert in more than a decade.
As it turned out, Patrick remembered that on the day the concert was scheduled to take place, Lodi experienced a freak thunderstorm (in August no less!) that brought showers, thunder and lightening and high winds that knocked out power.
Interesting side note: According to a report published in the News-Sentinel on July 22, 2003, the last concert that took place at the Grape Bowl was the "Rock and Roll Party of 1992" that featured Elvin Bishop, Sam Moore and the Shirelles joined by local acts Latin Music and California Gold.
Europe calling: It's not every day an elected official agrees to the option of participating in a meeting via conference call while on vacation.
But when the Lodi Unified School District meeting to adopt next year's budget and trustee Jeff Thompson's Switzerland vacation coincided, that's exactly what he did.
Last Tuesday's agenda was clear on the location - Hotel Schweizerhof, Via dal Bagn, 54, 7500 St. Mortiz, Switzerland - and as the meeting began, President Richard Jones welcomed Thompson from the hotel lobby. Local time there was 2 a.m.
"I invited people to come and join me, but no one took me up on the offer," he told the public via speaker phone. His voice was loud and clear, if not a bit sleepy.
Not only did the vacationing board member vote electronically throughout the meeting using a laptop and the district's Electronic School Board program, but he actually made the motion to pass the $246 million budget.
Jones cut him some slack, however, and let Thompson give his regular board comments before his peers.
By the way, for those who watch public spending like us, Jones said the international phone call was paid for out of Thompson's own pocket.
False report: We recently heard about a strange report to the sheriff. Someone called the non-emergency line to report that suspicious looking young men in an unknown car had headed into an abandoned building in Acampo with what looked like guns in their hands.
Within minutes, several patrol units were on scene and the youths were questioned by the officers.
Sometime later, a deputy called the concerned citizen back to report what had happened.
Apparently, the teens were out of school for the summer and armed with BB guns, and were looking for somewhere to shoot. The deputy went on to say all of their records were checked and that they were "good kids." In fact, one of them was home from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Life in another Galt: Because the News-Sentinel covers Galt, we have set up a Google Alert for anything Galt. But that means we occasionally hear about happenings in other Galts, such as those in Iowa, Missouri and eastern Canada.
It appears that the Galt in northwestern Missouri is a bit more laid back than in Galt, Calif. At least, it costs less to get into an auto accident. A 40-year-old woman from Galt, Mo., recently pleaded guilty to "failing to drive on the right half of the roadway when the roadway was of sufficient width, causing an accident."
The kicker is that a judge fined her only $77.50, plus $58.50 in court costs.
Read the signs, people: The Lodi Public Library building, across Locust Street from the News-Sentinel's office, has been closed for several months for renovations. A large banner hanging in the front urges patrons to visit the temporary location at 212 W. Pine St., and the same information also appears on a small sign in front of the main entrance.
Despite the signs, we've spotted several people walk up to the front doors and then peer in through the glass, appearing perplexed as to why the library is closed.
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