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Regional Roundup

San Joaquin County Enterprise Zone meeting today

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Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 12:00 am

The city of Lodi and the Lodi Chamber of Commerce are hosting a workshop that will inform people about San Joaquin County's Enterprise Zone tonight at Oakridge Winery.

The workshop, which will run from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. at the winery, located at 6100 E Highway 12, will explain the finer details of the enterprise zone and who can benefit from it. The event is free to attend.

"It will show them how they can take advantage," said Fran Aguilera, Economic Development Director and Enterprise Zone manager. "It will provide them with resources and the nuts and bolts."

He said the workshop is targeted at businesses in the zone and those who do the accounting and taxes for those companies.

Businesses on Lodi Avenue are in the zone as well as businesses on Kettleman Lane, east of Ham Lane. The zone includes all industrial zoned parcels and other commercial areas.

Specifically, the Enterprise Zone offers five benefits designed to entice entrepreneurs and business owners to the region. They are a hiring credit for employees who live in a certain area, state tax credits, business expense deductions, deductions for lenders who loan to businesses in the zone and a net operating loss carryover.

Jordan Guinn

Lodi Unified School District high schools sweep speech tourney

Teams from three Lodi Unified School District high schools — Bear Creek, Lodi and Tokay — competed in the Yosemite Forensic League speech/debate tournament hosted at Enochs High School in Modesto on Saturday and took top honors.

In addition to firstand second-place trophies and finalist rankings carried home by team members, Lodi High School placed second in individual events, and Bear Creek High School placed sixth, according to a press release.

The Yosemite Forensic League, affiliated with the California High School Speech Association, supports and promotes oral communication education through sponsorship of speech/debate competitions open to any high school in the Central Valley.

According to CHSSA President Sharon Prefontaine, speech/debate competitions provide an authentic measure of the academic strength of a school because the different events reflect the California State Standards for excellence in both English/language arts and history/social studies.

The next scheduled Yosemite Forensic League speech/debate tournament will be held at Tokay High School on Dec. 5.

— News-Sentinel staff

This item was updated at 12:35 p.m. Nov. 18, 2009, to correct the location of the next tournament.

Galt City Council to consider rent stabilization study

At its Tuesday meeting, the Galt City Council will decide whether to spend $30,000 from the city's General Fund to pay for a rent stabilization study in mobile home parks.

The study will help the Galt City Council decide whether to consider a rent stabilization ordinance, Councilman Donald Haines said.

Rent stabilization, or what some call rent control, has been implemented in cities throughout California. It puts a limit on how much mobile home park owners can charge. Usually it is tied to the cost of living through the Consumer Price Index.

At a Sept. 15 meeting, Haines asked city staff to put a study on the agenda at a future meeting to see if the council is willing to pay for it.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m., City Hall, 380 Civic Drive.

Maggie Creamer

Volunteers sought for Lockeford cleanup day

Several community groups will band together to pick up litter and dig weeds from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at locations throughout Lockeford. Volunteers are welcome to help. Volunteers will meet at the Old Lockeford Schoolhouse, 19456 N. Jack Tone Road, at 9 a.m. for safety training and to receive equipment. Participants are urged to wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, work gloves and sturdy, closed-toe shoes, and to bring water.

Volunteers will be placed in one of six groups. Areas to be covered include Highway 88, Jack Tone Road, the Jack Tone bypass, the alleys on both sides of Highway 88, Tully and Elliott roads, and Cotton, Oak and Bush streets, according to Timothy Fowler, who is organizing the event with Lani Eklund.

After the cleanup is completed, volunteers will be invited to a luncheon at the historic schoolhouse, with food prepared by the Clements-Lockeford Lions Club.

To volunteer, leave a message with the Clements-Lockeford Chamber of Commerce at 727-3142.

The event is sponsored by the chamber, Lions Club and Lockeford Municipal Advisory Council.

Ross Farrow

San Joaquin County planning commissioners to consider Flag City sign

San Joaquin County planning commissioners may decide on Thursday whether Sunset Signs will be allowed to install a 672-square-foot commercial sign on the south side of Highway 12 in Flag City.

Thursday's public hearing will be for an appeal filed by Matt Rogers, owner of Rogers Media Co. and a competitor of Sunset in the sign business. Rogers is appealing the county Community Development Department's staff approval of the competing firm's sign application.

Sunset signs owner Shawn Pemberton plans to construct the sign on behalf of Rajiv Jain, who owns the Microtel/Best Western Hotel in Flag City.

In other action Thursday, the county Planning Commission will:

  • Consider a use permit request by Joel Mandujano to construct a commercial stable to board and train up to 20 horses on the south side of Harney Lane, almost 2,000 feet east of Highway 88.

    The first phase is for an existing stable, office, 1,320-foot-long straight race track with starting gates for training. The second phase, to be completed within seven years, would consist of an exercise pool for horses.

  • Conduct a study session to discuss the "vision and guiding principles" of the county General Plan update.

    The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the county's Public Health/Planning Auditorium, 1601 E. Hazelton Ave., Stockton.

    Ross Farrow

    Open enrollment for Medicare drug plans

    Seniors have until Dec. 31 to enroll in or modify their existing Medicare prescription drug plan.

    "I urge seniors to closely review all of the Medicare prescription drug plans and use the open enrollment period to select the plan that is right for them," said Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton. "With 47 specific plans available in California, seniors have a number of options to choose from before Dec. 31."

    Seniors may contact the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 24 hours a day at (800) 633-4227, or visit www.medicare.gov to find out about the costs and coverage levels each plan offers.

    Prescription drug plans adjust their costs and coverage levels yearly, and the open enrollment period is the only time of year seniors can enroll or change their plan, according to McNerney's office

    Anyone with questions about Medicare may contact either of McNerney's offices at 476-8552 in Stockton or (925) 737-0727 in Pleasanton.

    Ross Farrow

    Town hall meeting on water today

    The North San Joaquin Water Conservation District's board of directors is hosting a special meeting today to discuss future projects and groundwater recharge.

    Jeff Micko, a representative from the Santa Clara Valley Water District, will talk about his region's groundwater recharge program. Brandon Nakagawa will speak on behalf of the Eastern San Joaquin County Groundwater Banking Authority and the Mokelumne River Forum.

    Ed Steffani, NSJWCD manager, will speak about present and future projects for the region. Steffani said it's vital for future projects to be scheduled and coordinated based on their demand. He said projects in which people are willing to irrigate with surface water are vital to groundwater recharge and that people must be willing to make concessions.

    The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. inside Burgundy Hall at the Grape Festival Grounds.

    Jordan Guinn

    History of Pacific to be written by provost

    Phil Gilberston, provost at University of the Pacific, has been selected to write a book on the history of the university, it was announced this week.

    Gilbertson's book will focus mostly on the past 40 years of Pacific's history, but will include a narrative of the first 120 years. This will be the fifth book published on the university's history.

    Gilbertson said he will tap into the memories of alumni, staff and faculty who can recall specific events, or use documents in the university archives explaining how events unfolded.

    The idea for a new book on Pacific's history was first explored in 2003, when a committee recommended that a history be published focusing on the years after 1970.

    Last spring, then-President Donald V. DeRosa appointed a panel of staff and faculty members to review proposals for the book. In his proposal, Gilbertson said his book would be a comprehensive approach to the history of the university. It would incorporate student life and the university's overall culture, including major administrative and faculty initiatives.

    The history, to be completed in 2014, will be about 200 pages. Plans are to publish it in printed form and online, with corresponding photos, video and other electronic material placed on a university Web site where readers may comment on the history.

    Gilbertson, who became Pacific's first provost in 1996, will start researching the book shortly after he retires in June. While researching and writing the book, he will work with University faculty and administrators to help gather materials. He also will hire student assistants to research student life on Pacific's three campuses in each decade since the 1930s.

    Prior to his time as provost at Pacific and as administrator at other colleges and universities, Gilbertson was an English professor for 17 years. He taught both composition and creative writing. He has published numerous scholarly articles and poems.

    News-Sentinel staff

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Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

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