The city of Lodi has requested a refund of $3,911.17 from the U.S. Post Office for a delayed mailing of numerous brochures announcing the redevelopment meeting held Jan. 24.
Dozens of residents have contacted the city about the delay, noting that they did not receive the glossy pamphlet in time to learn about the evening meeting at the LOEL Center.
The city paid $8,331.48 in postage for more than 23,000 newsletters, according to a letter written by City Manager Blair King and directed to the Stockton Postmaster.
"We are trying to find out why so many of our city of Lodi newsletters are taking nearly two weeks to deliver first-class from your Stockton facility, despite being sent to your location presorted," King wrote.
The city is seeking the difference between the 36 cents per copy fee it paid, and the post office's lowest mailing rate: 19 cents per copy.
Two post office representatives contacted by the News-Sentinel said they would check into the matter, but did not provide additional information.
City spokesman Jeff Hood said post office officials have not disputed that there was a problem on the post office's end with the mailing.
Want to help design the future of Lodi Avenue?
A community workshop on future designs for Lodi Avenue is set for Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the LOEL Center, 105 S. Washington St.
The meeting, hosted by the city of Lodi, is part of a project to improve safety, mobility, access and community identity on the avenue between Sacramento Street and Cherokee Lane.
Childcare will be provided for attendees, and refreshments will be served.
PALS sets record for volunteer hours
Volunteers with the group People Assisting Lodi Shelter, or PALS, logged a record of 5,588 volunteer hours working at the animal shelter from May 1 to Dec. 31.
Volunteers range in age from 14 to 75 and have made a commitment to improve the lives of animals at the Lodi Animal Shelter by taking dogs for walks, playing with the cats, cleaning cages and making sure all the animals are fed and cared for while they await adoption.
Despite the success of PALS volunteers, the group's treasurer Nancy Alumbaugh said the group still needs more volunteers.
"We have dreams of bigger and better ways to help the animals," Alumbaugh said in a written statement. "All we need is more hands-on volunteers and donors who share the same dream."
Anyone interested in volunteering with PALS can contact Carol Evans at 663-1701.
Garry Duncan appointed to Woodbridge MAC
Garry Duncan, a commercial real estate broker and appraiser, has been appointed to the Woodbridge Municipal Advisory Council. He was sworn in at last week's MAC meeting.
Appointed by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, Duncan has lived in Woodbridge on and off since 1986. Formerly a developer, Duncan is president of The Duncan Co. on Lower Sacramento Road near the Mokelumne River. He sought the MAC position after friends suggested he do so.
Duncan says he can be a good resource for the MAC because he has lived and worked in Woodbridge for a long time. And since he no longer develops property, he won't face conflict-of-interest issues with the MAC.
Duncan said he would like to tackle issues such as the possibility of Woodbridge being included in a flood-plain zone and the county's General Plan update, which will affect how much or little Woodbridge grows.
Duncan is a member of the Woodbridge Country Club. He is an avid golfer, sports fanatic and enjoys traveling.
Residents added to park committee
A Lockeford Community Services District committee exploring how the town's first park could be used has added some members.
Noel Stetson and Larry Wenell, members of the Lockeford Municipal Advisory Council, will serve on the park committee with services district board members Chris Locke and Sharon Godat. Others have expressed interest, Locke said.
The committee initially consisted only of Locke and Godat, but the group was expanded at the Lockeford Municipal Advisory Council's request. People attending the MAC meeting on Jan. 17 were divided on whether the park should consist of athletic fields or be a quieter park with benches and picnic tables, said MAC member Bob Marty.
Locke and Godat are expected to give a brief update at Thursday's Community Services District board meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m. at the Lockeford Community Center's McDonald Building, 19456 N. Jack Tone Road.
The committee will explore ways to use 14.5 acres of parkland off Jack Tone Road, next to the Lockeford Community Center.
Free tax preparation workshop in Stockton
Tax experts from the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program will offer free, confidential assistance in filing tax paperwork on Feb. 9 in Stockton.
To be eligible for free assistance, participants must earn $55,000 or less a year and must not be self-employed. Participants must also bring relevant tax forms, identification and bank information. In some cases, volunteers can electronically file tax returns that day.
The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Danner Hall at San Joaquin Delta College, 5151 Pacific Ave., Stockton. Park in either the C1 or L4 lots, located toward the Pacific Avenue side of the campus.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is a branch of the Community Partnership for Families of San Joaquin. For more information, call Rep. Jerry McNerney's Stockton office, 476-8552, or visit http://mcnerney.house.gov.
Inmate charged with murdering cell mate
TRACY - An inmate at a Tracy prison charged with murdering his cell mate says he didn't do it.
Thirty-nine-year-old Richard Henry Kase pleaded not guilty Monday to killing 28-year-old Randy James Rabelos, who was found dead inside the cell they shared on Dec. 1.
San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Valli Israels says Rabelos died of asphyxiation, but wouldn't give any details about how he died.
Rabelos was serving a three-year sentence at Deuel Vocational Institution, a medium security prison. Kase was starting an 11-year sentence.