CITY COUNCIL LOG JAM: During the lazy days of summer, governments everywhere slow down. In Lodi, the City Council had one abbreviated meeting with a light agenda and only three of its five members in attendance. The next meeting, on July 4, was canceled. This meant that the following meeting, on July 18, was packed full of items that had been put off for a month.
The meeting started with a record 32-item consent calendar. The consent calendar is a grouping of routine items that usually only require a rubber stamp from the council without discussion. However, City Manager Blair King has to read each item into the record before the council votes on the calendar as a whole.
"We have a fairly big consent calendar tonight so if we take a break or if Mr. King farms it out it's because Mr. King's voice needs a break," Mayor Bob Johnson quipped.
Halfway through the list, King said, "I'm tired already."
FINDING YOURSELF, THROUGH JUNK MAIL: When new Lodi Planning Commissioner Steve Hennecke lived in Los Angeles area for four years, there were times he couldn't tell which city he was living in.
On one particular move, he wasn't sure if his new home was located in Culver City or West Hollywood - the cities have little, if any, line of demarcation.
It wasn't until his junk mail arrived (with his address and city: Culver City) that Hennecke found out where he officially called home.
The Lodi native and real estate agent isn't an enemy of growth.
But he says he wants to keep a distinct agricultural barrier between Lodi and Stockton, one that will be easier to decipher than the matrix of urban communities in L.A.
"I know what traffic and sprawl and congestion are like," Hennecke said earlier this month. "I definitely don't want this place to turn into the San Fernando Valley."
GUNSHOTS FROM A GOOSE'S PERSPECTIVE: Bird-X, the company that brought an end to Galt High School's nasty gull problem, is back with a new product - the improved GooseBuster. The GooseBuster now includes gunshot and coyote sounds that are "far more realistic, from a goose's point of view, than any recordings commonly available."
According to Bird-X, research shows that an animal's brain will respond to sights and sounds that remind them of instances of pain or terror.
Since one of the studies Bird-X used said that 40 percent of adult geese had pellets in their breasts, Bird-X figured that geese will be sufficiently scared of gunshots.
Items in Grapevine, which runs every other week on Mondays, are written by various reporters on the staff. If you have an item to contribute, e-mail Pam Bauserman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 369-7035.