Editor's note: This story has corrected hours of 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. for the dinner being provided to emergency personnel on Christmas Eve.
If you didn't go the Lodi Community Band's Christmas Concert this past Sunday, you missed a true Christmas treat; all our favorite Christmas tunes and carols dressed up in really great arrangements.
The opening selection was performed by the Lodi High Symphonic Band, conducted by Glen Guevara, and both bands joined together for the finale, which also included the audience singing along for "Silent Night" and "O Come All Ye Faithful."
The concert was dedicated to Noel Christian, sister of flutist Carol Marvel who is a long time band member. Carol presented arranger and band supporter Ray Lippert with the band's Golden Baton award, and Marty Weybret, publisher of the Lodi News-Sentinel, presented the paper's 2012 Classroom Hero award to Thida Rickard, fifth-grade teacher at Lawrence School, and Todd DeGrandmont, science teacher at Lodi High School
Maybe you've already been made aware of one of the latest scams at the checkout counter. READ YOUR RECEIPT CLOSELY before leaving the counter. People have found cash back payouts when they did not request them, and have had trouble being reimbursed . Greg Walther, computer guru, from time to time prints important computer news. This month he has warned about some email scams out there. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about these.
St. John's Episcopal Church will serve a free dinner on Dec. 28 to anyone who wants to come. No charge, just donations where possible. But before that, on Christmas Eve, the church will serve a dinner to emergency services personnel, starting at 9 p.m. after the late service and ending at 4 a.m. This is the third year for this outreach, and attendance is getting better. Let's hope notices are posted in fire and police stations, and at emergency and ambulance headquarters.
Three cheers for Tree Lodi and its devoted members. They were given a city award recently for all their work at DeBenedetti Park. And blessings on the heads of all those cheerful volunteers who are manning Salvation Army kettles all over town. Standing for several hours in various kinds of questionable weather cannot be easy.
I don't think I am the only one to be upset by the news that Apple Market may be replaced by some kind of fitness center. It's the anchor store of the Lakewood shopping center, and its prices are lower than Raley's or Safeway's, generally speaking. It's a place where everyone knows just about all the workers there, and where you can run into at least one person you know every time you go in. Why can't they put the fitness center in the empty Blockbuster building across the street?
Rejoice! King Tsin restaurant has reopened! It is now at 1040 W Kettleman Lane, next to the large CVS store on the south side. Nearest main entry: Turn south at the Crescent Avenue traffic light. The place is much like the old one, except newer and a bit larger, and Theresa says they're busy, which is good news.
Picked up a flyer there which really upset me. It was finding fault with Stockton Animal Services, saying that they illegally kill animals and withhold veterinary care from sick and injured animals. The group decrying these dreadful practices call themselves Central California Pets Alive (they're at gmail.com by their name), and they blame city officials for sort of investigating and not doing anything. They also want the director replaced. This goes along with the awful stories I hear about horses being left uncared for when their owners are either away all the time or have moved out and just left them.
People who know of both of these situations say it's not their business. Well, as far as I am concerned, sick and suffering animals are everybody's business, everywhere. Thank goodness we now have Oakwood Vet Hospital open seven days a week, with urgent care available Thursday through Sunday. They're on Lower Sacramento Road in Woodbridge, phone 209-333-7010.
Garden talk next column, promise! And one to end with: "Energy and persistence conquer all things." — Benjamin Franklin
Gwin Mitchell Paden came to Lodi in 1957. She has written this column (in various forms) since 1999.