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Is it too late for Lodi to write a letter to Santa?

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Posted: Saturday, December 29, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:50 am, Sat Dec 29, 2012.

There are a few things we wish Old St. Nick would bring Livable, Lovable Lodi — we even have a wish that would make Galt living more gracious. We hope the Jolly Old Elf won't mind if we interrupt his 11-month vacation with our 2013 flights of fancy.

These are not serious, boring wishes, like a stronger economy or a healthier housing market. No, these are real pie in the sky.

First wish — Lodi needs a wine train. Perhaps we can work up a partnership with Amtrak. The schedule for Bay Area residents doesn't work very well, but people from Fresno, Merced and Modesto can hop the northbound San Joaquin and arrive at 11:34 a.m.

They can have lunch, then spend the afternoon strolling Downtown from tasting rooms, to the cinema, to secondhand shops and more. They can step on a southbound train at 5:30 p.m. and after dinner on the train return home, having experienced our beautiful Downtown at a fraction of the cost of a trip to Napa or the City.

Or maybe we need to copy Napa's wine train and utilize the nearly abandoned Central California Traction Company line. It runs within steps of Ironstone's Bear Creek Winery, Oak Ridge and Robert Mondavi Woodbridge.

Second wish — couldn't the Lodi-Galt dairy industry join the foodie revolution and begin making cheese? We know of several Marin County dairies that have enhanced their green footprints and expanded their markets by making farmstead cheeses.

Agri-tourism has worked for many grape-growing families. Why not our dairy people?

After all, few things go as well together as a glass of wine and some good cheese.

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