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Lodi needs to give a good first impression — and it’s not

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Posted: Saturday, October 6, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 5:05 am, Sat Oct 6, 2012.

The wine industry is proving to be a huge shot in the arm to our area's economy and livelihood. It's literally putting Lodi in focus for wine lovers and vacation travelers from across the country and the world. It's important as we are being recognized to see ourselves as others surely see us. And if we open our eyes and look around, it's not a pretty picture.

I'm specifically talking about the stretch of Highway 99 from Harney Lane to Acampo Road — the Lodi exits. Honestly, if I were traveling to Lodi from southern California, I would be tempted to keep going. The weeds, the abandoned Victor meat plant and the broken fences lined with wind-blown trash all combine to make Lodi look more like a junkyard than the attractive, charming town one encounters when they visit our great Downtown, our parks, Lodi Lake, etc.

Do we need a citizen's action group to get this stretch of road cleaned up? Will the county step up? Does the City Council have any clout in this area? I don't have the answers, but I will volunteer to help organize, help clean up and do whatever I can to help beautify this important first impression of our fair city.

Larry Pilmaier


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  • Ted Lauchland posted at 8:55 pm on Tue, Oct 9, 2012.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    Texas brags about the bermuda they have gotten to grow along side of their highways. Leave trash anywhere and it will grow too.

  • Nancy Brakensiek posted at 11:42 am on Mon, Oct 8, 2012.

    Nancy Posts: 1

    I live near Turner and 99 and have been wondering who is responsible for the clean-up of the on/ off ramp area. For the past 3 months there has been a recliner and trash on the south side of Turner heading towards the onramp of Southbound 99. The entire area is full of trash and garbage. Because of the location, I don't know whose jurisdiction it is? CalTrans, City of Lodi or is it private property backing up to the fence behind the apartments? Cal Trans did come in and cut some of the bushes and trees but left the trash and debris. I not only believe it gives a poor impression to visitors but, we as citizens would appreciate not having piles of trash strewn all along the on/off ramp area too! As Mr.Pilmaier stated, I too would be willing to help. I just think it is sad that such a great little city has such a poor first impression.

  • John Kindseth posted at 9:22 pm on Sat, Oct 6, 2012.

    John Kindseth Posts: 246

    Drive from the Canadian border to San Diego either way at least 10 times and then you will know where the worst, most awful, scruffy, scroungy, stretch of highway exists. It starts by Stockton and ends just north of Galt.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 12:08 pm on Sat, Oct 6, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Ms Bobin stated...Constructive criticism rule #1 - compliment the good things in your opening paragraph, then point out the negatives and suggest solutions.

    Humm, excellent rule!!

    Practice what you preach = When one offers advise or suggestions for others for how one should behave... that same person should actually participate in the suggested behavior. [thumbup]

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:37 am on Sat, Oct 6, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Constructive criticism rule #1 - compliment the good things in your opening paragraph, then point out the negatives and suggest solutions.

    Great letter and excellent observations, Mr. Pilmaier.

    And the critique on Lodi as "not quite ready for prime time" coming from someone who once wrote that Dee Dee's coffee shop was a "fine dining experience!"

  • Ron Werner posted at 7:47 am on Sat, Oct 6, 2012.

    Ron Werner Posts: 101

    If someone wants to improve that section of 99, they should demolish the Geweke Auto sign. It's so bright at night one needs to put on sunglasses.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 6:26 am on Sat, Oct 6, 2012.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Mr. Baumbach - you've gone a tad easier on Mr. Pilmaier and I'm sure others who actually believe Lodi to be some sort of AAA special vacation destination --

    While I’ve written this before when the subject came up over the past couple of years, I think Lodi is a great town to live in and raise a family; but I don't quite see it as a "[focal point] for wine lovers and vacation travelers from across the country and the world," at least not yet.

    Sure, it's a nice place to drive through from other parts of the state to get to the Sierra's and the Gold Country; but as a specific place where anyone would actually spend their vacation dollars to visit, I just don't see it. There are a number of nice wineries and pretty vineyards along a few of our byways, but in comparison to the Napa/Sonoma Wine Country, Lodi isn’t quite ready for prime time.

    Would sprucing up Highway 99 and its exits change this? Doubtful, although it's clear that many of the on-ramps and off-ramps need to be redesigned as they're dangerous and put lives at risk. What’s sad is that Galt will soon have a first-class exit system in just a few short months. Now THERE's a fantastic resort venue!!

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 5:00 am on Sat, Oct 6, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Letter stated...Honestly, if I were traveling to Lodi from southern California, I would be tempted to keep going

    Great thought to beautify and make better the image of Lodi. I agree that Lodi should be as welcoming and attractive as possible, not only for commerce, but for people who call Lodi home.

    However, the thought that anyone coming from the concrete jungle painted with gang graffiti and a forest with no more that 6 trees, I cannot imagine someone would think what is here now is something as bad as the author suggests. In fact, the weeds on the side of the road might be mistaken for a beautiful rustic landscape by some southern California standards.


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