The Record’s Editorial Board has been meeting with candidates this week in advance of endorsement decisions for the Nov. 8 general election.
We appreciate the candidates’ candor and willingness to discuss issues.
The meetings also have spawned some interesting quotes. I’d like to share a few.
• Berniece Bass, Stockton Unified trustee candidate: “With eight kids who have gone through SUSD schools, I’m the type of person who spends a lot of time in the hallways, and it makes a difference. Why, I saw one student with his pants sagging and underwear showing. I didn’t have to say a thing. I just gave him the ‘Old Berniece’ look. He pulled ’em up.”
• Kathleen Garcia, Stockton Unified trustee incumbent: “If God would grant me one wish, it would be that this (teachers) strike would be settled before it even becomes a strike.”
• Michael Tubbs, Stockton mayoral candidate: “As mayor, you’re not the king and you don’t get to make edicts.”
• Sam Fant, Stockton City Council candidate: “Nothing stops a bullet from being fired like a job.”
• Doug Vigil, Stockton Unified trustee candidate: He is hearing impaired and had a hate message scrawled on the sidewalk outside his residence several weeks ago. “It still hurts me. It’s not like I was a career politician. It’s not like I was a threat to people. But it has made me more determined.”
• Jennet Stebbins, Delta College trustee incumbent: “I could be as broke as Job’s turkey, but I’d still have Jennet’s integrity.”
Other random thoughts
• Last week’s Stockton City Council meeting brought out many passionate speakers about fireworks — the legal and illegal types. Vice Mayor Christina Fugazi brought up something that has been used elsewhere, notably Europe — noiseless fireworks. Basically, you get the beautiful sights without the gunfire-like sounds that impact pets, children and some veterans.
• Smaller-scale fireworks offer a different set of concerns. They have become a major area of fundraising for non-profits, churches and other organizations. But both safe-and-sane and illegal fireworks have been abused, especially last year. You can be patriotic by setting off fireworks on July 4. But when they continue to July 5 … and July 8 … and July 11. That’s a community problem.
• Applause to United Way of San Joaquin County for ratcheting up its fundraising drive from $3 million to $5 million — which is what it used to be. With more than 750,000 county residents, this goal should be attainable.
• What a moving story about St. Mary’s High School volleyball player Brooklyn Silva, who is battling — and seemingly beating — an extremely rare form of pancreatic cancer. A shout out, also, to her teammates for their approach to helping their friend. The story by Record reporter Thomas Lawrence also made me reflect on a unique person in Stockton athletic history. St. Mary’s Coach Jayne McHugh was an All-American volleyball player at University of the Pacific and then played for the U.S. Olympic team in 1988 at Seoul, South Korea. She became an assistant coach at Pacific and then was head coach — with underappreciated success — at her college alma mater. She’s now coaching St. Mary’s, and is a breast cancer survivor. I was fortunate enough to be selected to cover the Seoul Olympics for the newspaper chain that owned The Record at the time. I was nervous as could be about doing a good job. But on my first day in Seoul, I interviewed Jayne. She calmed me down — or was it “coached me up?” She’s a special person. God speed to Brooklyn.
• A Stockton salute to Roderick Townsend-Roberts, who won the gold medal in the men’s long jump last week at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The former Lincoln High and Delta College athlete soared 24 feet, 3¾ inches to earn the gold. “It was a great environment to jump in, and Rio definitely made me feel like their own today,” he was quoted as saying.
— Contact Record Editor Mike Klocke at (209) 546-8250 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Klocke_Record.