April 15, 2014
The horror of it all. Apparently neither of us had the opportunity to experience Head Start and now you got me wondering where I might be if I'd had that opportunity. Born into an immigrant family, we were unfortunately limited to only to the education and services that were offered to everyone else. English language skills were a challenge, but we persevered. My mom spoke only French when we got here, and Dad was fluent in German but conversational in French and Latin and knew a bit of English. But at home, my brother, sister and I were allowed to only speak in English and were given a little "thump" on the forehead by dad if he heard us switch over to German or French. He mandated that guests to our house speak only English although sometimes gatherings of family and friends turned into really funny English language immersion classes led by my father. I never had a teacher, counselor, pastor, store clerk, friend, or classmate who I could easily hold a conversation with, but with determination and effort on my part, and the encouragement of my parents, I was able to quit translating the English I heard into into German and French and started thinking and speaking in English.
Court Roundup: Cases continued for two attempted murder suspects
by TP staff
Apr 15, 2014 | 723 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Hearing for mall shooting continued

MANTECA — A court hearing for a man accused of trying to kill three people outside West Valley Mall in December was delayed until April 25 in the Manteca branch of San Joaquin County Superior Court on April 10.
Lorenzo Hotel, 18, of Tracy, faces three counts of premeditated attempted murder and one count of shooting at an inhabited dwelling.
Speaking on Hotel’s behalf, attorney James Giller told Judge Ron Northup that he and Deputy District Attorney Mark Ott had agreed to resume the hearing at 1:30 p.m. April 25.
Northup asked Hotel if he would continue to waive his right to a speedy trial, and Hotel said yes.
Giller entered a not-guilty plea on Hotel’s behalf on Feb. 28. If he had not waived time, his preliminary hearing would have had to be held no more than 60 days from his first arraignment in late December.
Hotel is accused of shooting at the eastern entrance of the mall, 3200 Naglee Road, on the night of Dec. 20. The criminal complaint against him identifies his targets as Jesus Herrera, Byron Thomas and an unidentified woman, called Jane Doe.
Hotel remains in San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp without bail.

Lockwood hearing to resume April 25
MANTECA — A Tracy man accused of shooting at two people in a car on Lowell Avenue in late February had his court hearing delayed to April 25 in San Joaquin County Superior Court on April 10.
Brandon Lockwood, 18, is charged with premeditated attempted murder, assault with a semiautomatic firearm and shooting at an inhabited vehicle, with enhancements of personal use of a firearm and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.
Giller, who is the attorney for both Lockwood and Hotel, asked Judge Ron Northup to continue his client’s further arraignment hearing to the same date as Hotel’s preliminary hearing.
Filling in for Deputy District Attorney Donald Vaughn, who was unavailable for the hearing, Deputy District Attorney Ron Indran told the judge that Vaughn would only be available April 22, 23 or 28.
Northup scheduled Lockwood’s hearing at 1:30 p.m. April 28, but a few minutes later, he recalled the case and moved the hearing to 1:30 p.m. April 25.
According to the criminal complaint against him, Lockwood is accused of shooting at Martin Rocha and Cinthya Lizeth on Feb. 12 as they drove out of an apartment complex parking lot on the 2900 block of Lowell Avenue.
Lockwood remains in county jail without bail.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at drizzo@tracypress.com or 830-4225.


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Rare film of 1906 earthquake shown in Tracy
by Sam Matthews
Apr 15, 2014 | 410 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tracyites who filled the main meeting room at the Tracy Transit Station on Saturday afternoon relived the devastation of 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.
They saw crumbling and fire-gutted buildings on screen in the award-winning documentary film “The Damnedest Finest Ruins.”
The film’s producer and editor, James Dalessandro, was present to show the hourlong film, which included restored silent-film footage and rare photographs and interviews.
The opening scenes were film footage of what San Francisco was like just days before the April 18, 1906, disaster — scenes recorded by an early Edison motion-picture camera mounted at the front of a street car heading down Market Street toward the Ferry Building.
“This film footage, by the Mills brothers, amateur photographers, was discovered only days before the centennial of the earthquake and fire was observed in April 2006,” Dalessandro reported.
Other facts and observations included in the film and Dalessandro’s remarks:
Enrico Caruso, the legendary Italian tenor, gave a performance at the San Francisco Opera House the night before the earthquake. “He finished the concert exactly at midnight, five hours and 12 seconds before the quake hit,” Dalessandro reported. Caruso had to leave his room in the Palace Hotel when it was gutted by fire several days after the earthquake and headed up Nob Hill to the Fairmont for lodging.
There were heroes and villains associated with the disaster, according to Dalessandro.
The hero was San Francisco Fire Chief Dennis Sullivan, who before the fire was pushing for the development of a fire-suppression system that included reservoirs and cisterns holding emergency water. Sullivan was mortally injured in the earthquake when falling debris landed on the firehouse where he was sleeping. He died of his injuries 18 hours later. His ideas were later incorporated into the unique San Francisco fire facilities.
The villain, according to Dalessandro, was Army Brig. Gen. Frederick Funston, commander of the Presidio, who sent untrained and unsupervised troops into the heart of the destruction area with instructions to shoot any possible looters. A number of innocent people were killed. Funston was also overzealous in ordering so many major structures and homes destroyed by dynamite in an effort to curb the spread of the fire. Many of those structures could have been saved, Dalessandro said.
The U.S. Navy did a better job, he said, with sailors and Marines working tirelessly to save the docks so important to the evacuation of refugees.
The fire, which destroyed nearly every building south of Market Street, spread as far west as Van Ness Avenue, where a determined effort on the broad thoroughfare stopped the flames.
San Francisco’s population before the earthquake and fire was estimated at 435,000, the largest city on the West Coast. After the earthquake and fire, about 75,000 of those who had left the city never returned, providing new residents in scores of California towns, including Tracy.
• Contact Sam Matthews at shm@tracypress.com or 830-4234.
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April 15, 2014
I didn't experience Head Start as an infant or child? Did I miss something of value from this service? A child needs more than one or two mentor(s) during adolescence, but I think we delude ourselves about the effectiveness of this program and, perhaps, the D.A.R.E. program. Remember, we are moving toward the national legalization of marijuana. Sedation is the name of the game.

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