Concerns for personal safety and belongings
by Ron Swift | Patterson Irrigator
Jul 03, 2014 | 1192 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I won’t belabor the point, but Pattersonites are becoming concerned about instances of major crime in our community.

Particularly troubling are the use of firearms while committing major thefts. Over the years, Pattersonites haven’t experienced this type of criminal activity. The late County Sherriff Dan Kelsey, who was this city’s chief of police back in the 1950s, is remembered to have cautioned the West Side after the completion of I-5 in the late ’60s.

The quick on-and-off of the freeway, Kelsey explained, will tempt those after quick bucks. But that situation did not develop over the next 40 years. Has it finally caught up to us?

Home break-ins seemingly are on the increase as well. A number of us, including this scribe, have had vehicles stolen.

In our instance, a couple of men were spotted peering over a neighbor’s fence. They were chased up the alley and one got away, but the other had to return for their pickup. He gave some lame excuse to the chasers.

That same night our car was stolen off the street and was found totaled five days later north of Napa. Two arrests were made for car theft, both men with long rap sheets being from the Napa area. They stole a license plate from a Patterson vehicle to replace the one on our car.

Why were they in Patterson? Obviously for no good.

And while on the subject, hats off to that citizen who pulled the keys from a vehicle used by a couple of gunmen to recently stick up Wells Fargo Bank in the Save Mart building. You deserve a pat on the back.

Local residents are becoming increasingly concerned. Neighborhood Watch programs are being organized. Hopefully my block will reorganize its Neighborhood Watch.


Our 90-plus list recently dropped one of its original members with the death of longtime West Side resident Marie Archer. She was 97 and had many local friends in the Patterson and Vernalis area.

Another local woman has died who was not on our 90-plus list. She was Helen Betty Brown, 92, who had resided here since 2005. Thus the list presently stands at 77. As we do from time to time, the complete list follows.

Lee Aiello, Margaret Alberta, John V. Azevedo, Rose Beltran, Vera Bettencourt, Antone Bogdanich, Winnie Bronzan, Wayne Brooks, Emil Burch, Aileen Cabral (103).

Antoinette Carcello, Cecelia Carranza, Marcel Chapuis, Jane Chaney, Lena Cirrincione, Florence Perry Cogswell (102), Grace Cox, Gladene Craven, Marnelle Filippini Cripe, Bertha Criswell (104).

Millie Cunningham, Nadine Dompe, Bea English, Thelma Fitzsimmons, Agnese Friedrich, Aurora Garcia, Anita Garza, Nita Goetz, Agritima Guerra.

Esther Hamilton, Charlie Hansen, Dora Gustafson Hauert, Eleanor Holtzman, Violet Housewright, Wayne Johnson, Geneva Kazda, Adeline Kempton, Velma Klein, Evelyn Kolding.

Laurence Kolding, Helen Maring (103), Bessie Martin, Jack McConnell, Ruby McNutt, Willie Mae Mellinger, Ruby Miller, Nelda Schut Mitchell, Adelina Montoya, Bonnie Nordell.

Ken Nordell, Josefa Esquivel Ochoa, Victoria Orozco, Sverre Osnes, Seth “Tex” Pace, Manuel Paiva, Verna Kaye Pava, Bias Profito, Dorothy Reis, MayBelle Rogers.

Emmy Lou Schroeder, Rosa Stehli, Joaquin “Jack” Tabar, Mary Tosti, Josephine Trains, Justin A. Traina, Frances Tyler, Virginia Usadel, Helyn Vescere, Isabel Vierra.

Christine Weatherford, Clyde Weekley, Gene Wheeland, Vivian Wheeland, Dorothy Wiesendanger (104), Katie Williams, Les Williams and Mitsuye Yamamoto.


It wasn’t too many years ago that Patterson became a much quieter city when the Boy Scouts went off for a week at summer camp in the Sierra.

Not anymore. Too much activity, much of in the way of serious crime. Police sirens blaring, occasion shots being fired, etc. No longer a quiet little community.

But back to the Scouts.

Both local troops will be leaving this Sunday for Camp Mensinger above Pinecrest. That should trim the noise down at least one decibel.

One Scout who will miss camp this year is Calvin Langstaff, who turned 18 on June 20. Calvin was rushed by ambulance late last week to Doctors Hospital where he is recovering from a serious infection. He has many Patterson friends and is probably acquainted with more local residents than I am.

One other local woman died who was not on our 90-plus list.


After typing my password into my computer, it recently asked for my father’s middle name.

I replied, “Same as mine.”

No luck. Explain to me where I went astray.


I recently developed a pain in the neck. Yes, a real one that sent me to get professional help.

It came on suddenly, just about when the World Cup began play in Brazil.

Could it have been from watching those soccer “headers?” I’ve decided it was.


We should commend Pastor Ken Hasekamp and members of his Adventure Christian Church for sponsoring the annual car show in downtown Patterson.

This year’s show on June 14 was sadly down in attendance, even though the event had 26 car entries, up from 19 a year ago. The show could build to become a good community draw, but will need the support from many of us if it is to successfully continue.

Ron Swift is editor/publisher emeritus of the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at

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