Notebook holds some enlightening numbers
by Ron Swift | Patterson Irrigator
Aug 01, 2012 | 738 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Several years ago, after our county supervisors chose Gerry Kamilos to proceed with his West Park plans to develop the former Crows Landing Navy airfield, several of us met with the developer for a couple of hours.

My notes from that meeting are enlightening.

Among other things, Kamilos informed us that he would have $750 million invested in the project before he garnered one cent of return. Of course, that’s when his plan called for the development of 4,800 acres, a figure now cut to 2,900.

He also mentioned that an overpass of the railroad tracks and Highway 33 could be constructed to provide Patterson’s east side with emergency vehicle service that otherwise would be blocked by his passing trains. The cost estimate (his): $40 million.

Highway 33 between Patterson and Santa Nella would require four lanes to handle the traffic created by his development. Cost estimate: Unknown.

And now Kamilos is having difficulty scraping up $2.75 mil for the county? This is going to be a long, drawn-out project.

This and that

Probably Patterson’s worst-kept secret — maybe the worst ever — was the growing stand of marijuana south of town along Highway 33 near Holly Avenue. Numerous locals had been discussing the sizable crop, plainly visible from the road, the past couple of months. My only surprise is that it wasn’t picked by our locals before the authorities swooped in last week.

Last week, July 24 to be exact, the Knights of the Square Table (KOST) observed the coffee group’s 28th anniversary by going out to lunch. After that, most of them went home and took a nap.

Of the City Council hopefuls who to date have expressed an interest in this November’s municipal election, at least four are members of the West Side Democratic Club. How’s that for trivia.

Several years ago, we had a nocturnal raccoon visiting our backyard. He (she?) was back again last week. Anyone around town missing a raccoon?

Important trivia

Probably less than one in a thousand Americans has ever heard the fourth verse of our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” No, maybe one in a million.

(Oh, you didn’t know there were four verses? OK, I didn’t either.)

And while we debate the insertion of “God” into our pledge of allegiance, inscription on our money and use on our governmental buildings, you never hear reference to our national anthem.

That’s out of ignorance, of course. But to enlighten readers, here’s that fourth and final verse.

“O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand

“Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation,

“Blest with vict’ry and peace may the Heav’n rescued land

“Praise the Power that hath made and preserv’d us as a nation!

“Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

“And this be our motto — ‘In God is our Trust,’

“And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

“O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Our 90-plusers

Former longtime Patterson resident Bonnie Nordell, who now resides with husband Ken in Turlock, observed her 90th birthday in May, Fast Talk has learned. Thus she is added to our 90-plus list.

But coming off is Fain Renfrow, another longtime Patterson resident, who died recently.

Quotes for older friends

Phyllis Diller: “Maybe it’s true that life begins at 50. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.”

Billy Crystal: “By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he’s too old to go anywhere.”

For the sports fan

What’s your favorite Olympic sport? I, for one, wanted to see more table tennis.

And finally…

Back in my home state of Iowa and elsewhere in the Midwest, this summer’s weather conditions have been severe.

It’s been so hot and dry that a friend sent me this email:

“It’s so dry that the Baptists are starting to baptize by sprinkling, the Methodists are using wet wipes, the Presbyterians are giving rain checks and the Catholics are praying for the wine to turn back into water.”

That’s dry.

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