Quick Links for June 4th

Jesus tap dancing Christ I’ve been busy. Can’t really get into the lame excuses, but I’ll try my best to cover some the news that we’ve missed this week. I’m excluding the PD/FD shenanigans because that stuff really deserves its own post and I’m working on that, but other shit happened so let’s knock out some Quick Links!

Hey, let’s boycott Sass Bar and Grill because they got a government subsidy!

Our long, civic nightmare is over, Paragary’s has been sold. Which means this is our last opportunity to tell Mike Fitzgerald that his subsidy boycott theory is fucking retarded. But then he goes ahead and explains why a subsidy boycott is absurd for us, and doesn’t make the connection that that means his boycott theory is absurd. Oh the joys of breaking news in opinion columns.

We all know the reasons Paragary’s failed by now. We’ve lamented the shitty service, expensive food, and the poor quality of said food at the price they charged, but when it comes down to it Paragary was just an inflexible prick. He didn’t put in the necessary face time in the Stockton restaurant that bore his name in the early days to catch the problems we just named and the business just never recovered. First impressions are everything and most first impressions (like, say, ours) weren’t good. He halfassed it and refused to change and it cost him.

Randy Paragary has noone to blame for the complete and total failure of his Stockton restaurant except himself. The subsidy was never the problem, Paragary just lacked the one thing vital to any business trying to build a customer base, flexibility. Luckily this new guy seems a bit more limber as he’s already opening up rooftop terrace to everybody and not just the people who can afford the $2,000 rental fee. I can’t wait for Mike Fitzgerald to try and rename it…again.

Good Lord we’re going to miss this man

It really is a day of goodbyes. Saying sayonara to Paragary’s is a happy goodbye. This is also a happy goodbye, but with a twinge of sadness. City Hall reporter David Siders is leaving Stockton for greener pastures. That’s not to say Sacramento is better than Stockton, I fucking hate Sacramento, but covering the State Capital is a decidedly higher profile beat than Stockton City Hall. Siders was always a big fish in a small pond over here, breathlessly covering City Hall to the point where the Mayor actually suggested he had bugged the building, so it’s no real surprise that he’s doing what Mike Fitzgerald never had the stones to do by moving to a bigger pond.

I’ve done my fair share of criticism of the Record over the almost 2-year existence of this site (yes, we’re coming up on our 2nd birthday or 3rd anniversary is you’re asking the Asparagus festival), but we’ve always respected Siders’ work. Not just for his ability to sit through City Council meetings (which are a slow form of torture forged in the 7th layer of hell) on a regular basis, but because we leaned on his work so much during the past couple years. If it wasn’t for his thorough reporting on budget cuts, free tickets, and the Johnny Ford debacle I wouldn’t know half as much about local politics as I do now thanks to him. It can be difficult to understand the nuances of civic-level politics, especially in a wacky town like Stockton, but dude made it easy for understand.

But on top of all of that, David was one of this site’s earliest supporters. He shot us an e-mail of encouragement in the early days of this site when I assumed the only people reading were myself, Bris, and our moms and he even linked to us in his blogroll back when that kind of stuff was allowed. I can say with total confidence that his links to both Real Stocktonian posts spiked the biggest numbers this site has ever seen which helped in establishing a core group of readers interested in our wacky take on City politics. That’s not an easy group to find because, let’s face it, local politics can be really fucking boring sometimes. For all of that I’ll be forever grateful.

Like I said on Twitter, dude’s a good guy and a great reporter and he (and his beard, should he ever choose to regrow it) will be missed. Luckily, Daniel Thigpen’s taking his slot, so City Hall is in good, Mothra-sized hands.

Ok, enough mushy, “we hardly knew ye” shit. I swear I’ll be back in a timely fashion next week with a PD/Fire union post as long as my browser doesn’t take a shit and make me lose an hour’s work again.

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~ by Slick Diaz on June 4, 2010.

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