Improve Our Community project
by Ron Swift | Patterson Irrigator
Feb 04, 2014 | 955 views | 0 0 comments | 173 173 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Patterson resident, who shall here go nameless, has undertaken a one-man Improve Our Community project. We need more like him.

Once a month he treks out to the freeway and cleans up trash along the exit of southbound traffic. Then he picks litter from both sides of the roadway several hundred yards to the west where the Del Puerto Canyon Road links with Diablo Grande Parkway.

Check it out. He does good work.

His observation: beer cans are usually thrown out the right-hand side of vehicles pulling off the freeway. Styrofoam cups normally go out the left window. Does this indicate that drivers are drinking non-alcoholic beverages, while passengers are sipping a sudsy? I somehow doubt it.

It’s interesting to note that when he checked with Caltrans about the litter pickup along the freeway off-ramp, he was told it was a no trespassing area.



If you read last week’s Patterson Irrigator (well, of course you did), you may have been as dismayed as I at the full page of police and crime news.

Yikes, where are we headed?

In the same issue was a report that the City Council authorized hiring one more police sergeant to join the battle against crime. In one way, that’s good news. And in another, it’s not a good sign.

A number of years ago our local police department strongly promoted the Neighborhood Watch program. Neighbors met (usually with an officer present), talked over what they could and should do about crime on their street, pledged to be vigilant, and coughed up a few bucks to put up Neighborhood Watch signs on their block. The city installed the signs … but alas, over time the program slipped into slumber.

Some of us do rely on close neighbors to watch our property when we are away and advise them when we are going and returning. But all of us should be more vigilant. We should be watchful for those who are out for no good. Their number seems to be growing.

One of the plusses of the NW program was the opportunity at that initial meeting to share opinions with the officer. That was helpful to both us and the officer. I say we revive NW and all of us become unofficial deputies.


While in City Hall the other day, I picked up this figure:

Since the first of the year, the city staff has this year painted out no fewer than 187 graffiti markings around our town. And that was with one day left in January.

A chilly thought – gang markings are rampant.


Now we learn that future automobiles will be equipped with electronic sensors that “communicate” with those in other vehicles. Safer driving is the explanation, unless of course you have a malfunction. (Ever have a computer malfunction? That’s what I mean.)

At this pace, we humans will sooner or later have nothing to do for ourselves. It all started when we were no longer required to lick postage stamps.


Westley’s Gloria Ellery is featured in a story on the current web site of the California Dry Bean Advisory Board. The Patterson native is pictured, along with the former bean warehouse along Highway north of Westley.

Check it out at It’s a good article.


One more name – that of Christine Weatherford – has been added to our 90-plus list.

The longtime Patterson resident turned 90 on Jan. 20, we have learned. She ups the list count to 68.

More, we want more!


You probably noticed that last weekend in women’s basketball, top-rated Connecticut beat Cincinnati 82-29 in a game that was close until the opening tip-off.

And then there was the Super Bowl fiasco. It also was close until the 12-second mark of the first quarter. From then on, it was all over.


Someone sent me these words to the wise:

“Man who leaps off cliff jumps to conclusion.”

Well, doesn’t he?

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