Monday, May 31, 2010

Gardens of stone

We take today to remember all those who gave their life in defense of this country. Across the nations veterans gather to remember their comrades who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Tracy joined in the remembrance with service at the cemetery and the Tracy War Memrorial where the roll call of those servicemen from tracy who were killed in action was read. As one of the speakers said of those who laid down their lives we must never,never forget them.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Back in the saddle again

After six weeks of nursing a torn meniscus Alice and I finally hit the trail again today with a short hike at Mount Diablo. We took a short trip along the Knobcone Point Trail to test my knee's soreness.

It seems like forever when I tore it on another hike at Del Valle. Less than a minute in on that hike I knelt down to take a picture and standing back up there went my meniscus. A couple of weeks hobbling around on assignments, some physical therapy and at long last I was lacing up the hiking boots once again.

I really missed the trail. I have had a lot of stress going on in my life lately. Family crisis, major changes at work, rehabbing the knee I needed to get out for some fresh air and a look at some quieter moments. Alice decided we would test my hiking ability with a short two hour or son trek on a mostly level trail.

I have pushing the knee at work, it is still sore and a little swollen but I have been doing ok. Hitting the trail we were greeted with the first true spring day I can think of so far with lots of sun and warm temperatures on the trail. There were a few other hikers on the trail as we pushed along.

Except for a major case of hay fever probably due to all the wild grasses along the trail I was fine. the knee is still tender but I am glad I can still hike. We will be pushing it along a little more each weekend as I get back into shape. Our goal is hopefully a Yosemite trip this summer.
It was great to get back in the hiking saddle again. With all the drama lately I missed the relief of a quiet walk with a friend, I am glad I have it back now.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Photo assignment

There are times when I get upset if I don't get a photo assignment when I head out to shoot something. I always look for a little insight on the assignment and any thing a reporter might know about what I am covering. I really used to think it was bad not have any kind of photo assignment until I saw this one. This came from another local newspaper that had a photographer covering the Tracy and West graduation ceremonies. Click on the assignment to give it a good read, it will brighten your day for sure.

Technically I think we call this kind of assignment "stupid".

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A little rain must fall

For the first time that I can ever remember I covered a high school graduation in the rain. Today's Stein High ceremony started under partly cloudy skies but ended in a steady rain.

Umbrellas were the order of the day not to shield the audience from the blazing summer suns instead from the raindrops from another winter-like storm bearing down on us.

Usually graduation ceremonies are marked by people nearly passing out in the summer heat so it was quite the sight to see people bundled up and shivering in the winter chill of late May. I have two more graduation ceremonies this weekend to cover and I am wondering what the weather will bring for their commencement ceremony.

High anxiety

I always wondered what it looked like when I pick a crazy shooting position on assignment. I always wondered what people might be thinking and what it must look like as I try to go about my shooting nonchalantly. Now I know.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Code 3

I don't think I can remember a time where I have seen so many Tracy Police officer rolling Code 3, light and sirens than this week. It has been an interesting week so far and it is less than 2 days old.

The festivities began Monday with the police responding to an interrupted home burglary. Heading up Tracy Boulevard to the neighborhood I had to pull over for a police cruiser rolling code 3 to the scene. I arrived just in time to get shots of the officers searching the yards for a suspect with their guns drawn.

So the festivities continued today when I heard sirens heading down 11th Street as I was finishing an assignment at Tracy High. A man with a gun was spotted off Alden Glen near the West valley Christian Academy school. So after pulling over twice for four police cars heading to the scene I arrive in time to find out it is a man with a replica style pellet gun. Waving a realistic looking gun like that around is a good way to get killed so he should be happy to just be arrested.

So not done yet, heading back to the office a police officer hits his emergency lights as he sees people fleeing from a car stopped in the middle of west bound 11th Street. Turns out everyone was rolling up in the middle of an armed robbery at the Royal Motel. Trying to turn around I am stuck between traffic and police cars with lights and sirens whipping past me to get to a perimeter as they looked for suspects.

It has been a crazy two days. it seems like all I have taken pictures of are crime scenes. Maybe it will calm down but I'll keep the scanner turned on just in case.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Too cute

Nothing is worse than someone trying to put a guilt trip on me during an assignment. It's even worse when I am at the Tracy Animal Shelter and it is someone looking for a new home.

These cats were crying for a place to call home , maybe someone out there will try and a home for these guys.

Friday, May 21, 2010

True blue

Central School principal Nancy Link showed her school colors when she agreed to a special dye job. Rewarding her students for a half-a-million minutes worth of reading Link had her hair streaked blue.

With a riotous mob of students shouting for her whole head to be dyed blue (at least they weren't shouting to shave it) Link had the three streaks of blue emblazoned on her head. They will last at least a couple of weeks giving her that hip "punk rock" look all kids dig!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Looking at the remains of the Dodge Neon you wonder how many died in the crash? Luckily the answer is no one. Second day in a row I am out on a country road and a two car crash, this time a head-on collision on Grant Line Road West of Tracy.

A Nissan Quest minivan heading east crossed the center line and collided with the westbound Neon. The crash was a bound one trapping a pregnant woman in the Dodge and sending a total of eight people to area hospitals with four ambulances.

Looking at the wreckage of both cars it is amazing that no one died. We have been lucky thew past two days with such violent crashes and only moderate injuries. I hope our luck holds and drivers slow down to avoid accidents like these.