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Eric Caine

Eric Caine formerly taught in the Humanities Department at Merced College. He was an original Community Columnist at the Modesto Bee, and wrote for The Bee for over twelve years.

What if Homeless People aren’t who we Think they are?

The name “Larry” below is a pseudonym. He’s still on the streets, last we knew. ed. I walked into the camp thinking I’d done as much as I could to be safe. Still, I felt twinges of fear. A few years ago, before the systematic sweeps of camps throughout the city and county, I’d usually […]

About the Valley Citizen

Over the years, I’ve neglected the business side of The Valley Citizen. Also, there have been seismic changes since I started publishing, so I’ve decided to post a new “About” essay to give readers a better idea of our mission. Let us know what you think. ed The Valley Citizen is an essay in public […]

A Defender of Wildlife has Fallen: RIP Robert Gallo

Robert Gallo, known to everyone as “Bob,” died last Saturday. Like the Gallo family in general, he was very much a private person who preferred his contributions to nature and other public service went unpublicized. Nonetheless, he was a major benefactor to birds and wildlife, especially with his key role in the recovery of the […]

Dos Rios State Park: “A new era of water management.”

Julie Rentner and Patrick Koepele have spent decades of their lives dedicated to healing nature through the restoration of rivers, Rentner with River Partners and Koepele with the Tuolmne River Trust. Wednesday, June 12, the entire state of California celebrated one of the greatest outcomes of their labors with the opening of Dos Rios State […]

“Birder’s Logic” Leads to a Rare Pair in Stanislaus County

Jim Gain’s tours through nature can be seen here. So it’s a hot day in the San Joaquin Valley, the chores are done, you’ve got a few hours to yourself and you choose to visit one of the most unlikely places the average person might think of. Maybe only a dedicated birder could figure out […]

Will Water Districts Fail to Deliver on Historic Contract?

Earlier this year, Louis Brichetto was having breakfast with a local cattleman who mentioned having seen the Brichetto name on a historical water contract he had been reviewing along with some of his own old contracts. The casual remark got Brichetto’s immediate attention. Brichetto’s roots in Stanislaus County’s Oakdale region go back well over 150 […]

Gender Harassment at MID? You be the Judge

In a suit filed on May 14, Modesto Irrigation District (MID) Board Member Janice Keating has accused the district and Board Member Robert Frobose of harassment based on her status as a woman. Keating claims that Frobose tried to intimidate her last year, during a January 17 visit to La Grange Dam: “While on the […]

Modesto Councilmember Kicks Hornets’ Nest on Homelessness

Modesto City Councilmember Nick Bavaro raised a lot of hackles during the May 7 meeting of the Modesto City Council. The item in question was what appeared to be a routine funding approval for the Salvation Army to continue operating a day center at the Berberian Shelter, which includes a traditional Salvation Army shelter and […]

Homeless in Modesto: A Tale of Two Cities

The last week of April in Modesto featured two of the city’s biggest public events, the State of the County report and, “Love Modesto,” the annual rite where volunteers display their civic pride with a citywide cleanup of trash and grafitti, while planting gardens, handing out hygiene kits and donating food packages, among other charitable […]

Super Rare Visitor Wows Valley Birders

It was only fitting that Stanislaus Audubon Society Board member Jodi Smith found one the rarest birds ever to visit the San Joaquin Valley. Smith was enjoying the wetland and riparian habitat at the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge last Saturday when she peered through her binoculars and saw a stunning pink bird in […]