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Archive By Author - John Branch


Ramblings – Back Home Again …

They say you can never go back. Well you can. But it will have changed and nostalgia will be all that remains. On a recent trip to England which I left for the United States more than 50 years ago, I got to visit the primary school that my sister and I attended when we were seven or eight years old.

October 30, 2013 | John Branch | Local Columns


Ramblings – Time For Travel

Bowler hats and brollies, cricket on the village green, unceasing rain and wind, motionless sentries guarding a monarch, fish and chips with beer for an evening meal.

October 09, 2013 | John Branch | Local Columns


Ramblings – This Scribbler Calls It Quits

Resigning from any job is bound to quicken the heartbeat but retiring from a career is downright frightening. I did just that at the end of November although I've been on medical leave since August.

December 19, 2012 | John Branch | Local Columns


Cub Scouts Gather For Day Camp Fun

Practicing Scouting skills, playing games and generally having a great time, more than 50 boys gathered at the Riverbank Community Park over the past week in a Cub Olympics day camp.

August 01, 2012 | John Branch | Local News


Nuts Rank As Valuable County Crop

Nut farmers like Doug Ott and Dale Van Groningen of Oakdale don't seem to do it for the money – they call it fun – but they and growers like them produce the second most valuable agricultural crop in Stanislaus County.

July 18, 2012 | John Branch | Local Business


ROTA Service Seeks Merger With County Transit System

Riverbank Oakdale Transit Authority directors have decided to merge their system with Stanislaus Regional Transit (StaRT) and have the county take over administration of the public bus program that has served the two cities since 1993.

June 20, 2012 | John Branch | Local News


Ramblings - Thoughts On A Diamond Jubilee

Why just because I was born and raised in England I should be considered an expert on English life and customs and especially its monarchy I have never been able to understand.

June 13, 2012 | John Branch | Local Columns


TV Host Presents Mini Gardens

Television gardening host Arlena Schott and Jeremie Miniatures brought the "Magic of Miniature Gardening" to local enthusiasts at the P&L Concrete and Garden Center in Escalon on May 15.

May 23, 2012 | John Branch | 209 CELEBRATIONS


Chocolate Games

Youngsters and the young at heart who love being daubed with chocolate, sinking their face into a custard pie or nosing for candy in a plate of whipped cream may want to visit the Chocolate Challenge Stage this weekend.

May 16, 2012 | John Branch | Chocolate Festival 2012


Condit Campaigns For Congress

Congressional candidate Chad Condit (Independent -10th District) was walking precincts in Oakdale during the past week and spreading the word that most of what is wrong with Washington is caused by partisan gridlock and the best way to end partisanship is to elect independent candidates who are not bound to either the Republicans or the Democrats.

May 02, 2012 | John Branch | REGIONAL NEWS


ROTA Eyes County System

Riverbank Oakdale Transit Authority directors on April 10 again discussed the public bus system's failure to meet state funding requirements by recovering at least 10 percent of their costs in fares and talked about possible options such as handing over its operation to Stanislaus County Regional Transit.

April 18, 2012 | John Branch | Local News


Downtown Cowboy Bar Preps For Rodeo

From the well-worn saddles, riding and ranching photos, cowboy hats and other memorabilia crowding the walls to the battered doors and long wooden bar, the H-B Saloon is rated by many the best cowboy bar in California and has long been associated with the Oakdale Rodeo that happens each year just a little further east along F Street from the establishment.

April 11, 2012 | John Branch | PRCA Rodeo


Carving A Niche – Part II - Shoe Repair Business Flourishes During Recession

Entering the shoe and boot repair business when he was 14, Javier "Harvey" Melgoza of Harvey's Shoe Repair in Oakdale has spent almost 40 years practicing the trade and still likes his work.

March 21, 2012 | John Branch | Local Business


Ramblings - Save Us From Telephone Solicitors

May the Good Lord preserve and keep us from telephone solicitors - please.

February 29, 2012 | John Branch | Local Columns


Oakdale Incident Prompts Rehab For Councilman

Embattled Riverbank City Councilmember Jesse James White failed to appear at the Feb. 27 council meeting after his arrest in Oakdale a week before on charges of felony driving under the influence and child endangerment and renewed calls for his resignation from the council.

February 29, 2012 | John Branch | Local News


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