Sound decision to reboot county fair & a few New Years resolutions
by Sam Matthews
Dec 27, 2013 | 1566 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I’ll have to say that directors of the San Joaquin County Fair made the correct decision in canceling the 2014 fair.

It just takes time, new ideas and thorough exploration of options to put the fair on a new course. I’m certain that we’ll have some kind of fair in 2015 and beyond, but it’s not going to splash the kind of red ink the fair has in the past few years.

Creating a self-sustaining fair will be no easy task, but with a year off and a lot of public input, it will happen. It has to. The fair is broke and can’t stand any more losses.

The continuation of the FFA and 4-H livestock judging and sale in June by an independent committee is an important aspect of the board’s decision. Building from that foundation appears to be the right path to follow.

From my own perspective, one element that has been lacking in recent years has to be resurrected. I’m talking about marketing and public relations. There are all kinds of way to inform the public what is being offered, and tie-ins with local agencies, such as the chambers of commerce of towns in the county, would help generate the kind of interest and involvement that the fair desperately needs.

When the late Carroll Doty was in charge of fair publicity and marketing, we at the Press and other newspapers and radio and television stations would receive a steady stream of press releases and advertisements dealing with various aspects of the fair.

After judging of 4-H and FFA livestock entries would begin, if there were any winners from Tracy, we’d know about it the same day. More recently, results haven’t been available for days, if then.

This is just one personal view of something that needs to be fixed at the fair. There are countless others, and we can expect the board will be dealing with many of them in the months ahead.

Anyway, good luck to Tracy’s lone representative of the fair board, Nanette Martin, and her cohorts on the board. They have their goal established — save the fair. Reaching that goal won’t be easy, and it will take several years to get there. But let the journey begin.

A few resolutions New year’s resolutions

I’ve got a few. None are anything out of the ordinary, but some I may really stick with well into the new year.

• No salt and no sugar. Good health demands that I expunge the two “white deaths” from my diet as much as possible. The test will be eliminating salt on the radish sandwich. Now, that will be a challenge.

• Lose 5 to 7 pounds. I’m not really overweight, but I could lose 5 pounds or more to stay trim. Losing 5 to 7 pounds isn’t so hard, but as we all know, keeping it off is the challenge. And there’s only two ways to do it: diet and exercise.

• Do a better job of cleaning off my desk at the Press. I tend to keep notes a long time, and they have a way of piling up in various stacks scattered around the desk. I spend too much time trying to find the right notes for a story or column. I usually find them, but time is lost in the search.

• Break 100 on 18 holes of golf. I’ve done it several times, but I should be able to break the century mark more often. Not an easy task, but an inspiration is seeing golfing companion Leroy Leal shoot his age any number of times. The score: 97.

Sam Matthews, Tracy Press publisher emeritus, can be reached at 830-4234 or by email at

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