Local Turlock 20210401 Transit for free, vaccines, Recreational activities are Returning, restaurant expanding

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Hey everyone! Welcome to another episode of Local Turlock Podcast for the week of April 2nd. I am here to give you some of Turlock’s latest scoops, news & stories, with 2 business highlights for the week. Let’s begin with our first story, Turlock Transit offers free service for residents to and from coronavirus vaccination sites for free starting Thursday. More to this episode, recreational activities set to return in Turlock following a year of facility closures due to the pandemic. Next on our list, more housing could soon be available in Turlock once M. Sandhu Development, Inc. submitted plans on constructing a 36-unit apartment complex to the City of Turlock be approved. Moving on, Turlock’s first indoor cannabis site will soon be up and running in the City’s industrial zone. Next, popular Modesto restaurant, Rancho Fresco expanding is expanding in Modesto and opening another location in Turlock. For sports update, Turlock football continues dominance in historic Modesto rivalry with a blowout victory, 74-13 against Modesto High. Give some love and show our support to our local businesses especially during this pandemic as I give you 2 business highlights this week. Also sharing the latest updates on COVID 19 in Stanislaus County. All that and more today in this week's Local Turlock podcast. 

Need a ride to get a COVID vaccine? Turlock Transit offers free service for residents

Turlock residents can ride city buses to and from coronavirus vaccination sites for free starting Thursday thanks to a new program. All residents eligible for the vaccine qualify for the reservation-based Turlock Transit program designed to make vaccinations more accessible, the city said in a press release Tuesday. Dial-a-Ride bus drivers will transport residents in Turlock and Denair service areas to and from vaccination sites located in Turlock. The city encourages people to request reservations for this free service at least one day in advance, but resources may allow staff to accommodate same-day requests. Dial-a-Ride runs Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and normally charges a general public passenger $4 for a one-way trip. The service will transport both people getting vaccinated and their personal care attendant, the city said in the release. The city asks passengers with a vaccine appointment to tell staff the scheduled time when requesting a ride. Turlock Transit will limit vaccination rides to one household at a time,  Some of Turlock Transit’s other coronavirus safety measures include requiring everyone wear a face mask while on buses and waiting at bus stops. All buses have air filtration devices installed and staff also sanitize frequently-touched surfaces on buses throughout the day. The start of this program coincides with Stanislaus County opening up eligibility for its public vaccination clinics to residents age 16 and up Thursday. To request reservations for this free Turlock Transit service, call (209) 668-5600.

Recreational activities set to return in Turlock

The City of Turlock’s recreational offerings are on track to return following a year of facility closures due to the pandemic.  During the Turlock City Council meeting on March 23, Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Director Allison Van Guilder shared an update on the status of reopening the City’s various amenities, including Pedretti Park, the Turlock Regional Sports Complex and swimming sites. Stanislaus County is currently in the red tier of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, meaning that a majority of outdoor activities are permitted under public health guidelines. The City’s parks and their amenities have been open since last September, with the exception of large, multi-table picnic areas, but families will soon be able to enjoy the pools at Turlock and Pitman high schools once again while Columbia Pool awaits its highly-anticipated remodel. The City recently received verbal approval for use of both high school swimming pools once again beginning this June. There is a catch, however, with Van Guilder explaining to the Council that the pandemic has reduced the amount of training available for lifeguards. Van Guilder added that the City has reached out to past staff in order to try and fill the positions and all lifeguards will be responsible for securing their own training course. The softball and baseball fields at Pedretti Park are close to reopening as well, as are the soccer pitches at the Turlock Regional Sports Complex. While all three sports can be played in the red tier, guidelines prohibit any tournament play consisting of more than two teams. Adult softball leagues are expected to return, however, as are hourly rentals. COVID-compliant procedures are currently under review by legal counsel, Van Guilder said, and registration for City programs is being updated. In addition, Soderquist Field is open for Little League-approved activities only and the City’s joint use agreement with Turlock Unified School District for each other’s facilities is undergoing the process of updating the waiver language to include pandemic-related information. The same is being done for the City’s other rental facilities, and Van Guilder said they will be ready to rent once larger indoor gatherings are permitted.  Not only are the City’s parks open, but they’ll once again be able to be at their best thanks to the City’s Adopt-A-Park program, which will soon be up and running again following volunteer guidance released by the state. Van Guilder said that once waiver language for the program is approved, community members can volunteer to spruce up the parks. To stay up to date with the reopening of Turlock’s facilities, follow the Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Department on Facebook or Instagram.

More apartments in the works for Turlock

More housing could soon be available in Turlock, should a recent application to build apartments in the center of town be approved. Ceres resident Manjit Sandhu of M. Sandhu Development, Inc. submitted plans to the City of Turlock last month to construct a 36-unit apartment complex at 145 20th Century Blvd. The project would extend through the 1.92-acre vacant lot behind Walgreen’s, spanning from 20th Century Boulevard across to Hawkeye Avenue with entrances on both sides.  According to Sandhu, he was interested in building apartments in Turlock because there is a lack of affordable housing in the area. It will be the first apartment complex his development company builds, as they typically construct single-family residential homes. The apartment complex would consist of five two-story buildings approximately 27 feet in height. Each unit will include a patio for first-floor apartments, or a balcony area for those on the second story. The project aligns with the City’s goal of developing infill projects, rather than expanding Turlock’s city limits with new construction outwards. The City is making progress, recently completing the second phase of the Avena Bella affordable housing project and an additional 36-unit apartment complex located on a 1.53-acre property at 1841 Geer Rd. It’s Sandhu’s goal to construct more renter-friendly options for Turlockers following this project, which he anticipates to be completed by summer 2022 should it be approved by the City.

Turlock’s first indoor cannabis grow moving forward

Turlock’s first indoor cannabis cultivation site will soon be up and running in the City’s industrial zone, completing a years-long process for its owner with Turlock roots.  The 20,000-plant grow operation will be the vertically-integrated cannabis hub for JDI Farms, Inc., owned by Darron Silva of Turlock. Silva’s company already operates a smaller greenhouse grow in Patterson as well as dispensaries in Patterson, Oakdale, Empire and soon, Modesto. In the forthcoming 98,770 square-foot operation located at 600 D St. in Turlock, JDI Farms will grow, process, package and distribute cannabis products for their retail locations located in other towns. It’s been a long time coming for the JDI Farms cultivation site in Turlock, which will provide financial support to the City through a Development Agreement approved in 2019. Under the agreement, JDI Farms will pay the City a monthly public benefit amount of $10 per square foot each for cultivation and manufacturing, and 2.5 percent of gross receipts for distribution. The 20,000 cannabis plants will require about 20,000 gallons of water per day, Silva said, noting that JDI Farms utilizes a drip system to conserve water and will even use recycled water from condensation on the site’s air conditioning and dehumidifier systems. It’s estimated that JDI Farms will employ about 40 people for the new operation, which will be vertically integrated, meaning Silva controls the supply chain from seed-to-sale, distributing to not only the company’s local dispensaries, but to other retail locations statewide. It’s Silva’s hope that should the City decide to eventually allow a fifth retail dispensary, the Turlock native’s business would be chosen. 

Popular Modesto restaurant expanding at home, opening another location in Turlock

When Rancho Fresco restaurant opened its first Modesto location a decade ago, it was a trek to get their fresh-made tortillas and Mexican food. Still many found the spot way out on Crows Landing Road, and it became so popular that owner and founder Ismael Covarrubias opened a larger flagship site on J Street in downtown Modesto. People just couldn’t get enough of the restaurant’s tortillas, made fresh in front of each customer on a large, always-on grill. Now, once again, he’s making moves and moving closer to some of his customers with a new location set for downtown Turlock. The prime Turlock location on West Main Street in the city’s historic Enterprise Building will add to the growing Rancho Fresco restaurant family. While he has since sold his original Crows Landing Road site, Covarrubias opened a second Rancho Fresco Mexican Grill on on Las Palmas Avenue in Patterson last May. He is also expanding his Modesto site, as previously announced, and taking over the adjacent former Monsoon Indian restaurant space on 10th Street.  Like most restaurant owners, Covarrubias said the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on business. But, it has also created opportunities. With people walking away from businesses and leases, he has been able to negotiate good, long-term deals on his new spaces. He also said his more casual style of Mexican restaurant that also catered to a late-night crowd would be a good fit for downtown Turlock. Plus his 10-year track record with Rancho Fresco should reassure his new community that he is in it for the long haul.For more on Rancho Fresco Mexican Grill call 209-526-5210 in Modesto, 209-894-2197 in Patterson or visit ranchofrescomexicangrill.com.

Turlock football continues dominance in historic Modesto rivalry

The Turlock High varsity football team defeated longtime rival Modesto High on Friday night in a blowout victory, 74-13. The Week 2 matchup between the Bulldogs and the Panthers was the 122nd time the two Central California Athletic League competitors have faced off on the gridiron — a rivalry which was renewed in 2018. Both Turlock and Modesto were charter members of the California Central Conference back in 1957 and played against each other until the 2003 season, when the following year it was announced that Modesto would join other schools in its city to form the Modesto Metro Conference. With the 2018 season’s Sac-Joaquin Section realignment, the former rivals were reunited in the CCAL. Since then, the Bulldogs have outscored the Panthers 157-26 in league play. On Friday, Turlock led 62-7 by halftime. Now 2-0 on the season, Turlock will take on Enochs High (2-0) from Joe Debely Stadium at 7 p.m. this Friday. 

Business Highlights:


Location: 3102 Geer Rd Turlock

Phone Number: (209) 250-1732

Operational Hours: Monday to Sat (11:00 AM - 9:00 PM) Sunday (11:00 AM - 8:00 PM)

Build and Customize Your Boba Tea! Today! This is the Best Boba Tea In Turlock! This isn’t your traditional Boba Tea place. So many flavors and options to choose from.

Fails Donut Factory

Location: 334 N Center St Turlock

Phone Number: (209) 632-130

Operational Hours: Monday to Sunday (4:00 AM - 5:00 PM) Sunday (4:00 AM - 2:00 PM) 

Fail's Donut Factory offers plenty fresh, unique and custom donut for any special occasion.  They make sure to serve fresh bake donut and unique donut designs for eye candy.  Truly the best of the best donuts in town. 

Coronavirus update, April 1: Stanislaus reaches 1,000 deaths. It’s way more than flu

Stanislaus County reached 1,000 deaths to COVID-19 on Wednesday, 355 days after the first was reported. The county Health Services Agency said three more residents have died of the virus. The first ever reported was on April 10, 2020, about a month after the county’s first positive case. The 1,000th death came as Stanislaus is making progress on reopening businesses, schools and other sectors. But it still is in the state’s red tier, the third most restrictive in the four-tier system. The 77 new cases brought the total to 52,621. Stanislaus also has 508,868 negative test results and 51,130 people who are presumed recovered. According to the Los Angeles Times daily tracker showed, the county is 13th among the 58 counties when it comes to new cases over the past seven days. It ranks 11th in deaths over the past seven days. he county’s five hospitals had 99 patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, up from 91 on Tuesday. It was the highest count since March 17. Staffed intensive care beds available to adults remained at 12. Geographically: Modesto has 19,612 positive cases, Turlock has 7,120, Ceres has 5,356.Thank you for tuning in to this week’s episode. Don’t forget to visit our website, localturlock.com, to stay up-to-date on our local news. You can always email me at turlock@localturlock.com and visit our Facebook at Facebook.com/localturlock and leave us some comments! Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode! Have a great weekend and always stay safe!