While in California my wife and I made a short trip to Stockton to visit a man who worked with me at the Michigan State News back in the 1970s.
Mike Klocke was the sports editor at the SN when I was editor-in-chief during 1978-79. He was a great sports editor and I always knew he would go far. Mike has covered many top sports events, including the Super Bowl and was at the famous "earthquake" World Series game in San Francisco.
At some point he left the toy department, as news reporters sometimes referred to the sports department, and went to news and is now the editor of the Stockton Record.
At lunch we caught up with Mike and his wife, Kerry (hope that's the right spelling) who he met during our days at MSU.
During the conversation we were talking about stupid journalism lists and gimmicks and he mentioned that Stockton had made the top of the Forbes "Most Miserable Cities" list in 2009. In anticipation of the list in 2010, he wrote a great column that could serve residents in Flint and other cities frequently dumped on as a template for how to respond.
Two other cities close to my heart also made the list, Buffalo N.Y. (8) and Flint, MI (5).
Mike checks in here from time-to-time so he will appreciate that when I looked up his column from last month the ticker for the Record listed the following stories, which do tend to accentuate the negative:
•Stockton man held in girlfriend's slaying •Man arrested in midtown Stockton after trying to light his wife on fire •Stockton facing 'horrific' budget cuts •Forbes ranks Stockton No. 2 in miserable index This Week's Most Viewed •Tearful goodbyes for 'J.J.' •Man arrested in Stockton in death of his girlfriend •Teen shot in back in Weston Ranch •Man stabbed over parking spot This Month's Most Viewed •New details emerge in 3-year-old's gunshot death •Boy, 3, killed near Quail Lakes •Edison High grieving over loss of football star (UPDATED 1:32 p.m.) •Actor roped in Linden cattle scheme