MODESTO -- From the e-mails and voice mails:
TOWER PARK In March, a demolition crew did at downtown Modesto's Tower Park what demolition crews are known to do: It demolished the 135-foot-tall water tower to make way for a senior housing complex.
The tower's remains departed on the beds of heavy equipment. A cyclone fence keeps people out of the park at 17th and G streets. The grass is dead, and the homeless who once frequented the park found greener pastures elsewhere.
The only life forms are some trees, including an 89-year-old deodar cedar the Clara Barton Tree named for the Civil War-era nurse who founded the American Red Cross. It was planted and dedicated during a 1923 parade of Civil War survivors in downtown Modesto.
The tree won't be spared because of its age, although grafts from it will be planted in other city parks.
Inquiring minds among readers want to know when construction will begin on the senior affordable housing complex and why the park didn't stay open until they're ready to begin moving dirt.
As for the when: There isn't one. In 2009, the city selected Satellite Housing of Berkeley and its development partner, American Baptist Homes of the West, to develop the 48-unit, affordable senior housing complex on the 1.5-acre site.
The developer hasn't been able to obtain financing as of yet, Modesto Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Director Julie Hannon said, and it's looking at tax credits as a way of getting started. Also, red tape involving the dissolution of the city's redevelopment agency "didn't help," Hannon said.
As for the park staying open, Hannon said that in an attempt to expedite the construction, officials ordered the removal of all the park's sprinkler systems when the tank was demolished.
No water, no lawns. So it remains closed.
MISSING PERSON With the Nov. 6 election approaching, and candidates sliming each other with alarming regularity on TV, radio and hit-piece junk mail, it suddenly hit Denair resident Sue Janke-Morris: She hadn't received any of the usual sample ballots or vote-by-mail documents from the election office.
"I called the election office today and guess what?!" she wrote in an e-mail. "They have no record of me not by name, by address or my birth date despite the fact I have been a registered voter at this address for 33 years!"
She had to register again to vote.
I checked California voter registration, back as far as 2002. That year, they had her registered twice same birthday (the Ides of March), but a year apart while at the same address. One form corrected the other.
Every other year through 2011, she'd been registered accurately.
So what happened last week?
Nothing, really. Janke-Morse is a registered voter and has been for 33 years, Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters Lee Lundrigan said. With staff enduring its busiest time of the year, whoever answered the phone might have miskeyed or otherwise erred in searching for Janke-Morse's registration status. Or it happened because her registration is simply as Morse, not the hyphenated version.
If the sample ballot and vote-by-mail documents didn't arrive, Lundrigan said, it's likely a post office error.
"We've got trays and trays of returned (ballots)," she said. "Thousands of them."
The bottom line? Morse is registered. Case closed.
Jeff Jardine's column appears Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in Local News. He can be reached at email@example.com, @jeffjardine57 on Twitter or at (209) 578-2383.