March 29, 2013

TURLOCK NOW: Bocce court sites are marked

The Turlock Rotary Club has put signs up in three city parks letting people know about a potential proposed bocce ball court and asking for input.

A sign informs the public about a possible bocce ball court in Bristol Park.

TURLOCK - Who knew it'd be so hard to play a little ball.

The Rotary Club of Turlock has narrowed its list of potential parks for its donated bocce ball court to three, after community complaints about its initial plans. The list now includes sites in Bristol Park, Dale Pinkney Park and the originally planned Crane Park.

Last summer, the Turlock Rotary Club made plans to build a donated bocce ball court in Crane Park.

But neighborhood complaints about congestion and overuse of the park stalled the project as alternatives were sought.

Discussion of the bocce court location came up again at the Turlock Parks, Recreation and Community Commission meetings in February and March.

Sites in the three parks were identified and markers have been placed in the proposed spots informing the public about the plans and asking for input. Swing by any of the parks and look for the light blue signsswaying gently on the greens.

The club ultimately hopes to find a happy home for its two side-by-side 65-foot by 10-foot bocce ball courts. The hope is to have student members from its Interact Club help on the construction and maintenance.

For those unfamiliar with bocce, it is an Italian game with some similarities to bowling but is played on a long, thin sandy court.

The club has set up a Facebook page to solicit public comment. Some on the social media site have applauded the group's efforts to install a court in a Turlock park. But others have raised objection to specific park locations.

Bristol Park is in the east part of town, off East Tuolumne and North Daubenberger roads. The park has two potential sites that could house the courts. Dale Pinkney Park, which has one potential court site, is in the northeast part of town, between Taylor Road and East Christofferson Parkway. Crane Park has two areas that could house the court and is the closest to downtown, sitting across from Turlock High.

Turlock Parks, Recreation and Community Commission members ultimately will decide on the final spot.

The Rotary Club's bocce court Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/turlockrotary.bocceballcourt.

Late last week, Purina issued a voluntary recall of horse feed products made in its Turlock plant.

The move from corporate parent Land O' Lakes Purina Feed LLC came after the California Horse Racing Board issued an advisory that certain sweet-feed products for horses from the company may contain the drug zilpaterol. Low levels of the drug were found in some sweet-feed products with a molasses base.

Zilpaterol is used to promote weight gain in cattle but is a banned substance for race horses.

All the products in question were manufactured at the Purina Mills Inc. plant in Turlock on Paulson Road. The feed in question is sold under the Purina brand or Country Acres label.

The horse racing board has instructed its licensed feed vendors to remove Purina sweet-feed products from racetracks and other facilities on a temporary basis. Purina has issued a recommendation that horse owners discontinue use of the product.

The state board found zilpaterol in 48 horses racing on California tracks earlier this year. They traced the positive results back to Purina Race Ready, Purina Strategy, Purina Omoline-200, Country Acres Horse Feed and Country Acres Sweet-12 products.

Products manufactured in Turlock will have the letters "TRL" in the date code found on the seam of the bag.

Date codes are formatted as follows: In the example 3MAR15TRL1, 3 is the year (2013), MAR is the month, 15 is the day of month, TRL is the plant code (Turlock) and 1 is the shift code.

Purina said race horse feed made at other Purina plants can be used without hesitation. The state racing board has reported no cases of illness in horses from the contaminated feed.

The company is performing tests to ensure that the Turlock plant is free of zilpaterol. Officials said the company does not use zilpaterol at the Turlock facility or at any Purina plant. Purina suspects that it came from a single supplier to the Turlock facility and was produced in February.

Once the plant is cleared, the horse feed products will be made available again.

The Rotary Club’s bocce court Facebook page is at facebook.com/turlockrotary.bocceballcourt.

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