Brett Nichols of Turlock, who took the online video world by storm with his dancing tribute to Michael Jackson, stood perfectly still when his mayor honored him this week.
Mayor John Lazar presented the 17-year-old with a proclamation at the start of the City Council meeting. It noted how he first performed a King of Pop routine in the sixth grade and how the “Billie Jean” video from this spring’s Pitman High School talent show went viral on YouTube and Facebook.
Nichols has since been contacted by the Jackson estate and several national media outlets. The proclamation said he “has given several high-profile interviews where he has brought notable recognition to Turlock.” It added that he “has earned the respect and admiration of his family, friends, teachers and the Turlock community.”
Elsewhere around town:
The city is about to get a third Taco Bell.
OCAT Inc. has a permit under review with city planners to put in a restaurant at 3606 N. Golden State Blvd. The location would put it about two blocks from Pitman High School, making it handy for before- or after-school snacks.
The site is on the east side of Golden State, north of West Monte Vista Avenue.
In recent weeks, Denair Park downtown has made the news because of transients who spend the day, and occasionally the night, there. The city held a community meeting to address concerns from area businesspeople, residents and parents of students who attend nearby schools.
The city of Turlock is planning regular activities that could return the park to its intended use. Recreation on Wheels, which got underway this week, will be held in the park from 10 a.m. to noon each Tuesday and Friday.
According to the city, Recreation on Wheels will bring equipment and activities, including games and crafts, for families and children.
Denair Park is at 850 E. Main St.
Families can learn about farmers markets and then head to one Friday night at the Carnegie Arts Center.
The first night market of the year, which takes place down the street from the center, coincides with the Carnegie’s monthly “Family Friday Night” event. The Carnegie will feature Modesto native Linda Knoll, whose children’s book “Patient for Pumpkins” is a “season-long stroll through the farmers market with a little boy waiting for pumpkins to be for sale. With his family, he finds each month’s harvest of wonderful produce – from strawberries to melons, onions to eggplants – until October arrives along with the pumpkins,” the Carnegie said in a news release.
Knoll will lead an art project for children at the free event. Docent-led tours of the Turlock Downtown Farmers Market will be available, with one starting from the market at 7 p.m. and one starting from the Carnegie at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call (209) 632-5761.
And finally, there will be fireworks in Turlock this Independence Day.
Once again, the July Fourth show will be at the Stanislaus County Fairground on Broadway, where it moved in 2009. Prior to that, California State University, Stanislaus, hosted the fireworks display for 24 years. Many folks would like to see the fireworks return to the university, where the grassy slopes lend themselves to picnic blankets.
Officials familiar with the planning say there is a possibility the show will go back in future years. For 2014, however, the fairgrounds it is. And that will be after a day downtown, with a parade and car show planned on Main Street from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.