Sadly I was not in town when people were interviewed about Domus closing and what they would like to see in its place. This would have been (yet) another time when I would have gladly pointed out how much I would like to see a little more variety in our town.
So how about a health food store/eatery? to make food shopping available in walking distance for downtown residents. And add a different aspect to the mainly Italian food offerings along Main Street.
Please hear me.
Shadow Cliffs closure
My friends and I were supposed to meet at the back lakes of Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area for a dog and puppy swim on Saturday. My friend drove all the way from Hollister to meet at 10:30 at the lake. The park was closed at the gate for cars (for the See Jane Run Women's Triathlon). I walked in the back entrance so there were only runners to contend with. She didn't know the back way and there were no signs.
I thought Shadow Cliffs was a public park. Why was it closed for a single event? These events are also attended by law enforcement officers at taxpayers' expense. How is this justified?
At approximately 7:45 a.m. this morning, Sept. 21, I was on my daily walk, when I encountered a young man, approximately 16 years of age, walking to high school. Upon our paths crossing on the sidewalk, I asked him if he and his classmates would be out looking for the arrival of the "Shuttle" as it approached the Bay Area.
He responded, "What is a shuttle?"
I then said, quite befuddled, "You know, the one that went into space and was called Endeavour."
He replied that he had never heard of the Space Shuttle or the Endeavour.
Needless to say, I have lost all confidence in the Pleasanton school system or its teachers, and they will no longer have my support. Wow!
Thorne for mayor
As president of the Board of Directors at the Museum on Main in downtown Pleasanton, I would like to add my voice to those urging a vote for Jerry Thorne for mayor.
Over the years that I have been associated with our museum, I have seen and worked with Jerry and his wife Sandi, who is on the museum board of directors, many times. Jerry doesn't just "work the crowd" at museum events, Jerry will work behind the beverage bar, man a booth at First Wednesdays, help out at the picnic for museum volunteers and even "dress the part" as he did recently at a museum fundraiser.
This down-to-earth assistance for our nonprofit organization is done without seeking praise or self profit, it is heartfelt, with great interest in seeing that residents learn about our hometown museum whose goal is to keep Pleasanton's history alive.
For these reasons and many more, I urge voters to select Jerry Thorne for mayor. As his campaign says, Jerry really does "stand up for Pleasanton."
Patti Takens, longtime Pleasanton resident
Congratulations on your outstanding article about Matt Sweeney's accomplishments ("A Falcon Family," Sept. 21). The accolades accorded to him are well earned by Matt -- and the support of his family.
His accomplishments are due to hard work, dedication, passion for his mission. His success also speaks highly for the core values of his parents, brothers and sisters. He is a living demonstration of the characteristics that make for a great school, family, community and nation.
Yes on Prop 38
California schools have faced big cuts in funding over the last four years. Because today's students become tomorrow's taxpayers, cutting education funding is risky. Proposition 38 will help restore needed funding for our public schools.
Prop 38 dedicates new funds directly to each public school on a per-student basis. Prop 38 is endorsed by the state PTA and by CASB (the California Association of School Boards). Prop 38 is unanimously endorsed by PUSD's Board of Trustees. If passed, Prop 38 will generate over $12 million for Pleasanton's schools in 2013-14.
With Prop 38, I will have a say in how my taxes will be used in my daughter's school, and those who create gridlock in Sacramento will be taken out of the loop. School districts will be required to provide a transparent budget for each school. Each school will be required to involve community members in the development of a plan for how to use Prop 38 funds. More local control over funding is a big benefit of Prop 38.
We have only five elected school board members in Pleasanton, and Prop 38 will dramatically expand the number of community members to whom school administrators will be held accountable.
When thinking long term about California's future, an investment in education is wise. I want my tax dollars to benefit students in the town where I live. Please join me in voting Yes on 38.
Blended rail? No!
High Speed Rail: Don't waste money electrifying Caltrain. Your trains could not safely use its tracks. With 43 at-grade road crossings, with unprotected passengers waiting at Caltrain platforms, that's inviting train delays, accidents and the demented. Save the cost to electrify Caltrain, tunnel in San Francisco, and later tube under San Francisco Bay for HSR to Sacramento.
Far better -- and much less costly: Upgrade (grade separate, multi-track and secure) UP/Amtrak via Mulford from Santa Clara to West Oakland. (This line would also be shorter, straighter, faster and safer for Capitol Corridor.) Where BART crosses over the UP/Amtrak line (by I-880 and 7th St.), add a new intermodal station. BART runs every few minutes to all four downtown San Francisco stations and the West Bay, and frequently to East Bay BART-land.
As for unified regional rapid transit, plan for five-County BART around the Bay. Prepare a balanced plan with these elements:
* Assure completion of BART to Berryessa and on to Santa Clara;
* Convert Santa Clara-Millbrae Caltrain/UP to three tracks (two BART, one UP);
* Convert San Francisco-Millbrae Caltrain/UP to an SF Muni Airport Express/UP line;
* Extend BART to the Golden Gate and Carquinez bridges, to Brentwood, and over the Altamont;
* Buy more BART cars and provide abundant parking; and
* Bring the plan and funding to the voters of the five counties.
Today's BART started in 1962, 50 years ago, with a $792 million bond measure paid off over a decade ago. (Adjusted for inflation and the current five-county population, an equivalent bond measure today would yield about $16 billion.) Let the voters decide on a unified BART-based rapid transit system for their 6 million residents.
Robert S. Allen
BART Director, District 5, 1974-88
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