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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Solar panel parking coming to Shadow Cliffs.

Uploaded: Aug 13, 2015
Shadow Cliffs Regional Park is going to look dramatically different after the East Bay Regional Park District takes a cue from community colleges around the state.
Community colleges, as well as some other institutions with large, open parking lots, have converted those asphalt spaces into covered parking with solar panels on the roofs. It's been a clever solution that is appreciated by both drivers who get shaded parking and those responsible for paying the electric bills.
East Bay parks is planning a similar installation at Shadow Cliffs in Pleasanton, the San Francisco Business Times reported this week. Like the former water slides, it will alter some of the landscape (the parking lot) dramatically, but it is a sign of the times.
With California's electrical power rates climbing steadily and no end in sight thanks to the governor's executive orders and the overly aggressive air board that was given a mandate by the Legislature in 2006 with no oversight or restrictions. Both the state air boards and water boards focus exclusively on the pollution reduction goal without any consideration of economic impact versus the benefit of a further reduction.
For the park district, there are not too many sites with open parking lots that receive plenty of sun all day long and are located close to the grid.
Yes, it will change the look of the park, but the water slides did the same. Installing the covered parking lot with solar panels is a good move.
As predicted last week when I wrote about a survey that laid out the shoddy state of California's roads, backers of a solution to state transportation funding held a Monday press conference this week to encourage the Legislature to deal with the problem.
With cars being significantly more fuel efficient, to say nothing about electric vehicles, it is well past time to establish a steady revenue stream to maintain and improve roads. Local road maintenance was a high priority in the re-authorization of Alameda County's transportation sales tax (it also doubled to 1-cent) because of the shortfalls.
The Legislature will have been on recess for a month when it convenes next Monday and there are only four weeks left in the scheduled session. If the Legislature does not deal with transportation or Medical funding because the governor has called a special session to focus on these two issues, then legislators may have to stay in Sacramento until they pass bills to address the issues.

Speaking of gas prices, last Sunday we filled up with regular at $3.85 in Temecula. When we stopped at Costco in Tracy (generally gas prices are lower than Costco in Livermore), we filled the tank for $2.99 per gallon. That comes after we heard the radio report that the Lundberg survey expected prices to drop by a dime in the next week and that again in future weeks based upon the barrel prices.
One of the worst traffic jams we saw at a retailer was Friday afternoon at a Costco in San Diego where 30-40 cars were backed up waiting to fill their tanks at Costco prices.

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Richard Brown, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Aug 14, 2015 at 6:41 am

Ow that's very interesting. I love the fact that we are using clean solar power for a lot of thing in our life right now. Great news. Might get some more info here Web Link

Posted by Joe, a resident of Ruby Hill,
on Aug 14, 2015 at 2:36 pm

"Both the state air boards and water boards focus exclusively on the pollution reduction goal without any consideration of economic impact versus the benefit of a further reduction." I think that's called a biased sweeping generalization.
Tim -anyone in your family suffer from a respiratory issue? Any frame of reference for a family member with asthma or pulmonary fibrosis? There was an article in the Economist about 15 months ago that stated that the life expectancy of people in Bejiing has been shortened by 6 years due to the air they breathe. 6 years! Do you remember the 1970's when Santa Clara county air looked like LA and our lungs hurt after breathing god knows what in 90 degree+ weather?
Last time I checked, clean air was a good thing.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Ruby Hill,
on Aug 15, 2015 at 11:31 am

Everyone enjoying the clean air today?

Posted by Jack, a resident of Downtown,
on Aug 17, 2015 at 8:47 am

What are the electricity needs at Shadow Cliffs?

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