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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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A busy, busy weekend to close the county fair

Uploaded: Jul 7, 2015
That Friday semi-holiday last week felt so strange.
Checking out the traffic reports on the early morning news, you could cruise through the Bay Bridge toll gates with no waiting. Lots of folks had the day off?not so for people who work for retailers that pushed the 4th of July sales.

Many people headed for the Alameda County Fair. By early afternoon, southbound I-680 was backed up all the way to the I-580 interchange and Bernal Avenue was bumper to bumper from Foothill Road to the Valley Avenue entrance to the fairgrounds. Given the expected 4th of July crowds, I simply stayed away.

Official attendance at the fair reflected the huge Friday traffic jams. A total of 53,547 went through the gates, topping even the 4th of July which drew 48,483. The total attendance for the three-week run was 444,923.

What was particularly unusual about the day is that it was business as usual for both banks and the U.S. Postal Service, which both observed the holiday on July 4th. With so many of the major banks now routinely open on Saturdays (some even on Sundays in specialized locations such as inside of a supermarket) that decision is understandable.

It did leave smaller independent banks are open Monday to Friday with employees at their desks on Friday (such as the folks who work for Tri-Valley Bank).


The career path to the director of Sandia National Laboratories continues to go through its Livermore facility on East Avenue.
Last month, Jill Hruby, a Sandia employee for 32 years, was named president effective July 17. She will be the first woman to head one of the three national nuclear labs (Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos and Sandia).
Most recently, Hruby served as a vice president overseeing Sandia programs in nuclear, biological and chemical security; homeland security; counterterrorism; and energy security.
Her predecessors in the director's chair, retiring Paul Hommert and Tom Hunter, both were vice-presidents in charge of the Livermore facility before returning to headquarters in Albuquequre and then moving into the presidency.
Sandia Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp., operates Sandia Labs for the National Nuclear Security Agency.

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