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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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Can governments cooperate in the NorCal mega-region?

Uploaded: Sep 1, 2016
Several blogs ago, I poked fun at a condo development in Davis that was being marketed as within commute distance of the Bay Area.
It has been true for too many years that public safety officers—particularly firefighters who work 24-hour shifts—live two hours or more from their job sites because their schedules limit the daily commutes
Now the Bay Area Council, a key group representing large employers, is suggesting that planners need to greatly increase the scope of the region to include 21 counties instead of the traditional nine. The report recognizes that the housing crisis has altered the traditional commute patterns and new levels of cooperation are required to give people choices.
Driven by excellent job growth, the Bay Area counties added 726,000 residents in the last 15 years, but that is topped by the Sacramento and upper San Joaquin Valley areas with growth of 765,000 and seven of 10 of those new residents commute into the Bay Area.
Some employers have moved major facilities into the outlying regions—both Hewlett Packard and Intel have major facilities east of Sacramento. But most tech companies have been reluctant to leave the core Silicon Valley other than to locate in the urban San Francisco environment.
Improved long distance trains that link directly with other transit options such as BART, shuttles or buses could make life better for the long distance drivers.
The regional government agencies have begun meeting and the report is correct when it comments that county lines have been blurred. What’s not blurred is the traffic congestion on key gateway freeways such as I-580 over the Altamont Pass; I-680 south over the Sunol grade and I-80 and I-780 coming from Solano and Yolo counties.
Other than increased rail access, there are no additional gateways planned to the core Bay Area so the challenge becomes two-fold: more housing in the core counties and improving existing and efficient public transportation.


The news last month that Orchard Supply Hardware is opening a store in Pleasanton demonstrates the aggressive expansion the company has undertaken since it was acquired by big box retailer Lowe’s.
Orchard stores have been in Livermore and Dublin for decades as well as a south San Ramon location. That store, which was tucked into the back of a shopping center, moved to Crow Canyon Commons, right on busy Crow Canyon Road.
The Pleasanton store will move into the space vacated by Sports Chalet, which closed all of its stores. That’s in the Owens Drive center anchored by Wal-Mart and Kohl’s.

A hearty congratulations and well-done to the veteran’s groups and their supporters in Pleasanton. They had agreed to raise $301,000 as their share of the memorial that is under construction in the city’s Pioneer “Cemetery.
They not only hit their goal, but exceeded it with $315,000 pledged to date. It’s great to see the group make that commitment and then hit it. Thanks to the fundraising team as well as the donors.
The memorial will be dedicated in November in time for Veteran's Day.

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Posted by Doug Miller, a resident of Country Fair,
on Sep 3, 2016 at 9:25 am

Doug Miller is a registered user.

The Pleasanton Veterans Memorial will be dedicated on Saturday, November 12th at 10:00 AM at Pioneer Cemetery. Construction of the memorial is almost complete except for the bronze statue that is scheduled to arrive and be installed in mid-October.

The memorial honors twenty one Pleasanton area residents who died in combat while serving our nation. Their names are inscribed on the memorial. In addition, the memorial also honors the service of more than 530 veterans who are buried in the Pioneer and the adjoining St. Augustine cemeteries. Cemetery records indicate that at least two of those veterans served during the Civil war.

The memorial project is the first phase of a major renovation planned for the Pioneer Cemetery.


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