By Tim Hunt
Fourth of July fireworks return to the county fairUploaded: Feb 25, 2014
The news differs for fireworks on the Fourth of July depending upon where you live.
The San Ramon parks and recreation commission put a firm kibosh on the idea of a smaller fireworks show in the city. The concept was to bring back fireworks, but launch them from Old Ranch Road where there would be excellent sight lines throughout the city. The neighbors, naturally, were not amused and let folks know about it.
The city was the last of the Tri-Valley communities to offer a community event that concluded with fireworks. The costs had soared because the event drew from well beyond the San Ramon Valley. After the feasibility study of bringing back fireworks designed for the community, the commission voted unanimously to drop the idea and instead continue the community event.
It's a different story at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton. The Fourth of July falls on a Friday this year and the fair management is bringing back Fourth of July fireworks for the first time since the shooting incident 14 years ago. The fair has been doing fireworks on Fridays for a number of years so this became an obvious year to reinstate the tradition on American's birthday.
The fair has scheduled its firework show for 9:45 pm. It also will be the first time in years that the fair has not closed early on July Fourth?it's a recognition that the much beefed up security (metal detectors have been used at the gates since 1999) has paid off.
Amador Valley continued its amazing long-term run in the "We the People" competition civics event, winning the state title in Bakersfield earlier this month. It is the 13th state title for Amador.
Brian Ladd came out of a four-year retirement from teaching the class a year ago and guided this year's team as well. It will transition to a new leadership in 2015.
Amador teams captured the national title under the late Skip Mohatt in 1995 and finished No. 2 five times, 3rd twice and fourth once. It is a remarkable achievement over nearly two decades and achieved with a different class of seniors each time as well as different coaches.
Ladd coached the team in 2006 when my daughter, Glenalyn, participated. That experience shaped her skills, particularly thinking on her feet. It serves her well to this day.
The team now is striving to raise $60,000 to send it to the national competition April 23-29 in Washington D.C. They hope to raise half of the money and ask families to cover the other half. Donations can be sent to Amador at 1155 Santa Rita Road, payable to the We the People team.