Goodbye to 2008 | December 26, 2008 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Cover Story - December 26, 2008

Goodbye to 2008

Looking back at Danville's sesquicentennial and other events great and small

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

This was a big year in the San Ramon Valley as the Town of Danville celebrated its sesquicentennial, the community of Alamo debated over voting on incorporation, and an election Nov. 4 reinstalled three Danville Town Council members and sent a school board trustee to Sacramento.

More about these stories can be read at Current and past issues are all available - look in the lower right corner of the home page.


* A storm bashes the Danville area Jan. 4, causing 7,600 customers in the PG&E Diablo Division to be without power, and flooding in older Danville neighborhoods.

* Newly remodeled Alamo Chevron gas station opens with an Extra Mile convenience store.

* Save Mount Diablo announces a $756,100 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the purchase of 320 acres near Mt. Diablo State Park.

* Danville Planning Commission studies environmental report on Elworthy Property on San Ramon Valley Boulevard, one mile south of Sycamore Valley Road.

* Park adjacent to Bridges restaurant is torn down to make room for a wine shop with a smaller area for relaxation.

* Danville library closes for two weeks for renovations, including state-of-the-art carpet tiles.


* San Ramon Valley Little League celebrates its 50th anniversary.

* Senior advocates report that the increased distribution of Danville's Silver Streak newsletter and a new fulltime senior recreation programmer have resulted in better attendance at town-sponsored activities.

* Danville leaders become alarmed when San Ramon moves to include the Tassajara Valley under its sphere of influence without notifying them.

* County Board of Supervisors lowers speed limit on Danville Boulevard through downtown Alamo from 30 mph to 25 mph.

* Danville Area Chamber of Commerce unveils new logo and Web site at its 60th annual Installation of Officers and Directors at Round Hill Country Club.

* Old gym at San Ramon Valley High School is suddenly closed and then torn down because it probably could not withstand a major earthquake.

* San Ramon Valley High School girls varsity soccer team becomes the first winter soccer team in 20 years to win three straight North Coast Section championships.

* Flames engulf old Humburg house in Alamo, which had been moved from Orchard Court near Stone Valley Road to the 900 block of Danville Boulevard.

* School board puts a measure on the June 3 ballot to increase the current annual $90 parcel tax to $158.


* Pack Foundation premiers its film "Graduation Day" to bring home the dangers of teen drinking and driving.

* San Ramon Valley YMCA begins clearing trees for its new 12-acre facility.

* County health department OKs Windmill Farms staying open if it encloses the space for cut melons, bulk food, dairy and meat.

* Four candidates file to run for the 15th Assembly District seat to replace termed-out Assemblyman Guy Houston: Democrats Joan Buchanan and Theodore Ford; and Republicans Abram Wilson and Judy Lloyd.

* California names June Hannon as Woman of the Year for 2008 for District 15, nominated by Assemblyman Guy Houston.

* Danville Planning Commission approves expansion plans of Community Presbyterian Church after a year of negotiations between the neighbors, the town and church staff.

* Jim Peterson, owner of Alamo Flower Co., places buckets of red flags at two crosswalks on Danville Boulevard for pedestrians to carry for greater visibility.


* Fortune magazine identifies Danville as being in the top 100 places to live and to own a business.

* Town of Danville decides to hold two Hot Summer Nights car shows this summer instead of four, believing other events can be held on the freed up nights that would draw more residents downtown.

* Peace Lutheran dedicates the new interfaith mosaic on its northern outdoor wall to celebrate its 50th anniversary, which was last year.

* Alamo Incorporation Movement holds an informational meeting to answer questions for the community.

* Danville Town Council votes to increase storm water utility assessment fees by $2.50 a year to comply with increasingly strict clean water requirements.

* Charlotte Wood Middle School community goes on alert when mountain lion is spotted near Osage Park.

* Members of the Alamo Beautification Advisory Committee tag trees with names of donors from the Boulevard of Trees Project, which planted 800 trees between 1987 and 2005 to revitalize Danville Boulevard.


* County Library Reading Festival features Greg Mortenson, author of "Three Cups of Tea," at the Danville Library and at Community Presbyterian Church.

* Danville Planning Commission gives go-ahead to Elworthy Ranch Project to build 84 single-family homes and a 12-unit apartment on 12 acres of the 459-acre property. The plan includes 24 acres for mitigation, 182 acres as a scenic easement, and 200 acres for the East Bay Regional Park District.

* Hundreds of resident show up in 100-degree-plus temperatures to meet Barbara Walters and buy her book, "Audition, a Memoir," at Rakestraw Books.

* San Ramon Valley Unified School District announces Steven Enoch has been selected as the new superintendent, to replace Rob Kessler who is retiring after 13 years at the helm.

* San Ramon Valley Education Foundation hands out $70,000 in grant funds, fulfilling 70 grant requests.

* Danville resident Elm Battersby appears at a Danville Town Council meeting to say the town needs a poet laureate.

* East Bay Municipal Water District implements water rationing after two consecutive dry years.

* Danville Town Council sees a plan exploring the feasibility of a bridge for the Iron Horse Trail to cross over Sycamore Valley Road.

* Danville resident Madison White, 13, qualifies for the U.S. Olympic trials in backstroke.


* June 3 election sees narrow defeat of Measure D parcel tax for the school district; Supervisor Mary N. Piepho is re-elected to represent District 3; and 15th Assembly District race is narrowed down to Democrat Joan Buchanan and Republican Abram Wilson.

* Danville Community Band presents a Father's Day concert, "That's Entertainment!" at the Lesher Center for the Arts.

* Danville passes $25.8 million budget for 2008-09.

* Developer Tom Baldacci of Castle Companies proposes plans for the Danville Hotel property that would include a three-story structure and underground parking.

* "Wigged Out" gives its final campy performance after a 15-year run when its venue, Victoria's Hair On Stage, is sold.

* Alamo Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Mary Dietler, who was chosen as 2008-09 Teacher of the Year by the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, is named one of the three finalists in Contra Costa County.

* Kyle and Garrett Weiss and other members of FUNDaFIELD travel to South Africa to play on the soccer fields made possible by their organization.


* Huge party is held July 3-4 in downtown Danville to celebrate the town's sesquicentennial and the 50th anniversary of Hay Days, precursor to the popular Fourth of July Parade. Celebrations are organized by the Kiwanis Club of San Ramon Valley; the Town of Danville; and the Museum of the San Ramon Valley.

* Blackhawk Plaza kicks off its summer concert series with its extensive revamping almost completed.

* For the first time, Monte Vista High School is the site for Relay for Life, an annual worldwide fundraiser put on by the American Cancer Society.

* The San Ramon Valley has hazy days caused by the more than 150 fires burning in Northern California.

* Alamo's Bryan Ranch votes to keep roofing rules that mandate shake shingles or tile, which some claim is putting aesthetics over safety.

* Danville resident Richard Price is named the new fire chief of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District to replace retiring Chief Craig Bowen.

* Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis conducted for the Local Agency Formation Commission says a town of Alamo would have sufficient revenue and reserves to sustain the current level of service.

* U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney (D, 11th) holds a conference call with 2,300 constituents.

* Rubber Ducky Derby held in Danville for the first time at Oak Hill Park raises $100,000 for Children's Hospital and Research Center Oakland.

* Danville trainer Derek Gallup leads a group of trainers to Beijing to help the U.S. athletes at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

* Town of Danville OKs $30,000 for Web site to promote shopping in Danville.


* Danville's Nate Schierholtz wins a bronze medal with the U.S. Olympic baseball team.

* Town of Danville tightens its ordinance to protect its ridgelines.

* Danville Realtor Marianne Bordogna throws her hat into ring to run for Town Council along with incumbents Candace Andersen, Newell Arnerich and Mike Doyle.

* Museum of the San Ramon Valley sets up real voting booth in its exhibit of "We the People, a Century of Political History in the Valley, 1900-2000," so children can cast a ballot - for their favorite ice cream.

* Alamo Merchants Association changes its name to Alamo Chamber of Commerce so people will more easily understand its mission.

* Stewards of the San Ramon Creek, with founder Linda Ballentine, holds its first creek cleanup.

* YMCA CEO Michael Erwin says work is ready to get under way on preliminary infrastructure needed for the new facility on the Alamo/Danville border, which signals the beginning of the end of the capital campaign.


* New Rose Garden shopping center opens at southeast corner of Sycamore Valley Road and Camino Ramon.

* Joint session of Danville Town Council, Planning Commission and Design Review board has long discussion on building heights and design standards for downtown as a follow-up to a study session in July.

* Town of Danville takes over ownership of the Veterans Memorial Building from Contra Costa County.

* Danville forms Vets Hall steering committee to oversee planning and architectural design for its remodeling/rebuilding.

* Local Agency Formation Commission votes in favor of putting Alamo incorporation on the ballot.


* Assemblyman Guy Houston (R., 15th) sponsors bill on cyberstalking with Monte Vista High School girl testifying about her experiences.

* Alamo resident Chia-Chia Chen spearheads first Senior Volunteer Awards to thank older folks countywide for their efforts and to inspire others to volunteer.

* Town of Danville holds study session to discuss how to beautify north end of Hartz Avneue.

* Montair Elementary School celebrates 50th anniversary.

* San Ramon Valley Education Foundation holds its Primo's Run for Education for the 25th year.

* Community is divided over California Proposition 8, which would amend the state Constitution to add, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

* Danville police warn of ongoing scams, especially aimed at older people.

* A routine traffic stop results in arrests of two teenagers on prostitution charges in Danville; police say they could lead to further charges in what may be an Internet prostitution operation.

* Alamo resident John Fraser grows a 712-pound pumpkin, which he displays at Faz restaurant in Danville.


* Election is held Nov. 4. U.S. Sen. Barack Obama is elected president of the United States. Locally, Alamo resident Democrat Joan Buchanan is elected to state Assembly District 15 over San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson; Danville incumbents Candace Andersen, Newell Arnerich and Mike Doyle are re-elected to Town Council; Proposition 8 passes.

* School board decides to seek a renewal of the parcel tax gain, after the narrow failure of Measure D in the spring.

* Alamo Incorporation Movement hosts presentation on running for Town Council positions in the March 3 election, when incorporation will be voted on.

* Danville installs wireless Internet at the library, on the Town Green and in town offices.

* San Ramon Valley High School varsity football team beats Monte Vista High School, 26-7, in the annual cross-town rivalry, which draws 8,000 fans to the Mustang stadium.

* Alamo resident Scott W. Hugo, 22, is named a Rhodes Scholar. He is the son of Greg and Pam Hugo, and a 2005 graduate of De La Salle High School.

* Town of Danville OKs 4 percent rate increase of removal of solid waste and recycling, bringing average cost from $16.35 per month to $17.

* San Ramon Valley High School seniors Angela Accomazzo and Amanda Calamoneri launch a line of T-shirts to benefit nonprofit groups and to help save the world.


* Newell Arnerich is installed as the new mayor in Danville. Outgoing Mayor Candace Andersen is recognized for her successful year.

* Danville's new poet laureate Nancy Fraze makes her debut at the annual Mayoral Installation and Community Service Awards.

* Alamo Chamber of Commerce names Remax Realtor Joe Combs as Business Person of the Year at the Alamo Tree Lighting Festival.

* Danville Community Band Director Larry Anderson retires from the position although he and his wife Jan, who has been business manager and publicity director, are elected to the band's board of directors.

* Danville area suffers through freezing temperatures in part of December, and the economy is stormy. Nonetheless, Christmas lights decorate homes and businesses, Mount Diablo is covered with snow for a day, and everyone hopes for the best in 2009!


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