Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - December 17, 2010

Give to the Holiday Fund

The sign under the Pleasanton Arch on Main Street says it all: "Give to the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund." We hope you read it and send in your contribution. Despite news reports of robust sales and the crowds we're seeing at stores and restaurants this Christmas shopping season, the nonprofits that serve the needy in the Tri-Valley are reporting a far different story. More individuals and families than ever in recent memory are standing in lines -- for unemployment checks, for public medical care, for hot meals. These are people faced with over-extended home mortgages who are struggling to stay in their homes. Others work for companies that have significantly increased employee contributions to meet the rising costs of group health care. Some work for companies that have dropped health care coverage altogether. Many families that rely on two incomes now have one spouse without a job, and they need help.

Given the national downturn in charitable giving, we're pleased that donations to this year's Holiday Fund now total $56,030. With just a few weeks to go, that leaves just $43,970 if we are to achieve our goal of $100,000, with $20,000 going to each of the five nonprofits that are this year's beneficiaries: Axis Community Health, Hope Hospice, Open Heart Kitchen, Valley Humane Society and the Ryan Comer Cancer Resource Center at ValleyCare Health Systems.

There's an added advantage to making your contributions through the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund. For every $1 contributed, the Tri-Valley Community Foundation will add another dollar. That's a 2-for-1 gift, doubling your contribution for these important Tri-Valley organizations. Also, unlike many other fundraising drives, the Holiday Fund takes no administrative fees or other expenses out of these contributions. The Pleasanton Weekly donates all the support services so all money raised can support these local nonprofit groups. All funds are held in trust by the Tri-Valley Community Foundation and are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

To contribute, fill out the donor's coupon on page 11 of today's Pleasanton Weekly and send your donation to: the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund, 5506 Sunol Blvd., Pleasanton, CA 94566. You can also drop off your check at our office. We're open 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. We'd enjoy seeing you.

Pleasanton loses out

We remember riding with Congressman Jerry McNerney a year or so ago on the prototype "Rapid," a new express bus that the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) was adding to its more conventional Wheels bus service. A key selling point for Pleasanton, which helps fund the service, was that the Rapid would zip passengers more quickly from BART stations and the Labs to a covered passenger stop at Old Stanley Boulevard and Main Street.

It turns out that this costly new service will begin Jan. 24, but without the Pleasanton stop. Residents along Old Stanley objected to more noise and traffic on "their" street and city officials quietly told LAVTA to move the route somewhere else. LAVTA did, placing the speedier service on Dublin Boulevard and into Livermore with Stoneridge Shopping Center next to Penney's as the only Pleasanton service.

Now this same group wants to block a developer from tearing down a 1920s house and two old trees for many of the same reasons, claiming the 14-unit, high density housing plan would destroy the "heritage" of the neighborhood, not to mention adding a few more cars on Old Stanley. Take a drive on this major link between downtown Pleasanton and Stanley Boulevard and see if you think the street needs this special protection.

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