Kudos for all who have given their time and energy to bring the arts to our community. That being said, there is definitely a need for improvement when it comes to acquiring tickets. Having a website and an open box office makes no sense if you can't buy tickets until 45 minutes before the show.
We recently attended "The Relativity of Albert Einstein" lecture and tried to buy tickets when we first read about it. When we were downtown for lunch, we went to the "Open" box office and were told we had to stand in line the night of the performance and take our chances on getting a seat. I was told the tickets would be available at 6:15 p.m. and that there was a great deal of interest in the lecture so we should show up early. We showed up at 5:30 p.m. to get in line -- but there was no line.
The lecture was phenomenal and was sold out with standing room only. We are very interested in the upcoming events at the playhouse but would like to be able to purchase tickets with more certainty; after all, we're living in the 21st century.
Being able to buy a lecture series would be ideal. Having member advantages other than a discount on the price of a ticket would encourage attendance with more certainty. We'll gladly support your efforts even if our old knees must stand outside on a cold winter's night waiting and hoping to get in.
Need reason to go downtown
I'd like to respond to "Downtown needs our help" (Jan. 14). How about looking at downtown Livermore as a template, especially their nightlife, for solutions? They have two movie theaters, the Bankhead Theater, and several venues that have live music -- people will eat, drink and shop before and/or after those activities. They have plenty of local retail and no chain stores. Residents live close to the action, but don't complain about loud music or traffic, probably because they realize the city overall benefits from incoming revenue; also, it's just part of the deal when you live closer to a thriving downtown.
I don't know how some of Pleasanton's residents are fine with a train coming through here early in the morning but have no tolerance for live music or the people bringing money into this town. I think having the Firehouse Arts Center is a great start. Pleasanton doesn't have one movie theater -- it's out to Dublin, San Ramon or Livermore if you want to see a movie.
I've heard that the rents are high downtown -- how can property owners afford for buildings to remain empty? Maybe they can wait around till another bank starts paying rent, but it's not doing the city any good. Residents need retail options that have more to offer than over-priced, specialized items, especially in this current economy. I don't think anyone needs to pay a consulting firm to diagnose the obvious. The downtown will continue to lose potential shoppers and revenue unless there's a reason to go there.
Unsafe for pedestrians
I work in one of the corporate buildings on Owens Drive in Pleasanton, commuting from Daly City by BART. From the Pleasanton BART station, I walk daily on the Owens Drive/Willow Street side of the station. I have noticed that most drivers either coming or going through the BART parking lot, and drivers here in general, do not really slow down for pedestrians.
Is it possible to put a sign to remind drivers to slow down for pedestrians? I believe I am a very good pedestrian, I walk when the area is clear and I have the right of way. But I always have a feeling of being hit by a car every time I walk to and from my work building or during breaks.
Also, for almost 10 months, there has been a broken manhole by Willow Street. It has been covered by a piece of plywood but recently someone added four orange cones to the "disaster" area. I wonder if this broken manhole will be fixed soon. You can tell that the plywood had weathered through a lot of season changes, it looks "ply-able" and ready to break and someone's leg or ankle will be eaten by the manhole. One of my co-workers had such an incident in the same street area last year. She suffered some bruises, luckily no broken bones. Can someone fix this broken manhole?
I finally found the courage to voice my experiences and observations; hopefully, there will be some action and positive results. Safety should be first, whenever and wherever.