Thanks to a Letter to the Editor in the Jan. 28 edition, "Need reason to go downtown," I was once again reminded that we do need to put all of our thinking caps on to help fend off the slow but seemingly inevitable downturn of business and its implications for all of us.
The problem is the lack of activities during the day. Our Main Street is looking like a mouth with bad tooth decay, showing gaping holes in the row of businesses along Main Street. There is definitely an imbalance of business enterprises. Why is there such a monoculture of banks, beauty parlors and Italian eateries?
I am hoping that we residents create a lobby and make suggestions on what businesses to bring downtown. The downtown butcher is a great start. If we only had a grocery store, I would be able to leave my car in the garage. (Wasn't the world's first Safeway on Main Street?)
For those who would drive to frequent our lively downtown of the future, a parking garage is needed. At the busy Saturday market times we see how much traffic Pleasanton can get.
I would like to suggest that we form a workshop like I have seen done at other occasions and have all of us try and sort out this downtown problem. Not just the Chamber of Commerce and city officials, not just the downtown association, but all of us who want to have Pleasanton survive next to much more vibrant communities like Livermore and Dublin.
In defense of bottled water
As a Pleasanton resident and an employee of Nestle Waters North America, I was disappointed to receive Pleasanton Garbage Service's January newsletter urging residents to stop buying bottled water.
Fortunately, Pleasanton boasts both an excellent curbside recycling program and redemption center, both of which accept PET water bottles. While more can always be done to increase recycling rates, to single out bottled water among all PET plastic containers is simply unfounded.
Pleasanton Garbage Service is incorrect to suggest reducing bottled water use will reduce the waste stream. In fact, research shows if bottled water went away tomorrow more than half of those who drink it would switch to soda or another sugary drink, which use more water, more packaging and more ingredients.
Furthermore, the bottled water industry is a small user of water, with annual production accounting for less than .02 percent of total groundwater withdrawal in the United States. At Nestle Waters, we use just 1.4 gallons of water to make a gallon of our bottled water, compared to 2.4 gallons for soda -- and that doesn't include water used for growing and processing agricultural ingredients.
In closing, Pleasanton Garbage Service's call to stop purchasing the most healthful packaged beverage available, and the one with the lightest environmental impact, simply doesn't add up -- for the health of our families or our community.
End the wars
Based on the lack of news coverage you might think the Iraq War/Occupation is over and the troops have come home. But no, 50,000 "Non-Combat" U.S. troops are still there along with many thousands of contractors/mercenaries. It is time to end the tragic and unnecessary Wars/Occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and bring the troops home now. Going on 10 years for the Afghan War and eight years for the Iraq War, almost 6,000 dead U.S. troops and many more thousands wounded, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, millions of natives displaced from their homes, costs to US taxpayers of $1 trillion, serious damage done to U.S. foreign relations, creating more terrorists than eliminated, etc. Local politicians support the veterans but do nothing to de-fund the wars and bring those brave soldiers home.
Pleasantonians for Peace has a peace vigil the first Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. below the arch on Main Street and a peaceful protest the fourth Wednesday of each month at First and Neal streets. Take time to attend and show you are tired of these wasteful winless wars (use that money for schools, roads, infrastructure). Tell your Congressional reps and Obama to end the wars.