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Letter: Downtown "Belongs to Everyone"?

Original post made on Apr 17, 2009

Dear Editor,

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 17, 2009, 12:00 AM

Comments (11)

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Posted by Dan
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 17, 2009 at 8:42 am

Howard Long,

You sound like the new Richard Pombo. Maybe you should move to Texas and be around your own kind. I hear Texas wants to succeed, so you don't have to deal with "increasing USA collectivism."


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Posted by Lucky Guy
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 17, 2009 at 8:54 am

You have to have something to sell. Restaurants and banks are not the answer. I miss the hardware store, the shoe repair guys that used to be downtown and brought some character. Variety brings people downtown. Downtown is Boring and there are lots of good shops elsewhere in town. I do believe less government is good. Small buisiness know what's right and what's wrong unlike Wall Street fat cats......I laugh when I see Hosterman now saying the city has an extra million or two to put into a failed PUSD when city revenues have dwindled because of down TOT(Hotel tax), sales tax and property tax revenues. I miss the days when this city had some imaginative problem solving leaders in place. But time does not stand still...


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 17, 2009 at 9:11 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I'd like California to succeed too.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Apr 17, 2009 at 10:53 am

Howie...are you Huey Long's son? Just had to ask!

If you don't like it here, why don't you just join the military and help out with the war effort in Irag?



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Posted by YAC-YAC
a resident of Livermore
on Apr 17, 2009 at 10:54 am

Correction: Iraq...tee hee hee, tee hee hee...


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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Half of my wealth disappeared under George Bush and the Republicans. This happened BEFORE Obama became president. I can show you my accounts statements to prove it.


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Posted by Karen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2009 at 6:32 pm

When I was a teenager and lived in a different state we went to our downtown all the time. Here's why... There was a jewelry store that sold stuff we liked, so whenever a friend had a birthday party we all went there to buy gifts together.
There was a clothing store that sold clothes that we (teenage girls) wore. It was a mom and pop place, and we went in there to look around and sometimes buy every time we went downtown.
We had excellent delis, pizza places and a diner there. Lots of casual dining options.
There was a 7/11.
There was a grocery store.
There was a small, cheap movie theater that showed movies after they were gone from the regular multiplexes.
There was a Baskin Robbins.
The big draw for us kids were the jewelry store, the clothing shop, the inexpensive and excellent pizza and delis and the 7/11.

Teenagers spend a lot of money. If our downtown had been like Pleasanton's (nail shops, salons, ridiculously expensive clothing shops, sit-down restaurants or bad food casual places like New York Pizza and Quiznos) we would never have gone there.



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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 17, 2009 at 7:27 pm

I, too, want California to succeed as well as our downtown, and let's allow Texas to secede like their governor wants. While, I disagree with the letter writer's worn out ideology and re-assertions of right wing think tank's explanations for the economic debacle that Friedmann theory created from its practice by his followers, I agree that the downtown's future should be left largely to free-market forces within the rules of usual zoning regulation that city's properly need to effect for a given commercial area. The zoning regulation simply needs to stop short of social engineering, which all sides of the political spectrum engage in, even though most right-wing ideologs think they don't. (The left-wing ideologs simply admit that they do.)


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 19, 2009 at 9:56 am

The City views downtown very simply as a backdrop for its street closure events. It does not have any kind of cohesive plan to allow/encourage it to become a shopping district (nor necessarily should it). Anyone talking about how romantic it "used to be" clearly has a bad memory. Prior to the street being dug up and utilities replaced, street and sidewalks widened etc... about 12 years ago, main street was a seedy dark uninviting place that rolled up the carpets at around 5:00PM except for the numberous bars that existed. The hardware store, shoe store etc... that get mentioned all would have survived just fine if people would have shopped there. No city has a budget that allows bad business models to exist simply because the like the feel of the area. A business needs to make money to exist or it will go away. Kolln hardware closed because it didn't make money. Domus closed because if didn't make money. The Pleasanton Hotel closed because it stopped making money. Do you notice a trend?


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Posted by Building owners vs. business owners
a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Apr 20, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Whoa, I got lost somewhere between "zoning" and "social engineering".

How about our downtown isn't as charming as it once was...

I think it is important to note that some of the building owners are at fault for some of the downturn our downtown has taken. When we last shopped in the old hardware store on Main, we asked why they were closing and they said the owners of the building wanted to do a complete update and overhaul of the building, which would require a period of time with the hardware store waiting to reopen. They said the problem worsened by the fact that the owners would then need to raise the rent on the building to recoup the cost of updating. In one fell swoop the building owner wiped out one of the best, family-feeling, and even charming businesses in Pleasanton with their Tiffany lights hanging in the window and Radio Flyers and flags at their entrance.

The question is, was it necessary and was it worth mowing the business down since the building remained empty for a long, long time (I think CoAmerica Bank is just going in? I might be mistaken...)

Next is the Pleasanton Hotel. According to the Weekly's report, the owner of the Hotel decided she wanted to update the building. Well, the restaurant that was a seperate business that has been here for years was completely pushed aside. I would wager that with The Rose sitting next to the PH and the money it charges per room, the PH owner wanted to improve her investment, but at what cost to our community?

Does the owner of the building have any responsibilty to the community when they cause an existing business that is vibrant and profiting to just come to ruin?

I love our downtown. I love to walk Main Street (although I'm sure to walk faster or cross the street near the bar with my kiddos with me). We have so much potential. We are a community of business lunches and family dinners. It seems to me we need more gathering places than just the Tully's corner.

A small theater would be so welcomed and refreshing, I hear that Livermore's is succeeding even with Hacienda Mega Plex just down the road, and a courtyard for gatherings that protects the patrons (and often thier children) from the proximity to the street and it's noise would be terrific. Other sitting/viewing areas would be terrific.

Finally, I am sure there is some reason that I am not yet aware of for why we do not have more celebrations downtown, but a little more enthusiasm doesn't need a lot of imagination to recognize that our neighbors just north of us in Danville have a wonderful downtown and it is famous. A 4th of July parade here in Pleasanton is just waiting to return - we drive all the way to Danville just to attend theirs and I believe last year's numbers were more that 40,000 people.

Let's consider what effect building owners have on our community when they oust a profitable business and leave yet another building with empty windows after a remodel. The resultant is probably that of a potential new business owner giving us a second thought because of all the empty businesses around. It's like buying a house in a neighborhood of empty foreclosures...just doesn't feel right!


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Posted by Al Bronzini
a resident of Downtown
on May 5, 2009 at 8:26 am

Keep your eye on 719 Main Street, were the Antique Furniture Market did business for many years. A new retail store will open for business in about thirty days. I hope that the community will support this new and exiting retailer.
Thank you.
Al. Bronzini, Downtown Property Owner.


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