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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Tri-Valley is in a sweet spot

Uploaded: Aug 3, 2017
If there was a key message coming from two panels at the State of the Tri-Valley event last week at Bishop Ranch, it’s the Tri-Valley has lots going for it now, but needs to continue to work together to tackle its major challenges.
The biggest here, as well as throughout the Bay Area, is the tremendous shortage of housing. The lack of new construction plus the limited inventory of resale homes has sent prices back to record levels. Layne Marceau, the long-time president of Shea Homes in Livermore, observed that situation has given him plenty of pricing leverage. He also noted how the housing mix has shifted from 85 percent detached single family to about 65 percent over the last few years.
The housing message is being shouted from the Silicon Valley and throughout Northern California. Earlier this week, a friend told me about his daughter and her husband trying to buy a home in the Sacramento area. They were bidding against two couples with people planning to telecommute to Bay Area technology companies.
Given the apartment complexes under construction in Pleasanton as well as some in Dublin and their market-rate rents, it will be interesting to see if all that new supply exerts any downward pressure on rents. Rents throughout the Bay Area, but particularly in San Francisco and the South Bay, have been soaring as job growth out-strips housing supply.
Among the more daunting statistics in the special section published by event sponsor, the San Francisco Business Times, was estimated traffic on I-580. It is expected to increase by 60 percent from 2013-2040. Given how miserable the afternoon commute is right now, it’s time to start thinking about developing different ways to move containers from the port of Oakland inland. There are times when 18-wheelers hauling containers seem to take up two lanes.
The organizers of the Ellie Mae Classic at the TPC Stonebrae in the Hayward hills grabbed some needed notoriety when they invited 49ers legend Jerry Rice to play in 2010. Rice did so for three years and helped garner some publicity that otherwise would have been missing.
The Ellie Mae team went one better by inviting Warriors star and avid golfer Steph Curry to join this week’s tournament on a sponsor’s exemption. Curry is coming off a fourth-place finish at the nationally televised American Century Celebrity tournament at Edgewood Lake Tahoe to say nothing of the team’s second championship in three years.
It’s already been a home run. Ticket sales are up 10 times over past years and media credential requests went from 10 to 80 outlets.
Curry’s presence and results likely will be the “news” Thursday and Friday on in the newspapers, local TV and even Golf Channel and ESPN. Golf Channel has a reporter on site.
It’s a tough week on the calendar for the Ellie Mae—it’s opposite the World Golf Championship event at Firestone Country Club in Ohio as well as the Barracuda Open at Montreux Country Club in Reno.
The person likely to feel the most over-looked is Stephan Jaeger who is back to defend his title that he won with a stunning four-round total of 250, 30 under par. That broke the mark for best-ever total by five strokes and included a record-breaking 58 on the first day. His feat fell deeper into the record books when Jim Furyk shot a 58 a few days later on the PGA Tour.
Jaeger may draw some cameras because he’s playing with Curry today.

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