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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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Schools days are roaring upon us

Uploaded: Aug 8, 2017
Pleasanton parents and students alike are counting down the final days of summer this week.
School opens next Monday, earliest opening day in memory. Of course, school closed the week of Memorial Day so the summer is the same length.
Although for administrators, it had to be a shock to be back in the office in July. July typically was the idyllic month for educators when no thoughts of the classroom were necessary.
Next Monday’s opening has the contractor painting the historic Bernal Bridge over the arroyo hustling to have it open in time. It will be a traffic disaster not to have both lanes open when Foothill High classes start on Monday.
Work has been proceeding all summer with traffic delayed by one-lane traffic over the bridge. Those delays had been predictable, but not in the last two weeks when the contractor’s crew started using a lift truck parked in the roadway so workers could finish the middle of the structure. That brought new meaning to “long delays” that are promised on the warning signs. Do use alternative routes—I have made U-turns there twice in the last week.
What the early start to do school does, for those with schedules not tied to education, is expand the prime vacation season in Northern California. It used to be September started the non-child season in the Sierra Nevada, now it’s mid-August so the season has expanded by three weeks.
We were at the summer hub of Lake Almanor the third week of August a couple of years ago. We went golfing on a Sunday and almost had course to ourselves. There was no beverage cart service—the student handling it had gone back to school already.
Crowds were absent, both in town and around the lake. I suspect it will be the same in many prime vacation spots over the next several weeks with ideal weather and few people.
The shift means June vacations are more likely and that brings with it a bit of a weather downside. Unlike the South where June is a much better weather month than the dead of summer when the humidity socks in, our California coastal communities talk of “June Gloom” thanks to the heavy fog banks.

Avid bicyclist and golfer Jerry Pentin cornered me at the National Night Out event at Pleasanton Gardens to politely disagree with the characterization of golfers’ driving on Alisal Road while coming or going from the city’s Callippe Preserve course. In an interview with long-time Alisal residents, golfers were characterized as always in a hurry to make their tee times.
Jerry begs to differ. He routinely rides his bicycle on the Sycamore-Alisal-Happy Valley loop a couple of times a week. When he’s headed south on Alisal, he’s moving at 22-23 mph and thus barely holding up traffic with the 25-mph speed limit. He reports that he’s routinely pushed by motorists, but they turn off before the golf course—not after it.
It’s similar when his daughter, Joi, an excellent golfer, is driving them to Callippe. She absolutely refuses to go even 25 mph and often collects a few followers who are local motorists.
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 8, 2017 at 11:00 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

A shock to be back in the office in July after, what, a 1 1/2 month vacation plus all the days off during the school year?

Only in government...

Posted by Cowgirl, a resident of Livermore,
on Aug 9, 2017 at 8:03 am

To DKHSK, Keep in mind teachers don't get to choose when they take vacation. Their time off is always in the "high" season.

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 9, 2017 at 9:37 am

DKHSK is a registered user.


"Their time off is always in the "high" season."

I'm supposed to feel sorry for them because of this? I have to plan my vacations in high season too because I have kids in those schools.

Posted by JG, a resident of Hart Middle School,
on Aug 9, 2017 at 12:50 pm

The bridge was open both directions this morning

Posted by Scott Hale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 9, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Scott Hale is a registered user.

a little detail but unless they have an option to get paid 12 mos, they don't get paid for summer. So, really, not a vacation. Vacations are paid for and optional. Not for teachers.

And, yeah, teachers DO pick their career, so they kinda can't complain about being off (and not getting paid). But summer isn't really a vacation as put forward here. It's those details....

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 10, 2017 at 8:41 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

Teachers average $82k (from a few years ago) per year in the district. They spend 5.48 hours per day in front of their kids. At the high school level its less because of a floater period.

I appreciate what teachers do, but given the factors above, I have no sympathy that they don't get paid vacations. They make as much hourly as a silicon valley engineer.

Posted by Horace Mann, a resident of another community,
on Aug 10, 2017 at 8:58 am

Setting aside the ridiculous idea that teaching time "in front of kids" is all that constitutes teaching, ALL U.S. workers' wages have been stagnant for almost 40 years. If educators have done slightly better because they're represented by a union, then good for them.

This beggar-thy-neighbor notion - where the peasants squabble about who's getting more screwed, while the lords-and-ladies of the manor accumulate-and-count all the money - is completely counter-productive.

Wage slaves have much more in-common than they have in-contrast. The problem is up there, not down here.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 10, 2017 at 9:58 am

So now Cushing is Horace Mann. Must he monopolize every blog & town forum discussion with his two cents. Very lame.

Posted by Horace Mann , a resident of Danville,
on Aug 10, 2017 at 10:02 am

Horace Mann is a registered user.

Web Link Read and learn, sayeth Horace Mann.

Posted by Marm, a resident of Birdland,
on Aug 10, 2017 at 11:22 am

Roaring upon us: Web Link


Roaring up on us (and then upon us): Web Link

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 10, 2017 at 3:31 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.


Just because its counter-productive, doesn't mean it isn't true.

I guess math just isn't your thing.

Posted by Horace Mann, a resident of Danville,
on Aug 10, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Gross undercounting in service to making the wrong point only makes the counter a flunk-ee. Does a delivery guy only work when driving, and not loading/unloading? Does a surgeon only work when she's cutting? A judge only when presiding? Of course not. So your numbers, even if accurate(?), are misleading and meaningless. You flunk.

But the lords-and-ladies do thank you for being their stooge. Oh, and I'll not get pulled into your vortex of faux-debate suck. I'm out.

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Aug 10, 2017 at 7:19 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.


Thanks for participating.

Posted by Work for a living, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Aug 11, 2017 at 12:11 am

Oh please, every school holiday off, every weekend off, every summer off. For a better than average wage. No one holds a gun to their head and demands that they become a teacher. Enough whining already.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Aug 11, 2017 at 8:41 am

I have great RESPECT for teachers! HOORAY TEACHERS! VIVA!

There are lots of jealous bugs who don't believe that teachers deserve a living wage.

Take a flying leap whiners...go far away...back to hole where your ancestors crawled out...

i rest my case...

Posted by Cowgirl, a resident of Livermore,
on Aug 13, 2017 at 7:02 pm

Back to school night, open house, conferences with the parent(s)/guardian(s) of each student, correcting papers, meeting, training, getting kids picked up safely after school, lesson planning, scheduling substitutes, testing, and now: time spent teaching in front of the student.

Posted by sabir, a resident of Birdland,
on Aug 29, 2017 at 10:41 am

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