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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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Canceling the festival was the right decision

Uploaded: Sep 5, 2017
Good call by the Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association to cancel its 36th annual Harvest Wine Celebration Sunday and Monday because of the extreme heat.
The association had moved away from an event going from winery to winery to centralize its Sunday festival on the sports field at Las Positas College. In normal weather, that would have worked great. Given the potential of 100-plus degree heat—the weather forecasters kept drifting the hottest day of the heat spell later—it started on Friday and then went to Saturday. The prospect of limited shade and triple-digit head led to the cancellation.
The temperatures could be brutal and there were no trees to be found, thus any shade had to be brought in.
For the association, which will refund all purchased tickets, it’s a major hit to the budget. Its charity arm, the winegrowers’ foundation, will hold its annual wine auction later this month with all those proceeds going to charities serving children. Chris Chandler, the executive director, wrote in an email that the event provides about 30 percent of the association’s budget.
She absolutely stood fast on the decision considering the impact of the volunteers, wineries and patrons.
Some school districts took the same course with the San Ramon Valley district cancelling all athletic practices and events through Labor Day. Other districts went ahead with the scheduled Friday night football games.
The winegrowers’ decision is like that made in June by Alameda County Fair officials. Faced with triple-digit heat, fair management cancelled a full day of racing to protect horses, jockeys and spectators. Like the winegrowers, it involved revenue, but health and safety came first.
By contrast, the Scottish Games went ahead as planned, albeit with shade structures and misting stations that participants and spectators alike took full advantage of.
The Amazon effect: Friday’s East Bay Times contained a Safeway ad wrapped around the front page that touted lower prices every day. Safeway has been lowering prices in recent months, a trend that Raley’s also has touted. Watch for more in the wake of Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods and its lowering lots of prices at “Whole Paycheck.”
I saw Pleasanton Police Chief Dave Spiller earlier this month and offered a suggestion—using the police station parking lot for transactions such as Craig’s list.
Turns out Dave and his crew were way ahead of me. The department has been offering its front parking lot—with its security cameras—for that type of transfer for more than a year. I was responding to an announcement from the Danville Police Dept. that announced that it was inviting those type of transfers in its parking lot.
Dave noted that not only were people exchanging goods bought online, it was also a safe and convenient place for divorced parents to hand-off custody of their children. That’s an even more important service…Kudos to the police department.

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