By Tim Hunt
Wondering whyUploaded: Oct 6, 2015
Sometimes you just have to wonder.
The Bay Area News Group ran a story on Sept. 24 about "downtown Dublin" getting free wireless service courtesy of the city of Dublin.
The goal of the city mothers and fathers is to encourage people to come to the central area of old Dublin that is best known for its abundant collection of big box stores and small businesses coupled with a few chain restaurants.
There is not much there to make it a destination—certainly there are some spots---but I am willing to bet that virtually every place that wants to attract customers for goods, food and drink or services already has Wi-Fi.
Since wireless modems have plunged in price, including wireless access is a standard part of the program for marketing and customer retention.
To his credit, Mayor David Haubert noted, "I wouldn't characterize us as the first mover, but as a fast follower."
Maybe in other decisions that's the case---in this one our friends in Dublin are at least five or more years behind the trend.
Oakland's location has given the city had an enviable economic opportunity for years with the port and airport, railroads, BART and freeways all coming through the city. And, for years, city leaders and interest groups have battled with the result that little gets done in a positive way.
Take, for instance, the major project that is nearing development on the long-closed Army base next to the Port of Oakland. The project would create a much better rail/container connection and create thousands of high-paying union jobs.
A coalition of environmental groups (Earthjustice, the Sierra Club and Communities for a Better Environment) filed suit recently contending that the environmental review for the project was inadequate because it failed to consider impacts of exporting coal on the surrounding area.
A key part of the plan is coal trains carrying America's most abundant source of energy to the port so it can be exported to Asia. The company backing the project, which is being financed by $53 million in funding from Utah, believes that there is no need for further environmental study because coal is a commodity that is legal to export under federal law.
The law suit contends that coal trains will have a devastating effect on the poorer neighborhoods near the coal facility.
I recall, when I was in Denver a few years ago, watching lots of coal trains headed south right through the city with no dust or particles flying off the railcars.