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By Tim Hunt

Highlighting the Tri-Valley's diversity

Uploaded: May 13, 2021

Last Thursday at noon two events offered proof to just how diverse the Tri-Valley area has become over the last decade.
Alameda County Supervisor David Haubert, who represents his hometown of Dublin, Livermore and part of Fremont, spearheaded a National Day of Prayer gathering at the Alameda County Fairgrounds amphitheater in Pleasanton.
At the same hour, the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group honored its 10th group of Dreammakers and Risktakers (local high school and Las Positas College students) virtually via Zoom. Check out the names of those honored: Chandrika Narayan (Amador Valley High, Pleasanton); Tatiana Amador, Ana Martinez Galindo, Emma Goulart, Rachel Hendry, Ashley Messing, Rebecca Sandoval Clampitt and Kassandra Torres (Livermore High); Kaif Jeelani, Shreyas Lad, Nishad Chavan, Mannat Dhot, Aditya Mahajan, Harun Momin, Shriya Rudrashetty, Samarth Shastry (Dublin High); Alexis Bondarenko and Megan Mehta (Tri-Valley Regional Occupation Program); Amaya Ghoshal (Monte Vista High); and Esmaa Elgarguri (Las Positas College). I highlighted their accomplishments in a blog last week.
Faith institutions represented at the fairgrounds included: Cornerstone Fellowship, Harbor Light, Livermore Gurdwara, Glad Tidings Church, Meet a Muslim, Coptic Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Forerunner Christian Church, Hindu American Foundation, Fa Yun Chan Temple, St. Raymond’s Catholic Church, Tri-Valley Sikh Center and Chabad of the Tri-Valley. Each leader prayed for our country in their unique way.

In one way, it’s really sad that California is awash with cash at the state level—far more so than Gov. Gavin Newsom and his finance team expected in January. The gushing cash will allow government to maintain some programs that should be laid to rest.
Newsom will release his May revised budget tomorrow after touring the state with spending proposals for the nearly $100 billion that includes $27 billion of federal funds that are being printed. The huge number is available after the state has backfilled the reserve funds that were spent in the early part of this fiscal year when nobody knew what the effects of the pandemic and Newsom’s harsh collapse of the economy would be.
With the high-tech economy moving on without issue and the home delivery services exploding, revenues soared—not so for people working in hospitality or tourism that found themselves unemployed.
The governor and Legislative leaders will debate how to spend the money—the budget needs to go to the governor’s office by June 15 or legislative pay will be docked. Since voters approved that provision, the Legislature hasn’t missed the deadline.
What’s sad is the financial windfall will allow the state to continue well-intentioned but programs such as its online community college Calbright. It was instituted by the Legislature and former Gov. Jerry Brown and has been an abject failure. The state auditor released a report described as “scathing” that notes the on-demand system’s former management had no strategy for spending the $175 million it expected from the state and had made a number of poor hires. More telling are the simple stats: More than 900 enrollees, 12 graduates and 40% dropout rate.
Ouch. Time to pull the plug on this one and let established community colleges add it to their offerings.