News


Celebrating 10 years of the Pleasanton Weekly

As a new decade begins, this newspaper looks back and to the future

It's hard to believe it's a new decade. It's even more difficult for the staff of the Pleasanton Weekly to fathom that 10 years ago, this newspaper was just setting down roots here in this picturesque town we all call home.

This month, the Weekly celebrates the 10-year mark of covering Pleasanton politics, city government, schools, neighborhoods and families in the 94566 and 94588 area codes.

Here's how publisher and editor Jeb Bing introduced Pleasanton's only weekly paper back in our very first issue, dated Jan. 28, 2000:

"Welcome to the Pleasanton Weekly, your window on every aspect of our community. We'll be in your mailbox or at your business and in street newsstands around town every Friday, delivered free of charge and focusing exclusively on Pleasanton."

The Weekly is owned by Embarcadero Media and its flagship paper is the Palo Alto Weekly, which has been publishing for more than 30 years. Embarcadero also owns and publishes The Pacific Sun in Marin County and The Almanac and the Mountain View Voice on the Peninsula.

Although the staff at the Weekly -- and even its design -- has changed a bit over the last 10 years, the mission has stayed the same -- "It's all about Pleasanton."

From Eagle Scout awards, to military homecomings, to long City Council, school board and planning commission meetings, to controversial development projects, to mayoral elections and ballot measures, to local athletes making headlines on the national scale, we've immersed ourselves in everything that makes this city tick.

At its core, the newspaper hasn't changed dramatically over the past 10 years, offering in tabloid style the Around Pleasanton column, Newsfront, Streetwise, Opinion, Community Pulse, Transitions, Living, Sports, Calendar, Fogster Classifieds and Real Estate. In 2003, our staff spent the summer putting together the very first InfoPleasanton, which is a yearly guide on recreation, kid's stuff, facts and stats about Pleasanton, community organizations, arts and entertainment and sports and outdoor groups and activities. We also started Best of Pleasanton (now known as Readers Choice), which has become a staple for all things that are great in Pleasanton. Every summer, the Weekly receives hundreds of ballots from readers selecting their favorite restaurants, meeting places, dry cleaners, veterinarians and the best place to get a traffic ticket.

One thing that has changed about the Pleasanton Weekly in more recent years is our online presence. As the Silicon Valley and the greater Bay Area remains at the forefront in technology, and as newspapers recognize readers' interest in getting their news online, we've answered that call. Our sister paper, the Palo Alto Weekly, was the first newspaper in the country to offer news online. Pleasanton Weekly remodeled its website, www.pleasantonweekly.com, in 2007, offering news -- both breaking and in-depth coverage -- a community discussion forum, online calendar and classified posting, and movie reviews.

The forum, known to most as TownSquare, has proved to be the most popular feature of the website remodel. Readers have told us that allowing users to post their own topics as well as comment on others, has opened a new line of communication for residents to speak openly about their concerns and interests without having to be identified. It's also given staff a plethora of story ideas that may otherwise have never come to light. Of course, with anonymity comes some unruliness, which has kept the editorial staff vigilantly monitoring the forum, but there is a sense that this open exchange trumps a few negative posters.

A year ago, another feature of pleasantonweekly.com was added. Pleasanton Express is a daily email sent to readers' inboxes that has a rundown of the day's top headlines, calendar picks and forum topics. It's another way the paper is trying to reach residents who are constantly on-the-go.

The aim has always been to support the community in which the paper covers, and that has been accomplished through a couple of ways.

The Weekly has sponsored a number of events supporting the downtown through the Pleasanton Downtown Association. For the past few years, the Weekly has been the title sponsor for the summer Concerts in the Park series, which draws hundreds to Lions Wayside Park for live music performances. Newspaper president Gina Channell-Allen and editor Jeb Bing are also a regular sight at the annual holiday parade and tree lighting and Bing is the voice of the Veterans Day parade. The Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund was created in 2002 with the goal of giving back to local nonprofits that help the underinsured, homeless, abused, senior citizens, children and other vulnerable populations. During our 2009 Holiday Fund campaign, we celebrated having the unique opportunity to raise more than triple the previous campaign through matching federal dollars. When the receipts came in a couple weeks ago, it was announced that $465,000 will help needy families in Pleasanton and the greater Tri-Valley.

To end on a light note, maybe our most lasting legacy, is something that began accidentally. Former Pleasanton Police Chief Tim Neal, who retired in 2006, thought it would be funny to email a photo of himself at the Statue of Liberty, holding a copy of the paper. After the photo was published, the Weekly began receiving a barrage of vacation photos from residents. Thus, Take Us Along was born. Nine years later, Take Us Along is going strong with thousands of photos sent and emailed.

Comments

2 people like this
Posted by Jon Burchett
a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2010 at 8:11 am


Congrats to Gina and team. Can't believe it has been 10 yrs.

Cheers my friends-

JB


Like this comment
Posted by Anne Anderson
a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 29, 2010 at 9:05 am

Thanks for bringing Pleasanton a weekly paper. Here's to many more years of the Pleasanton Weekly!!


Like this comment
Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Jan 29, 2010 at 9:44 am

@ GS - Wow, are you really this racist, homophobic, and misogynistic or is this just a desparate cry for attention?


Like this comment
Posted by Greg Thome
a resident of Del Prado
on Jan 29, 2010 at 9:45 am

Congratulations on the Anniversary! You have added Character to the Community as well as been a service to Characters of the Community.


Like this comment
Posted by Gary Alt
a resident of Del Prado
on Jan 29, 2010 at 9:53 am

Congratulations PW! It's my favorite paper to read and I look forward to Friday evenings reading about musings in P-Town. Thanks Jeb for bringing all of your expertise from the Trib to little Pleasanton!


Like this comment
Posted by Ngo Loon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2010 at 10:00 am

Congratulations on serving the people of Pleasanton for 10 years. May you continue to stay in business.

P.S. - On that staying in business part -- newspapers are going bankrupt at an accelerating pace, their left-wing biased coverage being a primary reason. You may want to move you coverage more toward the center. I realize Jeb is from Chicago, a left-wing-loon breeding ground, but you don't want the Pleasanton Weekly to go the same was as the Tribune (or for that matter all the left-wing fish wrappers in the Bay Area).


Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 29, 2010 at 10:04 am

My thanks to the staff for bringing us the Pleasanton Weekly!


Like this comment
Posted by Claudette McDermott
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Congrats! I appreciate having a Local Paper and while your focus changes now and then to surrounding cities, without you we would NOT have much of a voice at all. Missed all the celebrations last night even though I had you marked on my calendar.... Juggling too much these days :)

Happy you are still going strong! Keep up the good work and continue to grow with the needs of our Pleasant little city Pleasanton. ****Would love to see an Art & Education Center Fold Out like the Independent Paper has in Livermore**** When the FireHouse Art Center opens you may find it a big draw for your paper*****


Like this comment
Posted by Cheryl Boughey
a resident of another community
on Jan 29, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Although we do not live in Pleasanton any longer, we enjoy reading the Weekly online and keeping up with all of the things about Pleasanton that we loved so much for many years. Keep up the good work on this great publication!


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Posted by Amazed
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 29, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Gung Slinger - Gay's are ok but "they get a little pushy"? As a fellow woman, environmentalist, anti-war pacifest who voted for Obama, I am embarrassed that we are in the same "club". I'm all for people believing in what they want and speaking out for what they care about, but do us all a favor = stop reading and commenting on the Pleasanton Weekly. If you don't like it and what is represents...change the station!


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Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Jan 30, 2010 at 12:41 pm

The Palo Alto paper was not the first in the country to offer news online. Am I reading this wrong?


Like this comment
Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Jan 31, 2010 at 7:19 am

Ok, maybe it was :)


Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 31, 2010 at 9:36 am

I just posted this on one of the education topics. My reason for posting it here is, why aren't we seeing this kind of reporting from PW? It is great to have a weekly paper; I enjoy finding out about where we live. I'd also like to see some reporting about what we are facing in this community. Nice is, well, nice. But I will continue to read many other papers to get other important information.

Here are those examples: Are we paying the piper" Elected officials must educate themselves about pensions: Web Link Unfunded benefits throw cities and states into a massive $3 trillion hole: Web Link

These are just examples of issues Pleasanton also faces. I don't want this thread to tackle K-12 education one more time, but would be interested to know whether others would like the paper to stay as it is or for it to tackle more sensitive issues.


Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 31, 2010 at 10:04 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Kathleen,

Those types of articles are contrary to the "community journalism" style of the PW. Don't get me wrong, I like the PW, but with what's been going on in the world of the dailies, there's a growing niche market for that other kind of news. The Independent tends to fill a little bit.


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Posted by Tracy
a resident of Danville
on Jan 31, 2010 at 11:08 am

Hello Pleasanton Weekly readers - I was talking to my brother who lives in Pleasanton (Hi Bro!) and he was telling me about someone from Danville who has been commenting in your area named gunslinger. We know him very well (he used to be "Rick") on the danville weekly and many of us have learned to ignore his comments as not worthy of our attention - and they are frequently removed due to racist comments/profanity/threats he makes to others. Sorry you have to deal with him also. Be assured he does not represent the majority opinion or flavor of our community.

To: Curious - yes, I have come to believe that this is this person's true beliefs and personality. He fancies himself the leader of some sort of movement and often threatens actions which never occur. Try not to take him too seriously or devote too much time to him or he will keep bothering you. Wish we had been smart enough to figure that out early on.

Sorry to take you away from your thread!


Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 1, 2010 at 7:21 am

Kathleen is a registered user.

When a thread is shut down to comments from registered users only, it would be helpful if an editor would at least indicate why. Thanks! Kathleen Ruegsegger


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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Nominations due by Sept. 17

Pleasanton Weekly and DanvilleSanRamon.com are once again putting out a call for nominations and sponsorships for the annual Tri-Valley Heroes awards - our salute to the community members dedicated to bettering the Tri-Valley and the lives of its residents.

Nomination form