A fourth consecutive holiday season marked by gridlocked traffic near San Francisco Premium Outlets has arrived. While a tremendous fiscal success for the city of Livermore coffers, at this time of year the outlet mall is a traffic nightmare for the surrounding community.
Gridlock may have been a surprise in 2012, but since then, the mall has been allowed a major expansion without addressing their traffic-congestion problem.
On Black Friday, there was no difficulty leaving my residence, but returning to it involved an hour or longer delay. How can emergency vehicles be expected to serve the region? El Charro, Jack London, Stoneridge Drive and I-580 were all backed up a mile or more in all directions.
The failure of Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin to plan cooperatively for adequate traffic management at the intersection of I-580 and El Charro is a disgrace. Since all three cities are planning additional high-impact development in this area, it can be anticipated that the situation will only worsen.
For immediate relief, I suggest that Livermore police be assigned to divert vehicles unable to enter the mall parking lots. Cars can be sent east to Isabel, or west and north to I-580. Although some will circle around and return and some will give up, the present situation -- filling the nearby streets with stalled cars -- is a situation that should not be forced on the public.
-- Walter Morgan, Barbara Hempill
I would love to introduce the Pleasanton populace to Crawdad Republic. The local band, which first caught my attention at this summer's Pleasanton Concert in the Park series, has truly become a staple in our household. Their set at the June concert was simply incredible and after purchasing their CD our obsession began.
My family started listening to the CD on car rides to work and around town. Our then 1-1/2-year-old would kick his feet gleefully in time with the upbeat banjo-picking ditties while the calmer ballads effortlessly lulled him to sleep on road trips. Within weeks, we knew every word to every track on the album and my son would protest loudly from his car seat when a song would come to an end.
Now six months later, we are no less enamored by this immensely talented group of musicians. This past Saturday they performed at the Double Barrel Wine Bar in Livermore and absolutely brought the house down. They offered fans over three hours of spotless vocals, effortless harmonies, skilled instrumentals and comedic banter.
The band's eclectic musical styling appealed to the diverse audience, as their bluegrass roots mix with folk country, and the occasional 1990s R&B tribute. If their musical brilliance wasn't enough, their wit and humor will endear them to every audience.
In a day and age when most popular music is painfully unoriginal, over auto-tuned and deeply lacking in anything approaching soul, Crawdad Republic is in a class all their own.
-- Keli Martinez
This story contains 496 words.
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