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The Observer

By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Uploaded: Apr 28, 2009
I moved to San Ramon to work for a company called Relevant Business Systems. I like things that are relevant and I like being relevant, which is better than being irrelevant. Relevant Business Systems was bought by another company two years ago (the name isn't relevant), and last year was discontinued as a separate business entity.

Right now I'm not feeling very relevant. I drag myself to City Council meetings. I don't wear my hearing aid so I don't know what's going on. I plan to get a new hearing in February, but I've discovered that hearing aids are like exercise equipment, they only work if you use them.

I've lost interest in what Dave Hudson has to say. He says wants me to speak in Public Comment again. I don't have anything to say, and when I did it was mostly ignored. The Council did listen, to my surprise, when I asked them to buy Mudd's Restaurant, but I didn't go to the Redevelopment Agency Meetings when they made the decision. I'm just losing it.

I missed a couple of important stories that were scooped in other local papers. The plan to put Tassajara Valley into San Ramon's sphere of influence was scooped in the Danville Weekly, and three weeks ago the nunc pro tunc extension of Sunset's City Center development agreements in the Consent Calendar were covered by of all things the San Ramon Tribune. I've noticed that the quality of writing in the "Tribune," has improved, but of course they still won't identify who the authors are.

Someone named Jim Brennan signed a letter objecting to putting the development agreement amendments into the Consent Calendar of the January 13, 2009 meeting. The Mayor brushed the letter off and the Council voted to approve the two items in the Consent Calendar. A speaker at the January 27, 2009 Council Meeting asked the Council to bring the items back for public discussion at the Planning Commission and City Council meetings. Since he was talking about the letter signed by Jim Brennan, and I wasn't wearing my hearing aid, I thought he was Jim Brennan.

The letter looked like it was written by a lawyer, and I found a lawyer named Jim Brennan in a San Francisco law office on That Brennan isn't on that law office's website anymore, so I figured he was working somewhere else in the area. After watching the replay of the meeting on Channel 29, I realized that the speaker at the meeting wasn't Jim Brennan but Art Coon, a lawyer for Miller Starr and Regalia in Walnut Creek.

After I read Lisa Vorderbrueggen's (geez her name is harder to spell than Blagorjevich!), column on Mall Wars, I found a Jim Brennan who is an executive in charge of new development for a major developer of shopping centers that just happens to be building a new Mall in Stockton, where the lawyer Steve Harum is from. I sent my discovery to Lisa, who did some checking and found no connection, so another lead gone bad.

I've been writing the Observer for seven years as of January 18, 2009. I still believe there is a need for dedicated web news on San Ramon, and the San Ramon Tribune (aka, San Ramon News and San Ramon Speaks Out) is politically motivated and can't be trusted to be objective. OK maybe I am too, but at least I say who I am and what my political motivations are on my Commentary page. I try to be objective in the news stories on the front page.

Last July ABC7 News held a meeting in San Ramon to find local stories to put on their nightly news casts. I touted myself and the Observer, but they weren't interested at the time. Now I've been approached by a producer who wants to do a story on me and the Observer, and I'm not interested anymore.

I met with the CEO of Embarcadero Publishing and Publisher of the Danville Weekly about taking over the Observer website. They are interested in building it into an interactive website updated daily like the and its sister sites, and The Tribune-News-Talks blog has never attracted much feedback, so I don't know how interactive another San Ramon blog would be, but I'm hoping the East Bay Division of Embarcadero Publishing takes over the Observer while it is still relevant.

What is it worth to you?


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