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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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BART employees at "work"

Uploaded: Sep 6, 2012
While riding BART into the city to check out a unique beer bar and store south of Market in San Francisco, we witnessed government in action.
We were asked to vacate the second car of the train—no explanation given. One station later, a BART mechanic boarded the train and walks into the second car to check out the problem. The floor was wet—presumably something was going on with a leaking air conditioning unit.
Pulling his trusty duct tape, he blocked off two rows of seats and then departed at the station, leaving the water on the floor.
Once we hit San Francisco, the train is held up at Embarcadero so the clean-up person could come on board—mop In hand—to clean up the water. That person departs one station later, removing the duct tape and all is good on car No. 2. Why the duct tape whiz could not have brought a couple of towels aboard and mopped up remains a mystery although, perhaps, it has to do with BART union work rules.
After our sojourn with the City Beer Store —some unique offerings including a pink beer made with honey in the style of mead, a chardonnay barrel-infused sour beer and a couple of splendid Belgian offerings—we walked a few blocks back to the BART Civic Center station.
Walking down the stairs at Market and Eighth streets, I was struck just how filthy and shabby the stairs into the station were. Just awful—nothing like I've seen at the valley stations or Davis Street in San Leandro. Whatever manager owns maintenance at that station needs to be given a few weeks to shape it up or find another gig.
SWITCHING TO MORE PLEASANT TOPICS: When it opens just in time for holiday shopping this November, the Paragon Factory Outlets in Livermore will transform the Livermore Valley's retail scene.
For years, Stoneridge mall has defined shopping for a decent chunk of the East Bay south of Walnut Creek with its selection of major department stores.
The outlets, which will be the most upscale in Northern California, change the dynamic. The 543,000-square-foot center will house 120 outlets and is fully leased. Developers already are considering adding additional buildings.
The lineup includes retailers such as Prada, Armani, Coach, Bloomingdales, Barneys of New York, Banana Republic, Cole Haan, J. Crew, Michael Kors, and Tommy Hilfiger, to name just a few. It will be the only East Bay location for Bloomingdales and Barneys, which also had an outlet store in Napa as well as two in Southern California. Bloomingdale's has department store locations in Stanford and downtown San Francisco, but Livermore will be its first outlet location in California.
When the center is fully operational, Livermore officials estimate it will generate $2 million in sales tax revenue for the city as well as crate the valley's first destination retail center. Whether that destination will encourage greater tourism of the wine country to the east is a question that time will answer.

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Casanova_Frankenstein, a resident of Old Towne,
on Sep 10, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Casanova_Frankenstein is a registered user.

Namaste, comrades! It is I, Casanova Frankenstein!

If you have not already heard, Tim Hunt recently descended from Castlewood to walk among the mortals, and do you know what? Tim Hunt was not pleased.

Beware, you blue-collar plebes! This will not be tolerated! You are lucky that your Tim Hunt is a merciful Tim Hunt, else you would have been smitten with his wrath for mopping--and not toweling--the liquid off of the floor. Hast thou no shame? And you, duct-tape guy, is it too much to ask that you also carry around a mop with you, although you're probably maintenance staff? I mean, surely you realize that you people all look the same to Tim Hunt. Act accordingly!

Now, Tim Hunt is far too classy to actually tell you how you are supposed to behave in His presence. Yea, verily, his nobility is great! So allow me to be his prophet, and I will speak unto you of the proper rituals:

1. If there is a small technical issue, such as condensation on an air conditioning unit, Tim Hunt must be notified. Is he expected to simply move out of the car? Who, exactly, do you think you report to?

2. Be whatever Tim Hunt expects you to be, at all times. Electrician? Doesn't matter--clean up the water that doth offend the eye of Tim Hunt. At the very least, lay your cloak over the wet spot so that His shoes may go unmoistened.

3. Do not turn your back when exiting His presence. A bow or lowly curtsy should be maintained as one backs away from His Grace. Toadying is encouraged, but not required. Always keep your eyes lowered or respectfully averted, however.

It is an awesome responsibility being Tim Hunt, knowing that he can do anyone's job much better than they can, if he really wanted to. Remember what the poet said:

Take up the Tim Hunt's burden--
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper--
The tale of union things.
The BARTs ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go mark them with your living,
And mark them with your dead.

In summary, take notice, union thugs! There is no excuse for this shoddiness, especially in this age of severe budget cuts. You have been warned!

Posted by Daniel Bradford, a resident of Foothill High School,
on Sep 11, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Daniel Bradford is a registered user.

I was wondering why Tim Hunt wasn't "working" during the day? Taking off during a workday to go drinking in The City? Nice work if you can get it!

The BART employees certainly were. Although Mr. Hunt didn't like the way they did their job, they did (a) prevent people from slipping in the water and (b) cleaned up the water as quickly as possible.

But yes, all of "those people" should carry a mop, I guess. I don't see pilots can't put their 767s on autopilot and come back into the cabin and serve drinks and snacks--I mean, they're already there.

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