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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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Las Positas president moving on

Uploaded: May 7, 2013
Las Positas College President Kevin G. Walthers' search for a new job has been successful.
He started looking late last year and landed a position this month. He will start on July 1 at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria in the central coast region of California. Allan Hancock serves about 11,500 students and has an amazingly large service area of 3,000 square miles. By contrast, the population is just 300,000 people.
Walters departure after two years is the second short-term presidency at Las Positas since Karen Halliday retired after seven years as president. The talented DeRionne Pollard led the college for two years before moving to a larger district on the East Coast. Sandwiched between the two presidents was Bob Kratochvil who served as the interim president for a year and now is president at Los Medanos College in Antioch.
Naming a new president of Las Positas likely will be among the first tasks for the new district chancellor once the trustees finish the recruitment process for that slot. Judy Walters has been interim chancellor since Joel Kinammon left for the College of the Desert last July. Presumably, Walters will appoint an interim president at Las Positas and leave the longer term appointment to the new chancellor.
Given the history of churning presidents at both Las Positas and Chabot College in Hayward, finding and keeping the right person will be the top challenge for the new chancellor.
State population estimates released this month reflect what a drive around the valley readily reveals.
In residential construction, Dublin leads the way. The city grew almost7 percent to a population of 49,890 following the plan that it established more than 15 years ago. The city revenues suffered when new construction hit the wall in 2008 to 2010, but now with demand soaring and a very, very low inventories of resale homes, the new home developers are sitting pretty.
With a variety of builders offering projects in East Dublin, it's back to the days of lotteries for new homes and multiple over-asking bids for the few resale homes on the market.
Builders in Dublin also have been constructing higher density projects near the BART station, something that Pleasanton likely will see this year with three apartment projects already approved in Hacienda Business Park.
Pleasanton grew 1 percent in the last year, slightly less than Livermore which added 1.3 percent to reach 83,325 in population. Looking north, Danville barely grew, while San Ramon added almost 2 percent and now has an estimated population of 76,154. That is being driven by new homes in the Dougherty Valley.
California, as whole, now has nearly 38 million people.
Record interest rates, kept artificially low by Federal Reserve policies, are benefitting homeowners, but are brutal on people trying to live on fixed incomes with conservative investments.
Bond market yields are so low that Apple Inc. jumped in with a $17 billion offering that got scooped up. The deal drew $52 billion in offers, but check out the yields: 10-year 2.415 percent; 3-year 0.511 percent; 5-year 1.076 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal. A five-year note for less than 1.1 percent return speaks to the cheap money that the Fed keeps printing.
There also is a tax implication—Apple executives have said they will return $100 billion to shareholders by the end of 2015 and much of that money is held off-shore and thus would be taxable at up to 35 percent if brought back to the United States. By issuing debt, the company avoids that tax hit.
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