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By Tim Hunt

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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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Uploaded: Mar 20, 2014
Were you surprised that the Dept. of the Interior and the National Park Service released a survey results that touted the economic benefits of the national parks in the Bay Area.
The biggest numbers came from visitors to the Golden Gate National Parks that include the Golden Gate Recreation Center, Fort Point National Historic Site and Muir Woods National Monument. The agencies reported that visitors spent $471 million in communities near the parks and that supported 5,300 jobs. The 17 million visitors were the most of any park in the system.
Somehow, I didn't read how the survey drilled down with more critical questions. I doubt—being charitable—that the Golden Gate parks were the destination of the vast majority of the visitors. It was the bridge that the parks are named for that is the tourist magnet.
If folks are in San Francisco, whether on vacation or business, a trip to the Golden Gate Bridge is on everyone's list if time permits (for the business folks).
The nearby national parks enhance that visit, but are not the reason to make the trip.
Point Reyes National Seashore, north of the Golden Gate parks, drew 2.7 million visits and generated $98 million in economic impact, according to the survey.
"National parks like Point Reyes are not only good for the soul, they are good for the economy," said the Point Reyes superintendent Cindy Muldoon.
The economic claim is stretching it a bit far—no debate about good for the soul and spirit.

Note to commenter: Swalwell equals Stark.
Yes, for the most part—positions on key issues are similar and anathema to the conservatives within the district. The political reality is that Alameda County, particularly along the Bay, is deep blue. The public support from the president, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Dianne Feinstein speaks to what his campaign team believes will help Swalwell in the elections this year.
Swalwell's biggest challenge will be the same one he mounted successfully against Stark—a fellow Democrat. He faces off against termed-out state Senator Ellen Corbett this year.

Signs that the federal government has gotten way too big—the announcement last month that Contra Costa County Fire has been awarded $9.6 million in a federal grant to hire more firefighters. The federal government has no business funding basic local services such as police and firefighters. They are a local responsibility and Job 1 for counties and municipal governments.
The county fire agency has been suffering, as has its cousin in Eastern Contra Costa because of the sharp decrease in property taxes that was brought on by the recession.
Retiring Rep. George Miller touted the grants—he has been good at bringing home the federal bacon—without asking the more basic question of whether it is an appropriate expenditure for the national government.

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Park Lover, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 20, 2014 at 11:12 am

As per usual, once one gets by Mr. Hunt's eye-straining punctuation and grammar problems, only blanket assertions are offered, no argument. Example, first sentence. 'a survey results' -- probably meant to be 'results of a survey'. When asking a question (first sentence again), probably best to conclude it with a question mark. A writer. Right.

Apparently, Mr. Hunt thinks the survey and its results are untrue. Because, hey, the Golden Gate Bridge, you know?

Although the fed government has been assisting cities for many, many decades now, Tim Hunt apparently has been unable to figure out why. This doesn't prevent him from saying it just, gosh darnit, shouldn't be so. One rationale for federal assistance to urban cities (there are several), is that cities and their essential services are relatively overburdened by free-riding rural dwellers and tourists whose numbers dictate a need for larger fire fighting and policing forces than are needed in rural, out of the way cities. (E.g., scraping Farmer John off pavement after he's in a bad traffic accident.) The Fed, in acknowledging such, helps out so as to spread the wealth -- relieving the need for cities to raise local taxes, and requiring some tax-dollar input from the otherwise free riders.

Of course Mr. Hunt, now complaining about federal assistance, would be the first to chafe were the fed's assistance to be withdrawn in favor of higher local taxes. Kudos, though. He was able to write 'fire fighters and police officers' in one entire sentence without complaining about their pensions. Perhaps it was a grammatical thing....

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Mar 23, 2014 at 11:22 am

It is FEMA that is providing the grant money for the County fire departments. It is money FEMA collected from their sky rocket flood insurance premiums.

Posted by Park Lover, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 24, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Dear Mr. Hunt,

Your above most recent post first appeared on exactly the same day Tom Cushing's post appeared. As of a few minutes ago, your post has garnered 833 "views," which raises the question as to why 6 people would want to view your blog 833 times. In contrast, Mr. Cushing's post has garnered 6,441 "views."

So, Mr. Cushing's blog has attracted nearly 8X as many "views" as has yours.

And what is to be gathered from this? Well, both blogs, yours and Cushing's, are pretty weak gruel. That also goes without saying. But one of you spends a lot of his free time clicking the view button more times than the other, though with a total of 6 readers that means that both of you have pretty active fingers. Such is the state of extreme insecurity these days. Are you both trying to impress a boss who cares far more about profit margins than the 'quality' of your posts? Just asking.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Yeah, Tim. C'mon -- try to keep up! I'm getting blisters on my little fingers, and I might even get one on my thumb. That ain't woikin'.

But then, who's counting (other than the shape-shifting Mr. Park Lover)?

Posted by Park Lover, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 25, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Courageously stated, Mr. Cushing.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 25, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Yeah, 'courage' -- that's the operative concept, here.

If I was Really Courageous, I'd post under an acronym, and change it in every thread. I would try to belittle the efforts of others without ever breaking my own sweat. And I'd cast a constant, envious eye on the views count, trying to discredit it -- lest somebody else receive the attention I crave.

Yup, that's Just what I'd do. Maybe someday I'll work-up the nerve.

Posted by Park Lover, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 25, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Right you are, Mr. Cushing, or should I call you the courageous Citizen Paine? Your feeble efforts to delegitimize my points of view because I\'m not narcissist enough to use my own name really speaks to what little you have of substance to direct my way. You not only use monikers other than your own; you use them on your own blog. Ah, yes, you the honest one. (And bravo the way you direct this criticism at no other anonymous posters on your blog. Gives you much credibility. Truly.)

Envy? Heck, I\'ll admit that after Cholo and myself, you probably have more to say than any of the other four or five posters and/or bloggers who frequent Town Forum. But, truly my dear, you are a rather sorry and distant third on this count, and your peevish little demonstrations amply indicate that you know as much.

In a churlish fit you elected to refuse to recognize my points of view on your own blog. Now, was it because, being upstaged virtually every week you feared that your "liberal" blog turn into an African American studies program, or was it your envy of another\'s power of rational thinking? More than a little of both, I\'d imagine.

Your transparent failure to convince others that you have something of substance to say, Citizen Paine, indicates your inability to engage a serious cohort of interlocutors. You\'ve threatened Cholo for his upstaging imaginativeness; like a petulant child you\'ve shut your blog off to my viewpoint. So, how\'s that goin\' for ya? Has it helped regarding the quality of response you\'ve garnered? Has it helped your \'view count\', Mr. Fingers?

I have a real identity. I maintain my own web site; and conjoined with colleagues I maintain another half-dozen. As an African American living in the area, I cannot afford to reveal my real name to the readers here. I value my own safety, of course, but I value my family\'s safety even more highly. Being the great white male liberal that you are [pause for laughter], I imagine you can\'t quite understand what I\'m saying. Your milquetoast ideas are not of the sort that would inspire violence upon yourself or your family. Mine are; and given my skin color, I must be cautious about how I identify myself. I forgive you your ignorance. Keep up the good work, Fingers. I\'ve heard from a sixteen year-old that Vaseline helps when they start to blister up.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 25, 2014 at 5:38 pm

You know that disbelieving look of withering incredulity that Donna Brazile gets when she says "Uhm-huhm"?

Well, this one's for you, Lover.

Posted by Park Lover, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 26, 2014 at 4:20 am

Sorry Cap'n Courageous, but I don't watch t.v. So, even if I knew what you are trying to say here, I expect I'd yawn no less than I do whenever I read anything you post. You're a very dull boy. Lastly, I imagine watching Donna Brazile on the boob tube is about the closest you've ever gotten to a black woman. Keep up the fine work, Cap'n, and keep those insecure fingers click-click-clicking away.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 26, 2014 at 7:23 am

A dull boy ... because you can measure a man's wisdom by the number of gratuitous insults he flings about, regarding things he cannot possibly know.

Posted by daveg, a resident of Birdland,
on Mar 26, 2014 at 11:34 pm

I was enjoying the give and take between Park Lover (really, how many alias does he use?!)and Tom, however once he starts with the insinuation that his skin color makes identifying himself the reason not to be forthright, he lost any validity. Then he references Ms. Cholo as a fellow contributor with something to say. Has anybody ever read or tried to make any sense of Cholo's ramblings? "Busted" indeed!
I do believe Park Lover has previously operated under "Mike Cherry", and "Mittens" to mentioned a few and each response has been merely to agitate, without offering anything of value to the conversation.

Posted by Park Lover, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 27, 2014 at 1:48 am

All Da Veg has offered up here is an admission of his own ignorance and intolerance. He indicts me for not adding anything of value to the conversation. But he offers nothing himself, other than revealing his own willful ignorance. Da Veg's refusal to legitimate the voice of others -- such as the stylistically flamboyant Cholo or a person like myself who has expressed the experience of (systematic) race-based intimidation and threat of violence in his or her life -- offers good evidence of the blind and utter stupidity that stubbornly refuses to give way to reason in our society.

Yes, Da Veg, I am afraid of you, for the kind of stupidity that you exude on a regular basis is a breeding ground for the kinds of unremitting violence still faced by people of color. But thanks, nevertheless, Da Veg, for revealing to us all through your denial of the legitimacy of Cholo's words and my own just how far we're going to need to travel as a society in order to arrive at a place where the voice of all people is listened to and engaged within an atmosphere of genuine tolerance.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 27, 2014 at 7:36 am

Hi daveg: Web Link (sfw)

Too many pieces of Lover's identity do not fit together. In my experience, for example, folks who are accomplished in a field do not go around venting hostility, picking fights and striving mightily to put others down.

So I conclude that he is either a figment -- an ongoing assignment in Miss Haversham's Creative Writing class, or he's a dog. With apologies to dogs.

Posted by Park Lover, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 27, 2014 at 8:32 am

Cushing bonding with one of P-Town's local racists. Now there's a surprise.

Posted by daveg, a resident of Birdland,
on Mar 27, 2014 at 11:15 am

It's always interesting to me that the first mention of race is by the person that tries to label others as racist when called out on his remarks. The surprise would be if Park Lover could actually post an entire commentary without trying to play the race card.
P.S. Loved the "stylistically flamboyant" comment about Ms.Cholo; now that takes some doing to use that terminology seriously when referring to Cholo!

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 27, 2014 at 11:40 am

Mature individuals also do not toss-around racism charges so liberally. Neither do dogs.

I'm going with Miss Haversham. Take note for next semester, class.

Posted by Park Lover, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 27, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Neither Cushing (Cap'n Courageous) nor Da Veg knows anything about race or racism. Call me a dog all you want, you mature ones. But this is a 'dog' Cushing can't seem to tolerate because in argument after argument this 'dog' not only has not only bested him, but also exposed him as a closeted conservative who's unable to handle any kind of argument coming from outside pop politics. His response? No arguments, just name calling. Is he a racist? Of course he is. Look, for example, at his lapdog defense of lily white newspapers on other threads.

A question arises: Why would someone as accomplished as myself stoop to engage such racists as Cushing (poorly veiled) or Da Veg (flamboyantly unabashed)? Simple answer: Amusement. Some people relax doing crossword puzzles, others like myself relax by pointing out (continued) instances of racism, covert (Cushing) and overt (Da Veg). It needs to be done; and I get my relaxation in at the same time.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 27, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Dear Ms. Haversham: in your students' creative and fantastical world, things are as you and they deem them to be. Out here in realityville, however, it's very different -- the real world requires that folks be credible, at least a little bit.

Kindly acquaint your kids with the difference between status offenses and offensive actions. Any minority student is likely to especially appreciate the difference, because they've probably been differentially subjected to the former -- most will have learned, and choose to avoid inflicting such nonsense on others.

Please also let them know that I did not intend to call anyone a dog -- indeed, I made it clear that dogs don\'t do the things they have been doing. That's part of dogs' appeal (their reading comp needs work -- the students, I mean). What I did call them was impostors, because their profile, amassed over many postings, simply does not hold together.

Good luck next semester with these shallow recreations. One more thing: you don\'t just call somebody a racist. Them's fightin' words, sometimes shamefully cheaply expressed hereabouts in the safe haven of internet anonymity. I'd take deep offense if anyone ever tried that crap with me. I'm not alone.

Posted by Park Lover, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 28, 2014 at 1:58 am

Yes, indeed, let us not call racists the racists they are, or point to racism when it exists. Because, my children, to be called a racist is, well, them's fightin' words as stated so boldly by our Cap'n Courageous. No, it is better to proclaim that we live in a colorblind society where racism and racists cannot be found -- at least not in and around Pleasanton -- and that oneself is blindest of us all. Barack Obama is President, haven't you heard? And if 98% of America's newspapers have no African-American reporters or editors on their staff, well, they're too expensive to hire, we are told, and, too, opening a newspaper up to a 'black' point of view, Courageous tells us, is tantamount to converting a good, non-prejudiced, lily-white newspaper into an African-American studies program. So, hush my children. There's Donna Brazile, Bill Cosby, Clarence Thomas, P-Town, and the PW with its Courageous male, white liberal blogger fighting to preserve our denial, now manifested by Courageous's refusal to acknowledge that an African-American women is better educated, more thoughtful, and more accomplished than someone like himself.

Posted by Ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 31, 2014 at 7:59 am

Mr. Cushing is, "worlds apart" from being able to succinctly put two sentences together that make sense AND, are meaningful Park Lover (I'm guessing you have already deduced this from your comments)

I'll take Tim Hunt's commentaries on local happenings ANY day of the week and his "take" on issues involving the state. He's direct and to the point without having to "pound his chest" about it (not the type like TC who likes to hear himself talk)

BTW Park Lover, blogging here? ISN'T really about being in grade school again...I mean seriously, grammar and punctuation matters? Is that really all you have to stew about at this juncture?

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Mar 31, 2014 at 11:58 am

Why, it's a meeting of the East Bay's Most Exclusive Club! All/both members of the Banned From Raucous Caucus Society recent and accounted-for.

Have fun, kids -- and do let the Minutes reflect that the Ukraine blog has passed 22,000 views. EVery one of those readers hated it.

Posted by Ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 1, 2014 at 8:11 am

I'm sorry Tom, that a purportedly mature guy like you who considers himself a so-called "journalist" mocks the many who take issue with the manner in which you put forth your ideas in YOUR OWN column (remember dear, this is Tim's blog, not yours) Only a coward (and that would be you) tries to curry favor by making "one liners" their mantra because, well, they overshoot their target 9 out of 10 times in garnering the interest of the community here in what they have to say of real worth. So, let me just walk away for now because it's pretty clear? You're ONE of "THOSE" when it comes to the subject at hand. Pity. You could take a few tips from Mr. Hunt's forthright and succinct ideas and writing. He tries to impress NO ONE. I suspect you're far too full of yourself to do so. Trust me, there is no such thing as "banning" anyone from freedom of speech, even you should know this much. You remain, a wayward man out of step with reality and further? Out of step with our community - PERIOD.

Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Apr 1, 2014 at 10:30 am

You know what, Bunns? It's your day, today. I'll just let your post reek for itself.

Posted by Ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 2, 2014 at 8:48 am

Thank you Tom.
You just proved my point.

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