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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: Jun 28, 2014

In my last blog on the Gripe Fest over the cemetery in Tassajara Valley, Ken Feinstein, a resident of Dougherty Valley who opposes the cemetery, questioned my journalism. "If you want to do journalism, interview the community here and find out what is going on. That should be your first step before wild speculation and accusations."

In the first place, I do not do journalism, which Dictionary.com defines as "the occupation of reporting, writing, editing, photographing, or broadcasting news." I don't do news. I write a blog, which isn't journalism.

I tried to explain this in a blog I wrote on the No on Measure W campaign. At that time I was writing both news articles and my blog, but I asked the Editor if I could just write the blog. So that's what I am now ? a blogger.

Dictionary.com defines a blog as "a website containing a writer's or group of writers' own experiences, observations, opinions, etc." So I write my opinions and observations, which is why I use the by-line San Ramon Observer. I try to base my opinions on facts, but they are still my observations and impressions of what I observe.

The day after Tuesday night's Workshop I called Mayor Clarkson to ask what that was all about. Why wasn't anyone answering the speakers comments and complaints? Clarkson said the speakers were giving their opinions and everyone is entitled to his or her opinions. The saying is, "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." Many of the opinions being expressed were not based on facts and no one was providing them with facts.

I did not expect such a big crowd at this Informational Presentation. I thought a handful of people who had some knowledge of or stake in the development of the cemetery would show up. I expected to see Bill and Harriett Newman and a few other people from Tassajara Valley. I did not expect most of Dougherty Valley's Chinese population to show up.

One of the speakers waved his hand to ask a question and shouted out "Why was this location picked for this cemetery? Does anyone know?" I knew, and I thought someone should answer him. I asked Mayor Clarkson if I could answer the young man's question. The Mayor directed me to go up to the podium with the microphone, so I could be heard throughout the crowded room and on the loudspeakers outside.

I explained how Curt Kinney was asked to find a location for a Tri-Valley cemetery. I wasn't a close friend of Curt and Jeanne Kinney, but I knew them for many years and I was still sad about his recent passing. I attended Kinney's funeral two weeks earlier.

Curt was proud of his accomplishment in locating this property for a cemetery. San Ramon, Danville, Dublin, and Pleasanton all passed resolutions supporting the building of a cemetery in Tassajara Valley. I wanted to add more to the history of the cemetery but I was cut short.

After the meeting a couple of residents from Dougherty Valley came over to speak to me. Angappa Muray (I hope I got his name right) and his wife are of Indian ethnicity. He told me he reads my blog regularly, which I love to hear. They did not speak at the meeting.

Many people of Indian descent live in Dougherty Valley and not one of them spoke at the meeting to oppose or support the cemetery. Angappa said that they are Hindus and use ashes. He said the Chinese have a cultural thing against living near a cemetery.

That's sinking in now. I am meeting with Crystal Lu next week. She was one of the speakers against the cemetery. She wants to tell me her side of the story, and I want to tell her mine. I have a side to this story too, which colors my observations in my blog. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinions, and as a blogger, I write about mine.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Jun 28, 2014 at 9:52 am


I lived and worked in Asia for fifteen years. The Mandarin Chinese speaking people also do not like the number four (4) because when spoken it is Xi, the tone is very similar to the word death as spoken with Mandarin.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jun 28, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Chinese attitudes changing:

Web Link

Posted by Ken Feinstein, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jun 30, 2014 at 8:08 am

"I did not expect most of Dougherty Valley's Chinese population to show up."

Most of the people of Chinese heritage living in Dougherty Valley don't even know about the proposed cemetery yet. The crowd you saw was just a tiny fraction of the population. It's the middle of summer vacation and the Chinese community only had 10 days to organize. The movement against the cemetery is just beginning to take shape.

Just because the Chinese community was able to organize itself quickly to respond doesn't mean the other communities here aren't also ready to fight this cemetery.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jun 30, 2014 at 9:17 am

Are you also against a Crematorium. After all, people do want to be buried or cremated. What so bad about that?

I prefer that my ashes sail the high sea!



Posted by Ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jun 30, 2014 at 2:15 pm

You owe no one an explanation of your work Roz. You remain objective and to the point and as far as I can tell, always have. Please don't let such people as Mr. Feinstein make you question yourself in this regard. I appreciate the fine job you do in reporting facts and the self-corrections you are also known to make (-unlike another guy who blogs for the Express who merely likes to hear himself. I know you know who I mean!)

I continue to find you fair minded and reasonable. You're not out to impress anyone, just report on basic community events and issues and you do so splendidly.

Keep up the good work...

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jun 30, 2014 at 3:01 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Thanks, Ms. Bunny,

I know we have not always agreed online but I appreciate your support here.


Posted by Resident, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jul 3, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Ms. B's characterization of Roz is way off base. Anyone that has seen some of her past blogs can clearly see that Roz is not objective & frequently dismisses people that stand up to protect their own neighborhoods as being nothing more than nimbys. Don't continue wasting other people's valuable time Roz.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jul 3, 2014 at 3:21 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.


I don't waste your time. You waste your time by reading and replying to something you consider a waste of time. Don't read it, don't answer it. See how much time you will save.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jul 3, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Hey "Resident" YOUSE JUST GOT B U S T E D! tee hee...HOORAY!

Posted by Win resident, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jul 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm

That is what people like roz want living folks in the neighborhood to do - play dead so that roz and Sid C and company can go ahead and do what they want

Posted by Ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jul 8, 2014 at 3:58 pm

I'm so hopeful when I pass Win resident, that I can "rest" next to your home in Dougherty (rotfl)

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