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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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Demographics present challenges for Livermore

Uploaded: Sep 23, 2014

Thinking back to the Tri-Valley Mayor's Summit last Wednesday that I moderated, someone in the audience posed a question about poverty in the Tri-Valley and what can be done about it.
The cities, as the mayors answered, are dramatically different. In the San Ramon Valley Danville, with its older neighborhoods, is ethnically much different than San Ramon. Danville, according to the 2010 census is 83 percent white and 11 percent Asian. San Ramon is 54 percent white and 36 percent Asian with most of the Asians clustered in the new homes in the Dougherty Valley.
Danville's household income is $129,000, while San Ramon's was $120,000, up from $96k in 2000.
Poverty is nearly non-existent in terms of students qualifying for free or reduced price lunches. The face of poverty often is a mother going through a divorce or divorced with a dramatically reduced income. The challenge in the San Ramon Valley—one that the Livermore Valley has faced and improved over the years—is the paucity of county services. Residents need to go to Walnut Creek or Martinez to access services—a huge hurdle.
For the Livermore Valley cities, it is different.
Dublin, with its aggressive expansion in East Dublin, continues to grow and evolve. I observed last week that a major Chinese development firm is building a condo project there because of the quality of the schools and the abundance of high-tech jobs. Dublin's Asian population, largely clustered in the new eastside, has grown to 27 percent while household income from 2000-2010 has soared to $129k from $83k and poverty is listed at just 3.6 percent.
The story in Pleasanton is similar. The Asian population doubled to 23 percent in 10 years, while there is a 10 percent Hispanic population. The household income rose from $91k to $115k, a nice gain, but way less that Dublin's in terms of percentage.
Livermore remains the community with the greatest economic disparity as well as ethnic diversity. It's 21 percent Hispanic and 8 percent Asian. Household income grew from $75k to $94k in 10 years, but the percentage of students receiving free and reduced price lunches in some schools (high-performing Marilyn Avenue and a couple of others) remains over 70 percent.
That's the challenge that Mayor John Marchand and the city team face—Livermore has gotten both richer and poorer. Historically since the arrival of the national labs in the 1950s, it's been a broad slice of the middle class. When the City Council decided to ban camping under bridges and step up enforcement, to his credit, the mayor convened a summit on poverty. Just what the results of that effort are remains to be seen, but it was the right move.
My experience at Marylin Avenue with Project Roadrunner, coupled with exceptional efforts by the teaching team, the other staff and three principals, has shown just what can be done to transform an under-performing school to a showcase where students perform much better than their demographic peers elsewhere. Since 2000, the Marylin has seen significant increase in English learning population and the free and reduced price lunch population, but test scores have climbed steadily as the team has cared for the whole student and reached out to the family.
The challenges for dealing with families in poverty vary greatly by community, but can be dealt with by visionary and persistent leadership that doesn't forget them.

P.S. Mike Kufahl, the principal at Hearst Elementary in Pleasanton, spoke to a church men's group that I attend last week. Among the poignant stories he told was about a student who came to enroll while he was living in his mother's car. He attended for two days, was sent away for the weekend with sandwiches provided by Open Heart Kitchen and hoped to return on Monday—mom wasn't sure he would be back because they may have been in a shelter. The Hearst team had reached out and engaged him, but, as Marchand observed Livermore is the only city in the Tri-Valley with shelters for families or women with kids.

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Sep 23, 2014 at 10:11 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

RE/ Mr. Kufahl - Probably the best principal in the Pleasanton school district.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Sep 24, 2014 at 11:04 am

I'm grateful for whatever assistance that's provided to undocumented residents.

Over the years, I've maintained contact with various individuals/families who have arrived in the Bay Area undocumented, with minimal means for survival. Many from Latin America immediately find their way to churches for survival assistance - food, clothing, shelter, emergency medical care, referral to day jobs, and lists of where to receive additional survival services.

The families are always fearful that they will be arrested and possibly deported/separated from their children. There are many individuals that offer help and it's necessary to inform them that not all help that's offered is acceptable. For example, it's not uncommon for sexual predators to become involved in providing assistance in exchange for contact with children. Offers of employment for teen girls/boys pose various risks so parents need to be educated re: what to do if their children are sold into sexual slavery/prostitution or asked to push illegal drugs. Undocumented immigrants have rights as human beings and must learn to trust that American laws can be on their side. Most if not all are fearful of turning to the police when necessary. It can be basic to their survival. I've volunteered for 10 years for an organization, 3 hrs. daily 5 days a week tracking sexual predators. I find their photos and send them in for posting online. Many are unsuspected male/female clergy. Clergy must never be perceived as citizens above suspicion.

Most children/adults are eager to be successful in the USA! Thank You for helping the arrivals thrive in their adopted home.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Sep 24, 2014 at 11:33 am

Many trafficked children in USA are from Latin America: Web Link


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Sep 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm



Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 26, 2014 at 2:47 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Thanks Cholo, for posting that. There are always predators around to take advantage of those who cannot protect themselves.

The Tri-Valley is like a haven for residents. I moved here in 1997 to take a job as a Technical Writer for a software company in Bishop Ranch. My house was only $228K in 1998. It's worth at least twice that now. I couldn't afford to live here if I tried to move today.

There are a lot of seniors with paid off houses or on reverse mortgages like me, who would be considered poor here but not in other parts of the country where the median income and cost of living is much lower. I can't believe anyone would pay a million dollars for a house in Dougherty Valley. Crazy!


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Sep 27, 2014 at 11:27 am


If you click on this: Web Link

. Click on the multi-colored map
. Click on any state
. Click on a diocese
. photos of perps pop up

My goal is to protect children and vulnerable adults from predatory clergy of all faiths. It's just another way of saying YES to the world.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Sep 27, 2014 at 11:29 am

Correction: on a state...forget the multi-colored map and images of many but not all of the perps pop job is to track down their photos...all best,


Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Sep 27, 2014 at 5:50 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Thanks for the information, Cholo. It's sad that pedophiles work in careers where they can develop trust among young children to take advantage of them. Maybe these things were hidden when I was growing up but I don't recall ever hearing about this or knew anyone who experienced it in the 1950's and '60's.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Sep 27, 2014 at 7:08 pm


There's an international push to locate and hold accountable clergy child sex abuse predators by the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). SNAP is located in St. Louis, Missouri.

Ordained clergy: Christian/Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, other faiths - SNAP, of which I am a member, has addressed the United Nations, and presented it's case to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. All the legal papers can be viewed on the SNAP web page. SNAP is a life saving organization and it's dedicated to protecting children and vulnerable adults from male and female clergy sex predators of all faiths.

Gracias for appreciating our work. Support groups for all survivors/family are free.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Sep 27, 2014 at 7:11 pm

SNAP: Web Link

If you scroll down to the blue box, you can read the report submitted to the International Criminal Court in den Hague.

There are quite likely several hundred thousands of clergy sex predators throughout the world.

Posted by ALWAYSRIGHT, a resident of Bordeaux Estates,
on Sep 27, 2014 at 11:49 pm

Okay.... Really Tim Hunt? This blog was written with a slightly racist tone. I love the diversity of the tri-valley. You seem not to like it so much....

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Sep 28, 2014 at 4:51 pm

It seems like the above poster is waaaaaaaaay angry...just sayin'

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Sep 29, 2014 at 10:42 am

Tim FYI...I don't how to forward this to you other than to post it: Web Link

OAKLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT re: Fr. Padraig Greene. He was arrested for soliciting a police officer in a public park restroom. The restroom is located in the park where classes are held for children.

Fr. Padraig Greene was the pastor at 2 Catholic churches in Pleasanton, Ca. I do not know of his whereabouts presently.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Oct 1, 2014 at 9:33 am


Web Link

Protect American children.

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