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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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Booming job growth means congestion on roadways

Uploaded: Nov 1, 2018
Reading the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s annual report on the most congested roads, a couple of things struck me.
Knowing first-hand how awful it can be to get over the Sunol Grade any afternoon (including weekends), it’s remarkable that it’s only the fourth worst congestion in the Bay Area. I’ve crawled over the grade around mid-day on Saturdays. Getting out of San Francisco on the Bay Bridge officially is the worst commute.
The next two bad roads were I-80 westbound from Hercules to the toll plaza (all day) and afternoon southbound on Highway 101 from Sunnyvale to San Jose.
Interestingly, the I-80 all-day congestion was the only morning commute listed in the top 10 worst. No wonder people arrive home frazzled in the evening.
Notably, I-580 stayed out of the 10 worst and its most congested stretch now is from Castro Valley to Dublin/Pleasanton in the afternoons. The other nasty spot to avoid in the afternoon is northbound I-680 from Danville to Pleasant Hill.
Or, as one retired friend puts it, plan to be home and off the freeways by 3 p.m. (that’s too late if you’re coming out of the South Bay).

Backers of Assemblyman Tony Thurmond for state schools chief often cite his opponent, Marshall Tuck’s experience with charter schools as a negative. That’s no surprise because the California Teachers Association, the state teachers’ union, despises charter schools because they bring competition and remove tax revenue from public schools.
The reality that public schools are failing poor students and students of-color gets completely ignored in the conversation.
Charter schools can be abused and mis-managed—see the bankrupt Livermore Valley Charter School for one example. That said, well managed charter schools, free of the onerous regulations from the state education code and the Legislature, have been pathways to better educations ffor many under-served students.
One commercial slams Tuck for his support of charter schools and ties him to President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy Devos, labelling her as a billionaire supporter of charter schools. Devos is married to Dick Devos, former president of Amway and the son of co-founder Rich Devos. With their wealth—the corporation is private and family-owned—she could easily be living a country club life of leisure after raising their four children.
Instead, she’s been an advocate for education reform and engaged publicly in her home state of Michigan. So, she’s drawn the ire of the education establishment by striving to give students and parents a choice in where they go to school.

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