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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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Many more questions than answers for 2021

Uploaded: Dec 31, 2020
As the New Year dawns at midnight, I’m hard pressed to find a time with so many more questions than answers.

Yes, there’s great news about vaccines against the COVID-19 virus and healthcare workers already are being immunized. That’s an amazing tribute to the scientists and other researchers in Big Pharma and some of their partners that delivered a safe vaccine years earlier than skeptics predicted. Go back and look at some internet news clips when Operation Warp Speed was announced—the president and his administration deserve lots of credit as well.

Yet, what will it mean? The esteemed Dr. Anthony Fauci, in an interview conveniently released Christmas Eve by the New York Times after people had quit paying attention on a three-day weekend, admitted that he’s been moving the goal posts on what would be needed to achieve herd immunity and squelch the virus. Originally, he was saying 60%, then it was 70% and finally he said it was between 70% and 90%.

What’s the real number Dr. Fauci? He demonstrated a lack of faith in the American people and their ability to understand the situation and take the appropriate steps. Sadly, that’s true of too many elected officials and health officials.

Big questions remain as more and more people are immunized. When will people be comfortable flying on airplanes, particularly on the long-haul international flights that have been the bread-and-butter for the airlines? Has business travel—a lucrative revenue source for airlines—shifted forever?

Will employers continue to allow their employees to work remotely—whether full-time or part-time? What will that mean for the class A office space in San Francisco and other job hubs? The San Francisco Business Times reported Monday that leasing activity in San Francisco is down 75% year-over-year, hitting a low last seen 20 years ago.

Here in the Tri-Valley, an area known for its quality of life and as an ideal place to raise a family, the business future also has plenty of questions. The Livermore Valley will benefit from its strong cluster of life science and advanced manufacturing companies. The life science firms require lab space so remote work for the entire employee pool doesn’t play—the same for manufacturing facilities such as Topcon, Gillig and Lam Research.

What the lessons learned this year will mean for the valley’s strong software companies and demand for office space is a big question. Workday gave an early hint this year after the pandemic hit when it walked away from a deal to take the 14-acre retail site next to Stoneridge Shopping Center. 10X Genomics, with its headquarters a block away, scooped it up and has submitted plans to the city.

The other big question facing Pleasanton is what the new majority on the City Council will do about housing. The prior City Council established the two-year work plan that included as a high priority resuming planning on the eastside. It was suspended during the drought. Ponderosa Homes has optioned one key parcel land worked out a contract with the other big landowner to master plan the area. The concept for the 1,100 acres includes a school site, an extension of the popular Ironwood active adult community and more than 500 affordable housing units. City staff leadership held the agreement with Ponderosa through the election season and now it’s a question of what Mayor Karla Brown and Councilwomen Julie Testa and Valerie Arkin will do about it.

They will face significant pressure from the state. The governor promised, pre-pandemic, aggressive action to address the state’s chronic housing shortage. That got derailed, but, as the pandemic eases, it will be back on the front burner in Sacramento.

Testa is a founder of California Alliance of Electeds as well as active in Liveable California, both groups that are committed to local control. In this case, you can translate local control to strict limits on housing.

That will run afoul of the upcoming new regional housing goal numbers that are due this year. Pleasanton’s goal is expected to be in the 4,000-unit range, significantly more than the current cycle. With its strong job base and two BART stations, Pleasanton is exactly the type of community where regional planners expect more high-density housing to be built close to public transit. The city, with the ACE train and its downtown station is correctly concerned about high-density in a single-family neighborhood.

2021 brings lots of questions with a fuzzy crystal ball when it comes to answers.

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Lahommed, a resident of Dublin,
on Dec 31, 2020 at 9:35 am

Lahommed is a registered user.

The Valley is in trouble! If we have reps like Swalwell, Pelosi and Newsom in our domain we are in deep trouble. We have little representation addressing the needs of issues that have now shifted due to the Chinese Covid. Wanna help the Valley lets start here: BART eliminate 14 seats from the board of directors,you only need 5 not 19. Eliminate toll lanes on 580 / 680 these are tax payer roads and serve no purpose as tolls only to enrich those in Sacramento. Allow local small businesses to NOT pay and fed and state taxes for a YEAR. The Gov must consider small business loans at no interest to businesses that are struggling. How can we pay for all this? Well how do we continue to give billions of tax dollars in foreign aid as our national debt rises? Time to put Americans first help the small businesses now and time to make all reps accountable. Swalwell is no friend to the small business community in the valley neither is Newsom , pelosi. We all know what needs to be done however if as in the 15th district they keep voting in the inept swalwell...well then you get what you voted for!

Posted by Michael Austin , a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Dec 31, 2020 at 11:36 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

For as long as California voters continue to elect democratic leadership, it will continue to be garbage in, garbage out.

Posted by Kevin, a resident of Castlewood,
on Dec 31, 2020 at 12:05 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

Tim do you actually believe that Dr. Fauci and NBC made a pact to do an interview on Christmas Eve and release new information about what is needed to have herd immunity?

Do you actually have more faith in Scott Atlas (your last post) than National Institute of Health and Dr. Fauci who has served as Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. His work in HIV/AIDS contributed to the science and technology that forms the foundation of Covid vaccine.

I don't care if you publish articles about playing golf for your real job. But, I seriously question a local newspaper (PW) and GraceWay Church for having someone like you involved with them.

I am all for freedom of speech - you deserve to voice your opinion. But not as representative of a publication or church! It is up to them to put you in the position you have and it is a poor reflection on them in the eyes of vast majority of people who read your garbage.

PW and GraceWay Church - wake up and see the real Tim!

You can be one of the

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Dec 31, 2020 at 9:02 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

"I am all for freedom of speech - you deserve to voice your opinion"

And inevitably this junk is followed by:

"But not as representative of a publication or church!"

Breathtaking in its complete predictability, no?

How old are you?


Posted by DublinMike, a resident of Dublin,
on Jan 1, 2021 at 10:03 am

DublinMike is a registered user.

"...lack of faith in the American people and their ability to understand the situation and take the appropriate steps."

Tim, what part of 20 MILLION Covid-19 cases do you not understand?

Many Americans do not seem to have initiated an adult response to the virus,so the government has had to step in. I am not happy to wear a mask nor restrict my visits to friends and love ones, but that's the way it has to be because of others' behavior patterns.

And, for you that are complaining about the government's handling of the crises, what are your solutions? Are you equipped and experienced to handle something of this magnitude?

Posted by Jennifer, a resident of Danville,
on Jan 1, 2021 at 10:13 am

Jennifer is a registered user.

California has had the strictest lockdowns from the very beginning. Yet we have more per capita cases than any other state. Which means lockdowns don't work. People will catch this virus regardless of what we do. The same way people catch a cold or the flu every year.

Posted by Jake Waters, a resident of Birdland,
on Jan 1, 2021 at 10:45 am

Jake Waters is a registered user.

Watch your six Tim, the village idiots are coming for you. There was more to your article then the problems of ‘flip flop Fauci,' but you insulted his God of Science.

Dan, you took the words from my key board when you referenced the ‘age' question.

Remember a few things for the New Year:

- Liberalism is a disease. It has caused more deaths, dysfunctional families, wars, poverty, and lockdowns. The only cure is voting, but they own the machines, so good luck with that.

- ‘Follow the Science," is their new ‘speakease' to manipulate your actions, thought, and quest for knowledge. It's comparative to calling everyone a racist to halt the debate.

- Masks are the overall solution to all when you fear everything. No studies available to justify this illusion, but it feels good.

- Democrats always double down on stupid. They can't help it. It's in their DNA.

- Liberals don't understand herd immunity, but it works every year during the flu season.

- Many smart people out there to listen too if you take the time to work around all the censorship. Censorship works to keep you docile, fearful, distracted, and more. It's more contagious then the China Virus and more deadly.

- Lastly, be careful of bacterial pneumonia from wearing a mask too long. Just a tip.

Have a great new year.


Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jan 1, 2021 at 12:11 pm

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

This! From Dublin Mike:

"Many Americans do not seem to have initiated an adult response to the virus, so the government has had to step in."


Los Angeles Times MARCH 20, 2020

In a letter asking President Trump for help handling the novel coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom made a startling prediction: More than half of Californians could be infected with the fast-moving sickness in a two-month period. That would be 25.5 million people, with the potential for more than 5 million �" 20% �" requiring hospitalization.

Here is the latest information from COVID19.CA.GOV

As of January 1, 2021, California has 2,292,568 confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in 25,971 deaths. The number of COVID-related deaths increased by 2.3 percent from the prior day total of 25,386.

The above information is nothing to sneeze at, but Newsom's claim back in March was irresponsible.

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