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By Tim Hunt

Fitting farewell for Jim Hansen

Uploaded: Jun 14, 2016

Pleasanton schools chief Jim Hansen remarked on the fitting timing for his re-retirement at the Amador Valley High graduation last Friday.
The Amador senior class went through Harvest Park Middle School as sixth graders in Jim’s final year there before he moved to Amador. They had finished their freshman year at Amador when he retired as principal.
When he returned from retirement last summer to take a one-year appointment as interim superintendent, the graduating class was just starting their senior year. Friday evening marked the start of a new phase of life for the graduates as well as Jim’s well-deserved return to retirement.
New superintendent Rick Rubino takes over on July 1.
The Alameda County Fair gets its earliest start in memory when festivities open tomorrow, June 15. As one who spent lots of time there showing cattle as a 4-H member, I can routinely remember the 4th of July Fireworks (no time to be walking a 1,000-pound steer with fireworks exploding nearby), coming during the first week of the fair.
This time, the fair will extend its normal Sunday closing to include the 4th of July holiday, which falls on Monday that traditionally would be the clean-up day.
Incidentally, the management has done an excellent job of aligning its weekly calendar to maximizes the attendance impact of horse racing days by spreading the 12 dates over three weeks.
Gov. Brown and legislative leaders have cut their deal on the 2016-17 budget at $122 billion. A key objective that the governor achieved was tucking another $2 billion away into the recession rainy day fund. His message with his revised May budget had noted that the “expansion” from the depths of the 2008-2009 recession was now in its seventh year, when typical recovery periods average five years.
That’s a prudent move on the governor’s part although it has not slowed his push for his legacy project of the absurd high-speed rail. Clouds continue to surround that project although the feds continue to bend the roles to keep some federal money available. Remember, this was part of the shovel-ready, pork-laden stimulus bills the Democrat-dominated Congress passed in 2009.
With the governing board shifting the first leg to run north, that brings back up the neighborhood opposition both in San Jose and along the Peninsula.
In addition, the last cap-and-trade auction for greenhouse gas credits fell way below expectations. Buyers purchased just 2 percent of the available carbon credits. Instead of the expected $150 million for the train, the authority will receive just $2.5 million.
The cap-and-trade government slush fund allocates 25 percent of its proceeds to the high speed rail. If the trend continues, then the shaky house of cards that the financing relies upon will get even more flimsy.
And remember, you are talking a $68 billion initial cost estimate that likely will soar by a factor of two or three.
And there are still pending legal challenges plus the underlying question that the governor and the legislative leaders are ignoring about whether using the cap-and-trade proceeds for the rail is legal because it’s questionable how much positive effect the train will have in reducing greenhouse gases.