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Tri-Valley Year in Review Part I: January to June 2021

Everyone makes adjustments as pandemic continues

Goodbye, 2021 -- the strange year when we tentatively rejoined the world, cautiously stepping out from our quarantining and still wearing masks.

From the national trauma of Jan. 6 as the U.S. Capitol was invaded by rioters, causing Tri-Valley legislators to flee the House floor along with their compatriots, to the local relief of schools finally reopening, the first six months showed Pleasanton and its neighbor cities maintaining its equilibrium while coping with larger events.

In February, Pleasanton City Council members voted to enhance public messaging about wearing masks to encourage their use in public instead of issuing citations. The next month, they approved a legislative framework for 2021 that focuses on COVID-19 response and recovery, housing, fostering economic prosperity and mental health, as well as the city's infrastructure.

As COVID-19 vaccinations rolled out, and Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority provided free rides for many in need, many people resumed activities they hadn't done in more than a year, like dining out at restaurants and gathering with family and friends.

Tri-Valley residents were able to celebrate Easter with their congregations in person after Alameda County allowed places of worship to open at 50% capacity.

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By June, Pleasanton was offering more camps and summer programs than last year, virtual and in-person, mostly outdoors, following every county and state guideline.

There was plenty of news not directly related to the pandemic during the first half of the year too.

Hopefully as we look back at January to June 2021, we see progress made in our cities, in our lives -- and in adapting to the continuing pandemic.

January

* As 2021 begins, Tri-Valley nursing homes grapple with new cases of COVID-19, as does the women's Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin. Nearly 90 cases of coronavirus remain active at Santa Rita Jail among the inmates and staff members.

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* U.S. Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Livermore) and Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) are among hundreds of legislators forced to flee the House floor on Jan. 6 as thousands of rioters supporting President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., as both houses of Congress meet to certify the Electoral College votes.

* The Public Storage facility on Stanley Boulevard is on its way to getting a major overhaul after the Pleasanton City Council approved the final redesign plans following an at times testy public debate that proved an intriguing test case for the new council post-election.

* Former Dublin mayor David Haubert steps into his new role as Alameda County District 1 supervisor while District 4 Supervisor Nate Miley is sworn in for a sixth term.

Alameda County District 4 Supervisor Nate Miley is sworn in for a sixth term at the Jan. 5 board meeting. (Contributed photo)

* Appeal hearing originally scheduled for this month over the county's approval of the 410-acre Aramis solar project in the Livermore Valley is postponed into February.

* Robert Doyle, general manager of East Bay Regional Park District for the past 10 years and a fixture at the district for more than four decades, retires. Doyle was instrumental in preserving tens of thousands of acres in urban areas; opening 200 miles of new regional trails; and expansion of parks in urban areas.

* Livermore community continues to mourn the loss of former police chief Ron Scott, who died late last month after battling a long-term illness. He was 73.

* Deadline to submit applications for the first round of Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program funding is extended to Jan. 13.

Rendering shows design concept for the Costco gas station set to be built on Fostoria Way in San Ramon, across the street from the Costco Wholesale store in the Danville town limits. (Image courtesy of city of San Ramon)

* Alameda County's first countywide reading program kicks off with "Eat Joy: Stories & Comfort Food from 31 Celebrated Writers."

* Recently extended agreement between BART and U.S. Geological Survey allows the transit agency to continue monitoring local seismic activity and alert the public with real-time information when an earthquake takes place nearby, using ShakeAlert.

* COVID-Safe Art Expo that began mid-December runs through Jan. 14, with 38 artists' works inside the storefront windows at Livermore's Republic Square, which is not yet open.

* Museum on Main and Cantabella Children's Chorus are among the 157 arts and cultural organizations awarded grants from Alameda County, totaling $900,000, through its Arts Relief Grant Program.

* Alameda County Fairgrounds "Classics From Your Car" series of outdoor movies continues going strong with "Frozen" on Jan. 8, and "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" on Jan. 9.

* Timothy Paul Young, 26, of Livermore faces a murder charge after authorities allege he stabbed his father Edward Tsung Yung Young to death at home following several days in which both parents were concerned for their safety due to their son's erratic behavior.

* Lease negotiations for a piece of land related to the planned 410-acre Aramis solar power plant north of Livermore fall through after the energy company is served with a cease-and-desist order.

* Phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution begins in the Tri-Valley, given to front-line health care workers, first responders and vulnerable individuals.

* Livermore City Council decides to interview all of the almost two dozen applicants for its fifth member, rather than selecting a smaller number to move forward to the interview process.

* After briefly reopening for outdoor dining one weekend, downtown Pleasanton restaurant SideTrack Bar + Grill switches back to takeout-only with the owner saying he'd received a tip that the health department would be coming to shut it down as opening was in violation of the county's shelter-in-place orders.

* Pleasanton Unified School District (PUSD) board adopts a temporary grading policy at a special online meeting, allowing secondary students to receive "Credit" or "No Credit" marks instead of low letter grades on their first-semester report card.

Families rally outside Amador Valley High School in support of the "Let Them Play" movement on Jan. 15. (Photo by Natalie Walsh)

* Zone 7 Water Agency's annual report on homeless encampments says approximately 10 miles of local flood control channels were used for shelter by unhoused individuals last year.

* COVID-19 case rates seem to stabilize after rising following the holidays. The number of new cases in the county drops in the middle of the month from a high 1,296 on Jan. 7 to 413 on Jan 11.

* Las Positas College begins to offer tuition-free, noncredit business certificates for those who take online courses in customer service and small business management.

* A group of residents launch petition effort to initiate a recall of San Ramon Valley school board President Susanna Wong Ordway, and board members Rachel Hurd and Ken Mintz over the board majority's decision not to reopen schools for in-person learning to date.

* Annual Make A Difference for Pleasanton Festival goes online, using its website to list volunteer opportunities with nonprofit groups for those seeking to "Get Connected and Stay Connected" in the community.

* Mark Armstrong is appointed to the San Ramon City Council, to fill the District 2 seat vacated after city voters elevated Dave Hudson to mayor.

* Rep. Swalwell is selected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve as an impeachment manager for the Senate trial of former president Trump after he was impeached Jan. 13 on one article of incitement of insurrection in the wake of a mob of his supporters breaching the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 while attempting to prevent congressional certification of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

* Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announces a collaboration with a United Kingdom company, ConserV Bioscience Limited, to develop a broad-spectrum or "universal" coronavirus vaccine.

* Save Mount Diablo announces its 2021 Discover Diablo hike series, which has added hikes, rock climbing and mountain biking activities in response to growing demand, for a total of 36 excursions in 2021.

* Livermore Arts starts a series of interviews, "Beyond the Stage," conducted by Executive Director Chris Carter with members of the arts community. The first interview features former Alameda County supervisor Scott Haggerty, who is generally credited with the building of the Bankhead Theater.

* Teachers from Dublin's Murray Elementary School are featured on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" for their efforts to educate students during the pandemic.

* Details are out on the appeal a San Ramon resident group filed over the Planning Commission's decision to approve a 32-pump Costco gas station located within the San Ramon city limits and affiliated with the Danville Costco store across the street.

* California Department of Public Health announces Jan. 25 that it is ending regional stay-at-home orders, returning the state to the previous county-by-county colored tiered system under its Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

* Pleasanton residents get the option of receiving carbon-free electricity in their homes after the City Council unanimously adopts several service levels from East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), the not-for-profit public agency that provides clean and renewable electricity to residents in Alameda and San Joaquin counties.

* Annual organizational workshop gives PUSD's two new trustees a more in-depth understanding of the various protocols, roles and responsibilities involved in representing and interacting with the community-at-large.

* Amador Valley and Foothill families combine for a "Let Them Play" rally at Amador, while almost every school in the East Bay Athletic League took part in their own rallies. Altogether there were at least 200 rallies taking place in California urging school and public health officials to bring back school sports amid the pandemic.

* Niles Canyon Railway volunteers, with the help of neighbors, rescue a cow that slid down a hill and got stuck at the base of the slope, mere feet from the historic railroad tracks.

Niles Canyon Railway volunteers and neighbors used a backhoe to rescue a cow stuck in a ravine in January. (Contributed photo)

* Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department moves out of Fire Station No. 3 on Santa Rita Road and West Las Positas Boulevard, relocating to a temporary facility blocks away for most of the year while the old station is torn down and rebuilt.

* After nearly 50 years, BART retires all of its legacy train cars and seeks ideas from the public on finding new uses for some of them. Most are to be recycled and used for parts as they are replaced by 775 new Fleet of the Future cars.

* Pleasanton Police Department bids farewell to longtime Capt. Craig Eicher when he retires after a career that lasted more than three decades.

Gina Bonanno, a city planning commissioner and retired LLNL scientist, was selected to fill the vacancy on the Livermore City Council. (Contributed photo)

* Planning Commissioner Gina Bonanno is appointed to the Livermore City Council, filling the seat vacated after Bob Woerner's election as mayor.

* PleasantonWeekly.com makes changes to its popular reader forum, Town Square, in an effort to reduce disrespectful commentary and encourage broader, more diverse community participation.

* Pleasanton Weekly editor Jeremy Walsh launches a new biweekly column, "What a Week".

* PUSD Superintendent David Haglund gives the second annual State of the School District address, hosted virtually by the Pleasanton Partnerships in Education Foundation, saying 2020 was one "of challenges, of conflict, and of change. Yet, I have never believed more in the shared mission and vision statements that guide our collective work."

* Tri-Valley community members are recognized for supporting racial equity and justice through their work, at the 21st annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Fellowship Breakfast, which is held virtually while participants eat bagged breakfasts delivered the night before.

February

* Museum on Main holds its 14th annual Wines and Valentines fundraiser virtually instead of gathering for the traditional heart-strewn event at the Club at Castlewood.

* City Council votes 3-2 to stop studying potable reuse as a water supply alternative, ending Pleasanton's participation in evaluating a regional potable reuse project with the Zone 7 Water Agency, Dublin San Ramon Services District and city of Livermore, among others.

* Former Dublin councilman Arun Goel is appointed to the DSRSD Board of Directors, filling a seat left vacant when no candidates ran for the Division 5 position in the regular election last fall.

* As case rates of COVID-19 continue to slow in Alameda County, PUSD Board of Trustees votes to have K-12 students return for in-person learning once the county is in the red tier for two weeks.

Kim Budil, first-year director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. (Photo courtesy of LLNL)

* Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth appeals an Alameda County Superior Court judge's rejection of their lawsuit against the city of Pleasanton over environmental approvals for the proposed Costco store.

* Campo di Bocce of Livermore owners announce it has closed permanently due to financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Kim Budil, a scientist with more than 30 years of experience in management and leadership, is named the new director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

* Amador Valley Quilters turn 40, with many members remembering the first meeting Feb. 14, 1981, in Mission Plaza. The group's 400 members have spent much of the last year making masks from their stashes of material.

* Family of 19-year-old Sydney "Syd" West, a former Foothill High student who went missing in San Francisco last fall, offers a $10,000 reward for information that will lead to her being reunited with her family.

* After a year of postponements and cancellations, Museum on Main schedules the 2021 Ed Kinney Speaker Series to be held virtually, to include a prerecorded monologue, then using the Zoom chat feature for a live Q&A with the character.

Jeanne Brophy is among the members of Amador Valley Quilters, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. (Photo by Ryan J. Degan)

* Alameda County officials again postpone an appeal hearing for the Aramis project, a large-scale solar power plant proposed for roughly two miles north of the city limits and Interstate 580 in unincorporated Livermore.

* Alameda County Fair earns nine awards from the Western Fairs Association and eight from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions for innovation and excellence in competitive exhibits, agricultural programs and marketing in 2020 -- a year in which no fair was held due to the pandemic.

Jojo Powers of Livermore creates Black Lives Matter art at home in honor of Black History Month. (Photo by Kandiss Hewing)

* Amador Valley High student Hiya Shah wins the Congressional App Challenge for California's 15th Congressional District for her smartphone app that provides real-time information on the quality of local tap water.

* Three people are injured in an early morning house fire on Driftwood Way in Pleasanton. An early estimate of damage to the home and contents is $850,000.

* Rotary Club of Pleasanton announces a new scholarship in honor of late Rotarian "Señor Bob" Athenour, a retired Amador Valley High foreign language teacher who later worked as a travel agent and co-founded Pleasanton-Tulancingo Sister City Association.

* Pleasanton Rides, the city service now provided by Pleasanton-based Black Tie Transportation, launches operations with revamped vans for senior's short-distance transportation.

* Tina Hand of Legacy Real and Associations of Pleasanton begins to serve a second straight year as president of the Bay East Association of Realtors.

* Pleasanton City Council votes 4-1 to enhance public messaging instead of issuing citations to encourage more people to wear face masks in public.

* Las Positas College students, employees and the greater community partake in a free food distribution program on campus.

* One phase of a safety improvement project on Highway 84 from Mission Boulevard in Fremont to Interstate 680 in Niles Canyon nears completion.

* Alameda County Fairgrounds is designated a COVID-19 vaccination site allowing local residents who qualify based on age or employment to sign up.

Rainbow shines in Pleasanton as new COVID-19 vaccination center prepares to open at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in February. (Photo by Cynthia Arambulo/SHC-VC)

* After reaching a stalemate on reopening Pleasanton schools for in-person learning as the county remains in the purple tier but case data trends downward, the Board of Trustees is scheduled to revisit the matter at a special online meeting.

* Tri-Valley state legislators propose a state law to require local fire districts be notified by electrical utility companies about any fire safety-related activities in areas with high fire risk.

* San Ramon City Council denies a resident appeal and approves proposed Costco gas station on Fostoria Way.

* Livermore Airport Commission OKs a plan that would relocate the corporate offices of Oakland-based charter airliner KaiserAir to the Livermore Municipal Airport, which would include the development of air facilities that could accommodate Boeing 737s.

* Black History Month celebrations take shape virtually to disburse educational material and pay tribute to the contributions of Black culture on society.

* East Bay Athletic League athletes begin to compete against each other again, including cross-country, golf, tennis and swimming.

First-grader Brandon Pedersen was among the first students in Pleasanton to return to hybrid in-person instruction in March after months of remote education due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Ryan J. Degan)

* Nearly one year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced its closure, the Board of Trustees votes unanimously to have students return to PUSD for in-person instruction.

* The developer behind the proposed Aramis solar energy plant currently under appeal with the county government announces plans to seek voluntary state and federal permits as part of a new conservation strategy to address potential wildlife impacts of the project in northern Livermore.

* Dublin Unified School District parents, teachers and students rally to urge the Board of Trustees to continue with facilities upgrades on Murray and Dublin elementary schools, in the face of a $184 million budget shortfall.

* In a repeat of an initial decision last month, Pleasanton council votes 3-2 to support a citywide prohibition on the construction of new two-story accessory dwelling units (ADUs).

* Newly formed East Bay Holocaust Education Center (EBHEC) in Pleasanton uses creative programs to teach residents lessons from the Holocaust as well as honor its victims, including an upcoming art exhibition, a multimedia contest for students and plans for a virtual play this summer.

Francisco Arana prepares a pizza at De La Torre's Trattoria in Pleasanton during the first weekend of the Taste Tri-Valley Restaurant Week in February. (Photo by Ryan J. Degan)

* Tri-Valley restaurants come together to encourage residents to participate in the region's first "Taste Tri-Valley Restaurant Week."

* Livermore will again have a midsize hardware store in town as a new Ace Hardware location is set to open this spring, replacing the Orchard Supply that closed in 2018 and has remained empty until now.

* Tri-Valley nonprofit Culinary Angels, which supplies nutritious meals to patients facing cancer or other serious medical conditions, expands from focusing on Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton to include San Ramon and Danville.

* The results are in: The 2020-21 Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund raised $88,215 through community donations to support six safety-net nonprofits in the Tri-Valley.

Amador Valley and Monte Vista runners prepare for their girls cross-country race Feb. 13. (Photo by John Houston)

March

* Sabrina Landreth, former city administrator for Oakland, becomes East Bay Regional Park District's next general manager, the 10th in the district's 87-year history and the first woman.

* City Council unanimously approves using city funds for a regional mental health pilot program providing urgent care services to Tri-Valley residents experiencing a crisis.

* Recognizing the impact of isolation on students during the pandemic, PUSD temporarily expands the grading scale range for D and F grades for the second semester.

* PUSD board approves an additional $1.1 million for the independent study program.

* BART budget officials say they do not expect the agency's operating revenue to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024 at the earliest, with growth not expected until late in the 2020s.

* Alameda County Fairgrounds showcases popular foods synonymous with the annual summer fair at a special event called the "Grab-n-Stay Fair Food Feast," which offers the chance to sample fair food favorites while supporting food vendors impacted by pandemic-related closures and cancellations.

* LAVTA launches a program that will provide free rides to and from any COVID-19 vaccination site in Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin.

* Amador Valley Scholarships Inc., which helps students graduating from Amador Valley, Foothill and Village high schools, adds two more scholarships: The Richard and Freida Greville Memorial Scholarship; and the Zachary Scanlan Memorial Scholarship.

* County Board of Supervisors unanimously approves the contentious Aramis solar energy project planned for north Livermore after nearly 10 hours of presentations, discussion and deliberations.

* Biotech company 10x Genomics announces new details about expanding its footprint in Pleasanton by leasing a second building in the complex shared by its current headquarters and paying $29.4 million to buy the nearby Pleasanton Plaza site just south of Stoneridge Shopping Center at 1701 Springdale Ave.

10x Genomics is expected to complete the first phase of building its new campus in Pleasanton by 2023. (Image courtesy of city of Pleasanton)

* Tri-Valley's first all-abilities public playground opens at the Dublin Sports Grounds.

* Pleasanton City Council unanimously approves the city's legislative framework for 2021, to focus on COVID-19 response and recovery, housing, fostering economic prosperity, mental health, and the city's infrastructure including streets, water, sewage and telecommunications.

* Rep. Swalwell sues former president Trump, his son and two allies in federal court, alleging their words and actions before the 2020 election certification make them liable for the rioting at the U.S. Capitol in January.

The Tri-Valley's first all-abilities playground opened last winter in Dublin. (Photo by Jacqui Hatzikokolakis)

* PUSD schools reopen after almost exactly one year to eager students and families, many of whom have reported struggling with the virtual curriculum. Dublin and Livermore public schools are scheduled to reopen later in the month.

* Museum on Main reopens March 23 with a traveling exhibit, "The Newest Americans: New Citizens Reflect on What America Means to Them." The museum also announces its 2021 season for the Ed Kinney Speaker Series.

* Former Pleasanton police chief David Spiller, who stepped down from the city in retirement in 2019, is back on duty full time after being hired as the permanent chief of the San Rafael Police Department.

* City leaders consider an appeal of Pleasanton's currently estimated regional housing needs allocation (RHNA) following a lengthy discussion during which staff said an adjustment to the number of housing units ultimately assigned for the city is possible, but not to expect significant changes.

* For St. Patrick's Day, Dublin presents a chance to don the green and venture out -- or to enjoy everything Irish at home -- in a weeklong celebration.

* Pleasanton Planning Commission discusses redeveloping the site where the closed Barone's Restaurant currently stands on St. John Street with a single-family residential project or an office building.

The Pleasanton Planning Commission in March told the owners of Barone's Restaurant that plans to redevelop the downtown site must include commercial space and cannot be entirely residential. (Photo by Jeremy Walsh)

* Pleasanton actor Parker Queenan stars in new season of "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" on Nickelodeon.

* PUSD staff presentation to the board says enrollment has shrunk by 410 students and is expected to remain flat for a while but eventually recover.

* Pleasanton Public Library opens its doors for a new "Grab and Go" service, allowing patrons entrance to the building for the first time all year, coinciding with the library's new "Take-Home Laptop Lending" service.

* California's counties and large cities can expect to receive money from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 in two parts with the first coming in 60 days, according to preliminary information provided by U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna's office.

Pleasanton Mayor Karla Brown delivered her first State of the City address in March. (Photo by Mike Sedlak)

* First-term Mayor Karla Brown, in Pleasanton's annual State of the City address, reflects mostly on the city's response to the COVID-19 pandemic rather than the usual, looking back on development projects, highlighting the work of city leadership, and giving residents a peek into the year ahead.

* UC Master Gardener Program of Alameda County holds its Incredible Edible Plant Sale, with orders placed online and curbside pickup at Alviso Adobe Community Park.

* With dry weather impacting local water supplies, Zone 7 Water Agency asks Tri-Valley residents and businesses to voluntarily reduce their water usage.

* A series of lawsuits and claims filed after the triple-fatal crash on Foothill Road on Christmas night 2019 paint the picture of a preventable accident with plenty of culpability to go around, targeting the city, county and state governments, family members of the teen driver who died and even one of the surviving passengers.

* Council votes 3-2 to set contribution limits for candidates running for office in Pleasanton after Mayor Brown declares it "time to get big money out of Pleasanton's government offices."

* Tri-Valley residents hold a small protest in downtown Pleasanton and a second, larger rally in Livermore protesting anti-Asian violence seen throughout the country, after the killing of eight people -- six of whom were Asian women -- at spas around Atlanta.

Dublin High School Junior Elizabeth Tan spoke of her personal experiences with discrimination in Dublin. (Photo by Ryan J. Degan)

* Pleasanton native Lt. Col. Adam Darrow, an Air Force career man and current commander of 58th Operations Group Detachment 1, is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his part in rescuing 194 special operations forces during a January 2020 Iranian ballistic missile attack on al-Asad Air Base in Iraq.

* Citizens' group Save North Livermore Valley launches a GoFundMe campaign for a lawsuit to overturn Alameda County's approval of the Aramis industrial solar power plant.

* Stratford School announces plans to open the first standalone private middle school campus in the Tri-Valley on Stoneridge Drive in the fall.

* For the fourth year running, Foothill High School's competitive civics team is headed to the We the People national finals, after both Foothill and Amador Valley teams participated in this year's state finals, held online due to the pandemic.

* Brian Zachary Jones of Livermore, who had an earlier double-murder conviction in the case overturned on appeal, accepts a plea deal late last year for lesser charges of gross vehicular manslaughter and a 20-year prison sentence for an alcohol- and speed-fueled crash that killed a mother and her toddler in 2015.

* Interest in pet adoptions has skyrocketed over the past year, say local pet adoption centers, as East Bay residents turn to finding four-legged companions to help see them through the dark days of the COVID-19 world.

* Ambrose D. Regalia Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6298 celebrates its 75th anniversary. It was established March 24, 1946, as several dozen World War II veterans gathered at Veterans Memorial Hall on Main Street and was named after the war's first Pleasanton casualty.

* PUSD explores ways to increase instructional minutes at all elementary sites after an audit finds wide variances in the amount of instruction time and elementary student-to-teacher contact minutes.

* Dozens of protesters march through Danville to condemn the death of 32-year-old Tyrell Wilson, who died after he was shot by a Danville police officer March 11. Wilson, a Black man living unhoused near the freeway in Danville, was shot at the intersection of Sycamore Valley Road and Camino Ramon by Officer Andrew Hall, who was responding to a report that Wilson was throwing rocks from an overpass onto Interstate 680. Hall is the same officer who pulled the trigger in a 2018 fatal police shooting in Danville.

DUSD trustee Catherine Kuo died after being hit by a car at Fallon Middle School on March 24. (Photo courtesy of DUSD)

* Pleasanton Planning Commission tells the owners of Barone's Restaurant that plans to redevelop the downtown site must include commercial space and cannot be entirely residential.

* Dublin Unified School District's Trustee Catherine Kuo, 48, is killed after being pinned between two vehicles while loading a box into the trunk of a parked sedan when she was volunteering at Fallon Middle School. Four days later, several hundred people gather at Emerald Glen Park to honor Kuo, support her family and grieve together.

* Stephen Kalthoff, a former four-term director for the Zone 7 Water Agency and a third-generation vintner in the Livermore Valley, dies of a heart attack at the age of 80.

April

* Tri-Valley residents are able to celebrate Easter with their congregations in person as coronavirus vaccines continue to be administered and Alameda County allows places of worship to open at 50% capacity.

* Jeff Peters retires from LPFD after a 31-year career with his hometown fire department, including the past 15 months as its permanent fire chief.

* PPIE holds its second annual PPIE Virtual Run for Education after the first year raised about $75,000.

* Elizabeth Correia, 41, a first-grade teacher at Lydiksen Elementary School who grew up in Pleasanton and graduated from Foothill High School, and her mother, Maria Teixeira, 64, who was a school custodian in San Ramon, are killed after their car plunges down a cliff in a Bodega Bay parking lot.

* PUSD trustees approve a $248,000 contract with Nicole Anderson and Associates Consulting to work with district leadership to identify and address equity gaps among students, including policies and practices that contribute to systemic racism, microaggressions and student marginalization.

Rendering of the Chabad Center for Jewish Life's newly approved final design, after a fire damaged the building in 2019. (Contributed image)

* As COVID-19 vaccinations roll out, people resume activities they haven't done in more than a year, like dining at restaurants, returning to classrooms, and gathering with family and friends.

* Hope Hospice revives its annual Hike for Hope program after canceling the event last year due to the coronavirus crisis, which resulted in shorting the organization more than $100,000 in anticipated revenue.

* A new Community Advisory Committee is being formed by the city of Dublin to give residents the opportunity to weigh in on future land-use and preferred development of the so-called "SCS Property," site of the At Dublin project that was rejected last summer.

* For the fourth year in a row, the town of Danville is recognized as the safest community in California, according to an annual study conducted by national security company Safewise.

* Tri-Valley holds activities and programs during Earth Week 2021 to highlight positive ways to support the Bay Area environment.

Scenes and songs from "Les Miserables" are part of the "On Broadway" joint high school production, which is a movie this year instead of a stage show. (Photo by John Loll)

* Bankhead Theater in Livermore kicks off a series of early concerts for 44 patrons at distanced tables in its courtyard with Bay Area comedian Brian Maggi followed by guitarist James Robinson. Masks are required, and concessions are individually served.

* Pleasanton couple are robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight outside of their house seconds after they pull into their driveway on a Saturday. They question whether they were targeted because they are Asian American, and they praise police for a "job well done" in quickly arresting the suspects.

* Amador Valley High senior Mia Reeve earns a high finish in the Spirit of the Flame meet despite competing with an injured wrist in what would be the final event of her gymnastics career.

* Group of residents file a lawsuit against the city of San Ramon over its approval of a 32-pump Costco gas station near the Danville border, arguing that the project needs to be more thoroughly reviewed for environmental impacts.

* Pleasanton Downtown Association Executive Director Tiffany Cadrette is stepping down after accepting a marketing position with the Alameda County Fairgrounds.

* City Council members unanimously agree to set a voluntary $1,000 per individual contribution maximum for city office candidates but are split when it comes to limits for campaign expenditures.

* Alameda County Fair announces it is coming back in 2021 but rescheduled for the fall due to COVID-19 vaccine and food distribution efforts currently at the Pleasanton fairgrounds.

* Pleasanton Planning Commission unanimously approves the new contemporary design of the Chabad Center for Jewish Life, 3370 Hopyard Road, after the building was damaged by fire two years ago.

* Truck driver Ivenet Frederic, of Orlando, Fla., is charged with three felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter in connection with the crash in Livermore that killed three teenagers days before Christmas 2020.

* Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare permanently shuts down its LifeStyleRx fitness center in Livermore after 17 years, citing financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the health care provider says it plans to use the space to expand other services.

* Tri-Valley residents may one day be able to travel on foot or bike through Niles Canyon on a nearly six-mile proposed trail that would link the eastern end of Fremont and the unincorporated community of Sunol -- which Alameda County officials also said would ''preserve the historic water and rail infrastructure within Niles Canyon."

* Pleasanton grocery market Apna Bazar pleads guilty to two misdemeanor counts of price gouging for significant markups of dry goods and produce last year during the early days of the state's COVID-19 emergency,

Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton announces the filing of criminal charges against Contra Costa Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Hall for the fatal shooting of Laudemer Arboleda in Danville in 2018. (Photo by Ryan J. Degan)

* PUSD moves forward with plans to change enrollment boundaries for elementary school sites after the Board of Trustees unanimously approves a strategy for the public review process.

* ValleyCare Charitable Foundation dissolves, with mission and funds transitioning to the Stanford University Office of Medical Center Development and a team to be dedicated to Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare hospital priorities. The move comes five years after the ValleyCare health system merger with Stanford Health.

* Dublin High School ceremonially opens the doors to its new engineering and science building, marking completion of one of DUSD's marquee construction projects in recent years.

* Save North Livermore Valley files lawsuit against Alameda County after the Board of Supervisors' decision to approve Intersect Power's 410-acre Aramis solar energy project planned for North Livermore saying the development violates Measure D, which protects agricultural land and open space in eastern Alameda County, as well as violating the California Environmental Quality Act and the Alameda County General Plan.

* Contra Costa County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Hall turns himself in to the Martinez Detention Facility after being criminally charged for fatally shooting an unarmed driver during a police response in downtown Danville in November 2018. Hall faces felony counts of voluntary manslaughter and assault with a semiautomatic weapon in connection with the death of Laudemer Arboleda.

* Pleasanton resident Justin Michael McDaniels is taken into custody just after 10 p.m. on a Friday night after police allege he fired around 100 rifle rounds inside his home on Arroyo Court, with some of the bullets entering nearby condos. No neighbors were injured.

* Amador Valley High School boys track team breaks the 20-year school record for the distance medley relay, which consists of legs of 1,200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters and 1,600 meters, at a meet at the Campolindo track.

* Club at Castlewood in Pleasanton celebrates the groundbreaking of its multimillion-dollar renovation and modernization project, which will cost approximately $16 million project and is estimated for completion by June 2022.

* Main Street weekend closures return at the end of April to run until Labor Day to give downtown restaurants and shops more space to expand operations outdoors.

Rendering shows plans for renovating the exterior of the main clubhouse at The Club at Castlewood. (Image courtesy of Castlewood)

May

* Firehouse Arts Center reopens its doors to the public along with the facility's Harrington Art Gallery and its 10th "Fresh Works" exhibit.

* Bankhead Theater reopens, screening films with a restricted audience size, beginning with "Fiddler on the Roof" on May 19.

* City Council votes to levy transportation fees on new development in Pleasanton's Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone (JDEDZ) by the I-580/I-680 interchange. With a Costco, two hotels and other businesses planned to anchor the commercial development, city staff said revenue collected from the fees would mitigate the impact of new development.

* Susan Guinee, a longtime PE teacher who lived in San Ramon, died in a three-car crash at the intersection of Crow Canyon and Bollinger Canyon roads on Wednesday afternoon when her car was struck by a truck that police say appeared to have run a red light.

* A new group on NextDoor called "Improving Pleasanton's Internet" has more than 50 members and continues to grow after a Comcast outage leaves several hundred homes in Pleasanton without internet service for much of a day.

* Livermore City Council decides John Stein can remain on the Planning Commission after he referred to a proposed affordable housing development as a "ghetto" at a meeting April 20, but he must attend training webinars and meet with city human services staff.

* A local couple are arrested in connection with the shooting death of rapper Lil Yase (Mark Antonyyo Alexander Jr.) in Dublin in November, but they are released after Alameda County prosecutors decline to file formal charges against the pair for evidentiary reasons.

* Hart Middle School holds groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of work for its new science building, one of many projects in Pleasanton schools using Measure I1 bond money.

* Foothill High and Amador Valley High receive the designation of California Distinguished School, about a month after Harvest Park and Pleasanton middle schools were announced winners, along with Fallon Middle in Dublin and Mendenhall Middle in Livermore.

Pleasanton Weekly's 2021 Mother's Day Lookalike Contest winners were Varupi Gupta (right) and her daughter Pareena. (Contributed photo)

* Pleasanton Weekly's winners in the 2021 Mother-Daughter Lookalike Contest this year are Varupi Gupta and her daughter Pareena, 12.

* Embarcadero Media -- publisher of three newspapers and six community websites in the Bay Area, including the Pleasanton Weekly -- is one of 30 organizations across the U.S. and Canada chosen for the Facebook Journalism Project.

* Pleasanton native and actress Michelle Hinsberg opens up about her career and new indie film "It's What's on the Inside".

* Las Positas College holds its first all-day Literary Arts Festival, a free virtual Saturday event featuring national and internationally recognized authors, a Hollywood screenwriter, poet laureates and more.

Pleasanton native Jevon Holland (center) celebrates with his family at their NFL Draft party. The safety out of Oregon was picked 36th overall by the Miami Dolphins. (Contributed photo)

* On the second day of the National Football League Draft, Jevon Holland, who was raised in Pleasanton, goes to the Miami Dolphins at 36th overall, and Aaron Banks, a former Pleasanton Junior Football League player, goes to the San Francisco 49ers at No. 48.

* Council wraps up the city of Pleasanton's draft work plan, a 27-page document to guide the council and city officials in decision-making for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years, as well as how to allocate funds and staffing toward realizing those goals.

* Pleasanton resident Mark Fiala, 66, is killed and his pet dog injured when they are hit by a vehicle while trying to cross Stoneridge Drive from a neighborhood east of Santa Rita Road just after 6 a.m. on a Monday.

* Dublin Unified hires San Jose schools administrator Chris Funk as the district's new superintendent.

* PUSD agrees to align instructional minutes to fix inconsistencies in learning time and teacher-to-student contact at its nine elementary schools, although the Board of Trustees agrees that each site should have the flexibility to decide its own bell schedule.

Chris Funk is the new superintendent of Dublin Unified. (Photo courtesy of DUSD)

* Starting this month, the Alameda County Fire Department, which serves unincorporated areas along with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the cities of San Leandro, Emeryville, Dublin, Union City and Newark, is hoisting Red Flag Warnings to alert residents when they should refrain from activities that could inadvertently ignite fires.

* Livermore Valley wineries begin to welcome visitors back for tastings, special events and live music after lying mostly dormant for over a year shifting to virtual events and curbside pickup.

* Two men from Livermore (Phe N. Phan, 27, and Ronnie Ray Martinez Jr., 29) face first-degree murder and gun charges, as well as potential enhancements for prior convictions, in the wake of the May 8 shooting death of 24-year-old Emilio Molina at the Motel 6 in town in what police said appears to have been a gang-related killing.

* Amador Valley and Foothill high schools, for their annual joint performance, produce a musical revue movie of "On Broadway" on YouTube, with 19 students in the cast and 17 in the orchestra.

* Pleasanton Weekly earns 12 awards in the California News Publishers Association's 2020 Journalism Awards, including first place for Public Service Journalism (Digital) for its 2020 Tri-Valley candidate forum series, which included eight forums for 12 Tri-Valley local election races.

* Some downtown business owners say they are adversely affected by Main Street closures on weekends to accommodate outdoor dining, called a godsend by restaurant owners. The "Weekend on Main" is scheduled to run Friday afternoon through Sunday evening until Labor Day.

* Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees unanimously appoints William Kuo to succeed his late wife Catherine Kuo as the Trustee Area 3 representative, after she died in a traffic collision at Fallon Middle School on March 24.

William Kuo, widower of late DUSD Area 3 trustee Catherine Kuo, is appointed to serve in her place until the next regular election in November 2022. (Photo courtesy of DUSD)

* Pleasanton Police Department seeks at least 12 community members to voice their thoughts about issues affecting the department and serve two years on a new advisory board.

* After years of development and months of construction, a new-concept Lucky California grocery store opens its doors in Pleasanton, serving as the flagship location for the company's reimagined shopping experience.

* Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley announces she will not seek re-election to a fourth term when her current term ends at the beginning of 2023.

* Village High School educator Russell Sato is named PUSD's 2021 Teacher of the Year.

* The final environmental impact report for the proposed Valley Link commuter light rail system is unanimously approved by the Tri-Valley/San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority Board of Directors, bringing the project another step closer to fruition.

* Prosecutors decide the driver whose vehicle fatally struck Dublin Unified School District trustee Catherine Kuo during a volunteer event at Fallon Middle School in March will not face criminal charges because, although she failed to properly put her SUV into the park gear while stopped in the queue at the food distribution event, her actions did not rise to criminal negligence.

Christesen's Western Wear owners announced the store's pending closure in May after 92 years in downtown Pleasanton. (Photo by Jeremy Walsh)

* Tri-Valley fire departments ramp up for expected big blazes after an early wildfire season that saw Cal Fire responding to 1,300 wildland fire incidents combined with a statewide drought and temperatures above normal.

* Livermore City Council signs off on the 130-unit affordable housing community proposed for downtown by Eden Housing following a public meeting that spanned two days.

* Montana Parkinson-Lubold of Amador Valley High takes the girls singles title at an event held in lieu of an official East Bay Athletic League official tennis tournament. Amador's doubles team of Sonali Carumbaya and Parna Praveen finishes third. The JV doubles team of Maryam Suratwala-Neha Reddy earns first, and Hannah You-Megha Reddy takes third. On the boys' side, Brett Miller beats teammate Bryan Park in the finals as the Dons finish first and second.

* Sunwalker Energy withdraws application with Alameda County for a conditional use permit to develop a solar energy project in northern Livermore. The project's prior approval was under appeal.

* Pleasanton high schools hold in-person graduation ceremonies, also livestreamed, at Amador Valley and Foothill stadiums with students walking across the stage but no handshakes and picking up their diplomas from a table. Village High holds its graduation at the district's upper Bernal fields near campus.

* Christesen's Western Wear permanently closes its doors in downtown Pleasanton after nearly a century of serving the East Bay's agricultural and equestrian community amid changing local demographics.

* The community's first designated cricket pitch opens at Alisal Elementary School, created in partnership between PUSD and youth group Cricket for Cubs.

PUSD board member Steve Maher tries out the new cricket pitch, throwing a ball to batter Saanvi Immadi. (Photo by Ryan J. Degan)

* Foothill's Vivian Lee completes compelling freshman baseball season.

* Dublin resident Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35, a substation master mechanic with Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, is one of nine men killed after a "disgruntled" co-worker opens gunfire at the rail yard in San Jose.

June

* Pleasanton offers more camps and summer programs than last year, virtual and in-person, mostly outdoors, following every county and state guideline.

* Tri-Valley water providers launch a joint initiative to urge residents and businesses throughout the entire region to reduce their consumption by 10% after Gov. Newson includes Alameda County in his emergency drought declaration in May.

* Pleasanton's Fourth of July event at Lions Wayside Park downtown is canceled again for this year since the Pleasanton Community Band members have not been able to gather to practice, organizers say, plus it is doubtful whether crowds would be acceptable by July 4.

* Anica Xie, a sophomore at Amador Valley High School, is winner of the 2021 Congressional Art Competition for the 15th District for her work, "Black Lives Matter."

Book jacket for new release "Historic Tales of Alamo, California" by Beverly Lane with Sharon Burke. (Contributed image)

* PUSD budget analyst Kay Dorp is celebrated as the district's 2021 Classified Employee of the Year.

* Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, including a series of spotlights and reflections from business and community leaders.

* Las Positas College plans to reopen campus for the fall 2021 semester with in-person, online and hybrid schedules to offer more flexibility for students.

* San Ramon Valley historian Beverly Lane spotlights her new book, "Historic Tales of Alamo, California", written with Sharon Burke.

* One year after its initial launch, the Tri-Valley Nonprofit Fund for Covid Relief (TVNF) completes its third round of funding, thanks in part to support from the Rotary Club of Livermore and Workday, bringing its total amount of contributions up to $183,000.

"Black Lives Matter" by Pleasanton teen Anica Xie won the Congressional Art Competition for Rep. Eric Swalwell's 15th District.

* Pleasanton city officials unveil their new "Gift Pleasanton" to incentivize residents to patronize local businesses by offering them a digital gift card after they spend money locally.

* Health officers from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties and the city of Berkeley call for California schools to open for full-time, in-person learning for all grades in fall 2021.

* Foothill girls softball team clinches another East Bay Athletic League title, going 8-1 in league play and 17-2 overall. The season also ended the 40th year of coaching for Matt Sweeney, who has coached football, baseball and softball for the Falcons.

* Actor Bryan Mazzarello, who hails from Pleasanton, describes being transformed into the late artist Bob Ross for a Mountain Dew commercial, using prosthetics that included eyebags, crow's feet, chin and ear lobe extensions, and forehead, brow and nose pieces -- and more.

Michael Ornelaz at Legacy Effects in San Fernando transformed Pleasanton native and actor Bryan Mazzarello (shown) into late artist Bob Ross for a Mountain Dew commercial. (Contributed photo)

* City Council re-examines policy that prohibits non-active ground-floor uses along Main Street after an application from Iron Horse Real Estate to open for business in a ground-floor space at 550 Main St. was denied in December.

* Del Valle Regional Park celebrates the completion of its newly renovated visitor center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, featuring guest speakers and small group tours of the new space in Livermore.

* 19-year-old Elian Delacerda, who had ties to Pleasanton, dies after being stabbed in a late-night confrontation in Hawaii.

* Alameda County moves into the yellow tier of the pandemic reopening system one week before the state lifts the tier system completely.

* The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee includes $20 million for the Valley Link commuter light rail system connecting BART to ACE in the upcoming transportation spending bill upon the request of Rep. Swalwell.

* Multiple gunshots are fired in a Stoneridge Shopping Center parking lot on a Tuesday afternoon, with apparently nobody injured and those involved escaping.

* Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council installs two colorful temporary signposts that point the way to the city's works of public art to celebrate the lively role the arts play in the downtown's awakening as the pandemic subsides.

* Bankhead Theater opens ticket sales for its 2021-22 season, to launch Sept. 11 with its annual fundraising gala, "Brilliance at the Bankhead," and offering a diverse range of entertainment.

Madeline Burchard and husband Charlie Hunts pose during the "Pride Prom-ish" photoshoot in Livermore. Hunts said the event felt "even more special than if I went my senior year in high school, as an out trans man with my wife and the pictures were really fun." (Photo by Ryan J. Degan)

* Live horse racing returns to the Alameda County Fairgrounds from June 18-July 18 although the fair itself is scheduled for late October.

* Former mayor Jerry Thorne and his wife Kalee move to Marana, Ariz., after he has lived in and served for 50 years in Pleasanton.

* California Department of Public Health's "Beyond the Blueprint" framework allows most businesses like restaurants, theaters, wineries, breweries and shopping malls to resume regular operations without requiring masks for people who are vaccinated, physical distancing or capacity limitations.

* City Council approves the site of the former Pleasanton Plaza retail complex to become the new campus for biotech company 10x Genomics to conduct a variety of research, development and laboratory work.

* Construction of the new Legacy at Livermore downtown housing and retail development comes to a temporary halt after contractor files for bankruptcy.

* Each of the four Tri-Valley cities and the town of Danville raise the LGBTQ+ Pride flag on municipal flagpoles, and Livermore Pride hosts its first-ever Pride-Promish festivities.

Amador Valley golfer Jaclyn LaHa stands over a birdie attempt on the 18th green during the first round of the U.S. Women's Open at Olympic Club on June 3. (Photo by Jeremy Walsh)

* Jaclyn LaHa, an incoming junior and star golfer for the Amador Valley Dons, plays in the U.S. Women's Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

* Livermore earns national recognition by being named one of this year's All-America City Award winners along with nine other cities across the country honored by the National Civic League.

* At a City Council meeting, a presentation on the next steps needed to clean up Pleasanton's contaminated groundwater wells to the tune of $46 million morphs into a broader discussion about finding regional alternatives and maintaining local control over water resources. Officials have been working to address the problem after per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were found in the city's groundwater supply facilities in recent years.

* Aimee and Bryan Wingen open their Wingen Bakery in downtown Livermore. They first launched the business from their home last year so they could be full-time caretakers to their infant daughter, Waylynn, who had been diagnosed with a terminal genetic disorder called Zellweger syndrome. Waylynn Wingen died in August 2020 at 8 months old.

* PUSD cabinet members welcome two new principals: Gerardo Guzman-Rico at Valley View Elementary School and Russell Campisi at Harvest Park Middle School.

* Pleasanton Weekly's popular Readers' Choice contest returns after one-year hiatus.

* Pleasanton names Amador Valley High senior Nikita Jayaprakash to be the city's 2021-22 teen poet laureate.

* U.S. Army formally dedicated the SPC. Jameson L. Lindskog Army Reserve Center at Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training Area in Dublin, in honor of the Pleasanton native and combat medic who was killed in action on March 29, 2011, at age 23 while deployed in Afghanistan.

* Livermore resident Simon W. Meyer, 52, who works as a firefighter in San Mateo County, faces criminal charges after police allege he secretly video-recorded two teenage girls while they were trying to change into swimsuits in his bathroom.

* Amid negotiations with both collective bargaining groups at PUSD -- and heavy criticism from some union members -- the Board of Trustees unanimously approves prescheduled compensation increases for the district administrative cabinet.

* Community group Save Livermore Downtown files lawsuit against the city of Livermore, challenging the City Council's approval of the 130-unit Eden Housing affordable housing development planned for downtown.

Members of the 91st Pacific Training Division execute a 13 gun salute at Dublin's Camp Parks for a building dedication in honor Spc. Jameson L. Lindskog, a Pleasanton resident and combat medic who was killed in Afghanistan in 2011. (Photo by Ryan J. Degan)

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Tri-Valley Year in Review Part I: January to June 2021

Everyone makes adjustments as pandemic continues

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Sun, Dec 26, 2021, 3:43 pm

Goodbye, 2021 -- the strange year when we tentatively rejoined the world, cautiously stepping out from our quarantining and still wearing masks.

From the national trauma of Jan. 6 as the U.S. Capitol was invaded by rioters, causing Tri-Valley legislators to flee the House floor along with their compatriots, to the local relief of schools finally reopening, the first six months showed Pleasanton and its neighbor cities maintaining its equilibrium while coping with larger events.

In February, Pleasanton City Council members voted to enhance public messaging about wearing masks to encourage their use in public instead of issuing citations. The next month, they approved a legislative framework for 2021 that focuses on COVID-19 response and recovery, housing, fostering economic prosperity and mental health, as well as the city's infrastructure.

As COVID-19 vaccinations rolled out, and Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority provided free rides for many in need, many people resumed activities they hadn't done in more than a year, like dining out at restaurants and gathering with family and friends.

Tri-Valley residents were able to celebrate Easter with their congregations in person after Alameda County allowed places of worship to open at 50% capacity.

By June, Pleasanton was offering more camps and summer programs than last year, virtual and in-person, mostly outdoors, following every county and state guideline.

There was plenty of news not directly related to the pandemic during the first half of the year too.

Hopefully as we look back at January to June 2021, we see progress made in our cities, in our lives -- and in adapting to the continuing pandemic.

January

* As 2021 begins, Tri-Valley nursing homes grapple with new cases of COVID-19, as does the women's Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin. Nearly 90 cases of coronavirus remain active at Santa Rita Jail among the inmates and staff members.

* U.S. Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Livermore) and Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) are among hundreds of legislators forced to flee the House floor on Jan. 6 as thousands of rioters supporting President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., as both houses of Congress meet to certify the Electoral College votes.

* The Public Storage facility on Stanley Boulevard is on its way to getting a major overhaul after the Pleasanton City Council approved the final redesign plans following an at times testy public debate that proved an intriguing test case for the new council post-election.

* Former Dublin mayor David Haubert steps into his new role as Alameda County District 1 supervisor while District 4 Supervisor Nate Miley is sworn in for a sixth term.

* Appeal hearing originally scheduled for this month over the county's approval of the 410-acre Aramis solar project in the Livermore Valley is postponed into February.

* Robert Doyle, general manager of East Bay Regional Park District for the past 10 years and a fixture at the district for more than four decades, retires. Doyle was instrumental in preserving tens of thousands of acres in urban areas; opening 200 miles of new regional trails; and expansion of parks in urban areas.

* Livermore community continues to mourn the loss of former police chief Ron Scott, who died late last month after battling a long-term illness. He was 73.

* Deadline to submit applications for the first round of Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program funding is extended to Jan. 13.

* Alameda County's first countywide reading program kicks off with "Eat Joy: Stories & Comfort Food from 31 Celebrated Writers."

* Recently extended agreement between BART and U.S. Geological Survey allows the transit agency to continue monitoring local seismic activity and alert the public with real-time information when an earthquake takes place nearby, using ShakeAlert.

* COVID-Safe Art Expo that began mid-December runs through Jan. 14, with 38 artists' works inside the storefront windows at Livermore's Republic Square, which is not yet open.

* Museum on Main and Cantabella Children's Chorus are among the 157 arts and cultural organizations awarded grants from Alameda County, totaling $900,000, through its Arts Relief Grant Program.

* Alameda County Fairgrounds "Classics From Your Car" series of outdoor movies continues going strong with "Frozen" on Jan. 8, and "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" on Jan. 9.

* Timothy Paul Young, 26, of Livermore faces a murder charge after authorities allege he stabbed his father Edward Tsung Yung Young to death at home following several days in which both parents were concerned for their safety due to their son's erratic behavior.

* Lease negotiations for a piece of land related to the planned 410-acre Aramis solar power plant north of Livermore fall through after the energy company is served with a cease-and-desist order.

* Phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution begins in the Tri-Valley, given to front-line health care workers, first responders and vulnerable individuals.

* Livermore City Council decides to interview all of the almost two dozen applicants for its fifth member, rather than selecting a smaller number to move forward to the interview process.

* After briefly reopening for outdoor dining one weekend, downtown Pleasanton restaurant SideTrack Bar + Grill switches back to takeout-only with the owner saying he'd received a tip that the health department would be coming to shut it down as opening was in violation of the county's shelter-in-place orders.

* Pleasanton Unified School District (PUSD) board adopts a temporary grading policy at a special online meeting, allowing secondary students to receive "Credit" or "No Credit" marks instead of low letter grades on their first-semester report card.

* Zone 7 Water Agency's annual report on homeless encampments says approximately 10 miles of local flood control channels were used for shelter by unhoused individuals last year.

* COVID-19 case rates seem to stabilize after rising following the holidays. The number of new cases in the county drops in the middle of the month from a high 1,296 on Jan. 7 to 413 on Jan 11.

* Las Positas College begins to offer tuition-free, noncredit business certificates for those who take online courses in customer service and small business management.

* A group of residents launch petition effort to initiate a recall of San Ramon Valley school board President Susanna Wong Ordway, and board members Rachel Hurd and Ken Mintz over the board majority's decision not to reopen schools for in-person learning to date.

* Annual Make A Difference for Pleasanton Festival goes online, using its website to list volunteer opportunities with nonprofit groups for those seeking to "Get Connected and Stay Connected" in the community.

* Mark Armstrong is appointed to the San Ramon City Council, to fill the District 2 seat vacated after city voters elevated Dave Hudson to mayor.

* Rep. Swalwell is selected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve as an impeachment manager for the Senate trial of former president Trump after he was impeached Jan. 13 on one article of incitement of insurrection in the wake of a mob of his supporters breaching the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 while attempting to prevent congressional certification of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

* Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announces a collaboration with a United Kingdom company, ConserV Bioscience Limited, to develop a broad-spectrum or "universal" coronavirus vaccine.

* Save Mount Diablo announces its 2021 Discover Diablo hike series, which has added hikes, rock climbing and mountain biking activities in response to growing demand, for a total of 36 excursions in 2021.

* Livermore Arts starts a series of interviews, "Beyond the Stage," conducted by Executive Director Chris Carter with members of the arts community. The first interview features former Alameda County supervisor Scott Haggerty, who is generally credited with the building of the Bankhead Theater.

* Teachers from Dublin's Murray Elementary School are featured on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" for their efforts to educate students during the pandemic.

* Details are out on the appeal a San Ramon resident group filed over the Planning Commission's decision to approve a 32-pump Costco gas station located within the San Ramon city limits and affiliated with the Danville Costco store across the street.

* California Department of Public Health announces Jan. 25 that it is ending regional stay-at-home orders, returning the state to the previous county-by-county colored tiered system under its Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

* Pleasanton residents get the option of receiving carbon-free electricity in their homes after the City Council unanimously adopts several service levels from East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), the not-for-profit public agency that provides clean and renewable electricity to residents in Alameda and San Joaquin counties.

* Annual organizational workshop gives PUSD's two new trustees a more in-depth understanding of the various protocols, roles and responsibilities involved in representing and interacting with the community-at-large.

* Amador Valley and Foothill families combine for a "Let Them Play" rally at Amador, while almost every school in the East Bay Athletic League took part in their own rallies. Altogether there were at least 200 rallies taking place in California urging school and public health officials to bring back school sports amid the pandemic.

* Niles Canyon Railway volunteers, with the help of neighbors, rescue a cow that slid down a hill and got stuck at the base of the slope, mere feet from the historic railroad tracks.

* Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department moves out of Fire Station No. 3 on Santa Rita Road and West Las Positas Boulevard, relocating to a temporary facility blocks away for most of the year while the old station is torn down and rebuilt.

* After nearly 50 years, BART retires all of its legacy train cars and seeks ideas from the public on finding new uses for some of them. Most are to be recycled and used for parts as they are replaced by 775 new Fleet of the Future cars.

* Pleasanton Police Department bids farewell to longtime Capt. Craig Eicher when he retires after a career that lasted more than three decades.

* Planning Commissioner Gina Bonanno is appointed to the Livermore City Council, filling the seat vacated after Bob Woerner's election as mayor.

* PleasantonWeekly.com makes changes to its popular reader forum, Town Square, in an effort to reduce disrespectful commentary and encourage broader, more diverse community participation.

* Pleasanton Weekly editor Jeremy Walsh launches a new biweekly column, "What a Week".

* PUSD Superintendent David Haglund gives the second annual State of the School District address, hosted virtually by the Pleasanton Partnerships in Education Foundation, saying 2020 was one "of challenges, of conflict, and of change. Yet, I have never believed more in the shared mission and vision statements that guide our collective work."

* Tri-Valley community members are recognized for supporting racial equity and justice through their work, at the 21st annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Fellowship Breakfast, which is held virtually while participants eat bagged breakfasts delivered the night before.

February

* Museum on Main holds its 14th annual Wines and Valentines fundraiser virtually instead of gathering for the traditional heart-strewn event at the Club at Castlewood.

* City Council votes 3-2 to stop studying potable reuse as a water supply alternative, ending Pleasanton's participation in evaluating a regional potable reuse project with the Zone 7 Water Agency, Dublin San Ramon Services District and city of Livermore, among others.

* Former Dublin councilman Arun Goel is appointed to the DSRSD Board of Directors, filling a seat left vacant when no candidates ran for the Division 5 position in the regular election last fall.

* As case rates of COVID-19 continue to slow in Alameda County, PUSD Board of Trustees votes to have K-12 students return for in-person learning once the county is in the red tier for two weeks.

* Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth appeals an Alameda County Superior Court judge's rejection of their lawsuit against the city of Pleasanton over environmental approvals for the proposed Costco store.

* Campo di Bocce of Livermore owners announce it has closed permanently due to financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Kim Budil, a scientist with more than 30 years of experience in management and leadership, is named the new director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

* Amador Valley Quilters turn 40, with many members remembering the first meeting Feb. 14, 1981, in Mission Plaza. The group's 400 members have spent much of the last year making masks from their stashes of material.

* Family of 19-year-old Sydney "Syd" West, a former Foothill High student who went missing in San Francisco last fall, offers a $10,000 reward for information that will lead to her being reunited with her family.

* After a year of postponements and cancellations, Museum on Main schedules the 2021 Ed Kinney Speaker Series to be held virtually, to include a prerecorded monologue, then using the Zoom chat feature for a live Q&A with the character.

* Alameda County officials again postpone an appeal hearing for the Aramis project, a large-scale solar power plant proposed for roughly two miles north of the city limits and Interstate 580 in unincorporated Livermore.

* Alameda County Fair earns nine awards from the Western Fairs Association and eight from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions for innovation and excellence in competitive exhibits, agricultural programs and marketing in 2020 -- a year in which no fair was held due to the pandemic.

* Amador Valley High student Hiya Shah wins the Congressional App Challenge for California's 15th Congressional District for her smartphone app that provides real-time information on the quality of local tap water.

* Three people are injured in an early morning house fire on Driftwood Way in Pleasanton. An early estimate of damage to the home and contents is $850,000.

* Rotary Club of Pleasanton announces a new scholarship in honor of late Rotarian "Señor Bob" Athenour, a retired Amador Valley High foreign language teacher who later worked as a travel agent and co-founded Pleasanton-Tulancingo Sister City Association.

* Pleasanton Rides, the city service now provided by Pleasanton-based Black Tie Transportation, launches operations with revamped vans for senior's short-distance transportation.

* Tina Hand of Legacy Real and Associations of Pleasanton begins to serve a second straight year as president of the Bay East Association of Realtors.

* Pleasanton City Council votes 4-1 to enhance public messaging instead of issuing citations to encourage more people to wear face masks in public.

* Las Positas College students, employees and the greater community partake in a free food distribution program on campus.

* One phase of a safety improvement project on Highway 84 from Mission Boulevard in Fremont to Interstate 680 in Niles Canyon nears completion.

* Alameda County Fairgrounds is designated a COVID-19 vaccination site allowing local residents who qualify based on age or employment to sign up.

* After reaching a stalemate on reopening Pleasanton schools for in-person learning as the county remains in the purple tier but case data trends downward, the Board of Trustees is scheduled to revisit the matter at a special online meeting.

* Tri-Valley state legislators propose a state law to require local fire districts be notified by electrical utility companies about any fire safety-related activities in areas with high fire risk.

* San Ramon City Council denies a resident appeal and approves proposed Costco gas station on Fostoria Way.

* Livermore Airport Commission OKs a plan that would relocate the corporate offices of Oakland-based charter airliner KaiserAir to the Livermore Municipal Airport, which would include the development of air facilities that could accommodate Boeing 737s.

* Black History Month celebrations take shape virtually to disburse educational material and pay tribute to the contributions of Black culture on society.

* East Bay Athletic League athletes begin to compete against each other again, including cross-country, golf, tennis and swimming.

* Nearly one year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced its closure, the Board of Trustees votes unanimously to have students return to PUSD for in-person instruction.

* The developer behind the proposed Aramis solar energy plant currently under appeal with the county government announces plans to seek voluntary state and federal permits as part of a new conservation strategy to address potential wildlife impacts of the project in northern Livermore.

* Dublin Unified School District parents, teachers and students rally to urge the Board of Trustees to continue with facilities upgrades on Murray and Dublin elementary schools, in the face of a $184 million budget shortfall.

* In a repeat of an initial decision last month, Pleasanton council votes 3-2 to support a citywide prohibition on the construction of new two-story accessory dwelling units (ADUs).

* Newly formed East Bay Holocaust Education Center (EBHEC) in Pleasanton uses creative programs to teach residents lessons from the Holocaust as well as honor its victims, including an upcoming art exhibition, a multimedia contest for students and plans for a virtual play this summer.

* Tri-Valley restaurants come together to encourage residents to participate in the region's first "Taste Tri-Valley Restaurant Week."

* Livermore will again have a midsize hardware store in town as a new Ace Hardware location is set to open this spring, replacing the Orchard Supply that closed in 2018 and has remained empty until now.

* Tri-Valley nonprofit Culinary Angels, which supplies nutritious meals to patients facing cancer or other serious medical conditions, expands from focusing on Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton to include San Ramon and Danville.

* The results are in: The 2020-21 Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund raised $88,215 through community donations to support six safety-net nonprofits in the Tri-Valley.

March

* Sabrina Landreth, former city administrator for Oakland, becomes East Bay Regional Park District's next general manager, the 10th in the district's 87-year history and the first woman.

* City Council unanimously approves using city funds for a regional mental health pilot program providing urgent care services to Tri-Valley residents experiencing a crisis.

* Recognizing the impact of isolation on students during the pandemic, PUSD temporarily expands the grading scale range for D and F grades for the second semester.

* PUSD board approves an additional $1.1 million for the independent study program.

* BART budget officials say they do not expect the agency's operating revenue to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024 at the earliest, with growth not expected until late in the 2020s.

* Alameda County Fairgrounds showcases popular foods synonymous with the annual summer fair at a special event called the "Grab-n-Stay Fair Food Feast," which offers the chance to sample fair food favorites while supporting food vendors impacted by pandemic-related closures and cancellations.

* LAVTA launches a program that will provide free rides to and from any COVID-19 vaccination site in Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin.

* Amador Valley Scholarships Inc., which helps students graduating from Amador Valley, Foothill and Village high schools, adds two more scholarships: The Richard and Freida Greville Memorial Scholarship; and the Zachary Scanlan Memorial Scholarship.

* County Board of Supervisors unanimously approves the contentious Aramis solar energy project planned for north Livermore after nearly 10 hours of presentations, discussion and deliberations.

* Biotech company 10x Genomics announces new details about expanding its footprint in Pleasanton by leasing a second building in the complex shared by its current headquarters and paying $29.4 million to buy the nearby Pleasanton Plaza site just south of Stoneridge Shopping Center at 1701 Springdale Ave.

* Tri-Valley's first all-abilities public playground opens at the Dublin Sports Grounds.

* Pleasanton City Council unanimously approves the city's legislative framework for 2021, to focus on COVID-19 response and recovery, housing, fostering economic prosperity, mental health, and the city's infrastructure including streets, water, sewage and telecommunications.

* Rep. Swalwell sues former president Trump, his son and two allies in federal court, alleging their words and actions before the 2020 election certification make them liable for the rioting at the U.S. Capitol in January.

* PUSD schools reopen after almost exactly one year to eager students and families, many of whom have reported struggling with the virtual curriculum. Dublin and Livermore public schools are scheduled to reopen later in the month.

* Museum on Main reopens March 23 with a traveling exhibit, "The Newest Americans: New Citizens Reflect on What America Means to Them." The museum also announces its 2021 season for the Ed Kinney Speaker Series.

* Former Pleasanton police chief David Spiller, who stepped down from the city in retirement in 2019, is back on duty full time after being hired as the permanent chief of the San Rafael Police Department.

* City leaders consider an appeal of Pleasanton's currently estimated regional housing needs allocation (RHNA) following a lengthy discussion during which staff said an adjustment to the number of housing units ultimately assigned for the city is possible, but not to expect significant changes.

* For St. Patrick's Day, Dublin presents a chance to don the green and venture out -- or to enjoy everything Irish at home -- in a weeklong celebration.

* Pleasanton Planning Commission discusses redeveloping the site where the closed Barone's Restaurant currently stands on St. John Street with a single-family residential project or an office building.

* Pleasanton actor Parker Queenan stars in new season of "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" on Nickelodeon.

* PUSD staff presentation to the board says enrollment has shrunk by 410 students and is expected to remain flat for a while but eventually recover.

* Pleasanton Public Library opens its doors for a new "Grab and Go" service, allowing patrons entrance to the building for the first time all year, coinciding with the library's new "Take-Home Laptop Lending" service.

* California's counties and large cities can expect to receive money from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 in two parts with the first coming in 60 days, according to preliminary information provided by U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna's office.

* First-term Mayor Karla Brown, in Pleasanton's annual State of the City address, reflects mostly on the city's response to the COVID-19 pandemic rather than the usual, looking back on development projects, highlighting the work of city leadership, and giving residents a peek into the year ahead.

* UC Master Gardener Program of Alameda County holds its Incredible Edible Plant Sale, with orders placed online and curbside pickup at Alviso Adobe Community Park.

* With dry weather impacting local water supplies, Zone 7 Water Agency asks Tri-Valley residents and businesses to voluntarily reduce their water usage.

* A series of lawsuits and claims filed after the triple-fatal crash on Foothill Road on Christmas night 2019 paint the picture of a preventable accident with plenty of culpability to go around, targeting the city, county and state governments, family members of the teen driver who died and even one of the surviving passengers.

* Council votes 3-2 to set contribution limits for candidates running for office in Pleasanton after Mayor Brown declares it "time to get big money out of Pleasanton's government offices."

* Tri-Valley residents hold a small protest in downtown Pleasanton and a second, larger rally in Livermore protesting anti-Asian violence seen throughout the country, after the killing of eight people -- six of whom were Asian women -- at spas around Atlanta.

* Pleasanton native Lt. Col. Adam Darrow, an Air Force career man and current commander of 58th Operations Group Detachment 1, is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his part in rescuing 194 special operations forces during a January 2020 Iranian ballistic missile attack on al-Asad Air Base in Iraq.

* Citizens' group Save North Livermore Valley launches a GoFundMe campaign for a lawsuit to overturn Alameda County's approval of the Aramis industrial solar power plant.

* Stratford School announces plans to open the first standalone private middle school campus in the Tri-Valley on Stoneridge Drive in the fall.

* For the fourth year running, Foothill High School's competitive civics team is headed to the We the People national finals, after both Foothill and Amador Valley teams participated in this year's state finals, held online due to the pandemic.

* Brian Zachary Jones of Livermore, who had an earlier double-murder conviction in the case overturned on appeal, accepts a plea deal late last year for lesser charges of gross vehicular manslaughter and a 20-year prison sentence for an alcohol- and speed-fueled crash that killed a mother and her toddler in 2015.

* Interest in pet adoptions has skyrocketed over the past year, say local pet adoption centers, as East Bay residents turn to finding four-legged companions to help see them through the dark days of the COVID-19 world.

* Ambrose D. Regalia Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6298 celebrates its 75th anniversary. It was established March 24, 1946, as several dozen World War II veterans gathered at Veterans Memorial Hall on Main Street and was named after the war's first Pleasanton casualty.

* PUSD explores ways to increase instructional minutes at all elementary sites after an audit finds wide variances in the amount of instruction time and elementary student-to-teacher contact minutes.

* Dozens of protesters march through Danville to condemn the death of 32-year-old Tyrell Wilson, who died after he was shot by a Danville police officer March 11. Wilson, a Black man living unhoused near the freeway in Danville, was shot at the intersection of Sycamore Valley Road and Camino Ramon by Officer Andrew Hall, who was responding to a report that Wilson was throwing rocks from an overpass onto Interstate 680. Hall is the same officer who pulled the trigger in a 2018 fatal police shooting in Danville.

* Pleasanton Planning Commission tells the owners of Barone's Restaurant that plans to redevelop the downtown site must include commercial space and cannot be entirely residential.

* Dublin Unified School District's Trustee Catherine Kuo, 48, is killed after being pinned between two vehicles while loading a box into the trunk of a parked sedan when she was volunteering at Fallon Middle School. Four days later, several hundred people gather at Emerald Glen Park to honor Kuo, support her family and grieve together.

* Stephen Kalthoff, a former four-term director for the Zone 7 Water Agency and a third-generation vintner in the Livermore Valley, dies of a heart attack at the age of 80.

April

* Tri-Valley residents are able to celebrate Easter with their congregations in person as coronavirus vaccines continue to be administered and Alameda County allows places of worship to open at 50% capacity.

* Jeff Peters retires from LPFD after a 31-year career with his hometown fire department, including the past 15 months as its permanent fire chief.

* PPIE holds its second annual PPIE Virtual Run for Education after the first year raised about $75,000.

* Elizabeth Correia, 41, a first-grade teacher at Lydiksen Elementary School who grew up in Pleasanton and graduated from Foothill High School, and her mother, Maria Teixeira, 64, who was a school custodian in San Ramon, are killed after their car plunges down a cliff in a Bodega Bay parking lot.

* PUSD trustees approve a $248,000 contract with Nicole Anderson and Associates Consulting to work with district leadership to identify and address equity gaps among students, including policies and practices that contribute to systemic racism, microaggressions and student marginalization.

* As COVID-19 vaccinations roll out, people resume activities they haven't done in more than a year, like dining at restaurants, returning to classrooms, and gathering with family and friends.

* Hope Hospice revives its annual Hike for Hope program after canceling the event last year due to the coronavirus crisis, which resulted in shorting the organization more than $100,000 in anticipated revenue.

* A new Community Advisory Committee is being formed by the city of Dublin to give residents the opportunity to weigh in on future land-use and preferred development of the so-called "SCS Property," site of the At Dublin project that was rejected last summer.

* For the fourth year in a row, the town of Danville is recognized as the safest community in California, according to an annual study conducted by national security company Safewise.

* Tri-Valley holds activities and programs during Earth Week 2021 to highlight positive ways to support the Bay Area environment.

* Bankhead Theater in Livermore kicks off a series of early concerts for 44 patrons at distanced tables in its courtyard with Bay Area comedian Brian Maggi followed by guitarist James Robinson. Masks are required, and concessions are individually served.

* Pleasanton couple are robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight outside of their house seconds after they pull into their driveway on a Saturday. They question whether they were targeted because they are Asian American, and they praise police for a "job well done" in quickly arresting the suspects.

* Amador Valley High senior Mia Reeve earns a high finish in the Spirit of the Flame meet despite competing with an injured wrist in what would be the final event of her gymnastics career.

* Group of residents file a lawsuit against the city of San Ramon over its approval of a 32-pump Costco gas station near the Danville border, arguing that the project needs to be more thoroughly reviewed for environmental impacts.

* Pleasanton Downtown Association Executive Director Tiffany Cadrette is stepping down after accepting a marketing position with the Alameda County Fairgrounds.

* City Council members unanimously agree to set a voluntary $1,000 per individual contribution maximum for city office candidates but are split when it comes to limits for campaign expenditures.

* Alameda County Fair announces it is coming back in 2021 but rescheduled for the fall due to COVID-19 vaccine and food distribution efforts currently at the Pleasanton fairgrounds.

* Pleasanton Planning Commission unanimously approves the new contemporary design of the Chabad Center for Jewish Life, 3370 Hopyard Road, after the building was damaged by fire two years ago.

* Truck driver Ivenet Frederic, of Orlando, Fla., is charged with three felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter in connection with the crash in Livermore that killed three teenagers days before Christmas 2020.

* Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare permanently shuts down its LifeStyleRx fitness center in Livermore after 17 years, citing financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the health care provider says it plans to use the space to expand other services.

* Tri-Valley residents may one day be able to travel on foot or bike through Niles Canyon on a nearly six-mile proposed trail that would link the eastern end of Fremont and the unincorporated community of Sunol -- which Alameda County officials also said would ''preserve the historic water and rail infrastructure within Niles Canyon."

* Pleasanton grocery market Apna Bazar pleads guilty to two misdemeanor counts of price gouging for significant markups of dry goods and produce last year during the early days of the state's COVID-19 emergency,

* PUSD moves forward with plans to change enrollment boundaries for elementary school sites after the Board of Trustees unanimously approves a strategy for the public review process.

* ValleyCare Charitable Foundation dissolves, with mission and funds transitioning to the Stanford University Office of Medical Center Development and a team to be dedicated to Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare hospital priorities. The move comes five years after the ValleyCare health system merger with Stanford Health.

* Dublin High School ceremonially opens the doors to its new engineering and science building, marking completion of one of DUSD's marquee construction projects in recent years.

* Save North Livermore Valley files lawsuit against Alameda County after the Board of Supervisors' decision to approve Intersect Power's 410-acre Aramis solar energy project planned for North Livermore saying the development violates Measure D, which protects agricultural land and open space in eastern Alameda County, as well as violating the California Environmental Quality Act and the Alameda County General Plan.

* Contra Costa County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Hall turns himself in to the Martinez Detention Facility after being criminally charged for fatally shooting an unarmed driver during a police response in downtown Danville in November 2018. Hall faces felony counts of voluntary manslaughter and assault with a semiautomatic weapon in connection with the death of Laudemer Arboleda.

* Pleasanton resident Justin Michael McDaniels is taken into custody just after 10 p.m. on a Friday night after police allege he fired around 100 rifle rounds inside his home on Arroyo Court, with some of the bullets entering nearby condos. No neighbors were injured.

* Amador Valley High School boys track team breaks the 20-year school record for the distance medley relay, which consists of legs of 1,200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters and 1,600 meters, at a meet at the Campolindo track.

* Club at Castlewood in Pleasanton celebrates the groundbreaking of its multimillion-dollar renovation and modernization project, which will cost approximately $16 million project and is estimated for completion by June 2022.

* Main Street weekend closures return at the end of April to run until Labor Day to give downtown restaurants and shops more space to expand operations outdoors.

May

* Firehouse Arts Center reopens its doors to the public along with the facility's Harrington Art Gallery and its 10th "Fresh Works" exhibit.

* Bankhead Theater reopens, screening films with a restricted audience size, beginning with "Fiddler on the Roof" on May 19.

* City Council votes to levy transportation fees on new development in Pleasanton's Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone (JDEDZ) by the I-580/I-680 interchange. With a Costco, two hotels and other businesses planned to anchor the commercial development, city staff said revenue collected from the fees would mitigate the impact of new development.

* Susan Guinee, a longtime PE teacher who lived in San Ramon, died in a three-car crash at the intersection of Crow Canyon and Bollinger Canyon roads on Wednesday afternoon when her car was struck by a truck that police say appeared to have run a red light.

* A new group on NextDoor called "Improving Pleasanton's Internet" has more than 50 members and continues to grow after a Comcast outage leaves several hundred homes in Pleasanton without internet service for much of a day.

* Livermore City Council decides John Stein can remain on the Planning Commission after he referred to a proposed affordable housing development as a "ghetto" at a meeting April 20, but he must attend training webinars and meet with city human services staff.

* A local couple are arrested in connection with the shooting death of rapper Lil Yase (Mark Antonyyo Alexander Jr.) in Dublin in November, but they are released after Alameda County prosecutors decline to file formal charges against the pair for evidentiary reasons.

* Hart Middle School holds groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of work for its new science building, one of many projects in Pleasanton schools using Measure I1 bond money.

* Foothill High and Amador Valley High receive the designation of California Distinguished School, about a month after Harvest Park and Pleasanton middle schools were announced winners, along with Fallon Middle in Dublin and Mendenhall Middle in Livermore.

* Pleasanton Weekly's winners in the 2021 Mother-Daughter Lookalike Contest this year are Varupi Gupta and her daughter Pareena, 12.

* Embarcadero Media -- publisher of three newspapers and six community websites in the Bay Area, including the Pleasanton Weekly -- is one of 30 organizations across the U.S. and Canada chosen for the Facebook Journalism Project.

* Pleasanton native and actress Michelle Hinsberg opens up about her career and new indie film "It's What's on the Inside".

* Las Positas College holds its first all-day Literary Arts Festival, a free virtual Saturday event featuring national and internationally recognized authors, a Hollywood screenwriter, poet laureates and more.

* On the second day of the National Football League Draft, Jevon Holland, who was raised in Pleasanton, goes to the Miami Dolphins at 36th overall, and Aaron Banks, a former Pleasanton Junior Football League player, goes to the San Francisco 49ers at No. 48.

* Council wraps up the city of Pleasanton's draft work plan, a 27-page document to guide the council and city officials in decision-making for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years, as well as how to allocate funds and staffing toward realizing those goals.

* Pleasanton resident Mark Fiala, 66, is killed and his pet dog injured when they are hit by a vehicle while trying to cross Stoneridge Drive from a neighborhood east of Santa Rita Road just after 6 a.m. on a Monday.

* Dublin Unified hires San Jose schools administrator Chris Funk as the district's new superintendent.

* PUSD agrees to align instructional minutes to fix inconsistencies in learning time and teacher-to-student contact at its nine elementary schools, although the Board of Trustees agrees that each site should have the flexibility to decide its own bell schedule.

* Starting this month, the Alameda County Fire Department, which serves unincorporated areas along with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the cities of San Leandro, Emeryville, Dublin, Union City and Newark, is hoisting Red Flag Warnings to alert residents when they should refrain from activities that could inadvertently ignite fires.

* Livermore Valley wineries begin to welcome visitors back for tastings, special events and live music after lying mostly dormant for over a year shifting to virtual events and curbside pickup.

* Two men from Livermore (Phe N. Phan, 27, and Ronnie Ray Martinez Jr., 29) face first-degree murder and gun charges, as well as potential enhancements for prior convictions, in the wake of the May 8 shooting death of 24-year-old Emilio Molina at the Motel 6 in town in what police said appears to have been a gang-related killing.

* Amador Valley and Foothill high schools, for their annual joint performance, produce a musical revue movie of "On Broadway" on YouTube, with 19 students in the cast and 17 in the orchestra.

* Pleasanton Weekly earns 12 awards in the California News Publishers Association's 2020 Journalism Awards, including first place for Public Service Journalism (Digital) for its 2020 Tri-Valley candidate forum series, which included eight forums for 12 Tri-Valley local election races.

* Some downtown business owners say they are adversely affected by Main Street closures on weekends to accommodate outdoor dining, called a godsend by restaurant owners. The "Weekend on Main" is scheduled to run Friday afternoon through Sunday evening until Labor Day.

* Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees unanimously appoints William Kuo to succeed his late wife Catherine Kuo as the Trustee Area 3 representative, after she died in a traffic collision at Fallon Middle School on March 24.

* Pleasanton Police Department seeks at least 12 community members to voice their thoughts about issues affecting the department and serve two years on a new advisory board.

* After years of development and months of construction, a new-concept Lucky California grocery store opens its doors in Pleasanton, serving as the flagship location for the company's reimagined shopping experience.

* Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley announces she will not seek re-election to a fourth term when her current term ends at the beginning of 2023.

* Village High School educator Russell Sato is named PUSD's 2021 Teacher of the Year.

* The final environmental impact report for the proposed Valley Link commuter light rail system is unanimously approved by the Tri-Valley/San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority Board of Directors, bringing the project another step closer to fruition.

* Prosecutors decide the driver whose vehicle fatally struck Dublin Unified School District trustee Catherine Kuo during a volunteer event at Fallon Middle School in March will not face criminal charges because, although she failed to properly put her SUV into the park gear while stopped in the queue at the food distribution event, her actions did not rise to criminal negligence.

* Tri-Valley fire departments ramp up for expected big blazes after an early wildfire season that saw Cal Fire responding to 1,300 wildland fire incidents combined with a statewide drought and temperatures above normal.

* Livermore City Council signs off on the 130-unit affordable housing community proposed for downtown by Eden Housing following a public meeting that spanned two days.

* Montana Parkinson-Lubold of Amador Valley High takes the girls singles title at an event held in lieu of an official East Bay Athletic League official tennis tournament. Amador's doubles team of Sonali Carumbaya and Parna Praveen finishes third. The JV doubles team of Maryam Suratwala-Neha Reddy earns first, and Hannah You-Megha Reddy takes third. On the boys' side, Brett Miller beats teammate Bryan Park in the finals as the Dons finish first and second.

* Sunwalker Energy withdraws application with Alameda County for a conditional use permit to develop a solar energy project in northern Livermore. The project's prior approval was under appeal.

* Pleasanton high schools hold in-person graduation ceremonies, also livestreamed, at Amador Valley and Foothill stadiums with students walking across the stage but no handshakes and picking up their diplomas from a table. Village High holds its graduation at the district's upper Bernal fields near campus.

* Christesen's Western Wear permanently closes its doors in downtown Pleasanton after nearly a century of serving the East Bay's agricultural and equestrian community amid changing local demographics.

* The community's first designated cricket pitch opens at Alisal Elementary School, created in partnership between PUSD and youth group Cricket for Cubs.

* Foothill's Vivian Lee completes compelling freshman baseball season.

* Dublin resident Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35, a substation master mechanic with Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, is one of nine men killed after a "disgruntled" co-worker opens gunfire at the rail yard in San Jose.

June

* Pleasanton offers more camps and summer programs than last year, virtual and in-person, mostly outdoors, following every county and state guideline.

* Tri-Valley water providers launch a joint initiative to urge residents and businesses throughout the entire region to reduce their consumption by 10% after Gov. Newson includes Alameda County in his emergency drought declaration in May.

* Pleasanton's Fourth of July event at Lions Wayside Park downtown is canceled again for this year since the Pleasanton Community Band members have not been able to gather to practice, organizers say, plus it is doubtful whether crowds would be acceptable by July 4.

* Anica Xie, a sophomore at Amador Valley High School, is winner of the 2021 Congressional Art Competition for the 15th District for her work, "Black Lives Matter."

* PUSD budget analyst Kay Dorp is celebrated as the district's 2021 Classified Employee of the Year.

* Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, including a series of spotlights and reflections from business and community leaders.

* Las Positas College plans to reopen campus for the fall 2021 semester with in-person, online and hybrid schedules to offer more flexibility for students.

* San Ramon Valley historian Beverly Lane spotlights her new book, "Historic Tales of Alamo, California", written with Sharon Burke.

* One year after its initial launch, the Tri-Valley Nonprofit Fund for Covid Relief (TVNF) completes its third round of funding, thanks in part to support from the Rotary Club of Livermore and Workday, bringing its total amount of contributions up to $183,000.

* Pleasanton city officials unveil their new "Gift Pleasanton" to incentivize residents to patronize local businesses by offering them a digital gift card after they spend money locally.

* Health officers from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties and the city of Berkeley call for California schools to open for full-time, in-person learning for all grades in fall 2021.

* Foothill girls softball team clinches another East Bay Athletic League title, going 8-1 in league play and 17-2 overall. The season also ended the 40th year of coaching for Matt Sweeney, who has coached football, baseball and softball for the Falcons.

* Actor Bryan Mazzarello, who hails from Pleasanton, describes being transformed into the late artist Bob Ross for a Mountain Dew commercial, using prosthetics that included eyebags, crow's feet, chin and ear lobe extensions, and forehead, brow and nose pieces -- and more.

* City Council re-examines policy that prohibits non-active ground-floor uses along Main Street after an application from Iron Horse Real Estate to open for business in a ground-floor space at 550 Main St. was denied in December.

* Del Valle Regional Park celebrates the completion of its newly renovated visitor center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, featuring guest speakers and small group tours of the new space in Livermore.

* 19-year-old Elian Delacerda, who had ties to Pleasanton, dies after being stabbed in a late-night confrontation in Hawaii.

* Alameda County moves into the yellow tier of the pandemic reopening system one week before the state lifts the tier system completely.

* The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee includes $20 million for the Valley Link commuter light rail system connecting BART to ACE in the upcoming transportation spending bill upon the request of Rep. Swalwell.

* Multiple gunshots are fired in a Stoneridge Shopping Center parking lot on a Tuesday afternoon, with apparently nobody injured and those involved escaping.

* Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council installs two colorful temporary signposts that point the way to the city's works of public art to celebrate the lively role the arts play in the downtown's awakening as the pandemic subsides.

* Bankhead Theater opens ticket sales for its 2021-22 season, to launch Sept. 11 with its annual fundraising gala, "Brilliance at the Bankhead," and offering a diverse range of entertainment.

* Live horse racing returns to the Alameda County Fairgrounds from June 18-July 18 although the fair itself is scheduled for late October.

* Former mayor Jerry Thorne and his wife Kalee move to Marana, Ariz., after he has lived in and served for 50 years in Pleasanton.

* California Department of Public Health's "Beyond the Blueprint" framework allows most businesses like restaurants, theaters, wineries, breweries and shopping malls to resume regular operations without requiring masks for people who are vaccinated, physical distancing or capacity limitations.

* City Council approves the site of the former Pleasanton Plaza retail complex to become the new campus for biotech company 10x Genomics to conduct a variety of research, development and laboratory work.

* Construction of the new Legacy at Livermore downtown housing and retail development comes to a temporary halt after contractor files for bankruptcy.

* Each of the four Tri-Valley cities and the town of Danville raise the LGBTQ+ Pride flag on municipal flagpoles, and Livermore Pride hosts its first-ever Pride-Promish festivities.

* Jaclyn LaHa, an incoming junior and star golfer for the Amador Valley Dons, plays in the U.S. Women's Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

* Livermore earns national recognition by being named one of this year's All-America City Award winners along with nine other cities across the country honored by the National Civic League.

* At a City Council meeting, a presentation on the next steps needed to clean up Pleasanton's contaminated groundwater wells to the tune of $46 million morphs into a broader discussion about finding regional alternatives and maintaining local control over water resources. Officials have been working to address the problem after per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were found in the city's groundwater supply facilities in recent years.

* Aimee and Bryan Wingen open their Wingen Bakery in downtown Livermore. They first launched the business from their home last year so they could be full-time caretakers to their infant daughter, Waylynn, who had been diagnosed with a terminal genetic disorder called Zellweger syndrome. Waylynn Wingen died in August 2020 at 8 months old.

* PUSD cabinet members welcome two new principals: Gerardo Guzman-Rico at Valley View Elementary School and Russell Campisi at Harvest Park Middle School.

* Pleasanton Weekly's popular Readers' Choice contest returns after one-year hiatus.

* Pleasanton names Amador Valley High senior Nikita Jayaprakash to be the city's 2021-22 teen poet laureate.

* U.S. Army formally dedicated the SPC. Jameson L. Lindskog Army Reserve Center at Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training Area in Dublin, in honor of the Pleasanton native and combat medic who was killed in action on March 29, 2011, at age 23 while deployed in Afghanistan.

* Livermore resident Simon W. Meyer, 52, who works as a firefighter in San Mateo County, faces criminal charges after police allege he secretly video-recorded two teenage girls while they were trying to change into swimsuits in his bathroom.

* Amid negotiations with both collective bargaining groups at PUSD -- and heavy criticism from some union members -- the Board of Trustees unanimously approves prescheduled compensation increases for the district administrative cabinet.

* Community group Save Livermore Downtown files lawsuit against the city of Livermore, challenging the City Council's approval of the 130-unit Eden Housing affordable housing development planned for downtown.

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