Latest News Articles From The San Ramon Tribune

Friday, May 30, 2008

San Ramon Senior Center Expansion Grand Opening

Saturday, May 31 • 8:30am - 3:30pm • San Ramon Senior Center, 9300 Alcosta Blvd

Senior Center Expansion Grand Opening

The Grand Opening of the Senior Center Expansion will be a community celebration for people of all ages. This new expansion allows the Parks & Community Services Department to open this vital location to people of all ages for recreation and enjoyment. All of the residents of San Ramon are encouraged to visit this revitalized facility, learn about all of its resources and celebrate its addition to the community.

Schedule of Events:

8:30 am
Family Walk and Stroll

9:00 am
San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District Breakfast

11:00 am
Children’s Play Zone opens
Enjoy games, face painting, bocce ball, horse shoes and more!

11:30 am
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

12:30 pm
Live Well Resource Fair - health and wellness information and a variety of health screenings

Facility Tours, Class Demonstrations, Live Entertainment, Garden Tours and Demonstrations

7:00 pm
Line Dance

Senior Center Interior or 925.973.3250

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

San Ramon Art & Wind Festival

San Ramon
Art & Wind Festival

Sunday & Monday, May 25 - 26
10 am-5 pm
San Ramon Central Park, 12501 Alcosta Blvd

Presented by:
Chevron and the City of San Ramon

The San Ramon Art & Wind Festival blows into town on May 25 & 26 in San Ramon Central Park from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. The festival includes over 200 arts & crafts booths, entertainment on 3 stages, kite-flying demos, free kite making workshops, kids' activities, a non-profit info alley, displays and more!

Hot Air Balloon Launch & Hang Gliding Demonstration

The festival will feature a Hot Air Balloon Launch on Monday, May 26 (only) at dawn (approximately 6am). Find out more information.

The festival will feature a variety of entertainment on three stages. The main stage will feature outstanding acts throughout the weekend. Click for events schedule.

Kids Have The Zone For Great Activities

The Wild & Windy Kids Activity Area will include crafts and games based on the wind theme. More info.

Wind Activities

National kite flying champions will present professional Kite Flying Demos on both days from 10am to 5pm.

Food & Beverages

Bring your appetite and enjoy Nachos, grilled chicken sandwiches, Caesar salad, hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, sausage sandwiches, tri-tip sandwiches, ice cream, snow cones, Cotton Candy, Kettle Korn and more! The San Ramon Rotary and San Ramon Soroptomist will be pouring beer and wines. The festival is a benefit for the non-profit groups who operate the food booths. Last year they collectively made over $80,000.

Read all about it. Come to San Ramon on Sunday and Monday and have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Wine Tasting and Pizza Party Benefit Climbing For Kids

Support Earth Island Institute - Bay Area Wilderness Training

Like to drink wine and eat pizza? Passionate about the outdoors?

Then come to our wine tasting and pizza party at ZPizza in San Ramon. While enjoying exquisite wines and delicious pizza, we'll talk about how we are trying to raise money to introduce at risk youth to the outdoors.

Click the link below for our event flyer and more details.

I hope to see you Thursday, May 15th from 6:30-8:30 pm at ZPizza in San Ramon. Please email me if you have any questions about the event or would like to know more about how to get at risk kids into the outdoors.

Thursday, May 15th from 6:30-8:30 pm at ZPizza in San Ramon. Click this ZPizza link for map and directions. The party is to benefit an event that I will be doing in late July called Climbing for Kids. In short, in exchange for raising $3,500, I'll get the chance to go on a guided climb up this mountain in Wyoming. Anyone know what it is? The money that I raise will support Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT), a non-profit organization that gets at-risk and underprivileged youth outdoors. For every $1,000 raised, an average of 17 kids will get outside on trips with experienced adults using the best gear in the outdoor industry. In total, if I reach my fundraising goal, the money that is raised will be affecting the lives of over 50 kids. As I'm sure you've noticed, childhood obesity has tripled since 1980, and, with the current climate crisis, environmental stewardship has become increasingly important. The way to impart this onto today's youth is to take them outside, make 'em sweat, and introduce them to the beauty of the outdoors!

Check out this flyer for event details. It's $25, but there will be free pizza, wine, and music. There will also be a raffle with prizes such as San Fransisco Opera tickets, California Shakespeare tickets, passes to Golden Gate Fields, and many, many more. Tickets are 1 for $5, or 3 for $10 .

If you can't make it to the event but believe in and would like to support the cause, you can donate at the "Donation Page": Just enter in my last name (Singh) and you'll see "Amitpal Singh" pop up. Some of you may know other people going on this trip. You can also/alternatively donate to them using this link.

Thanks for your time. If you would like to know more about the fundraiser, the name of the mountain, or Climbing for Kids, please feel free to email me.

Best wishes,

Amitpal Singh

Friday, May 2, 2008

San Ramon Farmer's Market Opens May 3

San Ramon Farmer's MarketWelcome to another season of the San Ramon Farmer's Market!

On Saturday, May 3, 2008 we will open our doors to another exciting season of celebrating local growers, local food and local history. Share the abundance and the experience of the market with your neighbors, friends and family. Located on a historical 16-acre farm, Forest Home Farms offers a beautiful agricultural setting to host a weekly farmers market. Take a picnic or a guided tour every Saturday and learn about the history of this place.

With an expanded food courtyard to include fresh pastas, olives and pestos, homemade mini-donuts, Afghan and Italian sauces and bolani, kettle corn, mouth watering vegan treats, jams preserves, crepes and galettes and more. We hope you will enjoy hanging around a bit while enjoying live music and connecting with your favorite local grower. For opening day, we will have organic strawberries, asparagus, and much more!

Also new this year is an expanded arts & crafts corner, a new visitor and gift center with new public restrooms, and local business booth sponsored by the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce. I would also like to introduce a new addition to the San Ramon Farmers Market team. Please welcome Nancy Young as your new farmers market manager. Nancy has a dynamic energy, a love for community and a passion for local sustainable agriculture!

See you at the market!

Harv Singh
Market Director

Directions to the Market

Eleanor and Travis Boone Eating Corn on the Cob

Eating corn was a favorite past time of the Boone Family who lived at Forest Home Farms during the 1900s.

Picture of Eleanor and Travis Boone eating corn at Forest Home Farm on October 21, 1907. Caption below describes the event. Photo courtesy of San Ramon Historic Foundation.

San Ramon Valley Unified School District's Dougherty Valley PreSchool Survey

Dougherty Valley Preschool Round-upCommunity Collaborates with School District, City, County and Local Businesses to Publicize the Dougherty Valley Preschool Round-up Survey Windemere, Gale Ranch, and Bridges residents have united to start a grassroots movement to help the San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD) ensure that Dougherty Valley (DV) residents with children ages 0-4 years old participate in the District’s preschool round-up survey. An online survey link, authorized by Mayor Wilson, is also located on the City of San Ramon’s web page.

Printed surveys can be picked up at any of the 4 DV elementary schools, the San Ramon and Dougherty Station Community Centers, the San Ramon and Dougherty Station libraries, and at several different local businesses, such as My Gym, Connect1 Verizon Wireless and P3 Party Place— all around the San Ramon Marketplace.

It is ESSENTIAL that ALL DV residents complete and return the survey to help the District better plan the future capacity of our four new elementary schools: Coyote Creek (CC), Hidden Hills (HH), Quail Run (QR) and Live Oak (LO).

As of mid-April, only 464 out of approximately 7,110 housing units have completed the survey. In order to reach as many of the qualifying DV residents as possible, we are asking all media outlets (newspapers, websites, magazines, tv, etc.) to publicize the survey and to explain the importance of everyone’s participation.

287+ Dougherty Valley (DV) Elementary School Diversions Possible For Fall 2008

72 kindergarten students and 287 overall DV elementary students (as of April 4) are projected to be diverted from their home elementary schools for Fall 2008, with more students expected to move in over the summer. Two years ago, in March 2006, a group of Windemere residents asked the SRVUSD to get an actual count of the number of preschoolers living in the DV, rather than relying on generic, possibly outdated projections. At that time, the District assured community representatives that the DV was going through “growing pains” like all new developments and the overcapacity was a “bubble” or a “pig in a python” which would resolve itself shortly over time. Furthermore, the District stated that two additional elementary schools were being built (QR and LO), which would relieve the overcapacity problems. However, based on the fact that all four elementary schools have been completed; three of the four schools held kindergarten lotteries for Fall 2008; and the fact that the DV is considered a “phenomenon” with regards to the higher than expected percentage of families with young children moving into the community, the District recently agreed to conduct a preschool round-up survey during the months of April and May, as suggested by DV residents.

Overcapacity May Increase as New Dougherty Valley (DV) Homes Continue to be Built

DV elementary schools are the largest in the District, built to master plan capacity of 900, which allows for 150 students per grade. As reference, on February 28, Live Oak had 192 participants in its kindergarten lottery and ended up with 46 on the wait list. Eventually a total of 11,000 homes will be built in Windemere, the Bridges and Gale Ranch. According to the December 10, 2007 Dougherty Valley Oversight Committee (DVOC) report, DV housing units were approximately at 65% buildout, yet the schools are at 100% buildout. Our community fears overcapacity problems are likely to worsen as new homes continue to be built.

Why Does Overcapacity Already Exist in New Dougherty Valley (DV) Elementary Schools?

Data collected from the preschool survey can be used to verify the accuracy of the District’s original projected enrollment as determined by the student generation factors: assumed to be 0.079-0.519 student per household unit. For the breakdown by grade, see Table 7.2-2 below, taken from the San Ramon General Plan (pages 4-5 from online link

Projected School Enrollment in San Ramon

Do I Live in the Dougherty Valley?

Anyone living in the 94582 zip code is considered to be a DV resident. Many families who just moved to the area do not even realize they live in the DV, and unless parents have a child ready to enter kindergarten, they are usually unaware of the overcapacity situation in the schools.

Are My Children Currently Affected By These Problems?

Since 2003, overcapacity in DV elementary schools has been an on-going problem at Coyote Creek, Hidden Hills and most recently, Live Oak. When some Hidden Hills and Coyote Creek residents first moved into the area 4–8 years ago, they could not have imagined being in a lottery situation and yet their oldest children were recently put on the wait list at their perspective schools. Even if your oldest child is already enrolled in a DV school and the younger one will receive sibling priority, these children STILL need to be accounted for since they will fill a kindergarten space. This is why EVERYONE with a child age 0-4 years old needs to participate in the survey today.

Has the District Taken Steps to Address the Dougherty Valley (DV) Overcapacity Situation?

On April 9, two SRVUSD Board Members, President Greg Marvel and Clerk Bill Clarkson, spoke at a Town Hall meeting at Live Oak Elementary to answer community questions. Over 100 residents filled the MPR to hear their responses and the meeting ended with a Q&A session. Furthermore, since March 2006, Superintendent Kessler has been willing to listen to community concerns and he has made every effort to include the Windemere residents in the planning and discussion process. Once the District learned there would be 46 kindergarten students on the wait list at Live Oak, Assistant Superintendent Brown and her staff worked quickly to open an extra kindergarten class for Fall 2008. In addition, the facilities department rapidly implemented a few of the residents’ suggestions, such as the online survey and distributed survey flyers to preschools in the area. Our community greatly appreciates all the hard work and efforts put forth by the District, but we feel the District is like the little Dutch boy: merely using his fingers to plug holes here and there in the leaky dam. Until we know how much water the dam holds (or how many preschoolers live in the DV), how can the District effectively plan for the future?

Why the Grassroots Movement to Publicize the Survey?

Currently the SRVUSD’s main priorities are dealing with the State’s budget cuts, so the community is taking the initiative to assist with publicity and extra distribution coverage of the round-up flyers. In the past, the District has relied upon possibly outdated projections to estimate the number of preschoolers. Many of the DV parents planned ahead and moved here when our children were still toddlers because of the excellent reputation of the schools. We strongly believe it’s in our children’s best interest for the District to do the same and plan ahead for future elementary school capacity needs.We want to do everything possible to ensure the District has a ballpark figure of the number of preschoolers currently living in the DV. Therefore, we would appreciate the media’s help in disseminating the information below:

The School District is conducting a Preschool Round-Up for all children ages 0-4 residing in the Dougherty Valley. During the months of April and May, Facilities staff will be collecting information from parents to assist in projecting the number of students entering Kindergarten at Coyote Creek, Hidden Hills, Live Oak, and Quail Run Elementary Schools in the Fall of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Please participate via the online survey by visiting the SRVUSD website at

Click on the “Pre-School Round-up!” link under the “News and Announcements” heading in the left-hand column. If you would like to printout a hard copy for distribution, there’s an online printable pdf as well.

To go directly to the online survey, please visit:

How Can I Learn More About This Situation?

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the next page or join the Yahoo! group at:

School District Preschool Round-up Survey FAQ

Q: Who should participate and when is the deadline?
A: Dougherty Valley residents with children ages 0-4 years old are requested to complete the SRVUSD’s Pre-School Round-up Survey during the months of April and May. Facilities staff will collect information from parents to assist in projecting the number of students entering Kindergarten at Coyote Creek, Hidden Hills, Live Oak and Quail Run Elementary Schools in the Fall of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Q: Do I live in the Dougherty Valley?
A: Everyone residing in the 94582 zip code is considered a DV resident.

Q: Why should I participate?
A: Overcapacity in DV elementary schools has been an on-going problem since 2003 at Coyote Creek, Hidden Hills and most recently, Live Oak, which had 192 participants in a kindergarten lottery for 150 spots. 4–8 years ago, when some Hidden Hills and Coyote Creek residents first moved into the area, they NEVER imagined being in a lottery situation— yet their oldest children are currently on the kindergarten wait lists for Fall 2008. Even if your older child is already enrolled in a DV school and the younger one will receive sibling priority, these children STILL need to be accounted for since they will fill a kindergarten space. By completing either the online survey or mail-in survey, your information will provide more accurate data so the District can better estimate future capacity needs.

Q: How do I determine which year my child will start kindergarten?
A: Please note that these are just general guidelines and parents know their children’s capabilities best.

Child’s Birthdate Year to Begin Kindergarten
December 3, 2003–December 2, 2004 Fall 2009
December 3, 2004–December 2, 2005 Fall 2010
December 3, 2005–December 2, 2006 Fall 2011
December 3, 2006–December 2, 2007 Fall 2012

Q: What if I decide to hold my child back a year before entering kindergarten?
A: That is perfectly fine because the year you record on the survey is NOT set in stone. The District recognizes that as the time actually approaches for your child to begin Kindergarten, you may decide to hold your child back a year. This is why the survey also requests your child’s birthdate.

Q: Why does overcapacity already exist in our new elementary schools?
A: The Dougherty Valley schools capacity was estimated based upon projected student generation factors (SGF)* of:

Grade Levels Single family Multi family
K-5th grades 0.519 0.079
6th-8th grades 0.172 0.058
9th-12th grades 0.187 0.087

The District’s original projections assumed an average of about 0.4-0.7 student per household would be attending K-12th grade during any given year. *Data taken from Table 7.2-2: Projected Enrollment in San Ramon from the San Ramon General Plan 2020 – pages 4-5 from online link

Q: How can I help with the DV community’s grassroots efforts?
A: 1) Forward the online link to everyone you know who lives in Windemere, Gale Ranch or the Bridges:
2) Printout hard copies of the survey flyer and drop them off at your children’s extracurricular activities, preschools, play groups, etc.
3) Talk to parents around your neighborhood and at the parks and encourage them to participate.
4) Join the Yahoo! group to keep informed about the issues:
5) Please contact if you'd like to help.

Thank you very much.
We greatly appreciate your help.

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