Latest News Articles From The San Ramon Tribune

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Biletnikoff Foundation Celebrity Crab Fest - San Ramon

Greg Papa, Bay Area sports broadcaster and radio voice of the Oakland Raiders, will be the master of ceremonies for the 9th Annual Biletnikoff Foundation Celebrity Crab Fest & Sports Auction.

Greg Papa, Bay Area sports broadcaster and radio voice of the Oakland Raiders, will be the master of ceremonies for the 9th Annual Biletnikoff Foundation Celebrity Crab Fest & Sports Auction from 6 p.m. to midnight, Friday, November 7 at the Marriott at Bishop Ranch, 2600 Bishop Drive, San Ramon, California.

Tickets are $120 per person and attire is casual. Last year’s sold-out event raised $60,000 for the foundation.

Founded in the memory of Tracey Biletnikoff, whose life was brutally taken in 1999, the Biletnikoff Foundation enables young people to realize their full potential through education addressing problems related to substance abuse and gender violence.

Crab Fest 2008 highlights include dinner with celebrities and past and present Oakland Raiders; live entertainment from Pa Pa Doo Run Run; a diamond raffle; a special performance by the Raiderettes; original art by Armando Delgado, Painter of Legends; a tribute to NFL great Gene Upshaw; and live and silent auctions with many exclusive items available for bid, including Pro Bowl & Hall of Fame travel packages and an Oakland Raiders home game package.

For the third year, the Biletnikoff Foundation will be giving back even more to the community by awarding $1,000 educational grants to aid high school seniors to fulfill their dreams of entering college.

Sponsorship opportunities are available from title sponsor at $25,000 to grant sponsorship at $1,000. Ticket holders who are grant sponsors of $1,000 will have the opportunity to award the scholarships in person at the Crab Fest.

Fred Biletnikoff was All-AFL/AFC four times, 1971 NFL receiving champion, and played in two AFL All-Star games, four AFC-NFC Pro Bowls, eight AFL/AFC title games and two Super Bowls. He was MVP in Super Bowl XI. He was the Oakland Raiders wide-receiver coach. Biletnikoff has a national award named after him. For the past 11 years the Biletnikoff Award has been presented to young men in football who continue to have outstanding careers in the NFL. The impressive list includes Bobby Engram, Terry Glenn, Marcus Harris, Randy Moss, Troy Edwards, Troy Walters, Antonio Bryant, Josh Reed, Charles Rogers, Larry Fitzgerald and Braylon Edwards.

For tickets and information contact the Biletnikoff Foundation, 7080 Donlon Way, Suite 126, Dublin, CA 94568, (925) 556-2525. Tickets may be ordered online at

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

San Ramon CEO Competes in IronmanTriathlon

San Ramon-based Accela CEO Competes Alongside Business Leaders in Hawaii Triathlon

While it’s not uncommon for a CEO to be up at 4 a.m. with thoughts of his company’s success running through his mind, Maury Blackman, president and CEO of Accela, takes this scenario literally. He starts each day before dawn with a two-hour exercise routine that includes running and swimming, and then heads into the office of his international software company that connects people to government services. Blackman also spends his weekend “downtime” biking 50-miles through the areas surrounding his Danville, California home.

This drive to succeed has not only impacted his company’s success, it also helped him secure one of only 15 coveted qualifying slots, sought after by nearly 100 C-suite athletes, in the 2008 CEO Ironman World Championships held October 11, 2008 in Kona, Hawaii. With an overall time of 11:36:04, Blackman placed seventh among the other participating CEOs. Quite an impressive move considering he has only competed in three other Ironman events.

Maury Blackman
CEO, Maury Blackman Crossing Finish Line in Ironman Hawaii Triathlon
For Maury, personal fitness is like keeping a car in peak condition: the more care and attention you give it, the better and longer it will perform. He believes the same goes for a well-conditioned company: an organization whose culture supports healthy lifestyles and that operates under principles of speed, agility and endurance is better equipped to anticipate and respond successfully to market trends and challenges.

He recently issued a personal directive to employees to take ALL their allotted vacation time off, for their own good and that of the company. And under his leadership Accela offers free flu shots to all employees and provides fresh fruit in lieu of candy as an office treat. Maury also insists that staff get plenty of sleep during offsite events like sales meetings and user conferences. He has been known to call the hotel room of key employees to make sure they “made curfew.”

In addition to keeping his company and himself healthy, Blackman brings a driven, youthful approach to the role of CEO, which in some companies is thought of as a stuffy “suit” position. It’s not uncommon to hear him use phrases like “killer” or “awesome” when he describes Accela’s products that connect citizens and the business community to government services in more than 500 agencies worldwide.

More information about Accela can be found at

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Parks Commission Looking For A Food Fight

The San Ramon Parks and Community Services Commission is creating an organic food fight for the Crow Canyon Gardens' Growers.

The issue revolves around the City of San Ramon attempting to remove the fruit and vegetable growers from a one acre parcel of land that is rich for growing organic fruits and vegetables. The City wants to convert this less than one acre parcel into more space for youth activities; as though the existing 425 acres of San Ramon parks doesn't provide enough youth activities areas already. Read how this will impact the Growers and the City.

The issue will be taken up at the Wednesday October 8, 2008 meeting of the Parks and Community Services Commission being held in the Council Chambers located at 2222 Camino Ramon at 7 pm.

The growers generate about 15,000 pounds of fresh vegetables every year. KCBS' Dave Padilla reports

AT&T, Junior Achievement Launch Job Shadow Initiative

Job Shadow Initiative Is Part of a National $100 Million AT&T Aspire Initiative to Promote High School Success and Workforce Readiness in Order to Help Prepare Students for the World of Work

San Ramon, October 7, 2008 — In an effort to encourage American high school students to stay in school and to increase their competitiveness with counterparts from other countries, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Junior Achievement today announced the launch of a multimillion dollar, multiyear job shadow initiative that will match 100,000 students with more than 50,000 AT&T employees to help strengthen student success and workforce readiness.

The nationwide five-year, $5.5 million program will launch this fall in 63 locations, including San Ramon where students from Amador Valley High School/Pleasanton, Benicia High School/Benicia, Concord High School/Concord, Farwest High School/Oakland, Fremont Federation/Oakland, Leadership Preparatory/Oakland, Sojourner Truth/Oakland, Valley High School/Dublin, Vanden High School/Fairfield, and Village High School/Pleasanton will join forces with AT&T employees. With 1.2 million American students dropping out of high school every year, initiatives such as the AT&T/JA Worldwide Job Shadow teach students about careers and help them see firsthand the educational background and skills they will need to succeed on the job.

“One of the best ways we can help our young people succeed in high school is to ensure that they see the connection between education and their best future,” said AT&T Senior Vice President Robin MacGillivray, Valued Client Group. “Across our company, the people of AT&T are proud to join forces with Junior Achievement to help students make that connection and go on to build great careers.”

The AT&T/JA Worldwide Job Shadow is committing 400,000 employee volunteer hours to reach 100,000 students in grades 9-12. The program will bring students into the world of business through classroom instruction followed by on-site mentoring in which students get to interact with a wide range of AT&T employees, including technical and customer service representatives, product and service managers, and marketing and advertising executives.

“No matter what career they ultimately choose, the JA Job Shadow experience helps kids become ‘work ready’ by taking them into the workplace and showing them how education and training translate to success on the job,” said Linda McCracken, president of Junior Achievement of Northern California. “Seventy-nine percent of students participating in job shadowing report that the program increased their desire to stay in school, so this is clearly a proven way to improve high school success.”

Through the job shadow opportunity, McCracken added, students experience some of the interpersonal nuances of the workplace that are difficult to grasp in a classroom setting, such as the importance of negotiation, teamwork, cooperation with others, decision making and problem solving. Following participation in the initiative, students will be able to identify and demonstrate the work-readiness skills needed to research, get and keep a job — as well as develop personal strategies to achieve lifelong learning pursuits and career opportunities.

The job shadow initiative is part of the recently announced AT&T Aspire program, one of the largest-ever corporate commitments to high school retention and workforce readiness. The initiative is designed to support proven approaches to promoting educational success, from the classroom to the workplace.

Through the Aspire initiative, AT&T has committed $100 million (over four years, 2008-2011) to a range of efforts that includes:

  • Grants to schools and nonprofit organizations that are focused on helping students graduate from high school and become better prepared for college and/or the workforce.
  • The underwriting of national research that will explore the perspectives and best practices of practitioners (teachers, principals, superintendents, school counselors and school board members) on the high school dropout issue.
  • Support for 100 state and community dropout prevention summits, organized by America’s Promise Alliance to engage education experts and community leaders around the crisis and ways to address it.
Two of the major unions representing AT&T employees, the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, are supporting the job shadow initiative.

Junior Achievement is a recognized leader in job shadowing and a key member of the National Job Shadow Coalition, which also includes AT&T, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Labor and America’s Promise Alliance. The AT&T program is the largest-ever corporate job shadow collaboration Junior Achievement has undertaken.

For more information about the AT&T Aspire initiative, please visit

Find More Information Online:

About Junior Achievement® (JA)

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, Junior Achievement provides in-school and after-school programs for students which focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. Today, 138 individual area operations reach 4.2 million students in the United States, with an additional 4.3 million students served by operations in 118 other countries worldwide. For more information, visit or call 925-465-1074.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wilson or Buchanan for State Assembly District 15?

Can we merge the Republican and Democratic candidates for State Assembly District 15? Can we throw out some items that we don't like and add others that we do? Guess not. Bottom line, we have a tough election choice to make this November 4 at the voting booth.

"Assembly District 15 candidates Joan Buchanan and Abram Wilson met face to face Wednesday night to give their views on issues ranging from education to universal healthcare, at Iron Horse Middle School in San Ramon."

Read more about their meeting at the Danville Weekly column by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Thursday, October 2, 2008

AT&T Plans Renewable Energy System for San Ramon Campus

SAN RAMON, Calif., Oct. 1, 2008 -- AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced that it is working with SunPower Corporation (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB), CH2M HILL, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) to install and operate a 1-megawatt solar power system on AT&T's facility at the Bishop Ranch office park in San Ramon. Scheduled for completion in late 2008, the system was partially funded by incentives provided by PG&E under the California Solar Initiative (CSI). The power produced by the system, which is expected to equal up to 25 percent of peak power and 5.5 percent of the facility's annual electricity consumption, is equivalent to the electricity required to power more than 165 homes each year.

“Installing this solar power system on our roof reflects AT&T's commitment to balance the business need for affordable energy with the need to identify solutions that have less impact on the environment in the communities we serve,” said Shawn McKenzie, senior vice president of Corporate Real Estate at AT&T. “This effort will help us learn more about the benefits of renewable energy for our business and allow us to make educated decisions as we pursue future uses of alternative forms of energy.”

The project is being constructed by SunPower, a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems. SunPower will install the SunPower® T10 Solar Roof Tile commercial system, a non-penetrating solar system that tilts at a 10-degree angle to increase energy capture.

The solar system on AT&T's San Ramon facility, which will include nearly 3,700 solar panels, is expected to generate more than 1.6 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity a year. It is expected to replace the building's normal power consumption by more than 4,300 kWh per day.

As an alternative to an outright purchase of the commercial system itself, AT&T will purchase electricity for the facility from an entity in which financier Morgan Stanley owns a major interest in under SunPower Access™, a power purchase agreement program. That entity will own the system as well as the associated renewable energy credits, which it may retire or sell. The electricity will be competitively priced against retail rates, providing AT&T with a long-term hedge against rising peak power prices.

“SunPower Access is an easy, affordable way for leading companies like AT&T to support the use of clean, emission-free solar power,” said Tom Werner, chief executive officer, SunPower. “The high-efficiency SunPower solar system that AT&T will host on its roof will maximize the amount of energy produced within the limited roof space, enhancing both the environmental and financial benefits.”

Edward Levin, vice president of Morgan Stanley, said, “We are glad to maintain our commitment to the clean tech sector by continuing to provide the renewable energy financing solutions in the marketplace.”

State and federal governments play an important role in helping companies like AT&T make investments in alternative energy. California offers incentives for solar projects such as the one at San Ramon through CSI. This program is overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission and provides $2.1 billion in rebates and cash incentives on solar systems. The Federal Investment Tax Credit -- a credit of up to 30 percent of a project's cost -- is set to expire Dec. 31, 2008. AT&T supports efforts to extend the federal credit, which would serve as a positive incentive to move forward with more widespread deployment of solar panels.

“I want to congratulate everyone who contributed to this forward-looking project around clean, renewable power,” said Sen. Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch). “California should continue providing incentives for companies like AT&T to invest in alternative power sources.”

Assemblyman Mark DeSaulnier (D-Martinez) said: “Projects like San Ramon are why the legislature has worked so hard to pass landmark legislation making California the nation's leader in solar power. By offering financial incentives for solar power projects, we are inviting strong companies like AT&T to make their investments in our state.”

PG&E is the local electric utility provider for AT&T and also a program administrator of the CSI. PG&E has now interconnected 25,000 customer-owned, solar-generating systems to the power grid -- representing more than 200 megawatts of electricity -- more than any other utility in the nation. PG&E, under the CSI, provided $2.1 million, the maximum incentive for the San Ramon project.

“PG&E is delighted to work with AT&T to facilitate on-site solar generation with this incentive,” said Wendy Pulling, director of Environmental Policy, PG&E. “Since the inception of the California Solar Initiative, PG&E has distributed almost $80 million to program participants, leaving us an additional $880 million to distribute through 2017. Along with energy efficiency, renewables are a critical component of PG&E's strategy to address climate change, and relationships with our customers are an important part of our program to fight global warming.”

AT&T collaborated with environmental engineering firm CH2M HILL, a leader in the design and implementation of sustainable energy solutions. CH2M HILL determined the initial scope and feasibility of the project and provided guidance during project development and implementation.

“CH2M HILL is committed to helping our clients develop sustainable solutions that respond to global issues like climate change,” said John Hoffner, project manager, CH2M HILL. “We're proud to build on our commitment by working with a strong partner like AT&T to expand the use of renewable energy in San Ramon.”

AT&T is working to minimize the environmental impact of its operations in a number of ways. AT&T works to enhance energy performance and minimize energy consumption in company buildings, IT systems and networks, and the company is evaluating alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power. The company conserves natural resources through waste reduction, recovery and recycling efforts, and it helps its customers do the same. AT&T also helps customers further manage their own environmental impact through intelligent use of AT&T products and services, such as teleconferencing, video conferencing and other broadband applications.

Find More Information Online:
Web Site Links:

AT&T Web Site
SunPower Corporation
PG&E Corporation
CH2M Hill
Morgan Stanley

AT&T Corporate Social Responsibility

AT&T Environmental Sustainability

San Ramon Google News


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