Location, Leadership and Luck | Print |  E-mail
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Wednesday, 04 April 2012 13:36

From the Boulevard...

By Thomas E. Lorentzen

“Luck that differs greatly from art

creates many things that are like it.”

—Ion of Chios


Castro Valley continues to benefit from the geographic and demographic evolution of the Bay Area, as well as from local leadership and some luck as well.

As referenced in prior articles, our town was once on the outskirts of the Bay Area – sort of an outpost. Now, however, we are not only closer to the center, but have developed a cynosure of our own.

After nearly two years of work we are now nearing completion of the redevelopment project along CV Boulevard from Redwood Road to San Miguel Avenue. It has been controversial, inconvenient and costly to businesses impacted by construction work.

From an observation standpoint, it looks like some did not survive. Yet, once completed, it will hopefully augment the quality of the appearance of our town, as well as our sense of pride.

Given the death knell of redevelopment agencies in the state, we are one of the last to have sufficient funding to see the project through to completion. Several years ago we had a similar experience, qualifying for the very last round of funds to be applied to the development of our library from a state bond measure. Luck, it appears, is on our side. Not a bad thing to have.

We also continue to build upon the quality of our town – with very positive community resources and practices.

Among things that are very good about our town are:  the high quality of our school district; the efficiency and effectiveness of our sanitation district (not to be underestimated in terms of value); a wonderful state-of-the art library (reference above); an excellent performing arts center; a new Eden Hospital nearing completion; a remodeled Castro Village; an increase of good dining locations; continuation of an entertainment tradition with the Chabot Theater; solid performances at the Chanticleers Theater; a talented community of artists; a local BART station and police sub-station; and the recreational beauty and activities at Lake Chabot.

We also have our own unique weather pattern in our valley, making our weather one of the best not only in the Bay Area, but even the nation.

There are other things as well, but what they add up to is that the location of Castro Valley continues to add value to our town, and, we also seem to have luck going for us (obtaining funding at the final end of state library bond and redevelopment funding process).

Yet, luck does not happen in a vacuum.

There are obviously many individuals and families who play a leadership role in our town who not only help to make positive things happen, but perpetuate and maintain them as well.

More often than not, we don’t know who they are or recognize them. That is also because they don’t seem to seek recognition or credit – they just do it because it is the right thing for our community.

In this sense, our town is also lumpy with leadership and talent.  Perhaps that might be a good way to end this column – with gratitude, for our town is lumpy with quiet leadership, luck and the location where we live. With the foundation that has been set and the motions now underway it appears that the best may be yet to come. We may be one of the best-kept secrets in the Bay Area.  Shhhh!

Tom Lorentzen lives in Castro Valley. He fomerly served on the board of the Institute of Museum & Library Services and the Advisory Board to Southern Oregon University, and has served three Presidential Administrations.





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