Daily Life

Plane of the Day

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I’ve seen plenty of toy cars, jeeps and wagons but this is the first children’s plane I’ve encountered. Spotted in front of the children’s consignment store Snickerdoodles in Danville. How cool is this?!

Friday Question of the Day – What do you Think of the New BART Trains?


The new BART train cars are going on tour this month and will be available to view in Concord on May 9th and several other cities as well. Check out the complete city tour list here.

New features:

  • Quieter: “micro-plug” doors will help seal out noise
  • Cooler:  cooling systems will distribute air directly to the ceilings, making it more comfortable for standees on hot days
  • Comfortable:  padded seats will have lumbar support and will be covered with wipeable fabric for ease of cleaning
  • Easy to use:  routes will be color coded like the BART system map, and next stop information will be readily available via automated announcements and digital screens

What they fail to mention on that page is that the number of seats will decrease by about 5 seats per car. Take a look at the rendering of the inside here. What happened to all the seats?

From the New Train Car Project page:

As ridership grows, finding a seat on peak period trains is becoming harder. The new cars have as many seats as can fit within the available space. Having thinner seat backs will help maximize seat count, but new buffer zones for crash safety at the ends of the car, and an extra door in the middle, are limiting factors.

As a result, seat count will drop by 4.6 seats per car on average. To increase the number of seats in the fleet, BART has set a goal to obtain funding to increase the fleet to 1,000 train cars. This would increase the number of seats in the fleet by about 37.6%.

So for this week’s question, what do you think of the new BART train car design? What’s your favorite new feature? Does the lack of seats concern you?

Political Protest in Downtown Walnut Creek Yesterday

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Democracy is Not for Sale

All four corners at Mt. Diablo Blvd. and N. Main St. in downtown Walnut Creek was packed with people from the Money Out! People In! coalition yesterday afternoon protesting the recent Supreme Court decision that eliminated the amount people can contribute to federal candidates in a two year election cycle.

Considering that the Supreme Court just issued this ruling yesterday this protest came together really quickly.

Over 700 Trees to be Torn Down by PGE in Walnut Creek

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“These trees are in a Tree Protection Zone (TPZ).”

From the Walnut Creek website:

A plan by PG&E to clear a pathway above its pipeline by removing thousands of trees throughout Contra Costa is drawing objection from Walnut Creek officials. In a March 20 letter, Mayor Kristina Lawson noted that PG&E has not sought the input of the community or its elected officials, and that more than 700 trees would be removed in Walnut Creek with virtually no exploration of whether the trees pose a public safety hazard, or exploration of whether other alternatives exist that would protect the public while preserving the trees.
For a list of tree types and a  map of proposed tree removal in Walnut Creek, click here.

Based on the report dozens of trees are marked for removal on Locust St. in downtown Walnut Creek and elsewhere which would be a real shame but Walnut Creek Mayor Kristina Lawson notes in her letter to PGE that:

PG&E does not have the unilateral right under its gas franchise agreement with the City to remove trees in the public right of way. Instead, PG&E needs the City’s authorization to remove such trees.

Hopefully these trees will become part of Walnut Creek’s Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) and saved from PG&E.

Friday Question of the Day – Favorite Place for Brunch?

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Now that the weather has cleared up and is getting warmer out brunch has been on my mind lately. My usual routine is to fire up the waffle maker on Sunday mornings with some freshly squeezed orange juice and a big pot of loose tea but it would be nice to go out for a yummy brunch somewhere nearby. Pizza Antica has started offering brunch recently and there are plenty of other eateries as well. So for today’s question, what is your favorite place for brunch?

Buckingham Palace in Lafayette

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Golden Gate Way, Lafayette

It may not be Buckingham Palace, but this fence sure does bear a resemblance to the one surrounding Buckingham Palace in London, England. Spotted in all places on Golden Gate Way in downtown Lafayette. I wonder what the story behind this is.

Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the British monarch. More information can be found here. Official website is here.

Check out the actual Buckingham Pace fence:
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Photo by Flick user  lorentey