Too close for comfort? Comments on Stories, posted by Editor, Danville Weekly Online, on Aug 15, 2009 at 10:07 am
Call 9-1-1 to report a fire or health emergency in the San Ramon Valley and within five minutes, a crew will arrive prepared for any crisis. Such service is the result of having trained personnel and equipment that is up to date and well maintained, says Fire Chief Richard Price, as well as fire stations that are state-of-the-art and centrally located.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 14, 2009, 12:00 AM
Posted by Steve Mick, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 15, 2009 at 10:07 am
The new fire station in Alamo will be a positive addition to our community. Firefighters are the very best kind of neighbors and Alamo should welcome this project.
Their building will always be well maintained, their landscaping will be kept up, and the site will never turn into an eyesore. It will never be abandoned and will always be occupied, and there won't be any wild parties. These neighbors will be very quiet. And no, they won't turn their sirens on at 3:00 in the morning (a siren isn't needed when there isn't any traffic.)
And like all good neighbors, they will welcome guests for tours and familiarization with their people and their capabilities. Go take a look at the SRV Fire District's website under Community Outreach. Their program is extensive.
This nonsense about the fire engines having to travel on Miranda Avenue is silly. They have to travel on Miranda NOW if there's a fire in that vicinity. I guess some people expect the fire department to approach a fire scene by avoiding residential areas and circling around until they get close enough to throw water on the fire. Come on, folks.
They also have 24-7 emergency medical people who are experts in first aid and CPR. If you had a heart condition, would you want to live near a firehouse? You bet your life you would!
Posted by Hal Bailey, a resident of another community, on Aug 15, 2009 at 7:34 pm
I intent to contact Chief Price and support his work in Alamo.
The reality is that this site must amplify the surrounding home's value as proximity to such security and safety services. Steve Mick attempted to state that reality, but missed the reality of a home burning down in his neighborhood. The Cervato neighborhood saw Chief Price and his staff deliver in March and we are very prepared to support rational value to all of Alamo but clearly to the closest neighbors.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 16, 2009 at 9:13 am
It sounds like the neighbors are just looking for hush money from the fire department (i.e. us, the taxpayers). I hope the Chief is smart enough to realize that this would be an ILLEGAL gift of public funds. We will be watching SRFD.
Posted by Tommy Boy, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2009 at 1:14 pm
Wow! It's rare to see such a blatant case of NIMBY-ism. Nancie and Ed Wolske can't even get their stories straight. Is it environmental concerns? Is it fiscal concerns? Is it the safety of pedestrians? Is it traffic issues? Wait! It's all of the above.
In reality, it's none of the above. The Wolske's want everyone in Alamo to accept inferior emergency service response times because the Wolske's can't get out from under a house they built and can't sell. Guess what? If their home's been on the market for more than a year, it isn't going to sell anytime soon - whether or not there's a fire station next door.
And don't even get me started on the poor Hallers in their SIX bedroom four bath house that backs on to Stone Valley Creek and has trees, a creek and at least 100' between them and the station site. . .
Posted by A Concerned Resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2009 at 1:45 pm
I believe that the fire department should have a facility that does meet their requirements (not their wants) but they do not need to waste taxpayer monies in building themselves a over-the-top facility to house six firemen(women) at any given time. Let us keep wants and needs separate. Remember they only answer two calls a day and 97% of all calls that respond to are medical emergencies and not fires. For example do they really require three sub-zero refrigerators to maintain their life within the facility? And I am sure that there are other examples of this unnecessary expenditure.
I believe that it is irresponsible of the fire district to be building any new facilities during this economic downturn. They should re-look at remodeling the existing facility. There are many other services within the county that could use this money - do we really need to spend the $3M plus for 18 firefighters? Will the new facility allow them to give the Alamo residents any additional protection that they are not already receiving?
I do not live any where near the new site. I am just a resident who feels we should spend the money more wisely.
Posted by Jose Velo, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2009 at 2:53 pm
We want to be protected but we don't want it too close. While the volume of calls maybe low, would any of you want to be the resident that their response time is farther away and therefore there is not much to save from your house? Or would you rather keep it at one room or small area? Would you rather have the Fire Engine with their paramedics within minutes or wait for the 10 minute mark when the brain and body will not be able to survive in the case of a heart attack? Maybe the construction will be an incovenience but I would rather suffer it for a while and have fire and medical services closer for the rest of my life. The men and women live there 24 hours a shift, sometimes more and deserve a place where they can rest, drill, exercise, and be ready in general to help us. I think our town can afford that, don't you agree??
Posted by Pete, a member of the Stone Valley Middle School community, on Aug 18, 2009 at 9:06 am
“There goes the neighborhood” according to Dan and Tiffany Haller. Just think of what is moving next door – Firemen! Paramedics! Bike Mechanics! Role Models! A crew of eighteen who like girl scout cookies! Could it get any worse? Well, how about low income housing, a foreclosure (thank you Wolske’s), rude or inconsiderate neighbors that cut down protected trees and don’t maintain their property – like the neighbors you had before the fire department bought the property. And to top it off you are now trying to shake down the FD for money because you are SO impacted. Wake up Danny Boy.
And your partners in crime (extortion) the poor Wolske’s had their house on the market for nine months (and three price reductions) before the fire department purchased the eyesore next door. Do you think the 5500 sq. ft. rodent infested foreclosure next door to them might be impacting their ability to sell? Why didn’t the foreclosure home sell? FD didn’t own the corner site back then. Do you think maybe the location at the one of the fastest, busiest and noisiest intersections in town is factor? No, I’m sure it is the fire station. Nanci and Ed deserve a lot of money from the taxpayers too.
That you both can be so selfish as to put your personal gain ahead of the safety of the community is appalling. At least Wolske’s are moving. We are stuck with Haller’s.
Posted by LAFCO Website, a resident of another community, on Aug 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm
In the Fire and EMS Municipal Service Review adopted by Contra Costa LAFCO at a Public Hearing on August 12, 2009, the commission found the condition of Station 32 to be the worst in the District (pg. 307) and stated “Fire Station 32 in Alamo is aged and needs replacement.” (pg. 308).
Posted by Sharon, a member of the Monte Vista High School community, on Aug 18, 2009 at 6:19 pm
If you really want to learn about this project I recommend you visit the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District website. They have color drawings, conceptual site plans, and extensive FAQ’s regarding the project at Web Link
If you rely on this blog for your cocktail party talking points you will get information like 97% of fire department calls are medical (not even close) and ideas like using property tax money collected in Alamo for “many other county services.” Just plain scary.
Posted by A Citizen Too, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 19, 2009 at 6:23 am
According to Chief Price, in July the Fire District applied for a DHS “Assistance to Firefighters Fire Station Construction Grant” for the new Alamo station. This grant is part of the $787 Billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) package targeting public infrastructure and providing stimulus to the U.S. economy in the wake of the economic downturn. The new fire station is one of many local construction projects poised to benefit from federal stimulus dollars.
Although “A Concerned Citizen” above doesn’t think this is a good time to be building, the opposite is quite true. More federal money is available than ever before. Construction costs are at 1998 levels as construction firms are desperate for any work they can get. The Wolske’s are testament to the fact that property costs are down significantly and the Haller’s only wish they could repurchase their house today. Look at the bid results on the Fire District website for the new Annex Building in Danville – low bid is close to half what the District had budgeted for the project according to Chief Price. “A Concerned Citizen” has proven to be “An Uninformed Citizen” with every point made. She asks “will the new facility give the Alamo residents any additional protection that they are not already receiving?” How about the minor point that the facility will still be there, up and running, providing critical services to the community after a major earthquake. The Wolske/Haller flyer attempts to redefine the facts and our attention. They are fooling no one but themselves.
Posted by Concerned Too, a resident of the San Ramon neighborhood, on Aug 19, 2009 at 7:10 am
Just confirmed no Sub-Z’s at any SRV fire stations (not that there is anything wrong with sub zeros). Also, they state that it will be a while before any appliance decisions are made for the Alamo station since it is still on the drawing board.
Posted by Gladys, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 19, 2009 at 8:31 am
Dear SRV Fire Board and Chief,
I very much appreciate the hard work of you and the firefighters and the community outreach. But I ask that you not make any sweetheart deals with the two disgruntled neighbors and use the public process. I know you intention are sound but it is unfair to everyone else if this is occurring. The neighbors probably have legitimate concerns but those concerns should be heard by all and weighed against the good of all.
Posted by Rick, a member of the Los Cerros Middle School community, on Aug 19, 2009 at 1:40 pm
The Wolske’s and Haller’s are looking for volunteers to distribute their Anti-FD flyer on the first day of school (Tuesday). I ask that they at least put the CCCSO sketch of the man who choked the Alamo woman on the back. The spectacle is sure to help traffic flow – a big concern of the Wolske’s you know (wink, wink).
Let them know if you can help out.
And of course this has nothing to do with the sale of their house – they are only interested in what is best for all citizens of Alamo (not just themselves as it may appear).
Posted by Hal Bailey, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 19, 2009 at 5:31 pm
After discussion in this forum, we still have not addressed the reality of value of a fully-equipped fire house. We have not discussed methods to make the fire house a good neighbor, as intended, and of exceptional value to the immediate neighboring homes.
The design, the screening, the overall availability of emergency services should be the value focus of the project to neighbors and to the Realtor and customers that will want those homes' proximity to such services.
All it takes is a fire in a neighborhood to amplify the value of fire house proximity to home values. In March, a home burned in our neighborhood and the fire crews worked for two full days to prove the safety of our neighborhood. I am confident if it had been our current dry season, these crews dedicated to Alamo would have achieved the same safe, contained results.
Yes, if it were a park or other government open-access space, the site would be a negative value to surrounding neighborhoods. But this is the value of immediately available safety that should drive value in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Posted by Rob, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm
Are you seriously believing what he posted Sandra? C'mon, someone post a link to the actual flyer. I am certain it doesn't talk about country clubs or fat firemen. I didn't get a flyer on my porch today, let's see the real thing.
Posted by who? me?, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 22, 2009 at 8:09 am
these guys live like kings! what, the highest payed one makes like $280K per year? They cruise around town in a 80 foot ladder truck? For what? The highrises in Alamo? I see them in Safeway buying steaks more often than actually working. How do I get that job?
I remember the fire a couple of years ago on El Cerro where the truck was in downtown Danville making a U-turn. I could have sworn they were actually lost (and the homeowner could too, only he lost half his house because it took so long for the response).
You people are getting the wool pulled over your eyes and you don't even know it. What a joke. DEMAND your tax dollars go to better use.
Posted by Triogenes, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 22, 2009 at 8:45 am
In the old days in New York City and other places, neighborhood fire departments were not unified and were in constant conflict with each other. The movie "Gangs of New York" shows this very well.
If you wanted the local fire department to put out a fire at your home or business, you had to buy a metal plaque that you nailed to the front of your building. When there was a fire and you didn't have this plaque, the firemen would watch your building burn to the ground without lifting a finger.
The question for "who? me?" is if you would care to give out your address so that your house will be dealt with appropriately next time you have a small problem?
Posted by Triogenes, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Aug 22, 2009 at 8:51 am
Oh, and by the way. There's this thing called mutual aid where one fire department helps another in times of need. It's nice to have a ladder truck if the FD had to assist in Walnut Creek. Or if access to a hillside home in Alamo was only available from the hillside on the back of the property.
But you probably wouldn't know anything about mutual aid, would you?
Posted by Jake, a member of the Stone Valley Middle School community, on Aug 22, 2009 at 11:47 am
Of course such a list exists. You can find it on the Fire Department website under Emergency Services, “The Secret List”. You’ll find your name under the heading, “Known Idiots”. Fortunately firefighters provide the same exemplary service to everyone, everyday – regardless of hatred, extortion, or disrespect. That’s what makes them firefighters. If I had a big pool like you Dan I wouldn’t be on the Internet on a nice day like this.
Posted by joe, a resident of the Diablo neighborhood, on Aug 22, 2009 at 2:03 pm
Jake - looks like triogenes is the one making the threats here (asking for a home address). The other guy is just exercising his freedom of speech. We still have that, don't we? You firefighters are sure sensitive. Now get to work instead of cruising the internet.
Posted by bob from diablo, a resident of the Blackhawk neighborhood, on Aug 22, 2009 at 4:50 pm
"same exemplary service to everyone, everyday"???? I have one word to that - Katrina.
Also, in reading about this, approx 40% of the cost is to be borne by an app for federal stimulus funds. We're pretty tired of Obama's (and yours now) gigantic spending spree. The people of America have just about had it - look at Obama's ratings and how they've cratered - your $3.5M boondoggle firehouse is in cahoots with his open checkbook.
Posted by Cathy Ewing, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 23, 2009 at 7:01 am
Your political opinion aside, if the fire department can get federal money to build our firehouse why shouldn'y they? That money would just be spent on a firehouse in some other town so why not here? Your plan saves no money. Dont be so mad and more reasonable. They are only trying to save local monies and are trying to do the right thing. Please stop what you are doing.
Posted by Hal Bailey, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 23, 2009 at 8:12 am
Summary Analysis: New fire station
The issue of VALUE to neighborhoods, both land value and service value, is best defined by the positive and negative features of government facilities in neighborhoods. As neighbors noted from analysis of homes in neighborhoods in proximity to fire houses, police stations, parks, trails and maintenance facilities, only fire houses have positive land value affect. In San Mateo , Marin, Alameda and Sonoma county reports, it is clearly shown that public safety and health services provided by fire houses offer positive value to the immediate neighborhoods.
By contrast, public parks, trail access, and similar public recreational facilities often decrease neighbor’s land value due to open-access and events that add noise and traffic to neighborhoods and avenues for criminal mischief. Uniquely, in specific study of Hap Magee Ranch Park , Livorna Park , and the Iron Horse Trail, little land value impact is offered by the negative aspects of such recreational facilities. Such is not true broadly in the greater bay area counties where parks and recreation facilities can reduce property value from comparable homes away from those facilities. Quite similarly, proximity to schools also acts like parks and recreation facilities due to similar operations and the addition of concentrated traffic.
City Halls and Police Stations are the most negative impact to neighborhoods due to volumes of traffic for government activities throughout the day and evening. In comparison, churches, YMCAs, and retail centers offer similar negatives to the value of neighborhoods for similar reasons of traffic and the addition of NOISE. In Alamo, negative value analysis against comparable homes away from such facilities is greatest for the combination of Rancho Romero School and SRV YMCA due to gridlock traffic patterns expected from YMCA operations during school operational hours and Danville Blvd commute times.
The planned fire station of Stone Valley Road at Miranda, by design, offers primary benefits that establish land values related to proximity of safety and health services with little or no traffic impact. The claims of neighbors that it is impacting their ability to sell their homes is temporary, according to RE analysts, while the fire house plans are still in discussion and not fixed by approval. RE analysts also note that sale of homes in Alamo have been price impacted by the continuing fiscal crisis and it is hard to define what causes impact the immediate sale of neighbors’ homes.
Posted by lilly, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 23, 2009 at 8:16 am
So Cathy, by extension, if they wanted a $100 Million dollar firehouse, and they could get the money, you'd back them up, eh?
I believe the questions here are: reasonableness and necessity. To the people against this spending spree, the new firehouse does not qualify for either. Yours is an extremely selfish stance, sort of like a spoiled little child ("she got some candy, so should I"). Even though what "she" got is going to make her into an obese little 8 year old who will die at 34 of a massive heart attack. Get the allegory? Think about it Cathy, you really need to do more of that.
Posted by Cathy Ewing, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 23, 2009 at 10:00 am
It is three million dollars - not 100 hundred million. You people need to stop the exaggeration and Obama stuff and other misdirection. Our firefighter are going to build us a fire hall just like they built in the other cities they serve. Stop it.
Posted by Jake, a member of the Stone Valley Middle School community, on Aug 24, 2009 at 6:59 am
The Wolske’s have been publicly opposed to the FD using a federal grant to fund the new station. You can watch Ed make such a statement right here Web Link. But the Wolske’s apparently aren’t opposed to federal hand outs for themselves. For example, they received a federal tax credit for their hybrid (Prius),they are currently receiving federal grant assistance to pay college tuition and are receiving significant tax breaks for mortgage interest on over $1,000,000 in real estate loans in addition to significant federal business tax deductions. They now want more taxpayer money for the new station “impacts” to their spec house which been on the market for 16 months - all why saying it's wrong to receive federal money for the station. The Wolske’s are selfish and self serving and that is why the FD must reject their request for another taxpayer handout. I bet that's not on their flyer.
Posted by easy solution, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 24, 2009 at 8:33 am
simple. don't build the palace they're calling a firehouse. sell the land (that they bought with NOBODIES approval) and remodel the old firehouse (there are plenty of houses around here that are twice that old and still habitable, or should those be condemned too?).
And set up a gym for the fat firemen with the money left over.
Posted by Jake, a member of the Stone Valley Middle School community, on Aug 24, 2009 at 6:37 pm
I don’t think the Fire Department Capital Improvement Plan has goals like “still habitable” for its facilities. This is the firehouse for the entire community - it’s not your grandma’s house.
And how does a fire department purchase a piece of land for $1.2M with “nobodies” approval? Are you saying the Fire Chief, the Board of Directors, and the Finance Director didn’t approve and execute the purchase? So, did the firefighters buy it with petty cash from the station food fund?
Posted by easy solution, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Aug 25, 2009 at 7:00 am
Jake - straight from the article: "The plan was to relocate the firefighters and equipment to Stone Valley Middle School while construction was under way. This temporary move would have cost $750,000, said Price. Then fire crews spotted the 4-bedroom, 2-bath home for sale on Miranda and Stone Valley Road in December and alerted fire officials who quickly made an offer of $1.2 million to M. Poustinchian.
"We went to the San Ramon Valley Planning Commission to make sure there were no zoning issues with the General Plan and zoning district, then we purchased it," recalled Price. This "mandatory referral" is needed whenever a public agency acquires a piece of land."
I don't see any approvals (and making sure there were no zoning issues is not approval). Where are they, Jake? As a taxpayer, did you approve it (since it's your money) - or do you even pay taxes?
The job of the fire department is to fight fires, not in the station, but in the areas they support. Based on FD's supposedly "exemplary" service that all you proponents are touting, it doesn't look as if their current fire station is having any negative effect at all. I only care about their service, not how opulent their station is. Give it a break already.
Posted by Pete, a member of the Stone Valley Middle School community, on Sep 13, 2009 at 11:27 am
The poor Haller’s are out begging for taxpayer money again! Read Web Link Disappointingly, no classic quotes from of the infamous Wolke’s in this article - they must be out of town in one of their other homes for the Fall. It appears in the CC Times article that the fire department is planning to build a firehouse with the same amenities, size, and number of calls as every other firehouse in the surrounding counties. So Dan, I guess you’ll need to come up with something else again to use as a reason to steal taxpayer money for your remodel and winter vacation to Aspen.
Posted by Longtime Resident, a resident of the San Ramon neighborhood, on Sep 13, 2009 at 12:23 pm
If it wouldn't impact the other nearby residents, I'd suggest the fire department develop the land as a gas station/convenience store and build their fire station elsewhere. This is one of the more asinine examples of NIMBY I've read about.
Posted by Alamo Resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Sep 13, 2009 at 6:24 pm
I support the new fire station as a good investment for our community. I also predict that housing prices will continue to slide in Alamo as 3x income and 20% down becomes the norm for mortgage loans. There aren't enough people in the bay area that make the necessary 400k per year salary to support the average 1.2 million dollar home price that Alamo requires... which is why you see a very large percentage of the homes in Alamo being offered as rentals, live in care facility's, and group homes for troubled youth. It is refreshing to see the faux Nouveau Riche with their "mortgage" wealth and arrogance (borne of low self esteem) being supplanted by common sense and long term investment in our community.