Art historian talks about St. Michael's, now 100
by Dolores Fox Ciardelli / Pleasanton Weekly
by Dennis Miller / Pleasanton Weekly
The awesome event at the Robert Livermore Center was put together by Tri-Valley Community Television executive director Melissa Tench-Stevens and her staff, bringing together athletes from Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin. For me it was a special night on a couple levels. First, I was on "Tri-Valley Sports Final" for the first four years of the program and to see the show finish its 12th season and now have its seventh event was a fulfilling feeling. Second, it is nice to see the local athletes still get a chance to be honored, with 57 awards handed out in all. As the local sports editor of the Tri-Valley Herald for 16 years, it was all about giving coverage to the local high schools. Ian Bartholomew and George "Dr. B" Baljevich may have as much love for prep sports as anyone I have ever known. The duo, who hosted the May 25 awards event, have been the heart of Tri-Valley Sports Final since day one and put in countless hours to keep prep sports alive locally. It's not the cash that drives these two -- it's the love of high school sports. The biggest level of respect I have for Bartholomew is that he understands how important coverage is to all schools, regardless of their level of success. Whether it is a first-place team or a last-place team, he treats them all the same and makes sure to have equal coverage. Baljevich is a local legend, so much in fact, I think few know his actual name. Dr. B is another that loves to make sure the local kids get their just due. While Bartholomew is the one with the camera out shooting events, Dr. B is putting the miles on his car to go watch as many games as possible. He's great with the kids, and I can attest to that first-hand because when I was doing Tri-Valley Sports Final and happened to bring one of my kids down to watch the taping, Dr. B was always quick to give them a baseball card and make sure they were having fun. Well done gentlemen, and keep up the good work!
Former Livermore mayor, longtime TV30 advocate recognized as catalyst for positive change in the community
Former Livermore Mayor Dr. Marshall Kamena had been on the City Council only a short time when in 1976 a homeowner approached the council with a suggestion: "Some cities in Southern California were establishing local community television stations, how about Livermore?" Intrigued by the question, Kamena asked city staff to explore the idea and to work with the only other incorporated city in the Tri-Valley at the time -- Pleasanton -- to see if it was interested. Today, the result of that effort is Tri-Valley Community Television, which broadcasts on Comcast channels 28, 29 and 30, and AT&T U-verse to nearly 100,000 households, representing a population of more than 370,000 people. Because of this effort and Kamena's decades of meritorious professional, civic and public work, he was honored last month with the 2018 Tri-Valley Heroes Lifetime Achievement award at the annual ceremony at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Pleasanton. "This award recognizes Dr. Kamena for the contributions, leadership, enthusiasm and tireless efforts on behalf of his community and neighbors," said Gina Channell, president and publisher of Embarcadero Media's East Bay Division, which sponsors the annual Heroes event. "Dr. Kamena has lived a life of public service as a respected optometrist, Livermore City Council member and mayor and has held a plethora of positions on committees, commissions, boards and agencies," Channell said, adding: "His ability to look past challenges to see bigger opportunities, his collaborative leadership style and his penchant for being a catalyst of positive change has left a legacy that we in the Tri-Valley benefit from now and will continue to enjoy long into the future." Kamena served on the Livermore council from 1976 to 1985 and as a six-term mayor of Livermore, leaving office in 2011 as the only mayor emeritus of the city. After his mayoral term ended, Kamena's official capacity as president of the board of TV30 also ended. So, he established a nonprofit foundation devoted to supporting TV30, where he continues to serve. Working with Melissa Tench-Stevens, Tri-Valley Community Television's executive director, Kamena's job as TV30 Foundation president is to support her mission by obtaining direct grants, providing underwriters, seeking client productions and mobilizing support. "My goal is to continue to assist in bringing excellence to the award-winning productions of the most respected community television studio in California," Kamena said. He cited the system's many contributions in providing the Tri-Valley with community television.
Its three stations are on the air 24 hours a day, with Channel 30 producing more than 30 original programs a month. The nonprofit system provides live coverage of meetings of city and town councils, school boards and the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District board. TV30 also covers holiday parades, high school football and basketball games and entertainment and festivities in in Danville, Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton. San Ramon dropped out of TV30's Tri-Valley pact in 2012, shifting its support to Contra Costa Television, a government-run station. Kamena pointed out that video-on-demand enables viewers to watch all TV30's channels anytime, anywhere in the world. "In fact, 19% of our V-o-D viewership is located in mainland China," Kamena added.
In presenting Kamena with the Heroes award, Channell cited some of his other achievements over the years, adding that "the list is long." His appointments to interagency commissions and committees include many focusing on transportation, such as the Alameda County Transit Commission, and innovation, like Livermore iGate and iHub board of directors. Besides starting TV30, Kamena also was the founding director of the Livermore Redevelopment Agency and founding director of the Livermore-Pleasanton Water Reclamation Agency. He still maintains his license to practice medical optometry and was honored as the 2017 Eye Doctor of the Year for Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. In his spare time, he is a rangemaster and certified small arms instructor at the Livermore-Pleasanton Rod & Gun Club. As Livermore's mayor, Kamena put his stamp on a number of major projects, including a performing arts center, efforts to extend BART to Livermore, gaining an agreement with Pleasanton to extend Stoneridge Drive to connect with Jack London Boulevard at El Charro Road, firming up plans and securing funding to widen Highway 84 between interstates 580 and 680, and working to keep the veterans hospital and care center open in east Livermore. He also brought the high-end outlet center to Livermore. Neighborly cooperation and mutual respect were not always common here. At one time, Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton, like other neighboring cities, were often at each other's throats with a few lawsuits thrown in over commercial and residential growth issues, boundary lines, congested roadways and airport noise. "Marshall came to me right after he was elected mayor to talk about ending all that and developing a way in which we could work together for the good of the whole region," said former Dublin mayor Janet Lockhart. "He's the one who stimulated the rest of us to create a regional vision. We did, and it's worked."