Car pool to the bay area – how and why

For many people who settled down in the San Ramon – Pleasanton “Outer Bay” area, the “compromise”, if you will, has been with the commute. Though Tri valley is considered within the catchment area of the economic engine that is Silicon valley, the commute could be anything but easy. But then where else would you find nice, new houses at the price with top notch education?
Anyhow (with the premise that majority of Indians work in IT) some people do get to do a manageable commute to the local Chevron or Sybase or Oracle offices. But for a vast majority, if they don’t get to work from home, there is no other way but to head out on 680 or 580. Yes, you can get to beat the traffic if you head out at 6 or 11. Or it may not be as bad if after a short commute, BART can take you to the city.
But Car pools are surely something that come to the rescue of the commuters who have to go to bay area. There is a carpool lane from Dublin to Livermore (from Airway Blvd to GreenVille Rod), but its eastbound only, so only helps in evening rush hour as people head home to Livermore, and even beyond to Tracy. During office hours, the car pool between Alcosta and Livorna help commuters between Alamo to San Ramon on 680. Finally if you are travelling southbound on 680, from start of Fremont uptil Milpitas (Route 84 to 237) you can enjoy the carpool, again during office rush hours.
Unfortunately the 580/680 intersection in Pleasanton/Dublin is a real bottle neck during rush hours, and there is no carpool till Hayward on 580 or till Sunol on 680. Many Pleasanton folks are rather happy to take Sunol Blvd exit to reach their homes in the evenings. Fortunately, 880 does have carpool lanes, and there is battle still to be won once you reach 880.

So over all riding with someone else does make sense, and thus a need to turn the car into a ‘high occupancy vehicle’. There also are Park and Ride points like in Danville (Sycamore Valley Rd & 680) or Dublin (Koll Center and Tassajara Rd), Pleasanton (Johnson Dr and Stoneridge), San Ramon (Bollinger Canyon & 680) and a few in Livermore where you can meet carpool partners or your vanpool in a central location. Many lots also feature easy access to transit connections. You don’t even need a car to use a Park & Ride lot since many lots offer bike lockers. Car pooling is convenient and less-expensive, and you can even cross toll bridges for free. Additionally, carpooling helps reduce vehicle emissions to help keep our air cleaner. All you need is one or two other people to make it work (who work close by and have same timings). Carpool with neighbors, coworkers, family, friends. If you are looking for any desi people to carpool with, feel free to use this site to connect as many people search for car pool partners. There are many other websites – the ridematch services, classifieds, Craigslist, etc. which can help you to find a partner. And don’t frown when you search on google and even find people discussing issues like how do or would spouses react if you carpool with a person of opposite sex in routine! Go carpooling!

Montessori Preschool and Day care in Windemere

Little Genius Montessori is a home based Montessori Preschool opening in your Windemere neighborhood with programs designed to meet the needs of your children.

We have Preschool / pre-k programs using Montessori material. We are accepting applications for Fall 2010. Please visit our website for more information. We have early bird special discount.

India Independence Day 15th August Celebrations 2010

Happy Independence Day 2010
Happy Independence Day 2010

The Federation of Indian Associations is again organizing the grand mela and parade on August 15th 2010 (Sunday) at 39439 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont, CA, 94536 (Corner of Paseo Padre and Walnut Ave). The Festival of India Banquet Night would be held at San Ramon Marriott.

The booth price at the festival ranges from $550 for a non-profit to Corporate for $5,000. This big festival in the San Fransisco Bay Area, California, showcases and shares India’s rich culture and heritage through various events. Over 120 booths will feature Indian arts and crafts, Indian clothes, jewelry, food, and more. The parade is a work of art featuring 15 floats representing different states of India, the Indian-American community and businesses organizations. The grand carnival will feature Bollywood star Aftab Shivdasani and Bollywood Singer Arpita Mukerjee who will serve as Grand Marshals leading the parade. Parade assembly is at 12 noon sharp, with entertainment and shows set to commence at 2 p.m., continuing throughout the day.

  • For Parade, participants will line up on Capitol Avenue and proceed along Liberty Street onto Walnut Avenue.

    Parade Route
    Parade Route
  • COST: $5 general entrance. The health fair and Sunday’s parade are free. The tickets can be purchased at the gate for $5. Entry tickets need to be purchased separately for Saturday, August 14th, 2010 and Sunday, August 15th, 2010. Tickets will be valid for the day purchased only and need to be exchanged to wrist bands at the “On-line” ticketing window near the mela entrance. If you bought a $4 ticket online prior to Aug 13, get an printed email confirmation.
  • Festival kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday with a free health fair that includes consultations with more than 100 doctors and nurses
  • It costs about $250,000 to hold the two-day festival, the Bay Area’s largest Indo-American celebration
  • Organizers had to cancel the 2008 parade because of a lack of funds
  • Festival of India became an instant success when it started in 1992
  • More than 50,000 visitors expected to central Fremont
  • Celebrations will begin Friday, August 13 with an official flag raising ceremony at San Jose’ City Hall at 6:30 p.m
  • Parking available in neighboring commercial lots. See Parking Map for the Independence Day Festival in Fremont here. Parking Map 2010 Festival of India Fremont(courtesy

There will also be a Free Health Fair (10:00 am – 01:00 pm), Dance Competition, Kids Corner, Mela on Sat, August 14, 11am – 7pm at Fremont Hall of Justice Parking Lot at corner of Paseo Padre and Walnut Ave.
Dance Competition Entry Form Deadline is Fri, August 6, 11:30pm – Sat, August 7, 12:00am. The form can be accessed here.

2010 Grand Marshal is Aftab Shivdasani. Last year it was Mauli Dave (Singer)
Chief Guests this year are Jeevika Shah, Mrs. India 2004 and Arpita Mukerjee, Bollywood Singer
Indian Musical Extravaganza with SaReGaMaPa Finalist Mauli Dave

Jeevika Shah
Jeevika Shah
Aftab Shivdasani
Aftab Shivdasani
Arpita Mukerjee
Arpita Mukerjee

Time 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Festival Mela Stage

Festival of India Banquet Night
Place: San Ramon Marriott
Time: 8:00 pm
Music, DJ and Sumptuous Indian Dinner
FIA Members: Free
Tickets: $50/Person

Free Health Fair
10:00 am – 01:00 pm

Saturday, Aug 14, 2010

Free Health Fair

10:00 am – 01:00 pm

Mela (Fair)
10:00 am – 07:00 pm

Dance Competition
11:00 am – 05:00 pm

Dance Competition/Awards
05:00 pm – 06:00 pm

Sunday, Aug 15, 2010

Mela (Fair)
10:00 am – 07:00 pm

Cultural Program
11:00 am – 12:00 Noon

12:00 Noon – 2:00 pm

More details to follow…


Global Indian Technology Professional’s Association (GITPRO) is also celebrating India’s Independence Day (and its own Anniversary) as a free event on Sunday, August 15, 2010, 5:15-7:15 pm at Washington Park Hall, 840 W Washington Ave, Sunnyvale, California.

High Lights:
1. Journey and the Role of Indian Entrepreneurs in USA/India
2. 1857 the First War of Independence
3. Hindi Patriotic Songs Cultural Program

Sunnyvale Hindu Temple – Cultural Event on the occasion of Independence of India
By Mile Sur Mera Tumhara Group
Sunday 15th Aug, 2010 4:00PM – 6:30PM
(Free & Snacks will be served)
Also, there would be a Hasya Kavi Sammelan by famous humorous Poets from India on Saturday 14th August 2010 8:00PM (its a ticketed event)
Celebrating Independence Day of India, Big Cinemas will be screening a number of popular Bollywood movies free for cine lovers across the US.

Movies like ‘Rang De Basanti’, ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’, ‘3 Idiots’, ‘Chak De India’, ‘Namaste London’, ‘Rock On’, ‘Sivaji’, ‘Dasavatharam’, and ‘Indian’ have been lined up for screening in 11 theaters for the week long ‘Spirit of my Tiraga’ beginning August 7.

BIG Cinemas is also the in-cinema partner for India Day Parade Fremont.

Celebrate July 4 – but don’t keep fireworks for Diwali

Or the best is – July 4 Fireworks: Watch Them, Don’t Buy Them
Though buying and using fireworks is legal in Dublin (but not in Pleasanton, Livermore, San Ramon or Danville) – note that its so for celebrating the Independence Day, and not for other festivals like Diwali for Indians or Japanese hanabi taikai. So if you are harboring any ideas to buy the crackers this week for the dual purpose, drop the idea and instead enjoy the fireworks show in one of the Dublin parks, or the city organized celebrations in other cities (as noted below).

Use of “safe and sane” fireworks, which carry a state fire marshal’s seal and do not explode, fly or burn excessively hot, are legal on private property in just a dozen Bay Area communities, including Dublin where Safe and Sane Fireworks can Be Used in Single Family Neighborhoods and Designated Parks on the Fourth of July.
But fireworks purchased in those cities can be set off only in those cities.

Designated Parks in Dublin For Use of Safe and Sane Fireworks
1. The Alamo Creek Park (Dougherty Road & Willow Creek Drive)
2. Dublin Sports Grounds (Dublin Blvd. & Civic Plaza)
3. Emerald Glen Park (Tassajara & Gleason Drive)
The City of Dublin has designated the 3 Parks where the use of Safe and Sane Fireworks will be permitted between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on the 4th of July Only!!!
NO FIREWORKS OF ANY TYPE, including “Safe and Sane”, will be permitted at many City Facilities, Parks or Public Schools. See list here:

The City of Dublin does not allow the use of any fireworks in multi-family housing areas or any other City facilities, schools, and non-designated parks. Please do NOT hesitate to report any non-permitted use of fireworks to Dublin Police Services at (925) 462-1212.
Fireworks are sold by non-profit groups located in the City of The application process for a fireworks booth begins in April of each year.

Many of the non-profit organizations in Dublin, CA, support their community service efforts by selling fireworks every year. This year, the sale of “safe and sane” fireworks starts on Monday, June 28. The list of participating organizations include:
Rotary Club of Dublin 7944 Dublin Boulevard (Hooters)
Wells Band 4400 Tassajara Road (Safeway at Waterford)
Dublin Partner in Education 4400 John Monego Court (GMC Buick)

Personal fireworks use, which is illegal throughout Contra Costa County which includes San Ramon and Danville. Offenders could face $500 in fines for the smaller fireworks, while possession of more potent fireworks like M-80s or cherry bombs could lead to felony charges, fines of up to $5,000 and jail time.

San Ramon’s “Red, White and Blue Picnic and Fireworks” is Sunday, July 4 in the city’s Central Park at 12501 Alcosta Blvd. Families are welcomed to enjoy a picnic in the beautiful park setting beginning at 1 p.m., with the fireworks display beginning at 9:30 p.m. For more information, call the City of San Ramon Parks and Community Services Department at 925-973-3200.

The Pleasanton Police Department and the Livermore Pleasanton Fire Department want to ensure everyone has a safe Independence Day and remind you that ALL FIREWORKS, INCLUDING SAFE AND SANE, ARE ILLEGAL IN PLEASANTON. Violations are taken very seriously and violators can expect to receive a citation and have their fireworks seized.

Its rumoured that one can always go to China Towns or Mexico to buy fireworks anytime, but a good place to learn what’s legal and illegal in each state is the American Pyrotechnics Assoc website

Despite the ban of fireworks that exist in most cities in the area, including San Jose, you won’t have to go very far in your city to see somebody shooting off fireworks. “Illegal fireworks are available everywhere now,” said Gilroy Fire Marshal Jackie Bretschneider, whose city is one of the few to allow the so-called “safe and sane” fireworks. The debate on banning fireworks is starting to heat up. One Northern California city is resuming fireworks sales after reasoning there was no way to enforce a ban. But officials in most cities are sticking by theirs, insisting the bans are the only way to prevent a rash of fires and injuries.

List of 275 Communities Permitting State-Approved Fireworks