01 November 2007

FUSD trustees continue push for school

There's been an ongoing dialogue between the A's and FUSD, with both at different ends of the negotiations. In today's report from the Fremont Bulletin by Wes Bowers, the district revealed more about their projections for a new school that would service ~3,000 new homes:

The range of elementary students generated from the development is projected between 621 to 931, based on an analysis from a district housing study.

From kindergarten to the sixth grade, the district-wide average from all homes is .214 students per home.

Multiplying that average by the 2,900 homes proposed by the A's, approximately 621 students could be generated by the project.


The board said the A's should build a school that can house at least 1,000 students, citing that because it will be a new school, it will attract more people.

"These units will generate a higher number of students," Boardmember Larry Sweeney said. "This will be the newest school in a high-performing district, and it will attract quite a few people from this development. It needs to accommodate 1,000 kids from day one."

This is where it gets tricky. The district doesn't want to run into a situation where the school is underbuilt, especially with an urban design that doesn't have the space to accommodate temporary or portable classrooms. They also have their preferences for proper amounts of play area and fields. All of these issues and more have to be taken into consideration for the school's final design.

Giants move to NBC11

This one's a shocker. Today the San Francisco Giants announced that they will be leaving their long-time TV flagship, KTVU-2, for KNTV-11, the Bay Area's NBC affiliate. KTVU continues to have a small stake in the Giants, which seems, well, awkward.

The deal will run for three years, with the broadcast teams staying intact.

For the Giants, the move shouldn't change things much. KNTV moved their
transmitter to San Bruno Mountain a while back, so from an over-the-air standpoint they should cover much the same ground. On cable they're on channel 3 instead of 2. And it looks like KNTV will help produce some additional magazine-style promotional content.

The move's much more interesting for KTVU. KTVU has been riding high on FOX's numerous hits such as 24, House, M.D., and American Idol. All three of those shows air on Monday and Tuesday nights, which are primetime conflict areas for KTVU vis-a-vis the Giants. Even though KTVU has KICU as a fall back when that type of conflict occurs, I'm certain they were contractually obligated not to preempt Giants games for anything else. Those hit shows may also have been better lead-ins for KTVU's 10 p.m. newscast than Giants broadcasts. That's saying a lot since Giants broadcasts trump every other non-NFL Bay Area sports franchise. So if you're wondering if the A's could somehow slide into Oakland-based KTVU's schedule - fuhgetaboutit.

This move is even more telling for KNTV, whose parent network, NBC, has struggled since stalwarts such as Seinfeld, Friends, and Frazier retired. Obviously, NBC-owned KNTV needs a better lead-in to its newscasts than much of its lackluster programming. A look at last week's Nielsens shows not a single NBC primetime telecast in the Top 20 list - which was somewhat skewed by the inclusion of all four World Series broadcasts. Bringing the Giants into the fold has to be a steadying influence, even if an even greater majority of Giants broadcasts will end up on FSN Bay Area. Note to NBC: Please don't mess with the Thursday lineup. I'm tired of you guys killing Scrubs.

From a regional standpoint, I suppose this kind of move should give the Giants better ties to the South Bay, but ever since the ownership change KNTV has been working hard to remake their image as a Bay Area-first station, not a Silicon Valley station. However, both parties might get more Valley advertisers in the process, the same way various Valley companies advertise on Sharks radio broadcasts. The NBC-Telemundo partnership may become an integral part of the broadcasts, though I can't yet say for certain how.

In the long run, the length of the contract allows the Giants to test out a new flagship while exploring other ventures. If the Giants wanted to launch a new regional cable network, they could easily do it starting in 2011. Many teams are moving a greater number of broadcasts to cable, and by the middle of the next decade viewers could face a situation in which no A's or Giants games were delivered over-the-air. It's a day late for Halloween, but it doesn't make the future any less spooky.

Planning transit around a ballpark, Part II

I haven't had a chance to listen to Lew Wolff on Michael Krasny's show on KQED-FM. I'll pick up the archive later and comment those. Those of you who've already heard it live, feel free to chime in.

Haven't been able to past the last couple of days, so here's the continuation of Sunday's Part I.
The yellow line.

That line is the route Amtrak and ACE take through Fremont as they wind they way north and east, respectively. None of these routes have direct connections with BART within Fremont city limits.

Union City may become a vital piece. Just east of the existing Union City BART station, a fairly large development is springing up. It's a
mixed-use transit village that will contain office and residential towers. Anchoring the whole concept is a new rail station, one that will accommodate existing Amtrak and future high speed rail lines. Like the intramodal stations in Millbrae, Richmond, and the Coliseum, riders can step off one platform and switch to another fairly easily. Funding for the station will be dependent on the high speed rail initiative and the Caltrain Dumbarton line (red dotted line), which would run between Redwood City and Union City.

Should the Union City intramodal station come to fruition, it wouldn't cover the last mile to the ballpark, since the planned Pacific Commons train station is still 1.25 miles west of the ballpark. Another shuttle or a lengthy walk would be required, since it's unlikely that planners would go for the
spur station concept I posed a year ago. The yellow line, which depicts the serpentine route through Fremont, would take much longer than a BART train taking a much more direct route to Warm Springs.

Even if these various rail solutions get built, a shuttle of some kind would still be necessary. If the rail solutions don't get built shuttling fans will be a daunting task. Shuttle options were discussed previously. I'll revisit the subject this weekend.