When I moved to Livermore in 1995, residents went out of town for dinner or movies. That hasn't been true for some time. Livermore is the destination. I can walk or take a short drive to first-class theater at Bankhead, see independent films at Vine Cinema, choose from a wide-range of cafes for coffee and cuisines for dinner, and shop in local stores that offer unique items. I get to volunteer at the wonderful Livermore Shakespeare Festival, perform with Encore Players at Bothwell, and go wine tasting without leaving town. I feel so fortunate. During the holidays I attended the Hanukkah celebration and these lyrics struck me as both spiritual and significant: "Light one candle for the strength that we need, to never become our own foe." It troubles me that as a community of neighbors we are becoming our own foe -- over the location of a hotel, a parking garage, housing units, and the shape of a park. I've attended workshops, studied the plans, talked to people, seen the signs in the businesses downtown, watched the progress so far, and I plan to vote “YES” to move forward. I hope we can put differences aside, stop wasting energy, time and money, and work together. This is an exciting time for the future of our City and ourselves.