Good stuff

Get your haggis on

  • Scottish Highland Gathering & Games -- 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Featuring, from Buckingham Palace, the 1st Battalion Pipes & Drums Scots Guards and the 3rd Marine Air Wing Band, plus more that 30 pipe bands from the United States and Canada. Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton. Tickets are $21 for a day pass, $28 for a two-day pass for adults, $13 for 12- to 17-year-olds and seniors. Children 11 and younger get in free, as do military personnel with active-duty ID. For more information, go to www.thescottishgames.com.

    Seen & Heard

    Recycled sewage proves surprisingly popular

    It's not glamorous, but some Tri-Valley residents are getting plenty of use out of California's first sewer plant service that gives away reclaimed water to residential customers to irrigate their lawns and landscaping at home. Some 270 people were signed up as of last week to bring in their tanks, jars and other containers to haul home treated effluent from the Dublin San Ramon Services District sewer plant in Pleasanton.

    The customers on average were hauling away 14,000 gallons a day of recycled water, saving an equal amount of potable water, said Dan Gallagher, the district operations manager. Now that's more than a drop in a drought bucket.


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    -- Denis Cuff

    Past times

    Aug. 28, 1963 Top stories of the Pleasanton Times

    Headline: "Atom Weds Space At Vallecitos"

    A historic wedding has taken place in Pleasanton. And scientists throughout the world are sending their best wishes. The quest for space travel has been linked to atomic power in a marriage that General Electric officials expect will have for-reaching effects.

    With the dateline Pleasanton, a story is going out relating to the success of GE's latest venture at its Vallecitos Atomic Research Laboratory. It talks in hard scientific language of such lofty goals as space vehicles and space platforms; of automatic weather stations in the remote polar regions; and of observation stations on the floor of the ocean.

    Science always knew such ventures would someday be possible, even necessary. But the limit to exploration has always been the power package. It was impossible to carry sufficient fuel to support any such prolonged journey.

    Now GE says it has the answer in its "SPNSO," and the new family has already moved into a permanent home in Vallecitos Valley. Formally titled "Special Purpose Nuclear Systems Operation," SPNSO has a $250,000 abode equipped with all the very latest devices ... to permit research and development of scientific exploration that promises to bring the 21st century into close focus.

    Inside the new building, SPNSO people are hard at work designing nuclear power systems for unique applications. Some are working on small radioisotope-powered units with a few watts' output.

    All nuclear thermionics work for General Electric Co. will be centered in the new building and other facilities at the Vallecitos Atomic Laboratory. Thermionics is the process by which heat is directly converted into electricity -- in SPNSO's cases, heat produced by nuclear fusion.

    This week's trivia question: On Sept. 1, 1979 the Los Angeles Court orders Clayton Moore to stop wearing what?

    Answer to last week's trivia question: On Aug. 30, 1963, the hotline communication link between the Pentagon (Washington) and the Kremlin (Moscow) installed.