[Metroactive Features]

[ Features Index | Metro | Metroactive Central | Archives ]

Your Name in Lights

Diridon Station

What does it take to see your name plastered on the face of a building? Sometimes a lot, and sometimes distressingly little.

By Traci Hukill

THE 19TH-dynasty pharaoh Ramses II began the serious business of immortalizing himself in 1270 B.C.E., just halfway through his 67-year reign. At his royal decree, thousands of master architects, craftsmen and laborers began carving two magnificent temples dedicated to His Majesty's glorious self into the sandstone cliffs towering above the Nile River at Abu Simbel. The idea was to make sure he was never forgotten. Not by the gods. Not by his subjects. Not by anyone.

The largest of the two temples bore a facade graced with four identical seated statues, or colossi, of the insufferably arrogant monarch. They were enormous. Each one rose 67 feet tall and measured 25 feet across at the shoulders. The sandstone pharaoh's little toes were over a foot tall. His ears were 3 1/2 feet long.

Ramses' publicity stunt lacked subtlety, but it worked. Three thousand years later his huge, beatific mug still smiles from the pages of coffee-table books and from television screens the world over.

In contrast, Franklin Delano Roosevelt instructed his adoring public to go easy on his memorial. One "about the size of my desk" would do, he said. This past May he was rewarded for his modesty with the dedication of a seven-acre, $48 million monument next to the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. His self-effacing request positively charmed his fans, suggesting that humility is always more seemly than pride, even if it means the payoff comes later.

The Czech writer Milan Kundera, in his book Immortality, has this to say about the urge to be remembered: "We have to distinguish between so-called minor immortality, the memory of a person in the minds of those who knew him, ... and great immortality, which means the memory of a person in the minds of people who never knew him personally. There are certain paths in life that from the very beginning place a person face to face with such great immortality ... they are the paths of artists and statesmen."

Whether or not this is the case with San Jose politicians remains to be seen, but there are a fair share of statesmen hankering after great immortality, and like the Egyptian pharaohs, not all are willing to wait around for time to tell whether or not they deserve it. They've rewritten the rules, heaved decorum out the window and now shamelessly go about naming buildings, roads and edifices of all kinds in their own and each other's honor, offering up the city's liberal naming ordinance as defense against protests. And sure enough, naming a public structure after oneself or one's cronies isn't illegal. It's just unbecoming.


Historic public property names throughout the Valley.

What is the price of a name?


The Rules

THE CITY FATHERS used to rely on common decency when it came to naming city-owned land and facilities. In 1972, though, the San Jose City Council adopted Policy Number 7-5, Naming of City-Owned Land and Facilities, to help discourage wanton naming practices.

Originally a simple document, the ordinance was expanded in 1993 at Vice Mayor Blanca Alvarado's request to include the exhortation that names reflect "the City's ethnic and cultural diversity," that individuals be honored "who have made a significant contribution to the community, state, nation or the world" and that consideration "be given to the naming of City-owned land after individuals only when the land or the money for its purchase has been donated by them."

Unfortunately the ordinance never stipulated that honorees be deceased, although in an introductory section it states that "such requests usually occur after the death of an individual." And city politicians honored that old-fashioned code, more or less--until recently.

Few people begrudge the truly great their monuments, but it takes time to separate the wheat from the chaff. That's "time" as in many years of perspective, not "time" as in a month or two after someone's retirement party. Our City Council, water district and Board of Supervisors are notorious for bestowing laurels on public servants as they leave office. It's a gesture in tune with the warm, fuzzy friendships that people develop just before leaving any job, when even the most hostile rivalry dissolves into a sloppy mess of forgiveness and reconciliation--a safe position, since the relationship in question is effectively ending.

Our local politicians don't seem to consider the danger inherent in naming an edifice after someone who is still very much alive and fallible. What if Sunnyvale had named a middle school after Vice Mayor Brian O'Toole, convicted of child molestation in 1991. Caltrans understands this concept: The Richard Nixon Freeway in Los Angeles hastily found a new name (the Marina Freeway) after Watergate, and now in most instances state roads and overcrossings are named for deceased persons. Perhaps it pays, after all, to let history decide who's great and who's best forgotten.

That's how other cities do it. San Francisco named its gleaming convention center after the popular Mayor Moscone--after he was shot and killed while perfoming his public duties. New York waited until U.S. Sen. Jacob K. Javits died in 1986 at the age of 81 to honor his half-century of public service by naming a 1.8 million square foot convention facility in his memory. In both cases the men in question were admired and missed--and safely incapable of stirring up trouble.

So when a public official or their close associates try to beat Destiny to the punch and carve his or her name on a public monument, we might pause and ask ourselves if it's a prudent thing to endorse. Besides, as local political consultant Rich Robinson dryly notes, "If you're dead, it's a memorial. If you're alive, it's ego."

How Big Is Yours?

EVEN BEYOND SATISFYING ego, a name in lights can reveal a person's political clout. A quick inventory of landmarks named for local political figures reveals a wide range of honors, from the monolithic convention center, named for a business-friendly mayor, to a little ol' swimming pool on the East Side for the guy who pushes education. We rank the honorees here in order of their monuments' grandiosity and list the shrewd moves that got them where they are.


San Jose McEnery Convention Center

The hands-down winner, the big enchilada, hit the grill when San Jose's $143 million convention center was renamed in honor of Tom McEnery in 1991. The move raised eyebrows and irritation levels, but not--as the former SJ mayor's failed bid for Congress revealed--his popularity. Granted, McEnery and Frank Taylor's relentless pursuit of a tonier downtown resulted in some flashy new facilities and a resuscitated pulse in the cultural heart of San Jose. And yes, the convention center, after some lean initial years, has proved beneficial to the city's economy. But McEnery's chair in City Hall was still warm when the ex-mayor's pep squad stepped up, fronted by politically influential beer distributor Michael Fox and attorney Chuck Reed, and suggested that the San Jose Convention Center be renamed to include "McEnery."

"My recollection is that there were at least three of us," Reed says. "At a meeting at the Capital Club, Pat Dando, Mike Fox and myself all mapped out a plan to lobby the council to get the building named for Tom."

Asked if they discussed whether it was appropriate to honor a living person so lavishly, Reed answers, "Yeah, we talked about that and decided it wouldn't be an impediment. Why should you [wait until someone's dead] when people want to honor them now? It's not a hard and fast rule."

The trio scarcely met with an "aw, shucks" from McEnery himself. Mayor Susan Hammer, new to the job, would have been crazy to argue even if she'd wanted to. Besides, conferring laurels on members of your own tribe is decent insurance that you will one day likewise be honored.

So the council kicked around the idea for a few months at the start of 1991, or pretended to, and voted on the matter in April. Only three councilmembers dissented: George Shirakawa Sr., Jim Beall and Blanca Alvarado. McEnery's legacy was secure.

Alvarado's objection hinged on the unceremonious displacement of a poor Hispanic neighborhood to make way for the convention center. Alvarado aide Sylvia Gallegos says, "I don't think [Blanca] had an objection to naming something after him per se. But there was a sense that the city was taking advantage of these folks."

The historic landmarks commissioners weren't the pushovers most councilmembers were, either. They voted against recommending the honor, agreeing with Commissioner Collene Cortese's diagnosis that it would be "premature and unwarranted."

Many critics agreed with her, but what rankled them even deeper was that the convention center amounted to free publicity when the former mayor dusted off his stump-jumping shoes and ran for the U.S. Congress in 1992. Opponent Zoe Lofgren, however, found ripe fodder in the convention center, positioning herself as "a congresswoman who helps build lives, not just buildings."

McEnery's name on the front of the convention center didn't win him the election, but it raised questions about the value of having a name associated with a prominent public building. Was it worth 10 billboards? A hundred? A thousand? Did it serve the purpose of 50 sound bites? Five hundred?

It's hard to pin a dollar amount on the convention center's marketing value to McEnery. But as Rich Robinson points out, "There are marketing studies that show how name recognition is won. One study says you have to see a name 27 times for it to permeate." And anyone who lives in this valley any length of time is very familiar with the convention center.

McEnery played his cards like a champ and now he's a household word.

Shrewd move: Kept his mouth shut about his political plans.

San Jose Diridon Station

On his way off the county Board of Supervisors, 20-year veteran Rod Diridon snapped up a monument to his greatness that few people could argue with. Always a train buff, Diridon turned his hobby into his livelihood and pushed light rail through the political process. He also helped create a joint-powers board between the city, county and state and pushed a long-term transportation plan through the county, rightfully earning for himself the nickname "Mr. Transportation." So when it came time for him to step down in 1994, the newly remodeled Cahill Station got a shiny new plaque bearing Diridon's name.

Is he abashed by the gesture--even humbled, perhaps?

"No, it's not embarrassing!" bellows the hale honoree good-naturedly. "It's terrifically uplifting! I think if I were going to run for other offices and use that notoriety in another way, I don't think it would be appropriate. But I have no intention of getting involved in politics."

Hear that, Tom?

At least Diridon doesn't try to hide his glee, as well he shouldn't: he's widely credited with being the prime mover behind the renaming of the Cahill Station.

A former Diridon confidant speculates that as Diridon's political career began to wane after an appointment to the U.S. Department of Transportation failed to materialize, he began to worry about his legacy. A move to name a park after him sputtered and died. Then, says the source, Diridon "communicated" to the joint-powers board he helped create that he would be receptive to the idea of a Diridon Station. And it was made so.

Diridon now heads the Norman Y. Mineta International Institute for Surface Transportation Policy at SJSU, a transportation issues think tank. His farsightedness and contribution to the community will always be remembered, but one still wonders: Couldn't he at least have feigned modesty over the San Jose Diridon Station?

Shrewd move: Ignored the temptation to allow others to honor him and instead led the charge himself.

James J. Lenihan Dam

James J. Lenihan Dam at Lexington Reservoir

Conservative water board member James Lenihan had nothing to do with building the dam at Lexington Reservoir, but his buddies at the water district didn't care. Lenihan, they figured, needed a great big tombstone after 37 years of service on the Santa Clara Valley Water District board, so they cast about for a sufficiently visible site, shunning the out-of-the-way Stevens Creek dam that was actually in Lenihan's district.

Longtime water district board member Bob Gross first suggested the Stevens Creek dam idea in the spring of 1996, almost a year before Lenihan's retirement this past January, but recalls that the board turned down his idea on the grounds that it would be awkward to name the dam after Lenihan, him still being on the board and all.

By December, however, construction on the Lexington Reservoir dam was under way, and when then-chairman Joe Judge proposed naming it after Lenihan, it seemed like a grand idea. A few months later a green sign reading "James J. Lenihan Dam" sprouted up next to Highway 17.

"I was taken aback when I saw the Lexington Dam proposal," recalls a bemused Gross. "It's not that I mind having something named after him, it just seemed more appropriate to do it in his own district."

Lenihan's sign sits near the Gillian Cichowski Memorial Overcrossing, where a woman was killed in 1992 making a left turn onto the notoriously dangerous Highway 17. Cichowski's memorial sign is sobering, but Lenihan's, some maintain, is laughable.

" 'Dam' Lenihan!" crows a former opponent of Lenihan's. "He was a blockhead of blockheads. He liked to concrete-line channels. He'd dam channels, dam rivers. Lenihan is the white ethic that is the reason the water district had EEO problems. ... For that you get a dam named after you."

Not just that, but Lenihan now enjoys status as the water board's first director emeritus, a purely ceremonial post. What's the secret to this guy's charm?

Shrewd move: Stayed in the same place saying the same thing for a very, very long time.

Sig Sanchez

Sig Sanchez Freeway

The stretch of Highway 101 from San Jose to Morgan Hill is no small prize in the race to fame. The former cattle rancher-turned-Gilroy-mayor-turned-county- supervisor-turned-water-board-fixture lobbied hard for 12 years to get that length of asphalt laid down. Back in 1992 state Sen. Dan McCorquodale approached fundraiser-about-town and former county Supervisor Susie Wilson about getting the road named after their pal.

"Usually at the state bureau you have to be dead to have anything named after you," admits Wilson, who worked on the project as a private citizen. "But I convinced them because transportation was such an important thing."

Not only did Wilson get the resolution passed, she also raised the money from private citizens to pay for the signs, which cost about $1,600. For her, it was as fun as throwing a surprise birthday party.

"We were keeping it a secret from him. So one day he was lobbying for some bill and everyone kept saying, 'I hear you're going to get a freeway named after you,' and he said, 'Well, what in the hell?' " She bursts out laughing. "It was very gratifying."

Shrewd move: Stayed on Susie Wilson's good side.

Susanne B. Wilson Residence, Villa Nueva YWCA

Good things come to those who wait, as Susie Wilson well knows. After 30 years of involvement with the YWCA, including a three-year stint as president, Wilson finally got hers. In 1990 she chaired the campaign to raise $2 million for the Villa Nueva project on Second Street, which combines low-income housing with the YWCA programs like day care and career assistance for low-income single parents. Wilson is very good at raising money and actually exceeded the $2 million target by $1.5 million. YWCA rewarded her by naming the residential portion of Villa Nueva after her and mounting a small, tasteful plaque on the building's face.

Unlike some other former supervisors, Wilson has the sense to appear humbled by the gesture. "Once they'd done this, I had to really work hard to live up to it. You need to live up to having a building with your name on it."

Shrewd move: Picked a winning cause early on and stuck with it.

McKenna School, Santa Clara County Children's Shelter

The children's shelter school used to be named after C.W. Washington, a black Baptist minister who worked hard in the early 1970s to build low-income housing. When it came time to build a new school, however, C.W.'s accomplishments paled next to Regis and Dianne McKenna's fundraising skills and deep pockets, and the county named the new building after the power couple. Sorry, C.W.

In fact, so thrilled were county administrators with the $8 million Regis raised (and the half million the couple donated) that they offered to name the entire shelter after the pair. No, no, they protested. That would make them uncomfortable. And so the successful businessman and the then-supervisor came to be known as modest philanthropists.

Shrewd move: By refusing to accept too extravagant an honor, positioned themselves as selfless and humble.

Frank Fiscalini Swimming Center, Independence High School

In the grand scheme of things a swimming pool looks kind of puny, especially next to the lordly convention center or a dam. But at least it's an Olympic-sized pool, a fact for which Councilmember Fiscalini should be grateful. And it's not just any pool, one that little kids can go and pee in. Nope--this is the Frank Fiscalini Swimming Center at Independence High School, and only good swimmers get to practice their laps and dives here.

But why name a swimming center after a baseball player? Fiscalini would rather step up to bat than plunge into the deep end any day, according to aide Joe Guerra. (After playing ball as an undergrad at Santa Clara University, Fiscalini played for the San Bernardino Pioneers.)

The answer to the mystery lies in Fiscalini's past. As superintendent of the East Side Union School District, Fiscalini sowed 10 schools where before only one existed. When Independence High was built almost 20 years ago, the school district named the swimming center in his honor.

One thing's certain: Should the secretive councilman decide to run for mayor, nobody in his right mind will accuse Fiscalini of using a high-profile edifice to advertise his name.

Shrewd move: Or not so shrewd. Fiscalini's interest in education over self-promotion makes him unfashionable--hence the dinkiness of this monument.

Ernie Renzel Bust

Ernie Renzel Bust, Terminal C, San Jose International Airport

He could have been a weasel about the matter. In 1938 Ernie Renzel initiated a private effort to buy 484 acres of land for a city airport at $300 an acre. Two years later as mayor he bought the land back using the city's money--at cost. He easily could have made a nice profit for himself and his friends, but he didn't.

So in 1994, when his pals at the Rotary Club suggested to the City Council that they name the San Jose International Airport after Ernie Renzel, they didn't expect much resistance. After all, as real estate investor Murphy Sabatino puts it, "I think Ernie's probably done more than Tom McEnery, not to belittle Tom."

But the City Council turned the naming issue over to the Airport Commission, who are evidently an old-fashioned group of people by San Jose's standards. "I remember that one of the guidelines was that the person had to be deceased," recalls Cathy Gaskell of the airport's marketing department.

Hmm. The Airport Commission uses the same guidelines for naming public facilities that the city does, and they have no compunction about honoring the living.

In the end, all Renzel got for his trouble was a bronze bust in Terminal C. That's the old terminal, not the nice new one. Maybe when he's shuffled off this mortal coil, Renzel will receive the recognition he deserves for having the foresight and honesty to procure land for an airport at a reasonable cost: If it weren't for him, we'd all be driving to San Francisco or Oakland and paying those airports' uncivilized long-term parking rates. But until people recognize the value of Renzel's contribution to the city, his name will be all but drowned out by the tooting of less gracious horns.

Fatal mistake: Behaved altruistically, then failed to point it out.

Save a People, Get a Plaque

ONE OF THE refreshing differences between leaders of civil rights movements and local politicians is that the former don't care much whether their names adorn public buildings or lands. But their followers are another story.

Any group wishing to exercise its political muscle need only approach a governing body with the suggestion to name a prominent public work after a famous civil rights leader. No one's going to argue and it's great PR.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Main Library

In recent years Martin Luther King's name has become quite fashionable within cities. King is almost universally liked, especially since most people know him for having a dream and not for protesting the Vietnam war.

In 1989 the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association of San Jose tried to name a Berryessa park in King's honor, only to meet a hostile neighborhood association. Initially taken aback, organizer Ron McPherson remembers that he was then struck with inspiration.

"I said, 'God moves in mysterious ways. Why should we name a piece of dirt after Martin Luther King? Why not something more substantial?' "

The group began eyeing facilities around town, including the library, the convention center, the proposed arena and the airport. They picked the library and got it--with Tom McEnery's enthusiastic blessing. Maybe he was just relieved that the convention center was still up for grabs.

But even this story is not all happiness and light. The main library was dedicated in a ceremony honoring King's birthday in January 1990 with the assurance, claims McPherson, that if it were ever moved the name would follow. Now, though, as talk continues of a joint main library shared by the city and SJSU, task force leader Charlotte Powers maintains that the proposed library's name is "one of the issues that still has to be discussed."

Plaza de Cesar Chavez

The farmworker activist was only departed a few months when local groups enlisted former Vice Mayor Blanca Alvarado's help to rename downtown's Plaza Park in his honor. Supporters and opponents of the measure turned out by the hundreds to add their voices to the melee at the City Council hearing on the matter. Those against the name change played an ironic card, complaining that the proposed change did not reflect the diversity of the city's population and that Plaza Park was a historic site best left alone. Those who favored the change responded that Plaza Park had had a history of name changes and that one more couldn't hurt.

Eventually Alvarado prevailed. Even though the 2.2-acre park was insignificant to Chavez's career, leaving many San Joseans scratching their heads over the new designation, its dedication to the beloved labor organizer sailed through the council. The park even got a unique sculpture to fill the void left by the much-maligned Fallon statue McEnery had proposed earlier.

But oh, the feathers that Plumed Serpent ruffled! Wrote one Gloria Mintz in a letter to the Parks & Recreation Commission, "We all know snakes can't talk. Why then are we erecting a monument to a snake?" Mintz petitioned against the Quetzalcoatl sculpture, but to no avail.

In the end Alvarado made her point: McEnery might have gotten the convention center after ousting a Latino neighborhood to make way for it, but the park across the street would be named for a prominent Hispanic. And instead of a tribute to McEnery's favorite Irish-American soldier, that park would house a sculpture of an Aztec deity, even if it more closely resembled an Aztec doody.

Parque de los Pobladores, a.k.a. Gore Park

The triangular piece of land where First and Market streets merge was originally named for its wedge shape. But as a $200,000 sculpture honoring the city's Mexican and Ohlone settlers and destined to take up residence in Gore Park neared completion, "Gore Park" started sounding less poetic by the moment. So Alvarado proposed renaming it "Parque Fundadores" (referred to as "Parkay Fundadores" throughout parts of the proposal) and finally settled on Parque de los Pobladores, which means "Park of the Pueblo-Dwellers."

But who would know? The granite wall running along one edge of the park still bears the inscription "Gore Park," and people still refer to it by its old name. The only difference is that now instead of just being burdened with bad feng shui, the awkward piece of land now also suffers bad art.

A Class Act

ONCE IN A WHILE a truly magnanimous individual comes along, the kind who gives Apples to teachers (and students) and expects nothing in return. Our only gripe with this category is it's so small.

Woz Way

Part of an earlier generation of Silicon Valley decamillionnaires, Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak set an example of generosity too infrequently followed. He gave computers to schools. He donated heavily to the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. Then he gave $1.8 million to the Children's Discovery Museum (which cost a total of $8.2 million). When Sally Osberg of the Children's Discovery Museum teamed up in 1989 with Mayor Tom McEnery to suprise the computer inventor by naming the short, quirky street in front of the CDM after him, no one argued.

He probably could have had the museum itself named after him, but he's not that kind, Osberg says.

"He's a modest person. He would never have wanted that."

Maybe someone could learn a lesson from Woz ...

What Can I Buy?

SOMETIMES HAVING a building named after you is simply a matter of being able to afford it. Here's one example.

William Gates Computer Science Building, Stanford University

Stanford University was only too happy to name its new Computer Science Building after Microsoft's obscenely wealthy founder upon its completion in January 1996. Even though Gates' donation of $6 million made up less than one-third of the building's $35 million cost (one-third to one-half being Stanford's rule of thumb when it comes to naming buildings after donors), the school made an exception.

"It's a great thing to have Gates' name on it," says Laura Breyfogle, a spokeswoman for the Stanford School of Engineering. Though Gates didn't attend Stanford, the school has a close relationship with Microsoft via interns and graduates who find employment there. Besides, $6 million is nothing to sneeze at.

Then again, generosity is relative. This week Gates' net worth is $38 billion, according to the Bill Gates Personal Wealth Clock on the Internet. That puts Gates' contribution to Stanford, which at first glance looks so generous, at about 1/60 of 1 percent of his fortune.

To a moderately successful Joe with a net worth of half a million, that would be like making a donation of less than $100.

In Desperate Need of Help

NOW AND THEN it seems the city just plain runs out of imagination. To solve this problem in the past it's held naming contests, which sometimes yield fruit and sometimes don't. Sometimes the governing bodies just throw up their hands and use whatever name comes along. Here are a couple of public facilities whose names are so ponderous, so prosaic and unimaginative, that drastic measures are in order.

Confluence Point, Guadalupe River Park

That's the name on the blueprint, folks. Officially part of Arena Green, Confluence Point remains unnamed. Perhaps the city could dig through the pile of monikers rejected in the contest to name Arena Green and Discovery Meadows and find something suitable. Maybe Riverwalk Esplanade, Chinook Spawnway or Unity Green would spark people's imaginations, or how about Love, Whimsy or Icon Park? Anything would be an improvement over the current label, which sounds a little too much like "effluence" for comfort.

Or maybe someone could slip that little bee back into Leigh Weimers bonnet and watch what happens. The San Jose Mercury News columnist dedicated himself to the naming of Confluence Point with a crusader's fervor, first promoting the park-naming contest, then bemoaning the fact that nothing came of it. Time and again Weimers returned to the subject, each article more irascible than the last. If anyone can hector the city into beautifying its "unlovely bureaucratese," as he calls it, it's Weimers.

San Jose Arena

Is that the best they could do? After shelling out $130 million of the $165 million it took to build the steel box, could the city really come up with nothing more interesting than "San Jose Arena"?

Executive vice president of development Matt Levine says that although there was some talk early on of selling the name to a sponsor, the city preferred to have its name attached to the arena as a public relations vehicle, no matter that Sharks fans have nicknamed it The Tank.

"There's no financial currency in the name, but there's a lot of what you call soft currency in good will and image-building for the city," opines Levine, noting that the arena has received high marks as one of the best in the country.

Maybe it's better this way. It would be unspeakably sad to end up with a cousin of the unfortunately named 3Com Park, and it would be just our luck.

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

They tried, they really tried. Just before the $421 million light rail system went operative in the fall of 1987, the Mercury News held a "Name the Trolley" contest, to which more than 740 names were submitted. In a decision that defies logical explanation, the county Board of Supervisors rejected names like VIA (Latin for "by way of"), SUN (Silicon Valley Urban Network) and MARY (Metropolitan Area Railway) and settled on the name "SC(s2)AT," as in Santa Clara County Area Transit, pronounced "scat." Yes, that's "scat" as in "droppings." What were they thinking?

By the time the media finished with them, the board members were in no mood to play the naming game. Instead of choosing another moniker, they sullenly reverted to the light rail's clunky old name, "Light Rail," and refused to consider the matter any further.

Then in September 1996 inspiration struck the marketing department at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, the agency that governs Light Rail, the bus systems and the highways in Santa Clara County, and VTA was born. Made official in January 1997, the new logo will gradually replace the present nondescript design on Light Rail cars and city buses over the course of the next two years in accordance with their regular maintenance schedule.

VTA is not a warm, fuzzy name. It's not particularly catchy. But it's crisp and to the point, a suit-and-tie sobriquet for a city setting its overalls aside.

[ Metro | Metroactive Central | Archives ]

From the Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 1997 issue of Metro.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.