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2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe: Jeep adds a plug
Story and photos by Michael Coates

Jeep has fashioned itself into the iconic brand that it is by embracing the tradition of a purpose-built vehicle. Its military origins demanded that it be capable of functioning in all types of terrain and conditions. During the ensuing decades, the Jeep’s signature vehicles morphed from a barely civilized Willys, to a CJ with expanded creature comforts, to the current platform that affords a rare blend of off-road capability with on-highway civility. Plus, it retains the basic look of the classic machine.

Now comes a step-change for the brand. The 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is a plug-in hybrid, the first Jeep able to run on electricity alone. It’s everything the Wrangler has ever been with a sheen of environmental respectability.

What’s a Plug-in Hybrid?
The first question Jeep may have to answer with this new model is to define what it is and how it operates. A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is a blend of an electric car with a traditional gas-engine one. It can operate for a short range (21 miles at most) under solely electric power, run only on its four-cylinder gas engine and run in blended mode where the Jeep’s control module seeks out the most efficient combination of the two technologies, which would have you running as an EV for brief sections while relying on the gas engine to supply most motive power.

The good news is PHEVs qualify for federal tax credits and also state/local support in many states. That support is needed because the 4xe model’s starting price is almost $20,000 more than the base non-PHEV Wrangler. The model I drove, a Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 4xe, started at $47,995 and with optional equipment ended up at $54,030. The non-hybrid Sahara model is about $10,000 less.

The Basics
Part of the price differential between the basic Wrangler and the PHEV is because the plug-in version is available only as a 4WD four-door model with a good level of standard equipment that includes leather-trimmed seats, an Alpine premium audio system, 20-inch tires on aluminum wheels and a variety of other goodies.

Some advanced safety features, like adaptive cruise control, advanced brake assist and forward collision warning Plus—which I would recommend for most cars—are optional, but should be high on your consideration list. The whole powertrain is covered by a five-year, 60,000-mile warranty, but the hybrid system (including the battery) has 10-year, 100,000-mile coverage.

The Sahara is joined by the Rubicon, High Altitude and 80th Anniversary models, with each step to a different model at about $3,000, covering additional practical features. All have the same 370-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, two electric motors (one replacing the alternator and controlling the stop-start system, and the other in front of the transmission) and a 17.3 kilowatt-hour battery back. That’s good for a six-second 0-to-60 run.

The Bottom Line
The Jeep Wrangler is known as a solid off-road machine. The 4xe models add the potential of a silent mode to that so you can do your rock-crawling under electric power. The systems 470 pound-feet of torque deliver more than enough power to take this Jeep on any trail its gas-only models can go on. With the gas engine backup, the whole package has about 370 miles of total range. The downside is that when that brief 21 miles of electric range is used up, the 4xe reverts back to the Wrangler’s tepid 20 mpg average.

Jeep is also adding Jeep-branded EV chargers at trailheads to some of its popular off-road spots, such as Moab and the Rubicon Trail in California. The company will also hook up 4xe buyers with Electrify America and its network of charging stations across the U.S.

On top of this, as if to prove a Wrangler is a Wrangler, a vehicle designed to be customized by its owner. Stellantis (Jeep’s parent company) has more than 100 Mopar accessories ready to be added to the 4xe. Even with new electric power, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe is ready to be adopted and adapted to any owner’s lifestyle.

Park It
by Ned MacKay

Crown Beach in Alameda is one of the most beautiful shorelines on San Francisco Bay. You can help make it even more so by joining in a volunteer beach cleanup session from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 16, led by park district naturalist Michael Charnofsky.

Volunteers should bring their own gloves and bucket if possible, though both will be available for loan. The event is for ages eight and older, and parents should accompany youngsters. It’s free, of course, but registration is required.

While you are at the beach, check out the prize-winning California Coastal and Ocean Amateur Photography Exhibit at Crab Cove Visitor Center. Sponsored by California Coastal Commission, the photos are on display through December during visitor center hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays. Entry is free.

And it’s fish feeding time from 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at the visitor center aquarium, where the staff provides food for the crabs, moray eel, perch, pipefish and other fish from the Bay.

The visitor center is at the end of McKay Avenue off Alameda’s Central Avenue. For information on the exhibit call (510) 544-3187. To register for the cleanup, call (888) 327-2757 and select option 2.

Sunol Regional Wilderness in southern Alameda County has a long and fascinating history, starting with the Ohlone Peoples who called the area home for millennia, and continuing through a century of ranching and homesteading.

The park will celebrate its history with music, crafts, games and other activities in a free event from 12 noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 16, hosted by naturalist Kristina Parkison.

Sunol Regional Wilderness and its visitor center are at the end of Geary Road off Calaveras Road about five miles south of I-680 and the town of Sunol. There’s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. For information, call 510-544-3249.

Corn husk doll making is on the agenda from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 16 at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, using corn husks and other materials gleaned from the fields. Then from 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. you can help with the farm chores – feed the chickens and livestock, and learn the animals’ favorite foods. Both programs are free of charge and registration is not required.

Ardenwood is located at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, just north of Highway 84. Admission fees apply; parking is free. For information, call (510) 544-2797.

As mentioned in a previous column, this is tarantula mating season, when the male spiders venture forth from their burrows in search of females for purposes of procreation.

Naturalist Virginia Delgado will introduce Hazel, the tarantula in residence at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch, during a meet-and-greet from 4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 16.

Virginia and Hazel will be at Black Diamond Mines’ upper parking lot, at the end of Somersville Road about 3½ miles south of Highway 4. The program is free.

Or if spiders are not your thing, join naturalist Kevin Dixon on one of his “Beautiful Brunches” hikes. Kevin is leading a moderate, 2.4-mile hike from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 17 at Black Diamond Mines. Bring your favorite food and drink. Wear comfortable clothes and good footgear, some trails are steep and rough. The hike is free of charge, but registration is required. To register, call (888) 327-2757 and select option 2.

Black Diamond Mines has a parking fee of $5 per vehicle when the kiosk is attended. For general park information, call (510) 544-2750.

These are just a few programs planned in coming days in the East Bay Regional Parks. For a complete listing, visit the website, www.ebparks.org.

News and notes from around the world
Submitted by Association of Mature American Citizens

The art of the con
Some artists work with oil and others work with watercolor. Artist Jens Haaning works with money, said the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. His past works were called “An Average Danish Annual Income” and “An Average Austrian Annual Income” and they featured the currencies used in Denmark and Austria, 328,000 kroner and 25,000 euros respectively. Those works were popular enough that Denmark’s Kunsten Museum of Modern Art asked him to do it again and so they commissioned him and loaned him $85,000 worth of Danish kroner banknotes. But on the day before his exhibit was to open the museum received two empty frames. As he explained in an email that he sent to gallery “he thought it was more interesting to do a new work, and it was called ‘Take the Money and Run,’” according to the museum director Lasse Andersson. Haaning was supposed to return the cash, Andersson said, but the artist [or is he a con artist?] said “Of course I will not pay it back. The work is that I took the money and I will not give it back.” The museum went ahead and displayed the two empty frames alongside his email.

A not so missing person
So, these Turkish guys went out drinking one night recently. Among them was a fellow by the name of Beyhan Mutlu who apparently had a snootful, according to AMAC. It was about two in the morning when Mutlu got to a friend’s house nearby where he fell into a deep sleep. His friends didn’t see him there and thought he was missing. They called the police who organized a search party in the nearby woods. Mutlu was awake by then and upon seeing the searchers he joined them. It wasn’t until they began shouting his name that he realized he was the missing person. As he put it to a local newspaper: “They called my name” and “I said, oh, that's me.”

Heavy lifting
Madison, Wisconsin police went searching recently for the perpetrators who stole a bronze sculpture known as Dumpty Humpty, a spoof of Humpty Dumpty sitting on a toilet, reported AMAC. The unusual objet d'art was on display at a local art fair and the police have security camera footage showing two men carrying the weighty statue away.

— The Association of Mature American Citizens is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing membership in Washington, D.C. and in local congressional districts nationwide. More information is available on its website at www.amac.us.

By Pat Kite

It is time to plant carrots. Over the years, I have planted many carrots and actually grew one carrot! It was kind of a stunted carrot, but it took a lot of work.

The wild carrot, Daucus carota, probably originated in the former Persia. It was whitish with a purplish tinge, and it was small, tough, bitter and spindly. Excavated carrot seeds date back to at least 5,000 years, with carrot seeds being initially used for medicinal purposes or as a spice. However, in Afghanistan today, there are still tribes concocting a strong alcoholic drink from harvested wild purple and white carrots.

Nowadays there are a multiplicity of carrot breeding programs. Currently there are at least 389 varieties—including purple, orange, black, white, red and yellow varieties, plus short, tall, fat and slim. Back in the 1500s, Netherlands’ breeders really worked on getting a tasty sweet orange carrot. They thought the fad for eating sweet oranges would make people like other orange foods. Alas the common folk mostly fed carrots to their donkeys and pigs, never eating them themselves.

Did you know there is a Carrot Museum? Just type Carrot Museum into your computer. It is a virtual museum, only available online, and chock full of information. Once upon a time, I was told by a physician that carrots were good for my eyesight. So, most every morning I have a glass of carrot juice. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which the body utilizes to produce Vitamin A. Therefore, carrots are possibly helpful with vision assist, but they won’t make your vision improve. However, if you eat at least 10 carrots a day for quite a while, your skin can develop a yellowish tinge. Carotenemia is the fancy name for this. My wrinkles have not turned orange, so I must be ok.

On a more fun side, decorate your kitchen windowsill with carrots. Prepare a shallow bowl with pebbles or very small rocks. Using several carrots, cut off the top two inches of each. Place the carrot tops on the pebbles. Add water. Do not let this dry out. In a short while you will see feathery leaves. They will last about four weeks, but you can always put in new carrot tops. Make sure you keep them in sunlight. It makes a pretty dish, and it’s fun for kids.

If you still want to grow full carrots, you need potting soil and a nice size pot. Our local clay soil can be traumatic for carrots. If you don’t have a really deep container, stick to Thumbelina or Lady Finger varieties. Water consistently when soil starts to dry. Wait a month or two, depending on variety. Harvest. I did not eat the one carrot I successfully grew. I put it in the refrigerator and admired. It took a lot of work.

Oakland Zoo puts on Halloween scavenger hunt
Submitted by Oakland Zoo

Calling all ghosts, goblins, and witches – join us for Boo at the Zoo! Due to its popularity, we are extending Boo at the Zoo to four Friday, Saturday, and Sundays in October (October 8-31). Enjoy this family-friendly Halloween event with a spooky animal-themed scavenger hunt and fun goodies.

Grab a program as you enter the Zoo and follow the clues on our self-guided scavenger hunt to find all the trick-or-treating animals hidden throughout the Zoo. Instead of trick-or-treating in the Zoo this year, we are safely handing out pre-stuffed goodie bags to participating kids.

Remember to dress in costume (No inflatable costumes – they can scare the Zoo animals!) when you visit and tag Oakland Zoo on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to enter our Halloween costume contest. Winners will receive four tickets to our nighttime lantern festival this year, Glowfari, from November 12 – January 30.

Tickets must be reserved in advance through our online ticketing system. Attendance is currently limited. Only guests with online ticket reservations will receive the official scavenger hunt and a goodie bag (available while supplies last). Please Note: Members that arrive after 2 p.m. without a reservation are welcome to unofficially participate in the scavenger hunt, but will not receive a goodie bag because of limited supplies.

Costume Contest Themed Days:
Fridays (10/8, 10/15, 10/22, 10/29): Twinning – Parents suit up! It’s time to twin with your mini in your favorite Halloween costumes.
Saturdays (10/9, 10/16, 10/23, 10/30): Monster Squad – Ghouls & monsters of the night, it’s your time to shine for a Halloween fright. Dress up in your classic monster squad members.
Sundays (10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31): Favorite Animal Friends – Furry or scaly, feathers or slimy, it’s up to you! Pick your favorite animal to sport around the Zoo.

Boo at the Zoo
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays in October
October 8-10, 15-17, 22-24, 29-31
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Oakland Zoo
9777 Golf Links Rd., Oakland
(510) 632-9525

Wildlife rehabilitation center opens doors to humans
By Stephanie Gertsch
Photos courtesy of Ohlone Humane Society

Since the facility opened its doors 24 years ago, over 25,000 injured and orphaned wild animals have dropped in to rest and recover at Ohlone Humane Society’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (OHSWRC/OHS). Humans usually aren’t welcome inside—the point is to get furry and feathery Tri-City residents able to live in the wild without relying on people.

Only one day a year, the center opens its doors to educate the public about OHS and better strategies for protecting local wildlife (usually: leave them alone). OHS is a donation-driven nonprofit, and annual operating funding comes from memberships, community donations, and fundraising. The open house is critical to informing people about the center and how they can contribute.

OHS’s indoor facilities include an exam room, incubators for baby birds and soft-sided carriers for injured raptors. Larger outdoor enclosures are also tailored to different species’ needs—climbing, flying, foraging, and burrowing. A native garden (planted by Fremont’s Ann and Dan O’Donnell) provides greenery to feed animal guests, which takes some financial strain off OHS. A single raccoon costs almost $100 per week to feed!

As you walk around the facilities, it feels like every corner you turn reveals another contribution from local boy and girl scouts. Out front, a shed for animals dropped off after-hours was built from scratch by boy scouts. A fox enclosure with climbable shelving was built by a girl scout for her gold award. A boy scout also built burrowing owl enclosures for OHS’ partnership with an owl breeding program.

During Covid, scouts were looking for Eagle Scout projects they could complete outdoors while social distancing. Manager Kelli Di Bene says, “It’s been great for us because it’s stuff that we’ve been able to get done, replaced and fixed, that we would not have had the resources to do. Especially during Covid because our donation intakes suffered through that year as well.”

Those coming to Saturday’s open house should drive through the Worldpac parking lot off Hickory Street. A large wooden sign (yes, made by a boy scout) will point the way to the center. Ambassador animals will make an appearance from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. There will also be nature crafts, beekeeper talks and tours of the garden and center.

Guests are encouraged to bring a donation, such as the following:

• Latex Free Gloves
• Canned/Dry Dog and Cat Food
• Laundry Soap and Bleach
• Paper Towels
• Kleenex
• Bagged Garden Soil
• 13- and 33-Gallon Trash Bags
• Wild Bird Seed

In addition to providing outreach for OHS, Di Bene hopes the open house will educate people about best practices regarding wildlife. Wild animals aren’t babies or pets; it’s critical to keep them out of the center unless they are truly in danger. “We’ll do the best that we can, but those animals’ chances of survival decrease 50% in our care right off the bat because we cannot teach them what their parents teach them.”

Working at the center means a range of experiences. One, Di Bene would prefer not to repeat, was taking home a bottle-feeding baby skunk—only to discover she was extremely allergic to the animal. A more inspiring moment came earlier this year, while releasing a pigeon that had been abused by humans and spent months recovering at the center. “With all the raptors and all the cool animals, it was like that one pigeon was the most rewarding release,” says Di Bene. While birds usually have to perch in a tree to get their bearings, this spunky pigeon soared straight into the air in ever-widening circles.

Ohlone Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Open House
Saturday, Oct 16
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Animal Ambassadors: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
37175 Hickory St., Newark

Ohlone Humane Society Home – Advocating for All Animals – Fremont, CA

Photos in 1 new Sharon

Bonsai exhibition returns and celebrates 50 years
Submitted by Yamato Bonsai Kai

Fifty years may not be long in the life of a miniature bonsai tree, but it is a long time for us humans. That’s why we’re happy to welcome “Yamato Bonsai Kai” back to Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church for its 50th year. The exhibition will include over 50 trees, some more than 100 years old.

The event will take place on Saturday, October 16 and Sunday, October 17 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. Sensei Johnny Uchida will be holding bonsai demonstrations at 1:30 p.m. on both days. Demonstration plants, among other bonsai-related items, will be part of a daily raffle. There will also be a vendor and plant sale area.

The show will be compliant with local Covid safety precautions, and masks will be required.

Yamato Bonsai Kai
Saturday, Oct 16 – Sunday, Oct 17
Sat: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sun: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Demonstration: 1:30 p.m. both days
Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church
32975 Alvarado-Niles Rd., Union City
Facebook event page: @bonsaiinthebayarea

Water district recognized for conservation program
Submitted by Sharene Gonzales

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Alameda County Water District (ACWD) with a 2021 WaterSense Excellence Award for its dedication to helping residents and businesses save water, despite the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

On October 8, ACWD was recognized for promoting WaterSense and water efficiency throughout 2020, during the WaterSmart Innovations (WSI) Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas. It was one of 34 utilities, manufacturers, builders, retailers, and other organizations that partner with WaterSense to promote water-efficient products, homes, and programs.

WaterSense, a voluntary partnership program sponsored by EPA, is both a label for water-efficient products and homes and a resource for helping consumers learn ways to save water. Since the program started in 2006, WaterSense labeled products have helped consumers and businesses save 5.3 trillion gallons of water — enough water to supply all households in the United States with water for 200 days. In addition to water savings, WaterSense has helped reduce the amount of energy needed to heat, pump, and treat water by 603 billion kilowatt hours and save $108 billion in water and energy bills.

“In 2020, our WaterSense partners continued to make saving water possible by educating consumers and businesses about WaterSense and water-efficient behaviors,” said Veronica Blette, the WaterSense program manager. “Our award winners’ creative and committed approaches to water conservation helped consumers save water, energy, and money on their utility bills at a time when they needed it most.”

WaterSense honored Alameda County Water District as a 2021 Excellence Award winner for promoting WaterSense labeled products through its robust water conservation measures, including high-efficiency toilet and urinal rebate programs, weather-based irrigation controller rebate programs, water conservation kits, and its Water Savings Assistance Partnership Program.

“Alameda County Water District is proud to be a WaterSense Partner and honored to be a 2021 Excellence Award recipient,” said ACWD Board President Aziz Akbari. “We appreciate the simplicity of pointing our customers toward devices and fixtures that are fully vetted through the WaterSense labeling program. With a label they can trust, we know our customers are receiving high-performing equipment that supports our water savings goals.”

For more information about ACWD’s water conservation program, rebates, and ways to save water, visit acwd.org/conserve.

Newsom signs Wieckowski arbitration bill
Submitted by Jeff Barbosa

Seeking to end delays that allow corporations to put off the arbitration claims of their workers and consumers, Governor Gavin Newsom has signed SB 762 by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) to speed resolutions of arbitration cases by specifying due dates and requiring consent from all parties before adjusting deadlines. The bill, signed by the governor September 22, passed the California State Legislature with broad bipartisan support and tightens an arbitration law authored by Wieckowski and signed by Newsom in 2019.

“Rather than looking for loopholes to delay access to an arbitration system that they forcefully funnel their employees and customers into, corporations should seek quick resolutions to these claims so the disputes can be concluded in a timely manner,” said Wieckowski, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a frequent advocate for arbitration reforms. “SB 762 will eliminate situations where the corporations and arbitration firms have agreed amongst themselves to delays without the knowledge or consent of the person who filed the claim.”

SB 762 requires the arbitration provider to specify the final due date of the initiation fees as soon as the worker or consumer completes their filing requirements. For other fees and costs to continue arbitration, the arbitrator must obtain consent from all parties before extending any due dates.

More than half of America’s workforce has been forced to sign mandatory arbitration provisions as a condition of employment. These mandatory provisions prevent consumers and workers whose rights have been violated from pursuing their claims in court and instead force them into arbitration proceedings that overwhelmingly favor businesses and employers. With workers and consumers barred from court, businesses often attempt to strategically withhold or delay payment to the arbitration service provider to obstruct the arbitration proceeding. Blocked from the courts and delayed in arbitration, claimants cannot get their cases resolved.

In 2019, Wieckowski and Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) jointly authored SB 707, which was signed by Gov. Newsom. It gives consumers and workers procedural options in the event a corporation delays arbitration or fails to pay its share of the fees within 30 days of the due date. But arbitration providers do not always disclose when the corporation’s fees are due and they often negotiate with them and grant a company’s request to extend the due date without informing the consumer or worker. This leaves workers in the dark about their potential remedies under SB 707.

“We applaud the Governor for signing SB 762 today,” said Mariko Yoshihara, legislative counsel and policy director of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). “This measure will help prevent prejudicial delays in the arbitration process and allow employees and consumers to enforce their rights under the Forced Arbitration Protection Act of 2019 (SB 707).”

In addition to CELA, SB 762 is also supported by the California Labor Federation, Consumer Attorneys of California, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, California Work & Family Coalition and Equal Rights Advocates.

Wieckowski represents the 10th District in the State Senate, which includes southern Alameda County and parts of Santa Clara County. Constituents who need information or assistance on state issues can call the senator’s district office at (510) 794-3900 or send an email to https://sd10.senate.ca.gov/contact/email.

Milpitas City Council
October 5, 2021

• October 3 – 9 was proclaimed as Fire Prevention Week
• October was proclaimed as Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Consent Calendar:
• Accepted the resignation of Melissa Tan from the Art Commission.
• Approved the execution of Amendment with Environmental Services Inc. for Citywide HVAC maintenance services.
• Approved the Mural Program City Council Policy.
• Authorized the inclusion of a Position Reassignment Benefit in the Police Chief appointment letter.

Community Development:
• Received a status update on the Main Street revitalization initiative and provided direction to staff on the American Rescue Plan Act funding for Main Street Revitalization. Update included information on Magic on Main Street event. Specific funding issues will be referred to Economic and Trade Development Commission for advice. Members of the Council expressed concern about potential COVID-related health issues that may be encountered during the planned celebrations. It was decided that the Santa Clara County Public Health guidelines will have to be followed.
• Received a presentation from staff on tobacco retail permitting (TRP), flavored tobacco and electronic cigarette products, and tobacco retail location limits. Two policy options were considered. (1) Follow the Santa Clara County ordinance, partner with the County, and let them administer the program. (2) Set up and administer a local TRP. The Council decided to adopt the local TRP process, as described under Option (2), follow a similar path chosen by City of San Jose that adopts all prohibitions stipulated by the laws of the State of California. The staff was instructed to develop and bring back to the Council details of how to locally administer TRP, along with the staffing and other costs involved.

Community Services:
• Approved the Ryan Petersen Design Proposal for the Montague Pedestrian Overcrossing Public Art Selection.

Leadership and Support Services:
• In light of the continuing pandemic, adopted a resolution making findings and determinations under Assembly Bill 361 for the continuation of virtual meetings.

Mayor Rich Tran Aye
Vice Mayor Carmen Montano Aye
Anthony Phan Aye
Karina Dominguez Aye
Evelyn Chua Aye

New law expands outdoor dining across California
Submitted by Dana Alpert and Alicia Isaacs

On October 8, 2021, at a press conference highlighting California’s support for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law legislation that will greatly expand opportunities for outdoor dining across the Golden State. Authored by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), Assembly Bill (AB) 61 will empower local jurisdictions and the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) to provide much-needed regulatory flexibility to neighborhood restaurants struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Neighborhood restaurants are the backbone of communities across California, but too many are barely hanging on by a thread,” said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel. “Outdoor dining has been a critical lifeline that has helped these establishments keep their doors open during these challenging times. AB 61 provides important flexibility so that restaurants can safely expand outdoor dining and continue to serve the communities they call home. I applaud Governor Newsom for his thoughtful leadership in protecting both public health and small businesses as we continue to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

AB 61 provides restaurants with regulatory flexibility on a number of key issues, including enabling more outdoor food preparation and service, allowing restaurants to better use their own spaces for increased outdoor dining capacity, and extending existing ABC orders allowing for alcohol service on outdoor premises. AB 61 also includes an urgency clause, meaning the measure goes into effect immediately.

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged small businesses across the state—particularly in the restaurant industry. While the National Restaurant Association reports modest employment growth in the last 2 months, with California leading the nation in job gains, employment remains below pre-pandemic levels and nearly 4 in 5 restaurants are understaffed. As of August 2021, California also had 234,800 fewer eating and drinking establishments than it did in August 2019.

“The changes we made to support outdoor dining during the pandemic saved countless jobs and businesses, and Angelenos have been clear that they want to see these improvements stay in place for good,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “I am proud to support Assemblymember Gabriel's legislation that will enable us to make outdoor dining a permanent feature in Los Angeles and across the state.”

“The restaurant industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. With indoor dining rooms still closed in most places, outdoor dining has become an important lifeline for restaurants,” stated Madelyn Alfano, Immediate Past Chair of the California Restaurant Association Board of Directors and owner of Maria’s Italian Kitchen, a neighborhood Italian restaurant with several locations in the San Fernando Valley. “AB 61 will help to address issues restaurants face as we have created outdoor spaces to continue to serve our customers. Nothing is more important to me than the safety of our customers and the ability to continue to provide delicious meals for my community.”

Hayward introduces People's Budget
Submitted by City of Hayward

The City of Hayward is introducing a new participatory budgeting process through which residents will be able to submit and vote on proposals to increase community connections in their neighborhoods.

Through the new People's Budget pilot project to run from September 2021 through December 2022, the City will be divided up into six sectors and each sector will be allocated between $50,000 to $70,000 depending on population size and income level.

There are no restrictions on the types of proposals to be considered by residents for funding – provided they connect neighbors and build community. The proposals receiving the highest number of resident votes will be funded.

To begin, residents are invited to sign-up during the month of October to serve as volunteer delegates. Delegates will receive orientation and training from City staff on how to involve neighbors, organize community meetings and draft resident proposals for potential funding.

The deadline to sign-up to become a People's Budget sector delegate is Oct. 31. To learn more, see the People's Budget sectors map, or use a special interactive map to suggest or like a proposal – go to the participatory budgeting project page on the City of Hayward website:


Governor Signs COVID-19 Recovery Package
Submitted by Governor’s Press Office

Moving to support California’s nation-leading recovery, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation on October 8, 2021 building on the state’s successful pandemic adaptations and unprecedented supports for hard-hit small businesses, including measures that allow restaurants to continue benefiting from the sale of to-go alcoholic drinks and expanded outdoor dining opportunities.

“These innovative strategies have been a lifeline for hard-hit restaurants during the pandemic and today, we’re keeping the entrepreneurial spirit going so that businesses can continue to create exciting new opportunities and support vibrant neighborhoods across the state,” said Governor Newsom, who signed the legislation at an Oakland restaurant. “California will continue putting into practice the lessons learned over the pandemic to support our ongoing recovery and bolster our capacity to meet future challenges head-on.”

The Administration took action during the pandemic to enable restaurants and bars to expand outdoor operations in areas such as sidewalks and parking lots. AB 61 by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino) and SB 314 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) give businesses that temporarily expanded their premises under this regulatory relief a one-year grace period after the end of the emergency to apply for permanent expansion. In announcing the extended regulatory relief in June, Governor Newsom urged local governments to facilitate outdoor dining through local zoning and programs that support and promote expanded open-air, take-out and delivery options.

San Leandro City Council
October 4, 2021

• Award of kindness for Sandy Lawson for her work with Meals on Wheels.
• Proclamation honoring longtime resident Lucy Ferreira on her 102nd birthday.
• Proclamation in support of Afghan refugees and the people of Afghanistan.
• Proclamation declaring October as Hispanic Heritage Month in San Leandro.

• Appointing Kelly Ritter as District 5 Representative to the Library-Historical Commission for a term ending December 31, 2022. Motion adopted.

Public Comments:
• Push for an ordinance to end the sale of menthol cigarettes in the city.
• Blossom Way neighborhood concern over speeding traffic and street parking issues.
• Consider funding a plan for a homeless encampment for this winter.

• From the Lisjan Ohlone and Muwekma Ohlone Tribal spokespeople to City of San Leandro.
• Staff report for a presentation on Port of Oakland airport update.

Consent Calendar:
• Approve minutes from the September 20 City Council meeting.
• Resolution approving annual renewals for Fiscal Years 2021-2022 and 2021-2023 with Tyler Technologies, Inc for computer aided dispatch and records management system for the combined amount of $540,720.12.
• Resolution to execute a $170,000 surrendered and abandoned vessel exchange grant agreement with the State of California, Department of Parks and Recreation, Division of Boating and Waterways for abatement of surrendered and abandoned watercraft at San Leandro Marina and San Leandro Shoreline.
• Resolution to continue conducting San Leandro City Council and all appointed board and commission meetings remotely via teleconference due to COVID-19 pandemic health and safety concerns for the public for the 30-day period starting September 30, 2021.

Action Item:
• Ordinance adopting Chapter 2.10, Bay Fair Transit-Oriented Development District, amending the San Leandro zoning map and adopting miscellaneous related amendments to San Leandro Municipal Code and Zoning Code. Motion adopted.

Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter Aye
Pete Ballew Aye
Vice Mayor Victor Aguilar Aye
Bryan Azevedo Aye
Fred Simon Aye
Deborah Cox Aye
Corina Lopez Aye

Union City City Council
September 28, 2021

Proclamations and Presentations:
• Proclamation to proclaim October 6, 2021 as California Clean Air Day.
• South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project — Restoring the Wild Heart of the South Bay.
• Presentation regarding efforts to attract transit ridership to Union City Transit.

Oral Communication:
• The council should distinguish between illegal and “Safe and Sane” fireworks in the city.

Written Communication
• A letter to the council from Subru Bhat requesting the city provide funding to open the Union City Library on Sundays.

Consent Calendar:
• Approve the minutes of the regular City Council meeting held on Sept. 14, 2021.
Adopt a resolution amending conflict of interest code of non-elected officials and designated employees of the City of Union City.
• A resolution for California Department of Transportation program supplement agreements and for right-of-way certifications, utility relocation agreements and related technical documents for state and federal grant funds for local street improvement projects.
• A resolution re-appropriating $354,000 of unspent CIP Funds for the 2020/21 Sidewalk and Curb and Gutter Project. Also, a contract with JJR Construction Inc. of San Mateo, California, in the amount of $295,000 and to authorize the total construction budget of $354,000 which includes funds for contingencies and project management.
• A resolution confirming the continued existence of a local emergency due to COVID-19.
• A resolution authorizing the Union Landing Property Owners' Association to enter into an agreement with Zooka Creative, in an amount not to exceed $108,550, for marketing services for the Union Landing Shopping Center.
• A resolution stating that there is a proclaimed state of emergency and finding that meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees as a result of the state of emergency; and authorizing remote teleconferenced meetings of Union City legislative bodies for the 30-day period beginning September 28 in accordance to Assembly Bill 361.

Public Hearing:
• A resolution approving the 2020-2021 Community Development Block Grant Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report and submitting details to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Motion adopted.

City Manager Reports:
• Introduce an ordinance adding a “Organics, Reduction and Recycling” chapter to the Union City Municipal Code and including an ordinance by Alameda County Waste Management Authority to reduce the amount of organic and recyclable materials deposited in landfills. Motion adopted.
• Adopt a City Council resolution approving the Unrepresented Compensation and Benefit plan. Motion adopted.
• A resolution approving side letter agreements between the City of Union City and Union City Police Officers’ Association, Union City Police Management Association, Management Employees Group, Professional Employees Group and Service Employees International Union Local 1021 and approving benefits for employees subject to the Compensation and Benefit Plan for Unrepresented Employees to temporarily address continued changed conditions from the COVID-19 pandemic. Motion adopted.

Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci Aye
Vice Mayor Pat Gacoscos Aye
Emily Duncan Aye
Jaime Patiño Aye
Gary Singh Aye

The route to planting root vegetables
Article and photos by Daniel O'Donnell

People have separated the earth into two different worlds for years. One sits on the land, the other prevails underwater. But there is yet another world below ground. This subterranean world is home to over 70% of the bacterial life on earth and has a total carbon mass of living organisms hundreds of times more than that of humans. The underground world provides life above the ground with countless benefits. One of these benefits is root vegetables. Root vegetables provide healthy nutrients and have distinct delicious flavors which is why many people take the time and effort to grow them from seeds or cuttings. However, a handful can be grown right from the grocery store shelf or famers market table.

Roots in vascular plants are the organs that take in nutrients and water. Besides anchoring plants and providing other specialized adapted purposes, some roots store water, nutrients, and sugars for energy. Roots that are harvested for culinary purposes are referred to as root vegetables. Some are “true roots” while others are not botanically roots, but may contain root tissue. There are five classifications of root vegetables.

Tubers are specialized underground swollen stems that store energy and nutrients for the plant during the winter. Potatoes and yams are examples of tubers.

Corms are also swollen stems that store nutrients for winter nutrition, but they are not completely underground. Taro and water chestnut are examples of corms.

Bulbs differ from the other root vegetables because many have a thin outer protective skin called a tunic and consist of layers that are actually modified leaves. Garlic, onions, and leeks are pungent examples of bulb root vegetables.

Rhizomes provide the same nutritional attributes as tubers and corms but differ from them because they grow horizontally underground or at the soil level. Ginger, turmeric, and ginseng are popular culinary examples.

Taproots or “true roots” are the botanical root organs of root vegetable plants. Turnips, beets, and carrots are common examples.

Fall is a great time for sowing root vegetable seeds. However, it is also a great time for planting bulbs, tubers, corms, and rhizomes that are found in grocery stores and farmers markets. Below are five tasty root vegetables that are inexpensive to purchase and can be planted tomorrow. They can provide enough of a harvest year after year that there would be no need to repurchase them for culinary needs.

Edible ginger is a root vegetable that is used in cooking all over the world. It is easy to grow and produces lush-looking foliage and attractive flowers. It prefers warmer spring and summer conditions until established. However, it grows well in containers and indoors, so growing it inside until next spring will give it a six-month head start. Or, you can keep it as an edible house plant.

Turmeric, much like ginger, grows well inside and in containers. It takes seven to ten months before turmeric can be harvested, so planting it indoors in fall will allow the harvest to be much sooner. It can thrive inside all year on a sunny window sill. Or, the container can be placed outside in the spring in a spot that gets morning sun but is protected from scorching afternoon sun.

Jerusalem artichokes or sunflower chokes are earthy flavored root vegetables that sprout in spring. They have stalks that grow quickly to six feet or more and bloom with multiple bright yellow sunflowers. They can over-winter in the ground, so planting them now will shorten the list of things to plant in the spring. They do not have a long shelf life when out of the ground, so leaving them until needed gives them more time to multiply.

Horseradish can take up to two years to be ready for harvesting, so it is good to plant as soon as possible. Once established it always comes back in spring after winter die back. Planting it in fall will not produce foliage. Instead, it will settle into its new home and adjust to soil conditions so when spring comes it will be ready to thrive.

Burdock root is popular in Asian recipes and is easy to find in grocery stores in the Bay Area. It produces attractive purple thistle-like flowers and edible leaves above ground. Below ground, the edible roots can grow as much as two feet in a hundred days making burdock a bountiful crop for little initial expense and very little care.

Different types of root vegetables can be found in different grocery stores. They all come from the living world below our feet. Putting them back in the ground is a great way to enjoy them year after year at the dinner table and in the garden.

Daniel O'Donnell is the co-owner and operator of an organic landscape design/build company in Fremont. www.Chrysalis-Gardens.com



Practice Your Spoken English
4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Talk with native English speakers about everyday topics in a friendly, welcoming setting
Via Zoom

First Presbyterian Church of Newark Youth Group
7 p.m.
Youth and young adults, students welcome
Contact: brian@newarkpress.org

San Lorenzo Street Eats
5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Food trucks
500 Via Mercado, San Lorenzo

Third Thursday each month
Chronic Pain Support Group
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Request link: njordan@fremont.gov

Fremont Street Eats
5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Food trucks and live music
Downtown Event Center
3500 Capitol Ave., Fremont

Virtual Telescope Viewing R
9:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Free on Facebook Live
Join resident astronomers live from Chabot’s observation deck

Comedy Shows R$
8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Improv by Made Up Theatre’s comedy troupe – Live and Online!
Proof of vaccination or negative Covid test required for entry
4000 Bay St., Suite B, Fremont
(510) 573-3633


Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church Family Service
10 a.m.
For link, call (510) 471-2581

First Presbyterian Church of Newark Worship Services
9:30 a.m.; Worship Service In-Person or Online
35450 Newark Blvd., Newark

St. Anne’s Episcopal Church Service
10 a.m.
In person or via Zoom
2791 Driscoll Rd., Fremont

Mondays & Wednesdays, September 20 – November 8
Become a Trained Music Volunteer
9:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Support the Music for Minors II by helping students

Tuesday – Sunday, October 9 – February 13
Color into Line: Pastels from the Renaissance to the Present
9:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.
More than 80 works spanning five centuries
Legion of Honor
100 34th Ave., San Francisco

Wednesdays, October 6 – October 27 R
HPD Virtual Community Academy
6:00 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.
Learn about Hayward police department
18+ years
(510) 293-5051

Second Thursdays, September 9 – June 9
Cafe Dad
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Hayward Unified School District program for fathers to support each other and obtain resources
Virtual meetings via Zoom
For more information contact: ep101@husd.k12.ca.us

Thursday, March 18 – Sunday November 7
Immersive Van Gogh
9 a.m. – 11 p.m. (times vary)
Walk-in exhibit with digital projections and music
SVN West San Francisco
10 South Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
Tickets: $24.99 – $39.99

Friday, October 1 – Sunday, October 31
Bay Day Challenge R
Explore 25 miles of SF Bay Trails, or choose 5 activities
Sign up online, complete remotely


Friday, October 22 – Sunday, October 31
Alameda County Fair
M-F: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sa-Su: 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Tickets sold by the day
4501 Pleasanton Ave, Pleasanton

Friday, October 22 – Sunday, October 31
Concerts at the Alameda County Fair $
8 p.m.
10/22: Kalimba: The Spirit of Earth Wind & Fire
10/23: Night Ranger
10/24: The Garth Guy: The Ultimate Garth Brooks Tribute Show
10/25: The Boys of Summer: Music of the Eagles
10/26: Lenny Williams
10/27: Smash Mouth
10/28: Rose Royce
10/29: WAR
10/30: Exposé
10/31: Journey Revisited
Tickets: https://bit.ly/3oG60Rl
Lucky Amphitheater
4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton

Second Saturdays, July – December
Talkin’ Dirt
11/13, 12/11
9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Free webinar on gardening, hosted by LEAF
Via Zoom

Saturdays, October 2 – 23
New Ice Age Fossils Fundraiser $R
1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Fossils found only a few feet under San Francisco Bay mud help us understand the evolution of the horse.
Children’s Natural History Museum
4074 Eggers Dr., Fremont
(510) 790-6284

Sunday, September 20 – Thursday, November 18
Affection for Chinese Calligraphy and Paintings
Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Calligraphy work from the Oriental Art Association
John O’Lague Galleria, Hayward City Hall
777 B St., Hayward
(510) 538-2787

Sundays, September 26 – December 5
Reflections of Light
12 noon – 3 p.m.
Artists use various media to portray reflected and refracted light
Dove Gallery, Park Victoria Church back lot
875 S. Park Victoria Dr., Milpitas


Tuesday, October 12
Candle Light Vigil
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Hosted by SAVE to honor National Domestic Violence Awareness & Prevention Month
Fremont City Hall
3300 Capitol Ave, Fremont

Tuesday, October 12
Mexican Sugar Skull Art Class $
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Local artist Diego Marcial Rios hosts
39675 Cedar Blvd., Suite 135, Newark
(510) 358-5877

Tuesday, October 12
A Symphony of Flavors Fundraiser $
Support the Fremont Symphony when you order dine-in or take-out
2740 Mowry Ave., Fremont
(510) 797-9000

Tuesday, October 12
How to Petition for Relatives
7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Free virtual information session by the USCIS
Webex Link: https://bit.ly/2WRSPS6
Meeting number (access code): 2761 644 0461
Meeting password: I-130overview

Wednesday, October 13
Fremont Community Job Fair
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Bring several resumes with you, be prepared to interview on the spot
Fremont Main Library
2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont

Wednesday, October 13
Passport to Paradise $R
5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Davis Street annual gala
Sequoyah Country Club
4550 Heafey Rd., Oakland

Thursday, October 14
Emergency Planning Webinar
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Panel of experts cover the basics of common California disaster scenarios
Register: tinyurl.com/LIFEeprep

Friday, October 15
11th Annual Mariachi Festival
5:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Live music, dancing, food, drinks, vendors, taco eating contest
Hayward City Plaza
777 B St., Hayward

Saturday, October 16 – Sunday, October 17
Castro Valley Greek Festival
Sat: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sun: 12 noon – 6 p.m.
This year, order delicious souvlaki, gyros, and baklava online and schedule a pickup time.
Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church
20104 Center St., Castro Valley

Saturday, October 16
Mabuhay!: A Traditional Filipino Dance Performance by Kariktan Dance Company
10:30 a.m.
Traditional dancing, history, and food
San Leandro Public Library
300 Estudillo Ave. San Leandro
(510) 577-3971

Saturday, October 16
Day on the Bay
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Health resource fair, free COVID-19 and flu shots, marina tours, kayak rides, pumpkins, and more!
To Register: https://bit.ly/3ijQUwV
Alviso Marina County Park
1195 Hope St., Alviso

Saturday, October 16
Mexican Sugar Skull Art Class $
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Local artist Diego Marcial Rios hosts
39675 Cedar Blvd., Suite 135, Newark
(510) 358-5877

Saturday, October 16
Ohlone Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Open House
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Tour the center, meet ambassador animals
37175 Hickory St., Newark

Ohlone Humane Society Home – Advocating for All Animals – Fremont, CA

Sunday, October 17
The Billy Martini Show $
2 p.m.
Seven-piece band with vocalists and dancers
Newark Junior High Auditorium
6210 Lafayette
(510) 793-5683

Tuesday, October 19
Union City State of the City Address
6:30 p.m.
Mayor looks back on past accomplishments and challenges, introduces future priorities
http://stateofthecity.union city.org
Passcode 50QA.d5

Tuesday, October 19
Fiesta Fundraiser $
4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Food, drinks, games, dj and dancing, raffles, tequila tasting
Coldwell Banker Realty
21060 Redwood Rd., #100, Castro Valley

Wednesday, October 20
Naturalization Information – How to Become a U.S. Citizen
5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Free virtual information session by the USCIS
Webex Link: https://bit.ly/2YzP6cx
Meeting number (access code): 2761 341 3493
Meeting password: pbY39sBgBg$5

Thursday, October 21
Immigration Options for Victims of Crimes
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Free virtual information session by the USCIS
Webex Link: https://bit.ly/3Dkr04e
Meeting number (access code):2764 554 8204
Meeting password: fVKa7C3GkF9*

Thursday, October 21
Hayward Nonprofit Alliance
10 a.m.
Members share strategies to approach donors
Via Zoom: https://bit.ly/3oLDpKz
Meeting ID: 815 4042 4088
Passcode: 659643

Thursday, October 21
Pop-Up COVID-19 Clinic
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Receive a free COVID-19 vaccine and Zoo Pass
Oakland Zoo – Zimmer Auditorium
9777 Golf Links Rd., Oakland
(510) 632-9525

Friday, October 22
Latino Business Roundtable
9 a.m.
James Wheeler, General Manager of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD)
Via Zoom: https://bit.ly/3mB5KAr
Meeting ID: 815 4042 4088
Passcode: 659643

Saturday, Oct 23
Chabot Starlight Gala $R
6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Celebrate Chabot’s reopening with fine dining, behind-the-scenes, tours, stargazing, and more!
Chabot Space and Science Center
10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland
(510) 336-7300

Starlight Gala: Relaunch

Letter to the Editor

Price on carbon must be part of this year’s climate legislation

In early September, news broke that the Senate may include a transformative climate policy in the budget reconciliation package. Specifically, the Senate is considering “a potential tax on the carbon content of fossil fuels starting at $15 per ton,” paired with “rebates for low-income taxpayers and a border-adjustment tax aimed at ensuring foreign companies don’t get an advantage.”

This discussion is an encouraging development for anyone who cares about solving climate change. President Biden has named a goal of 50% emissions reductions by 2030, but modeling shows the climate policies proposed so far may only deliver 45% emissions reductions. Adding a price on carbon bridges that gap, ensuring that America meets the targets to prevent the worst impacts of global warming.

The recent back-to-back climate disasters illustrate that we cannot wait a moment longer to take impactful action to slow climate change. Carbon pricing is an essential and important component for reducing carbon emissions at the speed needed. Economists say carbon pricing is “the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary.”

We would like Rep. Khanna (reprokhanna@mail.house.gov) and Sens. Feinstein (senator@feinstein.senate.gov) and Padilla (senator@padilla.senate.gov) to ensure that a robust price on carbon is part of this package of policies. For us here in Fremont, a policy like this would mean fewer summer draughts, reduced forest fires, and cleaner air.

A key benefit of this policy is that, some, or all, of the revenue could be used to give money back to Americans. Money collected from fossil fuel companies can be given as a dividend, or “carbon cash back” payment, to Americans. This protects low- and middle-income Americans as we all transition to a clean energy future. Studies show that monthly carbon cash back payments are enough to essentially cover increased costs of 85% of American households, including 95% of the least wealthy 60% of Americans.

It’s clear that a robust price on carbon is essential to America’s progress on climate change. In the last few weeks, more than 29,000 concerned citizens have reached out to their members of Congress, asking them to support a price on carbon. With our communities increasingly experiencing the effects of climate change, we urge them to use this powerful policy tool.

Abe Mazliach [and Mark Reynolds]

Abe Mazliach is a volunteer with the Silicon Valley East chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Mark Reynolds is Executive Director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

Letter to the Editor

What has Optimist Club done during the pandemic?

When the pandemic hit in March of 2020, we were happily meeting at IHOP [International House of Pancakes] each week. After a brief break, President Mike McDonald reached out to members who could host our meetings on Zoom. Thanks to Bob Higday and Bob Marshall, we were soon meeting again, this time virtually. In time, we added speakers to our meeting and it seemed like business as usual. Attendance was good; we were just minus our IHOP breakfasts.

Many of our in-person activities had to be canceled: Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army, Special Education Student’s Christmas Pizza Party, our Easter Egg Hunt at Family Day at the Park, our annual Christmas Party, Fireworks sale, and Relay for Life. Events we were able to continue included our support of the Optimist International Foundation, scholarships to graduating Newark Memorial High School (NMHS) seniors, scholarships to Ohlone College, supporting Snow Elementary School with a monetary donation and honoring two Sixth Grade Students of the Year and their Teacher of the Year.

We were also able to honor Police Officers of the Year from Fremont, Union City and Newark, Youth Appreciation Week honoring two seniors from Newark Memorial High School, donating of Target gift cards for emergency use at Newark Jr. High, our annual Essay Contest, and fundraising for Relay for Life.

We have resumed in-person meetings at IHOP, wearing masks when not eating and eagerly look forward to more in-person events. Our members remain optimistic that we can continue to serve the youth of our community in meaningful ways.

Our meetings are held at IHOP, 5687 Jarvis Avenue Newark, on the first Tuesday of each month for an evening meeting at 6:15 p.m., and the subsequent Wednesday mornings at 7:30 a.m., for the remainder of October. Meetings last for one hour. We welcome new members! Come meet our with us, enjoy the speaker of the day, and have breakfast as our guest.

Many people are captivated by our Creed. Promise Yourself:

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel like there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your Optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Newark Optimist Club October meetings
Tuesday 6:15 p.m.
Wednesday 7:30 a.m.
5687 Jarvis Ave., Newark
(510) 793-1498
Facebook page: @NewarkOptimistClub
For more information, contact Marla Blowers: (510) 793-1498.

Christian D. Larson
Marla Blowers

Fremont’s futuristic network plans
By Marc Vicente
Photos provided by City of Fremont

5G networks are an upgrade from 4G networks, which allow us to better connect to machines—and therefore each other—more efficiently. During the COVID-19 quarantine, there has been increased usage of telecommunication for remote work and learning. Both of these factors have led to the exponential rise in a demand for high-speed connections. Luckily, City of Fremont has been working on a new project to offer businesses and neighborhoods better 5G network coverage.

“With every bit of content we make and share online, we’re going to have to create more capacity to store it all eventually,” Fremont Public Works Director Hans Larsen states. “Before we reach a ‘data drought’ in the future where we will actually need some more capacity, City of Fremont decided to take a proactive approach to this issue by building these small cells to further develop its infrastructure.”

If you travel anywhere in Fremont, you might have noticed small boxes attached to the top of light poles around the city. These boxes are small wireless facilities, referred to mostly as “small cells,” which are a type of wireless technology that adds capacity and improves broadband infrastructure. Unlike a traditional macro cell tower, small cells are built relatively compact, typically consisting of small antennae, radio, a disconnect switch and a smart meter. Cells are typically placed in multiple locations to provide a better connection to more high-density areas that cell towers normally would be unable to reach.

In 2018, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed a declaratory ruling to support the proliferation of small cell technology. In order to comply with this ruling, Fremont has two executed Master License Agreements which allowed them to create these small cells in the beginning of 2020 through collaboration with Verizon and AT&T. Right now, small cells have been successfully deployed in over 60 major streets in the city, with all 140 towers expected to be completed by the end of the year. According to Larsen, Fremont looks forward to partnering with other network providers such as T-Mobile, Sprint and others for this project in the near future.

“Not only our city’s businesses benefit from this, but also the city’s educational and recreational needs as well,” Larsen adds. “Though deployment of these small cell facilities is focused in more high demand areas like the business district, it’s meant to provide city-wide coverage for anyone involved with telecommunication. Additionally, because Fremont is a major supporter of biotechnology, we’re given many options to collaborate with others to help improve these connections. Overall, I’m impressed with how much Fremont's initiative with these small cells has given it many new opportunities to grow.”

For more information about this project, you can visit City of Fremont’s official webpage at https://www.fremont.gov/SmallCell or Joint Venture Silicon Valley’s explanation of Wireless Communications Initiative at https://jointventure.org/initiatives/civic-technology/wireless-communications. A map of small cells that are currently stationed around the city can be found at https://arcg.is/0SKuXG.

Home is where the heart is – Fremont welcomes Afghan refugees (Part II)
By David R. Newman

When news of the Taliban takeover of Kabul hit the airwaves in early August, it sparked concern and fear throughout the world. Fremont, California, especially felt the news deeply, as the city is home to one of the largest Afghan populations outside Afghanistan. The city immediately set up a website to gather donations, list volunteer opportunities and resources, and provide a one-stop-shop help center for incoming refugees.

Paula Manczuk-Hannay, Human Services Development Officer, describes the response: “Our site got picked up by the New York Times, so it kind of blew up in a good way. That first weekend I probably received over 100 emails and at least 25 phone calls from all over the country. Requests from people who wanted to volunteer and donate items came flooding in.”

The two Bay Area resettlement agencies authorized by the federal government to receive refugees, International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS), have been stretched thin. According to Jordane Tofighi of IRC, they have received 137 individuals as of September 30. Holly Taines White of JFCS reports welcoming 115.

To put this in perspective, White explains that in her 15 years at JFCS, the highest number of people that they have resettled in one year was 183, which included refugees from around the world. That’s roughly 15 per month. “So for one month (August), for us to resettle 80 refugees from one country, this is on an entirely different scale than what we’re normally dealing with.”

White estimates that there are approximately 50,000 Afghans on military bases in the United States and around the world, many hoping to connect with friends and family in America. “Normally we find out a family is coming four to six weeks ahead of time,” she explains. “What’s happening now is we’re getting families coming to us with only two days’ notice. It has been a major challenge for us to be ready in time.” She adds that numbers are going to stay high for the foreseeable future. “There’s just so many people out there trying to get here.”

Tofighi agrees. “For our team of staff, it has been a huge undertaking. Currently, we have 61 cases, 174 individuals in the pipeline to come to be resettled by the IRC Oakland office. This number will likely increase, throughout October especially.”

For many in the U.S., the journey Afghan families have taken to get here is unimaginable. Securing paperwork to leave the country is the first big hurdle. A Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) is the most common pathway to the U.S. for Afghans who were employed by or worked on behalf of the government. The State Department is also accepting Priority 1 (P1) and Priority 2 (P2) referrals, which include those who worked for U.S.-based media companies or a non-governmental organization (NGOs). The process can be lengthy and complex, taking weeks, months and sometimes years.

Says White, “When people arrive here, they are clearly relieved. Most of them have been living with a high level of fear and trauma for a long time, and have been trying to get out of Afghanistan for a long time. Their eligibility for coming here is based on the fact that they worked with the U.S. in some capacity, [e.g.] as an interpreter, or they worked at the U.S. embassy, etc., so they’ve been targets of the Taliban for years.”

Once immigrants arrive on U.S. soil, it’s like starting over. Says White, “It’s not like they get here and suddenly everything’s roses. That trauma doesn’t just go away. They have a lot to work through. Our job is to build on their strengths, help them get launched, and also address all of their challenges.”

IRC and JFCS services include: welcoming refugees at the airport, rides from the airport, temporary housing, food and clothing, ESL enrollment, school registration, daycare, assistance with health benefits and medical appointments, legal counseling, cultural orientation, career development, mental health counseling and social support groups, DMV registration, and financial counseling and assistance.

Other organizations rising to the challenge include Afghan Coalition of Fremont, Afghan American Community Organization (AACO), Afghan Elderly Association, Afghan American Women’s Association (AAWA), and Muslim American Society Social Services Foundation (MAS-SSF). Local mosques and faith-based groups have stepped up with donation drives. East Bay Cities like Fremont and Hayward have collaborated as well, creating a central donation fund (with over $230,000 collected so far) and securing a central warehouse to store donated goods.

Zuhal Bahaduri is co-founder of The 5 Pillars, a local group born from the crisis that is focusing on donation efforts. She’s a local advocate who is deeply involved in the refugee resettlement effort and whose own family is still in Afghanistan. She has been impressed with the outpouring of support. “It is truly a remarkable scene of the power of community. It’s an image of hope, sincere love, and pure life.”

For more information and ways to help:

City of Fremont Afghan Relief Help Fund: https://www.fremont.gov/ARHelp
Afghan American Women’s Association: https://a-awa.org/
Afghan Coalition: https://www.afghancoalition.org/
AFG Diaspora Hub: https://www.afgdiasporahub.com/
International Rescue Committee: https://www.rescue.org/
Jewish Family & Community Services: https://jfcs-eastbay.org/urgent-afghan-evacuation/

Alameda County Fair Brings the Fun with New Entertainment and Activities
Submitted by Alameda County Fair

Pleasanton, Calif. – There is excitement in the air as the Alameda County Fair gets ready to welcome the community back to the Fairgrounds and “Come Together” safely for a revival of good old fashioned family fun.

The Fair, which opens October 22-31 at the Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, has brought back all of the traditional Fair favorites, such as the carnival, rides, Fair foods, and live concerts, but has also introduced several new activities and special features.

The Stella Artois Grandstand will offer thrilling entertainment from Imperial Knights Extreme Medieval Stunt Show, which are new to the Fair and feature a theatrical full contact jousting show. FMX Freestyle Motocross will also take place daily at the Grandstand, wowing crowds with their eye-popping stunts.

Brand new entertainment acts will be featured daily, with nightly concerts from such hit bands as Smash Mouth, Night Ranger, WAR, The Garth Guy, and Journey Revisited. Plus, strolling entertainers like Slim and Curly, Tadpole the Clown, and Roberto the Magnificent will ensure there is fun around every corner.

Several special features have also been re-imagined and revamped, including Fiesta Hispana: Dia de Los Muertos Celebration which will showcase performances from Mariachi San Francisco, In Lak’ech Danza Azteca and Grupo Folklorico Yolotli Guerrerence.

And what Fair would be complete without all the indulgent food treats? Whether it is gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, monster corn dogs, or deep-fried treats, guests will have no problem filling up on all their favorites.

“We couldn’t be more enthusiastic about what the Fair has in store this year,” said Tiffany Cadrette, Marketing and Communications Manager of the Alameda County Fairgrounds. “The Fair is a such a time-honored tradition in our community, and we know how much it was missed last year.”

During the 2021 Fair, tickets will be sold by the day and capacity will be limited to enhance safety and guest experience. Per the regulations set by Alameda County and the State of California, all guests (ages 2 and up), vaccinated and unvaccinated, are required to wear a mask indoors. When outdoors, face coverings remain optional for all guests.

Admission: (For the safety of our guests, capacity will be limited)
• Adults (13-61) — $18 (Earns $3 Reward)
• Seniors (62+) — $15 (Earns $2 Reward)
• Kids (6-12) — $15 (Earns $2 Reward)
• General Parking – FREE Monday through Friday; $15 Saturday and Sunday
• Unlimited Carnival Wristbands — $30 Advance Purchase, $35 Monday-Thursday, $40 Friday-Sunday, any one day of Fair
• Sky Ride — $6 unlimited rides, any one day of Fair
• Military and Veterans free all day, every day with valid ID

When you buy your tickets online you will earn Rewards with every purchase. These rewards can be used on food and drinks during the Fair and at participating local businesses before, during and after the Fair.

For additional details, including schedules, concert and ticket info, visit the Fair’s website at alamedacountyfair.com. Follow the Fair’s official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for additional information, updates, contests, and promotions.

The Alameda County Fair is operated by the non-profit Fair Association without any tax funding from the government. In 2020, the Alameda County Fair ranked one of the Top 50 North American Fairs and the 7th largest Fair in California.

Alameda County Fair
Friday, Oct 22 – Sunday, Oct 31
Mon-Fri: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sat-Sun: 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Alameda County Fairgrounds
4501 Pleasanton Ave, Pleasanton
Tickets: https://bit.ly/3oG60Rl
Parking is free Mon – Fri, $15 Sat – Sun

Boys & Girls Club Pool Reopened
Submitted by San Leandro Boys & Girls Club

The City of San Leandro reopened San Leandro Boys & Girls Club Pool for lap swim, lessons, adult recreational swim, and pool buy-outs. Built in 1961, the pool has been closed since December 2017 to address much-needed repairs. The original pool structure was maintained, but plumbing was replaced entirely along with the mechanical equipment servicing the pool. The pool deck was also entirely replaced, and the pool was re-plastered and re-tiled.

The pool depths ranging between 3.5′ to 8′ were maintained in the 75'x40′ pool, while the old metal roll-up doors were replaced with clear storefront windows creating a brighter and cleaner appearance to the building and natural light. UV disinfection was also installed to help reduce the humidity inside as well as reduce chemical odors.

City officials held a virtual ribbon cutting on Monday, October 4, 2021. To view the event, visit https://fb.watch/8tUrBlrcMK/.

The Boys & Girls Club Pool is also a location site for the April Showers program (www.ihnaprilshowers.org) held every first, third, and fifth Sunday of every month.

To register for classes, please visit www.sanleandrorec.org or call 1 (510) 577-3462.

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines and Procedures are in place for all Recreation and Human Services classes to maintain proper safety protocols.

Chabot-Las Positas Community College require COVID-19 vaccination for spring 2022 semester
Submitted by Chabot-Las Positas Community College

The Chabot-Las Positas Community College District (CLPCCD) will require all students attending in-person classes or participating in any activity on any campus in-person in the spring semester to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof.

It is the belief of the Board of Trustees that as a public agency it is incumbent upon our district to ensure our students are learning and our faculty and staff are working in the safest possible environment. After much consultation with health officials and our education partners throughout the state, the Board felt it best to go in this direction and mandate a COVID-19 vaccination for all faculty and staff beginning in spring 2022. Within the mandate, the Board made provisions for medical and religious exemptions and our students, faculty and staff were notified of this.

Students who take in-person classes or need to be on campus for any reason, including accessing services such as tutoring, the Library, STEM Center, etc., must submit proof of vaccination. Students are required to have their vaccination information or exemption approved before they are eligible to register for in-person classes and must have received their final dose 14 days prior before becoming eligible to visit CLPCCD's campuses. Registration for spring 2022 classes opens on November 9, 2021, and classes will begin on January 18, 2022.

Students attending online-only classes for the spring 2022 semester who will not be visiting campus for any reason are not required to upload their vaccination information to register for spring classes. The district also permits exemptions for those who have a verified medical or religious reason (as defined in federal or state laws and regulations) but may be subject to additional safety protocols, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

To submit proof of vaccination, students must upload a photo or scanned copy of their completed Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 vaccination card. They may also submit proof by sharing their health data via CLEARED4 to their Electronic Health Record or by uploading their proof through the QR code from the Digital Smart Health Card accessible at myvaccinerecard.cdph.ca.gov.

The district will send updates to students' email addresses if additional information becomes available.

Bay area teen innovates diagnostic tool for Alzheimer’s
Submitted by Anurag Jain

Ishan Jain, a Mission San Jose High School student, has modeled a solution to leveraging hardware tools to treat neurodegenerative disorders based on cognitive input.

“I learned about the fatalities of Alzheimer’s when I worked on a previous research project in neurology,” Jain explained.

Working with two friends, Jain and his team began creating a workflow for their novel glasses, a device capable of detecting eye movements to create accurate classifications of a disorder. They even used the glasses to test patients and generate diagnoses using deep learning. His approach aims to serve patients from low-income and underprivileged backgrounds that simply do not have access to a clinical environment or healthcare resources for an instant diagnosis.

“Even with so much medical and technological advancement we have seen in the past years, it is surprising that many patients suffer from this at an early stage,” Jain stated.

With this project, Jain entered the Conrad Challenge, an innovation competition for high school students. His team was selected as one of the top five submissions globally, and won a trip to the Conrad Challenge Global Innovation Summit in April. Alongside his peers in the future, Jain wants to promote preventive healthcare and innovation for rapid and accurate treatment around the world.

Downtown Event Center holds grand opening
Submitted by City of Fremont

On Friday, October 8, City of Fremont held an outdoor community event to celebrate the grand opening of the new Downtown Event Center and Plaza.

Serving as the foundation of Fremont’s vibrant downtown, the Center will create a social and civic heart for the city. Adopted in November 2011, the City’s 2035 General Plan update reinforced this vision to establish a mixed-use, transit-oriented downtown.

The new space consists of a 13,400-square-foot community center walking distance from City Hall, along with dining and shopping. The community center includes three meeting rooms varying in size from 1,200 to 4,100 square feet, a catering kitchen, restrooms, a large welcoming lobby/gathering space, and an outdoor plaza. The venue offers rooms with hi-tech equipment and furnishings for receptions, conferences, business functions, trade shows, and more. Rentals are anticipated to start in late November 2021.

“We are so proud to open this state-of-the-art Downtown Event Center and Plaza where our community can gather and create lasting memories with friends, family members, and business colleagues,” said Mayor Lily Mei. “The timing of the grand opening couldn’t be better and is symbolic of the progress being made against the pandemic.”

Friday’s event was held in conjunction with Fremont Street Eats food trucks, and involved live music by the Groove Doctors, facility tours, and games in the outdoor plaza.

For more information, visit the downtown event center webpage: https://fremont.gov/3957/Downtown-Event-Center-Plaza.
Photo in 1 new SHARON
No caption necessary
Credit: East Bay Community Energy/PG&E

Behind on energy bills? New assistance programs can help
Submitted by City of Hayward

East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) residential customers who are behind on their bills can take advantage of a new statewide program aimed at helping relieve their debt.

Through the program, each on-time payment of future bills earns customers forgiveness on one-twelfth (1/12) of their total eligible debt. In other words, one year of on-time payments could equal complete forgiveness on eligible debt up to $8,000.

To be eligible for the debt assistance program, known as the Arrearage Management Plan (AMP) program, customers must be enrolled in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) or Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) financial assistance programs.

The CARE program provides low-income EBCE and PG&E customers a 35% discount on their electric bill and a 20% discount on their natural gas bill. To learn if you qualify for the CARE Program and how to enroll, visit the EBCE webpage, then enter “care enrollment” into the search field and follow the link.

The FERA program provides an 18% discount to income-qualified households of three or more people. For more information on FERA, as well as other energy bill discount programs, visit https://ebce.org/paying-bills/.

Customers enrolled in CARE or FERA are eligible to participate in the AMP program if they also meet the following criteria:

• Owe at least $500 on their gas and electric bill.
• Have some debt that is more than 90 days past due.
• Have been a PG&E and/or EBCE customer for at least six months, and have made at least one on-time payment.

PG&E is managing this program for both PG&E and EBCE customers. To learn more and enroll, speak with a PG&E customer service representative at (800) 743-5000 or visit www.pge.com/amp.

Friends of Chabot College foundation raises $220,000
Submitted by Chabot College

For the first time ever, Friends of Chabot College has an endowment that promises to fund scholarships for its students for generations to come.

For its very first endowment, the foundation raised $110,00 to match the U.S. Department of Education's Title V Hispanic Serving Institutions Grant awarded at the college in 2016, for a total endowment of $220,000. Executive Director of Institutional Advancement Yvonne Wu Craig said the goal is for the endowment to yield dividends every year to provide scholarships for Chabot students.

According to Mark Salinas, the chair of Friends of Chabot College, this endowment will allow Chabot College to “leave a legacy for the next three generations and to lift communities so that they thrive.”

“The big, overarching vision was to “fund an endowment so we can fund scholarships in perpetuity,” Salinas said. “Today, students are relying more and more on institutional support to go to school. And we are proud that we have been able to match a vision where Chabot can serve everyone, regardless of being able to pay.”

“As the first endowment to the college, (the foundation's) commitment and support represent a historic effort to help remove financial barriers for our diverse communities in pursuing their educational dreams and career pathways,” said Chabot College Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Matthew Kritscher.

Craig said she hopes this endowment will encourage future contributions and support of the institution. “This endowment demonstrates to other donors that the foundation has the strength and longevity to be a good steward of significant gifts. We hope that this creates even more opportunities for future investments,” said Craig

In large part, the last installment of the endowment was made possible through the generous bequest of the late Berty Nebenzahl. Salinas said he remembers that quintessential, Texan drawl with a no-nonsense approach and she was very clear about where she wanted her money to make an impact.

“Berty had an incredible orientation to the world as a teacher and her interactions with the inequities she witnessed with students of Mexican descent,” said Salinas. “There is a lot of good coming out of her investment, and we know she is smiling down on us because of what we were able to do with her generous gift to our college.”

Las Positas College Foundation and Veterans First Program host 2.2 For 22 Challenge
Submitted by Las Positas College

(Livermore, CA) – Las Positas College (LPC) Foundation and LPC Veterans First Program are proud to host its fourth annual 2.2 For 22 Challenge, a virtual event that aims to raise awareness about the average 22 veteran suicides per day in the United States.

This year, the event will be held virtually due to COVID-19 restriction and will be held over 22 days, beginning on October 23 and ending on November 13. Each day, participants will receive a new challenge to complete. Some of the challenges are physical, while others focus on connection and practicing mindfulness to foster community and improve mental health. Last year, nearly 500 participated in the 2.2 for 22 Challenge with LPC, so-named as the initial challenge was a 2.2-mile walk.

LPC will host an end-of-event drive-through celebration and recognition to recognize those who completed the 22-day challenge. Funds raised by the event will support mental health services and support for LPC student veterans.

As of last year, LPC boasts a thriving military-affiliated student enrollment of more than 500 students. The college's Veterans First Program provides a host of supportive services to these students to help them achieve their educational goals. Veteran support services at LPC include priority registration, scholarships, a work-study program, financial resources and more. Military-affiliated students can also participate in Student Veterans Organization and utilize the virtual Veterans Resource Center.

For more information, please visit the website at www.laspositascollege.edu/veterans.

2.2 For 22 Challenge
Saturday, Oct 23 – Saturday, Nov 13
Register online at:

An afternoon of music from the 60s & 70s
Submitted by Shirley Sisk

On Sunday, October 17, League of Volunteers (LOV) and Newark Arts Council are presenting a fun-filled concert featuring a seven-piece band with vocals and a dancer. Billy Martini has been performing for 43 years as a drummer and then as lead vocalist for The Billy Martini Show. Hailing from Santa Cruz, he acquired his musical skills learning to play in the public school system. The band includes: Bob Borba (guitar), Steve Salinas (keyboard), Wade Olson (drums), Rico Valentine (Bass), Health Bullet (percussion/vocals) and Sugar Martini (dancer).

LOV’s concerts are now held at the Newark Junior High School Multi-Purpose Auditorium, at 6210 Lafayette Avenue. Doors open at 1 p.m., and the concert will begin at 2 p.m. Admission is free with donations suggested at the door. Complimentary refreshments are served during intermission.

LOV Concert
Sunday, Oct 17
1 p.m. Doors open
2 p.m. Concert begins
Newark Junior High School Multi-Purpose Auditorium
6210 Lafayette Ave., Newark
(510) 793-5683

Mariachi Festival to restore Hayward tradition
Submitted by Hayward Chamber of Commerce

Mariachi bands, a taco-eating contest and an outdoor market celebrating Mexico’s food and art will be highlights at the 11th annual Hayward Mariachi Festival from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 15 at City Hall Plaza, 777 B St.

The free family-friendly event is hosted by Hayward Chamber of Commerce Latino Business Roundtable, City of Hayward, Downtown Hayward Improvement Association and multiple sponsors. Guests should bring lawn chairs and blankets.

This year’s featured performers are Mariachi Mexicanisimo de Raymundo Coronado, Hayward; Mariachi Mi Terra Linda; and soloist Juan Reyes.

Attendees are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing.

For more information, watch the chamber's social media sites.

Mariachi Festival
Friday, Oct 15
5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
City Hall Plaza
777 B St., Hayward
(510) 537-2424

Investigate fossils at Children’s Natural History Museum
Submitted by Joyce Blueford

Math Science Nucleus (MSN) has opened up the Children’s Natural History Museum in Fremont for three Saturdays in October to highlight new fossils donated by Facebook (found in Menlo Park) and Caltrans (on the 680 freeway). There is also wonderful news from Senator Bob Wieckowski’s office: They have been awarded $5 million to expand the museum and to continue their work in Science and Math Education.

Register for Saturday admission on the website: https://bit.ly/3mBHq1t.

The Math Science Nucleus will be looking at ways to jazz up the Children's Natural History Museum as they expand our fossil collections from around the San Francisco Bay area. If you want to learn more about what they are planning for the museum, please join us for a Zoom presentation on Friday, November 5 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 pm. Present operations and future plans will be discussed and how you can get involved. You will get a reminder before the event.

Zoom registration: https://bit.ly/3FtZuU4.

Children’s Natural History Museum
Saturday admission
Oct 16 & 23
1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
4074 Eggers Dr., Fremont
Registration link: https://bit.ly/3mBHq1t

Zoom presentation
Friday, Nov 5
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Registration link: https://bit.ly/3FtZuU4

Silicon Valley Rainbow Rotary Club Gala and Auction
Submitted by Marguerite Padovani

The Silicon Valley Rainbow Rotary Club, is hosting a virtual Gala to celebrate accomplishments during its first two years, raise money for Better Together/Mejores Juntos project and to grow membership. As part of the Gala celebration there will be an online auction from Thursday, October 21at 8:00 a.m. to Saturday, October 23 at 8:00 p.m.

The Better Together/Mejores Juntos project is a partnership with FAMA Foundation, a Bay Area non-profit, to build a school in the rural Mexican village of Rancho Graciano Sanchez, in Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, Mexico. This village has no school. Most children either walk two hours to the nearest school one day a week, or don’t go at all. Building the school is a collaborative effort. Funds from Rotary and FAMA are used to purchase building materials. The regional Mexican government provides equipment and infrastructure, as well as a teacher, uniforms and educational materials. And most importantly, the residents of the village will provide the labor to build the school.

“Providing opportunity where none exists is the key reason behind our involvement with the Better Together/Mejores Juntos project,” says Sandie Day, Club President. “The children of Rancho Graciano have very little except an eagerness to learn and we are eager to help that happen. So far we are nearly halfway to our goal of raising $20,000 to complete the school.”

To learn more about the auction and what it supports visit: YourCharityAuction.com/SVRainbowRotary.

Silicon Valley Rainbow Rotary Auction
Thursday, Oct 21 – Saturday, Oct 23
Thurs at 8a.m. to Sat 8 p.m.
Photos in 1 new Sharon

Hope STEMs from Fremont girl turned national finalist
By Hugo Vera

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists so has the ongoing plague of misinformation which when left unchecked, can yield disastrous and even deadly consequences. Thankfully, one local teen is joining the ranks of some of the nation’s brightest young minds on her mission to improve lives and her findings on a national stage.

Born in New York City, William Hopkins Junior High School eighth grader Ryka Chopra moved to Fremont at age four and was recently chosen to represent the East Bay in the 2021 Society for Science Broadcom Masters Competition. Founded in 2010, the Broadcom Foundation’s Masters Competition is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) centered science fair for innovative middle school students from around the country. Educators nominate their students who have produced exceptional projects, and 300 semifinalists are meticulously narrowed down to 30 finalists. Those finalists get to present their research on a national level.

“While I am naturally inclined toward mathematics and computer science, I’ve had to work at learning these subjects beyond what is taught in the classroom,” says Chopra. “Scientific research is quite different and requires very different skill sets than what we need in school, math or computer science competitions.”

For her project, Chopra chose to do an independent study of obesity in relation to how it impacts both the behavior and health of millions of Americans each year. Chopra was first introduced to the subject after watching the fast-food documentary “Supersize Me’ while under lockdown in 2020.

“This intrigued me and after investigating this further, I found that research has established a strong link between fast foods and obesity mostly by studying consumer behavior and the propensity for individuals to consume fast food when easily accessible,” adds Chopra.

Chopra’s research led her to the conclusion that many fast food chains operate via “predatory location choice behavior.” Similar to the tobacco industry, fast food locations are often strategically placed in underserved communities to capitalize on a market craving affordable and speedy meals but doing excessive and often irreversible damage to their bodies in the process. Yet despite the grim National Institute of Health (NIH) statistic that obesity-related illness is the second leading cause of death among Americans (heart disease comes first), Chopra’s findings indicate that there’s plenty of actions people can take on the local and national level to safeguard their health.

“People should be cautious about what is being offered by fast food chains because convenience should not triumph over health,” adds Chopra, who has also advocated that city councils should impose stricter zoning measures to hinder fast food restaurant developers from expanding in communities where obesity is a prevalent issue.

While rising coronavirus cases forced students like Chopra to carry out all operations exclusively online this year, Society for Science has found ways to not only cope with restrictions, but to embrace them.

“Having to move the Broadcom Masters Competition online actually allowed us to reach more students and more projects than we previously would have been able to in person,” states Broadcom Masters director Raeva Ramadorai. “During a time when misinformation is rampant, it’s important now more than ever for the public to see the youth of this country collect evidence, engage in the scientific method and showcase their findings on a national level.”

Chopra says the experience of competing has not only given her fond memories, but has enabled her to inspire more students to explore STEM endeavors regardless of race, gender and background. “My advice for my peers would be to go for it,” concludes Chopra. “The sky’s the limit if you put your mind to it and this has been a journey of self-discovery like no other.”

Final rounds of 2021 Society for Science Broadcom Masters Competition will take place virtually from October 22-28. To see more of Chopra’s work, as well as that of the 29 other finalists, visit https://www.societyforscience.org/broadcom-masters/.

Health officials offer COVID-19 safety guidelines for Halloween
Submitted by Neetu Balram

Bay Area health officials are reminding residents that many commonly celebrated Halloween and Día de Los Muertos activities carry risk for spreading COVID-19. Limiting yourself to small gatherings and implementing extra safety measures — especially when not everyone is vaccinated — can help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Together, we all need to do as much as we can to protect ourselves and those around us, including young children who are not yet eligible for vaccination.

When planning and participating in Halloween and Día de los Muertos activities this year, health officials highly recommend that everyone take the following measures to protect against COVID-19:

• Get fully vaccinated. Vaccines are the best protection against infection. All three currently available vaccines are safe and effectively reduce risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19.
• Find a vaccination location nearby by visiting Alameda County Health Department’s COVID-19 webpage at https://covid-19.acgov.org/vaccines.
• Stay home if you have, or think you may have, COVID-19.
• Do not attend celebrations or participate in activities if you feel sick, or if you have come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19 and you are not yet fully vaccinated.
• Wear a face mask. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, is required to wear a face mask in indoor public settings.
• Face masks are recommended in private settings where not everyone has been vaccinated or when around people who are otherwise vulnerable or whose immune systems are compromised.
• A costume mask is not a substitute for a well-fitted face mask that covers your mouth and nose.
• Avoid wearing a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe.
• Gather outdoors. Activities held indoors where people from different households mix, like haunted houses or indoor mazes, are higher risk for everyone.
• Take safety precautions when trick-or-treating. If participating in traditional outdoor trick-or-treating, wear a face mask or keep your distance from others.
• Take hand sanitizer with you and use it frequently. Remember to wash your hands after coming home, and especially before eating any treats.
• Keep gatherings small. Events with crowds greater than 1,000 indoor attendees or crowds greater than 10,000 outdoor attendees must comply with California’s Mega-Event Guidance.

To further protect yourself and your loved ones, be sure to monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days after participating in holiday celebrations and activities. Pay special attention from days 3-7 as this is when people are most likely to develop symptoms.

If someone you had close contact with tests positive, get tested, and if you are not fully vaccinated, stay home to quarantine. If you do not feel well or if you test positive, stay home to isolate regardless of your vaccination status.

To learn more about symptoms and testing, visit the Alameda County COVID-19 page at https://covid-19.acgov.org/index and follow the “Testing” link. Children and youth who attend a K-12 school do not qualify for Modified Quarantine for this type of exposure (outside a school setting) if your school offers this as a quarantine option.

School chief issues statement on updated mask rules
Submitted by Alameda County Office of Education

On October 7, health officers for the nine Bay Area jurisdictions that require COVID-19 face coverings in most indoor public spaces reached consensus on criteria to lift those health orders under certain conditions.

The counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, and City of Berkeley will lift the indoor masking requirement in public spaces not subject to state and federal masking rules when all the following occur:

• The jurisdiction reaches the moderate (yellow) COVID-19 transmission tier, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and remains there for at least three weeks.
• COVID-19 hospitalizations in the jurisdiction are low and stable, in the judgment of the health officer.
• 80% of the jurisdiction’s total population is fully vaccinated with two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson (booster doses not considered) or eight weeks have passed since a COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for emergency use by federal and state authorities for five to 11-year-olds. Details are posted on Alameda County Public Health Care Department’s COVID-19 webpage at https://covid-19.acgov.org/.

In response to the updated regional masking guidelines, Alameda County Superintendent of Schools L. K. Monroe issued the following statement:

“It is heartening to see that our region and our county have reached the point where the health officers are able to set clear criteria for the eventual lifting of mask mandates in public spaces for vaccinated individuals.

It is important to note that this criteria currently does not apply to our school settings. Current masking mandates for TK-12 schools fall under the order of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and were put in place in an effort to keep schools open for in-person instruction as our youngest students have yet to qualify for vaccines. The state is set to review its masking orders for schools and provide any potential updates by November 1. The guidance and protocols provided to our schools by Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) continues to be aligned with the guidance set forth by the state.

Masking has proven to be a very effective mitigation strategy that is keeping our students in classrooms. It is an essential part of the layers of safety measures our schools have been employing since the beginning of the school year. We realize these efforts often place a great strain on staff and many families and can create both disruption and understandable frustration. Yet, we are encouraged by the progress we are seeing countywide as case numbers drop among our student age groups even as our schools are fully reopened.

As we move into the winter months, vigilance around our health and safety protocols remains critical. In addition to current strategies in place, we strongly encourage the vaccination of all eligible students and look forward to the approval of vaccines for students ages five – 11 in the coming weeks. We are already planning, in coordination with ACPHD, to support schools and families to obtain vaccines for those students when they become available.
I believe the light at the end of the tunnel we have been waiting for is near and it is getting brighter.”

More information about guidance for Alameda County Schools is posted at www.acoe.org/guidance.

BART Police Log
Submitted by Les Mensinger and BART PD

Thursday, September 30
• At 2:45 p.m. officers responded to a report about a male possibly overdosed on a train at Milpitas station. Upon arrival, officers found the male unconscious and unresponsive. Officers administered three doses of NARCAN and the male woke up and became responsive. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

• At 6:03 p.m. a person identified by police as Ashley Keller, 33, of San Leandro was arrested at Bay Fair station in San Leandro on two outstanding warrants issued by Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and Oakland Police Department. Keller was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Sunday, October 3
• At 1:22 p.m. a man identified by police as Michael Aquino, 51, of San Jose was arrested at Milpitas station on suspicion of being out of compliance with transient sex offender registration rules. He was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail.

Monday, October 4
• At 7:57 a.m. a man identified by police as Timothy Knockum, 44, of Oakland was arrested at Fremont station on suspicion of violating a court order to stay away from BART. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

• At 11:44 p.m. a woman identified by police as Danielle Fay, 44, of San Jose was detained at Union City station on suspicion of fare evasion. A record check showed two outstanding warrants from San Jose and another from Santa Clara County. She was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Tuesday, October 5
• At 8:25 p.m. a person identified by police as Aunesha Monroegans, 21, of San Francisco was arrested at Hayward station on suspicion of public intoxication and booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Wednesday, October 6
• At 7:05 a.m. a person identified by police as Cheyanne Hernstedt, 22, of Hayward and a male juvenile were detained at South Hayward station on suspicion of battering each other. Both were taken into custody with Hernstedt being booked into Santa Rita Jail and the juvenile booked into Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center in San Leandro. Both were issued prohibition orders.

• At 5:41 p.m. a man identified by police as Paul Quamela, 31, of Oakland was arrested at Hayward station on a no-bail Alameda County warrant charging burglary. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Friday, October 8
At 6:57 a.m. Officers detained Michael Washington for blocking the fare gates at San Leandro Station. Washington had a court ordered stay away order from all BART property. Washington was booked into the Santa Rita Jail.

At 5:07 p.m. Nathaniel Sylvester was arrested at Castro Valley Station and booked into the Santa Rita Jail for resisting an officer and probation violation. During the incident, it was discovered that Sylvester did not have valid proof of payment on his person.

At 6:22 p.m., David Chung was contacted for fare evasion at the Fremont Station. Chung was subsequently booked into the Santa Rita Jail for a misdemeanor $10k warrant charging Petty Theft, and a separate charge of possession of a controlled substance.

At 8:15 p.m., Michael Valenzuela was arrested at the Hayward Station and booked into Santa Rita Jail for failure to register as a sex offender and possession of a controlled substance.

Deputy honored for teamwork, work ethic
Submitted by Alameda County Sheriff’s Office

Alexis Perez-Rojas, an Alameda County Sheriff’s Office [ACSO] deputy, was honored as Deputy of the Month for September at the Eden Township substation in the unincorporated Hayward area.

In his nomination, co-workers and supervisors cited Perez-Rojas’ many positive attributes that make him a pleasure to work with including his tremendous work ethic and dependability. During September Perez Rojas investigated numerous significant incidents including the recovery of several stolen vehicles, the arrest of a prowler who brandished a knife at the victim, the arrest of a suspect responsible for an assault with a deadly weapon, and the investigation of a stalking/revenge pornography case.

In addition to his work with ACSO, Perez-Rojas is serving as a First Lieutenant in the US Army Reserves.

Fremont Police Log
Submitted by Yanneth Contrada, Fremont PD

Tuesday, September 28
• An armed robbery occurred in the area of Tempest Terrace in the Ardenwood area when a male victim confronted a suspicious male checking vehicle door-handles. The man pointed a gun at the victim and demanded all his property.

Wednesday, September 29
• At about 5:20 p.m. a female was loading groceries into her vehicle in the Costco parking lot on Pacific Commons Boulevard when an unknown person approached and grabbed her purse from the shopping cart and fled.

• Detectives from the Gun Violence Reduction Team located a suspect from a September 22 shooting incident near Overacker Avenue and Spetti Drive and made a high-risk enforcement vehicle stop. The suspect, identified by police as Antonio Sandoval, 18, of Fremont was initially detained. A firearm with no serial number was found inside the vehicle. Sandoval was arrested and booked at Santa Rita Jail on charges of carrying a loaded firearm and negligent discharge of a firearm. His bail was set at $90,000 which he posted on September 30 and was released with a court date set for November 29.

Thursday, September 30
• At about 10:58 a.m. an elderly man was walking in the area of Nicolet Avenue in north Fremont when he was approached by an unknown female. She swapped the man’s gold chain for a fake one before fleeing in a vehicle.

Friday, October 1
• Twenty-two post office boxes inside the lobby of the Fremont Main post office on Dusterberry way in the Centerville area were broken into sometime on October 1 or October 2.

• At 5:56 p.m. occupants were inside a home on Becado Drive in the Mission San Jose area when they heard someone entering the home via a window. They investigated and found a man sitting on their couch and called police. The man apologized and waited for police to arrive. The man, identified by police as Edward Stewart, 52, was arrested.

Hayward Police Log
Submitted by Hayward PD

Wednesday, September 29
• At 6:50 p.m. an unknown suspect approached a victim near the 24000 block of Mission Blvd. and brandished a firearm, then took property from the victim before fleeing in a vehicle. The case is being investigated as a robbery.

Thursday, September 30
• At 3:42 p.m. officers responded to a robbery report on the 300 block of Southland Dr. While checking the area, officers located a vehicle that matched the suspect vehicle’s description. An enforcement stop was made with one of the occupants being positively identified in the robbery and taken into custody.

Friday, October 1
• At about 11:05 p.m. officers responded to a report of a vehicle collision with an injured person inside on the 22000 block of Foothill Blvd. Upon arrival, officers found a vehicle facing southbound on Foothill with major front-end damage. Inside was a 21-year-old man suffering from at least one gunshot wound. Emergency medical responders took the man to Eden Hospital where he died. His identity was not immediately released. It’s unknown if another vehicle was involved in a collision with the man’s vehicle. The case is being investigated as a homicide – the fifth in Hayward this year. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Det. Kell at (510) 293-7176.

New police chief takes command in Fremont
Submitted by Fremont Police Department

In a small ceremony on Friday, October 1, longtime Fremont Police Department (FPD) employee Sean Washington was sworn in as the City of Fremont’s eighth police chief in its 65-year-history.

The ceremony, with Washington’s family and selected city officials in attendance, was held in alignment with COVID-19 guidelines. A community celebration marking Washington’s appointment to the top position is set for November 18. Washington replaced former Police Chief Kimberly Petersen who retired October 1.

Washington joined FPD in 1997 and over the years has held a variety of roles including detective, Field Training Officer, SWAT Team Member, Arrest Control Instructor, Driving Instructor and he served as the supervisor of the School Resource Officer Unit. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2007, Lieutenant in 2011 and Captain in 2015. Over the last six years Washington has rotated as commander of the department’s three divisions. He also presided over investigations, internal affairs, training and personnel departments.

Washington earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Hayward in 1997 and a master’s degree in Administration of Justice from San Jose State University in 2007. In 2015 he graduated from the Police Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T) Command College, Class #57.

Fremont police want to hear from you
Submitted by Fremont Police Department

A community survey seeking feedback from Fremont residents, business owners and visitors about services provided by Fremont Police Department (FPD) is posted online.

According to FPD officials, feedback from the survey will be used to help the department determine the best way to serve the community, improve services and identify primary concerns that should be addressed.

The 14-question, multiple-choice survey is posted at www.surveymonkey.com/r/2021FPDSurvey and will be available through November 5.