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Park It
by Ned MacKay

If you are looking for some not especially spooky Halloween-themed activities that you and your kids will enjoy, look no further than the East Bay Regional Parks, where the naturalists have scheduled several family-friendly activities.

At Sunol Regional Wilderness in southern Alameda County, naturalist Kristina Parkison plans a session with “Not So Creepy Critters” from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 30 at the park’s visitor center. Toads and snakes have a bad reputation, but Kristina will explain how they play important roles in healthy ecosystems. The visitor center has several of the critters in residence.

The program is drop-in, free of charge, and no registration is required. Sunol has a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. The park is located at the end of Geary Road off Calaveras Road, five miles south of I-680 and the town of Sunol. For information, call (510) 544-3249.

Del Valle Regional Park south of Livermore plans a nature-themed “Spooky Scavenger Hunt” between 9:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 31. Drop by Rocky Ridge Visitor Center any time during those hours, pick up a scavenger hunt list to complete, return, and tell naturalist Alex Collins about your adventures. Costumes are encouraged.

The program is free, and no registration is required. Del Valle has a parking fee of $6 per vehicle. For more information, call the Sunol Wilderness phone number. The phone for the Del Valle vistor center is (510) 544-3146. Del Valle Regional Park is at the end of Del Valle Road off Mines Road, about nine miles south of downtown Livermore.

At Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, naturalist Mindy Castle will lead three Halloween-themed programs on the day of Halloween, Sunday, October 31. All are drop-in, with no registration required. Ardenwood’s entry fees apply. Once inside, the programs are free.

The first is a show from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. featuring the farm’s handmade puppets. It’s a Halloween take on a classic tale: “Three Little Witches.” Multiple shows are planned. Then from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., meet Mindy at the Ardenwood granary to create and dress up your own Halloween doll, made from clothespins as they did back in the 19th Century. And from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. it’s pumpkin playtime. Mindy will lead Halloween farm games in the farmyard.

Ardenwood is located at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, just north of Highway 84. The farm and its activities recreate life on a prosperous 19th century estate. For information, call (510) 544-2797.

It’s not necessarily Halloween-themed, but naturalist Kevin Dixon will lead another in his series of “Beautiful Brunches” hikes from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 31 at Morgan Territory Regional Preserve in eastern Contra Costa County.

Meet Kevin at the park’s staging area on Morgan Territory Road. Bring your favorite food and drink, wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes, and plan for a two-mile hike. Morgan Territory offers beautiful views of Mt. Diablo and Central Valley. There’s abundant wildlife and a rich history.

The brunch hike is free of charge, and there’s no parking fee, but registration is required. To register, call (888) 327-2757 and select option 2.

There’s always something fun and interesting to do in the regional parks. For a full listing of events, visit the website, www.ebparks.org.

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

A new meaning for “hometown”
Why buy a house when you can buy a whole town? The Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] reported that the town of Water Valley, Maury County, Tennessee is up for sale. Think about it; not only would you be a homeowner, you’d also be the mayor and the chief of police, if you’ve a mind for that. The asking price is $725,000 — not bad when you consider that not so far away homes are selling for $400,000 to $800,000. But Water Valley consists of four general stores, a barn and a circa-1900 creek-side home with updated wiring and plumbing.

A rude awakening
It happened in the Canadian town of Golden, British Columbia. Ruth Hamilton was fast asleep when her dog started barking. Then, reported AMAC, she heard “a huge explosion and [felt] debris all over [her] face.” She got out of bed and called 911. “Talking to the operator, she was asking me all kinds of questions, and at that point, I rolled back one of the two pillows I'd been sleeping on and in between them was the meteorite. I was shaking like a leaf. You're sound asleep, safe, you think, in your bed, and you can get taken out by a meteorite, apparently.”

How to potty train your cow
Did you know you can potty train your cow the same way you might potty train your toddler? According to AMAC, scientists at New Zealand’s University of Auckland have done just that. Cows can produce as much as eight gallons of urine in the course of a day and urine contains a lot of nitrogen, which can, when mixed with their feces, be bad for the environment. And so, the Auckland scientists and colleagues in Germany created a MooLoo, a specially designed pen in which cows can do their business. They let the cows roam in an enclosed area in the midst of which was a MooLoo, which the animals were urged to use when the need arose. The cows that opted for the facility were given a treat; if they did not, they were squirted with cold water. Most of the cows used in the experiment ultimately decided to use the MooLoo when they had to go. See how the MooLoo works at www.youtube.com/watch?v=lydsuwNybHQ.

— 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.

Kaiser Permanente suspends 2,200 unvaccinated employees
Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP), Oct. 6 — Health care giant Kaiser Permanente has put more than 2,200 employees nationwide on unpaid leave who have chosen not to get vaccinated against the coronavirus — a little over 1% of its workforce.

The employees have until Dec. 1 to get vaccinated to be able to return to work and those who choose not to will be terminated, the company said. Kaiser said its overall vaccination rate stands at 92%.

“We hope none of our employees will choose to leave their jobs rather than be vaccinated, but we won't know with certainty until then,” Kaiser said in a statement Oct. 5. “We will continue to work with this group of employees to allay concerns and educate them about the vaccines, their benefits, and risks.”

The Oakland-based company announced the vaccination requirement on Aug. 2. On Aug. 5, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an order requiring all of the state's roughly 2.2 million health care workers and long-term care workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 30.

Kaiser Permanente employs about 216,000 nationwide. Since its vaccination requirement was announced, the inoculation rate among employees has gone from 78% to 92% as of Oct. 5, the company said.

A month after California issued its mandate, President Joe Biden ordered a sweeping federal vaccine mandate ordering companies with more than 100 workers to require vaccinations or weekly testing for the virus. The vaccine mandates have proven successful, with many companies seeing high compliance rates.

Northwell Health, New York state's largest health care provider, employs more than 76,000 people. It said this week it had terminated 1,400 employees — or less than 2% of its staff — for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The dismissed workers include clinical and non-clinical staff, the company said.

At United Airlines, about 96% of employees have been vaccinated under a mandate. About 3% sought an exemption, and fewer than 1% will be fired, the company has said. In Denver, at least 92% of municipal employees and medical facilities are vaccinated against COVID-19 following its vaccine mandate that took effect Sept. 30.

California's order allows exceptions for people who decline the vaccine because of a religious belief or who cannot be inoculated because of a qualifying medical reason, backed up by a note signed by a licensed medical professional. Kaiser did not say how many exemptions it has approved for its California employees.

The Art of Dia de los Muertos at Sun Gallery
Submitted by Dorsi Diaz

The Sun Gallery’s Annual Day of the Dead Exhibition and Celebration opened on Friday October 22 and continues until Saturday November 13th. This year the Gallery will be presenting art by local artists in addition to traditional Dia de los Muertos altars and displays.

Participating artists and craftsman include:
Maureen & Peter Langenbach, Christine Bender, Sharon DeVetter, Patra Nesseth-Steffes, Amy Nelson Smith, Chabot College Puente Project, Marc Vincente, May M. Lo, Anna Fisher, Debra Collins, Linda Firebaugh, Bruce Roberts and Sun Gallery’s Curator Nina Starr.

A special Artists Reception and Celebration will be held on Saturday Nov. 6th from 1pm – 3:30pm with music, prepackaged food and beverages. Masks are required inside the gallery.

Sun Gallery’s art shows are open to the public with free admission.

Art of Dia de los Muertos
Local artists, altars and displays
Fri-Sat; 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Artists Reception
Saturday, Nov 6
1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Sun Gallery
1015 E St., Hayward
(510) 581-4050

Day of the Dead: Remembrances
Submitted by Hayward Arts Council

Day of the Dead focuses on the belief that the spirits of lost loved ones, often represented by happy skulls, return from another world to be with their friends and family for a short time. It is a time for celebration, remembrance and honor. This year’s exhibition “Day of the Dead: Remembrances” explores the symbolisms of the celebration through original paintings by Karla López, an offering honoring artist Frida Kahlo by Winda Shimizu, and a 3D large “Catrina” by Patricia Rennie. View “Day of the Dead: Remembrances” on the second floor of the Hayward Public Library until November 18.

“Each year, I look forward to the beautiful sights, sounds, smells, and traditions of Día de los Muertos,” said exhibiting artist Karla López. “It is a time filled with celebration, music, food, and flowers. But most importantly, it’s a time to remember our loved ones and to celebrate their lives and the memories they’ve left us with. During this time, we get together and feel connected both to those who are no longer here, and those who are present.” López’ colorful paintings in this exhibition include a self-portrait, colorful calaveras, and a nighttime cemetery scene.

A 3D large scale “Catrina” by self-taught artist Patricia Rennie highlights the exhibition. Rennie's idea for the Catrina came from her pride and love for her Mexican Heritage and enjoyment of Day of the Dead celebrations. “I created and designed the skeleton, clothing, and accessories using a variety of mediums and the project took approximately two months to complete,” shared Rennie. “The Catrina is a mixed medium visual art piece that encompasses my artistic interests of designing, molding, painting, and sewing using clay, paper, wire, fabric, and oil and acrylic paints.” The creations by artists Lopez and Rennie were influenced by the iconic calavera “La Catrina” created by Mexican illustrator Jose Guadalupe Posada c. 1910.

“Day of the Dead: Remembrances” exhibition is a collaborative effort of Hayward Arts Council and Hayward Public Library presenting original paintings and symbolisms of this joyful Mexican celebration of life.

For more details visit haywardartscouncil.org and https://www.hayward-ca.gov/public-library/using-library/locations-hours

Day of the Dead: Remembrances
Until Thursday, Nov 18
Mon-Wed: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Thu-Sat: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sun: Closed
Hayward Public Library
888 C St., Hayward

A day to remember loved ones
Article and photo submitted by Chapel of the Chimes

A Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration featuring memorial altars, music, dance and food is set for Saturday, October 30 at Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward.

The cultural event, celebrated in Mexico and many Latin American countries, commemorates and remembers loved ones who have died. The idea is that the dead would be insulted by mourning and sadness. Instead, their lives should be celebrated by those left behind with food, drink, parties and activities that departed loved ones enjoyed in life. During the annual celebration, it’s thought that the dead are awakened to share the celebrations.

The family-friendly event is set for 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and admission is free and open to the public. Activities will include:

• A DJ Performance by Alex O. de Leon.
• Live Mariachi performed by Nueva Generacion.
• Blessing of the Altar with Tezkatlipoka Aztec Dance and Drum.
• Folkloric dances performed by East Bay Center for the Preservation.

In addition, a complimentary traditional lunch will be served from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., while supplies last. For children, complimentary Dia de los Muertos coloring books with crayons will be distributed while supplies last. In compliance with COVID-19 health regulations, everyone attending is required to wear a mask.

Dia de los Muertos
Saturday, Oct 30
10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Music, food and dance honoring loved ones who have died
Chapel of the Chimes, 32992 Mission Blvd., Hayward
(510) 400-7589



Local baker competes in Food Network’s Halloween Baking Championship
By Charlene Dizon
Photos Courtesy of Food Network

Local Fremont resident and certified pastry chef Ashley Wong joins Food Network in Season 7 of Halloween Baking Championship. Wong showcases her creativity and expertise in baking goods that deliver high marks in both aesthetics and taste.

Baking was integrated into Wong’s life at an early age. She distinctly remembers visiting her Nana’s house and being enveloped by the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls. The two, along with Wong’s mother and father, enjoyed actively baking and being in the kitchen. “I find baking relaxing, which is why my baking style is very much comforting and homey,” Wong explains.

After high school, she attended a local community college, but found herself drawn to baking as a full-time career. By the age of twenty-one, Wong decided to attend Le Cordon Bleu Academy, a San Francisco culinary school. Here, she was able to fully explore all aspects of cooking, particularly baking. After graduating with honors, Wong began working at various culinary establishments, from Paola Le Duc Fine Catering to The Madera, a Michelin-star restaurant. Doing so gave her the opportunity to put her expertise into action and gain more skills.

After having two children, Wong wanted to find work closer to home. She decided to officially open her own licensed home bakery business, known today as Ashley Wong Sweets. Since making this commitment, she has been able to not only grow her own clientele, but personally portray her passion for baking through a plethora of sweets, including detailed handmade cookies and cakes. She has applied her skills to events for sought-after companies such as Apple and Facebook, along with more intimate events like birthdays and baby showers. “I love knowing that my baking can be a contribution toward some of people’s most special and personal memories,” Wong says. Through the opening of her business and posting on social media, Wong’s Sweets caught the eye of Food Network.

The Halloween Baking Championship is an annual baking competition that Wong has watched before. Her excitement at being contacted by Food Network for Season 7 was unforgettable. “The casting person was looking for bakers, and found my business on Instagram. We set up an interview with producers and I showed them my baking process from home.” Though nervous and slightly camera-shy, Wong found it fun to step out of her comfort zone and receive validation. She joined nine other contestants through a total of seven episodes and various challenges to create the tastiest and most visually pleasing Halloween-themed cakes and cookies, all based on 1980s slasher films.

Participating in a Food Network segment has given Wong the ultimate encouragement for doing what she loves. Thinking about the future of Ashley Wong Sweets, she states, “I want to open a storefront in the next two to three years. Fremont could use a homey bakery and I would love to provide comfort desserts that feel nostalgic for people.” With her rising success, there’s no doubt that this hope will be accomplished.

Her advice for fellow aspiring bakers, Wong says, “Just go out there and do it. Don’t let fear hold you back.” As viewers anticipate the reveal of the season’s winner, Wong continues to power through each challenge with the resilience and strength of an admirable pastry chef worth rooting for.

Season 7 of the Halloween Baking Championship airs Mondays at 9 p.m. PST, with streaming available at https://www.discoveryplus.com/. The final episode of Season 7 aired on October 25.

Ashley Wong Sweets
Website: www.ashleywongsweets.com
Instagram: @ashleywongsweets

Bay Area students star in College Tour series
By Madhvika Singh
Photos Courtesy of UC Davis

It’s that time of the year again! High school seniors and their families are deep into college applications to find that perfect place for higher education. A place that will provide them with not only quality education, but also a nourishing and safe environment where they will take their first steps into adulthood. “The College Tour,” a series aiming to help with that process, will soon be available on Amazon Prime. The series is hosted by Alex Boylan, winner of “The Amazing Race.” Each episode tells the story of life on a college campus through the eyes of real students, covering aspects like academics, sports, housing and more.

The episode on University of California, Davis (UC Davis), features two students from Fremont – Akshita Gandra, majoring in Cognitive Sciences, and Kyla Kessler, majoring in Psychology.

While their achievements are in different fields, both Gandra and Kessler have pursued their passions in earnest. Gandra found her passion for social justice and activism early in high school while volunteering at a nonprofit in India, teaching impoverished teenage girls who had been deprived of education. “This was the first time I translated my intense zeal and innate ache to do something that mattered into a tangible outcome,” shared Gandra. She credits her teachers at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont for inspiration.

Kessler, a graduate of Washington High School in Fremont, was introduced to gymnastics when she was three and was soon hooked. “I had attended gymnastics classes with my parents, and found a love for it,” shared Kessler. As her level in the sport increased, so did the time commitment needed. “I decided to focus strictly on gymnastics, and since then, college gymnastics has always been my dream,” added Kessler. She is currently co-captain of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 UC Davis Gymnastics team.

While viewers marvel at smooth routines, gymnasts themselves are at risk of painful injuries due to the grueling nature of the sport. Kessler was no exception, but her injuries gave her a new perspective. “As weird as that may sound, my time rehabilitating from various injuries gave me the opportunity to find myself, and approach gymnastics and the team through a different lens,” she shared. As she worked through recovery, Kessler found her passion for body mechanics, and is in the process of applying to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. She has also been working at a physical therapy clinic in the greater Sacramento area.

In her freshman year at UC Davis, Gandra was given the opportunity to write about intersectional feminism and sociopolitical issues. She took that opportunity to start REVIVAL Zine (https://therevivalzine.com/), an organization to empower feminists. “REVIVAL Zine is the first national-spanning college feminist publication and community, named for its effort to ‘revive’ the tenacious spirit of prior feminist movements and to honor the ’90s Riot Grrrl Zine culture,” added Gandra. Gandra was also the co-founder and leader for Period Poverty, a project that aims to reduce stigma around menstruation. Among their achievements was successful lobbying to stock UC Davis campus bathrooms with free menstrual products.

Both Kessler and Gandra are emphatic in their praise for the culture and community at UC Davis. “The campus is beautiful, and the weather is amazing,” said Kessler. Sharing similar views, Gandra was all praise for the hardworking and humble students at UC Davis, and the chill vibe that makes one feel right at home.

Support from UC Davis for students’ pursuits and push for excellence is another topic they concurred on. “UC Davis has tons of opportunities and offers significant flexibility,” shared Gandra. Kessler spoke about the academic rigor at UC Davis that pushed her out of her comfort zone as she balanced the demands of gymnastics practice, involvement with clubs, and studying for classes. More information about UC Davis can be found at https://www.ucdavis.edu/.

On their experience filming for the series, both Gandra and Kessler found it to be a fun and learning experience. “It was amazing to work with Emmy nominated producers, a camera crew, and the host, Alex Boylan. It was a bit nerve-wracking to write my own script, but I am happy with how it turned out,” shared Kessler. “The team made an avid effort to let me take the reins in telling and filming my story as a student founder and activist,” added Gandra. They both are grateful for the opportunity to tell their stories and celebrate the impact students can make. “My highlight moment was when UC Davis threw a watch party for the episode and I got to meet the full cast. It was a really special moment,” shared Kessler.

We at TCV wish Gandra and Kessler the very best in their future endeavors, and success to all high school seniors as they aim for an education that will propel them to the heights they are aiming for.

New program aims to increase affordable housing
Submitted by Alameda County

Homeowners in Alameda County that want to build an additional housing unit on their single-family property have a new tool to help them with their plans. A new Accessory Dwelling Union (ADU) program was launched by county officials in early October to provide free consulting and project management services to people planning construction projects.

Developed in partnership with nonprofit organization Hello Housing, which will also serve as the Program Administrator, the ADU Pilot Program is expected to result in the development of 18 new affordable units throughout the unincorporated areas in Alameda County.

Funding for the program was approved by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. The idea behind ADUs (sometimes called “second units,” or “in-law units”) is to provide an opportunity to expand the supply of housing in single-family neighborhoods where homeowners may have additional space on their properties.

“We need to continue to explore creative housing solutions to support the stability and vitality of households throughout the county,” explained Housing Director Michelle Starratt. “With ADUs, we can increase naturally affordable housing stock by creating new homes in existing neighborhoods. By offering customized guidance, we can make sure that homeowners have the support they need to successfully build a new unit that is safe and legally permitted.”

The pilot will initially serve the unincorporated areas of the county (Ashland, Cherryland, Castro Valley, Castlewood, Fairview, Happy Valley, Hillcrest Knolls, Sunol and San Lorenzo, as well as the unincorporated areas in the cities of Hayward, East Pleasanton and South Livermore), with the goal of expanding the program to become a County-wide offering.

Program requirements
The program provides free consulting and project management services to eligible homeowners who have the means to build an ADU or Junior ADU on their property. The property must be occupied by the owner and the new unit must be rented at an affordable price for a period of three years. Applicants must have access to their own financing to design and build an ADU and must agree to complete fair housing/landlord training. There is no income requirement for owners or future tenants of units constructed under the program.

“We’re excited to partner with Alameda County to offer one-on-one support to homeowners,” said Jennifer Duffy, President of Hello Housing. “ADUs bring a unique and timely opportunity to support homeowners who want to be part of the housing solution. ADUs offer a broad range of benefits and solutions, from allowing seniors to age in place, to expanding affordable housing options for tenants. The key is flexibility. Whether the occupant is a grandparent or a local public-school teacher, ADUs create flexible, affordable homes that help keep local residents in their communities.”

Application process
Interested homeowners should submit an online application on https://www.hellobright.org/one-stop-shop-ac by November 27. Property owners who meet baseline eligibility criteria will be entered into a random lottery and undergo a remote screening process in order of lottery number starting in November. Applicants selected to move forward through the remote screening process will be invited to schedule a site visit from Hello Housing. Final participants will be selected and ADU development plans will begin in early 2022. For details, call Hello Housing at (415) 446-9235.

California hopes to ease transfers to UC and Cal State
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP), Oct. 6 — California hopes to make it easier for students in community colleges to transfer into the state's public universities under a bill signed Oct. 6 by Gov. Gavin Newsom that streamlines a process students have described as a maze and a barrier to transferring.

By smoothing the path to the University of California's campuses and those of California State University, the state hopes to increase the numbers of students who transfer from community college to four-year colleges and close equity gaps, officials said.

Assemblyman Mark Berman, a Democrat from Los Altos who authored the bill, said that students trying to navigate the transfer process have sent a clear message that the system needed an overhaul. “It's too complex, confusing and difficult to navigate. Instead of being a clear path it's a maze, and costing students time and money they can't afford,” Berman said at the signing alongside Newsom, who signed two dozen bills related to higher education.

Among other things, the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act of 2021 simplifies the Associate Degree for Transfer program, which guarantees priority admission to Cal State schools. It requires community colleges to place all would-be transfer students — even if they want to attend a UC campus or another college — into the existing “guaranteed transfer path” to get into a Cal State school, unless they opt out.

It also requires the UC and CSU systems to agree on a common set of courses by the 2025-26 academic year, which community college students need to take to get into either system.

The University of California opposed the legislation, saying it took a “one-size-fits-all approach” for students to transfer into two very different university systems. “Though there are many similarities between the UC and CSU undergraduate programs, there are also important differences” in curriculum and other areas, the UC said, agreeing the transfer system needed improvement but still contending the bill would “completely upend” its approach.

A separate bill signed Oct. 6 requires community college classes to have the same course numbers as the comparable courses in four-year colleges, to reduce confusion that can be another transfer barrier, Berman said.

A 2020 report by the Public Policy Institute of California found that a large gap exists between the number of students who hope to transfer and those who do, and that equity gaps were a big concern. While Latinos represent 51% of students who declare a transfer goal, they account for 35% who follow through with a transfer within four years.

Fremont City Council
October 19, 2021

Consent Calendar:
• Accept FY 2021/22 and FY 2022/23 Paratransit Discretionary Grant Program funding.
• Allow City Council and legislative body meetings via videoconference per AB361.

Ceremonial Items:
• Proclaim October 2021 as Hispanic Heritage Month. Accepted by Narda Mamou.

Public Communications:
• Protest wireless communication ordinance; lack of due diligence by city.
• Domestic violence comments.
• Parking problems on Albrae Street.
• Lack of enforcement for businesses and abandoned vehicles.

Other Business:
• Consideration of City Manager Contract.

Mayor Lily Mei Aye
Vice Mayor Yang Shao, District 4 Aye
Teresa Keng, District 1 Aye
Rick Jones, District 2 Aye
Jenny Kassan, District 3 Aye
Raj Salwan, District 5 Aye
Teresa Cox, District 6 Aye

Milpitas City Council
October 19, 2021

Proclamation and Presentation
• October was proclaimed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
• Key to the City was presented to the family of Dale Flunoy, retired long time employee of the City of Milpitas, who passed away recently.

Consent Calendar
• Rectified the City of Milpitas’ 2021 Sewer System Management Plan including revisions to the Overflow Emergency Response Plan.
• Authorized execution of the Amendment to the Agreement with the Santa Clara Valley Water District to increase cost-sharing amounts and partner on the Lawn Bust Milpitas Pilot Program.
• Authorized execution of Amendment of the Rental Agreement with PSI Water Technologies Inc. for the rental of a Monoclor RCS Trailer.
• Authorized execution of Amendment with West Coast Arborist, Inc. for City-owned tree maintenance services.
• Authorized execution of the Professional Services Agreement with Raimi + Associates Inc. for consultant services for the 2023-2031 Housing Element.
• Approved Fiscal Year 2020-21 Work Plans for: Arts Commission; Community Advisory Commission; Library and Education Commission; Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Commission; Planning Commission; Senior Advisory Commission; Veterans Commission; Youth Advisory Commission.
• Approved a Loan Agreement from the City to the Successor Agency and authorized various financial actions by the City Manager.

Public Hearing
• Following public hearing amended various sections of the Milpitas Municipal Code relating to sewer operation and maintenance. The approved sewer code changes will follow the corresponding changes made by the City of San Jose. However the aspects of trees on the City’s property damaging the sewer pipes was postponed to a future meeting. Vote: Aye 3 (Tran, Montano, Chua) Nay 2 (Phan, Dominguez)

Community Development
• Received a report on the Homekey project at 1000 Hillview Court.
• An agenda item to receive follow-up information on the proposed project proposal for low- and moderate- income housing at Turing Apartments through a California Statewide Communities Development Authority program was postponed to a future meeting by the mayor. This action, supported by the Vice Mayor and Councilmember Chua, was very controversial and generated heated discussions within the Council. Pushback came from Councilmembers Phan and Dominguez. A large number of Milpitas residents, about 100, attended the meeting for the sole purpose of influencing this particular agenda item. Only the comments from a few of them were actually heard. All the attendees expressed severe disappointment at this postponement.

Rich Tran (Mayor) Aye
Carmen Montano (Vice Mayor) Aye
Anthony Phan Aye, 1 Nay
Karina Dominguez Aye, 1 Nay
Evelyn Chua Aye

Newark City Council
October 14, 2021

• Proclaim second week of October as Code Enforcement Officer Appreciation Week.

Public Comment:
• Inform council members that county level redistricting is underway. Part of the Fair Max Act requires transparency and encouragement of residents to participate in the process. For more information visit: www.redistricting2021.acgov.org

Items pulled from Consent Calendar:
• Item D5 – A few main streets that will be worked on include Bettencourt Street, Jarvis Avenue, Edgewater Drive, and Spruce Street. Rubberized streets may be considered as a future alternative. Motion passed to continued Consent Calendar

Consent Calendar:
• Approval of audited demands
• Approval of September 23, 2021, minutes regular and special meetings.
• Adopt a resolution finding that there is a proclaimed state of emergency; finding that meeting in a person would present imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees as a result of the state of emergency; and authorizing continued remote teleconferenced meetings of the legislative bodies of the city of Newark for the 30-day period beginning October 1.
• Adopt a resolution approving a second amendment to consulting services agreement with Michael Cohen, spectrum small business services.
• Adopt a resolution authorizing the submittal of applications for the Rubberized Pavement Grant Program administered by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery for five years and allocation of grant funds received to the Annual Street Asphalt Concrete Overlay Program.
• Adopt a resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a contract for the purchase and installation of replacement flooring for the Clark W. Redeker Newark 2022 Biennial Budget and Capital Improvement Plan.

Other Business:
• Informational report by Stopwaste on the implementation of California Senate Bill, Short Lived Climate Pollutants Requirements. Council members expressed concern of price, lack of education and employee training regarding the bill.
• Second Reading and adoption of an Ordinance establishing the Old Town Overlay District within the Old Town Newark Specific Plan Area. Resident expressed interest on implementing class four bike lanes.

City Council Matters:
• Library officially opens on Monday, October 18.
• October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Make an appointment and get checked, both men and women.

Mayer Alan Nagy Aye
Vice Mayor Mike Bucci Aye
Michael Hannon Aye
Luis Freitas Aye, 1 recusal
Sucy Collazo Aye, 1 recusal

San Leandro City Council
October 18, 2021

• Award of kindness to Lary Huls for his volunteer work coordinating cleanups at the Downtown Butterfly Garden.
• Proclamation declaring October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
• Proclamation declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
• Proclamation honoring TV news anchor Frank Sommerville for speaking out about missing women of color.
• Recognition of Ramya Sankar, Innovation Technology Analyst, City Manager’s Office, as Employee of the Quarter.

Public Comments:
• Increase in lieu fees to encourage developers to build more affordable housing.
• Concern and question about who paid for the recent Pizza with the Cops public relations event.
• Traffic and parking issues on Blossom Way.
• Take action to end the sale of menthol cigarettes in the city.

Councilmember Announcements:
• Councilmembers Lopez, Azevedo, Simon, Aguilar, Cox and Mayor Cutter acknowledged the death of Steven Taylor in a police shooting in 2020 and offered condolences; Cutter added that city changes are underway.

• Staff report on Mental Health First responder models.
• Update from SEED Collaborative regarding race and equity work for the City of San Leandro.

Consent Calendar:
• Accept grant funds of $104,178 from the California Library Literary Services award to fund the Project Literacy service for Fiscal Year 2021-2022.
• Approve an amendment to the consulting services agreement with Bay Area Affordable Homeownership Alliance to increase funding by $40,255 to a new contract total of $76,185 with funds coming from the city’s affordable housing asset fund.
• Approve a service agreement with Hinderliter De Llamas & Associates for business license tax administration and retail license services for an amount no more than $881,800 for Calendar Years 2022, 2023, and 2024 and to enter into a merchant services agreement with Worldpay for an amount no more than $96,000 annually.

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
October 12, 2021

Proclamations and Presentations:
• Proclamation honoring and recognizing October 2021 as Filipino American History Month.

Consent Calendar:
• Approve minutes of the regular City Council meeting held on Sept. 28, 2021.
• Second reading and adopting the “Organics, Reduction and Recycling” chapter to the Union City Municipal Code and including an ordinance by the Alameda County Waste Management Authority to reduce the amount of organic and recyclable materials deposited in landfills.
• Resolution approving an amendment to a consulting services agreement with Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. in the amount of $348,000 for Union City Boulevard bike lanes project for a total amount of $1,172,900.
• Resolution approving a Master License Agreement for small cell pole attachment installations with New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC and approving similar agreements with other providers.
• A resolution authorizing an amendment to the Biennial Operating Budget and Authorized Position List of the Biennial Operating Budget to authorize one full-time Human Resources Technician position in lieu of the existing half-time Human Resources Technician position and authorizing amending the budget to appropriate funding for it.
• A resolution accepting the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program grant of $60,000 to support impaired driving enforcement, traffic enforcement, distracted driving enforcement, pedestrian and bicycle enforcement and traffic safety education.

Public Hearing:
• A presentation and resolution amending the Master Fee Schedule for Fiscal Year 2021/22 to $16 per hour, matching the current rental rate for youth synthetic sports fields and continue the $27 per hour lighting fee, adjusting to match changing electricity rates, plus a 15% administrative fee. Unanimously adopted.

City Manager Reports:
• A resolution to 1) approve the Strategic Plan Midpoint Update and City Council priorities for Fiscal Year 2021-22 and Fiscal Year 2022-23; and 2) Approve the meeting minutes of the City Council’s Strategic Planning Workshop of August 5, 2021. Unanimously adopted.
• A resolution accepting a $4.2 million grant from Alameda County Transportation Commission Project Funding Agreement for final design of phases 1 and 2 for Quarry Lakes Parkway (East-West Connector). Unanimously adopted.

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

A Few of My Favorite Things for the Home
By Anna Jacoby

Dear readers,
I began writing this column in 2004— how time flies! After 17 years, this will be my last column. It’s been a pleasure to share my experiences and knowledge with you. Thanks to all of you who emailed and called me with design questions. I’m not moving, or retiring! Fremont is my home, I love my work, and I’m happy to answer design questions anytime. For this final column, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite design-related things. Maybe some of these will inspire you in your own home.

Pendant lights
I love using pendants in kitchens over islands, above the kitchen sink, or above dining tables, but I also love using hanging pendant lights in bedrooms and even bathrooms. They bring light where you need it, and they look beautiful too.

Painted cabinetry
Natural wood is always beautiful, but paint opens up so many options that it’s hard to resist. In one recent design project, I designed a black-painted built-in china cabinet to coordinate with the client’s grand piano, and the results are striking. And in the photo, the turquoise-painted bath vanity gives this bathroom an unexpected and fun pop of color.

Fabric at windows
I used to be a minimalist when it came to dressing windows. Maybe it was rebellion against the heavy, old-fashioned drapes of the past. However, I’ve completely changed my mind on this issue. The longer I work in interior design, the more I realize how much of an impact the right fabric can have in a room. I absolutely love how curtain panels frame a window and add softness, texture and color. A tailored valance at a kitchen window can be the perfect finishing touch. Not every room needs fabric at the windows, especially if the design aesthetic is modern and streamlined. But I would say most rooms don’t look quite “finished” until the windows are properly dressed.

Contrasting textures and materials
For example, if you have a wood coffee table, pair it with glass end tables. Pair a smooth leather sofa with nubby fabric chairs. Mix metals, such as a chrome light fixtures with black cabinet pulls. Mixing textures is the key to an interesting room. And please remember that not all woods have to be the same! Variety is the spice of life.

Mixing furniture styles
I love to see a beautiful antique piece mixed in with contemporary furnishings. I recently inherited a wood and glass china cabinet that belonged to my great-grandmother. Its style is Art Deco, and I’ve been coveting it for years. It is right at home in my newly redecorated living room, among contemporary leather chairs, a rustic coffee table made from wine barrels, and a sleek black wine cabinet. After filling it with pretty glassware, I love looking at it every day.

A place for everything, and everything in its place
When I design for clients, we always have conversations about items they need to store. Sometimes it’s kids’ toys, or small appliances, spices, toiletries. I like everything to have “a place to live” so I eke out storage wherever I can. Think of furniture that can do double duty, like a long TV cabinet that can also store toys, or a tall narrow kitchen cabinet that holds all your small appliances. Or a tall recessed cabinet behind the bathroom door for extra storage. Designing spaces where things can be hidden away, yet easily accessed, is an important aspect in interior design—plus it brings a sense of calm and order to a space. And don’t we all appreciate a sense of calm and order in our busy lives?



Yoga in Hindi
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Focus on your body’s natural tendency toward health and self-healing. Bring a mat
Age Well Center South Fremont
47111 Mission Falls Ct., Fremont

Writing Personal Narratives – Immigrant Experience
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Write confidently about your life experiences
Via Zoom

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

Heartfulness Meditation
10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Bring your own mat/cushion to class
Age Well Center South Fremont
47111 Mission Falls Ct., Fremont

San Lorenzo Street Eats
5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Food trucks
500 Via Mercado, San Lorenzo

Ballroom Line Dancing Class
9 a.m.- 10 a.m.
Meet new people, develop confidence
Age Well Center South Fremont
47111 Mission Falls Ct., 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 Street, 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 Road, Fremont

Monday, November 1 – Tuesday, November 30
Chinese-American Mixed Media Display
Artwork focusing on racism against Chinese- and Japanese-Americans
On display in the Fremont Main Library lobby
Library Hours:
M/T 12 noon – 8 p.m.
W/Th 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
F/Sa 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sun 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont

Mondays and 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

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, October 18 – 29
Drive thru COVID-19 Testing R
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Appointments only. Please wear a mask
Fremont Central Park Sports Complex
1110 Stevenson Blvd.

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

Tuesdays, October 19 – November 9
Fiber Arts
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Learn how to create knitted art
Age Well Center Lake Elizabeth
40086 Paseo Padre Pkwy., Fremont

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

Wednesdays, October 20 -December 15
Insight into Local Government R
7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
League of Women Voters invite you to a 3-part series
Session 1 – 10/20: panelist Rick Hatcher, HARD Board Member
Via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84373704437
Session 2 – 11/17: panelist Barbara Halliday, City of Hayward Mayor
Via Zoom: https://bit.ly/3FGUknD
Session 3 – 12/15: more info on running for office
Via Zoom: https://bit.ly/3AFDu4X

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 – Monday January 3
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.
10/26: 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

Friday, October 22 – Saturday, November 13
The Art of Dia de los Muertos at Sun Gallery
Fri-Sat: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Works from local artists and traditional Dia de los Muertos altars
Sun Gallery
1015 E St., Hayward
(510) 581-4050

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

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

Sunday, October 17 – Sunday, December 19
Consumer Couture: Wrapped in Conversation
Exhibit featuring enchanting wearable art by South Bay Artist Charlotte Kruk
Virtual Exhibit: 10/17 – 12/19
In-Person Gallery: 10/21 – 12/19
Art Reception: 11/5 @ 5 p.m.
Olive Hyde Art Gallery
123 Washington Blvd, Fremont
(510) 791-4357


Tuesday, October 26
Veterans Life Science Symposium R
1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Virtual, interactive career exploration – learn more about California’s life sciences

Tuesday, October 26
Facing Climate Change with Emotional Strength R
1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Leslie Davenport talks about understanding and managing our anxiety over climate change
Via Zoom
Register at: www.aclibrary.org

Tuesday, October 26
Naturalization Online Filing Walkthrough
5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Free virtual information session by the USCIS
Webex Link: https://bit.ly/3p3Vwvp
Meeting number (access code): 2761 467 2608
Meeting password: 4aiNh5ZSYm*8

Tuesday, October 26
Home Energy 101 Virtual Fair R
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Learn about energy-saving programs and resources

Tuesday, October 26
7 o’clock Rocks!
7 p.m.
Join Groovy Judy live as she plays some spooky tunes

Wednesday, October 27
Music & Movement
3:30 p.m.
Singing, dancing, and rhythmic movement. Come in costume!
(510) 733-1189

Wednesday & Thursday, October 27 & 28
Android Training
10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Learn more about features of your phone. Best to attend both days
Via Zoom

Thursday, October 28
State of the 10th Senate District Address R
6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Senator Bob Wieckowski lists accomplishments and recognizes local heroes
Via Zoom
To register: https://bit.ly/2YRHa6H

Thursday, October 28 and Friday, October 29
Drive thru COVID-19 Vaccine R
12 noon – 3:30 p.m.
Appointments only. Please wear a mask
Fremont Central Park Sports Complex
1110 Stevenson Blvd.

Saturday, October 30
Dia de los Muertos
10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Free celebration honoring the lives of loved ones who have died
Chapel of the Chimes
32992 Mission Blvd., Hayward
(510) 400-7589

Saturday, October 30 – Monday, November 1
Niles Dia de los Muertos events

Crafting kits giveaway
October 30 &31
12 noon – 4 p.m.
Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum
37417 Niles Blvd., Fremont

Zoom gathering
7 p.m. share dress, face painting, crafts, etc
8 p.m. read virtual community altar messages
Zoom info will be posted at: www.niles.org

Tuesday, November 2
Alameda County HR Guidelines
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Stay compliant during COVID-19. Free webinar by the SBDC.

Tuesday, November 2
Dia de Los Muertos w/Mexican Sugar Skull Art Class
1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Live music, refreshments, and crafts
Lone Tree Cemetery
24591 Fairview Ave, Hayward

Wednesday, November 3
Fremont Art Association general meeting/demo
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Guest artist Peter Langenbach will demonstrate the art of carving wood
Via Zoom, link will be provided upon registration

Wednesday, November 3 – Thursday, November 4
Action Changes Things $R
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Virtual social and emotional learning and wellness conference

Wednesday, November 3
Public Participation Mapping Tools
7 p.m.
Community workshop explaining online redistricting tools
Via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/96608535976

Thursday, November 4
Alameda County Teachers of the Year Awards Ceremony $R
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Recognition of extraordinary dedication, commitment, educational innovation, and student learning.
Castro Valley Center for the Arts
19501 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

Friday, November 5
Diwali Dhamaka $
5:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Music, food, dancing
India Community Center
525 Los Coches St., Milpitas

Saturday, November 6
Larry O Bicycle and Auto Parts Swap Meet
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Come buy and trade bike or auto parts. Bring a can of food and/or unwrapped toy for families in need
Larry Orozco Teen Workshop
33623 Mission Blvd., Union City
(510) 675-5487

Saturday, November 6
ACWD Landscape Maintenance Workshop R
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Learn how to adapt to drought

Saturday, November 6
The Art of Dia de los Muertos at Sun Gallery Artists reception
1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Sun Gallery
1015 E St., Hayward
(510) 581-4050

Sunday, November 7
United with Afghanistan Emergency Fundraiser
5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Royal Palace
6058 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont
RSVP at: afgemergency.eventbrite.com
(408) 780- 2951

Letter to the Editor

Year-round Daylight Savings

In California, voters back in 2018 overwhelmingly passing Proposition 7 in an effort to establish year-round daylight-saving time. Since then, however, legislation seeking federal authorization to do so has stalled in the legislature.

In 2018, Florida passed legislation to keep DST, but a federal statue is required the state to enact the change, according to a press release from Rubio. Fifteen other states, including California, Louisiana, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Washington, have passed similar initiatives to keep DST year-round and dozens of other states are looking into doing the same.

Under the “Sunshine Protection Act of 2021,” introduced in March by Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Mississippi, Rick Scott, R-Florida, and Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, daylight saving time would be made permanent.

A 2019 poll suggested that 70% of Americans prefer not to switch their clocks back and forth. People have sent nearly 6.5 million messages to Congress as part of a petition to “stop unnecessary flip flopping of time.” Surprisingly, the Senators of California, Dianne Feinstein (D) and Alex Padilla (D), are not sponsoring the bill.

If you support this change, consider contacting our state’s senators to let them know!

Hartmut Wiesenthal

Chabot College educator moves up
Submitted by Chabot College

Dr. Jamal Cooks, a longtime Bay Area educator, has been tapped to fill the Interim Vice President of Academic Services position at Chabot College in Hayward.

College officials said the Oakland native was hired September 14. Cooks previously served as Dean of Language Arts at the college and co-founded Chabot Association of Teacher Education (CATE), which provides resources and support to students studying to become teachers.

Cooks also served as an administrator for the Restorative Integrated Self-Education program, a group for formerly incarcerated students at the college. Additionally, he served as President of the Black Education Association for Northern California and for more than 20 years, held leadership positions in the National Council for Teachers of English, Assembly on Research, Middle Level Steering Committee and Committee on English Education.

Among his goals in his new role, Cooks said, is to continue to encourage student success and completion of certificates and degrees and assist the college with its upcoming accreditation self-study.

“Chabot is the place where students run to, and I’m looking forward to working with leadership to continue that trajectory,” Cooks said. “We have wonderful faculty and programs, and this is the place that folks want to come to. I think we’ve already been doing that, but I would like to continue the progression of that and continue to build.”

Cooks has a doctorate in Language, Literacy, and Culture and a master’s in Curriculum Development from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley. As part of his career in academia, Cooks worked as a professor at San Francisco State University.

“I felt like I did a pretty good job as a scholar and in academia,” Cooks said. “But I’ve always stayed connected with Black and Brown students, urban students and community college students. Once I earned full professor, I looked around and said, ‘what’s next?’”

“I started my career because I wanted to help students who were disproportionately impacted — first-generation students, predominantly Black and Brown students, and BIPOC to achieve academic excellence, and they weren’t at the university I was teaching at,” he said. “I looked around, and I said, ‘they’re at the community college.’ So, if I’m being true to who I am and who I’ve always been as an educator working with disproportionately impacted students, I need to go to where the students are.”

Chabot College, with its rich history, high academic standards and commitment to diversity, was the obvious choice for Cooks. “I feel like we’re a little hidden gem. We have high academic acclaim and a true commitment to diversity and equity here,” he said.

“I’m excited to continue to work with great people. I’m excited to learn about how to run a college, along with learning from the other two vice presidents under the tutelage of President Dr. Susan Sperling. I think we have a phenomenal administrative team with our deans, coordinators and directors,” Cooks said. “I just like being at Chabot. I think the faculty and classified professionals are great, and the students are awesome. I’m excited and just trying to figure out the ways that I can help.”

Bay Area resident celebrates 100th birthday
By April Ramos

Fremont resident Doris Westbrook reached her 100th birthday Saturday, October 16. Westbrook’s milestone birthday luncheon was held by Tri-City Women’s Club (TCWC) at Fremont Elks Club. Following a drive-by celebration last year due to the pandemic, Westbrook was able to safely gather with her family and fellow club members in person. She has been an active participant of TCWC and explains, “This is my extended family.”

Westbrook joined TCWC, a self-supporting non-profit, in 1984. Holding nearly every board position,serving as President from 1994-1995, Westbrook is considered the club matriarch. As much as she’s done for the club, she expresses how much the club has done for her: “If it hadn’t been for these women, I don’t know what I’d do. The club has been my life, truly.” When asked what advice she would give to those aspiring for the same longevity, Westbrook explains, “My philosophy is: don’t give in to worry and depression, because usually things work out how they are supposed to.”

Honor Roll

University of Maryland – Global Campus
Summer 2021 Dean’s List
• Grace Dolor of Hayward

Georgia Institute of Technology
Summer 2021 graduates
• Medha Acharya of Fremont
• Manish Awasthi of Fremont
• Lokesh Budihal of Fremont
• Sachin Chandrasekhar of Milpitas
• Junyi Jiao of Newark
• Karthikeyan Marikrishnan of Milpitas
• Ashish Mishra of Union City
• Kai Tai Tam of Castro Valley
• Feng Zhu of Fremont

Biola University, California
Spring 2021 Dean’s List
• Vince Argonza of Fremont
• Abijah Crawford of Fremont
• Keren Godwin of Fremont
• Micah Jue of Castro Valley
• Meonah Kwan of Union City
• Caleb Loftis of Castro Valley
• Anya Mortensen of Castro Valley
• Kimberly Najarian of Hayward
• Madeleine Prater of Fremont
• Rachel Anne Sevilla of Hayward
• Neha Sharma of Union City
• Adara Smith of Fremont
• Hannah Stockinger of Hayward
• Kiana Truong of Union City
• Audiana Vera of Newark

32nd Alameda County Teachers of the Year awards ceremony
Submitted by The Alameda County Office of Education

Seventeen district honorees will be recognized at the 2021 Alameda County Teacher of the Year Awards Banquet to be held November 4, 2021, from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Castro Valley Center for the Arts. The honorees are recognized for their individual dedication and excellence in the classroom, and they collectively represent the thousands of educators doing amazing work across Alameda County every day.

Tickets to the event are $15 and are available for purchase online (https://bit.ly/3AVuRTL) or at the event. Card, cash or purchase orders accepted!

Please note that per venue regulations, all attendees must be COVID-19 vaccinated or supply a negative test result from within 72 hours of the event. Masks will be required for everyone. There will be no reception before the awards ceremony this year. We look forward to bringing this tradition back in 2022.

This year’s district honorees are:

• Alameda County Office of Education – Lori Thelen
• Castro Valley Unified School District – Elisa Correia-Dasalla
• Dublin Unified School District – Lilia Tsui
• Eden Area Regional Occupational Program – Cheryl Grixti
• Emery Unified School District – Ashante Smith
• Hayward Unified School District – Thalia McNeil-Smith
• Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District – Christopher Filice
• Mission Valley Regional Occupational Program – Christopher Skrocke
• Newark Unified School District – Catherine Scheving
• Oakland Unified School District – Chantel Parnell, Jessica Jung, Whitney Dwyer
• Pleasanton Unified School District – Russell Sato
• San Leandro Unified School District – Erica Viray Santos
• San Lorenzo Unified School District – Susan Guinee (posthumous)
• Sunol Glen Unified School District – Christopher Wheeler
• Tri-Valley Regional Occupational Program – Diana Hasenpflug

Annually, the Alameda County Office of Education is proud to honor our exceptional public schoolteachers through the Teacher of the Year program. It is an opportunity to recognize extraordinary dedication and commitment, educational innovation, and student learning.

Alameda County’s 10,000+ teachers are everyday heroes, dedicated to serving and supporting the youth of one of the most diverse counties in California. Show your support of individual honorees and ALL educators by posting to social media with #ACTeacheroftheYear.

Filipino-American Professor launches Asian American Studies book
By Hugo Vera
Photos courtesy of Sine68, Wayne Jopanda and Angela Alejandro

October marks Filipino-American History Month, with festivals, exhibits and other events celebrating an ethnic group that’s been part of the American tapestry since the 16th century. Yet despite advancements in making ethnic studies a required part of public school and college-level curriculums in California, one local Filipino-American scholar is still fighting to make sure courses pertaining marginalized Americans are mandated on a national level.

Born to Filipino immigrant parents and raised in Union City, Dr. Robyn Magalit Rodriguez attended James Logan High School before earning her PhD in Sociology from UC Berkeley. She went on to become a professor and later the first Pinay (woman of Filipino descent) to serve as chair of the UC Davis Asian American Studies Department. According to Rodriguez, her upbringing in Union City was a deciding factor in the trajectory of her education and activism.

“My background has everything to do with what I do now,” says Dr. Rodriguez. “Growing up the daughter of Filipino immigrants I realized that despite the Philippines being the only country in history that was formally colonized by the United States, there was still this unfair racial profiling in Union City, of Filipino-American men in particular, that motivated me to organize.” Rodriguez recalls that city leaders used violence among Filipino-American gangs as justification for citywide racial profiling. One of her first acts of resistance was penning a letter to Union City’s mayor of in her preteen years.

Since then, Rodriguez has continued taking action to empower her community. She campaigned to change the name of Union City’s Alvarado Middle School to its current name of Itliong-Vera Cruz Middle School. The name change honors Larry Itliong and Philip Vera-Cruz, two Filipino-American civil rights icons who played crucial parts in the United Farm Workers (UFW) movement of the 1960s and 1970s.

Dr. Rodriguez also became the founding director of UC Davis Asian American Studies’ Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies. The center, named after Filipino-American novelist and activist Carlos Bulosan, was a major stepping stone that allowed Rodriguez to co-write her textbook Asian America: Sociological and Interdisciplinary Perspectives with South Asian American scholar and filmmaker Pawan Dhingra. According to Rodriguez, this book distinguishes itself from similar texts because it was written with a “broader audience in mind.” Rodriguez and Dhingra deliberately made the book accessible online as means of reaching general audiences as opposed to just academic specialty presses.

On September 30, Rodriguez held a book launch for the textbook’s second edition, as well a new course accompanying it, at the Stacks Record Shop in Hayward. For Rodriguez, the event was more than a book launch; it was a homecoming celebration.

“We chose to have the book launch at Stacks Records because music has always been a means of reflecting society,” says Rodriguez. Ray Buyco, a fellow Filipino-American professor who has taught Rock and Roll history at Ohlone College in Fremont, concurs. “Good music endures and that’s especially true of music that reflects a marginalized group’s reality,” says Buyco. “When we look at the folk songs of the 1960s or the rap songs of the 1990s, you can see that what the artists are really singing or rapping about is issues such as war, gang violence and the effects of racism.”

The journey to launch the textbook wasn’t easy, as Rodriguez struggled to secure funding from the UC Board of Regents. “Despite Rob Bonta, the first ever Filipino-American to serve as California’s Attorney General, introducing Assembly Bill-123 which requires the incorporation of Filipino and other ethnic studies into the statewide curriculum, a crucial portion of funding for the University of California Asian American studies program is going to run out by next year, and personally I’m fed up.”

Eventually she had to take matters into her own hands. No longer wanting to wait for the Board, which is already backlogged with legislative hold-ups stemming from the pandemic, Rodriguez mobilized her own support system of Filipino and Pan-Asian activists to raise awareness for her book, course and the Bulosan Center’s quest for greater racial equity.

Rodriguez’s intersectional approach in Asian American studies comes at a time when it is sorely needed. Rodriguez, among other educators, civil rights leaders and journalists have called out the media for their Eurocentric coverage of cases like the tragic death of Gabby Petito. While Petitito’s death and the subsequent manhunt for suspect Brian Laundrie have dominated headlines for weeks, the omission of similar stories on missing women of color (Black, Latina, trans and indigenous women in particular) is a prime example of inequality in the public consciousness.

“Through events such as Black Lives Matter, Stop Asian Hate and the 2020 presidential election we’ve seen a massive reckoning with race in America, but political and social engagement means not just showing up every time to vote, but getting involved at the local level as well,” concludes Rodriguez. “This means showing up to city council meetings, school board meetings and utilizing our own experiences with race in relation to others to get a broader understanding.”

Among her social justice endeavors, Rodriguez is creating an auxiliary nonprofit connected to the Bulosan Center, named in honor of her late son Amado Khayo Canham Rodriguez. This new nonprofit will champion many of the same movements he did, including indigenous rights, anti-gentrification and disability awareness.

Amado Khayo Canham Rodriguez passed away in 2020 due to COVID-19 complications while volunteering with indigenous farmers in the rural Philippines. He was 22.

Mission Peak scout showcase
Submitted by Eve Ruhlman

After several months indoors due to COVID, scouts from the Mission Peak District came together at full volume on Saturday, October 16, at Centerville Community Center to participate in the annual Scout Showcase.

Boy Scouts of America, now known as BSA, had over a hundred scouts and over 20 units from Newark, Fremont, and Union City meet current and potential scouts interested in finding the perfect troop to join and continue their scout journey. Scouts boasted about their troop and what they have been working on. They also offered potential scouts an opportunity to join in fun activities such as STEM projects, new inventions, knot tying, yells and more. It was a positive atmosphere and everyone was happy to be back together.

“We didn’t know that we would have so many scouts come out to this event. You could tell that they were very excited to be one step closer to normal,” said Mike Charlesworth, scout executive of the Mission Peak District. “All the younger scouts were walking by different troops asking questions and wanting to know more about their units. We just know our scouts are happy to be socializing again and seeing their fellow scout friends.”

Mark Dupart, assistant scoutmaster from Newark Troop 186, stated, “The showcase was simply amazing. We came from different areas, but it felt like we were all old friends. We worked together to show up and show off for the up-and-coming young BSA members. Whichever troop the scouts chose to join, they will be in good hands.”

BSA is now welcoming both boys and girls from ages 11-17 to join troops, and ages 7-10 for cub scout packs. If you missed this event, you can check out the BSA website, www.beascout.org to find the unit closest to you.

FREE E-waste drop-off
By Eileen Riener, Tri-CED Community Recycling

Tri-CED Community Recycling will host a FREE “Electronic Waste (E-Waste) Drop-Off” on Saturday, November 6, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., at James Logan High School in Union City. We welcome all Union City residents to participate in recycling their unwanted E-waste safely and responsibly.

E-Waste refers to the electronics that are nearing the end of their useful life and are discarded, donated, or given to a recycler. It has become one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world. According to a 2019 report by the United Nations (UN) E-Waste Coalition, the world produces approximately 50 million tons of E-Waste every year, and this is expected to more than double to 110 million tons by 2050. Approximately 80% of E-Waste ends up in landfills where it leaches into soil and groundwater, risking food supply systems and water sources. Or, it is recycled in developing countries, exposing workers to hazardous substances such as mercury and lead. In addition, improper handling of E-Waste results in a loss of valuable and finite raw materials such as gold, copper, and platinum.

Tri-CED is a State-approved and designated E-Waste collection site, and we accept E-Waste year-round at our facility located at 33377 Western Avenue, Union City. For residents’ convenience, we have partnered with Recycle 1234, a fellow Union City-based E-Waste Recycling Center, to host the November 6 remote drop-off event.

Residents are welcome to bring any of the following for recycling:

• Television sets (all sizes)
• Computer monitors
• Laptop computers
• Computer hard drives
• Computer keyboards and mice
• Printers (NO industrial size)
• Cell phones/old phones
• DVD players, VCRs, stereo equipment
• Fax machines (NO industrial size)

For a full list of acceptable items, please visit: www.tri-ced.org. Please note that the following items are prohibited and will not be collected at this event:

• Household hazardous waste (HHW)
• Kitchen appliances
• Microwave ovens
• Vacuum cleaners
• Light bulbs
• Fluorescent tubes.

Residents are encouraged to utilize Tri-CED’s year-round E-Waste Recycling Program if they cannot make this event. For more information, contact Tri-CED at (510) 471-3850 or Info@Tri-CED.org.

E-Waste drop-off
Saturday, November 6
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
James Logan High School
Main parking lot on Alvarado-Niles Road
1800 H St., Union City
(510) 471-3850

Flash Poetry runners up
Submitted by Fremont Cultural Arts Council

The 2021 “Flash Poetry Contest” took place on October 8 – 9, with over 50 submissions from local writers. Last week, we ran the first-place winner and the President Emeritus winner. This week, take a look at the runners up.

For more information and all the winning entries, go to https://fremontculturalartscouncil.org/.

By Nitika Sathiya

All it takes is one more second,
One more step,
Another breath,
Feels like tomorrow is a game no one wants to claim.
All the outcomes are the same,
And there's no one to blame.
The perception of time is inconsistent.
The pressure of the world is too twisted.
Part of being human is having regrets,
But regret can't change the past.
Regrets are what keep us going.
It’s the reason we keep pushing, even when there’s nothing more to obtain.
We cannot restrain;
It’s in our brain,
Regrets are lost in time; a black hole no one can explain.
It keeps taking, but is never satisfied
They are the seed to desire,
The desire to be better.
It's how we fuel our future.
A regret may keep you up at night,
But it means you're still willing to fight.
A regret shows a mistake that you’re not willing to make once more,
So what are you waiting for?
Open that door,
Jump out of the box.
Don’t look back on what you lost.
Look forward to what you sought.

Making Waves
By Patricia van den Heuvel

I remember a time when I didn't make waves
Didn't ask questions, afraid of attention.
So I stayed uninformed like the others
who were also afraid.

I accepted the rules that society set for us women.
I accepted less pay than my male counterpart
for similar work.
I didn't ask why.

Somewhere between high school and thirty
I married my husband, a good provider.
My mother approved. I produced a brood
I had done what it takes to be happy, they said!

They neglected to say that I might want more,
that my mind might keep growing, searching, yearning.
I wasn't content with my wonderful life, my squeaky clean house
I was looking for more.

So I shed my cocoon, began to make waves,
began to ask questions, attracted attention.
I wanted to prove that I could.

I was given a job.
My opinions were sought,
I shared my ideas.
I was stretching my brain, it felt good.

The house doesn't sparkle and shine like before.
The laundry is done by the people who need it.
The cook books are gathering dust on the shelf
while I'm discovering my other self.

My husband and brood are adapting quite well.
And my mother approves.

Without You
By Anastasiia Bieliaieve

We played a game,
I knew so well,
As if it made a difference.
I’ll tear away,
Then turn around,
To watch
your back

Did you have fun?
Did too.
Did you get hurt?
Did too.

And alone, I’ll believe,
I may—

I may have loved you.
For in the dying of the light,
I saw your eyes,
And on your lips—that smile.

Perhaps a year,
Or two,
Or five into the future,
Someone will say,
“Go home.”

And I’ll go home,
Without you.

By Jean Mussak

I hear a “Hoo-Hoo”.
I spot an owl on a pole.
Turns out there are two!

The human side of homelessness: Gino
Submitted by Veena Kommu

This article is a continuation to the series by Veena Kommu, a local high schooler who decided to talk to the homeless people in the Bay Area, and get their stories out to the public. Her goal is to separate their character from their circumstances.

Gino was born in Newark to a Mexican American family. His parents believed that work was more important than an education. Gino acknowledges that this type of belief was dated and has influenced many generations in families with similar backgrounds. However, he understands that was their way of living and not an intention to hurt anyone’s future. Gino was taken to a facility for workers, but management soon found out that he was underage. He was scared and ran away. Many years later, he found out that his mother had gone to pick him up but did not find him and they gave up the search after a while.

In the meantime, people on the street helped him and showed him how to survive. Gino found that when one is hungry, “The only goal is to find food and decisions are made to fulfill that goal.” He believes if there were a better way for a kid like him to survive, he would have done that, but at the time, he made bad decisions. He did odd jobs: as a farm laborer, working for a gardener, or in construction. He was given a taste of alcohol by people he trusted.

According to Gino, “Alcohol creates problems. It takes money away from family, bills, etc. Until then, the odd jobs provided just enough for survival. However, alcohol makes you temporarily forget your problems. Nobody tells you that it is magic poison. It slowly destroys health. Once addiction kicks in, it is unbearable to live without it. As a young kid, I did not know that. It took my life apart.” He was arrested for drunk driving and petty theft. Since he was a habitual offender, he spent time in jail. However, he has not had any problem with law since 2003.

Gino began a new chapter in his life in his twenties when he got married. He was finally able to get rid of alcohol and has remained sober since. He became spiritual and found inner strength and peace. He has three daughters. Although Gino was not initially ready for fatherhood, he and his wife continued to complete their family. Childcare is expensive, and he worked two jobs and went to school at night. However, it was too much stress mentally and physically, and he dropped out.

Gino is proud of the way he helped his kids to go to school and succeed in life. His eldest daughter is married to a doctor and manages her husband’s practice. His second daughter is a nurse, and the third is studying for a degree in nursing. A few years ago, Gino divorced from his wife after 18 years and moved into a trailer.

Gino thinks that society looks down their noses at homeless people. He wants them to see that even homeless people just want to live in a dignified manner. According to Gino, “Society wants homeless people to disappear, or stay in bushes out of sight. Unfortunately, we have to come out eventually. We also want to work and live dignified lives; however, most doors are closed to us.” In his future, he wants to continue his spiritual growth and be happy inside. He hopes that Mexican American families will emphasize education for kids so they stay off the streets, get good jobs and not go through the hardships of homelessness.

Recently, Marisa Kendall at the Bay Area news group published a story titled, “Neighbors push back against new RV park” in San Jose. The article mentions “flyers depicting tents on fire” and other fear mongering techniques used to demonize people who are already going through a tough period in their lives. Perhaps understanding the people who live in trailers will go a long way towards greater acceptance.

$5 million grant to provide mental health services to Latinx children
Submitted by La Familia

La Familia and First Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center (FBHUCC), in joint partnership, announce they have been awarded a $5 million, two-year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to fund school-based counseling and resource services that will support children and families in San Joaquin Valley and Alameda County.

The initiative, “Tri- County Project,” unites Stanislaus, Alameda, and Merced counties through the commitment to invest $825 million in Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) across the country. The three counties form a continuous service area where the Latinx population shares significant cultural, economic, and health characteristics, resulting in similar impacts and mental health needs from COVID-19. With nearly 70 percent of the service population of both partnering organizations identifying as Latinx, data reveals that this underserved population is suffering disproportionately from COVID-19. Both agencies are uniquely prepared to focus on students ages 11-18 with serious emotional disturbance and parents and caregivers with severe mental illnesses or co-occurring disorders.

“La Familia is honored to be overseeing and implementing this timely Tri-County project,” said La Familia CEO Aaron Ortiz. “COVID-19 has taken a large toll on children and families battling mental health issues. In our California communities, one in 13 children has an emotional disturbance that limits participation in daily activities. Our Latinx communities are among those that have been hit the hardest, and it is a part of our mission to help them recover.”

La Familia currently has mental health clinicians in four school districts: San Lorenzo (10,500 students), Hayward (19,000 students), New Haven-Union City (11,281 students), and Oakland (49,000 students). This grant will enable us to build on the work of our current clinicians and resource navigators that provide services to those with the highest need.

FBHUCC, which currently has mental health clinicians in three school districts as well as two service providers for the unhoused, will be able to double its existing staff thanks to the grant and add clinicians in five more school districts, as well as community schools in Atwater and Los Banos.

Funding stems from the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2021 and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplement (CRRS) Act of 2021, which reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to supporting and expanding access to mental health and behavioral support as Americans continue to confront the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

La Familia is a 501(c)(3), with a 46-year history of providing high-quality mental health and community support services in the San Francisco Bay Area. Started as part of a grassroots movement, its ties to the community remain deep and passionate. The organization is committed to building a vibrant and multicultural agency to provide services that meet the needs of the individuals and families in the community they serve.

More information: lafamiliacounseling.org or fbhucc.org; Jennifer Ellis, Director of Strategy & Development at La Familia, (530) 220-2603; jellis@lafamiliacounseling.org

Larry O Bicycle & Auto Parts Swap Meet
Submitted by the Larry Orozco Teen Workshop

This inaugural event is a must for any bicycle and car enthusiast. Buy and trade new and classic bicycles and parts as well as auto parts. The swap meet will host a Holiday Food and Toy Drive; bring a can of food and/or an unwrapped toy for families in need.

Saturday, November 6
Larry O Bicycle and Auto Parts Swap Meet
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
(Vendor set up starts at 7 a.m.)
Buy and trade bike or auto parts
Larry Orozco Teen Workshop
33623 Mission Blvd., Union City
(510) 675-5487
Free Admission

Mixed-media art exhibit focuses on anti-Asian racism
Submitted by Jane Carr, Fremont Main Library

Cathy Quon, a San Francisco born Chinese-American mixed media artist is exhibiting her collage and assemblage artwork, “Silent No More: A History of anti-Asian Discrimination” during November at the Fremont Main Library. The collection focuses on racism against Chinese- and Japanese-Americans.

“I hope my works will build viewers’ awareness of AAPI history and call attention to the racism, both historical and shockingly fresh, against our people,” Quon explained. The artwork is unique in its sociopolitical bent, while incorporating some of the traditional methods of collage and assemblage.

Mixed-media art
“Silent No More: A History of anti-Asian Discrimination”
Nov 1 – 30
Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont
Open during regular library hours
(510) 745-1400

Zoom Presentation
Tuesday, Nov 16
7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Visit www.aclibrary.org for reservations

Dominican Sisters’ boutique now online
Submitted by Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose

The Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose are excited about the many wonderful Holiday Boutique items we offer through our online catalogue. With safety and good health as primary goals, we are offering online ordering with your choice of shipping or curbside pickup! A safe and simple way to receive many of your favorite Holiday Boutique gifts. Access our online Holiday Boutique at: www.msjdominicans.org continuing through November 14, 2021.

Once again, we have partnered with the wonderful Sciabica Family, who made it possible to press, store, bottle, and deliver our delicious and rare olive oil. Use the following link to purchase their products: https://sunshineinabottle.com/. They include a 5% discount and direct shipping from their plant in Modesto.

Keep your eye out for new items this year: Fruitcakes at one pound, peanut butter balls, and cozy pet blankets. Our best sellers might go fast! They include our traditional two-pound fruitcake wrapped in a gorgeous gift box; MSJ Olive Oil (limited supply available); heartfelt handmade articles from our talented Sisters and friends; jars of beautiful, golden Holy Honey from our beehives; and delicious bourbon balls.

Don’t miss you chance for an early Christmas present! That raffle barrel will roll again this year with a Grand Prize of $1,000, and two other prizes of $500. Additional tickets are available online for printing at www.msjdominicans.org.

Dominican Sisters Holiday Boutique is a wonderful beginning of the Holiday Season. Start early so that by the middle of November you will have all your shopping completed. You will be ready to begin the Sacred Season of Advent. May Advent be the real “new moment” in your 2021 life!

For shopping assistance, give Santa’s Helper a call at (510)-933-6330. Stay healthy, let us pray for each other, and pray for all in need of support.

Seasonal Blessings,
from your Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose

Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose Holiday Boutique
Until Sunday, November 14

Curbside pickup:
Dominican Motherhouse
43326 Mission Circle, Fremont

Saturday, October 30
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Saturday, November 20
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

(510) 933-6330

Music For a Good Cause at the Bankhead in November
Submitted by Livermore Arts

The first weekend in November at the Bankhead will bring to life some of the greatest rock hits of all time, right in the Tri-Valley.

David Victor's SUPERGROUP SF will be headlining the Inaugural Harmony & Healing Benefit Concert on November 6, 2021, which will bring to life the greatest rock hits of all time from artists such as Journey, Train, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Bonnie Raitt, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Supergroup SF beautifully weaves multiple genres and eras of music together into one cohesive, powerhouse performance. Patrons can expect stellar musicianship and harmony-heavy, epic vocals. Supergroup SF features Bay Area native David Victor, formerly of the multi-platinum band BOSTON, Darby Gould of Big Brother & The Holding Company, Kathleen Kennedy of Big Bang Beat, Brad Lang, formerly of Y&T, Michael Frowein, formerly of LYNCH MOB, blazing guitarist Eric Barnett and more.

Proceeds from this show benefit Harmony & Healing, a live music charity, which serves recovering patients & families. Harmony & Healing brings live music to patients and their loved ones in hospitals, rehab clinics, cancer support groups, Ronald McDonald Houses, and more. The performances lift spirits and take patients’ and families’ minds off their health challenges. Music lowers stress levels, brings about positive associations, speeds healing, and restores happiness. To learn more about Harmony & Healing, visit harmonyandhealing.org.

Ticket holders for the concert also have an exclusive opportunity for a special VIP Backstage Warmup Visit with David Victor and Supergroup: the first 30 ticket holders who donate $50 or more get access to a special Backstage Warmup event. Meet the band, get a photo with the band using a smartphone or camera, and automatically get a special entry package into the Gold Raffle for a private dinner for two with David Victor and his wife, Tamra. At the minimum donation of $50, one also gets 5 Gold Raffle Tickets (a $100 value). Increased donations get additional Gold Raffle entry tickets at discounted prices. To make a donation for the VIP package, visit bit.ly/HarmonyAndHealing.

The Bankhead continues to keep COVID safety protocols in place with enhanced air circulation, no touch ticketing, and masks required in the theater. Until further notice, proof of vaccination will also be required for entry. Tickets for all shows in the 2021-2022 Bankhead Presents season are available online, by calling 925-373-6800, or at the box office windows. For a complete list of events visit livermorearts.org.

Saturday, November 6
David Victor’s Supergroup SF
8 p.m.
The Bankhead
2400 First Street, Livermore
(925) 373-6800
Price: $50-$125

The art of carving wood
By Lina Melkonian

The Fremont Art Association (FAA) is thrilled to have Peter Langenbach as the guest demo artist at its virtual general meeting on Wednesday, November 3.

A native Californian, Langenbach is a thought-provoking artist-educator. His intriguing sculptures are defined by a sense of irreverence and whimsy. Langenbach’s sculptures are contemplations on the human condition. From science fiction, politics, business, and social foibles, to quiet introspections, his creations are always humorous and playful.

For his presentation, “The Art of Carving Wood,” Langenbach will showcase how to carve and assemble three pieces: “Aquatic Ballet,” “1/6 Muse” and “Santa Table Carving.”

Langenbach’s experiences at San Francisco State College during the rebellious years of the late 1960s, coupled with his 35-year background as a middle school teacher, are often reflected in his works as evidenced by the cast of bold and zany characters he invents. It is also noteworthy that Langenbach’s commitment to environmental conservation spurs his inventiveness. His vast body of work encompasses sculptures made exclusively from recycled/reused materials such as old fence posts, scraps of plywood and shelving, and leftover house paint.

Langenbach’s works have been displayed throughout the Bay Area including at the Museum of Los Gatos, collaborative installation for “The Day of The Dead” show at the Oakland Museum, group show at Ohlone College Art Gallery, backstage at the San Francisco Outside Lands Music Festival, Olive Hyde Art Gallery in Fremont, Santa Clara City Hall indoor exhibition, Sun Gallery in Hayward, Alta Bates Summit Hospital Gallery in Berkeley, and more.

It is also important to Langenbach to show works at venues that reach people who may not be exposed to art in traditional museums or galleries. He has participated in Windows on Art projects in Oakland, Alameda, Fremont, and Hayward, where vacant storefronts are turned into temporary art galleries, as well as in local Earth Day celebrations and county fairs.

You may view Langenbach’s works at: www.peterlangenbach.com.

Please join us to experience the originality and artistry of Peter Langenbach. The meeting (free to attend) will be held via Zoom. Participants must register in advance and will receive the Zoom link via email. All details may be found on the Fremont Art Association webpage: www.fremontartassociation.org/monthlymeetinganddemo.

Fremont Art Association meeting and demo
Wednesday, Nov 3
1 p.m.
Virtual event; Register via Zoom

Exploring history: Cowboys, toys, and a whole lot of ranch-working noise
By Fatema Bhaiji

From Native Americans to cowboys, “Sunol Stories” on Saturday October 16, 2021 revealed many aspects of Sunol’s history. Since most of California was home to Native Americans, the event paid homage to the Ohlone tribes, who used to live on this land, through games they played. Sometimes, when they weren’t hunting, they played a game called “sticks and hoops.” To play, one person rolls a hoop on the ground, while another has to try to toss a stick in the hole to win a point. Some tribes used “counting sticks” that looked like broken off branches, to keep score.

When European settlers took over Native tribes’ land, one of the first white families that colonized Sunol Valley was Patrick and Mary Ann Geary in 1864. The couple had a total of 12 children; however, one died in infancy. When the children grew older, they worked on the family’s ranch. One of their tasks was milking cows, and Saturday’s event featured an interactive wooden cow to “milk” (the milk was actually water).

Another farm task was branding the cattle; at the event, there was a branding station to practice on pieces of leather-like fabric. Nineteenth century Cowboys and ranchers in Sunol participated in the incredibly widespread act of branding cattle. The purpose of branding cattle with a unique logo was to identify their cattle.

Branding was widespread for a good reason: people would try to steal unbranded cattle. If anyone was seen with a rustler’s iron, a tool used to manipulate the branding pattern, they would immediately be hung, emphasizing the seriousness of cattle-owning to cowboys in the 19th century. Today, tags are used as an alternative to branding. However, the branding process didn’t go deep enough to affect a cow’s nerves, even while creating a burn that would never fade away.

Cattle were sometimes slaughtered and used as food, but they were also a mode of transportation. Cattle, horses, and wagons were the main transportation for cowboys and others in the 19th century. At the event, 15-year-old Pepper, a spotted horse with different colored eyes, served as a reminder that automobiles weren’t always a primary mode of transportation.

Cattle, horses, and wagons often transported dairy products; in Sunol they were housed in the Green Barn, built by Maurice Geary, the eldest son. In 1895, Geary built the barn for his new bride, but the structure ended up as the Old Green Barn Visitor Center currently used for the East Bay Regional Park District. The number 1895 is not only the year Geary built the barn, but 1895 Geary Road also became the address of the ranch.

When the Geary family lived at this address, they employed ranchers and homesteaders who lived on and helped maintain the land. Most of the family moved out when Willis Brinker bought the land in 1934. Brinker revamped the ranch, employing many ranch hands to work for him. After generations of his children lived here, the land was donated to East Bay Regional Park District to create a space to explore local wildlife and understand its history.

Learn more about Sunol and upcoming events at www.ebparks.org/parks/sunol.

The Grinch came early to San Leandro
Submitted by Downtown San Leandro Community Benefit District

The Downtown San Leandro Community Benefit District (CBD) is raising funds to recover losses from vandals to ensure they can continue to support holiday cheer and community building this holiday season and beyond.

Each year, the Downtown San Leandro CBD brings holiday cheer to the city with its annual tree lighting and oversized, brightly colored nutcrackers placed on corners throughout downtown. But this year, the Grinch came early to San Leandro.

On Sunday evening, vandals broke into the storage space that the small non-profit used to store its 20’ Christmas tree and over twenty 6’ tall nutcrackers. At least fifteen fiberglass nutcrackers, valued at over $16,000, were damaged beyond repair.

“When I walked in and saw the nutcrackers strewn about the floor, my heart just sank,” said Morgan Mack-Rose, Executive Director of the Downtown CBD, “The nutcrackers signal the start of the holiday season here in San Leandro. Families walk or bike all around downtown to find them, and if they aren’t there this year, there will be a lot of disappointed kiddos.”

The loss may extend past the holiday season. The benefit district helps pay for community events throughout the year with money it raises from businesses sponsoring the nutcrackers. “Our small businesses have struggled so much over the past eighteen months with COVID. We had plans to use the nutcracker funds for a ‘welcome back’ event in the Spring,” stated Emily Griego, President of the Downtown CBD Board of Directors, “It feels like one step forward, two steps backward.”

If you would like to help, there is a “San Leandro Grinch” GoFundMe fundraiser, or you can email grinch@downtownsanleandro.com. Contributions are tax-deductible. All funds will be used to support décor for this holiday season, as well as the Spring ‘welcome back’ event, to bring much-appreciated warmth, color, and cheer to Downtown San Leandro this holiday season and beyond.

Washington Hospital rated among America’s best hospitals
Submitted by Washington Hopsital

Washington Hospital is one of America's 100 Best Hospitals for Orthopedic Surgery™ for five years in a row (2018-2022) and one of America's 100 Best Hospitals for Joint Replacement™ for 11 years in a row (2012-2022) and America's 50 Best Hospitals for Surgical Care™ in 2022 according to new research released by Healthgrades, the leading resource that connects consumers, physicians and health systems.

Every year, Healthgrades evaluates hospital performance at nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 31 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions. Washington Hospital is the only hospital in the Bay Area¹ to receive the America's 100 Best Hospitals for Joint Replacement™ for 11 years in a row (2012-2022).

Washington Hospital was also recognized for the following clinical achievements:
• America's 50 Best Hospitals for Surgical Care™ in 2022
• Joint Replacement Excellence Award™ for 16 years in a row (2007-2022)
• Orthopedic Surgery Excellence Award™ for 9 years in a row (2014-2022)
• 2022 Surgical Care Excellence Award™
• Five-Star Distinction in Total Knee Replacement for 17 years in a row (2006-2022)
• Five Star Distinction in Total Hip Replacement for 19 years in a row (2004-2022)
• Five-Star Distinction in Hip Fracture Treatment in 2022
• Five-Star Distinction in Back Surgery in 2022

“Washington Hospital's commitment to safe and high-quality care is at the core of our guiding principle,” said Kimberly Hartz, Chief Executive Officer.

“The recognition helps provide peace of mind when selecting a place for care,” said Brad Bowman, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Data Science at Healthgrades.

To view the complete methodology, please visit: https://www.healthgrades.com/quality/ratings-awards/methodology

Mixed-media art exhibit focuses on anti-Asian racism
Submitted by Jane Carr, Fremont Main Library

Cathy Quon, a San Francisco born Chinese-American mixed media artist is exhibiting her collage and assemblage artwork, “Silent No More: A History of anti-Asian Discrimination” during November at the Fremont Main Library. The collection focuses on racism against Chinese- and Japanese-Americans.

“I hope my works will build viewers’ awareness of AAPI history and call attention to the racism, both historical and shockingly fresh, against our people,” Quon explained. The artwork is unique in its sociopolitical bent, while incorporating some of the traditional methods of collage and assemblage.

Mixed-media art
“Silent No More: A History of anti-Asian Discrimination”
Nov 1 – 30
Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont
Open during regular library hours
(510) 745-1400

Zoom Presentation
Tuesday, Nov 16
7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Visit www.aclibrary.org for reservations

BART Police Log
Submitted by Les Mensinger and BART PD

Saturday, October 16
• At 5:54 p.m. a man identified by police as Nicholas Tremper, 34, of Oakland was arrested at Hayward station on a $2,500 misdemeanor warrant from Florida charging sales of stolen property along with various additional charges. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

• At 10:51 p.m. a man identified by police as Christopher Hubbard, 43, of Pittsburg was arrested at South Hayward station on suspicion of public intoxication. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Sunday, October 17
• At 9:36 p.m. a man identified by police as Elliot Schwenk, 28, of Berkeley was arrested at Fremont station on a felony $10,000 warrant charging a court release violation and a separate charge of resisting an officer. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Wednesday, October 20
• At 11:43 a.m. a man identified by police as Hector Martinez, 26, of Fremont was stopped at Union City station on suspicion of fare evasion. A record check showed an outstanding felony warrant. He was arrested and booked into Santa Rita Jail.

• At 12:04 p.m. a man identified by police as Timothy Knockum, of Oakland was arrested at Union City station on suspicion of violating a stay away order from BART. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

• At 12:28 p.m. a man identified by police as Michael Washington, 46, of Richmond was arrested at San Leandro station on suspicion of violating a stay away order from BART. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

• At 5:56 p.m. a man identified by police as Rudy Delacruz, 51, of Hayward was detained at Hayward station on suspicion of fare evasion. A record check showed an outstanding warrant from Hercules Police Department. He was arrested and booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Thursday, October 21
• At 1:22 p.m. a man identified by police as Allen Simmons, 26, of San Francisco was arrested at Bay Fair station in San Leandro on a $10,000 warrant from Pleasanton Police Department charging theft. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Police Chief Sean Washington presents transition plan
Submitted by City of Fremont

City of Fremont Police Chief Sean Washington rolled out a comprehensive Police Chief Transition Plan to the community, detailing his commitment to continuing Police Department’s service-oriented, community-based policing model.

“Over the last year and a half, policing as a profession has entered an evolution. Especially in today’s environment, it is vital for Fremont Police Department’s (FPD) leadership to continue to articulate a clear and inspiring vision for the future,” Chief Washington said. “This document will help guide our department forward as we prioritize officer health, wellness, and training to deliver the highest level of service to our community.”

Beginning in March 2021, Chief Washington hosted numerous community conversations and listening sessions along with Mayor Lily Mei to better understand the needs of Fremont residents, business owners, and nonprofit organizations. Based on these conversations, Chief Washington has crafted a vision for the future of the Department centered on six primary goals:

1. Enhance Community Relationships, Trust, and Police Legitimacy
2. Assess Organizational Effectiveness & Efficiency
3. Conduct a Comprehensive Review of Policies & Procedures
4. Provide Better Staffing, Professional Development, Training, and Education
5. Increase Internal Communication, Team Building, and Employee Wellness
6. Build City of Fremont Partnerships & Support City Initiatives

Within these, Chief Washington has committed to several sub-objectives, including expanding the Chief’s Advisory Group (CAG) to include additional diverse community perspectives, assessing FPD for law enforcement professional CALEA accreditation, finalizing guidance on training courses and leadership opportunities, and participating in the 30 x 30 initiative to increase representation of women in the workforce.

Increasing the diversity of the Department and hiring candidates who have a strong moral compass is highlighted in the Plan. As a part of this effort, Fremont PD is currently hiring entry-level and lateral Police Officers and Dispatchers. For more information and to apply, please visit https://jobs.fremontpolice.gov/.

Fremont PD staff will research, assess feasibility, and implement as many of the objectives as possible within the first 180 days of the Chief’s transition. Chief Washington was officially sworn in on October 1 by Interim City Manager Brian Stott at an invitation-only ceremony. To read the entire Police Chief Transition Plan, visit https://fremontpolice.gov/2021ChiefTransition.

Coffee with Cops planned in Union City
Submitted by Union City Police Department

Even if they’re not coffee drinkers, community members, students and local business owners in Union City are invited to attend a Coffee with Cops meeting on Friday, November 5. The informal gathering is designed to let people ask questions or voice neighborhood concerns with members of the police department in a relaxed setting. No formal presentation is planned, so people can drop by anytime during the event. Admission is free and open to the public.

Coffee with Cops
Friday, Nov 5
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Q&A with local police
Starbucks, 32240 Dyer St., Union City
(510) 471-1365

Arrest made in firearm brandishing; shooting suspect still at large
Submitted by Fremont Police Department

Detectives from the Fremont Police Department’s Major Crimes Task Force made a vehicle stop in the area of Decoto Road and Paseo Padre Parkway on October 12 and arrested a man identified as Alejandro Sorio, 24, of Fremont. Sorio was suspected of being connected to a group of suspects involved in brandishing and shooting a firearm at Mojo Lounge in Fremont on August 8.

After that incident, detectives followed up on the investigation and began identifying various members of the group. A search of Sorio’s vehicle when he was arrested uncovered a loaded handgun which was reported to be stolen. Detectives conducted follow-up search warrants in Fremont and Newark and located an additional non-serialized handgun with a 17-round magazine, and a separate 28-round handgun magazine.

Sorio was arrested on an outstanding warrant and on various firearm charges. He was booked at Santa Rita Jail on October 14 with bail set at $40,000 which he posted on October 15. He was released with a pre-trial hearing set for October 28.

Meanwhile, detectives are asking the public for help in identifying the shooting suspect from this investigation who is still at large. He is identified as a Hispanic male between 18 and 19-years-old, about 5-feet-9-inches tall with an average build, clean shaven and last seen wearing a black hoodie, blue face mask, blue jeans with “acid wash” near the front knees and white shoes.

Anyone with information about him can call the Major Crimes Task Force at (510) 790-6660, or send an anonymous tip by texting TIP FREMONTPD followed by a message to 888-777, or send a message via the web at https://local.nixle.com/tip/alert/6216337.

Fremont Police Log
Submitted by Yanneth Contrada, Fremont PD

Monday, October 18
• At 7:03 a.m. officers responded to a report about a fight between two males which escalated into a stabbing on Chetwood Avenue in the Irvington area. The suspect fled the scene before officers arrived and the stabbing victim was taken to a trauma center with non-life-threatening injuries. After investigating, officers later arrested the suspect, identified by police as Adarian Sheehy, age 24.

• At 8:27 p.m. officers responded to a report about a shooting on Magellan Drive in the Cabrillo area. Upon arrival, officers found an adult victim with a gunshot wound who was taken to a trauma center with non-life-threatening injuries. A 17-year-old male juvenile was identified as being involved in the incident which both parties said was accidental. The juvenile was released to a parent. An investigation is continuing.
Hayward Police Log
Submitted by Hayward PD

Monday, October 11
• At about 12:58 a.m. officers responded to a collision involving a truck and a pedestrian near the intersection of Huntwood Avenue and Salmon Lane. The pedestrian, identified as a 56-year-old man, was taken to a hospital for medical treatment, but later died. The driver of the truck remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators. The identity of the victim was not immediately released. This was Hayward’s ninth fatal traffic collision in 2021. An investigation is ongoing; anyone with information related to the incident is asked to call Sergeant Tasha DeCosta at (510) 293-7169.

Wednesday, October 13
• A motorcycle officer interrupted a potentially deadly road rage encounter as he was traveling northbound on Hesperian Boulevard near Catalpa Way. He spotted two males, one armed with a handgun and the other with a bat, assaulting a victim driver. The first suspect pistol whipped and assaulted the victim while the second suspect struck the front windshield of the victim’s vehicle with a bat. The officer drew his service weapon and both suspects complied with the officer’s commands to surrender. The victim later was treated for a minor head injury. The suspect with the handgun was arrested and faces multiple weapons charges. The suspect with the bat was cited and released to his mother’s custody as he was a juvenile.
Howl-O-Ween with police
Submitted by Milpitas Police Department

Pet owners are invited to bring their four-legged companions to a fun and family-friendly Howl-O-Ween with the Police “pet-tacular” event at the Milpitas Police Department headquarters. The festivities, set for 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, October 28 will include:

• A pet costume contest
• Snacks and goodies
• Pet swag giveaways

In addition, officers will be available to answer public safety questions while representatives from Animal Control and Parktown Veterinary Clinic will answer questions about animal care.

Visitors also will have a chance to learn about the Paws on Patrol program which encourages people to keep and extra set of eyes and ears open when walking their pets. Participants in the program can report hazards, suspicious situations, criminal activity and earn prizes while protecting the community.

Howl-O-Ween with the Police
Thursday, Oct 28
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Pet costume contest, food and fun
Milpitas Police Department, 1275 N. Milpitas Blvd., Milpitas
(408) 586-2400

Milpitas Police Log
Submitted by Milpitas PD

Friday, October 15
• At 3:41 p.m. police detectives made an enforcement stop of a reported stolen vehicle at the Milpitas Square shopping center on the 400 block of Barber Lane. The male driver exited the vehicle, then got back inside, and then began shooting at detectives who returned fire. The driver was injured and taken by paramedics to a hospital where he died October 19. He was identified by police as Michael Edward Nelson Jr., 42, of Healdsburg. A record check showed he was on active California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Post Release Community Supervision for identity theft against multiple victims. No other injuries were reported. An investigation is continuing and police are asking that anyone with information relevant to the case to call them at (408) 586-2400. Information can be given anonymously by calling (408) 586-2500 or online at http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/crimetip.
Robbery and shooting suspect arrested
Submitted by Fremont P.D.

On September 23, 2021, at approximately 9:10 p.m., a victim was approached by two suspects as he parked his vehicle in the 35000 block of Adobe Dr. The suspects broke the victim’s car window and pointed a handgun at the driver. The suspects then stole high-end camera equipment from the victim before fleeing in a vehicle. Residents nearby exited their home after hearing the commotion. The victim and witnesses followed the suspect a short distance however the driver exited the suspect vehicle and fired his handgun at the victim and residents who had come outside. None of the victims were injured from the gunfire. The victim stated that he believed he was followed by the suspects after taking photographs in San Francisco.

Robbery/Homicide Detectives took over the investigation and identified the shooting suspect as 35-year-old Daron McClinton of Richmond. Through video surveillance, Detectives confirmed that the victim had been followed from San Francisco. Community Cameras also identified the suspect vehicle as it followed the victim into Fremont. Gun Violence Reduction Team (GVRT) Detectives initiated surveillance on McClinton and identified an associated location for him in Richmond. Detectives were able to obtain an arrest warrant for McClinton for three counts of attempt homicide, robbery, and conspiracy.

On 10/6/21, at approximately 12:15 p.m., GVRT Detectives located McClinton in Richmond. As Detectives attempted an arrest, McClinton fled on foot but was quickly apprehended. He was arrested for his warrants and a loaded handgun was recovered during a search warrant at his residence. McClinton was booked at Santa Rita Jail where he remains in custody with no bail option.

McClinton is currently on Federal probation for a 2015 robbery where he robbed a photographer of high-end camera equipment in San Francisco. He has prior arrests for robbery with a firearm, robbery, possession of a loaded firearm, felon in possession of a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer/firefighter, assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy, possession of a stolen vehicle, and possession of stolen property.

On 10/07/21, the District Attorney's Office charged McClinton with 2 counts of attempt homicide, 3 counts of assault with a deadly weapon (firearm) on a person, robbery, and various firearms charges and enhancements. He was arraigned on 10/08/21 with a plea hearing scheduled for 10/15/21.

Detectives are also continuing to work on identifying the second suspect.


Benign Neglect

Almost everyone can relate to a busy life in which a multitude of issues demand immediate attention and resolution. In some cases, problems may seem so large and complex that perceived solutions are overwhelming. With a limited amount of time and resources, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to satisfy all challenges at once.

Prioritizing becomes essential for the application of efficient solutions and preserving personal sanity. As a consequence, some issues, while immediate and important, are relegated to a position of benign neglect until an opportunity arises to address them. This attitude is beneficial in some situations when a problem faced proves to be minor and self-correcting. For instance, a runny nose and sniffles may run its course without serious medical intervention except for over-the-counter symptom management. However, the same cannot be said for Covid-19. While contracting the virus may not require hospitalization, medical supervision and intervention is indicated.

The danger inherent in a laissez-faire approach is when major issues remain as a low priority or stimulate only partial or long-term solutions without addressing immediate conditions. The conundrum is to balance a plethora of needs, desires and critical resources to confront a particular problem.

As difficult as personal circumstances can be, responsibility for large groups of individuals and families compound challenges and complexity. As a society, we have formed government entities to address and solve these issues. For common welfare and security, we elect leaders, who work with their staff, to address societal problems and not only develop solutions, but act on them to minimize community disruption; the former is useless without the latter.

A major and ubiquitous topic facing our communities is the high cost of living and subsequent challenge of housing. The plight of homeless individuals and families is high on the priority list of governmental agencies, but many programs focus on long term solutions for a relatively small group. Evidence of this shortfall can be seen in tent encampments that dot the landscape. This is a practical solution for many who are unable to enter limited low-income housing. While programs to support the homeless should be applauded and supported, initiatives to find and support locations for tents or other alternatives is proceeding at a slow pace. In the absence of safe and sanctioned locations, tent cities often spring up in a helter-skelter fashion.

One such location is in an open field behind the Fremont Main Library. The land is vacant and serves little purpose at the present time, so the vacuum has been filled by necessity. While not the best visual use of the property, it is a valid use and fills a current and urgent need. Instead of benign neglect from the city, it might be a good idea to support this effort by homeless individuals by providing minimal on-site services. Protection and health elements such as a fence, port-a-potties to relieve pressure on library facilities and visiting health services would, at least, provide temporary relief of an immediate need. If a site is designated, others in unsanctioned areas could be encouraged to move to it and relieve pressure on other public places.

Although this may not be a popular choice for those living or working in the vicinity of a designated encampment, the alternative is a constantly shifting, fluid caravan of desperate people who, for the most part, want to survive in peace and security.

We need to recognize that the issue of homelessness is a major systemic problem in our society that involves fellow human beings. For a variety of reasons, these people have fallen on hard times. In this society, dedicated in a Declaration of Independence, our forefathers proclaimed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Will we honor their commitment?