(510) 494-1999 tricityvoice@aol.com
Select Page

Alameda County Fire Department Log

Submitted by ACFD


Saturday, November 30

  • At 6:00 p.m. firefighters responded to Railroad and E Streets in Union City where a driver had accidentally turned onto the Union Pacific railroad tracks and was struck from behind by an Amtrak Capital Corridor train and pushed about 800 feet down the tracks before the train stopped. The two occupants in the car reported they were not injured and declined to be taken to a hospital. No firefighters were injured.


Tuesday, December 3

  • At 1:31 p.m. firefighters responded to a residential house fire in Castro Valley. After 20 minutes they were able to contain the fire and stop it from entering the building’s attic. Two people and a dog were displaced from the house by firefighters. Additionally, firefighters were able to save a collection of guitars and musical instruments from the residence. There were no injuries.



Holiday music and more

Submitted by Kathy Chan


Music lovers who enjoy the sounds of brass, strings, percussion and vocalists should mark their calendars for Thursday, December 12. That’s the day the American High School Music Department will showcase its best performers at its popular Winter Concert & Dessert program, set for 7:30 p.m. in the school’s Rotunda on its Fremont Boulevard campus.


The program will include performances by the school’s marching band, concert choir, concert band and symphonic band under the direction of Richard F. Wong, music director. General admission is $10; $8 for students and seniors; $6 for students with an ASB card and children ages 7 to 12. Children 6 and younger will be admitted free.


Winter Concert & Dessert

Thursday, Dec 12

7:30 p.m.

American High School, Rotunda

36300 Fremont Blvd., Fremont

(510) 796-1776, ext. 57708

$10 general; $8 seniors and students



Auditions for Sister Act

Submitted by Stage 1 Theatre


Stage 1 Theatre will be holding auditions for their upcoming musical “Sister Act!” on Sunday, December 15 and Monday, December 16 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sign up for a time slot on the Theatre website at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0B4DABA92BA5FD0-sister.


“Sister Act!” is a musical/comedy based on the hit 1992 film. Featuring original music by Alan Menken, the show was nominated for five Tony Awards. When disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in the one place the cops are sure she won’t be found: a convent! Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and uptight Mother Superior. Filled with powerful gospel music, outrageous dancing, and a moving story about the power of friendship, “Sister Act!” is a reason to rejoice!


Auditions will be vocals only. Prepare a contemporary Broadway song (16-32 bars), and bring sheet music in your key. An accompanist will be provided. Music must be in the correct key, no transpositions or a cappella.


Applicants should bring a headshot and a completed application form, which is available on the Stage 1 Theatre website at http://www.stage1theatre.org/. More information is available on the Auditions Page on the website.


Callbacks will be upon invitation, from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Thursday, December 19. Rehearsals will run from January 13 through March 6. A more detailed schedule will be available at the first session.


“Sister Act!” auditions

Sunday, Dec 15 – Monday, Dec 16

7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Newark Memorial High School Theatre

39375 Cedar Blvd., Newark




Mine waste gift bags pulled from shelves amid EPA warning

By Amy Beth Hanson

Associated Press


HELENA, Mont. (AP), Nov 18 – Environmental regulators have put a halt to a Montana business association's sale of sandwich bags of mining waste advertised as a “Bag O'Slag.”


Environmental Protection Agency officials overseeing the Superfund site cleanup of pollution from nearly a century of smelting operations in Anaconda came across the potentially toxic tchotchkes for sale by the city's chamber of commerce. The slag, a byproduct of smelting copper, contains small amounts of arsenic and lead.


Mary Johnston, the chamber's executive director, said the EPA asked the chamber to stop selling the black slag in a re-sealable bag and gave them some alternatives.


Anaconda's Old Works Golf Course – which has slag in its sand traps – sells souvenir slag and a golf ball in a sealed container.


Johnston says the chamber sold up to 40 bags a summer for $2 apiece alongside Montana history books and huckleberry jam.


“It's a silly little thing, but I understand, they're concerned,” Johnston said Monday. “It was not a big moneymaker. It was just a novelty item we could offer.”


The bags had a picture of the Anaconda smokestack and part of the slag pile on the front and information about the slag on the back, including a warning against handling it because it has characteristics similar to broken glass.


Superfund sites in southwestern Montana have created a sort of toxic tourism.


In nearby Butte, visitors can pay $3 to view the Berkeley Pit, a former open pit copper mine filled with acidic, metal-laden water that is now being treated so it can be released into a nearby creek.


The Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course was built in the mid-1990s to cap mining waste and to help boost Anaconda's economy.


Driving into Anaconda, the skyline is dominated by a 585-foot (178-meter) brick smokestack – the area is a state park – and the enormous slag pile that is 2,600 feet (790 meters) long, 2,100 feet (640 meters) wide and up to 275 feet (84 meters) tall.


Charlie Coleman, the remedial project manager for the EPA, told The Montana Standard in January 2016 that the slag “doesn't pose a big threat to human health or the environment.”


The Superfund cleanup plan allows for the estimated 26.5 million-ton (24 million metric ton) pile of slag to be maintained as a resource, rather than waste. It can be used as blasting media, to manufacturing roofing or other building material, as underground pipe bedding material and controlled landscaping for the golf course, the agency said.


Earlier this year, the EPA proposed capping the slag with 18 inches (45 centimeters) of dirt and vegetation to prevent dust from blowing around.


People are “trespassing onto the Anaconda Co. Smelter Superfund site to collect slag for souvenir bags, which EPA personnel told us `is not an approved (or approvable) use of the slag,”' acting inspector general Charles J. Sheehan wrote Monday in a memo to the EPA's regional administrator Gregory Sopkin.


The EPA's Office of the Inspector General asked Sopkin to notify individuals or businesses known to be collecting and selling slag that those are not approved uses and to determine how many souvenir bags have been sold and what should be done to inform purchasers of potential health risks.


Sopkin has 15 days to distribute a fact sheet that describes the potential hazards associated with the souvenir bags, any precautions needed, especially for children, and how to properly dispose of the bags.


Johnston says the chamber has been selling the bags for several years.


“It was just something that years ago someone thought, `Oh, this would be a great idea,”' Johnston said.



Letter to the Editor

More needs to be done to improve safety on BART


I want to commend the heroic acts of BART passengers and community members that led to the Hayward and BART Police Department’s arrest of an alleged suspect in the fatal assault of a BART passenger at the South Hayward station.


But we must ask the question: Why is this happening?


BART ridership continues to decline amid chronic lawlessness and reports of violence on trains and in the stations.


Recent Contra Costa and Alameda County grand jury reports called for BART to provide a visible public safety presence. Media reports have regularly featured interviews and stories of dissatisfied BART riders. Clearly, BART is not doing enough to curtail lawless conduct and to ensure the safety, comfort and security of passengers.


Though we continue to move than 400,000 passengers daily, today BART ridership is down to 2013 levels. Riders endure ripped seats, trash, drug use and homeless people sleeping in stations and on trains. Most of our stations are not adequately cleaned — only the downtown San Francisco stations are regularly steam cleaned. The result is a dreadful and discouraging daily rider experience.


As your BART Director, I place the highest priority on public safety. But far more needs to be done. We need to refocus BART on maintaining and growing ridership by building community trust, and assuring passengers the system is safe, secure and reliable.


Let's begin by rolling out a plan to secure BART by installing new fare gates and raising railings to 6 feet at all stations within two years. Move elevators to within the paid areas to prevent riders at the Bay Fair and Coliseum stations from entering the BART system without paying fares, and eliminate panhandling on trains and platforms. The recovery of lost fare revenue, estimated at $25 million a year, will help fund these improvements and deter crime on our trains and at our stations.


In my first year as a BART Director, I cast the lone vote against the $2.3 billion BART budget for 2019. Why? Because I wanted more funds dedicated to public safety — by hiring more BART police officers and by providing clean, safe stations and trains. I could not in good conscience approve an increase in BART fares without improving the overall ridership experience.


We cannot fix the problem of lost ridership by increasing fares. I will not vote to approve the 2020 BART budget unless it includes a multi-year plan for significant improvements to public safety, security and cleanliness.


The time for public safety action is now, and I urge you to join me in reversing the decline of our BART system.


Elizabeth Ames

BART Director serving Fremont, Newark, Union City, South Hayward and Southern Alameda County



BART Police Log

Submitted by Les Mensinger and BART PD


Sunday, December 1

  • At 6:56 p.m. a man identified by police as Alberto Martinez Jr., 26, of Oakland was arrested at San Leandro station on an outstanding warrant to booked into Santa Rita Jail.


  • A man identified by police as Fernando Garcia, 29, of San Pablo was arrested at Fremont station on two outstanding misdemeanor warrants totaling $25,000. He was booked into Fremont City Jail.


Monday, December 2

  • At about 11:45 a.m. a person was found dead inside the restroom at Fremont station. An initial investigation into the incident indicated there was no foul play. The Alameda County Coroner was called to the scene and took over the investigation.



Tuesday, December 3

  • At 10:32 a.m. a man identified by police as Dennis Miller, 18, of Hayward was arrested at Bay Fair station in San Leandro on suspicion of contempt of court. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.


Wednesday, December 4

  • At 10:26 a.m. a woman identified by police as Shakenna Norman, 28, of Hayward was arrested at Bay Fair station in San Leandro on a no-bail warrant for driving without a license. She was booked into Santa Rita Jail.



Christmas in Oz: New Musical About Old Friends

Submitted by Ron Lytle and the EBCT team

Photo by EBCT


This holiday season, the Douglas Morrisson Theatre and East Bay Children’s Theatre (EBCT) are decking the halls with a splashy musical for the entire family: “Christmas In OZ.” For the first time ever, these two venerated companies are joining forces to give a holiday gift to Bay Area audiences from December 13 – 22.


It's Christmas Time again and somewhere in Kansas, Dorothy is lonely for her friends back in Oz. And so, with the help of the kindly Mr. Tinker, she builds herself a magical wish machine, and returns to the Emerald City—just in time for the big holiday celebration. But the holly is quickly stripped of its jolly when a sassy sorceress named Nefariosa crashes the party and kidnaps Santa Claus! Now Dorothy must recruit the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion to help her rescue Saint Nick and save Christmas for the entire world.


“Christmas in OZ” is an enchanting, full-length Broadway-style musical treat for the entire family. L. Frank Baum’s classic characters have been beloved by young and old for nearly 120 years. And now, a cast of all-new characters has been added to the glittering residents of Baum’s magical world. New faces in the Marvelous Land of OZ include the Gidgety-Gadgety Whiz-Bang Wish Machine, Brigadier Bloop (the military-drill-itary commander of the Bloop Brigade), the violet villainess Nefariosa, and even Santa Claus himself!


The script and score overflow with unforgettable songs, exciting dance numbers, classic comedy, and magical special effects. And it’s all the brainchild of the Bay Area’s own theatrical wizard, Ron Lytle, creator of “The Man Who Saved Christmas,” “Oh My Godmother!” and more than a dozen other musicals.


The exceptional cast is comprised of talent gathered from throughout the entire Bay Area, and includes: Jordyn Foley as Dorothy, Zachary Marshall as Scarecrow, Danny Martin as Tin Man, Michael Mendelsohn as Lion, Scott Phillips as Santa Claus, Shawna Darling as Nefariosa, Pam Ballin as Glinda and Gregory Lynch as Brigadier Bloop.


Tickets are $15 – 29. All performances will be held at Douglas Morrisson Theatre in Hayward. For more info and to purchase tickets, please visit www.dmtOnline.org or www.ebctOnline.org or phone (510) 881-6777.


Christmas in Oz

Friday, Dec 13 – Sunday, Dec 22

Friday, Dec 13 & Saturday, Dec 14: 8 p.m.

Sunday, Dec 15: 2 p.m.

Thursday, Dec 19: 7 p.m.

Friday, Dec 20: 8 p.m.

Saturday, Dec 21: 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.

Sunday, Dec 22: 2 p.m.

Douglas Morrisson Theatre

22311 N. Third St., Hayward.

(510) 881-6777




Grab a cup of coffee with a cop

Submitted by Hayward PD


Community members, students and local business owners in Hayward are invited to a meet-and-greet “Coffee with a Cop” event on Thursday, December 19 in Hayward. Sponsored by the Hayward Police Department (HPD), the two-hour event starts at 5:00 p.m. at Southland Mall shopping center (near Entrance 3) on Southland Drive. The goal of this informal gathering is to let people ask questions or voice neighborhood concerns with members of the Hayward Police Department in a relaxed setting. Admission is free and open to the public.


Coffee with a Cop

Thursday, Dec 19

5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Southland Mall

1 Southland Mall Drive, Hayward

(510) 293-5051




Cookbook Sale

Submitted by Alice Kim


The Friends of the San Leandro Library will host a winter “Cookbook Sale” on Saturday, December 14. The sale will include basic how-to cook books to elegant dining recipes. It’s a great time to start your holiday shopping with quality cookbooks at bargain prices. All proceeds benefit the San Leandro Library’s programs and services.


Friends of the San Leandro Public Library Cookbook Sale

Saturday, Dec 14

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

San Leandro Main

300 Estudillo Ave., San Leandro

(510) 577-3971




Cougars Report

Submitted by Timothy Hess


Girls Basketball:

The Lady Cougars of Newark Memorial beat Yerba Buena (San Jose) 65-21 on December 3rd. Freshman guard Tali Fa’l led all scorers with 21-points, playing in her first high school basketball game. Senior AJ Sugatan and sophomore Maizie Pimentel each added 8 points in the Cougars win over the Warriors.


The Cougars’ Junior Varsity jumped out to a first half lead of 41-9 before cruising to a 63-22 victory. Sierra Tellez led all scorers with 17-points, and Julie Le (13), Kamalei Iokepa (12), and Naite Hautau (12) each had double-digit point performances.


Champions of Character


Girls Basketball:

Nicole Tilley

Naite Hautau

Grace Macaset


Boys Soccer:

Fabiano Guzman

Jose Luna

Girls Basketball



Eagles Report

Submitted by Debbie Ayres


California School for the Deaf (Fremont) hosted College Prep of Oakland December 3rd in their first regular game of the season. The promising young basketball team, led by Coach Kevin Bella, defeated College Prep 32-21. Senior Esther Biser and Junior Talia Boren led all scoring with 12 and 11 points respectively.


The mighty Eagles fly south to take on California School for the Deaf, Riverside in the classic Battle of California on December 7th.



Drivers For Survivors 4th Annual Holiday Pancake Breakfast

Submitted by Lillian Lwin


Drivers For Survivors (DFS) is a non-profit organization providing free transportation service and supportive companionship for ambulatory cancer patients, from suspicious findings through completion of treatments. This service is provided for patients living in South, Central, and East Alameda County, freeing them to focus on their health and essential treatment.


Partnering with Newark Police Department and Alameda County Fire Department, DFS is honored to invite the public to attend our fundraiser: “Fourth Annual Holiday Pancake Breakfast with Santa,” on Saturday, December 14, at Newark Community Center in Newark.


Participants can enjoy a warm, inviting breakfast with hot and cold beverages. Santa Claus will be making his appearance and we will have silent auction, entertainment, raffle basket. Your presence and support will help send a powerful message towards our mission and your contribution will help our fundraising efforts for cancer patients and their families.


Sponsors include Fremont Recycling & Transfer Station, Fidelity Insurance Service, and Assemblymember Bill Quirk. In-kind sponsors include McDonald’s of Newark, Newark IHOP #687, Music Plus Events, Scott Capen Photography and Castro Valley Performing Arts.


Drivers For Survivors Pancake Breakfast

Saturday, Dec 14

8 a.m. – 12 noon

Newark Community Center

35501 Cedar Blvd, Newark

(510) 894-0135


Tickets: $10/adult, $5/child



Drug can curb dementia's delusions, researchers find

By Marilynn Marchione

AP Chief Medical Writer


SAN DIEGO (AP), Dec 04 – A drug that curbs delusions in Parkinson's patients did the same for people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia in a study that was stopped early because the benefit seemed clear.


If regulators agree, the drug could become the first treatment specifically for dementia-related psychosis and the first new medicine for Alzheimer's in nearly two decades. It targets some of the most troubling symptoms that patients and caregivers face – hallucinations that often lead to anxiety, aggression, and physical and verbal abuse.


Results were disclosed Wednesday at a conference in San Diego.


“This would be a very important advance“ said one independent expert, Dr. Howard Fillit, chief science officer of the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation.


Although the field is focused on finding a cure for dementia and preventing future cases, “there is a huge unmet need for better treatment“ for those who have it now, said Maria Carrillo, the Alzheimer's Association's chief science officer.


The drug is pimavanserin, a daily pill sold as Nuplazid by Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. It was approved for Parkinson's-related psychosis in 2016 and is thought to work by blocking a brain chemical that seems to spur delusions.


About 8 million Americans have dementia, and studies suggest that up to 30% of them develop psychosis.


“It's terrifying“ said Dr. Jeffrey Cummings of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. “You believe that people might be trying to hurt you. You believe that people are stealing from you. You believe that your spouse is unfaithful to you. Those are the three most common false beliefs.”


He consults for Acadia and helped lead the study, which included about 400 people with dementia and psychosis. All were given a low dose of the drug for three months, and those who seemed to respond or benefit were then split into two groups. Half continued on the drug and the others were given dummy pills for six months or until they had a relapse or worsening of symptoms. Neither the patients nor their doctors knew who was getting what.


Independent monitors stopped the study when they saw that those on dummy pills were more than twice as likely as those on the drug to relapse or worsen – 28% versus nearly 13%.


There were relatively few serious side effects – 5% in the drug group and 4% in the others. Headaches and urinary tract infections were more common among those on the drug. Two deaths occurred, but study leaders said neither was related to the drug.


Carrillo said the study was small, but the drug's effect seemed large, and it's not known whether the federal Food and Drug Administration would want more evidence to approve a new use.


Current anti-psychotic medicines have some major drawbacks and are not approved for dementia patients.


“They're often used off label because we have very few other options“ Fillit said.


All carry warnings that they can raise the risk of death in elderly patients, as does Nuplazid.


Cost could be an issue – about $3,000 a month. What patients pay can vary depending on insurance coverage.



The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.



Dear EarthTalk: What are some examples of ways food and drink producers are fighting the ever-growing torrent of plastic waste they have helped create?

— Stacy Y., Raleigh, North Carolina


As more people become aware of the extent of plastic waste clogging up our environment, cutting back on plastic use is fast becoming a key environmental priority around the world. According to a 2017 study by researchers from the University of Georgia, UC Santa Barbara and Sea Education Association, humans have produced 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic since mass-production started in the 1950s. While we’ve recycled about 9% of all that plastic and incinerated another 12%, as much as 75% has been discarded into landfills or, even worse, set adrift into the environment. If we don’t slow down our current run rate of producing new (“virgin”) plastic, we can expect to add another four billion metric tons of it to our global environment by 2050.


With no cheap and scalable way to collect and get rid of all this plastic, the best we can hope for is to not make the problem worse. Luckily sustainable alternatives to plastic are coming on strong. PLA plastic, which is derived from plants and functions like conventional plastic, is promising but needs to scale up to become economically viable as it requires dedicated recycling/processing systems to truly “close its loop.” Likewise, paper or cardboard cartons could be a viable alternative to plastic food and drink storage containers if they are produced at great enough scale to justify dedicated facilities to process them for recycling, given that they are also infused with non-recyclable layers for strength and to prevent seepage.


PLA and cardboard are just the beginning of what is possible. Food producers and chemists are experimenting with making containers out of biodegradable plant products like corn starch, cassava and even algae. And just this spring, tens of thousands of runners participating in the London Marathon were given water out of edible pods made from seaweed and plant extracts instead of plastic bottles. Skipping Rocks Lab, the London-based startup behind the newfangled containers, reports that they’re not only cheaper to produce than plastic but are also biodegradable, breaking down completely within a month, while not imparting any flavor or taste to the water or whatever else is inside.


While there’s something to be said for technology, an older school “alternative” to plastic is all-natural plant material. American supermarkets could learn a lot from some Southeast Asian grocers, for instance, that wrap up produce for sale in biodegradable banana leaves instead of plastic bags. These all-natural wrappers can be thrown into the compost pile or yard waste bin and become rich soil without ever having to be processed using fossil-fuel based energy (like traditional recyclables).


You can do your part by telling your friends, neighbors, store managers, policymakers, elected officials and anyone else within hearing distance that you and millions of others like you don’t want any more single use plastics in your town, county, state or country. And if you haven’t already done so, get yourself a reusable water bottle and reusable shopping bag(s) so you can start being part of the day-to-day solution.



EarthTalk is produced by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss for the nonprofit EarthTalk. To read more, check out https://emagazine.com. To donate, visit https://earthtalk.org. Send questions to: question@earthtalk.org.



Park It

By Ned MacKay


Retiring Regional Park District Director Whitney Dotson will be honored during a celebration from 12 noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, rain or shine, at Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline in Richmond. The event also celebrates the district’s efforts to protect public access to shoreline at Miller/Knox.


Director Dotson has served on the park district board for 11 years. A lifelong Richmond resident, he has been a strong advocate for preservation and public access to the shoreline. The Dotson Family Marsh at Point Pinole is named in his and his family’s honor.


The event at Miller/Knox is open to the public. Arrive at 12 noon for lunch. For more information, contact Monique Salas at msalas@ebparks.org. Miller/Knox Regional Shoreline is at 900 Dornan Drive. To get there, drive on South Garrard Boulevard through the tunnel at Pt. Richmond. On the park side of the tunnel, S. Garrard Boulevard becomes Dornan Drive.


Among the many celebrations of the holiday season in the East Bay is Christmas at the Carousel, the merry-go-round at Tilden Regional Park near Berkeley. The historic carousel, built in 1911, with hand-carved wooden animals, is adorned with all kinds of Christmas decorations. Besides the rides, attractions include Santa and his elves; cookies, hot chocolate and gingerbread for sale; and Christmas music.


Carousel hours are 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. weekdays and 12 noon to 8:30 p.m. weekends through December 23. The carousel will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The carousel is on Central Park Drive just down the hill from the intersection with Wildcat Canyon Road. For information, call (510) 559-1004.


While we’re at Tilden, programs are planned in coming days, all starting at the Environmental Education Center. There’s a nature ramble with naturalist “Trail Gail” Broesder from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, December 14. It’s a walk down to Jewel Lake in search of signs of the season.


Broesder also plans a “Jolly Holly Craft Time” from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, December 14. It’s a short walk, followed by work on a craft to deck your halls.


Naturalist Trent Pearce will host a ranger coffee hour from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sundays December 15 and December 22. Bring your own mug for a fireside cup, while getting the latest information on wildlife sightings, native plants and trail conditions.

The center is at the north end of Tilden’s Central Park Drive. For information on all three programs, call (510) 544-2233.


Another seasonal phenomenon in the regional parks is the annual overwintering of ladybugs, which is most evident at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland. Thousands of the little red insects, more formally known as ladybird beetles, cluster on logs, fence posts and shrubs along park trails. The best place to see them is usually the area around the junction of the Stream and Prince Trails. Generally, they clump together in the fall and leave in late winter.


Gardeners like ladybugs, because the insects’ diet includes aphids. Passers-by can enjoy the spectacle, but please don’t collect any ladybugs. It’s against the rules to remove any plants or animals from the regional parks.


Naturalist Michael Charnofsky will lead a 3-mile hike to view the ladybugs from 10 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday, December 14. Meet Michael at the park’s Canyon Meadow staging area, which is at the end of the Redwood Road entrance to the park. For information, call (510) 544-3187.


The cultural and natural history of Radke Martinez Regional Shoreline is the theme of an easy stroll, starting with a cup of coffee, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Saturday, December 14, led by naturalist Virginia Delgado-Martinez.


The program is for ages 5 and older. Meet Virginia in the parking lot off North Court Street, across the railroad tracks from downtown Martinez. For information, call (510) 544-2750.


“Duck, Duck, Coot” is the theme of a bird watching program from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, December 14 at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley. The group will use scopes and binoculars to identify the waterfowl that fly into the delta for the season.


Big Break is at 69 Big Break Road off Oakley’s Main Street. For information, call (888) 327-2757, ext. 3050.


For more information on regional park programs, check out www.ebparks.org. Fridays are free in the parks through the end of the year, in celebration of the district’s 85th anniversary.






In the past few years, a lot of talk has been circulating about the proliferation of “fake” news and photographs. This is the result of technological advances that provide the means to alter and deliver representations of “alternate realities.” Manipulation of information, whether pictorial, verbal or editorial is easily accomplished and common. We can now choose how and who supplies the facts upon which we form our reality. Truth has become malleable and nuanced.


The challenges of a myriad of delivery systems that cater to specific beliefs and prejudices complicates our perception of what has transpired, forming the basis for future action. This is a quantum leap from where we, as consumers of information, were just a lifespan ago. The date of December 7, 1941 was proclaimed by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a “date which will live in infamy,” to a Joint Session of the U.S. Congress on December 8, 1941, one day after a devastating attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Is it still a date living in infamy? The facts are indelible and immutable.


Dissemination of news in those days was relatively slow and relied on reports from a few major sources that were allowed the luxury of time to check and confirm information, even in the chaotic environment following a sudden and historic event. Public response to the attack on Pearl Harbor was united by the magnitude and catastrophic consequences that killed over 2,000 sailors and disabled the Pacific Fleet of United States Battleships and aircraft. The USS Arizona remains entombed in the harbor as a reminder of the sacrifice and united response and spirit of the American people. That generation has been reduced to a few survivors; unfortunately, for some the date is a history lesson with little resonance.


Even the subsequent September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center is receding into the background of American life. The horror of watching footage of the Viet Nam conflict and more recent reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan has also been relegated to background noise without substance or meaning. Events that galvanize and solidify unity are no longer viewed through a single lens of accepted facts. The problem of separating fact from fiction has intensified with the advent of improved information technology. We receive information quickly but often with distortion, flaws and purposeful or inadvertent misinterpretation. In an effort to compete, news outlets’ shared truth is often sacrificed to attract an audience.


News now has diverged into multiple and distinct silos of political reference. The result is a fracture of American resolve and spirit that disassociates facts and reality from delivery systems. Even on the local scene, emotional and sensational appeals can elicit responses that are highly visible but transitory. Appeals to regional media can attract momentary attention but following an anticipated bloodbath, it rapidly disappears from view when carnage is absent or subsides.


Fortunately, many disagreements at the local level in our communities have been aired in a sensible and well researched manner that provokes thought and corrective action, if necessary. Hopefully, as campaign rhetoric heats up, we can continue to share a basic sense of reality and purpose. Past historic events have elicited a united response to threats to our democracy. As proponents of a democratic form of government at all levels – local to national – a shared reality is an important step to its preservation.



California cuts electric-car rebates, drops luxury models

AP Wire Service


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Dec 04 – California's rebate program to entice more drivers to purchase electric vehicles has gotten less generous, especially for residents looking to buy luxury models.


The San Francisco Chronicle reports that effective Tuesday, regulators have stopped offering rebates for buyers of electric cars or plug-in hybrid vehicles that cost more than $60,000.


The state Air Resources Board, which regulates the program, also reduced the standard rebate by $500 per vehicle, from $2,500 to $2,000 for all-electric cars. In addition, it eliminated rebates for plug-in hybrid cars with an electric-battery range of less than 35 miles.


Agency officials said the changes will ensure that more people will receive rebates, particularly those with low incomes.


Some advocates for clean cars have criticized the move, saying reducing rebates could deter buyers at a crucial time, as electric car sales spike following years of sluggish growth. Electric cars are typically more expensive than comparable gas-powered models. The state rebates, combined with a federal tax break, can cut thousands of dollars off the sticker price.


Melanie Turner, a spokeswoman for the Air Resources Board, told the newspaper that the new rules put an emphasis on rebates for disadvantaged communities, including areas with higher pollution and lower incomes.


Under the rules, low-income buyers will still be eligible for higher rebates, which are unchanged: $4,500 for all-electric cars and $3,500 for hybrids that run on a combination of gas and plug-in battery.


“California simply cannot meet its clean air or climate goals without transforming and cleaning up all our cars and trucks with an emphasis on putting ultra-clean vehicles in communities that need them the most, which are those most impacted by pollution,” Turner said in an email.


California leads the nation in electric-car sales, and the state has issued rebates to 354,064 car buyers since its program began in 2011, according to the Chronicle. About 5% of rebates have been earmarked for low- and moderate-income people, currently defined as those earning less than $50,730 for a household of two.


Assemblyman Phil Ting, a San Francisco Democrat and vocal advocate for electric cars in the state Legislature, criticized the changes. He said the new rules create confusion for buyers.


Ting sponsored a bill this year that could have tripled rebates, but it died in committee. He told the newspaper that the state should ramp up incentives and decrease them over time with a specific end date, so people have incentive to buy now.


The Air Resources Board plans to spend $238 million on rebates this year.


Joel Levin, executive director of Plug In America, an advocacy group for electric-car drivers, said some of the changes are discouraging, including smaller rebates and a more complicated maze of regulations.


But he said the changes are positive because low-income people get priority.


“It's a myth that they're only expensive cars for rich people,” Levin said of electric vehicles. “The truth is they're fundamentally better cars – we just need to get pricing to the right point for people.”



Holiday Toy and Blanket Drive

Submitted by Ritu Maheshwari


In keeping with the giving tradition and in spirit of holidays, Festival of Globe (FOG) and Fremont Hindu Temple Senior group are organizing a” Holiday Toy & Blanket Drive” on Sunday, December 15. Toys will be handed out to local charities in the Bay Area and will distributed to children in need.


Next time you are shopping, remember to buy a new, unwrapped toy and drop it in specially marked bins placed in Fremont Hindu Temple. It could make someone's holidays bright and cheerful. You can also make a monetary donation toward this cause.


For more information about the drive, visit www.Fremonttemple.org or call Ritu Maheshwari at (510) 304-5619.


FOG Toy Drive

Sunday, Dec 15

12 noon – 1 p.m.

Fremont Hindu temple

3676 Delaware Dr., Fremont

(510) 304-5619




Free Holiday Concert and Sing-along.

Submitted by Jim Carter


Newark Symphonic Winds will be putting on their classic free holiday concert the evening of Saturday, December 14. We’ll begin with a wonderful medley of Christmas pieces, “Christmas Winds” arranged by Douglas Wagner. Next, we’ll have you roasting chestnuts over an open fire with “The Christmas Song” by Mel Torme and Robert Wells. Following will be “Country Cookin’ Christmas” by Jeff Simmons and “Carol of the Drum” by Katherine Davis.


We’ll end the first half of our concert with all the children up front at the stage listening to our Emeritus Mayor – the Honorable Dave Smith’s reading – set to music – of “‘Twas the Night before Christmas.” Afterward, we’ll have our traditional visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus – so be certain to bring the kids and grandkids.


The eclectic music of the Newark Saxophone Quartet will begin the second half of our concert with a set of three holiday tunes ranging from traditional to – well, not so traditional. After the NSQ’s performance the symphony will return to the stage and present “The Polar Express” by Alan Silvestri and Glenn Ballard with melodies from the much-acclaimed movie of the same name.


Next will be “On this Day” by Tom Wallace, which is based on “Personent Hodie” from “Piae Cantiones” – a collection of medieval Latin and Swedish songs. This will be followed by “On a Winter’s Night” arranged by John Moss, filled with familiar melodies. Our next piece will be the up-tempo, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Eddie Pola and George Wyle.


We’ll then come to the point in our performance when it is your turn to perform with the symphony by participating in our annual community holiday sing-along, led by Carl Medford – please sing out and try your best to drown out our musicians! We’ll end our holiday performance with a community and holiday favorite, “Sleigh Ride” by LeRoy Anderson.


We are once again extremely fortunate to have this performance sponsored by the Fremont Bank Foundation. As always, the concert is free of charge and no tickets are necessary. Simply come and enjoy the evening – and be certain to bring all your friends. In that we have experienced full-house attendance at our performances, you might want to plan on arriving early to get the seating you prefer.


You can find more information about our performances on our web site (https://newarksymphonic.org). There you will find a map of the venue, Newark Memorial High School, highlighting the locations of parking and the theatre.


Holiday wishes to all and we look forward to seeing you at our Free Holiday Concert on Saturday evening, December 14.


Newark Symphonic Winds free concert and sing-a-long

Saturday, Dec 14

7 p.m.

Newark Memorial High School Theatre

39375 Cedar Blvd., Newark




Fremont Police Log

Submitted by Geneva Bosques, Fremont PD


Tuesday, December 3

December 3:

  • Police investigators working on a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run collision at Niles Boulevard and Rock Avenue on November 29 released a description and a police surveillance photo of the suspect vehicle to the public, hoping someone may know who the driver is. The vehicle is described as a light-colored 1997-1999 Buick LeSabre with front end damage. Witnesses at the scene described the driver as a slender white man in his 50s, with grey hair, glasses and wearing a lighter colored fleece jacket. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Fremont Police Department’s Traffic Unit at (510) 790-6800, extension 3, or text an anonymous tip to TIP FREMONTPD followed by a message to 888-777, or via the web at https://local.nixle.com/tip/alert/6216337.


Wednesday, December 4

  • In the early afternoon officers near Pacific Commons shopping center were alerted by Automatic License Plate Recognition cameras that a stolen vehicle was in the area. The vehicle sped away before officers could make a traffic stop and a vehicle pursuit was started onto southbound Interstate 880. Eventually the car stopped and the suspects fled on foot but were quickly detained by officers.



Thursday, December 5

  • During the late evening hours police received reports of numerous auto burglaries at apartment complexes in the area of High Street and Chapel Way and also on Leslie Street between Bidwell and Sundale Drives in the Irvington district. The suspect(s) smashed windows and took bags and other items that were left inside the vehicles.


  • During the late evening hours officers located an occupied stolen vehicle in the area of Automall Parkway and Christy Street in South Fremont. A high-risk stop was made and several known probationers were found inside the vehicle. A 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft.



Fremont City Council

December 3, 2019



  • Shop with a Cop on December 4, 2019.
  • Planning for Parks and Recreation Master Plan at Recreation Commission meeting December 4th.


Consent Calendar:

  • Award Facilities Maintenance Agreement with SpectraTurf.
  • Award professional services contract to complete an urban tree inventory and canopy assessment to PlanIT GEO, LLC in the amount of $387,258.


Other Business:

  • Authorize a special events sponsorship program for large-scale special events. Staff recommendations accepted: Update fees; discontinue current discount and cost-sharing subsidy programs effective July 1, 2020; discontinue separate sponsorship of Festival of Arts and Fourth of July Parade; Create a subcommittee to review and recommend fund allocations; adopt new hourly rates for police services. Committee selection criteria will be addressed at a future meeting.
  • Receive presentation on plans related to street design features for Rancho Arroyo Parkway between Niles Boulevard and Riviera Drive and Niles Boulevard between BART overpass and Nursery Avenue. Use of Vision Zero safety program, pedestrian and bicycle master plans, safe routes to school plan and “Complete Streets” criteria.


Council Referrals:

  • Mayor Mei – Appointments and Reappointments to Advisory Bodies.

Historical Architectural Review Board: Julie Cain, Dave Jacobs, Thomas McLauchlan

Library Advisory Commission: Rayland Ho

Senior Citizens Commission: Gwendolyn Davis

Art Review Board: Marsha Squires



East Bay Regional Park District Liaison Committee: Pavan Vedere

Economic Development Advisory Commission: Daniel Cardenas, Ruth Chao


Mayor Lily Mei                       Aye

Vice Mayor Rick Jones           Aye

Vinnie Bacon                          Aye

Raj Salwan                              Aye

Teresa Keng (District 1)         Aye

Jenny Kassan (District 3)        Aye

Yang Shao (District 4)            Aye



Hayward Police Log

Submitted by Hayward PD


Thursday, December 5

  • At around 4:00 p.m. an officer spotted a suspect wanted for several simulated weapon robberies around the city driving a stolen vehicle near downtown Hayward, and attempted to make a traffic stop. Instead, the male suspect sped away with the officer in pursuit. The pursuit ended when the suspect began to drive southbound in the northbound lanes of Mission Boulevard near Tennyson Road where he collided head-on with another police vehicle. The suspect, who was not injured in the collision, was taken into custody is facing various felony charges. No officers or community members were injured.



Hayward City Council

December 3, 2019


Presentations and Proclamations:

  • Announcement from Mayor Halliday, notifying the public of the closed council meeting an hour prior. This meeting, held at 6 p.m., focused on the ongoing case of the City of Hayward v. Russell City Energy Company
  • City Attorney Michael Lawson notes that the council voted unanimously to add another litigation case to the closed session agenda.


Public Comments:

  • Request from Hayward citizen asking the council to vote in favor of an exclusive negotiating agreement with Trumark, Inc. to develop land project Parcel Group 5
  • Comment made by citizen warning the public on health risks in areas flooded with 5G cellular service, citing studies linking cellular radiation to brain tumor formation


Agenda Items:

  • Adoption of ordinance establishing a fire prevention code for the city of Hayward; Adopting California Fire Code (2019 Edition) prescribing regulations governing hazardous conditions. In addition, providing for penalties for violation and repealing Ordinance No. 16-23.
  • Adopt a resolution to execute a professional services agreement with Pavement Engineering Inc. for the preliminary cost impact estimate and the preparation of the plans, specifications and final estimates for the Old Highlands Homeowners Association (OHHA) Pavement Rehabilitation Project in an amount not to exceed $205,000


Measures and Resolutions:

  • Adopt an ordinance approving an amendment to the City of Hayward contract with the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) for Local Safety-Police employees.
  • Elect Councilmember Salinas as Mayor Pro Tempore for 2020.


Mayor Barbara Halliday                                 Aye

Mayor Pro Tempore Francisco Zermeno       Aye

Elisa Marquez                                                 Aye

Al Mendall                                                      Aye

Sara Lamnin                                                    Aye

Aisha Wahab                                                  Aye

Mark Salinas                                                   Aye



Recuperate and recharge with herbal remedies

Article and photos by Lalitha Visveswaran


It is that time of the year again. There is a chill in the air outside and sniffling, sneezing, and coughing starts. The bed is your refuge, and suddenly outdoors don’t seem inviting anymore. Even if one is not felled by the flu, the weather lends itself to a slowing down of our bodies’ rhythm; lethargy creeps in as temperatures plummet and the sun’s rays becomes weak.


It would be a whole different article to venture into supplements, pharmaceuticals, herbs, and habits that would keep this seasonal funk at bay, but I am only going to beckon what can easily be found in kitchen pantries and gardens.


  • Garlic: Garlic has shown promise as a good preventive against seasonal cold or flu. It can also shorten a bout of illness. Fresh garlic is more potent than cooked garlic. Studies have proven that raw garlic has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties because of Allicin in it.


  • Lemon: Like all other citrus fruits, lemon is a good source of Vitamin C. Adding fresh lemon juice to hot tea with honey can reduce phlegm that accumulates in the respiratory system when you are ill. Even the rind without the bitter white pith of lemons or lemon zest is a powerful remedy.


  • Honey: A time honored tradition to soothe the throat and suppress coughs, this natural sweetener also has anti-bacterial properties. It is also delicious and can mask the bitterness of medicine or medicinal herbs. However, it is advisable not to give honey to infants younger than 12 months old.


  • Ginger: You don’t have to be sick to include this warm and spicy rhizome in a hot broth or honey-sweetened lemon tea. Ginger relieves congestion and is also good for nausea when you are sick. It is “warming” and generates a sense of heat within the body when consumed. Ginger freezes well and can also be had dried or powdered.


  • Turmeric: This magical root is ubiquitous now. When I was a child, incessant chest-racking coughs were easily soothed by a glass of warm milk with a pinch of turmeric and ground black pepper at nighttime. Turmeric is anti-bacterial and anti-microbial.


  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon is what holidays are made of and it makes one wonder if it is more than the delightful aroma of cookies that make this spice a seasonal favorite. Cinnamon with a touch of honey has been used to soothe coughs and reduce phlegm and sore throats for centuries and across several cultures. It is the bark of a tropical tree but can now be found everywhere. Be careful to buy true cinnamon that is milder, more fragrant and potent than cassia, which is often substituted as a cheap adulterant.


  • Liquorice: Most of us know this as a candy that is often an acquired taste. Also spelt as Licorice, it is a remedy for sore throats and a challenged respiratory system during wintertime. It is also soothing to the gut and some traditional schools of medicine consider it an effective liver cleanser and blood detoxifier.


  • Loquat: I found this modified remedy from one of my neighbors. Loquat trees are found all over the Bay Area and are often seen growing wild. The medicinal properties of loquat are in its leaves and not necessarily in the fruits. The trick, though, is to vigorously scrub the backside of the leaf, which has a fine downy growth. If this step is missed, it can tickle the throat and cause more coughing.


  • Elderberry: These are wild dark berries on trees that used to be found everywhere. Birds love them, though they are not particularly attractive trees. However, elderberry is one super medicinal secret weapon. It is both healing during seasonal illness and preventative before the body succumbs to a sag in general immunity.


  • Eucalyptus: These wild roadside trees shed their leaves; their towering presence has become a common sight in the Bay Area even though they are native to Australia. The leaves are rich in potent and volatile oils. A single bunch of eucalyptus leaves can clear out stuffy noses and chest congestion in a hot shower or bath. Eucalyptus is gentle and effective.


May this be a season to slow down and recharge. Let us remember to recuperate and repair ourselves, our bodies and our souls. One way to invite warmth and health is through these soups, teas, syrups, and elixirs for warmth inside and out. Wishing everyone only the Season’s Best.


Lalitha Visveswaran is a full-time farmer at Jellicles Farm in the Sunol AgPark. www.jelliclesfarm.com



Historic homes open house

Submitted by Sara Breneman


If you love Christmastime, history, exceptional homes, and helping the less fortunate during the holiday season, you’ll want to set aside Saturday, December 14 for a holiday fundraising event at the beautiful Palmdale Estates in Fremont’s Mission District.


On this day only, the historic “Best House” and “Starr House” — two exquisitely renovated mansions from the 1920’s and now on Fremont’s Register of Historic Resources – will be decorated in their holiday finest and open for touring. Enjoy festive refreshments, carolers invoking the sounds of the season, and help raise money for a worthwhile local charity at the same time.


At this special event, you’ll have an opportunity to see two incredible homes aglow in Christmas lights and décor. The recently renovated Starr and Best homes were built for the founders of what would become the world-famous Caterpillar Tractor Company. 


The Starr House is a magnificent two-story Tudor Revival style building originally built in 1927 as Oscar Starr’s private home. His wife Hazel Wagness Starr’s family owned the magnificent Palmdale Estate property, adjacent to the beautiful 5.4-acre Gardens of Palmdale, whose roots go back to the 1800’s when California was just becoming a state. The Best House is an even larger home at 6,404 square feet, and was built as a second home for Irene Wagness Hansen (Hazel’s sister) and her husband C.L. Best, the founder and Chairman of the Caterpillar Company, who wished to also have a home at the beautiful gardens and adjacent to his close friend and business associate Oscar Starr.


Designated as historic homes, and added to the Fremont’s Register of Historic Resources in 2017, the homes took over three years to be painstakingly restored to their original glory by renowned local builder Robson Homes, the host of this charity open house on Dec 14th.


For everyone who comes out between 1p.m. and 4 p.m., Robson Homes will make a donation the Tri-City Food Bank’s “Be Thankful” and “Toy Drive” campaigns, helping to provide hearty meals and smiling faces to thousands of children and families in Alameda County. You’re also invited to join in the holiday spirit by bringing your own contribution of seasonal canned goods which you can drop off at the event. The food bank is in specific need of mashed potato mix, canned green beans, canned corn, canned gravy and canned cream of mushroom soup.


Historic Mansions Open House & Fundraiser

Saturday Dec 14

1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

The Historic Best & Starr Houses

43223 & 43227 Calle Dolorosa, Fremont

(408) 761-5067




Holiday Spectacular

Submitted by Sean Taylor


On Christmas Day, Made up Theatre will host their classic improv-based event “Holiday Spectacular,” which is packed with family-friendly fun. Theatre cast members will perform on stage, but the audience will get to give input on the skits to produce creative and hilarious results.


For example, in one skit the audience brainstorms dialog prompts, which are written on slips of paper and sprinkled over the stage. The actors then perform an improvised scene, and when they pick up a slip of paper they have to seamlessly incorporate whatever is written on it into the action. In another game, an audience member is invited to come on stage and decide all the movements of the cast, as if the actors were poseable action figures.


These are just a few ways the audience can add to the fun in this holiday-themed improv event. Tickets sell out quickly, and can be purchased online at https://madeuptheatre.com.


Holiday Spectacular

Wednesday, Dec 25

8:00 p.m.

Doors Open: 7:30 p.m.

Made Up Theatre

4000 Bay St., Suite B, Fremont

(510) 573-3633


General Admission: $15



Holly Holiday

By Pat Kite


Holly is a common church decoration on Christmas. Even before current ceremonies, holly was considered a holy tree. The Old English word was “holegn” translated into our holy. The prickly leaves represent the Crown of Thorns worn by Jesus. The bright red berries are the thorn-caused drops of blood. Some legends state that holly first began growing in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, or that the Cross was made of holly wood. There are at least 100 holly types. While the English holly is often cited in song and wreath use, it is iffy to grow here. More common hereabouts is the American holly, or Ilex opaca. In early colonial days, it was originally grown as a hedge.


This holly has spiny shiny leaves, and was once used to surround old kitchen gardens, keeping cattle away from the veggies. The bright red berries are splendid and poisonous. Like many hollies, American holly can grow into a very tall tree, so use caution when adding it to your suburban tract. If you are superstitious, put a small-size holly plant near your house. Not only will lightning supposedly never strike your home, the holly protects from witchcraft. Holly is said to be male, representing steadfastness and holiness, also bringing men protection and good luck. (For women? Our plant is Ivy.)


What about indoor holly? Do not hang this plant before Christmas Eve, and take it down by Twelfth Night / January 6 or dismal luck follows. Some fun superstitions: If a young lady wants to dream about her future beau, she must pick nine holly leaves, tie the holly leaves together with nine knots, then place this in a three-cornered hankie. The hankie goes onto her bed pillow. Now the dreamer must be silent until dawn so her future beau can appear. (Is this any more magically optimistic than Twitter and Match.com?)


Another bit of mythology: The holly tree is sacred to fairies. Therefore, it is extremely unlucky to cut down or burn down a holly tree. Even transplanting holly trees is considered a risky business because the fairies might become angry over the move.


Smaller size hollies exist, a few at 3 feet in height and slow growing. A variety of Japanese holly called “Helleri” stops at 1 foot for many years. Caution: many plants are mislabeled. Some of the shorter ones may not produce berries. With a few exceptions, there are male and female holly plants, and if you want flowers, match up appropriately.


Put a holly and evergreen wreath by your door, they make a dull winter day prettier. Talk to you next year, probably about peanuts.



Discover History at the Old Mission San Jose Museum

Submitted by Gary Dorighi


With family and friends visiting for Christmas, consider exploring the treasure in our own backyard – Old Mission San Jose! Take a self-guided tour, beginning with an 18-minute video that describes Spanish exploration, the 1797 founding of Mission San Jose, and day-to-day living within the mission. Further explore the Mission Museum, Church, historic cemetery, and conclude in our beautiful garden.


Our Mission Gift Shop welcomes you to shop for unique historic or religious items for young and old. From creches and statues to greeting cards and books, enjoy browsing our store rather than browsing online. And buy a unique gift for that special someone. We are open from 10 a.m.– 5 p.m. every day except Christmas and New Year Day.


Old Mission San Jose

Open Daily

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

43300 Mission Blvd., Fremont




Home for the Holidays

Submitted by Chris Gin


It’s that time of the year for the last big pet adoption event at the Hayward Animal Shelter! Give the gift of a home to adorable dogs, puppies, cats, kittens, bunnies. This year the event will run for three days: from Friday, December 13 to Sunday, December 15. During this event, there will be NO adoption fee for qualified homes—this includes fees for spay/neuter, vaccinations, and microchip. All fees will be sponsored by Bissell Clear the Shelters and Santa Con Hayward. Hayward residents will still need to pay a $17 licensing fee for dogs.


If you already have a furry, feathered, or scaly friend, bring them over for photos with Santa from 12 noon to 3 p.m. on any day of the event. A $10 donation is suggested. In addition, there will be a holiday bake sale, raffle prizes, and boutique table. All proceeds benefit the Hayward Animal Shelter homeless pets medical fund, the TNR program and the Cops for kids Toy Drive.


More information is available at www.SantaConHayward.com, and www.bissellpetfoundation.org/empty-the-shelters/.


A Home for the Holidays

Friday, Dec 13 – Sunday, Dec 15

11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Hayward Animal Shelter

16 Barnes Ct., Hayward

(near DMV – Jackson and Soto Road)




Local bodybuilders medal at international competition

Submitted by India Community Center (ICC)


The largest international natural bodybuilding association held its Natural Olympia competition in Las Vegas, November 15-16. This competition drew over 300 athletes from 50 countries from around the world who are drug tested and must be WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) compliant using Olympic standards.


ICC Head Coach, Shelly Rojas and ICC Gym Manager & Personal Coach, Marco Rojas brought a team of seven athletes trained who trained for this competition at ICC N2Fit training center. Team N2Fit, in the Amateur divisions, won 4 gold medals, 2 silver and 3 bronze; in the Pro Division, they brought home 1 bronze medal.


Shelly was also recognized at a special awards ceremony by the president of The INBA /PNBA (International Natural Bodybuilding Association/Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association) with an award for her hard work in Fitness as Fitness Coach for teaching and inspiring others to dream big towards their fitness goals. Shelly will also be featured in the prestigious Ironman Magazine in the December issue as one of the chosen women of ironman.





Mondays, May 14 – Dec 30

English Conversation Group

1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Practice spoken English in a friendly environment

Union City Branch Library

34007 Alvarado Niles Rd., Union City

(510) 745-1464



Mondays, Sep 9 – Dec 17

Advanced Math and Science Tutoring

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

High school/college level help in math, physics and chemistry

Castro Valley Library

3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley

(510) 667-7900



Monday – Friday, Oct 4 – Dec 6

Members Show

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Art by members of the Hayward Arts Council

John O’Lague Galleria

777 B St., Hayward

(510) 538-2787



Sundays, Nov 3 – Dec 29

Animal Feeding Time

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Discuss reptiles, observe feeding time

Sunol Regional Wilderness

1895 Geary Rd., Sunol

(510) 544-3249



Saturdays – Sundays, Nov 2 – Dec 29

Nature Crafts

10 a.m. – 12 noon

Discover the natural world through your artistic side

Sunol Regional Wilderness

1895 Geary Rd., Sunol

(510) 544-3249


Saturdays – Sundays, Nov 2 – Dec 29

Wild Wonders

2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Games, activities, crafts for all ages

Sunol Regional Wilderness

1895 Geary Rd., Sunol

(510) 544-3249



Sundays, Nov 10 – Jan 4

Dove Gallery Art Competition Exhibit

12 noon – 3 p.m.

Artworks from all ages in various media and styles

Park Victoria Baptist Church

875 S. Park Victoria Dr., Milpitas

(408) 464-5011



Saturdays – Sundays, Nov 23 – Dec 22

Great Dickens Christmas Fair $

10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Shopping, entertainment, and food from Dickensian London

Cow Exhibition Hall

2600 Geneva Ave., San Francisco

(800) 226-0841



Daily, Nov – Dec

Photos with Santa

November: Mon – Sat, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. (break 2 p.m.- 3 p.m.), Sun, 12 noon – 6 p.m. (break 2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.)

December: Mon – Sat, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (break 1 p.m.- 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.), Sun, 12 noon – 6 p.m. (break 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.), Xmas Eve, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (break 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.)

Closed Thanksgiving

NewPark Mall

2086 NewPark Mall, Newark

(510) 793-5683


Thursday – Sunday, Nov 5 – Dec 22

Christmas Tours $

various times

Tour the fully decorated Patterson House

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Friday, Dec 6 – Sunday, Jan 5

Zoolights at Oakland Zoo

5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Light displays, laser shows, kids’ rides

Oakland Zoo

9777 Golf Links Rd., Oakland

(510) 632-9525



Fridays, Dec 6 – Dec 13

AARP Smart Driving Course $

9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Drivers ages 50+ can refresh their driving skills and save money

Fremont Senior Center

40086 Paseo Padre Pkwy, Fremont

(510) 790-6600


Thursday – Sundays, Dec 6 – Dec 14

Peter and the Starcatcher $

Thurs. Fri. & Sat. 7 p.m. Sun. 2 pm.

Explore the depths of greed and despair, and the bonds of friendship and love

Irvington High School Valhalla Theatre

41800 Blacow Rd., Fremont

(510) 590-7510



Monday – Friday, Dec 6 – Jan 17

Veterans Art Project Exhibit

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Art projects created by veterans and their partners

John O'Lague Galleria

777 B St., Hayward

(510) 538-2787



Saturday – Sunday, Dec 7 – Dec 15

Tours of Shinn House $

12 noon – 4 p.m.

Docent led tours of the historic house

Shinn House

1251 Peralta Blvd., Fremont

(510) 793-9352

(510) 795-0891


Saturdays & Sundays, Dec 7 – Dec 22

Holidays at McConaghy House $

11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Victorian House decorated for the holiday

18701 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward

(510) 581-0223


Friday-Sunday, Dec 13 – Dec 22

Christmas in Oz $R

Fri. 12/13, 12/20 & Sat. 12/14, 12/21 8 p.m., Sun.12/15, 12/22 2 p.m., Thurs. 12/19 7 p.m., Sat. 12/21 2 p.m.

Dorothy returns to Oz – and rescues Santa

Douglas Morrison Theatre

22311 N Third St., Hayward

(510) 881-6777



Sunday-Saturday, Dec 15 – Dec 23

Las Posadas

6 p.m.

Reenactment of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem

Old Mission San Jose

43300 Mission Blvd., Fremont

(510) 659-6158



Friday nights

Laugh Track City $

8 p.m.

Fast-paced improv comedy show

Made Up Theatre

4000 Bay St., Suite B, Fremont

(510) 573-3633



Saturday nights

8 p.m.

Audience-inspired improv play

Made Up Theatre

4000 Bay St., Suite B, Fremont

(510) 573-3633






Tuesday, Dec 10

Creekside Middle School Winter Band/Orchestra Concert $

7 p.m.

Debut performance of the 6th grade band and orchestra

Castro Valley Center for the Arts

19501 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 889-8961



Wednesday, Dec 11

Bob Vinson on quilting

7:30 a.m.

Quilter of 25 years discusses his hobby

IHop Restaurant

5687 Jarvis Ave, Newark




Wednesday, Dec 11

Songwriter Salon R

7 p.m.

Songwriters share works in progress and peer to peer feedback


37433 Niles Blvd., Fremont

(510) 794-9935



Wednesday, Dec 11

Alzheimer's Support Group R

6 p.m.

Education, coping skills and exercises to help with memory loss

Fremont Hills Assisted Living & Memory Care

35490 Mission Blvd., Fremont

(510) 796-4200



Wednesday, Dec 11

Science is Fun

4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Students in grades 1-4 learn about buoyancy

Fremont Main Library

2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont

(510) 745-1421



Wednesday, Dec 11

A Joyful Celebration $

7 p.m.

Performance by Canyon Middle School Intermediate and Advanced string orchestras

Castro Valley Center for the Arts

19501 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 889-8961



Wednesday, Dec 11

Metropolitan Transportation Commission Open House

5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Learn about the proposed tolling rules

San Lorenzo Library

395 Paseo Grande, San Lorenzo

(510) 670-6283



Thursday, Dec 12

Chinese Calligraphy R

2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Try your hand at this delicate art using pen, brushes and ink

Fremont Hills Assisted Living & Memory Care

35490 Mission Blvd., Fremont

(510) 796-4200



Thursday, Dec 12

One-on-One Resume Help R

6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Get help writing a cover letter or completing an application

Union City Branch Library

34007 Alvarado Niles Rd., Union City

(510) 745-1464



Thursday, Dec 12

Cookies and Cocoa with Santa

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Pajama Party with Santa! Cookies, hot chocolate, and crafts

Marina Community Center

15301 Wicks Blvd., San Leandro

(510) 577-6080



Thursday, Dec 12

Holiday Meet & Greet

7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Libertarian Party of Alameda County, optional anonymous gift exchange

Buffalo Bill's Brewery

1082 B. St., Hayward



Thursday, Dec 12

Winter Celebration $

7 p.m.

Canyon Middle School intermediate and advanced jazz bands

Castro Valley Center for the Arts

19501 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 889-8961



Thursday, Dec 12

Holiday Mixer R

4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Networking for professionals in health care, law, finance, and real estate

Fremont Hills Assisted Living & Memory Care

35490 Mission Blvd., Fremont

(510) 796-4200



Thursday, Dec 12

Winter Concert & Dessert $

7:30 p.m.

Holiday music performed by symphonic/concert/marching bands

American High School

36300 Fremont Blvd, Fremont

(510) 796-1776 x57708


Friday, Dec 13

Traditional English High Tea $R

1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Enjoy a spot of tea, along with treats, entertainment, and raffle

Kenneth C. Aitken Center

17800 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 881-6738



Friday, Dec 13

Holiday Market

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Many holiday crafts for sale

San Leandro Community Center

13909 East 14th St., San Leandro

(510) 577-6080



Friday, Dec 13 -Sunday, Dec 15

A Home for the Holidays

11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Festive animal adoption, gifts, bake sale, boutique, photo with Santa

Hayward Animal Shelter

16 Barnes Ct., Hayward

(510) 293-7200



Saturday, Dec 14

Newark Symphonic Winds Christmas Concert

7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Free concert with a variety of holiday pieces, plus a visit from Santa

Newark Memorial High School Theatre

39375 Cedar Blvd., Newark

(510) 791-0287



Saturday, Dec 14

Christmas Craft Day for Kids

9 a.m. – 12 noon

Crafts, gifts and cookie baking. Holiday photo shoot, family fun

Pathway Community Church

4500 Thornton Ave., Fremont

(510) 797-7910



Saturday, Dec 14

Tracks on the Trail

10:30 a.m. – 12 noon

Learn to identify common animal tracks

Sunol Regional Wilderness

1895 Geary Rd., Sunol

(510) 544-3249



Saturday, Dec 14

Victorian Winter Holiday Decorations

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Cloves, oranges, ribbons, oh my!

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Saturday, Dec 14

Monarchs: Pollinator Royalty

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Learn how butterflies affect our surroundings

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Saturday, Dec 14

Second Saturday Author Series

2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Jan Small reads from her self-published art books

Half Price Books

39152 Fremont Blvd., Fremont

(510) 744-0333



Saturday, Dec 14

Tree Craft Maker Workshop

10:30 a.m. – 12 noon

Family event using recycled cardboard, paper, yarn, seeds. Ages 5+

Fremont Main Library Fukaya Room A

2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont

(510) 574-2063


Saturday, Dec 14

Movie Night $

7:30 p.m.

“Timothy's Quest”, “Bronco Billy's Christmas Dinner”, “Water Wagons”

Niles Essanay Theater

37417 Niles Blvd, Fremont

(510) 494-1411



Saturday, Dec 14

Tule Boats of the Bay Area

10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

See a full-size tule boat and make your own mini boat to take home

Coyote Hills

8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont

(510) 544-3220



Saturday, Dec 14

Holiday Pancake Breakfast $R

8 a.m. – 12 noon

Fundraiser with Santa, silent auction, raffle to support Drivers for Survivors

Newark Community Center

35501 Cedar Blvd., Newark

(510) 742-4437



Saturday, Dec 14

P2O – Growth! Conference R

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Global Women Power hosts. Successful entrepreneurs share business info

Mulakat Hall

6170 Thornton Ave., Newark

(510) 830-8771



Saturday, Dec 14

Holiday Saxophone Quartet

2 p.m.

Bring the whole family and sing along

Castro Valley Library

3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley

(510) 667-7900



Saturday, Dec 14

San Jose Town Hall Meeting

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Meet with Rep. Ro Khanna

Chinese Performing Arts of America Center

6148 Bollinger Rd., San Jose

(408) 436-2720


Saturday, Dec 14

Praying in Advent $R

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Day of spiritual growth facilitated by S. Ingrid Clemmensen, O.P. Register by 12/10

Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose

43326 Mission Blvd., Fremont

(510) 933-6335



Saturday, Dec 14

Bravissimo: From Opera to Broadway $

7:30 p.m.

Ricardo Garcia, Philip Skinner and Vivian Yau perform opera and Broadway classics

Castro Valley Center for the Arts

19501 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 889-8961



Saturday, Dec 14

Viral Countdown $

10 p.m.

Dance to the latest viral trends, featuring DJ Prashant

Mumbai Local

98 S 2nd St., San Jose

(408) 320-6601



Saturday, Dec 14

Holiday Open House & Fundraiser

1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Refreshments, carolers, and festive decorations. The Best House next door will also be open

Starr House

43223 Calle Dolorosa, Fremont

(408) 761-6324



Saturday, Dec 14

Reindeer Antlers Make and Take $

10 a.m. – 12 noon

Make and take home a holiday craft. Ages 3+


Michaels Store McCarthy Ranch

153 Ranch Dr., Milpitas

(408) 785-9998


Michaels Store Fremont Hub

39170 Argonaut Way, Fremont

(510) 857-0268


Michaels Store Union Landing

31080 Dyer St., Union City

(510) 471-5443


Michaels Store Fashion Faire Place

15100 Hesperian Blvd., San Leandro

(510) 278-5400


Saturday, Dec 14

Friends of Library Cookbook Sale

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Find basic how-to cookbooks to elegant dining recipes

San Leandro Main Library

300 Estudillo Ave., San Leandro

(510) 577-3971


Saturday, Dec 14

I Love Kimchi $

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Learn how to make delicious healthy kimchi

Community Room

2680 Beacon Ave, Fremont

(408) 805-4554



Saturday, Dec 14 – Sunday, Dec 15

Monarch Spotting

2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Use a spotting scope to look for butterflies. Ages 3-6

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Saturday, Dec 14 – Sunday, Dec 15

Navidad en Mexico $R

Sat: 8 p.m. Sun: 2 p.m.

Ballet to celebrate Mexican holiday traditions

San Leandro Performing Arts Center

2250 Bancroft Ave., San Leandro

(510) 618-4625



Sunday, Dec 15

Holiday Toy Drive

12 noon – 1 p.m.

Bring a new, unwrapped toy and make someone's holidays bright

Fremont Hindu Temple

3676 Delaware Dr., Fremont

(510) 659-0655



Sunday, Dec 15

Marvelous Monarchs

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Slide show and visit to the eucalyptus grove. Meet at granary

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Sunday, Dec 15

Fremont Area Writers Open Mic

3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Read your original work in a public venue

Starbucks Newark

39201 Cedar Blvd., Newark



Sunday, Dec 15

Wiggling Worm Bins

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Learn about how worms are important to a garden

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Sunday, Dec 15

Alameda Creek Walk and Talk

9 a.m. – 12 noon

Relatively flat 3-mile hike around the marsh

Coyote Hills

8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont

(510) 544-3220



Sunday, Dec 15

Ohlone People & Culture

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Learn about their intimate relationship with nature, family and their ancestors. 8+ years

Coyote Hills

8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont

(510) 544-3220



Sunday, Dec 15

A Swingin' Holiday

2 p.m.

20-piece big band performance of jazz and seasonal classics with vocalists

Castro Valley Library

3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley

(510) 667-7900



Sunday, Dec 15

Santa at the Firehouse

1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Take a picture with Santa, enjoy hot chocolate, milk & cookies, fire safety tips

Fremont Fire Station #6

4355 Central Ave., Fremont

(510) 494-4200


Sunday, Dec 15 – Monday, Dec 16

Sister Act Auditions

7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Try out for a part in the musical coming March 2020

Newark Memorial High School Theatre

39375 Cedar Blvd., Newark

(510) 791-0287



Monday, Dec 16

Creekside Middle School Winter Band/Orchestra Concert $

7 p.m.

7th/8th grade symphonic band, symphonic orchestra and jazz ensemble perform

Castro Valley Center for the Arts

19501 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 889-8961



Wednesday, Dec 18

Embrace the Artist Within You R

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Mind, body, spirit gathering for women. Adults only

Fremont Family Resource Center, Pacific Room #H800

39155 Liberty St. (at Capitol), Fremont

(888) 308-1767

(510) 578-8680



Saturday, Dec 21 – Sunday, Dec 22

Holiday Pops Concert $

Sat: 7:30 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m.

Fremont Symphony plays Christmas favorites

James Logan High School Center for the Performing Arts

1800 H St., Union City

(510) 371-4860




Award-winning author/artist Jan Small reads at Half Price Books

Submitted by Nancy Guarnera


Fremont Area Writers’ award-winning author/artist Jan Small will be reading from seven of her self-published art books on Saturday, December 14 at Half Price Books in the Fremont Hub. The author will share the following books with her “Second Saturday” audience: 34 Ways to Draw and Paint a Cat, Healing by His Design, What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up, Zootangle, Inspirations from a Tour of DreamWorks Studios, Jan Small’s Art Classes, and It’s About Art. Several of these books include pages the reader may color. Her art has been exhibited nationally and internationally, seen on television, published in newspapers and magazines, and purchased for public and private collections.


Small has been teaching art for the past 50 years. She has taught classes through the College of Holy Names in Oakland, the Fremont School District, and the Fremont Recreation Department. In addition to her regular weekly art classes, she has taught special classes for seniors, the mentally and physically disabled, and abandoned and abused children.


Fremont Area Writers, the local branch of the California Writers Club, partners with Half Price Books to give the Tri-City community an opportunity to experience its local authors and their work. These events are FREE every second Saturday of the month and feature a different author at each event. For more information about Fremont Area Writers go to cwc-fremontareawriters.org


Everyone is welcome to attend!


Jan Small reading

Saturday, Dec 14

2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Half Price Books

39152 Fremont Hub




Police following leads in jewelry heist

Submitted by Lt. John Torrez, Milpitas P.D.


Detectives from the Milpitas Police Department are continuing to look for clues to the identities of three men connected to a smash-and-grab robbery at a jewelry store inside Great Mall in Milpitas.


The August 25 robbery occurred at 7:33 p.m. at Valliani Jewelers when the men smashed display cases and removed jewelry and watches valued at thousands of dollars. The men fled the scene in a black four-door sedan.


Working with security camera footage from the jewelry store and nearby businesses, along with tips provided by the public, detectives determined that the suspects were inside the nearby Home Depot committing another theft just prior to the jewelry store incident. Detectives are asking the public for help in identifying the trio. Here are the descriptions released by police:


  • Suspect 1: Black male, black hooded sweatshirt with “U.S. Polo Assn” in white letters along the right sleeve, red shorts, white socks, and red shoes.
  • Suspect 2: Black male, black hooded sweatshirt with “U.S. Polo Assn” in white letters along the right sleeve, white undershirt, light blue shorts with small designs, white and black shoes.
  • Suspect 3: Black male, black hooded sweatshirt with “U.S. Polo Assn” in white letters along the right sleeve, white undershirt, faded light colored jeans, white and black shoes.


Anyone with information about the incident at Valliani Jewelers is asked to call the Milpitas Police Department at (408) 586-2400. Additionally, the information can be given anonymously by calling the Crime Tip Hotline at (408) 586-2500 or via the Milpitas Police Department Website at: http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/crimetip. Valliani Jewelers is also offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the suspects.

Kimchi Making

Submitted by Korean Language and Culture Foundation


The Korean Language and Culture Foundation is hosting the 8th annual “I Love Kimchi” kimchi-making event on Saturday, December 14 in Fremont. The event costs $20 and includes a Korean lunch. Of course, you will get to take home your own healthy and delicious kimchi. RSVP to klacfsf@gmail.com.


I Love Kimchi

Saturday, Dec 14

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Community Room

2680 Beacon Ave., Fremont

(408) 805-4554


Tickets: $20



Las Posadas – A Mission Christmas Tradition

Submitted by Arathi Satish


“Las Posadas,” a ceremonial celebration of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, has been co-sponsored by Fremont Cultural Arts Council and the Old Mission San Jose annually since 1982. This lovely celebration of the true meaning of Christmas goes on for nine days.


Las Posadas in Spanish means lodging, and in this case, refers to the inn in the story of the nativity of Jesus. The nine days of celebration known as novena during the Christmas season represent the nine-month pregnancy of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. Spanish Augustinian friars brought this traditional Christian celebration to Mexico during the 16th century. Different countries celebrate this tradition in their own way.


In Fremont, each evening at 6 p.m., people will assemble on the porch of the Old Mission San Jose Museum in Fremont to reenact the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. At 6:15 p.m., a volunteer carries a beautiful hand-carved statue of the Holy Family at the head of the procession and everyone sings Christmas carols while walking to a local business. Once they arrive at the pre-designated host site they ask for shelter; the host turns them away but eventually welcomes them in. A musical program is arranged by the Fremont Cultural Arts Council, followed by light refreshments courtesy of the hosts. Participants are encouraged to wear warm clothing and to bring a flashlight to read the carols.


This unique tradition has been celebrated locally for the last 37 years. This year, it will be celebrated from Sunday, December 15 through Monday, December 23. Dolores Ferenz, Mission administrator who has been helping coordinate this event for many years said, “I especially enjoy the last night of Las Posadas when we gather in the beautiful Mission church for carols and organ music, and then have a pinata for the children.”


Knuti VanHoven who has been organizing and performing in the programs pointed out, “Four of this year’s performances are by people who have been doing this for over two decades. Venkat and Praveena Raman first appeared with their (then seven-year-old) daughter Mekala and son Karthik in Center Stage Singers, back in 1996. Connie Chew also began with Center Stage, but now has her own solo show.”


Knuti added, “Last year Jim Burris’s A ‘Capella group Ahhhz topped its’ second decade with songs spanning six hundred years of music. Perhaps the most remarkable team though, is Kristie del Rio and Mission coffee owner/proprietor Gael Stewart. Two decades ago, when Kristie was a young teen, they decided to join Las Posadas. Kristie put together a great combo and they’ve become a standing room only venue.”


This Year’s Schedule:


Sunday, Dec 15

“Bethlehem: A Musical Radio Theatre Mystery”

Dominican Sisters, 43326 Mission Circle


Monday, Dec 16

“A Traditional Christmas” – Jim Burris & Ahhhhz

Holy Family Sisters, 211 Avenida Palmdale


Tuesday, Dec 17

“Kristie Del Rio’s Christmas Sing-Along” – Kristie Del Rio and Adam Miller

Mission Coffee, 151 Washington Blvd.


Wednesday, Dec 18

Center Stage Singers & Story teller Jeff Hanson, (with tribute to Sharon DeSousa)

Washington Township Museum of Local History, 190 Anza St.


Thursday, Dec 19

“A 1960’s Christmas” – Knuti VanHoven

Tavares & Associates Realty, 43385 Ellsworth St.


Friday, Dec 20

Santa’s Tallest Elves “Merry Mix of Christmas”

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, 43430 Mission Blvd. #100


Saturday, Dec 21

“Christmas Church music” – soprano Bekah Dhand,
Mission Barber, 43279 Mission St.


Sunday, Dec 22

“Holiday Favorites” – Connie Chew, plus a reading of Christmas Favorite “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”
Robert J Tisdale DVM /Mission Veterinary Center, 43391 Ellsworth St.


Monday, Dec 23

“Carols at the Mission” featuring the magnificent Mission San Jose Organ

Old Mission San Jose 43300 Mission Blvd.


Las Posadas

Sunday, Dec 15 – Monday, Dec 23

6 p.m.

Old Mission San Jose Museum

43300 Mission Blvd., Fremont

(510) 794-7166


(510) 657-1797 ext. 100




Male quilter to speak at Optimist Club

By Johnna M. Laird


Bob Vinson of Union City stands out in any quilting group as a man among women. Creator of more than 220 quilts over 25 years, Vinson discusses his hobby on Wednesday, December 11 at 7:30 a.m. at Optimist Club of Newark at I Hop Restaurant. The meeting is open to the public. Come early to buy breakfast and eat during the presentation.


Growing up eldest of six children in logging camps without electricity in Appalachia, Vinson was only six when he started helping his mother make quilts to keep the family warm. “I would mark out the pattern and cut, helping her sew pieces together and then watch her do the quilting,” Vinson recalls.


Years later Vinson picked up quilting as a stress reliever, something to do in the evenings after teaching all day. A learning disabilities teacher first in Oakland and later in Union City (where he currently lives), Vinson started stitching quilts by hand for grandchildren. He considered a sewing machine beyond his capability, but eventually bought an inexpensive machine and taught himself to use it.


Today, he does both hand sewing and machine stitching on a Juki long-arm machine designed for quilters. Vinson creates stunning quilts, everything from applique to pieced quilts to block designs. He prefers traditional patterns over modern, but he has created all kinds. Every stitch is his handiwork. His work often includes thousands upon thousands of stitches. To the decorative top layer, he attaches a middle layer of batting and bottom layer of backing, sandwiching three layers together with his stitching.


Vinson estimates he quilts about four hours a day. “I work on several projects at one time. One quilt start-to-finish is boring to me. I usually have three or four going, and I move from one to the other,” he explains.


Vinson doesn’t relish being the only male in quilting circles. However, he admits it can be funny walking into quilting stores with his wife Kathy. “Someone points me to a chair, expecting me to sit. When my wife volunteers, ‘But I’m not the quilter; He is,’ I like to see their reaction. But I don’t go out of my way to create it,” Vinson says.


The only male in The Gifted Quilters, a Tuesday drop-in group of 40 quilters that meets weekly at First Presbyterian Church of Newark, Vinson says 10 to 12 quilters show up regularly to work on individual projects.  In his travels and participation in quilting groups, Vinson has only met a few male quilters in the overwhelmingly female-dominated hobby.


Like many quilters, he donates his work. The Gifted Quilters requires a donation of one quilt per person annually. Vinson is associated with Happiness is a Warm Quilt, which provides quilts for survivors of the Santa Rosa Fires. He has also donated quilts for veterans.


“Quilting is just a fun way to try out your creative side. I try not to worry if they are going to be perfect or not. If I were quilting for exhibitions or contests, I would not enjoy it as much. That is one reason I just make quilts I want to make. I don’t make quilts that people order, and I don’t sell my quilts,” says Vinson.


Quilting can be an expensive hobby for someone like Vinson who finishes a quilt per month, with each costing from $150 to $200 in fabric and supplies. His hobby has taken over a bedroom in the house he shares with wife Kathy.


Beyond relaxation and self-expression, quilting challenges Vinson to get the math correct so all pieces fit together. All quilting requires some geometry, as fabric blocks in different sizes and shapes must perfectly fill the space available. Among Vinson’s designs, his maze quilts are especially complex, displaying winding paths and intricate shapes.


While he finds maze quilts exacting, Vinson has completed two even more challenging projects: a king-sized, double-wedding ring quilt, a wedding gift for his brother; and the 50th wedding anniversary quilt he gave his wife on their 51st anniversary, a heavily-quilted Asian design in gold and red that now rests on the back of their sofa.


“Quilts cannot be rushed without severe consequences,” he says, noting that quilting has taught him patience. Each quilt brings a satisfaction to Vinson since “people get enjoyment from them. When I make quilts for family and friends, I try to make quilts that will fit the person.”


What would his mother say, knowing that her son developed a joy for quilting? “I think she would be very pleased that someone carried on. In fact, in our family there are two of us who quilt, [me and] a sister. Two other sisters make baskets the old-fashioned way with cane and bark. She would be very pleased that we have taken up crafts.”


Optimist Club of Newark, affiliated with Optimist International, celebrated its 50th anniversary in July. The service organization is dedicated to positively impacting the community and helping youth reach their potential.


Bob Vinson on quilting

Wednesday, Dec 11

7:30 a.m.

IHop Restaurant

5687 Jarvis Ave, Newark (opens at 6:30 a.m.)

Contact Marla Blowers at RFBGATSBY@comcast.net or (510)793-1498



Milpitas City Council

December 12, 2019


Pledge of Allegiance was led by Boy Scouts Troop 92


Consent Calendar:

  • Amended Milpitas Municipal Code relating to Massage Establishments.
  • Accepted S. Milpitas Blvd Extension Project and Water, Sewer, and Storm Drain Utility Improvements completed by Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) as part of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Extension.
  • Authorized reimbursement of Fire Station No. 2 Capital Improvement Expenditures from proceeds of future tax-exempt obligations.
  • Accepted 2019 Car Break-In Prevention Grant.


Items Pulled from Consent Calendar:

  • Authorized purchase of vehicles and equipment approved in FY 2019-20 budget via two Cooperative Procurement Contracts. Vote Ayes 4, Absent 1 (Phan)
  • Approved project plans and specifications for the temporary Fire Station No. 2 tenant improvements project. Vote Ayes 4, Absent 1 (Phan)
  • Authorized the City to join members of the Cities Association of Santa Clara County to form a housing collaborative and to provide funding for consultant services. Vote Ayes 4, Absent 1 (Phan)
  • Approved Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Commission FY 2019-20 Work Plan. Vote Ayes 4, Absent 1 (Phan)


Public Hearings:

  • Ordinance enacted for 2019 CA Fire Code with local amendments. Vote: Ayes 4 Absent 1 (Dominguez)
  • Ordinance relating to code administration and adopted by reference the California 2019 Building Codes with amendments.
  • Adopted by reference the 2019 CA Energy Code with amendments. Adopted by reference the 2019 CA Green Building Standards Code with amendments. Vote Ayes 4 Absent 1 (Phan)


Other Business:

  • Adopted a Policy on Discontinuance of Residential Water Service. Vote Ayes 4 Absent 1 (Phan)
  • Mayor Tran had requested a discussion on the merits of electing a new Vice Mayor for 2020. He believes that rotation would aid ‘shared governance’. This item generated comments from 23 speakers, and was followed by lengthy discussion among the members of the Council. Discussion was often emotional. Almost across the board there was no support for the Mayor’s proposal. In the end the Council directed the staff to return in January with a report including the following information.: historically what City of Milpitas had done with Vice Mayor, define what the job really entails, define the Vice Mayor’s role, define the Mayor’s role, explore process for rotating the Mayor’s position, and to continue conversation on shared governance later on. Vice Mayor requested research on whether there could be a primary for Mayor’s seat and if so, then conduct a poll on having the Mayor’s race in a primary election. Many other ideas were discussed by Councilmembers about the structure. Vote Ayes 4 No 1 (Phan)


Rich Tran (Mayor)                              Aye

Karina Dominguez (Vice Mayor)       Aye     Absent 1

Carmen Montano                                Aye

Bob Nunez                                          Aye

Anthony Phan                                     Aye     No 1    Absent 6



Navidad en Mexico

Submitted by Benny Murietta Valles


Celebrating over 50 years in the San Francisco bay area, the Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Carlos Moreno proudly presents a Northern California family favorite, “Navidad en Mexico,” a Christmas tradition since 1971. Under the direction of Carlos S. Moreno Sr., General Director, and Carlos G. Moreno Jr., Artistic Director, the company of 55 dancers and a guest singer, all accompanied by Mariachi Colima de Javier Magallon, brings the sparkle of the holiday to the San Leandro Performing Arts Center.


“Navidad en Mexico” will take the audience on several beautifully choreographed musical numbers, recreating a Christmas processional known as a Posada, a festive Piñata scene and even a visit by the Three Wise men—all performed in front of stunning scenic backdrops worthy of a Broadway musical. A spectacular south-of-the-border performance, “Navidad en Mexico” is perfect for the whole family.


The “Villa Navidena” is another cultural contribution that the Ballet Folkorico Mexicano de Carlos Moreno has incorporated to “Navidad en Mexico,” giving more enrichment and realism to this Christmas event. Arrive early to experience a typical “Villa Navidena,” a recreation of a little Mexican street in the theatre lobby where you will find traditional “Altares y Nacimientos,” traditional Mexican foods and drinks, such as tamales, bunuelos, and atole.


The Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Carlos Moreno was founded in 1967 in Livermore. Carlos Moreno was asked to teach Mexican folk dance and present his “Navidad en Mexico” program after a college service director saw his performance at the fairgrounds. “I thought it was going to be a one-time deal… But we are still doing it,” Moreno said.


The studio of Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Carlos Moreno is located in Oakland and offers Mexican folk dances for all ages. For more information on classes, upcoming performances and events, please visit www.balletfolkloricomexicano.org.


Feliz Navidad!


Navidad en Mexico

Saturday, Dec 14 – Sunday Dec 15

Sat: 8 p.m., Sun: 2 p.m.

San Leandro Performing Arts Center

2250 Bancroft Ave., San Leandro

(510) 562-6046


Tickets: $35



New Haven Unified School District makes Plans for Employee Housing Bond Measure

By Roelle Balan


It’s no secret that everyone is struggling to find affordable housing in the Bay Area. This year’s historic New Haven Teachers Association strike is proof that teachers are struggling financially, especially with housing. New Haven Unified School District in Union City is making plans to put a bond measure on the ballot that will build housing for its teachers and employees.


The school board has been given the go ahead by the community to put a bond measure on a future ballot. A survey conducted from April 30, 2019 to May 2, 2019 showed over 65% of residents surveyed would support a bond measure that funds affordable workforce housing for teachers and employees of the district. The survey was a mix of landline and cellphone calls with 400 respondents.


Employee housing would be offered under a subsidized rent. Annette Heldman, Chief Business Officer of New Haven Unified School District said it’s a win-win situation considering the school district’s financial struggles. “We’re getting rental money from the employees who are renting it, and then the employees are getting the benefit of a lower rent compared to market rent,” Heldman said. “If a normal rent for a unit is two thousand dollars, the district would rent it out for less than that.”


Heldman stated through email that the school district is currently experiencing revenue losses and will have more losses in future years. This possible bond measure would work out financially for the district. “It’s a bond, not a loan; we don’t have to pay anyone off,” Heldman said. She explained taxpayers pay for bond measures as part of their property taxes when they live near schools and college districts. “A bond measure is good for thirty years,” Heldman said. “Taxpayers like me who live in the community are paying that for thirty years.”


District employees who want to live in the area could use the help. “It’s so expensive to live here; at least from what I’ve heard from a lot of our younger teachers, they cannot afford to live here and a lot of them are commuting. They live in pocket neighborhoods, and they would have an hour to two hours’ commute,” Heldman said.


The employee housing idea couldn’t come to fruition without land. The district plans to build the housing on an empty piece of land they own behind what used to be Barnard-White Middle School. “Not every district can do it because first of all you have to have the land, and we happen to be the owner of a piece of land,” Heldman said.


Four bond measures have been passed during the district’s history. Heldman said they were spent to build Conley-Caraballo High School, Delaine Eastin Elementary, and a performing arts center. She said one bond is about to expire in 1-2 years.


Housing units will be limited, which means criteria need to be developed to choose who gets housing. Heldman said a committee would be formed to decide on those criteria. She said the committee would most likely be made up of the superintendent, school board members, and union leaders.


According to Heldman, the board is still deciding whether or not they want the bond measure to be on a future ballot. During the October 15, 2019 school board meeting the board directed staff to conduct a second survey to get community feedback on a different issue, the parcel tax. Heldman said once all survey results are in the board would then decide which measures will appear on a future elections ballot.

Wieckowski lines up broad support for oil severance tax

Submitted by Jeff Barbosa


State Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) has lined up more supporters for his legislation to have the oil industry pay an oil severance tax in California, as it does in every other major oil producing state. Senate Bill 246 would raise approximately $900 million per year to better fund schools and other important services in California.


As many of the world’s leaders gather in Spain at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP) 25, Wieckowski said it is time to demand more from the fossil fuel industry.


“California taxpayers have reached into their wallets to clean up the pollution and harmful legacy of abandoned wells left behind by oil companies that have shirked their responsibility to protect the public’s health and safety,” said Wieckowski. “It is time for California to finally levy a tax that the industry routinely pays in other states. The oil companies have reaped huge profits here without ever paying a severance tax to fund important services for taxpayers.”


Despite being an oil and gas producing state for over a century, California has never imposed a tax on the extraction of our fossil fuels. SB 246 would impose a 10 percent oil and gas tax. The revenue derived from the tax would go into the state’s general fund.


“California shouldn’t be the only major oil producing state without an oil severance tax,” said Victoria Rome, California legislative director at Natural Resources Defense Council. “California produces some of the most carbon polluting crude on the planet. We should not be subsidizing its production by allowing the oil industry to operate here without the tax they pay pretty much everywhere else, including Texas.”


Wieckowski will join American leaders at the U.S. Climate Action Center at the UN climate talks underway in Madrid. He is the only California state senator attending this year’s conference.



Selected post offices boost hours for holiday season

Submitted by Augustine Ruiz Jr.


To ease the hustle and bustle of getting holiday shipments in the mail and on their way, certain East Bay Post Offices in the Bay Valley District will be open for full retail services on Saturdays, December 14 and 21. With the busiest week projected to be December 16-22, the extra hours should help customers dashing to the post office to get their shipments in the mail.


These East Bay post offices are among those with extended Saturday hours from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


  • Fremont Main, 37010 Dusterberry Way, Fremont
  • Hayward Main, 24438 Santa Clara St., Hayward
  • Oakland-Emeryville, 1585 62nd St., Oakland


More than 2.5 billion pieces of mail, including 200 million packages, are expected to be processed and delivered during the week of December 16 – 22. Traditionally, what used to be the busiest day of the year has morphed into the “busiest week,” largely driven by an increase in online buying.


“During the busiest time of the year, people get frazzled with all they have to do,” said Bay-Valley District Manager Darrel Stoke. “Providing the added convenience of more days and hours to bring us their mail is just one less thing they have to worry about. It’s all about Priority Yule!”


To search for operating hours at a specific Post Office, visit the USPS website at https://tools.usps.com/find-location.htm.



Firefighter program aims to abate warming fires

Submitted by Aisha Knowles


The Fremont Fire Department (FFD) in collaboration with Fremont Firefighters Local 1689 is launching a “Project Keep Warm,” program designed to help reduce the number of warming fires initiated by unsheltered people.


“The purpose of Project Keep Warm is to provide a measure of relief and reduce the number of warming fire-related incidents by providing people experiencing homelessness with a portable four-layer thermal insulated blanket,” said Deputy Chief Amiel Thurston.


“Through outreach and education on the risks associated with uncontrolled warming fires, Fremont Firefighters will be taking a proactive step forward in reducing the fire threat to our community,” added Fremont Firefighters Local 1689 President Anthony Herrera.


The fire department’s traditional response to warming fires has been to extinguish the fire, increase patrols of the area, and in some cases to work with other stakeholders to abate homeless encampments. While extinguishment and enforcement meet the interests of the residential and commercial communities, its impacts are often temporary as the homeless reestablish themselves in other areas or return to the same location.


To begin the program, the FFD, with assistance from Human Services, Community Services, Environmental Services and the Fremont Police Department will go to known homeless encampments within the city and distribute one blanket to each homeless person. The FFD will also carry blankets on fire apparatus and provide them when responding to calls for service with a nexus to homelessness.


Fremont Firefighters Local 1689 has agreed to donate toward the initial cost of the blankets. Contributions toward ongoing costs will come from Fremont Firefighters Local 1689 fundraising efforts and partnerships with other community outreach and service organizations.


Anyone who would like to know more about the Project Keep Warm program or who would like to help support it can email fremontfire@fremont.gov or call (510) 494-4200.



Letter to the Editor

Regional parks benefit our community


The Fremont Recreation Commission is tasked with providing parks and recreational opportunities for all residents. It is scheduled to meet monthly, in addition to frequent special meetings. But the Commission met only twice in 2019, with six special meetings or study sessions. Eight meetings were canceled. The Recreation Commission will discuss the Master Plan for Parks this week, but it will not discuss how to fix its policy-making process for recreation and linear parks.


East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) operates Regional Parks here in Fremont, and Mission Peak Regional Preserve is the most prominent. The city leases 900 acres in the park to EBRPD; the lease is set to expire in July 2020. At the same time, the residential Permit Parking Ordinance and the agreement between Fremont and EBRPD police to enforce street parking will also expire. Perversely, neighbors filed an environmental lawsuit against EBRPD in 2016, to try to block parking inside the park. The suit was settled in 2018 in EBRPD’s favor, which cleared the legal roadblocks.


The Fremont-EBRPD Liaison Committee, scheduled to meet three times per year, met only once during 2019. Two meetings were canceled. The lack of liaison has left the public in the dark during the critical phase for the lease renewal at Mission Peak. The city should partner with EBRPD to improve the staging area, and reduce parking congestion on city streets. The $7-million staging area will benefit local residents and businesses.


A city-sponsored Commercial Strategy Study in 2019 found that the historic business district of Mission San Jose is languishing. Though “the three most significant attractions…are the historic California Mission, Ohlone College, and Mission Peak,” the city restricted parking at Mission Peak in 2016, and Ohlone College hiked visitor parking fees at the Pine Street entrance in 2015 and 2017. The city and park district met behind closed doors with the Vineyard Homeowners Association in 2014, to craft policies favoring homeowners over the public at large. Park hours were cut on a temporary basis in 2014. Since then, the city and park district have issued over $200,000 in citations that target park visitors and young families.


The city’s lack of transparency is untenable. The city needs to support significant visitor attractions, to help businesses in Mission San Jose. We urge the Recreation Commission and Liaison Committee to support our Regional Parks, and to help residents engage with nature. As John Muir said, “keep close to Nature's heart…and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”


  1. Yragui


Mission Peak Conservancy



Town Hall with Ro Khanna

Submitted by Congressman Ro Khanna


Representative Ro Khanna (CA-17) will discuss recent developments and current legislative activities in Congress and take questions from constituents in attendance at San Jose Town Hall on Saturday, December 14. Attendees will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis.


Visit https://khanna.house.gov/about/events/december-14-2019-san-jose-town-hall to complete the RSVP form. Expressing interest through the RSVP form does not guarantee entry. For more information about the town hall, call the CA-17 District Office at (408) 436-2720.


San Jose Town Hall with Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17)

Saturday, Dec 14

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

6148 Bollinger Rd, San Jose

(408) 436-2720




San Leandro Police Log

Submitted by San Leandro PD


Monday, December 2

  • Officers responded to a 10:25 a.m. report about a robbery at the U.S. Bank at 1585 E. 14th St. A man reportedly had given a bank teller a note demanding money; after receiving an undisclosed amount of money he exited the bank. Arriving officers searched the area but did not locate the suspect. San Leandro Police detectives and a crime analyst then began an investigation into the robbery using law enforcement databases. Eventually a suspect, later identified by police as Grady Arnold, 57, of Oakland was identified. At 2:00 p.m. detectives located Arnold in the 5700 block of Foothill Boulevard in Oakland and arrested him. During an interview with detectives, Arnold confessed to the crime and was booked into Santa Rita Jail. On December 3 the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office filed robbery charges against Arnold.

Photos in 1 new Sharon


Vice Mayor Lopez with 2019 City Council District Five Leadership Award recipient Tom Breckenridge and members of the All Saint Episcopal Church community food pantry.



San Leandro City Council

December 2, 2019



  • Presentation of the 2019 Service Awards.
  • Presentation of the 2019 City Council District Leadership Awards and Mayor’s Awards of Excellence.
  • Presentation of “A City Where Kindness Matters” Award.


Public Comments:

  • Several residents expressed concerns about how climate change may affect San Leandro.
  • Resident expressed frustration about the PG&E power shut offs.



  • Presentation by the San Leandro Police Department on their response to the recent PG&E public safety power shut offs.


Consent Calendar:

  • Approve posting of the 2020 local appointments list for upcoming vacancies on the city’s boards and commissions on bulletin boards outside the city council chambers, in the Main library, and online.
  • Resolution to accept the annual report of the West San Leandro shuttle business improvement district (BID) fiscal year 2019-20 and to impose BID assessment rates increased by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  • Authorize service agreement with HdL Companies to continue providing business license tax administration services.
  • Accept the investment report for the quarter ended September 30, 2019.
  • Authorize purchase of a sewer cleaner from Owen Equipment.
  • Approve purchase of 150 desktop computers from Granite Data Solutions.

Calendar passed: 7-0.


Items Removed From Consent Calendar:

  • Approve a consulting services agreement with Eide Bailly LLC for accounting and finance assistance. Item passed: 7-0.
  • Approve several grants of easement to Port of Oakland for flood protection, roadway, and road construction. And to an access license agreement with $500,000 as consideration with the Port of Oakland for the Oakland International Airport Perimeter Dike Project. Item passed: 7-0.
  • Resolution to endorse the declaration of a climate emergency and request regional collaboration on an immediate just transition and emergency mobilization effort to restore a safe climate. Several public comments were made in support of the resolution. Item passed: 7-0.
  • Resolution to approve a consulting services agreement with Integrated Archive Systems (IAS) for Rubrik Cloud Data Management Appliance and Software. Item passed 7-0.


City Council Reports:

  • Councilmember Hernandez attended the Alameda County Fire Department advisory committee where it was announced that the current Alameda County fire chief will retire in 2020.
  • Councilmember Cox attended the Alameda County Waste Management authority board where SB 1383 was discussed.
  • Councilmembers Lee and Aguilar both attended the National League of Cities conference in San Antonio.
  • Mayor Cutter attended the Bay Area Air Quality meeting at which locations to install air filters for wildfire season were discussed. She also attended the East Bay Dischargers Authority meeting where they discussed a possible study to investigate what changes an alteration to the shoreline would create.


City Council Calendar and Announcements:

  • At the January 21st, 2020 council meeting Councilmember Ballew and Mayor Cutter will be absent.
  • Councilmember Aguilar will be absent at December 9th’s city council work session.
  • There will be a Bikes for Tikes event at the Davis Street Family Resource Center to give away 1,000 bikes December 14th.


Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter                           Aye

Vice Mayor Corina N. Lopez                         Aye

Victor Aguilar, Jr.                                           Aye

Ed Hernandez                                                 Aye

Benny Lee                                                       Aye

Deborah Cox                                                   Aye

Pete Ballew                                                     Aye



Santa at firehouse

Submitted by Aisha Knowles


Join Fremont firefighters for a visit from Santa on Sunday, December 15. Have your picture taken with Santa on an antique fire engine and receive a printed copy of the one-of-a-kind holiday firehouse experience. Community members are also invited to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, cookies and milk, and to take part in holiday crafts and pick up the latest winter fire safety tips.


Hosted by Fremont Firefighters Local 1689 and the Fremont Fire Department, this is a free, family-friendly event open to all ages. If you have any questions or would like additional information, email fremontFire@fremont.gov or call (510) 494-4200.


Take Picture with Santa

Sunday, Dec 15

1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Station 6,

4355 Central Avenue, Fremont

(510) 494-4200




Major Revisions


Three housing development proposals have recently been resubmitted with major revisions. When projects have substantial changes, they must undergo the full set of planning reviews. When the application is assessed by the planning department to be ready for a public hearing, the application will be presented to the appropriate approval body. Questions and comments should be sent to the assigned city staff planner.


Niles Gateway

Valley Oaks Partners and Lennar Homes have submitted revamped development plans for the old Henkel/Schuckl Cannery property in Niles. The main modifications include removing the commercial section, reducing the number of housing units from 95 to 75, lowering all the buildings to two stories, and changing the entire architectural style. There would be 57 townhouses in the main section and 18 condominium flats on the Alameda Creek side of the development. The current stub-end of Niles Boulevard would become a private road connecting to an interior loop road. The current designation of Industrial – Niles Historic Overlay District is proposed to change to Residential with no historic overlay. The initial project had an industrial architectural theme. That has been changed to a more traditional residential style.


The March 2015 approval by the city council of the first proposal was set aside by the courts in July 2018 after Niles residents appealed for a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR). In September 2018, a full EIR was completed. The 2019 major revision plans will have to be fully reviewed by the Planning Department. The 2018 EIR will need to be updated with supplemental analysis to reflect the change to the 75-unit alternative. The project application would then be presented to the Historical Architectural Review Board and the planning commission for recommendations and go to the city council for a final decision. Contact City Staff Planner David Wage at dwage@fremont.gov.


Decoto Lux

This project is a four-lot division of a parcel on Decoto Road close to the bridge across Alameda Creek at the Union City boundary. The major revision to this project is changing the access to be off Decoto Road to a straight private street. This replaces the access being off Nightingale Court to a half-cul-de-sac in the development. The required one-story house will now be on the lot adjacent to the existing one-story house on Nightingale Court. The old plans had a two-story house next to the existing house.


Neighbors living on Nightingale Court objected to the proposed connection of their full-width street merging into a narrow street that would have been necessary because of the original parcel's alignment. These two revisions are to address the major objections of the Planning commission and city council in 2018. After undergoing a complete planning review, the new proposal will go directly to the city council for approval. Contact City Staff Planner Cliff Nguyen at cnguyen@fremont.gov.


The Argonaut

Tecta Associates is proposing a residential tower where the Union 76 gas station currently stands at the corner of Mowry Avenue and Argonaut Way near The Hub. This is within the City Center Urban Neighborhood Zone that allows buildings up to 75 feet.


The main revisions to the latest submission are changing from 39 for-sale condominiums to 74 rental apartments, adding a sixth floor and curving the corner of the building at the intersection. An application for condominiums would go to the planning commission for approval but this application for apartments will only have to go to the zoning administrator. Contact City Staff Planner Aki Snelling at asnelling@fremont.gov.



Shinn House Christmas

Submitted by Al Minard


The Historic James and Lucy Shinn house this year gives an opportunity for some interesting Christmas festivities. On Saturday, December 14 – Sunday, December 15, we will hold an open house from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Costumed docents will show you this historic house and tell you about the family that lived there from when it was completed in 1876 until Florence Shinn passed in 1970. This house did not get electricity or running water or flush bathrooms until 1905—think about the fun that must have been!


The house provides a window into Fremont history. The Shinn family came to California in 1856 and lived in a very small cottage to the left of the gate coming into the park. After Florence passed away, the walls and woodwork were researched and vintage wallpaper was installed, painted as it was in the 1890’s. The Shinn family had one of the earliest nurseries in California and some of that is represented in the large specimen trees on the grounds. The Friends of Heirloom Flowers maintains the flower gardens and though they do not have as many plants in bloom now you can see the care and love given.


Tours are $5 for guests over 14, $2.50 for children between 7 and 14, and free for ages six and younger. The tours normally last about 45 minutes and cover both the first floor and the second floor of this grand house. One-year membership, which will provide information of other activities throughout the year at Shinn House and of Mission Peak Heritage Foundation (which maintains the inside of the house and provides tours) is only $10.


Tours of Shinn House

Saturday, Dec 14 – Sunday, Dec 15

12 noon – 4 p.m.

Shinn House

1251 Peralta Blvd., Fremont

(510) 795-0891

General admission: $5



Kids and cops go shopping

Submitted by CHP-Hayward


California Highway Patrol officers from the CHP-Hayward office recently joined more than 27 other regional law enforcement agencies including the Fremont Police Department for a “Shop With A Cop” event to benefit needy children during the holiday season.


On Wednesday, December 4 volunteer officers were paired with 220 children at a holiday breakfast where they got to know each other before going Christmas shopping at local Target stores. Each child was given a budget to shop for clothing items and a toy.



Songwriters to swap and share unfinished works

Submitted by Michael McNevin


Budding and experienced songwriters and musicians are invited to attend a Songwriter Salon to share their “works in progress” with others and share peer to peer feedback at The Mudpuddle Shop in Fremont.


Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with music starting at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 11. Songwriters are encouraged to bring at least one new song to share, and six to eight lyric sheets to pass around. They can borrow the shop guitars and piano or bring their own instrument.


A $10 to $20 sliding donation will be requested at the door. Because space is limited, RSVPs are strongly recommended and can be made by calling (510) 794-9935. For information about picking a chair or program details, send an email to host Michael McNevin at info@michaelmcnevin.com.


Located on Niles Boulevard in Fremont’s historic Niles District, The Mudpuddle Shop is a music school and performance space that hosts Songwriter Salons on most Wednesday evenings. The first and third Wednesdays are usually music showcases and variety concerts open to the listening public, with the second Wednesday reserved for songwriters and musicians to share their works with each other.


The Wednesday, December 18 Songwriter Salon will feature a concert by McNevin & The Spokes along with other performers.


Songwriter Salon

Wednesday, Dec 11

7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)

The Mudpuddle Shop

37433 Niles Blvd., Fremont

(510) 794-9935


$10-$20 sliding donation



Park District Stewardship/Resources Department

By Dennis Waespi

East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors


East Bay Regional Park District’s mission statement declares in part that “An environmental ethic guides the district in all of its activities.”


Through a wide range of services and projects, the district’s Stewardship/Resources Department helps to fulfill this responsibility daily. Stewardship’s duties are extensive, all to balance environmental concerns with outdoor recreational opportunities.


The department plans and monitors impacts on vegetation, wildlife, and water to ensure that natural parkland ecosystems are maintained in a healthy and productive condition. Its activities guide the development of district parklands to ensure the long-term protection of natural and cultural resources – both ancient archaeological sites and more recent historical resources. Stewardship staff manages the fishing program at district lakes, which includes fish habitat enhancement, and regular stocking of game fish.


In conjunction with the district’s fire department, stewardship oversees a wildfire hazard reduction program. There’s a grazing program with the dual goal of reducing fuel load for wildfires and maintaining grassland habitat.


Integrated pest management uses ecologically sensitive techniques to control invasive species of both plants and animals in the parks. The resource enhancement program endeavors to protect and restore plant and animal habitats that have been impacted by human and natural causes. Restoration of tidal marshes, ponds, grassland and oak woodlands are examples.


To carry out all these responsibilities, the stewardship department currently has 21 permanent staff members, who work in wildlife, fisheries, wildland vegetation, water quality, integrated pest management, and ecological services.


Currently the stewardship department’s top priority is a restoration project for Upper San Leandro Creek at Robert Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve in the Oakland Hills. Flowing east toward Moraga through the former McCosker property, the creek was severely degraded when the property was under private ownership. The restoration project will uncover 2,900 feet of stream channel that has been in a culvert for many years.


It will also restore a total of 3,000 feet of stream channel, creating four acres of riparian habitat, including habitat for native rainbow trout that are present in San Leandro Creek downstream from the property. Creek reconstruction will produce boulder cascades, pools, and spawning sites for the fish.


More information about the Stewardship/Resources Department and its activities is available at the park district’s website, www.ebparks.org. Click on “About Us” at the top of the home page, then click again on “Stewardship/Resources” on the left side of the page.


December is the holiday month. To get into the holiday spirit, Victorian style, check out the daytime Christmas tours at the historic Patterson House at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont.


Docent-led tours showcase the house dressed up with Victorian inspired decorations and holiday traditions from the late 1800s. Tours are offered at 11:30 a.m., 12 noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturdays, December 14 and December 21, and Sundays December 15 and December 22. Special shortened tours for children ages 6 and under are offered at 11:30 a.m.


For booking a large group or to inquire about weekday tours, call (510) 544-3289. Ardenwood is at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, just north of Highway 84. For fee information, call (510) 544-2797.


For a more outdoors experience, join naturalist Ashley Adams for an easy “Winter Wonderland Walk” from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, December 21 at Sunol Regional Wilderness. Discover what animals and plants do for cold weather, while warming up yourself with apple cider.


The park is at the end of Geary Road, off Calaveras Road about 5 miles south of I-680 and the town of Sunol. Meet at the visitor center. For more information, call (510) 544-3249.


The park district staff and board wish you a happy holiday season.



Thanksgiving Thank You


On behalf of everyone involved – thank you for the support of our Thanksgiving Meal Program. After an article appeared in Tri-City Voice, the community opened their hearts and made it happen. It would not have been possible without the generous donations of food, equipment, the use of the Pavilion hall & kitchen and monetary support by caring individuals and businesses in the area.


It was a beautiful day, thanks to the over 400 volunteers who cooked, carved, served, delivered meals to the homebound, distributed 200 boxes of food to guests, worked in the kids area, set tables, decorated, entertained, loaded, and transported everything needed from our headquarters at to the Pavilion, stayed to clean up and take equipment and supplies back to League of Volunteers (LOV) at the end of the day. We are truly blessed to live in a community that can pull together and give of themselves for those less fortunate.


It was a wonderful day with 3,955 meals, which includes those delivered to homebound people in Fremont, Newark, Union City, Hayward, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Castro Valley, our Pavilion guests, and the takeout food provided for those in need.


Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who made this a special holiday for so many.


Shirley D. Sisk

League of Volunteers



Union City City Council

November 26, 2019



  • Mayor Dutra-Vernaci read a statement about the double homicide on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at Searles Elementary School. The police department did increase their patrols in areas where the shooting took place, especially during vigils. A “healing space” was offered to the community from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Union City Family Center at 725 Whipple Road. Centro de Servicios held a fundraiser at its corner store on 6th and H Streets on November 26 and 27 to raise funds for the victims’ funeral expenses. The family of the victims recommend donations be given to Centro de Servicios instead of the Go Fund Me accounts.


Consent Agenda:

  • Approved minutes for the special and regular City Council meetings on November 12, 2019.
  • Started a $81,400 contract with Helix Environmental Planning for consulting services on a new gas station and convenience store with a proposed location at 1998 Whipple Road. The service includes an initial environmental study on the property and the preparation of environmental clearance documents.


Public Comment:

  • Local Rotary Club donated tennis nets to the city.
  • On a 2-hour police response time.
  • On affordable housing.
  • On homelessness.
  • Resident shared her disagreement with Councilmember Gacoscos’ opinions about supporting police, firefighters, and Youth and Family Services.


Public Hearings:

  • Called an election for March 3, 2020 and posed possible extension of the public safety parcel tax for eight years as a ballot question. A survey was conducted and 88% of residents said 911 emergency response is the number one priority for them. The cost to hold a city election is $150,000 and $50,000 for public information efforts. If residents vote to discontinue the parcel tax there would be an elimination of youth and family services, traffic and parking enforcement. Some residents supported the $175 yearly parcel tax rate and others supported the $168 rate. Others suggested there should be other ways for the city to generate revenue like attracting more businesses. The final motion was to set the parcel tax rate at $168 a year with a minimum adjustment of 3% according to the CPI and if that rate is higher. PASSED 4-1 (Nay, Duncan).


City Reports:

  • Presented an informational plan to educate the community on the city’s public safety parcel tax measure set for the March 2020 ballot. The city plans to send information about the measure by website, mailers, routine emails, press releases and tabling at community events. The city also plans to clear up any misconceptions about the city’s tax rate being the highest in the state. Mayor Dutra-Vernaci said other cities in the state do pay higher taxes than Union City.


  • Fair Housing Choice presentation. The purpose was to get feedback on the Regional Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice. The report lists the specific barriers to fair housing like segregation. Other fair housing issues include difficulties finding housing for people with disabilities and the incomplete living conditions of minority households.


Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci               Aye

Vice Mayor Gary Singh                      Aye

Emily Duncan                                     Aye, 1 Nay

Pat Gacoscos                                       Aye

Jaime Patiño                                        Aye