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Alameda County Fire Department Log

Submitted by ACFD


Tuesday, December 10

  • At 3:53 a.m. firefighters responded to Standish and Hampton Road in Cherryland on a report of a fully-involved travel trailer fire. The fire was extinguished, but there was heat damage to the nearby home and garage. There were no injuries; the cause of the fire was unknown.

Alameda Civic Ballet’s The Nutcracker Ballet

Submitted by Alameda Civic Ballet


This holiday season prepare to be transported on a magical journey with Clara and the Nutcracker Prince. After the heroic battle against the Mouse King, travel through the Land of the Snowflakes and on to the Kingdom of Sweets. There you will meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and be entertained by the wonders of the Land of Enchantment. Choreographed by Artistic Director Abra Rudisill with gorgeous costumes and beautiful sets – all to the classic Tchaikovsky score – this is a production sure to bring out the child in all of us. Whether this is your first time seeing a Nutcracker production or it is a time-honored holiday tradition, make ACB’s 14th Annual Nutcracker part of your holiday festivities.


Alameda Civic Ballet’s production of this classic Christmas story will be performed on Saturday, December 21 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and on Sunday December 22 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $24 – 38 and can be purchased at Brownpapertickets.com.


Families are welcome to these performances, but everyone will need a ticket. Babies on laps are not permitted. Please use your best judgement as to whether your child can sit quietly through a two-hour performance.


Alameda Civic Ballet’s The Nutcracker Ballet

Saturday, Dec 21 – Sunday, Dec 22

Sat: 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Sun: 2 p.m.

Castro Valley Center for the Arts

19501 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

Tickets: $24-$38

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BART Police Log

Submitted by Les Mensinger and BART PD


Friday, December 6

  • At 9:11 a.m. a man identified by police as Ty Ervin, 29, of San Francisco was arrested at Union City station on suspicion of providing false information to a peace officer and resisting arrest. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.


Sunday, December 8

  • At 5:21 p.m. a male juvenile who was reported as a runaway from a group room was arrested at Bay Fair station in San Leandro on an active no-bail warrant and booked into Alameda County Juvenile Hall.


Monday, December 9

  • A man identified by police as Nadeem Deisieh, 23, of San Francisco was arrested at Fremont station on an outstanding $15,000 warrant for possessing an illegal substance. He was booked into Fremont City Jail.


Tuesday, December 10

  • At 5:38 p.m. a man identified by police as Robert Johnson, 35, of San Francisco was arrested at Castro Valley station on suspicion of fare evasion, obstructing an officer and providing false identification to an officer. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.


Thursday, December 12

  • At 11:00 a.m. a man identified by police as Raul Moreno, 31, of Hayward was arrested at Union City station on a no-bail warrant for burglary issued in Kings County. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.


  • At 1:46 p.m. a man identified by police as Timothy Knockum, 53, of Oakland was arrested at Union City station on suspicion of fare evasion and probation violation. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.



What’s bugging your garden?

By Daniel O'Donnell


There have been many experiments to see if the proverb “one bad apple can spoil the whole barrel” is literally true. It turns out that one bad apple can spoil an entire bowl of apples, a batch of cider, or a pie. It is not so true when the saying is used metaphorically. A sports team, a company, or any other group should not be judged on the actions of one “bad apple.” If there is an infestation of one destructive insect all the other bugs should not be deemed pests.


Often when someone sees an infestation of bugs or some plant devastation, their first instinct is to spray a broad-spectrum pesticide. Spraying harmful chemicals is one of the worst ways to combat harmful bugs. They can be effective in killing the intended pest but will also wipe out beneficial bugs and can possibly harm other wildlife and even humans. If a pesticide must be used, it should be an organic one that targets the specific pest and will not harm the beneficial bugs in the garden.


About 97 percent of all insects in a garden do not harm plants. Many of them benefit the garden by consuming pests, pollinating plants, improving the soil, and releasing nutrients into the soil by breaking down plant debris. A better defense for warding off invasive bugs is by creating a heathy ecosystem that attracts and supports beneficial bugs.


Growing native plants is one way to create a healthy environment for beneficial bugs. Many native plants have developed natural defenses to resist harmful insects or have mechanisms to attract beneficial predatory bugs. Planting a diverse spectrum of plants that bloom at different times will provide nectar and pollen that many beneficial bugs need to supplement their diets and will encourage them to stay in the garden. Spreading mulch over 90 percent of the soil will provide protection throughout the year. The 10 percent of soil left bare will provide places for beneficial ground nesting bees.


Identifying a good bug from a bad one is the single most important thing a person can do to rid the garden of unwanted pests and attract beneficial bugs. A person can determine if any action is needed by identifying the insect. A Cabbage Moth might look like it is good for pollinating vegetables; however, it lays eggs that hatch into caterpillars that can devour produce. On the other hand, a Syrphid Fly larva looks like an herbivorous caterpillar but it is a relentless aphid hunter.


Mac’s Field Guides publish a single page guide that has good garden bugs of California on one side and bad bugs on the other. Taking a magnifying glass into the garden with children is an enjoyable way to identify bugs in the yard and inspire the next generation of gardeners.


Most insects go through different changes during their life cycle so the young frequently do not look like the adult. Usually it is the young that are the most voracious predators. Here are some of the beneficial bugs worth keeping an eye out for:


  • Adult Ladybeetles are one of the most recognized bugs; their six-legged black and orange spotted larva not so much. They devour aphids, scale, thrips, mealybugs, and spider mites.


  • There is debate about how beneficial Praying Mantises, including the native California Mantis, are. They are efficient hunters who do not discriminate between eating bad bugs or beneficials. The argument is that they help keep all bug populations in balance including their own because other Praying Mantises are not off the dinner menu.


  • Dragonflies are usually admired for their vibrant torso colors and elegant wings. However, they should also be appreciated for their ability to rid the garden of less esteemed flying insects such as mosquitoes, flies, and midges.


  • Green Lacewings are attractive insects that sometimes grace the sky above Bay Area gardens in their hunt for aphids, thrips, mealybugs, scale, spider mites, leafhoppers, and insect eggs. Juveniles can eat up to 30 aphids per day. The adults are also one of the most prolific pollinators in the garden.


  • Soldier Beetle larva clear mulch and leaf litter of soil-dwelling pests. The adults patrol the plants looking for unsuspecting insects. The bright red heads of the larva and adults make them easy to identify.


  • Almost anyone who has spent time in the garden has seen black Ground Beetles that scamper away from a stone when it has been moved. It is hard to imagine how they can move so fast when they are able to consume their body weight in food each day. The species are responsible for reduction in slugs, snails, cutworms, and root maggots over a short period of time.


  • While houseflies are busy annoying people, Syrphid Flies hunt for aphids, mealy bugs, caterpillars, and other pests. Also called Flower Flies, they are not surprisingly productive pollinators as well.


There are many other beneficial bugs that should be encouraged to live in the garden. Knowing that most insects benefit the garden and encouraging them to stay can make controlling the “bad apples” as easy as pie.


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



Bird Count

Submitted by City of Fremont


On Friday, December 20, join the Christmas Bird Count in the upper Alameda Creek watershed, sponsored by the Alameda Creek Alliance and Ohlone Audubon Society. The Christmas Bird Count is an annual nationwide volunteer-based bird survey effort coordinated by the Audubon Society to promote bird conservation and assess long-term trends in winter bird populations.


The annual Eastern Alameda County bird count was initiated in 2009. The 15-mile-radius count circle is in the vicinity of the towns of Sunol, Pleasanton and Livermore, and includes five East Bay Regional Parks, significant San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) watershed lands, and East Bay birding hotspots such as lower Mines Road, Sunol Wilderness, and Sycamore Grove Park.


Birders and volunteers with any level of experience can participate in the bird count. For more information, call (510) 499-9185, visit http://www.alamedacreek.org/join-volunteer/CBC.php#, or email Jeff Miller at Jeff@alamedacreek.org.


Eastern Alameda Bird Count

Friday, Dec 20

Sunol, Pleasanton, Livermore

(510) 499-9185




Local bridge players win top prize

Submitted by India Community Center


Senior Bridge Club members of India Community Center (Milpitas) Jaya Mehta and Arun Kumar participated and won first prize in the “North American Bridge Championships” in San Francisco.



Men’s Basketball

Gladiators rally past Mariners

Submitted by Tony Gonsalez


Playing for the first time in two weeks, the Chabot men's basketball team overcame a slow start to pull away from visiting College of Marin for an 80-69 nonconference victory on December 7. The Gladiators outscored the Mariners 33-22 in the final 11 minutes to turn a tie game into a double-digit victory to improve their record to 7-1.


Jabari Sweet had an outstanding game for the Gladiators, scoring a game-high 20 points while adding five rebounds, four steals and four blocked shots. “He's done a tremendous job taking over the game when needed,” Chabot second-year coach Keenan McMiller said of Sweet. “The way he controls the low post on the defensive end and constantly hitting jumpers off the dribble has been outstanding.”


Akili Daniels was a huge presence for Chabot as well. Daniels scored six points, but it was the defensive side that stood out. He pulled down eight rebounds to lead the Gladiators and also had three steals while harassing the Mariners guards all-game long. “(Akili) Daniels showed how much of an impact he has been for us this season and tonight was a good example,” McMiller said. “He doesn't put up mind-blowing numbers but the way he moves around out there is what we appreciate.”


Chabot game out of the gate slowly with just one field goal in the first five minutes before a 9-0 run gave them a 23-19 lead with eight minutes left in the first half. Marin came out blazing in the second half, opening with a 15-5 run as both teams traded leads. The Gladiators responded with a 16-7 run and a 65-56 lead. Marin would get no closer than seven the rest of the way as Chabot hit five straight free throws down the stretch.



Cougars Champions of Character

Submitted by Timothy Hess


The following Newark Memorial High School athletes were recognized as Champions of Character by their teammates this week:


Girls Basketball:

Alexis Parrocha

Tali Fa’i


Boys Soccer:

Braden Babich

TO GO IN 12/17



Menorah of warmth to light up Fremont City Hall

Article and photos submitted by Chaya Fuss


For the seventh time, Chabad of Fremont will celebrate the first night of the eight-day Chanukah holiday on Sunday, December 22 by lighting a giant Hanukkah Menorah at Fremont’s City Hall, followed by a community-wide celebration.


Starting at 4:00 p.m. the ceremony, organized by Chabad of Fremont, will be attended by Fremont city officials and will feature authentic snow, a craft corner, music, and a free raffle. Following the menorah lighting, attendees will be able to enjoy traditional jelly donuts, hot chocolate, coffee and treats.


The two-hour event is free and open to the public. Those attending are invited to bring coats, scarves, gloves and hats that will be donated to people in need.


“The menorah serves as a symbol of Fremont’s dedication to preserve and encourage the right and liberty of all its citizens to worship G‑d freely, openly, and with pride. This is true especially in America, a nation that was founded upon and vigorously protects the right of every person to practice his or her religion free from restraint and persecution,” said Rabbi Fuss.


The message of Hanukkah is the message of light. The nature of light is that it is always victorious over darkness. A small amount of light dispels a lot of darkness. One more act of goodness and kindness — one more act of light — can make all the difference.


Today, the unprecedented public display of Hanukkah has become a staple of Jewish cultural and religious life, forever altering the American practice and awareness of the festival. Fremont’s Menorah is one of more than 15,000 large public menorahs sponsored by Chabad in more than 100 countries around the world, including in front of landmarks such as the White House, the Eiffel Tower and Union Square, helping children and adults of all walks of life discover and enjoy the holiday message.


Chabad of Fremont offers Jewish education, outreach and social service programming for families and individuals of all ages, backgrounds and affiliations. For more information, contact Rabbi Fuss at rabbi@chabadfremont.com or visit the Chabad of Fremont website at www.chabadfremont.com.


Menorah Lighting

Sunday, Dec 22

4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Fremont City Hall

3300 Capitol Ave., Fremont

(510) 300-4090




ZiBo delegates meet with Fremont City Council

By Stephanie Gertsch


On Friday, December 13, delegates from the city of ZiBo in the Shandong province of China met with Fremont Mayor Lily Mei and members of City Council in order to share details about the two cities’ cultures and economies with the goal of improving future international relations. Councilmember Yang Shao contributed translations during the meeting; Fremont Mayor Lily Mei and Henry Yin provided some of their own translations.


Henry Yin recalled when he visited ZiBo for the first time about two months ago, he was impressed with both the city’s 1,000-year-plus history and their investment in emerging technologies. Yin said, “I found it to be a perfect match to the city of Fremont.” So, Yin was happy that Fremont was included as a stop on the delegation’s U.S. visit: “They only visited two or three stops actually in the U.S., and they chose Fremont as the only city in the Bay Area.” Their major objective is to build a relationship between Fremont and ZiBo, with hopes to become friendship cities in the future. Later in the meeting, Yin spoke about Fremont’s economic exchange with China.


Mayor Mei expressed how this meeting of culture’s is important given Fremont’s diversity, saying, “This is very important to the City of Fremont because our city has 55 percent overall, and about 62 percent in the schools are Asian. I’m also privileged to let you know that I am the first woman mayor and the first Asian mayor for our city’s 63-year history. We are very fortunate to have such a diversity of cultures and heritages.” While Fremont is home to major companies such as Tesla and Facebook, in Mei’s words, the number one product that we produce is the people.”


Economic Development Director Christina Briggs gave an overview of Fremont’s economy. Fremont has a high median household income, high education level, and a low unemployment rate.  As some of the major industries are biomedical, medical equipment, and electronics manufacturing, Fremont often cooperates with Asian countries. Briggs also highlighted the three major zones for development: Warm Springs Innovation District, Ardenwood Technology Park, and Fremont Downtown.


In turn, Mr. Lu of the ZiBo delegation shared some of his city’s history and economics. In the past, China was divided into seven kingdoms, and the capitol of the Qi kingdom is actually located in modern-day ZiBo. Qi culture can be seen in both ZiBo and all of modern-day China. ZiBo’s history is so long that there is a joke that whenever there is heavy rains and flooding, people gather outside in the district that used to be the Qi capitol to see if any artifacts have washed up. Historically, ZiBo’s major industries were ceramics, glass, and textiles. In modern times, new industries are evolving in ZiBo such as petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and equipment manufacturing. Economically, ZiBo is ranked around #30 among cities in China.


The meeting concluded with gift-giving, including a picture and coasters presented by the Fremont and a ceramic tea set by the ZiBo.


With the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, individual cities are still working to further communication and positive interactions.



Christmas in Oz

By David R. Newman

Photos courtesy of East Bay Children’s Theatre


Dorothy is back and better than ever in Christmas in Oz, now playing at the Douglas Morrison Theatre in Hayward. This delightful show first debuted in 2017 at the Chanticleers Theatre in Castro Valley. It’s produced by the East Bay Children’s Theatre (EBCT), which has been bringing musical theatre to disadvantaged elementary schools in the East Bay since 1933.


Christmas in Oz is the creation of Ron Lytle, a singer/dancer turned playwright/composer/lyricist who has written several songs, books, and musicals, primarily geared for children. He has been with EBCT since 2005. He is credited with the book, music, and lyrics for the show. Oh yeah, and he also directs it.


It’s a wacky, campy, touching return to the land of Oz. Christmastime in Kansas has our plucky protagonist Dorothy Gale feeling down. She misses her friends – Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion. With help from local general store manager Mr. Tinker, she makes a wishing machine (lovingly dubbed ‘Gidgety’) and is magically whisked away to the Emerald City.


What happens in Oz stays in Oz, but suffice it to say Dorothy and her friends must save the day once again, this time from the evil and very purply witch Nefariosa, who has just recently taken up the witching profession. In fact, Christmas itself is on the line as Santa Claus is captured by the violet villain, who plans to use Gidgety to help her eliminate the holidays altogether.


Christmas in Oz stays true to the original feel of the 1939 classic film while adding fun new characters and situations. Actress Shawna Darling channels all of her cackling charm to the role of Nefariosa, whose transformation at the end is hilarious. And Scott Phillips does a fine job as Mr. Tinker. It’s an important character, as he sets the stage for the entire show, and Phillips gets it right. His take on Santa is also solid and very familiar. He does the big man proud.


The biggest and, for me, most wonderful surprise of Christmas in Oz may be Brigadier Bloop. Played by Gregory Lynch, he perfectly captures the eccentric spirit of the original Gatekeeper from the movie. And Lytle has given him a great deal of stage time, including the lead in an extended tap dance number (“The Bloop Brigade”) where he steps deftly along with his Bloopettes.


Of course, at the heart of the story is Dorothy, played by Jordan Foley, and her friendship with Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion. First of all, Foley is wonderful, with a first class voice, and good acting skills. Zachary Marshall (Scarecrow), Danny Martin (Tin Man), and Michael P. Mendelsohn (Lion) are a joy to watch. It’s fun to see these characters again. They especially shine in numbers like “Be Careful What You Wish For” and “Together We Are Better”, playing off each other with humor and a gentle dynamic reminiscent of the originals.


In “Glinda’s Assessment”, we see a sober Glinda, played with regal bearing by Pamela Ballin, remind Dorothy that it’s all her fault. It’s a funny and smart song that I wish there was more of. And there are munchkins a plenty, all played by cute kids. Their moment comes in the second act during the song “The Munchkins Return”, where they express their distaste for their new leader, Nefariosa. Did I say they’re cute?!


While Act I of Christmas in Oz is pleasant enough, setting the stage for our adventure, it’s in Act II where this show really comes alive, where we get to see familiar characters that we know and love take on new challenges, and where new characters make their strongest impression. In my opinion, it’s where all of the catchy songs are too. The music arrangements are delightful, with some clever choreography.


In the end, Dorothy wakes up next to Gidgety, back in the general store. As she leaves, she says goodbye to Gidgety, who is silent. Was it all a dream? For just a moment we wonder. Lytle has done well to capture that fine line between dream world and reality, just like the film.


Christmas in Oz is the perfect show for the holidays, light-hearted and fun. Scenery, costumes, lighting, sound – all well done (though there were some mic issues on opening night that I hope they work out). It’s a holiday treat that you should bring the whole family to enjoy. But don’t take my word for it. I brought along my 10-year-old daughter, Juliet. Here is her review:


“Dorothy was really good. My three favorite characters I thought were good are Dorothy, Gidgety, and Nefariosa. Dorothy, who was played by Jordan Foley, was a really good actor, singer, and dancer. Gidgety was a smart wish machine. And Nefariosa, the witch who was played by Shawna Darling, was really good. I love the part where she turns good. Overall, this show was great. The costumes, the lighting, the sets, were all really good.”


Christmas in Oz

Thursday, Dec 19 at 7 p.m.

Friday, Dec 20 at 8 p.m.

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

Sunday, Dec 22 at 2 p.m.

Douglas Morrisson Theatre

22311 N. 3rd Street, Hayward


(510) 881-6777


Tickets: $15 – $29

Photo in 1 new SHARON

Caption: Hayward City Hall

Credit: City of Hayward



City Hall basement parking garage to close

Submitted by City of Hayward


As part of a set of building security enhancements, public access to the Hayward City Hall basement parking garage will end on January 1, 2020.


Currently, the 48-space basement garage at 777 B Street is primarily occupied by city employees during weekdays but has also been publicly accessible mornings, afternoons, and when evening government meetings and events are scheduled.


Under the new rules, the City Hall basement garage will be closed with a security gate 24 hours a day, seven days a week — and users will be required to have a city-issued employee badge or security code to enter. To help fill the lack of parking spots, short-term public parking spaces will be added adjacent to City Hall along the south curb of B Street.


Also, the Watkins Street garage across from City Hall is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and contains 287 public parking spaces on the first and second floors. For details, call (510) 583-4000 or email info@hayward-ca.gov.



Cougars Report

Submitted by Timothy Hess


Junior Varsity:

The Lady Cougars had an outstanding and competitive performance at the annual Mission San Jose Tournament to finish in second place in the 3-day event. The Cougars lost to Leland in the championship game on Saturday, December 7th by the score of 52-27. Cayla Kawazoe was recognized for sportsmanship and Lauryn Kwe was named to the all-tournament team.


At Jefferson High School, the Cougars JV squad defeated Carlmont by the score of 51-37 in opening round action of the Grizzly JV Classic. Freshman Kamalei Iokepa played an outstanding game, scoring 31 points in the victory. The Lady Cougars advanced to the championship game against Hillsdale’s Lady Fighting Knights (San Mateo) with a 56-32 win over host Jefferson on December 13.



The Lady Cougars beat College Park by the score of 65-48 on December 7th to win the consolation bracket of the 3rd Annual Washington High Holiday Classic. Junior guard Samantha Armas continued her outstanding play scoring a career best 28 points, and was named to the all-tournament team.  Freshman teammate Tali Fa’i scored 12-points, and was recognized with a “sportsmanship” award.


The Lady Cougars opened the Tamalpais High School Invitational Tournament with a 43-32 win over Benicia on December 12th. Varsity Highlights: Freshman guard Tali Fa'i led all-scorers with 15-points. Junior teammate Samantha Armas added 12-points in the victory over the Panthers.


In semifinal action of the Tamalpais Holiday Invitation, the Lady Cougars defeated host Tamalpais (Mill Valley) by the score of 41-24 on December 13th. Senior guard Rylee Sarasua led all scorers with 12-points, with senior teammate AJ Sugatan adding 10-points in the victory over the Red-Tailed Hawks. The Lady Cougars will meet the Alameda Lady Hornets in the championship game.



Get your crab feed tickets now!

Submitted by David Garges


Union City Lions club members are back at it with another fantastic all-you-can eat Crab Feed. Although the dinner isn’t until February 29, tickets are available now for people who want to give them to friends and family during the holiday season.


$50 covers a dinner of salad, pasta, bread and crab as the main course. Tickets are good toward the purchase of a non-alcoholic beverage and an opportunity to win one of the three door prizes. Entertainment will be provided by a disc jockey.


Rounding out the event will be a live auction, silent auction, raffle and a no-host bar. Proceeds from the event will benefit youth groups and other Lions Club community service projects. The dinner will be at the Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church on Alvarado-Niles Road in Union City. Doors open at 5 p.m. for happy hour; dinner is served from 6:00 p.m.to 9:00 p.m.

Tickets are available at Lions Club website at www.UCLions.com. Follow the crab feed link in the upcoming events box.


Union City Lions Crab Feed

Saturday, Feb 29

Doors open 5 p.m.; dinner at 6 p.m.

Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church

32975 Alvarado-Niles Rd., Union City


Tickets: $50



Little League registration is OPEN!

Submitted by Frank Bontempo


Little League is the world’s largest and most respected youth sports program, with more than two million children and one million volunteers in dozens of countries around the world. Little League includes Baseball and Softball programs for children ages 4 to 16. There is also the Challenger Division Program for physically and developmentally challenged Little Leaguers. Sign-ups for the 2020 Spring Season of Little League Softball and Baseball in Fremont and Newark are now open. There will be plenty of fun and excitement for boys and girls ages 4 through 16 this coming Spring!


Opening Day for the 2020 season for all the leagues in Fremont and Newark is Saturday March 7, 2020, but you must register your child by early January for most age groups.


The softball and baseball leagues in Fremont and Newark are supported through Little League's California District 14 (cad14.org). “Little League is all about community”, according to volunteer District Administrator Bruce Marcellus. “And in Little League, every child plays in every game.”


Little League Softball is available for girls ages 6 through 16 with Fremont Newark Little League Girls Softball (“FNLLGS”) covering both Fremont and Newark. Girls are placed on teams based on league age (player age by December 31, 2020) and skill level. Player evaluations will take place on Saturday January 25 and February 1, 2020. Registration is now open at fnllgs.org. For baseball, players are placed in divisions of play, based on League Age (player age by August 30, 2020) and skill level. Players age 7-16 must participate in the player evaluation/try-outs for their league.


If you reside in North and Central Fremont, Fremont Centerville Little League is registering players on-line now at fcllbaseball.com. Player evaluation/try-out dates are set for Saturday, January 11, 2020 and Saturday, January 18, 2020. For more information contact League President Debbie Keesis at president@fcllbaseball.com


Niles-Centerville Little League is registering players from the Niles and Brookvale areas, players can register now at ncll.us. Player evaluation/try-out dates are Sunday, January 5 and Saturday, January 11, 2020. Niles-Centerville Little League, is offering a $50 discount for additional siblings that sign up and a snack shack credit for current players who refer a new player that registers. Earlybird discounts may still be available. League President, Steve Chappell, can be contacted at president@ncll.us


In the Mission San Jose area, Mission San Jose Little League is registering players at msjll.com. Player evaluations/tryouts are scheduled for Saturday, January 18 and 25, 2020. Jim Campbell, MSJLL President, can be contacted at president@msjll.com


Warm Springs Little League is registering players from Warm Springs and South Fremont neighborhoods at wsll.org. Skill assessments will be held on Saturday January 18 and 25, 2020. League President, Chris Hughes can be contacted at president@wsll.org.


In Newark, families can sign their children up with Newark Little League at newarkcalittleleague.com. Tryouts/player evaluations will be held on Saturday, January 4th and 11th, 2020. Contact newarkcalittleleague@gmail.com for more information.


Leagues in Fremont and Newark also offer the Challenger Division, serving girls and boys ages 5 through 18. Challenger is a unique baseball program designed for physically and developmentally challenged players. This program offers all the fun opportunities for players to enjoy the game of baseball in a safe environment. Challenger players, hit, field and run the bases, utilizing “buddies”, who are players on league teams, to assist them. Contact Steve Sawamura at steve.sawamura@earthlink.net


Still not sure where your child can play? Go to Little League's “League Finder” website at: littleleague.org/play-little-league/league-finder/ to find your neighborhood Little League program based on your child’s residence or school address.


Don't miss the family fun of Little League Softball and Baseball! Register you daughter or son now!



December: great month to apply for jobs

By Anne Chan, PhD, MFT


“I won’t even bother applying for jobs during November and December since everyone is away on vacation and nobody is hiring” is a statement I hear frequently during this time of the year. Sometimes, the statement includes January as well, which means that some job seekers are not applying to jobs for a full quarter of the year.


Granted, this can be a slower time of the year, with more holidays on the calendar, and more people taking vacations. However, this does not mean that the workplace comes to a complete standstill and that there is zero chance of getting hired. Yes, some employers hold off hiring till the beginning of the year, but some employers are desperate to fill vacant positions before year’s end. Some companies might even find out during this time that they have extra money in their budget for hiring and will be eager to fill their newly created positions before the end of the fiscal year.


Here is an interesting factoid: there were more job gains in December than in January last year. The numbers tell us that it makes sense to apply for jobs in December. So, please do not to put the brakes on sending job applications in December.


One big advantage in submitting your resume during this time of the year is that there is likely to be less competition – other job seekers will hold off from applying because they think no one is hiring or they are busy with their holiday plans. As a result, fewer resumes are flooding the employer’s desk. The resumes that come in during this time will thus receive more attention and interest. It will be much easier to stand out from the crowd during December than during any other month of the year.


Besides submitting resumes, there are lots of things you can do to be productive at this time of the year. Use the holiday season to re-connect with colleagues, friends, or acquaintances whom you have lost touch with. You could send a holiday card to employers you’ve interviewed with, to recruiters, and to professional contacts. You never know who might have an important job lead or tip.


While you are sending your holiday greetings, remember that this is a great time of the year to ask for informational interviews. Some workers have more time to spare and would be more willing to do informational interviews. So, take advantage of the December downtime to ask for an informational interview and learn more about different jobs, companies, and industries. Likewise, take advantage of the fact that many might have some free time off work. Ask for their feedback on your resume and cover letter. People tend to be in a more relaxed, generous mood during this time of the year, so this is the perfect time to ask for help.


It might be depressing to think about going to parties and other social events if you are looking for a job, but please do not hole yourself up and hide at home. Instead, I strongly encourage you to go out and enjoy yourself. You don’t have to go with a networking mindset, but do participate with an open, curious, and eager mind. These social gatherings can be useful for job searches because you never know who might show up. The person next to you might have a job lead or might be working at an interesting company.


If you are not completely hung over from partying, always use the extra time available in December to revise your resume and update your LinkedIn profile. Again, seek help from trusted colleagues and managers. They are excellent sources of helpful information for industry standards and trends.


So, don’t hold off your job searches and career action plans during December. Make good use of this special time. I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season. Peace and health to all of you during this holiday season.


Anne Chan is a career counselor and licensed psychotherapist in Fremont. She specializes in helping people find happiness in their careers and lives. You can reach her at annechantcv@gmail.com.

© Anne Chan, 2019



Drive sober or get pulled over

Submitted by Sgt. Joseph Heylen, Milpitas PD


This holiday season, the Milpitas Police Department is working around the clock to keep drivers and passengers safe from impaired drivers. Every day through January 1, 2020 Milpitas Police are partnering with the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for a special year-end Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign. The campaign is meant to get impaired drivers off the streets and to spread the word about this dangerous crime.


Driving under the influence of alcohol can have deadly and devastating consequences. Statistics from 2017 showed that 37,437 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic accidents and 10,908 died in accidents where a driver was driving impaired (NHTSA). In 2018 another 36,560 were killed in motor vehicle accidents and 10,511 died in accidents where a driver was driving impaired. This was a 3.6% decrease. However, many more lives can be saved through education and enforcement.


The Milpitas Police would like to remind the public that impaired driving is not just from alcohol. Prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and marijuana can also impair; especially in combination with alcohol and other drugs. Drivers are encouraged to use ride share services, taxis, and/or designated sober drivers.


Funding for this DUI operation is provided to the Milpitas Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to Report Drunk Drivers by calling 911.



Bring on the Drums

Submitted by Chabot Space and Science Center


Design it, build it, learn rhythms, build community, and most importantly take your drum home! “Bring on the Drums” on Saturday, December 21, is an intergenerational experience where participants get to make their own table drum, a creation of Microphone Mechanics. Learn some history about drumming, design it based on words that represent you, and learn rhythms and new ways to collaborate with others in music. All participants get to take their drum home as a legacy instrument. Recommended for ages 7 -107.


Event host Jahi of Microphone Mechanics is an accomplished international artist, lecturer, and educational consultant based in Oakland, California. Jahi has been making drums since 1989 as an educational tool and legacy instrument.


Bring on the Drums

Saturday, Dec 21

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Chabot Space & Science Center

10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland

(510) 336-7373




Park It

By Ned MacKay


It may seem like winter right now, but at least astronomically speaking, the season starts with winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. Cultures ancient and modern throughout the world have marked it with ceremonies and rituals. This year, winter solstice falls on Saturday, December 21, and East Bay Park District naturalists plan to celebrate it with hikes at several regional parklands.


Naturalist “Trail Gail” Broesder will lead a hike at Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley. Meet Broesder at 8 a.m. at Tilden’s Environmental Education Center for an ascent to the top of Wildcat Creek, there to greet the rising sun. Bring your own coffee. If you don’t want to get up that early, Broesder will also lead a “fun with felt” session at the center from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. the same day. She’ll show how to use wool, soap, and personal effort to create a unique craft to take home.


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


There’s another solstice hike from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday, December 21 at Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve in Oakland. It’s a moderate, 3¼-mile stroll through forest and grassland, past rocky volcanic cliffs. Dogs welcome.


Meet the naturalist at Sibley Staging Area, which is on Skyline Boulevard a short distance south of the intersection with Grizzly Peak Boulevard. For details, call (510) 544-3187.


Down at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, there’s a day-after-solstice hike from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 22. Meet the naturalist at the visitor center for a moderate, three-mile walk in search of seasonal signs of life. The hike is for ages 15 and older. Wear layers and bring water. The event will be canceled if it rains heavily.


Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road, off Paseo Padre Parkway. For information, call (510) 544-3220.


“Winter Wonderland Walk” is the theme of a hike from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, December 21 at Sunol Regional Wilderness in southern Alameda County, led by naturalist Ashley Adams. Adams will describe how animals and plants winterize, and the group will warm up with apple cider.


Sunol Wilderness is at the end of Geary Road off Calaveras Road, 5 miles south of I-680 and the town of Sunol. For information, call (510) 544-3249.


Elsewhere in the park district, a holiday-themed program will take place from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, December 22 at Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda. Naturalist Susan Ramos will help folks to make beautiful, creative gift wrappings using rubber stamps, old calendars, newspapers or items from nature. Bring a gift or two to wrap.


Crab Cove is at 1252 McKay Avenue, off Alameda’s Central Avenue. For information, call (510) 544-3187.


Holiday traditions of miners from many different homelands who worked in the coalfields of East Contra Costa in the mid-1800s will be on display during a program from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, December 21 in the West Island Room at the Antioch Community Center, 4703 Lone Tree Way.


Naturalist Virginia Delgado-Martinez from Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve will lead in craft making, riddle-solving and story-telling. The event is for ages 3 and older. For information, call (888) 327-2757, ext. 2750.


If you want to explore the regional parks and other public open space on your own, the trails can be muddy this time of year. Some good bets for easier walking and cycling include George Miller Jr. Regional Trail on Carquinez Scenic Drive between Martinez and Crockett; Delta-DeAnza, Contra Costa Canal and Iron Horse Regional Trails in central and east Contra Costa; Point Pinole in Richmond; Nimitz Way at Tilden Regional Park near Berkeley; Alameda Creek Trail in Fremont; and Camp Ohlone Road at Sunol.


Information on all these trails and many others is available at www.ebparks.org. The park district wishes you a happy time with family and friends.



Mixed Use… a mixed message


With almost every good intention, there are a bevy of unintended, but associated consequences. Plans for the future are riddled with contradictions and unknown factors that are often clear in hindsight, but unremarkable at the moment. A crisis of the present has a tendency to overwhelm systematic considerations pointing to impending complications. Future plans for our cities are often embroiled in paradoxical conundrums.


The popular “mixed use development” terminology of city planners has been a vague and, at times, misleading nomenclature that can translate to almost any level of retail activity associated with a housing project – including minimal square footage that accommodates moderate or little, if any, viable retail space. Developers, even nonprofit organizations using tax credits and public monies, are in business to at least cover costs including materials, salaries, overhead and contingencies, if not realize a tidy profit. In a market and political atmosphere that strongly supports housing, retail space is not a top priority. State and regional directives have emphasized the importance of additional housing; therefore, a nod to a favorite of planners – mixed use that combines both elements – will heavily favor and tilt toward residential development.


When existing retail infrastructure is faced with the encroachment of housing projects, a central question is whether one element will diminish or erase the other. Will it result in the detriment of lifestyles and economics of the present, sacrificed for an ultimate vision for the future? If a proposed housing development will replace or endanger existing retail establishments, is there a remedy to resulting damage of infrastructure? After all, infrastructure includes not only pipelines, utilities and roadways, but also physical structures (and the businesses within) that propel an economy. What happens if physical infrastructure collapses due to an imbalance propagated by a lopsided political climate? Should current circumstances be ignored in our haste to profit from and promulgate a preferred vision of the future?


An example of this rush toward infrastructure reorganization is the proposed Bayrock Apartments development in Fremont. According to businesses at adjacent Gaslight Square, it will have an adverse effect on their customers who have enjoyed shared parking with Fremont Bank property that will be replaced by a five-story “mixed use” building of 248 market-rate apartments and 4,625 square-feet of commercial space wrapped around a six-story parking garage. Although shared parking is a city tenet of the downtown area and has been in place between these properties for decades, Bayrock wants nothing to do with this previous arrangement. To add to the difficulty to resolve this conflict, California’s Housing Accountability Act restricts the City’s ability to impose conditions that reduce density of the project.


Tenants at Gaslight Square are worried that elimination of overflow parking will discourage patrons of their restaurants who, finding no available parking, will look elsewhere to spend their time and money. These are small businesses – Bill’s Café, Munchner Haus, Falafal, Etc., Cherry Garden – that depend on their unique offerings and current customers in addition to attracting new customers. The question that hangs over this development is not whether it can be successful by providing additional housing, but rather if the price of approval spells doom for small, established retail businesses that my eventually disappear… to reappear as additional housing.


Imagining a world of bicyclists and pedestrians with all services in close proximity to housing and without the need for privately owned automobiles is a utopian vision. We aren’t there yet… and may reach a different reality before coming close. Without a practical look at the goal of mixed-use development, we may be causing irreparable harm to the viability of our small businesses… its a mixed message.



California Earthquake Authority receives $1.2M

Submitted by Robert Barker


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has granted $1.2 million to the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) for its Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program. The grant will subsidize CEA earthquake retrofits for 391 at-risk structures likely to shake from their foundations in the event of an earthquake.


EBB addresses two seismic vulnerabilities found in many older homes that may have short, wood-framed cripple walls under the first floor. The retrofit bolts the house to the foundation, and if short, wood-framed walls are present under the first floor, the retrofit braces those walls with plywood to stiffen and help prevent the house from collapsing or sliding off its foundation during a quake.


EBB is a code-compliant retrofit that helps reduce damage and should allow families to remain in their homes after earthquakes. Each EBB recipient receives a subsidy of up to $3,000 to bring their home up to seismic code compliance.


The $2.1 million project will be funded by a $1.2 million hazard mitigation grant from FEMA, with CEA and homeowners contributing the $940,000 balance.


FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program helps states, territories, federally-recognized tribes, local communities and certain private, non-profit organizations become more resilient to potential infrastructure damage and reduce future disaster costs. In the past 30 years, FEMA has invested nearly $1.3 billion to reduce disaster risks in California.



Flu activity widespread in California

Submitted by California Department of Public Health


With flu reaching levels typically seen later in the season, including widespread influenza activity throughout California, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is reminding people that now is the time to get a flu shot.


Since September 29, when the flu season started, there have been 16 influenza-coded deaths identified on death certificates. In addition, two influenza-associated deaths in children under the age of 18 have been reported to CDPH. Measures of influenza activity monitored by CDPH are showing flu season has started earlier in California than in recent years.


Getting vaccinated is the best defense against the flu. It takes a couple of weeks after vaccination for the body to build immunity, so don’t delay getting a shot. CDPH recommends the annual flu vaccination for everyone six months of age and older.


“Flu activity is starting earlier than usual in California this season,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, state public health officer and CDPH director. “The flu shot protects you and those around you by making it less likely you’ll get sick if you’re exposed to the virus, and if you do get ill, you’ll tend to have fewer days of symptoms and they’ll be less severe.”


Besides getting immunized, you can also take some other simple steps:

  • Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you or your child are sick.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with your sleeve or disposable tissue.
  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.


Across the U.S. and in California, we currently have an outbreak of acute lung disease associated with vaping. The early symptoms can be like those associated with influenza or other respiratory conditions. If you vape or use e-cigarettes, it’s particularly important that you get your flu shot this year. If you visit your health care provider for symptoms you think might be influenza, be sure to tell your provider about your use of e-cigarettes or vaping.


For more information about the flu, visit https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/Influenza.aspx. For the flu vaccine location nearest you, visit www.flu.gov.



Food bag giveaway planned

Submitted by Taylor Johnson


The Tri-City Volunteers (TCV) Food Bank is holding a Holiday Food Bag Giveaway program December 23-24 in Fremont. With generous support from the Fremont Bank Foundation and Cargill, volunteers will be handing out 750 festive bags of holiday food to clients. It is hoped that this year’s food bag giveaway will become an annual tradition. Anyone who would like to help distribute the bags should email: taylor@foodbank.org.


Holiday Food Bag Giveaway

Monday, Dec 23: 10 a.m. – 12 noon; 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec 24: 10 a.m. – 12 noon

Tri-City Volunteers Food Bank

37350 Joseph St., Fremont

(510) 793-4583



City of Fremont Holiday Closure

Submitted by Cheryl Golden


The City of Fremont is implementing a holiday closure for many non-public safety city services from Monday, December 23, 2019 through Wednesday, January 1, 2020. The holiday closure is scheduled for December 23, December 26, December 27, and December 30, while city holidays are observed on December 24, December 25, and December 31 and January 1, 2020. City offices participating in the holiday closure will re-open for business Thursday, January 2, 2020. This closure will not affect police and fire services.


During the Holiday Closure:

  • Parks and Recreation Registration Desk, 3300 Capitol Avenue, Building B will be open for walk-in registration of recreation programs from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on December 23, December 26, December 27, and December 30.
  • All Community centers and recreation buildings will be closed December 24, December 25, and December 31 and January 1, 2020.
  • Human Services will provide limited services for Youth & Family Services, Family Resource Center, and Healthy Start Program.
  • Life Eldercare will provide limited services. Clients should contact (510) 574-2090 for additional information.
  • Afghan Elderly Association will provide limited services. Clients should contact their caseworker for additional information.
  • Covia/Home Match will be providing services as usual. For more information, call (510-574) 2173.
  • Regularly-scheduled street sweeping will occur on December 23, December 26, December 27, and December 30, weather permitting. No street sweeping on city-observed holidays. (We will make every effort to provide service on a different day. Contact the city’s maintenance division at (510) 979-5700 before the closure for your street’s make-up street sweeping date.)
  • The Tri-City Animal Shelter will be closed on city-observed holidays and Animal Field Services will be limited.
  • Youth & Family Services will have on-call crisis counselors to respond to youth referred from the Alameda County Crisis Receiving Home.
  • Garbage, recycling, and yard waste collection by Republic Services for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday customers will be delayed one day due to holidays on December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020. Monday and Tuesday collection will occur as scheduled during both weeks. Call (510) 657-3500 for more information.
  • The Fremont Tennis Center will be open for public play, weather permitting. There will be some limited holiday public hours; call (510) 790-5510 for more information.


For more information, visit www.Fremont.gov/HolidayClosure or call (510) 284-4093.



Fremont Police Log

Submitted by Geneva Bosques, Fremont PD


Friday, December 13, 2019

  • At 10:20 a.m. officers responded to a report about a home invasion robbery in South Fremont where a female was assaulted but did not require medical treatment. At 11:30 a.m. police spotted the male suspect at a construction site on Warm Springs Boulevard at Brown Road. He eventually climbed to the top of the unfinished five story building and barricaded himself and began to toss construction materials at police below. Police deployed two drones to track the suspect’s movements while trying to negotiate with him. The suspect began speaking with negotiators at 2:53 p.m., but at 3:40 p.m. lit a rag on fire, prompting the Fremont Fire Department to use water to prevent the fire from spreading. Warm Springs Boulevard was closed between Mission Boulevard and Corporate in both directions because of the standoff. At 7:30 p.m., after 8 hours of negotiating, the suspect told officers he wanted to comply and peacefully surrendered.



Fremont City Council

December 10, 2019


Consent Calendar:

  • Set Integrated Waste Disposal Fees for 2020 and 2021
  • Approve Service Agreement with Willdan Financial Services for Comprehensive Development Impact Fee update in the amount of $226,840.
  • Authorize a Joint Powers Agreement with City of Union City for Human Services and Family Related Resources.
  • Accept FY 2019/20 and FY 2020/21 Paratransit Discretionary Grant Program funding and associated contract for Ride-On Tri-City Mobility Management and Travel Training Program.
  • Public Hearing to consider the Development Impact Fee Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2018/19; increase fees by 2.52%.
  • Consider amending the Warm Springs/South Fremont Community Plan to change Plan area Designation from Planning Area 10 to Planning Area 8 and rezone Warm Springs Innovation Area from Area 10 to Area 8 for a 5.2-acre property to allow reuse of an existing 88,000 square-foot office building for an outpatient clinic.


Public Communications:

  • Comments about littering on Morrison Canyon Road.
  • Critique of Vision Zero
  • Comments about progress on creation of a 600-room homeless shelter at the end of Auto Mall Parkway.


Scheduled Items:

  • Public Hearing to consider Hundal subdivision appeal to increase the total number of single-family residential lots in the Planned District from 214 to 217 at 45089 Cougar Circle. Many nearby residents spoke against approving the appeal and effect of Measure A limitations of hillside development. Appeal Denied 7-0


Council Referrals:

  • Mayor Mei referral to adopt a resolution in support of the National League of Cities Leading Together agenda for 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.
  • Mayor Mei referral appointments to Mobility Commission: Erin Vaca, Flavio Poehlmann, Ken Wu, Melissa Avery, Nisar Amed, Julie Huang, Mark Spencer, One Vacancy (Mobility Impairments Representative)


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 hillside landmark will soon be gone

Submitted City of Hayward


City Center Tower, the former home of Hayward City Hall on Foothill Boulevard, is set to come down piece by piece starting in March 2020, eliminating a source of downtown blight and making way for future redevelopment and other publicly beneficial uses of the property.


At its Tuesday, December 3 meeting, the Hayward City Council voted unanimously to authorize a $3.9 million demolition contract for the deconstruction of the City Center building — a nine-month process that begins with project mobilization and hazardous material removal in January and February, followed by five months of pulling down the structure, plus about a month of final site preparation and cleanup.


The 11-story building, located at 22300 Foothill Boulevard, was structurally damaged in the October 17, 1989, Loma Prieta Earthquake and subsequently sold into private hands. It has sat vacant ever since and was re-acquired by the city in June for $5.2 million.


The tower property is adjacent to other land owned by the city. Together, the combined 5.8 acres present a unique opportunity to control and plan a site strategically positioned to help drive downtown Hayward revitalization and serve other community objectives. Eventual resale to a developer will allow the city to recoup its tower acquisition and demolition costs.


The council approved the building’s demolition after an engineering assessment determined the cost of a seismic retrofit and restoration of mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and fire alarm and suppression systems would be economically prohibitive.



Hayward Police Log

Submitted by Hayward PD


Saturday, December 7

  • At about 4:45 p.m. officers responded to a report of shots fired in the area of Santa Clara Way and Yolo Street. On arrival, officers found a man suffering from gunshot wounds; paramedics also responded to the scene, but the man died. He was later identified by Hayward Police and the Alameda County Coroner’s Office as John Creech, Jr., age 20. He was shot by an unknown suspect who fled the scene. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Homicide Detective Mulhern at (510) 293-7176.


Sunday, December 8

  • At about 12:39 a.m. officers responded to a report of shots fired on the 27000 block of Belvedere Court. On arrival, officers found a man suffering from gunshot wounds; paramedics also responded to the scene, but the man died. He was later identified by Hayward Police and the Alameda County Coroner’s Office as Anthony Hunter, age 31. He was shot by an unknown suspect who fled the scene. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Detective Sprague at (510) 293-7176.


Thursday, December 12

  • At about 2:12 p.m. officers responded to a report of a shooting in the area of Cavanagh Court and Foley Street. On arrival, officers found a man suffering from gunshot wounds. Paramedics responded and took the man to a hospital where he was later reported in stable condition. The shooting suspect fled the scene in a vehicle but was stopped by Hayward Police officers on Highway 92. He was identified by witnesses and taken into custody; an investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Detective Purnell at (510) 293-7176.

Festive art sales raise money for Kids Against Hunger

Submitted by Daksh Kohar


Talent2Give, a local non-profit organization that aims to use God’s gifted talents to give back to the community, launched its operations on August 16, 2019. Founder Daksh Kohar, a sophomore at American High School, continues his commitment towards his mission as he reflects back on the year: “Giving joy to others is simple. What better way than using your talent? You nourish talent by using it to provide nourishment to hungry kids. This is the most noble way to express gratitude this holiday season. No child should go hungry, especially during the festivals. Kids are the foundation to future mankind. We need ensure happy and healthy childhood, free from starvation.”


To raise awareness of child hunger, he hosted two successful festival art sales in collaboration with Hiya Ghosh, a junior at Cupertino High School. The Thanksgiving sale was held in Fremont at Slap Face Coffee & Tea on November 15, followed by Holiday Sale at 1 Oz Coffee located in Santa Clara on December 7. Coffee lovers supported the noble idea by buying amazing art and shimmery recycled swags crafted by budding local artists.


Talent2Give invites all young artists who can collaborate to grow this organization. For more information, email talent2give@gmail.com. Visit the website https://talent2give.org/ to make donations and purchase art.



You are Invited to Holiday POPS!

Submitted by Ellen O’Donnell


Lights are sparkling, nights are growing longer, and the holidays are practically here. It’s time to celebrate! The Fremont Symphony is inviting you to “Holiday POPS!”—a gift you can open the weekend before Christmas—on Saturday, December 21st at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 22nd at 3 p.m. Come as you are to the James Logan Center for the Performing Arts in Union City to enjoy an experience you'll remember. Bring friends and family—there is something under this tree for everyone!


Holiday POPS! is a dazzling gift of music, songs, stories, and dance that we predict will become your new holiday tradition. Conductor Jung-Ho Pak has brought together a 2X Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist and a soul singer, “The Nutcracker” and “A Christmas Carol,” a children's choir and soaring solos, with beloved carols and rock n’ roll.


Jung-Ho explains, “I think that Christmas represents a universal celebration of love and hope. I invite people of all different faiths, backgrounds, and ages to come together and to feel happy and connected through this very American tradition.”


You will feel that connection when you step into the warm, festive atmosphere at the James Logan Center. Santa will be on hand to greet children and take pictures with young and old. The lobby and symphony stage will be transformed for the holiday season.


Find out why we’ve quadrupled our audience in two years! Lighting, staging, multimedia, and our fantastic guest artists will shake up your idea of what a symphony can be. The family-friendly program includes beloved carols and popular tunes. Selections range from such favorites as “Greensleeves,” and “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing,” to “Winter Wonderland” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”


Highlights of Holiday POPS! Include:


  • Two-time Grammy-nominated (2019 and 2009) jazz vocalist and recent Bay Area transplant Kate McGarry. With seven critically acclaimed CDs, McGarry has become recognized as a jazz artist who brings authenticity and vitality to every song.


  • Five beloved dances from “The Nutcracker,” performed with full orchestra by the award-winning Yoko’s Dance studio, Fremont.


  • Bay-Area premiere of Actor Neil McGarry’s critically acclaimed solo show of “A Christmas Carol.” McGarry will perform scenes from the show and narrate “The Night Before Christmas” for the first time with an orchestra.


  • Two outstanding Bay Area vocal talents—Lyric tenor Johnny Orenberg from Pleasanton and Soul and R&B singer/songwriter/guitarist Maxx Cabello, Jr. from San Jose.


  • The Cesar Chavez Middle School Choir, Union City, led by Heather O’Brien.


  • Orchestral premiere of “The Marriage of Santa Claus”—composed by Fremont Symphony Principal Cellist Dan Reiter.


  • Audience Sing-a-long of favorite carols.


And so much more!


Holiday Pops! Fremont Symphony

Saturday, Dec 21 – Sunday, Dec 22

Sat: 7:30 p.m.

Sun: 3 p.m.

James Logan Center for the Performing Arts

1800 H St., Union City


Tickets: $37.50 – $77.50



Rich Swift Memorial Ironman Wrestling Duals

Submitted by Timothy Hess

The 31st Annual Rich Swift Memorial Ironman Wrestling Duals took place at Newark Memorial High School on Saturday, December 7th. Ten boys teams and six girls teams from all over the State competed. The Newark Memorial Lady Cougars claimed first place with a 5-0 record, defeating Mission San Jose 60-18, Firebaugh 78-0, San Leandro 54-24, Eureka 48-18, and Albany 38-24. Defending North Coast Section Champions Albany HS placed second and San Leandro was third. Rounding out the girls field was Mission San Jose 4th, Eureka 5th, Firebaugh 6th. The Lady Cougars were led by: 106 Jayce Moriguchi, 116 Nina Caron, 126 Mikaela Troche, 143 Ezra Vavao, 160 Miku Barberi, and 170 Ariana Pereira who all, individually, placed first. Vavao was also named the Rich Swift Outstanding Wrestler for the girls tournament.


On the boys side, Firebaugh won the team title with a 5-0 record, Merced was second. Newark Memorial battled back after a first round loss to Firebaugh and placed 3rd while Mission San Jose was 4th, Dougherty Valley was 5th, American 6th, Antioch 7th, Washington 8th, San Leandro 9th and Albany 10th.


120 Dominic Vargas, 126 Taka Barberi, 152 Owen Gallegos, individually placed first for the Cougars.


Thank you to our outstanding crew of volunteers. Such an outstanding event could not happen without the many dedicated, talented and hard-working volunteers from Cougar Country. We truly appreciate the generous support from the Newark Rotary Club and WrestlingMart. Thank you for supporting our GREAT Sport and Building Champions For Life!





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



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



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



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. 12/20 & Sat. 12/21 8 p.m., Sun. 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






Wednesday, Dec 18

Songwriter Salon R

7 p.m.

Concert set by McNevin & The Spokes, original Folk Americana


37433 Niles Blvd., Fremont

(510) 794-9935



Wednesday, Dec 18

Achieve Your Financial Goals R

6 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Information session by SparkPoint Fremont. Millineum Room

Family Resource Center

39155 Liberty St., Fremont

(510) 574-2000

(510) 574-2020


Wednesday, Dec 18

Wednesday Walk

9:30 a.m.

Easy 4-mile flat hike

Quarry Lakes

2250 Isherwood Way, Fremont

(510) 795-4895

(510) 544-3282



Thursday, Dec 19

East Bay Stompers Band

7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Dixie, swing and standards music

Bronco Billy’s Pizza – Irvington

41200 Blacow Rd., Fremont

(510) 438-0121

(510) 914-7304


Thursday, Dec 19

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 19

Employer Orientation R

10:30 a.m. – 12 noon

Recruitment solutions offered by Tri-Cities Career Center

Ohlone College Newark Campus

39399 Cherry St., Newark

(510) 742-2300



Friday, Dec 20


8 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Prayer around the cross

Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose

43326 Mission Blvd., Fremont

(510) 933-6335

(510) 657-2468


Friday, Dec 20

Latino Business Roundtable

8:30 a.m.

Featured speaker Carolina Miranda of California Green Business Network

Sherman L. Balch Pavilion – St. Rose Hospital

27190 Calaroga Ave., Hayward



Friday, Dec 20

Lamberghini – The Doorbeen Concert

8 p.m.

YouTube pop duo sensation

India Community Center

525 Los Coches St., Milpitas

(408) 934-1130



Saturday, Dec 21

Ojo De Dios

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Make yarn from fleece and create a colorful ornament

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Saturday, Dec 21

Monarchs For Kids

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Educational look at butterflies. Ages 3-6

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Saturday, Dec 21

Winter Concert

2 p.m.

Hillside Woodwind Quintet and Montecito Brass Ensemble

Castro Valley Library

3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley

(510) 667-7900



Saturday, Dec 21

Longest Night Service

7:30 p.m.

Music, scripture, stories, silent reflection, and healing prayer

Niles Discovery Church of Fremont

36600 Niles Blvd., Fremont

(510) 797-0895



Saturday, Dec 21

Winter Wonderland Walk

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Warm up with apple cider and walk wintry trails

Sunol Regional Wilderness

1895 Geary Rd., Sunol

(510) 544-3249



Saturday, Dec 21

Ohlone Village Site Tour

10 a.m. – 12 noon and 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

.5 mile walk to a 2,000-year-old Ohlone village site

Coyote Hills

8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont

(510) 544-3220



Saturday, Dec 21

Comedy Shorts Night $

7:30 p.m.

“Pay Day”, “The Rough House”, “Innocent Husbands”, “Should Married Men Go Home”

Niles Essanay Theater

37417 Niles Blvd, Fremont

(510) 494-1411



Saturday, Dec 21 – Sunday, Dec 22

Alameda Civic Ballet's The Nutcracker Ballet $R

Sat. 2 p.m. & 7 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.

Enter a world of enchantment, choreographed by Abra Rudisill

Castro Valley Center for the Arts

19501 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 889-8961

Front Page


Saturday, Dec 21

Bring on the Drums $

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Make your own table drum, hosted by Microphone Mechanics

Chabot Space & Science Center

10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland

(510) 336-7373



Saturday, Dec 21

Eden Area Village Monthly Coffee

9 a.m.

Helping seniors remain in their home and be engaged in community

Hayward Area Historical Society Museum

22380 Foothill Blvd., Hayward

(510) 581-0223



Saturday, Dec 21 – Sunday, Dec 22

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



Sunday, Dec 22

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



Sunday, Dec 22

Native Plant Gardens

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Visit the native plant gardens. Meet at Greenhouse

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Sunday, Dec 22

Native California Plant Uses

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Learn how Native Californians use plants for food, medicine, shelter, and tools. Ages 15+

Coyote Hills

8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont

(510) 544-3220



Sunday, Dec 22

Winter Solstice Hike

1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

3-mile hike celebrating first day after the winter solstice. Ages 15+

Coyote Hills

8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont

(510) 544-3220



Sunday, Dec 22

Afternoon of Remembrance

2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Honor and remember those who are no longer with us

Chapel of the Chimes

32992 Mission Blvd., Hayward

(510) 431-2423



Sunday, Dec 22

Menorah Lighting

4 p.m.

Snow, crafts, music, raffle, coffee and treats. Donate coats, gloves, hats

Fremont City Hall

3300 Capitol Ave., Fremont

(510) 284-4000



Sunday, Dec 22

Youth Christmas Party

9:30 a.m.

White elephant $5 & under gift exchange. Ages 12-20 yrs

First Presbyterian Church of Newark

35450 Newark Blvd., Newark


(510) 230-5056


Monday, Dec 23

Outdoor Discoveries: Hibernation! R

10:30 a.m. – 12 noon

Preschool and home school nature series. Ages 4-8

Sunol Regional Wilderness

1895 Geary Rd., Sunol

(510) 544-3249



Tuesday, Dec 24

Christmas Eve Worship

4 p.m. – 12 a.m.

4 p.m. kids 5+, 7:30 p.m. Festival Choir, 11 p.m. Praise Band

Prince of Peace Church

38451 Fremont Blvd., Fremont

(510) 793-3366



Tuesday, Dec 24

Christmas Eve Worship

5:30 p.m.

Christmas worship

Prince of Peace Church

858 Washington Blvd, Fremont

(510) 657-3191



Tuesday, Dec 24

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

7 p.m.

Family friendly, choir, handbells, Christmas message

First Presbyterian Church of Newark

35450 Newark Blvd., Newark



Wednesday, Dec 25

Holiday Spectacular $

8 p.m.

Family-friendly Laugh Track City show

Made Up Theatre

4000 Bay St.  Suite B, Fremont

(510) 573-3633



Saturday, Dec 28

Kwanzaa Celebration

2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Food, live music, arts & crafts

Palma Ceia Baptist Church

28605 Ruus Rd., Hayward

(510) 786-2866

(510) 220-8323



Tuesday, Dec 31

New Year's Eve Party $

7:30 p.m.

Indian buffet dinner, music, hosted bar

India Community Center

525 Los Coches St., Milpitas

(408) 934-1130




Kids get a peek into the lives of firefighters

Submitted by Alameda County Fire Department


More than two dozen lucky students from Guy Emanuele Elementary School in Union City recently had a chance to visit Alameda County Fire Station 33 and meet with firefighters during a school field trip. During the Wednesday, December 11 visit students toured the station, located on Seventh Street in Union City, and learned what firefighters do each day to prepare for emergencies and how they train to use and maintain firefighting equipment.



Local family magician troupe members have tricks up their sleeves

By Alfred Hu


The skilled Chan family magicians are keen on entertaining the public with various tricks guaranteed to leave the audience in wonder. So what tricks does this Fremont family have up their sleeves, and what is the story behind them?


Dan Chan became interested in magic while watching David Copperfield as a child and learned to juggle at a UC Riverside juggling club. “I learned one rubber-band trick that was done by Copperfield on television,” he recalled. “And when I knew I could do the same tricks, I was, like, ‘Hey, I’m getting super good at this.’” He later picked up new tricks and skills as he worked odd jobs such as sailing instructor, lifeguard and ski instructor. During this period, he attended magic conventions and lectures at Misdirections Magic Shop in San Francisco to learn how to grow his repertoire of tricks.


As his interest in being a professional magician developed, Chan slowly transitioned to performing full time. He began as a street magician and got his first paid gig of ten dollars back in 1999 by twisting balloons at a party. Determined to push his magician career further, he performed at dinner shows and venues around the world as well as at corporate events at Google and Yahoo. He perfected tricks such as pick-pocketing by making his “victims” as relaxed as possible, swiping their valuables without their knowledge, and later freaking them out by producing the stolen object. He can also do tricks using an iPhone, getting the participant to choose a card at random and then pulling a physical version of that card from the screen.


Chan also has a few favorite acts. “One of the specific effects that I enjoy performing is my signature card effect where a spectator signs their card, and it magically appears again and again in various impossible places. It apparently rematerializes in my pocket, in my wallet, across the room, behind a window, or even on the spectator’s phone. This classic effect is performed by many magicians, but I have put a lot of my style on it,” said Chan. He added, “I immensely enjoy the opportunity of performing magic for intimate groups of people – up close, in their hands, and right under their noses. It’s especially satisfying when I fool the highly analytical tech professionals who love to reverse engineer things.”


Chan says being a magician is a full-time job requiring long days and late nights, and he is often busy scheduling shows and working on new tricks when he’s not performing. In addition to the heavy time commitment, “Every show has its challenges ranging from timing issues to allow for company speeches, challenging room layouts, dealing with not necessarily unruly, but instead inquisitive spectators.” Chan adds, “Occasionally we’re requested to perform in between speeches or award ceremonies, which is challenging as it breaks up the flow of our show, and we need to adjust accordingly.”


Now a seasoned magician, Chan is even turning down some gigs in favor of helping other magicians interested in learning new tricks of the trade. However, he doesn’t pass up the big ticket events such as performing for corporate executives.


Magic in the Chan family doesn’t stop with Dan. Dan’s wife, Katherine, is a talented balloon artist and can skillfully craft various objects on the spot from a photograph! Her creations have included motorcycles, airplanes, floats, superheroes and many more. At one time, Pinterest commissioned her to make a version of their company logo over 6ft (2 meters) high to welcome company employees.


Other magicians of the Chan family are children James and Grace. James, who learned from his father, can juggle flaming torches or five balls effortlessly. Also like his father, he is skilled at pick pocketing and adept at memorizing a deck of playing cards after they are shuffled. He once performed a sleight-of-hand trick for adults while dad did a set for children. After many challenges James finally became a paid magician of the family’s magic troupe. Besides receiving training from dad, James also trained at the San Francisco Circus Center and was coached by many world class magicians and jugglers. As for what James enjoys most, Chan said, “He especially loves getting the opportunity to really fool [people] hard because truthfully, who would think a kid would be able to fool an engineer when an effect is being performed up that close? I may be biased, but James is phenomenal!” James will perform some of his gigs on an upcoming show on ABC at 8 p.m. on December 22, 2019.


Daughter Grace is skilled in math and memory tricks and has been known to transform five $1 bills into five $100 bills. So if you’re short on cash perhaps Grace can come to the rescue. Also, like her brother James, she can skillfully juggle multiple balls. As to Grace’s favorite tricks, Chan said, “She loves working in tandem with both me and James. Her favorite trick is one of our signature effects that involves a spectator’s signed card that travels across a room and ends up in her mouth.”


Chan loves performing with his family and said, “I want to have a ticketed dinner show where people come to see me and getting to a point where they always sell out.” The Chan family troupe has upcoming performances in Jackson Hole (December 29, 2019), Pebble Beach (December 31, 2019), Columbus (January 17, 2020) and Las Vegas (March 11, 2020).


While hard work and dedication are required for the magic trade, Chan says that the rewards of being a successful magician are numerous. Among them are bringing a sense of wonder to those who feel they can’t be fooled anymore and catching them off guard, making the audience smile and forget their daily cares. Being able to perform at events and galas that one would not be able to attend otherwise is another potential perk that magicians look forward to.


If you’re interested in launching a career as a magician, Chan’s advice is to not only perform in front of a mirror and watch videos but also attend live shows and perform as much as possible in front of a live audience. That way you can get immediate feedback by seeing the audience reaction. You should also find a great mentor and surround yourself with people who are passionate about the trade, bouncing your ideas off other magicians as well as learning how to budget, market, finance, build a website, communicate effectively, and successfully run a business, which is a challenge of its own.


For more information on this remarkable family of magicians visit https://www.danchanmagic.com.



Milpitas Police Log

Submitted by Lt. John Torrez, Milpitas PD


Monday, December 9

  • Following a multi-jurisdictional investigation, Milpitas police announced that three suspects have been arrested in connection with an armed robbery on November 20 at Jerry’s Deli, 1491 S. Main St., Milpitas. On November 21 Milpitas Police detectives received information from the San Jose Police Department identifying Benjamin Mendez Jr., 18, of San Jose as one of the three suspects pictured in an informational bulletin sent to area law enforcement agencies. On November 22 Milpitas detectives arrested Mendez in Los Gatos for the robbery and an unrelated hit and run warrant. After more investigation, Milpitas detectives identified Jose Rosales-Salas, 18, and Christian Alexander Muniz, 19, both of San Jose, as the other two suspects and obtained arrest warrants. They were arrested separately on November 26 by San Jose Police. Anyone who has information about the incident, or the suspects, is asked to call the Milpitas Police Department at (408) 586-2400. 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.



Warriors pull out late victory in dual match with Huskies

Submitted and photos by Mike Heightchew


Mission San Jose Warriors (Fremont) and Washington Huskies (Fremont) grapplers were impressive in their first match of the Mission Valley Athletic League season on December 11th. Even though handicapped with injuries, the Huskies were formidable throughout the matches but the Warriors were able to claim victory 54-25.



Photo captions:

male2: Mountain lion cub rescue who is currently in rehabilitation at the Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital

mountain lion cub 1: Dr. Alex Herman, Director of Veterinary Services at Oakland Zoo, performing a routine procedure on an orphaned mountain lion cub. Photo credit: Steven Gotz; Oakland Zoo.



Mountain lion cub rehabilitating in zoo hospital

Submitted by Isabella Linares


On November 24, a homeowner near Somerset in El Dorado County heard crying and discovered a den with three mountain lions, only two of which were still alive. The cubs were reported to Sierra Wildlife Rescue, and were then retrieved by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). After initial treatments were provided by CDFW, the cubs (a male and female) were brought to Oakland Zoo Veterinary Hospital (OZVH) for more intensive care on November 26.


Upon arrival at Oakland Zoo, the cubs were suffering from severe malnutrition and dehydration; despite treatments and efforts by OZVH staff and CDFW, the female passed away hours later on November 27 due to the severity of her condition.


The cubs are estimated to be four to six weeks old and weighed less than four pounds when discovered. They were heavily infested with fleas and ticks, suffering from multiple parasites, severely anemic, dehydrated, and malnourished.


Dr. Alex Herman, Director of OZVH, reports the surviving male cub is growing stronger every day. He has responded well to treatment, is eating well, and has gained three pounds since his arrival 12 days ago. When he can eat solid foods and has fully recuperated, he will be transferred to his forever home at El Paso Zoo, a fellow AZA-accredited Zoo (Association of Zoos and Aquariums).


“The little male is thriving. His low red blood cell count is resolving, his appetite is great, he’s gaining weight, and getting feistier every day. We’ve already found him a forever home at El Paso Zoo; they’re rooting for his recovery and checking up on him regularly,” said Dr. Alex Herman, Director of Oakland Zoo’s Veterinary Hospital.


This rescue marks the 10th mountain lion rescue for Oakland Zoo through the partnership with CDFW. “The Oakland Zoo is a valued partner in our efforts to care for orphaned and displaced California wildlife. We thank the Zoo, its veterinarians and staff for providing the intensive treatment these orphaned cubs needed,” said Dr. Deana Clifford, a Senior Wildlife Veterinarian at CDFW.


Mountain lions are facing numerous threats in California—often struck by cars, killed with depredation permits, and illegal poaching. These factors culminate in the human-wildlife conflict, putting them at odds with humans in encroaching urban areas and developments. Oakland Zoo partners with conservation organizations like the Mountain Lion Foundation and the Bay Area Puma Project to educate the public on the issue and help conserve the species in the wild.



Newark City Council

December 12, 2019


Presentations and Proclamations:

  • Introduce General Laborers Josue Lopez-Duenas, Miguel Sanchez-Casillas.
  • Introduce Public Safety Clerk Laura Da Silva.


Public Hearings:

  • Approve modifications to State codes.


Consent Calendar:

  • Approve Subdivision Improvement Agreement for Bridgeway Phase II, a 243-unit residential development.
  • Approve 2020 local appointments list.
  • Authorize reinstatement of Assistant Planner classification.
  • Authorize change orders with Tyler Technologies New World for financial software.
  • Approve cost-based adjustment increase of 6.51% to solid waste collection, recycling and organics services maximum rates for calendar year 2020.
  • Approve exception to 180-day waiting period for post-retirement employment for Michael Carroll to serve as Interim Police Chief.


City Council Matters:

  • Reappoint Eric Hentschke to Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District.
  • Appoint Luis Freitas as Vice Mayor
  • Appoint council members to agencies, boards, commissions and committees. Councilmember Hannon appointed as delegate to East Bay Community Energy Board of Directors, Mayor Nagy will be the alternate.
  • Arthur Dao will retire as Executive Director of Alameda County Transportation Commission at the end of the year; Tess Lengyel was named as the new Executive Director.
  • Meeting adjourned in memory of James Gordon who passed away on November 17th. Jim previously served on the Newark Planning Commission (1974-1978) and Newark City Council (1978-1980). Mayor Nagy noted that Jim was a “champion for working people.”


Mayor Alan Nagy                   Aye

Vice Mayor Luis Freitas         Aye

Sucy Collazo                           Aye

Michael Hannon                     Aye

Mike Bucci                             Aye



Fremont News Briefs

Submitted by Cheryl Golden


Small Cell Technology Deployment

As wireless service providers expand 4G and 5G networks across the country by deploying small cell technology (a small antenna, radio, and other accessory equipment), the City of Fremont is working on a Master License Agreement (MLA) agreement with wireless providers to allow the placement of small cells facilities on city-owned and-operated street lights, excluding historic district and decorative light poles. The deployment of small cell facilities will improve the speed and reduce gaps in data coverage for the community, as well as contribute to reducing blight in public spaces by ensuring no additional poles are constructed in the public right-of-way.


At the Fremont City Council Meeting on January 14, 2020, the council will discuss the MLA template for telecommunications facilities. The meeting will be held at Fremont City Hall, 3300 Capitol Avenue, Building A, in the Council Chambers starting at 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.Fremont.gov/SmallCell or contact Kei Louie in the city’s Engineering Division by email at ylouie@fremont.gov or by phone at (510) 494-4727.


New Pet Licensing Hours

The Tri-City Animal Shelter, at 1950 Stevenson Boulevard, will soon begin implementing more consistent hours for residents to license their pets in person. Effective January 7, 2020, the new licensing hours will align with the shelter’s hours, making licensing available in person at the shelter’s front counter, from 12 noon – 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays, and 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturdays. The shelter will be closed on Sundays, Mondays, and holidays. You can also license a new pet, renew an existing pet’s license, and update information for you and your pet online at www.licensepet.com/fremont.


If you are a Fremont resident, your dog or cat is required to be licensed at 4 months of age or within 30 days of ownership or bringing the animal into the city. California state law requires the rabies vaccination to be effective during the entire licensing period.


The Tri-City Animal Shelter is Fremont’s only open admissions shelter. The shelter accepts all stray, abandoned, or homeless pets residing in Fremont, Union City, Newark, and San Leandro regardless of age, breed, temperament, or medical condition. Fremont Animal Services provides public safety, licensing, and animal welfare in the community, while the shelter reunites pets with their owners, facilitates adoptions, networks animals to adoption partners, and provides owner education.


To learn more about services provided by the Tri-City Animal Shelter, visit www.TriCityAnimalShelter.org.


Census 2020 Kickoff Summit

The City of Fremont and Mayor Lily Mei hosted the Census 2020 Kickoff Summit on December 10 at Fremont City Hall. As Census 2020 approaches, this meeting served as a springboard to present an overview of the importance of Census 2020 for the community and to provide for a strategy-building session between leaders from community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, business community, and elected officials to ensure that each resident is counted.


Essential services such as healthcare, school programs, housing, transportation, social services, and more could be greatly impacted if the census count is inaccurate. Census 2020 presents new challenges as the first digital census. The city will use the information gathered at the kickoff summit to inform census outreach activities and will continue reaching out to community organizations to serve as a resource and partner when the census count begins in March 2020.


For more information about the city’s Census 2020 efforts, contact management analyst Amanda Gallo at agallo@fremont.gov or (510) 284-4016. For more information about Alameda County’s Census efforts, visit www.acgov.org/census2020.


Tobacco Retail License Program in Effect

In October, the Fremont City Council voted unanimously to establish a Tobacco Retail License program, joining over 150 California municipalities with similar programs. This program was implemented to ensure that retailers comply with tobacco control laws to protect health, safety, and welfare of the community and to limit youth access to tobacco products.


As part of the program, a new city ordinance became effective November 8. All state-licensed tobacco retailers in the city were notified of the new program by mail, and the city also conducted in-person workshops to help answer any questions. In addition, a comprehensive FAQs document has been created to provide additional details about the new program. To view the FAQs document and learn more about the program, visit www.Fremont.gov/TobaccoRetailLicense.


East Bay Innovation Awards Finalists

On December 12, the East Bay Economic Development Alliance (East Bay EDA) announced the finalists for their 8th Annual East Bay Innovation Awards. Among the finalists are two Fremont-based organizations: battery technology company Enovix in the category of Engineering, and Ohlone College in the category of Education for its new Smart Manufacturing curriculum.


Awardees will be announced at the awards ceremony on March 26, 2020 at the historic Fox Theater in Oakland. More than 200 East Bay companies and organizations were nominated, showcasing the best examples of innovation in product development, services, and processes. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2PeizkX.

Jingle Bells rock at Noll Center


With Christmas just two weeks away, anticipation of the holiday was evident at an open house celebration hosted by Fremont Adult Center’s Noll Center on December 11th. Students, staff and family members gathered in a festive atmosphere to sample appetizers and desserts, sing jingle bells, admire crafts and mingle.



A proud moment

Submitted by Union City PD


In recognition for bravery in the performance of their duties during a recent house fire, three Union City Police Department officers were awarded Distinguished Service Medals.


At the Tuesday, December 10 City Council meeting, Union City Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci and Police Chief Jared Rinetti commended Officers Mike Silva, Daniel Rivas-Villegas and Travis Solverson for their actions while assisting Alameda County Fire Department responders at a house fire on November 12.


Officers were first on the scene at a residence on Maraschino Place in Union City where a kitchen fire was burning and filling the home with smoke. Officers were told that an elderly woman, who was unable to walk, was still inside a back bedroom of the home. Officer Silva ran to the bedroom and carried the woman out while Officers Rivas-Villegas and Officer Solverson checked the rest of the smoke-filled home to ensure no other people or pets were inside.



Plant 13 trees

Submitted by Tejinder Dhami


On November 22, members of the bay area Sikh Community, Vice Mayor Raj Salwan, Councilmember Rick Jones, Human Relations Commissioner Tejinder Dhami, and Parks Director Suzanne Wolfe gathered to plant thirteen trees in Old Mission San Jose Park. Fremont city staff were able to find a location that needed more trees. Old Mission San Jose Park is a place where many young folks and seniors gather, but there is a lack of trees and some needed replacement. The trees were paid for by the Fremont Gurdwara, and Bay Area Sikh community.


Human Relations Commissioner Tejinder Dhami said, “The trees were planted in memory of the 550th Birth Anniversary of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Thirteen is an auspicious number in the Sikh religion, and as such, thirteen trees were selected for the site.” Suzanne Wolfe said that once fully grown, the trees will reach approximately 40 feet tall and provide shade to an area that sorely needs it.


Vice Mayor Raj Salwan said, “I am excited to support this community lead effort by the Sikh community, and would encourage everyone to support the effort of planting more trees in our beloved city. Not only is it great for our planet, but it provides valuable shade during hot weather.”


Old Mission San Jose Park is located at 1000 Pine Street in the Mission San Jose District; everyone is welcome to visit and see the thirteen beautiful trees recently planted.

Council recognizes leadership and service volunteers

Submitted by Alice Kim


As part of a district leadership and award of excellence program, the San Leandro City Council recently honored numerous local residents who have made meaningful contributions to the community over the past years.


In a ceremony on Monday, December 2, the council recognized seven individuals, representing each of the six council districts, along with four Mayor’s business award recipients who have made a significant difference in San Leandro.


District Leadership Awards:

  • District 1: Brian Copeland
  • District 2: Leo Sheridan
  • District 3: Bud and Shirley Beal
  • District 4: Ann Sekhon
  • District 5: Tom Breckenridge
  • District 6: Diana Prola


Mayor’s Award of Excellence:

  • Top Hatters Kitchen and Bar, Award of Excellence
  • Victoria’s Nail Salon, small business
  • Blum, medium business
  • PCC Structurals, Inc., large business
  • Creekside Community Church, A City Where Kindness Matters


Eleven people were also honored during the ceremony for five or more years of dedicated services on various city boards and commissions:

  • Jane Ann Abelee, Hermy Almonte, Nancy Gonchar, Bose Onyemem, Suzanne Pershing, Martin Wong; five years.
  • Bella Comelo, Dina Herrera, Catherine Vierra Houston, Thomas Wagner; 10 years.
  • ArleneLum; 15 years.


Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter expressed a sincere gratitude to all the nominees and their families for making San Leandro a better place for all. “One of the best parts of my job and for city councilmembers, is recognizing individuals, organizations, and businesses that contribute to making San Leandro a place of community. We know that San Leandro is a city where kindness matters because the people who live or do business here make it such a special place.”



Toys, toys and toys!

Submitted by Taylor Johnson


Tri-City Volunteers is boosting its annual holiday Toy Party up a notch this year by adding a Holiday Boutique where parents can shop and wrap gifts for their children. Meanwhile, the kids will enjoy their very own party next door. Activities will include a visit by Santa along with plenty photo opportunities. The Fremont Fire Department will also show off two of its fire trucks. Admission is free, but RSVPs are required and can be made by emailing: taylor@tcvfoodbank.org.


Toy Party

Saturday, Dec 21

10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Niles Discovery Church

36600 Niles Blvd., Fremont

RSVP: taylor@tcvfoodbank.org



Toys needed for holiday season

Submitted by Rose Padilla Johnson


Davis Street is facing a severe toy shortage for the Holiday Basket program. Toys needed by age group include 389 for children ages 0-4, 429 for children ages 5-8, and 777 for children ages 9 and up. Age appropriate toys or gift cards are needed. You may drop off new, unwrapped toys, or gift cards by Friday, December 20, or donate online at https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/holidaybasket.


Holiday Toy donation

Until Friday, Dec 20

Monday – Thursday: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Friday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Davis Street Community Center

3081 Teagarden St., San Leandro




Fremont School District Board adopts trustee area elections

Submitted by Brian Killgore


At its December 10 meeting, the Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) Governing Board formally adopted a resolution to transition to a By-Trustee Area election system and adopted Map Plan 1 as the district’s trustee area plan.


Before making its decision, the governing board held five public hearings to review proposed maps and took comments from the community. Next, the governing board will submit a petition to the Alameda County Committee on School District Organization for review and approval. Once approved, the new system will go into effect for the November 2020 elections.


The By-Trustee Area voting districts are separate from school attendance areas and will have no impact on where FUSD students currently attend school or will attend school. For more information about Map 1 and the new By-Trustee Area election system, visit https://www.fremont.k12.ca.us/by-trustee.



Union City City Council

December 10, 2019



  • Emily Duncan chosen as Vice Mayor.


Consent Agenda:

  • Appointed Subru Bhat to Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District Board of Trustees for a four-year term, until 2024. Bhat was appointed to the board for a two-year term in December 2017.
  • Appropriated an additional $77,000 to Mark Thomas and Company for the Multimodal Corridor Study part of the Quarry Lakes Parkway Project. Their services include reviewing the project’s cost estimates and meeting with multiple transit agencies to confirm permit requirements.


Public Comment:

  • Re-appointed Subru Bhat thanked staff and provided Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District updates
  • On water quality.
  • On climate change.


Public Hearings:

  • On approving General Plan 2040 draft and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that will be used for future housing and business developments. The EIR measures the environmental risks of a project. City staff spent five years updating the 2002 general plan. California state law requires every city and county to have a general plan, a future roadmap. Themes in the plan include solving economic issues; opportunities to live, work, and play; and creation of more jobs. One element is the Mobility Element where the goal is to be a “multi-modal” city—getting residents away from their cars and on public transportation, bikes, and pedestrian paths. There are plans to think up of entertainment uses in Union Landing due to the decline of brick and mortar stores. Public comment included focusing more on specific environmental risks like fire, and preserving clean water and air. Others agreed with the plan to increase fiscal solvency, thrive in retail, and advance in transportation.


City Reports:

  • Presented a schedule about rate adjustments for recycling, organic, and solid waste services. Service rates are updated annually. Proposed rates would be presented during the March 24, 2020 city council meeting. Residents would receive notices in the mail starting April 15, 2020. A public hearing on the updated rates would be on the June 9, 2020 council meeting. New rates will be effective July 1, 2020.
  • Approved the Memorandum of Understanding for the Police Officers Association. The contract is from July 1, 2019 to December 31, 2021. The agreement includes a 5% specialty pay for officers assigned to the traffic unit and a 3% Cost of Living Adjustment for July 1, 2019, January 1, 2020, and January 1, 2021.
  • Authorized a Joint Powers Agreement with Fremont Human Services and family related resources. The City of Fremont will offer diversion programs, mentoring, life skills and support including basic life skills and searching for jobs with livable wages, and juvenile re-entry services.


Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci               Aye

Vice Mayor Emily Duncan                 Aye

Gary Singh                                          Aye

Pat Gacoscos                                       Aye

Jaime Patiño                                        Aye



Letter to the Editor

The Cost of Vision Zero


On the agenda of the December 3rd city council meeting was the issue of the Rancho Arroyo Parkway and Niles Blvd street design. For this particular meeting, the focus was on these two streets, but this is actually part of a larger issue fundamentally changing Fremont as we know it. The issue I am referring to is the Vision Zero project, which is tied in with the Fremont General Plan.


The Vision Zero initiative is the reason why we have all seen fundamental changes to the streets of Fremont. These changes, which include bulb outs at corners, wider and more prominent bike lanes, narrower driving lanes, plastic road dividers, and all the other changes that have taken place to our roads, are reshaping how people commute. The basic idea is that through road engineering, enhanced enforcement, and driver education, serious accidents and fatalities can be completely eliminated.


Eliminating traffic accidents is a laudable goal. Every life senselessly lost in a traffic accident is a tragedy. Even in accidents without fatalities, every injury a person sustains is catastrophic to both that person, as well as their family. As a society, we must do everything we can to prevent needless accidents.


Fremont is not alone in adopting Vision Zero. Many cities have adopted it. Nationally, hundreds of millions of tax dollars have been spent on this program.


The basic tenet of Vision Zero is to calm the flow traffic; our roads are being rebuilt to do just that. Traffic calming is the euphemism commonly used with Vision Zero initiatives to mean, slowing. At its core, Vision Zero is about slowing traffic.


So, as we continue to see our city transformed and our tax dollars spent, it seems prudent to look at what we are getting for our efforts. Is Vision Zero having the desired effect?


A recent Citylab report on November 21 analyzed five cites, based on size and geographic diversity, that were among the first to adopt Vision Zero.  Those cities are Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and New York. The report states that of these cities, since adopting Vision Zero, the first three have seen fatality rates either stay flat or rise. The last two, have seen a decline, but the report also notes that they have seen fatalities start to creep up again. The report also mentions Vision Zero cities Austin and San Jose have seen an increase in fatalities since adoption, and in Seattle, fatality rates have remained flat.


Further, another report highlights that in Los Angeles, the spike in pedestrian fatalities since enacting Vision Zero has been significant. In the 13 years before Vision Zero, Los Angeles averaged 84 pedestrian fatalities per year. Since enacting Vision Zero, Los Angeles had 135 pedestrian fatalities in 2017 and 128 in 2018.


To reiterate, seven of the nine cities studied had fatality rates either remain flat or go up since Vision Zero was enacted. At least one had fatality rates go up considerably. Given the hundreds of millions of dollars spent nationally on Vision Zero, that seems a poor return on our investment.


But what of Fremont? All of those in the report are major urban cities, completely unlike our quiet, suburban community. How has Fremont fared? The results are mixed. At the city council meeting, city staff presented results and focused on the decline in severe injury accidents in Fremont. However, while the number of reported accidents is down, the number of fatalities has remained flat. In fact, while admittedly not a statistically significant delta, it is notable that the year with the highest single number of fatalities shown came after Vision Zero was enacted. Given the amount of money being spent on Vision Zero, that hardly seems like the desired result.


Keith Parker




Reflections on Water

Water agencies explain how they kept pumps running during power shutoffs

Submitted by Sharene Gonzales


Recently, the Bay Area experienced the first significant rain of this winter, signaling an end to the 2019 wildfire season — and likely for accompanying public safety power shutoffs (PSPS). Under Pacific Gas & Electric’s pre-emptive power shutoffs, many people and businesses in the Bay Area experienced several days without energy for their day-to-day needs. The Alameda County Water District and other service providers also grappled with sustained power outages.


Thankfully, our collective hard work — and critical support from our wonderful customers — ensured that water kept flowing. A number of water utilities acquired emergency backup equipment to help keep the pumps and treatment plants running. But as a failsafe measure, many water agencies asked their customers to minimize water use to preserve water in local water storage tanks. We want to thank our customers for responding so quickly; numbers showed dramatic drops in water use during the PSPS events. These actions helped whole communities stay safer.


Water agencies are heavily dependent on power to pump, treat and distribute the water that customers need for drinking, bathing, cooking and irrigating, and for water at hydrants that firefighters count on. Knowing the impacts of losing power, water agencies began preparing for power shutdowns a year ago. While much work was done to address the short-term impacts, we found benefits from continued, long-term infrastructure maintenance and investment.


  • Standby Power: Although we have made previous investments of onsite generators for our major facilities, we also rented and purchased many generators and pre-deployed them throughout our service areas. Early deployment meant less scrambling to move heavy equipment to locations far and wide. When the time for shutoffs neared, we were able to dispatch technicians to switch facilities to generator power. We also secured fuel services needed to keep those generators running.


  • Full Reservoirs: The above and below ground water tanks in your neighborhoods store water that flows by gravity to the community. Under normal operations, we allow the water level in the reservoirs to go down during the day and then in the late evening, when energy is least expensive, we refill the reservoirs. Ahead of the power shutoff events, we filled each reservoir to the top to maximize water available for consumers.


  • Communication: We notified affected customers using a variety of methods — emails, news media, social media, websites and direct and early notification for elected officials. Maps showed precisely which pressure zones were affected — and those same customers were asked to conserve water.


We were also reminded of the importance of regional coordination among water and wastewater agencies to prepare and respond to immediate emergencies and longer-term challenges like climate change.


The bottom line is that the water kept flowing in the midst of challenging times, thanks to our preparedness — and important thanks to the response and cooperation we received from our customers in the face of this emergency.



Winter Concert

Submitted by Lyn Leone


Enjoy live music! Hillside Woodwind Quintet & Montecito Brass Ensemble will present a program of light classical and seasonal music. Members of the groups are local residents who wish to share their life-long love of music with the community. Reservations are not required.


Winter Concert

Sunday, Dec 21

2 p.m.

Castro Valley Library, Chabot Room

3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley

(510) 667-7900




27th Annual Women’s Hall of Fame nominations

Submitted by Susan S. Muranishi


Nominations are being accepted for the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame, honoring extraordinary women making a difference in the community. Honorees will be celebrated at the “27th Annual Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame Luncheon and Awards Ceremony” in early spring 2020, co-hosted by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and the Alameda County Commission on the Status of Women.


The Women’s Hall of Fame is now accepting nominations in 13 categories: Business & Professions; Community Service; Culture & Art; Education; Emerging Leader; Environment; Health; Justice; NonTraditional Careers; Philanthropy; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; Sports & Athletics; and Youth. We strongly encourage you to submit your nominations in any of these categories NOW. Submit today at http://www.acgov.org/whof.


More than 240 women have been inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame since its inception in 1993. In addition to honoring extraordinary women leaders from Alameda County, the annual event raises funds for youth scholarships and supports local nonprofit community partners serving women, youth and families.


Susan S. Muranishi, Alameda County Administrator and Co-Chair of the Women’s Hall of Fame said, “Now in our 27th year, we are privileged to honor so many exemplary women, making significant contributions to their communities. The legacy and public support for the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame continues to grow, expanding our investment in our future leaders through the Mary V. King Youth Scholarship program and supporting our Community Partners significantly impacting the lives of women, youth and families across Alameda County.”


The date for the 2020 luncheon will be determined soon! We anticipate a sold-out event, with more than 500 people present to recognize the achievements of our inductees and to contribute support to our youth and community partners. The next group of inductees will be announced in early 2020. Please visit our website http://www.acgov.org/whof/events.htm or call (510) 272-6984 for more information.



Popular elephant dies unexpectedly at Oakland Zoo

Submitted by Erin Harrison


Officials at the Oakland Zoo are mourning the loss of its eldest African Elephant, M’Dunda who died on Tuesday, December 3.


At about 2:45 p.m. zookeepers found M’Dunda collapsed inside the zoo’s 6.5-acre elephant habitat and immediately cleared other elephants away so they could safely enter and provide aid. Two veterinarians and supporting technicians, along with Oakland Zoo President and CEO Dr. Joel Parrott (who is also a wildlife veterinarian), rushed to the scene, but they quickly determined that M’Dunda was already dead. She was 50 years old.


“M’Dunda has been part of our Oakland Zoo family for 26 years. She was such a gentle being, and closely bonded with her keepers. We’ll miss her greatly,” said Parrott.


Arriving at Oakland Zoo in 1993 from San Diego Zoo, M’Dunda quickly built a reputation of having a very gentle and kind demeanor. She rumbled to communicate with her herd mates and keepers, and was often observed trunk twirling with Osh, the male of the herd.


Oakland Zoo’s elephants are given daily examinations and treatments by animal keepers, including elephant “pedicures,” along with bi-weekly thorough exams by Zoo veterinarians that include foot sole inspections, bloodwork, and a check of all vitals. M'Dunda showed no signs of existing medical issues, despite her advanced age. Her remains were taken to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine for a necropsy and testing to determine the specific cause of death.


M’Dunda was the third oldest African elephant in an AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) zoo. (The average median lifespan of African elephants in captivity is 17 years).