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

New year brings fare increases on BART

Submitted by BART


BART officials are reminding riders that a 5.4% inflation-based fare increase will take effect on January 1, 2020 as part of a program that has been in place since 2003 to raise fares every other year to keep up with the cost of inflation.


All new revenue from this fare increase will go to BART’s highest priority capital needs including new Fleet of the Future cars and a new train control system to provide more frequent service. It is important that fares keep up with inflation because BART is not heavily subsidized by the government and it relies on fares for two-thirds of its operating budget.


In addition, BART officials said the agency is working very hard to improve the rider experience with stepped up cleaning efforts, additional police presence to keep passengers safe, and new solutions to address the Bay Area’s homeless crisis and the impact on its system. Paper ticket fares will continue to have a 50 cent per trip surcharge. Riders are encouraged to use Clipper cards and save on this surcharge.


Youths ages 5 to 18 get 50% off with a youth Clipper card while riders age 65 and older receive 62.5% off with a Senior Clipper card. Visit www.clippercard.com/Clipperweb/ for more information.


Discounts for low income riders will also be available in 2020 when BART begins participating in the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Regional Means-Based Fare Discount Pilot Program expected to begin early in the year. The program will offer a 20% discount per trip to adult riders earning 200% or less of the federal poverty level.


BART riders who want to check out the new fares online can visit the Fare Calculator webpage at www.bart.gov/tickets/calculator.




Takes from Silicon Valley East


Building a Better Bay Area

By Lily Mei, mayor of Fremont


As part of ABC7’s series, Building a Better Bay Area (https://abc7news.com/community-events/building-a-better-bay-area-fremont/5684825/), Fremont was selected as the first individual city to be covered, recognizing that our community is succeeding in building solutions for challenges facing the entire Bay Area. Throughout the week of November 18, ABC7 headed to Fremont in order to shine a spotlight on our diverse community, booming advanced manufacturing industry, efforts around housing and transportation, and hidden gems of Fremont from local restaurants to noteworthy sights.


We kicked off the weeklong news series with a public, live Town Hall on November 18 at Washington Hospital with three panels: Building Better Living, Building Better Business, and Building Better Community.


Moderated by ABC7 News Anchor Kristen Sze and contributor Phil Matier, the conversation centered on Fremont’s business ecosystem, housing, transportation, and overall quality of life. I was honored to sit on all three panels with councilmember Raj Salwan (vice mayor at time of Town Hall on November 18) as we were joined by a rotation of notable city staff, business leaders, and faith leaders such as Captain Sean Washington, Economic Development Director Christina Briggs, Community Development Director Dan Schoenholz, Washington Hospital CEO Kimberly Hartz, Boehringer Ingelheim CEO Jens Vogel, and Pastor Jeffery Spencer.


I genuinely enjoyed and learned from the dialogue that took place at the town hall that featured such a rich, representative cross section of the Fremont community. These three town hall panels served as springboards into deeper stories that were aired throughout the week around the strategic and creative solutions that are being implemented in Fremont.



Building Better Living

Due to Fremont’s central location between job opportunities and more affordable housing in the Tri-Valley, Contra Costa County, and Central Valley, traffic has become a leading concern for our residents. ABC7 Reporter Lyanne Melendez reported on the various innovative ways that the city staff are deterring commuters from cutting through residential streets, such as partnering with Google Maps and Waze, working with the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Berkeley to analyze traffic congestion patterns, and programming red lights for longer and placing no-turn on red signs at key intersections.

Additionally, ABC7 reported on Fremont’s housing solutions, including the placement of the future Temporary Housing Navigation Center behind city hall in a well-resourced area and partnerships with community organizations like Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley and Abode Services which are building low-income housing such as Central Commons and Laguna Commons for families in need.


Finally, Schoenholz sat down with ABC7 to talk about our city’s plans to be strategically urban as adopted in Fremont’s General Plan (in December 2011), honing in on new housing being developed near public transit options such as our Warm Springs/South Fremont BART station.



Building Better Business

One of our greatest strengths is building public-private partnerships to leverage Fremont businesses’ technology in our own community. Briggs expanded on Fremont’s partnerships with our business community. One example highlighted was the city’s work with Gridscape Solutions, a local clean technology firm specializing in microgrids, which led to the building of three microgrids at Fremont fire stations to establish power resiliency in the case of an emergency or natural disaster.


It’s no secret that Fremont is known as the capital for advanced manufacturing and is actively training the future workforce to fill the many new manufacturing jobs opening in the Bay Area. ABC7’s Liz Kreutz looked at one of the ways the workforce pipeline is being developed at Ohlone College. Ohlone is a local community college that offers a two-year smart manufacturing certification program to remove barriers and build the right skills for future engineering technicians and technologists.


The city also understands that both employees and residents are looking for amenities that are currently being offered and further developed in some of Fremont’s key neighborhood business districts. ABC7 showcased local restaurants and business that give Fremont its flair and flavor including Shinry Lamian and De Afghanan.



Building Better Community

It’s vital for a city to have a central gathering place that provides an opportunity for people to have more community interactions and access to dynamic services. We are thrilled that our new downtown is tangibly taking shape with the development of our main street, Capitol Avenue, as well as the new downtown event center and plaza that just broke ground in late October.


Finally, what really makes Fremont great are the people that live here. ABC7 profiled our diverse community by showcasing our city’s youngest residents, homegrown talent like Kristi Yamaguchi, and cultural gathering places such as Sun Bollywood.


To read and watch all of ABC7’s original reporting on Building a Better Bay Area: Focus on Fremont, visit https://abc7news.com/community-events/building-a-better-bay-area-fremont/5684825/.




Facebook to tackle efforts to interfere with 2020 US census

By Barbara Ortutay and Mae Anderson

AP Technology Writer


SAN FRANCISCO (AP), Dec 19 – Facebook plans to clamp down on attempts to use its services to interfere with the 2020 U.S. census, including the posting of misleading information about when and how to participate, who can participate and what happens when people do.


Facebook and other social media companies have been trying to tackle misinformation on their services, especially ahead of next year's U.S. presidential elections. They already have similar policies around voter suppression, banning misleading information about when and where to vote, for instance.


Facebook said Thursday it will prohibit advertisements that portray taking part in the census as “useless or meaningless“ or that encourage people not to participate. The company also said it will try to identify and remove misleading census posts before people see them. But it will also remove any posts it misses after the fact, using both technology and humans to spot violations. The company said it will begin enforcing the census policy in January.


The census, which happens every 10 years, is crucial to determining how many representatives a state gets in Congress and which states and cities get billions of dollars in federal funding for infrastructure, health care, low-income programs and other projects. The results of the 2020 census also will be used to redraw electoral maps.


False and inaccurate information is already circulating online about the census. For example, posts in neighborhood chat groups warned that robbers were scamming their way into people's homes by asking to check residents' identification for the census. That was a hoax, but it left Census Bureau officials scrambling to get the posts removed from Facebook.


Facebook sometimes plays down misleading content rather than banning it outright, as it did with a faked video of Nancy Pelosi that went viral earlier this year. It can also “downrank” false or misleading posts – including videos – so that fewer people will see them. Such material can also be paired with fact checks produced by outside organizations, including The Associated Press.


But Facebook is defining misleading census posts as a violation of its community standards and thus subject to removal.


Google is also trying to prevent misinformation about the census from spreading. It set up a team to focus on preventing hoaxes and misleading information, and expanded a YouTube policy to make it clear that misinformation about the census is prohibited on the site and will be taken down.


Facebook has long tried to steer clear of having to police its content, claiming it is a platform, not a publisher. But after revelations that that Russians bankrolled thousands of fake political ads during the 2016 elections, Facebook and other social networks faced intense pressure to ensure that doesn't happen again. It tightened political ad requirements including verifying political ad buyers and archiving all political ads for the public. But many have found ways to slip through the cracks of the system.


Facebook has been under fire for its policy of not fact checking political advertisements on its service, which critics say allows politicians to lie and then pay Facebook to amplify their lies. Facebook has said it wants to provide politicians with a “level playing field“ for communication and not intervene when they speak, regardless of what they're saying.


But now that misleading information about the census is a violation of Facebook's terms, such posts will be removed even if they are coming from a politician. Facebook has a similar policy against interfering with voting.



Mae Anderson reported from New York. AP Technology Writer Rachel Lerman in San Francisco contributed to this story.




India-based firm pays California over foreign workers' visas

AP Wire Service


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Dec 18 – California has settled with an India-based technology company that it accuses of misclassifying foreign workers and related tax fraud, the state attorney general's office said Tuesday.


Infosys Limited, a business consulting, information technology and outsourcing company, and its subsidiary, Infosys BPM Limited, will pay California $800,000.


The company brought in workers using the wrong visas to underpay them and avoid paying California payroll taxes such as unemployment insurance, disability insurance and employment training taxes, Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a news release.


About 500 Infosys employees were working in California on company-sponsored B-1 visas rather than H-1B visas from 2006 and 2017, the state said. Aside from paying state taxes, H-1B visas also require employers to pay workers the local prevailing wage and can be challenging to obtain because there are a limited number available each year.


The settlement “shows that attempting to evade California law doesn't pay,” Becerra said in a statement.


The company said the settlement avoids the time and expense of litigation and notes that Infosys strongly disputes the allegations and admits no wrongdoing.


The company has annual revenue of $11 billion, and Becerra said the settlement covers California's losses.


A whistleblower who brought the allegations to the attention of state officials will receive 15% of the settlement under state law.




California expands insurance protections in wildfire areas

AP Wire Service


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Dec 18 – More than a million California homes are now protected under a new law that temporarily bans insurance companies from dropping customers in areas affected by recent wildfires, officials announced Wednesday.


Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a moratorium earlier this month covering about 800,000 homes affected by recent wildfires. Lara extended those protections this week to more than 200,000 additional homes in burn areas in San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Solana and Contra Costa counties.


The moratorium lasts for a year, and it only covers people who live either inside or next to the perimeter of one of 16 wildfires that burned in California in October.


Thousands of homes have been destroyed in recent years by devastating wildfires across the state. Those claims have cost insurers, who responded by dropping fire insurance policies for many homeowners who live in wildfire-prone areas.


The insurance industry has said annual losses from wildfires are not sustainable.


In California, people who can't buy home insurance through no fault of their own can purchase plans from a state-mandated insurance pool. But policies sold through the California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements Plan are often limited to fire damage, forcing people to purchase separate plans to get coverage for things other than fires.


Last month, Lara ordered the FAIR Plan to begin selling comprehensive policies by June 1 to cover lots of other problems, including theft, water damage, falling objects and liability. He also ordered the plan to double homeowners' coverage limits to $3 million.


Last week, the California FAIR Plan Association sued Lara, arguing his order is illegal. It said state law only requires the plan to sell basic property insurance. It argued Lara's order would hurt the private insurance market, which conflicts with the FAIR Plan's state-mandated goals of encouraging “maximum use” of the “normal insurance market.”


Known as the “insurer of last resort,” the FAIR Plan has been growing in recent years as wildfires have become bigger and more frequent because of climate change.




Intel buys Israeli AI chip startup Habana for $2B

AP Wire Service


SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP), Dec 16 – Intel is paying $2 billion to buy an Israeli startup that specializes in processing chips for artificial intelligence.


The California-based chipmaker said Monday that the purchase will help it speed up computing power and improve efficiency at data centers.


The move is part of Intel's broader strategy to strengthen its AI business. The company expects AI services will generate more than $3.5 billion in revenue this year, an increase of more than 20% from last year.


Habana, founded in 2016, will remain an independent business led by its current management team in Caesaria, Israel, according to Intel. The startup's first processing chip, the Goya, is commercially available. Its second was announced earlier this year.




McDonald's agrees to $26M settlement with California workers

By John Antczak

Associated Press


LOS ANGELES (AP), Nov 25 – McDonald's has agreed to a $26 million settlement of a long-running class-action lawsuit over wages and work conditions at corporate-run locations in California, the parties said Monday.


The agreement, which estimates the settlement covers about 38,000 individuals, requires the approval of a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge.


The lawsuit filed nearly seven years ago against McDonald's Restaurants of California Inc. made an array of claims including failure to pay minimum and overtime wages and to provide required meal and rest breaks.


One aspect involved overnight shifts that began on one day and ended the next day but had all hours attributed to the day the shift started, avoiding overtime payments.


Initially there was one plaintiff and eventually three others joined to represent the class of cooks and cashiers.


McDonald's Corp. said in a statement that it takes its responsibility as an employer seriously and is committed to fair treatment of all employees.


“While we continue to believe our employment practices comply with the California Labor Code, we have decided to resolve this lawsuit filed back in early 2013,” the company said. “With this settlement, the parties have reached a mutually acceptable resolution and have submitted the settlement to the Court for its review and approval.”


Terms of the agreement include compensation for back wages, unpaid overnight overtime, meal and rest breaks that were missed, late or shortened and unreimbursed time and expenses for maintenance of uniforms, according to a plaintiffs' memorandum to the court.


The settlement also requires periodic training for managers and crew members at corporate-owned restaurants.


A series of pragmatic terms require that crew members be told of rules and options covering meal periods and rest breaks, when they can't be required to stay on-site, and that McDonald's will provide uniforms without cost when work outfits become worn or damaged.




Newseum hailed free press, but got beaten by free museums

By Ashraf Khalil

Associated Press


WASHINGTON (AP), Dec 27 – In 2008, the Newseum – a private museum dedicated to exploring modern history as told through the eyes of journalists – opened on prime Washington real estate.


Sitting almost equidistant between the White House and the Capitol on Pennsylvania Avenue, the glass-walled building became instantly recognizable for its multi-story exterior rendition of the First Amendment.


Eleven years later that experiment is coming to an end. After years of financial difficulties, the Newseum will close its doors Tuesday.


“We're proud of how we did our storytelling,” said Sonya Gavankar, the outgoing director of public relations. “We changed the model of how museums did their work.”


The building was sold for $372.5 million to Johns Hopkins University, which intends to consolidate its scattered Washington-based graduate studies programs under one roof.


Gavankar attributed the failure to a “mosaic of factors” but one of them was certainly unfortunate timing. The opening coincided with the 2008 economic recession, which hit newspapers particularly hard and caused mass layoffs and closures across the industry.


She also acknowledged that the Newseum's status as a for-pay private institution was a harder sell in a city full of free museums. A Newseum ticket costs $25 for adults, and the building is right across the street from the National Gallery of Art and within blocks of multiple Smithsonian museums.


“Competing with free institutions in Washington was difficult,” Gavankar said.


Another problem, organizers said, is that the Newseum struggled to attract local residents, instead depending on a steady diet of tourists and local school groups. Actual Washington-area residents, who do frequent the Smithsonian and elsewhere, mostly came on school trips and rarely returned as adults.


Claire Myers fits that profile. The D.C. resident recalls coming to the Newseum in high school in a senior-year class trip. She only returned in late December for a final visit because she heard it was closing at the end of the year.


“I do think part of the reason was because it's a paid museum,” she said. “Why go out of my way to do this when I could just go to any other free museum?”


The $25 price tag, Myers said, creates a pressure to set aside the whole day and take in every exhibit, whereas at one of the free Smithsonian museums, she knows she can come back another time to catch whatever she missed. But Myers said she was deeply impressed by the exhibits, particularly the Newseum's signature gallery of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs.


“I do wish it wasn't going away,” she said.


The museum's focus evolved over the years, showcasing not just journalism and historic events, but all manner of free speech and civil rights issues and some whimsical quirks along the edges. Exhibits during the Newseum's final days included an exploration of the cultural and political influence of Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show,” a look at the history of the struggle for LGBTQ rights and a display depicting the history of presidential dogs.


Gavankar said the Freedom Forum, which originally maintained the Newseum in northern Virginia for years, would continue its mission in different forms. The educational foundation maintains a pair of exhibits on the Berlin Wall in both Reagan and Dulles airports. Next year, those displays will be replaced by exhibits on the women's suffrage movement. The current Rise Up! exhibit on LGBTQ rights will move to a new long-term home in the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle.




Safety agency says distracted driver caused fatal Uber crash

Nov 19

By Tom Krisher

AP Auto Writer


The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday condemned the lack of state and federal regulation for testing autonomous vehicles before finding that a distracted human safety driver was the main cause of a fatal 2018 Arizona crash involving an Uber vehicle.


The board criticized the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government's road safety agency, for failing to lead in regulating tests on public roads. But it also said states need to adopt their own regulations.


“In my opinion they've put technology advancement here before saving lives,” NTSB member Jennifer Homendy said of NHTSA, after NTSB staff members called self-regulation inadequate. “There's no requirement. There's no evaluation. There's no real standards issued.”


NHTSA has issued voluntary guidelines including safety assessment reports from autonomous vehicle companies, but only 16 have filed such reports, the NTSB said. Yet there are 62 companies with permits to do testing in California. The agency has instead avoided regulations in favor of allowing the technology to move forward because it has tremendous life-saving potential.


NTSB staffers told the board that NHTSA has no mechanism to evaluate the companies' safety reports, and since they aren't mandatory, few are submitting them.


The board voted to recommend that NHTSA require companies to turn in the reports and set up a process for evaluating them. NHTSA should make sure the companies have proper safeguards in place. Those would include making sure that companies show that they are monitoring vehicle operators to ensure they are paying attention during the tests, the NTSB said.


In a statement, NHTSA said it welcomes the NTSB report “and will carefully review it and accompanying recommendations.”


NHTSA said its investigation into the Tempe crash, which killed a pedestrian, is ongoing and a report will be made public when it's finished.


The NTSB also recommended that states, including Arizona, require autonomous-vehicle companies turn in applications to test vehicles on public roads that at a minimum require a plan to manage risk and operator inattentiveness. The plans also should set countermeasures to prevent crashes or mitigate their severity.


The NTSB investigates transportation accidents but has no regulatory authority. In highway crashes, it can only make recommendations to NHTSA.


The Uber crash was the first fatality involving an autonomous test vehicle, and it reverberated through the auto industry and Silicon Valley. It forced other companies to slow what had been a fast march toward autonomous ride-hailing services on public roads.


NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said at the hearing that Uber had an ineffective safety culture before the March 2018 crash on a darkened street in Tempe that killed Elaine Herzberg, 49.


Sumwalt said Uber didn't continually monitor its operations and it had de-activated its Volvo SUV's automatic emergency braking system. Uber's own system also didn't have the ability to brake automatically, relying on a human backup driver to do the braking.


He said all companies that test autonomous vehicles on public roads need to study the crash to prevent future accidents.


The board determined that the probable cause of the crash was the backup driver failing to monitor the road because she was distracted by watching a TV show on her mobile phone. Uber's inadequate safety procedures and ineffective oversight of drivers contributed to the cause, as well as Herzberg being impaired by methamphetamines and crossing the road away from an intersection, the NTSB said.


Also contributing was the Arizona Transportation Department's insufficient oversight of autonomous vehicle testing, the NTSB determined.


A spokesman for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said the state appreciates the NTSB's work and will review the recommendations.


San Francisco-based Uber said in a statement that it deeply regrets the crash and is committed to improving safety.


The Uber system detected Herzberg 5.6 seconds before the crash. But it but failed to determine whether she was a bicyclist, pedestrian or unknown object, or that she was headed into the vehicle's path, the NTSB said. The system also did not include a provision for detecting jaywalking pedestrians, the agency said.


Instead, Uber relied on the human operator stop the vehicle to avoid a crash. But the was looking down just before the crash. The NTSB said Uber had cameras monitoring drivers, but it didn't do spot checks to make sure they were paying attention.


It said Uber cooperated in the investigation, listened to criticism and has made many safety improvements since the crash, including activating the braking systems, better training of human backup drivers, adding a second driver and hiring a safety director.




Associated Press writer Terry Tang in Phoenix contributed to this report.




AMA-Vaping Ban – AMA calls for total ban on all e-cigarette, vaping products

Nov 19

By Lindsey Tanner

AP Medical Writer


The American Medical Association on Tuesday called for an immediate ban on all electronic cigarettes and vaping devices.


The group adopted the sweeping stance at a policy-making meeting in San Diego. It aims to lobby for state and federal laws, regulations or legal action to achieve a ban, but the industry is sure to fight back.


The AMA cited a surge in underage teen use of e-cigarettes, which typically heat a solution that contains nicotine.


“It's simple, we must keep nicotine products out of the hands of young people.” Dr. Patrice Harris, AMA's president, said in a statement.


The doctors' group said a separate health issue also prompted its action – the recent U.S. outbreak of lung illnesses linked to vaping. Most of those sickened said they vaped THC, the high-inducing ingredient in marijuana, not nicotine. Officials believe a thickening agent used in black market THC vaping products may be a culprit.


The outbreak has “shined a light on the fact that we have very little evidence about the short- and long-term health consequences of e-cigarettes and vaping products,” Harris said. About 2,100 people have gotten sick; 42 have died.


The AMA has previously sought bans on e-cigarette flavors and ads.


Some observers say the AMA's position is flawed and has little chance of achieving a sweeping ban.


“I would be 100% with the AMA if they were seeking a ban on all tobacco products that are smoked, including e-cigarettes,” said Jonathan Foulds, a tobacco addiction specialist at Penn State University. “But right now, nicotine electronic cigarettes are competing with and replacing the most harmful legal product in this country.”


Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, a pro-vaping advocacy group, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made clear that its focus “is not store-bought nicotine vaping products, but illicit contaminated THC oil cartridges sold by drug dealers.”


“It would be a mistake for adult smokers and their families to listen to these misguided prohibitionists, as the evidence continues to indicate that adult smokers who switch to nicotine vaping products greatly improve their health,“ Conley said.


The AMA policy calls for a ban of vaping products not approved to help people quit. But so far, none have been reviewed or approved for that use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


Stephanie Caccomo, an FDA press officer, said the agency is “committed to doing everything we can to prevent kids from using tobacco products and will continue to develop a policy approach that aligns with that concern.”


Juul Labs, the nation's biggest e-cigarette maker, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.


E-cigarettes first appeared in the U.S. more than a decade ago and have grown in popularity despite little research on their long-term effects. The FDA has been widely criticized for repeatedly pushing back its own deadline to begin reviewing thousands of vaping products on the market, at one point until 2022. The deadline is now next May.




AP writer Matthew Perrone in Washington contributed to this report.




Virgin: Vegas-to-California train work could start in 2020

AP Wire Service


LAS VEGAS (AP), Dec 11 – Construction on a high-speed train between Las Vegas and Southern California could start late next year if bonds are approved by February, the company planning the project said.


Virgin Trains USA executive Tina Quigley told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that work will begin first in California, where state lawmakers recently approved a $3.25 billion bond request.


Virgin is seeking approval in Nevada for $950 million in bonds that state Department of Business chief Terry Reynolds said could get approval next month or in February.


Project designers say the track along Interstate 15 could whisk passengers about 185 miles (297 kilometers) between Las Vegas and Victorville, California, in about 90 minutes. Victorville is 85 miles (137 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles.


Construction is expected to take three years and cost $4.8 billion.


Reynolds said final approval is needed from the Federal Railroad Administration.


Nevada funding would include $200 million from the state debt limit allocation, allowing Virgin to market $800 million in bonds, the Review-Journal said. Another $150 million would come from the U.S. Department of Transportation's bond program.


Virgin Trains USA was previously known as Brightline. It already operates a high-speed train through densely populated areas between Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida.




East Bay Regional Park District Report

Submitted by Ayn Wieskamp, Board of Directors


Trails Challenge


One of the most popular activities in the East Bay Regional Park District is the annual Trails Challenge, in which thousands of people have participated since it started in 1993.


It’s free, easy to do, and fun for the whole family. Sponsored by the Regional Parks Foundation and Kaiser Permanente, the Park District publishes a guidebook containing 20 recommended trails throughout the regional parks. Accessible for hikers, bicyclists and equestrians, the trails vary from easy to challenging.


Select any five of the trails, complete them by Dec. 1, turn in your trail log, and receive a commemorative pin while supplies last. Trails Challenge T-shirts are also available at participating visitor centers, while supplies last.


You can pick up a guidebook at a Park District visitor center, or you can download one from the District website, www.ebparks.org.


The guidebook also has useful information on equipment, park features, and safety. The program is a great incentive to enjoy healthy outdoor exercise, while exploring a regional park that may be new to you. So, what’s not to like?



Job Fairs


The Regional Parks also offer great opportunities for youth employment working with kids, at swim areas, or in the Public Safety Department.


You can find out more about it at either of two Youth Job Fairs. The first is from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Hayward Area Senior Center, 22325 North Third Street in Hayward. It’s in partnership with the Hayward Area Recreation & Park District (HARD).


There’s another Youth Job Fair from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Pleasant Hill Senior Center, 233 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill, in partnership with the Pleasant Hill Recreation & Park District.


No registration is necessary, and of course these fairs are free of charge. Just show up to learn more about some great outdoor jobs.



Nature careers

And if you are considering a career working in nature, Merritt College in Oakland is offering classes in natural history and sustainability in the spring of 2020.


The courses are taught by Regional Park District staff and Merritt College faculty. You can earn certificates of achievement in conservation and resource management, natural history and resources, or urban agroecology.


For more information, visit merritt.edu.



Bird Watching


Bird watching is an enjoyable and educational pastime, and the regional parks offer many opportunities.


For example, there’s a bird walk from 8 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4 starting at the Niles Staging Area on the Alameda Creek Trail. There’s another at the same time on February 1 starting at the Coyote Hills Visitor Center, 8000 Patterson Ranch Road in Fremont.


Both are led by Kristina Parkison, both for ages eight and older. All levels of birding experience are welcome; Kristina will talk about bird behavior, migration patterns and habitat.


Or you can join Kristina for a bird walk at Coyote Hills from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 14, starting at the Coyote Hills Visitor Center. It’s for ages 12 and older.


For information on any of Kristina’s bird walks, call 510-544-3220.




Dear EarthTalk: What is climate gentrification and where is it happening?

— Jamie B., Boston, Massachusetts


Climate gentrification is a relatively new term describing what happens when neighborhoods traditionally overlooked by wealthy people become more attractive — and expensive — given their siting in geographic areas that happen to be more resilient to climate-related threats such as stronger, more frequent hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, etc.


The already-classic case is in Florida’s Miami-Dade County, where climate-related flooding and sea level rises are driving wealthy homeowners away from once pricey beach-front property and into the higher elevations surrounding areas like Little Haiti, Liberty City and Allapattah that have traditionally been home to struggling minority families. The result is greater density and higher home prices and rents in these recently poor neighborhoods. Meanwhile the locals move out, complaining that the transition is forcing them out of their beloved homes and sapping once vibrant cultural identities.


A recently released Harvard study of real estate values by elevation in the Miami area over the last five decades found that while home prices were rising in most parts of the 2,400-square-mile county, areas at higher elevations were experiencing larger increases. Properties located 2-4 meters above sea level rose 11.5x in value on average over the 1971-2017 study period, while those located at or within one meter of sea level rose 8x on average. Current climate projections of Florida’s coastline in a warming world show that areas less than a foot above sea level will be underwater within another 50 years.


The Harvard study put the concept of climate gentrification in the public eye for the first time, but we can see examples of it just about everywhere. “In California, wildfires are becoming more common and forcing people to move, in some cases because their homes were destroyed, and in others because the threat of fire makes it difficult to get insurance or a mortgage,” reports Aparna Nathan of Harvard’s Science in The News blog. “Los Angeles, in particular, may see an influx of people from the coast (as sea levels rise) and farther inland (as fires rage) into its traditionally working-class Eastside neighborhoods.”


Another area where climate gentrification has become a problem is Arizona, where people are moving from the overheated Phoenix area to the cooler, higher elevation areas of northern Arizona. According to Nathan, this trend is disrupting communities and the real estate market and widening socioeconomic gaps in the process. Jesse Keenan, lead author on the Harvard study, concurs, telling Bloomberg News that the situation in Miami “evokes matters of equity and justice that have very limited historical precedent.”


Now that the issue is coming to the fore, environmental justice advocates hope that municipal planners and government officials start taking climate gentrification into account when developing master plans and drafting new zoning ordinances to make sure that even poor people have safe places to live in the face of increasing environmental torment. But as Nathan points out, housing is just one example of an overarching theme: “As the climate changes, it will be easier for those with more resources to adapt.”



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




Park It

By Ned MacKay


Trails Challenge 2020


The New Year brings new adventures in the East Bay Regional Parks, with the 2020 edition of the popular, free and family-friendly Trails Challenge.


A partnership of the Regional Parks Foundation and Kaiser Permanente HMO, Trails Challenge encourages visitors to explore the regional parks by completing any five of 20 trails listed in the 2020 guidebook.


There are trails for all levels of fitness and expertise, from easy to challenging. Hike, bike or ride whichever you choose, turn in your trail log by December 1, and receive a commemorative pin while supplies last.


The 2020 Trails Challenge guidebook is available as of Jan. 2 at park district visitor centers or online at the district website, www.ebparks.org/TC. And you can download the free AllTrails app. Besides trail maps, the guidebook has useful information about equipment, safety, and the regional parks in general.


Participating visitor centers also have free Trails Challenge T-shirts, again while supplies last.


So, make a New Year’s resolution to pick up a guidebook and venture out into the parks.




Speaking of trails, naturalist “Trail Gail” Broesder will be leading a series of hikes at various regional parks from 9 a.m. to noon on three Sundays in January on the theme of “New Year, Nature You.” All are part of the Healthy Parks Healthy People program promoting safe, low-impact activities in the outdoors through regular enjoyment of the regional parks.


Gail’s first hike will be on January 5, starting at the Alhambra Creek Staging Area of Briones Regional Park. The entrance is on Reliez Valley Road about a mile south of the intersection with Alhambra Valley Road in Martinez. For information, call 510-544-2233.




There are natural and cultural history programs every Saturday or Sunday in January and February at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch.


“Nature Discoveries” is from 10 to 11 a.m. every Saturday. Learn what is flying, crawling or blooming in the park. “Historic Somersville is from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays. Learn about the lives of 19th Century miners, see some miners’ tools, or go on a short walk.


Or you can meet a live gopher snake, king snake or rattlesnake from 1:30 to 2 p.m. every Saturday.


Black Diamond Mines is at the end of Somersville Road, 3½ miles south of Highway 4. The snake program is at the Sidney Flat Visitor Center just past the park entrance kiosk. The other two programs meet in the parking lot at the end of the road.


Black Diamond Mines has a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. The programs are free of charge. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 2750.




The naturalists at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley host occasional coffee talk sessions to discuss current news relating to the Delta. There’s one from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8, another at the same time on February. 5.


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




You can hear natural history stories by the fireside from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. every Sunday in January and February at the Environmental Education Center in Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley.


And there’s a nature stroll starting at the center from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays, January 4, 11 and 18, led by naturalist Anthony Fisher. These are easy walks to observe the variety of life in the nature area. Bring a camera.


The center is at the north end of Tilden’s Central Park Drive, accessible via Canon Drive from Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Berkeley. Call 510-544-2233.




Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda features Family Nature Fun from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, with a different topic each week. Mammals (including us) are the subject on January 4 and 5.


Crab Cove is at 1252 McKay Ave. off Alameda’s Central Avenue. Call 510-544-3187.




Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont offers a full schedule of programs celebrating the cultural heritage of the Ohlone people who inhabited what is now the park for thousands of years.


There are regular tours of a reconstructed Ohlone village site within the park, a half-mile walk from the visitor center. The next is from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 4.


Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. There’s a $5 parking fee; the programs are free. Call 510-544-3220.




This isn’t even half of what’s going on in the regional parks. For full information, visit the district website at www.ebparks.org.




Bikes for Tykes

By Stephanie Gertsch


Christmas gifts have been opened, and even if the tree is still up, people are looking ahead to 2020. However, many would not have been able to enjoy the holiday season as much if it were not for community organizations who worked throughout December to bring gifts to underserved children and families. One of these organizations is Davis Street, who on December 14 distributed 1,000 bikes and helmets to children in need for the annual “Bikes for Tykes” event.


Davis Street has partnered with the San Leandro Police Officers Association for Bikes for Tykes for over two decades. Officer Louie Brandt led the program for eight years, but in 2019 Abbott Diabetes Care Division led by Jason Jower adopted the program, and doubled the goal from last year’s 500 bikes to 1,000.


Planning for this event started before December. On November 19, a Bikes for Tykes helmet fundraiser at Sons of Liberty Alehouse in San Leandro, contributed 20 percent of the restaurant’s sales from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. toward purchasing helmets for the program. People also donated directly or dropped off new, unused helmets at Davis Street’s Basic Needs Department.


Many volunteers were necessary for the Bikes for Tykes and Davis Street’s Holiday Basket Program, which distributed gift baskets on December 23. Whether the help consisted of sorting toys, distributing baskets, or making donations, the community came together to make these events happen and give a brighter holiday to more than 1,000 low income families, seniors, and children.




Birdhouses as art? Yes, indeed!

Article and photos submitted by Geoffrey Landreau


This battle isn’t for the birds. Well, maybe some lucky birds might eventually benefit from it. But for now, the upcoming “Build a Better Birdhouse Battle” exhibit at Hayward’s Sun Gallery is aimed at local high school artists and art aficionados in the community.


The annual fundraising event will showcase original handmade birdhouses created by students at Hayward, Tennyson and Mt. Eden high schools and available for purchase in a silent auction. The birdhouse art projects will be on exhibit 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, January 10 and 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. Saturday, January 11 at the Sun Gallery in Hayward.


Each birdhouse was created by students enrolled in advanced wood shop, advanced 3D design and advanced ceramic classes. Additionally, the exhibit will include a selection of two-dimensional pieces about birds and birdhouses created by Chavez Middle School Students.


Potential bidders can stop by the gallery either day to view the birdhouses and submit a silent bid to purchase their favorite creation. The highest bid for each item at the close of the show at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, January 11 will win. Proceeds will go to the individual artists and will also help promote art programs in local schools. Admission is free; Sun Gallery can be reached at (510) 581-4050.


Build a Better Birdhouse Battle

Friday, Jan 10 – Saturday, Jan 11

Friday: 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Saturday: 12 noon – 2 p.m.

Sun Gallery

1015 E St., Hayward

(510) 723-3180, ext. 62274






Bay Area participates in Shop with a Cop

By Stephanie Gertsch


Around the country, police officers engaged with underserved K-12 students in the community by holding “Shop with a Cop” events throughout December. An officer is paired with one or two children to spend a gift card on presents for the children themselves or their family. One of the largest groups in the Bay Area is Shop with a Cop Silicon Valley, which helped 120 children purchase gifts for themselves and family members on December 4. Other cities such as San Leandro and Fremont also hosted their own events.


On December 11, BART Police Department hosted their 6th annual Shop with a Cop event, and treated 65 children to a shopping trip at a San Leandro Walmart with a $100 gift card each. Children were encouraged to spend as close to $100 as possible and purchase one clothing item, one school item, and toys either for themselves or another person. Funds for the event came from Bart PD’s Cupcakes for Kids fundraiser and donations from officers and community members.


Union City hosted their event, also at a Walmart, on December 14, when whole families were taken shopping for holiday gifts. The store also donated bikes to some children and a turkey for each family. Money for the program was raised throughout the year, with sponsors such as Walmart, Fremont Bank Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, and Alameda County Fire Department.


Fremont is now in its 12th year of hosting Shop with a Cop. On December 4, 20 children were selected to shop with officers at a local Target—but in this case they were buying gifts for family members rather than for themselves. Gifts were delivered to the family resource center to be wrapped and picked up later in the day. Participating kids received presents that had been wrapped ahead of time, and were treated to planned activities, games and lunch.


The presents have been opened and Christmas is over, but this year’s holiday season wouldn’t have been as merry without the generosity of community organizations, including our local police departments.




17-year-old develops water conservation app

By Dhoha Bareche


“I am an avid environmentalist. My vision and passion for life is to combine environmental science with computer science to help raise awareness about water conservation.” Those are the words of Sohail Attari, a 17-year-old senior at Fremont’s Irvington High School, who runs the registered non-profit organization Youth for Sustainability and software application Showerly.


Attari’s interest in the topic started about four years ago when he heard a news anchor talk about how teenagers take long showers. He decided to conduct research on the issue and discovered that showers are the second largest source of water consumption, as well as the least expensive to reduce. It sparked his interest in water conservation and how technology could be used to help people decrease shower times. His drive afforded him the opportunity to intern at the University of California, Berkeley alongside academics who make climate data analytics tools for the State of California.


This experience led to the launch of his non-profit, Youth For Sustainability, in 2016 to raise awareness of water conservation and sustainable practices. With two sub-chapters in Palo Alto and Los Gatos, including 50 members and 20 volunteers, Attari works alongside his colleagues and Bay Area boy scouts, elementary schools, and high schools to conduct trash clean-ups and educate citizens on how to preserve watersheds.


Attari came up with the idea of using sand clocks to help people track how much time they are using in their showers, as he wants to “inspire and encourage people and give them the proper and necessary tools to help them accomplish what they might not have before.” Youth for Sustainability has now distributed 4,000 sand clocks to 100 boy scout troops in five states.


Through this, Attari developed a passion for programming by building his own website for Youth For Sustainability. “My start in programming came out of necessity. When I was building a website for my non-profit, I wasn’t interested in using templates such as Weebly or WordPress since I wanted to customize it to my exact liking.” Instead, he expanded his horizons by learning about various programming languages, which later helped him develop his own water saving app.


The smartphone application Showerly allows people to track and decrease their shower time. With over 310 users from 10 different countries and 15 unique features, this innovative and engaging software allows users to compete with local and global communities for the lowest shower times. Currently, Showerly is only available on Android; Attari is working on enhancing the application with feedback he receives from users before its release on Apple.


However, these accomplishments did not come with ease. Attari struggled to acquire funding for his organization “I emailed nearly 100 places including water districts, state agencies, and non-profits but most did not have any grant programs that I could apply for.” Fortunately, the Santa Clara Valley Water District provided funding to carry out his project. Additionally, he faced many difficulties when trying to integrate the database for the app Showerly and had to work with friends and family to get it to function properly. “I had to familiarize myself not only with the Android Studio development environment, but also with optimizing the code to make the app as fast as possible.” However, Attari believes overcoming obstacles gave him the experience necessary to continue developing apps.


In the future, he wishes to implement a voice recognition feature that will allow users to start and

stop the app’s timer, rather than having to physically tap the button on their device. He also seeks to collaborate with water districts on developing different tools that will assist with water conservation. Attari envisions a prosperous future for his work as he wishes to expand Youth For Sustainability on the national level, grow Showerly, and continue raising awareness about the climate crisis.


Showerly app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.balanstudios.showerly

Youth for Sustainability: http://youthforsustainability.org/




California Dashboard Results

Submitted by Laura Forrest


Alameda County school districts are demonstrating consistent improvement in math, English language arts, college and career readiness and decreasing suspension rates, and some are making gains in graduation rates and reducing rates of chronic absenteeism, according to 2018-19 data released Thursday on the California School Dashboard.


The California Department of Education and the State Board of Education uses the annual release of the California School Dashboard, which has been in place since 2017, to illustrate how schools and districts are performing on state and local indicators.


The Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) has created a bank of resources to help families and educational communities to better understand the 11 indicators that are part of the California School Dashboard. You can access these short videos at acoe.org/dashboard.


“The California School Dashboard provides a comprehensive look at how districts in Alameda County are serving our students as measured by academic, engagement and climate indicators,” said L. Karen Monroe, Alameda County Superintendent of Schools. “We continue to see progress being made, and our districts can celebrate some of the true successes represented in this data.”


Every district in Alameda County is committed to focusing on the critical need for educational equity and continuous improvement in supporting populations of historically underserved student groups. While the Dashboard shows many districts in Alameda County narrowed the “opportunity gap” and demonstrated progress in numerous indicators, there continue to be student groups that show stagnant or decreased achievement rates.


“We must focus on the persistent gap in achievement of students across our county and state and take clear steps to address this as one of the most significant issues facing public education today,” said Superintendent Monroe. “The Alameda County Office of Education will work with our districts to engage in reflective review of this data and initiate the critical work of making improvements so that each student is supported to succeed.”


Based on Dashboard results, a number of districts in Alameda County have been identified to receive Differentiated Assistance support. Differentiated Assistance is a year-long, state-mandated process that mobilizes specialized teams of Alameda County Office of Education staff to work closely with identified districts in targeted areas to assess strengths and weaknesses, then develop recommendations to address areas that need improvement.


The Dashboard continues to be accessible in Spanish and English, with the addition of Tagalog, Vietnamese and Mandarin for the 2019 release. Learn more about ACOE at www.acoe.org.





Senator looks back at 2019 legislative successes

Submitted by Sen. Bob Wieckowski


Marking the end of the year and legislative session, Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) has released a roundup of several of his legislative bills that were signed into law during 2019. They included measures on housing, workers’ rights, consumer protection and economic equity issues.


Here are some of the senator’s measures signed into law during the last session:


  • SB 13: Advancing Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

California is in a housing crisis which has become one of the most significant drivers of institutional and generational poverty cycles in the state. This law cuts exorbitant impact fees and reduces remaining barriers in order to encourage the safe, legal construction of more affordable ADUs.


  • SB 187: Helping homeowners fight shady mortgage debt collectors

This clarifies that the term “consumer debt” includes mortgage debt. It ensures mortgage servicers adhere to the same rules as any other debt collector under the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. It also removes a loophole that said attorneys could not be sued under the Rosenthal Act.


  • SB 267: Foreign Service Officers

The Foreign Service requires that officers maintain ties with their place of residency for taxes, voting, and other purposes. Another connection for officers is to maintain a current state driver license. This law grants a more flexible extension on California driver licenses for Foreign Service Officers and their spouses.


  • SB 303: Safeguarding the conserved

A conservatorship occurs when a judge appoints one person or entity to manage either, or both, the financial matters or personal care of an individual who is no longer able to manage their own affairs. This law requires a showing of clear and convincing evidence before removing a conservatee from their home or selling her home.


  • SB 323: Election rights in homeowner associations

It is estimated that 25% of Californians live in homeowners’ associations, which are run by a volunteer board. Unfortunately, some board members bend or ignore the rules to maintain their power and control over the association by excluding those who seek to challenge the status quo and have a seat at the table. This bill protects Californians’ voting rights in association elections.


  • SB 616: Limiting bank levies

In California, a debt collector can empty out your entire bank account. These seizures happen with little or no warning, leaving low income families without a way to pay for rent, food or other necessities, and forcing them to incur more debt just to get by. This bill breaks the debt cycle, shields some money from collection and gives struggling workers a fighting chance to improve their lot.


  • SB 707: Forced Arbitration Accountability Act

This law establishes a consistent and predictable process for all workers in California who are first denied access to court because of mandatory arbitration clauses and then denied any access to justice when the company intentionally refuses to pay arbitration fees. This bill ensures companies cannot have it both ways.


Wieckowski represents the 10th District in the State Senate, which includes southern Alameda County and parts of Santa Clara County. Constituents who need information or assistance on state issues, can call the senator’s district office at (510) 794-3900 or by emailing senator.wieckowski@senate.ca.gov.





Favorite Design Projects of 2019

Article and photos by Anna Jacoby


With this last column of the year, I thought I’d share with you four of my favorite design projects from 2019, and what I like most about them. They all came out beautifully, capturing the needs and wants of the clients, and each space has its own unique personality. Perhaps they will inspire you for your own projects in 2020.



Sleek and Modern Master Bath


What I love about it

  • The contrast of colors and textures: Note the smooth, polished white countertops contrasted with almost-black wood grain on the vanity cabinet. Also, note the embossed wavy, linear pattern in the white shower wall tiles, contrasted with the randomness of the black pebbles on the shower pan and backsplash. Strong horizontal and vertical lines are softened by the round mirror, and wavy curved lines in the tile.
  • The clean, minimalistic aesthetic: Contemporary design tends toward minimal ornamentation, thus the slab-front cabinet doors and drawers and sleek countertop. The custom-designed vanity, featuring six good-size drawers, will help keep visual clutter to a minimum.
  • The pop of red: I could have used just about any accent color in this bath, given the black and white backdrop. But I chose red, for a burst of energy and fun.



Soft and Pretty Guest Bath


What I love about it

  • Great use of space: The original bath had an old, shallow tub, and a very dark and claustrophobic separate shower stall. To remedy this situation, we turned the tub area into a large walk-in shower and converted the former shower into a spacious linen closet. The result is a very open, functional, light and bright new bath that meets everyone’s needs.
  • The color scheme: My favorite color is blue, and I’m always happy when I can incorporate it into a design. I love the combination of the soft blue walls, the blue mosaic accent tiles, and all the crisp white and gray. It’s a very peaceful bathroom to walk into.



Large and Open Kitchen


What I love about it

  • Expansive new layout: This kitchen started out as a small U-shaped kitchen with minimal counterspace and storage. By eliminating the peninsula and using the entire length of the walls, we were able to greatly expand the storage capacity and work spaces. Two cooks can easily and comfortably work in this kitchen now.
  • The color scheme: The dark gray lower cabinets provide an unexpected pop of rich color to the kitchen, and the crisp white upper cabinets keep it light and bright. The tile backsplash very successfully ties the two colors together. And the warm wood tones on the floor prevent all those grays from looking cold.



Warm and Welcoming Kitchen

What I love about it

  • Great use of space: Removing two walls and creating a new entrance from the front door made all the difference in the world. It enabled us to add a huge new island and increase the storage and workspace. And the best part is that this new design looks like it was meant to be this way all along. It blends seamlessly with the adjacent rooms, and provides a spacious, yet welcoming, space for family and friends.
  • The materials and colors: I love the beautiful wood grain on those gorgeous cherry cabinets.
  • (Also note the matching cherry pantry door.) Paired with the cream, rust and reds present in the counters, backsplash and walls (and even the front door), this warm color palette creates a very inviting ambiance.








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



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



Fridays, Jan 3 – Jan 31

Toddler Ramble: Is There a Storm Brewing? $

10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Kids 1-3 learn about weather through play and exploration

Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

4901 Breakwater Ave., Hayward

(510) 670-7270



Saturdays-Sundays, Jan 4 – Jan 26

Monarchs: Pollinator Royalty

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Learn how butterflies affect our surroundings

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Saturdays-Sundays, Jan 4 – Jan 26

Monarch Spotting

2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Use a spotting scope to look for butterflies

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797


Saturdays-Sundays, Jan 4 – Jan 26

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, Jan 4 – Feb 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



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, Jan 1

Brazen New Year's Day $R

7:30 a.m.

Trail race for walkers, 5K, 10K and Half-Marathon

Lake Chabot

17600 Lake Chabot Rd., Castro Valley

(888) 327-2757



Wednesday, Jan 1

New Year's Day Farm Walk

11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.

Enjoy the winter weather, visit the animals

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Thursday, Jan 2 – Friday, Jan 3

Take a Break in Nature R

10:30 a.m. – 12 noon

Go to the park for nature, science and exploration. Ages 5-10

Sunol Regional Wilderness

1895 Geary Rd., Sunol

(510) 544-3249



Thursday, Jan 2

Bedtime Storytime

7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Songs and stories for families. Children 8 and under need adult caregiver

Union City Branch Library

34007 Alvarado Niles Rd., Union City

(510) 745-1464


Saturday, Jan 4

Ohlone Village Site Tour

1:30 p.m. – 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, Jan 4

Bird Walk

8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Discover patterns of behavior, migration, and habitat. Ages 8+

Alameda Creek Regional Trail

Niles Staging Area Old Canyon Rd. in Niles District, Fremont

(510) 544-3220



Saturday, Jan 4

Nature Detectives: Marshy Movement $

11 a.m. – 12 Noon

Kids 3-5 hike and explore animal movement

Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

4901 Breakwater Ave., Hayward

(510) 670-7270



Saturday, Jan 4

Raspberry Jam R

1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Learn about a micro-computer for digital-making and coding

Castro Valley Library

3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley

(510) 667-7900



Saturday, Jan 4

Monarchs For Kids

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 am.

Educational look at butterflies. Ages 3-6

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Saturday, Jan 4

Science Explorers: Chemical Reactions

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Explore science with fun and experiments. Ages 7+

Centerville Library

3801 Nicolet Ave., Fremont

(510) 795-2629



Saturday, Jan 4

Music & Movement

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Songs and movement that build motor/social skills. Ages 6 and under with adult

Centerville Library

3801 Nicolet Ave., Fremont

(510) 795-2629



Sunday, Jan 5

Ohlone People & Culture

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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

Coyote Hills

8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont

(510) 544-3220



Sunday, Jan 5

Alameda Creek Walk and Talk

9 a.m.- 12:00 noon

Relatively flat 3-mile hike around the marsh

Coyote Hills

8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont

(510) 544-3220



Sunday, Jan 5

Drop-in Knit and Crochet Club

2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Work on your own project or create hats and scarves to donate to homeless

Castro Valley Library

3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley

(510) 667-7900



Sunday, Jan 5

There's Treasure Everywhere $

2 p.m.- 3 p.m.

Dipnet the marsh and collect plankton samples. Ages 5+

Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

4901 Breakwater Ave., Hayward

(510) 670-7270



Sunday, Jan 5

Marvelous Monarchs

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

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

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Tuesday, Jan 7

Family Zumba Fundraiser $R

6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Benefits the Youth Advisory Commission's Mini-Grant program. Ages 5+

San Leandro Senior Community Center

13909 East 14th Street, San Leandro

(510) 577-3462



Tuesday, Jan 7

Dynamic Resumes

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Tips for creating a good resume

Fremont Main Library

2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont

(510) 745-1421



Thursday, Jan 9

Audition to join the MFMII kids choir

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Does your child love to sing? Grades 1-6

Niles Elementary School

37141 Second St., Fremont

(510) 733-1189


Thursday, Jan 9 – Sunday Jan 12

The Little Mermaid $

Thurs & Fri: 7 p.m., Sat: 2:30 p.m. & 7 p.m., Sun: 1 p.m. & 5 p.m.

Based on the Hans Andersen story and the Disney Film

Milpitas Community Center

457 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas

(408) 586-3210




Friday, Jan 10 – Saturday, Jan 11

Build a Better Birdhouse Battle

Fri: 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Sat: 12 noon – 2 p.m.

Silent auction sale for custom birdhouse art

Sun Gallery

1015 E St., Hayward

(510) 723-3180, ext. 62274





A New Year’s Good Deed

Submitted by Bruce Roberts


New Year’s is always a time for resolutions to make a person’s life—and the world—a better place. With that in mind, Hayward’s Literacy Plus is offering Tutor Training Sessions in January for those who wish to help others improve their English skills.


Adults who feel their English skills are inadequate can feel handicapped, and insecure; that can carry over to finding a career, raising a family, and dealing with life in general. But the Literacy Plus Program can change that, with the help of citizens who are willing to tutor another person one to two hours a week.


If you would like to use your own English skills to change another person’s life, contact the Literacy Plus Program at (510) 881-7910, or go to www.haywardliteracyplus.com. Tutor orientation meetings will be held both January 14 at 5:30 p.m. and January 15 at 1:30 p.m. Tutor Training will be held Saturday, January 25, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All meetings will be at Hayward’s beautiful new downtown library.


Interested? Improve someone’s life in the new year!



English Tutoring



Tuesday, Jan 14 – Wednesday, Jan 15

Tues: 5:30 p.m.

Wed: 1:30 p.m.



Saturday, Jan 25

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Hayward Library

888 C Street, Hayward

(510) 881-7910




Helping a loved one with Alzheimer’s enjoy holiday meals

Submitted by Scott McCaskey


Family gatherings around the dining room table are often beloved holiday high points. With the number of people in California living with Alzheimer’s increasing, many of the get-togethers will include a loved one with a form of memory loss or dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of people in California with Alzheimer’s disease will increase more than 25% between this year and 2025, rising to 840,000.


Officials from Fremont Hills, a retirement community offering assisted living and memory care services to residents, is offering tips on how to ensure holiday meals are most festive and enjoyable for everyone at the table this year:


  • Use contrasting table settings, such as colorful plates against a light-colored tablecloth, to help with depth perception.
  • Prepare food in contrasting colors — for example, place dark green vegetables beside the serving of turkey on your loved one’s plate so that individual items are easy to distinguish.
  • Offer a selection of finger foods and options served in bite-sized portions to make eating most manageable.
  • Keep table decorations to a minimum so individual items are easier to see and recognize.
  • Remember that other factors will also contribute to a successful dining experience, such as whether the dining room is a pleasant temperature and chairs are comfortable, or if there is music playing which may make it difficult to hear or follow conversations.


As part of its commitment to helping seniors thrive, Fremont Hills offers the Gourmet Bites Cuisine signature program that restores the joy of dining for people with physical, neuromuscular and cognitive changes which can make mealtimes a challenge. Fremont Hills, located on 35490 Mission Blvd., Fremont, is operated by Watermark Retirement Communities.




New Pet Licensing Hours

Submitted by City of Fremont


The Tri-City Animal Shelter will soon begin implementing more consistent hours for Fremont 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.


You can also license a new pet, renew an existing pet’s license, and update information for you and your pet online. If you are a Fremont resident, your dog or cat is required to be licensed at four 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.


Tri-City Animal Shelter

Tuesday–Friday: 12 noon – 5 p.m.

Saturday: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Closed Sundays, Mondays, and Holidays

1950 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont





Naked fireman, binky-binging bulldog: New England's odd 2019

By William J. Kole

Associated Press


BOSTON (AP), Dec 27 – New Englanders fired up the weirdness machine again in 2019, and it cranked out oddities pretty much nonstop.


There was a giant spinning ice disk in Maine, a naked firefighter in Rhode Island, and twin mysteries in Massachusetts and Vermont, where people reported that intruders had entered their homes – only to vacuum and scrub them clean.


A sampling of some of the region's stranger stories from the past 12 months:




Cosmic Carousel


A slowly rotating ice disk the width of a football field formed in the Presumpscot River in Westbrook, Maine, outside Portland, mesmerizing crowds and entertaining ducks who, one observer said, were rotating on the big Lazy Susan. The alien-like disk spun slowly counter-clockwise for days, grinding to a halt only after an attention-seeker from New Jersey tried to hack a giant peace sign on it with a hatchet.




Binky-Binging Bulldog


No wonder this hound wasn't hungry. A family in Wellesley, Massachusetts, brought its 3-year-old bulldog, Mortimer, to a Boston veterinary hospital after he suddenly stopped eating. An X-ray revealed why: His stomach was packed with 19 baby pacifiers he had apparently taken from his owners' two children. The pooch made a full recovery after the binkies were removed using a medical scope that didn't require surgery.




He Extinguished His Clothes


A veteran firefighter who police say walked naked into a Rhode Island convenience store on a dare retired early after being placed on leave. Authorities in Middletown charged 60-year-old John Walsh, of Lynnfield, Massachusetts, with disorderly conduct after he shed his clothing and wore nothing but a “smile on his face” as he purchased a soda at a 7-Eleven. A woman passenger in his car told police she dared him to enter the store nude because he said it was legal in the Ocean State.




Was It A `409′ In Progress?


These were two clean capers – or maybe just two cases of mistaken identity. In mid-May, Nate Roman, of Marlborough, Massachusetts, came home from work and knew instantly someone had been inside. Nothing was taken, but the house was spotless: beds made, rugs vacuumed, toilets scrubbed – even origami roses crafted on the toilet paper rolls. Police think a housekeeping service may have come to his house by mistake. Roman called the experience “weird and creepy.” Three weeks later, a Vermont man came home to find a strange woman cleaning his house.




Like A Needle In A Haystack


Imagine being reunited with your wedding ring after losing it on a snowy mountaintop. That unlikely outcome happened to Bill Giguere, who lost the gold band on a snow-covered trail up 4,000-foot Mount Hancock in New Hampshire's White Mountains. He put out a plea for help, and fellow hikers Tom Gately and Brendan Cheever managed to locate the ring in the snow with a metal detector. “It beeped and he's, like, `I think I found it,' and everybody's like, `What?”' Cheever told WMUR-TV.




Snake In An S.U.V.


This was no ordinary distressed driver call. Police and bystanders in East Windsor, Connecticut, teamed up on Independence Day to remove a 6-foot-long boa constrictor that had wrapped itself around the engine block of a car. Police wrote in Facebook post that it “was not exactly the call“ they were expecting on a holiday. Later, they said: “This may surprise you but we, the police, are not normally in the business of wrangling snakes.“ The snake, which authorities think was an escaped pet, was brought to a nature center.




Bad Luck Buck


Whitetail deer and whitecaps don't usually mix, so a Maine lobsterman was astonished to find a young buck drifting five miles out to sea. Ren Dorr and his crew managed to rescue the 100-pound deer, which had given up swimming. Dorr was a little worried that sharing the cramped deck of a lobster boat with a wild animal would be tricky, but the deer was so exhausted, “he laid right down like a dog.” The buck was set free on shore. Dorr said the deer would have been “a goner” if the lobstermen hadn't intervened.




Winter's Over – Wanna Bet?


Apparently trying to guess when the ice will melt is such a thing in northern Vermont, some people even place bets on it. In West Danville, locals bought tickets for a $5,000 jackpot to see who could predict when a cinder block would fall through pond ice. Organizers say the annual Joe's Pond Ice Out Contest began in the 1980s as a response to cabin fever. In Newport, near the border with Canada, there's a similar contest with a twist. Residents bet on when “Vanilla Ice,” a large plywood cutout of a bottle of vanilla extract, will drop into Lake Memphremagog.




Seeking citizens bond oversight committee members

Submitted by Jacqui Diaz


The Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (H.A.R.D.) is accepting applications from interested residents of Hayward, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, and unincorporated Alameda County to serve as committee members on the District’s Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (C.B.O.C.). There are currently three position openings on the committee.


The committee oversees the expenditure and use of Measure F1 Bond proceeds to ensure their use on the types of projects stated in the bond measure. The committee in its operation shall represent no specific or special group but provides bond oversight for the general welfare of the district.


To obtain a C.B.O.C. application or for additional information about this committee, call the H.A.R.D. Capital Planning Offices at (510) 881-6712; email Meghan Tiernan, capital planning and development director at TieM@haywardrec.org; or visit http://www.haywardrec.org/698/Citizens-Bond-Oversight-Committee. The deadline to submit the application is Monday, January 6, 2020. To learn more about H.A.R.D. programs and events, visit www.HaywardRec.org.



Oversight Committee Members Application

Deadline: Monday, Jan 6, 2020

(510) 881-6712






Heart to Heart seminar for girls and boys

Submitted by Ivy Wu


These informative, humorous and lively discussions of puberty, the opposite sex and growing up set parents and their pre-teens on a straight course for talking with one another on these important topics. Join us for these very popular classes developed by Julie Metzger, RN of “Great Conversations” in the Seattle, WA area.


“For Girls” is for girls, 10-12 years of age, and their moms or other adult resource person. Each class includes discussions on the physical changes of puberty and menstruation, what girls should know about boys, social issues, sexuality and sexual reproduction.


“For Boys” is for boys, 10-12 years of age, and their dads or other adult resource person. Each class includes discussions on body changes to expect during puberty, myths vs. facts, what boys should know about girls, sexuality and sexual reproduction.


Please note that all “Heart to Heart” classes are held in two sessions.


Classes may be cancelled up to two weeks before the start date with a full refund. Cancellations/changes made within two weeks of the start date of the class incur a $25 administrative fee. No refunds are given for cancellations or requests for changes of class dates made after the start of the class.


One “seat” in the registration is for one adult and one child pair. If you are interested in bringing an additional child, you will need to make a unique registration. Please see our webpage at www.hearttoheart.stanfordchildrens.org for more information about registering multiple children, age appropriateness, and other FAQs. You will receive an email confirmation when you submit your registration. If you do not see it, please check your spam filter. If you have any questions, please call us at 650-724-4601.


We understand and honor the diversity of all families. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.


Girls’ session:

Sunday, March 29

2:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Patterson Elementary School – MPR

35521 Cabrillo Dr., Fremont


Registration: $120


Boys’ session:

Thursday, March 12 & 19

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Warm Springs Elementary School – MPR

47370 Warm Springs Blvd., Fremont


Registration: $120




Kaiser Permanente doctors thrive on helping others

submitted by Lisa Hallas


Kaiser Permanente is well known for its “Thrive” mission statement. However, many people may not realize that this is not only a corporate mission, but also a local one. In the summer of 2019, Kaiser Permanente’s physician group took its mission statement a step further when over 40 doctors mentored 10 students from seven high schools and universities, including Washington High School [Fremont] and John F. Kennedy High School [Fremont]. Students were chosen for their interest in the medical field, and had to show their dedication to learning. Many specialties, such as Head and Neck Surgery, Hospital-based Inpatient Medicine, Outpatient Clinic-based Medicine, Dermatology and Surgery opened their doors to showcase the daily lives of doctors for these students.


For a minimum of four weeks, students were able to experience various departments, better understand patient care, and learn how to listen effectively to patients. They also had opportunities to practice reading chart notes or lab tests. But mostly they saw first-hand what doctors do every day. As Dr. Vijay Tiwari said, “Students want to see, not just hear.”


While this program was created for students to learn about medical careers, it didn’t only benefit the students. Doctors also felt honored to give back, and found that interaction with students gave them renewed energy. Many didn’t realize at first how these daily interactions with young, eager students would affect them. Dr. Niti Mann went into the mentorship program not knowing what to expect. Yet, she found it helped her and her colleagues grow as doctors and remember how to teach a topic. Dr. Sabine Hill particularly enjoyed the reminder of why she chose a career in medicine in the first place. “These high schoolers are not scared by the long road ahead of them. They are focused and energized.”


Another doctor who was enriched by the mentorship program was Dr. Eunice Tsai, Chief of Dermatology. While she admits she was reluctant at first to let a student into her busy dermatology practice, after just one day, she realized how it made her day “lighter and more joyful.” She was particularly touched by the card that Amanda Powell, a Junior at Kennedy High School, wrote afterwards. She keeps the card on her desk as inspiration and a reminder of the positive impact of mentoring students.


Dr. John Melone and Dr. Joel Ou, from the departments of surgery and anesthesia, valued their interactions with Washington High School student, Anika Kohoutek. “She was personable and a breath of fresh air in our operating room.” Anika reflected that through the Kaiser Permanente mentoring program, she was able to explore other medical specialties than “just” Primary Care, a field she already understood through her mother’s position at Kaiser as an Internist.


Many doctors explained that their role is also that of a teacher—to patients, interns, mentored students, and the community at large. This includes the students in the mentorship program. Dr. Sarah Brill said, “I get joy when teaching the students something they don’t know.” She added that sometimes the teacher would become the student, and vice versa, as she often learned from her mentees too.


Last but not least, many doctors shared that being a mentor reinvigorated them, brought them joy and brought them back to the reason they entered medicine—to help others. Dermatologist Dr. Joan Paul mentioned that she enjoyed the energy of the students and considers this experience “paying it forward.” She did not have dermatology as a subject at her medical school, so she is eternally grateful for the guidance she received from a neighborhood dermatologist. This mentorship program takes a step forward in exposing interested students—and future doctors—to all areas of medicine. Dr. Paul said it perfectly: “It is soul-nourishing to help others and teach students about the thing we all love.”


This program is only one of numerous ways that Kaiser gives back to the community. For more information on Kaiser Permanente or their programs, visit kp.org.




Lighten up New Year’s Eve

Submitted by Karin Conn


Brian Copeland presents “Lighten up New Year’s Eve” with ten of his funniest friends, including Mark Pitta (Tonight Show), Joe Klocek (Comedy Central), Justin Lockwood (SF Int’l Comedy Competition), Clara Clay (Bay Area Favorite), Mickey Joseph (Star of The Rat Pack Show in Las Vegas), Chicago Steve ($10,000 Winner America’s Funniest People), Nicole Tran (Bay Area Favorite), Ronn Vigh (E! Entertainment Police), Jann Karam (Tonight Show and Seinfeld) and Stephen B (Bay Area Favorite). Start your evening with the funniest comics around… ending at 9:30 p.m. so you can be home or at a party when the clock strikes midnight.


All these comedians under one roof on Tuesday, December 31 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the San Leandro Center for the Performing Arts. General admission tickets are $70 Advance / $75 at the Door. Student tickets are $15 Advance / $20 at the Door. Purchase on BrownPaperTickets or call (800) 838-3006.



Lighten up New Year’s Eve

Tuesday, Dec 31

7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

San Leandro Performing Arts Center

2250 Bancroft Ave, San Leandro

(800) 838-3006








Little Mermaid

Submitted by Milpitas Recreation and Community Services


Center Stage Performing Arts will be presenting “The Little Mermaid” from Thursday, January 9 to Sunday, January 12, 2020. The musical is based on the Hans Andersen story and the Disney Film, with music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater. Performers are young adults and youth ages six and up. Shows will take place at Milpitas Community Center, at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday. There will also be special discounted school performances on Thursday morning at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.


General admission tickets are $15; early bird tickets are $12 if purchased before January 9.


Since 2012, Center Stage Performing Arts has been bringing performing arts to the community and supporting local youth through theater programs that promote creativity, imagination, teamwork and personal growth.



The Little Mermaid

Thursday, Jan 9 – Sunday Jan 12

Thurs & Fri: 7 p.m., Sat: 2:30 p.m. & 7 p.m., Sun: 1 p.m. & 5 p.m.

Milpitas Community Center

457 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas

(408) 586-3210



Tickets: $15




Local author releases moon manual

Submitted by Springer Nature


Robert Garfinkle has announced the publication of Luna Cognita: A Comprehensive Observer’s Handbook of the Known Moon. In it, he gives detailed advice for observing all lunar nearside features, from the largest craters to the tiniest ridges and an unparalleled collection of lunar history and facts.


This comprehensive, all-in-one handbook takes the reader on a unique journey to our closest celestial neighbor. This three-volume set covers the Moon begins with a section on the Moon’s place in human history, mythology and lore, before gravitating closer to the Moon itself through scientific sections on the Earth-Moon system, lunar motions and cycles.


Advice is offered on how to purchase, use and care for lunar observing and photography equipment. Techniques for observing the Moon (both with the naked eye and optical instruments) are detailed as the reader approaches the Moon’s surface on this visual tour-de-force.


Written in an accessible, engaging manner, Luna Cognita is an invaluable resource for anybody who looks up at the glowing sphere in the night sky and wants to learn more about the “Known Moon.”


Luna Cognita







Kick off the new year with Tom Rigney and Flambeau

Submitted by Shirley Sisk


On Sunday, January 12 the league of volunteers (LOV) and the Newark Arts Council are presenting a concert featuring Tom Rigney and Flambeau. Rigney is one of the premier roots music fiddle players, specializing in blazing Cajun two-steps, low-down blues, funky New Orleans grooves, Boogie Woogie piano and heartbreakingly beautiful ballads and waltzes. Much of the concert’s repertoire is composed by Rigney, but they will mix in a few classics from the Cajun/New Orleans song book. Enjoy Tom Rigney on violin and vocals, Danny Caron on electric guitar and vocals, Caroline Dahl on piano, Steve Parks on electric bass and vocals and Brent Rampone on drums. If you feel like dancing – there will be space for you.


LOV’s concerts are held at the Thornton Junior High multi-purpose auditorium. Doors open at 1 p.m. and the concert will begin at 2 p.m. Admission is free with donations suggested at the door. Complimentary refreshments are served during intermission. For information call (510) 793-5683 or check the website www.lov.org.



Tom Rigney and Flambeau concert

Sunday, Jan 12

2 p.m.

Thornton Junior High auditorium

4356 Thornton Ave, Fremont

(510) 793-5683





Morey Greenstein: accounting profession has changed, but not values

Submitted by Ellesha Wanigasekera


Morey Greenstein is the founding partner of Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen and Co. CPAs and advisors, based in Fremont since 1964. This year he celebrated his 90th birthday. In his long life he has seen the city and the field of accounting grow and change, but many of the same values still serve.


In the summer of 1963, Morey left his San Francisco employer to strike out on his own, with a wife, three kids, a mortgage, and little knowledge of how to run a business, much less an accounting firm. He used an office in Palo Alto that belonged to a venture capital firm and tapped into his strong network to get the fledgling firm off the ground. At the end of the first year of business, he was able to hire a secretary, followed by a bookkeeper. Work was sometimes contracted to a handful of other CPAs that Morey had grown up with. Soon the business could cover all its expenses.


With its growing client base spread over Oakland, San Leandro, and Palo Alto, the firm moved to Fremont, into an office then located on Mowry Avenue. Morey remembers tracts of open land in the area now occupied by Whole Foods. A department store used to be located on part of the land where Washington Hospital now stands.


Initially, Morey didn’t think he would stay in public accounting – he thought he might eventually take on a role as a CFO at a private company. However, the firm grew steadily, and in 1974, it became a partnership. In 1980, a second office was opened in Palo Alto. As of this year, the firm employs 30 accountants.


Having entered the profession in 1954, Morey remembers making copies of documents with carbon paper, then with the wet copy process developed by Kodak. Tax returns used to be filled out manually on sheets of paper then submitted to a service provider, which would key in the data and return the papers. Morey says that while it’s easier now, he can’t say it wasn’t more fun back then!


Accounting and tax may now be highly automated, but Morey believes that accountants have an important role in serving clients – they can analyze, project, and act as consultants. Even while doing routine bookkeeping, accountants can evaluate client needs and generate creative solutions.


Morey states that the qualities that helped him succeed are still relevant – being self-motivated, a go-getter, and a salesman. It’s imperative to know your trade, be good at it, and specialize – general practitioners can easily be replaced by automated systems.


He also believes it is important to contribute to the community and has served on professional societies and on the boards of local non-profits. Work-life balance is important, even in a demanding profession. Since childhood, his passion has been golf – he used to be president of the Castlewood Golf Club in Pleasanton. He also now enjoys watching the San Francisco 49ers.


When asked about his definition of success, Morey replied that it has changed over the years. In the early days, outsmarting an IRS agent was considered a win! Now, on his 90th birthday, Morey considers the legacy he has built as a marker of success.


“It’s been a fun ride, certainly interesting, and I’m glad I took it,” he says.


Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen and Co.

39159 Paseo Padre Parkway Suite 315, Fremont

(510) 797-8661





Ohlone College Golf Tournament
Submitted by the Ohlone College Foundation


We are pleased to announce the 35th Annual Ohlone College Golf Tournament will be held this Spring, on March 16, 2020 at Castlewood Country Club. Plans are underway to make this year’s event even more memorable than ever, and we hope you will be a part of it!

The Ohlone College Golf Tournament raises funds which directly benefit our Intercollegiate Athletic Programs as well as other programs throughout Ohlone College. Because of your past support, we have new lockers for softball, baseball and soccer programs, and were able to provide transportation for post-season teams and charter bus costs for baseball’s final four appearance. This year’s tournament will support a new scoreboard and Ohlone College Athletics vehicles. Golf Tournament proceeds also support numerous other student programs and professional development for faculty and staff.

There are many ways you can get involved, such as becoming a sponsor, golfer, advertiser, or by making a tax-deductible cash donation. We are also seeking gifts of all kinds for our golf tournament auction and raffle; examples include tickets, gift certificates, artwork, electronics, wine, services, and more. Anything you can contribute will help our mission. It is also an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your support of our community.

To make a gift or to find more information, please visit www.ohlonefoundation.org. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can be reached by email at foundation@ohlone.edu or by phone at (510) 659-6020.


Ohlone College Golf Tournament

Monday, Mar 16

10 a.m.
Castlewood Country Club

707 Country Club CIR, Pleasanton

(510) 659-6020




Festival to honor Dr. Martin Luther King

Submitted by Alice Kim


The Recreation and Human Services Department is currently accepting entry forms for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oratorical Festival and Poetry Slam 2020. The city’s annual celebration will take place on Monday, January 20. The event commemorates the birthday of the great American leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and his lifelong work toward equality and peace. Participants will perform an original or well-known essay, speech, or poem that celebrates Dr. King’s message of peace, tolerance, and social justice.

Students in third through 12th grades attending San Leandro schools are invited to participate. Students can win gift card prizes in their grade category. To participate, students must submit an entry form that includes the piece they intend to perform.


For details and to complete the entry form, visit https://Bit.ly/MLKjr2020. Entry forms must be submitted by Friday, January 10 or until 25 entry forms are received. For more information, call Liz Hodgins at (510) 577-3473 or email ehodgins@sanleandro.org.



Oratorical Festival and Poetry Slam 2020

Monday, Jan 20

10:30 a.m.

Senior Community Center

13909 E 14th St., San Leandro

(510) 577-3473


Application Deadline: Friday, Jan 10 or until 25 entry forms are received





East Bay park renamed after first female park district board member

Article and photo submitted by Dave Mason


Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) is honoring one of its earliest champions of parks and open space by renaming Redwood Regional Park in Oakland after Aurelia Reinhardt.


Dr. Aurelia Henry Reinhardt was an important and remarkable woman, born in San Francisco and residing in Oakland with her family. Her significant contributions played a substantial role in the formation of the East Bay Regional Park District in 1934. She was one of five original board members — and the only woman — elected to represent the newly-founded Park District on its first Board of Directors.


During her tenure, the park district negotiated its first land purchase, which created the first three parks: Tilden, Temescal and Sibley parks. A lover of redwood trees, she later worked to acquire property that would become Redwood Regional Park. The park’s redwood grove, Aurelia Reinhardt Redwoods, already bears her name.


“Aurelia had a long history of public service and advocacy for human and environmental rights,” said EBRPD Director Dee Rosario, who initiated the renaming. “She was an amazing woman whose legacy is still alive today in the Park District’s 73 Regional Parks and 125,000 acres of preserved open space.”


A college educated woman in the graduating class of 1898 at the University of California, Berkeley, she went on to earn a Ph.D. from Yale in 1905, an untraditional feat for women at the time. Dr. Reinhardt was a tireless community leader and supporter of parks not only in the East Bay but also nationally. She was elected president of Mills College in Oakland, the only women’s college on the west coast, building opportunities for women and lifting the school’s reputation through two World Wars and the Great Depression. She served as president of Mills College from 1916 to 1943.


The EBRPD Board of Directors officially approved the renaming of Redwood Regional Park to Dr. Aurelia Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park on October 15. A public ceremony marking the occasion will be held at a later date. The park is one of the EBRPD’s most popular parks and receives 1.4 million visitors annually.


“As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement in 2020, it is fitting for our nationally-recognized park district to highlight Aurelia Reinhardt, a remarkable environmentally and socially conscious woman from Oakland,” said EBRPD General Manager Robert Doyle.




Podcasts are great! What are they?

by Andrew Cavette

This article is intended to be a primer, an introduction, to the world of podcasts. If you already enjoy podcasts, skip to the recommendations at the end.



Podcasts are radio storytelling without the radio. That’s it. Podcasts are on-demand rather than broadcasted on the airwaves. The name comes from ‘broadcast’ and the original iPod. Often your smart phone has replaced that mp3 player, but the idea is the same. You use an app on your phone to download each episode — for free — and press Play. Simple. That said, podcasts are not limited to smart phones, so everyone can listen.


The funny, frustrating and potentially amazing thing is: we are living in the golden age of a new medium that few people know about. Imagine a universe where The Sopranos and I Love Lucy; The Wire and All In The Family; Breaking Bad and Red Skelton; Fargo and MASH; The Walking Dead and Playhouse 90; Atlanta and The West Wing; Hannibal and The Honeymooners were all releasing new episodes… and nobody knew what a television was.

This is podcasting right now.


Often, people enjoy podcasts during their commute. Working out at the gym with headphones is another good time to listen. Sitting in a coffee shop? Podcasts. Waiting for the kids to get out of ballet class? Podcasts. Washing the dishes or folding laundry is podcast heaven. Gather the family around the computer like a giant, living-room radio before television was invented… Listen instead of prime-time television? Podcasts.



Popular podcast apps for Android phones are: Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts and RadioPublic. The iTunes app is standard for listening on Apple phones. In addition, Spotify has a vast collection of podcasts. Podcasts are not limited to smart phones. You can listen on your computer. If you know what show you want, visit their website and press Play. You can also choose to be a crazy person, like me… download each episode onto a USB thumb-drive and play the files from a cheap, plastic radio with a USB slot.



The British comedian and podcaster, Adam Buxton, has a theme song with the line: “I added one more podcast to the giant podcast bin / Now you have plucked that podcast out and started listening…”


There are a staggering number of podcasts to pluck from the bin. You will find your podcast niche once you are more comfortable, but where to start… Download these shows via your podcast app or just Google search the show title.

• This American Life – The granddaddy of non-fiction, radio storytelling is still on the radio, but their podcast downloads far out-pace the radio listenership.

Episode to try: The Room of Requirement ep. 664


• The Anthropocene Reviewed – Best-selling author, John Green, rates things like lawns, sports rivalries, sunsets and whispering, all on a five star scale. The podcast is amazingly well-written and isn’t really about rating things. Episode to try: Air Conditioning and Sycamore Trees ep. July 25, 2019.


  • Criminal – The subgenre of true-crime podcasts could be an article all by itself, but this podcast is regarded as one of the best. If true crime tickles you, try Ear Hustle produced inside San Quentin prison and Serial – a podcast so popular that Saturday Night Live did a parody. Episode to try (Criminal): Ex Libris ep. 22


  • This Is Love – Produced by the same people as Criminal, but entirely about love in all its forms. Wonderful, endearing. Episode to try: What Are We Going To Do. ep. 6
  • 99% Invisible – A podcast about the designed world that we hardly ever notice. Not just for design nerds, not by a long shot. Episode to try: Rebar And The Alvord Lake Bridge ep. 81

    • Heavyweight – What if investigative journalism stopped covering world news and corruption so it could help you deal with your personal problems? Host, Jonathan Goldstein, helps people reconcile things in their lives that have always bothered them (hence the title). Produced with self-effacing humor, the episodes are always touching. Episode to try: (Too many good ones) #7 Julia and #6 James.

    • 10 Things That Scare Me – An incredibly short podcast. People list the aforementioned 10 things and then stop. It’s the most humanizing podcast I have ever heard and just what we all need in 2019. Episode to try: Listen to several in a row for the full effect, start at the start.

    More shows: Reply All, Bundyville, Wild Thing, Everything Is Alive, Rough Translation, Meat, Cautionary Tales, Nice Try.



  • A tip for those who want to podcast their own stories. Use HowSound




Tri-City Voice will be hosting a podcast in 2020. Watch for an announcement in a following issue.




Resonate Church moves to new facility

Submitted by Dianne M. Smith

Photos by Steven Davis Photography


Resonate Church is moving to a new facility in Fremont. The grand opening celebration on January 12, 2020, includes a ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Lily Mei. For its nine-year existence, Resonate has rented schools for Sunday services; purchase of the 35,000 square-foot industrial building caps an eight year search to find a permanent home. Due to the church’s rapid growth, over 1,800 people now attend on Sundays between two campuses. “Our goal isn’t to be big,” responded Pastor Ryan Kwon. “We’re a sending church.” Rather than becoming a mega-church, Resonate equips its members with the Gospel to plant campuses elsewhere.


The $7M facility required an additional $6.5M for renovations, including an 800-seat auditorium, safe and secure classrooms for children, and gathering spaces with a café. Resonate thanks their contractor Balch Enterprises, Inc. for their outstanding work with minimal delays on such an extensive project. Donations have been generous, but the project needed additional funding, so fifteen families loaned the church $1.6M to bridge the gap.


Resonate’s purpose is to “Make disciples of Jesus who make disciples by making much of Jesus.” Considered a simple church, every program is focused on pushing their mission forward. They aim to love the City of Fremont as Jesus would by initiatives that beautify and benefit the community in “For The City” projects. In one example, principals’ wish lists were obtained for several schools, including American High, Thornton and Cesar Chavez Middle Schools and four elementary schools. Hundreds of volunteers were then organized to repair and refurbish the campuses.


For more information, please visit www.resonatemovement.org. Sunday services are at 8:00, 9:45 and 11:30 am.



Resonate Church ribbon cutting

Sunday, Jan 12

1:30 p.m.

40650 Encyclopedia CIR, Fremont

(510) 226-2800






Holiday tree disposal do’s & don’ts

Submitted by City of Hayward


Everyone loves the smell of freshly cut pine in the winter — but as the holidays come and go, so must the holiday trees. Hayward Waste Management customers have access to free tree curbside pickup between January 6 and January 17, 2020. Here are a few helpful tips to consider when prepping your tree for pickup.


Waste Management does not collect artificial trees or frosted trees as part of the free pickup service. To take advantage of this service, customers must:

  • Remove all ornaments, lights, tinsel, nails, and stands from tree
  • Cut tree into pieces five feet in length or smaller (only applies if tree is taller than five feet)
  • Place tree on curb next to recycling, organics, and landfill bins on normal collection day


After January 17, trees must be cut to fit within the green organics cart in order to be picked up for free. Trees placed on the curbside after the free collection period can still be picked up, but a fee may be added to your next bill. For more information on the tree collection program, call Waste Management at (510) 537-5500.


To put a more sustainable spin on your holiday festivities, consider buying a live, potted tree and planting it in your yard after the holidays. Trees naturally absorb greenhouse gases and other pollutants, preventing them from being emitted into the atmosphere and negatively impacting local air quality. For more information on trees that grow well in Hayward, check out the Alameda County Public Works Advisory Board’s recommended tree list at www.co.alameda.ca.us.




Watch out for dangerous wild mushrooms

Submitted by Jen Vanya


East Bay Regional Park District officials are reminding the public that mushroom season is now in full force. Each year, mushrooms come out after the first rains of the season, which began on November 26. Mushrooms are ecologically important and can look beautiful — but some of them contain dangerous toxins. The death cap (Amanita phalloides) and Western destroying angel (Amanita ocreata) are two of the world’s most toxic mushrooms, and both can be found in East Bay Regional Parks during the rainy season.


The death cap and Western destroying angel mushrooms contain amatoxins, a group of molecules that inhibit cellular metabolism in many animals. In mammals, the liver and kidneys are typically the first organs affected after ingestion. Symptoms don’t usually appear until up to 12 hours after consumption, beginning as severe gastrointestinal distress and progressing to the liver and renal failure if treatment is not sought immediately.


“Both of these toxic mushrooms can be lethal to humans and pets if consumed,” said East Bay Regional Park District Naturalist Trent Pearce, who is based in Tilden Regional Park and documents the fungi in East Bay Regional Parks. “They are mostly associated with oak trees and can be found growing anywhere oak roots are present.”


The death cap is a medium-to-large mushroom that typically has a greenish-gray cap, white gills, a white ring around the stem, and a large white sac at the base of the stem. Though the death cap is mainly associated with oak trees, it has been found growing with other hardwoods. The death cap is not native to California. It was accidentally introduced to North America on the roots of European cork oaks and is now slowly colonizing the West Coast.


The Western destroying angel is a medium-to-large mushroom that usually has a creamy white cap, white gills, a white ring around the stem that disappears with age, and a thin white sac at the base. It fruits from late winter into spring. It is associated exclusively with oaks. Unlike the death cap, it is a native California mushroom.


“The Park District urges the public to be safe and knowledgeable about toxic mushrooms when encountering them in the parks,” said East Bay Regional Park District Public Information Supervisor Dave Mason. “Collecting mushrooms in East Bay Regional Parks is not allowed.”


The death cap and Western destroying angel can also be dangerous for pets. “Dog owners should keep a close watch on their dogs during the winter months,” said Mason. “Pet owners should contact a veterinarian immediately if they suspect their pet may have eaten a toxic mushroom.”


While the death cap and western destroying angel mushrooms are responsible for most cases of mushroom poisonings in California, deadly toxins can also be found in Galerina and Lepiota mushroom species, both of which grow in the Bay Area.




Family Zumba Fundraiser

Submitted by Alice Kim


The City of San Leandro’s Recreation and Human Services Department and Youth Advisory Commission (YAC) invite the community to the Family Zumba fundraiser. The event will take place on Tuesdays, January 7, February 4, March 3, and April 14, 2020. All fitness levels are encouraged to attend.


This event is for ages 5 and up, and pre-registration is recommended. Participants may register with the San Leandro Recreation and Human Services Department online at www.sanleandrorec.org. Walk-in registrations are also available at the San Leandro Senior Community Center.


Proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the Youth Advisory Commission’s Mini-Grant Program for youth-serving organizations in the San Leandro community. Light refreshments will be available for purchase with cash only. For more information, contact Lydia Rodriguez, recreation supervisor, at (510) 577-3477 or email lrodriguez@sanleandro.org.



Family Zumba Fundraiser

Tuesdays: Jan 7, Feb 4, Mar 3, and Apr 14, 2020

6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Senior Community Center

13909 East 14th St., San Leandro

(510) 577-3477


Admission: $5 per person, or $20 per family (five members max)




Alameda County Fire Department Log

Submitted by ACFD


Sunday, December 15

  • At 3:50 a.m. firefighters responded to a report about a commercial structure fire in Castro Valley at The Liquor King convenience store near Redwood Road and Castro Valley Boulevard. The blaze, which was in a façade behind a sign, was quickly extinguished before it could spread to the building’s attic space and into the store. There were no injuries reported.


Friday, December 20

  • At 11:35 a.m. firefighters responded to a mobile home fire with an attached structure in San Leandro. They worked to contain the fire and kept it from spreading to the apartment and a nearby house. One person was displaced and the Red Cross was notified. There were no injuries.




BART Police Log

Submitted by Les Mensinger and BART PD


Friday, December 20

  • At 8:46 a.m. a man identified by police as James Lee, 40, of San Francisco was arrested at Fremont station on suspicion of receiving stolen property, theft, stolen identification, credit card fraud, probation violation, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of an illegal substance. He was booked into Fremont City Jail.


  • At 6:19 p.m. a man identified by police as James Daily, 27, of Richmond was arrested at Warm Springs/South Fremont station on three outstanding warrants. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.



Saturday, December 21

  • At 7:58 a.m. a man identified by police as Andy Watkins, 29, of San Lorenzo was arrested at Bay Fair station in San Leandro on an outstanding $15,000 warrant. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.


  • At 8:21 a.m. a man identified by police as Allen Markise, 24, of Berkeley was arrested at South Hayward station on an outstanding felony no-bail warrant. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.



Wednesday, December 25

  • At 12:02 a.m. a woman identified by police as Vanessa Manriquez, 23, of San Francisco was arrested at Fremont station on a $25,000 warrant issued in San Mateo County for a vehicle code violation. She was booked into Santa Rita Jail.





These teens are ready to help during emergencies

Submitted by Aisha Knowles


Fremont Fire Department officials are offering their congratulations to 21 local students who recently graduated from the Winter 2019 Fremont Fire Department (FFD) Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).


Organized by the Fremont Youth Emergency Preparedness Council (FYEPC) and its President Yusuf R., a junior at Mission San Jose High School (MSJHS), the three-day training was held December 13-15 at MSJHS. Training covered various topics including disaster preparedness, radio communications, fire extinguisher use, utility shutoff, light search and rescue, incident command system, disaster medical treatment, terrorism and disaster psychology.


The graduates, representing American, Irvington, Kennedy, Mission San Jose and Washington high schools in Fremont, each completed a 20-hour training program that included a final disaster exercise, and was led by instructors from the FFD, Fremont Police Department, FFD CERT, FFD Communications Unit, and Newark CERT.




Fremont Police Log

Submitted by Geneva Bosques, Fremont PD


Sunday, December 22

  • During the early afternoon officers responded to a report of a strong arm robbery at the Walmart store at 40580 Albrae Street. Two suspects, described as Hispanic males, pushed a female down and dragged her across the store’s parking lot while attempting to wrestle her purse away. After a struggle, the suspects got the purse and then fled in a vehicle described by witnesses as a black BMW. It was last seen traveling north on Albrae Street toward Stevenson Boulevard. The victim sustained several scrapes, but no significant injuries. Police are investigating the incident and have stepped up patrols at numerous commercial shopping centers.




Thanks for a job well done!

Submitted by Hayward PD


After four years of service, two Hayward Police Explorers are bidding the department adieu and retiring at the ripe young age of 21.


At a Thursday, December 26 ceremony, Explorer Lieutenant Jonathan Park and Explorer Stephanie Rodriguez were recognized for their service in Explorer Post No. 275 by Explorer advisors Captain Bryan Matthews and Jeannie Quan.


The purpose of the Police Explorer Program is to provide young adults (under age 21), who may be interested in a career in law enforcement, with a comprehensive program of training, competition, service and practical experiences.


Park plans to continue his studies at Chabot College in Hayward and serving in the military as a Reserve Marine. Rodriguez recently graduated a semester early from Cal State East Bay in Hayward and plans to pursue a job as a police officer.


More information about the Police Explorer program is available on the City of Hayward website at www.hayward-ca.gov/. Type “police explorer program” into the search box and follow the prompts. For details, call the Explorer Program Coordinator at (510) 293-7054.




Hayward Police Log

Submitted by Hayward PD


Friday, December 20

  • In the early afternoon officers responded to a report about an illegal discharge of a firearm in the area of Tennyson Road and Baldwin Avenue. Arriving officers temporarily blocked Tennyson Road to pedestrians and traffic while they took a juvenile male into custody. There were no injuries.

You can outsmart license plate thieves

Submitted by San Leandro PD


Police in San Leandro are warning residents that vehicle license plate thefts are on the rise in local neighborhoods and shopping centers throughout the Bay Area.


Thieves often steal license plates to swap them onto stolen vehicles to avoid detection. Plates are also stolen for the vehicle registration stickers attached to them. To deter registration sticker theft, police recommend using a razor to carefully cut lines into it so that it cannot be peeled off in a single piece.


If a thief is after the entire plate, police suggest replacing the standard license plate screws that unscrew with a flathead or Phillips-head screwdriver with anti-theft screws that have a unique bit that requires a special tool to unscrew. Anti-theft screws are available in many auto parts and hardware stores.


Here are some crime prevention tips to help safeguard against license plate theft:

  • Park your car in a secure garage, if possible
  • Park in your driveway instead of the street
  • Park in a well-lit area or near security motion lights
  • Install a car alarm
  • Install surveillance cameras


Anyone that is a victim of license plate theft should report it immediately to their local police department and the DMV. New plates will be issued by the DMV for a nominal fee. In San Leandro, stolen license plates can be reported to the police at (510) 577-2740.


A final word from police: don’t install a cover over the license plate to deter someone from trying to remove the registration sticker or unscrew the plate. License plate covers, even clear ones, are illegal in California.




Milpitas Police Log

Submitted by Lt. John Torrez, Milpitas PD


Monday, December 23

Police announced they have arrested a suspect in connection with a November 24 attempted homicide by gunfire in the parking lot of a condominium complex on the 400 block of Dempsey Road in Milpitas. The suspect, identified by police as Reginald Lamont Roberts Jr., 33, of Milpitas, was arrested Wednesday, December 18 at the same Dempsey Road address where the shooting was reported.


The incident occurred just after 4:00 a.m. November 14 when a man called police and reported that an unknown suspect shot at him as he drove through the Crossroads Condominium complex parking lot. The man was not injured. Detectives reviewed security camera footage, followed up on various leads, and eventually identified Roberts as the suspect. Armed with a search warrant, they took him into custody without incident. He was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail and faces various charges including attempted homicide, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and a felon in possession of ammunition.


Anyone with more information about the incident is asked to call the Milpitas Police Department at (408) 586-2400. Additionally, 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.




Package thief takes the bait

Submitted by Lt. John Torrez, Milpitas PD


Package theft often peaks during the holiday season when online shoppers have purchases delivered directly to their doorsteps. That’s when so-called “porch pirates” sometimes appear and grab packages and run.


With that in mind, officers from the Milpitas Police Department’s Crime Reduction Team recently conducted a bait package operation on the 1500 Block of McCandless Drive.


The sting started at about 1:48 p.m. on Wednesday, December 11 when officers placed a bait package on a residential doorstep and then discretely stepped away, watching from a distance. Within eight minutes officers spotted a woman, whom they later identified as Flor Estela Hernandez, arrive in her 1999 Mazda Protégé, park the car, and take the bait package. She returned to her car and drove away.


Officers stopped Hernandez on the 100-block of Newbury Street and arrested her. The 37-year-old San Jose resident was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail and faces charges of grand theft and being an unlicensed driver. Her vehicle was impounded.


The Milpitas Police Department will continue to conduct similar operations and be proactive in protecting residents. Meanwhile, department officials are reminding residents to consider having packages delivered to their workplace or to the home of a relative, neighbor or friend who will be home during the delivery time.


Online retailers, such as Amazon, allow for packages to be delivered to Amazon Hub Lockers, in addition to allowing their Prime customers to choose Amazon Day, which allows customers to pick a specific delivery day. Taking these steps could prevent people from becoming a victim of package theft.


Additionally, residents are encouraged to report suspicious persons and/or vehicles by calling the Milpitas Police Department at (408) 586-2400. Anonymous information can be given by calling the Crime Tip Hotline at (408) 586-2500 or via the Milpitas Police Department Website at: www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/crimetip.




Cougars Report

Submitted by Timothy Hess

Optimist Club Holiday Basketball Tourney


Varsity Girls:

The Newark Memorial Lady Cougars Varsity Basketball Team beat Santa Clara by the score of 51-33 on December 27th at the Event Center. Freshman forward Jaydin Armas scored 12 points, with senior guard Rylee Sarasua contributing 10 points in the win over the Bruins. Sophomore wing Nicole Tilley added 8 points, while junior guard Hannah Cabrera chipped-in 6 points. Next up is a semifinal contest on December 28th with the Lady Tigers of Lick-Wilmerding (San Francisco).


Junior Varsity Girls:

The Lady Cougars JV squad opened the JV tournament with a solid 43-19 win over the Lady Cougars of Campolindo (Moraga0. The Lady Cougars JV Team (9-1) will host the Lady Wolves of San Ramon Valley (Danville) in a semifinal contest on December 28th.



Newark Ring of Honor – Athletics Hall of Fame


The fifth induction ceremony of the Newark Ring of Honor Athletics Hall of Fame will take place on Saturday, January 25 starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Commons.


Inductees being honored:

* Ken Temple – Newark Memorial Class of 1994

* Wayne Miller – Newark Class of 1969

* Patty Schott – Newark Memorial Class of 1983

* Tom Breen – Newark Class of 1968







Women’s Basketball


Chabot Women No. 11 In State, No. 4 In North

Submitted by Chabot College Athletics


The Chabot women's basketball team continued its steady climb in the rankings during the holiday season. The Gladiators (10-4) are up slightly to No. 11 in the Dec. 23 CCCWBCA State Poll and moved up two spots to No. 4 in the North Region Poll. The Gladiators were tied for No. 11 in the state in the previous week.


Chabot, guided by head coach Mark Anger, also moved past conference- rival City College of San Francisco (10-5) in the North after being tied for No. 6 with the Rams last week. Chabot has the top nonconference record in the Coast-North.









As a New Year arrives, Tri-City Voice is celebrating our 18th year of publishing our newspaper; beginning with What’s Happening Magazine in 1998, followed by Tri-City Voice in 2002. In those days, the news media, especially print, was facing huge challenges to present news in an informative and relevant manner. Consolidation of the newspaper business, competition with electronic and round the clock reporting via radio, television and internet upset traditional sources that relied on slower and more moderate news gathering.


Speed was an essential component of the news business, but fact checking to preserve truth was the primary responsibility. Trust was, and remains, a crucial element between consumers and media personnel. The public felt it could rely on most reporting by news organizations as fair and impartial, based in supportable facts. The concept of “alternative facts” was left to sensationalistic and extreme commentaries, considered entertainment rather than serious journalism. A corollary of news reporting was that if it was printed by a responsible newspaper, it must be so. As the pressure of speed and other forms of communication surpassed veracity, even honored and trusted news sources became suspect. Currently, sensationalism threatens the entire news industry, freedom of the press and our democracy.


Tri-City Voice understands that although world, national and state events are extremely important, our publication will remain committed to the communities we call home. We have remained true to that philosophy and credit this with our continued existence. During this time, challenges to our business and those around us have been daunting but, along with many others, we weathered severe economic storms and continue to serve the Southeast Bay Area, a rich tapestry of business, ethnicity and bedrock of industrial power. The cities and communities we serve provide energy and innovation for the entire San Francisco Bay Area, United States and the world. Increasingly, Silicon Valley innovation is concentrated within our communities. With this comes an increased challenge to use local resources wisely while taking advantage of our position in global commerce.


As we face a New Year, some new faces and those of well-known public leaders are poised to conduct civic business for us. Their role is to carry out the will of their constituents while ours is to review, guide and critique what is done. Each component of this scenario relies on the other to do its job. If the system fails, its deficiencies can be traced to all parties rather than simply pointing fingers of fault in one direction or another. This election cycle will challenge our collective ability to discern fact from fallacy at all levels of government. Benjamin Franklin expressed a sentiment of his times that extends to everyone – man, woman and child: “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors and let every new year find you a better man.”


Tri-City Voice proposes a toast to the New Year with a quote by T.S. Elliott, poet, critic, playwright and editor: “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”


Happy New Year!