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Local couple celebrates 60 years

Submitted by Kathy Hoyt


Richard and Mary Lou (Twist) Craig, formerly from Fremont and now residing in Livermore, will celebrate their 60-year wedding anniversary on February 14th on the Livermore Wine Trolley with close friends. They will also celebrate with a dinner hosted by their daughters, Kathy Hoyt, Karen Craig, Kristy Thompson and son-in-law Scott Thompson.


Their story began in 1959 with a blind date to see John Wayne’s movie Rio Bravo. The blind date was set up by their good friend Ron Torres’ father, Sal. After a short courtship they had a Valentine’s Day wedding in 1960 at Eden Congregational Church in Hayward.


Richard and Mary Lou were both students of Hayward High School and both retired from Lockheed in Sunnyvale. Since retirement they’ve filled their days enjoying the company of family and friends and are always ready for a good game of cards. One of their great passions has been travel, and they’ve been fortunate enough to travel to numerous countries and go on many cruises, with an upcoming Alaskan cruise this year.


Aside from their three daughters, they’ve been blessed with nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren.


Richard and Mary Lou are very active members of Irvington Presbyterian Church in Fremont and have been since the 1960s. They are truly blessed with the life they have created surrounded by wonderful family and friends.



Ford Explorer Hybrid: Just a Little Bit Greener

By Steve Schaefer


The legendary Ford Explorer is a vehicle that can be either celebrated or blamed for the rise of the SUV, depending on your point of view. The first generation appeared in 1990 as a 1991 model, popularizing the tall, truck-platform-based family hauler that is now ubiquitous on American roads. Although today’s “crossover” versions of the sport utility vehicle, including the Explorer, are based on unibody car platforms, they still sit tall, haul a lot of people and stuff, and sell in large numbers.


If you want to have the sport and utility of an SUV and still give a nod to its environmental impact, you can opt for the new, sixth-generation Ford Explorer in its Hybrid form. As part of the widest range of offerings in the model’s three-decade history, the Hybrid combines an electric motor with a traditional 3.3-liter V6, which increases fuel economy and provides the greatest range of any Explorer you can buy.


2020 marks a major redesign, so while the overall proportions look like an Explorer—and its many competitors—there’s much to like from an aesthetic point of view. The sides are attractively sculpted, the face is fresh, and the interior feels up-to-date. The textured pseudo wood trim in my Atlas Blue tester looked obviously fake, but during the trip I took to visit my grandkids over the holidays the Explorer delivered the smooth ride, spacious accommodations, and high-tech interface buyers crave. And the B&O 12-speaker sound system was a joy. The fat leather-wrapped steering wheel was a very pleasant place to touch.


The 10-speed automatic transmission shifts often to keep in the heart of the power band and works through a stylish dial on the center console–an upscale touch.


The driving experience is likely very similar between models, while the emission differences between the Hybrid and the other models are incremental. Looking at EPA fuel economy, for example, the base 4-cylinder-equipped model, with rear-wheel drive, gets 21 mpg City and 28 Highway, with a Combined score of 24 mpg. The powerful 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6-powered model, likely the big seller, gets 18 City, 24 Highway, with 20 mpg Combined. The Hybrid bests them a bit, with 27 City, 29 Highway, and 28 mpg Combined. During my test week, I averaged a disappointing 23.1 mpg, below the EPA official figures, but it would possibly move upwards over a longer period.


Twenty-eight miles per gallon is a little above the average of all cars sold today, but still doesn’t approach the 50+ mpg Prius territory or the higher mpg equivalents of EVs. However, it does represent a 40 percent improvement over the thirstiest version, and the driving experience still delivers the robust power and performance SUV drivers demand.


The Hybrid tips the scales a little above the others, at 4,969 pounds versus the base vehicle at 4,345 and the V6 at 4,727. That’s presumably because of adding the electric motor and battery. Two-and-a-half tons is massive no matter which way you slice it.


Range wise, per EPA tests, the Hybrid wins, with 540 miles vs. 461 for the base vehicle and 436 for the popular V6. And with higher mpg, annual fuel costs will be less. The fueleconomy.gov stats show the hybrid costing owners $250 a year below average while the four-cylinder will cost $750 above average and the V6 $2,500 above average.


As with any vehicle with a range of models and options, pricing varies. My tester, with optional 20-inch polished aluminum wheels and a twin-panel moonroof, came to $55,665 with destination and delivery charges. Explorers start at $37,770 for the base XLT and head northward to $59,639 for the Platinum top-level offering.


Considering environmental impact, there are no true “green” cars with Explorer nameplates on them, but the Hybrid provides a difference, although it’s not monumental. In barrels of oil consumed per year, the Hybrid uses 11.8 versus 13.7 for the 4-cylinder and 16.5 for the V6. While all three models earn a middling 5 in the EPA Smog rating, the Hybrid collects a 6 for Greenhouse Gas against 5 for the 4-cylinder model and 4 for the V6.


The real point, then, is that the Ford Explorer Hybrid provides some improvement, but is still burning a lot of gas when it hits the road. It puts out 322 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 every mile, against 370 ppm for the four-cylinder and 446 ppm for the big V6. Incremental.


If you truly need a big hauler like this, the Explorer will surely provide a worthy solution. But if you don’t there are other options. I expect to see a plug-in hybrid and maybe even an all-electric Explorer sometime this decade, perhaps with the promising drivetrain from the upcoming Mustang EV. Stay tuned.



Earlier, later trains highlight new BART schedule

Submitted by Les Mensinger


Commuters who use BART have most likely noticed improved train service under a new schedule that went into effect on Monday, February 10. The new schedule impacts all lines to some degree, especially the first and last trips of the day.


Some lines are starting service a bit earlier, while some are starting a littler later. Most changes are small tweaks and will adjust departures and arrivals by only a few minutes, but there are some more significant changes.


Major improvements include the return of two-line service into San Francisco on Sunday, the addition of Fleet of the Future trains on Saturday, earlier weekday train service for many riders, increased peak service for Concord riders in the morning and evening, and later evening direct service from San Francisco into Warm Springs/South Fremont.


Because many riders plan their arrival times around a specific train they want to catch, BART officials want to make sure everyone knows about the changes so that no one is caught by surprise. Train times have shifted by a few minutes throughout the day.


Highlights of service changes:



  • Morning peak-period trains that previously originated or turned back at Pleasant Hill now originate/turn back at Concord, allowing BART to better serve more riders on this busy line by returning extra service to Concord.
  • The first trip from Richmond to Warm Springs (Orange Line) will leave Richmond at 5:04 a.m. – seven minutes earlier than before.
  • The 5:00 a.m. northbound train from South Hayward is now a Warm Springs/Richmond (Orange Line) train to Richmond instead of a Warm Springs/Daly City (Green Line) train to Daly City.
  • Passengers heading to San Francisco will need to use Dublin/Pleasanton to Daly City (Blue Line) or Antioch/SFO (Yellow Line) trains for the first San Francisco arrivals, arriving in San Francisco eight minutes later.
  • Service to San Francisco from Warm Springs will be earlier with the first Warm Springs/Daly City (Green Line) train departing at 5:01 a.m. instead of 5:15 a.m.
  • BART is extending evening direct service on the Warm Springs/Daly City (Green Line) with an added train departing at 7:12 p.m.
  • BART has eliminated the morning peak 9:12 a.m. Antioch/SFO (Yellow Line) departure from MacArthur to Daly City to enable the Concord turnback trains to serve more riders.
  • The evening schedule has been adjusted to better accommodate Transbay Tube single-tracking.



  • BART has added more Fleet of the Future (FOTF) trains — two each on Antioch/SFO (Yellow Line), Dublin/Pleasanton (Blue Line), and Richmond/Millbrae (Red Line). The Warm Springs/Daly City (Green Line) will run four FOTF trains, or 50% of the existing FOTF trains.
  • The first northbound Warm Springs/Richmond (Orange Line) train starts in service at Bay Fair at 5:52 a.m. instead of Coliseum at 6:00 a.m.
  • The first westbound Dublin/Pleasanton to Daly City (Blue Line) train starts in service at Bay Fair at 5:58 a.m. instead of Coliseum at 6:06 a.m.



  • BART has returned to two-line service into San Francisco. The Dublin/Pleasanton (Blue Line) will serve San Francisco. Blue line trains will terminate at Montgomery or Daly City depending on the time of day and if there is single tracking. Riders on the Blue Line who are travelling farther south will transfer to a Yellow Line train at Montgomery Street.
  • Warm Springs/Daly City (Green Line) and Richmond/Millbrae (Red Line) trips have been eliminated to make way for the return of Dublin/Pleasanton (Blue Line), service to San Francisco.
  • Headways on Sundays are every 24 minutes on all lines, four minutes longer than the previous Sunday service plan. BART staff believes this service plan will provide greater predictability and resilience in the event of a service delay.
  • Trips to Millbrae do not require a transfer at SFO.
  • The first northbound train is Dublin/Pleasanton (Blue Line), leaving 24th St/Mission at 7:50 a.m. and Civic Center at 7:54 a.m. (instead of 8:04 a.m.).
  • The first northbound train on Warm Springs/Richmond (Orange Line) starts at South Hayward at 7:54 a.m. and arrives at Coliseum at 8:10 a.m. (Previously it started at Coliseum at 8:09 a.m.)


For details, visit the BART website at www.bart.gov or call (510) 464-6000.



BART Police Log


Friday, January 31

  • At 7:53 a.m. a suspect identified by police as Jasmine Corley, 40, of San Francisco was arrested at Fremont station on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance and booked into Santa Rita Jail.


Monday, February 3

  • At 9:19 a.m. a man identified by police as Jonathan Lawrence, 18, of Hayward was arrested at Bay Fair station in San Leandro on suspicion of receiving stolen property. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.



Preserving history, the environment and wildlife

By Charlene Dizon

Photos by Jerry Ting and courtesy of Joyce Blueford


The California Nursery Historical Park in the Niles District of Fremont has been known for its wide variety of historical trees and various forms of wildlife. It has been beneficial to not only present animals but past cultures as well, adding to the chronicles of the park’s history and a need for preservation.


The nursery’s land was ideal, first utilized by the Ohlone Natives thousands of years ago. Trees acted as a source of sustenance and acorns were a major food source. Fish were plentiful in nearby streams. Spanish settlers arrived years later and established the Mission in 1797. The land was then used for cattle and wheat growing operations. “The land was considered ideal because it was near water. Just imagine the Ohlones, the vaqueros and even the Spaniards going to the river where there were lots of fish,” states Dr. Joyce Blueford, Board President of the Math Science Nucleus (MSN). In the 1880s, nursery founder and German horticulturist John Rock felt the land was spacious enough to build his nursery, which flourished until 1972, when it became part of the City of Fremont’s park system (now known as the California Nursery Historical Park).


Once home to a variety of animals, from birds to bears to fish, lack of park maintenance has resulted in reduction of wildlife due to loss of habitat; diversity has greatly declined. Half of the hundred-year-old trees have now died due to watering insufficiency and other factors affecting conservation. Trees that acted as shade and sustenance for past citizens are neglected. A 150-year-old cork oak tree is slowly perishing. Other cork oaks in the park have fallen over. “You can’t replace a hundred-year-old tree. You’re cutting down history,” Math Science Nucleus board member and archaeologist Karen Anderson states. The loss of trees has impacted wildlife that used to surround the land. Raptors have dwindled, causing a great imbalance in nature.


Without raptors, the prey once consumed as part of the natural food chain have increased dramatically. Ground squirrels are now common underground inhabitants. While seemingly harmless, if overpopulated, they negatively affect the trees and structure of the land. Anderson states, “Some of them make their homes within trees or under trees, so they could break up the root system. This can weaken the trees.” The sudden disappearance of an animal species can harm the land’s overall stability. Blueford adds, “When an area becomes one animal species and the ecosystem is ruined, unforeseen circumstances happen.” Adequate maintenance can hopefully regenerate the land. Thankfully two species of raptors remain in the park: Barn and Great Horned owls.


Hoot Owl Night Hikes, during which attendees learn about the various owls that live amongst the trees, are one of the most educationally eye-opening experiences the park has to offer. Tours are open to not only scout troops but the general public as well. Groups of at least thirty are preferred. The tour begins at the historic Vallejo Adobe house from the 1840s, with an explanation of the nursery’s history. The group is then introduced to owls and why certain trees are ideal for nocturnal animals. Owl pellets are examined to learn about the owls’ diet. Anderson is more than happy to be a tour guide for the Hoot Owl Night Hikes, stating, “Kids and adults love it, especially being out at night. We start and end at the Adobe so that they also get the history during the hike.” Not many night hikes cover local history, environment, nature’s food chain, and science all at once.


The California Nursery requires attention from the City of Fremont and the community. Though a Master Plan is designed to revive the park’s popularity, changes should keep the legacy of the land alive in people’s minds. “What we have to offer is unique,” Blueford states. To restore and maintain the environment, support of the City of Fremont and the community is vital. The nursery is more than a park. It is a home for Fremont’s history.


For more information about volunteer opportunities or Hoot Owl Night Hikes, please contact Math Science Nucleus at msn@msnucleus.org.


This article is part of an ongoing series on the California Nursery. Look for more articles on the park in future issues!



California Highway Patrol


Wednesday, February 5

  • CHP officers responded to a report that a black BMW was struck by bullets at 3:01 a.m. on the northbound I-880 onramp from Mowry Avenue in Fremont. There were two people inside the BMW, but neither was hit or injured. An investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Hayward CHP office at (510) 489-1500.



Novel Coronavirus testing in California

Submitted by California Department of Public Health


On February 6, the California Department of Public Health announced that 16 laboratories, including the state’s Viral and Rickettsial Disease Laboratory in Richmond, California, will soon be able to perform testing for the novel coronavirus. This service will provide more rapid results than currently available and help to inform public health action and medical care for people who may have been exposed to novel coronavirus. Results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently take between two to seven days.


The Public Health Department lab anticipates it will be able to conduct testing beginning Wednesday, February 12, and report results within two days of specimen receipt. Meanwhile, our local partners are also expected to be able to conduct tests within a couple of weeks.


To date, based on testing carried out by the CDC, the California Department of Public Health confirms six individuals have tested positive for novel coronavirus 2019 in California: two people in Santa Clara County, two people in San Benito County, one person in Los Angeles County and one person in Orange County.


Currently, the immediate health risk from novel coronavirus 2019 to the general public is low. California is carefully assessing the situation as it evolves. The California Department of Public Health considers this a very important public health event and we are providing updates to partners across the state to support their preparedness efforts.


It is very important that people who have recently traveled and who become ill to notify their health care provider of their travel history. Those who have recently traveled to China or who have had contact with a person with possible novel coronavirus infection should contact their local health department or health care provider.


The California Department of Public Health has been prepared and is continuing with the following actions:


  • Providing information about the outbreak and how to report suspect cases to local health departments and health care providers in California.
  • Coordinating with CDC personnel who are doing screening of travelers from China at SFO and LAX.
  • Assuring that health care providers know how to safely manage persons with possible novel coronavirus 2019 infection.
  • Activating the Department of Public Health’s Emergency Operations Center to coordinate response efforts across the state.


For more information about novel coronavirus 2019, please visit https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/nCOV2019.aspx.



Cougars Report

Submitted by Timothy Hess


Girls Basketball


February 4:

The Newark Memorial Lady Cougars exhibited a team effort in their 53-39 win over the Lady Huskies of Washington (Fremont). The entire 14-player roster contributed in the TEAM win.  Junior Samantha Armas scored a game-high 16 points, with senior teammate Rylee Sarasua adding 12 points.


The Lady Cougars Junior Varsity also won, defeating the Huskies JV squad, 40-34.


February 6:

Congratulations to the Lady Cougars who came from behind to defeat Moreau Catholic Lady Mariners (Hayward) 53-51. Trailing by as many as 10 points in the early going, and behind 26-21 at halftime, the team's ball-handling improved in the second half. Finding their shooting stroke, the Cougars out-scored the Mariners 32-25 over the final two quarters for the exciting 2-point victory.


Freshman Tali Fa'i led the way with 14 points, including making a crucial 3-point play in the final minute of play.  Junior Samantha Armas scored 13 points, and provided consistent and positive offensive in every quarter.  Senior Rylee Sarasua added 11 points, with seven points coming in the second-half.


The Cougars JV Team beat the Mariners JV squad, 46-43 in a thrilling preliminary contest.  Sierra Tellez scored 12-points, including the final three for the margin of victory.  Julie Le, Kamalei Iokepa, and Tru Clark each scored 8-points, with Grace Macasaet adding 7-points in the TEAM victory.


Cougars Champions of Character


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


Girls Basketball:

Rylee Sarasua

Sierra Tellez


Boys Soccer:

Jake Barry





Creation Art Exhibit Opens at Dove Gallery

Submitted by Carol Manasse Hamilton

Artwork by Alfred Hu, Jose Sanchez, and Laurie Barna


Dove Art Gallery in Milpitas is opening its new exhibit “Creation: The Art of Nature”, a vibrant and colorful display of artwork inspired by magnificent landscapes and majestic oceans. Multiple artists using diverse styles and various media make this an eclectic display of local talent.


Fremont Artist Alfred Hu is exhibiting several of his prized watercolor paintings. His landscape showing the lush foliage surrounding the “Three Sisters” pinnacles of Australia is especially moving now that the area has been ravaged by the recent fires. His creations reflect scenery he has encountered during personal travels.


San Jose artist Jose Sanchez is displaying several acrylic paintings that envision nature from unique vantage points. His work titled “Birds of Paradise” gives a birds-eye view of newborn islands in a tropical paradise. Another painting honoring the creation of sea life as recorded in the Book of Genesis views creation from both above and below sea level.


Known for her watercolor and multi-media works, Laurie Barna is a San Jose artist with several paintings in the exhibit. An exceptionally vibrant portrayal of nature can be seen in her closeup view of a dragonfly near a yellow water canna in bloom.


The public is invited to view this wonderful collection at the Grand Opening on Sunday, February 16 from 12-3 p.m. Dove Gallery is a not-for-profit venue that seeks to affirm the creativity of local artists. No entry fees are charged to participate in its events. Contact Dove@ParkVictoria.org for more information or find out about additional viewing opportunities.


‘Creation: Art of Nature’ Exhibit

February 16 – April 11

[Grand Opening: February 16]

Sundays: 12 noon – 3 p.m.

Park Victoria Church

875 S. Park Victoria Dr., Milpitas




Beat plastic pollution

Submitted by Raj Munaim


The Dawoodi Bohras, a global Muslim faith with approximately one million members, are stepping up efforts to clean coastlines and rivers in their communities around the world. Bohras in San Francisco regularly clean up and restore Alameda Creek near Masjid-e-Mohammedi in Fremont, removing trash and invasive plants.


The Bohra’s Turning the Tide initiative is part of a global drive to eliminate single-use plastic and rid bodies of water of plastic pollution. It involves men, women, and children of the faith regularly volunteering in cities ranging from San Francisco to Dubai to Mumbai to clean up waterways in their neighborhoods and encourage everyone to lead more sustainable lives. The goal is to #BeatPlasticPollution.


Taikhoom Mohiyuddin, a member of the Turning the Tide initiative, said, “Plastic pollution is choking our marine ecosystems, wildlife and human health. We are all responsible for plastic pollution. But, by working together, we really can turn things around. That is why Bohras all over the world – under the guidance and instruction of the Head of our community, His Holiness Dr. Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin – are working harder than ever to clear up our rivers and coastlines, and help others reconnect with nature.”


Turning the Tide is part of Project Rise – a global Dawoodi Bohra initiative working in partnership with government bodies and local organizations around the world to help alleviate hunger, raise health and hygiene levels among children and families, and preserve and protect the environment.


For more information, please visit www.thedawoodibohras.com.



SB 908 bill to license debt collectors in California

Submitted by Jeff Barbosa


Seeking to improve consumer protection for Californians, State Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) on February 3 introduced legislation to license the debt collection industry, an industry that generates nearly a third of all complaints to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. SB 908 would require that debt collectors and buyers obtain a license from the state Department of Business Oversight (DBO) to collect on debts in the state.


“California licenses everyone from mattress renovators to barbers and cosmetologists, yet debt collectors, who can wreak havoc on a consumer’s finances, are not licensed,” said Wieckowski. “This glaring lack of oversight in the nation’s most populous state needs to end. This industry consistently violates consumer law and generated more than 400,500 consumer complaints between 2011 and 2018. We need a robust licensing requirement to enforce our laws and protect consumers.”


SB 908 would regulate and license the industry and have the DBO respond to complaints from borrowers and enforce violations. Although California passed the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act in 1977, to protect consumers from deceptive, dishonest, and unreasonable debt collection practices, the law does too little to rein in the abuses of debt collection companies. Consumers must sue a debt collection company on an individual basis. But left to go it alone, most consumers do not bother to file suit because they are unable to find an attorney to take their case. By far, consumers’ most common complaint about debt collectors is attempts to collect a debt not owed. Other complaints concern communication tactics and written notification.



Park It

By Ned MacKay


Since Friday, February 14, is Valentine’s Day, romance is the theme of several programs planned that weekend in the East Bay Regional Parks. First on the list is a naturalist-led “Valley of the Newts” walk from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, February 15, at Las Trampas Regional Wilderness in San Ramon.


Meet the naturalist in the parking lot at the north end of Bollinger Canyon Road off Crow Canyon Road for a 1½-mile excursion along Bollinger Creek in search of newts. A variety of salamander, newts migrate from fields to ponds and streams this time of year to mate and produce a new generation. If you miss the walk on Saturday, February 15, there’s another at the same time and place on Sunday, February 23.


You can experience “Amorous Amphibians,” from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday, February 15, at Briones Regional Park near Martinez. Naturalist Virginia Delgado-Martinez will lead a walk for ages five and older to some Briones ponds, while describing the life cycle of newts, frogs and other amphibians. Meet Virginia at the top of Briones Road, off Alhambra Valley Road south of Martinez. For information, call (510) 544-2750.


“Romance in the Redwoods” is the theme of a 2-mile stroll from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, February 15, at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland, led by naturalist Morgan Guenther. It’s a search for the park’s most amorous animal and plant residents. Meet Morgan at the Canyon Meadow staging area, which is at the end of the road leading into the park from Redwood Road, about two miles east of the intersection with Skyline Boulevard in Oakland. For details, call (510) 544-3187.


Morgan also plans a “Love the Bay” beach cleanup from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday, February 15, at Crab Cove in Alameda. Bring your own gloves and bucket or borrow from the visitor center, then help to pick up left-behind litter along the shoreline. Crab Cove is at 1252 McKay Avenue, off Central Avenue. For information, call (510) 544-3187.


You may not always see wildlife in the parks, but you’ll often see the evidence of its presence. Naturalist Kristina Parkison will lead some fun activities that will teach how to decode animal tracks, in a program from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, February 15, at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont. The program is for ages 7 and older. Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road, off Paseo Padre Parkway. There’s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. For information, call (510) 544-3220.


Little kids enjoy taking care of the little animals at the Little Farm in Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley. There are age-appropriate activities at the rabbit hutch from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. every Saturday. The Little Farm is at the north end of Tilden’s Central Park Drive, next to the Environmental Education Center. For information, call (510) 544-2233.


The Park District Board of Directors has appointed Elizabeth Echols of Berkeley as the Director representing Ward 1, to serve the remaining term of Whitney Dotson, who retired in December after 11 years on the board. Echols has had an extensive career in public service. Most recently she was appointed by former Gov. Jerry Brown to serve as the director of the independent Public Advocates Office at the California Public Utilities Commission. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Yale University and a J.D. degree from Stanford Law School. Her board seat is up for election in November.


Dotson died in January. He and his family were long active in efforts to preserve Richmond shoreline as open space for wildlife habitat and public access. The Dotson Family Marsh at Pt. Pinole Regional Shoreline is named in their honor.


There’s always something fun to do in the East Bay Regional Parks. For full information, visit www.ebparks.org.




Full Disclosure


Tri-City Voice is proud of its role in our communities and firmly believes in the power of the ballot, ensuring continuation of our representative democracy. In that spirit, each candidate for elected office within our area is given an opportunity to present themselves to you, our readers, without cost. Space considerations limit these appeals and should be seen as the beginning of a process rather than full disclosure. This is simply a starting point for voters to select candidates in whom they can place their trust.


Although Tri-City Voice does not endorse or advocate for any particular candidate, many organizations and special interest groups make such decisions and expend financial and personnel resources to influence voters. There is nothing wrong with this as long as sources and motives are clear. In an age of relative online anonymity and financial resources of super PACs that can twist and subvert true intentions, it is incumbent on the electorate to decide by employing a dose of skepticism and realization that politics is a matter of perception.


Does the candidate (or proposition/measure) align with your core beliefs and practices? If you rely on endorsements, what arguments are these people, groups or organizations making to sway your decision? Candidate promises are often phrased to appeal to certain groups but may not be as straightforward as they seem. Embracing or shunning entire categories of the population may seem convincing, but combining an entire group within a single label is simplistic and can give the wrong impression. The result can be stunningly apparent in subsequent months following an election.


So, how can the electorate decide? The question raises a quandary. Candidates often hire “experts” who claim to understand the “hot buttons” of voters including fears and prejudices that can result in victory at the polls. The Machiavellian notion, “the end justifies the means” is often a valued companion of contemporary politics. Although written in 1513, The Prince, a treatise by Italian diplomat Niccolo Machiavelli, demonstrates that little has changed in the political world. In those days, achieving and maintaining power was a deadly game that required cunning, deception and naked aggression. Popes, city-states and sovereign regions battled for supremacy. While some sense of order has emerged from the relative chaos of that time, many of Machiavelli’s words remain as a realpolitik guide for current politicians and caution for voters.


There is truth in Machiavelli’s assertions that skillful use of political power can promote confidence in leadership and sense of purpose even when it cannot satisfy all segments of society. When a question arises that has several valid arguments, someone must decide… a primary function of our elected representatives. We should respect those that use honest and sincere judgement whether in alignment with our personal philosophy or not. The electorate’s opportunity to express approval or rejection lies at the ballot box, not personal attacks. Machiavelli addresses this, “It is not titles that honour men, but men that honour titles.” Respect for the office is achieved through honorable actions.


The end result of politics in our country is a consequence of the willingness of the electorate to make informed decisions based on their own observations and those of others they trust. Recommendations and endorsements may serve as a guide but ultimately reflect prejudices and motives of those involved in the decision. These may or may not align with each voter, so it is incumbent on each of us to make a personal effort to vote intelligently. Again, Machiavelli has a pertinent thought…


“Because there are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, the third is useless.”


Tri-City Voice hopes the brief statements by candidates is useful for our readers and represents a first step in supporting our democratic republic as, with the primary election process, we begin what appears to be a tumultuous election year.



Legendary Elderberry

Article and photos by Lalitha Visveswaran


Spring is not yet here, but I want to speak of a tree of summer. The Elder, with its flat topped fragrant blossoms leading to drooping bunches of blackish purple berries is, in a lot of ways, a sign of summer’s beginning and end.


The generic name of Elderberry is Sambucus. From the time of Pliny and Aesop, there has been so much written about the Elder. It was commonly a hedgerow shrub that sometimes grew to a medium sized tree. Much folklore followed it, mostly because of its remarkable medicinal properties. The immune boosting properties of the Elderberry are legendary. In the Bay Area, it has naturalized and grows wild. It can be considered a native tree and thrives without fuss.


Elderberry plants can be bought from most reputable nurseries, and at mature height they range anywhere from 8 to 15 feet. As hedgerow shrubs, they feed birds and critters, provide nectar for bees and other insects and can also be shade trees.


Elderberries like good drainage, and mixing compost into the native soil during planting would add the desirable organic matter. Plant five-gallon nursery stocks 10 to 15 feet apart from each other. Dig holes as deep as the pot and twice as wide. Backfill with a good planting mix or compost mixed with native soil. Tamp it down. Water deeply. Planting different varieties of elderberries 30 to 50 feet apart from each other would boost fruit production through cross-pollination. Watering is most important from the time fruit sets up until harvest and an inch per week is suggested. During other times, do not overwater and never let the soil go dry. A good layer of mulch helps keep the soil moist and cool.


In spring, it is preferable to apply a balanced slow release fertilizer increasing by a half pound each year – half a pound for the first spring, one full pound the second year, and so on. Do not exceed 3 pounds of fertilizer per application. For aggressive fertilizing, use 10-10-10 and in good soil full of nutrients, a 3-3-3 would suffice. It all depends on the health of your soil. Remember that elderberry canes do not produce after the third year. Hence, every three years remove the oldest branches as they are dead. Removing them encourages new growth.


Every part of the Elder was used in the past. The wood and branches were used for instruments, pipes, fences, and cradle-making. The leaves have an unpleasant odor when bruised and were used to fend off insects. Farmers used the leaves to drive mice and moles away from granaries and storage spaces.


A decoction or tea of the leaves can be used to keep aphids and mites away from baby plants in the greenhouse. The bark and root can be used to create a black dye; when mixed with alum, the leaves created a green dye, and the berry juice, a beautiful bluish-purple; and the same juice when mixed with alum yielded a violet dye and with the further addition of salt, a pleasant lilac-hued dye. The flowers are used to make simple syrups with lemon juice for a refreshing summer drink. The flowers can also be deep fried as fritters and made into cordials and flavor gin.


The best part of the Elder is the berries. Birds such as pigeons, crows, and robins devour elderberries with absolute greed. But they have an unpleasant effect on domestic fowl like chicken and turkeys, so be careful about feeding them to your yard birds.


A caution: Some varieties of elderberries can be toxic. They are almost always toxic when raw; therefore, they must be cooked or dried. They store indefinitely when dried and can be cooked when it’s time to make them into edible goodies.


While elderberries are best known for the immune-boosting sweetened syrup, they can also be made into a tincture with alcohol or made into a glyceride. Elder syrup can be made into chewy candies or gelatinous gummy bears. Elderberries can also be cooked down as preserves and jams by themselves or with other berries. They make an excellent homemade wine as their natural sugars attract wild yeast in the air and ferment beautifully.


The lore of elderberry as a cure has been passed from generation to generation and across oceans. When married with other immune boosting herbs and roots, the plant becomes a powerful ally in the home medicine chest. Rosehips, ginseng, Echinacea, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, astralagus, and holy basil are some common combinations. Their addition enhances the potency of honey-sweetened elderberry syrup without taking away the taste or supremacy of its immune boosting healing properties.


Irresponsible foragers for profit are currently denuding the wild elderberry trees. The wildlife and birds that depend on the tree for its berries and nectar suffer, hence it is a terrific idea to start planting an elder hedgerow in our gardens. Let us grow these mythical and magical trees so there is a little for the birds, bees and critters and some for healing us.


Elderberry syrup for immunity and shortening the seasonal flu:


  • 1 cup dried elderberries soaked in 2 cups of water for an hour. Drain. Measure the soaked berries and add 4 times as much water.
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45-90 minutes. Let cool. Strain. Discard the berries.
  • Add equal quantities of raw honey to elderberry juice. Store in fridge. 1 tsp a day during flu season will help boost immunity.
  • Additionally, you can add ginger root, lemon juice, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, rosehips, echinacea root/leaves for additional immune support.



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



New traffic express lanes are coming soon

Submitted by Metropolitan Transportation Commission


Many motorists who regularly travel along Interstate 880 between Milpitas and Oakland have likely noticed construction and new signage about new express lanes coming soon. How soon?


Officials from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) announced February 6 that the new express lanes will open in late summer. Between now and opening day, crews will be installing, connecting and testing tolling equipment and connecting fiber cable for traffic monitoring along the 45-mile corridor.


Work near the Hacienda overcrossing near San Leandro to improve drainage and finish the retaining wall along southbound I-880 is complete. Once all work to connect the toll system is complete, crews will return to the area to stripe and finish paving. At various locations throughout the corridor, electrical crews are directional boring, hand digging and trenching at freeway shoulders to install the communications equipment that will monitor traffic.


The toll system integration team is working south to north on the corridor to install 29 overhead variable toll messaging signs (VTMS). So far, 15 have been installed. Crews are continuing the installation of tolling equipment (e.g., toll tag readers) and pulling cable for data and power. Crews are also starting to test the tolling equipment. These tests will occur during the day and drivers may see messages on the VTMS or flashing enforcement beacons and may hear their toll tags beep. Drivers will not be charged tolls, as the tolling equipment is in “non-tolling” mode.


What motorists should expect:

  • Shoulder lane closures during the day and night
  • Intermittent nighttime lane closures
  • Construction equipment on shoulders
  • Nighttime construction lighting in the medians and on shoulders
  • Nighttime noise from drilling and vehicle back-up alarms
  • Enforcement beacons flashing “1, 2 or 3”
  • VTMS displaying testing messages (e.g., “TEST 1”)
  • Potential toll tag beeping for cars with FasTrak toll tags


The Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority – MTC’s committee that makes decisions about express lane policies — approved tolling policies for the I-880 corridor. Work on the $139 million project started in September 2017 at the southern end of the corridor, with construction moving north.


When complete, the following toll rules will be in place:

  • Operating hours 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. weekdays
  • A 50 cent minimum toll in the area
  • No maximum toll
  • All vehicles must use FasTrak or FasTrak Flex to use the lanes
  • 2-person carpools can choose to pay half-price tolls with FasTrak Flex
  • 3+ person carpools, vanpools, motorcycles and buses pay no toll with FasTrak Flex
  • Eligible clean air vehicles can pay half price tolls with CAV Fastrak Flex
  • Solo drivers will pay full tolls with FasTrak or FasTrak Flex
  • Lanes will be a mix of open and restricted access; it is illegal to cross double white lines


More information about Bay Area Express Lanes and how they work can be found online by visiting https://511.org/driving/express-lanes.



Get ready rock, roll and remember!

Submitted by Kathy Kimberlin


Are you ready to “Twist and Shout” to celebrate a longtime and beloved Fremont business and a popular Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) teacher?


If so, Fremont Education Foundation (FEF) has just the ticket. The non-profit agency is holding a fund-raising “Excellence in Education Sock Hop” 1950s theme party to honor Cloverleaf Family Bowl and educator Shera Westra for their service and commitment to the community.


The jukebox will be rocking with fun tunes at the party, set for 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Friday, February 28, at the Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley. Activities will include dancing, raffles and games. Funds raised will benefit the Innovative Education Grant for teachers.


Cloverleaf Family Bowl has been operating in the Irvington district since 1959 and under the ownership of the Hillman Family since 1963. Shera Westra was honored as Alameda County Teacher of the Year in 2018.


Since 1997, FEF has awarded grants to Fremont Unified pre-k through 12th grade teachers. These grants fund innovative, quality classroom programs in local schools and are aimed at increasing student academic achievement, creativity, leadership, critical thinking, physical fitness, health, skills in diversity and conflict resolution along with experiences in the visual and performing arts. Individual grants are awarded for amounts up to $2,000. Annual awards range from $20,000 to 35,000.


Individual tickets to the Sock Hop are $85.00; sponsorship tickets are available at various levels:

  • Rock Around the Clock: $5,000
  • Shake, Rattle and Roll: $2,500
  • Twist and Shout: $1,000
  • At the Hop: $850
  • Blue Suede Shoes: $500


To RSVP and buy tickets, visit the FEF website at www.fremont-education.org.



FEF Sock Hop Gala

Friday, Feb 28

5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley

46100 Landing Pkwy, Fremont

Single tickets: $85; sponsorships: $500-$5,000




Investigators need assistance

Submitted by Geneva Bosques, Fremont PD


Traffic Officers need assistance identifying a vehicle and driver involved in a hit and run injury collision on Friday, February 7th. At 6:23 p.m., a 55-year-old pedestrian (Fremont transient) was struck by a vehicle while crossing Las Palmas Ave at San Moreno Pl.  The pedestrian suffered major injuries and the vehicle fled the area on Las Palmas Ave towards Gomes Elementary School.


People in the area at the time of the collision were unable to provide a description of the vehicle.  Based on parts left behind at the scene, Investigators believe it may have been a Jeep Cherokee.  The vehicle is suspected to have moderate front end damage.  The color of the vehicle is unknown.


The victim's injuries are not believed to be life threatening.


Anyone with information related to this incident, is asked to please contact Traffic Investigator K. Snow at Ksnow@fremont.gov or call 510-790-6760. We also accept anonymous tips.  Text TIP FremontPD followed by a short message to 888-777.



Girls Basketball

Lady Warriors clinch league title

Submitted by Mike Heightchew


On January 31st, the Fremont Christian (FCS) Lady Warriors basketball team continued their undefeated league play by defeating California School for the Deaf (CSD) Lady Eagles 41-25. McKenna Nolasco led the way with 17 points, 8 assists, 8 rebounds and 7 steals. Senior Micah Williams added 14 points, 4 steals and 13 rebounds, while Gayoung Lee had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Leia Gomez contributed 3 steals and played tenacious defense throughout the game.


CSD cut the lead to eight points in the third quarter before FCS went on a 18-10 run to finish the game. FCS is now 18-4 on the year and finished their undefeated season on the road February 4th vs Making Waves Marlins (Richmond) 52-20. Coach Gomez praised his team saying, “These girls have put in so much work. They are very close. They love one another, and it shows on the court. I am proud to be their Coach.”



Community meeting to focus on crime

Submitted by Fremont PD


Fremont Police Chief Kimberly Petersen and members of her department will host a community meeting to share details about recent crime statistics in the city. The two-hour meeting is set for Wednesday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the Fremont City Hall Council Chambers on Capitol Avenue. Topics covered will include:


  • Crime, major initiatives and highlights from 2019
  • Crime reduction strategies
  • Auto burglaries
  • Community cameras and partnerships


The presentation will be televised on local cable Channel 27 with closed captioning. Admission is free and open to the public. For details, call (510) 790-6740.


Community Crime Meeting

Wednesday, Feb 12

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Fremont City Hall, Council Chambers

3300 Capitol Ave., Fremont

(510) 790-6740




Fremont City Council

February 3, 2020


Consent Calendar:

  • Approve agreements for on-call surveying consultant services with BKF Engineers, Mike O’Dell Surveys, MNS Engineers, Inc. and Towill, Inc. not to exceed $1,250,000 for five years.
  • Authorize a professional services agreement with Crossroad Lab in an amount not to exceed $150,000 for Complete Streets design on-call technical assistance.
  • Authorize submission as co-applicant with Fremont Unified School District of a renewal for After School Education and Safety Program grant from California Department of Education.


Ceremonial Items:

  • Proclaim February 7-14 as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. Several families that have experienced the trauma of children affected by the condition received proclamations.


Public Communications:

  • Comment regarding Facebook post about Vision Zero by Councilmember Kassan saying those opposed should keep their opinions to themselves. Not a democratic sentiment.
  • Opposition to Complete Streets changes and Rancho Arroyo Parkway changes.
  • Comments regarding perceived abuse of government.
  • Comments regarding Vision Zero and rising traffic fatalities.
  • Comments about committees such as East Bay Regional Park Liaison Committee failing to meet and negotiate effectively.
  • School property on Chapel Way being sold when there is a shortage of schools.


Scheduled Items:

  • Public Hearing to consider issuance of tax-exempt bonds by California Statewide Communities Development Authority for KDF Communities.


Council Communications:

  • Appoint Janet Perry to Library Advisory Commission.
  • Vice Mayor Jones referral: Direct city attorney to investigate incidence of councilmember’s proclamation of support without authorization and misuse of Fremont letterhead and logo. Councilmember Keng responded by saying her letter, not on official letterhead, was congratulatory, not one of support for U.S. Western Region Cross-Strait Peaceful Reunification Summit Forum. Council asked City Attorney Levine to investigate possible City liability and reached consensus that a review of rules and regulations for councilmembers should include more detail and specific consequences of infractions.


Mayor Lily Mei                       Aye

Vice Mayor Rick Jones           Aye

Vinnie Bacon                          Aye

Raj Salwan                              Aye

Teresa Keng (District 1)         Aye

Jenny Kassan (District 3)        Aye

Yang Shao (District 4)            Aye



Can you recognize signs of gang activity?

Submitted by Union City PD


Union City residents and business owners are invited to attend a community “Gang Awareness and Prevention Presentation: What to Look For and What You Can Do to Address Them” presentation set for Monday, February 24.


The program is co-sponsored by Union City Youth & Family Services (UCYFS) in partnership with the Union City Police Department (UCPD) and will meet 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Union City Family Center on Whipple Road. Presenters will be David Sarinana, UCYFS Street Outreach Worker and Lt. Steve Mendez from UCPD.


The presentation will be done in Spanish with an English-speaking interpreter available. (Esta presentación se hará en español. Hay un intérprete de habla inglesa disponible). Topics will include how to recognize gang behavior and involvement through:


  • Clothing
  • Hairstyles
  • Tattoos
  • Music
  • New friends


Participants will learn how to address gang activity in their area and where to report it to authorities. Admission is free and open to the public. For questions about the program, send an email in Spanish or English to Imelda Rivas at: irivas@nhusd.k12.ca.us or call (510) 476-2770 extension 61061.


Gang Awareness Presentation

Monday, Feb 24

6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Union City Family Center, Room B3

725 Whipple Rd., Union City

(510) 476-2770, extension 61061

Email Imelda Rivas at irivas@nhusd.k12.ca.us



Minimum wage measure puts city on fast track to $15 an hour

Submitted by Chuck Finnie


The Hayward City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday [February 4, 2020] to increase the minimum wage for employees working within the City of Hayward.


The newly introduced ordinance accelerates minimum wage-rate increase already called for under state law. For large employers, defined as those with 26 or more workers, the Hayward ordinance moves the minimum wage rate to $15 per hour starting on July 1. Thereafter, the Hayward minimum wage rate for large employers will be adjusted upward annually each July 1 based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).


For small employers, defined as those with 25 or fewer workers—the Hayward minimum wage rate will move to $14 per hour on July 1. It will adjust annually thereafter based on the CPI until January 1, 2023, when the new State of California minimum wage of $15 per hour for small employers takes effect.


Under the state law, the minimum wage rate for large employers in California is $13. It is scheduled to climb by $1 each year until it reaches $15 per hour on January 1, 2022. Future annual adjustments will be based on changes in CPI.


Similarly, the state minimum wage rate for small employers is to increase by $1 a year from the current $12 per hour to $15 on January 1, 2023—with annual adjustments based on the CPI thereafter each January 1. Exempted from the requirements of the Hayward minimum wage ordinance are federal, state and other local government agencies, including public school districts.



Hayward Police Log


Tuesday, February 4

  • At about 5:40 p.m. officers were dispatched to the 24000 block of Willimet Way where they found a woman, later identified by police as Maria Hernandez, 38, of Hayward, suffering from a stab wound. Paramedics also responded to the scene, but Hernandez died. Hernandez’ husband, identified by police as Elmer Ugarte, 40, was arrested a short time later in connection with the stabbing. On Friday, February 7 the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office charged Ugarte with murder and child endangerment. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Hayward City Council Report

February 4, 2020


Presentations and Proclamations:

  • Statement from Mayor Halliday commemorating February as Black History Month, highlighting the history and contributions of Hayward’s African American community
  • Mayor Halliday, on behalf of council, presents a 2020 Black History Month plaque to representatives of the NAACP Hayward chapter including president Freddye Davis and Robert Ewing.


Public Comments:

  • Comment from Peggy Guernsey addresses grievance with council over disorderly conduct in her neighborhood, citing inaccurate city reprimands against the condition of her property as a root cause
  • California State University East Bay student government representative Peter Chudinov expresses desire for more pedestrian crosswalks along Carlos Bee Boulevard. Chudinov cites filed complaints in which CSUEB students either had to walk nearly a mile from student housing to cross the boulevard or would have to risk being ticketed for jaywalking.


Agenda Items:

  • Authorize an agreement with Hayward Area Recreation and Park District in an amount not to exceed $337,518 for recreation, volunteer coordinator, mobility and childcare services.
  • Approve proposed residential development consisting of nine detached single-family homes and six accessory dwelling units on a single parcel located at 25036-25096 Carlos Bee Boulevard.


Measures and Resolutions:

  • Authorize agreement with Hayward Area Recreation and Park District in an amount not-to-exceed $337,518 for recreation motion passes 7-0.
  • Approve residential development project of nine detached single-family homes located at 25036-25096 Carlos Bee Boulevard motion passes 5-1 with one abstention. Nay, Wahab. Abstain, Halliday.
  • Introduce an Ordinance to establish a local minimum wage for employees working for any employers within the City of Hayward. Effective July 1, 2020; $15 hourly rate for businesses with 26 or more employees, $14 for businesses with 25 or less employees. Rates will adjust annually with Consumer Price Index until 2023 when State requirements will be followed. Motion passes 7-0


Mayor Barbara Halliday         Aye, Abstain

Sara Lamnin                            Aye

Elisa Marquez                         Aye

Al Mendall                              Aye

Mark Salinas                           Aye

Aisha Wahab                           Aye, 1 Nay

Francisco Zermeno                 Aye




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



Thursday – Sunday, Jan 7 – Mar 31

Animal Feeding $

3 p.m.

Check for eggs, feed animals hay. Meet at Chicken Coop

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Mondays, Jan 13 – Mar 30

Job Lab

12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

One-on-one help for job seekers

Castro Valley Library

3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley

(510) 667-7900



Monday – Friday, Jan 17 – Mar 6

Celebrate Women

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Collaboration of artists, musicians and writers.

John O’Lague Galleria

777 B St., Hayward

(510) 538-2787




Friday, Jan 24 – Monday, Mar 16

31st Children’s Book Illustrator show

Fri – Sun: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Exhibit of children’s book illustrations

Sun Gallery

1015 E. St., Hayward

(510) 581-4050



Saturday – Thursday, Jan 28 – Apr 7

Explosions of Color

During library hours

Display of 12 paintings by Winnie Thompson

Castro Valley Library

3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley

(510) 667-7900



Monday – Sunday, Jan 31 – Feb 28

Variety is the Spice of Life

During business hours

Art pieces by Jaci Daskarolis

Mission Coffee Roasting House

151 Washington Blvd., Fremont

(510) 474-1004


Saturdays, Feb 1 – Apr 11

Free Tax Preparation

1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

For households earning $56,000 or less

Photo ID and tax documents required

Fremont Main Library

2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont

(510) 745-1421



Sunday – Saturday, Feb 1 – Mar 27

Studio 820

During library hours

SLZ Adult School watercolor class exhibit

San Leandro Main Library

300 Estudillo Ave., San Leandro

(510) 577-3971



Wednesdays & Thursdays, Feb 5 – Apr 15

AARP Tax Assistance R

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Free tax preparation and e-filing. Call for appt.

Castro Valley Library

3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley

(510) 667-7900

(510) 608-1155



Fridays – Sundays, Feb 7 – Mar 1

Steel Magnolias $

Fri. & Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.

Comedy-drama about the bond among group of Louisiana women

Chanticleers Theatre

3683 Quail Ave., Castro Valley

(510) 733-5483



Monday – Saturday, Feb 8 – Mar 14

New Members and Emerging Artists and Six by Two Exhibits

Mon – Wed: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Thurs – Sat: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Photography, mixed media, digital print, watercolor

Hayward Main Library

888 C St., Hayward

(510) 881-7980



Saturdays, Feb 8 & Feb 15

Microsoft Word 2016 R

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

2-part class to learn the basics of word processing

Castro Valley Library

3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley

(510) 667-7900



Saturdays, Feb 8 & Feb 15

Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 R

1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Create a presentation using slides, graphics, tables (2-part class)

Castro Valley Library

3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley

(510) 667-7900



Monday – Friday, Feb 11 – Mar 31

The Artist Within 3

8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Original art by adults with special needs

Hayward Area Senior Center

22325 North Third St., Hayward

(510) 881-6766



Sundays, Feb 16 – Apr 5

Dove Gallery “Creation: Art of Nature” Exhibit

12 noon – 3 p.m.

Nature artwork of various media and style

Park Victoria Baptist Church

875 S. Park Victoria Dr., Milpitas

(408) 464-5011



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, Feb 12

Financial Aid Workshop

12 noon – 2 p.m.

Honoring Black History Month

Chabot College, Room 758

25555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward



Wednesday, Feb 12

Community Meeting

6:30 p.m.

Update on crime, major cases and highlights from 2019

City of Fremont Council Chambers

3300 Capitol Ave., Fremont

(510) 494-4508



Wednesday, Feb 12

Census 2020 Training

10:30 a.m. – 12 noon

Learn more about becoming a volunteer

Fremont Fire Training Center

3300 Capitol Ave., Fremont

(510) 494-4244


Thursday, Feb 13

Social Media and Innovation R

10 a.m. – 12 noon

Maximize social media and innovation for businesses

Fremont Main Library

2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont

(510) 745-1421



Thursday, Feb 13

LEAF Garden Science Workshop

3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Learn about plant needs and parts. Make a plant sculpture

Centerville Library

3801 Nicolet Ave., Fremont

(510) 795-2629


Thursday, Feb 13

Social Media and Innovation

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Build your business and grow your customer base

Hayward City Hall

777 B St., Hayward

(510) 208-0410



Thursday, Feb 13

Film Screening & Discussion: Black and Blue

12 noon – 2 p.m.

Honoring Black History Month. Room 119

Chabot College Library

25555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward



Thursday, Feb 13 – Saturday, Feb 15

Choral POPS 2020: Mixtape For U

7 p.m. nightly & 2 p.m. Sat

250 students perform favorite pop tunes

Castro Valley Center for the Arts

19501 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 889-8961



Friday, Feb 14

Toddler Ramble: Let's Stay in Touch $

10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Kids ages 1-3 explore sensory play

Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

4901 Breakwater Ave., Hayward

(510) 670-7270



Friday, Feb 14

Music at the Mission $

8 p.m.

Classical and rock music

Old Mission San Jose

43300 Mission Blvd., Fremont

(510) 659-6158



Friday, Feb 14

Book Lovers Meet-Up

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Bring a book you want to send a Valentine

Books on B

1014 B St., Hayward

(510) 538-3943



Friday, Feb 14

An Elegant Affaire $R

6 p.m.

Dinner, drinks and silent auction. LOV benefit for art in schools

Doubletree Newark-Fremont Hilton Hotel

39900 Balentine Dr., Newark

(510) 490-8390

(510) 793-5683



Friday, Feb 14

Un-Valentine's Day Mini-Golf After-Hours Event

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Come with friends or alone. Pizza, board and video games. Ages 18+

San Leandro Main Library

300 Estudillo Ave., San Leandro

(510) 577-3971


Friday, Feb 14

The Jets Valentine's Day Concert $

7 p.m.

Popular family band of the '80's plays crowd favorites

Historic Bal Theatre

14808 East 14th St., San Leandro

(510) 614-7700



Saturday, Feb 15

Birding the Farm

8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Explore the gardens, forest and fields for anything with feathers

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Saturday, Feb 15

Farm Chores for Kids

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Crack corn, feed the animals, help with morning chores

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Saturday, Feb 15

Corn Mosaics

1:00 p.m.- 2:30 p.m.

Make a craft using harvested Indian corn

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Saturday, Feb 15

Cooking with Hali: Healthy Desserts $

5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Carrot muffins and zucchini brownies

Mission Peak Odd Fellows Lodge

40955 Fremont Blvd., Fremont

(510) 440-8381



Saturday, Feb 15

Comedy Shorts Night $

7:30 p.m.

“The Idle Class”, “The Hayseed”, “No Father to Guide Him”, “From Soup to Nuts”

Niles Essanay Theater

37417 Niles Blvd, Fremont

(510) 494-1411



Saturday, Feb 15

Animal Tracking

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Decode the secret language of animal tracks. Ages 7+

Coyote Hills

8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont

(510) 544-3220



Saturday, Feb 15

Canine Capers Walk R

9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Enjoy nature trails with your dog. Ages 8+

Alameda Creek Regional Trail

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

(510) 544-3220




Saturday, Feb 15

Storytime with Aunt Marie

11 a.m.

“Groovy Joe”

Books on B

1014 B St., Hayward

(510) 538-3943



Saturday, Feb 15

Anne with an E-vent

12 noon – 1 p.m.

Discussion of Anne of Green Gables

Books on B

1014 B St., Hayward

(510) 538-3943



Saturday, Feb 15

Eden Area Village Monthly Coffee

9 a.m.

Local seniors keep each other active and engaged in the community


2723 Castro Valley Blvd., Castro Valley


(866) 457-2582


Saturday, Feb 15

Free Legal Clinic

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Family, housing, consumer, immigration, employment, and other legal concerns

Fremont Main Library

2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont

(510) 745-1421

(510) 302-2222


Saturday, Feb 15

First Annual Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Weight Lifting Competition R

11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Hosted by the California Sikh Youth Alliance

Fremont Gurdwara Sangat

300 Gurdwara Road, Fremont



(510) 790-0177


Sunday, Feb 16

Old Fashioned Butter Making $

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Churn cream into butter

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Sunday, Feb 16

Farmyard Story Time

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Come listen to some classic barnyard tales

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Sunday, Feb 16

Fun with Felting

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Make a felt toy to take home

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797



Sunday, Feb 16

Shoreline Trash Takers

10:30 a.m. – 12 noon

Volunteer to pick up trash on the shoreline

Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

4901 Breakwater Ave., Hayward

(510) 670-7270



Sunday, Feb 16

Ohlone Village Site Tour

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

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

Coyote Hills

8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont

(510) 544-3220



Sunday, Feb 16

Maha Shivratri

10 a.m. – 12 noon

Live music, guided meditation, candle-lighting ceremony

BK Silicon Valley Center

540 S. Able St., Milpitas



Sunday, Feb 16

Founder’s Day Celebration and Champagne Brunch $

11 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Benefitting IWUSA Foundation Myoelectric Limb Project

Sponsor Inner Wheel USA District 517

Castlewood Country Club

707 Country Club Cir., Pleasanton

(510) 659-6053

(510) 790-2311



Sunday, Feb 16

Fremont Area Writers Open Mic

3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Read your original work in a public venue

Starbucks Newark

39201 Cedar Blvd., Newark



Sunday, February 16

Groovy Judy

10:30am – 11:30am

She sings her heart out

Tri-City Religious Science Fremont

3900 Newpark Mall Road Suite 203, Newark


(415) 793-1223


Tuesday, Feb 18

Family Caregiving

4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Eldercare experts will answer questions about caregiving

Center for Elders’ Independence

1850 Fairway Dr., San Leandro

(510) 433-1150



Tuesday, Feb 18

Ayurveda Workshop

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Improve your eating habits

India Community Center

525 Los Coches St., Milpitas

(408) 934-1130



Tuesday, Feb 18

Film Screening & Discussion: Toni Morrison, The Pieces I Am

12 noon – 2 p.m.

Honoring Black History Month. Room 119

Chabot College Library

25555 Hesperian Boulevard, Hayward



Wednesday, Feb 19

Overview of Long-Term Care

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Pros and cons of long-term care

Castro Valley Library

3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley

(510) 667-7900



Friday, Feb 21

13th Annual Crab Feed $

5:30 p.m.

Fundraiser for the Fremont Senior Center

Fremont Retirement Community

2860 Country Dr., Fremont

(510) 790-6600




Cougars Junior Varsity shines in win over Colts JV squad

Submitted and photos by Mike Heightchew


The Newark Memorial Cougars boys’ junior varsity took a commanding lead in the JV

Division of the Mission Valley Athletic League with an impressive win over the junior varsity Colts of James Logan (Union City) on February 5th. The 2-0 victory was an impressive combination of offense and a defense that stifled all scoring attempts by the Colts.



Chinese New Year celebration uplifts Hayward youth

By Hugo Vera


Giddy schoolchildren, teachers and parents were treated to a lively morning assembly on Thursday February 6 in celebration of the Chinese New Year. Hayward’s Schafer Park Elementary school hosted its 16th annual Lunar New Year showcase, which featured five acts and more than 60 student participants.


“The Chinese New Year celebration is a great way to celebrate Asian culture in our school,” says event coordinator and Schafer Park educator George Kwong. “Our school is predominantly Hispanic, but even so it’s a great way for the community to experience another culture.”


The showcase kicked off with an oral history of the twelve Chinese zodiac animals. According to the Smithsonian Institute, the Chinese zodiac dates back to the fifth century and utilizes constellations and astrological patterns from Jupiter’s orbit to assign attributes to each animal. “This year marks the year of the rat but what many people don’t know is that there are actually five different kinds of rats per Lunar New Year,” states Kwong. “This is the year of the metal rat; this occurs just once every 60 years.”


Following the informational segment on the zodiac animals, student performers danced to Korean pop music (“K-pop”). Once considered a niche subgenre of pop exclusive to the Korean peninsula, K-pop has enjoyed monumental success in the United States with the ever-growing international appeal of groups such as BTS and Girls’ Generation.


Other performances included traditional Chinese dances such as Chinese flag-twirling and the “lion dance.” Chinese lion dances typically involved two or more dancers animating a tent-like suit made to resemble the Chinese lion to the beat of drums. Kwong recalls that when the showcase first began, the school started out with one small lionhead. The growing popularity of the program has since allotted Schafer Park more lion costumes, with the Hayward Unified School District having supplied one of those.


While the school district does help at times, the Chinese New Year celebration appears to mostly be a labor of love. “Most of what we do here is from our own time and out of our own pockets. Most of the flags or costumes we bought ourselves but we keep them in good condition and use them over and over again,” adds Kwong. “Many of us were even up late last night still sewing and ironing the clothes.”


The clothes are, of course, the traditional Asian garments modeled by Schafer Park’s students and faculty during the “fashion show” segment of the showcase. Serving as the celebration’s “finale,” students and teachers modeled garb from various Asian nations such as Japanese kimonos, Korean hanbok and Chinese tang suits.


In the celebration’s 16-year (and counting) run, other nearby schools have come to appreciate the display of unity through cultural enrichment. In addition to Schafer Park’s student body, students from Castro Valley’s Jensen Ranch Elementary approved field trips so that their fourth and six graders could watch the show in Hayward. “We’ve thought about expanding, but when we tried doing it at another school two years ago, we got rained out,” adds Kwong.


While the looming retirement of some key coordinators of the Chinese New Year celebration threatens the show’s longevity, Kwong has stated that he and the Schafer Park faculty will do their best to keep the February festivities afloat for at least the next two years.


“We’re still the only school in the area that does something like this. 2020 is the Year of the Rat which symbolizes ambition and wisdom,” concludes Kwong. “With everything going on in China right now because of coronavirus, it’s events like these that will keep us going.”



Milpitas City Council

February 4, 2020


Pledge of Allegiance was led by Boy Scouts Troop 92



  • Key to the City of Milpitas was presented to Carl Guardino, CEO of Silicon Valley Leadership group who is retiring after 23 years
  • Commendations were given to Manufacturing Day 2019 Partners


Consent Calendar

  • Allowed a Zoning Designation Change of Certain Parcels Within the Zoning Map.
  • Approved the Addendum to the Transit Area Specific Plan Environmental Impact Report (TASP EIR) for the McCandless Park, Well Upgrade – McCandless Well, and Penitencia Creek Pedestrian Bridge. Award a construction contract for the Base Bid to Pacific Coast Well Drilling, Inc.
  • Granted acceptance of public improvements for the Centre Pointe Subdivision at 1463, 1515, 1557 & 1585 Centre Pointe Drive.
  • Accepted the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Public Safety Communications Division, California 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Branch, Annual Training Allotment of up to $10,000 for Fiscal Year 2019-2020.
  • Approved the Sister Cities Cultural and Community Relationship program.
  • Approved the Science, Technology, and Innovation Commission Work Plan 2019-2020.


Other Business Matters

  • Approved a request from a community member to rename Albert Augustine Jr. Memorial Park to “Sunny Hills Albert Augustine Jr Memorial Park.”


Community Services and Sustainable Infrastructure

  • Received update and presentation from Silicon Valley Clean Energy.
  • Accepted the update on the Preliminary Energy and Water Savings Conservation Measures pertaining to the Energy Service Company (ESCO) Investment Grade Audit being implemented by Engie Services U.S. Inc.


Rich Tran (Mayor)                              Aye

Bob Nunez (Vice Mayor)                   Aye

Carmen Montano                                Aye

Karina Dominguez                              Aye

Anthony Phan                                     Aye



Mobility Summit addresses traffic concerns

By Stephanie Gertsch


Inhabitants of Fremont are no strangers to traffic, especially during commute times and around the bottlenecks near the 680 freeway and Mission Boulevard, the crossover from I-880 to I-680 in Warm Springs, and the transition from I-880 to the Dumbarton Bridge near Ardenwood. With a rising population, and many out-of-town commuters cutting through Fremont on their way to jobs on the Peninsula, the current roads are suffering under what has been dubbed the “Fremont Funnel Effect.” Some drivers are even cutting through neighborhoods to avoid traffic.


However, local government has recognized these issues and have been working to make transportation faster and safer for everyone. Since the start of the Vision Zero initiative in 2015, major traffic crashes have dropped 50 percent over three years. On Thursday, February 6, the city hosted a summit to discuss their Mobility Action Plan for current and future transportation projects.


“I don’t believe there’s another city in the Bay Area that’s affected by traffic the way Fremont is,” said Public Works Director Hans Larsen. He spoke about the measures the city is taking to address traffic concerns, including appointing a task force in 2017 and conducting community surveys in 2018. In addition to expressing concerns about safety, many residents are open to alternative transportation solutions, including buses, trains, and bikeshare.


Several big projects are set to be completed in 2020, including a BART extension to Milpitas and Berryessa, west access to the current Warm Springs BART station, an express lane along the 680 corridor and Sunol Grade, and traffic signal modernization along Walnut Avenue, Mission Boulevard, and Fremont Boulevard.


In addition, Fremont will receive the Vision Zero for Youth USA Leadership Award, in recognition of their efforts to prioritize youth and child safety and protect pedestrians of all ages from serious traffic injuries. Fremont is only the third city to receive this award, which will be presented during the March 3 City Council meeting.


A panel discussed transportation, from City, State, and Federal perspectives, comprising Fremont Mayor Lily Mei; Niccolo De Luca, Northern California Senior Director from Townsend Public Affairs; and Galen Boggs, Field Representative from the Office of Congressmember Ro Khanna. Some topics discussed were how many projects were currently funded, how much funding might be raised through taxes, Senate Bill 278 (creating a metropolitan transportation commission), and the positive effect of connecting BART to San Jose’s VTA.


Tess Lengyel, Executive Director of the Alameda County Transportation Commission, gave the keynote presentation and spoke about Fremont in the larger context of Alameda county. In addition to funneling through Fremont to the peninsula, many commuters are traveling east toward Stockton, in close to a million commutes per day countywide. The average commute time is now over 30 minutes, and there has been a rise in “super commuters” who drive over 90 minutes.


With “Smart Planning” in the face of increasing population, Fremont is setting an example for the county and state. Lengyel praised the city’s leadership and innovation, remarking, “Not often do you get to be in one of the best-run cities in the United States.” Hopefully the efforts of the mobility task force will help keep the streets, sidewalks, and rails in Fremont safe for both those who live there and those who are just passing through.



The Ends of the Earth! Mission Masquerade Ball

Submitted by Vickilyn Hussey


It inspires, entertains, energizes and transforms! Music has the power to sweep you away to exotic faraway lands or twenty-thousand leagues under the sparkling sea. The only question is: How far would you go to salute champions of the arts and culture in the Tri-City area and support virtuosic classical chamber music? Would you go to “The Ends of The Earth”?


“We’re counting on you to join us on Friday, March 13, at ‘The Ends of the Earth,’ the annual Music at the Mission Masquerade Ball made possible by Fremont Bank, our Gold Event Sponsor, to benefit classical chamber music concerts, music education in local schools, community outreach, and ChamberFest, our summer music festival for aspiring young musicians,” says Aileen Chanco, Executive Director of Music at the Mission (MAM). The Ball’s Sapphire Sponsor is Robson Homes.


Imagination reigns supreme with Masquerade Ball attire geared towards romantic adventure. Venture into fantasy and time-travel à la Jules Verne and his visions for the turn of the century with fantastic new inventions: the hot air balloon, submarine and the dirigible! Get creative with your attire or revisit one of your costumes from prior Balls: Celtic, piratical, Parisian, tropical tango, or Silk Road. “If you’re headed to the Ball after work, just add a tiara or steampunk goggles and you’re good to go,” suggested Event Coordinator Krysten Laine. “We want you to show up and enjoy yourself!”


One of the highlights of the evening will be the presentation of the Cultural Arts Recognition award to Dirk Lorenz, and the Music at the Mission Volunteer of the Year award to Len Gasiorek. “Many types of supporters come together to make the arts happen,” said Bill Everett, Music at the Mission’s Artistic Director. “Dirk Lorenz, proprietor of Fremont Flowers, is the type who works tirelessly behind the scenes, often without recognition. Dirk’s support of the arts, especially in helping to make fundraisers beautiful for Music at the Mission and many other organizations, has helped to make the Fremont arts community thrive.”


Non-profit organizations, particularly the performing arts, could not operate without dedicated volunteers. “There are so many facets of Len Gasiorek’s support of Music at the Mission I can't begin to count them,” Everett said of Gasiorek, whose degree in electrical engineering landed him at Stanford, where he received his doctorate. “He has helped to guide the organization in his service on the board, but he has also volunteered over the years for everything imaginable, from setup to assistant stage manager, to being the familiar face to our audience as MAM’s official bartender. No matter how big or small the task, Len has always been there for the organization.”


If you’ve attended the Mission Masquerade Ball before, you know that the evening’s entertainment begins the minute you step foot into the ballroom. This year’s Ball opens with an incredible multi-media performance by Music at the Mission Chamber Players. Memorable moments are promised throughout the evening, with a performance to “Fund The Passion,” featuring a young Music at the Mission ChamberFest student. It is always an emotional moment for Ball guests.


“Throughout the evening, you’ll be able to watch extreme colorist Jeff Albrecht channeling the theme and energy of the Ball as he creates a painting to be auctioned off at the end of the night. His work is in private collections around the world,” encouraged Rhonda Bradetich, Music at the Mission Board President and Masquerade Ball Chairperson. “Be prepared to jump right in and bid, because David Bonaccorsi is our auctioneer this year and he plans to keep it short and sweet!” There will also be a Cocktail Auction and a short, fast-paced live auction.


Additional details, including the three-course dinner menu, are available on the Music at the Mission Facebook page and website. The deadline for reservations is Monday, March 9.


The Ends of The Earth

Mission Masquerade Ball

Friday, March 13

6:00 p.m.

The DoubleTree Hotel

39900 Balentine Dr., Newark


(510) 402-1724

Tickets: $125 or $1,100 for table of ten

Reservation deadline: March 9



Newark Police Log

Submitted by Newark PD


Tuesday, January 21

  • At 10:10 a.m. Officer Torres arrested a 19-year-old Newark man on the 36000 block of Newark Boulevard on an active warrant for probation violation and another warrant for providing false information to a police officer. He was booked into Fremont Jail.
  • At 7:47 p.m. two burglaries were reported between 7:24 and 7:26 p.m. on the 5600 block of Mowry Avenue. Taken: a black backpack and HP laptop computer.


Thursday, January 23

  • At 7:36 a.m. officers responded to a call about shoplifting on the 5400 block of Thornton Avenue. Arriving officers located and arrested a 42-year-old male transient for two active warrants and possession of drug paraphernalia. They also arrested a 35-year-old male transient on probation for possession of drug paraphernalia and providing false identification to an officer. Both men were booked into Fremont Jail.


Friday, January 24

  • During a 10:09 a.m. traffic stop in the area of Cedar Boulevard and Smith Avenue, Officer Swadener arrested a 35-year-old San Jose man on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and not having a driver’s license. He was booked at Fremont Jail.
  • At 8:04 p.m. Officer Riddles responded to the 200 block of Newpark Mall on a report of a 23-year-old Fremont woman in custody for theft. She was booked at Fremont Jail and faces charges of shoplifting and possessing burglary tools.


Saturday, January 25

  • At 4:03 a.m. officers responded to a report about an unknown man inside a residence on the 5700 block of Rose Court. Officers found, and arrested, a 32-year-old Arizona man on suspicion of burglary and obstructing a police officer.



Cougars close in on league title

Submitted and photos by Mike Heightchew


The Newark Memorial Cougars boys’ varsity soccer team won their most important game of the

year by beating archrival James Logan Colts (Union City). With the 2-0 victory on February 5th, the Cougars are in command of the Mission Valley Athletic League with just three games left in the season. A familiar dominating attack put pressure on the Colts goal early and often. The Cougars scored once in the first half and putt the game solidly in their hands with a second goal late in the game.



Fremont News Briefs

Submitted by Cheryl Golden


National Award for Leadership in Youth Road Safety

The National Center for Safe Routes to School has named the City of Fremont as the 2020 recipient of the Vision Zero for Youth USA Leadership Award, based on the city’s impressive work to protect child and youth pedestrians and significantly reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries for road users of all ages. The award recognizes cities that are leading the way in prioritizing children’s safety while also improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety for all ages through Vision Zero.


From 2013 to 2018, major crashes in Fremont were reduced by more than 50 percent. Among youth under 16 years of age, there was a more than 90 percent reduction in major crashes (from 12 major crashes in 2013-2015 to one in 2016-2018). Following adoption of its Vision Zero policy, the City of Fremont integrated Safe Routes to School programming and assessed all city schools for ways to improve child safety.


Recommendations for improving school area transportation infrastructure and public outreach resulted in “quick build” projects including upgraded crosswalks and new stop signs as well as rectangular rapid flashing beacons and buffered bike lanes that enhance routes to school. “Walk and roll” maps show recommended routes for walking and bicycling to each school. The City of Fremont engages diverse local partners and focuses on equitable access and plans to encourage student-led efforts in walking and biking. Public support for lowering speeds along arterials and near schools has also helped reduce crash frequency and severity in the last five years.


The Award is presented by the Vision Zero for Youth initiative, led by the National Center for Safe Routes to School with support from the FIA Foundation, the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, and the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center. The City will formally receive the award from the National Center for Safe Routes to School on March 3.


STiR 2020 Program

The City of Fremont will again be participating in Startup in Residence (STIR), a 16-week program that connects government agencies with startups to co-create new technology solutions that address civic challenges in a sustainable way. This year, the Fremont ITS Department’s GIS Division is seeking a startup that will partner with the city to develop three ArcGIS online interactive mapping tools referred to as “Story Maps.”


“Story Maps” is an ArcGIS Esri-supported application tool that combines authoritative maps with narrative text, images, and multimedia content to create compelling, user-friendly web apps.

These maps of the city council district, parks, and recreation services and locations, and landmarks and historical locations in Fremont will provide website visitors with more accessible and mobile-friendly information about the city’s services, resources, and history.


Interested startups can find more information and requirements in the Request for Proposals located at www.Fremont.gov/OpenProjects. Proposals are due by 2 p.m. Tuesday, February 18. If selected, the 16-week STiR residency will begin March 2020.


Street Tree Pruning, Removal, Replacement

The City of Fremont offers a 50-50 Street Tree Program that provides financial help to property owners to care for their street trees. Street tree pruning and removal and replacement are eligible services. If the street tree has caused sidewalk damage, property owners may be eligible for financial help for sidewalk repair and replacement through the 50-50 Sidewalk Program.



To be eligible for the 50-50 program and receive funds:

  • You must be a property owner (commercial or residential)
  • Select a contractor approved by the City www.Fremont.gov/TreeContractor
  • Get and be pre-approved for a free tree permit
  • Complete tree care or sidewalk repairs according to industry best practices and in accordance with permit instructions



  • The property owner will apply for reimbursement online after completion of the work.
  • Tree assistance covers up to 50% of the cost of street tree pruning, or removal and replacement up to a maximum contribution of $750 per tree and up to two trees per property.
  • Sidewalk assistance covers up to 50% of the cost of repair to a maximum of $1,500 per property.
  • If fixing your sidewalk involves pruning or removing and replacing a tree, the property owner may also apply for the 50-50 Street Tree Program simultaneously.


For more information about trees, sidewalks, permits, news, events, volunteering, and the Urban Forest Management Plan, visit www.Fremont.gov/Trees or call (510) 494-4730.


Community Engagement Resource Fairs

The City of Fremont Human Services Department is hosting free Community Engagement and Resource Fairs to educate participants about available resources for adults 55+ and their families, including Ride-On Tri-City! transportation services, health and wellness services, benefit eligibility, learning opportunities, housing, dementia specific-support, civic engagement, emergency preparedness, and more. The three fairs will be held at the following times and locations:


Wednesday, Feb 19

9:30 a.m. – 12 noon

Cottonwood Place

3701 Peralta Blvd., Fremont


Wednesday, Mar 18

9:30 a.m. – 12 noon

Warm Springs Community Center

47300 Fernald St., Fremont


Wednesday, Apr 29

9:30 a.m. – 12 noon

Fremont Senior Center (at Lake Elizabeth)

40086 Paseo Padre Pkwy., Fremont


For more information, contact the Human Services Department at (510) 574-2050 or send an email to AFS@fremont.gov.



Ohlone College Set for Accreditation Visit

Submitted by Tina Vossugh


The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) will be visiting Ohlone College March 9-12 as part of the College’s accreditation reaffirmation.


Every six years the Commission assesses college policies, procedures, and practices to ensure compliance with ACCJC’s Standards. Ohlone College will be evaluated by a team of eleven peer evaluators in several key areas, including: mission, planning, integrity, instruction, support services, resources, and governance.


The College eagerly anticipates the visit and the opportunity to demonstrate why Ohlone College is among the premier community colleges statewide. For the past 16 months, the College has conducted an Institutional Self-Evaluation Report (ISER), which will be sent to the visiting team in January, prior to the visit.


This report will be available on the college website following submission, and community members may submit third party comments directly to ACCJC via a link on the website once the report is posted.



Praising Pepper

By Pat Kite


Since I have cut back on salt, I have taken to peppering everything. I am not alone. In 1213 B.C., Egyptian King Ramesses had black peppercorns stuffed in his nostrils, part of his mummification process. Piper nigrum is the world’s commonly used spice; not only is it part of Ayurveda remedies but is also supposed to reduce inflammation, has a lot of antioxidants and is rich in vitamins and minerals. In an era when refrigeration was unknown, black pepper, along with salt, was sometimes used to help keep food fresh. Its history goes back beyond 2,000 B.C. Much prized for trading, it was even used as currency. History has called it “black gold.” Only rich people could afford it.


Native to Southeast Asia, peppercorns were initially transported from India via ship, then carried overland to the Nile River, barged to Alexandria, and then shipped to Italy. To protect valuable, and therefore dangerous, trade routes, traders made up a lot of stories. Apparently, thieves would be attacked by guarding dragons. In the 5th century A.D., when the Visigoths were threatening Rome, ransom demanded for sparing the city included 3,000 pounds of pepper. In the 13th century, Marco Polo said the daily amount of pepper brought into one Chinese city was 223 pounds per day. During the Middle Ages, pepper served as a form of European currency. People kept it securely hidden. It was a measure of how rich they were.


There are several Piper nigrum: black, green, and white, all stages from the same plant. Peppercorns grow on a very tall woody flowering vine. Peppercorn berries look like dangling bunches of grapes. Each peppercorn contains a seed. Peppercorns are harvested at the half-ripe faintly red stage; they are picked, dried in the sun or by machine. Drying blackens the fruit and wrinkles it around the seed, which is still white. Crushing and cleaning by various methods gives us our pepper spice.


If you are interested in growing your own, you must have fresh seeds. These seeds are only viable for a very short period. Fill a large container with a quality potting mix containing a good amount of organic matter. Use your finger to poke holes, each 1/2 inch deep and about 1 to 1.5 inches apart. Drop a seed in each hole, then cover it with soil. Water the seeds often and keep the soil moist. You can also try propagating from cuttings. The plant will have an extensive root system, so keep this in mind.


Pepper was one of the valuable spices that convinced Columbus to sail across dangerous uncharted waters. Today much of our pepper comes from Vietnam. The United States is the biggest importer. It is just a tiny grain we sprinkle, but, like most spices, its history is powerful.

Police issue update in officer-involved shooting

Submitted by Union City PD


Officials from the Union Police Department have released updated information about an officer involved shooting that occurred January 31 in Union City involving a Fremont police officer who pursued robbery suspects to a Union City residential area.


After the suspects reportedly robbed a Sephora Store at Pacific Commons in Fremont, officers chased their vehicle to the end of a cul-de-sac on Balmoral Street in Union City. During the scuffle Fremont Police Officer Darryl Manrique feared he was going to be run over by the suspect vehicle, so he discharged his service weapon at the driver, identified as Stephon Tobias, 30, of Oakland in an attempt to stop the vehicle. Tobias received non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to a local trauma center and then placed into police custody. Police identified the other suspects as Rayduan Lindsay, 24, of Oakland and Cameron Standley, 29 of Oakland/Richmond.


Witnesses from Sephora positively identified two of the suspects as being responsible for the burglary. Video surveillance collected from the store, as well as community cameras, verified the three occupants were the same suspects who committed the theft. Store employees initially reported the incident as an in-progress robbery, with patrons running out of the store and fearing for their safety. After further investigation it was determined that incident was a felony grand theft from the store. The suspects were not armed during the incident and officers did not find any weapons in their vehicle.


Property stolen from the store was found inside of the suspect vehicle. Additionally, officers have confirmed that the vehicle used by the suspects had been reported stolen from the City of Berkeley. A record check showed that Tobias was on felony probation and had two outstanding warrants at the time of his arrest. Lindsay was found to be active to parole with a prior felony robbery conviction, and also a felony warrant for his arrest. Standley was found to be active to parole for a prior felony burglary conviction.


On Tuesday, February 4, police detectives from Union City and Fremont presented their investigation to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office where the three suspects were charged with the numerous crimes.


Union City Police Detectives are investigating the case and are asking that anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call Detective Adalberto Alberto at (510) 675-5220. Information can also be given anonymously at (510) 675-5207 or online at tips@unioncity.org.



Proposition 13 would spend $15 billion on California schools

By Jocelyn Gecker

Associated Press


SAN PABLO, Calif. (AP), Feb 02 – Lake Elementary School, just a half-hour drive northeast of San Francisco, is a relic from 1957.


Much of the school's scuffed flooring is old linoleum that contains asbestos, as does the insulation around the school's hulking old steel furnace where grey duct tape is wrapped around rusting pipes.


“The heating system is literally held together by duct tape. Exposed wires are taped together across the hallway ceilings,” said Tony Wold, associate superintendent for the West Contra Costa Unified School District in the San Francisco Bay Area. “The roofs are dropping and need repairs. Is this the safest environment for students?“


Proposition 13, the only statewide measure on the March 3 ballot, would create a $15 billion bond to build, repair and modernize schools, from kindergarten through public colleges and universities.


Many school districts, like West Contra Costa, say they do not receive adequate state funding to make repairs and fully modernize their buildings, leading to a “Band-Aid approach“ of repairs atop repairs and deferred maintenance that was on full view during a recent tour of Lake elementary in San Pablo.


Most of the money from the proposed bond – $9 billion – would go to K-12 schools, with priority given to addressing health and safety concerns, including earthquake risks and removing toxic mold and asbestos from aging classrooms and lead from drinking water. Of that, $5.8 billion would go to updating school facilities, followed by $2.8 billion for new construction and $500 million each for charter schools and facilities for technical education.


It also would put an end to the first-come, first-served process of allocating funds that critics say has favored richer districts, which often have special staff or can hire consultants to focus on funding applications. The new system would set aside 10% of state money for districts with fewer than 2,500 students and give up to 5% more of state matching money to low-income districts.


“Under the new rules, there are criteria that creates a level playing field to ensure that more disadvantaged school districts“ are given priority, said Democratic Sen. Steve Glazer of Orinda, one of the architects of the plan. He notes that it won bipartisan support in Sacramento.


The measure would also allocate $6 billion for higher education, which last benefited from a statewide bond measure in 2006. The funding would be split evenly, with $2 billion each for community colleges, the California State University system and the University of California system.


According to the Public Policy Institute of California, 70% of California's 10,000 public schools are 25 years or older, with 10% of them at least 70 years old.


The bond revenue would provide matching funds to school districts that are willing to cover at least 60% of modernization projects and 50% of new construction.


The bond proposal is backed by teachers and firefighters unions, school boards and Democratic state lawmakers.


The main opposition comes from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, a group named for the man behind the historic Proposition 13 of 1978, which capped annual increases in property tax until a property changes ownership, leading to billions of dollars less for California schools ever since.


Its president, Jon Coupal, said the group opposes this Proposition 13 for several reasons, notably that it nearly doubles the limit on what a local school district can borrow, from 1.25% to 2% of assessed property value, which he said could lead to future tax increases.


“Unlike statewide bonds, local school bonds do come with a tax increase,“ he said. “We look at this statewide school bond with this provision about lifting the (debt) caps and the first thing we think – this is actually a property tax increase.“


Coupal said with a California budget surplus, the state should fund school facilities itself rather than adding to school districts' debt.


The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office estimates repayments on the bond borrowing would add $740 million a year to California's budget for the next 35 years.


In a statewide survey published last month, the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California found that about 53% of likely voters supported the measure, with 36% opposed and 10% undecided.


Democratic Assemblymember Patrick O'Donnell of Long Beach, who co-authored the bill that put the bond on the ballot, says it aims to bridge the disparity in California schools, which range from cutting edge to decrepit.


“There's lead, there's asbestos. We've got schools across the state that have leaking roofs and schools that need heating and air ventilation systems.” O'Donnell said. “The need is significant.“



What is Rainbow?

Submitted by Miranda G


The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is a non-profit service organization for girls ages 11-20/21. We also have a younger age program called Rainbow Pledge for girls ages 8-10.

In Rainbow and Rainbow Pledge girls learn life skills such as self-confidence, leadership, public speaking, event planning, budgeting and more.


Aside from learning life skills, girls give back to the community by helping at local homeless shelters, doing park/beach clean-ups, helping out at Relay for Life, decorating cookies for police/firefighters, canned food drives and other activities.


In addition, girls get the chance to just have fun with sleepovers, mystery trips, kidnap breakfasts in PJS, scavenger hunts, bowling, travel to other states and countries, and doing many other things with Rainbow Sisters in their own group and other groups.


Anyone who wishes to learn more about Rainbow or join, please contact missmirandag@yahoo.com for a calendar of events. More information is also available at www.gorainbow.org.



Recycling Poster Contest: Deadline Extended

Submitted by Union City


Did you know that this year is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day? So, it is fitting that Union City has themed its annual recycling poster contest as “Make Every Day Earth Day.” The submission deadline has been extended to Wednesday, February 26.


Each year, this contest truly showcases the creativity and social awareness of local students. The city encourages students to participate in this contest for a chance to win a prize and have their artwork showcased on the city’s website and in the Activity Guide. For more information on artwork requirements and how to submit, visit unioncity.org/recyclingpostercontest.


Recycling Poster Contest

Applications accepted through Wednesday, Feb 26




How to get published without an agent

Submitted by Knuti VanHoven


After years of work. noted American astronomical historian, author and lecturer Robert Garfinkle was ready to sell his book. The problem? It was aimed at scientists and science buffs. This is not a common area of expertise for agents, so how was he to find an agent with the knowledge and tenacity to take his to and through the publishing process?


He decided to do it himself!  Since then he’s sold numerous astronomy articles to national and international magazines and journals, He also negotiated the deals for not one, but three major books. His latest is “The Moon,” released in February, 2020.


On Saturday, February 22 at 2 p.m., Garfinkle will discuss how he’s been able to get published without an agent and give his tips on what to look for when offered a publishing contract.


Fremont Area Writers meets from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of every month at the cutting-edge programming campus 42 Silicon Valley, 6600 Dumbarton Circle, Fremont. 

All meetings are open to the public and writers of all skill levels are welcome. https://cwc-fremontareawriters.org/.


Robert Garfinkle

Saturday, Feb 22

2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

42 Silicon Valley

6600 Dumbarton Cir., Fremont




Rotary kicks off successful international expo

Submitted by Marguerite Padovani


Rotary District 5170 kicked off its first “District International Expo” showcasing a variety of clubs’ international community service projects that focus on Maternal and Child Health, Disease Prevention and Treatment, Water and Sanitation, Basic Education and Literacy, Economic and Community Development, and Peace and Conflict Resolution. The most signficant project of The Rotary Foundation is to eradicate Polio from the world, which is close to completion.


“The District International Expo is a first, and we are proud of our commitments to Rotary’s world service” said Ramesh Hariharan, District Governor 5170. “Our goal is to educate and inform our local communities by providing a forum that depicts the variety of international projects our clubs sign up to do…in countries in desperate need of clean water, lighting, school supplies, food and more,” he added.


The event was held on Saturday February 1 at the University of Silicon Andhra, Milpitas and showcased an incredible opportunity to see the global impacts District 5170 clubs have accomplished. This informative and inspiring event included cultural music and dance performances with African Drums, Vietnamese Songs, Indian Tribal Dance, Spanish Dance and the Firebird Chinese Youth Orchestra.


Kamal Della, Chair of International Services said, “New connections were made, creative ideas were exchanged and commitments were made for creating a lasting change across the globe and in our communities.”


Rotary District 5170, with 59 clubs with 4,000 members covers the Silicon Area from Oakland to Hollister, and Palo Alto to Livermore. Rotary International connects 1.2 million members of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries. For more information, visit www.rotarydistrict5170.org.



San Leandro City Council

February 3, 2020


Public Comments:

  • One resident expressed frustration about smoke from fires at a homeless encampment near her house.
  • One resident called for the council to halt the Monarch Bay development project because he thought it was ill conceived.



  • Presentation by the Family Violence Law Center.


Consent Calendar:

  • Resolution to accept the work performed by American Pavement Systems, Inc. for the annual street sealing 2018-2019 project.
  • Resolution to rescind prior resolution no. 2019-058 and to designate signers on city checks and persons authorized to make fund transfers by telephone and wire.
  • Resolution to rescind prior resolution no. 2019-59 and authorize investment in the Local Agency Investment Fund.
  • Resolution to rescind prior resolution no. 2019-002 SA as well as authorize investment to be deposited in the Local Agency Investment Fund by the city acting on behalf of the Redevelopment Agency of the city of San Leandro.



  • Councilmember Hernandez attended an East Bay Community Energy meeting where they voted to take a supportive stance on AB 1839.
  • Councilmember Lopez attended the Verde Exchange Sustainability conference where land use planning and EV charging stations were among the topics discussed.
  • Councilmember Lee attended a League of California Cities meeting where housing and the demise of AB 50 were discussed.
  • Councilmember Cox attended a Stop Waste meeting where staff was given direction to work on several pilot projects to determine best practices for AB 1884, the new food ware ordinance.
  • Councilmember Aguilar attended a community meeting on housing.
  • Mayor cutter attended an East Bay Dischargers Authority meeting where they decided to reduce the frequency with which committees met to save agency and city funds. Also Mayor Cutter was elected chair of the Alameda County Transportation Commission.


City Council Calendar and Announcements:

  • Mayor Cutter announced she would be missing the February 24th council meeting due to surgery.
  • Councilmember Lopez attended a ceremony to honor veterans January 25th at Pescadero Point.
  • Councilmember Aguilar announced that the Association of Bay Area Governments general assembly meeting would be held February 7th. Also, he will not be able to attend the council meeting on February 18th.
  • Mayor Cutter announced the city council retreat to be held February 11th at the Senior Center.
  • Mayor Cutter announced the passing of Byron Benton.


Councilmember Requests to Schedule Agenda Items

  • Motion to request facilities to vet the flex shuttle service at the city manager’s discretion. Item passed 7-0.
  • Motion to review tobacco retailer license ordinance. Item passed 7-0.
  • Motion to schedule a workshop on homelessness policies and information gathering. Item passed 7-0.
  • Motion to review alcohol sales curfew. Item passed 6-1, Cutter nay.


Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter                           Aye, 1 Nay.

Vice Mayor Corina N. Lopez                         Aye

Victor Aguilar, Jr.                                           Aye

Ed Hernandez                                                 Aye

Benny Lee                                                       Aye

Deborah Cox                                                   Aye

Pete Ballew                                                     Aye



Meet World Science Scholar Shivek Narang

By Alfred Hu


In 2019, Shivek Narang, a local Fremont student, was selected by his school counselor to be a member of the prestigious World Science Scholars program (WSS). This honor is awarded to a select few high school students from across the world with a deep knowledge, interest and exceptional abilities in math and science.


Students were chosen after either being nominated from the World Science Festival network of individuals and organizations, or learning about the program through select media and applying directly. WSS students, also known as cohorts, can then look forward to working and studying with scholars and scientists on challenging ideas and help them explore and expand disciplines such as neuroscience, physics and astrobiology.


Narang, from his very early years, had a great aptitude with mathematics and was constantly challenged to solve difficult math problems. “Ever since I started learning arithmetic, my dad was always challenging me with mental math problems and puzzles. I have always been good with numbers, being able to do mental math quickly and intuitively,” says Narang. This talent with numbers enabled him to finish AP Calculus AB in the 8th grade and enroll in advanced university level math subjects, compete in math tournaments, and attend a mathematics club known as the Stanford Math Circle. Narang believes math is a basic tool for problem solving, saying, “I have always enjoyed problem solving as it allows one to think of new and simplified ways to solve complex situations.”


Besides mathematics, Narang’s other interest lies in biology, especially in the areas of neuroscience and genetics. He notes that mathematical patterns are present in how neurons in the brain connect to transmit information. Powered by his passion for research and to solve problems in medicine and health, Narang hopes to provide benefits for the community through the field of neuroscience. “My mentor provided me a platform and helped me, a curious young teen, to learn in the areas of neuroscience and he told me to promise that I will always give back and help other youngsters,” says Narang.


One instance of giving back to the community through neuroscience came in 8th grade when Narang participated in an independent research project where he explored the possibility of capturing and interpreting brain waves to help paralyzed patients communicate. Another was when Narang interned at Stanford Labs and learned about non-invasive therapeutic Magnetic Resonance Guided Focused Ultrasound, which targets tissues deep in the body to provide a possible cure for Parkinson’s. He also studied how to administer chemotherapeutic drugs to the brain to fight neural cancer.


In 9th grade, Narang worked on machine learning projects to predict the recovery of patients with acute ischemic strokes and to identify tumors in MRI scans of patients whose brains show metastatic tumors. To add to his impressive list of accomplishments, Narang continued to do independent research at home where most recently he worked on a bio-computational project called “Predicting the effect of Novel Missense mutations in Neurological disorders on protein structure & function.”


Due to his keen interest and passion for neuroscience, Narang’s current non-profit initiative is “Our Teen Brains” (https://ourteenbrains.org). The goal of this initiative is to spread awareness about the developing teen brain and explain to teenagers and adults alike that during the teenage years we are more susceptible to peer influences and pressure. Additionally, Narang indicates that during brain development, teenagers are more likely to experience depression and other mental health disorders. He hopes to motivate teenagers with mental health issues to seek help from professionals without shame.


He further points out that the connections in the development of cortical regions, such as the prefrontal cortex of the frontal lobe of the brain, relate to changes in behavioral conditions and mood amongst teenagers. Narang is a strong advocate of school involvement in teen mental health. “I feel understanding teen brains is very important and every high school should teach this as a mandatory education. Towards that goal, I am in the process of connecting with our city council and our congressman to ensure that study of adolescent teen brains and the strong connection to the teens’ mental health is ensured in our local schools,” says Narang.


It is no surprise that after completing the WSS program, Narang intends to pursue a career in neuroscience. He says, “I have been interested in and actively researching into the field of neuroscience for the last four years. My inherent love and curiosity in this field has endlessly pushed me forward as I try to learn more and more about the brain. Through my research, I have learned that many diseases have no reliable medication or cure, and their best hope for survival depends on invasive procedures such as surgery. Because of this, I want to pursue a career in neurosurgery due to the importance of the role of neurosurgeons in patient health and recovery.”



The Artist Within 3: art by Sorensdale Center

Submitted by Jacqui Diaz


“The Artist Within 3” art exhibition is now on display at the Hayward Area Senior Center. This show features original and creative art by adults with special needs participants of Sorensdale Center. The exhibit is on display through March 31 at the Hayward Area Senior Center, near the Japanese Gardens.


The Sorensdale Center is operated by the Hayward Area Recreation and Parks District and provides opportunities for persons with intellectual disabilities (i.e., developmental disabilities) to achieve greater independence. The programming focuses on abilities rather than disabilities, and on a positive sense of self-worth. Individuals are encouraged to make choices and to take more control over their lives. The art program is a positive and enriching experience for both the artists and exhibit viewers.


For more information please call (510) 881-6778 or visit: www.HaywardRec.org.


The Artist Within 3

Now – Tuesday, Mar 31

Monday – Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Hayward Area Senior Center

22325 North Third St., Hayward



Spanish Organ Concert: “Mind and Muse”

Submitted by Old Mission San Jose


Old Mission San Jose hosts “Mind and Muse,” a free organ concert featuring the Rosales Opus 14 organ on February 16th. St. Joseph Parish music director Ronald McKean will highlight the intense and sometimes wild dichotomy of the mind and the muse by performing organ pieces that are intricate and choral-like. Other pieces will be passionate and programmatic. Still others will incorporate both, as in the great work “Ensalada” by Heredia.


Mr. McKean will give a pre-concert talk at 7:00 p.m. to explain how the Rosales organ, one of only three in the U.S., authentically renders the music style of this period. The organ acts as a consort of instruments with one person…conductor, composer and performer, Renaissance style. The ensuing 7:30 p.m. concert will be delivered within the inspiring and acoustically pure Old Mission Church. A reception with wine, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and beverages will follow in the historic setting of the Old Mission museum.


More information is available at http://www.missionsanjose.org/.


Mind and Muse

Sunday, Feb 16

7:30 p.m.

Old Mission San Jose

43300 Mission Blvd., Fremont

(510) 657-1797




Superwomen unite in Chanticleers Theatres’ ‘Steel Magnolias’

By Hugo Vera

Photos by Cathy Bucher


Following the Women’s March in January and release of director Greta Gerwig’s film adaptation of “Little Women,” Chanticleers Theatre’s production of “Steel Magnolias” joins the ranks of much-needed trailblazing female stories represented through the arts.


Based on the 1987 play by Robert Harling and subsequent 1989 film of the same name, director Kendall Tieck’s on-stage adaptation delivers the now timeless story in a manner that is both poignant and refreshing. While the story itself is set in 1980s rural Louisiana, the play’s depiction of a clan of women’s triumphs and struggles over the course of several years is a story that many can relate to in present times.


Telling this iconic story of love, loss and strength is a cast of six talented women who bring each of Harling’s characters to life with their unique theatrical flair. Actors Julia Etzel and Jamie Strube excel in their roles of the mother-daughter duo of M’Lynn and Shelby Eatenton.


Etzel and Strube’s on-stage chemistry mirrors that of Sally Field and Julia Roberts in the film adaptation, but the intimate setting of the Chanticleers Theatre stage highlights the duo’s acting to create the feeling one is watching an actual mother and daughter quip and bicker their way through life.


Juxtaposed to the plight of the Eatentons is the apprenticeship of a naive but well-meaning Annelle (played by Anya Cherniss) and her employer Truvy (Cynthia Lagodzinski). Cherniss’ Annelle displays exceptional character development as audiences will see the once meek and pious hairdresser’s protege evolve into an independent maverick.


Lagodzinzki’s portrayal of Truvy is a stand-alone departure from Dolly Parton’s 1989 role as this on-stage incarnation delivers each quip and bit of gossip in a way that comes off as conversational rather than theatrical. It would also be remiss to gloss over the contributions of Sally Hogarty as Clairee and Eve McElheney Tieck as Ouiser.


Whereas the first two duos of this sextuplet ensemble are bonded by blood or profession, the duo of Clairee and Ouiser provides witty banter that keeps audiences laughing throughout the play’s cheerful interludes while also providing invaluable comic relief amidst themes of sacrifice and regret.


Set designer Jon Gourdine and technical director Steven Baker are to be commended for their impeccable set-design that transforms the cozy confines of Chanticleers Theatre into a living room/salon parlor layout that fully captures what life was like in the rural American south during the 1980s. The set’s lavender-painted walls, framed pictures showing typical 80’s women’s hairdos and well-used props such as the famous issue of People Magazine boasting Sean Connery as 1989’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ are evidence of the production team’s tireless dedication.


Although set in a time and place that most people from the Bay Area haven’t experienced, Chanticleers Theatre’s “Steel Magnolias” is arguably more relevant now that it has ever been. Its story of the sisterly bond between six thick-skinned ladies who can endure immense tragedy and still find ways to cope with it is perfectly set against the backdrop of the current #MeToo and equal pay movements.


Steel Magnolias

Fridays – Sundays, Feb 7 – Mar 1

Fri. & Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m.

Chanticleers Theatre

3683 Quail Ave., Castro Valley

(510) 733-5483




Five-Year Strategic Plan

Submitted by Lauren Sugayan


The City of Union City is starting the year off with a Strategic Plan, which sets city goals through the year 2025. The Strategic Plan contains a renewed mission and vision for the city, along with five multi-year goals that will guide decision-making and resources for the next five years.


The five multi-year goals cover the areas of (A) Financial Stability and Sustainability, (B) Governance and Organization Effectiveness, (C) Economic, Community Development and Public Safety, (D) Environmental Sustainability and Infrastructure, and (E) Communication and Outreach.


The city council identified nine strategies of top priority for the 2020—2022 fiscal years:


  1. Establish a comprehensive fiscal stability and sustainability plan to address the General Fund’s long-term deficit.
  2. Determine the level of reauthorization of the public safety parcel tax and develop an informational plan.
  3. Reduce costs associated with the city’s fire contract with Alameda County.
  4. Align the provision of critical city services and Strategic Plan implementation with current staffing levels.
  5. Establish professional development plans for each employee to optimize staff resources, support their growth and demonstrate commitment to employees’ careers through a mentoring program and cross-training assignments.
  6. Analyze the feasibility of transforming warehouses to attract high-value industrial and commercial uses for the benefit of the community.
  7. Facilitate the build out of the greater Station District Area through the construction of the Quarry Lakes Parkway, upgrades to the BART Station, completion of the pedestrian rail crossing and the sale and development of city-owned land.
  8. Develop a multi-departmental approach to address homelessness through coordination with staff, community organizations and Alameda County.
  9. Conduct outreach and community education about City services, financial resources, areas of cost, and impacts of failed ballot measures.


Many of these strategies are well underway, including reductions in costs associated with the city’s fire contract with Alameda County by way of closing an underutilized fire station and the placement of Measure U, the city’s public safety parcel tax, on the March 3, 2020 Primary Election ballot. If approved by voters, Measure U would renew public safety funding that has been in place for 16 years.


Read the full Strategic Plan at www.unioncity.org/goals or watch a video about the Strategic Plan at https://youtu.be/lcN0Zzg6_90.



Youth Voter Movement

Submitted by Shamsa Rafay


Local teens and adult volunteers organized a voter registration drive for juniors and seniors at Logan High School in Union City on Thursday, February 6. Each period, social science teachers brought their classes to the Performing Arts Center where they heard two presentations. The first, led by League of Women Voters volunteers, highlighted the history of voting, the fascinating history of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, the power of the youth vote and the breadth of voting issues. The second, by Youth Voter Movement (YVM) teen volunteers, led students through the voter registration process.


Each student received a “I Registered to Vote” sticker, a YVM wristband, and a Voter’s Edge bookmark. Students learned about an upcoming Get Out the Vote Rally, organized by local youth, to be held on Sunday, March 1. At the event students will make posters for the March, contact potential voters who have been removed from voter rolls in other states, and then march to City Hall to mail ballots and voter suppression post cards.


For more information on the upcoming rally, go to https://youthvotermovement.org/upcoming-events/.