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Alameda County Fire Department Log
Submitted by ACFD

Wednesday, March 24
• At 7:32 a.m. crews were dispatched to a traffic collision at Doolittle Drive and Marina Boulevard in San Leandro. An injured person was pulled from a vehicle and taken to a hospital for treatment.

• Afternoon crews from Engine 9 and Engine 26 responded to a vehicle fire on San Leandro Boulevard. Upon arrival, firefighters found one vehicle burning and two nearby vehicles beginning to smoke and flame. Crews were able to extinguish the fires quickly. There were no injuries, and the cause of the fires is under investigation.

Airlines return to old ways; Southwest drops boarding change
AP Wire Service
Mar 24

As Americans slowly return to flying, airlines are dropping some of the changes they made early in the pandemic.

Southwest Airlines has gone back to boarding passengers in lots of 30. During the pandemic, it restricted boarding to 10 passengers at a time to create more space between them.

Airline spokeswoman Brandy King said that the change went into effect on March 15. She said that when Southwest started boarding in smaller groups last May, face masks weren't as common, and people were just getting accustomed to social distancing in public places.

Southwest and several other airlines that once blocked middle seats now sell out flights if they can. The last holdout is Delta Air Lines, which has extended empty middle seats through April 30.

A search of Delta flights in May showed middle seats for sale. A Delta spokesman said the airline hasn't decided whether to extend the middle-seat ban, and if it does, passengers in middle seats can be moved to window and aisle seats.

Many airlines are also bringing back snacks and drinks after halting service last year to limit contact between flight attendants and passengers. Some, but not all, have resumed selling alcohol –Southwest is still dry; other airlines vary service by flight length and whether passengers are in first class.

Prepare the popcorn: AMC opening more movie theaters
Mar 18
By Michelle Chapman
AP Business Writer

It's showtime! AMC Theatres says it will have 98% of its U.S. movie theaters open on Friday as a bunch of theaters reopen in California. Even more theaters are expected to open by March 26.

AMC said that more than 40 of its locations in California are reopening beginning on Friday. California is expected to open 52 of its 54 locations by Monday. The company is preparing to resume operations at the rest of its California locations once the proper local approvals are in place. AMC previously opened more than 500 of its theaters elsewhere around the country.

Movie theaters all over shuttered their doors a year ago as the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe. While some movie theaters have opened over the past few months with limited capacity and enhanced safety protocols, the announcement by AMC to open nearly all of its U.S. theaters by month's end means more people will have more locations to choose from if they want to see a film on the big screen.

AMC's announcement is welcomed by movie fans not only because more of them will get to return to AMC's reclining seats and stadium style format, but because it means the company has hopefully put the worst behind it. It was only in June that AMC cautioned it may not survive the coronavirus pandemic, as its theaters closed, and film studios started releasing more movies directly to viewers on streaming services.

But AMC stayed the course, slowly opening its theaters in states over the past several months when it was allowed to and pivoting its business. One of its outside-the-box moves included renting out theaters for private movie screenings to a limited number of people.

More theaters opening will also mean more jobs for people to go to. AMC spokesman Ryan Noonan says the company is welcoming back employees who were working for it prior to theaters being shut down, as well as bringing in new workers. All will be trained on its cleaning and safety protocols, which include social distancing and automatic seat blocking in each theater, mandatory mask wearing, hand sanitizing stations, upgraded air filtration, contactless ticketing and mobile ordering for food and drinks.

AMC's theater reopenings are part of the entertainment industry's gradual road to recovery as states begin loosening restrictions and more people receive vaccinations. Last week California announced that Disneyland will be able to open next month and new public health rules would allow live concerts at stadiums and sports arenas to reopen with limited attendance April 1.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest report says that in February, most of the job gains that occurred were in the leisure and hospitality industries. Employment in those sectors increased by 355,000.

Mayor applauds passage of American Rescue Plan Act
Submitted by City of Union City

The City of Union City expects to receive $13.6 million in one-time funds from the American Rescue Plan Act passed by Congress recently. These funds will provide much needed assistance to help offset significant General Fund revenue shortfalls caused by the shutdown of the local economy, as well as money and resources being spent the last year on providing pandemic relief to Union City residents and businesses.

The city is not certain yet how funds will be allowed to be spent, when and how the city will receive the funds, and if there will be any reporting requirements tied to them. However, these funds are considered one-time funds, which means the City Council will consider an allocation policy that is compliant with the legislation’s requirements and also consistent with the council's adopted budget principles and priorities. The city council expects to meet next month to set policy on this topic.

Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci expresses: “I applaud the efforts of Congress for bringing critical relief to local communities, like Union City, where families and small businesses have been devastated by the pandemic. These one-time relief funds from the federal government will help to put Union City on the right path to economic recovery and help us to ensure we can deliver the core services that residents expect from their city government.”

Tri-City Animal Shelter lobby to reopen
Submitted by City of Fremont

After almost a year of limited public access because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the Tri-City Animal Shelter lobby will reopen to the public on Wednesday, March 31. The lobby will be open 12 noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays for these services:

• Pet licensing
• Intaking found dogs
• Intaking sick and injured cats
• Dog adoptions by appointment
• Returning animals to their owners

To maintain social distancing in the shelter, the area where the animals are housed will continue to be closed to the public. Anyone who has lost a pet should visit the shelter’s website at http://tricityanimalshelter.org/Found to see if it is there. Pet licensing can be done by mail or online at http://www.tricityanimalshelter.org/license.

Anyone who is interested in adopting a dog should read about the shelter’s new appointment -based adoption process on the shelter’s website at https://www.tricityanimalshelter.org/Adopt.

The shelter will continue to schedule appointments for other essential services on days the lobby is closed, including redeeming a lost pet, surrendering a pet, and intaking found animals. Adoptable cats are currently being transferred to adoption partners, also known as rescue groups. The shelter will begin cat adoptions in the late spring or early summer.

The Tri-City Animal Shelter
1950 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont
(510) 790-6640

Something new: An online juried exhibit
Submitted by A.R.T., Inc

A.R.T., Inc. members and other artists can enter a new online show in April, “For Art’s Sake.” It will be juried by Paul Kratter. Enter April 1 – 21 for the exhibit, which runs online April 28 – July 31. Members may enter one piece for free; non-members pay $15. All entrants may enter a second piece for $10. Non-members become A.R.T., Inc. members automatically with their show entry fee.

There will be awards, which the Board must vote on at the April meeting. Two additional awards are the Eupha Thompson award of $100 and the Margaret Robbins Award of $100.

‘For Art’s Sake’ online juried exhibit
Enter online: April 1 – 21

BART Police Log
Submitted by Les Mensinger and BART PD

Sunday, March 21
• At 6:22 p.m. a man identified by police as Andy Hoang, 20, of San Leandro was arrested at Bay Fair station in San Leandro on suspicion of violating a court order. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Monday, March 22
• At 9:52 a.m. a man identified by police as Timothy Knockum, 54, of Oakland was arrested at Hayward station on suspicion of violating a stay away order from BART police. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

• At 12:08 p.m. a man identified by police as Therren Carmical, 42, of San Leandro was arrested at Union City station on a felony warrant for shoplifting issued by the Fremont Police Department. He was booked into Fremont City Jail.

• At 3:10 p.m. a person identified by police as Dayvion Dixon, 22, of Sacramento was arrested at Bay Fair station in San Leandro on suspicion of resisting or obstructing a police officer and booked into Santa Rita Jail.

• At 6:20 p.m. a man identified by police as Joe Gomes, 54, of Oakland was arrested at Castro Valley station on an outside agency warrant. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Wednesday, March 24
• At 12:30 p.m. a man identified by police as Terry Nguyen, 33, of San Leandro was arrested at San Leandro station on a no bail warrant issued by the California Department of Corrections. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

• At 2:10 p.m. a man identified by police as Jermaine Gonzalez, 47, of San Leandro was arrested at San Leandro station on suspicion of arson, parole violation and possession of a baton or stick weapon. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

California State Water Project initial allocations lowered
AP Wire Service

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Mar 24 – The California Department of Water Resources has lowered initial allocations from the State Water Project for the 2021 water year following a second consecutive dry winter.

The department said Tuesday it expects to deliver 5% of requested supplies instead of the initial allocation of 10% announced in December.

“Initial allocations are based on conservative assumptions regarding hydrology and factors such as reservoir storage,” a department statement said. “Allocations are reviewed monthly and may change based on snowpack and runoff information. They are typically finalized by May.”

The department said the 5% allocation amounts to 210,266 acre-feet of water, distributed among the 29 long-term SWP contractors who serve more than 27 million Californians and 750,000 acres (303,521 hectares) of farmland.

The department said the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, operator of the Central Valley Project, is expected to adjust its allocation accordingly.

Letter to the editor
Cherry blossom in the Tri-Cities and beyond

As spring approaches, the number of COVID cases has started to go down significantly. Vaccination has started at various sites across the nation. Alameda County finally has moved to the red tier. Things are reopening and the lockdown order has been lifted in many places. Even though people are getting vaccinated, we still have to take all the necessary precautions so that we protect others as well as ourselves.

Exploring new places has become a little easier as most places have reopened. In the spring months, driving through flower fields and fruit farms are some wheelchair-friendly activities which keep our minds fresh and rejuvenated. Last weekend my family and I went to check out the famous Spring blossoms in Brentwood Farms. We were surprised to see the spectacular colorful blossoms in Alameda county around the Fremont and Pleasanton area. The drive from Fremont to Brentwood is very scenic with breathtaking views of green hills and yellow rocket-covered spring fields.

These are a few places around the East Bay where you can spot some beautiful spring Blossoms if you drive by.

Both the sides of 680 North. From the road, it looks like perfectly manicured golf course lawns on every hillside. Enjoy the bright fields of yellow rocket as you drive by.

Sunol Boulevard and the Raley’s Plaza in Pleasanton has some wonderful white cherry blossoms.

Johnson Drive in Pleasanton has some beautiful shades of white and pink blossoms. There are a few parking lots where you can park for clicking pictures.

The intersections of Stoneridge and Hopyard, and Willow Road with Gibraltar Drive and Inglewood Drive, all in Pleasanton, have clusters of white blossoms. Enjoy walking on the white carpet.

Near the intersection of Hacienda and Dublin Boulevard in Pleasanton, yellow rockets are at their peak.

Owens Drive at Oracle Pleasanton was the most spectacular, with bright pink blossoms as far as our eyes could see.

The intersection of Hancock and E16th in Hayward has bright fields of yellow rockets.
Some parts of Quarry, Quarry lake road, Elizabeth Park, and Blacow Road in Fremont are very colorful with mixed hues of pinks, yellows, and whites.

Apart from these, there are other places in the South and North Bay where you can experience spring blossoms. And if you have some time you can make a quick trip to Brentwood, Modesto, and Fresno which have some famous colorful blossom trails.

Wheelchair accessibility
All the sites mentioned here can be easily seen by driving around. Most of these places are ADA compliant and are fully accessible on wheelchairs or mobility scooters. For most of the sites, you can just park your car and feast your eyes on nature’s colorful creation. Most of the spots are easily reachable or close to an accessible parking spot.

Twesha Ghosh

City Council to Host City Manager Recruitment Town Hall Meeting
Submitted by City of San Leandro

San Leandro Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter and the City Council invite the public’s participation in the recruitment of our community’s next City Manager. The City Manager’s role is to implement public policies adopted by the City Council and oversee the daily operations of city government. Applications from across the country have been received, and the City Council is in the process of narrowing down the field to a few finalists. The public is encouraged to attend a Town Hall style meeting to meet the final candidates.

“Hiring the City Manager is possibly the most important decision the City Council will make, and community engagement is a critical component of the Council's selection process,” stated Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter. “The Town Hall is an opportunity for our community to be involved in the hiring process and get to know the candidates.”

The City's executive recruiting consultants, CPS HR Consulting, will facilitate the live event via Zoom and is now seeking questions from the public to ask of the candidates. The public is encouraged to submit suggested questions for the candidates by Wednesday, March 31. CPS HR will compile the submitted questions and may combine some questions according to common themes and issues. The candidates’ biographies will be made available on the City's website before the event.

Following the Town Hall, the public can email their feedback to CPS HR Consulting at anelson@cpshr.us, which will be communicated to the City Council for their consideration.

The City Council is committed to public engagement and transparency. Public participation and feedback in this process will be critical for the next City Manager to be successful. We look forward to receiving input from the community on our search for our next City Manager.

For the Zoom link, and to submit questions the candidates, go to the City of San Leandro website at https://www.sanleandro.org/ and click the heading “City Council to Host City Manager Recruitment Town Hall Meeting” under “Latest News.”

Town Hall to meet the City Manager final candidates
Saturday, Apr 3
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Via Zoom
Deadline to submit questions: Wednesday, Mar 31


The article “Environmental nonprofit hopes to restore biodiversity in the Bay Area” (March 23) states the organization, Beyond Terra, was founded by Washington High School Juniors. The founders are juniors at American High School. We apologize for any confusion caused.

Hayward officials condemn racism, violence
Submitted by City of Hayward

At its March 23 meeting the Hayward City Council unanimously adopted a resolution denouncing racism, xenophobia and violence against Asian American and Pacific Islander people and communities.

The resolution denounces the stigmatization, racism, xenophobia and violence perpetrated against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond and reaffirms the city’s commitment to racial equity and providing a safe environment for all Hayward community members.

Additionally, the resolution notes that rising fear and rampant hate-filled political rhetoric during the pandemic has provoked an increase in violence, harassment and acts of racism against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) people and communities.

Information compiled by the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center documented 2,808 incidents of discrimination in 2020, over 700 of which occurred in the San Francisco Bay Area. In the last several months, reports and video recordings have surfaced showing appalling acts of assault, theft, and gun violence committed against AAPI community members, resulting in serious injury or death.

The resolution responds to calls for support and solidarity from AAPI communities nationwide, including members of the AAPI communities comprising nearly 30% of the City of Hayward population; affirms the city’s dedication to providing safety and equity to communities of color; and condemns these heinous attacks on AAPI people here and anywhere.

Rapid COVID-19 antigen tests to help high-needs schools safely reopen
Submitted by Governor's Press Office

On March 18, Governor Gavin Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced a partnership between California COVID-19 Testing Task Force and California Department of Education. This partnership will help deploy up to three million rapid COVID-19 antigen tests at no cost to support the safe return to in-person learning for staff and students in some of the state’s most disadvantaged school districts.

“Every day, more and more school districts are opening for in-person instruction or announcing plans to reopen,” said Newsom. “By deploying these rapid tests, California is adding another tool in the toolbox to support schools as they continue on the path to reopen as safely and quickly as possible.”

The tests will be delivered to school districts in regions hardest hit by the pandemic and serve greater numbers of high-risk students and families, such as households in poverty, farmworkers, and communities of color, as part of an expansion of an existing pilot program for antigen testing in schools.

The state superintendent and California Department of Education (CDE) are assisting with the coordination and outreach to high-need school districts using the Healthy Places Index, a tool created by the Public Health Alliance of Southern California that uses census-tract demographic data to identify communities that are under-resourced, highly impacted by COVID-19, and are low-income, and Black and Latino populations.

The credit card-sized rapid antigen tests can be administered by any trained member of the school staff and can provide results in just 15 minutes. The California COVID-19 Testing Taskforce will provide the required training and oversight to participating K-12 schools.

“It’s imperative we get these tests – another valuable tool among many options to enable a safe return of children to the classroom – into the hands of those who may lack the access to testing or medical care,” said Thurmond. “Being able to quickly identify who is positive, and who is not, will be critically important for day-to-day operations on a school campus, and will help protect not only students, but teachers and support staff.”

California Legislature OKs expansion of paid sick leave
By Adam Beam
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Mar 18 – The California Legislature on Thursday voted to expand paid sick leave for about 10.4 million workers, sending a bill to Gov. Gavin Newsom that mandates up to two weeks of paid time off for things like having coronavirus symptoms, scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine or caring for a child who is doing school at home.

The bill, if it is signed into law, applies to companies with at least 25 employees. The rules would expire on Sept. 30 but are retroactive to Jan. 1. Some companies would have to pay their workers for time off they have already taken.

But many companies can get that money back from the federal government. The federal government offers companies a payroll tax credit of up to $511 per day for each employee that takes the paid sick leave. The tax credit is enough to cover workers who make $60 an hour or less, according to Democratic state Sen. Nancy Skinner, the bill's primary author.

But it only applies to companies with more than 500 employees.

“The absolutely best way to contain the spread (of the virus), beyond the fact of wearing masks as we are and keeping our distance, is to ensure people who have COVID or who are asymptomatic with COVID are not going to work,” Skinner said.

While California has gotten billions of dollars in federal coronavirus aid in the past year, the state's Democratic-controlled Legislature has been adding to that in recent weeks. State lawmakers have OK'd more than $14.2 billion in aid for businesses, schools and individuals while redirecting some federal stimulus dollars to pay off unpaid rent for struggling tenants.

The money has come from a significant state surplus, estimated at about $15 billion, which will soon be augmented by an another $26 billion in federal aid.

But California's small businesses have not fared as well while weathering multiple government-ordered shutdowns throughout the ups and downs of the pandemic. Small business revenue is down 29% since January of 2020, while the number of small businesses open has fallen by more than 34%, according to data from Opportunity Insights, an economic tracker based at Harvard University.

“At a time when California is flush with cash, policymakers should not ask employers to become the state's social safety net,” said Jennifer Barrera, executive vice president of the California Chamber of Commerce, who opposed the bill.

Businesses were particularly concerned about the rules applying retroactively, with the Chamber of Commerce calling it “an administrative nightmare” for employers who did not keep track of the reasons why an employee took time off from work.

“This is a horrible, horrible piece of legislation,” said Sen. Shannon Grove, a Republican from Bakersfield.

California has been generous to businesses lately, approving more than $2 billion in grants for small businesses that don't have to be paid back. They've also waived millions of dollars in licensing fees for businesses. And lawmakers are still negotiating a bill that would offer businesses $2.3 billion in tax breaks.

Still, the bill was a tough vote for some moderate Democrats seeking a balance between helping small business owners and the people they employ.

“To add more burdens to small businesses, this is another big blow right now and so I was torn on this,” said Sen. Dave Min, a Democrat from Irvine who voted for the bill. “On the other hand, it is good policy. We don't want sick workers coming into work or facing that tough decision between missing a paycheck and losing their jobs.”

Other Democrats lamented the limitations of the bill. Sen. Maria Elena Durazo said the bill wouldn't apply to about 4 million workers because they work for companies with fewer than 25 employees. State Employment Development Department data shows about 90% of employers have less than 20 employees, she said.

“Essential workers are being left out,” she said.

Companies with fewer than 25 employees can offer the paid leave and claim the federal tax credit. But they would not be required to do so under the bill.

Newsom has not said whether he will sign the bill into law. But he signed a similar law last year that expired on Dec. 31.

State Expands Vaccine Eligibility
Submitted by Governor’s Press Office

With supply of vaccines expected to significantly increase in the coming weeks, the state is expanding vaccine eligibility to more Californians. Starting April 1, individuals aged 50+ will be eligible to make an appointment, and individuals 16+ will be eligible to make an appointment to be vaccinated starting on April 15.

“With vaccine supply increasing and by expanding eligibility to more Californians, the light at the end of the tunnel continues to get brighter,” said Governor Newsom.

Based on the current estimates, California expects to be allocated approximately 2.5 million first and second doses per week in the first half of April, and more than 3 million doses in the second half of April.

“We are even closer to putting this pandemic behind us with today’s announcement and with vaccine supplies expected to increase dramatically in the months ahead,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “However, we are not there yet. It will take time to vaccinate all eligible Californians. During this time, we must not let our guard down. It is important that we remain vigilant, continue to wear masks and follow public health guidance.”
Cross Country coaches express optimism
Submitted by Mike Heightchew

The coaching staffs of Irvington and Washington high schools (Fremont) are both optimistic about the season ahead. With just three tournaments in the season, the young athletes are showing promise and practicing every day just as they would in a regular season. The result is good course times as they competed March 26th on a 3-mile course of quick turns and uphill slopes.

Support adults with disabilities—through fashion!
By Andrew Cavette

The San Leandro-based organization, Davis Street, will host a virtual fashion show fundraiser to support their developmental disabilities program on Wednesday, April 7. Local artists, adults served by this program, will show off handmade clothing and jewelry, as well as paintings and mosaic work.

The virtual event is free to watch and will include interviews with the artists about their craft. Artist works will be available to the public through a silent auction. Proceeds go to the program and the artists themselves.

Davis Street serves as a safety net organization for many residents in both Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Their services, for families and seniors-in-need, include a health clinic, childcare facility, food pantry, and clothing program. School supply assistance is available as well as a Bikes-For-Tykes program, housing resources and information, and a developmental disabilities program hosting the fashion show.

Previously, the developmental disabilities program hosted a similar show prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and wanted to repeat the experience. Kali Sherman, development and marketing specialist for Davis Street said, “All the artists were the models. They loved it, so we wanted to try and do it virtually this year.”

Normally, the art program is in a classroom setting with teachers and staff who are able to assist the artists with details. This year is a bit different. “These are big projects for the artist,” Sherman said. “There have been a lot of changes with helping them virtually.”

Sherman started working at Davis Street when the last fashion show was produced. She was impressed, even from the sidelines. “The artists are amazing,” Sherman said. “One thing that stuck with me, a part of the reason I’m still here today, was seeing all of their faces. They were so happy seeing the outcome of all of their hard work.”

Sherman owns many mosaic pieces from Davis Street artists and has them hanging in her home. This year, Sherman is in charge of this fashion show. “I’m excited. I am really happy that I get to interview (the artists) about their experiences,” Sherman said.

Many people working for organizations that deal with poverty wish their jobs were not needed; Sherman feels the same way. “The ideal would be that everyone would be living (independently) and would not have these issues of poverty and hunger. If the world was a perfect place, Davis Street wouldn’t be here, but it isn’t perfect and people need help.”

In addition to the fashion show and silent auction – where original work will be offered – Davis Street is selling t-shirt prints of watercolor paintings by their artists.

The Davis Street Virtual Fashion Show Fundraiser can be livestreamed on April 7 via their website: http://davisstreet.org. A link to register for the silent auction can also be found on the website.

Davis Street Virtual Fashion Show
Wednesday, Apr 7
6 p.m.
Free to join – check out the silent auction

Remodeling is Team Effort
By Anna Jacoby

Until you have undergone a major remodel yourself, it is hard to fathom just how much of a team effort it really is. You may not realize how many people it takes to get the project done, even when it is a simple bath remodel.

Some of the people involved are in the forefront – those are the ones that arrive at your house to run wires, pound nails, and install tile. Others, however, are behind the scenes, providing skills and knowledge that might go unnoticed. With 21 years in business, and countless remodel projects under my belt, (including a few at my own house) I would like to use this column to call attention to all the people involved in making my two-dimensional designs on paper turn into reality.

Architects and Engineers
Without a firm plan, there can be no construction. As the designer, I create the overall concept and select the materials, but since I am not an architect or an engineer, I rely on these folks for the detailed structural plans. With their knowledge, we can add or remove walls, expand and move doorways and windows, and raise ceilings. In one recent project, my design called for raising the floor in two step-down rooms, removing two walls to create an open floor plan, and moving a window several feet to make room for a built-in bar. The structural engineer adapted my concept drawings into the working documents needed for permitting and construction.

General Contractors
The key to a successful remodel is the general contractor, who wears several hats during the project. He (most contractors are men, but there are some women out there!) must coordinate with all the subcontractors, keep the project progressing on schedule; navigate the permit and inspection process; procure materials; make countless pickups and deliveries to make sure the crew has what they need; often participate in the hands-on work himself; and keep in good communication with me, as the designer, and of course the clients.

My goodness, there are so many people to acknowledge in this category! Since no one person can possibly have all the skills and talent necessary to perform every task required for a remodel, we rely on a trusted pool of tradespeople to get the work done: framers, roofers, concrete pourers, sheet-rockers, electricians, plumbers, painters, cabinet makers; installers of flooring, tile, countertops, shower glass, windows and window coverings, doors, fireplaces, staircases; and many others. You would be amazed at how many people it takes for a successful project. I am continuously learning from these folks, as they provide important technical knowledge and are the ones who quite literally make my designs a reality.

I know many things about many different types of materials, but I certainly do not know everything. For specific knowledge about certain products—such as appliances, flooring, and plumbing fixtures, just to name a few—I rely on experienced, professional salespeople to help answer questions and offer advice on what is best to use in a particular application. For those of you undertaking your own projects, I encourage you to seek out the knowledge and advice of experienced salespeople. Great customer service is worth a fortune.

It is extremely rewarding to see my designs come to life. So many people make important contributions to the completed project. It is with an incredible amount of gratitude that I offer my heartfelt thanks to “The Team.”

Police agencies join county diversion program
Submitted by Hayward PD

Hayward Police Department (HPD) officials recently announced that they are among the first agencies participating in a new Law Enforcement Diversion Program in Alameda County.

Under the pilot program, announced in February by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, adults who are contacted by police for low level offenses and have mental health or substance abuse issues will be offered an alternative to jail. The Community Assessment, Referral and Engagement Services (CARES) Navigation Center will be staffed with a team of trained professionals to help support the person.

In addition to HPD, other agencies involved in the pilot program include the Fremont Police Department, San Leandro Police Department and Oakland Police Department. During the first phase of the program, officers will receive extra training in de-escalation and crisis negotiation techniques, mental health service updates, and drug addiction rehabilitation services, as well as information on the District Attorney Collaboration with Diversion Program.

According to the DA’s office, at the core of the program is a Navigation Team comprised of a Mental Health Deputy District Attorney, Peer Support Specialist and Mental Health Clinician, who will meet and confer with people referred to the program by police. They will set an appropriate course of action and risk reduction plan for the person. The level of supervision and engagement will include consideration of both the severity of illness as well as the severity of the person’s conduct.

The DA’s office has selected La Familia Counseling Service as its partner and mental health/substance abuse treatment provider. La Familia Counseling Center provides outpatient mental health and substance abuse services, as well as education and employment services. “La Familia has been a strong partner with my office in our many efforts to move people away from crime by addressing the underlying needs and issues individuals have that led them into the criminal justice system,” O’Malley said.

The initiative, commonly referred to as the “3-D Program” will likely expand to all police agencies in Alameda County, according to officials from the DA’s office. For more information about the program, visit the Alameda County District Attorney’s website at https://www.alcoda.org.

Laid-off workers pivot to new careers
By Rob Klindt
Photos courtesy of Evolve Manufacturing Technologies

While COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have left scores of people displaced and unemployed, Reginald Battle remains optimistic. He is one of 21 people chosen for a new Earn and Learn Fremont (ELF) program where displaced workers are given an opportunity to pivot their careers into manufacturing jobs.

“I’ve been a cook for a long time; it’s easy for me, but the pay is not that great,” Battle, 55, said. He grew up in Richmond, but came to Fremont with the dream of making a new start. “I started homeless; I slept on the sidewalk,” Battle recounted, but he remained determined.

Battle eventually connected with human service agencies and city programs which helped him find housing and a restaurant job, and eventually connected him to ELF where he helps build COVID-19 test kits at Evolve Manufacturing Technologies, a medical device manufacturing company in Fremont. “I’ve been struggling, but now that I’ve got this job it’s made things a lot easier,” he said. “I’m just thankful for this program giving me an opportunity to better myself and to be a part of something.”

Christina Briggs, City of Fremont Deputy City Manager, said people like Battle are the ones ELF was created to help. “We have been observing the large number of people impacted by the pandemic and what a tragedy it is,” she said.

Briggs said that about 900 manufacturing companies – many with middle-wage jobs – continued to operate in Fremont during the pandemic shutdown as they were considered essential businesses. “They had great hiring needs even through the pandemic,” Briggs explained. “The goal was to figure out the right formula for connecting displaced workers — particularly in the service sector — with the manufacturing opportunities.” The result, she said, would support a dire need in the community while also developing a talent pipeline for companies. That was the genesis of the ELF program, which kicked off in early March 2021.

Matt Pawluk, Evolve’s Senior Director of Operations, is enthusiastic about the program and working in close partnership with the City of Fremont. “We saw everyone getting laid off, and here we were hiring,” he said. Evolve reached out to the city to see if they had any labor to pull from and that’s what got the wheels turning on the ELF partnership. “We could use this as an opportunity to help people that wouldn’t normally be looking for a manufacturing job.”

Tina Kapoor, City of Fremont Economic Development Manager, said ELF is open to workers 18 and older who are eligible for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a federal program that helps displaced or low-income job seekers find employment. “We are very much focused on that population so we can continue to build a more diverse talent pipeline for advanced manufacturers.”

Participant groups, called cohorts, get an eight-week paid work experience program along with a training component with a local company. “That’s the shared vision we came up with to introduce displaced workers to better paying careers leading to economic self-sufficiency,” Kapoor said. The program is made possible with partnerships from various agencies including Ohlone College, Alameda County Workforce Development Board, Work to Future, and Evolve Manufacturing Technologies in conjunction with the City of Fremont Family Resource Center.

Cohort workers were chosen from the hospitality and retail sectors, which were hit hard by cutbacks during the pandemic shutdown. The workers had no skills or background in manufacturing. “Ohlone College will be able to provide customized virtual training,” Kapoor explained.

The inaugural cohort started March 5 at Evolve, which stepped up manufacturing of COVID-19 test kits, ventilators and related items during the past year, resulting in the need for about 100 new workers. ELF workers at the company earn $18 per hour.

The ELF group is about equally mixed between men and women, according to Matt Pawluk, Evolve’s Senior Director of Operations. After completing the program, participants may be offered a full-time job at Evolve, choose to join another manufacturing company, or continue their education at Ohlone College. In addition, they receive three units of college credit and a specialized Certificate of Competency. If they choose to continue their education at Ohlone, participants can apply the credits toward the college’s Smart Manufacturing Technology Program.

ELF cohort worker Charleen Elliott, 31, was laid off from an event planning, sales and booking job in May 2020. She was referred to ELF by a friend who works for the City of Fremont. “I like it a lot,” the Fremont resident said, adding that she is part of the inspection team for the final production part of quality control. “It’s definitely something new; I’ve never been part of an assembly line before.”

While there are no firm plans yet to put together another cohort, Kapoor is optimistic: “We are exploring opportunities to bring in additional employers so we can bring more people into manufacturing jobs.” The program is open to people and employers from the Tri-City area and beyond.

Battle said the ELF program has been a great experience and very rewarding. “This program is truly worth it…the skills you learn you can take anywhere.”

Anyone interested in participating in an upcoming session of the Earn and Learn Fremont Program can add their name to an interest form at https://tinyurl.com/Earn-Learn1. For details about the ELF program or the Smart Manufacturing Technology Program at Ohlone College, email Dr. Rose-Margaret Ekeng-Itua at ritua@ohlone.edu. Interested individuals and employers can also email the City of Fremont Economic Development Department directly at econdev@fremont.gov.

Online earth month challenge to replace community fair
Submitted by City of Hayward

In lieu of Hayward’s Annual Citywide Clean-up and Community Fair, the City invites residents to celebrate Earth Day for the whole month of April at home with its first-ever Earth Month Challenge.

Residents who participate in the Challenge will receive a voucher for either food or a drink at a local Hayward establishment and will be entered into a raffle to win one of three grand prize packages, which each include a $100 pre-paid Visa gift card and a zero-waste kit valued at $100.
The Challenge is designed to encourage residents to reduce their carbon footprint throughout the month of April with a checklist of activities focused on waste reduction, beautification, energy, transportation, water, and activism. For each activity that residents complete or pledge to complete during the month of April, they will earn points. To be eligible to receive a prize, participants must complete enough activities to earn at least 6 points.

Activities include composting kitchen scraps, upgrading your EBCE electricity service to Renewable 100, biking or walking to a destination instead of using a car, sharing the Earth Month Challenge with a friend, and picking up litter in your neighborhood. For those interested in picking up litter, the City’s Keep Hayward Clean & Green Taskforce will facilitate contactless drop off of litter pick-up supplies to your door, including gloves and grabbers.

The Earth Month Challenge form and more details can be found at https://hayward-ca.gov/content/earth-month-challenge. If you have any questions, please contact City of Hayward Sustainability Specialist, Nicole Grucky, at nicole.grucky@hayward-ca.gov.

Park It
By Ned MacKay

East Bay Regional Park District’s Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol, which has been on hold for a year because of COVID-19 concerns, will be back on trails as of April 1. The patrol is administered by the park district’s public safety department. Full disclosure: I am a member.

There are five patrol groups: mounted patrol, bicycle patrol, hiking patrol, companion dog patrol, and marine safety unit. Members may also join the park district’s Search and Rescue (SAR) unit. The companion dog patrol consists of hiking patrol members accompanied by their personal pets. The sense is that park visitors with dogs will respond more positively to patrollers who also have dogs during interactions about dog rules in the parks.

Although the patrol is part of the police department, patrollers are not sworn police officers. Our role is to offer information and assistance, report on trail status, and advise district staff of hazardous conditions or anything else requiring action.

We also sometimes help at special events and staff information tables at park trailheads. In case of an emergency, we can summon help through a two-way radio or cellphone. In a diplomatic way, we advise park visitors of park rules and trail courtesy. The mantra is “observe, report, educate.” Patrollers inform; they do not enforce.

You can recognize us by our tan polo shirts and green ball caps, both with the park district insignia on the front. Following COVID-19 protocols, we will be always wearing masks and maintaining six feet of social distance.

I think of patrollers as mobile information sources. We can provide directions, hand out park maps, and generally help to make everyone’s park visit a pleasant experience. I like to think that we sometimes resolve problems before they become emergencies, such as preventing people from becoming lost.

Our website is www.parkpatrol.org. So, if you see us on the trails, say hello. We are friendly and always glad to share information.

The park district and Regional Parks Foundation are sponsoring a series of one-hour, online sessions on the theme of Multicultural Wellness and Fitness. All sessions are accessible on Zoom via the park district’s website, www.ebparks.org.

A virtual fitness program will take place from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 1, and another from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 3, both led by David Wei. And there is a wellness and fitness series underway from now through Wednesday, May 12. The link to the full schedule is www.ebparks.org/activities/wellness_and_fitness_programs.htm.

Under the heading of “Digital Learning,” the park district website offers a wide variety of virtual experiences in natural history. There are virtual tours of the visitor centers, which the district plans to reopen as soon as health concerns make it safe to do so. There are also naturalist-produced videos on a variety of topics, geared for all ages. You can check out the videos, then take your kids out for a self-guided nature walk.

We will all look forward to the time when the district can resume more normal in-person nature programs and special events. Meanwhile, the parks and trails are open for hiking and riding. Please remember to maintain social distancing and bring masks to wear on narrow trails and other locations where six feet of separation is difficult.

Eye of the Tiger

The highly successful Rocky Balboa film franchise starred Sylvester Stallone as a boxer with talent and stamina, but little self-direction. With help from family, friends and a fortuitous opportunity, Rocky is able to rise above his circumstance but faces a difficult and tumultuous path to achieve sustained success. Beginning with his conversion from loan shark debt collector to championship boxer in the 1976 film, Rocky is introduced as a man with little self-respect or appreciation for his potential. His lackadaisical attitude dooms him to menial labor until a dramatic turn of events unleashes a latent will to excel.

In the third of the series of Rocky films (eight sequels), released in 1982, Balboa has reached the pinnacle of his profession but squandered it, becoming physically and emotionally lost in a blizzard of adulation and material rewards. Theme music is transformed from inspirational to challenging and combative. Rocky must claw his way back from self-destruction to regain the energy, determination and will to succeed. His former opponent – Apollo Creed – helps Rocky regain the self-assurance and confidence to conquer a hungry, angry and destructive boxer, Clubber Lang, who denigrates and dominates all who oppose him. To the backdrop of a stirring soundtrack and lyrics by Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik, sung by the band Survivor, Creed conjures the “Eye of the Tiger” as a symbol of “just a man and his will to survive” who is “rising up to the challenge of our rival.”

Even though faced with significant tribulations, Rocky holds no grudges but is forced to accept and face the consequences of his own failures. This is not an easy task; each challenge faced leads to additional obstacles for himself and his support network. Rocky’s character is constantly tested as the audience is asked to root for him as a man fighting his own flaws as much as external forces. The juxtaposition of boxing brutality with a kind, gentle soul sends a message of strength without reliance on cruelty and vilification.

Too often, self-respect, strength and value are confused and equated with a “zero sum” situation. This theory proposes that resources are finite; scales of win and loss must always balance. All is quantified exactly without modification or elasticity. Therefore, if one person gains something, others must lose an equal amount. When applied to natural resources, the supposition is that current estimates are accurate and inflexible. The concept strains credulity, especially in the emotional realm of attitudes and feelings.

Examples of excellence often reveal core characteristics of strength, determination and focus, harnessed by positive core principles. A problem arises when negative emotions and impulses override a basic standard of decency including the timeless biblical “Golden Rule” adage, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Luke 6:31; Matthew 7:12). In opposition to this basic standard of decent behavior, the seven deadly sins – pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth – are considered aberrant and destructive. Modern times and context have not fundamentally changed societal concerns although targets of bad behavior may shift. Whether race, religion, ethnicity, xenophobia or a combination of factors, there is a tendency to avoid self-examination, transferring the focus of blame to a ubiquitous “others.” The eye of the tiger is clouded by anger and hatred rather than determination to overcome life’s challenges. It took Rocky many bouts with success and failure to become a true champion. Where are we in that cycle?

AB 1238 bill proposes to decriminalize jaywalking
Submitted by Miranda Nannette

Jaywalking is arbitrarily enforced throughout California. When it is cited, tickets are disproportionately given to people of color, and sometimes, these encounters with police turn life-threatening. To reform this unfair system, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) has introduced AB 1238, The Freedom To Walk Act, which would decriminalize jaywalking.

“Whether it’s someone’s life or the hundreds of dollars in fines, the cost is too much for a relatively minor infraction,” says Ting. “It’s time to reconsider how we use our law enforcement resources and whether our jaywalking laws really do protect pedestrians.”

The Freedom To Walk Act promotes the fair and equitable use of roadways by:
• Legalizing crossings, when safe, outside of a crosswalk or against a traffic light
• Stopping the undue financial burden on low-income violators, as fines can total hundreds of dollars, if not more, because of added fees tacked on by the court, county, city, and other jurisdictions
• Preventing police from using jaywalking as a pretext to stop Black and Brown people, especially since under-resourced neighborhoods often lack adequate crossing infrastructure

Jaywalking laws were enacted in the 1930s by the emerging auto industry, which saw the number of deadly car accidents skyrocket in the prior decade and wanted to shift the blame from drivers to pedestrians. Over the years, street designs primarily considered the needs of drivers, failing to account for people who are not in cars.

California has already begun making changes. Up until 2018, it was illegal for people to cross the street at a traffic light when the pedestrian countdown meter began. AB 1238 would go further, repealing the state’s remaining jaywalking laws. California is expected to begin debate on AB 1238 soon during its initial committee hearing.

Emerging Innovators summer program
Submitted by Children’s Innovation Center

The Emerging Innovators Research Program focuses on equipping High School students with the knowledge and skills needed to develop and design human-centric solutions. As part of the course, they will write their conceptual scientific solutions in the form of a university level research article to be published in Emerging Innovators’ Online Science Journal.

This four-week program is for rising 9th – 12th graders. The default is in person, but we will be able to switch to online for the same schedule if needed based on the evolving pandemic situation.

Emerging Innovators summer program
Session 1: Jun 14 – Jul 9
Session 2: Jul 12 – Aug 6
Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Children’s Innovation Center
39155 Cedar Blvd., Newark
(510) 894-1497

Emerging Innovators Program

Officer-involved shooting leaves armed suspect dead
Submitted by California Highway Patrol

A Fremont Police Department (FPD) officer was involved in a shooting that left an armed robbery suspect dead on Thursday, March 24 along State Route 84 near Ardenwood Boulevard in Fremont.

According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), which is investigating the 2:48 p.m. incident, officers were pursuing a vehicle on eastbound SR-84. The vehicle had been reported stolen and was associated with an armed robbery. The male suspect, who was in possession of a firearm at the time of the incident, sustained fatal injuries after stopping on the freeway and exiting the vehicle.

All lanes of eastbound traffic were closed until just before 10:00 p.m. while CHP investigators were on the scene. Because of the location of the shooting, the CHP is the lead investigating agency but is working with FPD and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, who are each conducting concurrent independent investigations. The identity of the suspect was not immediately released.

Fremont: Most Caring City in California
Submitted by City of Fremont

City of Fremont was named the most caring city in California and the fourth most caring city in the United States, according to a December 2020 WalletHub study. To determine the most caring cities in America, WalletHub compared the 100 most populated cities across three key dimensions: caring for the community, caring for the vulnerable, and caring in the workforce. Fremont ranked second overall in the nation in the Caring for the Vulnerable category.

“We are always proud of the incredible contributions from our community and city staff, and to be recognized at a state and national level for the amount of care, generosity, and selflessness Fremont possesses is a true testament of our city’s character, especially as we continue to navigate the impacts of COVID-19 within our community,” Mayor Lily Mei said. “Moving Fremont Forward we must continue this community caring and kindness as Fremont is stronger together!”

Fremont Unified Board Meeting Highlights
Submitted Brian Killgore

At its March 24 meeting, the Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) Board of Education:

• Received Information and Provided Direction for the Spanish Dual Immersion (SDI) Program – At its February 10 meeting, the board received recommendations for the district’s Spanish Dual Immersion program. At the meeting, the board approved to move the Blacow Elementary strand to two sites – Grimmer and Vallejo Mill Elementary Schools. This was a staff recommendation with the goal of full unification of all program strands at one site. Since the board action, the SDI community has shared concerns. Staff has met with members of the SDI community and teachers, along with two SDI Task Force members who have shared concerns. Per the Board of Education's direction, the board will revisit the decision. Board votes 5-0 to pause its previous decision for a year, reconvene Task Force, engage entire community at all sites and bring item forward at a future Board meeting.

• Received Future Return to In-Person Instruction Update – Staff presented information to the Board of Education regarding the progress toward a return to campus, including Learning Hubs, updated guidance from local and state public health agencies, and new guidelines related to youth sports. The staff also presented information regarding current progress towards providing staff access to the vaccine, and progress toward returning FUSD staff and students to campus with a hybrid model of instruction aligned with state and local mandates. Staff also brought the previously published FUSD COVID-19 Safety Plan for approval in accordance with AB 86. Board votes 5-0 to approve COVID-19 Safety Plan and to allow no more than two spectators per student to attend sporting events with physical distancing, and to adopt newly revised regulations to include those applicable for afterschool recreational activities.

• Received Information and Provided Direction on Summer School Planning –FUSD has focused summer school to two programs: Credit Recovery for high school students and Extended School Year (ESY) for students within the Special Education program and as identified within the Individualized Learning Plan (IEP). The presentation included an overview of student progress along with staff recommendations to offer a summer Math Academy for elementary and Junior High School levels. With the passing of AB/SB 86, FUSD is projected to receive funds to target learning loss.

Google gets into sleep surveillance with new Nest Hub screen
By Michael Liedtke
AP Technology Writer

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP), Mar 16 – Google's next internet-connected home device will test whether consumers trust the company enough to let it snoop on their sleep.

New sleep-sensing technology will be a key feature on Google's latest version of its Nest Hub, a 7-inch smart screen unveiled Tuesday.

But the latest Nest Hub can also perform a new trick. If you allow it, the device will also monitor your sleeping patterns from your bedside, negating the need to wear a fitness device or any other potentially bothersome gadget in bed. The feature, which Google intends to offer for free through at least this year, relies on a new chip Google calls Soli, which uses radar to detect motion, including the depth of a person's breathing.

The $100 Nest Hub can display pictures and video in addition to fielding questions and handling household task through Google's voice-activated assistant. It doesn't feature a camera.

The Nest Hub is supposed to generate weekly sleep reports with easy-to-understand breakdowns on the length and quality of sleep, how frequently the user gets up at night and snoring and coughing frequency, along with tips developed in consultation with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Google says it honed the technology by studying 15,000 sleeping people over a combined 110,000 nights.

That kind of help may sound appealing to the millions of people who have trouble sleeping. But the feature may also raise privacy concerns – especially given Google's long history of online surveillance to collect personal details such as interests, habits and whereabouts to help sell the digital ads that generate most of its revenue.

The company may also eventually tweak the feature to work with its FitBit line of fitness devices, which Google took over in January. That $2.1 billion purchase has raised concerns that Google could use those gadgets to peer more deeply into people's personal health.

Google is emphasizing the privacy protections built into the sleep sensing feature. For starters, users will have to turn it on themselves. The Nest Hub will also have controls that Google says will make it clear when sleep tracking is on and to make it easy to delete data from the device.

All audio will be kept on the device, meaning it won't be sent to Google's data centers, although other sleep information will be provided to generate the analysis and reports. None of the information collected through the sleep sensing feature will be used to sell ads, said Ashton Udall, Google Nest's senior product manager.

Local communities to receive $50M to mitigate public safety power shutoffs
Submitted by Governor's Press Office

Governor Gavin Newsom has announced the distribution of an additional $50 million in Community Power Resiliency grants through the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).

The funds released on March 17 were allocated through the 2020-21 state budget and are designed to maintain the continuity of critical services that can be impacted by power outages, including schools, county election offices, food storage reserves, and COVID-19 testing sites.

The grants awarded by Cal OES were distributed to a total of 225 recipients, including all counties, 51 incorporated cities, 20 federally recognized tribes, and 96 special districts, specifically:

• $13 million to counties – Each county was allocated based on population. Each county is required to use at least 50 percent of their award to support PSPS resiliency for one or more of the following priority areas: schools, elections offices, food storage reserves and/or COVID-19 testing sites.
• $13 million to cities – Cities were allowed to apply for up to $300,000 on a competitive basis. They are encouraged to allocate funds to one or more of the following priority areas: schools, election offices, food storage reserves and/or COVID-19 testing sites.
• $2.5 million to California federally recognized tribes – Tribes were allowed to apply for up to $150,000 on a competitive basis.
• $20 million to special districts – Special districts that have an identified critical facility or facilities, or provide critical infrastructure, pursuant to the de-energization guidelines adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission were allowed to apply for up to $300,000 on a competitive basis.

“Even amidst a global pandemic, we continue to prepare our state for the natural and man-made disasters that may lie ahead,” said Newson. “These grants are part of our continued commitment to make sure that no Californian is left behind when disasters strike.”

Hayward City Council
March 23, 2021

Presentations and Proclamations
● Mayor Halliday and Councilmember Wahab announced a proclamation honoring Nowruz. Commonly referred to as the Iranian/Persian New Year, Nowruz is a yearly celebration starting in the Spring Equinox that is celebrated by more than 300 million people throughout the Middle East and abroad.
● Councilmember Wahab: “Nowruz symbolizes a time of renewal and community while harkening the trials and tribulations of the previous year.”

Agenda Items
● Adopt a resolution denouncing racism, xenophobia and violence against Hayward’s Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community per report from City Manager McAdoo.
● Mayor Halliday: “Fear stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and rampant, hate-filled political rhetoric has encouraged racism and acts of violence against Asian Americans. The AAPI community must be provided our unwavering support as they sacrifice to continue to work through the pandemic.”

Measures and Resolutions
● Adopt resolution amending the Fiscal Year 2020 Master Fee Schedule:

Mayor Barbara Halliday Aye
Angela Andrews Aye
Sara Lamnin Aye
Elisa Marquez Aye
Mark Salinas Aye
Aisha Wahab Aye
Francisco Zermeno Aye

Honor Roll

Lehigh University, Pennsylvania
Fall 2020 Dean’s List
• Manasi Vitthanala of Fremont
• Alan Wang of Hayward

Honor Roll

The Citadel, South Carolina
Fall 2020 Dean’s List
• Austin Miles-Curtsinger of Newark

Emerson College, Massachusetts
Fall 2020 Dean’s List
• Ananya Dutta of Fremont
• Vineet Raju of Fremont

Western Governors University, Utah
Fall 2020 graduates
• Monique Green of Fremont
• Crystal Perez of Fremont
• Anup Shukla of Fremont
• Katerina Vo of Fremont


Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Parenting During COVID R
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Virtual support group to help families cope with challenges encountered during COVID
To register: www.fremont.gov/3060/Caregiver-Support
(510) 574-2100

Free Virtual Sing-Along
7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Zoom choir meeting hosted by Mission Peak Chamber Singers
Contact: info@chambersingers.org

Wednesdays and Sundays
McNevin at The Mudpuddle
6 p.m.
Dinner time tunes, oddservations, and bad jokes
Via Facebook Live: www.facebook.com/mudpuddlemusic

First Presbyterian Church of Newark Virtual Youth Group
6:30 p.m.
Youth and young adults, students welcome
Contact: brian@newarkpress.org for Zoom Meeting ID#

Virtual Telescope Viewing R
9:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Free on Facebook Live
Join resident astronomers live from Chabot’s observation deck

Online Comedy Shows R$
8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Made Up Theatre’s interactive comedy has gone to YouTube!

Online Comedy Shows

Saturdays & Sundays
India Community Center Youth Programs R$
Art Class (K-5): Saturdays, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m., 1/23 – 5/15
Hindi Class (1-6): Sundays, 10:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m., 1/24 – 5/16
Public Speaking (2-6): Sundays, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m., 1/24 – 5/16
Bollywood Class (all ages): Every Day, 1/11 – 5/16
EnActe Voice Acting for Animation (3-8): Sundays, 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., 1/24 – 5/16
EnActe Art of Performance (3-8): Sundays, 11 a.m. – 12 noon, 1/24 – 5/16

Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church Family Service
10 a.m.
For link, call (510) 471-2581

First Presbyterian Church of Newark Worship Services
8:30 a.m.; Worship Service
12 noon: Sunday School, Ages K – 6th grade
Contact: office@newarkpres.org for Zoom Meeting ID#

Tuesdays in March
7 o’clock rocks!
7 p.m.
Join Groovy Judy live as she celebrates women artists and songwriters

Wednesdays in March
SAVE #AShortWalk
Podcast: Voices of change shaping the IPV movement

Every 3rd Thursday and Friday, March – May
Property Transfer Clinic
Free 30-minute legal consultation

Lawyers in the Library

Last Thursday of the Month, March – June
Mini MBA in Entrepreneurship
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Self-paced virtual program for early-stage entrepreneurs

Mini MBA In Entrepreneurship

Mondays, March 8 – April 26
How To Open A Food Business R
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
8-week seminar for those interested in opening a food business – in Spanish

2nd Saturdays, March 13, April 10, May 8
Rancho Higuera Historical Park tours
10 a.m. – 12 noon
47300 Rancho Higuera Rd., Fremont
(510) 623-7907
Suggested donation $2-5

Sunday, March 14 – Sunday April 11
Superhero 5k Virtual Run $R
Run, walk or stroll on your own time to raise money for Parkinson’s Foundation. Participate in scavenger hunts and raffles.

Wednesdays, March 17 – April 14
National Geographic Live Virtual Events $
7 p.m.
3/31: Mysterious Seas
4/14: Women and Migration
(925) 373-6800

Thursday, March 18 – Monday, September 6
Immersive Van Gogh
9 a.m. – 11 p.m. (times vary)
Walk-in exhibit with digital projections and music
SVN West San Francisco
10 South Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
Tickets: $24.99 – $39.99

Monday, March 29 – Friday, Apr 2
Monday, April 5 – Friday, April 9
Oakland virtual ZooCamps $R
9 a.m. – 12 noon
Live interactive activities, animal close-ups
Registration opens Friday, Mar 5 @3 p.m.
Access code: $250 per household
Discovery kit: $80 per camper

Mondays & Wednesdays, March 29 – April 28
Food Entrepreneurial Training Academy R
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Free 10-part series on how to succeed in the food business

Monday, April 5 – Sunday, June 27
Shifting Tides: Convergence in Cloth
Virtual exhibit to shine light on issues facing the Pacific Ocean

Wednesdays, April 7 – April 28
Hayward Police Department Community Academy R
6:00 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.
Virtual 4-week course all about the HPD. Ages 18+. Must pass background check
Via Zoom
(510) 293-5051

Wednesdays, April 14 – May 12
Tools For Change R
6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Virtual workshop for parents and caregivers of adolescents (ages 12-18)
(510) 574-2100

Monday, April 19 – Monday, April 26
OLG Swing into Spring! Online Auction
http://bidpal.net/olgswing (live on April 4th)


Tuesday, March 30
Treating Neck and Back Pain From Home R
3:30 p.m.
Virtual Seminar – Learn the common causes of pain and see a demo of physiotherapy exercises
(800) 963-7070

Wednesday, March 31
Covid-19: Commercial Tenant Guidance R
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Guidance for commercial tenants impacted by COVID-19 – a free ACSBDC webinar

Wednesday, March 31
Laws That Celebrate Women in the Workforce
10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Learn about California employment laws which specifically impact women
Hosted by the Alameda County Workforce Development Board

Saturday, April 3
San Leandro City Manager Recruitment Town Hall
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Get involved in the hiring process of the next San Leandro City Manager
Via Zoom: https://sanleandro-org.zoom.us/j/89869985031
Email questions to anelson@cpshr.us

Monday, April 5
Milpitas Rotary
11:45 a.m.
Congressman Ro Khanna
Via Zoom: https://bit.ly/364zWgd
Meeting ID: 830 1305 6992
Passcode: 113524

Tuesday, April 6
Palliative Care, an Extra Layer of Support R
3:30 p.m.
Virtual Seminar – Learn about the interdisciplinary Palliative Care Team
(800) 963-7070

Wednesday, April 7
Fremont Art Association
1 p.m.
Art demo by Guest Artist Stephen Berry
Via Zoom

Wednesday, April 7
Davis Street Virtual Art & Fashion Show
6 p.m.
Fundraiser for disabilities program. Silent auction, raffle, art pieces highlighted

Davis Street's Virtual Fashion Show Fundraiser!

Wednesday, April 7
Covid-19: Alternate Forms of Payment R
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Learn about digital currencies – a free ACSBDC webinar

Wednesday, April 7
Naturalization Overview
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Free info session from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Webex Link: https://bit.ly/3rnfpuT
Meeting number (access code): 199 631 2575
Meeting password: WjWmA752aJs@

Thursday, April 8
Growing Healthy Gardens from the Ground Up
4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Free webinar about organic gardening

Thursday, April 8
Connecting in a Post Covid World R
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
How to successfully maintain and make new connections – a free ACSBDC webinar

Friday, April 9
Family Story Time R
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Hear authors Nancy Johnson James and Dr. Khalid White read from their books

Saturday- Monday, April 10, 11, 12
Incredible Edible Plant Sale – Pickup by appointment
Online ordering begins Monday, March 28, 2021
Alviso Adobe Park
3465 Old Foothill Rd., Pleasanton

Saturday, April 10
Spring Social Write-In
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Fun writing session open to all
Request Zoom link from Scott Davidson: scottfrombayside@yahoo.com

Saturday, April 10
Spring Sing
6 p.m.
Celebrate spring with a concert of opera favorites
Via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/LivermoreValleyOpera

Monday, April 12
Milpitas Rotary
12 noon
Santa Clara County Supervisor Otto Lee
Via Zoom: https://bit.ly/364zWgd
Meeting ID: 830 1305 6992
Passcode: 113524

Wednesday, April 14
Victim Relief: T, U, & VAWA Visas
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Free info session from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Webex Link: https://bit.ly/3tOMj9i
Meeting number (access code): 199 939 7475
Meeting password: J4bKGbpgh2*5

Thursday, April 15
Covid-19: Website Development & Optimization – Part 3 R
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Best practices for website design – a free ACSBDC webinar

Monday, April 19
Milpitas Rotary
12 noon
San Jose Mercury News Columnist Sal Pizzaro
Via Zoom: https://bit.ly/364zWgd
Meeting ID: 830 1305 6992
Passcode: 113524

Wednesday, April 21
USCIS Online Resources and Customer Service Tools
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Free info session from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Webex Link: https://bit.ly/3cmlJ1t
Meeting number (access code): 199 291 4083
Meeting password: epP9TyZPK34?

Thursday, April 22
Covid-19: Personal Care Business Guidance
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
How to safely operate and welcome your clients back – a free ACSBDC webinar

Saturday, April 24
Free Community Shred Day
9 a.m. – 12 noon
Paper only. 4-6 banker box limit. Sponsored by Union City Police Dept.
James Logan High School
1800 H Street, Union City
(510) 675-5284

Monday, April 26
OLG Swing into Spring! Golf Tournament $R
1 p.m.
Lunch, prizes, putting contest
Las Positas Golf Course
917 Clubhouse Dr., Livermore
Go to olgweb.org or call (510) 364-9430 to register

Monday, April 26
Milpitas Rotary
12 noon
Project Sentinel – Landlord and Tenant Assistance Program
Via Zoom: https://bit.ly/364zWgd
Meeting ID: 830 1305 6992
Passcode: 113524

Tuesday, April 27
The New Strategic Leader R
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Free webinar. Discover a new approach to long-term organizational success
(510) 979-7598

Tuesday, April 27
Interventional Radiology (IR) for Vascular Disease R
3:30 p.m.
Virtual Seminar – Learn about interventional radiology treatment options
(800) 963-7070

Wednesday, April 28
Petitioning for Relatives, Family Based Visas
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Free info session from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Webex Link: https://bit.ly/3tYXAnR
Meeting number (access code): 199 353 4475
Meeting password: jqJmYu53Q4Z*

Wednesday, April 28
2nd Annual Homeowners Expo R
12 noon
Learn about programs to lower property taxes and more!
Hosted by Alameda County Assessor Phong La
Via Zoom: https://bit.ly/3l7fBwU

Wednesday, April 28
Covid-19: Crowdfunding
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Learn how to use crowdfunding to support your business – a free ACSBDC webinar

Thursday, April 29
Covid-19: Buying/Selling a Small Business
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Information and guidance on how to buy/sell a small business – free ACSBDC webinar

Friday, April 30
Shifting Tides: Convergence in Cloth Virtual Reception
7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Virtual reception for new exhibit that shines light on issues facing the Pacific Ocean

Monday, May 3
Milpitas Rotary
12 noon
Tina Broyles of Milpitas Family Help Network (MFHN)
Via Zoom: https://bit.ly/364zWgd
Meeting ID: 830 1305 6992
Passcode: 113524

Saturday, May 8
A Pink Pajama Party R
7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Celebration of our People with Purpose Honorees – HERS Breast Cancer Foundation
(510) 790-1911

Saturday, May 8
Celebrating Mother’s Day
6 p.m.
Celebrating all the mothers! Surprise wine pairing from Occasio Winery
Via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/LivermoreValleyOpera

Khanna names vice chair for environmental subcommittee
Submitted by Rep. Ro Khanna’s Office

Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17), Chair of the Subcommittee on Environment announced March 25 that Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) will serve as Vice Chair in the 117th Congress.

“Our planet isn’t going to wait any longer for us to clean out the special interests, online disinformation, and rampant corruption that have long dominated American environmental policy,” Khanna said. “I am humbled and honored by the committee’s faith in me to lead this subcommittee. I’d like to thank Chairwoman Maloney for her leadership in the full committee and look forward to working with Vice Chair Tlaib as we push for a Green New Deal and green energy jobs across the country.”

In 2009, Khanna was appointed by former President Obama to serve as the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Commerce. Khanna managed the Green Embassy program, an international effort to make foreign offices more energy efficient by incorporating the innovations of U.S. clean technology firms in our oversees embassies. Khanna also coordinated trade missions to promote U.S. leadership on environmental initiatives.

During his time in Congress, Khanna has partnered with John Kerry, former Secretary of State and current Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, to advocate for an environmental strategy that makes the United States the world leader in clean energy. Khanna has also introduced legislation to bring sustainable jobs to areas of the country left behind by the digital revolution, with an emphasis on STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) careers. In addition to the Committee on Oversight, Khanna sits on the House Armed Services and Agriculture Committees, where he has been a vocal champion for building a 21st century economy rooted in clean technology jobs.

A national champion for environmental justice, Tlaib has led a campaign to hold corporate polluters accountable and prioritize the health and safety of her constituents. During her first term in Congress, Tlaib introduced the RISE Act, establishing the Climate Choice Stock Index Fund as an option in the Thrift Savings Plan to ensure federal employees are able to abstain from investing in the fossil fuel industry. In the 116th Congress, Vice Chairwoman Tlaib fought for a national moratorium on water shutoffs and pressed Marathon Petroleum Corporation on their efforts to roll back important environmental protection laws, including the Clean Cars Rule.

“Frontline communities like mine are tired of waiting for clean air, water, and soil,” Tlaib said. “They are eager to see corporate polluters held accountable, so I am excited and honored to serve as vice chair for the Subcommittee on Environment under the leadership of Chairman Ro Khanna.”

Other subcommittee members include Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York; Rep. Jim Cooper, Tennessee; Jimmy Gomez, California; Raja Krishnamoorthi and Cori Bush, Missouri.

Rep. Ro Khanna represents California’s 17th district which includes southern Alameda and northern Santa Clara counties. His website is at Khanna.house.gov.

Letter to the Editor
Statement on Recent Attacks

On March 16, a gunman shot and killed eight Asian Americans in Acworth, Georgia. Six of the victims were women. The gunman was caught, and he currently sits in jail charged with multiple counts of murder.

These murders happened when my students and I were reading and discussing historical relationships between Californians and Chinese immigrants from the middle of the 19th century to the early 20th century. In her book “Fit To Be Citizens: Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1930,” Professor Natalia Molina explains how Chinese immigrants were treated once the Intercontinental Railroad was completed in 1869. While Chinese railroad workers were settling in San Francisco and Los Angeles, they were targets of anti-Chinese hate and they were discriminated against for being Chinese and immigrant.

Chinese immigrants were blamed for taking jobs away from Californians and this led to the creation of the Workingman’s Party, a civic/political organization with the mission to pass state laws and local municipal ordinances that prohibited businesses from hiring Chinese workers and segregated Chinese families to neighborhoods derogatorily referred to as ‘Chinatowns.’

The Workingman’s party would later become the key players in the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which prohibited all Chinese from entering the United States. Chinese Immigrants were also blamed for disease outbreaks. For example, Los Angeles public health leaders and elected officials blamed Chinese Angelenos for the smallpox epidemics in 1869 and 1873. As my Ethnic Studies class discussed these lived experiences with racism, the eight murders in Georgia weighed heavy on our minds and hearts.

We have watched on television former President Donald Trump refer to the Coronavirus as the “Chinese Virus” and the “Kung Flu.” Press conference after press conference and daily briefing after daily briefing, these racist terms were used frequently and without any regard to the negative impact these words would have on Chinese Americans.

Consequently, all Asian communities regardless of being Chinese or not, were frequent targets of violent and fatal attacks and assaults. Over the past several weeks hate crimes against Asians across the country and here in the Bay Area have spiked so much that Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley opened a Stop Hate Crime Hotline. President Joe Biden recently said that “words matter,” and he could not have been more poignant with his words.

Families from all over the world have made Hayward home for generations. Our parents, grandparents, and even our great-grandparents have made a journey to Hayward. Collectively, our roots are humble and with a vision to make our city the best place possible for future generations. All of us need to step up today and support our Asian brothers and sisters. We cannot let our neighbors be victims of hate.

This year at the conclusion of the Hayward City Council’s leadership retreats, we affirmed our commitment to our city’s “No Room for Racism” campaign. Additionally, Hayward’s executive leadership team is heavily engaged in professional development training focused on equity and they continue to review city policies and practices to make sure Hayward continues to deliver services equitably in every department.

As one of your elected council members, I am committed to making Hayward the safest place possible for everyone. To report hate crimes, call the Alameda County Stop Hate Hotline at (510) 208-4824.

Mark Salinas
Hayward City Council Member

San Leandro: No room for racism
Submitted by City of San Leandro

In a statement released March 25, San Leandro Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter spoke out against recent anti-Asian attacks locally and around the nation. “As a city of kindness, we will never waver in the face of hateful acts,” she promised. Here is her complete statement:

On behalf of the City of San Leandro, I strongly condemn the recent attacks on Asian Americans in our city and all across the nation. Diversity is one of San Leandro’s greatest strengths with 32% of San Leandro residents of Asian descent, including many city employees. There is no room for racist remarks or violence directed toward any minority group. In May 2020, I was honored to join my colleagues to unanimously proclaim the City’s stance against racism and xenophobia.

On March 18, 2021, Acting Police Chief Luis Torres reinforced the police department’s zero-tolerance stance on hateful acts by stating, “I urge San Leandro to come together and speak up against hate and racism. Remember ‘if you see something, say something’ and let’s make sure our Asian community knows that we will not tolerate any acts of hate against them.”

In response to a recent attack on an Asian man in San Leandro, the police department also publicly distributed a community safety video message in English and Mandarin.

As a city of kindness, we will never waver in the face of hateful acts. I encourage the San Leandro community to come together during this difficult time to acknowledge the Asian American experience and their positive contributions to San Leandro.

Milpitas Police Log
Submitted by Milpitas PD

Thursday, March 11
• At 7:47 a.m. detectives served a search and arrest warrant at an apartment complex near the 700 block of Montague Expressway related to a burglary that occurred in the building’s mailroom on February 22. During the search detectives found evidence associated with an armed robbery from another city and identified multiple victims that had their property stolen. A 36-year-old Milpitas resident and a 26-year-old Santa Clara resident were arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of burglary.

Thursday, March 18
• At 1:09 p.m. officers responded to a theft report near the 300 block of Ranch Drive and contacted a 27-year-old Campbell resident who was showing signs and symptoms of being under the influence of drugs and was attempting to steal a box of knives. When confronted by an officer, the suspect dropped the property and fled on foot, but was quickly taken into custody. A record checked showed the suspect was on Santa Clara County Probation for assault. The suspect was booked into jail and faces charges of theft, possession of drug paraphernalia, being under the influence of drugs, and resisting arrest.
Photos in 1 new Sharon

Why is California Gov. Newsom facing a recall?
By Michael R. Blood
AP Political Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP), Mar 17 – California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing the possibility that he could be removed by voters in a recall election amid his four-year term. Organizers appear to have sufficient petition signatures to place the election on the ballot, and the vote would likely take place later this year. Here's how it works:


California is one of 20 states that have provisions to remove a sitting governor in a recall, 19 through elections. The state law establishing the rules goes back to 1911 and was intended to place more power directly in the hands of voters by allowing them to recall elected officials and repeal or pass laws by placing them on the ballot. Recall attempts are not uncommon in the state, but they rarely get on the ballot and even fewer succeed. Unpopular Democratic Gov. Gray Davis was recalled in 2003, then replaced with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.


The answer is both simple and complicated.

The simple part: Californians are angry. A year of whipsaw pandemic lockdowns, crushing job losses from business closures, shuttered schools and the disruption of daily life has soured just about everybody. Many of life's routines were cut off at some point if not altogether, whether trips to the beach or lunches at a favorite burger joint. The complicated part: In a state with nearly 40 million people, there are many grievances, from California's wallet-sapping taxes to a raging homelessness crisis that continues unabated despite billions in spending. Newsom, given his role as governor, has become the target of that resentment.

He's also being hit by the fallout from a multibillion-dollar fraud scandal at the state unemployment agency while weathering a public shaming for dining out with friends and lobbyists at an exclusive San Francisco Bay Area restaurant last fall, while telling residents to stay home for safety.

Newsom, who was elected in a 2018 landslide, sees the recall as an attack on California's progressive policies. Republicans see a rare opportunity to unseat a Democrat in a state where the GOP hasn't won a statewide election since 2006.


Supporters of the recall are required to gather 1,495,709 petition signatures to authorize the election. The deadline to submit those signatures is Wednesday and organizers say they have collected over 2 million signatures, though many of those remain under review by election officials. Even so, Newsom kicked off his campaign to defeat the recall this week, acknowledging the election was all but inevitable and labeling its organizers as political extremists loyal to former President Donald Trump. The recall is backed by state and national Republicans but organizers argue they have a broad-based coalition, including many independents and Democrats.

County election officials have until April 29 to verify the signatures.


There is wiggle room in the law and numerous steps along the way, but if supporters collect sufficient signatures, it's likely to be in the fall, possibly in November. The date might not be finalized until September.


Voters would be asked two questions: First, should Newsom be removed, yes or no? The second question would be a list of replacement candidates to choose from, if voters recall the governor.


Yes – Kevin Faulconer, the former Republican mayor of San Diego, Republican businessman John Cox, who was defeated by Newsom in 2018, and former Republican congressman and businessman Doug Ose have entered the race. Another name being discussed in GOP circles is former President Donald Trump's then-acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell, who has not responded to requests for comment on a possible candidacy.


For months, Newsom waived off questions about a possible election that could remove him from office, saying he wanted to focus on the coronavirus, vaccinations and reopening schools. But he's now shifted into an aggressive campaign strategy, fundraising, running an ad attacking the recall and doing national TV and cable interviews. He has acknowledged that people are anxious and weary after a difficult year dealing with the virus and restrictions. But he argues that the recall is not about the virus response, but an effort by political extremists on the far-right fringe of the GOP to push him from office.


If petition numbers hold up, it appears the recall will easily qualify for the ballot. If that happens, Newsom would be forced to fend off rivals in the midst of a pandemic that has cost the state millions of jobs and shaken life for residents. But time could be on his side and the turbulent public mood could shift by fall, if schools, restaurants, gyms and other businesses continue to reopen. California also is one of the most heavily Democratic states in the country: Democratic voters outnumber Republicans by nearly 2-to-1, and the party controls every statewide office while dominating the Legislature and congressional delegation.

Oakland Zoo appoints new president and CEO
Submitted by Erin Harrison

Nik Dehejia, currently serving as executive vice president, will officially assume the role of President and CEO of the Conservation Society of California–Oakland Zoo, effective April 3. He succeeds Dr. Joel Parrott, who has been leading Oakland Zoo for the past 37 years.

“I am excited to know that Nik will be taking over my role as president and CEO of the Conservation Society of California–Oakland Zoo. We have worked together for over 14 years, and I am confident he has the leadership skills to take the zoo to new heights, and help the Oakland Zoo reach its tremendous potential,” said Dr. Parrott.

Dehejia began working at Oakland Zoo in 2006. Managing many zoo growth initiatives, Dehejia has been instrumental in creating and nurturing deeper cross-collaboration functions throughout the zoo’s leadership team. His management has helped the zoo develop efficiencies and establish new systems for ticketing, guest relations, staff engagement, membership growth, public engagement, and more.

Along with conservation efforts, his priorities are deeper involvement in the local and greater community and developing programs to increase access and inclusion across the zoo as an organization. Universal access to the Zoo, across all demographics and capabilities, is part of his vision.

“I am privileged to have this opportunity. We are once again at a critical moment in time where wildlife and wild places need to be protected and revered. The COVID-19 pandemic has helped us realize, more than ever, the importance of connecting to nature and each other. Our ecosystem and the world we all live in is complex and diverse, and I stand ready to be a voice for all who need our help,” said Dehejia.

PG&E warns customers about scammers
Submitted by Tamar Sarkissian

With utility scams on the rise during the current pandemic, it is more important than ever for customers to be vigilant and know what steps to take to prevent themselves or their families from falling victim.

Scammers have gotten deceptively creative with increased calls, texts, emails, and in-person tactics and are contacting electric and gas customers asking for immediate payment to avoid service disconnection. These impostors can be convincing and often target those who are most vulnerable, including senior citizens and low-income communities. They also aim their scams at small-business owners during busy customer service hours. However, with the right information, customers can learn to detect and to report these predatory scams.

As a reminder, PG&E will never contact a customer for the first time within one hour of a service disconnection and will never ask customers to make payments with a pre-paid debit card, gift card, any form of cryptocurrency, or third-party digital payment mobile applications.

Here are some steps customers can take to protect themselves and their families against being victimized:

Register for My Account
• PG&E reminds customers that they can visit www.PGE.com and register for My Account. Signing in will provide instant access to balance information, payment history and other account details and will provide a first line of defense against scammers.
• If a customer receives a call from someone requesting immediate payment, they can log in to My Account to confirm whether their account is in good standing.
• Customers can also call PG&E Customer Service at (800) 743-5000 if they think that they are being targeted by a scam.

Add a Family Member to Your Account
• As an added layer of protection, customers can designate family members or another trusted individual to speak on their behalf to PG&E call center representatives.
• For example, an elderly parent could authorize an adult child to speak to PG&E on their behalf and make that person their first call should they receive a call threatening disconnection. The adult child could then call PG&E to confirm their account details.
• To designate an individual to speak to PG&E on your behalf, contact (800) 743-5000.

Signs of a potential scam
• Threat to disconnect: Scammers may aggressively demand immediate payment for an alleged past due bill. If this occurs, customers should hang up the phone, delete the email, or shut the door. Customers with delinquent accounts receive an advance disconnection notification, typically by mail and included with their regular monthly bill.
• Request for immediate payment or a prepaid card: Scammers may instruct the customer to purchase a prepaid card then call them back supposedly to make a bill payment. PG&E reminds customers that they should never purchase a prepaid card to avoid service disconnection or shutoff. PG&E offers a variety of ways to pay a bill, including accepting payments online, by phone, automatic bank draft, mail or in person at an authorized PG&E neighborhood payment center.
• Refund or rebate offers: Scammers may say that your utility company overbilled you and owes you a refund, or that you are entitled to a rebate. Again, customers should immediately hang up and call PG&E Customer Service to confirm details.
• “Spoofing” Authentic Numbers: Scammers are now able to create authentic looking 800 numbers which appear on your phone display. The numbers don't lead back to PG&E if called back, however, so if you have doubts or have seen any of the above warning signs of a scam, hang up and call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. If customers ever feel that they are in physical danger, they should call 911.

Customers who suspect that they have been victims of fraud, or who feel threatened during
contact with one of these scammers, should contact local law enforcement. The Federal Trade Commission's website is also a good source of information about how to protect personal information. For more information about scams, visit www.pge.com and www.utilitiesunited.org.


Investors jump aboard self-driving vehicle project
By Steve Crowe

Nuro, a Mountain View-based company which is developing autonomous delivery vehicles, added new investors to its $500 million Series C funding round that it announced in November 2020. Joining the round are Woven Capital and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

This is the first investment for Woven Capital, which was established in January 2021 as the investment arm of Woven Planet Group. Woven Planet Group spun out of Toyota Research Institute — Advanced Development (TRI-AD) in January 2021. Woven Capital is an $800 million global fund that invests in growth-stage companies developing technologies in areas such as autonomous mobility, automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data and analytics, connectivity, and smart cities. Woven Capital works closely with Toyota AI Ventures.

Chiptole said its investment in Nuro is part of its exploration of “disruptive opportunities outside of traditional third-party partnerships.” Chipotle said its digital business grew 174% in 2020, compared to the prior year, with about half of those digital sales coming from delivery. The growth was in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are always seeking opportunities that provide innovative solutions for increasing access and convenience for our guests,” said Curt Garner, Chipotle’s chief technology officer. “Nuro could change the traditional delivery model and we believe consumers are going to continue to seek options and additional access points for how and where they enjoy their food.”

In April 2020, Nuro’s R2 delivered medical supplies to COVID-19 patients at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. Nuro has also partnered with brands such as CVS, Walmart, Domino’s, and Kroger, and is currently providing delivery services in the Houston area.

Unlike many other autonomous vehicle companies, Nuro has engineered its electric self-driving road vehicles to transport goods instead of people. Its second-generation R2 vehicle is designed to autonomously deliver a wide range of goods, including prepared food, groceries, medicine, and retail products, safely and securely.

The Nuro R2 was granted an exemption by the U.S. Department of Transportation that allows it to be tested on public roads without certain features of traditional, passenger-carrying vehicles. For example, it lacks side mirrors, rear visibility, and a windshield that can be seen through, all of which are required in human-driven vehicles, according to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The exemption also permits the Nuro R2 to operate its rearview cameras while moving forward, since the vehicle will never be occupied by a human driver who could be distracted by the rear video display.

In February 2019, Nuro raised $940 million in a Series B round that was led by the Softbank Vision Fund. Nuro was founded in 2016 by Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu, both former Alphabet engineers who worked on the company’s autonomous vehicle efforts, which have since become Waymo. Andrew Clare, Nuro’s head of robots, delivered a keynote at RoboBusiness Direct called “Building Zero Occupant Autonomous Vehicles to Accelerate the Benefits of Robotics Today.”

Steve Crowe is Editor of The Robot Report and co-chair of the Robotics Summit & Expo. He can be reached at scrowe@wtwhmedia.com.

Returning to Regularity: Phased Reopening of Local Schools
By Charlene Dizon
Photos Courtesy of Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, and San Leandro Unified School Districts

As Alameda and Santa Clara Counties transition from the purple widespread tier into the red substantial tier, local school districts prepare for phased reopening. School representatives share what they have prepared for incoming TK-12th grade students.

Phased reopening offers in-person learning support in addition to continued social distance learning. Most students will be taken in small cohorts unless stated otherwise. The following timelines vary by grade level.

Hayward Unified School District (HUSD) is offering in-person learning opportunities at Southgate Elementary as of March 15 and Fairview Elementary as of March 17. The proposed reopening plan will have elementary, middle, and high school keep morning online classes with the addition of voluntary afternoon in-person learning opportunities such as academic support with teachers. This is scheduled to occur after Spring Break; however, further discussion is needed. With the state’s red tier status, HUSD plans to offer in-person learning opportunities based on need, interest, and capacity.

Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) has proposed tentative start dates to be finalized once agreed upon with negotiation teams. Preschool through 2nd grade would begin March 29; 3rd through 6th grades still at elementary campuses would begin April 13; middle schools would begin March 29; high schools would begin April 19.

For Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD), expansion of in-person learning includes TK-6th grades and 9th grades for those who prefer to be on campus based on capacity. Students from grades 7-8 and 10-12 in greatest need, such as those receiving special services and who are unengaged, will have targeted support in person. MUSD EducatEveryWhere, a social distance learning program providing meals, laptops, and contact hours, will launch on April 1 for all students.

San Leandro Unified School District (SLUSD) and the San Leandro Teachers Association (SLTA) have reached a tentative agreement to welcome students back for in-person hybrid instruction starting April 12 in small cohorts. Families who prefer to stay in distance learning will continue to have that option.

Castro Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) reopening will have five phases, with the following dates in the process of finalization. Grades TK-K will begin March 17; grades 1 and 2 are set for March 24; grades Preschool, 3 and 5 are to begin March 29; orientation for grades 6, 9 and 12 will occur the week of March 29 at Redwood High School; grades 6 through 12 will start on April 12 for Grades 6 through 12.

The Board of New Haven Unified School District (NHUSD) has approved a tentative proposed reopening date of April 12 for Grades PreK through 5. Grades 6 through 12 are still under further discussion but will be determined by health and safety conditions. Newark Unified School District (NUSD) has yet to confirm proposed reopening dates however the order of returning grade levels is tentatively grades K-2, 3-6, and 7-12. Families who prefer to stay in distance learning will continue to have that option.

Though faculty members are not required to receive vaccinations, school districts have expressed their efforts in making them accessible. Partnerships with health facilities and city departments have been a great support. FUSD Superintendent CJ Cammack explains, “We are very lucky to have a partnership with Haller’s Pharmacy and the Fremont Fire Department. Their support combined with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) site in Oakland has given Fremont Unified the ability to invite 4,400 of our employees to receive vaccination since February 16.”

School faculty have also shared how to arrange appointments. MUSD Superintendent Cheryl Jordan states, “Nearly half of our school faculty have gotten the vaccine and exchanged tips on how to receive it. We have all been open in making this attainable.” Unity towards vaccinations is certain to reassure both parents and students.

Along with vaccinations are safety measures in line with COVID-19 public health procedures. These include face coverings, face shields, soap and hand sanitizer, specialized Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), PPE signage, 6 feet physical distance at all times, small cohorts, and limitations on sharing of supplies. HUSD Director of Public Information and Governmental Relations Dionicia Ramos Ledesma states, “It is important that we follow the state regulations as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines. The decisions we make are based on our local COVID-19 case numbers and the sentiments of our community, so we are appreciative that we’ve been able to have those community conversations.”

For possible outbreaks, strict protocols are in place based on the number of positive COVID-19 cases. SLUSD Communications Representative Keziah Moss states, “Students or staff who suspect or confirm that they have COVID-19 must notify the school immediately. They will be separated from others, sent home to reduce further exposure, and be advised to quarantine.” Furthermore, depending on how many people the student or staff member has been in contact with, they may return to campus after the number of quarantine days according to Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) have been fulfilled with improving symptoms or once cleared by a doctor. Contact tracing is essential in monitoring possible or confirmed cases.

Phased reopening would not have occurred without the support of school faculty, public health officials, and the community. Cammack states, “Our primary focus is safety. We hope this brief transition over an 8-9 week period will be a bridge towards a more comprehensive and normalized feeling of school for students and staff in the fall.” Resiliency and flexibility amongst school staff are also noteworthy. Many teachers have worked above and beyond for their classrooms. As Jordan shares, “Our team has invested so much of their time learning to retool and plan. Many parents have worked alongside us. The engagement is authentic and we are looking forward to taking the pieces we’ve learned this year and making them part of how we progress.” With this in mind, school districts can slowly return to academic regularity.

Photos in 1 new Sharon
Shifting Tides: Convergence in Cloth
Submitted by Gloria Kim

Olive Hyde Art Gallery is pleased to announce the premiere of “Shifting Tides: Convergence in Cloth” by Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) from Monday, April 5 to Sunday, June 27, as a virtual exhibit. View the exhibit when it opens at www.Fremont.gov/OliveHyde.

Created as a group exhibit to shine a light on the issues facing the Pacific Ocean today, Shifting Tides is a collection of work by 45 artists chosen from the seven Pacific-facing regions of Studio Art Quilt
Associates (SAQA). An international organization that promotes the quilt as an art form, SAQA has a
history of inviting artists to explore topical, sometimes controversial topics. With this latest show, the
organization’s west-coast members explore the earth’s largest ecosystem.

From their strikingly different vantage points—Southern California northward to Western Canada and Alaska, plus Hawaii—artists expressed their concerns and feelings about the Pacific. “Merely because we live in this part of the world, we as individuals are part of the Pacific ecosystem. Daily we may not recognize the changes that are happening, but they are of vital importance to our world,” write Georgia French and Sonja Campbell, co-chairs of the exhibit planning committee. “We were stunned with the variety and emotional intensity of their responses, as well as with the beauty and graphic impact of their work.”

The 45 works range widely in content and technique; drawing on realism, abstract, and nonrepresentational depictions. The pieces were chosen from more than 160 SAQA artist submissions. Curated by textile artist Ann Johnston, the exhibit offers context about the plight of oceans. “The topic demands a passion we all feel, and the quilts dealt with the subject and the passion in many ways; all of them hit me as having merit and value,” explains Johnson. “The intention of the exhibit was not only to choose good pieces but also to include a representative range of habitats and issues in reference to our Pacific ecosystem. I also wanted to include a range of design approaches and construction techniques. I think the resulting exhibit is a showcase of art that will enlighten the viewers about quilts and encourage exploration of solutions to one of our most anguishing ecological problems.”

The City of Fremont Olive Hyde Art Gallery would like to give special thanks to the Olive Hyde Art Guild for sponsorship funding and the Fremont Cultural Arts Council for intern support of the new virtual exhibition initiative.

View the virtual exhibit when it opens, along with exhibit and purchase details at www.Fremont.gov/OliveHyde.

Shifting Tides: Convergence in Cloth
Virtual Exhibition
Monday, Apr 5 – Sunday, Jun 27

Virtual Opening Reception
Friday, April 30
7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Virtual Artists Roundtable
Friday, May 21
11 a.m. – 12 noon


Apply for Shuttered Venue Operator Grants
Submitted by Hayward Chamber of Commerce

Businesses operating venues for weddings, concerts, and other events will have the opportunity to apply for Small Business Administration (SBA) grants under a new program that begins Thursday, April 8. Applicants must first register at the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant portal.

The SBA has also created a splash page (www.svograntportal.sba.gov/s/) through which applicants can stay informed about eligibility requirements and the portal opening. For more information, visit www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/shuttered-venue-operators-grant.

Shuttered Venue Operator Grants
Application Portal Opens Apr 8

Purebred emoji
Submitted by Association of Mature American Citizens

One never knows what tricks Mother Nature will be up to next but, to be fair, this time she had a little help from a snake breeder in producing a python that sports three distinct, naturally occurring smiling emojis on its body. According to the Association of Mature American Citizens, (AMAC) Justin Kobylka has been breeding golden yellow and white ball pythons for some 20 years and about 20 of them were born with a single emoji on their scales. But his latest baby python is the only one with three emojis, a rarity that boosted the snake's price tag to $6,000. To watch the video, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMAyYFDI6iE.

Social Security Matters
Ask Rusty – Will Inheritance Money Affect My Social Security?
By Russell Gloor, National Social Security Advisor, AMAC Foundation

Dear Rusty: I will turn 66 this year and am considering claiming my Social Security. I have already applied for Medicare. My parents passed on several years ago, and the estate will probably settle this year. I would like to know if my inheritance money will have any effect on my social security benefits. If so, how? Signed: Wondering Heir

Dear Wondering: No, your inheritance money from your parents’ estate will not affect your gross Social Security benefit in any way. Your monthly SS benefit is based solely on your lifetime earnings record from working, and income from other sources is not counted when computing your Social Security benefit amount. But if you claim your benefits and have your Medicare Part B premium deducted from your Social Security payment, it’s possible your inheritance could affect your Medicare Part B premium amount, thus lowering your net Social Security payment.

Most Medicare beneficiaries pay a standard premium of $148.50 per month (2021 amount) for Part B, which is coverage for doctors and other outpatient services. But there is also a special provision known as “IRMAA” (Income Related Medicare Adjustment Amount) which adds a supplemental amount to the standard Part B premium if your “provisional income” from all sources exceeds certain levels. Your “provisional income” would include income from all sources, including any money you receive from an inheritance, any tax-advantage investment withdrawals, tax free interest, and half of the Social Security benefits you received during the tax year. The name for this is your “Modified Adjusted Gross Income” (MAGI), and the clip levels which cause IRMAA to affect your Medicare premium are different depending on your IRS filing status.

If you file your income tax as “married/jointly” and your MAGI is over $176,000, then IRMAA will apply, and you’ll pay a higher Medicare premium, thus reducing your net Social Security payment (if you file as a single, the clip level is $88,000). IRMAA can cause your Part B premium to go to anywhere from $208 to $505 per month, depending upon how high your MAGI is. Note that your Medicare premium for the current year is determined by your MAGI from two years prior, so if that inheritance money is reported on your 2021 income tax return, it would be your 2023 Medicare premium amount that would be affected. And the higher Medicare premium would self-adjust back to a lower level if MAGI for subsequent years are below the IRMAA level.

The other way your inheritance might affect you is through income taxes on your Social Security benefits. If your MAGI exceeds $32,000 filing as married/jointly ($25,000 if single), then 50% of your Social Security benefits will become part of your taxable income. Or if your MAGI is more than $44,000 filing as married/jointly ($34,000 if single), then up to 85% of your Social Security benefits for the tax year will become part of your taxable income at your standard IRS tax rate.

The bottom line is this: Your gross monthly Social Security benefit amount will not be affected by your inheritance, but if your inheritance increases your Medicare Part B premium, your net SS benefit will be temporarily lower. And the inheritance may also influence how much of your Social Security benefits are subjected to income tax.

This article is intended for information purposes only and does not represent legal or financial guidance. It presents the opinions and interpretations of the AMAC Foundation’s staff, trained and accredited by the National Social Security Association (NSSA). NSSA and the AMAC Foundation and its staff are not affiliated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other governmental entity. To submit a question, visit our website (amacfoundation.org/programs/social-security-advisory) or email us at ssadvisor@amacfoundation.org.

RIGHT AT HOME: Space-themed decor brings the heavens indoors
Mar 04
By Kim Cook
Associated Press

It was a tough year here on Earth, but 2020 was a bright spot for space exploration. SpaceX sent its futuristic Starship to new heights, three countries launched Mars missions, and robots grabbed debris from the moon and an asteroid.

Next year promises more, including a planned launch of the Hubble Space Telescope's successor.

Perhaps it's no surprise then that space themes are having a moment in home decor. When so many of us Earthlings are stuck at home because of the pandemic, space imagery can add a sense of adventure or whimsy to rooms, walls and ceilings.

“I've done outer space, and starry skies,“ says New York interior designer Patrice Hoban. “My clients love using stars as a backdrop in nurseries. I've also worked with glow-paint to add an extra pop to kids rooms and home theaters.”

She sticks tiny glow-in-the-dark stars to the ceiling; the light can last for hours. “It's the closest thing I've found to being in a planetarium,” she says.

Rachel Magana, senior visual designer at the sustainable furniture-rental company Fernish, picked up some cosmological decorating ideas from a colleague's recent nursery project.

“Base your color palette around deep blue tones, then splash in bits of color like yellow, white or red,” she says.

“Or create your own galaxy wall,” she says. “Paint a blue wall, then use some watered-down white paint to splatter it with fine droplets. You may just create some new constellations.”

She suggests adding fun, space-agey lamps, and vintage NASA posters.

Outer space has inspired designers for decades. In the 1960s, the “space race” between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, along with the development of space age-y, synthetic materials, led to a surge in futuristic furniture like molded plastic chairs and Sputnik-shaped lighting.

These days, you can download artwork directly from NASA: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/, or find it at retailers like Red Bubble, Etsy and Zazzle.

Magana also suggests making a letter board with a space-themed quote like Neil Armstrong's famous “One small step for man” phrase.

Much of the astronomy-themed art in the marketplace would be striking in any room. There are lunar graphics on canvas at Target. Tempaper's got constellation wallpapers, but if you can't do wallpaper, consider Kenna Sato Designs' constellation decals for walls or ceilings.

Galaxy Lamps has a sphere that looks like a planetoid. Charge it up with the included USB and cycle through 16 colors with three lighting modes. There's a moon version, too. And at Beautiful Halo, find a collection of rocket-ship ceiling fixtures.

German designer Jan Kath has created a rug collection called Spacecrafted inspired by imagery of gas clouds and asteroid nebulae from the Hubble telescope.

Studio Greytak, in Missoula, Montana, has designed a Jupiter lamp out of the mineral aragonite, depicting the whirling, turbulent gases of the planet. And there's the Impact table, where a chunk of desert rose crystals is embedded with cast glass, as though a piece of asteroid had plunged into a pool.

Zodiac wall decals and a Milky Way throw rug can be found at Project Nursery. There are hanging mobiles of the planets and of stars and clouds, at both Crate & Kids and Pottery Barn Kids.

A glow-in-the-dark duvet cover printed with the solar system is also at PBK, but if you're ready to really head to the stars, check out Snurk Living's duvet set. The studio, owned by Dutch designers Peggy van Neer and Erik van Loo, has designed the set photoprinted with a life-size astronaut suit.

Creating a night sky on the ceiling of a home theater seems to be popular; Houzz has hundreds of examples for inspiration.

Maydan Architects in Palo Alto, California, designed one for a recent project.

“Our client's grandfather was the owner of multiple movie theaters,” says Mary Maydan. “One of them had a retractable ceiling that enabled guests to experience the starry sky at night. When our client decided to build their home theater, this installation was actually fulfilling a lifelong dream.“

The ceiling isn't retractable but has an eight-paneled fixture depicting the Milky Way and a shooting star.

“It provides very soft light and was intended to be kept on during the screening of the movie and create a magical experience,” says Maydan.

2021 Summer Performance Camps
Submitted by StarStruck

After more than a year of ups and downs, twists and turns, we are so excited to open our doors for in-person performance camps this summer! All camps (online and in person) will be extremely small group, allowing time for everyone to shine and keep a social distance. For those that are not ready to send their kids at this time, we also have two online camps.

Set your alarm: Camp registration opens Friday, April 2 at 10 a.m.!

Online Star Kids
Ages 8 – 12
No audition required
Registration: $250

Explore the wonderful world of musical theatre as we play games and learn songs/scenes from some of your favorite musicals. Each week will have a new theme so campers are welcome to sign up for multiple sessions.

Week 1
Monday, Jun 28 – Friday, Jul 2
9 a.m. – 12 noon

Week 2
Monday, Jul 15 – Friday, Jul 9
9 a.m. – 12 noon

In Person Star Kids
Ages 8 – 12
No audition required

Easy Street (June 14-18, July 12-16)
Featuring songs and original choreography from the classic musical Annie. Unique to this camp session, students will also have the opportunity to perform with camp director Garret Deagon, who played Rooster in the recent national Broadway Tour of Annie!

Cinemagic (June 21-25, July 19-23)
Featuring songs from some of your favorite movie musicals such as The Greatest Showman and Mama Mia!.

Yellow Brick Road (June 28-July 2, July 26-30)
Featuring songs from The Wizard of Oz, Wicked, and The Wiz.

1-week camps
Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
June 14 – July 30

Sulphur Creek solicits community feedback for Master Plan
By Stephanie Gertsch

Sulphur Creek Nature Center (SCNC), a 10-acre park in the Hayward hills, has been called one of Hayward’s best-kept secrets. Community members value the educational programs, aviaries and animal enclosures for wildlife rehabilitation, and quiet hillside and creek trails. On Wednesday, March 24, the Hayward Area Recreation District held a Zoom workshop to solicit community feedback on a Master Plan to improve Sulphur Creek’s current services and add new ones. Nearly half of attendees were SCNC volunteers, while most of the others had visited at least once.

The project team includes several representatives from Hayward Area Recreational District (HARD): Hai-Ping Mo (Bond Project Manager), Deborah Hernandez (Recreation Supervisor), Wendy Winsted (Recreation Coordinator, SCNC), and Deb Varner (Program Leader, SCNC). Several representatives from PlaceWorks (the company working with the park district to draw up the Master plan) also attended.

Isby Fleishmann (PlaceWorks) gave an outline of the Master Plan. There are several funding opportunities: Outdoor Environmental Education Facilities Grant awarded in 2018 for $0.5 Million, an already-funded Measure F1 Bond for $0.2 Million, and a Proposition 68 Regional Park Program Grant, which HARD will apply for in 2021. The Prop 68 grant is competitive, so HARD will need to show strong community involvement/interest for updates to Sulphur Creek.

Currently, the plan is still in the visioning stage. Another workshop will be held in May, and the plan will be drafted in June.

Sarah Gronquist (PlaceWorks) showed a map of current Sulphur Creek facilities, suggesting a few areas for improvement. The museum is cramped and dated, parking is limited on weekends, and the parking lot is not easily accessible to emergency vehicles. Some new features under consideration are a farm-to-feed garden, demonstration garden, multi-use trail, and reservable event area.

The workshop split into breakout discussion rooms in which community members could exchange ideas. One common issue was insufficient lighting in the museum—which makes the space uninviting and less accessible. Another community member noted that the animal habitats were “stuck in the 1970s” and needed updates.

One popular addition was Native programming focused on how the Ohlone people used native plants in their culture. Participants expressed that there is a high demand for this type of program from elementary schools, so it would probably be well received by the community.

Those interested in giving feedback or participating in the next workshop should watch HARD’s social media for updates.


Follow HARD on Instagram at @hayward_rec.

PG&E and EBCE to implement time-of-use rate plan
Submitted by City of Hayward

In response to a statewide policy to create a cleaner energy future for California, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) and East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) will move the majority of their residential electric customers from a tiered rate plan to a Time-of-Use (TOU) rate plan in May 2021, followed by the transition of their remaining customer base in 2022. In the TOU rate plan, peak pricing will be from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. every day. This window was identified in an effort to encourage residents to shift some of their energy use to the non-peak hours in which demand is lower, and energy on the grid is more likely to have been generated by renewable sources, like solar and wind power.

As part of the statewide mandate, all California utilities are required to automatically transition customers to the TOU rate plan to support a cleaner, healthier, and more reliable energy grid. However, whether part of the initial May 2021 group, or the full customer base transition in 2022, customers can choose to enroll in an alternate TOU rate plan or another rate plan, including a tiered rate plan, at any time. Customers enrolled in the Medical Baseline program will not be a part of the automatic transition.

PG&E and EBCE customers who are automatically transitioned to the TOU rate plan will receive risk-free Bill Protection for the first 12 months. This means that if a customer pays more during their first year on the TOU rate plan than what they would have paid for the same amount of energy on their pre-transition rate plan, PG&E and EBCE will automatically credit the customer the difference for the first year.

To help conserve energy and reduce electricity during peak periods, residents and households can utilize free online services such as Ohm Connect (https://www.ohmconnect.com/) or Home Energy Analytics (https://corp.hea.com/). For more information about the transition to TOU rates, customers can visit www.pge.com/toutransition and www.ebce.org/timeofuse. To view a customized rate plan comparison, customers can visit their account online at www.pge.com/TOUchoice. Dedicated rate plan specialists are available at 1-866-743-7945 to answer questions.