Alameda County Fire Department Log
Submitted by ACFD
Saturday, April 18
- At 8:35 p.m. firefighters responded to a report of a small electrical fire at a private residence in Newark. They were able to knock the blaze down quickly. There were no injuries.
Thursday, April 23
- At 2:47 p.m. firefighters responded to a motor vehicle accident at 37271 Cedar Blvd. in Newark. One vehicle was on its side with an occupant trapped inside. Firefighters helped emergency personnel remove the person who was taken to Stanford Hospital for treatment.
Saturday, April 25
- At 3:45 p.m. firefighters from Station 29 in Newark rescued seven ducklings that were trapped in a storm drain at Chelsea Drive and Winsford Court. The mother duck was waiting nearby and waddled away with her offspring.
- During the mid-afternoon firefighters joined East Bay Regional Park District Police in responding to an accident involving a motorcycle down the embankment near Redwood and Pinehurst roads in Castro Valley. Crews set up a log angle rescue and brought the male driver up 60 feet to the road.
Thursday, April 30
- At 1:50 p.m. firefighters responded to a residential house fire on Arbor Court in unincorporated Hayward. The blaze was extinguished quickly and did not spread into the attic. Six people were displaced from the home with one taken to St. Rose hospital. The Red Cross was notified.
Thursday, May 7
- At 12:18 p.m. firefighters responded to a report about a high-pressure gas leak in a residential street near Graham Avenue and Magnolia Street in Newark. As a precaution, three nearby homes were evacuated until crews were able to fix the leak. There were no injuries.
Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Log
Submitted by Sgt. Ray Kelly, ACSO
Friday, April 24
- Deputies responded to an afternoon burglary in progress report on Niles Canyon Road in Sunol. On arrival they spotted a man running from the scene and up a steep hill, prompting deputies to deploy K9 officer “Queen” after him. The suspect, later identified by deputies as Noorallah Kasir, fought with the dog as both of them rolled more than 100 yards down the hill where deputies took Kasir into custody. Kasir was treated at a hospital for minor K9 bites, then booked into Santa Rita Jail on suspicion of burglary. He is currently out on bail for a possible burglary in Hayward and is also on felony probation.
BART reports quarterly decline in crime rate
Submitted by BART Police Department
For the third consecutive month BART has seen a decline in its crime rate. On Wednesday, April 15, BART Police Department (BPD) officials reported that the transit agency’s overall crime rate through March is down 21% compared with the same three months of 2019. The drop includes a 30% decrease in violent crimes over that same period. BART crime had already started to decline in the first two months of this year before ridership was impacted by the global pandemic.
Along with the recent decrease in ridership due to the coronavirus BART has seen a dramatic drop in crimes involving electronic devices. Last month there were 36 thefts and robberies involving cellphones and laptops. That compares with 117 such crimes in March of 2019. From January through March of this year BART saw 108 cases of snatch-and-run electronic item thefts. That total is down from 220 such cases for the same time last year, which is a drop of 51%.
A new deployment strategy in response to concerns about the potential spread of the coronavirus from both front-line BART employees and essential workers who are relying on the system is also being rolled out by BPD.
BPD is now positioning sworn officers as well as non-sworn fare inspectors and community service officers in the paid areas of downtown San Francisco and downtown Oakland stations. At the start of service BPD personnel are now deployed near the fare gates to deter unwanted behavior such as fare evasion. This crime prevention strategy has been bolstered by the recent closure of some entrances at these stations, which makes it easier to focus resources on the remaining entry and exit points.
The new strategy not only maximizes the visible presence of officers but supports BART’s goal to maintain appropriate social distancing on trains by reducing the number of encounters between BPD and riders.
BPD Chief Ed Alvarez has made bolstering the visible presence of officers a priority since he was named permanent chief in January. In the latest Quarterly Performance Report for the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2020 BPD exceeded its goal of at least 12% of riders in surveys reporting they’ve seen officers in the system. It’s the first time BPD has topped its officer presence goal since last fiscal year.
BART Police Log
Submitted by Les Mensinger and BART PD
Wednesday, April 15
- At 6:33 p.m. a man identified by police as Eric Mitchell, 61, of San Lorenzo was arrested at Union City station on suspicion of assault. He was issued a prohibition order and taken to Santa Rita Jail.
Monday, April 20
- At 7:57 a.m. A man identified by police as Caleb Hardison, 29, was arrested at Fremont station on suspicion of aggravated battery. He was issued a prohibition order and booked at Santa Rita Jail.
- At 10:11 p.m. a man identified by police as Mark Upingca was arrested at Bay Fair station in San Leandro on a $60,000 felony warrant issued in Walnut Creek for possessing drug paraphernalia and a controlled substance. He was booked at Santa Rita Jail.
Tuesday, May 5
- At 8:36 a.m. a man identified by police as Kevin Horne, 49, was arrested at Hayward station on suspicion of burglary and vandalism. He was booked at Santa Rita Jail.
Thursday, May 7
- At 3:41 a.m. an officer responded to a report about an unconscious adult male possibly suffering from a drug overdose at Fremont station. The officers administered one dose of NARCAN to the man before he was taken to a hospital by paramedics.
- At 3:23 p.m. a 15-year-old juvenile was arrested at South Hayward station on suspicion of burglary. He was booked into Juvenile Hall.
- At 8:23 p.m. a man identified by police as Anthony Dean was arrested at Bay Fair station in San Leandro on suspicion of battery and on a $100,000 warrant for grand theft. He was issued a prohibition order and booked at Santa Rita Jail.
- At 10:51 p.m. an officer responded to a report about an unconscious adult male at South Hayward station. He administered two doses of NARCAN before the man was taken to a hospital by paramedics.
Bay Area health orders remain in effect
Submitted by Alameda County Health Department
Bay Area health officers are commending the residents and businesses who have made tremendous sacrifices to flatten the coronavirus pandemic curve and protect community health in our region. We need to continue to work together so those sacrifices don’t go to waste. It is critical to maintain our gains.
On Friday, May 8, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued guidance that spells out the state’s expectations for nonessential businesses to begin to reopen in a limited capacity. We will study this carefully.
Meanwhile, it is important that our local communities understand that the regional Health Orders that took effect May 4 are still in effect. These orders — in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and the City of Berkeley — loosen restrictions on construction as well as outdoor activities and businesses. The Bay Area orders do not currently permit curbside pickup from non-essential, non-outdoor businesses.
Health officers will continue working in collaboration with local elected officials, community and business leaders to find ways to reopen more businesses and activities safely, while sustaining the progress we have made to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. We appreciate that the governor recognizes that California communities are impacted differently by coronavirus and can make decisions at the local level. In our current environment, if a county order differs from a state order, the more restrictive order takes precedence.
We will continue to study the indicators that tell us how the coronavirus is affecting our communities and amend the health orders as warranted in the best interest of community health. We share the urgency to reopen and restore our economies and our normal activities, and the equal importance of doing so in a way that is safe, responsible and does not cause a significant increase in serious illness and death or overwhelm our healthcare delivery systems.
The coronavirus pandemic is still underway. Our communities will be dealing with it for a long time to come. We expect outbreaks to continue, especially among vulnerable populations. That is why we are building strong systems to protect our communities into the future. We will continue to watch the indicators with regard to sufficient testing, contact tracing and personal protective equipment. We will monitor new cases, hospitalizations and the health care system’s capacity to handle a surge of patients. We will continue to work with our community and business leaders to accomplish careful, measured progress that allows us to maintain our gains as we move forward to further reopening and better times ahead.
Family celebrates patriarch’s centennial with love and honor
Article and photo submitted by Marta Montalvo-Kao
Combining new technology with traditional sentiment, the family of Carlos Alberto Montalvo Losada is marking the Fremont man’s 100th birthday with an online celebration. Born May 12, 1920 in Cali, Colombia, this patriarch is described by his family as an example of responsibility, self-improvement, love and dedication to his family.
Although he lost his mother at a very young age, he managed to get ahead in life and help raise his younger siblings. Carlos achieved his academic goals by working during the day and going to school at night, until he graduated as a public accountant. He held various positions, one serving in a senior-level executive position in one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in Colombia.
He learned to play various musical instruments on his own, including the guitar, the accordion, and his favorite, the harmonica. He was always a voracious reader and eager to learn various trades such as watch making and electronics. In addition, he served as a book editor for a prestigious bookstore chain in Colombia for several years.
In a public statement, his family said they are blessed that Carlos is the father of nine children, the grandfather of 20 grandchildren and the great-grandfather of 16. These days, he resides in a home for the elderly in Fremont where he enjoys the appreciation of his co-residents and nurses who affectionately call him “Papi.”
Because of restrictions imposed by the current pandemic, most family members cannot celebrate Carlos’ birthday in person, but will instead gather online to mark the occasion. Family members from various parts of the world are expected to attend.
Carlos’ daughter, Marta Montalvo-Kao, summed it up best in a tribute to the family patriarch: “It has been a blessing to have been raised by this wonderful, hard-working man whom we call father. Dear Dad, we wish you much happiness on your Centennial Birthday!”
Virtual Summer Bridge Program
Submitted by Guisselle Nunez
El Centro at Chabot College is offering a free Summer Bridge program from Monday, July 20, to Thursday, August 6, for new students. Spots are limited; confirm participation by Friday, May 29. A mandatory orientation will take place on Saturday, June 6.
The program is designed to prepare the students with knowledge, confidence, and resources to successfully complete a degree, certificate, and/or transfer within three years. The program will include:
- Workshops once a week focusing on transitioning to Chabot College
- Meeting with financial aid advisors and academic and career counselors
- Online zoom math preparation course
Participants will receive a $50 bookstore credit upon completion of the program. To register, visit https://www.chabotcollege.edu/student-services/el-centro/summer-bridge.php. For additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (510)736-2110.
Summer Bridge Program
Monday, Jul 20 – Thursday, Aug 6
Classes: Monday – Thursday, 1.5 hours
Orientation: 11 a.m. Saturday, Jun 6
Application Deadline: Friday, May 29
2020 Children’s Mental Health Awareness Art Competition
Submitted by Fremont Youth and Family Services Division
To celebrate Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on May 7, and the art, creativity, and resiliency of Fremont students, the City of Fremont Human Services Department, Youth and Family Services Division, in partnership with Fremont Unified School District (FUSD), hosted the third annual Children Mental Health Awareness Art Competition.
This year, during the Coronavirus pandemic, the City and FUSD partnered to make the competition virtual. Students had an opportunity to work on their submissions during the school closure and Shelter in Place order. They were encouraged to help promote mental health awareness and the theme of “Sharing Feelings and Hope” through drawing, painting, collage, photography, sculpture, creative writing, or short film. Over 270 submissions were received across all grade levels and media types.
To display students’ works, the City launched a virtual art exhibition. All of the winners, finalists, and selected additional submissions, are highlighted, in a virtual gallery. Mayor Lily Mei produced a video to recognize the event and announce the winners and finalists, who were selected by a judging panel made up of a Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) Board Trustee, FUSD Student Support Services staff, a high school educator and high school students, local social service agency representatives, fine and graphic artists, and City of Fremont employees.
Art exhibit and listing of honorable mentions and winners:
Video of exhibit:
Choicelunch begins drive-through grocery pickup service
Submitted by Ana Pallas
When the coronavirus forced the closure of schools in a matter of days, Choicelunch, a school lunch delivery company, had to act fast. The company is used to serving school lunches to 25,000 kids per day, but with all of their customers sheltered-in-place, they had to find a new way to deliver to local families.
“Almost everyone had stockpiled groceries prior to the shelter-in-place order, but we knew we were all going to be in it for the long haul,” says Justin Gagnon, Choicelunch co-founder and CEO. A third-generation Danville native, Gagnon turned his focus directly to his local community. “We saw the frenzy and stockouts in the grocery stores, but knew that our foodservice distribution partners had excessive capacity from restaurants and foodservice businesses slowing down and even shutting completely. We wanted to find a way to reliably get the products our community needed into the hands our residents.”
Gagnon worked through the weekend building an online ordering platform for the concept, while his partners, Keith Cosbey and Ryan Mariotti, worked on sourcing ingredients for the online store from foodservice distributors. Even Gagnon’s mom, Mary Gagnon, and sister, Robbie Anderson, got involved, sewing protective masks for employees to wear.
In less than 24 hours, the Choicelunch Pantry was online and accepting orders for pickup in the Choicelunch Danville kitchen on March 24. Now, ChoiceLunch has expanded, offering staples to Rossmoor, Hayward, and San Jose.
The Choicelunch Pantry is currently stocking Farm Fresh Produce Boxes, “flat” of eggs (2 ½ dozen), gallons of milk, fresh ground beef and meats, seafood, and fresh-baked bread from Roma Bakery, a 117-year-old family-owned bakery in San Jose.
“After I started building the ordering platform, I saw a Facebook post from a good friend of mine in Danville (Jason Pera) whose parents own Roma Bakery. Jason’s mom was standing outside in strip mall selling loaves of bread on a folding table,” recounts Gagnon. When he saw people asking how they could buy Roma bread in Danville, he knew exactly what to do. “People were saying ‘I’m happy to make a run down there for all of us! I’ll take orders!’ I knew there was a way I could help a friend’s family and bring Roma Bakery to all of Danville, so I ran with it.”
In less than an hour, Roma Bakery products were on the Chiocelunch Pantry website, ready to take orders. Choicelunch has kitchens in both San Jose and Danville, and plans to have a Choicelunch team member picking up fresh bread daily in San Jose and delivering to Danville for drive-through pick-up the same day. “My wife loves the saying ‘do the next right thing’, and I’m a big believer that in times of crisis, that’s really all any of us can do,” says Gagnon. “This is more of a community service than anything. Many of our neighbors are nervous about going to the grocery store or frustrated that when they do go, staple ingredients are often out of stock. My own brother couldn’t believe we could get eggs. Our goal right now is to help our community by getting food safely to our neighbors, and help our people by keeping as many of them working as possible.”
Choicelunch is a family-owned school lunch company established in 2003 by co-founders Justin Gagnon, Keith Cosbey, and Ryan Mariotti with Larry and Mary Gagnon. Choicelunch delivers lunches to 300 schools across California from five kitchens with a staff of 200 employees company-wide.
California Highway Patrol
Submitted by CHP Hayward
Wednesday, April 29
- At about 1:30 p.m. CHP officers responded to a report about a large number of medical masks strewn along the southbound lanes of I-880 just south of the Whipple Road exit near the border of Hayward and Union City. Numerous people had stopped and exited their vehicles to pick up masks, creating a traffic hazard. CHP temporarily closed lanes while a Cal Trans sweeper cleaned up the debris. CHP officials said an unknown motorist had apparently dumped the masks. An investigation is continuing.
Wednesday, May 6
- CHP officers responded to a crash that occurred about 1:08 a.m. in the northbound lanes of I-880 between Marina Boulevard and Davis Street in San Leandro. An SUV reportedly drove off the freeway and crashed into an embankment, ejecting both occupants. A male was pronounced dead at the scene, and a woman was taken to a hospital in critical condition. CHP closed three freeway lanes for about three hours for initial investigation, which is continuing. Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call CHP Hayward at (510) 489-1500.
Climate Credit in Electric Bills
Submitted by Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Residents will see a credit included in their electric bills identified as the “California Climate Credit,” says California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). This electric credit is typically distributed in April and October. The commission has changed the distribution of the October electric credit so that it is applied earlier this year. This is one of the actions the CPUC is taking to ensure that higher bills from staying at home due to COVID-19 do not become an added hardship for customers.
2020 Electric California Climate Credit:
- April: $35.73
- May: $17.87
- June: $17.86
- October: $0
The California Climate Credit is part of state’s efforts to fight climate change. This credit is from a state program that requires power plants, natural gas providers, and other large industries that emit greenhouse gases to buy carbon pollution permits. The credit on residents’ bill is their share of the payments from the state’s program. For more information about the climate credit, visit www.cpuc.ca.gov/climatecredit/.
NOTE: Billing periods vary by utility and may not always coincide with a calendar month. If residents don’t see a climate credit in the bill that arrives this month, it will appear in the next bill.
Supervisor Cortese Selects New Chief of Staff
Submitted by Janice Rombeck
Beginning on Monday, May 11, the District 3 Director of Policy and Outreach, Tara Sreekrishnan, will take over as Chief of Staff for the Office of Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese.
Donald Rocha, who served as Chief of Staff from January 2019 through Friday, May 8, is leaving Cortese’s office to become a supervising program administrator of government relations for the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Rocha was also Cortese’s Chief of Staff when Cortese was serving his first time on the San Jose City Council from 2000 to 2004.
“I’m grateful to Don for his service to our office and the County and I look forward to working with him at Valley Water,” Cortese said. “I also welcome the opportunity to promote Tara to Chief of Staff during this difficult time as we continue to address the many impacts of COVID-19. She will expertly guide the staff through the final months of my term as supervisor.”
Sreekrishnan, 26, joined Supervisor Cortese’s staff in June 2019 as Director of Policy and Outreach. She is a graduate of Mills College who has worked as a campaign and legislative staff member in the Bay Area. She is the Co-Founder of Silicon Valley Youth Climate Action that mentors students to combat climate change in their local jurisdiction through public policy initiatives.
Office of Supervisor Dave Cortese
By Ned MacKay
As the measures to combat COVID-19 pandemic continue, the East Bay Regional Park District is gradually easing some of the restrictions that were imposed in the interest of public and staff safety.
Parks or park entrances that were scheduled to reopen May 9 are Sunol Regional Wilderness in southern Alameda County, the main parking lot at Coyote Hills in Fremont, the Doolittle Drive entrance to Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline in Oakland, and the Redwood Road entrance to Redwood Regional Park in Oakland. The Bear Creek Road entrance to Briones Regional Park near Orinda opened May 11.
At the request of the City of Fremont, the Stanford Avenue staging area at Mission Peak Regional Preserve will remain closed, to reopen June 1. Other park restrictions may be lifted too. For up-to-date information, visit www.ebparks.org and click on “COVID-19 Park and Trail Updates” at the top of the home page.
The park district also was scheduled to resume trash collections and reopen most restrooms. However, it is best to expect to pack out your trash and “go before you go,” just in case. Drinking fountains are closed, so bring your own water in a non-disposable container. Bring hand sanitizer.
Other anti-coronavirus measures are still in force, so please remember to keep your excursions close to home, go in small groups of immediate family, maintain at least six feet of social distance from other groups, bring masks to wear when social distancing isn’t possible, and keep your dogs on leash at all times.
As Governor Gavin Newsom has said many times, we are not out of the woods yet. So, when you are in the woods, act accordingly.
While we are in the woods, this is a good time for my annual rattlesnake advisory, since the snakes are out and about this time of year. The best way to avoid snakes is to stay on official trails, although I saw a rattler recently slinking across the Old Briones Road Trail at Briones Regional Park near Martinez. When walking or cycling, keep an eye on the path ahead.
Do not take shortcuts through tall grass and brush. If you stop to rest, avoid the rock piles, logs, and tall grass that are snake habitats. If you do see a snake on a trail or road, give it lots of space. And for heaven’s sake do not try to tease the snake or pick it up. Rattlesnakes are not aggressive. They will avoid us if possible; we are much larger than the small rodents that are their preferred diet.
Dogs can be a problem; curious by nature, they may run right up to a snake and get bitten. If it is a rattlesnake, the result can be an expensive vet bill. So always keep your pet under control. If you see a rattlesnake in a parking lot or picnic area, contact a park ranger and they will relocate it.
Gopher snakes look a lot like rattlesnakes and will even mimic rattlers by thrashing their tails to create a rattle-like sound. Their bite is painful, but they do not inject venom. There are posters at park district trailheads that illustrate the difference between the two kinds of snakes.
In the unlikely event of a rattlesnake bite, here are first aid recommendations:
- Remain calm and move beyond the snake’s striking distance.
- Remove jewelry and tight clothing before the bitten area starts to swell.
- Position yourself, if possible, so that the bite is at or below the level of your heart.
- Clean the wound, but do not flush it with water. Cover it with a clean, dry dressing.
- Minimize the victim’s movement. If possible, carry a victim who must be transported or have him or her walk slowly.
Get the victim to a hospital as soon as possible for anti-venom treatment. The emergency phone number within the regional parks is (510) 881-1121. Using 911 works too, but it is routed through the California Highway Patrol, so there can be a delay.
Snakebites are extremely rare, and treatment is effective. So, with a bit of caution, common sense, and awareness of your surroundings, you can enjoy your outdoor experience free from worry.
During quarantine from another great biological threat – the Great Plague of London – in the mid-1600s, Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) had time to think about the actions and reactions of physical objects. As a result, he published ‘Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica’ in 1687, widely regarded as the most influential book on physics. The laws of motion he proposed recognized the connection between movement and forces, internal and external, exerted on whatever object is moving.
Newton recognized that without the application of force, everything continues to move in the same direction and speed. His first law addresses the concept of inertia or resistance to change. In our physical world, many forces exist that alter the trajectory of not only objects around us, but what we humans do as well. For instance, watching a television show in the living room might attract your interest, but when dinner is served, your attention and direction may change toward the dining room. When opening a door, your action causes a mechanical reaction. Although Newton was thinking in mathematical terms, he was addressing a universal action/reaction response.
Examples of this behavior can be seen during the current coronavirus epidemic as some react by trying to resist external forces mandating behavioral change while others demonstrate a myriad of different responses, more in harmony with the general consensus and health concerns. In all cases, reactions either lead to a harmonious shift of direction and procedures or invoke a chaotic environment. Attitudes contrary to the common good are actually inertial since they presuppose that a previous personal path of action is independent of other forces around them whether selfish use of closed playground facilities without adequate protection for their children or themselves (“I’m not hurting anyone” and “There is nothing wrong with what I do”), operation of “closed” businesses or using sparsely-used roads as racetracks.
It is up to each one of us whether we expect inertia to propel us in the same direction pre-COVID-19 or if we change direction and attitudes. When Newton was metaphorically hit on the head by an apple falling from the apple tree, he considered why the apple fell down rather than up. His response was to ponder the world around him and respond to its signals. Understanding of the world around us, in reply, changed. This COVID-19 pandemic has turned on flashing, neon lights and blared accompanying trumpets. True to Newton’s laws of motion, we are all responding, but how and in what direction is the question. Will we settle into a pattern of inertia, relying on old habits and customs or use the energy of change to develop new and more beneficial systems to confront existing challenges such as traffic, overcrowding, pollution, climate change and education?
The apple has fallen from the tree.
Residents encouraged to enroll in energy bill discount program
Submitted by East Bay Community Energy
The California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program provides low-income customers up to a 35 percent discount on their electric bill and a 20 percent discount on their natural gas bill. Eligibility for the program is based on household income and is open to recently furloughed and laid-off workers. For more information on the CARE program, visit www.ebce.org/care/.
Feeding our neighbors
Submitted by Mark Salinas
Starting May 9, Hayward Promise Neighborhoods (HPNS) teamed up with Tacos Uruapan to launch the COVID-19 Emergency Family Meal Program.
“This partnership is important because we accomplish three important COVID-19 policy goals simultaneously: follow the shelter-in-place order, connect families and seniors to food and as much as possible keep neighborhood businesses open and jobs secure,” said Mark Salinas, HPNS community engagement specialist and Hayward city council member.
Tacos Uruapan will prepare and deliver meals to families and seniors in need. One hundred families, within the 39 streets HPNs serves in Hayward, will have meals delivered to them for the next five weeks.
Fremont Fire Department
Tuesday, April 28
- At 12:25 a.m. firefighters responded to a fire in a vacant commercial building at 37438 Fremont Blvd. The one-alarm fire was contained and extinguished within 20 minutes and there were no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
- At 1:24 p.m. firefighters responded to a vehicle fire that spread into a nearby vacant building at 3812 Peralta Blvd. The one-alarm fire was extinguished within 10 minutes and there were no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Tuesday, May 5
- Shortly after 4:00 p.m. firefighters responded to a report about a fire in the repair shop of a Mercedes-Benz dealership at 5760 Cushing Parkway. About 16 vehicles sustained water, smoke or fire damage during the two-alarm blaze which firefighters contained to the repair shop. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
Wednesday, May 6
- At 12:29 p.m. firefighters responded to a vegetation fire near a homeless encampment on Niles Canyon Road near Old Canyon Road. The one-acre fire was extinguished within 45 minutes. There were no injuries. During the incident a portion of eastbound Niles Canyon Road was closed for about 90 minutes.
COVID-19 operational update
Submitted by Geneva Bosques, Fremont PD
During the first month of the COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place the Fremont Police Department made critical operational changes and developed policy to ensure our ability to respond to emergencies over the longevity of this pandemic. Our mission remains unchanged, and our success is a direct result of our partnership with our community. We’d like to share insight into the first 30 days of the pandemic and information about our operational changes, crime trends, a new emergency state-wide bail schedule, and how you can stay connected with Fremont PD. Above all, we want our community to know that we are here for you.
Department Operational Changes
To ensure city-wide police service coverage while balancing the health and safety of our staff, we have implemented several staffing modifications at the police department. The first operational period for Patrol ran for 32 days and was just extended for a second cycle. Our patrol officers have been divided into four operational teams and are currently working 12-hour shifts. Officers regularly assigned to traffic, schools and some specialty assignments have been reassigned to the Patrol Division. We have also increased the number of officers working the desk to review online reports.
Police officers, community service officers and dispatchers can’t do their work from home. Unfortunately, our employees are just a vulnerable as other members of the public to contracting the virus. For this reason, we’ve implemented operational changes intended to reduce their exposure, including expanding online reporting, phone reporting, and having officers obtain information from some victims via phone before physically collecting evidencewhen practical.
Additional adjustments have been made throughout the organization, including daily screening of all employees and visitors, providing essential services by appointment and a new Compliance Team to manage Alameda County Health Order inquiries and complaints. Additionally, we stood up an incident command center within the police department to ensure operational and safety needs are met. Members are also participating in several City-wide committees focused on essential services and business continuity.
Health Order Compliance
From March 16, 2020 through April 13, 2020, the Fremont Police Department Compliance Team received 622 Health Order COVID-19 complaints, and our Dispatch Center received another 180. This average is about 28 a day. We collect inquiries from multiple sources including but not limited to; direct phone calls, email (email@example.com), patrol on-view/field contacts, calls into dispatch, referrals from the County and other outside agencies, social media (Twitter and Facebook) and anonymous tips via Nixle. Complaint trends include non-compliance with social distancing at parks, schools, non-essential businesses (usually by employees), churches and places of worship continuing to operate.
Almost all complaints received have some element of noncompliance, however we attempt to gain cooperation and compliance via education. Unfortunately, in some cases, we don’t have enough information or can’t immediately respond, but we attempt to follow up by contacting the Reporting Party as best we can. To date, several formal warnings have been issued, however no citations have been written.
Since the COVID-19 Shelter-in Place was implemented, Fremont’s overall crime reports have decreased, but property crimes have trended upward by approximately 30%. We are seeing spikes in commercial burglaries and auto thefts. Commercial burglary is up 133% from this period of Shelter-in-Place compared to the same period in 2019. We are averaging two per day, whereas last year it was less than one. Most of the victims are businesses and schools. Auto thefts have also risen significantly with an increase of 60% compared to this time last year. We are not seeing any significant increase in our domestic violence reports.
Our Special Operations Division is working many leads, implementing new strategies and developing new outreach efforts to prevent and disrupt these crimes. Our dedicated focus on addressing the regional auto burglary crimeproblem has shifted to the spikes in commercial burglary and auto theft. Our auto burglaries have been reduced by nearly half since Shelter-in-Place compared to January and February of 2020. These occurrences have shifted from commercial retail hot spots with high value losses (i.e., laptops) to scattered areas throughout our neighborhoods with minimal losses (i.e., loose change).
$0 Statewide Adopted Bail Rule
On Monday, April 6, 2020, the Judicial Council of California temporarily imposed an emergency statewide bail schedule. The schedule sets bail at $0 for specified misdemeanors and felonies, effective Monday, April 13, 2020 and is in effect until 90 days after the California State of Emergency has been lifted. Most misdemeanors, with a few exceptions, and all low-level felonies will now have a $0 bail attached in order to limit the number of arrestees coming into the jails and court system during this pandemic. The only felonies defined as “serious or violent” per Penal Codes 1192.7(c) or 667.5(c) are eligible for bail. Essentially this means, all non-serious or violent offenders will be issued a citation at the scene and provided a court date.
This new bail schedule specifically affects the ability of the department to incarcerate these offenders committing crimes such as commercial burglaries and auto thefts, the very crimes that have skyrocketed during the Shelter-In-Place. Instead of taking these criminals off the streets and stopping them from victimizing our community, officers are forced to write a citation and release them.
Chief Kimberly Petersen responded to the decision, “While we recognize the Judicial Council’s zero bail schedule was intended to limit COVID exposure to court staff, and reduce the number of people in our jails, the practical consequence is that police can no longer temporarily remove a criminal offender and stop them from further victimizing others. I am concerned that removing this tool from law enforcement personnel will needlessly endanger our community members. Despite this decision, our officers continue serve and stand at the ready to protect the public.”
Many of our longstanding events such as Coffee with a Cop, National Night Out, and events in support of Special Olympics have been postponed or canceled. Based on the Governor’s most recent announcement of the Western States Pact, we anticipate remote engagement will be the new norm for the foreseeable future. As long as social distancing restrictions are in place, our Department will continue to share regular updates with our community and provide opportunities for two-way dialogue. We want to ensure everyone that we are still here and available. We encourage you to visit us at fremontpolice.gov for regular updates or connect with us on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Nextdoor) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For regular City updates on COVID-19, please visit www.fremont.gov/Coronavirus.
In closing, we’d like to reiterate the Police Department values the partnership we have with our community. We are grateful to each of you for placing public health and safety ahead of all of other priorities. We know this hasn’t been easy, but your efforts to shelter-at-home and physically distance are making a difference. While we look forward to a time when life feels a little more normal, we ask that you please continue to follow the Orders of our Health Officer to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19. Together, we can beat COVID-19! #FremontStrong
Fremont Police Log
Submitted by Geneva Bosques, Fremont PD
Saturday, April 25
- At 9:17 a.m. officers were called to an automotive repair shop in the 36000 block of Fremont Boulevard where a delivery truck was stolen while the truck’s driver was delivering parts. The truck driver left his cellphone in the truck which allowed officers to track its location. Officers soon located the vehicle traveling northbound on I-880 at Whipple Road near Hayward. CHP officers were notified and attempted to stop the driver, who sped away. CHP units pursued the vehicle westbound across the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge and caught up with it in San Mateo when it stopped and a woman was seen fleeing from the vehicle on foot. The woman, later identified by authorities as Georgina Ornelas, 41, of Placerville, was quickly captured and arrested. She was cited and released at the scene by CHP. The suspect driver remains outstanding and is described by police as a black man, about 20 years old with curly hair. An investigation is continuing.
Tuesday, May 5
- Officers were dispatched to a report about a home invasion robbery that occurred at about 10:35 a.m. in the 2000 block of Laurel Canyon Court. Two males armed with handguns entered the home through the side garage entrance and confronted the homeowner in the master bedroom. The men told the victim to lie flat on the floor while they ransacked the bedroom. They took jewelry and cash before exiting the house and leaving in a vehicle occupied by a third suspect. The homeowner was not injured. Police described the suspects as black males in their 20s and wearing track suits. The case is under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call FPD Investigations at (510) 790-6900.
Fremont City Council
May 5, 2020
- Authorize third amendment for city facilities landscape maintenance services at multiple sites with New Image Landscape Company, Inc.
- Order the Preparation and Filing of the Annual Engineer’s Report for Landscaping Assessment District 88 and Intention to Levy Assessments for Landscape Assessment District 88 for Fiscal Year 2020/21
- Award a master agreement for on-call irrigation design and consultant services with Russell Mitchell and Associates, Inc.
- Approve projects for funding by revenues authorized by the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (SB1) to align with state guidelines for use of funds.
- Approve Agreements for On-Call Utility Location Consultant Services with Bear Electrical Solutions and EXARO Technologies Corporation ($1,000,000)
- Authorize a Signal Interconnect – Preemption Agreement with Union Pacific Railroad and Caltrans for the Nursery Avenue Safety Improvement Project
- Approve Creation of 100-hour Non-compensable Paid Leave Bank for Certain City of Fremont First Responders that Have Been Exempted from Certain Provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act
- Vice Mayor Jones Referral: Request to delay minimum wage increase for one year. Prepare a work plan and amendment to incorporate a one-year delay of minimum wage increase. PASSED 3-2-2 (Bacon, Kassan: Nay; Keng, Salwan: abstain)
- Councilmember Bacon noted that at a meeting of East Bay Community Energy, it was decided in a split vote to acquire hydroelectric power and reject nuclear power from PG&E.
- Mayor Mei spoke about a Complete Streets discussion with Centerville community members. Additional review and proposals will be presented at the end of May or early June.
- Stanford staging area will remain closed at the present time.
Mayor Lily Mei Aye
Vice Mayor Rick Jones Aye
Vinnie Bacon Aye, 1 Nay
Raj Salwan Aye, 1 Abstain
Teresa Keng (District 2) Aye, 1 Abstain
Jenny Kassan (District 3) Aye, 1 Nay
Yang Shao (District 4) Aye
Tooling around the garden
Article and photos by Daniel O'Donnell
YouTube and other internet sites such as DoItYourself.com can make do-it-yourselfers out of everyone. Videos on these sites can show a more efficient way to do a project and help the average person fix something. The tasks range from simple to complex. Watching an expert demonstrate the process and following their instructions will help lead to success. However, sometimes all that is needed to do the job right is a superior tool. Chefs, artists, carpenters, mechanics, and many other tradespeople, including landscapers, do not always need to create instructional videos to show how to do a job, they just need to share which is the best tool to use.
Agricultural and gardening history is full of examples of how a single tool was able to improve people’s efficiency and reduce their physical workload. Every so often, a tool comes along that revolutionizes the way people farm and garden. The plow made it possible for people to plant ten times the number of crops. There have been inventions and modifications of gardening tools that have had less impact on society than the plow, but nevertheless they benefit the individual using them.
Many of the tools home gardeners use today are renditions of the earliest gardening tools. Shovels, spades, trowels, pitchforks, rakes, hoes, and axes made with stone, wood, and/or bone were all used thousands of years ago. Advances in metalworking and the discovery of new lightweight and durable materials changed those tools. Anyone using a modern version reaps the benefits. A tool’s composition is only one part of the equation when it comes to efficient, safe, and painless gardening. Knowing which tool to use is the other part of the equation.
Given below are some inventions and traditional tools with modifications that professional landscapers use to make gardening more efficient. They can do the same for home gardeners.
Shovels appeared alongside farming towards the end of the Stone Age. They are still essential tools in any gardener’s arsenal. One variation to consider using is the Ewing Sharpshooter shovel. It blends the weight benefits of a steel breaker bar with the streamlined head of a trenching shovel. It is ideal for cutting through rocky soil, old irrigation pipes, and tree roots. It has a 78-inch handle for leverage and weighs just under 13 pounds. It has a vinyl cover that keeps the steel handle cool when working in the sun, absorbs shock, and protects the user from getting shocked if an electrical conduit is struck by accident.
Many home gardeners own garden forks and a lot of landscapers own pitchforks. A garden fork is short, stocky, and has straight tines for turning the soil, while the longer pitchfork is used to move materials. The sharp curved tines of the pitchfork slide into piles of compost or mulch more easily than a scoop or shovel can. Rose cuttings and other thorny branches can be picked up and placed directly into a green bin without fear of them getting hurt. Branches and other debris can be picked up without gardeners having to bend over and risk back injury.
Occasionally plant debris such as leaves or grass clippings is too fine to pick up with a pitchfork, and using a dust pan would be impractical and backbreaking. An ergonomic way to pick up looser plant material is to use a Leaf and Grass Scoop. This is a lightweight canvas wireframed receptacle with a flat metal bottom. It can be held with one hand while the other rakes or sweeps the plant material into the open side. When full, it can be single-handedly lifted and dumped into a compost pile or green bin.
Look at any professional gardener or landscaping crew and close by there will be a tarp full of plant debris. This low-tech way of carrying yard trimmings is quicker and easier than using buckets, wheelbarrows, rubbish bins, or any other container. Yard trimmings go into the green bin for the majority of home gardeners. However, these bins can be heavy when full and difficult to move around the yard. Using a burlap tarp allows a person to leave the bin in place while providing an easy and comfortable way to fill it up.
There are things that go on in a garden that people do not see happening, but they see the results. Plant diseases and insect infestations are two of them. It is important to know exactly what is affecting the plants to treat them. Using a magnifying glass will help identify good bugs from bad ones. Precisely diagnosing a plant disease sometimes comes down to adding up different clues. Using a magnifying glass will help find more of them and thus strengthen any opinion.
Landscapers use a variety of tools to save time and make their job easier. Using these same tools at home will make succeeding at gardening projects as achievable as they appear in a YouTube video.
Daniel O'Donnell is the co-owner and operator of an organic landscape design/build company in Fremont. Visit www.Chrysalis-Gardens.com.
H.A.R.D general manager announces retirement
Submitted by Jacqui Diaz
On April 30, Paul McCreary, general manager, Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, submitted his retirement letter to the board of directors. McCreary’s retirement will be effective September 30 after almost five years with the district. McCreary had told the board last summer he did not intend on extending his employment agreement and planned to retire in 2020. The board of directors will determine how to proceed with selecting the next general manager, in the near future.
Under McCreary's leadership, the district saw increased transparency and continued stewardship of its long-term financial stability, with general fund reserves rebounding to a record level. He has guided the planning and development of several other projects including the renovations of Hayward Community Gardens, Greenwood Park, San Lorenzo Community Park, Kennedy Park, Sorensdale Recreation Center, Hayward Senior Center, and San Lorenzo Community Center.
“We are grateful to Paul for his leadership and contributions to the District,” said Board President Paul Hodges. “Paul always handled his duties professionally and competently, especially when dealing with very complex and contentious issues. On behalf of the entire board, staff and residents, we thank Paul for a highly productive tenure and wish him well in his next chapter.”
Hayward Police Log
Submitted by Hayward PD
Saturday, April 18
- At about 9:50 p.m. officers responded to a report about gunshots heard in the 700 block of Memorial Way. On arrival, officers found a man suffering from gunshot wounds. Emergency personnel later pronounced the man dead. He was identified by the Alameda County Coroner’s Office and Hayward Police Department as Anthony Leon Saldana, 51, of Hayward. Police are investigating the case as a homicide and are asking that anyone with information to call them at (510) 293-7176. This is the sixth homicide in Hayward this year.
Friday, May 1
- At about 4:17 p.m. officers responded to a call about an unresponsive man suffering from a gunshot wound in the area of Industrial Parkway and Pacific Street. Emergency medical personnel pronounced the man dead at the scene. The Alameda County Coroner’s Office and Hayward Police Department identified the victim as a 65-year-old Hayward resident. His name was not immediately released. The case is being investigated as a homicide. Anyone with information is asked to call police investigators at (510) 293-7176.
Photos in 1 new Sharon
Local history museum receives new signage
Submitted by Kelsey Camello
New, bold signage is up on the front of the Washington Township Museum of Local History building, thanks to Eagle Scout Advait Prasad. Advait designed, built, and installed this beautiful sign for us. After 25 years people may finally begin to notice us here in Mission San Jose! Thank you Advait!
We can’t wait to see you all and talk local history with you again once this pandemic passes. Until then, please visit us online at www.museumoflocalhistory.org. The museum is also on Facebook, and we’re always just a phone call away. We’re at the ready to help with your next local history question. Remember, we cover the history of the whole Tri-City Area: Fremont, Newark and Union City.
Washington Township Museum of Local History
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wednesday & Friday
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. every second weekend per month
190 Anza St., Fremont
Submitted by Hayward PD
At about 4:17 p.m. on Friday, May 1st, our officers responded to the area of Industrial Pkwy and Pacific Street to a call for service. Upon arrival, we located a man who was unresponsive. Emergency medical personnel pronounced the man deceased at the scene. The identity of the deceased man is known, however being withheld at this time until proper notification is made to his family.
Anyone with information related to this homicide is asked to call 510-293-7176.
University of Mississippi
Spring 2020 graduate
- Prabodh Dahal of Union City
University of Utah
Spring 2020 graduate
- Yun-Chung Cho of Milpitas
The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
- Christy Phan of Milpitas; San Jose State University
Intel buys Moovit app for $900M to boost bet on robotic cars
By Michael Liedtke
AP Technology Writer
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP), May 04 – Intel is buying transportation-planning service Moovit for $900 million as the world's largest computer chip maker moves further down the road in its effort to build self-driving cars.
The deal announced Monday gives Intel another tool to use in its push to become a major player in the race to create the technology needed to build fleets of taxis that will be able to transport passengers without a human driver behind the wheel.
Moovit, an 8-year-old company based in Israel, makes an app that compiles data from public transit systems, ride-hailing services and other resources to help its 800 million users plan the best ways to get around. Intel plans to combine Moovit with Mobileye, a self-driving car specialist that Intel bought for about $15 billion in 2017.
Since that deal, Mobileye's revenue has ballooned from $210 million in 2017 to $879 million last year. That's a reflection of the big bets being placed on automated driving by both major technology companies, such as Google spinoff Waymo and Apple, and automakers such as General Motors and Toyota.
“Intel's purpose is to create world-changing technology that enriches the lives of every person on earth,” said the company's CEO Bob Swan.
Despite its rapid growth, Mobileye still only accounts for a sliver of Intel's annual revenue of $72 billion.
Intel, which is based in Santa Clara, California, is upping its ante on self-driving cars at a time when many other companies are bracing for an extended economic downturn that already has thrust more than 30 million people into the unemployment lines.
But the stay-at-home orders imposed as part of the global pandemic have only made people more aware of how dependent they are on technology, including the Intel Corp. chips inside personal computers and a wide range of other devices.
While the recession will take a bite out of the technology industry too, the long-term picture for the biggest companies still looks bright. Deep-pocketed companies such as Intel, which is sitting on $11.4 billion cash, are expected to forge ahead with their investments in fields they believe will turn into gold mines.
Intel already acquired a stake in Moovit in 2018 when it was among a group of investors who injected $50 million into the startup. Since its inception, Moovit had raised more than $130 million from venture capitalists and other investors.
After Intel invested in Moovit, Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua joined the startup's board of directors as an observer. Shashua will now oversee Moovit's roughly 200 employees including its co-founder and CEO Nir Erez, who will become an executive vice president within the Mobileye group.
Intel's stock gained 52 cents Monday to close at $57.99. The shares have fallen by about 16% from their 52-week high reached in January.
Photos in 1 new Sharon
‘Save your Saviors’ campaign delivers bio suits to East Bay hospitals
Submitted by Rishabh Saxena and Shivina Chugh
When we started our journey as high schoolers a few years back, we were curious, fun-loving, teenagers going to school to learn and also pack some fun into our daily routine just like any other adolescent kids. The academic rigor at Bellarmine and Mission San Jose High School has no doubt helped us become more analytical, thoughtful. But what emerged as a strong understanding of various parts that make up our community, the differences and similarities in these parts, and needs of each.
As the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, like everyone else, we became increasingly concerned. My (Rishabh’s) mom happens to be a physician who has been serving in the Bay Area for many years. After researching how the risks faced by frontline workers could be mitigated, we started doing more research and found that, in addition to other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), reusable and washable bio-suits helped keep the infection rate significantly lower among healthcare workers in South Korea. Our research indicated that these bio-suits were already used in a few emergency rooms in hospitals across the country but were not readily available.
We ran the idea of sourcing the bio-suits by my mom, a few Intensive Care Unit directors, and a member of infection control personnel in hospitals who saw great value in the idea. At this point, we started contacting a few more hospitals to explore interest in bio-suits as a way to increase protection for their staff. Not only was this idea well-received by the hospitals we contacted, we started getting referrals.
Seeing a high demand for bio suits and other PPE, we decided to set up a GoFundMe campaign to help raise funds and named this project, true to the sentiment that helped us start it all, “Save Your Saviors.” Friends and family joined our team, and we got strong support from the community as well. As of now, the campaign has generated $4,050 dollars through donations. Fremont Bridge Rotary Club decided to join our campaign and help us raise funds. Armed with donations, our team was able to work with vendors to get bio-suits and other PPE in a timely manner.
These bio-suits were delivered to staff in ICU’s of Kindred Hospital, St Rose hospital, and Alameda County Hospital, who were treating critically sick COVID-19 patients. In addition, delivering PPE to physician residents in training at Alameda Highland County hospital in Oakland, CA, was particularly satisfying to the team since these residents are taking care of the indigent patient population and, therefore, facing an extreme risk of catching infections which can prove fatal. There were many young doctors doing a residency in New York who in similar situations lost lives fighting this disease.
This has been an amazing and interesting endeavor, because we were able to sense the need, propose an idea, and rally support to give back to the community. We feel humbled that our small initiative reached so many frontline workers to save lives. Now we continue with this journey to spread more awareness and spread the message to “Save your Saviors.”
Letter from Steve Sackrin of Alameda Health Services
Hello Rishabh and Shivina,
On behalf of the Department of Medicine at Highland General Hospital/Alameda Health Services I want to extend our sincere thanks to your organization Save your Saviors. The contribution of personal protective equipment is deeply appreciated. The bio suits are a particularly great addition to our supplies, as we’ve had very, very few, largely in the emergency department. Most of my department’s efforts are in the ICU and hospital wards, where the sicker (and sometimes extremely ill) COVID-19 patients are cared for.
The staff here (nurses, respiratory therapists, lab personnel, and both resident and staff physicians) are trying to be thorough for our clients but as careful as possible. The bio suits offer a superior degree of protection. It is so nice that they can be cleaned and reused. Fortunately, we’ve gotten a decent number of these patients off of ventilators, and another number with very severe oxygen abnormalities through without resorting to a ventilator. This latter situation is particularly heartwarming, knowing a person has been spared the risks and significant discomfort that comes with requiring a breathing (endotracheal) tube.
I’ve worked here a LONG time. In many ways Highland is the underdog hospital of the East Bay. Most of our patients already have immense challenges, medical and especially non-medical. And our environment is already a bit threadbare and not on many people’s radar. But a sense of mission generally infuses the facility.
It was so great that your organization was willing to share its efforts and contributions with this institution. Thank you very, very much for your generosity, thoughtfulness, and the grit/work that it took to accomplish what you have done. Your supplies have been and will be put to excellent use.
Best of luck, stay safe, and keep on keeping on.
Steven Sackrin, MD, FACP
Division of Critical Care Medicine
Core Faculty, Department of Medicine
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCSF
Little Leagues plan for safe resumption of play
Submitted by Frank N. Bontempo
March 7, 2020 was the best day of the year for Little Leaguers in Fremont and Newark. Teams had been formed and practicing throughout January and February, and it was finally opening day for the 2020 season. Within a week, everything changed. Schools in Fremont and Newark closed March 13, eliminating use of fields, and Little League International recommended suspension of activities worldwide due to COVID-19. Then came shelter-in-place and social distancing orders. With the current orders in place until May 31, the normal spring season is off the table.
Since the season was suspended, California District 14 (CA-D14), which administers Fremont and Newark Little Leagues, has been working with the leagues to plan a safe resumption of the 2020 season. Bruce Marcellus, CA D14 district administrator, stated, “While we may have tournaments later in the summer, they just aren’t our focus now. Our goal is to give all our players an opportunity to get back on the field playing baseball and softball as soon as it is safe to do so. Our leagues are looking at different methods of play, from traditional organized teams to holding drop-in ‘sandlot’ days, where boys and girls, not necessarily signed up with a team, can drop in and play some baseball and softball in a safe but less-structured environment. Each league will make its own decision on whether to resume and in what format.”
“Little League International recently canceled their World Series and Regional tournaments worldwide. We understand how frustrating and disheartening these times can be for children. That is why Little League has provided online ‘Pep-Talks’ from current and former world-class athletes, and backyard activities to keep children active,” added Marcellus.
When asked what he misses about Little League, 11-year-old Eric Keesis from Fremont Centerville Little League said, “I miss playing baseball a lot. Mostly I miss playing with my friends and teammates. I have been doing Zoom practices with some of my friends. We all set up nets and tees and do drills together on Zoom Meetings from our front yards. I can’t wait to get back on the field with my coaches, friends, and teammates. I really miss my coach teaching me how to get better.”
Marcellus said, “Kids like Eric are why we are trying to get Little League restarted this summer. This season is not what our players and families were hoping for, but a few hundred local league volunteers are ready give these kids some normalcy back as soon as it is safe. Hopefully, local and state authorities will permit us to resume this summer, but know that either way, we will be back stronger than ever for the 2021 season.”
For more information, visit www.cad14.org. To find the league in your neighborhood, visit https://www.littleleague.org/play-little-league/league-finder/.
Sit out COVID-19 with these stand-ups
By Hugo Vera
As Governor Newsom announces the start of “Phase 2” efforts to re-open California, many workers from fields such as construction and retail will soon go back to work. However, the entertainment industry remains in limbo with movie theaters and playhouses still closed indefinitely. At a time when people could use a laugh most, one local theater company is determined to not only adapt to the current situation, but to thrive off “stay at home” culture.
Founded in 2010, Fremont’s Made Up Theatre company is a crossover entertainment venture that specializes in improvisational comedy, known commonly as just “improv.” After years of hopping from venue to venue, the company took residence in the city’s historic Bay Street theater house. Located above what is now the Hopping Beans Cafe, the venue served fellow theater company Broadway West until it was amicably leased to Made Up Theatre in 2018.
“Broadway West was a huge part of the city and they operated for over 20 years,” says Made Up Theatre actor and part-owner Sean Taylor. “Broadway West actually approached us and asked if we wanted to lease their space so that was a big deal for us.”
In those two years, the company generated laughs and revenue through a series of improv shows, classes and corporate team-building exercises until the coronavirus lockdowns forced the physical theater to shut its doors. In response, Made Up Theatre has been producing and streaming weekly improv shows on their YouTube channel.
“We realized that the situation was going to make us shift to a digital platform so we decided to record shows from home. Since a lot of us started off as roommates anyway, performing in our living rooms felt natural and it was a way for us to get back to our roots,” Taylor adds.
Taylor’s real-life roommates include fellow actors Bobby August and Ben Stephens. The trio, dubbed “Ben, Bobby & Sean,” are the stars of their now-weekly improv web series that can be accessed via YouTube.
“There’s definitely a lot of limitations when performing from our living room. We’re used to working on a stage that’s about 20 feet wide but now we’re dealing with a 4’x4’ space. You also don’t get the same reaction as you would with a live audience; but just because it’s not perfect, it shouldn’t prevent you from still creating.”
The trio’s creativity and determination is reflected in their new “perform from home” content. At the start of their “living room theater” venture, the company put out strictly family-friendly material but is now testing the waters for wittier and darker content that appeals to their prime fanbase of 18-30 year olds.
“We obviously don’t want to use the pandemic as a punchline, since our intention is to help people escape from the situation and get a break from what they see or hear on the news nonstop now,” says Taylor.
Current running-skits from the company include the trio navigating through “escape room” situations, variations of the show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and interactive experiences in which those watching at home can pitch lines and situations during live streams. Other content includes “monologue deconstructions” and musical theater tutorials.
While current online shows feature just the core trio of “Ben, Bobby & Sean,” Made Up Theatre plans to somehow incorporate all of its 20 other actors in future projects. Fans can purchase access-links to the show through a tier system on the Made Up Theatre website. Tiers start at $10 and allow streaming access on more devices the more patrons contribute.
“We’ve had so many people reach out to us and tell us how seeing these shows has moved them and that’s one of the positives from all this. To all the other live-performers struggling right now, just know that people want to support you and oftentimes they just need to know how.”
Made-Up Theatre Online Comedy Shows
Saturdays at 7 p.m.
Family-friendly or adult-themed (will be specified before each episode)
(Runtime: Approximately 45 minutes)
Tiers start at $10
Statement from Fremont Mayor Lily Mei
Submitted by Cheryl Golden
“As the local shelter-in-place order continues without provisions for major manufacturing activity, such as Tesla, to resume, I am growing concerned about the potential implications for our regional economy. We know many essential businesses have proven they can successfully operate using strict safety and social distancing practices. I strongly believe these same practices could be possible for other manufacturing businesses, especially those that are so critical to our employment base. The City encourages the County to engage with our local businesses to come up with acceptable guidelines for re-opening our local economy. As we have done for over a decade, the City is prepared to support Tesla as soon as they are able to resume automobile manufacturing operations and are committed to a thoughtful, balanced approach to this effort that remains safe for our Fremont community.”
Milpitas Fire Department
Submitted by MFD
Wednesday, April 1
- In mid-morning firefighters responded to a residential structure fire in north Milpitas where heavy fire and smoke was seen coming from the garage of the single-story home. Soon the blaze extended into the residence and involved two cars. The fire was quickly extinguished and its cause is under investigation. There were no injuries.
Milpitas City Council
May 5, 2020
- Proclaimed May as Asian Pacific American Heritage month
- Proclaimed May as Mental Health Awareness month.
- Proclaimed May as Older American month.
COVID-19 Testing in Milpitas:
- Authorized the City Manager to enter into a formal agreement, MOU, or other contractual agreement with IGeneX to provide and conduct tests for mobile COVID-19 testing for Milpitas businesses and residents.
Independence Day Celebrations:
- 2020 Fourth of July Fireworks display will not take place. Virtual events to celebrate the Independence Day will be held.
Donations to Community Organizations:
- Approved funding in the amount of $3,000 which will be distributed evenly to Lions Executive Club and Milpitas Rotary Club for the purchase of face covering supplies for community need. (Vice Mayor Nunez recused himself from the discussions)
- Decided to award a construction contract to the lowest responsible bidder submitting a bid, CVE Contracting Group Inc. doing business as Central Valley Environmental, for demolition of Fire Station No. 2 as part of the Fire Station No. 2 Reconstruction Project.
- Adopted a resolution declaring intention to levy and collect assessments for Fiscal Year 2020-21 for Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance Assessment District (LLMD) No. 95-1 (McCarthy Ranch), and provide Notice of Public Hearing to be held on May 19, 2020 in this regard.
- Adopted a resolution declaring intention to levy and collect assessments for Fiscal Year 2020-21 for Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance Assessment District (LLMD) No. 98-1 (Sinclair Horizon), and provide Notice of Public Hearing to be held on May 19, 2020 in this regard.
- Confirmed the Order of the Director of Emergency Services imposing regulations to protect essential workers and consumers through the use of face coverings.
- Adopted a Resolution to condemn xenophobia and discrimination directed toward all communities, during the time of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Public Hearing to approve Fiscal Year 2020-21 Master Fee Schedule.
- Adopted City of Milpitas Economic Development Strategy and implementation actions.
Leadership and Support Services:
- Reviewed the FY 2019-20 Quarterly Financial Status Report for the quarter ending March 31, 2020 and approved budget amendments to rebalance the FY 2019-20 Amended General Fund Budget due to COVID-19 Pandemic anticipated revenue losses.
Rich Tran (Mayor) Aye
Bob Nunez (Vice Mayor) Aye, 1 Recusal
Carmen Montano Aye
Karina Dominguez Aye
Anthony Phan Aye
Mission Hills Golf Course reopening
Submitted by Jacqui Diaz
The Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (H.A.R.D.) announced their first facility to open since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and shelter-in-place orders were directed. Mission Hills Golf Course opened for golf, the driving range and Toptracer Golf services on Saturday, May 9, 2020.
The course will be open daily at 8 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. starting on Saturday, May 9, 2020, with the driving range open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The course will be open seven days per week. The District has set up the Club House to support and meet physical distancing and cleanliness guidelines required in Alameda County. Golfers are required to wear a mask while in the Club House. Food service will be available soon, and currently there are water and soda options for sale. Payment methods accepted onsite are credit or debit cards for golf and beverages.
The District closed all facilities and programs on March 17 when the Alameda County Public Health Department and Governor Newsom announced the shelter-in-place order. Early in May, some loosening of restrictions were announced which included the opening of golf courses in California.
“We are thrilled to be able to make this announcement today,” stated Board President Paul Hodges. “Our mission is to provide outdoor and recreational opportunities to the community we serve. This is the first step in our being able to reopen facilities. We greatly appreciate the patience and support by the community and hope to announce more openings soon.”
Opening Mission Hills was the best choice due to the ability to incorporate required guidelines, as well as being able to provide three options in one location: golfing, driving range, and the new Toptracer computerized golf experience. Current golf operations guidelines allow for only walking by individuals, no groups or carts. It is highly recommended that golfers make a tee time by calling the Golf Shop at (510) 888-0200 starting Friday, May 8, 2020 at noon.
For more on H.A.R.D. facilities and operation modifications, please visit, www.HaywardRec.org/COVID-19. Please read prior to coming to play on the course. Your patience is appreciated as it may take a bit more time to get through the Club House.
Mission Hills Golf
Seven days per week
Course Hours: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Driving Range: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
275 Industrial Pkwy, Hayward
Oakland Zoo welcomes new giraffe to the herd
Article and photos submitted by Erin Harrison
A young female giraffe named Kijiji recently arrived at the Oakland Zoo from Kansas City-based Lee Richardson Zoo. The April 29 move, prompted by a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, is part of the program’s goal to promote genetic diversity in captive giraffe. Officials deemed Kijiji’s genetics an excellent match for Oakland Zoo’s male resident giraffe, Mabusu.
Kijiji’s 30-hour journey from Kansas City was handled by seasoned animal transport company, Premier Animal Logistics, and included frequent stops to check on her during the drive. A modified 13.5-foot trailer was used, with an enhanced interior for a safe and comfortable ride for the giraffe.
Kijiji is nearly two years old and 11 feet tall. She is still too young to have her own offspring; female giraffe typically show interest in breeding around 4 years of age. When that time comes, Oakland Zoo’s animal care team hope for a “love connection” between Kijiji and Mabusu, resulting in her becoming a first-time mother.
For the time being, Kijiji has met Oakland Zoo’s five other resident giraffe and was warmly welcomed into the herd. She is still learning her way around her new surroundings, and while she has been able to access the giraffe exhibit, she only chose to venture inside on May 7 and then spent several days looking curiously into the exhibit from a holding area. Eventually she took her first steps into the exhibit and joined the other giraffe, much to the delight of animal keepers who had been watching her.
“Kijiji is doing great. She was in good spirits upon her arrival to Oakland, and she has been eating well and exploring her surroundings,” said Ann Marie Bisagno, Zoological Manager at Oakland Zoo. “We can already see that she has a curious nature, and we’re thrilled to have her join our giraffe family.”
The goal of having giraffe at the zoo is to bring appreciation and awareness to the giraffe species, including challenges they face in the wild. Oakland Zoo partners with the Reticulated Giraffe Project in Kenya, a conservation organization dedicated to working with local communities in Africa to help reduce human-wildlife conflict and habitat loss in order to preserve endangered giraffe populations in the wild.
Newark reaching out to help residents
By Johnna M. Laird
Newark Mayor Al Nagy is impressed but not surprised with the way local businesses, organizations, and residents in his city have responded during two months of sheltering in place to reduce COVID-19’s infection rate.
“Restaurants have found novel ways to serve a ‘to-go’ audience to keep businesses alive. Restaurants like O’Sullivan’s have provided free meals to students and families,” says Nagy.
“Mickey Sra and the Punjabi Cultural Association of the Bay Area delivered 500 masks and provided food and rent for a woman being evicted from a local hotel,” he goes on, acknowledging too many outreach stories to cite each one, from individuals sewing masks to League of Volunteers (LOV Newark) delivering food to families lacking transportation.
There’s a name for this kind of response. Social scientists call it prosocial behavior, defined as actions intended to benefit others. It usually occurs when people identify an event as an emergency, feel a sense of responsibility, believe they have skills to help, and then make a conscious choice to provide assistance.
“Newark residents are very resilient,” says Nagy, “and have the attitude that we will get through this.” Getting through means stepping up to help others survive the pandemic that has upended lives. City employees, too, have jumped in, taking to heart words of 19th century philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson: “In each pause I hear the call.”
With non-essential offices closed, City of Newark employees were sent home. Recreation and Parks employees, however, recognized needs they could fill. Several volunteered, assembling boxes and bagging groceries for Viola Blythe Center, a longtime Newark nonprofit organization known for helping people deal with immediate needs.
On a Saturday in April, a core of Viola Blythe volunteers handed out 200 emergency bags of groceries in 20 minutes to lined-up cars. It was a feat that Executive Director Debbie Caravalho-Rodriguez says would have been impossible without the aid of city employees working behind the scenes. Employees set up in a city-provided warehouse, created an assembly line, and packed boxes with everything from meat and milk to peanut butter, tuna, and day-old bread. Some employees even shopped for food, which has been in short supply.
“Newark is blessed with outstanding city employees,” says Mayor Al Nagy. “They really do care about their community. They take their jobs to heart for their fellow citizens.”
Nagy, a regular volunteer with Viola Blythe, recently worked with Caravalho-Rodriguez to obtain a county grant to assist with outreach to homeless individuals and to replace Viola Blythe’s decrepit van with a used, but newer one.
Need for food donations has doubled in the last month. Caravalho-Rodriguez, who describes the nonprofit as extremely bus, says familiar faces who usually seek help monthly now are coming more frequently. Simultaneously, she says she is seeing twice the number of new clients.
Viola Blythe’s core volunteers pushed for the organization to remain open, says Nagy, wanting to help others in need. Hours of operation, however, have been reduced. No one enters the center. Food is distributed curbside.
Concern for Newark residents shows up in every department, according to Nagy. The first day of orders to shelter in place, Nagy received an email about a dying tree in a front yard potentially falling over and causing damage. Nagy sent an email to Newark City Manager David Benoun. Within two hours, the tree was removed. Frail senior citizens at Clark W. Redeker Senior Center are receiving phone calls as center staff members keep them in mind, offering a friendly voice of connection while making a wellness check.
To keep residents informed, the City developed COVID-19 web pages and published a COVID-19 special edition of The Newark News in English and Spanish, mailed to homes. The city council established a moratorium on residential and commercial evictions, allowing back rent repayment of 25 percent each 45 days for a 180-day maximum. Council meetings are continuing, conducted over videoconferencing platforms with public participation via a chat feature and hand-raising to be recognized.
Nagy, president of Alameda County Mayor’s Conference, says that local government has the ability to respond more rapidly to changes with their communities, offering more innovation at the local level.
“The business of government must go on, especially in times like these.” Nagy says.
‘Keeping lines of communication open’
By Jui Sadekar
“Commitment to inclusion and equity and diversity” is an important aspect of Ohlone Community College, and one Dr. Eric Bishop values highly. Appointed as the next Ohlone president, Dr. Bishop says that he wasn’t just looking for any presidency per se. “It had to be the right presidency at the right place, and I felt like Ohlone matched both my values and the type of college and community I want to work with and work in. Ohlone is…about serving students, and those are all things that are close to me.”
Replacing Dr. Gari Browning after she retires on June 30, Dr. Bishop believes that continuity of leadership is good for the community. “I get to extend and to continue [Dr. Browning’s legacy] down the road, figure out where we go from there. And then there will be a point where I have my own identity as the campus community gets to know me.”
Dr. Bishop, who had to pass three to four stages to become a finalist, says that his paper application was submitted in February. “The review committee, I believe, had about 19 people. After I was selected as the finalist, I had a meeting with the current executive team; lastly, I had to participate in a campus-wide community forum.”
Having worked in higher education for over 30 years, Dr. Bishop currently serves as the associate superintendent of Student Services and Legislative Engagement for Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Before entering teaching and administration, Dr. Bishop worked at a magazine as a journalist for a couple of years in Illinois. He has a bachelor’s in journalism, a master’s in communications, and a doctorate in organizational leadership.
For a person who loves face-to-face interaction, the current situation of social isolation work-from-home is not ideal. “I am a people person who thrives in human interaction. So, the way we are currently doing business removes that. It just makes be more excited about actually seeing and working with people in a room.”
Dr. Bishop, who lives in Pomona, California, will move to the Bay Area in July to join the office. “A move like this would have already had its challenges. The restrictions in place add a level of difficulty, but not impossibility. It is as easy or hard as I choose to make it given the reality. It is a bit challenging just to find a place to live because you cannot visit there…So, I think that showed the immediate effect of not having ability to move freely in the community.”
However, the challenges do not trouble Dr. Bishop. “I have moved before, so part of it is exciting. I look forward to learning the culture of another portion of California.”
Taking over the college presidency during COVID-19 is challenging but Dr. Bishop says there is little bit of both excitement and fear. “I think the current situation is forcing us as educators,” he says, “to think about doing things in new ways and try to be as innovative as we can and maintain our educational integrity through new delivery methods, new ways of thinking.”
“It’s certainly not normal, but I applaud the board for its ability to want to move forward and not stop, you know? Because it could’ve been a different situation if the board had chosen not to move forward after Dr. Browning retires and go through this without someone at the helm,” he states.
For Dr. Bishop, the biggest concern is knowing that we are probably walking into a new recession and a new economic struggle, particularly for community colleges. “I have to make sure that we are ready to deal with that and keep our lines of communication open.”
He adds that the college had to go remote mid-semester. “I think the beauty of where we’ll be in summer is that we get to start that way. So, students kind of know what they are walking into. I think the important thing for us is to make sure that our faculty, our staff, and our students have all the resources and tools and support they need to feel comfortable in the environment,” he further states.
Referring to his strategy, Dr. Bishop concludes, “Once I am in the Bay Area, I would like to engage the community so that Ohlone College is part of every family’s plans, whether they want to transfer or get a certificate and join the workforce…I would hope that Fremont, Newark, Union City, and our surrounding communities would embrace such an attitude.
By Pat Kite
Rose planting time is now. When selecting, check out a Peace Rose. Its story is bold and fascinating. The story begins in 1939, France, war raging. The German Army had occupied Northern France and would soon take over Paris and much of Europe.
In his little corner of the world near Lyons France, Francis Meilland, a rose breeder, continued to check on the roses in his family nursery. Among the many ordinary, he watched a hybridized rose that was stunning and unusual. But what to do? There was no time to experiment and to develop this rose. The German occupation would soon plow the entire nursery under, creating a vegetable garden.
The Meilland family took cuttings of the unusual rose, calling it 3-35-40. These were to be sent to friends in United States, Italy, Turkey, and Germany. One train containing the small budwood parcels was commandeered by the German Army for military use. The other European transported roses were also war-decimated. One bit of budwood left to the United States. But how to get it through all the embargoes? Everything was searched, confiscated, and destroyed. Was there anybody who wasn’t subjected to search and seizure?
The small budwood parcel was tucked into a diplomat’s carry-on satchel. On the very last plane before the German Army took control of the airport, the diplomat managed to get onboard. Then the Meillands had no news at all. Had the budwood made it through the embargo? Had it survived? It had.
Its United States partner became Conrad Pyle/Star Roses. The budwood was successfully propagated and then submitted to the AARS for a three-year testing program. A success. In 1944, Robert Pyle was finally able to inform Francis Meilland that his budwood had reached the United States.
A future show date was April 29, 1945. On this date, just by coincidence, a truce came about. The war had about ended. After some discussion, 3-35-40 was finally given a name: Peace. Where did 3-35-40 come from? It was the third hybridization in 1935, and the 40th cultivar selected for full testing. The formal name is Rosa “Madame A. Meilland.”
Well over 50 million Peace roses have been planted. There is now also a Climbing Peace, Chicago Peace, Lucky Peace, Pink Peace, and a Flaming Peace. For the Meilland family, whose rose farms and family assets were destroyed during the war, the numerous awards for Peace enabled the family to start up again. They continue to design beautiful new roses.
As Francis Meilland once wrote: “How strange that all these millions of rose bushes sprang from one tiny seed no bigger than the head of a pin, a seed which we might so easily have been overlooked, or neglected in a moment of inattention.”
Peace is as nearly perfect as a rose can be. Lovely, scented, and hardy. How can you possibly resist?
Providing meals to senior citizens
Submitted by Tamar Sarkissian
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and its Corporation Foundation together have contributed a total of $150,000 to organizations in Northern and Central California focused on feeding vulnerable senior citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will support 15 organizations, including Meals on Wheels programs, which provide meals to seniors and help combat social isolation. Meals on Wheels of Alameda County is one of the organizations to receive the support.
PG&E charitable contributions are funded entirely by shareholders and have no financial impact on its customers. PG&E is also encouraging its employees to contribute to charitable organizations that are providing COVID-19 support to local communities. Individual employee donations made to these organizations will be matched up to a total of $50,000. PG&E is also partnering with HandsOn Bay Area and SOS Meals on Wheels, where employees are making senior wellness calls for Meals on Wheels clients.
COVID-19 private funding and technical assistance programs
Submitted by the Alameda Small Business Development Center
Out of work? There are many grant programs providing relief for small businesses and employees who are suffering economic loss due to COVID-19. Some are geared toward certain professions such as restaurant workers or freelancers, while others are more general. Below is a list of some programs available:
Facebook small business grants program
- Have between 2 and 50 employees
- Have been in business for over a year
- Have experienced challenges from COVID-19
- Be in or near a location where Facebook operates
James Beard Foundations – food and beverage industry relief fund program
Qualification: Food and beverage companies
Open Road organization COVID-19 charitable grants program
Qualification: Companies addressing COVID-19
Amazon relief fund program
Qualification: independent delivery service partners and their drivers
Hello Alice business for all program
Emergency business grants
Verizon-LISC small business recovery grants program
Emergency business grants
Restaurant Workers Community Foundation – COVID-19 crisis relief fund program
- For organizations leading on-the-ground efforts in the restaurant community
- Provides zero-interest loans to maintain payroll during closure or to reopen
- Relief fund for workers facing economic hardships or health crises as a direct result of COVID-19
USBG National Charity Foundation – bartender emergency assistance program
Qualifications: Bartender, bar back, bar server, or otherwise engaged in the service or preparation of alcoholic beverages
Sony global relief fund for COVID-19 program
Qualification: For artists working with music, pictures, games and animation
Artist relief organization
Qualifications: Visual artists working in the mediums of painting sculpture, and/or drawing who have suffered significant losses
One Fair Wage Organization emergency fund program
Qualifications: Restaurant workers, gig workers, and other hourly workers
Freelancers Union Organization relief fund program
Up to $1,000 per household to qualifying freelancers to cover lost income and essential expenses
Explosion rocks San Leandro warehouse; four arrested
Submitted by Lt. Isaac Benabou, San Leandro PD
Four men were arrested after an early morning fire and explosion rocked an industrial area in San Leandro on Thursday, May 7. Authorities said evidence at the scene suggested the blast may have been caused by an illegal butane honey oil lab operation.
Officers from the San Leandro Police Department (SLPD) responded to the 1700 block of Timothy Drive near Williams Street after receiving multiple 911 calls reporting the sound of an explosion in the area shortly before 5:00 a.m. Firefighters from Alameda County Fire District (ACFD) also responded to the scene and reported on social media that the blast took out the building’s roof and sent debris flying down the block. They quickly extinguished the fire and turned over the investigation to SLPD.
Police reported that two adult males at the scene were taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries pending their arrests, while two other males were arrested and taken to San Leandro Jail where they faced charges relating to illegal production of concentrated cannabis.
According to police, butane honey oil labs are dangerous because the process involves extracting a concentrated form of THC from marijuana using butane. This volatile gas is extremely flammable and can cause an instant explosion from a single spark, such as static electricity.
“People need to understand that this process can kill or seriously injure those who are anywhere near these types of operations. This morning, the four individuals who were arrested for this operation are extremely lucky to be alive,” said Police Lieutenant Ted Henderson. No other injuries were reported and the incident remains under investigation.
San Leandro Police Log
Submitted by Lt. Isaac Benabou, San Leandro PD
Saturday, April 18
- At about 3:12 p.m. officers responded to a report about a man brandishing a baseball bat inside a Walmart store at 15555 Hesperian Blvd. On arrival, officers approached the man and ordered him to put the bat down, but he did not comply. Instead, he walked toward officers with the bat prompting one officer to discharge a taser at him. The man was not affected by the taser and continued approaching the officers. Then, the officer fired a gunshot into the man’s upper torso while another officer discharged another taser. The man fell and paramedics were called, but the man died at the scene. The Alameda County Coroner’s Office identified the man as Steven D. Taylor, age 33. Police posted a video of the incident on YouTube at https://youtu.be/xMOaZaJxamE. An investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call SLPD at (510) 577-2740.
San Leandro City Council
May 4, 2020*
- Proclamation declaring May 2020 as Older Americans Month.
- Proclamation declaring May 10-16, 2020 as National Police Week.
- Proclamation declaring May 2020 as East Bay Affordable Housing Month.
- Resident spoke abut how the Zoom format for the council meetings was difficult to access for members of the public.
- Many residents, including those from San Leandro schools, commented on the death of Steven Taylor in the April 18th altercation with San Leandro police at the Hesperian Boulevard Wal-Mart. They expressed outrage at his death as well as calls for the police officers involved to be indicted and for the police department to have more stringent mental health training as well as more de-escalation tactics and non-lethal methods for interactions with the public.
- Several residents referenced California Assembly Bill 392, a law which prohibits excessive use of force when peace officers are not at risk of death or bodily harm from the person they are pursuing especially when dealing with those having mental health crises.
- Resident asked for an update on the implementation of the city’s Community Assessment Transport Team (CATT), a mobile crisis unit created to support police officers responding to mental health emergencies.
- Resolution of the city in support of San Leandro’s participation in the Institute for Local Government’s Beacon program.
- Resolution authorizing the city manager to apply for a California Public Utilities Commission Self-Generation Incentive Program Grant and to appropriate $120,000 from the Water Pollution Control Plant’s Fund balance reserves as a grant guarantee.
- Motion to advance Mildred Howard’s proposed sculpture design to be installed along the front façade of San Leandro Main Library.
- Public Comment: Resident spoke in support of Howard’s proposed design.
- Discussion of the city’s response to COVID-19.
- Councilmember Lopez moderated a panel discussion on cyber security for the National League of Cities where she was joined by Tony Battala, San Leandro’s Chief Technology Officer, who was a panelist.
- Councilmember Hernandez attended the East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) meeting where the board decided to partially accept an energy allocation from PG&E. They accepted a hydro-powered energy allocation into the resource mix while eschewing a portion of that allocation derived from nuclear energy sources. Councilmember Hernandez also highlighted how EBCE is contributing funds to small businesses throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
- Councilmember Lee attended the Asian American Unification Seminar where xenophobia and COVID-19 related hate crimes were discussed.
Councilmember Requests to Schedule Agenda Items
- Councilmember Hernandez requested a presentation from Chief Tudor on the effectiveness of tasers. Item passed 6-1; Ballew Nay.
- Councilmember Lee requested that the city move to adopt an anti-xenophobia proclamation. Item passed 7-0.
- Councilmember Lee requested recognition of Asian American History month. Item passed: 7-0.
- Councilmember Lopez requested a staff report updating the council on the CATT program and why it has been delayed. Item passed: 7-0
Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter Aye
Vice Mayor Pete Ballew Aye, 1 Nay
Victor Aguilar, Jr. Aye
Ed Hernandez Aye
Benny Lee Aye
Deborah Cox Aye
Corina Lopez Aye
*City Council meeting conducted over Zoom due to the shelter-in-place.
Silicon Valley Community Foundation receives $10M donation
Submitted by Chau Vuong
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation awarded a $10 million grant to Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) for its COVID-19 relief efforts in the Bay Area. The grant will support SVCF’s COVID-19 Regional Response Fund and Regional Nonprofit Emergency Fund, which were created in February and early March, respectively, to address community needs in the face of a worsening pandemic.
“We are thankful for the work SVCF is doing to coordinate regional philanthropic relief during this crisis,” said Fay Twersky, vice president of William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. “By supporting this coordinated response effort, we can leverage SVCF’s established networks with local partners, increase effectiveness, and ensure that charitable dollars get to community members in need in our region, and to nonprofits that serve them. This is exactly the time for charitable funders to rally behind a community foundation.”
The Regional Response Fund provides grants to partner organizations with deep roots in communities throughout the 10-county Bay Area region. Those organizations, in turn, provide direct support to people and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. SVCF’s Regional Nonprofit Emergency Fund is administered by local community foundations and provides flexible operating support grants to sustain nonprofits that deliver essential services to affected communities.
To date, SVCF has distributed $23.4 million in grants from its COVID-19 response funds, but the community’s needs far exceed the current capital available. Hewlett Foundation will distribute the funding to SVCF over the course of approximately one year in anticipation of meeting the long-term, ongoing needs of the community because of the crisis.
Stay at home and boost your sleep!
By office staff
A recent study from Sleepopolis, a sleep industry review and information site, found that Fremont residents who are currently working from home are catching on average an extra 19.5 hours of sleep per month. These extra hours of shut-eye are critical, as Fremont also ranked a disappointing #63 in sleep quality among California cities.
Here is how the Tri-City Area fared in the survey, which also gathered information about food insecurity, air pollution, drinking and smoking habits, and mental health. Throughout California, scores stayed well above 80%, and the state also includes the top four cities in the U.S. for sleep, but unfortunately the East Bay Area didn’t crack the top 50.
Milpitas #55 – Sleep score of 88.1
Fremont #63 – Sleep score of 87.98
Newark #116 – Sleep score of 86.62
Union City # 123 – Sleep score of 86.56
Castro Valley #138 – Sleep score of 86.37
Hayward #220 – Sleep score of 85.45
San Leandro #260 – Sleep score of 84.98
The highest scoring city in the state for sleep quality? Los Altos Hills, with a score of 95.46.
You can view the full list of results at https://sleepopolis.com/sleep-cities/california/.
Spare the Air smog season begins
Submitted by Ralph Borrmann
With traffic levels at record lows during the shelter-in-place, air quality has been good throughout the Bay Area. While weather conditions have had a positive effect on air quality, major reductions in traffic, the top source of pollution in the Bay Area, have also been a significant factor.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced start of the Spare the Air summer smog season on May 4. Launch of the smog season coincides with the start of the 2020 Air Quality Awareness Week, a nationwide campaign to increase air quality awareness and inspire people to take steps to reduce their contribution to air pollution.
“These challenging times have demonstrated that teleworking can be a viable, flexible work option for many that benefits not only our air quality, but employers and employees as well,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. “As employers create plans to safely reopen their doors and continue operations once shelter-in-place orders are eased, we should not lose sight of the benefits that reducing traffic can bring – teleworking can be part of the solution to keeping our skies blue.”
During the warmer weather months, Spare the Air Alerts are issued when smog or ozone pollution is forecast to reach unhealthy levels. Ozone can cause throat irritation, congestion, and chest pain. It can trigger asthma, inflame the lining of the lungs, and worsen bronchitis and emphysema. Ozone pollution is particularly harmful for young children, seniors, and those with respiratory and heart conditions. When a Spare the Air Alert is called, limit outdoor exercise in the late afternoon when ozone concentrations are highest.
Know when a Spare the Air Alert is in effect:
- Via text alerts by texting the word “START” to 817-57
- By connecting with Spare the Air on Facebook or Twitter
- On www.sparetheair.org
- By calling 1(800) HELP-AIR
- By signing up for email AirAlerts at www.sparetheair.org
- By downloading the Spare the Air app
SWAT arrests suspect wanted in connection with shooting
Submitted by Geneva Bosques, Fremont PD
On May 9, 2020 at 12:20 p.m., a 46-year-old male victim arrived at Washington Hospital. He advised staff he had just been shot and then collapsed near the emergency room doors. An x-ray showed the victim had suffered a single gunshot wound to his back and the bullet was lodged close to his aorta. Due to the location of the bullet and severity of the injury, paramedics requested a specialized ambulance to transport the victim to a trauma center.
Fremont patrol units responded to the hospital and immediately began to investigate the incident. Crimes Against Person(s) detectives were called out and responded to assist with the investigation. Prior to being transported to the trauma center, officers were able to speak with the victim and gather details regarding the shooting.
Evidence of a crime scene was found in a parking lot of a business, located in the 37300 block of Blacow Rd. Video surveillance evidence and witness statements led to a potential suspect in the shooting (Alexander Eullo; 40-year-old resident of Union City). An arrest warrant for Eullo was authored and signed by an Alameda County Judge.
The Fremont Police Department SWAT team was called in to help locate Eullo. At approximately 11:55 p.m., Eullo was spotted in the parking lot of the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in the City of San Jose. Eullo initially ran from officers, but was safely apprehended.
The victim statement, video evidence, witness statements, physical evidence and suspect confession led investigators to believe that the shooting was not random; Eullo and the victim had known each other for some time and the shooting was a result of money owed between the two. The victim’s medical condition has remained stable, and he is expected to survive his injuries.
Investigators believe the firearm used by Eullo was discarded in the area. It’s believed Eullo threw the firearm out of a car window as he fled from the area. The firearm is believed to be somewhere on Blacow Rd (between Central Ave and Eggers Dr.) near the west bush line. Investigators have looked for the firearm but have not yet located it. We are asking the public to be on the lookout for the firearm if in the area and immediately call 911 should it be found. Please do not touch the firearm, as it is critical evidence in this case.
Eullo remains in custody (Santa Rita jail) on a no-bail hold for charges of attempted murder and discharge of a firearm at a person causing great bodily injury. Eullo is also being held on two additional unrelated warrants. The case will be presented to the Alameda County District Attorney for charging on the morning of May 11, 2020.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to please call Senior Detective Michael Gebhardt at 510-790-6954 or send an anonymous tip by texting TIP FREMONTPD followed by your message to 888-777, or via the web at https://local.nixle.com/tip/alert/6216337.
Toyota Prius: high-level version of a classic
By Steve Schaefer
The Toyota Prius hybrid is so well known today that it hardly needs an introduction. But in brief, since the late 1990’s, Toyota has sold a car that combines a gasoline engine with an electric motor to significantly improve miles per gallon. The motor makes it a more efficient gasoline car. You don’t (and can’t) plug it in—it generates electricity for the motor by using regenerative braking. They have sold a bunch of these hybrids since its arrival, and the Prius has become the standard by which other hybrids are judged.
During the last decade, Toyota also marketed a smaller, less expensive Prius C model and a slightly taller wagon-shaped version called the Prius V. Neither remains with the debut of the latest generation Prius, but you can opt for the Prius Prime, which has a larger battery that you can charge with a plug and drive for 25 miles using no gas at all. This plug-in hybrid shares most of the Prius’ look, feel, and features, but has a slightly different look front and rear.
So, what’s new for 2020? Well, there’s a new top-level model called the Limited. Yes, that moniker has been used by other manufacturers to designate exclusivity (Buick comes to mind), and this truly is a bit more premium car than the base model.
You can get a Prius starting with L Eco ($24,200) and move up through LE ($25,410), XLE ($28,250), and perched at the top, Limited (32,375). Add $955 to those numbers for shipping and handling—but a more than $8,000 gap remains. All-wheel-drive versions of the LE and XLE are also sold, but for less than the Limited.
I decided to compare the base L Eco model with the Limited, and the Limited with the XLE below it, to see where those prices come from. My research was exhaustive, but this article isn’t, so we’ll just review the highlights.
To get started, all Prius models have the same hybrid synergy drive system and look pretty much alike (not counting the Prime, as I already mentioned). That means a 96-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder gas engine mated to a 53kW, 71-horsepower electric motor. Total system numbers are a modest 121 horsepower and 105 lb.-ft. or torque.
All models get Toyota safety sense, which is in most Toyotas today, and includes a pre-collision system, lane departure alert, and automatic high beam—three technologies to reduce accidents, especially rear-end collisions. All models also come with three years of 24-hour-a-day roadside assistance (but you probably won’t need it).
Interestingly, the XLE and Limited weigh just 65 pounds more than the L Eco, but the base car gets notably better EPA fuel economy – 56 mpg Combined vs. 52 mpg for the fancier ones. So far, the L Eco wins on price and efficiency. But let’s see what you get with the others.
Grab an XLE and you can flaunt cooler-looking 17-inch alloy wheels vs. 15-inchers on the L Eco. You’ll enjoy the safety of blind spot monitors and intelligent clearance sonar with intelligent parking assist. You’ll also find softex (animal-free leather) on the seats (now heated) and an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat (4-way for the passenger). You also get rain-sensing wipers and a smart key system.
Stepping up to the Limited brings a high-tech adaptive front lighting system with auto-leveling headlights. Inside, your ears are caressed by the premium JBL sound system on a Tesla-like 11.6-inch high-resolution touch screen. You’ll also experience the convenience of a color head-up display, which projects useful driving info onto the windshield, so you don’t have to look away from the road.
My week with a Sea Glass Pearl 2020 Prius Limited was certainly pleasant, and the car doesn’t feel different for its hybrid-ness. Previous models featured expanses of white plastic inside, but now these are tasteful gloss black. The upmarket audio soothes you on freeway jaunts, and the soft seats, at least for the shorter trips I took, felt comfortable. There’s still a bit of “whiz-bang” in the sweep of the dash and center console, but with all cars providing more stimulation to the eye, it no longer stands out.
My fuel economy was only 38.8 mpg during a 70.2-mile test, but you’ll do better over longer trips, especially if you stay in Eco mode.
The Prius received a little nip and tuck to its extremely expressive exterior last year, but still looks like a Prius. Toyota knows what it’s doing in the hybrid market. If the unique looks don’t work for you, sample their other hybrids, including the midsize Camry sedan, compact Corolla (new for 2020), large Avalon sedan, and Highlander crossover. But the Prius remains the pioneer and benchmark–and gets the highest mpg.
Uber loses $2.9 billion, offloads bike and scooter business
By Cathy Bussewitz
NEW YORK (AP), May 07 – Uber lost $2.9 billion in the first quarter as its overseas investments were hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, but the company is looking to its growing food delivery business as well as aggressive cost-cutting to ease the pain.
The ride-hailing giant said Thursday it is offloading Jump, its bike and scooter business, to Lime, a company in which it is investing $85 million. Uber's bike and scooter business had been losing about $60 million a quarter.
“While our Rides business has been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic, we have taken quick action to preserve the strength of our balance sheet, focus additional resources on Uber Eats, and prepare us for any recovery scenario,” said CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement. “Along with the surge in food delivery, we are encouraged by the early signs we are seeing in markets that are beginning to open back up.”
Uber brought in $3.54 billion in revenue in the first quarter, up 14% from the same time last year.
Revenue in its Eats meal delivery business grew 53% as customers shuttered at home opted to order in. The company exited markets where its food delivery business was unprofitable, including the Czech Republic, Egypt, and Honduras. But it added key accounts including Chipotle, Dunkin' and Shake Shack, and it enabled delivery from grocery and convenience stores.
Uber's bottom line was hurt when the value of its investments in Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi, Singapore-based Grab and others plummeted by $2.1 billion as demand collapsed in those regions.
Uber's investment in Lime came as part of a $170 million funding round, which also included Alphabet, Bain Capital Ventures, GV and other investors.
City hall administrative offices partially re-open
Submitted by Lauren Sugayan
Starting Monday, May 11, city administrative offices of Union City will partially reopen to process building permits, development applications, permit payments, and business licenses since Alameda County’s new order now allows for construction projects to resume in the area.
Customers will be required to wear a face covering and will have to follow safety protocols conveyed on public signage and monitored by customer service representatives in the lobby. In alignment with the county’s Public Health Emergency Order, city staff will be making every attempt to limit exposure to the public by first utilizing online payment systems, or engaging with customers by phone, email, or mail. Appointments are required for any in-person visits.
A summary of services available through this partial re-opening. Contact information for planning, building, and finance staff can be found at https://www.unioncity.org/466/City-Closures-and-Impacted-Services.
Union City Services
Monday through Thursday
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Union City Police Log
Submitted by Lt. Matias Pardo, Union City PD
Friday, May 1
- At about 2:30 p.m. officers responded to a report about a possible mountain lion sighting in the backyard of a residence on Monaco Avenue. On arrival, the animal was gone but residents shared a photo which they had taken earlier in the day. Research showed the animal may have been a mountain lion or bobcat. Because of shelter-in-place orders, police said wildlife sightings have been more common. If a sighting occurs, residents are asked to call police at (510) 471-1365.
Local health centers receive funds to expand COVID-19 testing
Submitted by Health and Human Services Office of Public Affairs
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded $97,281,481 to 179 health centers in California to expand COVID-19 testing. Among other health centers in the Bay Area, Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center in Union City received $522,424 and Tri-City Health Center in Fremont received $489,004.
The funding for health centers is part of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, signed into law by President Trump on April 24. The legislation provides funding for small businesses and individuals financially affected by COVID-19, additional funding for hospitals and healthcare providers, and increased testing capabilities to help track the spread and impact of the coronavirus.
HRSA-funded health centers will use this funding to expand the range of testing and testing-related activities to best address the needs of their local communities, including the purchase of personal protective equipment; training for staff, outreach, procurement and administration of tests; laboratory services; notifying identified contacts of infected health center patients of their exposure to COVID-19; and the expansion of walk-up or drive-up testing capabilities.
For a complete list of award recipients, visit https://bphc.hrsa.gov/emergency-response/expanding-capacity-coronavirus-testing-FY2020-awards.
Food Anxiety Sparks Renewed Interest in Victory Gardens
By David R. Newman
Planting a vegetable garden is quickly becoming a popular pastime as grocery stores struggle to keep food on the shelves and a Shelter-In-Place order keeps people at home. According to Michael Wirthlin, avid gardener and sales associate at The Nursery at Dale’s Hardware, “Our numbers show that the vegetable category is up thousands of percent over last year. The only thing limiting our sales is the supply from the growers.”
Indeed, food supply anxiety has swept the nation, and not for the first time. Americans were first introduced to the idea of a “Victory Garden” during World War I, when the government urged citizens to plant in every conceivable plot of land, from empty lots to their own backyards. Propaganda from the National War Garden Commission read, “Prevention of widespread starvation is the peacetime obligation of the United States…The War Garden of 1918 must become the Victory Garden of 1919.”
Similarities between now and then are striking; the feeling of wartime unity, rationing, conserving resources, and fighting for the common good as doctors and nurses do battle on the front lines against an unseen enemy.
Elaine (who has asked to be referred to by her first name only), manages a community garden and nursery for Fremont organization LEAF, and has seen a renewed interest in gardening over the past few years, especially now. At their annual Spring/Summer Plant Sale, which began on April 26, they sold over forty percent of their 3,000 plants in the first week. Says Elaine, “We sold in one week what we normally sell in one month, and I think it has a lot to do with food security. People want to grow everything in their backyards; they want to know where it came from and who touched it.”
An analysis of web search traffic conducted by McConkey, a leading manufacturer and distributor of horticultural goods, shows that the interest in gardening is up 50 percent, especially when it comes to growing vegetables. The report concludes, “People view food as a source of security during a time of uncertainty.” According to Elaine, “The online nursery industry is booming right now.”
During World War II, victory gardens returned in force, producing an estimated 40 percent of the country’s vegetables from about 20 million gardens. Says Wirthlin, “In any economic hardship people are food insecure, so they turn to growing their own food, from first-timers to seasoned farmers.” Wirthlin is in the latter category, having grown crops in his small yard for decades, from tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, to cucumber, lettuce, kale, bok choy, and green beans. He also likes to grow herbs like cilantro, basil, and parsley.
So, what to do if you want in on this current trend? Wirthlin advises, “You can start very simply with just a pot, some fresh potting soil, and a dwarf tomato plant. That’ll give you a lot of bang for your buck. You’ll be picking tomatoes all summer long. Or pick an unused plot in your yard, turn it over, and add some compost and organic fertilizer. In a sunny spot you can grow anything you want really.” Raised planters work best for warding off weeds and pests.
With summer just around the corner, many people think it may be too late to start a garden. But
the mild Bay Area climate is perfect for planting a wide variety of fruits and vegetables all the way into June. And once harvested, many keep their gardens going through winter by rotating their crop. Says Wirthlin, “There’s no reason to stop. There are any number of cool weather, hardy vegetables that you can plant – leafy greens like kale, anything in the cabbage family like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, or brussel sprouts, root crops like lettuce, beets, carrots, or turnips, maybe some snow peas.”
Undeniably, planting a garden is hard work. It takes perseverance, patience and lots of trial and error. During World War II, millions of first-time gardeners gave up after the first year, according to the New York Times. But for those brave enough to try, it can be a rewarding experience, and now is the perfect time to plant a “Corona Garden.”
For new gardeners, questions abound. What planting zone do we live in? What kind of seeds are there? What is the difference between GMO and non-GMO? What is organic fertilizer? There are many resources to help you on this journey, from YouTube videos to places like LEAF, who rent planters, sell seedlings, and provide free online training and education through their website and blog. Says Elaine, “Our core value here is community. Everyone who volunteers for us believes in helping others, which is why we donate plants and offer free workshops.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably changed the way we live, especially here in the busy Bay Area. Life moves a little slower now. We have time to appreciate each other. People are cooking and baking more. When we finally prevail over the virus and victory is at hand, how much of this quarantined lifestyle will remain with us? Having a “Corona Garden” will not only feed our body, but may feed our soul as well, serving as a reminder of a time when the world was just a little bit smaller.
LEAF’s Spring/Summer Plant Sale
Online Plant Sales Catalog: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qJB8oqc6YPkE6sZd0urifPBVHb-KpQNl8vzyVQlOAGY/edit?usp=sharing
(Curbside Pickup at C.R. Stone Garden or Home Delivery)
LEAF C.R. Stone Garden
55 Mowry Ave., Fremont
LEAF rents planters to residents of Fremont, Newark, Sunol, and Union City
LEAF Center @ California Nursery Historical Park
36501 Niles Blvd., Fremont