Alameda County Fire Department Log
Submitted by ACFD
Tuesday, June 23
• At 4:02 a.m. firefighters responded to a residential structure on Meyhews Landing Road in Newark. A vehicle fire in the home’s driveway extended into the house and caused significant smoke damage. Because of gasoline, the fire grew quickly. Numerous engines responded and the blaze was extinguished. There were no injuries.
BART Police Log
Submitted by Les Mensinger and BART PD
Thursday, June 25
• At 2:55 p.m. a man identified by police as Gabriel Moore, 42, of San Francisco was arrested at Warm Springs/South Fremont station on a $25,000 warrant for probation violation from San Mateo County. A record check showed he also had a $7,500 warrant from Marin County for possessing a controlled substance. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.
Police urge drivers, bike riders and pedestrians to be cautious
Submitted by Geneva Bosques, Fremont PD
While the COVID-19 pandemic is requiring residents to stay home as much as possible, the Fremont Police Department (FPD) recognizes the need to protect the public by looking for violations made by bicyclists, drivers and pedestrians that make roads unsafe.
These violations include drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, failing to stop for signs and signals or any other traffic violation. Officers are also looking for pedestrians who cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way. Bike riders will be stopped when riding on the wrong side of the street, not complying with stop signs and signals, or other violation of the same traffic laws that apply to them as drivers.
“Just because there’s less traffic doesn’t mean traffic rules go out the window,” Lieutenant Ariel Quimson said. “To protect you and your family, we want to make sure those that are out are following rules intended to keep them safe.”
The safety of bicyclists and pedestrians remains a top priority for the FPD. So far this year, the FPD has investigated one deadly and 25 injury collisions involving bicyclists and pedestrians.
To keep residents safe, the FPD is offering these tips for people to follow when they are outside biking, driving, or walking:
• Only cross at marked crosswalks or intersections with a stop sign or signal.
• Look for cars backing up. Avoid going between parked cars.
• Make eye contact with drivers. Don’t assume they see you.
• Wear bright clothing during the day and use a flashlight when walking at night.
• Wait for pedestrians to cross the street. Be courteous and patient.
• Stay off the phone.
• Follow the speed limit.
• Look for pedestrians when backing up or turning.
• Always wear a helmet. Helmets are required by law for anyone under 18.
• Bicyclists must travel in the same direction of traffic and have the same requirements as any slow-moving vehicle.
Everyone who is out is reminded to practice physical distancing measures when feasible, staying at least six feet away from others. Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Letter to the Editor
Understand and Support Black Lives Matter
The injustice of police beatings, shootings and killings of unarmed Black Americans harms us all. It is the most vivid evidence of the glaring truth that the legacy of slavery and white supremacy lives on in our institutions.
As a Chinese American woman and educator (I teach Human Development at California State University, East Bay), I wanted to share what Black Lives Matter means to me and many other social scientists and citizens. I asked my Black colleague and student advisor, Eric Cheatham, for his thoughts on recent events.
He shared, “I want people that do not identify as Black or African American to know that we are telling the truth. Believe us when we tell you that we experience racism, systemic racism and brutality and harassment by police on a regular basis. I have been a victim of this as well. I have been racially profiled, by police and held unlawfully while our car was searched. I have been followed in stores by Loss Prevention security when I was shopping just like everybody else. Non-Black women still clutch their purses when I am in an elevator with them regardless of how I am dressed.”
What the peaceful protests in support of Black Lives Matter recently demonstrated is a recognition that individual racist actions cannot be explained away as isolated behaviors of a few bad actors. In the bestselling book, “How to Be an Antiracist,” Ibram X. Kendi speaks on “systemic racism,” or “institutional racism,” defined as “a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas.” We all live in, and grew up in, a racialized world where our families, schools, businesses, media, and other institutions create and perpetuating racial inequities. Unfair treatment on the basis of race is embodied not only in the police and our justice system, but also healthcare, housing, schools, and employment – every aspect of life. For people of any color to reject the status quo requires sustained commitment to being antiracist.
A world free of anti-Black racism would be one in which Black people, including Black children, are not treated more harshly by the justice system. Where pregnant Black women are not more likely to die in childbirth, and Black babies in their first year of life. Where there is no “school-to-prison pipeline” for Black children. Where Black adults’ right to vote is not be suppressed. Where Black people do not receive inferior healthcare, face poorer mental and physical health, and have the shortest lifespan of all racial groups. (Resources on widespread racial disparity can be found in this article: https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/how-we-should-talk-about-racial-disparities.)
The coronavirus crisis has heightened the visibility of race-based injustices, with the Black community suffering greater rates of illness and death, as well as Black-owned businesses being disproportionately harmed by the economic shutdown. For those of you wondering what you can do to work toward a society without racism, please know that although participating in public protests can be an empowering and visible way to help enact social change, it is not the only way. Cal State East Bay’s online list of anti-racism resources may be helpful (bit.ly/CSUEBAntiRacismResources).
If you’re ready to take a step toward being antiracist by facing your own unconscious biases, online psychological tests for implicit bias are freely available on the Project Implicit website. If you’re ready to talk about racism with others, Ruth King’s book, “Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out,” gives guidance. And if you’re ready to go beyond education to action, follow Black-led organizations like the Anti Police-Terror Project (Bay Area), or Color of Change (national).
California leads the way in taking measures to remedy racial injustice. Our state will soon require that all California State University students take an ethnic studies course, and hopefully will do the same for high school students in the near future. Our state government is also ready to form a task force which would research reparations for slavery. In “The Case for Reparations,” Ta-Nehisi Coates writes, “No one can know what would come out of such a debate. Perhaps no number can fully capture the multi-century plunder of black people in America…But I believe that wrestling publicly with these questions matters as much as—if not more than—the specific answers that might be produced.”
Expansion of California privacy law qualifies for ballot
By Kathleen Ronayne
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Jun 25 – California voters will decide a ballot measure this November that would give them more power over how companies use their data, an extension of a landmark privacy law passed in 2018.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced Wednesday a measure to amend the law will be on the Nov. 3 general election ballot. Thursday is the deadline for initiatives to qualify; they need hundreds of thousands of verified voter signatures to get on the ballot. Others ballot measures this fall would roll back a law that limits taxes on businesses and exempt ride-share services from a new state employment law.
The consumer privacy measure would, among other things: Allow consumers to prevent businesses from sharing their personal information; limit businesses' use of geolocation, race, health or other information; and create a state agency to enforce and implement the law. The agency would cost an estimated $10 million per year.
It builds on the California Consumer Privacy Act, which took effect Jan. 1. Lawmakers passed it in 2018 under pressure from Alastair Mactaggart, a wealthy California developer, who spent millions of his own money to qualify an even more sweeping measure for the ballot. He withdrew his measure when the law passed under a compromise with legislators.
Under the existing law, consumers can request companies, including Internet giants Google and Facebook, tell them what personal data they have collected and what third parties the companies shared it with. Consumers can ask companies to delete it or stop selling it. Companies can't sell data from children under the age of 16 without consent.
Mactaggart's new initiative would triple the penalties for companies that violate the rules for children under 16.
“California has led the nation in securing fundamental privacy rights,” Mactaggart said in a statement. “During these times of unprecedented uncertainty, we need to ensure that the laws keep pace with the ever-changing ways corporations and other entities are using our data.“
But some groups say it’s too soon to change the law. The Civil Justice Association of California noted laws passed at the ballot can't be amended by lawmakers if pieces of it prove to be “problematic for consumers and businesses.” Another measure would have to be approved at the ballot.
“California businesses need regulatory certainty – not a moving target – especially during these unprecedented times when many are in survival mode,“ the group said in a statement.
The Internet Association, which represents companies including Amazon, Google, and Facebook, did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.
University of California endorses affirmative action measure
AP Wire Service
SAN FRANCISCO (AP), Jun 15 – The University of California's governing board voted Monday to unanimously support a measure to restore affirmative action programs and repeal a controversial statewide ban that has been blamed for a decline in diversity in the prestigious university system.
The vote in a special meeting of the Board of Regents means UC endorses a proposal that would ask voters in November to repeal Proposition 209, a 1996 voter-approved law that banned “preferential treatment“ for minority groups applying to state colleges and government jobs.
The proposed amendment to the state's Constitution, which was backed last week by the state Assembly, must still pass the state Senate before it can go on the Nov. 3 statewide ballot.
“The original sin of this country has to be addressed,” said regent Eloy Ortiz Oakley, who along with the other regents spoke passionately about the need to send a powerful message amid nationwide protests about racial injustice and inequality. “This is our opportunity to right a historical wrong.”
UC President Janet Napolitano, all 10 campus chancellors and the governing bodies for faculty, undergraduate and graduate students have expressed support for the measure.
In the meeting held by teleconference, Napolitano said that since the passage of Proposition 209, “many of us have watched with dismay and largely tied hands as the numbers of students of underrepresented groups at UC declined and plateaued.“
“The face of the university became one that does not fully represent the rich diversity of our state. That is detrimental to UC and it's detrimental to California,“ Napolitano said. “Now our state has a chance to take a different path.”
California Highway Patrol
Submitted by CHP Golden Gate Division
Sunday, June 14
• At about 2:22 a.m. a CHP vehicle was shot at seven times by an occupant inside a Mercedes Sprinter van traveling southbound on I-880 at the Lewelling Boulevard offramp near the I-238 flyover in San Lorenzo. The CHP vehicle was not struck, and the two officers inside were not injured. A short time later other CHP officers spotted a van matching the description and made a traffic stop in the Hayward area. Inside were three males, ages 14, 18 and 20 along with multiple firearms. The driver, identified by the CHP as Ethan Escobedo, 18, of Los Angeles, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and shooting at an occupied vehicle. The two other males were detained. CHP detectives are investigating the shooting and are asking that anyone with information about it to call the CHP Investigative Tipline at (707) 917-4491.
CHP urges drivers to resist temptation to speed
Submitted by Fran Clader, CHP
While Californians observe the stay-at-home order during the Coronavirus pandemic, the state’s roadways and those who use them are seeing the impact. With traffic volume down, the number of incidents on California’s roadways, including collisions and arrests for driving under the influence (DUI), continue to decline.
“People are adhering to the order, eliminating non-essential travel, and as a result, there has been a significant reduction in the number of commuters on the highways,” said California Highway Patrol (CHP) Commissioner Warren Stanley.
According to preliminary data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there was a 75% decrease in the number of crashes in California this year from March 19 to April 30, as compared to the same period in 2019. Additionally, the same SWITRS data indicated an 88% reduction in the number of people killed and a 62% decrease in the number of people injured in crashes. The total number of truck-involved collisions also saw a 60% drop, with fatal truck-involved crashes down 88%.
California’s crash reduction rate is not the only positive to come from the quieter roadways. The number of DUI arrests made by CHP officers has decreased during March and April, from 7,224 in 2019 to 4,223 in 2020; nearly 42 percent.
However, not all of the state’s drivers have been on their best behavior during the pandemic. The open roads have led to a few brazen motorists testing the speed limit and eventually meeting up with a CHP officer for a citation. Between March 19 and April 30, CHP officers issued 2,738 citations for speeding in excess of 100 miles per hour, which is an increase of 46% from last year.
“Resist the temptation to speed. Drivers are easier to spot when they are on a nearly empty roadway,” added Stanley. “Remember, taking care of one another goes beyond wearing a face covering and physical distancing. As communities in California move into the next phases of reopening, continue to slow down, pay attention to the road, drive sober, and keep yourself and those around you from becoming a grim statistic.”
Warner Bros to hold massive virtual event for DC Comics fans
By The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP), Jun 16 – Comic-Con may be canceled this year, but Warner Bros. will convene a 24-hour virtual gathering of the biggest names in the DC Comics universe.
The studio announced Tuesday that DC FanDome will be held on August 22 starting at 10 a.m. PDT. The event will feature talent announcements and reveal new content from WB games, comics, film, and television.
The announcement comes a couple months after Comic-Con, which attracts tens of thousands of comics fans to San Diego, was canceled due to the coronavirus-related restrictions around large gatherings.
Virtual panels will feature cast and creators from DC films including “The Batman,” “Black Adam” and “Wonder Woman 1984.” The panels will also highlight casts from television shows such as “The Flash,” “Stargirl” and “Black Lightning.”
“Wonder Woman 1984” was expected to be one of the summer's biggest releases, but its arrival in theaters has been delayed until October.
FanDome will be spread out across six different areas on the event's website: Hall of Heroes, DC WatchVerse, DC YouVerse, DC KidsVerse, DC InsiderVerse and DC FunVerse.
Content will be available in 10 languages.
School lunch provider introduces contactless delivery system
By Brittany Ung
Photos courtesy of Choicelunch
With options for six-foot gaps in the classroom and hand sanitizer stations in the hallways, schools across California are seeking solutions for the one place students can’t keep their mask on: the cafeteria.
As parents, students and teachers gear up for a safe return to school, Choicelunch, a service for 300 schools throughout California, including several in the Bay Area, is introducing a contactless way to provide lunches for children.
With the new delivery system, called “A La Carte,” parents can build a meal for their child on the company’s website, from various entrees, drinks, snacks and fruit. Choicelunch packs up each meal at one of its kitchens, then sends individually packaged meals to the school for distribution.
According to Choicelunch co-founder and COO Keith Cosbey, A La Carte premiered last school year, in 10 schools at a variety of locations across California, including St. Edward School in Newark and Prince of Peace Christian School in Fremont. The food service company is offering the new delivery method for when they begin classes the fall, hoping to provide a safer alternative to school meals.
A La Carte is a switch from Choicelunch’s regular operations, where parents choose only the entrée for their child’s meal in advance. Then at school, the child picks up the meal and goes through a line to choose a drink, fruit and snack. Choicelunch delivery people—whom Cosbey calls their “waiters on wheels”—bring containers full of apples, oranges, milk cartons, chip bags and more to each school. Then, children line up to pick from the containers, making their own choices about which fruit to grab or which chips to eat.
“That was the cornerstone of our business,” Cosbey explained. “That’s one of the reasons we started calling ourselves Choicelunch…When [my kids are] picking whether they want watermelon or apple or orange slices or whatever, they’re more likely to eat it if they have a voice at the table, so to speak.”
But while that system might be good for reducing waste, it’s not as good for reducing the spread of diseases like COVID-19. “You’re not going to want to have children in a line, picking their own stuff, picking one and putting it back,” Cosbey said. “That’s not going to work next year.” A La Carte is Choicelunch’s way of alleviating those food safety concerns, while allowing parents and children the freedom of choice that the company was founded on.
Though A La Carte is a safer way for schools to provide meals, Cosbey says he can’t be sure how many schools will implement it just yet. Before schools turned to distance learning in mid-March, Choicelunch served 300 schools. But few of them have announced what school will look like in the fall. Some may opt to stagger their classes and bring half their students in every other week or every other day; others may move to an a.m./p.m. model, where some children attend classes in the morning, others in the afternoon. Others may simply move operations online. And in the event of a resurgence in coronavirus cases, plans for on-campus activities—including school lunches—may need to change in the middle of the school year.
“What we did with A La Carte is we put something forward that would work for any of those solutions.” Cosbey explained. “In any of these models, the A La Carte program will work. And it can support whatever model they choose in a safe lunch program for next year.”
COVID-19 hotline operating schedule updated
Submitted by City of Hayward
City of Hayward’s COVID-19 Hotline Call Center has adjusted its operating hours. The call center also will be closed Friday, July 3, in observance of Independence Day. The change in hours is intended to align the call center operating schedule with that of the city’s COVID-19 Testing Center. Before calling the hotline, residents are highly encouraged to first visit the city’s COVID-19 response and information page at www.hayward-ca.gov/covid-19.
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Monday – Friday
Closed Friday, Jul 3
By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss
Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that my avocado habit is bad for the environment and my carbon footprint?
— J. Pilsen, Olathe, KS
Compared to other fruits and vegetables that are grown closer to home, avocados — most of which are flown in from Central America — can be a drag on your carbon footprint. Furthermore, they require a lot of water, fertilizers and pesticides to grow, further complicating this seemingly “green” superfood.
Avocados’ environmental impacts come from the “energy, water, fertilizer and pesticides required to grow them, the resources used for packaging materials and the energy used in processing, transporting and keeping them cool to preserve their freshness,” Tom Cumberlege of Carbon Trust tells Vice.com, also pointing out that some of the biggest markets for avocados are in the UK, northern Europe and Canada.”
Despite the fact that avocados can now be grown around the world, the majority of them (upwards of two metric tons annually) come from Mexico. “A Mexican avocado would have to travel 5,555 miles to reach the UK,” reports Honor May Eldridge of the non-profit Sustainable Food Trust. “Given the distances, fruit is picked before it’s ripe and shipped in temperature-controlled storage, which is energy intensive.”
Avocados also require an astonishing amount of water to grow, some 320 liters per fruit. “The UK’s imports of avocados contain more than 25 million cubic meters annually of virtual water — equivalent to 10,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools,” reports Eldridge. “With global temperatures rising and water becoming scarce, this has serious impacts on local communities who do not have access to drinking water.”
Furthermore, the global popularity of avocados in recent years has led to “monoculture” farms that grow only one crop over and over, degrading soil quickly and requiring increasingly more chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Surging demand has also led to rampant deforestation, especially in areas like Mexico’s mountainous Michoacán. A researcher from Mexico’s National Institute for Forestry found that avocado production there tripled from 2001-2010 — causing the loss of some 1,700 acres of forest annually.
Compared to meat, avocados are still a much better deal for the environment — and much less of a drag on your carbon footprint. Indeed, the Evening Standard reports that eating a kilo of lamb generates some 46 times the carbon emissions as the average pack of avocados. Enjoying a piece of farmed salmon will also increase your carbon footprint more than having some guacamole or avocado toast every now and again.
As a consumer, the best thing you can do with an avocado is to “make sure that it doesn't go to waste,” says Cumberlege. “… avocados will not last days in the fridge after they have been prepared, so [they] should be enjoyed sooner rather than later.”
EarthTalk is produced by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss for the nonprofit EarthTalk. See more at https://emagazine.com. To donate, visit https://earthtalk.org. Send questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Ned MacKay
Increased use of parks during the shelter-in-place era has probably led to a lot of coyote sightings lately. So, here’s some information about our furry, four-footed parkland residents.
Coyotes are common throughout the western United States and beyond. They can be found in almost every East Bay regional park, from the inland hills to the bay shoreline. Adaptable and intelligent, they also prowl nearby suburban neighborhoods, including mine.
If not the animal itself, you may often see its distinctive scat, which has a lot of fur mixed in with it from the small rodents that make up its basic diet. Through their eating habits, coyotes help to control the population of animals such as rabbits, ground squirrels, skunks, and raccoons. They are pretty much omnivorous; they will also go for fish, birds, reptiles, and even insects.
Coyotes resemble smaller and skinnier versions of German Shepherds. Generally, tan in color, coyotes have long snouts and bushy, black-tipped tails. Although they look like dogs, coyotes are wild and may occasionally be aggressive, especially if they are protecting a den.
If you are walking with your dog and see a coyote approaching, it’s best to call your pet back to you and put it on leash. In the current pandemic, dogs are always supposed to be on leash in the regional parks. If a coyote follows you, make loud noises to scare it away.
It’s best for both species if coyotes remain wary of humans. So, coyotes should never be given handouts or fed unintentionally by leaving pet food or garbage where they can get it. Especially if you live near open space, feed your pet indoors and use trash containers with lids that clamp shut.
It’s also advisable to keep pets such as cats, rabbits, and small dogs indoors. If allowed to run free outside, they can become coyote prey. Large dogs should be brought indoors after dark and should not be allowed to run loose. Coyotes do mate with domestic dogs. Moreover, if you let your large dog run free outside at night, it can pack up with similar pets and hunt wildlife in the parks, which is not a good outcome.
For more information about coyotes, check out the California State Fish and Game website, www.wildlife.ca.gov/keep-me-wild/coyote. You can also visit the Washington state site at https://wdfw.wa.gov/living/coyotes.html.
Fourth of July holiday is always a busy time in the regional parks. Although visitor centers are closed, no special events are planned, and large get-togethers are not allowed because of the coronavirus, there is still plenty to do in the parklands. Trails in the regional parks are generally open for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. Check the maps and park signs for which trails are open to which mode.
Your best source for up-to-date information on regional park restrictions during the pandemic is www.ebparks.org. Look for “COVID-19 Park & Trail Updates” at the top of the homepage.
One thing you cannot do in the regional parks on Fourth of July or any other time is set off fireworks. All fireworks, including the so-called safe-and-sane variety, are against the law in the parklands. Fire danger is high enough as it is.
We have seen this before. A seminal event – or series of events – begins a process that has wide-ranging effects, some anticipated and others hidden from initial inspection. The current COVID-19 crisis and Black Lives Matter protests are obvious examples. As we approach the anniversary of the United States’ Declaration of Independence, sentiments and values that underlie its creation are more visible and vulnerable than have been expressed in past slogans, banners and parades. The document, approved by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, is brief but explicit, outlining grievances against King George III and asserting “natural and legal rights” that include one of the most famous passages in history:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The Declaration of Independence was no easy task and hotly debated among the 13 colonies, but eventually a “Committee of Five” including John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston and Roger Sherman was authorized to draft the document. Jefferson wrote the first draft following a general outline. After numerous edits, the resolution of independence was approved on July 2, 1776 and finalized two days later, July 4th.
A fundamental principal that survived all edits and controversy was the concept of government as a viable entity only through “consent of the governed.” In response to the intransigence of Great Britain to respond to complaints, the colonies declared the right to “throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
At its core, the Declaration of Independence, as Abraham Lincoln asserted in a debate with Steven Douglas in 1858, is a “living” document and statement of rights; “a set of goals to be realized over time” and a moral guide. Many, including women and minorities, were – and still are – denied basic rights, but the path, albeit rocky and filled with political potholes, was surveyed by the colonists and made ready for development. Over two centuries have passed since 56 citizens of a new country signed a declaration that separated our nation from a monarchy. Although the United States has grown in size and stature to become a global leader, it is essential to remember its core principles and honor the power granted to leadership, at all levels, by those governed.
In a few months, the governed will, once again, have their say at the ballot box. It is incumbent on all who have the power granted by our forefathers to use it and do this wisely. Soon commercials, signs and advertisements will dominate the landscape and media, spinning past decisions and obscuring or sharpening perceptions of past practices. Before the onslaught, it is time to reflect on the intentions and values that brought this country into being. The best way to honor their struggle and sacrifice is to take our debt to them seriously and approach our civic obligations with solemn purpose; to reward our politicians who have faithfully upheld their responsibilities or hold accountable those that have not. Incumbency is not a right, rather a privilege, that should only be extended by the governed to those worthy of its responsibilities.
John Hancock, President of Congress and representative of Massachusetts, signed the Declaration with a flamboyant style sure to catch the eye of King George, with the quip, “I guess King George will be able to read that!” Benjamin Franklin’s reply… “Yes, we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
The cascade of history leads us, at every election, to a reaffirmation of the risks taken in 1776. Have a safe Fourth of July in the pursuit of happiness!
Budget emergency to support California’s response to COVID-19
Submitted by Governor's Press Office
On June 25, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation of a budget emergency to make additional resources available to fund the state’s ongoing emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget emergency will ensure the availability of funding for personal protective equipment, medical equipment, and other expenditures as necessary to support a potential hospital surge and provide necessary services to vulnerable populations.
This proclamation clears the way for the legislature to pass legislation allowing the state to draw from the state’s rainy day fund to help California continue to meet the COVID-19 crisis, which has triggered a global economic crisis and a $54.3 billion state budget deficit.
Police lobby open for some in-person services
Submitted by Geneva Bosques, Fremont PD
As the Alameda County Public Health Department allows some essential businesses and activities to resume, the Fremont Police Department is beginning to reopen police facility lobbies for in-person services. Public counters at the following Police facilities will open on Monday, June 29, 2020, with social distancing and hygiene measures in place. Face coverings are required.
Fremont Police Detention Center (Jail)
1990 Stevenson Blvd.
Fremont, CA 9453
Mon – Fri 7 PM – 10 PM
Sat – Sun 1 PM – 5 PM
Registrant/Court Ordered Booking:
Daily 2 PM – 10 PM
Finger-printing/Live Scan Services:
Sat – Sun 10 AM – 1 PM
Property and Evidence
An appointment is required for property pick-up. Please call (510) 790-6920 to set up a day/time.
The public counter for the Records Unit (main PD lobby) will open on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, with social distancing and hygiene measures in place. Face coverings are required.
Fremont Police Records Unit
2000 Stevenson Blvd
Fremont, CA 94538
Mon – Fri 8 AM – 5 PM
Appointments and services are also available by phone at 510-790-6800
Tri-City Animal Shelter – To Remain Closed
The Tri-City Animal Shelter will remain closed while safety measures are implemented. The shelter continues to provide all regular services, with the exception of adoptions. Pets available for adoption are being transferred to partnering rescue organizations and shelters. Please call for assistance.
Shelter Phone: 510-790-6630
Animal Services: 510-790-6635
Fremont Police Log
Submitted by Geneva Bosques, Fremont PD
Saturday, June 20
• At 3:10 a.m. officers responded to a burglary report at a business in the 41000 block of Albrae Street. A witness reported seeing several people break into a fenced area and stealing from parked vehicles. Arriving officers detained two men and found them in possession of stolen property, illegal drugs and catalytic converters recently cut from vehicles. The men, identified by police as Esteban Gil, 33, of Oakland and Tuan Hoang, 37, of Fremont, were arrested on various theft and drug charges and issued citations for a future court date.
Fremont City Council
June 16, 2020
• Second reading and adoption of an ordinance adding electronic filing to FPPC Campaign Disclosure Statements.
• Select Jenny Kassan Vice Mayor for July 2020 – March 2021.
• Review Conflict of Interest Code.
• Amend Traffic Signal Maintenance agreement with Bear Electrical Solutions, Inc.
• Approve a 10-year lease agreement for 12,854 square feet of office space at Family Resource Center with County of Alameda.
• Award contract with Glissman Excavating, Inc. in the amount of $172,503 for Sabercat Creek Knick Point Restoration Project.
• Reject all bids for Year 2 of Bikeway Improvement Project.
• Award contract to Sposeto Engineering, Inc. in the amount of $371,353,35 for Pedestrian Crossing Enhancement Project Phase III.
• Complaints about police department budget and police duties.
• Appreciation for police services but reform necessary.
Items removed from Consent Calendar:
• Approve contract amendment with SP+ for parking enforcement services in an amount not-to-exceed $35,000.
• Public Hearing to add two new intersections for automated red-light enforcement cameras through Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc. PASSED 5-2 (Nay, Mei, Shao)
Mayor Lily Mei Aye, 1 Nay
Vice Mayor Rick Jones Aye
Vinnie Bacon Aye
Raj Salwan Aye
Jenny Kassan (District 3) Aye
Teresa Keng (District 2) Aye
Yang Shao (District 4) Aye, 1 Nay
City minimum wage increase effective July 1
Submitted by City of Fremont
Fremont’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase on July 1 for both large and small employers. Beginning July 1, large employers with 26 or more employees will be subject to a $15/hour minimum wage and small employers with 25 or fewer employees will increase to $13.50/hour.
To prevent inflation from eroding its value, the minimum wage for large employers will be adjusted beginning on July 1, 2021 by the local consumer price index, while small employers will increase to $15/hour. On July 1, 2022, the small employer minimum increases to the large employer level. From that point on, both large and small employers will be subject to the same minimum wage increase defined by the local consumer price index.
Fremont’s Minimum Wage Ordinance exempts non-profit corporations. For more information, visit http://www.fremont.gov/MinimumWage or email the city manager’s office at email@example.com
Frozen Meal Delivery
Submitted by City of Fremont
Are you age 60+ and trying to stay in the house as much as possible? LIFE ElderCare is providing a delivery service on Thursdays of fresh and affordable frozen meals made weekly by the City of Fremont senior center. For more information, call (510) 790-6600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meal Delivery Service
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Cost: 5 meals for $20 (orders paid by credit card)
Fremont Unified School District Board Meeting
June 24, 2020
Submitted by Brian Killgore
Authorized agreements with Non-Public Agencies for Extended School Year (ESY) 2020 – FUSD currently has students whose IEP indicates they are to receive services in an extended school year. In order to serve the needs of the students, FUSD currently needs to contract out for additional services through Non-Public Agencies, despite efforts to employ district staff, including, but not limited to: Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Assistive Technology, Occupational Therapy, Speech/Language, and Educationally Related Mental Health services and Physical Therapy services.
District’s Second Interim Budget report on March 11, 2020, showed a projected ending fund balance of $9.1 million. The revised ending fund balance is $18.3 million. Since the public hearing on June 3, 2020, the proposed budget has been modified.
• Revenue – Increase of $4.3 million as a result of: $1.9 million increase CARES Act ($1.1 million) decrease in Local Revenue $3.5 million bus purchase reclassification to Sale of Site Fund.
• Expenditures – $2.7 million adjustment to Certificated salaries, -$.3 million statutory benefits calculations, $6.1 million carryovers and adjustments, $3.5 million bus purchase reclassification, $.3 million other outgo and indirect costs.
The District is projecting a beginning fund balance of $18.3 million. The projected revenue for 2020-2021 is $365.2 million, and projected expenditures is $406.4 million. The expenditures have been reduced by $35.1 to maintain the required 3.0% Reserve for Economic Certainties (REU). The ending fund balance is projected at $12.2 million. The District's reserve is estimated at 3.0% or $11.1 million.
On June 15, 2020, the Assembly and Senate approved the 2020-21 State Budget Bill (Senate Bill SB74). The Governor has 12 days to review and act on the budget; final enacted budget is not included in the District’s proposed budget for 2020-2021. As soon as the State budget is enacted, staff will revise the MYP to incorporate the new information. Any adjustments will be reflected in the District’s final budget presentation at the Board’s July 29th meeting.
Approved the Purchase and Installation of Plexiglass Partitions (Sneeze Guards) District- wide. Site Number of Units: Elementary Sites 200, Junior High Sites 50, High School Sites 90, Other Sites 40, District Office 95, Total 475 at cost of $114,000.
Authorize Locker Room Expansion at Horner Middle School.
Authorized Staff to Amend an Agreement with Roebbelen Construction Management Services, Inc. for the New Construction and Modernization Project at Hopkins Middle School. Construction scheduled between January 2021 and August 2022.
Approved Funding Source for Williamson School Site and Determination of Use of Site. New construction reimbursement for Williamson will not be received as of today, because FUSD is in declining enrollment district-wide. Enrollment projections from the current development in the attendance area will be reduced as well due to lackluster sales of homes in the development area originally expected by Fall 2020. The attendance area of Parkmont was identified to have a decline of – 2.5% in the coming year. There is a current overload of 177 students in the attendance area. The Board may consider a new Bond Program.
The Board’s next Regular Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 8, 6:30pm (time subject to change), at the District Office Board Room – 4210 Technology Dr. – in Fremont.
Summer meal distribution volunteers needed
Submitted by Fremont Unified Student Store (FUSS)
Volunteers are needed to help distribute groceries from area food banks (Tri-City Volunteers/TCV, Alameda County Community Food Bank, Daily Bowl), and for student meals provided by Fremont Unified School District (FUSD). Meals and Groceries will be distributed every Monday and Wednesday during the summer (see dates on availability chart below).
Please keep in mind all precautions: wear face masks, sanitize hands periodically, social distance six feet apart (when possible), and allow no more than 10 people in a room. If you are feeling sick, have health conditions, or are in the identified at-risk age group please stay home.
• Must be age 16 or above (student volunteer credit available).
• Lifting of up to 25lbs may be required with grocery boxes (Cabrillo Elementary will be the only site that will serve lighter grocery bags in lieu of heavy boxes).
Volunteer Duties Include:
• Tally Meal Counts.
• Help direct parking lot line of vehicles.
• Bag or box food items.
• Place grocery bags/boxes into vehicle trunks.
• Arrive 30 minutes early for food bank grocery distribution and 15 minutes early for FUSD.
Thornton Junior High
4357 Thornton Ave., Fremont
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Washington High School
38442 Fremont Blvd., Fremont
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
John F. Kennedy High
39999 Blacow Rd., Fremont
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Irvington High School
41800 Blacow Rd., Fremont
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
36700 San Pedro Dr., Fremont
10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
To Volunteer: Please Contact Karen Miller at Kamiller@fusdk12.net or Jerry Lovejoy at email@example.com.
Beat the heat
By Daniel O'Donnell
Some Like It Hot is a Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon movie from 1959 centered around an all-girl jazz band. The title comes from the ‘Dixieland’ or ‘hot’ style of jazz they play and as the title suggests, only some like their jazz ‘hot.’ Some like it hot could also be a reference for which plants to grow in an area of the yard that gets extreme heat. The list of plants that can tolerate consistently intense temperatures will increase if you take certain measures. These actions can also help plants in other more sheltered areas of the yard that may fall susceptible to an extreme heat wave.
The easiest way to grow plants in a hot area is to select ones that grow in sweltering ecosystems. Cacti and succulents are probably the first type of plants that people think of. They have evolved to be able to store large amounts of water but there are alternative heat protective measures that other plants have developed to help them avert the heat. Plants with white or silver foliage reflect intense sunlight. Some plants have large leaves that protect the younger leaves and flowers by shading them. Others are capable of using what is called ‘photonastic’ movement to close their flower petals or flatten their leaves to minimize excessive sunlight exposure.
There are many plants that have evolved to live in extreme heat; however, many plants growing in the Bay Area gardens only need protective measures from blazing temperatures around the end of summer or during a short heat wave. The actions listed below can help the plants that don’t like it hot to survive.
The best time to water plants during a heatwave is in the early morning. Monitoring soil moisture is critical during periods of extreme temperatures. When soil becomes dry, roots cannot supply the rest of the plant with enough water. Stress can cause leaves to wilt and to dry. The plant may not be able to recover. However, some plants’ leaves wilt as a survival mechanism related to heat stress and they will recover easily when the temperature cools. Over watering when the leaves are only wilting from the high temperature can kill the plant. Monitoring soil moisture will ensure that the plant is watered appropriately during a hot spell.
Mulch has numerous benefits. Mulch can help maintain moisture in soil so roots have available water. It can insulate soil, keeping it cool longer. Mulched soil that does heat up, does so at a more even pace than soil exposed to direct sunlight, giving plants more time to react to the rise in temperature. Mulch can also alter the heat exchange between ground and atmosphere by absorbing some of the radiant heat. Allowing less heat to be reflected can help keep the air around the plant cooler.
There is a lot of heat reflected off the walls of a house. Choosing a less reflective paint color can cool the surrounding garden. If changing the paint is not an option, planting shrubs or using trellising can also help reduce reflective heat. The same principles apply to potted plants placed in high temperature areas. A pot will absorb a lot of radiant heat raising the internal temperature of the soil. Planting trailing vines along the planter’s periphery will insulate it from direct sunlight and keep the container’s soil cooler.
Citrus and avocado trees are susceptible to trunk damage caused by ultraviolet light and excessive heat. Painting exposed bark of sensitive and young trees with a white latex paint can reflect enough harmful sunrays to protect trees. The paint used should never be oil based because it does not allow bark to breath. Some water-based latex paint might contain additives that can be harmful to plants. Using paint with an organic base will alleviate this problem. Many local paint stores, such as Sherman-Williams sell them. The paint will need to be diluted at a ratio of five quarts of water to one gallon of paint.
Different ways can be used to temporarily shade plants, since scorching temperatures, or a heat wave is not a permanent condition. A patio umbrella can be moved into the garden to protect vulnerable plants. A polytunnel or hoop greenhouse made from bending a PVC irrigation pipe or half-inch metal electrical conduit into a semi-circle over the plants that need protection and then covering it with a shade cloth or fabric is another way. Both of these measures work well and because they are temporary do not have to look as attractive as something permanent. A shade sail or shade cloth can provide an attractive solution for long term protection. These are made of light-weight fabrics that come in varying sizes, colors, and usually a sail or rectangular shape.
Things eventually worked out for everyone in the movie Some Like It Hot but it took a little bit of effort. Taking some preventative measures for plants during periods of scorching heat will ensure that there is a happy ending for the garden as well, just like in the movies.
Daniel O'Donnell is the co-owner and operator of an organic landscape design/build company in Fremont. www.Chrysalis-Gardens.com
COVID-19-era budget for new fiscal year
Submitted by Chuck Finnie
Recently, Hayward City Council approved a COVID-19-era budget for the new fiscal year that cuts by 4.6 percent spending on General Fund services over the prior 12-month period.
The budget was adopted amid projected declines in key revenue sources relative to pre-pandemic levels. It is being balanced through a combination of city employee compensation concessions and pay reductions, a hiring freeze, use of General Fund reserve funds, and other measures.
Still, by avoiding personnel layoffs, City Manager Kelly McAdoo anticipates being able to fully restore municipal services as the evolving public health emergency allows and maintain vital coronavirus responses such as its COVID-19 Testing Center as well as other recent initiatives, such as the city’s new Housing Navigation Center for people experiencing homelessness.
McAdoo credited the willingness of city workers to absorb pay reductions. “We could not have gotten here without the contributions of our employees and their commitment to public service and the Hayward community,” she said.
The approved Operating Budget for the 2021 Fiscal Year, which begins this July 1, calls for total General Fund spending of $169.6 million, reflecting a reduction of $8.2 million in expenses over the final revised Fiscal Year 2020 General Fund budget.
In approving the spending plan, the council committed to revisiting authorized Fiscal Year 2021 Hayward Police Department expenditures in the next few months following a series of community discussions about community-police relations in Hayward and the department’s role and approach to maintaining public safety in the city.
Across all city operating funds, the approved budget provides for $326.7 million in spending. Other operating funds relate to separately budgeted and managed municipal operations and facilities – such as water, storm water, waste water services, and Hayward Executive Airport – as well as to projects and services paid for through the voter-approved half-cent Measure C sales tax.
Pilot program expands outdoor dining, encourage shopping
Submitted by City of Hayward
City of Hayward closed the heart of the downtown district to vehicular traffic from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 27, to expand space for outdoor dining and encourage downtown shopping. The event area included B Street from Foothill to Watkins Street and Main Street from A to C streets. Street closures allow restaurants to pull tables out onto sidewalks and street areas in front of their businesses, providing expanded areas intended to help restaurants meet county and state distancing and other safety protocols, including the wearing of masks or other face coverings.
This pilot program, in cooperation with downtown businesses and business associations, is tentatively scheduled to take place again on Saturday, July 11.
Video stemming from police shooting released
Submitted by Hayward Police Department
In conjunction with its investigation into a June 1 officer involved shooting at a local CVS store, the Hayward Police Department (HPD) has released officer bodycam video and 911 emergency call recordings from the incident.
In a statement released Friday, June 26, HPD said the body worn camera and audio was initially withheld to preserve the integrity of the investigation in the interest of justice for all parties involved. While that is still a valid concern, HPD Chief Toney Chaplin decided to release the media in the interest of transparency. “I want to share details of that event, including the body-worn camera video so you can have as much information as possible as we investigate the incident.”
Links to the video, along with 911 dispatch recordings and related information is posted on the HPD website at www.hayward-ca.gov/critical-incident.
The incident started at 4:00 a.m. June 1 when a 911 caller said people were looting at the CVS pharmacy at 26059 Mission Blvd. The caller also reported hearing possible gunfire. Multiple officers responded and began to detain two men in a parked car. Suddenly, several other cars began to leave the parking lot at a high rate of speed. One of those cars, a gold Ford Flex, made a U-turn and drove directly at one of the officers standing outside of his patrol car.
Believing he was going to be hit or killed the vehicle, Officer Samuel Tomlinson discharged his service weapon at the driver to stop the threat. The vehicle veered away and past Tomlinson. Officer Stephen Akacsos then fired his weapon and struck the driver, identified by police as a 17-year-old male from Stockton.
The vehicle crashed and the driver ran and hid in nearby bushes where he was located a short time later. The driver sustained what was later described as a grazing wound by medical staff at a local hospital where he was treated and released.
Later, the youth was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer and booked at the Juvenile Justice Center. The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office released the youth from custody pending completion of the investigation.
Three other people were also taken into custody in connection to the incident. No officers were injured. Meanwhile, the HPD Criminal Investigations Bureau and Internal Affairs Unit are investigating the incident.
Guidance for reopening retail stores, outdoor dining
Submitted by Hayward Chamber of Commerce
An update to the June 12 shelter-in-place order by the Alameda County Public Health Officer has been revised so that as of Friday June 19, restrictions are relaxed so the following businesses can reopen:
• outdoor restaurant dining
• indoor and outdoor retail
• outdoor fitness classes
• outdoor museums
• religious services for up to 100 people or less than 25 percent building capacity
Requirements for businesses allowed to reopen:
Site-Specific Projection Plan
Businesses allowed to reopen in Alameda County are required to create a Site-Specific Protection Plan detailing how the business will prevent and control COVID-19 transmission. It is advised that the Site-Specific Protection Plan be posted prominently in your place of business and provided to employees.
Self-assessment for personnel
As part of the Site-Specific Protection Plan, employers must provide training to employees and volunteers on how to limit the spread of the virus, including how to screen themselves for possible symptoms or exposure. Employers must require employees to complete the Personnel COVI9-19 Self-Assessment before starting their work each day.
Businesses that have questions about the county’s order or reopening requirements may contact the Public Health Department at COVIDRecovery@acgov.org. Local businesses can also seek assistance with development of workplace safety plans by contacting the State Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA. Cal/OSHA.
For more information online, please visit: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/consultation.html or contact the San Francisco Bay Area office via email at OaklandConsultation@dir.ca.gov or (510) 622-2891.
Additional guidance for all industries
If your business has not been cleared to reopen, continue monitoring the Alameda County Public Health Department website for updates and guidance at http://www.acphd.org/2019-ncov.aspx.
Businesses should also review the State of California’s published reopening guidelines and checklists, which are available by industry sector at https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance.
Specific guidance for the restaurant industry from the State is available online at https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-dine-in-restaurants.pdf.
Guidance for obtaining Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
The California Office of Emergency Services recommends businesses utilize the traditional marketplace of retailers to obtain PPE. However, industry sectors approved to reopen (for example: grocers, retailers, and transportation, restaurants etc.) have the option to submit PPE requests, specifically for masks and hand sanitizer, to their appropriate statewide associations.
Graceland University, Illinois
Spring 2020 President’s List
• Payton Young of Union City
University of Iowa
Spring 2020 graduate
• Saurabh Sharma of Fremont
Muhlenberg College, Pennsylvania
Spring 2020 Dean’s List
• Lauren Fitts of Hayward
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts
Spring 2020 Dean’s List
• Arianna Kan of Castro Valley
Westminster College, Pennsylvania
Spring 2020 Dean’s List
• Gier Chen of Castro Valley
Williams College, Massachusetts
Spring 2020 graduate
• Emily Zheng of Fremont
University of Utah
Spring 2020 graduate
• Sushi Murthy of Union City
Adelphi University, New York
Spring 2020 Dean’s List
• Lucille Karlsbrun of Fremont
American International College, Massachusetts
Spring 2020 Dean’s List
• Danica Johnson of Fremont
Clemson University, South Carolina
Spring 2020 President’s List
• Shelby M. Maloney of Newark
Spring 2020 Dean’s List
• Courtney Noelle Rohnstock of Fremont
Knox College, Illinois
Spring 2020 Dean’s List
• Thao Luong of Fremont
• Tanay Singh of Fremont
Wheaton College, Illinois
Spring 2020 Dean’s List
• Sara Grace Rosselli of Fremont
• Abigail Chen of Hayward
• Lucy Henneker of Castro Valley
• Sarah Kwan of Newark
• Estelle Rios of Newark
Rochester Institute of Technology, New York
Spring 2020 Dean’s List
• Rebecca DiPaola of Fremont
• Harsh Srivastava of Fremont
• Jailyn Talavera of Fremont
• Amanda Bui of Fremont
• Nicholas Mullin of Hayward
• Rose Crisman of Fremont
• Justin Hui of Hayward
Hope over Fear, Truth over Fiction
In response to “Blue States Accountability” (TCV Letter to the Editor, June 23, 2020), it is notable that civil rights are looked upon by many as a kind of dreadful phenomenon rather than an expression of deep and curable human grievances. The lack of accountability that we each hold for one another has been marked by language that trivializes the truth and undercuts moral obligations toward our fellow man. To disregard failures in leadership would be offensive, worthless, and guilty of negligence.
Current events – COVID-19, Mr. George Floyd’s murder, Civil Unrest, Seattle, Detroit, Baltimore, and other cities, counties, and states – are political. Unlawful use of physical force and intimidation have made them political. In the same vein, to think of civil rights and human dignity as a “Blue States” or “Red States” issue underscores the need for a culture of honor.
Us against them is divisive rhetoric. Human dignity and civil rights give hope to all of us as a community. Affirmation of liberty is neither democratic or republican, liberal or conservative. It is the ideal which binds us together and gives value to hope over fear and truth over fiction.
The accountability of leadership is universal by nature and inclusive. Heads of State, governors, mayors, and District Attorney’s offices, are accountable for mismanagement of their given office regardless of political affiliation.
The trajectory of this country has changed; COVID-19 proved that. Mr. George Floyd’s murder, Mr. Gugino’s assault, and video that proves both, along with countless others, shows the mentality of some policing and brings inevitability to that trajectory. While our own Fremont Police Department does have a stellar background of performance and community service, our nation as a whole will require intensive, long term, and consistent reform in order to heal. Oversight of that performance, and the community service to which it is bound, is the backbone of accountability.
We have individual rights but we don’t have community rights. While in the community, we assume responsibility for our surroundings and those in it. Thereby, defending it! We do not have the right to do something that could injure the health or welfare of our neighbors.
Peaceful protest differs from violent demonstrations. Peaceful protest is granted under the United States Constitution and is irrevocable. To risk confrontation and injury by anyone under such conditions is criminal behavior, setting the stage for unhealthy and unsafe environments, and punishable by law, regardless of who commits the act.
Civil Rights by its many definitions cannot be hyperbolic. To think otherwise would be tripe. Together, we can work to redefine public safety, mental health, crisis intervention, and public service; to redefine “Commit to Action” so it recognizes the humanity and dignity of every person.
This is the irretrievable truth that I tell my grandchildren. Civil Rights is not a game. Your own dignity is the final score.
Get Ready for 4th of July
Photos by Victor Carvellas and via Pixabay
Since its declaration of independence, the United States of America has celebrated the date of July 4th in various ways – fireworks, parades, concerts, barbecues and more. But festivities aside, it is a day to remember how our founding fathers fought for freedom and laid the foundation of our country. Thomas Jefferson, along with John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, and Robert R. Livingston, used the power of words to declare independence from Great Britain during the American Revolution. This move was due to a resolution of independence proposed by Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee when the Continental Congress met in June 1776. Many have disputed the actual signing date – Adams insisted that it was July 2. But, whatever the date, Adams was right about one thing: He noted that the Fourth of July will be “celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.”
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken many traditional celebrations, such as parades and fireworks viewings with large gatherings, off the table. However, local cities are looking into creative ways to make this day memorable.
Fremont is hosting its first ever “Porch Parade” where citizens and businesses decorate for the holiday, and on that day, people can drive around the city to view the displays. A map of participating locations is available at https://fremont4th.org/porch-parade. In addition, there will be a flyover and livestreamed events on Facebook.
Those planning to celebrate with fireworks should remember that different cities have different rules about how to safely use them. Fremont, San Leandro, Hayward, and Milpitas do not allow citizens to use fireworks within city limits.
Newark and Union City allow “Safe and Sane” fireworks, which are defined as “anything that does not shoot in the sky or explode.” Safe and Sane fireworks will have the safe fire marshal seal on them and be sold at state authorized fire booths. In Newark, fireworks can be purchased at TNT Fireworks booths on Mowry Avenue and near Newpark Mall starting June 28, 2020.
In Union City, fireworks are sold from July 1 to July 4 during certain hours. Fireworks are only allowed on private property, and cannot be set off east of Mission Boulevard. Fireworks are not allowed in parks, on school property, or in streets. People are allowed to set them off from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 1 – 3, and from 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. on the 4th of July.
July In The Parklands
By Ayn Wieskamp
Despite restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic, there are still plenty of opportunities for exercise and outdoor fun in the East Bay Regional Parks. Of necessity, the Park District is taking a cautious approach to resuming its normal schedule of activities and events.
At the start of July, Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont remained closed to the public. Likewise, all visitor centers in other regional parks were closed. However, the parks themselves remain open, with trails available for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The best source of information on what is available is the Park District website, www.ebparks.org. Click on “COVID-19 Park & Trail Updates” at the top of the home page.
A few caveats: until otherwise announced, we should all stay close to home, visiting nearby parks and inter-park trails. Group outings should be restricted to immediate family and other household members. Maintain a social distance of at least six feet, and carry masks for use when social distancing is difficult, such as on narrow trails.
Although most restrooms are open, drinking fountains may not be operating, so bring your own water supply. It’s also helpful to pack out any trash you generate; staffing is lower because of the coronavirus.
For the duration of the pandemic, dogs are supposed to be on leash at all times in the regional parks. This is because off-leash dogs tend to congregate without regard to social distancing, which brings unrelated owners close together as well. Be kind to your furred and pawed companions. Dogs need water, too, so bring along water for them and a receptacle from which they can drink it. A one-gallon plastic bag works well. And since dogs don’t wear shoes, their paws can get scorched on hot pavement, so keep an eye out for that condition.
The parks are safe, but visitors should observe the same precautions that were common sense in non-pandemic times. It’s summer, so bring plenty of water. Use sunscreen, and otherwise prevent sunburn with long-sleeved attire and wide-brimmed hats. Maps of the regional parks can be downloaded from the website or obtained from information panels at the trailheads. Hike or ride with a friend in case of emergency. Or if you go alone, tell someone responsible where you are going and when you’ll return. Then check in again when you get home.
Although visitor centers are closed, the naturalists have put together a whole series of informative and entertaining videos dealing with natural and cultural history topics. These videos can be viewed at the District website. They are a great supplement to the curriculum for school-aged kids, and younger children will enjoy the virtual sing-alongs and other suggested activities. There’s even a nature scavenger hunt list that they can take along on an outing.
In cooperation with the health departments of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, the Park District is monitoring the coronavirus status closely. The District hopes to open more regional park facilities and phase in more activities as soon as is possible. Serving the public need for healthy outdoor activities is always the goal. Meanwhile, the District staff and board appreciate the public’s cooperation with anti-virus measures. As has been said frequently, we’re all in this together.
Kaiser Permanente takes new actions to fight racism and promote equity
Submitted by Jonathan Bair
Kaiser Permanente announced a series of actions – including $60 million in joint investments and $40 million in grant funding – to address systemic racism and lack of economic opportunities that have persisted for far too long and prevented communities of color, and especially Black communities, from achieving total health. This announcement comes as Kaiser Permanente deepens its 75-year commitment to equity and inclusion and sends a clear message that the organization stands with those who are fighting for equity and social justice.
“The tragic murder of George Floyd and so many others has reverberated around the world, pushing us to demand overdue change to a status quo that keeps communities of color in the margins and holds us all back as a society,” said Greg A. Adams, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. “As a country, this is a moment to define who we are and what we stand for. We must take strong action to stop the physical, psychological, economic and social impacts of inequity and systemic racism so that we can create healthier communities where everybody, regardless of their skin color, can feel safe and thrive.”
Support for businesses led by Black and other underrepresented communities
As a critical step toward supporting communities in overcoming systemic and structural disadvantages, Kaiser Permanente will provide support to more than 2,000 businesses owned by Black and other underrepresented people across the country. Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by a lack of economic opportunity, living under sustained financial strain that creates multiple barriers to good health. The health crisis and economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic are hitting low-income and communities of color – particularly Black communities – disproportionately hard, threatening to widen the health equity gap in even further.
To support businesses led by Black and other underrepresented individuals, Kaiser Permanente and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nation’s largest community development organization, have launched a $60 million investment partnership to strengthen businesses in the wake of COVID-19. The partnership will provide business loans of $100,000 to $4 million. Kaiser Permanente is also designating $15 million in grant dollars to increase access to formal training, business networks, and recovery and growth capital to help businesses led by Black-and other underrepresented groups overcome systemic economic disadvantage. Pacific Community Ventures and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) – two organizations with expertise in the needs of these small-businesses owners – will be initial partners in this work.
Grassroots efforts to end systemic racism and break cycles of trauma
Kaiser Permanente also announced actions to help end systemic racism and break the cycles of trauma and chronic stress that contribute to poor health outcomes.
Kaiser Permanente was one of the first health care organizations to recognize the link between trauma and health through the landmark adverse childhood events, or ACEs, study it conducted along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Research has also shown that Black people experience 11 percent more ACEs than white people at all income levels.
Kaiser Permanente is designating an additional $25 million in grants to build upon its work to address ACEs and trauma and to support grassroots efforts to end systemic racism. In the coming weeks, Kaiser Permanente will solicit proposals from community based organizations, particularly those that are led or governed by Black people or other people of color, that are focused on dismantling discriminatory institutional practices and structures and/or on promoting healing from chronic stress, trauma and grief that stems from systemic racism and social injustice.
Commitments to workplace inclusiveness and supplier diversity
Kaiser Permanente is also stepping up its commitment to workplace inclusiveness and supplier diversity. This internal work will build upon the organization’s existing commitment to the Billion Dollar Roundtable and related efforts to spend almost $2 billion per year on women-, LGBTQ+-, veteran-, individuals of color-, and individuals with disabilities-owned enterprises. Efforts to improve workplace inclusiveness will take the shape of a workforce equity analysis to identify improvement areas and redesign core talent programs to reflect inclusion; adopting science-based strategies to further remove bias and racial inequities from the employee and physician experience; and an accelerated approach to health equity through a new advisory board.
State Senate passes bill to license debt collectors
Submitted by Jeff Barbosa
With more Californians living paycheck-to-paycheck and taking on more debt to cover their bills, California State Senate on June 25 approved SB 908 by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) to require the licensing of debt collectors and debt buyers in California.
“Consumer debt is at an all-time high and without SB 908, more Californians will fall prey to the often abusive tactics of debt collectors,” said Senator Wieckowski. “We license all sorts of professions in California that do not have the power to do the financial harm to individuals that debt collectors can do by garnishing wages and seizing people’s assets. It is a gaping loophole that needs to be closed to protect California consumers, especially when so many are struggling through this pandemic.”
SB 908 calls for the state Department of Business Oversight (DBO) to license and to regulate the industry. It would field complaints from borrowers and enforce violations. Consumers would have a single location to see what companies are licensed, what companies are operating without a license, and any actions taken against a licensed company including suspension or revocation.
SB 908 would also require collection attorneys to be licensed by the DBO. Some law firms operate as collection mills and send out thousands of notices on their letterhead, which often frightens and intimidates consumers.
California Senate OKs bill to mail ballots for fall election
By Adam Beam
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Jun 11 – Fearing a surge of coronavirus cases that could force a second statewide shutdown in the fall, the California Senate on Thursday approved a measure that would guarantee all registered voters get a ballot in the mail before the November election.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has already ordered ballots to be mailed. But Republican congressional candidate Darrell Issa and the Republican National Committee have sued, arguing his order is illegal. The bill is an attempt by lawmakers to make sure it happens anyway.
Election officials nationwide have explored vote-by-mail options this year because of the pandemic, prompting condemnation from President Donald Trump, who has claimed that “mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed.“
Five states – Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah – conduct elections entirely by mail. None have reported significant fraud.
Most California voters already vote by mail. More than 87% of registered voters are scheduled to receive a ballot in the mail before the November election, including all of the 4.3 million registered voters in Los Angeles County.
Still, some Senate Republicans opposed the bill because it would let county election officials count mail-in ballots if they are received within 20 days of the election. Right now, the law says mail-in ballots only count if they are received within three days of an election.
“That does suggest to the people who have grave concerns about this that it encourages fraud,” Republican Sen. Patricia Bates said. “Seventeen days suggests there is some other agenda there, and we don't need more conspiracy theories going on with regards to our elections.”
Lawmakers included the extra time because they fear a second wave of coronavirus cases could force another round of stay-at-home orders that might delay ballots delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Also, the Postal Service has been consistently losing money as it faces competition from commercial shippers. The Postal Service has warned it could run out of money this year without a taxpayer bailout.
“While our post office is usually quite efficient, on occasions they are not as efficient as we would like them to be,” Democratic state Sen. Tom Umberg said. “We don't want to disenfranchise anyone, not through any fault of their own.”
The California secretary of state's office says sending every voter a ballot will cost an extra $72 million. Most of it would fall on local governments, with the state paying $13 million for an outreach campaign. But lawmakers believe most of that cost could be covered by the federal government.
The Senate passed the bill with a 31-7 vote. It still must be approved by the state Assembly before it can become law.
Milpitas Police Log
Submitted by Sgt. Jason Speckenheuer, Milpitas PD
Sunday, June 21
• At 12:57 p.m. an officer responded to a report of a stabbing inside an apartment on the 130 block of North Temple Drive. Upon arrival the officer spotted a man armed with a large kitchen knife outside the apartment. The man did not respond to the officer’s commands to drop the knife and started to walk away. When a second officer arrived, the man turned back and ran toward the first officer shouting, “Kill me!” The man was hit with a Taser by the second officer but did not stop, prompting the first officer to use his service weapon to stop the man. They rendered medical aid until an ambulance arrived and took the 19-year-old man to a hospital where he died. The 34-year-old victim of the stabbing inside the apartment was identified by police as the younger man’s step-father.
An investigation is continuing. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Milpitas Police Department at (408) 586-2400. Information can be given anonymously by calling the Crime Tip Hotline at (408) 586-2500 or via the Milpitas Police Department Website at: http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/crimetip
Photos in 1 new Sharon
Olive Hyde Art Guild awards scholarships
Submitted by Seema Gupta
In their commitment to further visual arts in the community, Olive Hyde Art Guild (OHAG) in Fremont announced its annual scholarship winners for the year 2020 at a virtual ceremony held May 29, attended by art enthusiasts and supporters. It almost didn’t happen this year because of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, but with the creative insight of Scholarships Chair Dina Robiolo and her team, unique ways were devised to carry out the program that has been in place since 2000.
Every year, OHAG has been awarding scholarships for outstanding artistic talent to Fremont high school seniors who intend to pursue Visual Arts at college level. The program has evolved over the years and in 2018, was extended to Ohlone College students as well. (The two categories of students compete separately.) This year, two First Place winners from each pool of applicants were awarded $2,000, sent directly to the college or university they will attend in Fall 2020. Two runners-up from each category received $250 gift certificates from Blick Art Supply. The high-school teacher of the First Place winner also received $500 for classroom art supplies.
Thirty students submitted scholarship applications this year. Each was required to submit portfolios of their best artwork. Artists Adriane Dedic and Simone Archer, who served as judges reported that the students’ work covered a wide range of abilities, experience, and skills. According to the program chair, finalists were selected on the basis of “technical craft, expressive and conceptual content, originality, and what the artists wrote in their applications,” as well as letters of recommendations from teachers and professors.
A retired educator, Simone Archer is a multi-media artist working with oil painting, tile work, and fused glass. Her largest public art project involving handmade tiles is located in downtown Livermore and took over two years to complete. Simone’s focus nowadays is on plein air painting, art commissions and her yearly December open studio art show & sale. “The real subject of every work of art is the artist,” Simone said when asked about her experience jurying. “Each artist has shared their soul and that is what we respect and honor in this show.”
Adriane Dedic has degrees in fashion design and printmaking. After a long career that spanned from fashion illustration, to advertising, to graphic design, to high-tech marketing, she has most recently been creating figurative textile collages that are machine and hand stitched, often called “drawing with thread.” Adriane said that the students’ “draftsmanship, originality, conceptual ideas, and mastery of various techniques made selecting the top winners extremely difficult.” She was very impressed with their passion to pursue a career in art, and wishes them great success.
Among this year’s finalists were Hanbyul Oh and Jaiminy Qiu, both from Mission High School, Alan Henriquez from Kennedy High School and Sakina Damani, Isa Eugenio, and Sophie Lin from Ohlone College. Their work was exceptional at all levels, with complexity and depth that exhibited a high level of maturity.
Alan Henriquez of Kennedy High School won First Place. He will be attending Cal Poly this fall for graphic communications, where he hopes to learn “state of the art methods and principles of design.” His dream is “to create works of art that empower and speak to the minority groups,” such as the Latinx community (which he also belongs to). Henriquez is involved in several school clubs: National Honors Society, Interact (public service club), and cultural clubs including Vietnamese, Korean, and South Asian. He is also the president of his school’s GSA, Prism.
The second First Place went to Isa Eugenio, who is concurrently taking classes at Alsion Montessori High School and Ohlone College. Eugenio will attend California Institute of the Arts to pursue graphic design and further explore fine art media. She feels that “attending an art school would be the best approach to access high-quality facilities, supplies and professors who work in and are well-connected with various art fields.” Her current instructor at Ohlone College is impressed with Eugenio’s willingness to integrate technology with her creative instinct, resulting in artwork that is “visually striking, rich in process, and bold in content.”
Having received the Letter of Commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Program, Hanbyul Oh plans to design structures and 3-D models in the architecture program at Syracuse University. Jaiminy Qiu plans to study animation at the School of Visual Arts in New York to bring her many storytelling ideas to life. Sophie Lin has already had a solo exhibition, “Dear Me,” at the Louie-Meager Art Gallery and many of her paintings have earned Best of Show awards at campus art shows. Lin plans to enroll in the illustration program at Cal State Long Beach. Sakina Damani has received awards for Drawing and 2-D Design, and will be attending San Jose State University to pursue her BFA Degree in Graphic Design.
We are pleased to highlight the 2020 Art Scholarship finalists in our virtual gallery: bit.ly/Olivehydescholarships.
For information about joining or supporting the Guild, visit olivehydeartguild.org
Man pays off ticket nearly 42 years after it was issued
AP Wire Service
YORK, Maine (AP), Jun 11 – A man paid off a Maine parking ticket from Long Sands Beach – nearly 42 years after it was issued.
Gary Urgonski mailed a letter, the ticket from July 28, 1978, and a $4 check — $3 for the fine and a $1 late fee — to the York Police Department, the Portsmouth Herald reported.
The letter read in part, “I hope I can now safely travel through the state of Maine without always looking in my rearview mirror.”
The Massachusetts resident said he's sure he deserved the ticket and intended to pay it, but forgot about it over the years.
“We had to do an immediate double take on the date, thinking it was 2018 on the ticket,” York Police Lt. John Lizanecz told the newspaper. “Upon closer examination of the ticket itself, the number didn't correlate to anything we have now. Then we realized it was from 1978, and not 2018.“
“It was just amazing, pretty comical,” he said.
Lizanecz called Urgonski to confirm that the department received the check, but there are no plans to cash it. Instead, Urgonski said the check will be framed and mounted on a wall in the department.
California schools head: Officers needed in some schools
By Olga R. Rodriguez
SAN FRANCISCO (AP), Jun 24 – The head of California schools said Wednesday his office is working to re-imagine the role of police officers at the state's 10,000 public schools but that some schools would still need officers on campus to protect students' safety.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said the officers would be needed to protect students from dangers, including school shootings or bomb threats but officers would no longer be called upon to discipline misbehaving students.
“As a former school board member, I spent four years working very closely with school resource officers,” Thurmond said. “But I've already seen data that shows when there's police on campus, this results in more suspensions and arrests, particularly for African American students and other students of color.”
Thurmond said schools that still need a police presence would get officers who choose to be there and who have been trained on implicit bias. He said officers won't be assigned to campuses.
He said his office has convened a task force that includes legislators, researchers, law enforcement officials and advocacy groups that will look at how to address security issues at public schools.
Thurmond's announcement came a day after the San Francisco Board of Education voted to cut ties with city police as protests against police brutality continue across the country.
Board commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to end an agreement with the San Francisco Police Department involving 12 armed police officers assigned to respond to calls at schools.
The arrangement also included a district payment of $46,000 to help cover the cost of a police liaison, who oversaw a program that provided specialized training to the 12 officers.
Schools throughout the nation are grappling with how to address demands to get police officers out of schools amid protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee to his neck for nearly eight minutes.
The Oakland Unified School District Board was expected to vote Wednesday on whether to eliminate its police department, which has a budget of $6 million a year and a force of 10 sworn officers and 50 unarmed campus security guards. It is one of 19 school districts in California with its own police department.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest in the nation, rejected a proposal to defund campus police.
The board of United Teachers Los Angeles, the powerful teachers union, recently voted to call for defunding the school police department and using $63 million of its $70 million budget for counseling and other student services.
However, some board members said they wouldn't want to defund police unless there was another plan for guaranteeing the safety of the district's 735,000 students.
Parading in place: The Fourth from your porch
By Johnna M. Laird
Photos courtesy of Fremont 4th of July Porch Parade
Who doesn’t love a parade, a party thrown by a city?
But in a pandemic?
For safety’s sake, Fremont’s Fourth of July Parade Committee was set to cancel one of the city’s most popular events, going the route of nearby Redwood City and others across the nation. However, when the committee heard about Portland, Oregon’s idea of a “porch parade” to save its annual Rose Festival, they latched onto the idea.
“We want the Porch Parade to keep the annual Fremont 4th spirit alive, and lift the spirits of those suffering financially or emotionally during this pandemic with a free, fun, and uplifting event filled with music, interviews, a flyover and perhaps a few surprises,” says Kathy Kimberlin, secretary for the nonprofit Fourth of July Parade Committee. “Some of parade day will be recorded, but most of it is live. You never know what fun will break out!”
Running from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 4, with live events on Facebook every half hour, the Porch Parade offers an opportunity for even more citizen involvement, since anyone can participate across the city. Homeowners, residents, and businesses are asked to dress up porches, windows, and front yards in family-friendly displays to celebrate America’s 244th birthday. For most, the Fourth of July brings out red, white, and blue, but the committee wants to encourage creativity.
Every year, Cyndy Mozzetti of Fremont decorates for Fourth of July, but the Porch Parade is pushing her to new decorating levels. “I tell people I’m an American every year,” explains Mozzetti, who served 17 years on Fremont’s Planning Commission and whose family has been active in politics since the 1950s. Her aunt served as California campaign manager for Ronald Regan in his 1980 and 1984 presidential bids, so Mozzetti has plenty of red, white, and blue decorations left over from previous campaigns.
“This year I decided I would do it up right,” says Mozzetti, who hopes her display will put smiles on people’s faces. While inflatables make regular appearances in her yard, she ordered even more for this year’s display. Already her yard sports an Uncle Sam on a rocket ship, eagles, and more. Mozzetti admits she isn’t quite finished. “Probably on the Fourth of July, I’ll be playing music and I might decorate my car.” Her inflatable displays at Easter led several people to stop and thank her. “It feels good to do something to make people feel happy,” she says.
Official parade participant signs, delivered to the first 100 people registering with the Fourth of July Parade website, were scooped up mid-June. Mozzetti was the sixth person to register. Sikh volunteers from Gurdwara Sahib delivered signs, an alternative to their usual volunteerism of handing out 10,000 cold water bottles along the parade route.
This year’s parade theme focuses on “One People United,” chosen last January prior to the pandemic and protests. Beyond celebrating America’s heritage, the committee expects displays to salute first responders and essential workers, who have reached heroic status in the past three months serving the public through the pandemic. The annual flyover with historic planes from California Beech Boys and Commemorative Air Force starts around 10:30 a.m. and will buzz over police and fire stations, hospitals and major grocery stores to pay tribute to those on the pandemic’s frontlines.
The Facebook stream will show local photographer Dan Strauss boarding a historic plane in Livermore prior to takeoff. Strauss will then chronicle the parade event with photographs. Parade Committee members Steve Coulthard and Brandon Sass will emcee the day.
Musical performances this year will include Ideaband, a Chinese American, Fremont-based band that performs throughout the Bay Area and specializes in popular Western and Chinese rock music from the 1970s up to current hits; Fantasy, a 1980s band that performed on the East Bay nightclub circuit and revived in 2013, playing Top 40 and adult contemporary hits; and Jewels Hanson, a Fremont American Country Music Singer-Songwriter & Recording Artist listed among the Top 10 Finalists on “Nashville Star” Season Four and the front woman for Diablo Road, The Saddle Rack’s house band. Additionally, there will be a performance from Fremont’s Virtuoso International Flute Ensemble (VIFE), a group of young flautists from throughout the Bay Area under the direction of Fremont’s Judy Lam.
Decorating awards will be presented for Most Patriotic residence or business property; Most Outstanding Decorations; People’s Choice, with voting online; and Spirit of Freedom, decorations with the most inspiring messages.
An official, online map of locations registered with the committee will be available to encourage walking, biking, or driving to see neighborhood displays, but no caravans are allowed. Among the businesses expected to participate are Haller’s Pharmacy in Centerville and the Mission San Jose in the Mission District.
Fremont dignitaries will be interviewed during the three-hour porch parade, along with Fremont 4th of July Parade Committee members including President Jesse Schaa, Treasurer Greg Green, Secretary Kathy Kimberlin, Sponsor Outreach Yogi Chugh, and Event Coordinator Ray Pulver.
The parade website will be updated July 3rd with the event program: https://fremont4th.org/porch-parade. An online map of participating residences and businesses is available on the website.
THE ROBOT REPORT
By Eugene Demaitre
The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected retail in ways that are only just beginning to be analyzed and understood. Businesses have gained a greater appreciation for the potential benefits of automation, particularly for online grocery orders, according to Fabric Ltd.
Fabric, which uses mobile robots with its proprietary software stack, deploys micro-fulfillment centers for grocery, general merchandise, and business-to-business (B2B) customers. The Tel Aviv-based company was founded in 2015 and raised $110 million in Series B funding in October 2019.
Prior to the novel coronavirus outbreak, online grocery sales represented 5% of the business in the U.S., reported Deutsche Bank Research. With the growth of online ordering during the pandemic, that amount could exceed 10% by the end of this year, Fabric said in its report, “The Impact of COVID-19 on Online Grocery.” It surveyed 1,000 consumers on how their shopping behavior has changed.
Online grocery orders accelerate
E-commerce has been growing steadily, increasing demand for robots to meet consumer expectations. However, “I have never seen before what has happened in the past few months, thrusting the industry five years into the future,” said Steve Hornyak, chief commercial officer at Fabric. “I’ve been a retail CPG [consumer packaged goods] guy for 30 years, and I’ve never seen a bigger total adjustable market.”
“Online grocery and general merchandise orders need robotics to keep up with demand, velocity, and quality,” he told The Robot Report. “Then, to get products closer to customers and get to the one-day norm that Amazon has driven, you need micro-fulfillment centers rather than big warehouses at the edge of cities.”
“Grocery was affected most by the pandemic,” said Hornyak. “Online orders were less than 5% of total sales, then they peaked at 20% to 30% with ‘click and collect.’ Growth that was projected to take five years took five weeks.”
“At under 5%, grocery chains could lose money and outsource to Instacart,” he said. “At 10% to 20%, they can’t afford to give customers to outsourcers. You have to automate.”
“Grocery stores could become like giant vending machines, with automated picking, totes, and lifting robots that bring groceries to a delivery van or your own car,” Hornyak said. “We’ve got a customer right now whose e-commerce orders won’t be touched by a human from the on-demand tote to a self-service drive-through, which will be here early next year.”
U.K.-based grocery chain Ocado Group PLC raised $1.27 billion this week and has partnered with Kroger on automated distribution centers (DCs), but a centralized approach is “rubbish,” said Hornyak. “Grocery and all retailers need to get closer to customers.”
From shopping malls to micro-fulfillment centers
“I know Fabric investors Scott Brady, managing partner at Innovation Partners, and Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google,” recalled Hornyak. “Scott recommended that I stop in Tel Aviv on my way back from India, and I visited a micro-fulfillment center in a former Adidas store. Fabric’s engineering team was right in the eye of the tornado, and I saw the future of e-commerce on-demand order fulfillment.”
“Fabric is primarily a software maker, with robots to order,” he explained. “With a systems operating center, people can remotely operate and monitor dozens or hundreds of robots. We have one 6,000-sq.-ft. site shipping 600 to 1,200 orders today with four operators and one supervisor. We make it easy for operators to get set up, and people are excited about learning new skills.”
“Grocery stores already have a distribution network, but for many retailers, we can help create a node with enabling technology,” Hornyak sad. “Let’s not build a 250,000-sq.-ft. regional distribution center; let’s do a 5,000-sq.-ft. micro-fulfillment center. They can have one pallet-based DC, while our software manages the local network on demand in our ecosystem for ‘click to doorstep.'”
“The pandemic has thrust us into the future as well,” he added. “A nine-to-12-month sales cycle is now three to six months or even less. Online grocery and other companies that were thinking of doing something automated next year now have the money and mandates to go now. Fabric has had to hire to accelerate scaling and supply chain execution across the board, as business has doubled.”
“Even existing grocery and big-box stores, if they have 12-to-16-ft. ceilings and can carve out 5,000 to 6,000 sq. ft., they can have a micro-fulfillment operation,” Hornyak said. “People are looking at buying or converting real estate for next-generation 3PL [third-party logistics] to survive. We’re talking with a bunch of mall operators, which could operate micro-fulfillment centers as joint sites for ‘click and collect’ or ‘click and deliver.'”
‘Chaotically controlled growth’
As both the online grocery business and automation providers such as Fabric scale up to meet demand, they will need strategic partnerships, acknowledged Hornyak.
“We know we’re not going to be in this alone; to play nice, we have REST APIs on the front end for inventory lookup, order entry, and coordinating with outbound shipping, last-mile delivery, or click and collect,” he said. “We’re also looking at B2B, same-day replenishment of stores, and shrinking stores and refrigeration.”
“We’ve worked with companies such as Brain Corp. on many-to-one or many-to-many robot networks,” Hornyak added. “3PLs won’t be our customers but will be partners. We can extend their networks to additional nodes to meet same-day demand with a localization play rather than automating their existing DCs, which others can do.”
“With compressed demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re working in a business area of extreme chaos,” he said. “You can either sit on the sidelines or strap on a helmet. I’m a fan of riding the tornado of chaotically controlled growth.”
Eugene Demaitre is senior editor at The Robot Report.
Submitted by Union City Police Department
In Union City, only “safe and sane” fireworks are legal. Residents are permitted to use them during specified hours from July 1 to July 4. All fireworks are illegal outside of that time frame. For details on fireworks regulations and safety, visit https://www.unioncity.org/395/Fireworks-Laws-and-Safety. To report firework violations, call (510) 471-1365.
Safe and sane fireworks
July 1 – July 3: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
July 4: 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Gift Fremont Program receives donation
Submitted by City of Fremont
Seagate Technology donated $5,000 to City of Fremont to support Gift Fremont, a new program that encourages the public to purchase gift cards online to support independent small businesses. Seagate’s contribution doubles initial funding set aside for the program.
As an added incentive for the public’s participation in the program, Seagate’s contribution will be used to fund a $5 bonus on all purchased gift cards valued at $20 or more, and a $15 bonus on all purchased gift cards valued at $40 or more. It will also cover the merchant eDelivery fee for participating vendors.
Seagate has had a facility in Fremont for many years. The company is demonstrating a tangible way to support local small businesses that are an integral part of the city’s community and overall business ecosystem.
Small businesses that are interested in participating in Gift Fremont can sign up at https://c.yiftee.com/merchant-signup?aff=87#/gift_card. For questions about how you can donate or support small business owners through the program, call 510-284-4020.
Social Security Matters
Ask Rusty – Special Extra Earnings for Military Service
By Certified Social Security Advisor Russell Gloor
Association of Mature American Citizens
Dear Rusty: How do I find out if I get any extra earnings for my military service of 28 years (Navy, 1982-2011), when I begin collecting my full Social Security retirement benefit next year (in July 2021)? Signed: Retired Veteran
Dear Retired Veteran: First, as a fellow veteran, I want to thank you for your 28 years of military service, but I need to clarify what those “special extra earnings” are. That is not an additional amount, which will be added to your monthly Social Security benefit as a bonus for serving. Rather it is an additional dollar amount which has already been added to your earnings record for the years you served in the military.
Those receiving active duty military pay have contributed to Social Security since 1957, and that record of your military pay is already on file with Social Security. But a long time ago Congress decided to bump up the recorded earnings of those with earlier military service to make it easier for them to qualify for Social Security, and to possibly provide a slightly higher benefit when the earnings from those years in the military are included in the computation of SS benefits.
To compute your benefit, Social Security uses the 35 highest earning years from your lifetime earnings record (adjusted for inflation). So, if your earnings during the years you were in the military are among the 35 years used to calculate your SS benefit, those military earnings were supplemented with an additional amount to make them up to $1200 per year higher than you were actually paid. And that higher earnings amount possibly means a higher Social Security benefit because it could make your lifetime Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) higher (a higher AIME translates to a higher benefit amount).
In your case, an extra $100 for every $300 in your actual military pay should have been added to your earnings record for each year you served between 1982 and 2001 (maximum of $1200 for each year).
For service years after 2001, no additional “special credits” are awarded. To verify this, you may wish to obtain a copy of your lifetime Earnings Statement from Social Security and verify that your recorded earnings for 1982 – 2001 are $1200 more than you were actually paid while serving. And if not, you should supply a copy of your DD-214 when applying for your Social Security benefits. You can obtain a copy of your lifetime Earnings Statement online if you have a personal “my Social Security” account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount; otherwise you’ll need to request a copy directly from Social Security.
For general information applicable to those who served before 1978, computation of their “special extra earnings” were computed a little differently. For those veterans, the maximum annual “special extra earnings” supplement was still $1,200, but the method for computing their extra earnings was to give an extra $300 for each calendar quarter of active duty military service. But in any case, the special extra earnings are an addition to your military pay record on file with Social Security, not an additional dollar amount added to your Social Security benefit.
This article is intended for information purposes only and does not represent legal or financial guidance. It presents the opinions and interpretations of the AMAC Foundation’s staff, trained, and accredited by the National Social Security Association (NSSA). NSSA and the AMAC Foundation and its staff are not affiliated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other governmental entity. To submit a question, visit our website (amacfoundation.org/programs/social-security-advisory) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Camps Reopen with Modifications
By Jui Sadekar
Summer has arrived and so has the season for summer camps. For many, summer camp is a tradition. Interacting with friends, engaging in sports, crafts and learning, and having fun are fond memories for children.
With Alameda and Santa Clara counties loosening restrictions slowly, summer day camps are reopening and expanding for the first time since the pandemic shut down programs at area parks and recreation districts. However, the look of these camps is different from that of traditional summer camps.
The most important safety guideline issued by the local counties is that campers will be placed into groups of no more than 12 participants, they must remain in their camp unit throughout the camp, and there can be no interaction between camp units.
Cheryl Golden, communications manager, City of Fremont, said, “We normally operate a 10-week Summer Camp Program composed of 10 one-week sessions. Parents can choose a different camp for the child each week of summer, allowing them to participate in a variety of interests and themes. This year, based on Alameda County Public Health Order, we have shifted to a seven-week Summer Camp Program that will be composed of two three-week sessions and a one-week session.”
Reiterating physical distancing and sanitation protocol, Nicholas Cuevas, recreation supervisor, Newark Recreation and Community Services, said that each group is in kind of a “social bubble.”
Cuevas added that before going out on the artificial sports ground to play outdoor sports or before doing any activity, participants must wash their hands. “The staff has special hip bags with multiple bottles of hand sanitizers. Children use sanitizers multiple times…. in close activity they do need to wear masks. Staff members disinfectant and clean the areas. Everything is wiped down and cleaned. At night, the cleaning crew disinfects toys, board games and other materials.”
A few other minimum standards that must be achieved to operate day camps according to local counties are mentioned below. These guidelines also align with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Interim Guidance for Child Care Program and reopening guidelines created by the American Camp Association.
• All campers and staff will be screened each morning.
• Cleaning and sanitizing will occur throughout the day and handwashing will be required.
• Beyond standard annual training all camp staff will attend COVID-19 Safety Training.
• Before conducting camp activities, the camp director must ensure that they have sufficient staff for proper physical distancing throughout the day.
• A check-in and check-out area for camp participants must be identified and follow a process to ensure that all participants and staff are able to practice physical distancing.
• Lunch and snack areas must be set up to provide six feet of separation between each participant. The areas must be disinfected and sanitized by staff after each use.
• Before arriving at the camp site, staff, participants, and parents must perform a self-conducted health screening by taking their temperature and ensuring that they do not have a fever of 100°F or higher. They must also ensure that they do not have symptoms that the CDC has indicated are symptoms of COVID-19.
• Upon arrival, camp staff and participants must receive a health screening, which includes taking their temperature with a no-touch thermometer.
Another crucial guideline that recreational facilities must follow is keeping family households together. “Keeping families together,” Cuevas said, “will be our priority at this time. We will try our best to keep friends together. However, we cannot guarantee this request as we might have to rearrange the camp groups to comply with county guidelines.”
With safety compliances in-place, local camps are accepting registrations. Refer to the list below for further details:
Camp activities include golf, art explorers, basketball, play-well teknologies, code for fun, sports jams, mad science, stage stars, tennis, sunnyside, and aqua camp. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city has implemented a COVID Kit Fee of $39. This fee is intended to offset some of the increased costs to maximize safety and meet the requirements of the Alameda County Public Health Department. The fee covers individual art supply kits, washable face masks, additional on-site PPE and cleaning supplies, and additional staff.
Session 1: Jul 6 – Jul 24
Session 2: Jul 27 – Aug 14
Session 3: Aug 17 – Aug 21
Ages 5 – 12
Activities will include art, crafts, games, indoor/outdoor play (dodge ball, soccer, kick ball). Children will play outside as much as possible, depending on weather and group interests. Unfortunately, no field trips or excursions will take place this year. Amenities at the Silliman Center as well as the new all-weather turf fields at Sportsfield Park will be used.
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
July 13 – Aug 7
Camp fee: $768
Camp Deposit: $160 ($40 per week)
Silliman Activity and Family Aquatic Center
6800 Mowry Ave., Newark
Ages 6 –11
To replace cancelled day camps, Union City Community & Recreation Services is adding smaller capacity Summer Day Camp programs (three-week and two-week sessions) in a few select locations. Activities will include games, arts-n-crafts, science, nature, drama, and music. No extended care is available. No significant field trips, no swimming, no overnights, potlucks, or special events will be available.
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Session 1: Jul 6 – Jul 24
Session 2: Jul 31 – Aug 7
Rec-N-Crew Teen Camp at Kennedy Park for ages 12-16
Summer Sports Camp at Kennedy Park for ages 8-12
Kids Sports Camp at Kennedy Park for ages 5-7
Camp Hedgehog at Old Alvarado/Cesar Chavez Park for ages 6-11
Register: www.unioncity.org/192/Community-Recreation-Services, under “online registration” and “camps”
Summer Park Programs will provide childcare for campers that are the children of essential, outdoor, and additional business workers. Daily activities will include traditional summer camp games and activities that are designed with each child’s health and safety in mind.
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday
Session 1: Jul 13 – Jul 31
Session 2: Aug 3 – Aug 21
1099 E St., Hayward,
Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
City of Milpitas has modified the structure of Summer Day Camps 2020. All field trips have been canceled. For more information about session dates or assistance with the registration process, contact the Milpitas Sports Center.
Chabot Day Camp serves youth entering grades kindergarten through ninth grade, in addition to Counselor in Training (CIT) and Junior Counselor (JC) programs for those entering grades 10 through 12. Daily activities include discovering nature, hiking, arts and crafts, singing, and other adventures in an outdoor environment. Currently, there is a waiting list for admission, but interested participants (residents and nonresidents) can enroll in the list.
8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Through Aug 7
Estudillo Ave, Sylvian Cir, San Leandro
Extended care option available
Swimmer caught on video grabbing shark at Delaware beach
AP Wire Service
LEWES, Del. (AP), Jun 24 – A swimmer in Delaware was caught on camera prying a shark's mouth open with his hands this weekend to free it from a fishing hook.
The video shows the man grabbing onto the shark at a beach in Cape Henlopen State Park. He went into the water to unhook it after another person caught it, the Daily Times of Salisbury reported Tuesday.
“Everyone started yelling, `Shark, shark, get out of the water!”' said Delaware native Rachael Foster, who shared her video on social media. “It was so crazy, like a movie. Like Jaws.”
State law prohibits people from keeping sand tiger and sandbar sharks if caught. People must release them immediately.
The newspaper reported park rangers were on site Sunday to assist and monitor the situation.
Earlier this month, a boy was hospitalized for puncture wounds after he was possibly bitten by a shark in the park. The boy, 12, was surfing when something bit his leg. Officials then temporarily closed the park's Herring Point to surfing and swimming.
Shark attacks are rare. The Florida Museum of Natural History recorded 41 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks in the U.S. last year. The cases represented 64% of the worldwide total.
Racist graffiti sprayed onto car
Submitted by Union City Police Department
A car tagged with racist graffiti is being investigated as a possible hate crime by police in Union City. The incident occurred on Sunday, June 21 in a residential area near Almaden Boulevard and Alvarado Niles Road.
Photos released by the Union City Police Department (UCPD) showed a white Saturn sedan with racist graffiti spray-painted on the side panels and a smashed windshield. The car had a “Black Lives Matter” sign in its rear window.
Officer Noyd initially responded to the report and conducted a thorough investigation; detectives are following up on physical and video evidence obtained at the scene to try and identify a suspect. Then, Noyd obtained cleaning supplies from the city’s Public Works Department and removed the racist graffiti from the vehicle.
“The hate crime that took place in our community this past weekend is unacceptable and is not reflective of our shared common value of inclusiveness,” said Union City Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci. “We do not stand for bigotry and racists acts. I am thankful for the Union City Police Department, and in particular Officer Noyd, who responded to the scene and took the extra initiative to gather cleaning supplies and help the victim remove the graffiti from their car.”
An investigation is continuing and police are asking that anyone with information related to this incident to contact UCPD Detective Clubb at (510) 320-0088 or via email: JoshuaC@unioncity.org.
Union City Police Log
Submitted by Lt. Matias Pardo, Union City PD
Sunday, June 14
• At around 11:00 p.m. Officer Gonzales was patrolling the Union Landing Shopping Center parking lot and spotted a man under a car who seemed to be removing car parts. The man, identified by police as Donald Chronister, 48, told Gonzales he had the car owner’s permission to remove parts from it. A record check showed Chronister was on searchable probation for a stolen vehicle. Gonzales also found Chronister in possession of more than seven grams of suspected methamphetamine. He was issued a citation for possession of a controlled substance.
Tuesday, June 16
• At around 12:00 midnight officers responded to an in-progress burglary report on the 30000 block of Union City Boulevard. Upon arrival officers surrounded the building and heard voices inside, then used a loudspeaker to order the occupants to come outside. When officers got no response after a long wait, Officer Blanchard sent his K9 partner Max into the yard. Max found the first suspect, identified by police as Joel Barron, 35. Max led officers to another area where they found another suspect, identified by police as Dusty Howard, 29. Both were issued citations on suspicion of burglary.
• At about 3:45 p.m. officers responded to a report about a man in the street with a shotgun on the 1900 block of Hartnell Street. When officers arrived the man, identified by police as Hugo Castaneda, 26, ran inside a house, then over a rear fence into a neighbor’s yard. Officers quickly apprehended him. Back inside the house officers safely evacuated two children and an adult female. Detectives searched the house and found a rifle and large amount of ammunition and marijuana. Castaneda was arrested and faces a felony charge of possessing a firearm with a gang enhancement and numerous other charges.
Sunday, June 21
• At about 1:31 p.m. officers responded to a report about a hit and run incident on Whipple Road at Huntwood Avenue. The victim told officers a driver honked a horn at him when the victim did not proceed quickly when a traffic signal turned green. The suspect then pulled alongside the victim and began to yell while displaying a black object in his hands. Then, the suspect deliberately drove his vehicle into the victim’s causing moderate damage. He then fled the scene. The victim said the suspect’s vehicle was a black two-door car with tinted windows and black wheels.
Union City City Council
June 23, 2020
The Council heard a report from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission on the I-880 express lanes, scheduled to open for tolling in September 2020. The report detailed new traffic patterns resulting from the lanes, and how the public will be informed on associated fees. Striping of lanes began in June.
Traffic has been greatly impacted by COVID-19, dropping as much as 50 percent in the early days of the shelter-in-place orders. But, “Driving is rebounding faster than transit use, which puts a heavy burden on the 880 corridor and transit buses,” said Lisa Klein, MTC Director, Field Operations and Asset Management. Traffic is now at 90% of pre-COVID levels in some areas. The 880 Express Lanes will help alleviate the congestion.
Alameda County Water District infrastructure project
Update from the Alameda County Water District regarding Phase 1 of the Alvarado-Niles Pipeline Seismic Improvement Project, part of a $10 million per year Main Renewal and Seismic Upgrade Program (MRSUP).
This project will improve the seismic reliability of the water distribution systems in the northern portion of the ACWD service area. Phase 1 construction, which began in June, includes installation of more than 3.5 miles of steel pipe along Smith Street and Alvarado Niles Road between Union City Boulevard and Decoto Road. Designed to sustain a major seismic event along the Hayward Fault, the pipeline provides a critical water lifeline to residents.
ACWD’s contractor, Garney Pacific, Inc., expects to complete the project in January 2021. Most of the work will take place Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. through 3 p.m., although they report there will also be some after-hours, weekend, and night work. Water service interruptions, of between one to eight hours are expected. Areas scheduled for a planned outage will be provided 24 hours advance notice.
Public Hearings – Landscape & Lighting Act Renewal and Funding for Small Business and Food programs
The City Council is required to conduct a public hearing every year regarding the renewal of assessments for the upcoming fiscal year. The assessment rates have not changed in the last 23 years and are not being proposed to go up now. This hearing is the last step in passing a resolution to renew the LLAD No. 3 for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Resolved: 1) confirm the assessment and the diagrams as described in the annual engineer’s report; 2) levy an assessment for the fiscal year commencing July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2021; 3) order City staff to prepare and submit the levy of assessments to Alameda County for placement on the FY 2020-21 secured property tax roll. PASSED 4-0
Amendment to the 2019-2020 Annual Action Plan to receive $322,577 in CARES Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Security Act (CARES Act) funding, authorize use of a $50,000 East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) Grant Funds for a food security grant program. CARES Funds will support a small business assistance grant program and the City’s CAREavan Program. The $50,000 EBCE funds will be used to support community-based organizations that distribute food and prepared meals to residents. PASSED 4-0
Other staff reports:
• Lease of station 30 to Falck Alameda County
• Possible changes to existing urgency ordinance enacting a temporary moratorium on evictions due to non-payment of rent for residential and commercial tenants where failure to pay rent has resulted from income loss due to COVID-19 impact. Staff will return with a resolution amending details per Council discussion and input.
Consent Calendar items:
• Approved minutes of special and regular City Council Meetings held June 9, 2020
• Authorize staff to prepare specified City properties for sale
• Purchase three gasoline pilot microtransit vehicles from A-Z Bus Sales through the CALCT/MBTA statewide vehicle purchasing contract for $214,713
• Update resolution No. 5580-20 that approved a list of projects for FY 20-21 to be funded by SB1, Road Repair and Accountability ACT of 2017
• Establish a committee to create and implement a community engagement plan regarding policing in Union City
• Authorize Union City Transit to implement a temporary service adjustment in response to Covid-19
• Renew lease agreement with Dyer Triangle LLC, for a police substation located at Union Landing Shopping Center
• Adopted a resolution authorizing receipt of local government planning support grant program funds with the Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) Grant Program
• Confirm continued existence of a Local Emergency due to COVID-19
Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci Aye
Vice Mayor Emily Duncan Aye
Pat Gacoscos Aye
Gary Singh Aye
Jaime Patiño Absent
California's US Open of Surfing canceled over coronavirus
AP Wire Service
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP), Jun 16 – The Vans U.S. Open of Surfing, a summer competition that draws thousands each year to Southern California's Huntington Beach, has been canceled because of the coronavirus.
Organizers announced the cancellation on Monday, citing “continued health concerns and current guidelines surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.” The event will return in 2021, organizers said.
The surfing tournament is also a nine-day festival that packs the sand on the south side of the famed Huntington Beach Pier.
It features skateboarders and BMX bike riders who show off their skills in front of big crowds.
Since Vans took over sponsorship in 2013, the event has been more family-focused, offering movie nights and games for youngsters, the Orange County Register reported.
The event coincides with inductions into the city's Surfers' Hall of Fame and the Surfing Walk of Fame.
Last year Sage Erickson of Ojai, California, and Yago Dora of Brazil won the women's and men's divisions of the US Open of Surfing.
It was the first time the event paid equal prize money, with Erickson and Dora each receiving $30,000.
Business Pulse Check – Vitality Bowls Fremont
By Madhvika Singh
Photos Courtesy of Vitality Bowls
Social distancing, shelter-in-place and quarantine used to be things we rarely heard of, and only in extreme emergencies, but now they seem to have become the norm. They have affected our social fabric and our livelihoods and have severely impacted the financial wellbeing of our local businesses and their employees. We at Tri-City Voice have featured many local businesses over time, and we reached out to some of them to share their perspective on how they have been affected and how they are coping with the new reality of COVID-19.
This is part of an ongoing series with a new business or businesses featured each week, including both those that have appeared in the paper before and those who are appearing for the first time.
Vitality Bowls, a Northern California-based super food franchise, opened the doors to its Fremont café on June 19. Scott Bui and Vi Pham, the franchisees for the Fremont location, have been in the medical industry for many years; this is their first foray into the health food industry.
Bui is a pharmacist by education and has experience on the business side of clinical services dealing with medication and disease management. In daily interactions with patients, he observed that food often is the counterpart of medicine and has significant impact on people’s health and recovery from disease. That prompted Bui to start looking into health foods and led him towards Vitality Bowls.
Pham, with background in clinical trials and drug development, brings a similar inspiration. She is a food enthusiast who loves to travel and try new foods and is passionate about sharing her wealth of knowledge about foods from different places.
“We got into the health food restaurant business as health plays a huge role in our lives, and now more than ever it has become of great importance that the community has access to food that is not only tasteful, but also nourishes mind and body alike,” say Bui and Pham. Their next step was to find a location, which took quite some time. “We were looking for a location that would allow the right mix of diversity in terms of the demand for the menu we offer, including vegetarian and vegan options. The melting pot that Fremont is, it checked all the boxes,” shared Bui.
The owners originally planned on opening their café in March 2020, but they had to push it out to June 19 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Bui shared that opening in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis is a big deal, especially given the hardships many small businesses are facing. They were expecting a slower start given the restrictions and the general fear among the public of contracting infection. “COVID-19 definitely slowed down things, but that was expected. It’s progressively getting better by the day. We are taking all precautions and measures to ensure safety of our customers and employees,” shared Bui. Through mobile ordering, takeout and curbside pickup, customers can get the Vitality Bowls experience while maintaining social distancing.
Vitality Bowls offers made-to-order healthy favorites and specializes in açaí bowls, which are a thick blend of an antioxidant rich açaí berry topped with a variety of other super foods. All açaí bowls and smoothies are prepared without ice, frozen yogurt, or artificial preservatives, and the menu features a variety of unique foods like graviola, acerola, mangosteen, camu camu, spirulina, aronia, moringa, maca, and bee pollen to name a few.
The café also takes special steps to ensure people with allergies can safely enjoy their dishes. This is personal for Bui, “My daughter has peanut allergy, and cross-contamination can result in severe reactions like anaphylaxis and seizures.” Vitality Bowls has an allergy-free kit that is kept separate and used when someone requests an allergen free preparation.
“We take pride in educating and empowering our customers about the food we serve, and that’s what makes us different,” says Bui. They have 14 employees, all trained and ready to help educate customers about their menu and help them select from among the many healthy and tasteful options.
Vitality Bowls was founded by Roy and Tara Gilad in 2011 in San Ramon, California. When they found out their daughter had severe food allergies, their quest for discovering safe and healthy food alternatives began. They started franchising for Vitality Bowls in 2014, and the brand has since grown to more than 135 cafés open and in development. In 2018, Vitality Bowls was named to Franchise Times 200+ list, Inc. Magazine’s 500/5000 list and Restaurant Business’s Future 50 list. “We look forward to seeing Scott and Vi grow their business in Fremont and share the Vitality Bowls message with the community,” said Tara Gilad, founder and owner of Vitality Bowls.
“Our goal in opening Vitality Bowls is to make it a place the community can be proud of,” said Bui. We at TCV wish Bui and Pham the very best on their journey to entrepreneurship and applaud their drive during these unprecedented times to take on a challenge, setting an example for those on the fence to take the plunge.
Gateway Plaza 39258 Paseo Padre Pkwy, Fremont
Through the business pulse series our intent at TCV is to lend a platform to local businesses share their stories. In these trying times let's hope we can develop a shared bond and come out at the other end stronger as a community to deal with challenges that future might have in store for us.
Yosemite won't reopen some campgrounds amid virus concerns
AP Wire Service
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP), Jun 24 – California's Yosemite National Park is reversing course two weeks after reopening and now says it will hold off on reopening some campgrounds through July because of social distancing concerns amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Officials began reopening some campgrounds earlier this month after being closed for more than 2 1/2 months but the open campgrounds have more distance between campsites than the ones that are closed, Park Ranger Jamie Richards said.
“We are keeping the campgrounds closed based on public health guidelines and concerns over social distancing,“ she said Tuesday.
There haven't been any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the park, but California as a whole has seen a spike in cases.
Because of continued closures, reservations with arrival dates between now and July 31 have been canceled and refunds have been issued for the following campgrounds:
• Bridalveil Horse Camp
• Crane Flat
• Hodgdon Meadow
• Lower Pines
• North Pines
• Tuolumne Meadows
• 50% of Upper Pines
The number of visitors admitted after the park reopened was restricted to about half those that normally visit this time of year. In addition, visitor centers and other facilities remained closed or reopened with limited access to help prevent the spread of the virus.