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US home prices jump at fastest pace in more than 15 years
By Christopher Rugaber
AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP), Jun 29 – U.S. home prices soared in April at the fastest pace since 2005 as potential buyers bid up prices on a limited supply of available properties.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday, jumped nearly 15% in April from the previous year. That is up from a 13.4% annual gain in March.

Many Americans have sought more living space since the pandemic began, seeking larger homes in suburbs rather than apartments or smaller homes in cities. Historically low mortgage rates, restrained in part by the Federal Reserve's low-interest rate policies, have also spurred demand, just as the large millennial generation ages into a peak home-buying period. The price gains have been so dramatic that home sales have started to slow as more would-be buyers are priced out of the market.

Still, economists said there is little sign that the housing market's blistering price increases are likely to cool off soon.

“The forces that have propelled home price growth to new highs over the past year remain in place and are offering little evidence of abating,” said Matthew Speakman, an economist at real estate data provider Zillow.

All 20 cities that make up the index reported higher year-over-year price gains in April than the previous month. Five cities – Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, and Seattle – had the largest 12-month price increases on records dating back 30 years.

Even as demand rose during the pandemic, fewer Americans were willing to sell their properties, perhaps reluctant to have waves of potential buyers troop through their homes. That sharply reduced the number of houses available, setting off bidding wars for most properties. Last month, nearly half of homes sold were selling for above their asking price, according to realty company Redfin.

In May, the number of available homes ticked up slightly, to 1.23 million. But that was still down 21% compared with a year earlier.

Sales of existing homes have fallen for four straight months, likely because soaring prices have discouraged some would-be buyers. Still, demand is strong enough that a typical home was on the market for just 17 days last month, the National Association of Realtors said. Nearly 9 of 10 homes were on the market for less than a month.

Phoenix reported the largest price gain in April for the 22nd straight month, according to the Case-Shiller index, with an increase of 22.3% from a year earlier. San Diego followed at 21.6%, followed by Seattle at 20.2%.

Tesla delivers more than 200,000 vehicles in 2nd quarter
AP Wire Service

DETROIT (AP), Jul 02 – Tesla says it delivered 201,250 electric vehicles in the second quarter as it overcame a global computer chip shortage that has hit nearly every automaker.

The sales figures fell a bit short of Wall Street estimates of 207,000 vehicles, according to data provider FactSet. But it was better than first-quarter sales of 185,000 and put the company on a path to double last year's annual deliveries of just under 500,000.

The Palo Alto, California, company says it only counts a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct. Final numbers could vary by up to 0.5% or more.

Sales from April through June more than doubled the same period last year, when the start of the coronavirus pandemic forced Tesla and other automakers to close factories for much of the quarter.

The Model 3/Y led the way with 199,360 in second-quarter deliveries, followed by the Model S/X at 1,890. Tesla produced 206,421 vehicles for the quarter, including 2,340 of the Model S/X.

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a note to investors that 200,000 deliveries was the bull case scenario for Tesla in the second quarter. He wrote that 195,000 Model 3 and Y deliveries could give Tesla the potential to hit 900,000 in annual sales this year.

Also during the quarter, Tesla had to deal with safety and quality issues in China, where it has built a huge factory to serve the world's largest auto market.

In June Tesla Inc. had to recall about 285,000 vehicles in China because of a problem with the cruise control. Chinese authorities said it can activate accidentally and cause cars to suddenly speed up, creating a safety hazard. Chinese authorities and the company said Tesla plans to upgrade cruise-control software remotely so the owners don't have to take their cars to a company store.

In early trading, Tesla shares edged up less than 1% to $681.54.

Extra COVID vaccine may help protect transplant patients
Jun 14
By Lauran Neergaard
AP Medical Writer

A small study offers the first hint that an extra dose of COVID-19 vaccines just might give some organ transplant recipients a needed boost in protection.

Even as most vaccinated people celebrate a return to near normalcy, millions who take immune-suppressing medicines because of transplants, cancer or other disorders remain in limbo – uncertain how protected they really are. It's simply harder for vaccines to rev up a weak immune system.

Monday's study tracked just 30 transplant patients but it's an important step toward learning if booster doses could help.

It didn't help everybody. But of the 24 patients who appeared to have no protection after the routine two vaccinations, eight of them – a third – developed some virus-fighting antibodies after an extra shot, researchers from Johns Hopkins University reported in Annals of Internal Medicine. And six others who'd had only minimal antibodies all got a big boost from the third dose.

“It's very encouraging,” said Dr. Dorry Segev, a Hopkins transplant surgeon who helped lead the research. “Just because you're fully negative after two doses doesn't mean that there's no hope.”

Next up: Working with the National Institutes of Health, Segev's team hopes to begin a more rigorous test of a third vaccination in 200 transplant recipients this summer.

For transplant patients, powerful immune-suppressing drugs prevent rejection of their new organs but also leave them extremely vulnerable to the coronavirus. They were excluded from initial testing of the COVID-19 vaccines, but doctors urge that they get vaccinated in hopes of at least some protection.

Some do benefit. The Hopkins team recently tested more than 650 transplant recipients and found about 54% harbored virus-fighting antibodies after two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines – although generally less than in otherwise healthy vaccinated people.

It's not just a concern after organ transplants. One study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other autoimmune disorders found 85% developed antibodies, said Dr. Alfred Kim of Washington University in St. Louis. But those who used particular kinds of immune-suppressing drugs produced dramatically lower levels that are a cause for concern.

“We tell our patients to act like the vaccine is not going to work as well as it does for their family and friends,” said Kim, who would like to test a third dose in autoimmune patients, too. “This is very frustrating news to them.”

Doctors sometimes give extra doses of other vaccines, such as the hepatitis B shot, to people with weak immune systems.

And guidelines issued in France recommend a third COVID-19 shot for certain severely immune-suppressed people, including transplant recipients, Segev noted.

The U.S. hasn't authorized extra COVID-19 vaccinations. But around the country, a growing number of immune-compromised patients are seeking third doses on their own – the people Hopkins sought to test.

In San Francisco, Gillian Ladd agreed to blood tests before and after an extra dose. The recipient of a kidney and pancreas transplant, Ladd, 48, was terrified to leave her house after learning she had no measurable antibodies despite two Pfizer shots.

With the additional dose, “I had gotten what I needed in order to survive,” Ladd said, but she’s still sticking with masks and other precautions.

“I am being as careful as I possibly can while acknowledging that I'm coming back into the world of the living,” she said.

Further research is needed to tell if a third dose really helps, who's the best candidate and if there are brand differences – plus whether the extra immune stimulation could increase the risk of organ rejection.

But Segev cautions boosters aren't the only possibility. In addition to antibodies, vaccinations normally spur other protections such as T cells that can fend off severe illness. He and several other research groups are testing whether immune-compromised patients get that benefit.

For now, “the best way to protect these people is for others to get vaccinated” so they're less likely to get exposed to the coronavirus, stressed Washington University's Kim.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Can virtual reality help seniors?
By Terry Spencer
Associated Press

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (AP), June 1 — Terry Colli and three other residents of the John Knox Village senior community got a trip via computer to the International Space Station on June 1, a kickoff to a Stanford University study on whether virtual reality can improve the emotional well-being of older people.

Donning 1-pound (470-gram) headsets with video and sound, the four could imagine floating weightless with astronauts and get a 360-degree tour of the station. In other programs, residents can take virtual visits to Paris, Venice, Egypt or elsewhere around the globe; attend a car rally, skydive or go on a hike. “I feel great. It is amazing. It is like you are really there,” said Colli, 73, and a former spokesman for the Canadian embassy in Washington.

Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab will be working with John Knox's 1,200 residents, who will have ready access to the equipment under the supervision of staff members. The goal is to see whether virtual reality can improve their mood, strengthen their relationships with staff and make them more receptive to technology. Other senior communities in the United States and elsewhere will soon be added by the California university.

Virtual reality works by making what the person sees and hears track with what they are doing. In a VR trip to Paris, for example, a participant might turn to the left and see the Eiffel Tower with a musician playing in the foreground, and then turn right and find two people conversing. If the participant moves toward one, that sound increases while the other diminishes.

“There is a fair amount of previously published research by academic labs around the world that shows VR, when administered properly, can help reduce anxiety, improve mood, and reduce pain,” said Jeremy Bailenson, the Stanford lab's founding director. “This particular study is focused on how using VR might reduce the residents' feelings of isolation from the outside world — all the more important after the isolation we all faced during the pandemic.”

During the demonstration at the suburban Fort Lauderdale community, Colli, Anne Selby, 77; Mark Levey, 64; and Hugh Root, 92, moved their heads from left to right and up and down as they got individual tours of the space station. “It really felt like you were traveling — and not alone either. In some of the video, there are people,” said Levey, a former federal government worker.

Selby, an artist, said that she felt a bit nauseated as she moved through the space station because it was so realistic, but that she was able to cope by taking deep breaths. “Regardless of my age, I was right in the middle of it,” she said. Root, a retired insurance salesman, was blunt: “It blows my mind.”

Chris Brickler, CEO of MyndVR, the Dallas company that provided the equipment, said volunteers will be screened to assure they are mentally suitable for using virtual reality and each attendant has an abort button if the person becomes overwhelmed by the experience. John Knox's residents include people and couples who live alone, in assisted living and with full-time nursing.

“As we age, we feel there is a disconnect sometimes that can happen when there is a lack of mobility,” Brickler said. “We can't travel as much as we want, we can't connect with nature as much as we want, can't have connections with animals. All sorts of connections get lost and our four walls start shrinking in. What we have tried to do is create a platform where we can bring the world back.”

Monica McAfee, John Knox's chief marketing and innovation officer, said the community's administrators believe VR helps residents — it's been used on a limited basis there for three years — but Stanford's study “will provide the empirical data.” For example, she said, they want to know if VR can help residents with dementia who suffer from “sundowning” — severe mood downswings that begin at dusk. “Is this a way to redirect them to enjoy something?” she said.

Northern Ohio University associate philosophy professor Erica Neely, who studies the ethics of technology, said it's important that Stanford is getting fully informed consent, screening participants and making sure they aren't using VR alone, especially at first. She is not involved in the study.

“We definitely don't want anyone to get stuck in the experience if they become distressed and can't figure out how to turn it off,” she said. “The fact that there is a companion/caretaker who can go with [the participant] is utter genius. The idea of `Well, we don't necessarily have people with diminished capacities wandering around by themselves through physical space — maybe we can do the same for virtual space' was a really good one.”

Park It
By Ned MacKay

If you are looking for a cool place on a hot summer day, one of the best is McLaughlin Eastshore State Park, which is operated on behalf of the state by the East Bay Regional Park District.

The park is a linear combination of parkland and trails that gives public access to San Francisco Bay’s eastern shoreline for 8.5 miles between the Bay Bridge and Richmond. It is named in honor of longtime environmental activist Sylvia McLaughlin, co-founder of Save the Bay, whose decades of efforts led to preservation of the shoreline in open space.

A good access is Albany Beach at the bay end of Buchanan Street in Albany. Amenities include a parking lot (though parking can be limited on weekends), a toilet, and a sand beach where you can swim. Swim at your own risk; there’s no lifeguard service.

You can also walk or bicycle out to the adjacent Albany Bulb, owned by the city of Albany. A former dumpsite, the Albany Bulb is notable for its ever-changing collection of artwork fashioned from old construction rubble and other refuse. If you go to the bulb, watch your step. Off the wide dirt roads, the paths through brush and rocks can be hazardous underfoot.

From Albany Beach, the paved multi-use San Francisco Bay Trail leads north towards Point Isabel Regional Shoreline in Richmond. Heading south, the trail leads to Berkeley Meadow at the foot of University Avenue and on to the Emeryville Crescent just north of the Bay Bridge toll plaza.

Other attractions along the way are the Berkeley Yacht Harbor, Berkeley’s Cesar Chavez Park, Emeryville Marina and Emeryville’s Shorebird Park. The Brickyard site across University Avenue from the Meadow is currently closed for site stabilization and a vegetation management project.

Acting as agent for the state, East Bay Regional Park District used funds from the district’s 1988 Measure AA and state park bonds to acquire the Eastshore State Park property and clean up contaminated areas at a cost of more than $33 million. There are more improvements planned for the future.

For more information about McLaughlin Eastshore State Park and a downloadable map, visit www.ebparks.org. Click on “Parks & Trails” at the top of the home page.

Covid-19 update: generally speaking, regional park district campgrounds, picnic sites, swimming and some programs are open and available. But check first before you go. Go to the website, www.ebparks.org, and visit “Register and Reserve” for more information.

Remember, too, that regional parks can reach capacity quickly on summer weekends, especially parks that have swim beaches or pools. Some parks have to stop entries as soon as 11 a.m. So arrive early and avoid disappointment. Please be patient if entrance kiosks are extra busy.

And be sure to keep an eye on your children at the swim areas. The lifeguards are well trained, but always appreciate your vigilance.

The district is still encouraging visitors to observe social distancing and have masks available to wear when distancing isn’t possible, such as on narrow trails and at indoor or crowded venues.

If you are reading this before July 4 (or even if the date has passed), a reminder: fireworks of any kind are illegal in the East Bay Regional Parks. Moreover, smoking, including vaping, is not allowed. Compliance is especially urgent this season, given the extreme fire danger due to months of hot, dry weather. With everyone’s cooperation, we can have a safe and fire-free summer season.

History Matters
By John Grimaldi and David Bruce Smith

American independence
Even though America declared its independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress had — in the previous year — approved the Olive Branch Petition — a direct appeal to King George III to forego his resentments towards the colonies. It was a tactical maneuver to discharge the King from his responsibilities, to “enjoy [a] long and prosperous reign…that your descendants may govern your Dominions with honour to themselves and happiness to their subjects.”

The letter suggested to the mercurial monarch that he was not responsible for the commotion in the colonies; all of that — they appeased — had been whipped up by his ministers. The missive concluded: “your faithful Colonists” were simply arming themselves “in our own defence.” George, however, dispensed with the document in a fury, fired up his “faithful” subjects, and fomented a revolution.

The Grateful American Book Prize recommends “1776” by David McCullough.

Dueling rivals
On July 11. 1804, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr squared off to duel. Long term rivals and competitors, they agreed to put an end to their animosities in a very genteel shoot-out.

According to History.com, such affairs of honor were usually worked out peacefully “before any actual firing of weapons.” Hamilton’s “second,” – assistant — for the duel, said Hamilton concluded the duel was morally wrong, and deliberately shot into the air. But Burr’s attendant asserted Hamilton fired at Burr — and missed.

“What happened next is agreed upon: Burr shot Hamilton in the stomach and the bullet lodged next to his spine. Hamilton was returned to New York, and he died the following afternoon.” Eventually, Burr would lobby vigorously for America’s independence, and become Thomas Jefferson’s first vice president.

As History.com describes it, “Jefferson grew apart from him, and he did not support Burr’s renomination to a second term in 1804. That year, a faction of New York Federalists, who had found their fortunes drastically diminished after the ascendance of Jefferson, sought to enlist the disgruntled Burr into their party and elect him governor. Hamilton campaigned against Burr with great fervor, and Burr lost the Federalist nomination and then, running as an independent for governor, the election. In the campaign, Burr’s character was savagely attacked by Hamilton and others, and after the election he resolved to restore his reputation by challenging Hamilton to a duel.”

The Grateful American Book Prize recommends “War of Two: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Duel that Stunned the Nation,” by John Sedgwick.

The Western frontier
Nobody denies the importance of the Meriwether Lewis — William Clark expeditions in the Western frontier, but Zebulon Pike, an explorer and mapmaker, is — except for the people who are familiar with “Pike’s Peak” — obscure.

On July 15, 1806, he departed for the faraway Southwest; according to History.com:

“The information he provided about the U.S. territory in Kansas and Colorado was a great impetus for future U.S. settlement, and his reports about the weakness of Spanish authority in the Southwest stirred talk of future U.S. annexation. Pike later served as a brigadier general during the War of 1812, and in April 1813 he was killed by a British gunpowder bomb after leading a successful attack on York, Canada.”

But historical evidence also indicates he colluded with Aaron Burr, to wangle possession of the Western territories, and form a separate nation.

The Grateful American Book Prize Recommends “Zebulon Pike, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West” by Matthew L. Harris.

This feature is courtesy of The Grateful American Book Prize, which is an annual award given to authors who have created outstanding works of historical fiction or nonfiction for seventh to ninth graders.

Observe Milky Way and Great Rift
By David Prosper

Summer skies bring glorious views of our own Milky Way galaxy to observers blessed with dark skies. For many city dwellers, their first sight of the Milky Way comes during trips to rural areas – so if you are traveling away from city lights, do yourself a favor and look up!

To observe the Milky Way, you need clear, dark skies, and enough time to adapt your eyes to the dark. Photos of the Milky Way are breathtaking, but they usually show far more detail and color than the human eye can see – that is the beauty and quietly deceptive nature of long exposure photography.

For Northern Hemisphere observers, the most prominent portion of the Milky Way rises in the southeast as marked by the constellations Scorpius and Sagittarius. Take note that, even in dark skies, the Milky Way is not easily visible until it rises a bit above the horizon and the thick, turbulent air which obscures the view. The Milky Way is huge, but is also rather faint, and our eyes need time to truly adjust to the dark and see it in any detail. Try not to check your phone while you wait, as its light will reset your night vision. It is best to attempt to view the Milky Way when the Moon is at a new or crescent phase; you don’t want the Moon’s brilliant light washing out any potential views, especially since a full Moon is up all night.

Keeping your eyes dark adapted is especially important if you want to not only see the haze of the Milky Way, but also the dark lane cutting into that haze, stretching from the Summer Triangle to Sagittarius. This dark detail is known as the Great Rift, and is seen more readily in very dark skies, especially dark, dry skies found in high desert regions.

What exactly is the Great Rift? You are looking at massive clouds of galactic dust lying between Earth and the interior of the Milky Way. Other “dark nebulae” of cosmic clouds pepper the Milky Way, including the famed Coalsack, found in the Southern Hemisphere constellation of Crux. Many cultures celebrate these dark clouds in their traditional stories along with the constellations and Milky Way.

Where exactly is our solar system within the Milky Way? Is there a way to get a sense of scale? The “Our Place in Our Galaxy” activity can help you do just that, with only birdseed, a coin, and your imagination: bit.ly/galaxyplace. You can also discover the amazing science NASA is doing to understand our galaxy – and our place in it – at www.nasa.gov.

This article is distributed by NASA Night Sky Network. The Night Sky Network program supports astronomy clubs across the USA dedicated to astronomy outreach. Visit https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm to find local clubs, events, and more.

Alstroemeria: the Peruvian Lily
By Pat Kite

You will probably find Alstroemeria in every bouquet you buy. Their six petals represent patience, empathy, devotion, humor, commitment and understanding. Put them in a vase and they last for up to two weeks. Put them in your garden (a sunny spot, please!), and you have flowers from spring into early fall. If I wasn’t so determined to have fuchsias in every niche, I would have Alstroemeria. They come in lavender, yellow, pink, orange, red, purple and mixed hues. If you want a clearer message, red equal passion, pink equals romance, yellow equals happiness, and white is purity—so ideal for weddings. (Note: in some cases, Alstroemeria can cause allergic reactions, especially in cats.)

This pretty plant got its long moniker from Swedish baron and botanist Clas von Alstromer in the mid-18th century. Unlike some plants that took a while to take off, the Alstroemeria started in Peruvian mountains and soon conquered Europe. It is pretty, graceful and long-lasting, an ideal indoor or outdoor flower.

Like any other flower, it does need a little TLC. Sun, yes, water on occasion, but no excess water. Alstroemeria has tuberous fleshy roots that will rot in wet soil. These white bumpy-looking rhizomes are transplant sensitive. So, if you, like me, are always trying to save money by separating clumps and moving, do a careful job. Do not just whack with a shovel, separate, and replant. The plant will wave goodbye to you in the process. Instead, cut stems to about six inches high. Dig a hole about 15 inches deep, and carefully move a completed section into the hole and fill with potting soil. Water lightly.

Rhizomes expand horizontally, which gives them ample room in the ground, and measured room in pots. Make certain your pot is large enough to allow growth. If too compacted, the plant will overheat. Since there are a lot of patio and condo balcony residents these days, small varieties have been hybridized from the original 36 inches tall. The Little Miss series gets to just eight inches high, the Inca series to 18 inches.

To remove a flower, pull up sternly on the stem. This encourages more flowering. Super-thrifty folks sometimes try to grow this plant from seeds. Results are iffy, but it’s always fun to try. Alstroemerias are relatively inexpensive at most garden centers and give a lot of happiness. They are just super! Happy summer.

Trash talk
By The Pickup Artist

This is the sixth edition of Trash Talk, a column devoted to cleaning up our neighborhoods.

Clean-up Event
The city of Hayward (Keep Hayward Clean and Green) will be holding a clean-up event on Saturday, July 24 from 8 a.m. to noon. It will start at Giuliani Plaza on Mission Boulevard @ D Street, a short walk from the Hayward BART station. Late arrivals accepted – come when you can!

Pre-registration is available until 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 22. Register online at: https://tinyurl.com/ynzm2zbd. Same-day registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. at the event location. For more information, call: (510) 881-7745.

Consider this Saturday event a “test drive” to see if you enjoy a productive walk in the park. Meet other enthusiasts! Gloves, grabbers, vests, bags, and water will be provided. Bring your willingness to contribute your time and energy and your own MASK. A hat and sunscreen are recommended. If you live outside of Hayward, maybe you can convince your city to start a similar program! I hope to see you there!

A name for the clean-up crew
As I got more involved with cleaning up in the community, I started to refer to myself as “The Pickup Artist.” That title suits my tendency to have fun with puns and double-meanings. When I was thinking of a title for my column, I obviously wanted something pertinent to the subject matter: TRASH. But I like to have fun with words, so I came up with “Trash Talk!”

Several readers have asked about a name for the volunteers who take their time to clean up other people’s messes. This is a fair question. Why don’t we all have fun with it and make up a new term? Here are a few suggestions:

De-Litter-ates – Accurately represents what we do, but can have a negative connotation because it sounds too much like illiterates.
Earthletes – A sporty title for those who want to protect the earth from ravages like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (see issue four 05/04/21).
Garbologists – Masters of garbage, sounds impressive, gives it class.
Grime Fighters – Has that super-hero ring to it, but we aren’t really after grime.
VITAL – Volunteers in Terminating Abandoned Litter.
VITAMIN C – Volunteers in Turning America’s Messes into Nice Communities.

You can rank your choices of the names above at https://tinyurl.com/5x282jne. (The site has a prompt for name and email. You have to enter something, but if you prefer to be anonymous, fill in dummy information.) Or, send your own suggestions to my email address at the end of this column! Feel free to share your creative ideas. I’ll print some of them in a future edition of Trash Talk.

The quote for today: “You’re alive, you might as well be glad.” – Neil Diamond in “Surviving the Life”

Answer to the last Trash Talk Question:
What were the most reusable items I’ve found?

Believe it or not, on just one trip I found three Dell computer keyboards and two Dell monitors. All worked just fine. I haven’t come up with WHY they may have been discarded. This worked out great for me, as I have a side gig repairing used computers and donating them to those who are in need.

The Trash Talk Question for today: What other items were you able to reuse or donate? Answer in the next edition.

Send comments or questions to ThePickupArtist-KHCG@outlook.com.

Megan Doyle Appointed as Deputy County Executive
Submitted by María Leticia Gómez/ Quan Vu

Ms. Megan Doyle has been appointed to the position of Deputy County Executive for the County of Santa Clara. She brings extensive leadership and public sector experience from her role as the County’s Clerk of the Board of Supervisors and, previously, as chief of staff for past Supervisors and City of San José officials. Her appointment is effective July 12, 2021.

“Megan can navigate complex, politically-charged problems involving high stakes and highly visible solutions,” said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith, M.D., J.D. “She brings a unique combination of big-picture thinking, and attention to process and detail. In her new role with the County, she’ll be an asset to the administration and will have an even bigger positive impact on our community.”

As Deputy County Executive, Ms. Doyle will lead the County’s Learning and Employee Development program, as well as spearhead various projects that allow staff to continue offering high-level safety net services in our region.

Illegal fireworks seized
Submitted by Newark PD

On Thursday, July 1, 2021, at approximately 7:00 pm while conducting illegal firework enforcement, undercover Newark Police Officers observed two subjects selling fireworks out of a van in the 37000 block of Elm St. Officers quickly made contact and took a 19-year-old male out of Newark and a 53-year-old male out of Pittsburg into custody without incident.

Based on the large quantity of illegal “Dangerous” fireworks, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Team was contacted and responded to the scene. In total, approximately 600 pounds of illegal “Dangerous” fireworks and over $33,000 in cash was seized from the van. Sheriff’s EOD personnel took possession of the illegal fireworks for safe transport and controlled disposal.

Both subjects were arrested for felony possession of destructive or explosive devices, illegal sales of “Dangerous” fireworks, and possession of “Dangerous” fireworks without valid permit, respectively. Both suspects were booked at Santa Rita Jail. The misdemeanor offenses in this matter are punishable by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 or by imprisonment in the County jail for 1 year, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The felony charges stemming from this incident are punishable by imprisonment for a period of two, four, or six years.

Catching folks in the act of lighting off illegal fireworks is challenging but we are committed to serving our community and enforcing our zero-tolerance stance. If you know someone or see someone who is in possession, selling and/or lighting fireworks, please call the Fireworks Hotline at (866)520-7233 (SAFE).

For emergencies, please continue to call 911.

We want to remind folks, ONLY “Safe & Sane” fireworks are allowed in Newark and ONLY between midnight June 30 to midnight July 4. “Dangerous” fireworks are ALWAYS illegal, and Newark has a zero-tolerance stance on illegal dangerous fireworks.

Summer concerts return!
Submitted by City of Fremont

The Central Park Summer Concert Series returns with the scenic backdrop of beautiful Lake Elizabeth. The concerts take place between July 15 and August 19 and will feature a variety of musical genres and performers.

All concerts are held at the Central Park Performance Pavilion on Thursdays from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Parking lots near the concert venue fill up by 5:00 p.m., so plan to arrive early if you want a good spot.

Please keep six feet between your group and others.

Concert Schedule:
July 15 – The Sun Kings (Beatles tribute)
July 22 – Ronstadt Revival (Linda Ronstandt tribute)
July 29 – Carnaval (Santana tribute)
August 5 – Journey Revisited (Journey tribute)
August 12 – David Martin’s House Party (Premier Party Band)
August 19 – East Bay Mudd (R&B hits)

The 2021 Summer Concert Series is presented by Washington Hospital, Lanner USA, and Fremont Bank.

Central Park Summer Concert Series
Thursday, Jul 15 – Thursday, Aug 19
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Central Park Performance Pavilion
40204 Paseo Padre Pkwy, Fremont

Forgetful? It is most likely rigors of growing old
Submitted by John Grimaldi

It’s not just old-timers who have those “senior moments.” Studies show that we gradually begin to find it harder to focus when we are in our 20s and it gets more difficult as we age — it is a slow process, but it is also part of the aging process.

“A specific brain network, the locus coeruleus, that controls our ability to focus while under stress appears to weaken as we age, interfering with our ability to focus,” is how Science Daily explains it. Studies have shown that when we get older it is normal for us to get distracted, making it hard for us to pay attention.

According to Professor Mara Mather, co-author of one of those studies, “Trying hard to complete a task increases emotional arousal, so when younger adults try hard, this should increase their ability to ignore distracting information.”

While young adults are not as easily distracted as are senior citizens, there is scientific evidence that the ability to ignore distractions peaks when we are about twenty years old and slowly deteriorates with each passing year.

“So, if you forget that you wear glasses, have your forgetfulness checked out. But if you simply forgot where you left your glasses, it is most likely the rigors of getting old,” says Rebecca Weber, CEO, Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC).

Harvard Medical School published a report on the topic, noting that, “Most people start to notice changes as they enter their 50s and 60s. Although these changes can cause consternation, most age-related memory and thinking problems do not stem from an underlying brain disease such as Alzheimer’s disease. Instead, what appears to be a memory problem may simply reflect a slower processing speed and poor encoding and retrieval of new memories because of diminished attention. However, even though your brain may be slower to learn and recall new information, your ability to make sense of what you know and to form reasonable arguments and judgments remains intact.”

In other words, says Weber, while you may forget where you left your glasses, the knowledge and wisdom you have accrued in your lifetime remains. “Remember, it might take a bit longer to recall the details of an event or the answer to a routine question it doesn’t mean that you’ve lost it. You’re simply the victim of the aging process.”

As the folks at the Harvard Medical School put it: “The result is that as you age, it takes longer to absorb, process, and remember new information. The natural loss of receptors and neurons that occurs with aging may also make it harder to concentrate. Therefore, you not only learn information more slowly, but you also may have more trouble recalling it because you did not fully learn it in the first place. With slower processing, facts held in working memory may dissipate before you have had a chance to solve a problem.”

News and notes from all over
Submitted by The Association of Mature American Citizens

The cat’s meow
New homeowners in Philadelphia heard meowing apparently coming from inside the walls of their house. They called a contractor to check it out and, sure enough, a kitten fell out of the first hole he made. As he continued taking down the wall — over a period of eight hours — he managed to rescue six more kittens and nine fully grown cats, reports the Association of Mature American Citizens. How they got trapped is a mystery, but they were freed just in time. An Animal Care and Control Team was able to save all but one of the kittens.

Go jump in the lake
Like most of us, Chicago resident Dan O'Conor was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but he found a way to deal with his distress. It happened a year ago. He woke up one morning a bit under the weather and decided that he’d feel better if he jumped into Lake Michigan, according to the Association of Mature American Citizens. In an interview with WLS-TV he said: “I started jumping in Lake Michigan on June 13 [2020], that was the first day, and the first day I came down here was because I was hungover. And it felt so good I just started doing it every day.” True to his word, a year later to the day, in June of 2021, he made his 365th daily dive into the lake. “You know, with everything that was happening, you talk about June, it was the pandemic and the politics and the protests, just all of that, I could come down here and dive in the water and it would just kind of clear it, clear the palette and cleanse the day, start anew,” he said.

Spell check
One common use of the internet is to make sure the words you use are spelled correctly and so the folks at Google Trends analyzed data it had gathered to conduct a state-by-state check on the spell checkers, says the Association of Mature American Citizens. It turns out that the spelling of the word “quarantine” was the most searched word in 12 states. A further analysis showed that the most common misspelling of “quarantine” is “corn teen,” of course.

— The Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] is a senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. AMAC Action is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing the membership in Washington, D.C. and local congressional districts nationwide. More information is available on their website at www.amac.us.

News and notes from around the world
Submitted by The Association of Mature American Citizens

Soft heart, big wallet
So, this guy walks into a bar in Londonderry, New Hampshire and runs up a tab of nearly $40.00. But he doesn’t leave a 15% tip, nor a 20% tip; he’s a big spender with a heart of gold and so he left a 40,000% gratuity [40 thousand percent], reports the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. Michelle McCudden was the bartender that day when her unidentified “mystery man” stumbled into the Stumble Inn Bar & Grill, shocking her and making her day at the same time. Thinking that the patron may have made a mistake, the staff felt compelled to get him to confirm the generous amount of the tip. The owner of the establishment, Mike Zarella, told WMUR-TV: “I thought it was a mistake, it could have been maybe a $160 tip and he added extra zeros. The bar manager talked to the gentleman, and he said, ‘No, it's $16,000.'”

Better late than never
The late Mary Rowland Fischer of Ann Arbor, Michigan and Gail Steele of Hayward, California, who passed away last year, might have chalked up some $8,000, more or less, in combined library late fees for books they checked out of local libraries 70 years ago. Back in the day, libraries would charge as much as 15 cents a day for overdue books, but late fees are a thing of the past for the most part and in both instances the librarians forgave any potential fees, according to the Association of Mature American Citizens. Steele’s son found her library book while cleaning out her home and didn’t waste time in getting in touch with the Sonoma County Library, offering to pay a fine. The library said that it wouldn’t be necessary, that they were grateful for his thoughtful gesture. Likewise, Mrs. Fischer’s daughter, Kari Magill, mailed her mom’s book back to the Ann Arbor District Library, which confirmed there would be no fine.

Who knew?
The painting had been hanging on a wall in a villa in the province of Rome, Italy for many years and when it suddenly fell to the floor it was damaged. So, the owners sent it off to be repaired and cleaned. And that’s when they found out that it was no ordinary work of art; it was the long-lost masterpiece, The Adoration of the Magi, painted by Rembrandt in 1632 or 1633, reports the Association of Mature American Citizens. The owners apparently have no immediate intention of selling their newfound treasure, but they do plan to offer it to galleries and museums.

— The Association of Mature American Citizens is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing the membership in Washington, D.C. and local congressional districts nationwide. More information is available on their website at www.amac.us.

Restoration project celebrates car culture in Niles
By Rob Klindt

Visitors rolling into the Niles district of Fremont can’t be blamed if they do a double take at what is quickly becoming the historic district’s newest landmark – the Niles Flying A building.

Located at 37810 Niles Boulevard near the southern entrance to Niles, the small white stucco structure with newly-painted mint green and brilliant red accents dates back to the late 1930s when it was one of the area’s early gas stations, The Flying A. The building was one of two structures owned by the Southern Pacific railroad company before being sold in 1938 to become the Solon Brothers Gas Station and Diner. (Today the building next door houses Federicos Grill restaurant.) Soon, the gas station affiliated with Flying A, a regional brand of gas with locations scattered throughout the western states. While gas isn’t sold there anymore, two restored vintage Flying A gas pumps stand prominently in front as a reminder of the building’s long history.

“We’re doing this for fun, I don’t want this to be a business,” owner René Aguirre explained, adding that while there are repair service bays in the building, he doesn’t plan on doing repairs, but instead plans to rent the venue out for parties, car club meetings and special events including vintage auto shows. “I want this to be a part of the community where everybody gets a piece of it.”

Aguirre and his wife Krysten Laine leased the property on Niles Boulevard in 2020 and immediately went to work restoring it to look like the old Flying A gas station, using the same white, green and red color scheme and the original company’s logo. They teamed with fellow Niles resident and vintage car enthusiast Gary Mills to start restoration work on the building in January 2021.

Aguirre said progress has been slow because COVID-19 restrictions delayed delivery of materials, but the project is moving forward. To outsiders, Laine said the changes to the building have been very apparent. “People who have been coming through here, who haven’t been by for a while, see little bits…the brand-new paint job, the pumps are there, the fixed cobblestone. There’s enough that keeps happening to keep people wondering what’s happening now,” she said. Next up: neon lights to complement the building’s exterior color scheme.

A longtime car enthusiast, Aguirre, 63, isn’t a stranger to Niles. As a teenager in Oakland during the 1970s, he visited Fremont to attend races at the Fremont Dragstrip, later renamed Baylands Raceway. “It was a fun thing to do at the time,” he said, adding that he quickly learned there were fun nightclubs and dancing in Niles. “We kind of made the loop from the Fremont Dragstrip to Niles because of the nightlife,” he recalled. Aguirre eventually moved to Niles, where he has lived for 27 years.

With more than 30 years’ experience in the automotive repair business, including owning a shop in Lafayette in Contra Costa County, Aguirre eventually decided to make a change. He closed the shop in 2015 to focus on his passion for vintage cars which eventually led to the Niles Flying A restoration project.

The Niles Flying A project is a labor of love for the couple. Laine has an extensive background in event planning which works well with her husband’s experience with vintage cars. They have already hosted car club member gatherings and other events, and participated in the recent Cigars & Cars gathering on June 20 in Niles.

On the second Sunday of the month through October, starting July 11, they will host a free Classic & Coffee gathering from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. They also will be participating in the annual Hot August Niles Car Show, August 8; the Niles Antique Faire & Flea Market, August 29; and the Niles Festival of Lights Parade during the holiday season.

For information about renting event space at the Niles Flying A, visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/NilesFlyingA, their Instagram at @niles_flying_a, email nilesflyinga@gmail.com or call (925) 997-5793.

Classic & Coffee
Second Sundays until October 10
7 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Niles Flying A
37810 Niles Blvd., Fremont
(925) 997-5793

Olive Hyde Art Guild Members Juried Show
Submitted by Seema Gupta

The Olive Hyde Art Guild Members Juried Show has been a favorite among members since it started in 2001, and occurs every other year. Artists who participate are required to be members of the Guild; entries are judged by an outside art professional. The exhibition is typically held at the Olive Hyde Art Gallery in Fremont. However, this year, due to COVID restrictions, the show will open virtually.

The Juror for this year’s show, Marianne McGrath, is an independent curator. After a successful decade with New Museum Los Gatos and The Museums of Los Gatos curating exhibits and presenting art and education programs, Marianne founded MKM Art Consulting, LLC, which offers curatorial projects and consulting services to art institutions, galleries and artists. Marianne holds a BA degree in Art, MA degree in Art History and her professional affiliations include ArtTable, College Art Association and the Women’s Caucus for Art.

We are excited for this year’s inspiring exhibition of two- and three-dimensional works by 35 local artists. Sixty pieces were selected out of 125 submitted. The “Best of Show” winner is Susan Longini, with Janice Schafir and Peter Langenbach in 2nd and 3rd place respectively. The three Merit Award winners are Mitchell Neto, Farshid Namei, and Scott Capen. A Peoples’ Choice Award will be voted by the spectators through a link in the Virtual Exhibit.

The following artists’ work is included in this year’s show: Najeeb Abdulrahiman, Scott Capen, Michele Lin Chung, Sandra Clark, Thomas Cory, Adriane Dedic, Abhijit Datta, Dmitry Grudsky, Seema Gupta, Susan Helmer, Marilynn Host, Maureen Langenbach, Peter Langenbach, Maureen Lardie, Robyn Leimer, Ruth Li, Susan Longini, Lina Melkonian, Denise Oyama Miller, Patricia Moran, Farshid Namei, Mitchell Neto, Gail Noeth, Parul Parekh, Gerald Patrinos, Norma Robinson, Emelie Rogers, Maria Grazia Romeo, Janice Schafir, Barbara Schlein, Ileana Soto, Lynne Sparling, Lisa Stambaugh, Mary Sullivan, and Edward Wilson.

Congratulations to all!

To view the 2021 Olive Hyde Art Gallery Exhibition Calendar and the virtual show, click on the following link: https://www.fremont.gov/3871/2021-Exhibition-Calendar.

We are also pleased to announce that an in-person exhibition at the Olive Hyde Art Gallery is due to open on Thursday, July 29, with Opening Reception & Awards scheduled for Friday, August 6 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. The Olive Hyde Art Gallery is located at 123 Washington Blvd. in Fremont.

Olive Hyde Art Guild Members Juried Show
Thursday, Jul 8 – Sunday, Oct 3
Virtual exhibit: https://www.fremont.gov/3871/2021-Exhibition-Calendar.

Celebrate! Old Mission San Jose fully re-opens to visitors
Submitted by Gary Dorighi

Old Mission San Jose Museum and Gift Shop fully opened to impress visitors beginning July 1, 2021. After over a year of “COVID closure,” we have new hours and a brand-new look. The Museum and Gift Shop are now open Thursday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

St. Joseph Church Pastor, Fr. Anthony Le, joins with our new Business Manager, Christine Gates, and our friendly staff to welcome you. Rediscover the City of Fremont’s roots with a self-guided tour of the Museum. We have a new guide sheet for touring the beautiful Mission Church with some interesting historical facts. For example, did you know the grave of Robert Livermore (1799-1858), for whom the city of Livermore is named, is located inside the Mission Church?

Bring your summer visitors for a docent-led tour. Learn even more fascinating stories from our docents about Fremont’s own Mission San Jose, the 14th of the 21 California missions founded in 1797. Docent-led tours are on the 2nd and 4th weekends of each month – Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

Sign up online at missionsanjose.org and receive a discount in our Gift Shop.

Old Mission San Jose Museum and Gift Shop
Thursday – Sunday
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Docent-led Tours
2nd and 4th Weekends
Sat: 11 a.m.
Sun: 1 p.m.

43300 Mission Blvd., Fremont

Pop Surrealism
Submitted by Dorsi Diaz

The Sun Gallery proudly presents its latest exhibit “Pop Surrealism.” This will be the gallery’s second indoor exhibit in the main gallery since the Pandemic Shelter in Place orders began in March of 2020. The show opened on Friday, June 25 and will run through Saturday August 7, 2021.

The Pop Surrealism exhibit includes a wide range of artists from the East Bay and beyond: Gerry Thompson, Christine Bender, Henry Call, Linda Nygard, Hollie Adamic, Peter and Maureen Langenbach, Sarah Sammis, Marjorie Lynne Wagner, Dorsi Diaz, Jocelyn Carlson
Kelton, Suzanne Pershing, Christa Schanda, Bruce Roberts, and Sun’s Curator Nina Starr.

An Artist’s Reception for the Pop Surrealism exhibit will be held outdoors in the Gallery’s courtyard on Saturday July 10 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. The public is invited and admission is free. Light pre-packaged snacks and beverages will be served.

In addition to the exhibit, field trips for the Sun’s 2021 and 2022 upcoming shows are also being booked now through the Gallery. Tours can be held inside the Sun Gallery or on site at local schools. To book your tour, email the gallery at sungallery@comcast.net or call (510) 581-4050 Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Pop Surrealism
Friday, Jun 25 – Saturday, Aug 7
Fri-Sat: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sun Gallery
1015 E St., Hayward
(510) 581-4050

California AG's wife among those seeking his Assembly seat
AP Wire Service

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP), Jun 29 – Voters in the San Francisco Bay Area may keep it all in the family when they vote for a successor Tuesday to replace Attorney General Rob Bonta in the state Assembly.

Bonta left the Legislature in April after Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed him to fill the state's top law enforcement post. His wife, Mia Bonta, is among the frontrunners for his old 18th Assembly District seat.

Eight candidates are vying to replace him, including six Democrats in the Alameda County district where 66% of voters are registered with that party. Republican Stephen Slauson and Joel Britton, no party preference, also are running.

Aside from Bonta, Democrats James Aguilar, Victor Aguilar, Eugene Canson, Janani Ramachandran and Malia Vella are seeking to represent the area that includes the cities of Alameda, San Leandro and most of Oakland.

If no candidate wins more than half the vote, a special runoff election will be August 31 with the top two vote-getters, regardless of their party affiliation.

Several have backgrounds in local government: James Aguilar is a member of the San Leandro School Board and once interned for Bonta when he was in the Assembly; Victor Aguila is a San Leandro city councilman. Bonta is president of the Alameda school board and Vella is a member of the Alameda City Council.

Bonta outraised the other candidates and has endorsements from numerous lawmakers, the state treasurer and secretary of state, and U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla. She also benefited from three independent expenditure committees that spent about $400,000 on her behalf, according to the California Target Book, which tracks legislative races.

But Ramachandran and Vella also have six-figure campaign funds.

Vella, a lawyer for an International Brotherhood of Teamsters local, is endorsed by the state controller and several lawmakers. Ramachandran has endorsements from many local officials and U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna.

Bonta's name gives her an edge, but Ramachandran and Vella have contended that some of her donors are trying to curry favor with the attorney general.

There is nothing new about lawmakers with family connections, however.

California State Library legislative historian Alex Vassar counts at least a dozen of the state's 120 legislators with ties to current or former lawmakers. Last April, San Diego-area voters selected Dr. Akilah Weber to succeed her mother in the Assembly after Shirley Weber became secretary of state.

What's in California's new $262 billion operating budget?
By Adam Beam
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Jun 28 – California lawmakers approved a $262.6 billion operating budget on Monday. The budget represents an agreement between Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state's top two legislative leaders, all Democrats.

Newsom will likely sign the budget into law before the state's new fiscal year begins on Thursday. While the budget lawmakers approved covers much of state government, some details remain unfinished, including decisions on how to spend money on wildfires and the drought.

Here's a look at what's in the budget:


The budget includes $8.1 billion in rebates for most taxpayers. The amount depends on income, children and how taxes have been filed.

Adults with children who earn $30,000 a year or less will get $500. That's in addition to the $600 checks they got earlier this year, for a total of $1,100.

Adults who earn between $30,000 and $75,000 will get $600 if they don't have children and $1,100 if they do.

People who file their taxes using a taxpayer identification number – mostly immigrants – get more. Adults with children earning $30,000 or less will get $1,000. Adults with children who earn between $30,000 and $75,000 will get $1,000. Immigrants who are not citizens get more money because they were excluded from federal pandemic relief checks.

The budget also includes $1.5 billion in grants for small businesses harmed by the pandemic – money they don't have to pay back.


The budget provides ongoing funding to expand the state's two-year kindergarten program to include all 4-year-olds for free. The program would phase in the expansion to everyone by the 2025-26 school year at a cost of $2.7 billion per year. Right now, abut 91,000 4-year-olds are enrolled in “transitional kindergarten.” This proposal would boost that to about 250,000 children.


The spending plan commits $12 billion for homelessness programs over the next two years. That includes $1 billion for local governments – a rare multi-year commitment from the state to pay for local homelessness programs.


Last year, lawmakers passed a number of spending cuts because they thought they were facing a $54.3 billion budget shortfall caused by the pandemic. That shortfall never happened. This budget restores those cuts. Most state workers will get their salaries restored, plus raises. The court system, public schools, and public colleges and universities all get their funding restored.


The budget would pay the health care costs for low-income immigrants who are 50 and older and living in the country illegally by making them eligible for Medicaid. It would eventually cost $1.3 billion per year when fully implemented. The budget also eliminates a rule that makes more people 65 and older eligible for Medicaid.


The budget includes $155 million to make more people eligible for Cal Grants – money to help students pay for college that they don't have to pay back. This money will help students who are older and have been out of high school longer qualify for these grants.


The budget requires three of the state's most popular public universities to admit more in-state students. Under the plan, UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego would replace 900 out-of-state students with California students each year. Out-of-state students pay more tuition, so the state would pay those schools $184 million over the next three years.


The budget includes $54 million this year and $650 million in future years to pay for free breakfast and lunch for all public school students.

Fremont Unified School District Board Meeting
June 24, 2021

In preparation for a full return to in-person instruction in August, staff presented information about the new guidelines specific to TK-12 schools. To further support enhanced safety measure across the district and additional spaces beyond the classroom, the expenditures are estimated to include the following: 1,600 units of Blueair Classic 605, including replacement filters at a cost of $790,000; 120 units of Hands-Free Water Filling Station at a cost of $131,000.

• Approved the 2021-22 Proposed Budget with change to remove School Resource Officer funding out of CARES Act and added to the General Fund.

• Fremont Unified District Teachers Association (FUDTA) brought forward a Black Lives Matter Pledge for the Board's consideration.

• Heard a presentation about High School Master Schedules and Course Offerings from Zack Larsen, Director of Secondary Education, and Steven Musto, Director of Assessment and Accountability.

• Authorize staff to enter into an agreement with International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) for the 2021/2022 School Year at cost of $203,500.

• Received a report on Child Nutrition Services (CNS) program from Sodexo School Services and authorized staff to extend the agreement with Sodexo America, LLC. to provide food service management services for the district.

• Authorized staff to enter into an agreement with S&H Construction, Inc. for a portable locker room expansion project at Horner Middle School in the amount of $845,460. This contract falls within the project budget.

The Board’s next regular meeting (virtual) is scheduled for Wednesday, July 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Larry Sweeny
Diane Jones
Vivek Prasad
Yajing Zhang
Desrie Campbell

Hayward City Hall re-opens to public
Submitted by City of Hayward

Hayward City Hall, which has been closed to the public since March 2020 in response to COVID-19 pandemic regulations will re-open on a part-time basis on Tuesday, July 6. In-person services will be available to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

The part-time reopening is part of a phased approach to bringing City Hall-based city employees back to the workplace and the eventual resumption of regular business operations, government meetings, and other public and private events.

As part of the City Hall re-opening, members of the public entering the building — and any other city facility — are required to wear a mask or face-covering at all times, and observe and follow all posted COVID-19-related instructions and protocols and instructions from city staff.

Similarly, city employees must observe these same precautions and are being required to wear a mask or face-covering while inside City Hall and other city facilities except when alone at a personal workstation, provided six-feet distance can be maintained between themselves and other employees or members of the public.

Masking and other City of Hayward COVID-19 requirements and protocols for city facilities may exceed federal, state and county standards and are subject to change at the direction of the City Manager in response to the city’s operational and public health and workplace safety needs. For details, call (510) 583-4000.

Ready, set, celebrate in downtown Hayward
Submitted by City of Hayward

Following the heels of the July Fourth weekend and relaxed COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, a downtown Hayward grand re-opening celebration is set for Saturday, July 10.

Sponsored by the City of Hayward Economic Development Division, Hayward Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Hayward Improvement Association, the “Together for Hayward” event will include live music, arts and craft vendors, special promotions from area restaurants and retailers and community organizations.

Festivities will be from 12:00 noon until 6:00 p.m. in the intersection of B and Main streets, which will be closed to vehicle traffic. The event will start with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday officially re-opening the downtown area. Admission is free.

Together for Hayward
Saturday, Jul 10
Noon – 6:00 p.m.
Music, arts, crafts community celebration
B and Main streets, downtown Hayward
(510) 583-4000

New city kiosks make payments easier
Submitted by City of Hayward

The City of Hayward recently installed two payment kiosks — one inside and one outside of City Hall — to make paying water and other city bills and fees more convenient.

The machines allow for cash, check, and credit or debit card payments with no processing charges for any bill that is generated by the City of Hayward — including Hayward water system bills, Code Enforcement invoices, and all other city-generated bills, fees and invoices.

The kiosk located on the exterior of City Hall facing City Hall Plaza, at 777 B Street, is accessible and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A second kiosk inside City Hall on the first floor near the guard station is accessible weekdays when City Hall is open to the public.

Both kiosks offer English and Spanish as a language option. The machines provide receipts for proof of payment at the time the payment is made — but cannot provide change for cash payments. Any excess cash payment would be credited to the customer account. For details, call the city at (510) 584-4000.

City of Hayward opposes application to restart power plant
Submitted by City of Hayward

The City of Hayward announced June 28th it will oppose a request by Calpine to restart its Russell City Energy Center until the cause of a recent explosion at the power plant is known, and an assessment and public review of potential environmental and health impacts of the proposed resumption of operations is complete.
Shortly before midnight on May 27, the Hayward Fire Department responded to a major fire at the power plant following the catastrophic failure and explosion of a steam turbine at the facility, located at 3862 Depot Road in Hayward.
Though no injuries were reported from the explosion and fire, the debris field from the blast was extensive with pieces and chunks of metal propelled hundreds of feet—including one weighing 15 pounds that crashed through the roof of an unoccupied trailer at the City’s Housing Navigation Center at Whitesell Street and Depot Road, some 1200 feet away.  The Navigation Center provides transitional shelter for people experiencing homelessness.  Another piece, weighing 51 pounds, landed on the City’s Water Pollution Control Facility.
“Given what transpired, we believe it would be premature to proceed with a restart until we understand the root cause of the turbine failure and whether facilities in place to contain the explosion performed as intended,” Mayor Barbara Halliday said.  “It also is essential that we understand the potential environmental and health impacts to our community of Calpine’s proposal to resume plant operations,” Mayor Halliday added.
Calpine’s Russell City Energy Center, which began operations in August 2013, generates electricity from natural gas and generally is relied upon to deliver power during peak periods of demand primarily in summer months.  The steam turbine that experienced the catastrophic failure is associated with cooling and heat and carbon containment aspects of plant operations and is not essential for electricity generation.
On June 3, Calpine, a publicly held Houston-based corporation that bills itself as the nation’s largest generator of electricity from natural gas and geothermal resources, submitted an application to the California Energy Commission (CEC) to restart the Russell City Energy Center at a reduced energy-generation capacity by by-passing the steam turbine.
The application to restart the plant received provisional CEC staff-level approval on June 18, and a 14-day public comment period prior to a final decision by CEC commissioners closed on Friday, July 2.

California governor sues to get party ID on recall ballot
By Kathleen Ronayne
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Jun 29 – California Gov. Gavin Newsom is suing the state elections chief he appointed in an effort to get his party affiliation to appear next to his name on the ballot for a recall election that will determine if the first-term Democrat is forced out of office.

The lawsuit against Secretary of State Shirley Weber, a fellow Democrat, came after Newsom's campaign failed to file the appropriate paperwork.

Newsom was supposed to indicate whether he wanted his party preference on the ballot back in February 2020, when he first responded to the recall petition. That requirement was part of a new law he signed that took effect in January 2020. In the past, politicians targeted in recalls weren't allowed to have their party next to their names.

“Due to an inadvertent but good faith mistake on the part of his elections attorney, Newsom timely filed his answer but did not include his party-preference election,“ reads the lawsuit, which was first reported Monday by Courthouse News Service.

Weber's office said it has a duty to accept timely filed documents and anything after the deadline “requires judicial resolution.“

The recall election, driven by criticism of Newsom's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, is likely to be held in early fall. The two-part ballot will first ask voters if they want to remove Newsom from office and, if so, who should replace him. The answers to the second question are only counted if more than 50% of people say yes to the first.

Newsom's lawsuit argues that Weber should accept his updated notification of his party preference because the recall hasn't been certified, an election date hasn't been set, his opponents haven't filed their own paperwork and the ballots aren't yet designed.

When Newsom responded to the recall petition, few believed it would generate enough signatures reach the ballot. But with growing frustration over his on-again, off-again shutdown orders during the pandemic, support for the recall gained momentum and ultimately more than 1.7 million valid signatures were gathered.

A key event for Newsom's critics was his decision to attend a birthday party for a lobbyist friend at a posh San Francisco Bay Area restaurant when he was telling people to stay home, socially distance and wear masks. Photos showed him unmasked and seated close to other guests.

Republicans seeking to unseat Newsom include former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, businessman and unsuccessful 2018 gubernatorial candidate John Cox, former U.S. Rep. Doug Ose and reality TV personality Caitlyn Jenner.

Though many voters know Newsom is a Democrat, the paperwork error is an embarrassing mistake for his campaign, which last year also failed to challenge a court ruling that gave recall proponents more time to collect signatures.

In late February 2020, political neophyte Orrin Heatlie filed a recall petition against Newsom, one of about a half-dozen that had been filed at that point. Newsom was required to respond to the petition, and under the new law, he was supposed to say if he wanted his party preference on the ballot. His campaign only realized its mistake this month and on June 19 filed a notice of his party preference with Weber, but she declined to accept it.

Newsom's lawsuit asks for a ruling by July 12, which indicates his campaign does not expect an election date to be set before that.

In the past, those targeted in a recall didn't have the option to list their party preference. Democrats in the state Legislature voted to change that in 2019 after a state senator was recalled, arguing it gives voters important information.

On Monday, Newsom signed a law that changes the recall rules in an effort to speed up the election. It essentially bypasses a legislative review of costs associated with the recall, because lawmakers already agreed to give counties $215 million to administer the election.

Get out and walk in Fremont!
Submitted by City of Fremont

Community members are invited to join Fremont city officials in a new Active Fremont: Walk, Bike, Hike campaign. The first walk, set for Thursday, July 8 will be led by Fremont Mayor Lily Mei.

Among goals of the campaign, held in partnership with Washington Hospital, East Bay Regional Park District and Regional Parks Foundation, is to help families and youths embrace a healthier lifestyle this summer and stay fit by while enjoying Fremont’s beautiful outdoors.

Walkers will gather at 5:30 p.m. at Warm Springs Plaza, near the Warm Springs/South Fremont BART station at the intersection of Innovation Way and Lopes Court. Admission is free.

Six more walks with city officials are also planned:

• July 10: Central Park/Lake Elizabeth with Vice Mayor Yang Shao
• July 17: Coyote Hills/Ardenwood Trail with Councilmember Teresa Keng
• July 25: Sabercat Historical Park with Councilmember Raj Salwan
• August 6: Brookvale Park with Councilmember Rick Jones
• August 9: Azeveda Park with Councilmember Jenny Kassan
• August 28: Irvington Park with Councilmember Teresa Cox

Updated campaign events will be posted on social media at #ActiveFremont through September 6 and will include weekly health tips; recipes; walking, bicycling, and hiking routes in Fremont and meetup events to keep people motivated. For details, visit the Active Fremont: Walk, Bike, Hike webpage at https://fremont.gov/4036/Active-Fremont-Campaign.

Active Fremont Walk
Thursday, July 8
5:30 p.m.
Community walk with Fremont Mayor Lily Mei
Warm Springs Plaza, Innovation Way and Lopes Court, Fremont

Straw Bale Gardening
By Melinda Myers
Photos Courtesy of MelindaMyers.com

Add productive garden space and raise your planting bed with straw bale gardening. This technique allows you to create a raised bed garden on the patio, lawn, or poor, compacted soil. Straw bale gardening has been around for centuries, but thanks to Joel Karsten’s book Straw Bale Gardens it has gained new popularity.

All you need are a few straw bales, fertilizer, a bit of compost and time to condition, plant, and water your garden. Purchase straw bales made from alfalfa, wheat, oats, rye, or other cereals that have less weed seeds than hay. Start a few weeks before you plan to start planting.

Place bales in their permanent location with the cut sides up and twine parallel to the ground. When you start the condition process, they become very heavy and hard to move. Once the bales are in place, you are ready to start the conditioning process. This is done to start the inside of the straw bales composting, so they will support plant growth.

Day one spread fertilizer over the tip of the bale. Use one half cup of a complete garden fertilizer or three cups of an organic fertilizer, like Milorganite (www.milorganite.com). The organic fertilizers feed the microorganisms that help decompose the straw into a nutrient rich planting medium. Now thoroughly moisten the bale with water.

Continue to thoroughly soak the bale every day. On days three and five you will also add more fertilizer at the same rate used on day one. Days seven through nine use half the rate used on day one. This would be one quarter cup of a complete garden fertilizer or one and a half cups of an organic fertilizer. And once again thoroughly water the bale. On day 10 you will add one cup of 10-10-10 or three cups of an organic fertilizer rich in phosphorous and potassium. This completes the conditioning process.

Bales treated with a complete fertilizer should be ready to plant. You will likely need to wait a few more days when using an organic fertilizer. The inside of the bale should be the temperature of warm bath water or cooler. If it is hotter than this, wait for the bale to cool a bit before planting.

Use a trowel to pry open a hole in the bale. Place the transplant in the hole and cover the roots with potting mix or compost. Create a planting bed for seeds by covering the bale with a one- to two-inch-thick layer of planting mix. Follow the planting directions on the back of the seed packet.

Regular watering is critical for success with this method. Soaker hoses or drip irrigation make this an easier task. You can also use gallon milk jugs with holes in the bottom or inverted 2-liter soda bottles placed near the base of each plant to provide water where it is needed.

Give your straw bale garden a nutrient boost about once a month or as needed throughout the growing season. You are on your way to growing a productive straw bale garden to enjoy throughout the season.

Melinda Myers has written more than 20 gardening books, including The Midwest Gardener’s Handbook and Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series and the nationally-syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio program. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Her website is www.melindamyers.com.

It’s a Date


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

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

Practice Your Spoken English
4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Talk with native English speakers about everyday topics in a friendly, welcoming setting
Via Zoom

Niles Street Eats
5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Food trucks
Niles Town Plaza
37592 Niles Blvd., Fremont

San Lorenzo Street Eats
5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Food trucks
500 Via Mercado, San Lorenzo

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

Castro Valley Street Eats
5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Food trucks and live music – support The Chabot Theater
Parking lot behind Trader Joe’s
2490 Grove Way, Castro Valley

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

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

Online Comedy Shows

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

First Presbyterian Church of Newark Worship Services
9:30 a.m.; Worship Service In-Person or Online
35450 Newark Blvd., Newark

St. Anne’s Episcopal Church Service
10 a.m.
Socially distant outdoor seating
2791 Driscoll Road, Fremont
Via Zoom link: www.stanneschurch.org

Third Thursday each month
Chronic Pain Support Group
12:30 p.m.- 2:30 p.m.
Request link: njordan@fremont.gov

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

Saturdays & Sundays in July
Niles Canyon Railway
10:30 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.
7/10, 7/11, 7/17, 7/18: Diesel Trains
Sunol Depot
6 Kilkare Rd., Sunol

Sundays, May 30 – July 25
“Travel Without Leaving Town” Film Series
3 p.m.
July 11 : The Prado: A Collection of Wonders
July 25 : Frida: Viva la Vida
$15 regular/$10 students to age 21
Bankhead Theater
2400 First St., Livermore
(925) 373-6800

Tuesday, July 13
Free drive-through COVID-19 vaccine
12 noon
For Ohlone College students, faculty, staff, and the community
Newark Center, Lot D
39399 Cherry St., Newark
Go to https://bach.health/vaccine/ to register

Friday – Sunday, June 18 – July 18
Live Horse Racing
2:45 p.m.
Alameda County Fairgrounds
Gates 8 & 12 off of Valley Ave, Pleasanton

Sundays, June 27 – August 15
St. Anne’s Episcopal Church
12 noon – 1:30 p.m.
Afternoon discussion – change frustrating conversations into better ones!
In person or via Zoom
2791 Driscoll Rd., Fremont
(510) 490-0553


Thursday, July 8 – Sunday, October 3
Olive Hyde Art Guild Members Juried Show
Virtual juried show of local artists
Virtual exhibit: https://www.fremont.gov/3871/2021-Exhibition-Calendar

Saturday, July 10 – Saturday, July 17
Introduction to Beekeeping $
7/10, 7/11, and 7/17
9 a.m. – 12 noon
Beginning beekeeper’s course – learn how to start your own hive.
The Apiary at LEAF C.R. Stone Garden
55 Mowry Ave., Fremont
To register, email elaine@fremontleaf.org

Tuesday, July 27
Free drive-through COVID-19 vaccine
12 noon
For Ohlone College students, faculty, staff, and the community
Fremont Campus, Lot H
43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont
Go to https://bach.health/vaccine/ to register

Mondays – Saturdays
Grab & Go Craft Kits
Fremont Main Library, Centerville Library, Union City Library
Check library for hours
Crafts are a fun way to let kids be creative

Tuesdays and Thursdays in July
Music For Minors II Preschool Music Program $
10:00 a.m.– 10:45 a.m.
Preschool age distance learning and sing-a-longs
Via Zoom

Second Saturdays, July – December
Talkin’ Dirt
7/10, 8/14, 9/11, 10/9, 11/13, 12/11
9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Free webinar on gardening, hosted by LEAF
Via Zoom


Tuesday, July 6
Engineering Missions to the Red Planet
12 noon – 1:30 p.m.
Engineer Robin A.S. Beck describes the technology needed to send rovers to Mars
In person and via Zoom
Redwood Canyon Golf Course
17007 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley
Zoom link provided with registration.

Wednesday, July 7
Small Business Reopening Guide
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Is your small business ready to reopen? Free webinar by the SBDC.

Wednesday, July 7
Fremont Art Association General Meeting and Demo Artist
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Guest Artist will capture the look of ocean waves with resin over wood coasters. All welcome, free to attend
Registration required for zoom link

Thursday, July 8
Active Fremont Walk
5:30 p.m.
Free community walk with Fremont Mayor Lily Mei
Warm Springs Plaza, Innovation Way and Lopes Court, Fremont

Thursday, July 8
Drought Proof Your Garden
4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Learn how to keep your garden gorgeous and healthy during dry times

Thursday, July 8
COVID-19 Vaccinations
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Bay Area Community Health offers free vaccine and testing
John F. Kennedy High School
39999 Blacow Rd., Fremont

Friday, July 9
COVID-19 Vaccinations
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Bay Area Community Health offers free vaccine and testing
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
41933 Blacow Rd., Fremont

Friday, July 9
Classic Movies Under The Stars: Singing in the Rain $R
8:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Reserve a lawn space and enjoy some popcorn and candy
Milpitas Senior Center
40 N. Milpitas Blvd., Milpitas

Saturday, July 10
Symphony Under the Stars $R
5:30 p.m.
The Kings of Soul and Swing. Champagne reception and catered dinner
Hilltop estate in Milpitas

Saturday, July 10
H.A.R.D. Volunteers In Parks
Help clean and maintain your neighborhood park. This week: Parson’s Park
(510) 881-6755

Saturday, July 10
Downtown Hayward Grand Re-opening
12 noon – 6 p.m.
Promotions, live music, craft vendors, and more
Downtown Hayward

Monday, July 12
Milpitas Rotary
12 noon
Robert Jung on “Can You Spot The Fake?”
Via Zoom: https://bit.ly/364zWgd
Meeting ID: 830 1305 6992
Passcode: 113524

Wednesday, July 14
Effective Marketing Strategies to Manage Customer Pitfalls and Boost Loyalty
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Don’t let the pandemic take away your customers! Free webinar by the SBDC.

Wednesday, July 14
Tri-City Nonprofit Coalition July Meeting—with Lance Nishihara
6:30 p.m.
Lance Nishihara shares on free strategies and resources for nonprofits
Via Zoom
Register at: https://tinyurl.com/TCNPCJulyZoom

Thursday, July 15
What it Takes to Be an Entrepreneur
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Learn to take your dream and make it a reality. Free webinar by the SBDC.

Friday, July 16
Harry Potter Movie Nights R
Order of the Phoenix
Gates open 7:30 – Movie starts at dusk
Drive in movie night
Lone Tree Cemetery
24591 Fairview Ave., Hayward
RSVP to: (510) 582-1274

Lone Tree Cemetery Home

Saturday, July 17
Free Vaccine Clinic
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
No appointment or insurance needed. Ages 12+
Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church
279 South Main St., Milpitas

Monday, July 19
Milpitas Rotary
12 noon
Silicon Valley NAACP President Bob Nunez
Via Zoom: https://bit.ly/364zWgd
Meeting ID: 830 1305 6992
Passcode: 113524

Tuesday, July 20
7 o’clock Rocks!
7 p.m.
Join Groovy Judy live as she plays some rockin’ tunes

Thursday, July 22
Small Business, Innovation, and the New Normal
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Understanding your current business scenario. Free webinar by the SBDC.

Thursday, July 22
COVID-19 Vaccinations
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Bay Area Community Health offers free vaccine and testing
Mission San Jose High School
43300 Mission Blvd., Fremont

Friday, July 23
Abominable R$
8 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Outdoor family movie night—popcorn will be delivered to your space!
Cardoza Park,
1525 Kennedy Dr., Milpitas

Sunday, July 25
Opera in the Vineyard $
5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Unique performances of opera arias, show tunes and maybe even a little cabaret
Retzlaff Vineyards
1356 South Livermore Ave., Livermore

Letter to the Editor

Highest Sales Tax in State

Beginning July 1st, shopping in the Tri-City area will become more expensive. The sales tax rate in Hayward, Newark, San Leandro, and Union City will increase to 10.75%, the highest in California, and to 10.25% in Fremont, Castro Valley and San Lorenzo.

Overnight, the price of a $35,000 car will jump $350. A $1,000 computer will cost $10 more. Gas prices will increase 4 cents per gallon.

The Alameda County Taxpayers’ Association is fighting this illegal tax increase in court. Because of our lawsuits, the County must keep the new tax revenues in escrow accounts and refund you if we win.

This tax increase is being imposed because local politicians literally sold you out. They placed enrichment of their campaign contributors ahead of your best interests.

First, politicians placed Measure C on the March 2020 ballot, a 0.5% sales tax increase. They struck a deal with Oakland Children’s Hospital, which spent more than $1.2 million supporting Measure C in exchange for a huge share of revenues. Congressman Eric Swalwell endorsed this $3 billion tax hike. A majority of Fremont voters rejected Measure C. It fell short of two-thirds support countywide, yet Supervisors Scott Haggerty and Richard Valle declared it approved.

Second, Supervisors Valle, Haggerty, and other politicians placed Measure W on last November’s ballot, another 0.5% sales tax increase. They made it appear to be dedicated to helping the homeless, but in reality, all money goes into the General Fund, with no strings attached. They used this tactic to reduce the voter approval threshold to a mere 50% instead of 66.7%. The County Grand Jury rebuked this gimmick in its 2020-21 report.

Voters throughout southern Alameda County rejected Measure W with resounding “no” votes: Fremont 62%, Castro Valley 59%, Newark 58%, Union City 56%, San Lorenzo 53%, San Leandro 52%, and Hayward 51%. Measure W was losing by nearly 1,000 votes when the Registrar of Voters announced on November 10th that 9,453 ballots remained to be processed. But the next vote count update included 15,000 additional votes, which were disproportionately “yes” votes. More than 5,000 ballots somehow materialized. They swung the Measure W election to a final result of 50.09% Yes and 49.91% No, a margin of just 1,311 votes countywide.

The Registrar of Voters refused to “show his work.” So, we sued him.

In Santa Clara County, such a close election triggers an automatic recount. We formally asked the County of Alameda to follow that policy. They ignored us. Their gambit, backed by new Supervisor David Haubert, will cost you $1.5 billion in new taxes.

California law sets a maximum 9.25% sales tax rate. Alameda County has the highest sales tax rate in the state only because legislators including Bob Wieckowski, Bill Quirk, and Kansen Chu supported “special” legislation exempting Alameda County from the statewide cap. We are challenging this ploy as unconstitutional.

If you’d like to learn more about the Alameda County Taxpayers’ Association, please visit https://actaxpayers.org/. We are fighting to protect you – and your wallet.

Marcus Crawley
Alameda County Taxpayers' Association President

California virus cases rising as delta variant spreads
By Amy Taxin and Stefanie Dazio
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP), Jul 01 – California broadly reopened its economy barely two weeks ago and since then an especially contagious coronavirus variant has spread among the unvaccinated, a development that has health officials on edge and already has prompted Los Angeles County to strongly recommend everyone resume wearing masks inside.

The nation's most populous state is averaging close to 1,000 additional cases reported daily, an increase of about 17% in the last 14 days. Officials expected an increase when capacity limits were lifted for businesses and most mask restrictions and social distancing requirements were eliminated for vaccinated people.

But public health officials raised concern this week with the more transmissible delta variant spreading among the unvaccinated, who comprise the vast majority of new infections. LA County, where a quarter of the state's nearly 40 million people live, recommended Monday that vaccinated residents resume wearing face coverings indoors after detecting that about half of all cases were the delta variant.

The county Department of Public Health on Thursday reported 506 new cases, the highest number in a day since mid-April and more than double the figure from two weeks ago.

“Given that 4 million residents in L.A. County are not yet vaccinated, the risk of increased spread is very real,“ a department statement said.

“The new wrinkle in this is really this new variant. It just sort of rips very quickly through people who are susceptible to being infected, which overwhelmingly is people who are not vaccinated,” said Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, professor of epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco. “We just opened up two weeks ago, everything was hunky dory.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted a series of pandemic-related restrictions on June 15 after a final push to get more people vaccinated. Everyone 12 and older is eligible for shots and among that population 59% is fully vaccinated and another 10% has received a first dose.

In Contra Costa County, where 72% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated, officials recently began publishing virus case rates by vaccination status. Since the county has a high inoculation rate, the number of new coronavirus cases is generally low but unvaccinated residents remain at risk, said Dr. Chris Farnitano, the county's health officer.

For example, the seven-day average of new virus cases per 100,000 people in the county was recently 7.0 for those who are unvaccinated, and 0.4 for those who are vaccinated.

“The overall numbers don't look that concerning, but we know that there's this population that hasn't been vaccinated that still is at very high risk, and those overall numbers can give a false sense of security thinking COVID is still under control where it's still spreading quite rapidly among the unvaccinated population,” Farnitano said.

On Thursday, state officials drew the names of six winners of vacation packages at popular California tourist destinations including Disneyland. Vaccinated residents were automatically entered in the drawing, one of several incentives employed by state health officials to try to encourage people to take the shots.

Dr. Tomas Aragon, the state's public health officer, said the state would continue to offer $50 cards to residents who get vaccinated and that some vaccination sites are offering free amusement park tickets.

“These vaccines are saving lives every day. The proof is in the data and the science that we study every day,” Aragon said before the drawing. “Here's the bottom line: Californians who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are extremely vulnerable right now to this fast-moving variant.”

In Los Angeles, a mix of masked and unmasked people walked around Echo Park Lake on Wednesday. G. Williams, who waited for a bus nearby, wore a black cloth mask over a blue surgical one – something she expects she'll do for years to come.

The 69-year-old isn't vaccinated, saying she still has concerns about possible long-term side effects. She supports her county's latest recommendation and said she doesn't understand why people wouldn't wear a mask to protect others.

“To me, my mask is as important as any article of clothing,” she said.

At Raven Things Collected, an LA gift shop selling crystals, tarot cards and jewelry, a table full of merchandise has been pulled in front of the counter to keep everyone distanced.

Employee Yesenia Rego said she feels protected because she's vaccinated and distanced from customers. Most people wear masks when they come in anyway, she said, adding those who don't rarely ask if they should.

“They don't even care anymore,” said Rego, 23, who wore a green cloth mask.

Vaccination rates vary widely across California. A San Francisco ZIP code reports more than 95% of those eligible are fully inoculated, while one in rural Modoc County has a 37% rate, according to state data.

Health officials said areas with low vaccination rates are especially at risk as the delta variant, first reported in India, spreads across the United States. The variant – which accounts for a fifth of new U.S. infections – was found in 15% of specimens sequenced in California in June, up from 5% in May.

In Orange County, the variant accounts for 45% of sequenced cases in the most recent week, said Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, the county's deputy health officer. Contact tracers reaching out to those infected with the virus find 95% are unvaccinated, and the few who are vaccinated report minor symptoms and aren't hospitalized, she said.

“Because we're starting to see these highly transmissible strains, it is only a matter of time for us to be exposed again,” she said. “So the question is how severe is the illness going to be when you actually get COVID.”

Public health officials said they hope measures like the one taken by Contra Costa County might help encourage more people to get the shots.

“It's a demonstration in the real world, outside of the clinical trials, of the power of the vaccine,” said Andrew Noymer, a public health professor at University of California, Irvine. “COVID is going to seek out unvaccinated populations. The virus has a way of just sort of bouncing around until it finds a host it can infect, and those will be unvaccinated people.”

3.9 magnitude earthquake rattles San Francisco Bay Area
AP Wire Service

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP), Jun 28 – A magnitude 3.9 earthquake rattled the San Francisco Bay Area on Monday evening, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The earthquake's epicenter was in San Lorenzo, an East Bay community in Alameda County 13 miles (20.92 kilometers) south of Oakland, according to the geological survey. The quake occurred at 6:29 p.m.

The quake was initially rated a 4.2 but was downgraded to 4.0 and then 3.9. The initial epicenter was reported as Ashland, near San Lorenzo, but the geological survey later also revised that.

Communities south of San Francisco – across the bay from San Lorenzo – felt the quake.

A magnitude 3.2 earthquake was reported in Southern California, near Los Angeles International Airport, on Wednesday.

Fremont Rocks!
By Arathi Satish & Grace Karr
Photos by Grace Karr

As the world is rocked by the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, happiness and kindness can be spread through art. Fremont Rocks!, a unique summer project sponsored by both Fremont Arts Now (FAN) and the Fremont Cultural Arts Council (FCAC) is providing just such an opportunity in July and August, 2021.

The concept of Kindness Rocks was started in 2015 by Megan Murphy, who left a rock with the message “You got this,” on a beach on Cape Cod. Murphy started leaving more rocks with inspirational messages after a friend found the first one. The project has now spread to other countries like the U. K., Australia and New Zealand.

The Kindness Rock Project has now become a viral trend. Children and adults can participate by painting pebbles or small rocks and leave them in spots where they can be easily found. Photographs of painted rocks and clues regarding where they can be found are sometimes shared on Facebook groups.
FAN and FCAC invite local residents to participate in Fremont Rocks! They can do so by decorating a rock and hiding it in a place where it can be easily found. If people find kindness rocks and like them, they are free to take it. They can consider replacing it with another.

Another option is to build a Kindness Rock Garden by decorating a bunch of rocks, then creating an attractive site for them at your business, nonprofit, art studio, etc. Add a sign to your Kindness Rock garden with message like, “Fremont Rocks! Take one, leave one; Share with a friend; Help our garden of kind thoughts grow!” If anyone needs some rocks for a “Kindness Rock garden,” email FAN at the address given below.

Kindness Rocks can be decorated with paint and/or pens with uplifting designs, inspiring messages or encouraging words. Acrylic paint, especially paint pens work well, but any waterproof materials will do the job too.

Grace Karr, who is helping to organize the event, said, “We are working to inspire positivity and kindness at a time when we could all use a little tender loving care. I hope everyone will join FAN and FCAC to create colorful designs and spread positive messages throughout our city. It’s an incredibly fun, creative activity for all ages that can be done outside during warm summer months.”

FAN and FCAC would love to see the rock and gardens you have created. Post your Fremont Rocks! photographs to the FAN Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/groups/FremontArtsNow (#fremontrocks) or email to FremontArtsNow@gmail.com.

Fremont Rocks!

Magic: No child’s play, or is it?
By Madhvika Singh
Photos courtesy of Alexis Cuarezma

Magic tricks open us up to a new world. They expand our imagination to believe in what we don’t think is possible. Magic shows become even more magical when the magician performing is at an age when most of us probably got to watch our first magic show! That awe is what one feels when watching the performances of James Chan.

Already a celebrity, James Chan’s journey in the entertainment industry started very early. Chan, now 12, started performing when he was five and had learned to juggle three balls. By age eight, he was juggling five balls, and by age ten, he had learned to keep three flaming torches in the air. By the time he turned 12, Chan had already appeared on many television shows including ABC7 News, Kids Say the Darndest Things, and Access Daily with Penn & Teller.

Over the years, James Chan’s popularity as a magician has grown greatly both because of his amazing proficiency and his ability to mesmerize his audience with his performances at such a young age. Demonstrating maturity much beyond his age, Chan says, “One thing I always try to remember is to not take compliments too seriously. A lot of people, especially adults, will tell me that I’m talented and that I’m really great – it is easy take that to your head and start getting lazy and not improve. At the same time, I try not to take negative feedback too hard, but look at it as opportunity to improve.”

Chan’s interest in magic and performance came from his father, Daniel Chan, a master magician himself, and his mother, Kat Chan, a balloon artist and performer. “Magic to me is a multitude of things – a puzzle, a trick, and ability to engage, distract and entertain the audience. These are additions to the character performing on the stage and add to the appeal of the performer as a whole, much more than the magic itself,” says Chan.

Starting out as a helping hand to his father as a preschooler, Chan accompanied him to shows and performances. Not only did he get used to performing in front of an audience, he also got to see and learn from the best – his father. “Having my father and mother as a teachers is a great positive and a little bit of a challenge too. They truly want the best for me and I can learn so much from their experiences honest feedback. At the same time, I have to be careful because not everything that works for them will work for me and I need to develop my own style” he added.

Chan’s list of accomplishments has only grown with time. On Aug. 12, 2020, he won a major competition sponsored by Ring 216, San Jose chapter of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the world’s largest association of amateur and professional magicians, beating out many other magicians twice his age. This award follows the “People’s Choice” award in the Parlor Magic competition for Ring 216 in 2019. Chan has also performed at corporate events for many large and well-known organizations such as Airbnb, Twitter, Yahoo, Microsoft, Google and the Golden State Warriors. He tries to add variety to his shows by bringing in tricks from different fields. “My personal favorite is creating a magic math square,” added Chan.

Behind these accomplishments, Chan is just a kid who loves to ride his bicycle around town and play sports and games. “Skiing for me is a fun thing I get to do every year or so. But what I love even more is video games!” says Chan. Currently homeschooled, he has the flexibility to manage his schedule of performances, training, academics and other activities. “The best parts about home schooling include skipping grades and moving ahead. I can choose when I sleep, I can crash more parties with dad, and I can get super far ahead and coast for three weeks,” shared Chan. “Magic also helps me with homework – when I turn my teacher’s one dollar bill into a 20-dollar bill, I get straight A’s!” he added cheekily.

Our own idea of magic can range from falling in love to a miraculous recovery from a disease. What defies our senses and our logic, we attribute to magic. We at TCV wish Chan the very best in his magic shows and performances!

Dan Chan Presents
(415) 244-2700
Instagram: @danchanmagic
Facebook: @danchanmagic
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/danielgchan

Lance Nishihara to speak at Tri-City Nonprofit Coalition
Submitted by Tina Fernandez Steckler

Did you know that nonprofits can get complimentary access to Google Workspace or Microsoft Office 365? Or that they receive transaction-free donations from PayPal Giving Fund? Learn more about these and other opportunities at Tri-City Nonprofit Coalition’s July 14 Zoom meeting!

Special guest Lance Nishihira will present on “Free Tech Tools and Platforms for Nonprofits,” a discussion that will cover strategies and technology geared toward non-profits. Lance is well-equipped to discuss this topic; he is a lifelong Tri-Cities resident and an elected member of the New Haven Unified School District Board of Trustees, a New Haven Schools Foundation member, and co-founder and president of Daily Bowl. Using his background in technology and design for Fortune 500 Silicon Valley companies, Lance helps organizations operate and scale to fulfill their missions.

The meeting will also include an ice-breaker and two 5-minute spotlight segments featuring local nonprofits Fremont Green Challenge and Daily Bowl.

This Zoom meeting will fill up quickly so don’t delay! Register today using the QR code featured here or go to https://tinyurl.com/TCNPCJulyZoom. Participants will receive the Zoom meeting link by email once registration is complete.

Founded in July 2020 by three Nonprofit Champions – Kathy Kimberlin, Lisa Stambaugh, and Tina Fernandez Steckler – the group’s mission is to strengthen the ability of all Tri-City nonprofit organizations to successfully accomplish their respective missions by collaborating, sharing information, and raising community awareness.

Tri-City Nonprofit Coalition July Meeting—with Lance Nishihara
Wednesday, Jul 14
6:30 p.m.
Via Zoom
Register at: https://tinyurl.com/TCNPCJulyZoom

Music and merriment for kids
Submitted by Carol Zilli

Music for Minors II has launched a new preschool music and sing-along program for children 6 and younger led by award-winning children’s music entertainers Lori & RJ. The 45-minute program is held via Zoom starting at 10:00 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 6 through July 29. Family rate for up to four children is $50 for all eight sessions. For program details and to register, visit the Music for Minors II website at www.mfm2preschool.org.

Preschool music and song
Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jul 6-29
10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. via Zoom
Music for Minors II
$50 for all eight sessions, for up to four children

COVID-19 vaccinations for animals come to Oakland Zoo
Submitted by Erin Harrison, Oakland Zoo

Shortly after receiving their first shipment of COVID-19 vaccinations for animals on June 29, veterinary and animal care teams at the Oakland Zoo quickly scrambled to get their animals ready.

The vaccine was donated by Zoetis, a New Jersey-based global animal health company. Animals deemed at highest risk at the Oakland Zoo, tigers, black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions and ferrets, received the vaccine first which is given in two doses. Next up were primates, including chimpanzees, fruit bats, and pigs. Vaccinations started June 30.

“Up until now, we have been using public barriers at certain habitats to ensure social distancing, along with enhanced PPE worn by staff to protect our susceptible species from COVID-19,” explained Dr. Alex Herman, Vice-President of Veterinary Services at Oakland Zoo. “We’re happy and relieved to now be able to better protect our animals with this vaccine, and are very thankful to Zoetis for not only creating it, but for donating it to us and dozens of other AZA-accredited zoos across the U.S.”

Robson Homes recognized for historic restorations
Submitted by Sara Breneman

Local homebuilder Robson Homes was recently awarded two Judges Special Awards in the Pacific Coast Builders Conference annual Gold Nugget Awards competition, which honors architectural design and planning excellence and draws entries from throughout the United States and internationally. Robson Homes earned these awards for Historic Restoration of the Best House and Starr House in Fremont.

Originally built in 1927, the Best & Starr Houses were restored and renovated as part of Robson Homes’ 14.8-acre new home development “The Abbey” in Fremont’s Mission. Robson acquired the former Palmdale Estate property from The Sisters of the Holy Family. Restoration of the homes took Robson Homes and their team of architects, designers and craftspeople more than two years. Their goal was to restore the 1920s homes to their former glory and intended use as private residences.

“The Best & Starr Houses were masterpieces when they were first built nearly 100 years ago,” said Mark Robson, President of Robson Homes. “It was our goal to preserve their historic integrity, restore their beauty, and update them for modern living; I hope that they will be enjoyed for the next 100 years.”

The pink Tudor Revival style “Starr House” was built in 1927 for Hazel Wagness Starr and her husband Oscar Starr, an executive and principle engineer for Caterpillar Tractor Company. The Norman Revival style “Best House” was built that same year for Irene Wagness Hansen (Hazel’s sister), who in 1931 married C.L. Best, Caterpillar Tractor Company’s Co-Founder and longtime Chairman of the Board.

Almost all of the original details of the homes were preserved, restored or recreated in the process: slate shingle (Starr) and wood thatched (Best) roofs, leaded-glass windows, stained glass windows, neo-classical style moldings, and hand painted murals. The homes are now listed on Fremont’s Register of Historic Resources and protected under the Mills Act.

Mark Robson accepted the awards on behalf of his team during the virtual awards ceremony on June 16th. “Restoring these two homes was a once-in-a-career opportunity,” noted Mr. Robson in his speech. “It took a team of very talented people. In addition to the team at Robson Homes, I’d like to acknowledge the incredible work of our architect, Sal Caruso of Salvatore Caruso Design Corporation in Santa Clara, and our interior designer Marie Peterson, of Chelsea Court Designs in Los Gatos.”


Alameda County Fire Department Log
Submitted by ACFD

Monday, June 28
• At 8:11 p.m. crews responded to reports of smoke coming from a business in the 14600 block of East 14th St. in San Leandro. Upon arrival, crews found a fire in a back room. The fire was quickly contained with smoke damage to the business and an adjacent business. San Leandro police officers provided traffic control during the incident. There were no injuries; the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Tuesday, June 29
• At 9:00 a.m. crews responded to a vehicle accident report at mile marker 4.1 on Redwood Road in Castro Valley. The vehicle went off the roadway and rolled approximately 200 feet down a slope. Crews used a rope to access the vehicle and assist the solo occupant who was taken to a hospital for treatment.

BART Police Log
Submitted by Les Mensinger and BART PD

Friday, June 25
• At 4:37 a.m. a woman identified by police as Milla Wilson, 54, of San Francisco was arrested at Fremont station on a no-bail warrant for a parole violation. She was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

• At 8:58 a.m. a man identified by police as Gary Barnes, 37, was arrested at Union City station on three misdemeanor arrest warrants totaling $20,000. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Saturday, June 26
• At 6:12 p.m. a man identified by police as Corey Blacksher, 27, of Oakland was arrested at Bay Fair station in San Leandro on suspicion of carrying a concealed and loaded firearm. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Sunday, June 27
• At 7:33 a.m. a man identified by police as Michael Gonzales, 41, of San Francisco was arrested at Warm Springs/South Fremont station on suspicion of false impersonation and resisting arrest. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

• At 8:46 a.m. a man identified by police as Vincent Tyrone Juarez, 51, of San Francisco was detained at Union City station on suspicion of fare evasion. A record check showed four outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrants. He was arrested and booked into Santa Rita Jail.

• At 3:10 p.m. a man identified by police as Michael Lewis, 32, of Oakland was arrested at Bay Fair station in San Leandro on suspicion of false impersonation. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Thursday, July 1
• At 6:21 p.m. a man identified by police as James Parker, 26, of Oakland was arrested at Bay Fair station in San Leandro on suspicion of battery on a peace officer, probation violation and trespassing. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Friday, July 2
• At 6:37 a.m. a man identified by police as Cornelius Carlisle, 30, of San Francisco was arrested at Union City station on suspicion of trespassing on railroad property and on two warrants issued by Alameda County. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Fremont Fire Department Log
Submitted by Fremont Fire Department

Sunday, June 27
• Just before 12:00 noon firefighters responded to a stove fire in a two-story home on Timber Creek Terrace in the Irvington area. The fire was contained to the oven area and there were no injuries. The home was turned back over to the residents.

Fremont Police Log
Submitted by Geneva Bosques, Fremont PD

Friday, June 25
• Police took reports of about 15 vehicles being broken into in the area of Paseo Padre Parkway and Deep Creek Road.

• At about 6:30 p.m. a strong-arm robbery occurred in the area of Brindisi Terrace in north Fremont. A female was walking in the area when an unknown person approached her from behind, grabbed and squeezed her neck and took her necklace, and then fled on foot.

Saturday, June 26
• At about 12:37 p.m. officers located a stolen vehicle in the area of Mowry Avenue and I-880. The driver of the vehicle initially fled from officers but was located a short time later at the Waterstone Apartments, 39600 Fremont Blvd. Suspects Estaban Gil, 34, of Fremont and Mario Castillo, 31, of Oakland were both arrested.

Sunday, June 27
• At about 12:34 p.m. patrol officers saw a vehicle driving recklessly in the area of Fremont Boulevard. A short time later, the driver lost control and crashed the vehicle in the 4000 block of Mowry Avenue. The driver immediately fled, but was stopped and tackled by a person in the area who held him down until additional officers arrived. The suspect, identified by police as Pedro Saavedra, 18, of Fremont was arrested.

Wednesday, June 30
At about 10:30 p.m. Fremont Police and Fremont Fire personnel responded to a report about a man lying in the intersection of Dusterberry Way and Peralta Boulevard in the Centerville area. The 69-year-old man was given medical aid and taken to a local trauma center. A preliminary investigation revealed the man was pushing a cart full of recyclables and personal items when he was struck by a vehicle. The driver fled the scene in the vehicle before police arrived. Investigators are asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call Traffic Investigator Vince Montojo or Officer Shannon at (510) 790-6765, (510) 790-6774 or send an email to vmontojo@fremont.gov or jshannon@fremont.gov.

Hayward Police Log
Submitted by Hayward PD

Sunday, June 20
• At 4:39 p.m. officers conducting a security check near the 25000 block of Santa Clara St. found an occupied stolen vehicle and took the occupants into custody.

Wednesday, June 23
• At 7:25 a.m. officers responded to a report of an auto burglary in progress on the 300 block of Lexington Ave. As officers arrived, the suspect fled in a stolen vehicle. The vehicle was later located and the occupant was taken into custody.

Friday, June 25
• A female was standing near the 900 block of Southland Dr. when a person approached and grabbed her purse and fled the scene.

Saturday, June 26
• At 1:10 p.m. a male was seated near the 100 block of B St. when he was approached by an unknown person who punched him several times and took his property, and then fled the scene.

Tuesday, June 29
• As officers were conducting a security check in late morning or early afternoon in a residential neighborhood near Ruus Park they saw two people standing near a vehicle with the trunk open. When officers approached, they spotted a large quantity of illegal fireworks in the open trunk. The fireworks were confiscated and one of the people was arrested for the misdemeanor violation. Police said the total weight of the fireworks was about 57 pounds and valued at about $2,000.

Milpitas Police Log
Submitted by Milpitas PD

Thursday, June 24
• At 1:09 p.m. a detective found a vehicle wanted by the Fremont Police Department near the 1400 block of Great Mall Drive. A 27-year-old Fremont resident associated with the vehicle was arrested on a burglary warrant. Fremont Police Department was notified and arrived to take custody of the suspect.

Saturday, June 26
• At 8:59 p.m. a citizen called 911 to report a 20-year-old San Jose man inappropriately exposing himself to vehicles passing through the area. Arriving officers quickly located the man who admitted to his actions. He was booked into jail on suspicion of indecent exposure.

San Leandro Police Log
Submitted by San Leandro PD

Thursday, June 17
• A female was robbed of her purse in the Costco parking lot on Davis Street. Police investigators were able to get the license plate number of the thief’s getaway car from surveillance video. Through leads, detectives tracked two suspects who were caught on surveillance cameras using the victim’s credit card at several Bay Area businesses. On June 23, detectives apprehended both suspects at the Walmart store on Davis Street. A warrant search at the suspect’s home turned up a handgun with no serial or manufacture identification. Both suspects were arrested and the victim’s wallet was recovered.

Tuesday, June 29
• Evening shift officers responded to reports about multiple shots being exchanged between two vehicles at the San Leandro Marina. Moments later, officers located a vehicle with bullet holes near the intersection of Marina Boulevard and Merced Street. Detectives arrived at the scene and arrested an adult male, believed to the shooter. A handgun was found inside his vehicle and 17 spent shell casings were found at the scene. Detectives continued to look for the second vehicle, described as a newer model tan Volkswagen SUV.

Wednesday, June 30
• At around 3:10 p.m. an officer located a vehicle which had been carjacked two days previously. Because the suspects were armed, the officer waited for backup before attempting to contact them. When the suspect driver spotted police vehicles he sped away driving erratically into Oakland. Soon, the officer spotted the car, which had collided with two parked vehicles near the intersection of 109th Avenue and Sunnyside Drive. Three male suspects were seen fleeing from the vehicle. A coordinated effort between Oakland and San Leandro police officers resulted in the apprehension of two adults and one juvenile. Inside the car officers found a “ghost” rifle with no serial numbers or other identification along with a high-capacity rifle magazine.

• At 4:00 p.m. officers responded to a report about a drive-by shooting in the 700 block of Cary Drive. Multiple shell casings were found at the scene, and audio captured from an area home surveillance system indicated the weapon was a fully automatic gun. Detectives are working leads to identify the suspect.

Union City Police Log
Submitted by Union City PD

Saturday, May 29
• At about 6:00 p.m. someone broke into a commercial storage unit on the 33400 block of Alvarado-Niles Road and took tools and bicycles.

Sunday, May 30
• At about 4:00 a.m. someone took a rock and shattered the glass front door of a business on the 31800 block of Alvarado Blvd. and entered the space and took several packs of cigarettes.

Auto burglaries
• Between May 24 and June 6 there were 10 reported auto burglaries in the city. Seven of them occurred at the Union Landing shopping center with the rest in residential areas.

Open invitation to Arlevia Livingston Decathlon/Heptathlon competition
Submitted by Lee Webb

This combined events competition will be held at James Logan High School (Union City)
July 8 & 9, 2021. All ages and classes are welcome including Open, Unattached and Masters. Competition, dedicated to Arlevia Livingston, James Logan High School record holder in the Heptathlon, begins at 12 noon on July 8 and 10 a.m. on July 9. Top three finishers will be awarded custom medals. A special Arlevia Livingston ribbon will be distributed to all participants. Walk-ups are welcome, but registration prior to the event is recommended. Free admission for spectators.

Thursday July 8
Heptathlon-100 Hurdles, Shot, High Jump, 200 Meters
Decathlon-100, Long Jump, shot, High Jump, 400 Meters
Heptathlon 100 Hurdles will start first followed by the Decathlon 100 Meters
6,7, 8 and Under Girls Shot Put, Long Jump, 200 Meters
6,7, 8 and Under Boys Shot Put, Long Jump, 400 Meters
9/10 Girls Shot Put, High Jump, 200 Meters
9/10 Boys Shot Put, High Jump 400 Meters
100 Meters All Divisions
1500 Meters All Divisions
Pole Vault All Divisions
Javelin Age 6 and under, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12

Friday July 9
11/12-Girls 80 Hurdles, Shot Put, High Jump, Long Jump, 800 Meters
11/12-Boys-80 Hurdles, Shot Put, High Jump, Long Jump, 1500 Meters
13/14 Girls-100 Hurdles, Shot Put, High Jump, Long Jump, 800 Meters
13/14 Boys-100 Hurdles, Shot Put, High Jump, Long Jump, 800 Meters
Heptathlon-Long Jump, Javelin, 800 Meters
Decathlon-110 Hurdles, Discus, Pole Vault, Javelin, 1500 Meters

$25 for Decathlon/Heptathlon $15
$5 for each open Event
Implements will be provided
IAAF Scoring

Decathlon/Heptathlon competition
James Logan High School
1800 H Street, Union City

For more information:
Lee Webb (510) 304-7172

Little League

Fremont Centerville forces ‘what if’ game for championship
By Mike Heightchew

Good pitching and defensive play was the key for Fremont Centerville in a must-win June 29 game with Niles. Able to contain a late inning bases-loaded Niles rally, the 2-1 win for Fremont Centerville forced a rematch for the Minors Championship on July 2nd.

Fremont Centerville All Stars shine in championship
By Mike Heightchew

In a July 1 showdown for the Juniors championship, the Fremont Centerville All Stars came to play. Jumping off to an early lead in their showdown with the Warm Springs All Stars, Fremont Centerville was consistently challenged, but continued their offensive assault to prevail 19-9. They will now represent District 14 in sectional play at Newark Memorial High School on July 17th.

Little League

Niles minors win championship
By Mike Heightchew

In a close game on July 2, the Niles minors (10,11,12) won the championship 8-7. Undecided until the final out, Fremont Centerville battled to even the score after the lead run for Niles crossed the plate in the fifth inning, but was unable to match it.


The Ultimate Question

At the core of many professions is understanding basic principles of our environment. In journalism, a cardinal rule of coverage is contained within five “W”s and an additional “H”. These represent: Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? When determining if an article’s representation is complete, these questions should be addressed. The same basic outline can be applied to other disciplines that have evolved from the simple, maddening question… why?

During child development, one of the most difficult periods for parents is when the natural inclination of children is to question almost everything. An initial question of why? is typically answered by parent, sibling or adult and followed by another simple query… why? When exhausted by the apparent never-ending response, many end the conversation with the phrase… “because I said so!”

The depth of observation and introspection by inquisitive minds is unsettling when ultimately, the answer is actually, “I don’t know.” However, as we mature, lessons of observation, experience and training begin to shape our perception of repeatable results that appear to continuously correlate with a set of circumstances, so we call them “facts.” Multiple disciplines study such phenomena and are collectively referred to as “science.”

Unsettling as well is the realization that basic facts can be fluid and altered with additional study and information. Therefore, what is known today may be altered, discarded or otherwise modified tomorrow. For instance, our solar system included nine planets years ago, but has now been modified to eight… poor Pluto lost its status as a planet! On the other end of the scale, the atom, at one time thought to be the smallest unit of matter, has been dissected and replaced by a host of particles – seen or unseen – that are much smaller and more complex.

As science progresses, the ultimate, existential question of “why” remains. Within the observable dimensions of humans, a vast and complex arena of thoughts and actions are, in many ways, as mysterious today as ever. Although social sciences attempt to study, catalogue and even predict the actions and machinations of our fellow life travelers, the unique nature of each individual often precludes strict interpretations and exclusive laws of behavior. When physical, life and social sciences collide, a reasoned approach of the scientific method – clearly stating an objective and collecting facts to arrive at a reasonable conclusion – are impeded by the prevalence of illogical and emotional factors, sometimes resulting in a more palatable outcome, but equally capable of disastrous consequences.

Influential factors are critical during the process of shaping an outcome. If an agreeable and desired outcome is an overriding consideration, the process is predetermined and risks a conclusion without merit. On the other hand, there are many instances when questions demanding concrete answers, based solely on facts, elude even the most dedicated and learned scientists. The struggle with “why” is unresolved. This doesn’t mean that pursuit of it in a logical manner is without merit, rather that admission of unknown and unanswered questions is part of life and continues the progress and transformation of our societies into better versions of themselves.

In politics, too often the concept of values, facts and conclusions are relegated to emotional and specious speculation. These methods have been tested over time and, unfortunately, can work exceedingly well, even when confronted by contradictions and factual rebuttal. However, this tact depends on a unified effort at all levels of government and frays if the ultimate question is posed. If a persistent why leads to obfuscation, deception and anger, the answer is obvious. The best place to test the veracity and sense of decisions is at the local level where there is little room for politicians to hide. It all begins with a simple question.

Never stop asking “why?”