(510) 494-1999 tricityvoice@aol.com
Select Page

Mask mandate returns for California lawmakers, staff
By Adam Beam
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), July 7 — At least nine people who work at the California state Capitol tested positive for the coronavirus in early July, including four who are fully vaccinated, triggering a return of the mask mandate for lawmakers and staff.

When the Capitol reopened last month, masks were still required in public places like hallways, committee rooms and legislative chambers. But fully vaccinated lawmakers and staff were allowed to remove their masks while working in their offices.

That changed this week following the outbreak. The new directive applies not just to the Capitol, but also the Legislative Office Building and lawmakers' district offices. Unvaccinated lawmakers and staff must also be tested twice per week, according to memos from the state Assembly and Senate. It appears the outbreak is among employees of the state Assembly, although no official has confirmed all nine cases occurred among those workers.

Debra Gravert, the Assembly's chief administrative officer, said in a memo that seven cases were of people who worked in the same office. Secretary of the Senate Erika Contreras said that chamber doesn't have any “current cases.”

Last month, with infection rates at record lows, Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted nearly all of the state's coronavirus restrictions. But recently, public health officials have warned that the especially contagious delta variant of the coronavirus has spread rapidly among the unvaccinated population, causing a rise in new cases and hospitalizations.

Los Angeles County public health officials have urged people to resume wearing masks indoors regardless of their vaccination status. Newsom is not now considering a return of a statewide mask mandate or other restrictions. “Well, if we continue to get people vaccinated that will be unnecessary,” he said. “This is the call to anyone who hasn't been vaccinated: Get vaccinated. What more evidence do you need?”
Anyone 12 and older is eligible for the vaccine. So far, about 70% of that population in California has received at least one dose.

At the Capitol, four of the nine cases were fully vaccinated people, a much higher percentage of so-called breakthrough cases than the tiny number statewide. Between Jan. 1 and June 30, the state identified 8,699 coronavirus cases among people who are fully vaccinated. That represents 0.043% of the more than 20 million who have received the vaccine. “Fully vaccinated” means a person is at least two weeks removed from their final dose of the vaccine.

Of those breakthrough cases, at least 652 people were hospitalized — although the Department of Public Health said it was missing hospitalization data in about half the cases. Another 71 people who had been fully vaccinated died, but state health officials said they did not know if the coronavirus was the primary cause of death.

“While COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, some cases are still expected in persons who have been vaccinated, as no vaccine is 100% effective,” the Department of Public Health wrote on its website.

The right vehicle at the wrong time: 2021 Chrysler Pacifica S
By Michael Coates
Photos by Michael Coates and Chrysler

I try to view a vehicle through the lens of the potential purchaser, someone who has a use for a particular type of vehicle—or sometimes at least thinks they have such a use. Minivans have carved out a solid niche in the automotive market as the Swiss Army Knife of vehicles, able to carry up to eight people in comfort, capable of hauling more stuff more securely than you could pack into a big pickup, and still able to park in a normal garage.

I’ve had enough personal and professional experience with minivans to appreciate them, but when I spent a week in a 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (actually a plug-in hybrid) this year, it was just the wrong time to be piloting a minivan around. At that point in the Covid-19 pandemic, we were still in lockdown—no group outings with folks out of our small pod, no trips to the grocery store or Home Depot as long as those places could deliver, no shuttling of children to group activities since those were shut down. In sum, the functionality of the minivan was wasted. It just felt out of place.

But enough of the disconnection of the vehicle with its then-present reality. Let’s place it in the real world that we all are hoping to return to soon and see how it should work.

A minivan is essentially a passenger car that has had its interior space maximized in order to provide more passenger and cargo space inside, while still maintaining car-like handling and functions like parking.

Over the years, Chrysler (the major popularizer of the minivan) has continued to innovate the concept, drawing on its millions of existing owners to improve the vehicle’s functionality and versatility with now-standard features like automatic doors on both sides of the car, seats designed to store in the floor to give a flat loading surface, and hundreds of little things like manually folding exterior mirrors.

The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid carries that tradition forward with a contemporary powertrain that pairs a four-cylinder engine with an electric motor (both power the front wheels) and a small battery to enable the car to drive up to 32 miles on electricity alone before the gas engine kicks in. With its dual propulsion system, the Pacifica has a total range of 520 miles, something tough to equal in an all-electric minivan—if there was one on the market (they’re coming, but not here yet).

The beauty of a plug-in hybrid is that if you can plug it in at home every night and run as an EV for short commutes or around-town errands. Even if you can’t plug it in, the Pacifica runs as an efficient hybrid, turning in an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in the city, 28 on the highway and 27 combined.

The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica is a refined design that shows years of wind tunnel experimentation and some artful sculpting on a very basic one-box setup. In my book, the Pacifica is the best-looking minivan on the market.

When you get inside the Limited’s $795 “S” appearance package I drove, it’s a different world. The muted, “blend into the suburban background” look of the typical minivan is left behind in favor of track-worthy seats upholstered in dramatic red Nappa leather. Outside, the “S” is fitted with black aluminum 18-inch wheels that extend the boy-racer look.

Minivans have moved up in the vehicle pantheon over the years. They’re now on the upper end of mainline affordable vehicles. Pacifica models start at $40,620; my Limited with the S package ended at $50,825.

Bottom Line
The downturn in minivan popularity means choices have been narrowed to four solid ones besides the Pacifica. Over at the Dodge dealers, a traditional-looking and less expensive Grand Caravan continues to be offered. The Honda Odyssey gets refreshed every few years without really changing. It’s a solid player that has offered a few tricks and treats, such as an integrated vacuum. The fourth-generation Toyota Sienna took a big step under the hood this year, finally adding Toyota’s hybrid powertrain to boost its fuel economy (now 36/36/36 mpg). Finally, Kia has renamed its minivan (formerly the Sedona) the Carnival, but I haven’t had a chance to get behind the wheel to assess where it fits.

Toyota offers better fuel economy overall, but doesn’t plug in like the Pacifica, so it offers minimal electric-only range. If most of your driving is local and you can charge it regularly, the Pacifica Hybrid can take you around on electrons, defaulting to gas on longer trips. Even with the limited choices, they’re quite broad for the minivan enthusiast.

Park It
By Ned MacKay

In what park district counsel Carol Victor described as “a milestone moment,” East Bay Regional Park District’s board of directors voted unanimously at their July 6 meeting to end the district’s emergency status that had been invoked at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move is in response to a June 15 announcement by the state of California that industries statewide can resume usual operations, with appropriate risk reduction measures including masking and vaccinations.

The park district activated its own Emergency Operations Center 15 months ago, with representatives from all district departments. Its final meeting was on June 16.

Although the district’s COVID-19 restrictions remain in place, the district has resumed more normal operations, including reopening of visitor centers and swim facilities, in-person recreation and nature interpretative programs, facility rentals, and the return of remotely-working staff to in-person work.

District staff has determined that although the pandemic is not over, the situation is within the normal capacity of the park district to address. The decision follows guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health.

Director Ellen Corbett called the district’s response to the pandemic “a shining example of how to deal with COVID in a very effective way.” While encouraging precautions such as masking and social distancing, the district has kept almost all its parks and trails open during the pandemic, offering safe places for outdoor recreation.

As in-person programs and special events resume, the schedule will be announced at the park district website, www.ebparks.org. You can view the calendar of events by clicking on “Activities” at the top of the home page, then on “Naturalist Information/Programs.”

It’s not too late to join in the 2021 Trails Challenge, the self-guided way to explore new regional parks.

Trails in the challenge range from easy and flat to strenuous and steep. Hike any five of the trails, or 26.2 miles of trails within the park district, turn in your trail log by December 1, and receive a commemorative pin (while supplies last).

For more information, visit www.ebparks.org/TrailsChallenge.

While you are out there, remember to be prepared for the hot weather. When you’re on the trails, be sure to carry (and drink) plenty of water. Once you are away from the trailheads and picnic areas, there isn’t any potable water available. And don’t forget water for your dog, if you have Fido with you.

Trail travel is best in the morning, before the heat of the day. And whether you go early or later, plot a route through more shady areas. Some good examples include the Bay View Trail at Pt. Pinole in Richmond, Wildcat Gorge Trail at Tilden Regional Park near Berkeley, the Stream Trail at Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park in Oakland, Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve in the Oakland hills, and Big Bear Loop at Anthony Chabot Regional Park in Castro Valley. Trail maps of these and other regional parks can be downloaded from the district website.

Cover up from the sun, too. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, light-colored clothing, and lots of sunscreen.

If you go alone, be sure to tell someone responsible where you are going and when you expect to return. Check in with them when you get back.

With a little common sense and some advance planning, we can all enjoy safe and enjoyable recreation experiences as the regional parks and other public open spaces move toward more normal pre-pandemic operations.


Abundant Robotics closes fruit harvesting business
By Steve Crowe

Abundant Robotics, a Hayward, California-based agricultural robotics company founded in 2016, has shut down. According to a memo about Abundant’ s liquidation obtained by The Robot Report, the company “was unable to develop the market traction necessary to support its business during the pandemic.”

On June 29, 2021, Abundant put up for sale all of its intellectual property and assets. Abundant said it has a “host of IP, including a large body of vacuum manipulation patents (and patent applications), a patented sensory system to allow the vacuum to navigate obstruction, a patented world-class vision system for identifying fruits and their quality, and several software patents for the machine’s automated operations (including a solution to solve for “doubles” that enables the machine to pick multiple fruit at once.”

Abundant failed to raise another round of funding. It previously raised a total of $12 million, according to Crunchbase, but its $10 million Series A closed back in May 2017. It raised a $2 million Seed Round from SRI Ventures in 2016.

Abundant developed a harvesting robot that initially targeted apples. The system combined computer vision and a vacuum end-effector to select and pick ripe fruit, transferring it into a bin. The company estimated its machine could reach between 50-90% of fruit on trees. The system is designed to augment human labor and could allegedly pick apples every two seconds. Abundant said it was targeting a pick rate of 1.5 seconds for the commercialized version of the robot. The company planned to broaden the type of fruit it picked in the future.

According to the company’s liquidation memo, Abundant partnered with one of New Zealand’s largest apple growers, T&G Global, to test the apple harvesting robot in small-scale commercial trials. Abundant said it also conducted similar small-scale trials in the U.S with multiple customers. According to the memo, the market for orchard fruit production is about $200 billion, about $40-60 billion of which is specific to apple production.

Abundant said some of its competitors include FFRobotics (Israel), Ripe Robotics (Australia) and Tevel (Israel). Tevel won a 2021 RBR50 Robotics Innovation Award, produced by our sister publication Robotics Business Review, for its tethered drone that uses vision and an attached robotic arm and gripper to pick ripe fruit.

Abundant was planning to use a robotics as a service (RaaS) model. It would own, maintain, transport, and operate the robots in exchange for contract payments from farms, focusing on two 90-day harvest seasons: August-November in the Northern Hemisphere and February-May in the Southern Hemisphere. The company claimed to have developed a “strong, $100M+ business development pipeline through four years of co-development with industry leaders across the U.S., European and Oceania regions.” Abundant projected it would be cash flow positive “as early as Q2 2024, representing revenues at that time of less than 2% of the total available market.”

Despite this shutdown, the agricultural robotics market has seen a variety of acquisitions and investments in 2021. Most notably, Somerville, Massachusetts-based startup Root AI was acquired by AppHarvest for $60 million in April. Root AI was developing the Virgo harvesting robot for indoor farms. The robot can identify and harvest multiple crops, including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and more. Its tomato dataset, for example, allows it to identify more than 50 varieties of the fruit.

Abundant spun out of SRI International and was co-founded by Michael Eriksen, Curt Salisbury and Dan Steere.

Steve Crowe is Editorial Director, Robotics, WTWH Media, and co-chair of the Robotics Summit & Expo. He can be reached at scrowe@wtwhmedia.com

California deploys firefighting personnel to Oregon
Submitted by Governor’s Press Office

Taking action to protect communities endangered by the Bootleg Fire in Oregon, Governor Gavin Newsom announced July 9th that the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has deployed firefighting equipment and personnel to the state through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).
Two strike teams consisting of Type 3 and Type 6 engines from Fremont, Oakland, Hayward, Alameda County, South San Francisco, San Bruno, the Central Fire District, San Mateo and Kentfield are providing assistance on the ground in Klamath County, Oregon. Type 3 and Type 6 engines are the most-used engines for wildland urban interface fires and are known for their off-road and maneuverability capabilities.
As of July 9, the Bootleg Fire has burned more than 38,000 acres, doubling the amount from the previous day, in the Fremont-Winema National Forest and private lands near the town of Sprague River. Cal OES continues to monitor operations in Oregon and requests for additional EMAC assistance. Oregon has offered firefighting resources and assets to California over the years on numerous wildfires through the compact.
EMAC, which includes the participation of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is a nationally recognized mutual-aid system that provides the foundation for states to request and send resources across their borders when impacted by a disaster.

Governor Newsom Announces Appointment
Submitted by Governor’s Press Office

Governor Gavin Newsom announced on July 2, 2021 that Hyun “Francisco” Kim, 56, of Fremont, has been reappointed to the California Acupuncture Board, where he has served since 2018. Kim has been an Acupuncture Practitioner at Harmony Holistic Wellness Center since 2019, Clinic Director and Acupuncturist at Healtones Medical Clinic since 2014 and Adjunct Clinical Instructor at Touro University California, College of Osteopathic Medicine since 2014.

Kim was Partner at Eastridge Medical Group from 2012 to 2013 and Owner of St. Francis Clinic from 2004 to 2012. He is a member of the Association of Korean Asian Medicine and Acupuncture and earned a Master of Science degree in oriental medicine and acupuncture from South Baylo University.

This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Kim is registered without party preference.

Startstruck Theatre returns to live performances
Submitted by Lori Stokes

Join StarStruck Theatre as we finally return to in-person performances! Based on the award-winning Broadway musical and the smash hit motion picture, Legally Blonde The Musical Jr. is a fabulously fun journey of self-empowerment and expanding horizons. The show's instantly recognizable songs are filled with humor, wit and sass — leaving audiences seeing pink!

All audience members (including those who are vaccinated) are required to wear a mask while inside the StarStruck Playhouse. Please note that all cast members are fully vaccinated and will be performing without masks.

Legally Blonde The Musical
Friday, July 23 8 p.m.
Saturday, July 24 3 p.m.
Saturday, July 24 8 p.m.
Sunday, July 25 3 p.m.

Starstruck Playhouse
42307 Osgood Road, Unit J, Fremont
(In the DJ Thomas Industrial Park)

Tickets available at starstrucktheatre.org
Questions: StarStruckOffice@gmail.com

Audience members should enter though the BACK of the warehouse (nearest the BART tracks). Please note that restrooms on site are very limited. Doors to the playhouse will open approximately 15 minutes prior to showtime.

Letter to the Editor

Fremont’s Trail Strategy Plan

Fremont’s new Trail Strategy Plan provides the basis for new bicycle and pedestrian trails that will offer time in nature and allow some to commute to work. Separated trails are safer for pedestrians and cyclists than having bike lanes on city streets; they also reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases. You can find the plan at: https://www.fremont.gov/3551/Trails-Strategy-Plan

We applaud the city for considering the Hetch Hetchy, AWCD and PG&E easements that traverse the city. These easements could connect neighborhoods, parks, schools, and businesses.

Of less benefit, the Greenway Trail is proposed to run on major streets, like Mission Blvd between Union City and Central Park and Osgood Road south of the planned Irvington BART station. The plan overlooks the 1.7-mile UPRR easement between Alameda Creek (Vallejo Mill) and Paseo Padre Parkway (Central Park). If the city declined to purchase the easement in 2018 because of the presence of arsenic, benzene and other carcinogens, then UPRR should be directed to clean it up. The communities of Vallejo Mills and Kimber-Gomes should not have to live with contamination that can impact public health. Capping the rail bed with asphalt could protect our aquifer, as was done for the Iron Horse Trail between Pleasanton and Concord.

Off-street parking is not addressed in the trail plan, but parking is a major reason why people don’t use our parks. The city has issued thousands of parking tickets to visitors near Regional Parks, which is contrary to public health and fiscally unsound. Parking is needed in the Vallejo Mills neighborhood for the Morrison Canyon Trail, Niles Canyon Trail, Alameda Creek Trail and possibly the Greenway Trail. Parking is also needed at Mission Peak’s Stanford entrance, to ameliorate the animosity endemic in the neighborhood. The Community Services, Transportation and Police Departments have spent thousands of hours attempting restrict public access through parking tickets.

Fremont needs more trails to connect its parks and schools. The Trail Strategy Plan map omits 2,000 acres that are owned by the city near Mission Peak and Rancho Higuera Historical Park. A Lower Foothill trail would link Ohlone College to Rancho Higuera, and connect the Sabercat Trail to the south section of the Hetch Hetchy Trail.

We thank the city for assembling the Trail Strategy Plan, and ask residents and politicians to support the plan via email to Rene Dalton (City of Fremont Transportation Engineer) rdalton@fremont.gov.

william yragui
Mission Peak Conservancy

Nomination period opens for California gubernatorial recall election
Submitted by Registrar of Voters
The nomination period opens on July 9 at 8:00 a.m. for candidates participating in the September 14, 2021, California Gubernatorial Recall Election. The nomination period closes on Friday, July 16 at 5:00 p.m.
The County of Santa Clara Registrar of Voters’ office is providing candidates with online support and options for issuing and filing nomination documents during the nomination period. The purpose of the following options is to ensure candidates and county elections officials have a healthy and safe environment during the candidate nomination period.
“There is a strict filing deadline,” said Shannon Bushey, Registrar of Voters. “Candidates should file their nomination papers as early as possible so that any incorrect or incomplete forms may be corrected.”
An Election Candidate Guide is available to assist those running for office, with valuable information pertaining to qualifications for office, terms of office, procedures, fees, forms, and deadline dates. The Candidate Guide is available at no cost and may be picked up from the Registrar of Voters’ Office or downloaded from the Registrar of Voters’ website, www.sccvote.org/candidatesandmeasuresinformation, under the Candidates & Measures tab.
For more information, contact the Registrar of Voters’ Office at (408) 299-VOTE (8683) or toll-free at (866) 430-VOTE (8683), or visit www.sccvote.org.

Meet Mia, the tripod poodle of TriPaw Tales
Submitted by Pamela Adler

Local author Pamela Adler is hosting a Meet and Greet at Towne Center Books in downtown Pleasanton to promote her children’s book Maddy and Mia: TriPaw Tales. Everyone is invited to meet the real-life Mia featured in the book. Photos of the unique tripod toy poodle with her pink ears and tail will be allowed and copies of the book will be on hand for sale and signature by the author and Mia. Those who previously purchased TriPaw Tales are welcome to come by to have their copy signed.

TriPaw Tales book signing
Saturday, July 17
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Towne Center Books
555 Main St., Pleasanton

Reaching new heights with California Summits
By Marc Vicente
Photos by Matt Johanson

Throughout the COVID-19 quarantine, California residents have found solace through strolling their local neighborhood, potentially making new discoveries in the process. As vaccines continue to spread across the country, even more places are opening up to be explored once again. However, for those who might find it hard to readjust or even find where to go next, freelance writer Matt Johanson is releasing a new guidebook about hiking up various mountains across California for anyone hoping to begin or continue their adventures.

Matt Johanson has been a writer ever since he was a teenager, and has passed on his knowledge by teaching journalism to Castro Valley High School students for 23 years. Inspired by working at a newspaper near Yosemite as his first job out of college, he directed most of his journalism efforts to documenting outdoor experiences while admiring the beauty of his workplace.

“Hiking up and climbing mountains taught me a great deal about preparation, fitness, appreciation of nature, geology, mountains,” Johanson says, reminiscing about his early experiences as an outdoor writer. “One positive about the pandemic is that others have learned about skills like this as well. I hope that those who continue to exercise after the pandemic can keep discovering new opportunities like how I did.”

Johanson’s writing has won awards from groups such as the International Center for Journalists, California News Publishers Association, Outdoor Writers Association of California, and National Outdoor Book Awards Foundation. His latest book, California Summits, releases this month and reviews various summits across the state. Geared primarily toward beginners of the hobby, the guidebook is divided by region, and sorted, easier hikes first, like Mount Davidson in San Francisco, progressively leading to more difficult trails in the Bay Area, such as Mount Sizer near Morgan Hill. Each section contains detailed maps and statistics, numerous tips, facts about the wildlife and history of each mountain, such as who climbed the peak first.

“Native Americans may have discovered each mountain and climbed them before anyone else, but most of their names have been lost to time,” says Johanson. “There were actually many women and people of color who played a big role in the discovery of some of these mountains, and I’ve made sure that each record I’ve found is as accurate and inclusive as I could possibly make it.”

According to Johanson, documenting information for each mountain for this book was by far his biggest challenge. Compared to his previous books like Yosemite Adventures or Sierra Summits, which only covered mountains in Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada respectively, California Summits includes over 50 hikes in both Northern and Southern California. Additionally, even though the COVID-19 pandemic limited Johanson’s hikes to only half of those last year, he was fortunately able to include previous hikes to complete the documentation. Additional information was provided by friends and family members who joined and supported him on his hikes.

“Visitations to [these mountains] have actually gone up the past year too,” Johanson adds. “I’ve heard stories about a soccer coach who ran up Mount Diablo every day in April as part of a fundraiser, Fremont High School’s football team helping their wheelchair [user] climber reach the summit of Mission Peak, and firefighters who have been risking their lives to protect our forests too. If the outdoors provides a setting and inspiration for us to become our best selves, then maybe this is the best time to climb mountains.”

You can order any of Johanson’s books at his website http://sierrasplendor.com/books. Contact him for further details, potential book-slide talks or any other questions by email at mattjohanson@sbcglobal.net.

Balloons: the wonder of childhood
By Madhvika Singh
Photos courtesy of Alexis Cuarezma and the Kat Chan Facebook page

“Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.” – A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

With her balloon creations, Kat Chan can awe not just children, but people of all ages. A professional balloon twister, Chan was introduced to this art in an unexpected way. “When I first met my husband Dan Chan, a professional magician, I was awestruck by his skill and craft. He tried to teach me magic too, but it turned out I wasn’t very good at misdirecting people with a straight face. He then introduced me to balloon twisting, and I discovered I was really good at it and could create magic with my hands in my own way,” shared Chan.

The Chans are a clan of skilled performers – Dan is a master magician and Kat is an accomplished balloon twister. “Our family now all perform with Dan performing magic. I balloon twist and am a magician’s assistant, our son, James, performs magic, and our daughter Grace does a little of both,” added Chan. (We covered James Chan in our July 6 edition of TCV).

Chan started twisting balloons in 2003 and quit her desk job in 2006 to become a full time professional balloon twister. Over the years, she has performed for many well-known organizations like Google, Yahoo, the Warriors and even the Nelson Atkin Museum for the Lunar New Year celebration. One of the celebrated Warriors, Draymond Green, had Chan twist balloons for his son’s birthday party!

One could say Chan has seen and done it all when it comes to creating things out of balloons. Some of her favorite creations are a life-sized motorcycle that one can sit on, an eight-foot-tall Lunar New Year Dragon, a huge DSLR Camera for Pinterest, and an entire jungle scene including a lion coming out of the wall and a huge giraffe. “I have also done caricatures of many people including Draymond Green, Zaza Pachulia, and Jordan Bell of the Warriors,” shared Chan.

“There really is no limit to what people can imagine and what can be made out of balloons. While I do get a lot of requests for dogs and princesses, I get requests from children that make you take a step back and realize how much more creative they are than adults,” she added. The more unusual requests she has received include chain saws, vacuum cleaners, a ceiling fan and even a caricature of Marie Antoinette. But her favorite request was from a little girl asking for a cockroach.

Chan says that it takes much more than skill to become successful at this art. For a balloon artist, one of the most essential skills to have is the ability to talk while crafting the audience’s request. “Audience interaction is crucial, since you’re often working with the most talkative group of people – children,” says Chan. This didn’t come naturally to her, and she would concentrate so hard in perfecting the creation, she would keep her head down and lose connection with the audience. “I’ve found that as I got better in both twisting and conversing, people hired me back more often. I’m now at the point where I can have full-blown conversations about cartoons and video games and whatever else children talk about while twisting fairly intricate pieces quickly,” she said.

One can only imagine the countless hours of practice Chan must put in to get to this stage. She emphasizes this in her advice to upcoming performers as well. “The most important thing is to practice the skill that goes behind the trick so well that you can do it without thinking. That will allow you to let your personality out on stage,” is how she puts it. Practice as an assistant helped her as well. Learning to assist her husband Dan
with a complex magic trick took her hours and hours of practice in front of a live audience of parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, neighbors and practically anyone she could find. This is what helped her stay relaxed and calm in an actual show.

Engaging the audience is not the only thing that Chan excels in. “When performing together as part of a magic show, what comes most naturally is making the main performer shine – in my case, Dan or James. As a magician’s assistant, I have to make sure the attention stays with the magician,” shared Chan. She emphasizes that while everyone brings a unique element to the show, the spotlight must remain on the main performer. Her favorite part of the job is seeing audience gasp in awe when Dan and James perform. “I may be biased, but I think both Dan and James are pretty darn good,” she added.

When not performing or practicing, Chan loves baking; building miniatures; watching cartoons, anime, and Marvel movies; and playing video games. “I’m currently playing Paper Mario Origami King, and Dan jokes that’s why I get along with children so well,” shared Chan.

Chan emphasizes the value of creating something that gives one purpose and meaning. The way to do it is by devoting yourself to loving others and the community around you. We wish Chan the very best as she continues to entertain audiences with balloon designs filled with joy, fancy and delight!

To learn more and to book a performance for a family or a corporate event:

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

Chanticleers Theatre returns to in-person with The Four Poster
Submitted by Steve Wilner
Photos by Cathy Bucher

Chanticleers Theatre (“Chanticleers”) is thrilled to present The Four Poster, a moving, two-person play written by Jan de Hartog and produced by special arrangement with Concord Theatricals. This production will be performed with in-theater audiences coupled with online streaming. Both options are available from July 16 – August 8, 2021. Live performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 6 p.m. Streaming is available any time from July 16 – August 8.

The Four Poster is the moving chronicle of a husband and wife, from their wedding night until they leave the house that has been their home, thirty-five years later. They fret and quarrel, laugh, cry, and make love in the same room in which they began their married life. Standing throughout the evening is the old four poster, silent witness to all.

This production, featuring Roger Caetano and Rhonda Joy Taylor, is directed by John Baiocchi, a longtime Bay Area director, producer, and actor. Baiocchi, the Artistic Director and Board President for Chanticleers Theatre, said about The Four Poster: “This story is near to my heart. My wife and I have been married for 47 years, and Agnes and Michael are spouses we all can identify with. We start our married lives lovestruck and euphoric. Then time, kids, money problems, illness and other strife test our love and commitment to each other. Those of us who are lucky enough to weather these storms come out at the end as lifelong friends and companions. The gray hair and wrinkles are badges of honor that we should all wear proudly.”

To purchase tickets either for either in person performances or streaming access, please go to chanticleers.org. Flex-Pass holders should contact us directly for either live performances or streaming at reservations@chanticleers.org PLEASE NOTE: All in-theatre patrons as well as staff will be required to wear masks at all times in the theatre building. Any patrons who are uncomfortable or unable for any reason to wear a mask for their entire visit are requested to purchase a streaming ticket.

The Four Poster
Friday, Jul 16 – Sunday, Aug 8
Fri/Sat: 8 p.m.
Sun: 6 p.m.
Streaming available anytime
Castro Valley Community Theatre
3683 Quail Ave., Castro Valley
(510) 733-5483

Chanticleers Theatre

California delays considering bill for supervised drug sites
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 6 — California lawmakers will wait until next year to continue considering a bill that would give opioid users a place to inject drugs in supervised settings, the bill's author said.

State Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, said he was told the Assembly Health Committee will delay a hearing on his bill until January. The measure would allow Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles County to start programs giving people a place to inject drugs while trained staff are available to help if they suffer accidental overdoses. “Safe consumption sites are a proven strategy to save lives and help people into recovery,” Wiener said. Currently the sites are illegal in the United States, but legal in Canada.

Wiener's bill cleared the Senate in April with the minimum number of votes needed for passage there. The Senate Republican Caucus said in a statement at the time that the bill would “establish taxpayer-staffed and funded drug dens.” The proposal is opposed by some law enforcement groups, but Wiener said in a statement that it “is very much alive, albeit delayed.”

Similar bills authorizing injection sites have passed both chambers of the Legislature within the last five years, and such bills have repeatedly passed the Assembly Health Committee during that time, Wiener said. Former Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown in 2018 vetoed a bill that would have allowed San Francisco to offer injection sites.

Wiener noted he was disappointed in another delay at a time when he said San Francisco and other cities are experiencing record overdose deaths. His bill would require workers at the centers to try to get users into drug treatment programs or refer them to medical or mental health care or social services programs.

The former Trump administration sued to block a proposed injection site in Philadelphia, and a federal appeals court sided with the government earlier this year. Supporters have appealed and hope President Joe Biden's administration will drop the lawsuit.

Fremont City Council
July 6, 2021

Consent Calendar:
• Approve partnership with East Bay Community Energy to pursue solar and battery storage systems on municipal facilities.

Ceremonial Items:
• Proclaim Parks & Recreation Month. Fremont Community Services Director Suzanne Wolf and Lucy Hernandez of Washington Hospital – #Active Fremont, a collaboration of City of Fremont, Washington Hospital and East Bay Regional Park Foundation – accepted the proclamation.

Public Communications:
• Mission Peak top-rated visitor attraction in Fremont. What is current status?

Scheduled Items:
• Public Hearing to adopt a resolution to amend the Master Fee Schedule to implement changes to conform to CalEPA's Certified Unified Program (CUPA) fees.
• Public Hearing on the restructure, reassessment, and levy of the annual assessment for Landscaping Assessment District 88. PASSED: 5-0-2 (Recuse, Mei, Salwan)
• Public Hearing to add the Rodrigues Farmhouse, Pumphouse, and Tankhouse to the Fremont Register of Historic Resources and approve a Mills Act Historic Preservation Contract for the Rodrigues Farmhouse property at 41948 Mission Boulevard.
• Public Hearing to consider amendments to Fremont Municipal Code Title 18 (Planning and Zoning), Chapter 18.47 (Downtown District) to modify the use table for the Downtown (D) District. Amend to reduce cap of educational/medical/other uses on Capitol/Fremont corridor to 20% rather than 40% and incentivize restaurant occupancy.

Council Communications:
• Councilmember Kassan referral: Direct staff to review ordinances of other cities that promote urban agriculture and the keeping of livestock in residentially zoned areas and to come back to council with a proposed amendment to Fremont’s Animal Ordinance allowing the keeping of two goats and any other amendments deemed consistent with the goal to encourage urban agriculture.
• Councilmember Cox asked for recognition of Juneteenth, celebrated on or near June 19 as a city holiday.

Mayor Lily Mei Aye, 1 recusal
Vice Mayor Yang Shao, District 4 Aye
Teresa Keng, District 1 Aye
Rick Jones, District 2 Aye
Jenny Kassan, District 3 Aye
Raj Salwan, District 5 Aye, 1 recusal
Teresa Cox, District 6 Aye

Newark City Council
July 8, 2021

• Commending Basketball Coach Craig Ashmore, Newark Memorial High School coach since 1990 who will retire from coaching but continue to teach physical education classes.
• Presentation of the Southern Alameda County Integrated Rail Analysis including 2040 passenger rail vision, integrated statewide network, schedules and an East Bay Rail Hub in Southern Alameda County. Entering a detailed planning and initial project development phase focused on a Union City hub location and other options. This phase is planned to be completed by December 2022.

Consent Calendar:
• Accept the Measure GG Transaction and Use Tax Oversight Committee Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2019-2020
• Approve Contractual Services Agreement with Francisco & Associates, Inc. for Professional Services for Lindsay Tract and Birch Street Area Improvement Districts, Project 1238
• Authorize Amendments to (1) the Employee Classification Plan, to add one new classification entitled Environmental Services Manager; (2) the City Officials and Management, Supervisory, and Professional Employee Group Compensation and Benefit Plan, to add two new classifications entitled Environmental Services Manager and Human Resources Manager and an amendment to the City's Salary Schedule; and (3) the 2020-2022 Biennial Budget and Capital Improvement Plan, to add one Associate Civil Engineer, one Human Resources Manager, one
Environmental Services Manager, and one Senior Planner.
• Approve an amendment to the Compensation and Benefit Plans for City Officials and
the Management, Supervisory, and Professional Employee Group.

Items Removed from Consent:
• Removed by Hannon: Approve the Final Map and Subdivision Improvement Agreement for Tract 8340 – Muse Court Condominiums (Merida Place, LLC), a single lot, 14-unit condominium residential subdivision at 36731 Sycamore Street. Councilmember Hannon expressed concern about extension and review process in light of changed circumstances.
• Removed by Hannon: Authorize an agreement with the County of Alameda for the acquisition and installation of bi-directional amplifier equipment in the new Civic Center buildings.

Other Business:
• Presentation by Lt. Macias, Newark PD on the Zonehaven Evacuation Management Platform (EMP), a web-based application to facilitate evacuation zones through coordination of fire, law enforcement, the Office of Emergency Services and appropriate notifications in the event of an emergency. Alert can be set up through: ac alert at the acgov.org website. Search for zones available at community.zonehaven.com

City Council Matters:
• Continuing illegal fireworks problems.
• Limited concert series will be announced soon.
• Recognize Finance Director Lee, City Clerk Harrington and Measure GG Oversight Committee for their work to prepare an annual report.

Mayor Alan Nagy Aye
Vice Mayor Mike Bucci Aye
Luis Freitas Aye
Sucy Collazo Aye
Michael Hannon Aye

‘Orange skies’: Biden raising federal pay to fight wildfires
June 30
By Matthew Daly and Aamer Madhani
Associated Press

The Biden administration said Wednesday it is hiring more federal firefighters – and immediately raising their pay – as officials ramp up response efforts in the face of a severe drought that is setting the stage for another destructive summer of intense wildfires across the West.

President Joe Biden announced the moves during a virtual meeting with governors from Western states and as a huge swath of the Pacific Northwest endures one of the worst heat waves in recent memory. Temperatures in Portland, Oregon, soared to a record 116 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday, a fact Biden cited as “a wake-up call to the rest of the public” about the realities of climate change.

“The truth is we're playing catch-up” on preparing for extreme heat and wildfires, Biden said, calling federal efforts “under-resourced” compared with the deadly threat posed by climate change and extreme drought.

“That's going to change and we have to do it,” Biden told the governors. “We can't cut corners when it comes to managing our wildfires or supporting our firefighters. Right now we have to act and act fast.”

Recalling horrific scenes from wildfires in California and other states last year, Biden said, “Orange skies look like end-of-days smoke and ash.”

Biden's plan would ensure that no one fighting wildland fires is making less than $15 per hour and would add or convert to full-time nearly 1,000 firefighters across a host of agencies.

“Because of climate change, wildland firefighting is no longer a seasonal endeavor,” the White House said in a statement. “With fire seasons turning into fire years, it is imperative to have a year-round workforce that is available to respond at any time, that is supported and equitably compensated and is available to undertake preventive actions“ such as cutting down small trees and brush that serve as fuel to fires that are increasing in size and intensity.

Western states have been parched by severe drought and record heat that has burned more than 2,300 square miles (5,900 square kilometers) this year. That's ahead of the pace in 2020, which saw a near-record 15,000 square miles (40,000 square kilometers) burned, killing dozens of people and destroying more than 17,000 homes and other structures.

“Climate change is driving a dangerous confluence of extreme heat and prolonged drought,” Biden said. “We're seeing wildfires of greater intensity that move with more speed.“

Biden has expressed dismay at the starting pay for federal firefighters, which is significantly lower than at many local and state fire agencies. Pay for new federal firefighters typically starts at $11 per hour to $14 per hour and they are overtime eligible, according to the Interior Department.

The pay raise will come in the form of retention incentives and by providing additional bonuses to those working on the front lines. More experienced permanent firefighters could also be eligible for a 10% retention incentive. Temporary firefighters will be eligible to receive some incentive pay under the plan.

Wednesday's meeting included eight Western governors, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. Both states are facing extreme drought and expect record-breaking fires.

Newsom, a Democrat, said he was pleased to be working with the White House, rather than as “sparring partners,” as he described his state's relationship with the Trump administration. “We were debating raking policies” in forests, Newsom said, referring to comments by then-President Donald Trump that the state should “rake” its forests to reduce the risk of wildfires.

With climate change, the wildfire seasons are only to get worse, Newsom and other governors said. “The hots are getting hotter, the dries are getting drier,” Newsom said.

Three Republican governors, Greg Gianforte of Montana, Brad Little of Idaho and Doug Ducey of Arizona, said they were disappointed not to be invited to the White House meeting, which included six Democrats and two Republicans.

“It is critical to engage governors fully and directly to have a productive discussion about how the federal government can improve its wildfire response and prevention efforts,” Gianforte and Little wrote in a letter to Biden.

A White House spokesman said the invited governors represented “a cross-section of states impacted by wildfires” and said Biden will continue to work with governors from both parties on the issue.

The meeting with the governors came as the White House released a memo confirming its commitment to a clean energy standard, tax credits and 500,000 charging stations for electric vehicles, among other climate goals as officials pursue a two-track approach on infrastructure.

A memo by climate adviser Gina McCarthy and White House senior adviser Anita Dunn also pledges at least $10 billion to conserve and restore public lands and waters, address environmental injustice and create a Civilian Climate Corps to complete projects related to climate change and clean energy.

The memo responds to criticism from environmental groups and other progressives who are frustrated that many climate-related initiatives were cut out of a bipartisan infrastructure plan announced last week.

“We know more work needs to be done, which is why President Biden will continue championing” the nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and a separate, larger plan Biden and fellow Democrats aim to approve along party lines, the memo said.

On wildfires, administration officials have pledged to work with Congress to find a permanent fix to increase firefighter pay and convert more seasonal wildland firefighters to year-round workers.

The U.S. Forest Service and Interior Department combine to employ about 15,000 firefighters. Roughly 70% are full-time and 30% are seasonal. Those figures used to be reversed, but have changed as fire seasons have grown longer and more severe.

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat who has pushed the administration to ramp up its wildfire response, said Congress “can and should bolster these efforts” with legislation to lift a cap on overtime pay, create a permanent firefighting workforce and expand work to remove hazardous fuels to lessen fire risk.

“The ongoing infrastructure debate in Congress gives us an essential chance to get this and other wildfire prevention efforts done,” Wyden said.

Associated Press writers Keith Ridler in Boise, Idaho, and Matthew Brown in Billings, Montana, contributed to this report.

San Leandro City Council
July 6, 2021

Public Comments:
• Appreciation of Interim Police Chief Susan Manheimer’s accessibility to the public and her move to bolster community policing.
• Suggestions for the City Council to consider hybrid in-person and virtual meetings.

• Multi-Family Development Standards project update
• New city website project update

Action Items
• Motion to amend both the urgency ordinance and regular ordinance related to grocery workers hazard pay so that they terminate on July 29, 2021. Adopted 6-0 with Mayor Cutter recusing, citing a conflict of interest.
• Resolution authorizing a Consulting Services Agreement with Dixon Resources Unlimited for an amount not to exceed $40,000 for On-Call Parking Management Support Services.
• Resolution ordering the levy and collection of assessments within the Heron Bay Maintenance Assessment District and accept the engineer’s report for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 for the Heron Bay Maintenance Assessment District. Adopted 6-0 with Councilmember Simon recusing.
• Resolution affirming the Board of Zoning Adjustments decision to approve a conditional use permit, parking exception and site plan review for the Callan & East 14th Street Project application and denying the appeals by East Bay Residents for Responsible Development and Laborers International Union of North America, Local 304. Adopted 4-2 with Councilmembers Aguilar and Simon voting no and Councilmember Azevedo recusing, citing a conflict of interest.

Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter Aye, 1 Recusal
Pete Ballew Aye
Vice Mayor Victor Aguilar Aye, 1 No
Bryan Azevedo Aye, 1 Recusal
Fred Simon Aye, 1 No, 1 Recusal
Deborah Cox Aye
Corina Lopez Aye

College joins national vaccination program
Submitted by Kimberly Hawkins

Cal State East Bay in Hayward has joined the White House’s COVID-19 College Vaccination Challenge, urging more young Americans to get vaccinated.

The White House and U.S. Department of Education launched this effort in June as a way to reach younger Americans who are lagging behind in COVID-19 vaccination rates. Participating colleges are asked to commit to three key actions to help get their campus communities vaccinated: engaging every student, faculty and staff member; organizing their college communities, and delivering vaccine access for all.

“All vaccines available in the U.S. have been shown to be tremendously safe, and have a high degree of effectiveness in preventing disease and death related to COVID-19, even from COVID-19 variants,” said Department of Public Health Chair Arnab Mukherjea. “Adverse effects associated with any of the three vaccines are low, and the likelihood of disease, disability or death — including long-term health consequences for those who are young and/or healthy — from a COVID-19 infection is much greater.”

On April 22, the California State University System announced that it will require faculty, staff and students who access campus facilities this fall to be immunized against COVID-19. The requirement will be conditional upon full approval of one or more vaccines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Cal State East Bay has resources on its websites for where students, staff and faculty can be vaccinated.

“Vaccination not only protects the health of the vaccinated individual but also helps prevent transmission to others who may not be able to be vaccinated, such as individuals under 12 or the immunocompromised,” Mukherjea said.

Use Cinnamon to repel insects
By Daniel O’Donnell

Mention cinnamon to bakers and they will imagine warm rolls or some other sweet tasting breads. Suggest cinnamon to bartenders and they will think of a liqueur or cinnamon flavored whiskey. Bring cinnamon up with chefs from almost any country in the world and they will recall a delicious savory home country recipe. Broach the word cinnamon to organic gardeners, and the response will most likely have nothing to do with flavoring food.

Cinnamon is a spice harvested from a small group of evergreen trees in the laurel family and Cinnamomum genus. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and China account for 99 percent of the world’s cinnamon production although the trees are grown in other tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. Cinnamon is harvested from the moist interior bark of two-year-old trees, then dried for about six hours when it naturally curls. It is then cut into the 2-to-4-inch quills or sticks that are sold in grocery stores or ground into cinnamon powder.

The majority of cinnamon’s aroma and flavor comes from cinnamaldehyde and its essential oil. Cinnamon adds a rich aroma and distinctive taste to many soups, rice, noodle, poultry, fish, beef, and numerous desert dishes and has numerous other compounds that make it useful in the garden.

One of cinnamon’s most valuable contributions to home and garden is when it is used as an ant deterrent. Laboratory research has shown that high concentrations of chemical compounds extracted from cinnamon were effective in repelling ants. Ground cinnamon can have enough repelling compounds in it to deter some ants, especially if there is an easier food or water source elsewhere. It really depends on the tenacious will of the ant colony and may be worth trying before using harsh poisons.

Cinnamon essential oil is toxic to both houseflies and fruit flies and can repel other flying insects such as gnats, whiteflies, and mosquitoes. Add about 20 drops of cinnamon essential oil to the water in a 16-ounce sprayer to make an effective plant spray. Mist indoor and outdoor plants with the solution about once a week to help keep flying bugs at bay. Cinnamon essential oil can be purchased at local health food stores or online.

A second cinnamon plant spray recipe option is to mix 4 tablespoons of ground cinnamon into a half gallon of water and shake it vigorously. Let it sit for three to four hours and then strain the mixture through a coffee filter and into a spray bottle. The solution can be sprayed about once a week to repel flying insects and to combat leaf molds, powdery mildew, and fungal rust.

The anti-fungal properties in cinnamon have other uses as well. Ground cinnamon sprinkled on the soil of a mushroom prone planter can be effective is preventing them from sprouting. A light dusting of ground cinnamon on a plant wound or on a pruning cut can prevent fungal infections. Cinnamon scattered on the soil used to grow seedlings can prevent them from damping off, a fungal problem that kills newly sprouted plants.

Propagating plants from root cuttings is a rewarding and economical way to acquire new plants. Ground cinnamon makes a great rooting compound. It stimulates root growth in almost every plant variety that can be grown by cuttings. Simply dip the cutting stem in water, then into some ground cinnamon, and then place in a container with damp potting soil. Chemical compounds in the cinnamon should stimulate and accelerate root growth.

Some people have had success in repelling rodents and other small mammals from certain plants by using cinnamon sticks or powder in the garden. Many of these small animals that people do not want in the garden do not like strong scents that confuse their ability to smell. This alone might keep some of them away. For the more determined and curious critters, taking a deep smell of cinnamon can cause a slight and short irritation to the inside of their mouth or nose which might be enough of an annoyance to keep them away.

Cinnamon used on plants does not have to be of the highest quality, buying it in bulk is the most cost-effective way to justify using it for nonculinary purposes. It is much healthier for people and wildlife when chemicals are avoided in and outside the home. Cinnamon works well, but on the infrequent occasions it does not, at least the plants will smell good.

Daniel O'Donnell is the co-owner and operator of an organic landscape design/build company in Fremont. www.Chrysalis-Gardens.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

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

Thursday, July 15 – Thursday, August 19
Central Park Summer Concert Series
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Presented by Washington Hospital, Lanner USA, and Fremont Bank
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)
Central Park Performance Pavilion
40204 Paseo Padre Pkwy., Fremont

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

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.
7/17, 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 25 : Frida: Viva la Vida
$15 regular/$10 students to age 21
Bankhead Theater
2400 First St., Livermore
(925) 373-6800

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


Tuesday, July 6 – Saturday, July 31
Silent No More: A history of anti-Asian discrimination
Mixed media art exhibit by Chinese-American artist Cathy Quon
Castro Valley Library
3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley
(510) 667-7900

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
In-person Gallery Dates: July 29 – October 3
Thursday – Sunday, 12 noon – 5 p.m.

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

Friday, July 16 – Sunday, August 8
The Four Poster $R
Fri/Sat: 8 p.m.; Sun: 6 p.m.
Streaming available anytime
Two-person play chronicling a couple’s married life
Castro Valley Community Theatre
3683 Quail Ave., Castro Valley
(510) 733-5483

Chanticleers Theatre

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
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 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

Wednesday, July 14
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
Hayward Nonprofit Alliance
10 a.m.
Local nonprofits share their plans for upcoming events
Via Zoom: https://bit.ly/3eYCHDq
Meeting ID: 823 8148 0428
Passcode: 147350

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.

Thursday, July 15
Central Park Summer Concert Series
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The Sun Kings pay tribute to The Beatles
Central Park Performance Pavilion
(next to 40204 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont)
(510) 494-4300

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

Friday, July 16 – Sunday, July 18
Elephant & Piggie’s ‘We Are in a Play!’
F: 7 p.m., Sat: 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., Sun: 6 p.m.
Fun, jazzy musical based on Mo Willem’s characters
Heirloom East Bay
9990 Crow Canyon Road, Castro Valley

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 Street, Milpitas

Saturday, July 17
Zoom Social Write-In
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Practice your craft in a fun, nonjudgmental atmosphere
Via Zoom
Request link from Scott Davidson: scottfrombayside@yahoo.com

Saturday, July 17
Meet The Artist
Chinese-American artist Cathy Quon
Castro Valley Library
3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley
(510) 667-7900

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

Wednesday, July 21 – Thursday, July 22
iPhone Training
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Free online training – 2-day class
(510) 790-6602

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

Thursday, July 22
Central Park Summer Concert Series
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Ronstadt Revival pays tribute to Linda Ronstadt
Central Park Performance Pavilion
(next to 40204 Paseo Padre Pkwy, Fremont)
(510) 494-4300

Friday, July 23
Latino Business Roundtable
9 a.m.
La Familia Counseling Service CEO Aaron Ortiz presents
Via Zoom: https://bit.ly/3xn5321
Meeting ID: 827 9395 8686
Passcode: 121713

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

Saturday, July 24
Sunset Science $
6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Evening of activities and stargazing
Chabot Observation Deck
10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland
(510) 336-7300

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

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

Thursday, July 29
Central Park Summer Concert Series
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Carnaval pays tribute to Santana
Central Park Performance Pavilion
(next to 40204 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont)
(510) 494-4300

Wednesday, August 4
Minority-Owned Small Business Resources
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Resources, info, and links to assist minorities. Free webinar by the SBDC.

Thursday, August 5
Central Park Summer Concert Series
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Journey Revisited pays tribute to Journey
Central Park Performance Pavillion
(next to 40204 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont)
(510) 494-4300

Friday, August 6
Olive Hyde Art Guild Reception
7 p.m.
Mingle, meet local artists, and enjoy artwork in person!
123 Washington Blvd, Fremont

Saturday, August 14
How to become a Self-Published Author
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Online art demo by local writer Luanna K. Leisure
Email artinccv@gmail.com to register

Saturday, July 17
Relay for Life Rummage Sale
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sponsored by Cure Crusaders Family and American Cancer Society
First Presbyterian Church
35450 Newark Blvd., Newark

Letter to the Editor

Open Letter to Pope Francis

Dear Pope Francis,

Recently, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops had a meeting. One of the outcomes was to deny our President, Joe Biden; and Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House, the right to receive Holy Communion. They do not agree with abortion. They believe in the right of a woman for self-determination in these matters. President Biden has attended mass on a daily basis for years. The Bishops also voted to ban Women’s Right to Choose, and same sex marriages by a vote of 168 to 55, with 6 abstentions, creating more division in our church. This is contrary to your views/teachings on compassion for our fellow men.

These are the same Bishops that allowed themselves and their priests to be pedophiles. They are destroying the Catholic Church in the United States and causing thousands to quit practicing their Catholic faith. They are the same Bishops that live in palaces while doing nothing for the poor and homeless in the U.S. We are fed up with their hypocrisy. They are supposed to be good shepherds but are driving millions of Catholics to join other faiths or to quit believing in the one holy and apostolic Catholic Church. The Bishops are obsessed with the right of women to have control of their own bodies, and homosexuality.

Many Bishops have embraced our former President Donald Trump and his party. There is separation of Church and State, yet they lobbied for Trump. Now the Bishops have turned their energy toward President Biden, a life-long, staunch Catholic. President Biden does not believe in indiscriminate abortion. He says he would not make that decision for another human being. Clearly in cases of the possible death of the mother, rape, or incest this decision should be left to the mother. The Bishops do not have a clue how their flock suffers because of their decisions. They need to focus on feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and tending to those imprisoned.

Our Bishops are mostly white men in their 70 – 80’s. They do not have a clue how to bring Catholics back to the Church. They are removed from their people. The bureaucracy is out of control. In its current state, the focus of the Catholic Church, as defined by the Bishops’ statements is not inclusive or relevant to today’s Catholics in the U.S. We are badly in need of priests in our parishes. Why is there no married clergy as in other churches? Why not have women priests? Many former priests left to marry and raise families. They have valuable training and skills that would benefit today’s Catholic Church. But they have been ignored.

You have the power to direct and change the current direction of our Bishops’ focus which would bring U.S. Catholics back to the Church. May the Blessed Trinity and Mary our Mother bless you and guide you in your endeavors to spread the love of Jesus to all peoples.

With God’s Blessing,
Robert J. Hennessy

Letter to the Editor

Fate of rodeo animals

Animals should not be injured or killed for entertainment and that is what rodeo is. It bears no resemblance to ranching. I grew up on a cattle ranch in North Dakota and spent eight years as a ranch veterinarian there. My ranch clients did not ride bulls, speed rope calves, or make their expensive horses buck. Rodeo is not American “tradition.”

As a former bareback bronc rider, pathologist, and large animal veterinarian, I have both the experience and autopsy proof that rodeos injure and kill animals. Dr. Robert Bay from Colorado autopsied roping calves and found hemorrhages, torn muscles, torn ligaments, damage to the trachea, damage to the throat, and damage to the thyroid. These calves never get a chance to heal before they are used again.

Meat inspectors processing rodeo animals found broken bones, ruptured internal organs, massive amounts of blood in the abdomen from ruptured blood vessels, and damage to the ligamentum nuchae that holds the neck to the rest of the spinal column.

As a former criminal lawyer, children that are exposed to and participate in animal abuse often grow up to abuse humans. I have seen children cry at rodeos when the calves are roped and slammed to the ground. It is time for this archaic rodeo “entertainment” to end.

Peggy W Larson
Williston, Vermont (formerly lived in Sacramento)

Nonagenarians celebrate another year
Submitted by Penny Vittoria

These residents at Acacia Creek Senior Living Community in Union City know how to live! Currently, there are 38 proud and active members of the Acacia Creek 90+ Society. The group was originally established in 2014 by a resident who wanted to recognize the successful aging efforts of the most senior community members. Each year, the nonagenarians gather for a luncheon to celebrate their longevity and share poems and other inspiring writings. This year—especially with the lifting of the COVID-19 restrictions—there was extra cause for celebration. Though it was a long year of change and many sacrifices, our community has made it through the pandemic this far without a positive test! Where residents and community members support each other’s wellbeing, there is no better place to age successfully than Acacia Creek!

Acacia Creek
34400-A Mission Blvd., Union City
(877) 902-7555


Honor Roll

Youngstown State University, Ohio
Spring 2021 graduate
• Yazmine Romero of Castro Valley

Ithaca College, New York
Spring 2021 Dean’s List
• Quinlan Barrie of Fremont

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts
Spring 2021 Dean’s List
• Jatin Kohli of Fremont

Wyoming Seminary, Pennsylvania
Winter 2021 Trimester Dean’s List
• Nathan Pan of Fremont

McKendree University, Illinois
Spring 2021 Honor Roll
• Emmily Patneaud of Newark
• Lizette Rodriguez of Fremont

University of the Sciences, Pennsylvania
Spring 2021 Dean’s List
• Krupa Patel of Fremont

Bradley University, Illinois
Spring 2021 graduate
• Pearl Santiago of Union City

Youngstown State University, Ohio
Spring 2021 Dean’s List
• Yazmine Romero of Castro Valley

Emerson College, Massachusetts
Spring 2021 graduates
• Mark Emmons of Fremont
• Vineet Rau of Fremont

University of Utah
Spring 2021 graduates
• Patrick Chou of Milpitas
• Ann Luong of Milpitas
• Phuong Nguyen of Fremont
• Kunaal Kumar of Fremont
• Jimmy Nguyen of Fremont
• Sean Gaffney of Castro Valley

New police chief named in San Leandro
Submitted by Paul Sanftner

After a months-long nationwide search, San Leandro officials have chosen Abdul Pridgen to serve as the city’s next police chief effective September 12. The appointment, made by City Manager Fran Robustelli, was announced July 6. Meanwhile, Chief Susan Manheimer will continue her interim service until Pridgen comes aboard.

Pridgen brings 29-years of law enforcement experience to San Leandro. Most recently he was Police Chief in of the City of Seaside in Monterey County. Before that, he spent 26 years with the City of Fort Worth, Texas, Police Department where he attained the highest rank of Assistant Chief of Police.

“Chief Pridgen is a well-respected law enforcement veteran, who is an advocate for diversity, inclusion, and a community builder,” Robustelli said. “Chief Pridgen will provide immediate attention to pressing needs, such as transparency, investment into personnel, and implementing police oversight for the department.”

Pridgen, who is current President of the California Police Chiefs Association, is looking forward to joining the San Leandro team. “It is an honor to be gifted the chance to serve the dedicated men and women of the San Leandro Police Department and the rich, diverse group of San Leandrans,” Pridgen said. “Our profession faces many challenges, but we have a tremendous opportunity to set an example for progressive, procedurally just, transparent, accountable, and community-focused policing. I look forward to working closely with all of our internal and external stakeholders to make the San Leandro Police Department a pioneering model of contemporary policing for others to emulate.”

Pridgen received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Dallas Baptist University and a Master of Public Administration from Tarleton State University. In addition, he received training from the Southern Police Institute, FBI National Academy, FBI National Executive Institute, and Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

Mixed-media art exhibit focuses on anti-Asian racism
Submitted by Dawn Balestreri, Castro Valley Library

Cathy Quon, a San Francisco born Chinese-American mixed media artist is exhibiting her collage and assemblage artwork, “Silent No More: A History of anti-Asian Discrimination” through July 31 at the Castro Valley Library. The collection focuses on racism against Chinese- and Japanese-Americans.

“I hope my works will build viewers’ awareness of AAPI history and call attention to the racism, both historical and shockingly fresh, against our people,” Quon explained. The artwork is unique in its sociopolitical bent, while incorporating some of the traditional methods of collage and assemblage.

The display is in the library’s lobby and can be seen during regular library hours from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Mondays through Thursdays and Saturdays. A casual outdoor “Meet the Artist” gathering is set for 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 17 near the front door of the library at 3600 Norbridge Ave. Admission is free. For details, call (650) 336-3468 or send an email to quoncj@gmail.com.

Artist ‘Meet and Greet’
Saturday, Jul 17
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Cathy Quon, “Silent No More”
Castro Valley Library
3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley
(650) 336-3468
Email: quoncj@gmail.com

Art submissions sought for Milpitas exhibit
Submitted by Carol Hamilton

Dove Gallery in Milpitas is accepting art submissions for its upcoming “Reflections of Light” exhibit. Submissions should be art with reflected, refracted, mirrored, patterned or sunlit imagery; depictions of angels and reflections of glory are also encouraged.

Artists of all ages are eligible to enter their works for the exhibit which will be on view September 26 through December 5 at the gallery, 875 S. Park Victoria Drive.

Entry forms are available by sending an email to dove@parkvictoria.org or by calling (408) 464-5011.

As virus-era attacks on Asians rise, past victims look back
By Terry Tang
Associated Press

Jul 06 – Nearly a year after they were almost stabbed to death inside a Midland, Texas, Sam's Club, Bawi Cung and his two sons all have visible scars.

It's the unseen ones though that are harder to get over. Cung can't walk through any store without constantly looking in all directions. His 6-year-old son, who now can't move one eyebrow, is afraid to sleep alone.

On a Saturday evening in March, when COVID-19 panic shopping gripped the nation, Cung was in search of rice at a cheaper price. The family was in the Sam's Club meat section when Cung suddenly felt a punch to the back of his head. A man he didn't know then slashed his face with a knife. The assailant left but soon returned to stab the boys. He wounded the 3-year-old in the back and slashed the 6-year-old from his right eye to a couple of inches past his right ear.

The grisly encounter brought home the dangerous climate Asian Americans have faced since the coronavirus entered the U.S., with racially motivated harassment and assaults occurring from coast to coast.

Now, just over a year and thousands of incidents later, some of the early victims find moving forward has been difficult or, at best, bittersweet. A recent wave of attacks on elderly Asian Americans – including the death of an 84-year-old San Francisco man – has fueled worries that hostilities have only worsened.

In Cung's case, the man responsible for the attack believed the Myanmar man and his children were Chinese and spreading the virus, according to the FBI.

Cung said he's not sure what would have happened had a Sam's Club employee, Zach Owen, not intervened.

“Maybe I might kill him. Maybe he might kill all of my family. I don't know,” Cung said. “God protected my family, God sent Zach to protect my family right there at the right time.”

Owen, who was stabbed in the leg and deeply cut in his right palm, and an off-duty Border Patrol agent detained the suspect, Jose Gomez, 19.

Verbal attacks have also made a lasting mark.

In April, a confrontation in a Richmond, California, park left an irrevocable impact not just on Kelly Yang, 36, but her children. She was forced to discuss anti-Asian racism with her son, 10, and daughter, 7 – a talk she didn't think would happen for a few more years. An elderly white couple, upset over her unleashed dog, called Yang, who is Chinese American, an “Oriental” and said the words many Asian Americans dread: “Go back where you came from.”

Her children thought the couple meant for them to go home. Torn, Yang eventually explained they meant “for us to go back to Asia.“

“It means that we're not welcome here.”

Her son burst into tears.

Yang believes the couple felt emboldened by then-President Donald Trump's use of racially charged terms like “Chinese virus.“ She applauded President Joe Biden's recent executive order condemning anti-Asian xenophobia as a good start. But Yang is afraid a lot of non-Asians have already shrugged off the issue as though it ceased when Trump's presidency did.

“I don't know what can be done,” said Yang, who writes young adult novels and plans to weave her experience into her next book. “But I do know talking about it, acknowledging it, remembering – that's what we do with wars – we have to remember what happened.”

Douglas Kim, 42, chef and owner of Jeju Noodle Bar in New York City, is certain COVID-19-fueled racism was behind the April vandalizing of his Michelin-starred, Korean restaurant. Someone used a Sharpie to scrawl on the winter vestibule “Stop eating dogs,” referring to a stereotype about Asian cuisines. Ultimately, Kim decided not to report it.

“At the time it pissed me off, but I have more important things to worry about,“ Kim said. “Maintaining a business is more important.”

He shared a picture of the graffiti on Instagram to call attention to hate crimes. There was a groundswell of support, but he feels like much of it has faded.

Yet, Kim is hopeful fewer people are stereotyping Asian Americans as foreigners who don't belong in the U.S.

“I think it's all about education,” Kim said. “If you raise your children that way, they're gonna learn that way. I think things are changing but it's not 100% yet. That's why somebody obviously wrote that on our door.”

More than 3,000 incidents have been reported to Stop AAPI Hate, a California-based reporting center for Asian American Pacific Islanders, and its partner advocacy groups, since mid-March 2020. What's frustrating is that the encounters don't often rise to the legal definition of a hate crime. Still, police in several major cities saw a sharp uptick in Asian-targeted hate crimes between 2019 and 2020, according to data collected by the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, California State University, San Bernardino. New York City went from three incidents to 27, Los Angeles from seven to 15, and Denver had three incidents in 2020 – the first reported there in six years.

A rash of crimes victimizing elderly Asian Americans in the past two months has renewed outcry for more attention from politicians and the media. On Wednesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed off on legislation allocating $1.4 million to Stop AAPI Hate and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. The funding will go toward community resources and further tracking of anti-Asian hate incidents.

Local officials and citizens have also taken notice. Initiatives like increased police presence, volunteer patrols and special crime hotlines are coming to fruition. Big-name brands like the Golden State Warriors and Apple, based in the Bay Area, have promised to donate to the cause.

Cynthia Choi, of Stop AAPI Hate, wishes news cycles would focus not just on the latest crimes but the solutions being discussed. Policing and prosecution aren't necessarily the answers, she said. COVID-19 vitriol is rooted in more than a century of anti-Chinese and anti-immigrant attitudes. She and other advocates think more investment in education and community resources could help get at those root causes. Anti-Asian xenophobia should be part of the ongoing conversations on racial reckoning, Choi added.

“Our work to address anti-Asian racism is inextricably tied to fighting anti-Black racism,” Choi said. “That's gonna take all of us, it's gonna take public education efforts, it's gonna take racial solidarity efforts that really bring our communities together.“

Before immigrating to the U.S. six years ago, Cung, the Texas hate crime survivor, had never encountered racism. Now, it's difficult for him to hear stories about anti-Asian American violence. Initially after the attack, Cung wrestled with how Gomez tried to kill him simply because of how he looked. Now, he prays for his attacker.

As for what should happen to Gomez, who remains jailed on three counts of attempted capital murder, Cung said that's up to the courts.

“I can forgive him, but we cannot accept racism or that kind of terrorist attack,” said Cung, who received more than $20,000 in online donations.

One thing he is looking ahead to – life as a newly naturalized U.S. citizen in a country where “they respect people.” Cung remains unbothered that he may not fit some people's idea of what America looks like.

“Maybe personally they have racism,” Cung said. “I don't care. I'm proud of being Asian and Asian American.”

Tang reported from Phoenix and is a member of The Associated Press' Race and Ethnicity team. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ttangAP

Brunch for the Wild Bunch
Submitted by Oakland Zoo

On July 31, go behind the scenes and venture into Zoo habitats to participate in one of four different food spreads: Elephant All-You-Can-Eat, Baboon Breakfast, Sun Bear Buffet, or Grizzly Grub, and also, Giraffe Meet-n-Munch!

This event, formerly known as Feast for the Beasts, allows you the rare opportunity to place food around habitats before the animals go out for the day. Spread produce for the elephants, hide seeds for the baboons, spread snacks for the sun bears, or toss treats around the grizzly yard. Do you love giraffes and want to help support them in the wild? This year we are also offering the opportunity to feed a giraffe!

Tickets to participate in the animal spreads are $10 per experience with proceeds going to support Oakland Zoo’s outstanding Animal Care work. Giraffe feedings are $15 with all proceeds going to our conservation partner, the Reticulated Giraffe Project in Kenya.

Brunch for the Wild Brunch Rules:
• No one under of the age of two is allowed on habitat due to safety concerns of uneven terrain.
• Guests 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
• No strollers are allowed and the animal habitats are not wheelchair accessible.
• Guests may only participate in one experience since all food experiences take place simultaneously.
• All participants must wear a mask.

Please Note: Regular Zoo admission is not included with this event ticket. Register in advance and buy your Zoo admission ticket at the door. Tickets are available on the Oakland Zoo website starting Tuesday, July 6 at 10 a.m.

Brunch for the Wild Bunch
Saturday, July 31
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
$10-15 + regular Zoo admission

Pace of California wildfires well ahead of disastrous 2020
AP Wire Service

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Jul 07 – The number of wildfires and amount of land burned in parched California so far this year greatly exceed totals for the same period in disastrous 2020.

Between Jan. 1 and July 4 there were 4,599 fires that scorched 114.8 square miles (297 square kilometers), according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

In the same time frame last year there were 3,847 fires that blackened 48.6 square miles (126 square kilometers).

By the end of 2020, a total of 9,917 wildfires had charred a record 6,653 square miles (17,231 square kilometers) and damaged or destroyed 10,488 structures. Thirty-three people were killed.

This year's increased wildfire activity, which has damaged or destroyed 91 structures, has been driven by hot and dry conditions, Cal Fire said this week.

The entire state is in the grip of drought, much of it classified as extreme or exceptional. After a dry winter and early heat waves, the landscape is covered in extremely dry vegetation.

Two of the three large wildfires burning for more than a week in the state's far north were more than 70% contained Wednesday while the stubborn Salt Fire north of Redding was 25% surrounded. A big fire in northern Los Angeles County was 88% contained.

California governor kicks off $1.1 billion statewide cleanup plan
By Olga R. Rodriguez
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP), July 7 — Gov. Gavin Newsom has kicked off California's $1.1 billion plan to clean trash and graffiti from highways, roads and other public spaces, an effort he said will beautify the state and create up to 11,000 jobs.

“This is an unprecedented effort to acknowledge what all of us recognize as we drive around this state: It's too damn dirty!” Newsom said from the side of a San Francisco Bay Area highway.

At-risk youth and people who were formerly homeless or formerly incarcerated will be given priority for the jobs created by the three-year program. In the last week, 400 people have already been hired or offered a job, Newsom said.

The cleanup comes amid growing frustration with homeless encampments that have sprouted under highway overpasses and near freeway exit and entry ramps throughout California in the past few years. The encampments have grown during the pandemic, and many are crammed with discarded sofas, mattresses and other trash.

An estimated 161,000 people are experiencing homelessness in the nation's most populous state, more than in any other. Advocates say they can't house people quickly enough with a shortage of housing units and high rents. The Clean California program funds are not allowed to be used to displace people experiencing homelessness.

The Democratic governor, who faces a recall election this year, pointed out that he has proposed $12 billion to get more people experiencing homelessness off the streets and into homes of their own. “When our teams are out there on encampments notifying people of our intent to clean up an encampment, we're doing so with more resources than any time in California history to follow through on our commitment to get people housed, and get people out of these dangerous environments,” he said in Richmond.

California's transportation agency, Caltrans, is responsible for maintaining many of the roadways but has struggled to keep up. Newsom's office said Caltrans collected 270,000 cubic yards of trash in 2020 — enough to load 18,000 garbage trucks.

Newsom said the biggest single investment the state previously made to remove litter from public spaces was $110 million. He later traveled to Fresno, in central California, and helped a Caltrans crew pick up trash from the side of a highway in 95-degree weather. He also planned to visit Southern California as part of several events to highlight the cleaning plan.

John Cox, a Republican candidate for California governor, campaigned in Fresno hours earlier with an 8-foot ball of trash he uses to tout his homelessness plan, which calls for forcing homeless people into mental health or addiction treatment before providing them with housing.

The beautification plan will be a partnership with cities and counties, which will receive one-third of the money in grants, the governor said. “Those dollars will be leveraged well beyond a billion-dollar state investment because we're going to leverage local dollars with a matching program,” he said.

Beyond cleanup, the effort is about adding art to public spaces, Newsom said. “It's not just about addressing encampments. It's also about leaving something behind, beautifying the landscape and looking at art components” such as murals, he said.

Newsom first announced a $1.5 billion Clean California initiative in May, but the Legislature decreased the funding to $1.1 billion in the final budget the governor signed last month.

Civilian astronauts talk to students about upcoming mission
By Lee Roop, AL.com

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP), July 4 — American space travel's past, present and likely future met in Alabama on July 1 when the first private-citizen astronauts talked about their privately funded mission with students at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville.

“It's really the first time any astronauts have gone into space flight that weren't sent there by a superpower,” Jared Issacman said of his crew's upcoming mission during a visit with students at the space center's Aviation Challenge program. The reference was to America, Soviet Union/Russia and China.

Issacman is a billionaire businessman, jet pilot and Aviation Challenge alumnus. He's also the man who will pilot the upcoming mission dubbed Inspiration4. His all-private crew launches aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in September for a three-day flight in a SpaceX Dragon capsule.

Issacman's crew includes Chris Sembroski, a Lockheed Martin engineer, amateur astronomer and former Space Camp counselor; Hayley Arseneaux, a cancer survivor and physician's assistant at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; and geoscientist Dr. Sian Proctor. The launch is also a fundraising benefit for St. Jude that is seeking to raise $200 million for the Memphis child cancer research hospital.

“I'm really excited for all of you,” Sembroski told the Aviation Challenge students, “because we are going into the most exciting time for space exploration in decades with all the missions that are being announced.” Issacman agreed, “We've got to get it right, because if we do that it ensures that the timeline for all the interesting missions to follow can maintain its track and succeed.”

“The name of this flight is the reason this place exists and is the mission we both share,” U.S. Space & Rocket Center Executive Director and CEO Dr. Kimberly Robinson said introducing the crew. “To inspire the spirit of discovery and change the world through the power and passion of space exploration.”

The crew fielded questions including one from a 17-year-old who just received her associate's degree from a community college. “I originally wanted to be a pilot,” she said, “so what would be some inspirational thoughts you might pass on to us for the future?”

“Congratulations on graduating with your associate's degree,” Proctor said. “I'm a community college professor, so that's fantastic. It was my dream to get my pilot's license when I was a kid, but it was a dream that I didn't achieve until I was 35 years old.”

Proctor said she dreamed of being a military aviator, space shuttle commander “or something like that. Those dreams kind of slipped away but then came back into my life. And now I'm in my 50s and I'm going into space.

“What I like to say is don't give up on your dreams,” Proctor said. “Keep pursuing them and keep being passionate. Life's gonna take you in different directions. But if you just keep moving forward, amazing things are going to open up. Our world is changing fast and we need you to be a part of it.”

After their remarks and Q&A with the students, the Inspiration4 crew toured the U.S. Space & Rocket Center that is returning to full operations after a pandemic year that temporarily closed its world-famous Space Camp and rocketry museum. The center is also the official welcome center of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.

A pandemic clothing purge is on as normal life resumes in US
By Leanne Italie
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP), Jul 07 – Alina Clark is about as tired of her pandemic wardrobe as her comfort clothes are stretched and torn.

“I have four sets of jeans, seven shirts and five sweaters that I wear every week,” said Clark, co-founder of a software development company in Los Angeles. “They're everything I've worn in the last two years. Me and my wardrobe are suffering from COVID fatigue.“

A wardrobe purge is on for some as vaccinations have taken hold, restrictions have lifted, and offices reopen or finalize plans to do so. The primary beneficiaries: resale sites online and brick-and-mortar donation spots, continuing a trend that's been building for the last several years.

At the resale site Poshmark, orders are up for handbags and work-worthy dresses when compared to last year. The same goes for blazers, suit jackets and heels.

Projections show the trend growing stronger. The secondhand clothing business is expected to more than double, from $36 billion to $77 billion in 2025, according to a recent report commissioned by the secondhand marketplace ThredUP and the research firm GlobalData.

The growth is driven by an influx of new sellers putting high-quality clothing into the market, said James Reinhart, co-founder and CEO of ThredUP. He estimates that 9 billion clothing items that are hardly worn are sitting in shoppers' closets.

Even before COVID, buying and selling secondhand clothing was popular, but the pandemic made the appetite for thrift even more appealing.

The post-pandemic shopper is more environmentally conscious and is showing a greater appetite for clothes that have good resale value, rather than disposable fast fashion, Reinhart said. People who haven't been able to wear most of the items in their closets for a year are more aware of waste and want to put their clothes back in circulation.

“There's a new mindset around clothing consumption,” Reinhart said. “It's not this buy, wear, throw out. There is this consciousness that happened during the pandemic where people were much more sensitive to this notion of waste.”

Maia DiDomenico's mother introduced her to ThredUp during the pandemic. A recent college graduate who began a new job working with kids on the autism spectrum, the 23-year-old in Cranford, New Jersey, purged some Athleta sportswear on the site and received $557.60 in Athleta gift cards in exchange.

“It cleans your closet out quickly, and you have the chance to donate unwanted clothes,” she said.

For months, the 29-year-old Clark has had the urge to declutter her overflowing wardrobe, and she began piling up clothes for donation several weeks ago. But she'll be purchasing new clothes.

She's looking for some “glitz and glamour” as her Zoom life soon ends and physical get-togethers have begun.

Consumers are purging more than their worn-out pandemic wear.

At the luxury resale site TheRealReal, with more than 22 million members, the total value of pre-owned goods sold this year through May was about $239 million, up by 53 percent from the same period in 2019, according to a company report.

Some are taking the opportunity to reinvent their personal style, said Jessica Richards, a trend forecaster and fashion director for the Accessories Council, a nonprofit trade group.

“We saw a lot of consumers abandon their mindless shopping habits and instead focus on investment dressing. Less of being `sick' of their pandemic wardrobes but more wondering why they might own as much or what is the breadth of their closet,” she said. “It's now about streamlining and zeroing in on what their desired personal style image should be.”

Not everybody is looking to abandon their COVID style, however.

In Lynchburg, Virginia, 33-year-old Cameron Howe is ready to burn just about everything she has worn during the pandemic – except her impressive legging collection – as she transitions from a school career.

“I bought 15 to 20 plus pairs of leggings,” she said. “In a few weeks, I'll start a new career as a project manager for a local nonprofit. I plan on wearing leggings to work. Thankfully, both my past and new employer are legging-friendly. I don't really want to wear real pants again. I developed an absolute love of leggings during the pandemic.”

Among those benefiting from the pandemic reawakening in clothes are dry cleaners.

Tom Ryan, vice president of franchising for CD One Price Cleaners, with 34 locations in the Chicago area, said they've been seeing an upward turn in dry-cleaning customers after a plunge of 80 percent during the pandemic.

“In March, we started making progress again given the vaccine distribution,” he said. “As more people go back to work, we're finally starting to see more people bringing their in-office clothes back for professional cleaning. Still, we expect post-pandemic attire and fashion trends to be different going forward with more people in the office less often.”

Ryan expects business casual to be more the new normal – swapping out button-up shirts for more polo-style wear.

While piles of pandemic clothes are going to churches, donation boxes, and online thrift and resale sites, some people are keeping them in the family.

Samantina Zeon, like many, has gained weight during the pandemic. She has plenty of great clothes she can no longer fit into, so she plans to send the stylish ones to a cousin in Haiti in a 77-gallon blue barrel.

“It's something many people that have families in different countries do. I have done it before to send food,” said the 31-year-old Zeon, in Queens, New York. “She plans on reselling them in her neighborhood for extra cash.”

Associated Press retail writer Anne D'Innocenzio in New York contributed to this report.

New director named at Dominican School of Music
Submitted by Stephan T. Pippen

Veteran music educator Sharon Hendee has been named new director of the Dominican School of Music by the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose (DSMSJ) in Fremont. Hendee has been a faculty member at the School of Music for 23 years and replaces Sister Eva Beehner who served as the school's leader for 21 years.

“We are so delighted to have Sharon serve as the new director of the Dominican School of Music,” said Sister Cecilia Canales, Prioress of DSMSJ. “She's experienced, passionate, and her creative energy is exactly what we were looking for to take the School of Music into the future.”

After accepting the position, which was announced to the public July 8, Hendee said, “I am grateful for the support and prayers the Dominican Sisters have given me. I am so excited about the opportunity to lead such an amazing group of music teachers who are very caring and are committed to developing students' musicianship as well as the whole person.”

The Dominican School of Music has been in existence since 1961 and provides music lessons in an environment of acceptance, trust and security at an affordable price. Located in the Mission San Jose neighborhood of Fremont, the school offers private and group music lessons in piano, violin, viola, flute, piccolo, clarinet, voice, music theory and guitar in high quality studios. The goal of the school is to nurture the whole student and their creative musical potential.

Students perform in annual recitals in the facility’s School of Music Recital Hall, and are coached and prepared for competition, auditions, and music festivals by highly skilled musicians who share music with their students.

Over the years, students have received numerous awards and honors from various organizations including the California Band Directors Association All State Honor Band, Nor Cal All State Honor Band, California Orchestra Directors Association All State Honor Orchestras, California Music Educators Association Honor Orchestra, Junior Bach Festival, Bay Area Music Association and others.

For more information about the music program, including enrollment details, (510) 657-2468 or visit the website at www.msjdominicans.org/education-arts/dominican-sisters-school-music.

Extended library hours in Milpitas, Santa Clara County
Submitted by Mariana Walker, Santa Clara County Library District

The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) is happy to announce SCCLD community libraries expanded hours of service on Monday, July 12. This gives patrons more opportunity to visit the library to browse the full collection, use public computers and printers, reserve available meeting rooms or just stop in for a comfortable place to read.

“Offering additional service hours gives our patrons more options to come by the library at their convenience,” County Librarian Jennifer Weeks said. “Many of our locations will open at 10 a.m. on most days, and will all open at 10 a.m. on Saturday offering up to 18 additional hours a week to enjoy the library.”

SCCLD is projecting to resume evening hours and service seven days a week in the fall. Curbside pickup is still available for those who prefer contactless service; patrons may make an appointment on our website. Since the library serves everyone in the community, including children who are not eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, visitors need to be COVID-19 symptom free and wear a face covering, regardless of vaccination status, to enter.

For the most up to date list of schedules and available services, visit https://sccld.org/informed/.

Milpitas Library
Monday – Saturday
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Temporary Homepage

GOP lawmaker joins recall race targeting California governor
By Michael R. Blood
AP Political Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP), Jul 06 – A California lawmaker on Tuesday joined the growing list of Republican candidates hoping to oust Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in a September recall election.

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley – one of Newsom's most vocal critics at the Statehouse, and a rising personality in the California GOP – announced on Twitter that he would enter the race.

In a statement, he faulted the first-term governor for “special interest corruption” and promised to be an antidote to the governor's “lawless mode of governance.“

“I've said I'm ready to play whatever role will do the most to get our movement across the finish line,” Kiley said, referring to the recall election. “After hearing from tens of thousands of Californians, I'm convinced that role is to replace Gavin Newsom as governor.”

Kiley joins a large GOP field that includes former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer; businessman John Cox, who was defeated by Newsom in 2018; reality TV personality Caitlyn Jenner; and former U.S. Rep. Doug Ose. Conservative talk show host Larry Elder has said he's considering joining the race.

Kiley, a 36-year-old lawyer and former prosecutor from the Sacramento suburb of Rocklin, is known in the Legislature for fighting for access to charter schools and was one of the Republican lawmakers who filed a court challenge to Newsom's far-reaching policies during the coronavirus pandemic.

Newsom, a former San Francisco mayor, was elected governor in a 2018 landslide in the heavily Democratic state. The recall drive gained momentum following school and business closures during the depths of the pandemic that unsettled life for millions of Californians. The election is set for Sept. 14.

In a statement earlier this month referenced by Kiley, recall organizer Orrin Heatlie said volunteers behind the effort were disappointed with the field of potential replacement candidates and predicted Kiley, should he enter the race, would unite those backing the drive to remove Newsom.

However, Kiley is little known statewide outside of GOP circles, and he enters a race in which some of the leading candidates have been campaigning for months.

Newsom's campaign issued a statement calling Kiley “another Trump sycophant.”

A Kiley spokesman did not immediately respond to a question about whether the assemblyman voted for former President Donald Trump in 2016 or 2020. Kiley told The Sacramento Bee in May 2016 he was supporting then-Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich in the presidential race.

BART uses grazing goats to reduce fire danger
By Melissa Jordan, BART

As the Bay Area endures another hot, dry summer, BART is using goats to graze and cut firebreaks on its right-of-way property, which reduces reliance on fossil-fuel-powered equipment, decreases the chance of sparking fires, and increases safety for workers.

“This is the smartest way for us to deal with the vegetation in these areas,” said Josh Soltero, an irrigation/grounds worker in BART's grounds maintenance department who was keeping an eye on some 700 goats grazing near Fremont Station on a recent hot June day.

The Spanish-Boer cross goats, contracted from a herding business, chomped away at the dry brush on a steep hillside, the type of terrain that can be hazardous to human groundskeepers using mowers, weed whackers and other power tools.

“Mowers can spark fires on this kind of brush that we see in a drought,” Soltero said, waving his hand to gesture at the expanse of scraggly, thorny brown hills. “The goats can get into places we can't. They save a lot of shoulders and backs.” Indeed, following the goats up the hill for photos was challenging for two-legged observers even without heavy equipment.

Another bonus is appreciation from many neighbors in nearby residential areas, who prefer the occasional bleat of a goat to the roar of a power mower. “They come up and tell us they're so happy we are using goats,” Soltero said, and as if on cue, a woman in a sun hat walking by the side of the field, smiled and gave a thumbs-up.

BART provides water for the goats, a herd of which can drink 300-plus gallons a day and can clear well over an acre of vegetation a day. They've been contracted for the past several years and their work has been a step toward BART's overall sustainability goals, said Glen Eddy, Assistant Superintendent of Ways and Facilities. Eddy said goats are contracted usually in May-June and September-October, depending on conditions, and they graze about 35 acres out of more than 100 total acres of right-of-way property.

The contractor that BART uses is Living Systems Land Management, a Coalinga-based family business owned and operated by Michael and Jan Canady. “We put the goats in a small area and do what we call a mob graze,” Jan Canady said. “With a power weed eater, you're just cutting it down, but you have to worry about erosion, because the root is still there. The goats, they're constantly eating wherever they're needed, everything, until you move them somewhere else.”

In Fremont, the goats had started their day on one parcel behind a fence until it was nearly bare. Some of them stood on their hind legs to nibble green leaves overhanging one side of the property (or to be handed leaves as a treat from their visitors).

At each location, a goat herder contracted by the Canadys stays with the goats 24/7 to move them along to their next stop. On this day, herder Zenobio Ordonez, a Peruvian national, called out to the goats as he opened a fence and they stampeded into the new grazing spot.

“Goats are active and explorative eaters, often climbing trees in pursuit of food and nutrition,” Jared A. Lewis, Natural Resource Program Manager/Outreach Director for Living Systems, wrote on the company's website. “This propensity towards variety coupled with an uncanny ability to consume unlikely feedstuffs such as low-lying branches, small trees, grasses, weeds, chapparal, shrubs and a panoply of fire-hazardous exotic and invasive species, creates the unlikely but nonetheless perfectly suited fire-fighting tool in the goat.”

Ordonez and others of the Canadys' contracted herders are legally working in the United States on H-2A temporary agricultural worker visas. Brave goatherders and intrepid goats have been credited with creating firebreaks that saved multiple homes in recent years' devastating fire seasons, from Santa Rosa to the north to Agoura Hills in the Santa Monica Mountains to the south.

Contrary to popular culture, goats don't really eat tin cans, Canaday said, but they're intelligent, playful creatures who instinctively know which plants they need to eat. “The goats like to cavort, they jump and twist,” she said. True to form in Fremont, some of the feisty ones locked horns to head butt one another, and nosed around the BART worker who offered them a green leaf. Ordonez doesn't give the goats names or treat them as pets; they are livestock and hard workers who get the job done, he said.

The goats also leave behind natural compost as they graze, further enriching the soil quality. “Using goats at BART is really a win-win situation,” Eddy said.

HERS at Street Eats
Submitted by HERS Breast Cancer Foundation

We’re ready to get back out there to safely greet old friends, make new ones, and share our mission! Look for HERS Breast Cancer Foundation at Street Eats, a collaboration between the Fremont Chamber of Commerce and Food Truck Mafia. Fremont Street Eats is a great opportunity to eat delicious food truck offerings and connect with community members, businesses, and nonprofits!

HERS will have a booth at the July 16 Street Eats and we’ll bring along awesome giveaways. Stop by our table and learn what’s new at HERS and spin our Pink Prize Wheel to win amazing prizes. We’ll be at Street Eats again on August 13, and September 10.

Street Eats is located in the parking lot of the Fremont Main Library at 2400 Stevenson Boulevard.

HERS at Fremont Street Eats
Fridays, Jul 16, Aug 13, and Sept 10
5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Fremont Main Library
2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont

Hot August Night on the Rails
Submitted by Niles Canyon Railway

Ride through the canyon on a beautiful summer night! This 80-minute diesel-powered round trip departs from our Sunol Depot at 7:30 p.m. on August 21, 2021.

As this is an evening run and temperatures can get cooler at night, please dress accordingly for the weather, since there will be a mixture of open and closed cars available. Please arrive 30-45 minutes before departure to ensure there is enough time to park, pick up your tickets and board the train.

Our snack bar will be open for hot dogs, cookies, chips, soda, and water. Restroom facilities will be available on the train.

Even though California and Alameda County have relaxed the mask order, Niles Canyon Railway is governed by the Federal Agencies, FRA and TSA, and they have extended the mask order until further notice. Please continue to wear masks while riding our trains.

Hot August Night on the Rails
Saturday, Aug 21
7:30 p.m.
Sunol Depot
6 Kilkare Rd., Sunol
(510) 996-8420
Adults: $30
Children 3-12: $20
Seniors (62+): $20

Fremont author’s picture book brings Indian culture to young readers
By Andrew Cavette

Swetha Toleti, a Fremont resident, has started a publishing company and released her first book. When reading to her one-year-old daughter, Toleti would tell her the folktales she had heard as child, but only from memory and not from a book.

“My mother and my grandmother would narrate stories to me, but this generation is a little different,” Toleti said.

Telling these stories out loud wasn’t enough for Toleti. She wanted to have illustrations and cultural representations her toddler could look at while hearing stories and learning to read.
Toleti researched books being published in India that included these folktales. She discovered that longer, paperback versions, meant for older children were common there… books for very young readers were harder to find.

Toleti asked other parents living in the Bay Area and found they had encountered the same lack of options. She decided to solve that problem and started Kabooki, LLC.

Her first publication is The Hungry Crow, a new version of Aesop’s Fable “The Fox and the Crow.” In this folktale, a crow finds a cracker (or bread, or cheese) and decides to eat it. A fox wants the snack for himself. The fox asks the crow to sing, so he can hear the crow’s beautiful voice. The crow believes the fox, opens his beak, and drops the snack into the fox’s gaping mouth.

Toleti explained that Aseop’s fable, while good source material, doesn’t visually represent the culture in which she was brought up. Toleti wanted to set the story in an Indian village, during a carnival, to show her daughter all the people, clothing and colors she remembers. In her version, the crow grabs a bit of vada, a fried, savory, doughnut-shaped snack before losing it to the fox’s trickery.

As The Hungry Crow is set in a country her daughter was not yet familiar with, Toleti said it was important to hire an illustrator who knew what these villages actually look like: the way people dress, the way the delicious vada would taste, etc.

Toleti hired Nilanjan Ghosh, an illustrator currently living in the city of Kolkata in West Bengal, India. The village that Ghosh used for his reference is called Tirol, located in the Hooghly district of West Bengal. He is very familiar with the village.

“I spent most of my vacation in our village house when I was a kid,” Ghosh said. “How people enjoy their life with simplicity, their dresses, the [landscape], carnival/fair and all. I have illustrated the scenes based on those memories.”

With time, Toleti hopes to expand the scope of Kabooki, LLC. She wants to publish stories from others cultures exactly the way they are told, and get them directly from the people who heard them growing up. Reading published folktales (and merely updating the illustrations to reflect different cultures) isn’t good enough, according to Toleti.

“Right now, at the beginning, I am focusing on the stories I heard as a kid,” Toleti said. “But I want to create a repository, a community, where the older generation can pass on their stories to the next generation, (to an even younger audience) in a toddler-friendly format.”

Toleti’s publishing company has a presence on Facebook and Instagram. The Hungry Crow is available now, and a second publication is coming soon. Everything Kabooki, LLC has to offer is available on their website kabookistories.com.

Kabooki, LLC
Website: https://www.kabookistories.com/
Facebook: @kabookistories
Instagram: @kabookistories

Find Nilanjan Ghosh’s work on Instagram at @illustration_nilanjanghosh777.

California identifies new, rare gray wolf pack
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP), July 7 — A new pack of gray wolves has been identified in Northern California, becoming the third pack to establish itself in the state in the last century, state wildlife officials and conservationists said.

Three wolves in the Beckworth pack were first spotted in May on a trail camera in Plumas County near the California-Nevada state line, after the tracks of two wolves were detected earlier this year in the same area, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said.

For conservationists, the discovery marks a milestone in the state's efforts to revive its population of wild wolves, SFGate reported. Gray wolves are native to California, but disappeared in the 1920s. Most were likely killed through hunting or to control predation on other animals. “This is such wonderful news,” said Amaroq Weiss, senior West Coast wolf advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity. The species is protected under the California Endangered Species Act. Killing a wolf is a potential crime subject to serious penalties, including prison time.

Ranchers in the area are less enthusiastic about the growing wolf population. “It’s one of our worst nightmares,” Rick Roberti of Roberti Ranch in southeast Plumas County told SFGate. Roberti, who is president of the Plumas-Sierra Cattlemen's Association, said ranchers report wolf attacks on their cattle and feel there is nothing they can do to stop it.

In January, the Trump administration removed endangered species protections from gray wolves, ending longstanding federal safeguards and putting states and tribes in charge of overseeing the predators. Environmental and animal-rights groups say the move was premature because wolves haven't returned to most of their historical range. They are pushing the Biden administration to reverse it.

Wisconsin was the first state to resume hunting of wolves. A study just released by University of Wisconsin scientists says that as many as one-third of Wisconsin's gray wolves likely died at the hands of humans in the months after the federal government announced it was ending legal protections.

The study estimates that poaching and hunting have reduced the statewide wolf total to between 695 and 751, down from at least 1,034 in spring 2020, though some other scientists say more direct evidence is needed for some of the calculations. Scientists involved in the study said the findings should serve notice to wildlife managers in other states with wolves.

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

Sky driving is real
Tired of tedious long-distance drives on backed up highways? It seems that soon you’ll be able to pack your family in your car, drive it to a runway nearby, spread its wings and take off high into the sky, says the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. AMAC reports that “sky driving” is no longer a futuristic pipe dream; it’s a reality that a number of automobile manufacturers have on their drawing boards. A Slovakian company, Klein Vision Ltd, recently proved the viability of flying cars when its AirCar Prototype 1 made the first city to city flying car flight between two cities in in the Slovak Republic in 35 minutes. The AirCar is a sports car on land that easily converts into an aircraft powered by a 160 horsepower BMW engine that turns back into an automobile after it lands. It’s no one-off; at least four major car makers, including Volkswagen, Porsche, Daimler and Toyota, may soon be test flying their versions of flying cars. To see the flying car in action, visit YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2tDOYkFCYo.

A dream comes true
Gwen Goldman dreamt of becoming a bat girl for the New York Yankees. It took 60 years, but she made the grade recently at Yankee Stadium. Goldman was 10 years old when she sent a letter to the team’s offices in 1961 and accepted the negative reply she received. She kept that letter of response and recently her daughter forwarded it to the team’s current general manager Brian Cashman who fulfilled Goldman’s girlhood dream. Watch Goldman’s debut as a bat girl on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVVQmJpvX8s.

Easy come, easy go
The James family of Baton Rouge, Louisiana became what some might call filthy rich overnight, beyond imagination, when they received their latest bank account statement, which showed that they had a balance of $50,000,000,000 reported AMAC. It was obviously a case of easy-come-easy-go. Four days later, their bank canceled the erroneous deposit, and they lost their fortune. But they couldn’t cancel the lasting memory of having been billionaires for a few days. As Darren James put it: “It was crazy just to see what it looks like because I've never seen that many zeros in my life.”

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

Fossils, flora and fauna await Sabercat hikers
Submitted by City of Fremont

Are you eager to explore some new hiking trails this summer? Look no farther than Sabercat Historical Park. The park includes 1.8 miles of out-and-back trail, much of it paved and ADA accessible, with a dirt path loop at the west end offering more rugged and steep terrain.

Pedestrians, bicyclists, and pets on leash are welcome during the park’s open hours from sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Parking is available along Quema Drive, near the Quema Drive and Paseo Padre Parkway entrance near the Mission San Jose neighborhood. Additionally, there is a small parking lot at the Via Orinda and Castillejo Way entrance with a pit toilet restroom (bring your own hand sanitizer). Interpretive signage along the way describes the fossils found there, the modern-day flora and fauna, and other aspects of the land’s history.

Park officials are also looking for help from citizens to manage several restoration sites; volunteers remove invasive plants as well as plant and maintain native species to help stabilize soils and creek banks, filter pollutants, increase native plant diversity, and improve food and shelter for wildlife. No experience is necessary. All ages are welcome, but children younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult who is registered.

To learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities, subscribe to Habitat Restoration newsletter at https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/JWt9aOM/Habitat.

Social write-in – all levels welcome!
Submitted by Tish Davidson

Put on your writing hat, explore your creativity, and meet other writers in a fun, nonjudgmental Zoom social write-in sponsored by Fremont Area Writers on Saturday, July 17 from 2:00 p.m. -3:30 p.m. This event is for everyone from complete beginners to already published writers. It is not a writing critique session. Your writing will not be judged, just enjoyed by your fellow writers.

How the write-in works: After you sign in, the computer will randomly assign you to a virtual room with several other writers. Once everyone is gathered, you will get three writing prompts. Choose one and free write for eight minutes. You can write memoir, fiction, or poetry, but the writing prompts have been chosen to encourage you to write about yourself so that participants can get to know each other.

After you write, there is time for everyone in the room to read their response to the prompt and exchange ideas and experiences in a relaxed, supportive atmosphere. The computer will then reassign everyone to a different room, the prompts will change, and the process will repeat.

Example prompts from past sessions:
The most interesting thing I ever found
I never thought I would meet…
An activity I would like to try but haven’t

To participate in the write in, please request the Zoom meeting link from Scott Davidson at scottfrombayside@yahoo.com.

Zoom Social Write-In
Saturday, July 17
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Via Zoom
Request link from Scott Davidson: scottfrombayside@yahoo.com

Satisfy your appetite for food and fun
Submitted by City of Fremont

The popular Fremont Street Eats program featuring food trucks, live entertainment and family fun is back. Hungry diners can stop by the event from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Fridays through October 22 (except September 24) in the Fremont Main Library parking lot at 2400 Stevenson Blvd. Stay to enjoy live music while savoring delectable delights from food trucks offering various cuisines.

Admission and parking are free at the event hosted by Fremont Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Food Truck Mafia. For updates on entertainment and food truck lineups for the 2021 season, visit the Fremont Street Eats website at www.fremontstreeteats.com.

Sunset Science
Submitted by Chabot Space & Science Center

Enjoy a warm summer evening of activities and stargazing on Chabot’s stunning Observation Deck! Learn about stellar concepts and preview our new offerings with special demonstrations, hands-on challenges and more. When the Sun goes down, the stars come out for exploring the cosmos through historic telescopes.

During this event, celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 14 launch with a night of all things lunar. From cratering to simulated moon rocks and soil, you’ll learn about past missions and future expeditions.

Graze while you gaze! Food, wine and beer will be available for purchase on-site.

Sunset Science
Saturday, Jul 24
6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Chabot Observation Deck
10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland
(510) 336-7300
Adults $15, Youth $5, Members Free

BART Police Log
Submitted by Les Mensinger and BART PD

Monday, July 5
• At 5:47 p.m. a man identified by police as Christian Delatorre, 24, of Mountain View was arrested at Warm Springs/South Fremont station on suspicion of assault. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail and issued a prohibition order.

• At 7:25 p.m. a man identified by police as Dontae Hayes, 28, of Hayward was arrested at Hayward station on a $5,000 warrant issued by Alameda County for possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

Wednesday, July 7
• At 6:30 p.m. a woman identified by police as Debra Pina, 61, was arrested at Bay Fair station in San Leandro on suspicion of battery on a transit worker. She was issued a prohibition order.

Thursday, July 8
• At 5:38 p.m. a man identified by police as Angel Ramirez, 24, of Oakland was arrested at Bay Fair station in San Leandro on suspicion of sexual battery, battery on a transit worker, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail and issued a prohibition order.

CHP Hayward Log
Submitted by CHP Hayward

Thursday, July 8
• At about 10:35 a.m. the driver of a Mercedes Benz SUV was traveling northbound on I-880 just north of Fremont Boulevard. For an unknown reason, the vehicle veered off the roadway and collided with a metal sign pole, killing the driver. The identity of the driver was not immediately released. The Alameda County Coroner’s Office retrieved the body.

Fremont Police Log
Submitted by Geneva Bosques, Fremont PD

Saturday, June 26
• At about 9:30 p.m. Fremont Police and Fremont Fire personnel responded to a collision report involving a vehicle and a pedestrian on Decoto Road, west of Paseo Padre Parkway. The pedestrian, identified by police as Jorge Ramirez, 43, was walking across Decoto Road outside a crosswalk when he was struck by the vehicle traveling westbound. Ramirez was taken to a trauma center with major injuries. The driver, a 49-year-old Fremont man, made the initial 911 call and cooperated with investigators. No drugs or alcohol are suspected in this collision. An investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Traffic Investigator William Malcomson at (510) 790-6800 or send an email to mwmalcomson@fremont.gov. Anonymous tips can be sent via text at: Tip FremontPD followed by a short message to 888777 or sent via the web at https://fremontpolice.gov/TIP.

Thursday, July 1
• Officers responded to a robbery report at Grocery Outlet, 4949 Stevenson Blvd. A suspect entered the store and attempted to steal items and brandished a knife after an employee tried to stop him. The suspect, identified by police as William Moore, 35, was located nearby and arrested.

• Officers responded to a report about a residential burglary on the 3300 block of Kipling Place in the Brookvale area. The victim was alerted by a surveillance camera that someone was inside his residence. The suspect, identified by police as Jason Svrdlin, 32, was located in the backyard and arrested.

Friday, July 2
• Officers responded to the 4200 block of Chetwood Ave. where a suspect had placed a rag into the fuel cap of a driver’s truck and lit it on fire.

Sunday, July 4
• At about 9:30 p.m. patrol officers responded to a report about a collision involving a bicyclist and vehicle at the intersection of Hansen Avenue and Dutra Way in the Centerville area. Upon arrival officers started lifesaving measures on the bicyclist, identified as a 15-year-old male from Fremont. The boy was taken to a trauma center with life threatening injuries and hospitalized in critical condition. The driver of the vehicle, a 23-year-old Fremont man, cooperated with the investigation and remained at the scene. No alcohol or drugs are suspected in this collision. The collision is under investigation. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Traffic Investigator Jacob Shannon at (510) 790-6765 or send an email to jshannon@fremont.gov. Anonymous tips can be sent via text at: Tip FremontPD followed by a short message to 888777 or sent via the web at https://fremontpolice.gov/TIP.

Hayward Police Log
Submitted by Hayward PD

Sunday, June 27
• During a 10:13 p.m. security check near the 30000 block of Industrial Parkway SW, officers found an occupied stolen vehicle. The occupant was taken into custody and the vehicle recovered.

Wednesday, June 30
• At 3:13 a.m. witnesses reported an in-progress catalytic converter theft in the 1000 clock of C St. Officers responded and the suspects fled the scene, but were soon located and taken into custody by police.

• During a 3:40 p.m. security check near the 1000 block of Folsom Ave. officers saw two people with an estimated 57 pounds of illegal fireworks in the open trunk of a vehicle. One person was taken into custody and the fireworks were confiscated.

Officer struck by suspect’s getaway vehicle
Submitted by San Leandro PD

A San Leandro Police Department (SLPD) officer is recovering from a minor injury to his leg after being struck by a crime suspect’s getaway vehicle exiting a downtown area parking garage.

The incident started at 5:50 a.m. Tuesday, July 6 when officers responded to the 1100 block of Carpentier Street regarding a catalytic converter theft in progress. When officers learned that the suspect and the getaway vehicle were trapped inside the complex's gated parking garage, they established a perimeter and deployed stop sticks at the garage exits. However, the suspects were able to get back into their vehicle and struck an officer while fleeing and then rammed the complex gate to escape.

Officers pursued the suspects into Oakland and apprehended the driver. The officer struck by the vehicle did not require emergency medical assistance. “We are grateful that our officer did not sustain significant injuries after being struck by the suspect vehicle. Our officers attempted to de-escalate the incident by deploying spike strips and apprehending the suspect before entering their vehicle. The suspects showed total disregard for human life as they hit an officer and rammed the secured gate to escape,” said Lieutenant Ali Khan.

Later, at 7:40 a.m. officers responded to another catalytic converter theft in the 300 block of Pershing Drive. Officers quickly located the suspect vehicle; however, they did not pursue the car because of public safety concerns.

Regionally and in San Leandro, there has been an increase in catalytic converter thefts. Year to date, SLPD has seen a 65% increase from 2020. A monthly average comparison to 2019 is showing an increase of 431%.

A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas from an engine. Thieves typically cut the catalytic converter because of the precious metals it contains. Vehicle owners can protect their catalytic converters by installing after-market guard plates under their vehicles.

Union City Police Log
Submitted by Union City PD

Tuesday, June 15
• At about 4:00 p.m. officers contacted the victim of an assault in the 30900 block of Watkins Street. The victim told police that the suspect entered her bedroom and began firing at her with a BB gun rifle. She was struck multiple times in the head, face and body. The suspect fled the scene before the police arrived. The victim identified the suspect, and officers forwarded the case to the Alameda County District Attorney for review and charging.

Sunday, June 20
• At about 10:50 p.m. officers responded to a carjacking report in the 1600 block of Decoto Road. The victim told police that he had just locked up his business and was bringing items out to his vehicle when he was attacked and pulled from his car by a group of four to five Black male juveniles. The victim tried to run back to his place of business, but the suspects continued to batter him and took his keys. The suspects then fled in the victim's vehicle. Officers recovered the victim's car, unoccupied a week later in San Francisco.

Competitive youth soccer hits Fremont
Submitted by Zee Kerawala

Over the July 10 weekend dozens of young soccer players gathered at Central Park in Fremont to play in the California Technology Cup, billed as one of the first large post-pandemic soccer tournaments in the Bay Area.

The two-day event was sponsored by Rush Soccer, the largest network of youth soccer clubs in the United States. It included Rush Soccer teams from Fremont and San Jose, along with teams from Reno, Nevada, Los Angeles and surrounding areas. Over the last six months, Fremont Rush coaches have been meeting to ensure that each player and their families receive the best possible level of play and experience.

On Saturday, teams played as many games as possible to prepare for Sunday’s knockout event to win first place. Players were divided into brackets depending on the previous day's results, with winning teams advancing to the final.

Fremont Rush coaches have been working nonstop for several weeks to get their players ready for the California Technology Cup. “Our practice has been really focused on two elements, building from the back and finishing in the final third. Along with that we’ve worked on a lot of high intensity training so we’re fit and ready to go,” explained Coach Ali Gedikli.

Coach Enrique “Queeks” Tovar said, “This is my boys first 11v11 tournament so we’ve been really working on getting used to a big field. I’ve worked on individual development, on and off the ball as well.”

The goal of Rush Soccer is to create a professional pathway for young male and female soccer players, with instruction from the organization’s extensive network of professional coaches and technical staff. More information about the organization and their local soccer events is posted on the Fremont Rush website at www.fremontrush.com.



There are two primary forms of energy: “potential” and “kinetic.” As a term for the ability to perform work, kinetic relates to action and movement while potential describes stored energy that, under a particular set of circumstances, can be transformed into kinetic. The sources and category of energy are usually defined by how they manifest: mechanical, chemical, thermal, electrical, magnetic, nuclear, elastic and gravitational.

Technology at all levels, whether rudimentary or sophisticated, relies on energy to make things happen. At the root of energy usefulness for humans lies interaction and input. In order to adapt natural, primal energy to our needs, wants and desires, it is often manipulated, directed and controlled by a cadre of scientists, technicians, builders and skilled artisans. Without that input, energy may be plentiful and available, but dissipate without significant civic and societal benefit.

The relationship between people harnessing energy and those who receive its benefits may be complex, but the end result is often highly visible and, without technical detail… easily understood. If you turn on a light in your house, the process of providing energy to do so may be the result of a complex series of actions, but the end result is observable light energy.

Just as the end result of energy utilization is, at times, the culmination of a series of events, human action and reaction can also follow the same pattern. When problems, issues and events become visible to the general public, they are usually the result of a set of actions over time. In local politics, for instance, decisions of city councilmembers are often preceded by input from staff and residents who have knowledge, interest and experience with the subject. Although timeframes can vary from weeks, months or years, when seen from an outside observer’s reference, results may appear to be instantaneous. If the process is understood, residents actually have opportunities to affect the outcome through comments to committees, commissions and boards, providing valuable insight and input prior to final actions.

In many cases, staff recommendations are a deciding factor since councilmembers often rely on their factfinding and expertise to narrow personal gaps in knowledge of a particular subject. Such recommendations are typically the result of education, fact-finding research, and, hard to ignore internal bias. Missing too often is widespread community input at the foundational level. Often resident committees, boards and commissions operate within the limited framework of their own experience, serving without much fanfare, recognition or assistance from fellow residents. Although they provide valuable information and advice, additional viewpoints, voices and discussion should and could be a welcome addition to their deliberations.

In the context of energy, those involved at elected, staff and appointed levels of government represent a kinetic force of society. However, there is also a vast reserve of potential energy within the population at large. When that energy is expended near of at the end of a deliberative process, many prior, small decisions have predetermined a probable action. If such energy is used near the beginning of a decision-making process to direct and shape the final outcome, it can be much more effective.

Cities and governmental organizations are similar in many respects. In order to function as efficiently as possible, tasks are delegated to small groups that bear responsibility for discovery and recommendations. It is here that any resident can be effective and convert their personal potential energy to kinetic action. Want to know how to do it? Look at your city’s General Plan or talk to a councilmember, city clerk or other official and ask about the organizational structure. Find out how early can you enter the process. As an interested observer, you can be heard and make a difference.

You have the potential… be kinetic!