Alameda County Fire Department Log
Submitted by ACFD
Monday, July 13
• Morning shift firefighters responded to the corner of Center Street and Heyer Avenue in Castro Valley after a big rig truck sheared off a fire hydrant which sprayed water all over the intersection. With assistance from CHP Dublin, firefighters shut off the hydrant.
Thursday, July 16
• At 2:19 a.m. an unexpected fire broke out at the Alameda County Fire Department Training Center at 890 Lola Street in San Leandro. Firefighters knocked down the blaze and there were no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Alameda County receives approval to resume outdoor dining
Submitted by City of Fremont
Alameda County’s attestation to become a variance county was approved by the State on July 15. This means that outdoor dining can now resume. While the overall data for Alameda County has not become more favorable, approval of the variance will allow activities that the health officer determines are lower risk for our community. Face coverings are required at all times and may only be removed during the physical act of eating or drinking.
For more information, visit www.acphd.org
Alameda County Public Health Department Statement
Submitted by Neetu Balram, Public Information Manager
July 11, 2020 Yesterday, July 10th, we learned the State issued updated guidance, dated July 9, prohibiting outdoor dining in non-variance counties, including Alameda County. While Alameda County’s Health Officer Order allowed for outdoor dining, under this stricter State guidance, all restaurants, wineries and bars in Alameda County may only be open for drive-through or pickup/delivery options. Updated state guidance for restaurants providing takeout, drive-through, and delivery is available at https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-takeout-restaurants.pdf.
Our decision to permit outdoor dining was based on the Health Officer’s assessment that outdoor activities, with appropriate protective measures, carry less risk than indoor activities. At the time, many other counties had applied for a variance alongside or shortly after opening outdoor dining without consequences, and Alameda County took that same approach. At that time the State did not differentiate dining guidance by indoor/outdoor as it now does.
With the new guidance dated yesterday and enforcement actions observed last week in Santa Clara County, the State is demonstrating a new approach. We are moving toward obtaining a variance from the State, and a letter of support for a variance is on the agenda for next Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting.
Alameda County hit pause on reopening on June 29th due to rising case rates and hospitalizations, and delayed plans to apply for variance. While the data have not become more favorable, applying for a variance is a procedural action that would provide us with the flexibility to ensure that we can continue to allow the activities that the Health Officer determines are lower risk for our community.
Approval of a variance is not an indication that we will pursue additional re-openings of other industries or sectors at this time. We plan to continue to make reopening decisions based on our COVID-19 indicators and data, science, and disease conditions in the County.
BART Police Log
Submitted by Les Mensinger and BART PD
Saturday, July 11
• At 9:12 a.m. a suspect identified by police as Emau Figota, 23, was arrested at Bay Fair station in San Leandro on suspicion of obstructing an officer and then booked into Santa Rita Jail.
• At 5:14 p.m. a woman identified by police as Shayla Baylor, 25, of Chicago was arrested at Hayward station on suspicion of making criminal threats. She was booked into Santa Rita Jail.
Sunday, July 12
• At 1:56 p.m. a man identified by police as Jonathan Garrido, 35, of Union City was arrested a Fruitvale Station in Oakland on two warrants totaling $125,000. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.
Bay Area Air District asks employers to expand remote work options
Submitted by Kristine Roselius
At a recent press conference, Bay Area Air District asked employers to sign the Cut the Commute Pledge to extend remote work options for employees and maintain air quality progress even after shelter-in-place orders are eased.
The clean air we have experienced since the Bay Area was ordered to shelter in place on March 16 is due, in part, to the accompanying dramatic reduction in vehicle traffic on our roads. Transportation is the #1 source of air pollution in the region and taking cars off the road significantly improves the quality of our air. Allowing employees to work from home can be a big part of the solution to keeping our skies blue.
“The pandemic has shown us that remote work is possible and productive for many while offering an alternative to traffic gridlock and mega commutes – leading to open roads, healthier air and happier employees,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer, Bay Area Air District. “We are asking Bay Area employers to sign our Cut the Commute pledge and offer remote work options to their employees moving forward. Now is the time to seize this opportunity to sustain good air quality while improving our quality of life in the Bay Area.”
Teleworking benefits include:
• Reduced traffic congestion
• Cost savings for employers and employees
• Improved employee recruitment and retention
• Improved work-life balance
• Increased ability to effectively continue business as a part of a disaster recovery or emergency plan
By signing the pledge at www.sparetheair.org, employers vow to extend remote work options by at least 25 percent for employees whose work requirements allow for that flexibility. Employers also commit to include a formalized remote work policy as a component of their employee benefits package to improve air quality and quality of life for all Bay Area residents.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is the regional agency responsible for protecting air quality in the nine-county Bay Area.
Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook
By Barbara Ortutay
AP Technology Writer
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP), Jul 02 – A Black Facebook employee, joined by two others who were denied jobs at the social network, has filed a complaint against the company, saying it discriminates against Black workers and applicants in hiring, evaluations, promotions and pay.
The charge was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by Oscar Veneszee, Jr., who has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017 and claims he has not been fairly evaluated or promoted despite his “excellent performance” at the company. Two others joined Veneszee's complaint, saying they were unlawfully denied jobs at the company despite being qualified.
Facebook said in a statement it takes discrimination allegations seriously and investigates every case.
“We believe it is essential to provide all employees with a respectful and safe working environment,“ said spokeswoman Pamela Austin.
Black workers account for 3.8% of all U.S. Facebook employees and 1.5% of all U.S. technical workers at the company. Those numbers have barely budged over the past several years, a common pattern across large Silicon Valley firms.
This isn't the first criticism a Black employee has leveled at Facebook. Mark Luckie, who left the company in 2018, sent a memo to his coworkers on his last day – also posted on Facebook – that chronicled what he called Facebook's “black people problem.“
“Facebook's disenfranchisement of black people on the platform mirrors the marginalization of its black employees,“Luckie wrote. “In my time at the company, I've heard far too many stories from black employees of a colleague or manager calling them `hostile' or `aggressive' for simply sharing their thoughts in a manner not dissimilar from their non-Black team members.“
According to Veneszee's complaint, filed on Thursday, “people of color and Black workers in particular remain underrepresented at all levels of Facebook and especially at the management and leadership levels. They do not feel respected or heard. And they do not believe that Black workers have an equal opportunity to advance their careers at Facebook.“
While there may be Black Lives Matter posters on Facebook's walls, the complaint says, “Black workers don't see that phrase reflecting how they are treated in Facebook's own workplace.“
2020-2021 Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
Submitted by Hayward Chamber of Commerce
Representatives of some of the city’s largest, and smallest, businesses make up a diverse group that will serve on the Hayward Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in the fiscal year that began July 1.
The officers will be Chair Jorge Espinosa of El Taquito Dos and On Time Signs, Vice Chair Alvin Jeong of Baxter International, Vice Chair Sandra C. Estrada of Case Industries, Treasurer Katelyn Radtke of Foothill Locksmiths, and Past-Chair Michael Cobb of the St. Rose Hospital Foundation.
Other board members will be Mangee Austria of Tri-CED and Sector 19/Craft Eatery, Diann Castleberry of AC Transit, Debbie Chaw of Cal State East Bay, Sunil Etha of MS International, Jacques Gautreaux of Gautreaux Consulting, Michael LeBlanc of PLaYT restaurant, Richard Mendoza of Samuel, Son & Co., Aaron Ortiz of La Familia Counseling Service, attorney Ron Peck, Linda Renteria of Casa Sanchez Foods, Pam Russo of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, Guiv Soofer of Plastikon Industries, Margaret Thomson of Kaiser Permanente, and Darrell Thornhill of Sugar Bowl Bakery.
Departing the board because of term limits is former board chair Michael Mahoney, whose extensive representation of chamber members has included service with St. Rose Hospital, Eden Health District, Hayward Rotary Club, and the Alameda County Fair board. He will continue to chair the chamber's Government Relations Council. Also leaving the board is Gennifer Tate of Berkeley Farms and Andrea Luna of Annabelle Candy Co.
Floating boat cinema coming to Pittsburgh, other cities
AP Wire Service
PITTSBURGH (AP), Jul 19 – Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, drive-in movies have been making a comeback – now a company says a floating cinema allowing people to watch from mini-boats will be making appearances in a number of places around the country – including Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Beyond Cinema, an Australian production company, is bringing Floating Boat Cinema to cities worldwide with a stop in Pittsburgh in September.
The location for the aquatic theater planned Sept. 16 to Sept. 20 hasn't been released, and the movies to be shown haven't been announced.
The cinema will be made up of 12 to 24 mini-boats, each holding up to eight people. Tickets will require that the entire boat be purchased to ensure that groups will be seated with friends and family only to allow for social distancing on and between boats.
Organizers say the movies will be a mix of golden oldies and new releases. Attendees will get free popcorn, and other movie snacks and drinks will be available for purchase before people embark on the boats.
Floating Boat Cinema will also be heading to St. Louis on Sept. 9 and later to Houston, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, New York, Austin, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Columbus, and Cincinnati, as well as three cities in Canada.
Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival 2020 – the first cowboy goes online
Submitted by the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum
We celebrated Charlie Chaplin online at the end of June with “guests” from Argentina, Brazil, Japan, London, Canada and all over the United States. An online presence gives a whole new dimension to our presentation. We hope to reopen the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in historic Niles soon, but until then we are giving people an opportunity to learn and be entertained from the comfort of their own homes.
Broncho Billy is where our organization started.
Back in 1995, David Kiehn walked around Niles and saw the “bones” on the town. His plan was to write a screenplay about the movie company that came to town in 1912 and set up shop creating more than 350 films in less than four years. That script instead expanded to become the book Broncho Billy and the Essanay Film Company. While the book and filmography was coming together, members of the Niles Main Street Association suggested holding a film festival showcasing movies made in Niles. Out of the 350+ films shot from 1912 – 1916, only 70 or so still exist. The rest were lost due to accidental vault fires, intentional destruction to retrieve the silver components, or premature decomposition due to improper storage.
Every summer, we celebrate the original leader of the western division of the Chicago-based Essanay Film Manufacturing Company, surrounding him with other silent films made from the East Coast to the West.
This year, our focus is on the Keystone Studio located in Los Angeles with films from 1912 to 1914 starring Roscoe Arbuckle, Mabel Normand, Charlie Chaplin and Ford Sterling. We are fortunate to be re-premiering a formerly lost Mabel Normand trifle from 1912. It is 9 minutes long and is on a “split reel” with an actuality (newsreel-type educational film). A birthday fundraiser on Facebook with 27 donors raised over $2,000 for the restoration of the film.
This event is FREE but we are happy to accept donations for our non-profit organization.
The film schedule and direct links to these and additional programs are available at www.nilesfilmmuseum.org
For questions, email email@example.com or leave a message at (510) 494-1411.!
Friday night, July 24
Rediscovering Roscoe: The Films of “Fatty” Arbuckle
ZOOM: 8:00 pm EDT / 5:00 pm PDT
A panel discussion about the new book by Steve Massa about Mr. Arbuckle, the Keystone Studio and more.
Steve Massa (host), David Glass and Robert Arkus
Joe Rinaudo and his Photoplayer
As the country started shutting down in March due to fears of spreading the coronavirus, Joe Rinaudo spent a Sunday evening on Facebook Live entertaining and answering questions with a concert showcasing his Style 20 American Fotoplayer, a piano-organ and sound effects machine that was used to narrate film in the silent era. Nina Gibson narrates the event, and conducts the question and answer segments.
At the Movies, 1898 – 1939 – Bruce Calvert
When we think of movie memorabilia, we think of movie posters or movie stills. But there many other types of memorabilia that can tell us about the audience’s experience at the movies. Theater owners mailed out schedules and postcards as early as 1911. Movie theaters printed programs that listed all of the films on their program, plus live music and dance. We'll look through vintage theater memorabilia to see what it was like to go to the movies back then.
Discussion and Trailer for upcoming documentary This is Francis X. Bushman (2020, NESFM films)
Check out the trailer for this upcoming feature-length documentary produced by Lon and Debra Davis and the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum.
From our NESFM Festival Archives – What are the Snakeville comedies? – Sam Gill
Saturday, July 25
Available on Vimeo for a small fee or Amazon Prime for free
When an eccentric small-town collector discovers the showreels of the man who brought moving pictures to the Heartland, he begins a journey to restore the legacy of America’s greatest barnstorming movie man and save these irreplaceable cinematic treasures from turning to dust. (90 min)
Re-premiere of Mabel’s Adventure and Useful Sheep (1912)
This newly-discovered split reel will be accompanied by Rodney Sauer! Intro by Nigel Dreiner (assistance from John Bengtson, Brent Walker and David Kiehn)
All About Mabel – Timothy Lefler
Mabel Normand, the Life and Career of a Hollywood Madcap is the first true biography of the silent screen star. Includes “3 Minutes with Mabel” and a Cinema Chat Podcast with Timothy Lefler
Writing Music for Silent Films – by Mont Alto Symphony Conductor Rodney Sauer
Broncho Billy films:
Why Broncho Billy Left Bear Country
Broncho Billy and the Western Girls
1913, Essanay Film Manufacturing Co. Western Division (Niles)
Broncho Billy’s Sentence
1915, Essanay Film Manufacturing Co. Western Division (Niles)
Sunday, July 26
ZOOM: Chase: Keystone Kops
(8:00 PM EDT / 5:00 PM PDT)
discussion with Chris Seguin (host), Brent Walker, Sam Gill, Michael J. Hayde, Paul Gierucki, Lea Stans and others
The Thief Catcher (1914, Keystone) and Fatty Joins the Force (1913, Keystone)
For the Love of Mrs. Emmons – Mary Mallory
This 10 minute morsel reveals the life and career of little known silent film character actress Mrs. Louise Emmons through the eyes of two devoted fans.
Beyond Keystone: The Film Work of Al St. John and Buster Keaton – Lea Stans
Lea Stans explores the career of slapstick comedian Al St. John.
The Movies Go West (1974, Geoffrey Bell)
This 15-minute documentary explores the movies made in Niles and is narrated by Hal Angus, one of the Essanay cowboys.
If you haven’t dropped by the Silent Comedy Watch Party hosted by Ben Model and Steve Massa, you should check them out! The show streams live on Sunday afternoons 3 p.m. EDT / 12 noon PDT). The Silent Comedy Watch Party is a weekly live-streamed silent film show with live piano accompaniment, co-hosted by film historian Steve Massa and silent film accompanist Ben Model.
Find the show here: https://www.silentfilmmusic.com/silent-comedy-watch-party/
Note to Bill: “to timely implement appropriate interventions” is incorrect but I kept it unchanged because it’s in an official statement.
California calls on laboratories to speed COVID-19 test processing
Submitted by California Department of Public Health
On July 4, Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Health and Human Services secretary, issued the following statement urging laboratories in California to prioritize testing turnaround for individuals who are most at risk of spreading the virus to others:
“Over the past six months, along with public and private partners, California has worked to increase access to diagnostic testing in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Together, we increased testing from 2,000 tests per day to 100,000 test per day in just a few months. We did this by: (1) building laboratory capacity within public and commercial laboratories; (2) establishing new specimen collection sites outside the healthcare delivery system; and (3) disrupting the testing supply chain to ensure adequate supplies of viral media and swabs.
“As more states begin to scale their testing capabilities, new constraints are materializing within the supply chain. Simultaneously laboratories are becoming overwhelmed with high numbers of specimens, slowing down processing timelines. These delays will present significant challenges in (1) our ability to care for people in the hospital where testing helps us make appropriate treatment decisions and (2) our ability to appropriately isolate those who are sick in order to box in the virus and cut transmission rates.
“Due to these new limitations, California is recommending that laboratories prioritize the processing of specimens of individuals who are COVID-19 symptomatic and those who are hospitalized or in long-term care facilities, including skilled nursing facilities (e.g., Veterans Homes) and assisted living facilities (e.g., Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly). Additionally, specimens of patients in institutional settings, including prisons and jails, must be prioritized in order to timely implement appropriate interventions to mitigate the spread of the virus within the facility.
“California will continue to work hard to reduce any delays in testing turnaround time and return to our broader scale testing efforts.”
Tri-City residents weigh in on proposed $264 million Capitol Corridor South Bay Train relocation
By Johnna M. Laird
Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) heard an earful from Tri-City residents last week on a 90-minute telephone town hall.
With 140 inbound callers, the public leaped to comment during this initial, scoping phase before planners roll up their sleeves to conduct the environment review of a proposed $264 million South Bay rerouting of the Capitol Corridor passenger rail service. CCJPA proposes relocating service from Union Pacific Railroads’ Niles Subdivision tracks, east of Interstate 880, to the western side of the freeway along the Coast Subdivision track between Oakland Coliseum and Newark, through Fremont’s Ardenwood neighborhood, saving 13 minutes for Oakland to San Jose travelers.
The proposed project would close Hayward and Fremont’s Centerville train stations to create a new, transbay station adjacent to Park and Ride off Highway 84 on the approach to the Dumbarton Bridge at Ardenwood. CCJPA has said of 18 train stations on Capitol Corridor’s 170-mile route, Hayward and Fremont stations rank lowest in ridership.
Originally set for 60 minutes and offered in three languages, telephone town hall attracted so many callers from Fremont’s Ardenwood neighborhood (as well as a few from Hayward and Union City), the meeting extended beyond an hour. CCJPA heard from 19 callers in 90 minutes although 40 callers were in the queue. As a result, a second telephone town hall will be scheduled prior to August 13 when the public comment period officially closes. Since late June, CCJPA has received more than 250 comments.
CCJPA was represented by six staff members and consultants: Senior Planner Shirley Qian, responding to public concerns with occasional assistance from Jim Allison, Manager of Planning; David Costenbader as moderator with assistance from Kim Pallari; Ben Tripousis, HNTB Project Manager for the consultant team, and Cathy LaFata, HDR Environmental Lead.
Caller Daniel Kim expressed concern that CCJPA’s responses during the town hall indicated a foregone conclusion for the project. CCJPA’s LaFata reassured that public comments will inform planners and provide guidance for investigation during the environmental impact report (EIR) study: “We are looking to you, the public, who have information to provide to help us.”
Overwhelmingly, Ardenwood residents expressed worries that rerouting trains will impact residential properties, increasing noise and vibration with up to 14 more train trips daily on Coast Subdivision track. Asking for acoustical studies to be included in the EIR, some callers said increased noise and vibrations shaking their homes near the track will make dwellings intolerable. They raised questions about home prices decreasing and who will provide compensation if they feel forced to move. An issue of increased pollution was raised. Qian said she did not expect home prices to decline and CCJPA has begun purchasing less polluting diesel engines. She expects more in the future.
“It’s an unfortunate situation. Other countries have more separation of freight railroads where people live. . .There are no easy answers, all are going to be studied,” Qian said. “Hopefully, we can come up with good measures to address issues in the EIR.” Later, she added: “We will be studying other alternatives. . .the project may not stay the same as it is [proposed] now.”
Callers repeatedly questioned rationale for spending taxpayer dollars in light of Capitol Corridor’s current ticket sales and recent mass transitions to working from home. One caller commented: “I seriously doubt who is benefitting from this project,” while another questioned how public investment would be recouped at the farebox, especially with BART’s extension into San Jose. In fiscal year 2019, farebox earnings met 60 percent of Capitol Corridor’s operating expenses with the remainder covered by public funding. All transit agencies require public funding to operate, according to Karen Bakar, a Capitol Corridor spokesperson, some agencies more than others.
Beyond Capitol Corridor riders, what benefits arise from coastal track relocating, Henry Wang wondered, noting that current train traffic through Ardenwood awakens him due to strong vibrations, making his “life hard to live.” Wang asked that the study reflect these impacts on residents.
CCJPA’s Allison pointed out relocation will serve several long terms goals: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, facilitating improved separation of passenger and freight rail operations, increasing job and housing options with new transbay connections for travelers between East Bay and Peninsula, and supporting the economic vitality of Northern California’s Megaregion.
While most speakers raised concerns about the impact on humans, a few voiced concerns for coyotes, foxes, and other animals, given the proposed station’s proximity to Coyote Hills Regional Park and Don Edwards San Francisco National Wildlife Refuge, the first urban wildlife refuge in the United States.
One speaker asked that the study include interconnectivity for nondrivers, including bikers using Alameda Creek Trail.
Although not mentioned on the call, Ardenwood residents have launched a petition opposing the project, garnering more than 1,000 signatures by early July.
Through August 13, CCJPA will accept public comments twenty-four hours a day at https://www.southbayconnect.com/
Six transit agencies comprise CCJPA: Placer County Transportation Planning Agency (PCTPA); Solano Transportation Authority (STA); Yolo County Transportation District (YCTD); Sacramento Regional Transit District (Sac RT); San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART); and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA).
Qian said the draft EIR is expected by late 2020 or early 2021 with another public comment period to follow. A final EIR is expected to be presented to CCJPA board at the end of 2021.
Everybody counts – Getting the census out in challenging times adds to community dollars
Submitted by J.D. Flaten
Photo courtesy of California Complete Count
Counting every individual during a normal United States Census year once a decade is an immense project, requiring years of planning and many teams to connect face-to-face with individuals and families.
Throw in a worldwide pandemic and “stay at home” orders and the 2020 census has suddenly become even more challenging, especially for critical efforts tabulating the vulnerable “hard to count” communities. The 2020 U.S. Census started on April 1, 2020 and is the first to rely heavily on online responses.
Ensuring everyone in this country is counted supports equality, racial and social justice, and representation, said David Tucker, regional program manager of the California Complete Count for the Bay Area. “We are not the Census Bureau; our purpose is to reach out to the hardest-to-count individuals living in Alameda county in partnership with the Alameda County Complete Count Office,” he added.
“Hard to count” communities are those populations traditionally under-counted, including residents who are difficult to reach because they are foreign-born, renters, living in homes without internet, living below the poverty line, and children younger than five years old. This challenge is amplified in California, where many residents fit those criteria. In Alameda County’s Tri-City Voice readership, Union City and Fremont have a few tracts that are in this “hard to count” category.
“Thanks to COVID-19, all the efforts of planning for the door-to-door canvassing have been undone,” said Tucker. “We’ve turned to getting our messages out online, through newsprint, radio and other methods to encourage people to participate, but this is not without its challenges. We’ve had to be creative.”
In the 2010 census count, 800,000 African Americans nationwide were not counted. This year, on June 19, a Juneteenth commemoration online featured Black activists and Census organizers from across California, who emphasized how a complete count can spur investment in Black communities.
But, as Tucker noted, “not everyone has broadband access. Many in these hard-to-count communities have limited internet — their access is often through school or work, which have been disrupted due to the pandemic,” he said. In addition, Census forms can only be mailed to actual street addresses, not P.O. boxes.
The final Census numbers touch every aspect of the community – funding for schools, health care, roads, infrastructure and representation, to name a few.
“Every individual counted means $1,000 a year over the next ten years,” Tucker said. “This really makes a difference in bringing financial resources to our communities, helping address some of the health care and education disparities. We want to remind people that participating in the census is safe, secure and takes less than ten minutes. Everyone in the household who was there as of April 1 should be counted, this means whatever kind of household, perhaps students in an unauthorized dwelling unit, even on a couch, or the backyard in a tent.”
In 2018, California put serious funding — $187 million — behind the goal of getting everyone in the state counted. The state is organized into ten regions that work with a mosaic of 120 partners, community-based organizations that are working to solicit participation from vulnerable populations.
“Having trusted partners work in these communities is key,” Tucker said. Alameda County received funds to shape a plan unique to the region that encourages, recruits, and motivates people to participate in the census. Boys & Girls Clubs, Rotary, Kiwanis, student organizations, Cal State East Bay, Chabot, city councils and other elected officials, food distribution groups and others have joined in the effort for outreach and education.
The census count period has been extended to October 31, but Tucker said people are encouraged to participate now while memories of April 1 are still fresh, the day that everyone who was living in the household should be counted.
Participating in the census via online submission is fast and easy. You can fill out your information at https://my2020census.gov/.
Climate Change – what can you do?
Whenever people have come forward to solve a problem together, they have been able to achieve great things and spark change. This is yet another time when people are facing a demanding issue that will determine the future: climate change. Here in California, we have already experienced the seriousness of this crisis in the form of raging wildfires, and without drastic action to minimize our impact on the planet, the future will not look pretty. So, what is the BEST way an individual can combat climate change?
This question is not easy to answer, as there are many different approaches. Climate action can be organized into two main categories – personal action and community action. Personal actions are changes that an individual can make to reduce their own carbon footprint. This can include choosing to recycle, walking instead of driving, etc. Community actions are large movements, such as climate strikes, that demand local governments take impactful climate action.
Personal and community actions are both important, but scientific research suggests that there is only one decade left to stop the destructive effects of climate change. Society must undergo rapid, large scale changes; community action is the only way to achieve change of this magnitude. Taking measures as a community demands those in power to create greener guidelines for people and businesses. In turn, this makes it easier for all people to live a greener life and implements advancements to minimize the carbon footprint of entire cities.
Johnny Cruzen is a local Environmental Scientist and substitute teacher for Fremont Unified School District who strongly believes in community action. In an interview, Mr. Cruzen explained, “Trying to stop climate change by personal action is like trying to stop a heart attack with a proper diet – it’s too late for that. We face system-wide social problems dealing with anthropogenic climate change, and our social leadership will define us.”
Back to the original question about the best way to tackle climate change – community action is the way to go! Here are some ways to take community action from the comfort of your home, during these unprecedented times:
1. Sign petitions for climate action
2. Vote for leaders who will take climate action (for more information on California’s leaders, go to www.govtrack.us/congress/members/CA )
3. Participate in community discussions (e.g. school district board meetings, city council meetings)
4. Make climate change a dinner-table topic
5. Contact local leaders about what climate action you want to see
6. Join a local climate change organization (e.g. Coalition For Clean Air, The Climate Reality Project- Bay Area chapter, FIERCE- student led organization in Fremont CA)
7. Initiate small changes at work, school or home and gain support from others in those places
8. Attend virtual climate strikes
9. Donate to environmental conservation and climate change organizations (if able)
10. Create a virtual event for climate action, if there are not any in your city
Ultimately, make sure to step up and take action. Some of the ideas listed above take only a few minutes but make a massive difference. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, and now more than ever for the future of our planet, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Cocktails and Conservation
Submitted by Amy Gotliffe
A new, virtual happy hour series from Oakland Zoo is featuring some of the world’s most incredible conservationists to support the zoo’s mission of partnering with inspiring organizations around the world. These heroes are working on the ground every day to save endangered species and their habitats. The event is a live, virtual interview held via Facebook Live that combines storytelling, images and videos, and audience opportunities to engage and participate. Guests can learn, ask questions, and be a part of the solution to preserve our planet’s rich and diverse wildlife.
As an added bonus, each episode will feature a custom cocktail, so guests can toast to a safe world for wildlife. Signature cocktails are made by local establishments, giving them some needed airtime – and offering some fun and levity to the work that must be done.
The organizations that are featured are all ones that Oakland Zoo considers family, and are part of our conservation partnerships.
During their closure from March 17 to July 29, the Zoo has been unable to raise the conservation funds at the door with Quarters for Conservation. The Zoo’s hope is that the C+C events inspire support though awareness, action and even donations.
Watch a recorded happy hour featuring Kaminando Jaguar Project on Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j7nC35EzM0&feature=youtu.be
Learn more about the program on Oakland Zoo’s Website (and see the cocktail recipes): https://www.oaklandzoo.org/programs-and-events/cocktails-conservation
Join Via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OakZoo/.
Commencement 2020: A Letter to Our Future Leaders
The Pandemic has made in-person toasts a tedious task, so we raise a symbolic glass in your honor. Finally, it’s your Commencement – congratulations!
Although you’ve graduated, you remain enrolled in the University of Life which gives admission to all people, irrespective of their grade, with no discrimination of age, color, creed. Sometimes you get a gentle guru; at others, a tyrannical taskmaster. Keep an open mind, so you learn from your experiences. Keep an open heart, so you take others under your wing. And never forget those who have extended a hand in your time of need.
Recognize injustices and others’ struggles. Be an advocate. Raise your voice for voiceless.
Stand up for yourself. Stand up for your sisters and brothers. Stand up to injustice. Don’t undersell yourself, but don’t be a sellout either. It’s better to rise to the top with others, than alone. Lift each other up. Remember you’re stronger as a tribe.
I have great hope for the current generation – it is more open, more accepting, and more tolerant. We are headed in the right direction. Your asset is your idealism – guard it against a cold and cynical world. Idealism is what leads you to fight for changes – big or small. Recent events, such as Black Lives Matter, have shown us that the world still needs radical change. You are the changemakers. Do more than sharing news on social media. Sign petitions, protest peacefully, talk to your City Council Members, get involved in politics – find ways in which you can make a difference.
We must look beyond the comfort of our own communities to speak up for others facing dire situations. There is no greater strength than a oneness with the larger community of the world: a recognition, that we – despite our color, race, gender identity, nationalities – are all human. Our happiness and freedom comes from the happiness and freedom of others.
Some of you will be earning sooner than others. You’ve earned your right to spend! Money used for yourself gives you pleasure. Money used to buy someone else a gift doubles in value. Money invested wisely in the stock market may triple in value. But money given to someone in need or money invested in humanity, now that is priceless! Money has great buying power. But know also that what cash cannot buy is what is truly valuable. Love, peace, happiness, friendships, and health – invest in these.
You have one life – live it to your fullest! You have one life – make sure what you do counts. Some of you will undoubtedly create huge waves, but others will affect the world with gentle ripples. You get no certificates from the University of Life, except of the Karmic kind, and the satisfaction that you have served.
Meera Rao Prahlad
Tips for Landing a Job During Covid
By Anne Chan, PhD, MFT
When the pandemic hit, it seemed like we were hit by tsunami after tsunami of bad news. On the job front, some big organizations announced layoffs or job freezes. Unemployment rates soared. It might appear that no one is getting hired these days. However, in the past few weeks, I have personally met people who were job searching and landed jobs right in the middle of the shutdown. Their success proves that it is possible to get hired during a pandemic. In this article, I will highlight the things that these people did to land their jobs. My hope is that their stories will bring you hope and success in your job search.
Figure out the holes in your resume and take action to fill them
You might notice that you are missing a few skills or experiences that are commonly required in the jobs that catch your eye. For instance, Excel might be a requirement for most of the jobs you are applying to, but you have never used Excel. You can address this by taking an Excel course or studying on your own. You could even volunteer to help with a project that uses Excel so you can get real-life experience. There is stiff competition for each job these days. Employers are inundated with candidates who meet all their job qualifications. If you want to be a viable candidate, be sure that you meet most of the qualifications in the job posting.
Create an outstanding LinkedIn profile
It is common practice for employers to look at your LinkedIn profile. It pays off to make the effort to create a polished and well-written LinkedIn profile. Be sure that your resume matches your profile, particularly your job titles and employment dates. Discrepancies can be a turn-off for employers. Make it easy for recruiters and employers to contact you – make sure your contact information is clearly visible in your profile. Likewise, include your LinkedIn address on your resume.
Use LinkedIn to job search and more
Be an active user of LinkedIn – don’t just create your profile and set it aside. LinkedIn is much more than a web-based business card. Use it to look for jobs and network. (I promise I am not being paid by LinkedIn to advertise its services.)
Look widely for jobs
It is useful to consult lists of companies that are currently hiring. However, be sure to use a variety of job listing websites when searching. Also, do not discount a company even though it has announced it has ceased hiring. I have seen recent job postings at large companies that have made public announcements that they are on a freeze. So, if you are interested in a particular organization, keep tabs on their job openings. Note that job openings are being posted every day. I have been browsing various job search sites these past months. To my surprise and delight, I have found interesting, well-paying jobs advertised every single day.
Use your network
Networking is more important than ever during this pandemic. You will drastically increase your chances of being hired if someone can vouch for you. Employee referrals are like gold. Use every single one of your connections and let them know you are on the hunt for a job. You never know who has a job lead and who can help get you that job. So, spend time figuring out how you can network and do informational interviews. During this pandemic, networking is just as critical as filling out job applications.
Do not delay in applying
Look for job postings that are recently posted and apply right away. Do not wait to hit the submit button. One job hunter learned this the hard way when she took more than a week to apply for a job. Even though it was still posted on the company website, she received an email stating that her application would not be reviewed because the company was swamped with applications.
Prepare to go virtual
Most interviews these days are virtual. For tips on how to get ready for a virtual interview, read my recent article, “How to Ace a Virtual Interview” (https://tricityvoice.com/5-19-20-articles/). If you are invited for an in-person interview, be prepared to wear a mask. I know that feels strange, but sadly, nothing in this pandemic is normal these days.
I fully realize that this is the worst time in the world to be looking for a job. My heart goes out to all of you who are scrambling to find a new job. Amidst all the terrible news that you probably receive daily, I wanted to share that people are being invited for interviews. Moreover, our economy added 4.8 million jobs in June, according to the most recent jobs report. So, please do not get discouraged and give up. It is entirely possible to get a job during this pandemic.
Anne Chan is a career counselor and licensed psychotherapist in Fremont. She specializes in helping people find happiness in their careers and lives. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
© Anne Chan, 2020
By Ned MacKay
Last time, the column was about regional parks with shady trails for hot summer days. This time the highlight is parks with panoramic views, including some of the same parks.
The caveat here is that often, though not always, you have to climb a hill to reach the vantage point. And in hot weather, any outdoor exercise is more pleasant in the morning, before the heat of the day. Whenever and wherever you go, take plenty of water and wear sun-protective clothing. Download park maps at www.ebparks.org for detailed directions.
With all that in mind, here are some suggestions for parks with a view:
Point Pinole Regional Shoreline: Good for shady trails, Point Pinole also has beautiful views of San Pablo Bay and Marin along the aptly named Bay View Trail. When you reach the pier, there’s a great vista toward Mt. Diablo in the eastern direction. A bonus: Point Pinole is essentially flat, ideal for a less strenuous experience. There’s a staging area at the end of Atlas Road in Richmond.
Tilden Regional Park: There are lots of scenic viewpoints at Tilden, next door to Berkeley. From the parking lot at Inspiration Point on Wildcat Canyon Road, it’s a 2-mile walk on paved Nimitz Way out to Wildcat Peak. At the summit lookout, there’s a 360-degree view of the Bay Area from the Golden Gate to Mt. Diablo and beyond. For a similar perspective, climb the Seaview Trail on the south side of Wildcat Canyon Road to a picnic table, bench, and rock circle. On a clear day you can see the Farallon Islands.
Briones Regional Park: Located in central Contra Costa County, Briones has more than 6,000 acres of open space with miles of trails. One trailhead is at the end of Briones Road off Alhambra Valley Road near Martinez. From there it’s a 4-mile round trip climb to the heights of the park. The highest point is Briones Peak at 1,483 feet. But the view is better from a bench at the Table Top Trail, about 100 yards farther along on the Briones Crest Trail. From there you can see the Delta, Mt. Diablo, Diablo Valley, and even the Sierra Nevada when it’s clear.
George Miller Trail: This is a 2-mile section of Carquinez Scenic Drive between Martinez and Port Costa, on which no motorized vehicles are allowed. I mentioned it last time as a shady walk, and it’s also great for beautiful views of Benicia and Carquinez Strait with its maritime traffic. Moreover, it’s essentially flat. There’s a parking lot on the Port Costa side; park along the road on the Martinez side. Please don’t block fire gates.
Diablo Foothills Regional Park: At the end of Castle Rock Road in Walnut Creek. The Stage Road Trail is mostly flat, with great views of Castle Rock. For another perspective, climb the Buckeye Ravine Trail from the Stage Road Trail. At the top, turn right onto an informal path that ascends a steep hill. At the end there’s a bench with a view of the rocks and Pine Canyon. You’ll see that the Castle Rocks are actually narrower rock fins.
Morgan Territory Regional Preserve: Located on Morgan Territory Road east of Mt. Diablo, the park has miles of hiking and riding trails with beautiful views of the mountain and Central Valley. Check out the Prairie Falcon Trail if it has reopened.
Las Trampas Regional Wilderness: The main trailhead at Las Trampas is at the north end of Bollinger Canyon Road off Crow Canyon Road in San Ramon. The park is essentially a canyon between two steep ridges. There are spectacular views in all directions, but you have to work to reach them. Climb to Rocky Ridge on the west or Las Trampas Ridge on the east.
Garin and Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Parks: The main entrance is at the end of Garin Avenue off Mission Boulevard in Hayward. Try the High Ridge Loop Trail for great views of Hayward and the south bay.
Sunol Regional Wilderness: At the end of Geary Road off Calaveras Road about 5 miles south of I-680 and the town of Sunol. Walk out the Camp Ohlone Road, then return on Canyon View Trail for great wildflowers in season, plus views of the valley and Calaveras Reservoir.
Mission Peak Regional Preserve: Mission Peak in Fremont is an enormously popular hike, understandably so. The view from the summit is breathtaking and so is the climb to get there. Because parking is limited and strictly enforced at the Stanford Avenue trailhead, you’re better off starting from the parking lot at nearby Ohlone College. Take plenty of water, pack out your trash.
Ohlone Wilderness Trail: This 30-mile trail connects Mission Peak to Del Valle Regional Park south of Livermore. It traverses some of the most remote and beautiful open space in the East Bay. A permit is required because part of the trail is on San Francisco Water Department land. For a two-mile uphill climb to a great view, start at Del Valle’s Lichen Bark picnic area and head up the trail to Rocky Ridge. There are beautiful wildflowers in the spring.
These are just a few of the possible hikes to views in the regional parks. There are many others; browse the park district website – www.ebparks.org – for more information.
Magic and fantasy are enticing pastimes for many and, for a few lucky ones, even more. Well-known magicians and writers have parlayed their fanciful imagination into a profitable, wonderous and entertaining segment of their lives. Illusions, sleight of hand, oratory or literary supposition are often at the root of a successful performance or product. Generally speaking, consumers are aware of this and welcome the respite from some of the harsh realities of everyday life. Such performances and writings have been a primary element of many civilizations for centuries and proven useful to elicit pleasure, even during dire circumstances of conflict and privation.
A notable use of fantasy in children’s literature is the venerable Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (1871) by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, best known as Lewis Carroll. Grounded in science and recognized as an accomplished mathematician and photographer, he was also adept at entertaining his siblings with fantastical stories. In Carroll’s story, as Alice descended down a rabbit hole, so did reality. He filled wonderland with fantasy and contradictions, a place of extremes and comical characters.
In the sequel, Carroll warns of a ferocious, fictional beast… the Jabberwock! Filled with nonsensical verbiage, it makes the point that narration can be twisted and tangled to such a degree that, although the words appear to be linked and follow a discernible rhythm, there is no real meaning behind them. Jaberwocky opens with a combination of real and imagined words that give cadence, but little credence.
‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
“Beware the Jabberwock, my son
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”
This is world of Wonderland! Even a cursory look at the opening of the poem is enough to make readers scratch their heads and wonder what is going on. A glimpse of one or two recognizable words provides optimism that more will follow in a semblance of a complete thought, but that hope is quickly extinguished by a barrage of literary nonsense.
Carroll’s wonderland would fit in with the current political situation. Conflicting messages and a sense of helplessness has eroded confidence in coherent leadership. Announcements from local, regional, state and national representatives are, at times, a cacophony of words with little coherence. Businesses and health-related organizations have been buffeted by a wind that can swiftly blow in any direction. Residents can find an advocate to legitimize almost any position they choose. Local authorities try to follow county directives, but find a state order countermanding those efforts. At the top of the collective bureaucratic heap, the federal government appears to be clueless and offers disorganized advice and direction. Who to believe, who to follow?
In face of this pandemic, civil unrest and storm of conflict, it would be helpful for our local governments to speak with a single voice. Instead each city issues separate proclamations. A joint statement and action that covers the southeastern part of the Bay Area could offer timely, coherent and unified information. If a mayor’s consortium exists, it is time for it to be heard. If not, its time to consider its formation.
The communities of the Tri-City Voice coverage area have many differences in character and focus than nearby cities. We can interact with our neighbors and share our strengths, but to make sense of the Jabberwocky of the current wonderland of tribulations, a concerted effort to unify can be a critical element of preservation.
Fremont Cultural Arts Council’s plan of action
Submitted by Arathi Satish
The Fremont Cultural Arts Council, celebrating its fiftieth year, continues its mission to further and support the practice and enjoyment of the fine arts in the Fremont community. In the recently held annual membership meeting, conducted virtually, board members for the fiscal year 2020-2021 were sworn in and future plans were announced. A get-together will be scheduled by FCAC once public gatherings can be safely held.
The current FCAC board consists of Julie Gilson as President, Connie Chew as Vice President, Anne MacLeod as Secretary, Paul Davis as Treasurer. Other members of the board include Arathi Satish, Knuti VanHoven, Anu Suresh, Al Minard, Margaret Thornberry and Grace Karr. Student interns are Shreyas Kallingal, Neha Bagepalli, Sahas Ramesh, Hansini Ramachandran, Shreya Nandyala, Yamuna Rao, Aadhav Rajesh, Prabhav Pragash, Veda Jadaprolu, Siri Pedapenki, Sireesh Pedapenki and Srinidhi Sampath.
Julie Gilson said, “We’ve cancelled all our planned events since March for the foreseeable future although we are exploring which of those may be amenable to an on-line format.” She also pointed out that the use of the FCAC facility by local organizations has been suspended due to the pandemic. The board continues to meet and come up with new and innovative ways to continue programs and events.
The FCAC board is dedicated to continuing its support of the arts in the coming fiscal year. Initiatives the board has proposed for 2020-2021 include publishing a current list of links to virtual and free theater and music performances and gallery visits, highlighting local artists on their website, and continuing to feature local artists and their virtual events on their Facebook page.
The board plans to raise funds specifically to benefit Fremont artists, organizations and art workers suffering from adverse economic effects due to the pandemic. While there are organizations providing benefits throughout the Bay Area, they want to increase the funds which specifically benefit the Fremont art community.
Donations to FCAC will support initiatives to ensure the arts will not be lost during this time of crisis. An investment in this initiative helps assure that the arts in Fremont will be robust once pandemic restrictions cease. As a result of the CARES Act, for this year, donations up to $300 are fully deductible on federal tax returns.
Julie Gilson concluded saying, “While some of our ‘regular’ programming is on hold, the arts can still use your support! We will continue to advocate for the arts in our community, ongoing discourse to bring murals to the construction fences throughout Fremont, and arts-related projects that support our health-care workers and first responders who continue to have some of the most difficult jobs ever.”
FCAC is also supporting Washington High School students in their “Cards for our Heroes” project. As a part of the project, students are collecting thank you cards and combining them with gift cards to deliver to the frontline workers in hospitals who have been working tirelessly to help save the lives of millions of people.
To participate in Cards for Our Heroes, mail your design/card to:
Fremont Cultural Arts Council
P.O. Box 1314
Fremont, CA 94538
For more about the activities of FCAC or to register as a member, visit fremontculturalartscouncil.org.
Register for Community Meetings
Submitted by City of Fremont
Fremont residents are invited to participate in a series of community engagement activities that will take place this summer to assist the city in identifying community priorities and recommended next steps on the topic of policing and race in Fremont. The initiative, Engage Fremont, will be led by City Manager Mark Danaj and will continue to carry out the city’s commitment to fostering an open dialogue with residents.
The first element of the community outreach process is a survey requesting feedback from residents and business owners. The responses will also help determine discussion topics at the subsequent virtual outreach dialogues. The survey is open through August 6 and can be accessed at www.Fremont.gov/OpenCityHall.
The second phase is a series of facilitated virtual dialogues related to policing and racism that will take place between July and August. To allow for facilitated discussions, space is limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Following the small group discussions, a large town hall is scheduled for August 11 and will be open to all.
More information can be found at www.FremontPolice.gov/Engage, including how to sign up for the meeting, results of the survey, the status of the engagement activities, and highlights from each meeting when available.
Virtual Community Meetings
Wednesday, Jul 22: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Thursday, Jul 23: 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Monday, Aug 3: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug 4: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Thursday, Aug 6
Fremont Fire Department Log
Submitted by Fremont Fire Department
Sunday, July 12
• At 10:19 p.m. firefighters quickly contained a vegetation fire burning on both sides of Mowry Avenue just west of Mission Boulevard and the train overcrossing in Fremont. Ultimately one quarter of an acre burned. There were no injuries and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
Fremont Police Log
Submitted by Geneva Bosques, Fremont PD
Thursday, July 16
• In a statement, Fremont Police Department officials announced two arrests were made in a series of convenience store burglaries over the past several weeks. The suspects had been targeting businesses for lottery tickets and cigarettes. On July 5 the suspects stole lottery tickets valued at about $3,500 and cigarettes valued at several thousand dollars at an Arco station on the 35000 block of Fremont Blvd. Video surveillance helped detectives develop leads on the suspect’s identities. On July 8 officers detained several people at an unoccupied residence on Third Street in the Niles District after a report of a disturbance. Eventually, two suspects, identified by police as Jacy Meier, 40, and Jazzmin Barboza, 32, both transients from Fremont, were taken into custody. Evidence at the scene linked the pair to the burglaries. They were booked at Fremont Jail and released pending a September court date.
Seeking Public Input on Parks and Recreation Master Plan
Submitted by Cheryl Golden
Fremont is creating a comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan to provide guidance on how to meet the demands for future recreational, programming, environmental, and maintenance needs. The plan will also establish priorities for facility improvements, future park development, and land acquisitions. Residents are invited to join in the process, which will be led by the Community Services Department.
Three virtual public input meetings will be conducted on Tuesday, July 28; Saturday, August 8; and Wednesday, August 12, to gather feedback from residents. Input from the public will be obtained through live polling, Q&A, and public comments.
“Diverse and vibrant parks, trails, special events, and recreation offerings are essential parts of our thriving community to provide healthier lifestyles, greater equity of access, and to stimulate economic development,” said Mayor Lily Mei. “Fremont has become an increasingly multicultural and innovative community in the last 25 years and this master plan will better position our city to be the community of choice for individuals and businesses in the years to come.”
The city has hired PROS Consulting, a leader in parks and recreation consulting nationwide, and their Principal, Neelay Bhatt, will be leading this project along with a team from San Francisco-based WRT and ETC Institute from Kansas City.
The consulting team has also developed an ADA-accessible, multilingual crowdsourcing website to guide this project at www.InventFremontParks.com. “The site will serve as the one-stop shop to provide all plan updates, list meeting dates, host online surveys and provide the community opportunities to continue sharing their feedback throughout the planning process. Additionally, those who are unable to attend the virtual public meetings can also view the recordings of the meetings and share their feedback later,” said Bhatt.
Meetings with key city leaders and user groups have already taken place with the focus now on the virtual public meetings, which will be followed by a statistically valid survey mailed to a random sample of residents. Registration for the virtual public meetings is available at www.InventFremontParks.com.
Virtual Community Meetings
Tuesday, Jul 28: 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug 8: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Wednesday, Aug 12: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Fremont City Council
July 14, 2020
• Authorize submission of a grant application for CA Local Housing Trust Fund Program.
• Set annual tax rate for General Obligation Bonds debt service for FY 2020/21.
• Approve certification and mutual indemnification with County of Alameda regarding tax assessment and collection on FY 2020/21 secured property tax bill.
• Award contract to CalState Construction, Inc. in the amount of $2,680,658 for new storage warehouse building at Maintenance Center.
• Approve 5-year permanent local housing allocation plan.
• Authorize purchase order for cardiac monitor/defibrillators from Stryker in the amount of $817,593.
• Award contract to State Roofing Systems, Inc. in the amount of $1,280,500 for roof replacement at Family Resource Center.
• Authorize purchase agreement with NPPGov for Fire Apparatus.
• Authorize an agreement with All City Management Services, Inc. for school crossing guard service.
• Approve request for continued participation in the Alameda County HOME Investment Partnership Act Program.
• Public Hearing to adopt a resolution of diagram and assessments for District 88 FY 2020-21.
• Call to defund police department.
• Suggestions to improve credibility of city council.
• Support for police department.
• Support for homeless and navigation center, additional efforts necessary.
• Referral by Mayor Mei to appoint Matthew Pawluk to Economic Development Advisory Commission.
• Reusable bags allowed in grocery stores with self-packing.
Mayor Lily Mei Aye
Vice Mayor Jenny Kassan (District 3) Aye
Vinnie Bacon Aye
Raj Salwan Aye
Teresa Keng (District 1) Aye
Rick Jones (District 2) Aye
Yang Shao (District 4) Aye
Protecting homeless Californians from COVID-19
Submitted by Governor's Press Office
Building on the success of Project Roomkey, Governor Gavin Newsom on July 16 announced the availability of $600 million in funding for Homekey, the next phase in the state’s response protecting Californians experiencing homelessness who are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19.
Administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), funding will be made available to counties, cities, and other government entities to purchase and rehabilitate housing including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings, and other types of innovative housing, and convert them into permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
“Homekey is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to massively expand housing for the homeless in California with federal stimulus funds,” said Governor Newsom. “This unique opportunity requires us to move quickly, in close collaboration with our city and county partners, to protect the most vulnerable people in our state.”
HCD is expected to begin accepting applications on July 22 and the first tier of projects will be fast tracked for awards during the first 30 days. Any awards cities and counties receive must be spent by December 30.
To further support speedy implementation of Homekey, Newsom recently signed new legislation providing a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) exemption and automatic zoning compliance for converted hotels, motels, and other housing types that utilize Homekey funding.
No pomp, all circumstance: the plight of the class of 2020
By Hugo Vera
Following Governor Newsom’s announcement on July 13 that the state was going to reinstate the closure of many non-essential places of business following a second surge in COVID-19 cases, Californian students continue to remain in a state of unease and indecision.
While school districts in states such as Texas and Florida are making efforts to reopen public schools and universities as quickly as possible, school districts in Santa Clara and Alameda County have already announced plans to proceed with the 2020-21 school year via remote participation. As the very nature of public education is changing, so are the plans of recent graduates heading into an unpromising collegiate life.
According to polls conducted by the educational nonprofit organization Junior Achievement in joint effort with the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF), about 49% of all high school seniors interviewed have claimed the ongoing pandemic has altered their post-graduation plans. More than 35% of seniors who have been accepted into universities have said they are uncertain or less excited about attending college.
“Having a son who’s a graduating high school senior myself, I’m very aware of the intense debate over the value of a college education in general, and my heart goes out especially to the class of 2020. They have lost so much, and it continues,” says Junior Achievement NorCal President Cristene Burr.
Among the growing grievances graduating high school seniors in California have is that many of them do not see the point in paying California State University (CSU) or UC-level tuition costs for an online education they could get for less money via community college or trade school.
“When it comes to the value of an online education, there is no debate. It’s not the same product and it’s not worth the price of attending a college or university in person,” adds Burr. Other data collected by Junior Achievement NorCal and JMIEF has pinpointed concerns over academic quality, dorm life, food insecurity and changes affecting athletic/school-sponsored events as the leading reasons students will postpone college until the lockdowns are lifted.
In response to the growing number of high school graduates choosing to defer their education or enroll at a community college instead, local universities such as San Jose State have gone as far as to release online videos in which faculty argue why a four-year university education is still a worthwhile and viable option in 2020.
“Some schools have done better than others at adjusting and creating a product that’s more than just an online textbook but the bottom line is that not all online lectures and discussions are created equal,” states Burr. “If a teacher lacks the tech-savvy to move kids into Zoom rooms or multiple Google Hangouts, the opportunity to engage with fellow students is absent completely. Even if it’s there, it doesn’t replace that critical first year college experience.”
While Burr states that advisors from neither Junior Achievement NorCal nor PMIEF are allowed to take any one side of the debate around deferral, the organizations still urge the students they serve to consider everything from attending online community colleges, continuing to work through the pandemic and to explore high-demand careers such as first responder positions.
Of the 1,000 students originally interviewed, 36% intend to go straight to work as a means of supporting their families for the time being while also saving up for when universities reopen.
Despite the privileges of attending a university in-person being suspended indefinitely, students continue to weigh their options and seek academic advice to choose the educational or career path that will serve them the best for the foreseeable future.
Relocation assistance approved for tenants facing no-fault evictions, temporary displacements
Submitted by City of Hayward
On July 14, Hayward City Council voted to revise the city’s residential rent-stabilization ordinance. Revisions require payment of relocation assistance to tenants in instances of no-fault evictions and temporary displacements due to unit repairs or upgrades.
The revisions are part of a set of adjustments and clarifications to the city’s 2019 Residential Rent Stabilization and Tenant Protection Ordinance brought before the council by the city’s Housing Division for preliminary approval on July 14.
If the revisions are given final council approval on July 21, tenants being evicted out of no fault of their own for reasons allowable under the rent-stabilization ordinance will be entitled to the equivalent of one-month’s rent to assist with relocation to a new home.
In cases of temporary displacement to allow for unit repairs related to code compliance or major remodels, or due to substantial damage not of a natural cause, such as an earthquake, tenants will be entitled to rent differential payments and/or per-diem payments to cover hotel, pet boarding and other related expenses. Rent differential payments are intended to bridge the difference between rent paid for the home being temporarily vacated and the one being temporarily occupied to allow for the unit repairs or upgrades.
For more information on the city’s Residential Rent Stabilization and Tenant Protection Ordinance, contact the Hayward Housing Division at (510) 583-4454 for assistance in English and (510) 909-8971 in Spanish or go online at hayward-ca.gov/your-government/departments/housing-division.
Working from home? Ideas for your home office
By Anna Jacoby
The global pandemic has upended our lives in one way or another. For those among us who have suffered terrible outcomes such as illness, death, and job loss, I am sorry and offer my sincere best wishes for a happier future. This column is not meant in any way to downplay the seriousness of this situation. This column is about interior design, and since we are spending more time at home, perhaps interior design becomes more meaningful. We know that environment plays a big part in people’s mental outlook and feelings of comfort and security.
One area that I have received many questions about recently is the home office. My business is 20 years old, and it’s always been a home-based business. At the very beginning of Anna Jacoby Interiors, I worked at the dining room table and had a computer armoire in the living room. Fast forward five years, when in 2005 we undertook a large remodeling project that resulted in a dedicated home office for me (and an expanded kitchen also, but that’s another story!): Ahhh, to have my own space, where I can go to work, yet still be part of the family; where I can catch up on emails in my gym clothes, and work at 5 a.m. or 11 p.m. if I want to. To me it has been a luxury to work from home.
For others, it has been a challenge. Finding space in the house to accommodate the computer, a roomy work space and a nice backdrop for Zoom meetings can be tough. So, in this column, I would like to share some ideas with you.
If your dining room has become your office:
• Create space for your things by repurposing your china cabinet. Formal dinner parties are on hold now anyway, so why not box up the “good dishes,” store them elsewhere, and use the china cabinet for office supplies? This keeps office clutter from piling up on the floor around you and keeps everything tidy and within easy reach.
• For privacy, hang a curtain in the doorway, or use a folding screen. This signals to others that you are working and unavailable.
• For Zoom meetings, be mindful of what’s behind you; artwork will be better than a mirror or a window.
• Use an office chair, not a dining room chair. This applies wherever you might be working — ergonomics is important for your physical health, so invest in a good chair.
• Bring in extra lighting. A dining room chandelier might not be enough, so consider bringing in a desk lamp or other task lighting to reduce eye strain.
If you are lucky enough to have a dedicated room:
• Arrange your desk so you can look out the window. If this is not possible, hang some beautiful artwork to give you something to look at besides a blank wall.
• Paint the walls a color that makes you happy. I remember one home office I designed years ago that my client wanted an energetic color to get her moving in the morning. We settled on a fun shade of Tangerine for her. Others might want something more calming and peaceful. If this is what you’re after, you’ll never go wrong with light blues, greens or even lavender.
• Use the vertical space for additional storage. Hang wall-mounted cabinets or shelving or use tall bookcases to increase the storage capacity for books, catalogs, and other supplies. Keep it all tidy and nicely arranged, especially if it’s going to be seen during Zoom meetings.
• Hire an electrician to add outlets where you need them. Most rooms in the house have woefully few outlets to meet our current needs. Add extra outlets higher on the wall so printers other office equipment can easily be plugged in.
Other unexpected places to carve out some office space:
• A few years ago, I designed a home office space in a family room by removing the old, rarely used wet bar and installing a custom desk.
• In another project, we reconfigured a walk-in closet to create a home office in the client’s bedroom.
• In two current projects, we plan to remove the closet doors and will be outfitting the closet space with a countertop, wall shelves, extra outlets, and file drawers.
Simpson University, Redding
Spring 2020 graduate
• Christopher Brue of Hayward
Angelo State University, Texas
Spring 2020 Lone Star Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll
• Christian Haangana of Newark
UMass Lowell, Massachusetts
Spring 2020 graduate
• Rudra Pandya of Fremont
Youngstown State University, Ohio
Spring 2020 Dean’s List
• Yazmine Romero of Castro Valley
Oregon State University
Spring 2020 Honor Roll
• Nicole Bagdadlian of Castro Valley
• Nathan S. Atabay of Fremont
• Quinn C. Becker of Fremont
• Nicholas J. Drachnik of Fremont
• Analiese Hernandez of Fremont
• Jessica L. Linde of Fremont
• Emmy D. Montufar of Fremont
• Bhag S. Sandhu of Milpitas
• Samantha M. Harteau of Newark
• Minnette D. Tiamsic of San Lorenzo
US to hit Huawei employees with visa bans for rights abuses
By Matthew Lee
AP Diplomatic Writer
WASHINGTON (AP), Jul 15 – The Trump administration said Wednesday it will impose travel bans on employees of the Chinese technology giant Huawei and other Chinese companies the U.S. determines are assisting authoritarian governments in cracking down on human rights, including in China's western Xinjiang province.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said the administration is finalizing plans to minimize data theft from the popular Chinese video streaming app TikTok, although he stopped short of saying it would be banned outright.
Pompeo made the announcements a day after the British government said it would ban Huawei from its 5G networks over concerns that sensitive data could be compromised by the Chinese Communist Party.
Pompeo told reporters at a State Department news conference that Huawei employees found to be providing “material support to regimes engaging in human rights violations and abuses globally“ would be hit with sanctions.
“Companies impacted by today's action include Huawei, an arm of the CCP's surveillance state that censors political dissidents and enables mass internment camps in Xinjiang and the indentured servitude of its population shipped all over China,” he said. “Certain Huawei employees provide material support to the CCP regime that commits human rights abuses.
“Telecommunications companies around the world should consider themselves on notice: If they are doing business with Huawei, they are doing business with human rights abusers,” Pompeo said.
At a later event sponsored by The Hill newspaper, Pompeo said the administration was also looking at how to prevent data theft from TikTok and other Chinese companies.
“Whether it's TikTok or any of the other Chinese apps, this administration takes seriously it obligation to protect Americans' information,” he said. “We are working through a process though all the relevant agencies (and) we hope to have a set of decisions shortly.”
It is not clear how many Huawei employees would be affected. Huawei says on its website that it has more than 194,000 employees in more than 170 countries and regions.
The U.S. has led a worldwide campaign to convince foreign governments, particularly those in allied nations, to bar Huawei from their advanced telecommunications networks, arguing that allowing them into those systems would lead to violations of their citizens' privacy.
The U.S. has also threatened NATO and other allies with curtailments or suspensions in intelligence sharing and cooperation should they allow Huawei components or technology in their high-speed networks.
CONTINUING VIRTUAL EVENTS:
Free Virtual Sing-Along
7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Zoom choir meeting hosted by Mission Peak Chamber Singers
Eden Eats $R
Virtual cooking class featuring community chefs
Via YouTube and Facebook Live
Sign up at: https://edeneats.square.site/about
Wednesdays and Sundays
McNevin at The Mudpuddle
Dinner time tunes, oddservations, and bad jokes
Via Facebook Live: www.facebook.com/mudpuddlemusic
First Presbyterian Church of Newark Virtual Meetings
Youth and young adults, students welcome
Contact: email@example.com for Zoom Meeting ID#
Fridays through August 28
Summer Drive-Thru Grocery Giveaway
9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Wells Fargo Building
3440 Walnut Ave. Fremont (via Sundale Dr.)
First Presbyterian Church of Newark Virtual Meetings
Sunday School, Ages K – 6th grade
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for Zoom Meeting ID#
Virtual Town Hall
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
With Supervisor Dave Cortese
Via Facebook Live: www.facebook.com/davecortesegov
Wednesday, July 22
Masterclass: The Storyteller’s Greatest Secret part 1 R
Register on ZOOM: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMucuCgrD0jG9PeDQ-HL69RymWqC3yCS7Z_?mc_cid=4861f866e1&mc_eid=fb76795795
Thursday, July 23
Town hall with Rep. Ro Khanna
Via Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/RepRoKhanna/
Submit questions at: https://khanna.house.gov/contact/email
Fridays, July 24 & 31
Life Essentials R
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Essential life skills for adults 55+
To register, contact Nick Jordan at email@example.com or call (510) 790-6602
Saturday, July 25
Encore Drive-In Nights $
Movie concert of Blake Shelton, with special guests Gwen Stefani and Trace Adkins
Register at: https://www.ticketmaster.com/encore-blakeshelton
Alameda County Fairgrounds
4501 Pleasanton Ave, Pleasanton
Saturday, July 25
Celebrate Oakland Zoo’s reopening with musical guests, zookeepers, and virtual fundraiser
Tuesday, July 28
Trauma and Resiliency R
Join Bay Area leaders and Bay Area Community Health to discuss the many challenges of opioid addiction
Register at: https://sforce.co/3gGB6RO
Wednesday, July 29
Cocktails and Conservation: Lubee Bat Conservancy
5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Learn about Oakland Zoo’s conservational partners at a virtual happy hour
Via Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/events/1168610930158882/
Thursday, July 30
Masterclass: The Storyteller’s Greatest Secret part 2 R
Register on ZOOM: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUvdeygqD4rH9FldMI7NpodMLGTb0GqtgoS?mc_cid=4861f866e1&mc_eid=fb76795795
Friday, July 31
Funny Feud R$
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Friends of Chabot College Foundation present interactive comedy relief
Register at: https://fcccomedy.eventbrite.com
Friday, August 14
Black and White Ball R
6 p.m. (VIP experience starts at 5 p.m.)
Keynote honorees, entertainment, online auction
Virtual event, register at: https://driversforsurvivors.org/2020gala/
Local food ‘farmacy’ program receives $35,000 donation
Submitted by Bay Area Community Health
With help from community sponsors, Leadership Fremont raised over $35,000 for Bay Area Community Health (BACH) – previously called Tri-City Health Center – Food Farmacy program.
Donations were used to purchase a refrigerated van for the Food Farmacy, which will help store produce and other foods for the monthly food support program. The Food Farmacy distributes rescued food as medicine to help patients in the Tri-City area who are experiencing food insecurity, or have had medical screenings indicating hypertension, malnutrition or obesity.
This wouldn't have been possible without the generosity of community partners including Washington Hospital Healthcare System, Fremont Bank Foundation, Robson Homes, Safeway Foundation, East Bay Community Energy, Cargill and Kaiser Permanente Thrive.
Virtual Auditions for Mental Health Stigma Reduction Project
Submitted by City of Fremont
City of Fremont’s Youth & Family Services Division (YFS) is currently hosting virtual auditions for casting in an upcoming short film with the theme of “Reducing Mental Health Stigma.” This film is part of a broader education and public awareness campaign that challenges negative stereotypes about mental health concerns. Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, the project encourages students to seek help for themselves and their peers as well as attempt to change perceptions about mental health concerns and increase help-seeking behaviors. The campaign will raise awareness among students, parents, and the school community about the significance of youth mental health and the correlation with whole health and academic success.
The short film tells the story of Sage, a junior in high school with a love of art, who struggles with a variety of internal battles including anxiety and depression, pressure to excel in school, and everything that comes with being a teenage girl. As these battles spill into every aspect of her life, certain people rally around Sage and support her to finally seek help, and speak out about her issues, which also unleash her creative inspiration.
Produced to engage youth, the film’s purpose is to focus on the issues that many students go through while in high school and the mental health stigma that prevents students from asking for help. Stressing the importance of recognizing mental health issues in others and support from both peers and professionals, the benefits of allowing oneself to get the needed support are also highlighted.
Auditions are open to any youth and young adults ages 15 to 21 who are interested in or are already pursuing acting careers. The film calls for actors to portray five central characters and an additional five to 10 extras. No professional experience is required. Auditions will take place through the end of July. If you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virtual Auditions for Short Film
Until end of July
Newark City Council
July 9, 2020
Presentations and Proclamations:
• Introduce Associate Planner Mayank Patel
• Accept work of OC Jones & Sons, Inc. for Sportsfield Park synthetic turf fields and Newark Skate Park at Sportsfield Park.
• Confirm continued existence of local emergency due to COVID-19.
• Amend contract with Management Partners for community development to include human resources and financial consulting assistance.
Items removed from Consent Calendar:
• Authorize license agreement with Newark Unified School District for use of MacGregor School Playfields.
• Amend requirements for holding City Council meetings and posted agenda locations. Meeting time changed to 7 p.m. by resolution.
City Council Matters:
• Approve City Council meeting recess during the month of August 2020.
• Filing for city council and mayor opens July 13 and closes August 7. Mayor Alan Nagy and Councilmembers Luis Freitas and Sucy Collazo announced they will run for reelection. Contact City Clerk Sheila Herrington if interested.
• Expression of sympathy for family of former Supervisor Gail Steele.
• Thank you for enforcement personnel during July 4th celebration.
Mayor Alan Nagy Aye
Vice Mayor Luis Freitas Aye
Sucy Collazo Aye
Michael Hannon Aye
Mike Bucci Aye
Ohlone Grad Transfers to Stanford with Help from National Science Foundation
Submitted by Tina Vossugh
A culture of supported learning at Ohlone College led student Shadi Elaridi from remedial mathematics all the way to paid internships at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and NASA's Johnson Space Center before entry to Stanford University as a third-year transfer student majoring in engineering. Elaridi received the College's Mathematics Student of the Year award in May 2020.
The Elaridi family moved to Qatar and then Lebanon when Shadi was in fourth grade. They returned to California for his senior year at Kennedy High School in Fremont. While robotics competitions captivated him in Lebanon, some fundamental concepts in math eluded him. He had always seen himself going into science or engineering, but like many mathematically under-prepared students, he could easily have fallen off the track toward earning a bachelor degree of science. Because mathematics has traditionally been taught sequentially, the implications for students like Elaridi, who are placed in lower-level courses, can be quite severe; prolonging and discouraging completion of their math requirements.
Elaridi is one of 1,700 students across the United States in a college math improvement initiative envisioned by the San Francisco non-profit organization Growth Sector, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), involving the Stanford Graduate School of Education in faculty professional development.
With the help of the Ohlone Math Gateway (OMG) program and STEM Core, Elaridi surmounted obstacles to studying engineering. His accomplishments starkly contrast beliefs that people either are or are not mathematically inclined. STEM Core teaching methods differ from the “drill-and-skill'” technique that dominates K-12 math instruction. The program accelerates how foundational skills are taught so that students are prepared for advanced level calculus in two semesters.
“I was always OK at math, but now I realize math is the basis of everything a STEM student goes through,” Elaridi says. With that foundation, he plans to major in mechanical engineering at Stanford and combine design with entrepreneurial skills. Elaridi especially attributes his success to the support of Ohlone Professor of Mathematics Jeff O'Connell who knew his name on day one and offered drop-in office hours to his students.
“This is the way to address institutional bias that prevents so many community college students from going on to earn four-year degrees,” says Growth Sector Co-founder David Gruber and creator of the STEM Core Alliance.
Officers de-escalate tense situation; man with knife peacefully surrenders
Submitted by Hayward Police Department
During a day shift in early July, Hayward Police Department (HPD) patrol officers responded to a call about a disturbance at a local park where a homeless man was reported to have brandished a weapon at a Hayward Area Recreation District (HARD) park ranger.
The ranger requested police assistance when the 45-year-old, man became aggressive toward the ranger and pointed a knife at him and took a fighting stance. The ranger backed away and called police. He was not injured.
Patrol officers, including a crisis negotiator, responded and were able to de-escalate the situation by talking with the man who soon walked from his tent. The knife was recovered at the scene. The man was taken into custody and was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
In a statement released July 15, HPD officials said they are pleased with the peaceful outcome of what could have been a deadly situation. “This is what we train for; to safely de-escalate a dangerous situation. This will not make the news, but it is a story with a perfect ending.”
California Senate OKs expanded protections for family leave
By Adam Beam
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Jul 02 – Workers in companies with at least five employees could take up to three months off from work to care for a family member without fear of losing their job under a bill that narrowly passed the California Senate on Thursday.
California was one of the first states to make sure some workers keep getting paid when they take time off to care for a family member. The money doesn't come from companies, but from state disability insurance taxes the worker’s pay.
But many people who work for smaller companies don't use the program because they are not guaranteed to keep their jobs. State law only protects jobs for people who work at companies with at least 50 employees.
Thursday, the state Senate voted 21-12 to change that law to ensure job protections for workers at companies with at least five employees. The bill would only apply to people who have worked for a company for at least one year and logged at least 1,250 hours – a minimum of 24 hours a week. It covers bonding with a new child or caring for a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse or domestic partner.
The bill must still pass the state Assembly and be signed by the governor before it could become law.
“People don't take the leave because they are afraid, they are going to lose their job,” said Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, a Democrat from Santa Barbara who authored the bill. “That makes it difficult if not impossible for people to be human beings, to have to choose for whether they are going to care for a sick family member.”
Republicans and some moderate Democrats opposed the bill, arguing it's much harder for small businesses to find short-term replacements for their employees. State Sen. Shannon Grove, the Republican minority leader from Bakersfield, noted the law does not require employees to take the leave consecutively, meaning workers could take two days off each week for most of the year.
“It's just absurd what you guys do to the private business sector. Give us a break,” said Grove, who owns a staffing company. “Give these hundreds of thousands of businesses in the state of California the opportunity to just get back to normal.”
The bill needed 21 votes to pass, and it struggled to get that total. Some moderate Democrats opposed the bill because they were concerned it would let employees sue their bosses for violating the law.
Facebook Live Town Hall
Submitted by CA17press
On Thursday, July 23, Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) will hold a town hall meeting on his official Facebook page – @RepRoKhanna. He will discuss recent actions by Congress, share his current legislative activities, and take questions from members of the audience selected via the live comments section. Anyone wishing to submit a question in advance may do so through Rep. Khanna’s website – https://khanna.house.gov/contact/email.
Town Hall with Rep. Ro Khanna
12 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. ET
Thursday, Jul 23
Rep. Ro Khanna’s official Facebook Page: @RepRoKhanna
“In California, health data will determine when a school can be physically open – and when it must close – but learning should never stop”
Governor’s pandemic plan for learning and safe schools
Submitted by Governor’s Press Office
Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Friday, July 17, his plan for learning and safe schools ahead of the 2020–2021 school year, as the California Department of Public Health issued a framework for when and how schools should reopen for in-person instruction.
“Learning is non-negotiable,” said Governor Newsom. “The virus will be with us for a year or more, and school districts must provide meaningful instruction in the midst of this pandemic. In California, health data will determine when a school can be physically open – and when it must close – but learning should never stop. Students, staff, and parents all prefer in-classroom instruction, but only if it can be done safely.”
The Governor’s plan centers on five key areas:
1) Safe in-person school based on local health data:
The California Department of Public Health today issued updated school guidance that includes using existing epidemiological metrics to determine if school districts can start in-person instruction. Any county that does not meet the state’s benchmarks is put on the County Monitoring List. School community members – including parents, teachers, staff and students – can track daily data on whether and why their county is on the Monitoring List at https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/#track-data. Local health officers may grant a waiver to allow elementary schools to reopen in-person instruction if the waiver is requested by the district superintendent, in consultation with labor, parents and community-based organizations.
The Department also issued updated guidance for when schools must physically close and revert to distance learning because of COVID-19 infections.
2) Strong mask requirements for anyone in the school:
All staff and students in 3rd grade and above will be required to wear a mask or face covering. Students in 2nd grade and below are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering. Students should be provided a face covering if they do not have one.
3) Physical distancing requirements & other adaptations:
All adults must stay 6 feet from one another and 6 feet away from children, while students should maintain 6 feet of distance from one another as practicable. Anyone entering the school must do a health screen, and any student or staff exhibiting a fever or other symptoms will be immediately sent home. The guidance also provides that if anyone in a student or staff member’s household is sick, they too should stay home.
4) Regular testing and dedicated contact tracing for outbreaks at schools:
The public health guidance recommends staff in every California school be tested for COVID-19 periodically based on local disease trends and as testing capacity allows. The state will provide resources and technical assistance for COVID-19 investigations in school settings.
5) Rigorous distance learning:
Over the course of the pandemic, most schools will likely face physical closure at some point due to COVID-19. The Legislature and Governor Newsom enacted a budget that provided $5.3 billion in additional funding to support learning, and set requirements to ensure schools provide rigorous and grade-appropriate instruction. School districts are required to provide:
• Devices and connectivity so that every child can participate in distance learning.
• Daily live interaction for every child with teachers and other students.
• Class assignments that are challenging and equivalent to in-person instruction.
• Targeted supports and interventions for English learners and special education students.
The full guidance from the California Department of Public Health can be found at: https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-schools.pdf
Shape Our Fremont
Although the shelter-in-place restrictions and resulting economic uncertainties have slowed new development submissions, several old and new projects are moving forward for review. Here is a summary of the most recent development activity this summer.
Niles Gateway Setback
On July 9, the Planning Commission voted 3 to 3 on the latest revision of the Niles Gateway proposal. One commissioner was recused because of prior involvement on a citizens' advisement group. Lacking a majority decision, the proposal is considered denied. The applicant appealed the Planning Commission's denial and it will be heard by the City Council sometime in early September.
The proposal from Lennar/Valley Oaks is for 75 market-rate, two-story townhouse units with no commercial space on the vacant property once occupied by the Henkel Corporation. The proposal requires a General Plan Amendment (GPA) and a change in zoning because the property currently has its former industrial designations. Several concerns were raised by residents, including remaining issues about the architecture, massing, and impact on traffic. There was also an issue about the level of benefits provided to the city, which is one of the criteria for granting a GPA.
One of the biggest concerns was the lack of affordable housing. Although the applicant committed to offer three units in the moderate range of income affordability, which is one income level below market rate, several commission members felt that would not be enough to warrant granting a GPA for such a large project. One commissioner suggested six or eight units, but the applicant declined. Staff reminded the commission that state law prohibited a city from requiring any affordable housing unless the applicant agreed. To make further comments, contact City Staff Planner David Wage at email@example.com.
Homes near the Mission
Westgate Ventures, on behalf of St. Joseph Parish, has submitted a General Plan Amendment (GPA) Screening Request to change the land-use designation of a 1.3-acre parcel behind the St. Joseph Church in Mission San Jose from Hillside Residential to Low-Medium Residential. They are asking the City Council to decide if it would consider a proposal for 13 single-family, multi-story, detached houses. In the preliminary plans, the average floor area of each house would be 2,700 square feet, and the average height would be 34 feet. Vehicle access would be from a single central driveway off St. Joseph Terrace. Guest parking would be across St. Joseph Terrace near the church rectory.
This property is within the core area of the Mission San Jose Historic Overlay District, which sets standards for architectural details. It is also within the areas covered by the Hillside Initiative and Measure A, which limit minimum lot size and maximum density.
If the council decides it would consider this proposal, the applicant will then have to submit full plans and details to the Planning Department for a formal review. Once this is complete, the proposal would also have to be reviewed by the Historical Architectural Review Board, Planning Commission, and City Council for a final decision.
The GPA Screening Request will be heard by the Planning Commission on August 27 and by the City Council on September 15. Residents may submit comments about the request to City Staff Planner Courtney Pal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Decoto Lux Approved
When this proposal for four single-family houses came before the City Council in 2018, the council sent it back for redesign because there were concerns about traffic safety and the height of one of the houses. The latest proposal moved the access from Nightingale Court to a shared driveway off Decoto Road and located an emergency vehicle access gate at the end of Nightingale. The lot layout and house architecture were changed so that the one-story house would be adjacent to the existing one-story house on Nightingale.
After discussion about the access off Decoto, the applicant also agreed to make two separate driveway curb cuts — one for the new development, and the other for the neighboring property on Decoto. Despite these changes, there were still several concerns, which resulted in a 4 to 3 vote for approval.
Every year, the City Council takes an August recess. The first council meeting after the recess will be September 1. The Planning Commission will not meet on August 13 but will meet on August 27.
For more information on housing developments in Fremont, visit www.ShapeOurFremont.com.
Photos in 1 new Sharon
StarStruck Theatre: 25 Years of Sharing the Joy of Musical Theatre
Submitted by Helen Chang
Photos by Rosaura Studios, Mark & Tracy Photography, and courtesy of StarStruck Theatre
The year 2020 was to be the capstone of a quarter century of remarkable success and growth in youth performing arts in the southeast corner of Silicon Valley. Instead, like all performing arts organizations across the country, StarStruck Theatre has been shuttered by the worst pandemic in history and is now battling for its very existence.
Rather than wallowing, StarStruck is choosing to keep a pilot light on until the floodlights can come back and the music director can strike up the orchestra. To that end, StarStruck will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a look back at a happier time. Back to the beginning.
In early 1995 Lori Stokes was raising her three children, ages 3, 6 and 9, teaching in the Music For Minors program at their elementary school in Fremont’s Mission San Jose neighborhood. In the decade after she married, she had put her theatre arts training on the back burner, but her search for a performing arts enrichment program for her children led her to contemplate a return to the theatre herself.
She auditioned for an Ohlone College production, Working, and was cast as the waitress. Her two eldest daughters, Kristin and Courtney, ended up in the show as well. Friends involved in the private non-profit schools-booster organization Fremont Education Foundation (FEF), saw the show and asked her if she would perform at a fundraiser in Pleasanton. Rather than taking the spotlight herself, Stokes suggested, “What if I put a group of kids together? We’ll sing a couple songs, come up with a script.”
The night of the fundraiser, 10 children marched into the dining room at Castlewood Country Club singing “Nothing Can Stop Me Now” from the musical, Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd. After the performance, Stokes found herself surrounded by mothers wanting to know how they could enroll their son or daughter in her singing group. The idea of forming such a group took root that night, and Kids on Broadway was soon rehearsing in her living room from May through the summer.
“In August, we sang at the Fremont Hub and at senior centers. People really liked it, and I kept adding more kids, and the group kept growing,” said Stokes. Within two years she produced her first show, A Little Princess and eventually changed the name of the group to StarStruck. “For the next seven years, I did some shows at Mission High School but mostly at the 70-seat Broadway West theatre at Five Corners in the Irvington area.”
Then one day in December, she got a call from Ohlone College. One of the shows in the lineup at the 400-seat Jackson Theatre at the college’s Smith Center for the Performing Arts dropped out. Did StarStruck want to fill the slot? The answer was a no-brainer. Stokes had just wrapped up Hansel & Gretel at Broadway West, so she decided to bring it to Ohlone for one weekend only.
“It’s a beautiful theatre with real dressing rooms, a roomy backstage and wings,” said Stokes. “We presented two performances; one for school kids only, and the other for the public. Both shows sold out.” There was no going back. Stokes declared half-jokingly, “I had tasted the forbidden fruit!”
Nicole Odor remembers those early days fondly. Now a second-grade teacher in Fremont, she was among the original group of 10 children at the FEF fundraiser. “I love taking my students to see StarStruck shows,” she said. “I made life-long friendships, I learned about working hard to achieve a communal goal, and I have hundreds of hilariously happy memories! Because doing theatre with StarStruck had such a positive impact on me, I try to incorporate drama and performing arts as much as I can with my students.”
Ohlone was pleased with the audience response, but Stokes worried she would not be able to fill the theatre again. To set audience expectations with consistent scheduling, the college granted her the same time slot the next year, and she presented Honk. “We kept growing from there,” said Stokes. Soon the one-weekend slot felt too confining. The amount of props, sets, costumes, and rehearsals involved seemed too much effort for only one weekend. The next year StarStruck doubled its performances to span two weekends over Ohlone’s winter break.
With the addition of a summertime slot at Ohlone’s outdoor amphitheater, StarStruck’s schedule of two mainstage productions each year was on a steady path, and the company’s focus turned to growing the Student Training in the ARTS (START) classes. Before the 2020 shutdowns, START encompassed 24 classes in singing, acting, and dance. Normally, the program includes an occasional spring break camp, and multi-week summer performance camps that enroll over 200 kids. While the pandemic has forced StarStruck to go online, its impact on individuals and the community endures.
A Quarter Century of Impact
Jessica Weiss, like Odor, was also one of the performers at the 1995 FEF fundraiser. A 2007 graduate of California Polytechnic University, she now works at Autodesk. “StarStruck impacted my life in more ways than I could have imagined,” she said. “I ended up doing theatre all the way from elementary school through high school, and even minored in it in college! The life skills I learned have helped me immensely in my professional career…I am completely comfortable and confident presenting and communicating to large groups—I love it, in fact—I’ve been able to use my creativity and apply it to problem solving; and I’ve been able to work with a wide range of people to get shared outcomes, just like you do in a show.”
Stokes attributes StarStruck’s longevity to the wonderful staff and volunteers—some, like props master Cat McConnell, carpenter Mark Aragon, and music director Nancy Godfrey, have been with StarStruck for more than 18 years. “All the people who stuck with me, who are always pitching in, our incredible staff, and parents—they have kept us going all these years,” said Stokes. “StarStruck could not have come this far without them.”
Fans can stay in touch by following @StarStruckTheatre on Facebook, and @StarStruck_Theater on Instagram; in addition to updates and announcements, a weekly snippet of a song from previous shows is posted with the hashtag, #VaultSST. Meanwhile, all classes have transitioned to online.
Until the day StarStruck can share the joy of musical theatre with the community again, the nonprofit organization is appealing to patrons, new and returning, to help them keep the lights on “One Day More.” To donate, go to www.starstrucktheatre.org.
Union City City Council
July 14, 2020
• Union Landing Property and Business Improvement District (PBID) renewal. The PBID pays for three dedicated police officers, vehicles and equipment, police substation and administration costs and supplies. It also funds marketing and promotions, social media campaigns, banners and signage. No public comments were submitted to the hearing. 15 ballots were in favor, three ballots voiced opposition. The Council unanimously renewed the Union Landing PBID for a period of five years, and to levy and collect assessments for fiscal year 2020-21.
Council also unanimously:
• Extended the recycling processing surcharge fees adopted in FY 2019-20 and authorized additional compensation to the Tri-City Economic Development Corporation (Tri-CED) for FY 2020-21 not to exceed the amount of $327,77
• Approved an exception to the 180-day waiting period for post-retirement employment with Roberto Munoz
• Authorized an early retirement incentive program.
• Provided direction to prepare three ballot measures for the November 2020 ballot: 1) Creation of a one-cent General Sales Tax. sunsetting in eight years; 2) Authorization of a 3.5 percent utility users tax that will sunset in eight years; 3) Creation of a half-cent General Sales Tax, sunsetting in eight years .
• 4th of July After-Action Report –
UC City Police Lt. Andrew Holt provided a summary of Fourth of July police activity to the Council. The $11,966 for staff overtime are paid for by the “Safe and Sane” fireworks vendors; no additional costs to the General Fund.
Council unanimously approved the following Consent Calendar items:
• Award a contract to National Auto Fleet Group (Watsonville) for $138,466.41, and declaring certain vehicles as surplus and authorizing auction sale.
• Cancelled the regular City Council meeting of August 25, 2020
• Adopted resolution establishing the job classification, title and salary compensation for retired annuitant.
• Adopted resolution authorizing the continued participation of Union City in the Alameda County Home Consortium for HOME funds for federal fiscal years 2021, 2022 and 2023
Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci Aye
Vice Mayor Emily Duncan Aye
Councilmember Pat Gacoscos Aye
Councilmember Jaime Patiño Aye
Councilmember Gary Singh Aye
Union Sanitary District
Virtual Board Meeting July 13, 2020
The USD Board approved the following at its regular board meeting of Monday, July 13, 2020:
• Authorized Amendment No. 1 to Task Order with Hazen and Sawyer in the amount of $98,335 for the Enhanced Treatment and Site Upgrade Phase 1A project. Anticipated completion of 30% design of the Phase 1 Projects by fall of 2020. Anticipated completion of project design and environmental review by July 2021, with construction to begin by early 2022.
• Accept sanitary sewer easements for -Montecito, 37350 Sequoia Road, in Fremont. Developer Pulte Home Company is constructing a residential development — 54 townhomes in eleven buildings — at the southeast corner of Sequoia Road and Paseo Padre Parkway, in the City of Fremont.
• Authorized a capacity fee payment agreement between the District and Lagorio Ranch Inc. and Lynn Sanchez, Trustee of the Frank A. Sanchez Revocable Trust. Bill Sinodino is part-owner of Dino’s Family Restaurant, 36930 Fremont Blvd in Fremont. Sinodino submitted plans to USD for establishing a similar restaurant at 3909 Thornton Ave, land owned by the Lagorio Ranch Inc. and the trust. The new restaurant would occupy an existing building, previously a used auto dealership.
• Authorized an amendment to the agreement for the Clean Water Program Activities and Enforcement Procedures with the City of Fremont.
• Authorized a temporary sewer siphon agreement with Lennar Homes of California for the Gateway Station West, Bridgeway Development in the City of Newark.
General Manager Paul Eldredge provided the board with a COVID-19 update. Staff is continuing its modified work schedule while managing District priorities. While there had been an uptick of positive COVID-19 cases with employees and family members, most cases are detected in staff who are working from home. “Those who are testing positive are doing okay,” Eldredge noted. “We continue to have sufficient supplies of PPE on-site and we are monitoring weekly so we can continue our critical activities.”
Tom Handley, President Aye
Pat Kite, Vice President Aye
Anjali Lathi Aye
Manny Fernandez Aye
Jennifer Toy Aye
Deceased cat gets voter registration application in mail
AP Wire Service
ATLANTA (AP), July 11 – In a presidential election year, there's always a push to get people registered to vote.
For one Atlanta family, that push got a little interesting.
Ron Tims said he checked his mail Wednesday and found a voter registration application addressed to Cody Tims – his cat, who died 12 years ago.
“A great cat, indoor and outdoor, loved his family, loved his neighborhood. He was 18 and a half when he passed away,” Carol Tims told WAGA-TV.
The Tims were surprised, and a bit amused when they saw what Cody received in the mail.
“There's a huge push but if they're trying to register cats, I'm not sure who else they're trying to register. I'm not sure if they're trying to register dogs, mice, snakes,” Carol Tims said.
The Secretary of State's Office said the application did not come from its office and that third-party groups often use mailing lists to get names and addresses.
“Third-party groups all over the country are targeting Georgia to help register qualified individuals,“ the Secretary of State's Office said in a statement. “This group makes you wonder what these out-of-town activists are really doing. Make no mistake about it, this office is dedicated to investigating all types of fraud.”
The Secretary of State's Office said it's quite sure that even if Cody were still alive and showed up at the polls, he wouldn't be allowed to vote since he does not have a license or state ID.
If you're wondering how Cody would have voted if he could go to the polls. His owner said he was a DemoCAT.
Ways for customers to save energy and money
Submitted by Tamar Sarkissian
Although it’s the start of summer, hotter temperatures arrived in California weeks ago. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) encourages customers to follow simple steps and utilize free tools and programs to minimize the impact of summer heat on energy bills.
Simple Ways to Save
• Raise the thermostat and turn it up when leaving. Customers can save on annual cooling costs for each degree the temperature is increased in their home during the hot summer months. Set the thermostat to 78 degrees when at home, health permitting. Turn it up to 85 degrees when not at home.
• Check air filters once a month. Dirty filters cause your system to work harder to keep the area cool, wasting energy and money.
• Maintain air conditioner: Customers can lower their monthly energy bill by keeping air conditioning equipment working at peak efficiency. Schedule regular maintenance for cooling equipment.
To take advantage of additional programs, tools and savings opportunities, PG&E recommends customers become more familiar with:
• Online tool to determine the best rate: Customers can access detailed energy cost and usage information down to the day, see a personalized rate comparison to determine if they are on the best rate and more. Customers can sign up for an online account at www.pge.com.
• PG&E Marketplace: Compare and shop for energy-efficient appliances and electronics to reduce your electricity costs and find the model that is right for you. You can also read product reviews and get linked directly to retailers. https://marketplace.pge.com/
• Home Energy Checkup: In less than five minutes, customers can find how much of their home energy use goes to cooling, heating hot water, appliances, lighting, and other uses. The results enable customers to make customized changes to enhance their home's energy efficiency, along with estimates of how much money can be saved. www.pge.com/home-energy-checkup
• Budget Billing: This program averages customers’ monthly energy costs to help monthly payment amounts remain more consistent, even if energy use changes significantly from season to season. www.pge.com/budgetbilling
• Financial assistance programs for income-qualifying customers: Our assistance programs include California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE), Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Program, Energy Saving Assistance Program and payment plans. With rising unemployment due to the pandemic, many customers who would not have qualified for CARE and other programs may now qualify. Customers who recently applied for unemployment may still be eligible for the program.
For more tips on how to save this summer, visit www.pge.com/summer.
Yellowstone park to reconsider controversial bison plan
AP Wire Service
LIVINGSTON, Mont. (AP), Jul 01– Federal officials plan to reconsider how they manage Yellowstone National Park's famous wild bison herds following longstanding complaints over thousands of the animals that have been killed by hunters and agencies as they attempted to migrate into Montana.
Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly outlined the plans in court documents filed Wednesday. The move came in a lawsuit challenging a federal-state agreement that has governed management of the animals, also known as buffalo, since 2000.
A new analysis of bison management could result in an expansion of where the animals are permitted to roam freely, The Livingston Enterprise reported. The work would involve the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service, which has jurisdiction over much of the land surrounding Yellowstone.
Jared Pettinato, who represents Neighbors Against Bison Slaughter, applauded the agencies' decision to reevaluate bison management.
“We think it's long overdue,” he said.
Yellowstone had more than 4,800 bison as of last summer. More than 800 were killed by hunters or captured and sent to slaughter this past winter.
Officials insist the culling is necessary to prevent cattle in the Yellowstone region from being infected with brucellosis, which is present in many park bison and can cause abortions in pregnant animals.
To address concerns over the killing of bison, state and park officials in recent years have allowed the animals to roam more freely in parts of Montana and to establish a quarantine program so bison that are declared disease-free can be relocated.
But that hasn't resolved the issue and the periodic slaughter of large numbers of bison has continued.
There have been numerous cases of cattle in the Yellowstone region being infected with brucellosis by diseased elk, but no recorded transmissions from bison.
As many as 30 million to 60 million bison once roamed across most of North America, according to federal wildlife officials. Mass slaughters drove them to near extinction by the late 1800s. Today there are roughly 11,000 wild bison on public lands in 12 states.
Oakland Zoo Reopening to Public with Exclusive Preview Days
Submitted by Erin Harrison
After being closed since March 17th due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oakland Zoo is reopening on July 29 to the general public, with donor and member special preview days on July 27 and 28. Tickets will be available for sale starting Sunday, July 26 at oaklandzoo.org. The unprecedented 121-day closure makes Oakland Zoo the last major zoo to reopen in the state, with enhanced protocols and procedures onsite to ensure the health and safety of all guests, staff and animals.
“We’re excited to be able to reopen the Zoo and welcome back our guests. Providing a safe and fun outdoor experience for our visitors’ return has been the focus during this closure, and we’re confident that we’ve gone above and beyond to protect the health and safety of every guest, staff member and animal,” said Joel Parrott, DVM, President & CEO of Oakland Zoo.
Since the closure, there are many new residents for visitors to see, including Kijiji the giraffe, Aluna, a newborn Hamadryas baboon, and seven newborn American buffalo calves. As previously reported, many of the animal species at Oakland Zoo have noticed the absence of visitors – and zookeepers are excited to see all of the animals’ reactions to families strolling the pathways once again.
Guests are invited to enjoy the majority of the Zoo, and over 750 animal residents, with specific areas closed for health and safety precautions. For a full list of closed areas, including Adventure Landing, the Petting Yard, and all indoor spaces, please go to oaklandzoo.org/reopening.
Zoo officials have instituted an extensive range of new protocols that comply with county and state health authorities. The Zoo will resume operations in stages that, including the aforementioned closed areas, will start with limiting the number of guests at the Zoo at any given time through a new online reservation-based ticketing system for all visitors, limiting dining and shopping experiences, frequent cleaning and sanitization of high-touch areas, making sanitizing stations available throughout the Zoo, requiring face coverings for guests 3 years and older, and enacting social distancing practices.
Hopes are that as the pandemic evolves and infections decrease, the Zoo will soon be able to reopen closed areas; reinstitute onsite education programs, overnight programs, facility rentals, indoor dining and shopping; and ultimately restore the 7,000 record-breaking attendance numbers that existed pre-closure, in 2019. With admissions now limited to one-third of normal Zoo capacity, revenue will fall short of meeting the Zoo’s normal operating costs of $2M monthly.
In order to help offset the budget needs, Oakland Zoo is now busy planning a live virtual fundraiser / reopening celebration, “LollapaZOOla” to stream on oaklandzoo.org on Saturday, July 25 at 7 p.m. LollapaZOOla’s guests include zookeepers, Oakland Zoo’s President & CEO Dr. Parrott, the Golden State Warriors’ hype man Franco Finn, and Facebook fundraiser 6-year-old Andy Soulard—plus musical guests Dirty Cello and Steel Jam will be performing live from the Zoo.
“The closure has been difficult for us, and we’re hopeful that the coming months will help restore the Zoo’s financial health to what it was before the closure. We thank our donors and supporters out there for helping us through this challenging time,” Nik Dehejia, CFO & Executive Vice President of Oakland Zoo.
For more details on Oakland Zoo’s reopening—including annual membership options and important information for guests planning their next visit, go to oaklandzoo.org/reopen. Tickets to visit the Zoo go on sale on July 26.
To help maintain Oakland Zoo’s mission-based conservation programs to rescue wildlife and save species globally, go to oaklandzoo.org/donate-to-oakland-zoo.
Saturday, July 25