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Autumn in Regional Parks

By Ayn Wieskamp, board of directors

East Bay Regional Park District

 

As the weather turns cooler but the sun still shines, it’s a great time for outdoor recreation in the East Bay Regional Park District and other public open spaces. The park district has a full schedule of nature walks, other naturalist programs and special events—or you can explore on your own.

 

Probably the most elaborate upcoming event is the Harvest Festival on Saturday October 12 and Sunday, October 13 at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont. Activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days will include harvesting Indian corn and popcorn cobs (bring your own bags to take home a portion), magic shows, cider pressing, live old-timey music and historic crafts. There’s also a narrow-gauge train, a pumpkin patch, and tours of the historic Patterson home.

 

Fees for the harvest festival are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors ages 62 and older, $6 for children ages 4 through 17, and free for kids ages 3 and under. Parking is free. Tickets can be bought in advance at the farm or online at www.ebparks.org.

 

Ardenwood is at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, just north of Highway 84. For information, call (510) 544-2797.

 

There’s no shortage of activities at nearby Coyote Hills Regional Park. The staff naturalists offer Discovery Days from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, with hands-on activities, explorations and crafts for the entire family. Come to the visitor center at 11 a.m. for an introduction to the topic of the week or participate later in the day.

 

There’s a village site at Coyote Hills that was occupied by Ohlone Indians for millennia before the arrival of Europeans. It now contains a reconstructed sweat lodge and other structures. At a volunteer day from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, September 15, you can learn about Ohlone culture while cleaning, weeding, and renewing the structures. Naturalist Dino Labiste will lead the program. The program is for ages 12 and older and parent participation is required.

 

You can join an animal-tracking program from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, September 21 with naturalist Kristina Parkison. Learn to differentiate between the signs left by various critters. The program is for ages 7 and older and parent participation is required.

 

Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road, off Paseo Padre Parkway. There’s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle; programs are free. For information, call (510) 544-3220.

 

This is the season when male tarantulas venture forth in search of females in their burrows for purposes of reproduction. Naturalist Ashley Adams will lead a hunt for roving tarantulas from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, September 29 at Sunol Regional Wilderness in southern Alameda County. Bring a flashlight and meet her at the visitor center. It’s at the end of Geary Road, off Calaveras Road about 5 miles south of Sunol. For information, call (510) 544-3249.

 

In terms of future parks, the U.S. Navy has officially transferred half of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station to the National Park Service, which will then convey 2,500 acres to the park district for a new regional park. In partnership with the City of Concord and the National Park Service, the East Bay Regional Park District is establishing the Concord Hills Regional Park on the site.

 

The city of Concord is planning a mix of commercial and residential uses on an adjacent 2,500 acres of the former base. Most of this new park will remain open space, with a primary focus on conservation and natural resource management. Recreation (primarily trails) and park facilities will be developed on the remaining acreage, in part using already existing structures inherited from the weapons station. The park’s visitor center will have exhibits and programs with an emphasis on the park’s natural and cultural history and the Port Chicago explosion in 1944. The first events for the public likely will be guided walks through part of the property that is mainly open space.

 

 

Sheriff: Trio of thieves thwarted by misleading gas jug

AP Wire Service

 

KEAVY, Ky. (AP), Aug 16 – Authorities in Kentucky say three thieves thought they were stealing gasoline from a property for their broken down car until the car stopped working again.

 

Laurel County Sheriff's Office on Facebook said the three stole a 5-gallon gasoline jug from a garage for their car. Except there wasn't gasoline in the jug. It was peroxide.

 

News outlets report Latasha Bryant, Timothy Storms and Dustin Napier were arrested Wednesday on various charges including burglary.

 

Spokesman Gilbert Acciardo says after the trio filled their tank up with peroxide, they pushed the vehicle onto the victim's property.

 

The sheriff's office says Napier was found with a pill in her mouth that she refused to spit out. Bryant was found with a glass pipe.

 

It's unclear if an attorney is available to comment.

 

 

BART Police Log

Submitted by BART PD

 

Saturday, August 17

  • At 5.58 a.m. a man identified by police as Timothy Magee of Antioch was arrested at San Leandro Station for Prohibition Order, Court Order Violation. Magee was transported and booked into Santa Rita Jail.

 

Monday, August 19

  • At 6.26 a.m. a man identified by police as Tommy Vigil of San Leandro was arrested under 25400(a)(2) PC for carrying a concealed firearm at San Leandro Station. He was booked into Santa Rita Jail.

 

Tuesday, August 20

  • At 10.20 p.m. a man identified by police as William Lusk was booked into Santa Rita Jail 529(a)(4) PC for impersonation and a no-bail warrant. Warrant Arrest – Castro Valley Station

 

  • At 6.32 p.m. a male juvenile, 15, was arrested for 487(c), 243(b) x2 and 148 PC. He was transported and booked into Juvenile Hall for “Battery on a Peace Officer.”

 

 

Don't want to buy? You can borrow household items too

Aug 21

By Melissa Kossler Dutton

Associated Press

 

Amanda Blum enjoys trying new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen, but like many home cooks she's reluctant to buy expensive and bulky kitchen appliances.

 

So she was delighted to learn about Kitchen Share, a nonprofit near her home in Portland, Oregon, that loans out kitchen equipment. Bloom, who likes to preserve fruits and vegetables at this time of year, found a name-brand pressure canner there that makes the task easier and safer.

 

Since then, she's become a regular borrower, checking out Kitchen Share's blender, ice cream maker and pressure cooker.

 

“This is such a huge resource,” she said. “It solves the problem of having to buy all these things.”

 

Around the country, traditional libraries and a small number of non-profit lending operations loan out collections of household items: cake pans in Akron, Ohio; paintings in Minneapolis; telescopes in St. Louis; sewing machines in Rochester, New York.

 

For traditional libraries, such items are a natural extension of their mission to provide resources to the community. Many of the other institutions see lending programs as a way to help people save money or lead more sustainable lives by owning fewer things.

 

As with books, “it's the idea of collections that are purchased by a group and used by multiple people over and over again,” said Jen Lenio, collections manager of the Rochester Public Library.

 

The Rochester library system's offerings are driven by patron interests, as well as a desire to assist low-income people, she said. The success of library craft classes inspired the staff to create borrowable knitting and crochet kits. Recognizing that the ability to make or repair clothes could be useful, the team purchased sewing machines that patrons can check out.

 

“We're trying to fill needs that the community has,” Lenio said.

 

The Akron-Summit County Public Library's cake pan lending program was so popular, the institution decided to buy kitchen tools to circulate too. The items _ including measuring cups, kitchen scales and baking dishes _ appeal to the area's large student population and younger patrons setting up households, among others, said Monique Mason, manager of the libraries' science and technology division.

 

The collection includes utensils that people might use only rarely, like a cherry pitter, candy molds and holiday cookie cutters, and bulky items they might not have room for.

 

“When you look how much space a pasta maker or a food dehydrator takes up _ do you really want to have to store these items?” Mason said.

 

The library treats the items like books, allowing people to reserve them online and sending them to various branches for pickup, she said. Patrons are required to return the kitchen items clean, and are advised to wash them before using.

 

St. Louis County Library in Missouri has a telescope lending program, which was suggested by the St. Louis Astronomical Society. It began in 2014 and was an “instant hit,” said director Kristen Sorth said. “People seem very appreciative of the opportunity and treat them very well,” Sorth said.

 

Loaning telescopes aligns with the library's interest in promoting science education, she said, by giving people access to cool equipment.

 

“I've done it a couple of times. I had one as a kid and I like to see what I can see in the night sky,” said Craig Williams of St. Louis, who hopes to own one someday.

 

In the twin cities, the Minneapolis Art Lending Library, a non-profit group, promotes art appreciation by lending out original works that borrowers can hang on their walls at home.

 

Part of a library's mission is to help patrons learn, and that isn't limited to books, says Christine Feldmann, a spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County Public Library in Annapolis, Maryland, which loans out fishing poles and ukuleles, among other items.

 

“The library is really about connecting people with resources,” she said. “These programs are just an extension of that.”

 

 

Solving California’s teaching shortage

Submitted by Kimberly Hawkins

 

Online teaching credential programs may be the key to solving the state's teacher shortage, and Cal State East Bay recently launched the California State University System’s first.

 

“Many people today want to teach, and they could be great teachers, but they just can’t get access to a good teaching program,” said James Mitchell, a teacher education professor. “Now that we have the technology to work with students remotely, we can reach candidates who would otherwise not be able to attend this kind of program.”

 

Mitchell is referring to Cal State East Bay’s new Online Single Subject Teaching Credential Program, a yearlong online program dedicated to providing the skills needed to effectively teach adolescents. The fully-online program offers a credential for those who want to teach grades six through 12.

 

“This is the program that will meet the needs of today’s learners,” said Mitchell, who is also the program’s director. “We want to train Bay Area teachers from the communities they’re going to serve, as well as those from outside our territories.”

 

According to the California Teachers Association, there is currently a strong need for middle and high school teachers in the Bay Area and across the state. California will need an additional 100,000 teachers over the next decade, and Mitchell says this program will contribute to reducing that staggering number.

 

“This kind of program needs to happen now because in five years we’re going to need teachers more than ever,” he said. According to Mitchell, the program received three times the estimated number of applications and candidates he referred to as “pioneers in their field.”

 

For more information, visit: https://www.ce.csueastbay.edu/ce/programs/single-subject-teaching-credential/

 

 

California's unemployment rate reaches historic low

AP Wire Service

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Aug 16 – California's unemployment rate has again fallen to a historic low of 4.1 percent as the world's fifth-largest economy continues to add jobs following the Great Recession.

 

State officials said Friday that California's job expansion is now in its 113th month, tying the expansion of the 1960s as the longest on record. The more than 3.2 million jobs California has added since 2010 account for more than 15 percent of the country's job gains over that time.

 

The jobless rate was also 4.1 percent for part of 2018.

 

California needs 8,000 to 9,000 new jobs each month to keep up with a growing workforce. Over the last nine years the state has averaged an additional 29,200 new jobs per month.

 

Analyst Michael Bernick warns a trade war with China could derail California's job growth.

 

 

Coastal Cleanup Day

Submitted by Clean Water Program

 

This year's “Coastal Cleanup Day” is on Saturday, September 21! Be part of the solution and join tens of thousands of fellow volunteers to help remove trash from California beaches and inland waterways.

 

Did you know that the vast majority of debris found in the ocean—up to 80%—originates inland? Litter is carried by rainwater, street runoff and wind into storm drains. From there it reaches creeks, the Bay and the ocean, generally without any treatment. Collecting litter on land, even far from waterways, is critical to helping prevent ocean pollution.

 

Find an event near you at https://www.cleanwaterprogram.org/get-involved/volunteer-in-your-community.html.

 

Coastal Cleanup Day

Saturday, Sep 21

9 a.m. – 12 noon

Various locations

 

 

Football

Cougars open season with a win

Submitted by Timothy Hess

The Newark Memorial Cougars football team opened their 2019 season with a hard fought 14-12 victory over the Tennyson Lancers (Hayward) on August 23rd. The Cougars opened the scoring in the second quarter on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Berry to Robert Elwanger. Tennyson came out strong in the second half and scored to make it 7-6. In response, the Cougars’ Ethan Macrohon blocked a punt deep in Tennyson territory and his teammates pounced on the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. Berry made the Point After Touchdown to make it 14-6. Tennyson rallied for another touchdown and the Cougar defense made a huge stop on the 2-point conversion attempt to end the game, Cougars 14 – Lancers 12.

 

 

Crush kick-off

Submitted by Caroline Chouinard

Photos courtesy of Chouinard Vineyard and Winery

 

From Saturday, August 31 to Monday, September 2, Chouinard Vineyard and Winery will celebrate fall with their annual “Crush kick-off.” All three days, attendees will be able to shop for fine crafts—such as knitting, crochet, and jewelry—listen to live music, and sample the winery’s classic vintage in the beautiful Palomares hills.

 

Owner Caroline Chouinard gives the following description of wines available for tasting:

 

  • Our 2018 San Francisco Bay Chardonnay is one of the four wines being poured at our yearly festival Crush Kick-off. This newly released wine is cold-fermented in stainless steel, producing a crisp and refreshing lively Chardonnay.
  • We will also be pouring our just released San Francisco Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Rose, a tart, very slightly sweet rose, very varietal and fruity. Both wines are estate grown.
  • Then there is our new red table blend of three vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel, a perfect mixture of fruit-forward young vintages and older barrel-aged vintages that have developed rich complexities.
  • Finally, we will be pouring 2015 Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi, from a low-yield vineyard planted in 1901 that produces concentrated wines with rich fruit flavors.

 

The event will run from 12 noon to 5 p.m. all three days, and live music will be from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Dawn Coburn will play Saturday and Sunday, and No Bones Duo will make an appearance on Monday.

 

Guests who stay late on August 31 can join the winery’s final summer movie, a double feature of “The Wolfman” and “Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman.” The movie will begin at dusk (around 8 p.m.), and gates will open at 6:30 p.m. Although Crush Kick-Off is free, there is a charge of $20 per car for the movie. Movie tickets can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4274608.

 

Crush Kick-Off

Saturday, Aug 31 – Monday, Sept 2

12 noon – 5 p.m.

https://www.chouinard.com/events/crush-kick-off-movie-night/

 

Summer Movie

Saturday, Aug 31

Gates open 6 p.m.

Movie begins at dusk (around 8 p.m.)

Tickets: $20 per car

www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4274608

 

Chouinard Vineyard and Winery

33853 Palomares Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 582-9900

mamachouinard@gmail.com

 

 

Kitchens for Different Personalities

By Anna Jacoby

 

You can tell a lot about the owners of these three kitchens. Each kitchen is beautiful in its own way and reflects the tastes, needs and wants of the people living here. My job as the designer is to ask lots of questions (and listen to the answers) and provide practical and beautiful solutions so the clients end up with a kitchen that not only looks great but also works well. I truly enjoy the challenge of space planning as much as I enjoy matching the colors, materials, and design style to each client.

 

Kitchen #1 Mountain “lodge” in the suburbs

This couple loves spending time in the mountains. At their getaway house in Northern California, they enjoy looking for colorful and unusual rocks in the creek, relaxing under the trees, and basically just seeking a bit of refuge from their busy Bay Area lives. For their kitchen remodel, I wanted to bring some of that mountain feel to their house in the suburbs.

 

To achieve this goal, I suggested Knotty Alder with a clear finish for all the custom cabinetry. The natural knots in the wood provide a rustic and casual look, and the overall feel is warm and inviting. The backsplash is a mix of glass and slate, in the colors of the cool creek water and all the rocks visible beneath the water’s surface. And the earthy brown quartz counters continue the color scheme, while also providing a hardy surface for their other passion, which is cooking. Since both are avid cooks, I made sure to include ample room for food preparation around the sink and cooktop and on the large island. My hope is that they feel the peace of the mountains each time they use the kitchen.

 

Kitchen #2 Sleek, modern, and everything in its place

This family wanted clean lines, a modern look, and a place for everything, so countertop clutter would be kept to an absolute minimum. To maximize storage, we widened drawers, utilized a specially designed rack for the corner cabinet, added pantry space, and included drawer organizers for utensils and spices. The strong horizontal lines of the wood grain on the cabinets are contrasted with the bold, wavy streaks in the quartz counters.

 

Sometimes modern design can look cold and sterile, but not in this case. We used soft, warm colors to keep the kitchen light and bright. Earth tones keep everything easy on the eyes. My favorite element is the island: the quartz “waterfall” on the side of the island really makes it a focal point. This kitchen is both beautiful and practical, even more eye-catching in person.

 

Kitchen #3 Elegant and great for entertaining

In contrast to the other two kitchens, this one features elegant finishes such as creamy painted cabinets with bronze glazing and a marble backsplash. It also features traditional details such as the oil-rubbed bronze finish on the faucet, applied moldings on the cabinet doors, and pendant lights with candelabra bulbs. However, despite its formal feel, the kitchen was designed for entertaining.

 

The island invites guests to linger and chat, and I replaced the dining table with a long, built-in banquette, leaving the floor space flexible depending on the gathering. Small cocktail tables can be pulled up to the banquette, giving guests a place to sit with a drink, or congregate in the open space; a large table can be brought in for serving buffet meals, with ample room on each side for guests to help themselves. These clients love to get together with their large extended family and friends, and this stunning kitchen is the perfect venue for them.

 

 

Navigation center community workshop sparks housing debate

By Hugo Vera

 

Fremont’s Harbor Light Church was packed on Wednesday evening as residents, activists, police officers and other civil servants converged to speak on the proposed Housing Navigation Center (HNC) in the Decoto neighborhood. The meeting was facilitated by representatives of the Fremont City Council and featured a panel led by Chief of Police Kimberly Petersen to explain to the public what exactly a homeless navigation center in Decoto entails.

 

Per Petersen’s presentation, it was established that housing navigation centers provide a pre-approved number of homeless persons with temporary housing, food, water, clothing and even educational materials over a six-month period while they are directed to affordable housing units. Chief Petersen explained that the majority of homeless people benefiting from the centers suffer from mental or physical disabilities that hinder their ability to find steady work and housing. The proposed Decoto HNC would only accept pre-scanned candidates. Petersen also cited statistics from a housing navigation center based in Berkeley, in which 82% of its occupants successfully transitioned from the center into affordable housing.

 

Despite the statistics, the idea of an HNC based in Decoto has polarized many Fremont residents. At Wednesday’s community workshop, several groups appeared wearing different colored shirts to signify their stance on the center. Those who wore red and teal were mainly a part of organizations against the Decoto HNC. Those who wore white spoke out in favor of homeless rights in Fremont. “I come from an immigrant background. My family came here to Fremont for a better life, so why are we turning away these homeless people when they’re the most vulnerable and in need of our help?” said 19-year-old Fremont native Abhay Aggarwal.

 

Following the initial slideshow, residents were invited to voice their concerns in front of two microphones with each speaker given an allotted time of 65 seconds. Despite requests from city workers to refrain from showing a verbal bias toward anyone’s speech, many residents booed and cheered with each passing speaker. “I don’t want someone who’s most likely an ex-con anywhere near my children,” said retired technician Maria Silva. “These people are messy, they bring in crime and garbage, and it should be the government’s job to take care of them. Not the city’s,” she added.

 

Despite a sea of residents dressed in red and teal who were against the Decoto HNC, some Fremont residents took to the podium to spread a message of empathy and awareness. “People who live in Fremont have essentially won a lottery of life,” said Fremont resident and military veteran Drake McCarthy. “As someone who was once homeless, I can tell you that people are not a threat. These people are our neighbors and they deserve a refuge from their suffering.”

 

Although the meeting was advertised to run from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., residents did not cease speaking at the podium until well past 9:00 p.m. Fremont City Council workers have stated that there will be two more community meetings, on August 24 and 26, so the community can voice their concerns before the matter of the Decoto HNC is finally decided by the council in September.

 

 

Veteran reunited with dog tag lost during WWII's Pacific War

AP Wire Service

 

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP), Aug 07 – A 97-year-old U.S. Army veteran from Bismarck has been reunited with a dog tag he lost in Papua New Guinea while serving in World War II.

 

A stranger found Ed Boger's dirty, rusted dog tag about five years ago while digging a hole for a school flagpole in Lemieng, Papua New Guinea, The Bismarck Tribune reported. Kenneth Muo knew that only American soldiers wore dog tags, and, armed with information on the tag including Boger's hometown and mother's name, he determined to return it to its rightful owner.

 

Boger was deployed on his 21st birthday in October 1942. He fought with the 112th Calvary Regiment of the Texas Army National Guard and spent more than three years in the Pacific. He was discharged from the military after the war ended in 1945.

 

“We were scheduled to go into New Guinea when the (Japanese) started taking over the schools … they were after the schools, and I was in what we call a regimental combat team and it was scheduled to go over there to stop (them),” Boger said.

 

Muo posted his find on World War II Facebook groups. Some years passed before a National Guard member in Wisconsin saw one of the posts, found the obituary of Ed Boger's brother and reached out to Ed's son, Charles Boger.

 

Boger surprised his dad when the old dog tag arrived by mail in June.

 

“He got all choked up and emotional about it,” Charles Boger said.

 

Ed Boger said he doesn't even remember losing the tag.

 

“I was happy they found it,” he said, adding: “I was surprised because I had never seen it from the time, I lost it and they found it.”

 

Muo said he was surprised that Ed Boger was still alive, and he wrote a letter to accompany the tag, saying: “I am so proud of myself I was able to get this tag to you.”

 

He said in his letter that the area where he found the tag used to be an old U.S. Army base that has become overgrown by jungle. Aircraft guns and old fighter planes remain in the area.

 

“I thought I would find some skeletons around that place because there were many bullet shells, mostly .50-calibre shells,” Muo said. He found the tag about 50 yards (45 meters) from the base.

–––

 

Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com

 

 

Dear EarthTalk: I’ve heard about “Zero Waste” grocery stores in Europe where everything is sold in bulk and customers bring and fill up their own reusable containers and bags. When will we get some of these here on this “side of the pond?”

— Jane Smith, Boston, Massachusetts

 

Many mainstream American grocery stores and chains now have bulk sections for dried foods like nuts and spices, though most everything else still comes sealed in plastic, cardboard, aluminum or glass, which customers then recycle or discard once they devour the contents.

 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that containers and packaging make up almost a quarter of all landfill waste, with the average American generating four pounds of trash a day, most of its food-related. Furthermore, Americans throw out about a third of the food we buy, largely because we’re forced to buy more than we need due to the way food is pre-packaged for sale.

 

One solution to both of these problems is the “zero-waste” grocery store which sells in bulk (or “loose”) to customers who bring their own containers and shopping bags and fill them up with just the amount of food they will eat. Besides the obvious environmental benefits of reducing the stream of waste to landfills and energy-intensive recycling processors, zero-waste grocery stores also tend to be easier on the wallet — given that packaging adds upwards of 40 percent to the cost of many everyday food items.

 

Zero-waste food stores began turning up in Europe in just the last 15 years. The success of stores like Germany’s Original Unverpackt, France’s Day By Day, Denmark’s LØS Market and the UK’s Bulk Market and Earth.Food.Love shows a strong proclivity, at least in Europe, for a green grocery experience.

 

Zero waste markets are a harder sell in the U.S., but that hasn’t stopped a few entrepreneurs from trying. The nation’s first zero waste grocery store, In.gredients in Austin, Texas, opened with fanfare in 2012 but had trouble competing with a nearby traditional grocery store — and finally shut its doors for good in April 2018. “We realized…we weren’t changing shoppers’ habits,” Erica Howard Cormier, In.gredients’ former GM, told CNBC. “You have to plan a lot to go to the grocery store with your own containers, and people would go to the store across the street because they forgot their container.”

 

Nevertheless, others have ventured forth undaunted. Some of the biggest are Precycle and the Filling Station in New York City, Dill Pickle Co-op in Chicago, Simply Bulk Market and Zero Market in Colorado, the Refill Shoppe near Los Angeles, People’s Food Co-op in Portland, Oregon and Central Co-op in Seattle. And in Vancouver, BC is Nada, one of the biggest and most successful zero waste markets in the world. The store claims to have diverted some 30,500 containers from landfills since opening in 2014.

 

A search on the Litterless.com’s “Zero Waste Grocery Guide” turns up dozens of zero waste grocery options in most major U.S. metropolitan areas, even if some are smaller specialty stores or just sections in traditional markets. So, grab a few Tupperware containers and that old college reunion tote bag and get shopping!

 

EarthTalk is produced by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss for the nonprofit EarthTalk. To donate, visit www.earthtalk.org. Send questions to: question@earthtalk.org.

 

 

Dear EarthTalk: A chef told me that our food choices are the major driver of climate change around the world, but it seems to me that electricity generation and transportation are really more the problem, no?

— Melanie G., Moodus, Connecticut

 

It depends how you slice it. Producing electricity (power plants) and getting ourselves and our stuff around (transportation) do generate the majority of greenhouse gas emissions around the world. But while the agriculture sector in and of itself is only responsible for about 10% of greenhouse gas emissions, the impact of our food choices ripples throughout other sectors as well, with the untold transport miles devoted to shipping food within and between continents, driving to and from restaurants and the grocery store — and all the disposable packaging food is wrapped in that gets tossed into landfills.

 

Meanwhile, we all use lots of electricity and gas to cook and prepare our food and to keep it cool in the fridge until we’re ready for it. And since we throw away some 30 percent of the food we buy, much of the carbon emitted to produce and transport it is for naught. No doubt, our food choices are an important factor in moving society away from our profligate use of fossil fuels and toward a greener future.

 

Whether or not you’ve already taken steps to reduce your carbon footprint by driving or flying less and boosting the efficiency of the buildings and appliances where you live and work, you can do a lot more by changing your diet. The UK office of the non-profit WWF has teamed up with Knorr Foods, one of the largest food brands globally, to launch a new initiative called The Future 50 Foods which encourages people to diversify their diets beyond the carbon-intensive staples so many of us rely on day-to-day.

 

“Greater diversity in our diets is essential, as the lack of variety in agriculture is both bad for nature and a threat to food security,” reports WWF. “Currently 75 percent of the world’s food comes from just 12 plant and five animal species.”

 

This so-called dietary monotony is not just bad for our bodies, given the lack of diversity and limited consumption of some vitamins and minerals, it is also linked to a decline in the diversity of plants and animals used in and around agriculture. According to WWF, we’ve lost some 75 percent of the genetic plant diversity in agriculture since 1900.

 

Some of the “future 50 foods” that WWF and Knorr would like us to eat more of include some familiar ingredients — lentils, kale, wild rice — as well as others that you’ve probably never heard of let alone considered eating, like pumpkin flowers, cactus and fonio, a nutrition-rich, ancient West African grain that Cooking Light magazine calls “the new super grain that could replace quinoa.”

 

“Many of these have higher yields than the crops we currently rely on and several are tolerant of challenging weather and environmental conditions, meaning they could not only reduce the land required for crops, but also prove invaluable in the face of growing climate uncertainty,” says WWF. “It’s essential that we change our eating habits to ensure we protect our planet whilst feeding the growing global population.”

 

EarthTalk is produced by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss for the nonprofit EarthTalk. Check out our other columns at www.emagazine.com/earthtalk-qa/. To donate, visit www.earthtalk.org. Send your questions to: question@earthtalk.org.

 

 

Park It

By Ned MacKay

 

Labor Day Weekend is almost upon us, and the main event in the East Bay Regional Parks is the Rail Fair at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont.

 

Trains of all sizes—from model railroads to a full-size steam locomotive—will be on display at the fair, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, August 31 through Monday, September 2. Attractions will include train rides, historic railroad equipment displays, a special area with wooden trains for toddlers, live music, and tours of the Patterson House. Bring your own picnic or buy food at the Farmyard Café.

 

The fair is sponsored by the park district and the Society for the Preservation for Carter Railroad Resources. Admission is $12 for adults and seniors, $9 for children ages 4 through 17, and free for ages 3 and under. Parking is free.

 

Ardenwood is at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard, just north of Highway 84. For general information, call (510) 544-2797. For fair information, visit www.spcrr.org.

 

On Labor Day weekend, if you are considering camping in the regional parks, it’s too late. All available campsites are booked through Sunday evening, September 1. However, there’s still plenty for day-trippers to see and do.

 

On Labor Day itself, all picnic areas will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, no reservations. It’s best to arrive early, especially at parks with swim beaches as those parks tend to reach peak attendance quickly during hot weather. Bring a blanket to picnic on the lawns if all tables are taken.

 

If you barbecue, use the stands designed for that purpose. Your own portable barbecues are okay on lawn areas, but not in tall dry grass. Dispose of coals only in the concrete receptacles and not in regular trash barrels.

 

At the swim areas, obey any instructions from lifeguards, rangers, firefighters and police, especially if there’s an emergency. Swim beaches have lifejackets available for loan at no cost. Children ages 12 and under are not permitted in the swimming area unless accompanied by a responsible, actively supervising individual age 16 or older.

 

Other Labor Day diversions besides Ardenwood’s Rail Fair will include free Labor Day Fun at Coyote Hills Regional Park. Drop by the visitor center from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, September 2 for naturalist-led old-fashioned games such as a sack race, egg relays, tug-of-war, and kick the can.

 

Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road, off Paseo Padre Parkway in Fremont. There’s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. For details, call (510) 544-3220.

 

Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda will host a Labor Day Open House from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, September 2. Diversions will include songs and stories by the shore at 11 a.m., family nature fun with fish at 2 p.m., and fish feeding at 3 p.m. Visitors can also meet the center’s box turtle, follow the self-guided history trail, make a nature craft, and watch a nature movie in the Old Wharf Classroom.

 

Crab Cove is at 1252 McKay Avenue, off Alameda’s Central Avenue. You can also park at the Crown Beach lot at Otis and Shore Line Drives. For information, call (510) 544-3187.

 

Sunday strollers can enjoy a naturalist-led walk from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on September 1 at Lake Temescal in Oakland. Meet at the park’s north entrance for two loops around the lake—one on the high road, one on the low, 2 miles total.

 

Temescal is at the intersection of Highways 24 and 13. The north end is accessible from Broadway in Oakland. For information, call (510) 544-3187.

 

The Over-The-Hills Gang is an informal group of hikers ages 55 and older who enjoy nature study, history, and outdoor exercise. Naturalist “Trail Gail” Broesder will lead the gang from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 3 on a mostly flat hike at Tilden Regional Park near Berkeley, starting at Inspiration Point on Wildcat Canyon Road. Everyone is welcome. For information, call (510) 544-2233.

 

Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley will honor labor with “Animals on the Job,” a program that runs from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, September 1. Learn how Delta animals live and thrive in the wetland environment.

 

You can also catch up on Delta-related current events and issues during a coffee and news session with the interpretive staff from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Wednesdays, September 4 and October 2.

 

Big Break is at 69 Big Break Road, off Oakley’s Main Street (Highway 4). For details, call (888) 327-2757, ext. 3050.

 

For a complete list of regional park programs for Labor Day and beyond, visit www.ebparks.org. And remember, regional parks are free every Friday through the end of the year in celebration of the district’s 85th anniversary.

 

 

Editorial

A silent spring?

 

Environmental concerns are not new. The pivotal publication in 1962 of Silent Spring, written by Rachel Carson, an American marine biologist, sparked concern and debate about the indiscriminate use of pesticides. She posited a fictional town where spring arrived without the sounds of birds and other wildlife. Manmade chemicals had infiltrated the entire ecosystem to eliminate many lifeforms. The chemical industry defended its products while Ms. Carson predicted catastrophic consequences if pesticide use was left unchecked. Amid a storm of controversy and critical praise and condemnation, DDT was banned in the United States. Also, just prior to the release of the book, it was revealed that thalidomide was linked to birth defects and it was also banned from distribution in the U.S.

 

The constant push-pull between market forces and environmental concerns continues to this day. With increased product longevity, effects that are both welcome and deleterious are revealed. Typically, consumers become aware of these issues when a protective agency or association releases findings developed over many months or years. Recently, one of the most ubiquitous and troubling concerns to reach widespread public attention is water quality. On the East Coast, Newark, New Jersey has joined Flint, Michigan – although from different problems – combating high levels of lead in public water systems.

 

Across the country, another menace has become known by the acronym, PFAS. Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are stable chemicals that repel water and oil and have been used extensively since the 1950s. Unfortunately, these substances can be carried by water and do not break down easily. A wide variety of products contain PFAS: carpets, clothing, non-stick pans, paints, polishes, waxes, cleaning products, and food packaging.  Firefighting foam containing PFAS is used by military and firefighting facilities as well. As a result, groundwater can absorb this contaminant. Multi-year studies are now underway to determine the effects of significant exposure to this class of chemicals.

 

A tracking database of the presence of PFAS by Northeastern University, Boston is available and, according to the data shown, this area has either extremely low or no excessive, reportable levels of these chemicals in our local water. According to the State of Rhode Island Department of Health, “Studies show that human exposure to PFAS is widespread and most people in the United States and in other industrialized countries have measurable amounts of PFAS in their blood.” As with any ubiquitous chemical, caution is a good path to follow. It is a great relief to view the database of questionable levels of PFAS and find that, although military installation use of firefighting foam is listed, our local municipal water districts are not.

 

This is a reminder to all of us of the importance of guarding the quality of our infrastructure. Environmental concerns are real and it is only through vigilance and competence of protective agencies – international, national, regional, local – that the public can avoid what Carson called “a chain of poisoning and death.” Currently, Amazon rain forests are burning and many don’t care. In the midst of environmental crisis, it is easy to look the other way and pretend such actions do not affect us. Carson says, “It is human nature to shrug off what may seem to us a vague threat of future disaster.” She concluded then, and it remains even more clear today, “We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road— the one ‘less traveled by'— offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of our earth.”

 

Our springs are not yet silent… let’s keep it that way.

 

 

Education Workshop for Fremont Renters and Landlords

Submitted by City of Fremont

 

The City of Fremont Human Services Department and Housing Division are hosting a free education workshop. All Fremont renters and landlords are encouraged to attend. Topics that will be covered include the City’s ordinance on Source of Income Discrimination. Housing discrimination based on source of income is banned in the City of Fremont. Learn more at this workshop about your housing rights and responsibilities.

 

Renter/Landlord Workshop

Tuesday, Sep 3

1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Fremont Main Library

2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fukaya Room A

(510) 574-2054

 

 

A triumphant Flight to Freedom

By Hugo Vera

 

On a sweltering Saturday afternoon in the East Bay foothills, locals take refuge from the heat wave with air conditioning or by cooling down at the pool. However, children taking part in day camp at Hayward’s Sulphur Creek Nature Center are beating the heat while learning about animal conservation in the shade of centuries-old willow trees.

 

While educational day camps are wrapping up at Sulphur Creek in preparation for the coming school year, the center and its tireless volunteers prepare for one of the center’s most popular and crucial events. This fall, the center will hold its 22nd annual “Flight to Freedom Celebration.” This annual fundraiser allows locals over age 21 to purchase tickets to an evening filled with food and spirits provided by Buffalo Bill’s Brewpub, Owl Ridge Wines, Twining Vine Winery, and Phoenix Glass; live music from guest band “Hugh and the Heffners;” and most importantly the culmination of animal recovery efforts.

 

At the Flight to Freedom celebration, a select number of once-injured or orphaned birds of prey such as hawks or owls are released back into the wild. “The goal of the center is to take in animals that are local to the area, who are usually injured or orphaned, and to raise them up,” says Sulphur Creek Director of Wildlife Education and Coordinator Wendy Winsted.

 

The veteran animal caretaker has been with the center for 23 years, having started out as a volunteer with the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD). Following the creation of Hayward’s San Felipe Nature Center in the 1960s, the growing need for East Bay wild animal hospitals and sanctuaries led to Sulphur Creek’s establishment in the 1970s.

 

Volunteers estimate that Sulphur Creek helps educate more than 1,200 local children a year about local wildlife and animal conservation efforts, thanks in part to the center’s outreach with East Bay elementary and middle schools. The center is home to more than 100 resident animals, with some on their path to a full recovery and eventual release; others injured to the point that they must be kept in the center for the rest of their lives. Center volunteers report that locals bring in anywhere from 600 to 700 animals per year, after having found them on the street or far from their natural habitats. The most recognizable of these species include barn animals, red tailed hawks and the California golden eagle.

 

Despite being often called a “bird sanctuary,” the center houses far more than just creatures of flight. Indoor units of the center contain enclosures for hundreds of species of reptiles, amphibians, arthropods and, in Winsted’s words, “all kinds of bugs.” On this particularly warm afternoon, the center’s indoor museum purposely leaves its lights off to ensure that the enclosures don’t reach dangerously high temperatures.

 

The center does its best to nurse and house as many local creatures as it can, but the task has its restrictions. Only native Californian wildlife are permitted to stay at Sulphur Creek, and the center cannot take in animals any larger than the average fox.

 

In addition to facilitation from HARD, much of the center’s operations are the result of volunteer work and donations, hence Flight to Freedom’s purpose. The $80 that guests spend per ticket goes entirely to the center. Guests are also able to partake in a silent auction and a raffle in which the winners are able to assist animal caretakers in the release of the newly emancipated birds. “This event is about allowing people to appreciate native wildlife and to learn about them through the experience,” states Winsted.

 

“The center is, in my opinion, one of Hayward’s hidden gems,” says Winsted. “Not only is it one the largest recreation centers in California, but it’s one of the few that is open seven days a week and where guests can come learn about the animals free of admission.”

 

Flight to Freedom Celebration

Saturday, Sept 7

6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

1801 D St., Hayward

(510) 881-6747

www.haywardrec.org

Tickets: $80

On-site parking free, but limited

 

 

MaxxDrop and FoodMaxx app heat-up the summer

Submitted by Victoria Castro

 

On August 14, FoodMaxx announced a new pricing initiative, MaxxDrop, in its 54 stores throughout California and Northern Nevada. The new MaxxDrop signs make it easier for shoppers to see savings throughout the store. FoodMaxx has also launched an app where shoppers can browse ads and find exclusive savings and digitalized manufacturer coupons.

 

“FoodMaxx prices are hotter than ever this summer,” said Dean Willhite, vice president of operations, FoodMaxx. “We’re a family-owned, Central Valley-based company. We’ve lived alongside the farmers and ranchers who grow and raise the best produce and meat since 1952. Those relationships help us bring FoodMaxx shoppers quality products at the lowest prices every day.”

 

The new app provides a platform for the following:

  • Viewing the FoodMaxx ads
  • Clipping digital manufacturer’s coupons
  • Claiming special online member discounts
  • Viewing and downloading recipes
  • Building a shopping list from ads, recipes and/or manually
  • Finding a store
  • Shopping via Instacart for Home Delivery

 

 

Google employees call for pledge not to work with ICE

BY Rachel Lerman

AP Technology Writer

 

SAN FRANCISCO (AP), Aug 16 – Hundreds of Google employees are calling on the company to pledge it won't work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection or Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It's the latest in a year full of political and social pushback from the tech giant's workforce.

 

A group of employees called Googlers for Human Rights posted a public petition urging the company not to bid on a cloud computing contract for CBP, the federal agency that oversees law enforcement for the country's borders. Bids for the contract were due Aug. 1. It is not clear if Google expressed interest. The company did not return a request for comment.

 

More than 800 Google employees had signed the petition by Friday morning. Citing a “system of abuse” and “malign neglect” by the agencies, the petition demands that Google not provide any technical services to CBP, ICE or the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which provides services for refugees, until the agencies “stop engaging in human rights abuses.”

 

“In working with CBP, ICE, or ORR, Google would be trading its integrity for a bit of profit, and joining a shameful lineage,” the organizers wrote. They cited federal actions that have separated migrant children from parents and set up detention centers with poor conditions.

 

Google employees have led a growing trend in which some tech-company employees have taken public stances against their employers' policies. Thousands of Google employees walked out last fall to protest the company's handling of sexual misconduct claims. Employees also protested a Pentagon contract last year over work that used artificial intelligence technology to analyze drone footage.

 

The protests have chalked up some victories. After the walkout, Google announced new sexual misconduct guidelines, although some employees say they don't go far enough. And the company did not renew the Pentagon contract after significant pushback.

 

Responding to some employee pressures has added fuel to claims from Republican pundits and lawmakers that the company is building its products to be biased against conservatives – an unfounded claim that has spawned multiple congressional hearings, although none that have produced evidence of bias.

 

Google was hit with criticism by President Donald Trump last week when the president tweeted, he was “watching Google very closely” after a former employee claimed on Fox News – without evidence – that the company would try to influence the 2020 election against Trump.

 

Google has denied claims of political bias in its popular search service and other products.

 

 

Green Infrastructure Plan

Submitted by City of Fremont

 

The City of Fremont is developing a green infrastructure plan to improve water quality and reduce impacts of increased stormwater flows created by the Bay Area’s growing urbanization. The plan will outline how the city will phase in additional green infrastructure facilities and projects over the next 20 years.

 

Green infrastructure uses specially-designed landscaped areas, pervious surfaces, and cisterns to manage stormwater in a natural and environmentally sustainable way. While older “gray infrastructure” approaches use concrete and metal structures to move stormwater quickly away from streets and other impervious surfaces, green infrastructure allows stormwater to infiltrate into native soils or filter through fast-draining engineered soils. These innovative designs slow runoff from urban and suburban environments to keep pollutants out of local creeks and the Bay.

 

The green infrastructure planning process will include:

  • Updating local planning documents to incorporate green infrastructure requirements
  • Adopting guidelines, standard specifications, and typical designs for green infrastructure
  • Identifying opportunities to incorporate green infrastructure in public and private development projects, including roadway improvements, storm drain infrastructure, and other public facilities

 

Examples of green infrastructure facilities are available on the Alameda Countywide Clean Water Program website, https://www.cleanwaterprogram.org/index.php/programs/green-infrastructure.html. For more information about the city’s local green infrastructure planning process, call the Environmental Services Division at (510) 494-4570.

 

 

Hayward Area Recreation and Park District receives $30,000 grant

Submitted by Jacquelyn Diaz

 

The Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (H.A.R.D.) has been selected to receive a $30,000 grant from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and The Walt Disney Company as part of the effort to increase access to local play spaces. The investment supports NRPA and Disney’s combined goal of providing one million kids and families with greater access to play.

 

As part of the national “Meet Me at the Park” play spaces grant program, park and recreation agencies across the country were invited to share their best ideas on increasing access to play spaces for children and families in their communities. Agencies with the most innovative and impactful project ideas were chosen to receive $30,000 grants to build their projects. H.A.R.D. was one of only 27 grant recipients in the nation.

 

H.A.R.D. will use the $30,000 grant at one of the community’s most innovative projects, Mia’s Dream Come True Playground, which is a one-acre park in Hayward. The playground is designed to be fully accessible to all abilities and will have play equipment and interactive elements that are specific to Hayward and the Bay Area. The grant will fund specialized active elements such as a spray fog mist in the “San Francisco Bay Zone” of the playground.

 

“The H.A.R.D. Board of Directors are thrilled to be a recipient of the grant funded by NRPA and The Disney Company,” stated Rick Hatcher, board president. “The Vasquez family introduced the concept of an “ultra-inclusive” play concept on behalf of their daughter Mia in 2016.When we applied for the grant, we knew it would help make this dream a reality for the community.”

 

“NRPA is proud to collaborate with The Walt Disney Company to help more children and families experience the benefits of play,” said Kelly May, NRPA vice president of programs. “By increasing access to play spaces, this program will also provide unique activities tailored to local community that support healthy lifestyles.”

 

For more information about the Mia’s Dream playground project, please visit www.haywardrec.org. To learn more about Meet Me at the Park, visit www.nrpa.org/meetmeatthepark.

 

 

Scottish gathering preserves heritage

By Stephanie Gertsch

 

On Labor Day weekend, kilts will gather to celebrate Scottish heritage at the 154th “Scottish Highland Gathering and Games” in Pleasanton. The event kicks off with a concert on Friday night, and continues Saturday, August 31 – Sunday, September 1. The festival celebrates many aspects of Scottish culture—athletics, cuisine, music and dance, and even animal care. One of the gathering’s longtime vendors spoke about how heritage can be preserved by acquiring a small piece of Scotland—literally.

 

This year, Lord Stephen Rossiter will come to support the gathering with one of the key sponsors, Highland Titles, which takes a unique approach to saving Scotland’s ancient forests. Rather than using government funding to create their nature preserves, the organization sells tiny plots of land—starting at one square foot—making the buyer technically a Scottish landowner. Rossiter explains, “Because you’re a landowner in Scotland you adopt a title. It’s purely a courtesy title, ‘Laird,’ and Laird means landowner.”

 

Highland Titles was founded in 2006 by Peter Bevis and his daughter Laura. Bevis wanted to conserve property he already owned and the project ballooned. Since then, people around the world decided they fancied the idea of becoming a Laird or Lady while helping support Scotland’s nature and wildlife at the same time. Rossiter came onto the project in 2011 to help with the sales and marketing side. In addition to the original site in Glencoe Wood, Highland Titles purchased a second location called Mountain View in 2014. Native red squirrels and Osprey are thriving in the parks; the Mountain View location is also a bumblebee haven.

 

The two preserves host nature walks, school trips, guided tours—and a yearly gathering for the Lairds and Ladies. People can find their plots using an app, which gives the location of the user’s plot from anywhere in the world and directions once a user is in the vicinity. The nature preserve can also be experienced remotely via webcams. “It’s immense fun for people to say, ‘Actually, I own a part of Scotland,’” says Rossiter, admitting, “Albeit a very small part, but they do own part of Scotland.”

 

Rossiter enjoys attending Scottish gatherings around the world to see how people interact with Scottish culture and heritage and support causes like nature preservation while also having fun. “A lot of Americans and Australians feel that their heritage is in Scotland,” he says. Of course, the gathering in Pleasanton is significant as one of the biggest Scottish events in the USA. “They have bagpiping, they have all the different highland games, like throwing the hammer, doing the caber tossing… You can eat haggis while you’re there, drink iron brew. It’s a great event, very professionally run.”

 

Naturally, there will be a wide range of vendors and events to experience at the Pleasanton gathering. The heavy athletics are always a big draw, with superhuman feats of caber tossing, stone putting, and weight throwing. A little less strenuous is the Kilted Mile race, where anyone wearing a kilt can enter to compete for a cash prize.

 

The Jordanhill and St. Andrews stages will feature Scottish country dancing, fiddling, harping and singing from 10 a.m. to around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Living history village introduces attendees to Scottish culture of yesterday and today. Non-human members of the Scottish community will be present in the form of Clydesdales, Highland Cattle, sheep, and sheepdogs.

 

A full schedule of the gathering, with lists of vendors and entertainers, is available at www.thescottishgames.com. Online ticket sales are currently closed, but tickets can still be purchased at the San Ramon Marriott lobby on Thursday, August 29 and Friday, August 30. Tickets will also be available at the entrance gates both days of the gathering. Prices start at $15 for youth, $30 for adults, for one day.

 

If you’re interested in becoming a Scottish landowner, stop by the Highland Titles booth to buy a plot at a discount. If you’re not able to attend, you can still get a 10% discount online at https://www.highlandtitles.com/ with the code “tricity.” (The code is valid through December 31, 2019.)

 

Grandstand Schedule

 

10 a.m. Kilted Mile

 

12 noon Opening Ceremonies

  • 3rd marine Aircraft Wing Band
  • National Anthems
  • Introductions & Announcements

 

1 p.m. Heavy Athletics

 

4 p.m. Closing Ceremonies

 

U.S. Drum Major Finals

  • 3rd marine Aircraft Wing Band
  • Pipe Bands & Dancers
  • Song performances

 

6 p.m. Bands march off

 

Scottish Highland Gathering and Games

Saturday, Aug 31 – Sunday, Sept 1

8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Alameda County Fairgrounds

4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton

www.thescottishgames.com

Tickets: $15 – 45

Parking $10

 

 

Honor Roll

 

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science University, Boston, MA

Spring 2019 Dean’s List

Lambert Diep, Fremont

 

 

CONTINUING EVENTS:

 

Mondays, May 14 – Dec 30

English Conversation Group

1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Practice spoken English in a friendly environment

Union City Branch Library

34007 Alvarado Niles Rd., Union City

(510) 745-1464

 

Fridays, May 17 – Oct 25

Fremont Street Eats

5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Food trucks, beer, wine, music

Town Fair Plaza

39100 State St., Fremont

fremontstreeteats.com

 

Saturdays, May 25 – Aug 31

Campfire Program

8 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Games, songs and stories around the campfire

Anthony Chabot Campground and Park

9999 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 690-6677

(510) 544-3187

www.ebparks.org

 

Tuesdays, May 28 – Aug 27

Practice Your Spoken English R

4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Chat session for intermediate and up English learners

Fremont Main Library Fukaya Room A

2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont

(510) 574-2063

www.aclibrary.org

 

Thursdays, Jun 20 – Sep 19

Fatherhood Class

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Relationship, parenting, management, job search skills

Fremont Family Resource Center, Pacific Room #H800

39155 Liberty St. (at Capitol), Fremont

(888) 308-1767

www.r3academy.org/fremont

Fridays, Jun 28 – Aug 30

Teach Seniors Technology

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Computer/cell phone questions answered

Milpitas Senior Center

40 North Milpitas Blvd, Milpitas

(408) 586-3400

 

Fridays, Jun 28 – Aug 30

GO the Game Club

3:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Learn to play this ancient game of strategy

Union City Branch Library

34007 Alvarado Niles Rd., Union City

(510) 745-1464

www.aclibrary.org

 

Saturdays, Jun 29 – Aug 31

Zumba Kids

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Dances, games. Wear comfy shoes and clothes

New Hope Community Church

2190 Peralta Blvd., Fremont

(510) 739-0430

 

Monday – Friday, Jul 30 – Sep 13

Celebrating Wildlife: The Animals of Sulphur Creek

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Photos of local wildlife

PhotoCentral

1099 E St., Hayward

(510) 881-6721

info@photocentral.org

 

Thursday – Sunday, Aug 9 – Sep 21

Annual Textile Exhibit

12 noon – 5 p.m.

Traditional and contemporary artists

Olive Hyde Art Gallery

123 Washington Blvd., Fremont

(510) 791-4357

www.olivehydeartguild.org

 

Friday – Sunday, Aug 16 – Oct 5

Planet Hayward

11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Eclectic art collection celebrating “The Heart of the Bay”

Sun Gallery

1015 E St., Hayward

(510) 581-4050

www.sungallery.org

 

Wednesdays, Aug 21 – Oct 30

Citizen Police Academy  R

5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Volunteers train to assist Newark Police

Newark Police Department

37101 Newark Blvd., Newark

(510) 578-4000

(510) 578-4352

beverly.ryans@newark.org

 

Saturdays – Sundays, Aug 1 – Oct 27

Nature Crafts

10 a.m. – 12 noon

Discover the natural world through your artistic side

Sunol Regional Wilderness

1895 Geary Rd., Sunol

(510) 544-3249

www.ebparks.org

 

Saturdays – Sundays, Aug 31 – Oct 27

Wild Wonders

2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Games, activities, crafts for all ages

Sunol Regional Wilderness

1895 Geary Rd., Sunol

(510) 544-3249

www.ebparks.org

 

Sundays, Sep 1 – Oct 27

Animal Feeding Time

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Discuss reptiles, observe feeding time

Sunol Regional Wilderness

1895 Geary Rd., Sunol

(510) 544-3249

www.ebparks.org

 

1st & 3rd Sundays, Sep 1 – Oct 20

Sunday Cinema at Newark Library

2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Enjoy classic superhero or 80's flick. Sing-a-longs

Newark Branch Library

6300 Civic Terrace Ave., Newark

(510) 284-0684

www.aclibrary.com

 

Sundays, Sep 1 – Oct 19

Dove Gallery “Parables: Art with a Message” Exhibit

12 noon – 3 p.m.

Art inspired by meaningful experiences and deep convictions

Park Victoria Baptist Church

875 S. Park Victoria Dr., Milpitas

(408) 464-5011

dove@parkvictoria.org

 

Tuesdays, Sep 3 – Sep 24

Yoga for Everybody $R

7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Gain strength, flexibility, and mental focus

Kenneth C. Aitken Center

17800 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 881-6738

www.haywardrec.org

 

Thursdays, Sep 5 – Sep 26

Lap Harp $

1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Easy to learn lap zither

Kenneth C. Aitken Center

17800 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 881-6738

www.haywardrec.org

 

Friday nights

Laugh Track City $

8 p.m.

Fast-paced improv comedy show

Made Up Theatre

4000 Bay St., Suite B, Fremont

(510) 573-3633

https://madeuptheatre.com/

 

Saturday nights

8 p.m.

Audience-inspired improv play

Made Up Theatre

4000 Bay St., Suite B, Fremont

(510) 573-3633

https://madeuptheatre.com/

 

 

THIS WEEK:

 

Tuesday, Aug 27

Hayward Tenants' Assembly

4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Join other renters and tenants to share housing concerns

Glad Tidings Church – Tennyson

1027 West Tennyson Rd., Hayward

(510) 783-9377

 

Thursday, Aug 29

San Lorenzo Summer Series

5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Local food and shopping vendors

Hesperian Blvd. & Paseo Grande

16010 Hesperian Blvd., San Lorenzo

(510) 537-5300

info@castrovalleychamber.com

 

Friday, Aug 30

Back 2 School Bash for Special Needs

11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Food, dance, raffle prizes, fun activities

Kennedy Community Center

1333 Decoto Rd., Union City

(510) 675-5488

(510) 675-5492

 

Saturday, Aug 31

Tri-City Street Fair

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Open-air market, food, entertainment

Ohlone College Parking Lot H

43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont

(510) 659-6238

ohlone.edu/streetfair

 

Saturday, Aug 31

Canine Capers Walk R

9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Hike the area with your furry friend. 8+

Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

4901 Breakwater Ave., Hayward

(510) 670-7270

www.ebparksonline.org

 

Saturday, Aug 31

Ohlone Village Site Tour

1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

.5-mile walk to 2,000-year-old Ohlone village site

Coyote Hills

8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont

(510) 544-3220

www.ebparks.org

 

Saturday, Aug 31

Petting Zoo and Family Fun Day

1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Games, face painting, balloons, prizes, cotton candy

Fremont Main Library

2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont

(510) 745-1421

www.aclibrary.org

 

Saturday, Aug 31

Fox Stories: Indicators that Fox are in Your Area R

2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Gain insights into fox behavior during this walk

SF Bay Wildlife Refuge – Don Edwards

1 Marshlands Rd., Fremont

(510) 792-0222

http://donedwardsfox.eventbrite.com

 

Saturday, Aug 31 – Sunday, Sep 1

Scottish Highland Gathering and Games $

8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Games, food, music and dancing

Alameda County Fairgrounds

4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton

(925) 426-7600

www.TheScottishGames.com

 

Saturday, Aug 31 – Monday, Sep 2

Rail Fair $

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Live music, train rides, historic railroad display

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797

www.spcrr.org

 

Saturday, Aug 31 – Monday, Sep 2

Crush Kick-Off

12 noon -5 p.m.

Local wine tasting, fine crafts, live music

Chouinard Winery

33853 Palomares Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 582-9900

www.chouinard.com

 

Saturday, Aug 31

Movie Night $

8 p.m.

“The Wolfman” and “Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman”

$20 per car

Chouinard Winery

33853 Palomares Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 582-9900

www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4274608

 

Sunday, Sep 1

Cordage & Pine Nut Bead Making

10 a.m. – 12 noon & 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Make string from plants and animals, string beads. Ages 9+

Coyote Hills

8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont

(510) 544-3220

www.ebparks.org

 

Sunday, Sep 1

Citrus Socials Seafood Festival $

4:30 p.m.- 10:30 p.m.

Live music, food stalls, drinks

Town Fair Plaza

39100 State St., Fremont

http://citrussocials.ticketspice.com/seafood-festival

 

Monday, Sep 2

Labor Day Fun

10:00 a.m. – 12 noon & 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Play old-fashioned games

Coyote Hills

8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont

(510) 544-3220

www.ebparks.org

 

Wednesday, Sep 4

Toddler Time

10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Hear a story, do some chores, meet farm animals

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797

www.ebparks.org

 

 

Titans Junior Varsity succumbs to Las Lomas powerhouse

Submitted and Photos by Mike Heightchew

 

The John F. Kennedy Titans (Fremont) JV team lost to the JV Knights of Las Lomas (Walnut Creek) 33-0 on August 22nd. Losing ground quickly in the contest, Titans defense was willing, but unable to stop the Knights while the offensive line could not create any momentum to challenge Knights scores.

 

Kaiser Permanente intensive care unit recognized

Submitted by Jonathan Bair

 

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently conferred a silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence on the intensive care unit of the Kaiser Permanente Fremont Medical Center.

 

The Beacon Award for Excellence recognizes unit caregivers who successfully improve patient outcomes and align practices with AACN’s Healthy Work Environment Standards. Units that achieve this three-year, three-level award meet national criteria consistent with Magnet® Recognition, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the National Quality Healthcare Award.

 

“We’re very proud to receive this recognition of the excellent care our nurses, physicians and staff deliver for our most critical patients in Fremont,” said Karen Tejcka, chief nurse executive and chief operating officer of the Kaiser Permanente Fremont Medical Center. “Conditions that require intensive care are the most complex, and spending time in the ICU is trying not only for patients but also for their families. The Beacon Award recognizes the great healing work of our caregivers as well as the thoughtful and caring ways that they communicate with patients and families during a difficult time.”

 

“I’m proud that the American Association of Critical Care nurses recognizes the wonderful work of our ICU professionals,” said Eric Cain, MD, physician-in-chief of the Fremont Medical Center. “Every day our nurses, physicians and staff work compassionately to do the very best for our patients and their families.”

 

The silver-level Beacon Award for signifies an effective approach to policies, procedures and processes that includes engagement of staff and key stakeholders. The Intensive Care Unit earned its silver award by meeting the following Beacon Award for Excellence criteria:

 

  • Leadership Structures and Systems
  • Appropriate Staffing and Staff Engagement
  • Effective Communication, Knowledge Management and Learning and Development
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Processes
  • Outcome Measurement

 

 

Kaiser Permanente refuses to pledge to put community needs before profits

Submitted by Jacob Hay

 

In a move that’s raising eyebrows from workers and patients across the country, healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente is one of only a handful of the nation’s nearly 200-largest corporations that refused to sign an August 19 “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation,” calling on companies to shift from making shareholders their main focus to including all their stakeholders, including employees and the community.

 

In a Politico article, Kaiser Permanente said it didn’t sign the Business Roundtable pledge because it is a nonprofit and doesn’t have shareholders, even though the statement focuses on broadening to all stakeholders. Two corporations without shareholders – Guardian Life and New York Life – did sign the statement.

 

“Kaiser’s refusal to sign the statement has nothing to do with being a nonprofit and lacking shareholders,” said Hillary Distefano, a laboratory assistant at Kaiser Permanente in Berkeley. “It’s because Kaiser knows that a corporation with $35 billion in reserves, $5.2 billion in profits just this year, and a CEO who is paid $16 million a year could not sign such a statement with a straight face. Even though they are a nonprofit they simply don’t believe in it.”

 

The 57,000 SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West members who work in Kaiser Permanente’s California facilities recently voted by a 98 percent margin to authorize an unfair labor practices strike against the corporation, beginning in October.

 

 

California governor signs law to limit shootings by police

By Don Thompson

Associated Press

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Aug 19 – California is changing the standards for when police can use lethal force under a law signed Monday that seeks to reduce officer-involved shootings.

 

“We are doing something today that stretches the boundary of possibility and sends a message to people all across this country that they can do more and they can do better to meet this moment,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom as he stood alongside family members of people killed by police.

 

California's old standard has made it rare for police officers to be charged following a shooting and rarer still for them to be convicted. Frequently it's because of the doctrine of reasonable fear: If prosecutors or jurors believe that officers have a reason to fear for their safety, they can use force up to and including lethal force.

 

The law by Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber of San Diego will allow police to use lethal force only when necessary to defend against an imminent threat of death or serious injury to officers or bystanders. But lawmakers dropped an explicit definition of “necessary” that previously had said officers could use deadly force only when there is “no reasonable alternative.”

 

One catalyst was last year's fatal shooting of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man suspected of vandalism whose death sparked major protests in the state capital and reverberated nationwide. Despite the public anger, law enforcement objections stalled the bill last year and even some supporters had reservations until it was amended in May.

 

The measure passed with bipartisan support after major police organizations won concessions and ended their vehement opposition.

 

Several police agencies said the new law simply codifies policies already used in major California cities that emphasize de-escalation. Others said the law may have a significant effect if is coupled with a pending Senate bill requiring that officers be trained in ways to de-escalate confrontations, alternatives to opening fire and how to interact with people with mental illness or other issues.

 

Plumas County sheriff's Deputy Ed Obayashi, a use-of-force consultant to law enforcement agencies, said that the final law mainly leaves the old legal standards in place.

 

“It's a false sense of security to those that think this is going to shift the needle,” he said.

 

In the final version, lawmakers removed an explicit requirement that officers try to de-escalate confrontations. Law enforcement officials said that would have opened officers to endless second-guessing of what often are split-second life-and-death decisions.

 

The measure still contains the strongest language of any state, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which proposed the bill and negotiated the changes.

 

Weber said the law “changes the culture of policing in California.” She was joined on stage by fellow lawmakers and family members of people who have been shot by police, including Clark's family and the mother of Oscar Grant, a man killed by police officers on an Oakland train platform in 2009.

–––

 

The bill is AB392.

 

 

Stage 1 Youth Theatre makes a splash

 

Entering its 31st season, Stage 1 Theatre has been a theatrical resource for the Tri-City community as an outlet for thespians of all ages. In their recent production of The Little Mermaid Jr., the youth contingent brought a magical underwater kingdom and the beautiful young mermaid princess, Ariel, to life. Ariel longs to leave her ocean home — and her fins — behind and live in the world above, much to her father King Triton’s dismay. In exchange for her voice, Ariel bargains with the sea witch, Ursula, to become human and have the chance to win the love of Prince Eric, who she recently saved from a terrible storm. With her friends, Scuttle, Sebastian and Flounder, Ariel must fulfill her bargain with Ursula, but things do not always go as planned!

 

With music by Alan Menken, book by Doug Wright, and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, the musical is a lesson in life: sacrifices we all make for love and acceptance. Stage 1 Theatre’s Youth production was a resounding success, carrying on a tradition of community theatre that encourages participation by all residents.

 

Lorraine VanRod directed a cast of young actors ages 5 through 16 (and one drama teacher) in an energetic and fun production. From shimmering mermaid costumes and Disney-worthy character hats, to a colorful and whimsical set accented with larger than life sea horses, beautiful shells, coral, and gadgets and gizmos galore, Van Rod’s production was mesmerizing. Big ensemble numbers, “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl,” showcased choreography by Traci Colon. Kayla Villegas was lovely in the title role and it was clear in musical numbers that Miss Villegas has some serious vocal chops! Her singing voice is clear and soaring.

 

As Prince Eric, David Stacy portrayed a thinking girl’s royal — full of dignified bearing, but gentle and not at all stuffy. Grant Ewing (The only adult in the show, and also NMHS drama teacher) was convincing as Ariel’s father, King Triton. Audiences loved to hate Ursula the sea witch: Brooke Ung created a sinister character, adding astounding vocals in both word and song. Ellie Fu infused her Grimsby (Prince Eric’s sidekick) with delightful old-world comedic bluster.

 

Ariel’s three main ocean companions each provide a unique foil and laugh-out-loud humor. Sebastian the crusty crustacean tasked with keeping an eye on Ariel, terrifically portrayed by Mandy Cordoba, was the perfect comedic relief—and a soaring voice in her own right. Flounder, played by London Roush added great timing and acting. Rounding out the three companions was wacky Seagull Scuttle played by Rene Exley, who deserves kudos for her number “Human Stuff.”

 

The ensemble was universally terrific, from Eric’s shipmates to the chef ensemble and Ariel’s mermaid sisters, who combined for wonderful harmonies, down to sea creatures in their whimsical costumes.

 

Kudos for an outstanding performance by our youth contingent. Next up for Stage 1 Theatre is the musical 42nd Street, the 1980 Broadway production, winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical scheduled performances September 28 through October 13. Learn more about Stage 1 Theatre at www.stage1theatre.org.

 

Stage 1 Theatre

Newark Memorial High School

39375 Cedar Blvd., Newark

(510) 791-0287

www.stage1theatre.org

 

 

Mel Nunes Skatepark grand opening

Submitted by Katie Dennis

 

Attention skaters and skate fans! On Friday, September 6 starting at 6 p.m., the skatepark in Mel Nunez Sportsfield will have its grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony. Vice Mayor Sucy Collazo will deliver opening remarks, and there will be a “first drop-in” by Councilmember Mike Bucci. Attendees can expect DJ music, food trucks, raffle prizes, and professional skating demos. This event is sponsored by Newark Recreation and Community Services in association with Red Curbs.

 

Mel Nunes Skatepark grand opening

Friday, Sept 6

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Mel Nunes Sportsfield

6800 Mowry Ave., Newark

(510) 578-4668

 

 

Milpitas City Council

August 20, 2019

 

  • Pledge of Allegiance was led by Boy Scouts Troop 92
  • In the absence of Mayor Rich Tran, Vice Mayor Karina Dominguez conducted the meeting.

 

Consent Calendar:

  • Adopted ordinance to discontinue the Planning Commission Subcommittee.
  • Adopted ordinance amending Milpitas Municipal Code relating to massage establishments and practitioners
  • Authorized investment of monies in the Local Agency Investment Fund and updated officers’ information.
  • Approved the Investment Policy for FY 2019-20.
  • Authorized a Stormwater Management Facilities Operation and Maintenance Agreement for mixed use project at 1315 McCandless Drive.
  • Authorized a Stormwater Management Facilities Operation and Maintenance Agreement for the Ellison Park residential project at 231, 247, 271 Houret Drive and 1757 Houret Court.
  • Accepted the additional FY 2018 Citizen Options for Public Safety (COPS) grant funding.
  • Approved establishment of the Milpitas Assistance Program and the Residential Building Incentive Program.

 

Public Hearing:

  • Following a public hearing, approved the Site Development Permit, Conditional Use Permit, Vesting Tentative Map, and Environmental Assessment to allow development of a 40-unit residential condominium building at 2001 Tarob Court. Approval of the project included approval of exception, requested by the applicant The True Life Co., to the affordable housing building requirement, permitting payment of an in lieu fee to the City.

 

Rich Tran (Mayor)                              Absent

Karina Dominguez (Vice Mayor)       Aye

Carmen Montano                                Aye

Bob Nunez                                          Aye

Anthony Phan                                     Aye

 

 

21 states sue Trump administration over new coal rules

By Don Thompson and Adam Beam

Associated Press

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Aug 13 – A coalition of 21 Democratic-led states sued the Trump administration Tuesday over its decision to ease restrictions on coal-fired power plants, with California's governor saying the president is trying to rescue an outdated industry.

 

In June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency eliminated the agency's Clean Power Plan and replaced it with a new rule that gives states more leeway in deciding upgrades for coal-fired power plants.

 

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, says the new rule violates the federal Clean Air Act because it does not meaningfully replace power plants' greenhouse gas emissions.

 

“They're rolling things back to an age that no longer exists, trying to prop up the coal industry,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a news conference. He said the lawsuit was not just about Trump but “our kids and grandkids” who would continue to be harmed by coal pollutants.

 

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, whose state produced the second most coal behind Wyoming in 2017, predicted the lawsuit will ultimately fail at the U.S. Supreme Court, which stayed an earlier Obama administration attempt in 2016 at the request of a competing 27-state coalition.

 

He called the lawsuit a “big government `power grab”' and argued that the Democratic attorneys general “are dead wrong” in their interpretation of the Clean Air Act.

 

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The U.S. EPA said in a statement that it wouldn't comment on pending litigation, but that it “worked diligently to ensure we produced a solid rule that we believe will be upheld in the courts, unlike the previous administration's Clean Power Plan.”

 

The lawsuit was filed by attorneys general in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

 

“The science is indisputable; our climate is changing. Ice caps are melting. Sea levels are rising. Weather is becoming more and more extreme,” New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is leading the coalition, said in a statement. “Rather than staying the course with policies aimed at fixing the problem and protecting people's health, safety, and the environment, the Trump Administration repealed the Clean Power Plan and replaced it with this `Dirty Power' rule.”

 

The states were joined by six local governments: Boulder, Colorado; Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and South Miami, Florida.

 

The EPA's analysis of the new rules predicts an extra 300 to 1,500 people will die each year by 2030 because of additional air pollution from the power grid. But EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in June said Americans want “reliable energy that they can afford,” adding he expected more coal plants to open as a result.

 

“It's more of a fossil fuel protection plan,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said.

 

It would replace the Clean Power Plan, which would require cutting emissions fossil fuel-burning power plants. Becerra said that was expected to eliminate as much climate change pollution as is emitted by more than 160 million cars a year, the equivalent of 70 percent of the nation's passenger cars, and was projected to prevent up to 3,600 additional deaths annually.

 

Newsom and James said states' existing efforts to reduce greenhouse gases are beginning to work while creating green jobs and vibrant economies.

 

In the Northeast, 10 states including New York formed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that has reduced power plant emissions by more than 50 percent.

 

California's power grid used more energy from non-greenhouse gas sources like wind and solar power in 2017 than from electricity generated by fossil fuels for the first time since the California Air Resources Board began keeping track. The board also found that pollution from transportation did not rise as fast as in previous years and reported that 2017 was the second straight year emissions fell below the state's 2020 target.

 

 

Calling for public safety dispatchers

Submitted by Newark Police Department

 

The Newark Police Department is hiring public safety dispatchers; deadline to apply is Friday, September 6. The first review of qualified applicants is Monday, September 9. The position will remain open until filled. Interested applicants must submit their application, resume, and supplemental questionnaire online using CalOpps via www.calopps.org.

 

Public Safety Dispatchers Application

Deadline: 5 p.m. Monday, Sept 6

www.calopps.org

 

 

Fremont News Briefs

Submitted by Cheryl Golden

 

Back-to-School Safety Tips

Public schools in Fremont are back in session on Wednesday, August 28. We want to encourage drivers to be more aware and vigilant as thousands of children begin their new school. The Fremont Police Department will conduct enforcement patrols throughout the school year, with added patrols during the first week of school in anticipation of higher than normal traffic volume.

 

Parents should take a proactive stance on traffic safety by taking the time to talk about safety with their children before they head back to school. If your children are walking to school, it’s a good idea to plan the route ahead of time with your child. Then walk the route to school with your children before the start of the year to assess hazards and select a course with the least number of traffic crossings. It’s important to tell your children that they should find a walking buddy and stay on the same course each day. Adults can teach and model safety behaviors that all children should follow, even those who don’t walk to school every day.

 

Reminders for drivers:

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones.
  • Remember to stop for pedestrians who are trying to walk across the street in a crosswalk.
  • Take extra time to look for children at intersections, on medians, and on curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Watch for children on and near the road in the morning and after school hours.
  • Never pass a stopped school bus with flashing red lights/stop sign. This is a serious safety concern as children are entering/exiting the bus.
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Put down your phone and don’t talk or text while driving.
  • If the school has a pick-up/drop-off valet system, obey the rules and listen to volunteers running the program.
  • Only park in designated parking spaces. Do not block driveways, park in front of fire hydrants, or park in no-stopping/red zones.

 

Reminders for children:

  • Children should cross the street with an adult until they are at least 10 years old or an age of maturity where they can make independent decisions.
  • They should never speak to, or accept gifts or rides from a stranger.
  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Never run out into the streets or cross in between parked cars.
  • Always walk in front of the bus where the driver can see them.
  • Wear a helmet when riding a bike, scooter, or skateboard.
  • Know their phone number, address, and cell phone number of a parent.

 

For more information on school safety tips, visit www.safechildren.org.

 

Workshop for Renters and Landlords

The City of Fremont Human Services Department and Housing Division are hosting a free education workshop from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 3 at Fremont Main Library

2400 Stevenson Boulevard. All Fremont renters and landlords are encouraged to attend. Topics that will be covered include the city’s ordinance on source of income discrimination. Housing discrimination based on source of income is banned in the city. Learn more at this workshop about your housing rights and responsibilities. To RSVP visit www.Fremont.gov/EducationWorkshop, email RentReview@Fremont.gov, or call (510) 733-4945.

 

Fremont Boulevard Safe and Smart Corridor Project

The city plans to begin the Fremont Boulevard Safe and Smart Corridor Project in early 2020 to manage congestion and improve safety for all modes of traveler. The project will cover the 10-mile stretch of Fremont Boulevard between Paseo Padre Parkway and Cushing Parkway.

 

A major component of the project is traffic signal modernization, which was identified by the community as a top priority in the city’s newly adopted Mobility Action Plan. Smart sensors will help streamline traffic flow, ensure adequate intersection crossing times, and prioritize signals for transit and emergency vehicles. These improvements will enhance safety for pedestrians, bicycles, and drivers, supporting Fremont’s Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities.

 

The project also supports the city’s Climate Action Plan by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Construction is anticipated to begin early next year. Funding for the work is granted by Measure BB, approved by Alameda County voters in 2014, and administered by the Alameda County Transportation Commission. To learn more about the project and how to get involved, visit www.fremontsmartcorridor.org.

 

Safe Toxic Waste Disposal

The Fremont Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Facility, 41149 Boyce Road, provides residents with an environmentally safe and convenient method to dispose of hazardous waste. The facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The center is closed for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

 

The city encourages residents to take advantage of the free drop-off facility instead of disposing ofhazardous waste in the garbage, sink, toilet, or storm drain, which can have harmful effects on our communities and the environment. Some of the unwanted paints, cleaners, sealants, and garden products left at the drop-off facility are moved to the Fremont Recycling & Transfer Station’s re-use area. These items are available for free.

 

Accepted items include aerosols, automotive fluids, batteries/electronic waste, fluorescent tubes/bulbs, household chemicals/cleaners, pharmaceuticals, sharps/syringes/lancets/needles, paints/solvents/thinners, pesticides/herbicides/fertilizers, pool chemicals, mercury thermometers, and rat poison/pest control products.

 

For more information, visit www.household-hazwaste.org or call (800) 606-6606. Some small businesses can also use the site; call (510) 670-6460 for details.

 

Animal Shelter Adoption Fees

The Tri-City Animal Shelter has waived adoption fees through the end of August. With nearly 70 cats and 20 dogs available for adoption, you are sure to find the perfect addition to your family. For details, visit www.TriCityAnimalShelter.org.

 

 

Open letter to the New Haven Unified School District

July 31, 2019

Transition to a New System of Electing Governing Board Members

 

I am writing to encourage your participation in an important process led by the New Haven Unified District Governing Board. Starting on April 30, 2019, the District initiated the process of transitioning the method by which Governing Board members are elected. Under the current “at-large” system, all registered voters in the District’s boundaries can vote for candidates for Board member seats.

 

Under the new proposed system, candidates will be elected by “trustee areas.” This means only voters within a given trustee area can vote for candidates who reside within that same area. The intent of this proposed system is to offer greater opportunities for Board representation for candidates that might not otherwise be elected under an at-large system. Transitioning to this new system requires the Board to hold public hearings on proposed trustee area boundaries (or maps) prior to asking the Alameda County Committee on School District Organization to approve the change.

 

If the Committee approves the change, “by-trustee” area voting would be held starting with the 2020 general election, on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Please note that all current Board members will serve out the full length of their elected terms regardless of the location of their residences. The anticipated release date of the map options prepared by the District’s demographer is late August, 2019. Additionally, the District will be releasing a map toolkit, providing the community with the opportunity to submit draft trustee area plans for consideration.

 

District’s demographer will review the submissions for compliance with the requirements of creating voting areas and bring forward for consideration those that meet the requirements. The District will host two community meetings to discuss and take questions on the map options / community map toolkit. There will also be a series of three public hearings regarding the map options.

 

You are invited to attend as many as you would like. If you cannot attend a hearing and wish to review and/or comment regarding potential trustee areas as well as the proposed “trustee area” maps, please do not hesitate to submit your comments and feedback. The proposed maps will also be posted on the District’s web site, www.mynhusd.org, as soon as they are available.

 

You may email any comments or questions to the Superintendent email at: bytrusteeelection@nhusd.k12.ca.us.

 

You may also comment by telephone at (510) 476-2611.

 

I look forward to your participation.

 

Sincerely,

John Thompson, Ed.D. Superintendent

 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

Tuesday, Sep 3

6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sep 17

 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct 1

6:30 p.m.

 

District Office – Board Room

34200 Alvarado-Niles Rd., Union City

 

COMMUNITY INFORMATION MEETINGS

 

Wednesday, Sep 4

5:00 p.m.

Itliong-Vera Cruz Middle School

31604 Alvarado Blvd., Union City

 

Thursday, September 5

5:00 p.m.

Cesar Chavez Middle School

2801 Hop Ranch Rd., Union City

 

 

Combating Opioid Crisis

Submitted by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

 

On August 8, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded $31,536,255 to California to combat the opioid crisis. The investments will enable HRSA-funded community health centers, rural organizations and academic institutions supporting residents in California establish and expand access to integrated substance use disorder and mental health services. The awards support HHS's Five-Point Opioid Strategy that was introduced under President Trump in 2017.

 

California is receiving $26,203,437 to increase access to high quality, integrated behavioral health services, including the prevention or treatment of mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder through the Integrated Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) program. Among the IBHS award recipients are Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center Incorporated in Union City, Tri-City Health Center in Fremont, and Davis Street Community Center in San Leandro.

 

In addition to HRSA’s investments in community health centers, HRSA’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy is awarding more than $111 million to 96 rural organizations across 37 states as part of its Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) initiative. California will receive $1,000,000.

 

Nationally, HRSA is also awarding nearly $70 million to Opioid Workforce Expansion Programs (OWEP) for professionals and paraprofessionals to fund 64 grantees and over $17 million to the Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) Program to fund 49 grantees. California will receive $3,432,819 in OWEP funding and $899,999 in GPE funding. The awards support training across the behavioral health provider spectrum including community health workers, social workers, psychology interns and post-doctoral residents.

 

To learn more about HRSA’s work combatting the opioid crisis, visit HRSA's Opioid Crisis page at https://www.hrsa.gov/opioids.

 

 

$117M invested in local park and recreation projects

Submitted by Dave Mason

 

The East Bay Regional Park District has published a 10-year report on its Measure WW local grant program. The report showcases the many local park and recreation projects throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties funded by the park district.

 

As of 2019, the park district has approved $117 million in local grant program funds for 236 total projects. Funds will continue to be paid to local entities as projects enter construction and are completed in years to come.

 

“The East Bay Regional Park District is proud to partner with local park and recreation agencies to help improve the quality of life for East Bay residents,” said East Bay Regional Park District General Manager Robert Doyle. “The 10-year report highlights how funds have been invested, including how the $117 million approved by the park district has been leveraged by 277 percent for $324 million in total park and recreation improvements.”

 

In 2008, voters in the two counties approved Measure WW, a $500 million bond extension, to expand regional parks and trails, and to preserve and protect open space for recreation and wildlife habitat. Measure WW extended Measure AA, which was originally approved in 1988. Measure WW, passed with 72 percent support, was the largest regional bond funding measure for parks in the U.S.

 

Of the $500 million from Measure WW, $125 million (25 percent) was allocated on a per-capita basis for grants to 46 cities, communities, local park and recreation districts, county service areas, and Oakland Zoo to address local park and recreation needs.

 

Of the 46 public entities authorized by Measure WW to receive local grant program funds, 43 have received their total grant funds or have projects that have been approved to receive funds. Cities and public agencies decide for themselves what recreation facilities need funding and submit applications to the East Bay Regional Park District to receive funds.

 

“We are pleased that Measure WW has been able to assist local communities in improving their local parks and recreational facilities,” said East Bay Regional Park District President Ayn Wieskamp. “So far, the Park District has paid $96.8 million directly to local cities and service areas for 170 completed projects.”

 

Some of the improvements include enhanced parks, playgrounds and community open spaces, renovated pools, new sports and recreation centers, upgraded skate parks, dog parks, sports courts, and additional walking trails. To view the full report, visit www.ebparks.org/MeasureWWReport.

 

 

Plastic Pollution Solutions

Submitted by Nissa Nack

 

Plastic waste has become one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues, with over 8 million tons of plastic finding its way to the oceans each year. On Sunday, September 8, come learn what you and Union City can do to help reduce waste and curb plastic pollution. The library will share daily actions you can take to help combat single-use plastic pollution. The session is presented by Union City recycling programs coordinator Jennifer Cutter. Free kitchen food scrap recycling containers will be available while supplies last. For more information, call (510) 745-1464 or visit https://guides.aclibrary.org/union-city under Events.

 

Reduce Waste and Curb Pollution

Sunday, Sep 8

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Union City Library

34007 Alvarado Niles Rd., Union City

(510) 745-1464

https://guides.aclibrary.org/union-city under Events

 

 

California near to ending 150-year-old posse comitatus law

AP Wire Service

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Aug 15 – California is moving to eliminate what state legislators call an outdated Wild West law requiring that citizens help police upon demand.

 

Lawmakers on Thursday sent Gov. Gavin Newsom a measure eliminating the California Posse Comitatus Act of 1872.

 

The nearly 150-year-old law makes it a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $1,000 for failing to help police make an arrest or catch a fleeing suspect.

 

Democratic Sen. Bob Hertzberg of Van Nuys says his interns initially proposed eliminating a law that he says “belongs in the history books, not the law books.”

 

Democratic Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove of Los Angeles says it was also used to help apprehend runaway slaves.

 

She calls it “a visage of a bygone era” now that California has plenty of professionals to catch criminals.

 

 

Rail Fair returns to Ardenwood

Submitted by Jacque Burgess

 

Over Labor Day weekend, Ardenwood Historic Farm will host their 20th Annual “Rail Fair.” All activities are free with the price of admission to this celebration of everything trains.

 

There will be unlimited train rides all three days pulled by “Katie,” our diesel locomotive. The 1890 steam locomotive “Ann Marie” will be doing operating demonstrations and will park for photo opportunities.

 

Trains will also appear in miniature form. The Bay Area Garden Railway Society (BAGRS) will bring a variety of scale steam locomotives to operate on Saturday and Sunday. These small but mighty engines work exactly like full-size steam engines. On all three days, BAGRS is also bringing their beautiful “Roving Garden Railroad” with live plants and a real waterfall—based on the children’s books “The Boxcar Children.”

 

Diablo Pacific Shortline’s large modular railroad has operating freight and passenger trains, as well as a Thomas the Tank Engine train (all three days). This railroad is built low so the littlest railroad fans can follow trains around this huge layout. The California Central Coast On30 Railroad will also be back with their popular layout. New this year is the Paul Family Lego Railroad. This amazing railroad and city is built of Legos with Lego trains running through the scenes.

 

For children, there will be stilts and tabletop games (11a.m. -12 noon, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.). For toddlers, we have an area set aside where they can play with multiple wooden trains, read stories from our train book library, and learn fun facts and stories about the Gray Fox that lives near our railroad tracks (10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.).

 

For entertainment, we welcome back two music groups who have been performing at Rail Fair for over a decade. On Saturday and Monday (11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) the California State Old-Time Fiddlers will play traditional American string band music, including many rare old fiddle tunes and Appalachian-style music. On Sunday (same time), the Apple Butter Brothers will play American folk music with an emphasis on “Train Songs.”

 

The beautiful Patterson House will be open for tours all three days. Sign up for tours at the Patterson House porch. Food will be available for purchase at the Farmyard Café (or bring a picnic). The Farmyard Café also has ice cream, treats and cold drinks. Don’t forget your hats and sunscreen! Activities are spread out throughout the farm.

 

Tickets are sold at the gate. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Parking is free. Presented by The Railroad Museum at Ardenwood, operated by the Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources (SPCRR), a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

 

Rail Fair

Saturday, Aug 31 – Monday, Sept 2

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

(children’s activities close at 3:30)

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797

info@spcrr.org

https://www.facebook.com/spcrrmuseum

www.spcrr.org

$12 Adults & Seniors, $9 Children 4 – 17, 3 and under free

 

 

Real Estate Notebook

 

Solve real estate problems before they happen

By David Stark, Bay East Association of REALTORS®

 

Buying or selling a home can be complicated but solving real estate problems can be simple. “In today’s market everyone needs to be open-minded and prepared to negotiate and work together on the transaction,” said Nancie Allen, 2019 president of the Bay East Association of REALTORS®. Allen described a few common problems that can derail a real estate transaction for both buyers and sellers. Topping the list of problems buyers face: buying stuff.

 

“A buyer will get pre-approved for a mortgage, get into a transaction and then make a big credit purchase,” Allen said. “We’ve actually had transactions fall apart because the buyer went out and bought all new furniture for their house and then they didn’t qualify for their loan anymore.”

 

Most lenders will determine a buyer’s debt-to-income ratio during the pre-approval process and then one more time right before they fund the loan. If the ratio changes, the buyer may no longer qualify for the loan. The solution? Allen said, “Once you’re preapproved for a loan, don’t make any large credit purchases until the transaction is closed.”

 

The condition of a home may cause problems for both buyers and sellers. Allen started with buyers, “Results of property inspections can be another stepping-stone to completing the transaction. If a property inspection reveals problems, buyers may want to reopen negotiations with the seller.” The solution? Allen said, “Remember that no home is perfect. And be prepared to negotiate fairly with the seller and be transparent about what a deal-breaker may be early in the negotiation process.”

 

As real estate markets change and sales prices begin to soften in many communities, buyers need to be ready for what that can mean in terms of purchase financing. “In some cases, the appraisal amount may come in under the purchase price.” Allen said. “If the buyers love the house, they may need to make up the difference. And sellers may be asked to lower the purchase price. Often it is a combination of the two.”

 

For the last few years limited inventory and skyrocketing prices have made residential real estate a sellers’ market. Times are changing and sellers need to understand those changes. “Be prepared to negotiate,” Allen said. “Don’t take it as an insult if somebody comes in with a low-ball offer because buyers are going to try to get the property for as low as they can. I’ve seen sellers say, ‘I’m insulted by that offer and I don’t even want to respond!’”

 

Allen said, “Have an open mind and know the final price will tell you what the market will bear and will not be based on what you need – that’s two different things.” Property condition, as mentioned earlier, can mean problems for sellers, too.

 

Buyers have more power in transactions now and homes sit on the market longer, and “as-is” may not be good enough. Allen said, “Buyers may find termite work they want done before the transaction closes, or roof work, or other property related repairs. This is again an opportunity for buyers and sellers to find a mutual solution.”

 

For sellers who are simultaneously selling their current home and purchasing another home, possibly out of the area, Allen emphasized they need to understand the timing of the two real estate transactions. “All the parties need to be working together to make sure the transactions close on time so the sellers can move.” If the timing doesn’t line up, the seller still needs a place to live. Allen said, “Sometimes a seller may need to request a rent-back and the buyer needs to know that up-front so they can plan accordingly.”

 

“The bottom line is we are now in a market where give and take on both sides are becoming more necessary. But in the end, buyers want to buy, and sellers want to sell and by working together they can both accomplish their goals,” concluded Allen.

 

 

Letter to the Editor

The right choice

 

The City of Fremont has been the subject of a great deal of controversy around a proposed Housing Navigation Center. The Navigation Center, sometimes also referred to as a Temporary Housing Navigation Shelter, is the city’s latest answer to the homeless crisis. The shelter is to be paid for with a state Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) grant.

 

You would think that the city using money given to it by the state to combat homelessness, which is a major problem in Fremont, would be something that everyone could support. And everyone does support using the money to help those in need. The controversy is around how to use those funds.

 

To date, the city has selected two potential sites to build the center, one on Decoto Rd and one at City Hall. City staff have been instructed to perform an analysis on each of these sites to determine which will be the best choice. And therein lies the controversy.

 

There are three major arguments going on, with some residents arguing for the city hall site, while other residents support the Decoto location. A third group is arguing to just hurry up and build it, regardless of location, as they see the only two choices being build a navigation center or do nothing. The result is that Fremont is becoming fractured, with neighborhoods debating each other in-person at city council meetings and then spewing vitriol on social media. Fremont, a city known for its compassion, is losing its luster.

 

Lost in all of this is the right solution. There is a right choice and it is not one of those that is being argued for. There is only one real choice, and that is to not build a housing navigation center at all.

 

Now that does not mean doing nothing. The challenge of homelessness is one of the fundamental moral challenges of our time and it must be addressed. To ignore the problem would be unconscionable, but the reality is that it is a massive problem and to be successful we must apply our limited resources in the most effective way. And navigation centers are not effective.

 

While there are a lot of “reports” of success, there is no credible evidence that navigation centers reduce homelessness. San Francisco has been building navigation centers for over five years, spending tens of millions of dollars. What do they have to show for it? A documented 14% success rate in getting navigation center residents into permanent housing and a growing homeless population.

 

The San Francisco Chronicle quotes Jeff Kositsky, Director of the Homelessness Department in San Francisco, as saying, “Some of the Navigation Centers are costing us more than permanent supportive housing,”.

 

Clearly navigation centers are not a recipe for success.

 

And yet the City of Fremont simply chose to spend the money on a navigation center, without doing the proper homework. If there was any effort by the city to determine if a navigation center would actually help solve the problem, it has not been made public.

 

There isn’t even a plan to pay for it. The HEAP grant will not cover the costs of operating the center for even one year. Factor in construction costs, and what is left of the grant will only pay for a few months of operation. There is no published plan to pay for this center once the grant runs out.

 

Now, the HEAP grant does not require that the funds be used on a navigation center and they can be spent in a variety of ways. In fact, the program guidelines state “The parameters of the program are intentionally broad to allow local communities to be creative and craft programs that meet the specific needs they have identified”.

 

To be clear, there is no requirement to spend the money on a navigation center.

 

And the homeless agree. In the Alameda County Homeless Count and Survey Comprehensive Report 2019, a survey the City of Fremont participated in, homeless people were directly asked how monies should be spent to end homelessness. The top two responses were affordable rental housing (52%) and permanent help with rent/subsidy (38%). Of the six choices, a shelter came in last at number six.

 

So, if the citizens of Fremont cannot agree where to build the center, the city has no plan to pay for it, the homeless population the center is supposed to serve doesn’t want it, and there is no legitimate evidence that navigation centers work, then why build one?

 

Instead, spend the money on things that will have an impact. The HEAP grant guidelines specifically state that the funds can be spent on “Housing vouchers, rapid re-housing programs, and eviction prevention strategies”, which is exactly what the homeless themselves are asking for.

 

If the City Council will do that, then they will be showing true leadership. They will end the in-fighting that is going on in the city, they will show that they are spending our tax dollars responsibly, and most importantly, they will actually help the homeless.

 

And isn’t that the whole point?

 

Keith Parker

Fremont

 

 

Pacific fishermen report best king salmon season in years

By Terence Chea

Associated Press

 

SAN FRANCISCO (AP), Aug 22 – Trolling off the California coast, Sarah Bates leans over the side of her boat and pulls out a long, silvery fish prized by anglers and seafood lovers: wild king salmon.

 

Reeling in a fish “feels good every time,” but this year has been surprisingly good, said Bates, a commercial troller based in San Francisco.

 

She and other California fishermen are reporting one of the best salmon fishing seasons in years, thanks to heavy rain and snow that ended the state's historic drought.

 

It's a sharp reversal for chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, an iconic species that helps sustain many Pacific Coast fishing communities.

 

Commercial salmon catches have surpassed official preseason forecasts by about 50%, said Kandice Morgenstern, a marine scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Harvests have been particularly strong in Morro Bay, Monterey and San Francisco, but weaker along California's northern coast.

 

“We're really surprised to be seeing this many fish being landed so far this season,” Morgenstern said.

 

The salmon rebound comes after three years of extremely low catches that resulted from poor ocean conditions and California's five-year drought, which drained the state's rivers and reservoirs.

 

Over the past several years, regulators imposed severe fishing restrictions to protect chinook salmon, and officials declared federal fishery disasters in 2018 to assist fishing communities in California, Oregon and Washington.

 

This year's adult salmon are the first class to benefit from record rainfall that filled California rivers and streams in early 2017, making it easier for juvenile chinook to migrate to the Pacific Ocean, where they grow into full-size fish.

 

Chinook salmon are also being helped by improved ocean conditions that have produced an abundance of anchovies, krill and other feed. Several years ago, an El Nino event brought unusually warm water to the Pacific Coast and disrupted the marine ecosystem.

 

“For the salmon fishermen who've been dealing with disaster for so long, this is an incredible boon to their livelihoods,” said Noah Oppenheim, who heads the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations.

 

The strong salmon season, which typically runs from May to October, is positive environmental news at a time of growing anxiety about climate change. A United Nations report released this month warns that global warming threatens food supplies worldwide.

 

Morgenstern says climate change is creating greater fluctuations in ocean and river conditions, making chinook fisheries “less stable, less predictable and more challenging for fishery managers.”

 

Most of the chinook salmon now being caught come from the Sacramento River and its tributaries, where they spawn. Many were raised in state-run hatcheries then released into rivers to swim to the ocean. Harvests of chinook from rivers farther north have not been strong.

 

For consumers, the bountiful harvest has driven down wild salmon prices to $15 to $20 per pound, compared with $30 to $35 per pound in recent years. Fishermen are making up for the difference by catching more fish.

 

“The market is dictating right now that there's a lot of salmon, so the customers don't have to pay as much,” said Gordon Drysdale, culinary director at Scoma's, a seafood restaurant at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.

 

The wharf is one of many California fishing communities now benefiting from the salmon boom. Pier 45, where boats unload their fish, hasn't been this busy in many years, said Larry Collins, who runs the San Francisco Community Fishing Association.

 

“This year started out with a bang, and it's just kept banging the whole time,” Collins said. “We're all really excited and happy the fish showed up.”

 

On a recent morning, commercial fisherman Brand Little, who sells to customers in the Lake Tahoe area, returned from four days of fishing with nearly 200 salmon weighing more than 2,000 pounds (907 kilograms).

 

“Best trip of the season,” Little said. “It's been a long time coming.”

 

The salmon boom is also welcomed by sport fishermen and the boat operators who take them out to the ocean.

 

“When the fish are biting, it's always good for business for us,” said Mike Rescino, who runs a charter boat. “When the people see the big reports, they're going to come out and go fishing with us.”

 

 

SAVE 2019 Gala

Submitted by SAVE

 

Safe Alternatives for Violent Environments (SAVE) will hold their 2019 “Evening of Empowerment” on Saturday, September 21! Last year, you may recall the Golden Button Tree signifying this event. The tree was created by local artist Allie Nardella and each button was placed by members of Project LIGHT (SAVE’s survivor leadership program) during a healing arts lesson. Through this collaborative art process, we recognized we were building a peaceful community and we continue to bring people together. The image you see for this year’s Evening of Empowerment, Blue Button Tree, was created by community members who joined SAVE during our 2018 International Women's Day celebration. We are grateful to have a creative supporter like Nardella who has brought this transformative process into our work.

 

“Painting is healing for me, and I was feeling upset and disturbed about all the violence in the world,” says Nardella. “I started with layers of colors on the canvas and the beauty of our blue sky and the colors of nature and the healing beauty of trees, and how much they ground me. I love painting trees because there is no wrong way to paint a tree, like humans they are each unique in their own way. This process calmed me down and connected me to my own little act of sending out love and finding some inner peace. I smiled as I began placing buttons onto the tree and the symbolism of pushing my buttons in action and I felt a deep calmness as I realized how we are each connected to this beautiful tree of life and come in many colors. I sent out an intention for universal peace and connection to our roots of love.”

 

At SAVE’s 2019 Evening of Empowerment, there will be a new tree…add your button and help build a peaceful community! Purchase tickets on Eventbrite here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-evening-of-empowerment-annual-gala-tickets-60961711119.

 

Evening of Empowerment

Saturday, September 21

6 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Paradise Ballroom

4100 Peralta Boulevard

Fremont, CA

 

SAVE Community Office

Monday – Friday

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

1900 Mowry Ave., Suite 201, Fremont

(near Washington Hospital)

24-hour hotline: (510) 794-6055

(510) 574-2252

https://save-dv.org/

 

 

Scam Alert

Submitted by Newark PD

 

Newark Police has received calls about an email the callers believed were distributed by the City of Newark. One caller was a local resident and another was from a company located in Southern California.

 

The email is FROM: “noreply@newark.org”. The Subject of the email lists: “[secure] City of Newark”.

 

There are two attached PDF documents that when opened, ask for personal information to be entered. After entering your information, it is automatically sent to the Scammer, allowing the Scammer to gain access to your personal accounts.

The Newark Police Department would like to remind the general public that the City of Newark will never email you or your business requesting personal information.

 

Newark Police Department

7101 Newark Blvd, Newark, CA 94560

(510) 578-4237

 

 

School receives blanket donation

Submitted by Laura Forrest

 

Students at Lazear Charter Academy in Oakland will be napping in comfort with blankets made by volunteers and donated in a project led by Alameda County Board of Education Trustee Eileen McDonald.

 

On August 12, the first day of school, 4- and 5-year-old students lined up to receive soft, colorful blankets made by volunteers from donated fabric. Staff and volunteers, including Alameda County Superintendent of Schools L. Karen Monroe, helped each student choose from a variety of colors and patterns.

This is McDonald's fourth year supporting blanket donations, which grew from a 2016 service project by Brooklyn Sisk, who was then a fifth-grade student at Oliveira Elementary in Fremont Unified School District. After that first year, McDonald decided to expand the program. She enlisted the League of Volunteers (LOV) to help with sewing, and fellow Alameda County Board of Education Trustee Ken Berrick donated funding for the flannel. In the first two years, over 120 blankets were distributed. 

Over the years, many in the community have stepped forward to donate funding, supplies and sewing skills. This year the program was able to give Alameda County students over 250 flannel nap blankets. “It takes a village,” McDonald said.

 

Monetary and flannel donations can be mailed to LOV at 8440 Central Ave., Newark, CA 94560. Note “B’s Blankets” in the check memo or on the donation. Questions about the program can be emailed to Eileen McDonald at emcdonald@acoe.org

 

 

Seafood Festival

Submitted by Bella Comelo

 

After a sold-out Crab Fest, Citrus Socials Team is ready to put up a sizzling “Sea Food Festival” on Sunday, September 1 from 4:30 pm at the Town Fair Plaza in Fremont. The festival will feature local beers, live music by Poco Locos, Gaurav Borkar, Aleixo de Nuvem and The Pepper Water Band. Popular singer Savio Rodriques will regale the audience with Konkani, English, Portugues and Bollywood songs. As friend of Citrus Socials Joseph Lourenco put it, “It is the goal of Citrus Socials to take your senses on a culinary, visual and musical journey through elevated experiences.” Citrus Socials encourages local chefs and artists to show case their talents.

 

At food stalls, local chefs will be dishing up sea food in unique combinations of Indian coastal flavors—such as Jhinga Ajwaini Tikka (prawn dish), Bhatti Da Jhinga, Curry Leaf Grilled Shrimps, Mahi Saufiana Tikka, Mahi Tandoori and Chettiinad-style grilled Mahi. Dessert will be Alle Belles, or crepes filled with Goa coconut jaggery.

 

Local chefs Austin Vaz and Suraj Jolly (the “singing chef”) are ready to show off their gourmet dishes. Cooking gourmet food has been Austin’s passion since childhood. His grandfather was a chef and his mom ran a catering company. The Singing Chef Suraj is Sacramento based. Driven by his absolute love for cooking, he got onto the AB26-Home Cooked Act bandwagon and has his own start-up DishDivvy.

 

“This festival will not only be a gastronomical experience it will alleviate your spirit as well,” said Maria Rodrigues, another friend of the Citrus Socials team.

 

Entrance tickets are $15, early bird $10. Children 8 and under enter free. Purchase tickets at https://citrussocials.ticketspice.com/seafood-festival.  For group discounts and other modes of payments please reach out via citrussocialsllc@gmail.com.

 

Sea Food Festival

Sunday, Sept 1

4:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Town Fair Plaza

39100 State St., Fremont

https://citrussocials.ticketspice.com/seafood-festival

citrussocialsllc@gmail.com

 

 

Plastic bottles sales banned at San Francisco airport

AP Wire Service

 

SAN FRANCISCO (AP), Aug 02 – San Francisco International Airport is banning the sale of single-use plastic water bottles.

 

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Friday that the unprecedented move at one of the major airports in the country will take effect Aug. 20.

 

The new rule will apply to airport restaurants, cafes and vending machines.

 

Travelers needing plain water will have to buy refillable aluminum or glass bottles if they don't bring their own.

 

As a department of San Francisco's municipal government, the airport is following an ordinance approved in 2014 banning the sale of plastic water bottles on city-owned property.

 

SFO spokesman Doug Yakel says the shift away from plastics is also part of a broader plan to slash net carbon emissions and energy use to zero and eliminate most landfill waste by 2021.

–––

 

Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

 

 

What millennials get wrong about Social Security

AP Wire Service

Aug 19

By Liz Weston of NerdWallet

 

Few issues unite millennials like the future of Social Security. Overwhelmingly, they're convinced it doesn't have one.

 

A recent Transamerica survey found that 80% of millennials, defined in the survey as people born between 1979 and 2000, worry that Social Security won't be around when they need it. That's not surprising _ for years, they've heard that Social Security is about to “run out of money.”

 

The language doesn't match the reality. Social Security benefits come from two sources: taxes collected from current workers' paychecks and a trust fund of specially issued U.S. Treasury securities. This trust fund is scheduled to be depleted in 203 4, but the system will still collect hundreds of billions in payroll taxes and send out hundreds of billions in benefit checks. If Congress doesn't intervene, the system can still pay 77% of projected benefits.

 

In any case, chances are good Congress will intervene, as it did in 1977 and 1983, to strengthen Social Security's finances. Social Security is an enormously popular program with bipartisan support and influential lobbies, including the immensely powerful AARP, looking out for it.

 

Still, millennials who believe Social Security won't be there for them could make bad choices about their retirement savings. The worst outcome would be if they didn't save at all, convinced retirement was hopeless. But any of the following myths could cause problems.

 

`I CAN SAVE ENOUGH TO RETIRE EVEN WITHOUT SOCIAL SECURITY'

 

Good luck with that.

 

Currently, the average Social Security benefit is just under $1,500 a month. You would need to save $400,000 to generate a similar amount. (That's assuming you use the financial planners' “4% rule,” which recommends taking no more than 4% of the portfolio in the first year of retirement and adjusting it for inflation after that.)

 

And that may be underestimating the value of Social Security. The Urban Institute estimates that many average-income single adults retiring between 2015 and 2020 will receive about $500,000 in benefits from the system while couples will receive roughly $1 million. Millennials, meanwhile, are projected to receive twice as much: about $1 million for an average-income single adult and $2 million for a couple.

 

Trying to save enough to replace 100% of your expected Social Security benefit might well be impossible, and could cause you to stint on other important goals such as saving for a child's education or even having a little fun once in a while.

 

A more realistic yet still cautious approach would be to assume you'll get 70% to 80% of what your Social Security statement projects, says Bill Meyer, founder of Social Security Solutions, a software tool for Social Security claiming strategies.

 

“Somewhere between a 20% to 30% reduction seems like the worst-case scenario to me,” Meyer says.

 

`I CAN IGNORE MY SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT'

 

Your future Social Security check will be based on your 35 highest-earning years.  To get what you're owed, however, your earnings need to be reported accurately and that doesn't always happen. Employers may not report the correct information to Social Security, or may not report your earnings at all. You can correct those errors if you catch them in time. Fixes could be difficult decades from now, when the employer may have gone out of business and needed documents may be unavailable.

 

Millennials may be more exposed to errors than previous generations because they tend to change jobs more, Meyer says. That makes it important for them to check their earnings records, which they can do by creating an account on the Social Security Administration's website.

 

“Every two to three years, you should log on and make sure that your earnings are reflected correctly,” Hayes says.

 

`IF IT'S STILL AROUND, I SHOULD GRAB IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE'

 

Millions of Americans make this mistake every year, locking in permanently reduced payments and potentially costing themselves up to $250,000 in lost benefits by claiming too early. But Congress is highly unlikely to cut benefits for those in retirement or close to retirement age, Meyer notes.

 

Instead, there likely will continue to be incentives for delaying your Social Security claim. Currently, benefits increase by about 7% to 8% for each year you wait to apply after age 62 until benefits max out at 70.

 

Working an additional few years also can compensate for low- or no-earning years earlier in millennials' careers, when incomes may have been depressed by recession or gig-to-gig work.

 

“A higher-earnings year can replace a lower one,” Meyer says. “You can fill in those gaps.”

 

NerdWallet: When can I retire? http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-when-to-retire

 

 

Social Security Column

Social security’s recent top five blog posts

By Linda Zamfino

Social Security Representative

 

Social Security matters to millions of people, and that’s why we aptly named our blog Social Security Matters. Over the past several years, more and more people have realized that our blog is a trusted source for information and easy-to-share articles. Here are five recent popular blog posts:

 

  1. Three common ways your social security payment can grow after retirement

You made the choice and now you are happily retired. You filed online for your Social Security benefits. They arrive each month in the correct amount exactly as expected. But, did you ever wonder if your Social Security check could increase? You can see all three ways at blog.ssa.gov/three-common-ways-your-social-security-payment-can-grow-after-retirement.

 

  1. So, you’ve lost your Social Security card

Losing important documents is frustrating, especially something as important as your Social Security card. You’ll want to consider whether you really need to get a replacement card. Knowing your number is what’s important, after all. You’ll rarely need the card itself – perhaps only when you get a new job and have to show it to your employer. Learn how to replace your card at blog.ssa.gov/so-youve-lost-your-social-security-card/.

 

  1. Is that phone call from us?

It’s the morning of a busy day at home and you get a call from an unknown number. You answer, only to find yourself on the receiving end of a threatening message saying your Social Security benefits will stop immediately unless you provide your personal information. It happens every day to thousands of Americans, and it’s not Social Security calling. Read more about this scam at blog.ssa.gov/is-that-phone-call-from-us/.

 

  1. Need to change your name on your Social Security card?

Are you changing your name? If so, let Social Security know so we can update your information, send you an updated card, and make sure you get the benefits you’ve earned. Updating your card is easy at blog.ssa.gov/need-to-change-your-name-on-your-social-security-card.

 

  1. Spruce up your financial plan with Social Security

Now that tax season is over, it’s probably a good time to evaluate some financial “best practices” for the rest of the year. A good spring cleaning can clear out the clutter to let you see a clear path for your future. Social Security is always here to help. Even if you just started working, now is the time to start preparing for retirement. Achieving the dream of a secure, comfortable retirement is much easier with a strong financial plan. Read more at blog.ssa.gov/spruce-up-your-financial-plan-with-social-security.

 

These aren’t the only topics that might matter to you on Social Security Matters. You can always subscribe and get alerts for new policies, Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) information, and more.

 

 

Tesla restarts its solar-panel business, offers rental plans

AP Wire Service

 

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP), Aug 18 – Tesla is trying to spark its solar-panel business by letting consumers rent rooftop systems rather than buy them.

 

Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk announced the offering in a series of tweets Sunday.

 

The company will allow residents of six states to rent solar-power systems starting at $50 a month – or $65 a month in California – for a small set-up.

 

Musk says consumers can cancel anytime, although Tesla's website says there's a $1,500 charge to remove panels and restore the roof to its previous condition.

 

Besides California, rentals will be offered in Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico.

 

Electric car maker Tesla bought residential solar installer SolarCity for $2.6 billion in 2016 but installations have plunged in recent quarters. Tesla stopped selling systems in Home Depot stores.

 

 

Theft at The Great Mall

Submitted by Milpitas PD

 

On August 25, 2019, at approximately 7:33 p.m., officers responded to a report of a theft at the Diamond by Chainery, located at 302 Great Mall Drive, where three suspects smashed displays and stole jewelry. As officers arrived to the mall, shoppers were running because they thought a shooting had occurred. In the abundance of caution for the shoppers, businesses, and our community, the Great Mall was evacuated with the assistance of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, San Jose Police Department, California Highway Patrol, and Great Mall management. Officers quickly engaged and systematically searched the mall, and determined there were no victims or evidence of a shooting.

At approximately 10:40 p.m., officers completed a comprehensive search and the mall was released to the Great Mall Management.

The investigation at the jewelry store is still ongoing and there are no other details at this time, outside of three men that entered the store in dark clothing that smashed glass jewelry displays to steal an unspecified amount of jewelry.

 

SUSPECT #1: Black male in dark clothing
SUSPECT #2: Black male in dark clothing
SUSPECT #3: Black male in dark clothing

The Milpitas Police Department would like to thank the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, San Jose Police Department, California Highway Patrol, and Great Mall Security for their swift response and assistance at the Great Mall!

 

If you have any information regarding this incident; then you are encouraged to call the Milpitas Police Department at (408) 586-2400. Additionally, the information can be given anonymously by calling the Crime Tip Hotline at (408) 586-2500 or via the Milpitas Police Department Website at: http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/crimetip

 

 

Travel Agent Theft

Submitted by Lt. John Torrez, Milpitas PD

 

On August 8, a Milpitas resident contacted the Milpitas Police Department regarding the House of Aloha Hawaii travel business based in Honolulu, Hawaii. The resident had paid the business for travel services, but did not receive the services they purchased. Officers investigated further and identified 12 additional victims who had conducted business with the House of Aloha Hawaii.

 

The Milpitas Police Department has been in contact with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, California Department of Justice Seller of Travel Program, and Honolulu Police Department regarding this investigation. The Milpitas police referred this investigation to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office for a criminal complaint against House of Aloha Hawaii for theft by false pretenses and failure to provide travel services as promised.

 

The Milpitas Police Department believes there are additional Milpitas residents that have paid the House of Aloha Hawaii for travel services, which were either not delivered or partially delivered. We encourage those residents to contact the police at (408) 586-2400. If you conducted business with the House of Aloha Hawaii and reside outside of Milpitas, we encourage you to call your local police department. Additionally, information regarding this investigation can be given anonymously by calling the Crime Tip Hotline at (408) 586-2500 or via the Milpitas Police Department Website at http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/crimetip.