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No cashiers, please: Futuristic supermarket opens in Mideast
By Isabel Debre, Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP), September 6 – The Middle East on Monday got its first completely automated cashier-less store, as retail giant Carrefour rolled out its vision for the future of the industry in a cavernous Dubai mall.

Like Amazon's breakthrough unmanned grocery stores that opened in 2018, the Carrefour mini-market looks like any ordinary convenience store, brimming with sodas and snacks, tucked between sprawling storefronts of this city-state.

But hidden among the familiar fare lies a sophisticated system that tracks shoppers' movements, eliminating the checkout line and allowing people to grab the products they'll walk out with. Only those with the store's smartphone app may enter. Nearly a hundred small surveillance cameras blanket the ceiling. Countless sensors line the shelves. Five minutes after shoppers leave, their phones ping with receipts for whatever they put in their bags.

“This is how the future will look,” Hani Weiss, CEO of retail at Majid Al Futtaim, the franchise that operates Carrefour in the Middle East, told The Associated Press. “We do believe in physical stores in the future. However, we believe the experience will change.”

The experimental shop, called Carrefour City+, is the latest addition to the burgeoning field of retail automation. Major retailers worldwide are combining machine learning software and artificial intelligence in a push to cut labor costs, do away with the irritation of long lines and gather critical data about shopping behavior. “We use (the data) to provide a better experience in the future – whereby customers don't have to think about the next products they want,” Weiss said. “All the insights are being utilized internally in order to provide a better shopping experience.”

Customers must give Carrefour permission to collect their information, Weiss said, which the company promises not to share. But the idea of a vast retail seller collecting reams of data about shoppers' habits already has raised privacy concerns in the United States, where Amazon now operates several such futuristic stores, known as Amazon Go. It's less likely to become a public debate in the autocratic United Arab Emirates, home to one of the world's highest per capita concentrations of surveillance cameras.

With the pandemic forcing major retailers to reassess the future, many are increasingly investing in automation – a vision that threatens severe job losses across the industry. But Carrefour stressed that human workers, at least in the short-term, would still be needed to “support customers” and assist the machines. “There is no future without humans,” Weiss said.

New iPhone includes more storage, modest upgrades
By Michael Liedtke
Associated Press Technology Writer

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP), Sept. 14 — Apple unveiled its next iPhone line-up, including a model that offers twice the storage available in earlier versions and other modest upgrades to last year's editions that proved to be a big hit among consumers devouring the latest technology during the pandemic.

The pre-recorded video event streamed Sept. 14 gave Apple a chance to present a polished story following a turbulent few weeks. The recent bumps included a hastily patched security vulnerability that could let hackers secretly take control of iPhones and other Apple devices; a backlash to the company's plans to scan iPhones for images of child sex abuse and a federal judge's ruling that chipped away further at the competitive barrier Apple built around its app store, which generates billions of dollars in profits each year.

As has been the case since Apple's late co-founder unveiled the first iPhone in 2007, Apple executives talked reverently about the latest model, even though it isn't dramatically different from the version Apple released nearly a year ago.

Like last year's model, the new iPhone 13 will come in four different designs, with prices starting from $700 to $1,100. They're scheduled to be in stores September 24. “It's an incremental upgrade,” said Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen. “Some of the new features are impressive, but most of them are not noticeable or practical for most users.”
Possibly the most notable change in the latest high-end iPhone 13 will be an option for a full terabyte of storage — that's 1,000 gigabytes — on the device, up from its previous maximum of 512 gigabytes. That's enough storage to accommodate roughly 250,000 photos, or about 500 hours of high-definition video.

Having a massive amount of storage could become more important to many consumers with the advent of ultra-high-definition video and ultrafast wireless 5G networks that will make downloading content faster and easier, Nguyen said.

Apple is also promising better cameras on the iPhone 13, including an improved ultrawide lens, a cinematic-like video feature and technology for better nighttime pictures. (The latter mirrors a feature Google has long offered in its line of Pixel phones, which haven't been big sellers yet.) As usual, the latest iPhones are supposed to have longer-lasting batteries, too. “We keep making the iPhone more capable,” Apple CEO Tim Cook boasted.

These kinds of incremental upgrades have become routine for Apple and other device makers in recent years as the pace of smartphone innovation slowed, even while prices for some phones have climbed above $1,000. That trend has prompted more consumers to hold on to their older smartphones for longer periods.

But the release of last year's iPhone 12 unleashed one of Apple's biggest sales spurts since 2014, possibly because the pandemic helped make homebound people realize it was time to get a newer and better model than what they had been using. Through the first six months of this year, Apple's iPhone sales have surged by nearly 60% from the same time last year.

That boom has helped push Apple's stock price near its all-time highs recently, giving the company a market value of about $2.5 trillion — more than twice what it was before the pandemic began 18 months ago. Apple's shares dipped 1% on Sept. 14 in a sign that investors weren't excited by what they saw in the new iPhones.

Although the iPhone is still by far Apple's biggest moneymaker, the company has been trying to supplement its success with peripheral products such as its smartwatch. The Cupertino, California, company used its showcase to provide a preview of its next Apple Watch, which will feature a thinner, more rounded and brighter display.

US asks Tesla how Autopilot responds to emergency vehicles
By Tom Krisher
Associated Press Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP), Sept. 1 — The U.S. government's highway safety agency wants detailed information on how Tesla's Autopilot system detects and responds to emergency vehicles parked on highways.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made the detailed request in an 11-page letter sent to the electric car maker that was dated Aug. 31. The letter is part of a wide-ranging investigation into how the company's partially automated driving system behaves when first responder vehicles are parked while crews deal with crashes or other hazards.

The agency wants to know how Teslas detect a crash scene, including flashing lights, road flares, reflective vests worn by responders and vehicles parked on the road. NHTSA also wants to know how the system responds to low light conditions, what actions it takes if emergency vehicles are present, and how it warns drivers.

The agency also added a 12th crash to its probe in which a Tesla on Autopilot hit a parked Florida Highway Patrol cruiser Aug. 28 on an interstate highway near downtown Orlando. In the crashes under investigation, at least 17 people were injured and one was killed.

NHTSA announced the investigation into Tesla's driver assist systems including Autopilot and or Traffic Aware Cruise Control after a series of collisions with emergency vehicles since 2018. The probe covers 765,000 vehicles from the 2014 through 2021 model years.

Autopilot, which can keep vehicles in their lanes and stop for obstacles in front of them, has frequently been misused by Tesla drivers. They have been caught driving drunk or even riding in the back seat while a car rolled down a California highway.

The agency also is asking Tesla for details on how it ensures that drivers are paying attention, including instrument panel and aural warnings. NHTSA also wants all consumer complaints, lawsuits and arbitration cases involving Autopilot, and it wants to know where the system can operate.

The agency also wants to know Tesla's policies and procedures for testing Autopilot and updates before they are released to the owners. The request includes “the extent of field testing or vehicle validation miles required prior to the release of such a system or feature.” Tesla “beta” tests its systems using its customers to gather data while they're driving in traffic.

It was unclear how Tesla and CEO Elon Musk, which have clashed with federal regulators in the past, would respond to NHTSA's request. Messages were left Sept. 1 seeking comment from the company.

In January, Tesla refused a request from NHTSA to recall about 135,000 vehicles because their touch screens could go dark. The agency said the screens were a safety defect because backup cameras and windshield defroster controls could be disabled.

A month later, after NHTSA started the process of holding a public hearing and taking Tesla to court, the company agreed to the recall. Tesla said it would replace computer processors for the screens, even though it disagreed they posed a safety threat.

Musk has fought with the Securities and Exchange Commission over a 2018 tweet that he had financing to take Tesla private, when the funding wasn't secured. He and the company agreed to pay $20 million each to settle allegations that he misled investors. Later the SEC sought to hold him in contempt of court for tweeting a misleading projection of how many cars Tesla would manufacture. Musk branded the SEC the “shortseller enrichment commission,” distorting the meaning of its acronym. Short sellers bet that a stock price will fall.

The Autopilot probe is another sign that NHTSA under President Joe Biden is taking a tougher stance on automated vehicle safety than under previous administrations. Previously the agency was reluctant to regulate the new technology for fear of hampering adoption of the potentially life-saving systems.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which also has investigated some of the Tesla crashes dating to 2016, has recommended that NHTSA and Tesla limit Autopilot's use to areas where it can safely operate. The NTSB also recommended that NHTSA require Tesla to have a better system to make sure drivers are paying attention. NHTSA has not taken action on any of the recommendations. The NTSB has no enforcement powers and can only make recommendations to other federal agencies.

Tesla has to respond by Oct. 22 or seek an extension. The agency says it can fine Tesla more than $114 million if it fails to comply. Tesla has said its partially automated systems are not fully autonomous, and that drivers must be ready to intervene at any time. But they have been marketed under the names Autopilot and Full Self-Driving.

NHTSA also has asked for copies of marketing and instructional documents for the partially automated systems.

How to talk to your boss about staying remote
By Anne Chan, PhD, MFT

Are you ready to get back to full-on in-person work at the office? You are not alone if you are feeling anxious and uneasy. According to recent surveys, many American workers might take the drastic step of quitting if they are forced to return to in-person work. In last month’s article, I outlined some of the employment laws that pertain to Covid safety concerns. Knowing your employment rights is important, but pursuing legal channels is not always the most efficient route to getting what you want. Instead, a thoughtful conversation with a sympathetic boss might get you more quickly and easily to the paradise of permanent remote work.

Before scheduling with your boss, however, take the time to prepare for the meeting so you will be professional as well as effective in your request. Write a formal proposal to help you organize your thoughts. You do not have to show your written proposal to your boss, but it serves you well to be fully prepared for this important conversation.

Do your research first:
Figure out the current rules and policies at your workplace, and what types of flexibility or accommodations exist. You might also want to talk to your Human Resource (HR) representative for guidance.

Address your boss’s concerns:
What concerns and objections might your boss have about you staying remote? For example, a common concern is that the team culture will disintegrate if you are not in the office. This is a valid point since socializing at the water cooler or in the lunch room is not the same as being in a Zoom breakout room. Other bosses worry that everyone else will want to stay remote if they grant your wish to work from home. Another concern is that you will not be accessible to your co-workers or that you will not be available to tend to customers. Yet another legitimate worry is that you will be goofing off at home and will be unproductive without supervision.

For each of these objections, list possible alternatives and solutions. Think outside the box. Be creative in figuring out how you can address these valid concerns. For instance, if your boss is concerned that you are not accessible, you could offer to be on zoom at a specific time period every day when anyone can drop in to chat with you.

Figure out your safety needs:
People have radically different concerns about safety during this pandemic. Some have been comfortable going out without masks while others are nervous about going outside their bubble. Ask yourself what you need in order to feel safe at work. Perhaps you need to wear a mask all the time? Practice social distancing? No indoor events? Be sure to think deeply about the parameters of your needs so you can express your concerns and set your boundaries in a clear manner.

Highlight the positives:
Analyze your productivity before you went remote and during the remote timeframe. One point in your favor is that you have worked successfully from home during the pandemic. Show your boss how your productivity has gone up while working from home. Numbers and facts make for great supporting evidence – perhaps you finished a difficult project in record time. Or you answered three times the number of customer queries. Certain individuals need more quiet time to be productive at work. If you are one of these individuals, point out to your boss that being at home actually improves your work concentration, focus and performance. You could point out to your boss that the time savings from not commuting actually benefits the company because you have worked additional hours and with extra energy that would otherwise have been eaten up by a long, exhausting commute.

Be clear on what you’re willing to negotiate:
A successful negotiation usually entails openness on both parts. Don’t think in terms of all or nothing. Be clear about what you are willing to negotiate. For instance, you may be willing to show up to work one day a week.

Suggest a trial period:
It might be worth proposing a trial period to see how things work, iron out any kinks, and figure out what is the best fit for you, your boss, and your co-workers. You can also suggest ramping up to your desired schedule, perhaps with you coming in more at the beginning, then slowly tapering off.

Aim for a win-win, not the O.K. Corral:
Last, but certainly not least, keep in mind that the goal of your conversation with your boss is to make it a win for each side. Remember that this is not just about your needs. Your boss has valid concerns about how this might affect your co-workers, department, and company. One way to create a win-win discussion is to start off by asserting your loyalty and commitment to the company as well as your appreciation for your boss. Having a positive and respectful tone from start to finish may be the most important factor in getting a “yes” from your boss.

Anne Chan is a career counselor and licensed psychotherapist in Union City. She specializes in helping people find happiness in their careers and lives. You can reach her at annechantcv@gmail.com.


Just how bad is our drought?
By Lindsey Blomberg

Dear EarthTalk: What are the environmental implications of the current drought across the American West and how does it compare with past dry spells?
— S. Diamond, Methuen, Massachusetts

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) database, found on Drought.gov, reports that as of August 31, 2021, 39% of the U.S. is in drought, with 30 states experiencing Moderate Drought or worse. The USDM uses a five-category system to classify drought severity, from Abnormally Dry to Exceptional Drought. The percent area of the western U.S. in extreme to exceptional drought peaked at 59.5% on July 20, 2021, while the percent in moderate to exceptional drought peaked at 90.3% on July 27, 2021. This value exceeded the previous peak in the 21-year USDM record that occurred in August and September of 2003.

These significant drought conditions have dropped several bodies of water in the Western United States to record-breaking lows. On July 23, 2021, the Great Salt Lake in Utah, one of the largest bodies of water in the U.S., reached its lowest water level since the U.S. Geological Survey began taking measurements in 1875. The previous low was set in 1963. Additionally, as of August 22, 2021, Nevada and Arizona’s Lake Mead reservoir had dropped to just 35% of its capacity, and the Lake Powell reservoir that spans across Utah and Arizona is now at just 31% of its capacity.

This current lake elevation data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which manages the Lake Mead and Lake Powell reservoirs, and other portions of the Colorado River watershed. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation recently decided that, given the historic drought, the Lake Mead reservoir will operate in what is called a Level One Shortage Condition for the first time ever in 2022. This will mean reduced water throughout 2022 to Arizona, Nevada and Mexico.

As water levels drop and become hotter during drought, cyanobacteria in algae blooms thrive. These toxic algae blooms, which can appear blue-green in color, or sometimes a reddish-brown color, can harm the nervous system and liver, and can be fatal if ingested. The 2015 study Drought-Induced Water-Level Reduction Favors Cyanobacteria Blooms in Tropical Shallow Lakes projected a warmer and drier climate in the future will reduce water quantity and quality, increasing the risks of cyanobacteria blooms. The Idaho Conservation League reported in August 2021 that heat waves, drought, and excessive pollution are contributing to what could be the worst year ever for toxic algae in Idaho.

This summer’s drought conditions are also contributing to poorer air quality and a spike in aggravating adverse allergy and respiratory symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the dusty, dry conditions that accompany drought increase the number of particulates suspended in the air, irritating bronchial passages and lungs. Increased air pollution may potentially play a part in surging mortality rates from COVID-19, according to recent studies out of Harvard. A separate study out of Stanford University in 2014 warned of the rise of amplified air pollutant accumulations due to drought and increased difficulty in meeting air quality goals.

More information:
• Climate Change Indicators: Drought, epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-drought
• Health Implications of Drought, cdc.gov/nceh/drought/implications.htm
• National Current Conditions, drought.gov/current-conditions
• Drought-induced water-level reduction favors cyanobacteria blooms in tropical shallow lakes, link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10750-015-2578-5.

EarthTalk is produced by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss for the nonprofit EarthTalk. See more at https://emagazine.com. To donate, visit https//earthtalk.org. Send questions to: question@earthtalk.org

Park It
By Ned MacKay

Planning is now under way to create a new regional park at the former Roddy Ranch golf course in Antioch. As part of the process East Bay Regional Park District will host an open house at the site from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 25. It’s a chance to learn about the park’s planning process and design ideas, stroll along the old golf cart paths, and have a look at some wildlife habitat restoration projects.

The public is welcome to attend, but registration is required. You can register via t.ly/4Axy or by calling (888) 327-2757, selecting option 2, and referencing program number 41871.

If wildfire smoke or other hazards result in cancellation of the event, the alternate date will be Saturday, October 9.

The 230-acre golf course, along with previously acquired Roddy Ranch properties, is part of the future Deer Valley Regional Park, which will total 3,254 acres. The golf course closed in 2016 after 16 years of operation. Many of its greens and fairways have reverted to a more natural state.

The park district purchased the future regional park properties from Donna and Jack Roddy in partnership with the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy. For general information on the project, contact planner Eddie Willis at (510) 544-2621.

While we’re in Antioch, Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve has scheduled guided walks to the park’s historic Rose Hill Cemetery from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays, September 25 and October 23.

It’s a 10- to 15-minute uphill walk from the parking lot to the cemetery. Along the way, guides costumed in 19th century attire will tell stories of the hard-working miners and their families who lived in the once-bustling communities of Somersville and Nortonville. Rose Hill Cemetery was the Protestant burial site for the two towns. Some of the grave markers have inscriptions in the Welsh language, as Wales was many of the miners’ homeland.

The program is free, but space is limited and registration is required. To register, call (888) 327-2757 and select option 2. Black Diamond Mines has a parking fee of $5 per vehicle when the kiosk is attended.

The Over-the-Hills Gang is an informal group of hikers 55 and older who enjoy exercise, fitness and nature study on a series of naturalist-led hikes.

The group will explore Wildcat Canyon Regional Park from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 28 with naturalist Trail Gail, starting at the Alvarado Staging Area on Park Avenue off McBryde Avenue in Richmond. The park has some interesting historic sites.

This is a drop-in program; registration is not necessary. For information, call (510) 544-2233.

Kids of all ages will enjoy the puppet shows performed at 10:30 a.m. every Saturday in September by the naturalists at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont. The colorful cast of puppet characters illustrates the importance of pollinator insects.

Ardenwood is at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard just north of Highway 84 (the Dumbarton Bridge approach). Programs at the farm recreate life on a prosperous 19th century estate. Admission fees apply; parking is free. For information, call (510) 544-2797.

By John Grimaldi and David Bruce Smith
September 16 through 30

Three presidents, one year
The sequence of events is not given much thought, but in 1881, America had three different presidents. In March, James A. Garfield was elected to succeed Rutherford B. Hayes; four months later, he was shot at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station in Washington, D.C. by the deranged Charles Guiteau, and died September 19, the next day, Vice President Chester A. Arthur became the 21st president — the third in six months.

According to History.com, “a similar situation occurred in 1841, when Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison and John Tyler all held the office.”

For more information, the Grateful American Book Prize recommends “Unexpected President” by Scott S. Greenberger; “Rutherford B. Hayes (Presidential Leaders)” by Debbie Levy, and “James A. Garfield: The American Presidents Series” by Ira Rutkow.

Fight to victory
On September 23, 1779, John Paul Jones was at the helm of the Continental naval vessel, Bonhomme Richard, in a face-off with two British warships: the HMS Serapis, and the HMS Countess of Scarborough, on the east coast of England. When the sea battle commenced it looked as if Commander Jones was going to be vanquished; his Bonhomme Richard ship was so damaged that Richard Pearson, captain of the Serapis, taunted Jones to lower his flag, but the tenacious Jones repelled the demand by replying: “I have not yet begun to fight.”

Three hours later, the British surrendered to Captain Jones. The next day, the Bonhomme Richard sank, but its crew, by then, was safely aboard the captured Serapis.

The Grateful American Book Prize recommends “John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy” by Evan Thomas.

Early suffrage
By the time women got the right to vote in 1920, it had long been part of life in Wyoming. On September 30, 1889, while the former territory prepared to join the union, it had a convention of delegates that granted them suffrage.

“That the isolated western state of Wyoming should be the first to accept women’s suffrage was a surprise. Leading suffragists like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were Easterners, and they assumed that their own more progressive home states would be among the first to respond to the campaign for women’s suffrage. Yet the people and politicians of the growing number of new Western states proved far more supportive than those in the East,” according to History.com.

The Grateful American Book Prize recommends “Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote” by Susan Ware.

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

A disruption in Rocket Fuel
By Kailash Kalidoss, Aerospace Enthusiast

Sometimes to achieve greater things we have to not just think outside the box but also be able to revert to low-key and existing solutions from other domains. In the world of rocket launches and the aim to explore far-off destinations such as Mars, the SpaceX company is attempting just that.

In a modern world dominated by a broad spectrum of fuels such as hydrogen and kerosene, SpaceX’s new Starship and Super Heavy rocket uses the Raptor engine with liquid methane and oxygen as fuel. No other rocket has ever used methane as rocket fuel. The Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy use kerosene (RP-1). For a long time, hydrogen has been used in various rockets. But SpaceX chose methane for their Raptor engines. Why?

Falcon rockets are not fully reusable. While the first stage of this rocket is reusable, the upper stage is not. After every flight, this rocket needs extensive refurbishment before SpaceX can use it again. The primary reason is that the fuel of the Falcon rocket is kerosene (RP-1). The burnt fuel leaves soot in the Merlin engine compartment, making it harder to reuse without extensive cleaning. To eliminate this bottleneck, Elon Musk and his team had to circumvent these issues to build a rapidly reusable Mars rocket: SpaceX’s Starship.

Another motivation was to make the most of the Martian environment resources, a process called in-situ resource utilization. We know that the Mars atmosphere has CO2 and frozen water in the ground. On Mars, we can create methane (CH4) using these resources.

We can start by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen through electrolysis. Oxygen is also a byproduct that can be used for human consumption. The next step is to use the CO2 in the Martian atmosphere and the hydrogen we produced to make methane.

This is an age-old chemical reaction known as the Sabatier process, carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen (H2) would create methane (CH4). On a side note, I’m a big fan of the Sabatier process, because it’s one of the few chemical reactions in which an organic compound is formed by using inorganic compounds.

Methane (CH4) and water will be collected in separate containers. Starship will use methane (CH4) and oxygen (O2) as fuel. However, this is not something radical either. Astronauts already use these steps to produce oxygen from water and eliminate carbon dioxide at the International Space Station (ISS). As this process has been tested, we can also use it on Mars. The only difference is ISS releases methane (CH4) into outer space, while on Mars, we will collect it into containers as rocket fuel.

Granted, hydrogen is the superior fuel when compared to methane, but we are talking horses for courses here. Hydrogen adds design complexity due to leak proofing and density issues, while methane does not. Musk wants to get rid of tedious processes. SpaceX wants its rocket to be simple, cheap, and reliable. According to Elon Musk, “The best part is no part; the best process is no process.” This line of thinking makes even an age-old science a disruptive innovation.

Kailash Kalidoss is an aerospace enthusiast and educator serving the Bay Area. Kailash first fell in love with aerospace as a teenager when he learned about aviation from his father’s role as a Ground Operations Manager. Kailash has since spent his efforts sharing knowledge about aerospace, astronautics, aviation, science and technology, and of course, the night sky. Kailash also represents the Civil Air Patrol and NASA as a volunteer.

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

Odd, strange, weird
Congratulations go to the proud winners of a Nobel Prize — not THE Nobel Prize — the Ig Nobel Prize, awarded by the science magazine Annals of Improbable Research. It’s sort of a spoof that for 31 years has presented awards for odd, strange and weird accomplishments, according to the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. For example, this year’s honorees include the researchers from Spain and Iran for their study of the germs found in chewing gum scraped from streets and sidewalks in different countries. They won the Ecology Prize. The winner of the Economics Prize, Dr. Pavlo Blavatskyy, whose study suggests that you can measure the corruption in a country by how fat its politicians are. And then there is the Transportation Prize that went to a multi-national team who sought to determine whether it is safer to airlift a rhinoceros upside down or right side up.

A hairy tale
Diehard fans of Elvis Presley, the iconic rock and roller of the mid-20th Century, would pay well for a lock of his hair, reports the Association of Mature American Citizens. One fan forked over $72,500 for a jarful of curls clipped from the head of “Elvis the Pelvis” at an auction recently. Presley’s personal barber, Homer Gilleland, had collected a “baseball size clump” of his hair over a 20-year period. He gave it as a present to a friend, who in turn put it up for sale.

Pup’s elbows and feet fixed
The poor puppy was born with her paws upside-down, according to the Association of Mature American Citizens. But veterinarian Dr. Erik Clary, who corrected nature’s mistake, says that actually the problem was in the pup’s elbows. As he described it: “these patients' elbows come out of joint early in life and the result is severe rotation of the lower front limbs and an inability to walk. At most, they might muster a crawl that seems most uncomfortable and is poorly suited for a dog's life.” Fear not, Siggi the pup is on the mend. He says Siggi’s already walking and chasing a ball around during the rehabilitation process.

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


Robot combines autonomous vacuuming with disinfection
By Mike Oitzman

The world is learning to live with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in response to that, comes new and improved facility cleaning and disinfection best practices. The Whiz Gambit autonomous mobile robot (AMR) is a 2-in-1 AI-powered cleaning and disinfection robot, jointly launched by SoftBank Robotics Group (SBRG) and Avalon SteriTech (Avalon). The device is now available across the EMEA region following its launch in Asia Pacific in March, 2021.

At the heart of the machine is the Whiz by SBRG. Whiz is an autonomous vacuum designed to work alongside commercial cleaning teams. Whiz automates the vacuuming of large areas of flooring. Whiz has already found success in the commercial facility cleaning market as a standalone unit.

Gambit is a bio-decontamination spray system developed by Avalon. The Gambit unit has been designed specifically to bolt on to Whiz and leverage Whiz’s autonomous operation to disinfect a commercial space while the Whiz is completing a nightly floor cleaning workflow. The Gambit unit is not designed to function separately from the Whiz Gambit machine.

The combined unit has been certified by SGS, a leading testing, inspection and certification company. The 2-in-1 disinfection and vacuum cleaning technology of the Whiz Gambit is unique in the market at this time. Whiz and Gambit are available through key distributors throughout EMEA.

Stefano Bensi, General Manager at SoftBank Robotics EMEA, said: “We’re seeing a real surge in demand for Whiz amongst FM providers and cleaning contractors across the whole region as people return to their workspaces. Clients are facing huge pressure to deliver improved cleaning performance, comfort and consistency and Whiz has a big part to play in this. For those clients wishing to take this focus on hygiene even further, there is now a cobotic solution for decontaminant spraying.”

Lewis Ho, Chief Executive Officer of Avalon SteriTech said: “While the risks COVID-19 poses continue to evolve, returning to the commercial space can be protected by strong and scientific cleaning and disinfection practices. After the successful launch of Whiz Gambit in APAC, we are proud to expand our footprint in international markets alongside SoftBank Robotics, who share our mission to safeguard people’s health through smart cleaning and bio-decontamination. Preventing the spread of virus, Whiz Gambit will help businesses to thrive through current challenges, setting the stage for successful comebacks.”

Mike Oitzman is Editor of WTWH's Robotics Group and founder of the Mobile Robot Guide. He can be reached at moitzman@wtwhmedia.com.

Hawaii officials release plan to reduce Oahu tourism impact
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP), Sept. 1 — Hawaii tourism officials have released a plan to reduce visitors on Oahu, the state's most frequently visited and populous island. The plan was approved by the Hawaii Tourism Authority in July and the full plan has now been released to the public, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sept. 1.

“Decreasing the total number of visitors to Oahu to a manageable level by controlling the number of visitor accommodations and exploring changes to land use, zoning and airport policies,” the plan says.

The plan also establishes a regenerative tourism fee, creates reservation systems for natural and cultural sites, manages visitors' use of cars and promotes consumption of locally-produced and sold goods.

“We appreciate the Oahu residents who participated in the (plan) process and passionately contributed their diverse viewpoints, discussed various tourism-related challenges in their neighborhoods and helped set forth an actionable plan that is necessary for the community's well-being,” said John De Fries, the Hawaii Tourism Authority's president and CEO.” It's about continued collaboration and moving forward together to malama this cherished place and each other, as desired by the people of Oahu.”

The three-year plan was developed by community members and county officials in collaboration with the tourism authority.

A celebration of Latinx culture in Milpitas
By Fatema Bhaiji

September 15 marked the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, an annual celebration of Latinx, deep-rooted tradition, culture and contributions. In 1968, a one-week period of celebration was established by President Lyndon B. Johnson, then extended to cover an entire 30-day period (September 15-October 15) by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 [census.gov].

On September 16, 2021, the city of Milpitas held its first celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month on Cesar Chavez Plaza next to City Hall. An introduction of dignitaries began the ceremony including special guest, Consul General of Mexico Alejandra Bologna Zubikarai. Vice Mayor, Carmen Montano gave the event’s invocation with a small prayer followed by an explanation of the importance of the date of Hispanic Heritage Month. Montano explained why the celebration begins mid-month to coincide with the dates of independence [September 15] of several Latin American Countries such as Costa Rica, Guatemala, and several others; Mexico’s day of independence is the following day [September 16]. Vice Mayor Montano then invited the audience to join her in singing “Las Mañanitas”, which loosely translates to “The Mornings,” a traditional birthday song, but fitting the spirit of the event.

After the invocation, a mariachi band played as the audience clapped along, followed by raising a commemorative flag. Audience members stood in respect as the flag rose to foin those of California and United States of America. Consul General Zubikarai, the event’s keynote speaker, spoke about the contributions of Mexican-American and Latinx workers, especially in the vulnerable situation of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Consul General Zubikarai emphasized that the hard work of the Mexican-American community resulted in 200 years of independence. Concluding her speech, she encouraged Mexico and California to continue to build bridges together as joint community.

Following the Mariachi band performance, the City of Milpitas gave presented a proclamation of solidarity to Consul General Zubikarai. Vice Mayor Montano emphasized her own heritage, and invited a group of high schoolers from Milpitas High School’s Latino Student Union to celebrate their Latinx heritage and concluded the event with the line “Porque somos latinos americanos (‘Because we are Latino Americans’), we will not be forgotten”.

Love in Any Language: Resilience in Multicultural Marriage
By Charlene Dizon
Photos Courtesy of Evelyn Kohl LaTorre

Diving headfirst into Peru’s culture and community as a Peace Corps volunteer after graduating from university in Oakland, was Evelyn Kohl LaTorre’s experience at twenty-one years old, now more than fifty years ago. Her determination and passion for helping those in need flourished into a life-changing journey of self-discovery, friendship, and love. In her second memoir, Love in Any Language, LaTorre discusses the strains and wonders of her cross-cultural marriage with Peruvian university student Antonio.

While her first memoir, Between Inca Walls, depicts LaTorre’s coming of age, Love in Any Language centers on her and Antonio’s adjustment to professional and societal standards. These clashing cultures grounded them into a tumultuous yet fulfilling first few years of officially living together. LaTorre is honest in describing their career progressions. LaTorre worked as a school psychologist within several Bay Area school districts. In the 1960s and 1970s, educational occupations were predominantly led by male administrators. “Females have a lot more opportunities now in the educational field,” she says. “I am grateful for my parents, who ensured my educational upbringing.”

Antonio, on the other hand, wove himself into American culture by adapting to every facet possible. He hustled through a wide range of jobs, took language classes to become fluent in English, and learned how to drive. LaTorre explains, “Immigrants face great difficulty when coming into the United States because our society has a faster pace of life. My husband’s culture didn’t have that same demand, but he certainly rose to the challenge.”

The idea for a follow-up memoir was born when LaTorre wrote two additional chapters that took place beyond the timeline of Between Inca Walls. Her developmental editor suggested stopping at the wedding and segueing into a second book. The process for completing the story was as entertaining as that of its predecessor. “When I set out to write about my past, I just found it enjoyable to reminisce. Writing these memoirs allowed me to have compassion towards my younger self,” La Torre states. While the first book answered the question of how a girl who planned to be a nun could get pregnant before marriage, the second told how the marriage lasted.

LaTorre sifted through what became an unintentionally perfect paper trail for the timeline of her second book: Christmas letters that she had written documenting the highlights of her life during that period of time. Along with these letters were receipts, outdated calendars, and baby albums, all of which contributed to piecing together the growing pains that consumed the early days of her marriage.

Upon the completion of the second memoir, LaTorre emphasizes how it takes a village to finalize a story. She holds endless gratitude for her editors, independent publishers and writing groups such as Fremont Area Writers (FAW). “In this day and age, there are many different types of writing. I had to relearn narrative writing,” LaTorre explains. Workshopping her story amongst fellow writers allowed her insight on improvements, along with positive feedback on her literary talents. She Writes Press, an independent hybrid publisher, gave LaTorre the reassurance needed in book formatting and cover art. Her humility and recognition toward others who have been a part of her journey remain just as prominent as they are in her writing.

The vulnerabilities discussed in her memoirs will have readers inevitably reflecting on their own transitional life moments. Now that LaTorre is entering her eighties, writing has granted her, not only a form of self-expression, but an avenue to establishing her mark in the world. LaTorre states, “Female stories are so important. If I pass away, I feel like I have left a part of myself here.” Love in Any Language expertly explores marital struggles and strengths through emotional excerpts that are immersive and sincere. With LaTorre’s present hindsight, it is no doubt that her storytelling captures the essence of multicultural love and life.

Preorders can be made by visiting https://www.evelynlatorre.com/love-in-any-language.html or emailing townecenterbooks@sbcglobal.net. Books are available in both physical and digital formats.

Love in Any Language Virtual Book Launch
Hosted by Towne Center Books
Tuesday, Oct 5
6 p.m.
Register in advance for this meeting by visiting:

‘Reflections of Light’ opens at Dove Gallery
Submitted by Carol Hamilton

Dove Art Gallery in Milpitas is opening a new exhibit titled “Reflections of Light.” Stunning works from multiple artists depict reflected, refracted, mirrored and sunlit imagery. Media including oils, acrylics and sculpture are on display. The exhibit provides an inspirational portrayal of natural luminescence and the glory of God’s presence.

Union City artist Dee Bueno has several oil pastel creations on display. Her work titled “Stain Glass Window” shows brilliant colors emanating from the window of an old church.

Fremont artist Alfred Hu uses acrylic paint to reproduce beautiful scenes from around the world. His artwork titled “Two Guys” captures subtle water reflections on a rainy day in Avignon, France.

Milpitas artist Max Huss uses a variety of liquid texturing techniques to capture dynamic reflections on moving water. His artwork titled “Water #1” uses oil and Gamsol on canvas to depict the contrasting hues of a turbulent sea.

San Jose artist Laurie Barna displays a variety of lighting effects in her water color paintings. Her artwork titled “Crystal Lemon Lights” shows light as it refracts through a crystal vase.

Another San Jose artist, Adrienne Reed is exhibiting an exquisite oil painting titled “Heaven Must Be Like This.” It depicts a diverse choir worshipping in the luminescent backdrop of a stained-glass window. The image is a celebration of harmony, love, joy and peace.

Dove Gallery is located on the site of Park Victoria Church in Milpitas. It is a local venue displaying a wide range of medium, styles and talent. Exhibitors include professional, emerging and youthful artists. Dove Gallery seeks to bless the community with inspirational artwork and to provide exhibiting opportunities for all ages.

A Grand Opening will be held for the public on Sunday, September 26 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. The Gallery will be open for public viewing every Sunday from 12 noon to 3 p.m. for the duration of the exhibit and at additional scheduled events. The exhibit will run through December 5. The Gallery is located in the one-story building by the back parking lot of the church where ample parking is available.

Questions about the exhibit can be addressed to Dove@ParkVictoria.org.

Reflections of Light
Sunday, Sept 26 – Sunday, Dec 5
Open Sundays
12 noon – 3 p.m.

Grand Opening
Sunday Sept, 26
12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Dove Gallery
Park Victoria Church back lot
875 S. Park Victoria Dr., Milpitas

Alameda County Sheriff’s Office
Submitted by Sergeant Ray Kelly

Monday, September 6
• At about 2:30 p.m. a motorist called 911 to report a possible dead body on Redwood Road at mile marker 2.95 in Castro Valley. Sheriff’s deputies located the body on the shoulder of the road; the case is being investigated as a homicide. Anyone who might have seen suspicious behavior or vehicles in the area between 12:00 noon and 2:30 p.m. September 6 is asked to contact Detective Erin Wilhelm at (510) 875-5883 or (510) 667-3628.
Alameda County Water District Board
September 9, 2021

Public Comment:
• Look into the East Bay Regional Park District’s use of irrigation in its newly built and landscaped Dumbarton Quarry Campground on the Bay.

Consent calendar:
• Approval of minutes from the August 12 board meeting and the August 26 special board meeting.
• Resolution appointing Marian Hsu Assistant District Secretary to the Board of Directors.
Resolution approving an updated debt management and disclosure policy.
• Authorization to purchase medium and heavy-duty vehicles.
• Amend an agreement for purchasing carbon dioxide for water treatment.
• Authorize a professional services agreement for the Water Savings Assistance Partnership Program.
• Authorize a change order for the Old Jarvis Road irrigation well destruction project.
• Resolution finding and approving main renewal work for the Lindsay Tract Roadway and Green Infrastructure Improvements Project.
• Authorize an amendment to a software agreement for a water-focused customer portal for the Advanced Metering Infrastructure Project.

Action items:
• Resolution accepting completion of the Canyon Heights Booster Station upgrade project. Motion passed 4-0 (Akbari: recuse).
• Water supply assessment for the Station District Specific Plan Project.
• Authorize power purchase agreements for the Clean Energy Program. Motion passed 4-1 (Nay: Weed).
• Authorize an amendment to a professional services agreement to implement the Clean Energy Program. Motion passed 4-1 (abstain: Weed)

Aziz Akbari Aye, 1 recusal
James Gunther Aye
Judy Huang Aye
Paul Sethy Aye
John Weed Aye, 2; Nay, 1; abstain 1

California Democrats seek to make recall elections more difficult
By Don Thompson and Kathleen Ronayne
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Sept. 15 — Hours after California Gov. Gavin Newsom beat back a recall election that could have removed him, his fellow Democrats in the state Legislature said they will push for changes to make it more difficult to challenge a sitting governor.

Those reforms could include increasing the number of signatures needed to force a recall election, raising the standard to require wrongdoing on the part of the office-holder and changing the process that could permit someone with a small percentage of votes to replace the state's top elected official.

“We need to create a system where a small, small, small minority of Californians can't create, can't initiate a recall that the California taxpayers spent almost $300 million on and that frankly distracts and really has an impact on our ability to govern for nine months,” Assemblyman Marc Berman said.

State Sen. Josh Newman, who himself was recalled in 2018 before regaining his seat two years later, separately said he will propose two constitutional amendments: One to raise the number of signatures needed to trigger a recall election and another to have the lieutenant governor finish the governor's term if a recall succeeds.

Newsom on Sept. 14 became only the second governor in U.S. history to defeat a recall; the other was Wisconsin Republican Scott Walker. The decisive victory cements him as a prominent figure in national Democratic politics and ensures that the nation's most populous state remains a laboratory for progressive policies.

With an estimated 70% of ballots counted, the “no” response to the question of whether to recall Newsom was ahead by a 28-point margin. That lead was built on votes cast by mail and in advance of in-person balloting. While likely to shrink somewhat in the days ahead as votes cast at polling places are counted, Newsom's lead cannot be overcome.

Republican talk radio host Larry Elder was the runaway leader among potential replacement candidates and if his lead held would have replaced Newsom had the recall succeeded, an outcome that would have brought a polar opposite political worldview to Sacramento.

The recall turned on Newsom's approach to the pandemic, including mask and vaccine mandates, and Democrats cheered the outcome as evidence voters approve of their strategy. The race also was a test of whether opposition to former President Donald Trump and his brand of conservative politics remains a motivating force for Democrats and independents, as the party looks ahead to midterm elections next year.

At the Capitol, Berman and Sen. Steven Glazer, who head the elections panels in their respective chambers, promised bipartisan hearings in the coming months, with the goal of proposing constitutional changes sometime after lawmakers reconvene in January. Changes to the recall law could go before voters as early as the November 2022 general election.

The Republican vice chairmen of the elections committees, Jim Nielsen in the Senate and Kelly Seyarto in the Assembly, did not immediately comment. But Orrin Heatlie, chief proponent of the recall effort that gathered more than 1.7 million signatures to put the question before voters, said recall supporters will fight any changes “on every grounds that we can.”

“They're working in opposition of the will of the people when they take action like that to limit our ability to self-govern,” Nielsen said.

The two elections committees will look at recall laws in other states and hear from experts on California's process. “I want to make sure we have a system where a governor can't be recalled and replaced by someone” who gets fewer votes because “that's undemocratic, and there's really no other way to say that,” said Berman, with Glazer in agreement.

Nineteen states have some sort of recall process, Glazer said, but only Colorado has a similar two-stage process.

In the majority of other recall states, he said, the only question on the ballot is whether the official should be recalled. If a majority of voters say yes, the office is then declared vacant and filled by appointment or a separate special election.

Reform discussions have the backing of the Legislature's two leaders, both of whom are Democrats, and their party holds two-thirds majorities in both chambers. But the final decision on reforms will come down to voters because the recall process is enshrined in the state Constitution.

Article II of the California Constitution, which governs recalls, was approved by California voters in 1911. “This is a system that was set up about a century ago and to the extent to which it's still valid in its current form, it needs to be looked at for sure,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said.

Rendon's second-in-command, Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Kevin Mullin, called the recall effort “a $276 million waste just to reaffirm 2018's results with an election coming in 2022.”

The recall needed 1.5 million signatures to make the ballot out of California's 22 million registered voters. It never would have come before voters if a judge had not given organizers four extra months to gather signatures due to the pandemic. That decision came the same day Newsom attended a mask less dinner at the lavish French Laundry restaurant with lobbyists and friends, stirring an outcry.

Supporters of the recall expressed frustration over monthslong business closures and restrictions that kept most children out of classrooms. Rising homicides, a homelessness crisis and an unemployment fraud scandal further angered Newsom's critics.

But the broader public stayed on the governor's side. Polling from the Public Policy Institute of California showed his approval rating remaining above 50% throughout the pandemic. With weeks to go, the institute's poll showed 60% of Californians approved of Newsom's handling of the pandemic. Newsom will soon be campaigning again. He's up for reelection next year.

Fremont City Council
September 14, 2021

• Opening Ceremony for Lila Bringhurst Community Park in Warm Springs Innovation District on September 18 at 10 a.m.
• Digital “Fremont Connection” newsletter available for free subscription at city website (www.fremont.gov)

Consent Calendar:
All items removed by citizen

Ceremonial Items:
• National Traffic Safety recognition: award of Transportation Project of the Year to City of Fremont Vision Zero by Western District of Institute of Transportation Engineers and International Award as Outstanding Transportation Safety Achievement of the Year.

Public Communications:
• Parking ticket increases at Mission Peak.
• Traffic problem at intersection of Mowry Avenue & Fremont Boulevard.
• Objection to right-turn changes at intersections.
• Kudos for pedestrian safety measures by city.

Items Removed from Consent Calendar:
• Amend Emergency Zoning Administrator permit process.
• Accept additional State funding for Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
• Approve purchase of Public Safety Radio Encryption Software.
• Name 1-acre Civic Park and Community Center at 3500 Capitol Avenue “Downtown Plaza” and “Downtown Event Center.”

Scheduled Items:
• Public Hearing: Screening for General Plan amendment to convert land use of Chapel Way School from Public Facility to Urban Residential to develop private Shia Association of Bay Area schools and allow housing for teachers, seniors and other community groups.

Other Business:
• Discuss options for street design of Paseo Padre Parkway between Washington Boulevard and Driscoll Road. Approve staff recommendation to retain four lanes reduced to 10-foot width and provide a “basic” 4-foot bike lane without buffer. Revisit “road diet” concept in the future. PASSED 5-2 (Nay: Kassan, Keng)

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

Have a happy habitat garden
Article and photos by Daniel O'Donnell

“If you build it, they will come,” is a famous line from the movie Field of Dreams. After hearing it, a man builds a baseball diamond in his corn field, and sure enough, famous baseball players show up from beyond the grave to play. The quote has since been used in more realistic circumstances as a way to inspire action. If you build a homeless shelter, people will move off the streets. If you build a grocery store in a poor neighborhood, people will come for fresh fruits and vegetables. Similarly, if you build a habitat garden, wildlife will come for their survival and your enjoyment.

Many gardens unintentionally provide habitat for wildlife. Birds will nest in a tree, bees will find nectar from a flower, and a squirrel will find a place to store nuts until winter. Although these examples help support urban wildlife, much more can be done to ensure their survival. Having a well-planned habitat garden takes food and water into account as well other factors such as protection from predators and a toxin free environment.

One way to create a habitat garden is to look at National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) web page for creating and certifying a residential habitat garden (www.nwf.org/certify). NWF lists strategies to attract wildlife to an urban garden and greatly increase this wildlife’s survival rate. The California Native Plant Society (www.cnps.org/gardening/native-design-basics/habitat-gardening) and Bay Nature (baynature.org/article/starting-a-wildlife-habitat-garden) also have great tips.

Here’s a rundown of the basics.

Food: Placing seeds or nuts in a regularly cleaned feeder is only one way to feed wildlife. Plant choices are also important. A variety of plants that flower and fruit at different times will ensure natural sources of food throughout the year. Allowing seeds to mature by not cutting off dying flowers will provide nutrition. Including a diversity of native flowering plants will benefit local insect, bee, and butterfly populations. Foliage might provide nourishment for hungry larvae in some cases, so it is OK if the plant gets devoured.

Water: This is crucial for wildlife, especially in drought years. Few urban gardens in the Bay Area have natural ponds or streams flowing through them. So, water must be provided to wildlife using birdbaths, fountains, or other water features. Placement is important. A water source placed at ground level is great for larger wildlife such as squirrels, opossums, frogs, and lizards. Water sources for bees and butterflies should be higher off the ground and clear of hiding places for predators. Stones should be placed in shallow baths so beneficial insects like bees can climb out if they fall in. Branches placed in larger features will allow larger animals to climb out.

Cover: Wildlife need options for shelter and protection to raise their young. Mature trees can keep birds, squirrels, and other wildlife safe from ground and aerial attacks. Different levels and densities of foliage can also provide protection for mammals, reptiles, and birds of varying sizes. Evergreen plants provide protection all year long. Insect hotels that contain an array of different size twigs, branches, and other beneficial materials will provide homes for native bees as well as many other beneficial native insects. So too will the occasional stump or log placed in the garden. Leaving a small percentage of non-covered space is important. Open space around food and water sources can protect wildlife from predators and ground nesting bees need mulch-free areas to build their nests.

Sustainable practices: Sustainable practices are important because they more closely mimic the balance of nature. Chemicals and pesticides can create an environment devoid of insects and can poison wildlife. There must be insects at the bottom of the food chain in a wildlife habitat garden for it to support animals higher up. An insect free garden will not attract Bay Area bats which are amazing to watch at twilight. There would be no enjoyment from the singing of frogs and toads because they would have no food source. Many pesticides kill bees, ladybugs, dragonflies, and many other beneficial insects which protect vegetable and ornamental plants from predators.

Other things that can be done to attract and protect wildlife include predicting and monitoring what wildlife comes into the garden and when. Knowing when migratory birds are nesting will tell a person when to avoid pruning trees. Prune (or not pruning!) small sections of shrubs can create nesting areas or pathways for wildlife. Using plants that benefit specific bird, butterfly, or bee species will allow them a food source with less competition. Nesting boxes, bat boxes, and birdhouses with specific hole diameters will also attract targeted species.

Wildlife will begin to show up within days of creating a habitat garden. You will see the garden transform into a vibrant and fascinating urban ecosystem, and you will be happy you built it and they came.

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



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

First Presbyterian Church of Newark Youth Group
7 p.m.
Youth and young adults, students welcome
Contact: brian@newarkpress.org

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

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

Fremont Street Eats
5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Food trucks and live music
2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont

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

Saturdays in September
Puppet Shows at Ardenwood
10:30 a.m.
Naturalists put on shows with a colorful cast of characters
Ardenwood Historic Farm
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

Comedy Shows R$
8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Improv by Made Up Theatre’s comedy troupe – Live and Online!
Proof of vaccination or negative Covid test required for entry
4000 Bay St., Suite B, Fremont
(510) 573-3633


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

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

St. Anne’s Episcopal Church Service
10 a.m.
In person or via Zoom
2791 Driscoll Rd., Fremont

Mondays, August 2 – Sept. 27
Let’s Keep It Moving!
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Zoom -Exercise while seated or standing
To register: http://bit.ly/AgeWellClasses
(510) 790-6602

Monday – Saturday, Sept. 1 – 30
Vistas and Vignettes
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Exhibition of oil paintings by Alice Weil
75 Arbor Rd., Menlo Park

Mondays & Wednesdays, September 20 – November 8
Become a Trained Music Volunteer
9:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Support the Music for Minors II by helping students

Tuesday – Sunday, October 9 – February 13
Color into Line: Pastels from the Renaissance to the Present
9:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.
More than 80 works spanning five centuries
Legion of Honor
100 34th Ave., San Francisco

Wednesdays, October 6 – October 27 R
HPD Virtual Community Academy
6:00 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.
Learn about Hayward police department
18+ years
(510) 293-5051

Cafe Dad
Second Thursdays, September 9 – June 9
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Hayward Unified School District program for fathers to support each other and obtain resources
Virtual meetings via Zoom
For more information contact: ep101@husd.k12.ca.us

Thursday, March 18 – Sunday November 7
Immersive Van Gogh
9 a.m. – 11 p.m. (times vary)
Walk-in exhibit with digital projections and music
SVN West San Francisco
10 South Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
Tickets: $24.99 – $39.99

Thursday, July 8 – Sunday, October 3
Olive Hyde Art Guild Members Juried Show
Virtual juried show of local artists
Virtual exhibit: https://www.fremont.gov/3871/2021-Exhibition-Calendar
In-person Gallery Dates: July 29 – October 3
Thursday – Sunday, 12 noon – 5 p.m.

Thursday – Saturday, September 25 – October 9
Art On The Rebound
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
In person art exhibit by A.R.T. Inc.
Adobe Gallery
20395 San Miguel Ave., Castro Valley

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

Saturday, October 2 – Sunday, October 3
Niles Canyon Mobile Estates White Elephant Sale
Sat. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Masks required. Household goods, jewelry, books, homemade baked goods
711 Old Canyon Rd., Fremont

Friday and Saturday, October 8 – October 9
Flash Fiction Poetry Contest 2021
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Half Price Books
39152 Fremont Hub, Fremont
For submission & event details:

Sundays, September 26 – December 5
Reflections of Light
12 noon – 3 p.m.
Grand Opening for Public
Sunday, September 26
Artists use various media to portray reflected and refracted light
Dove Gallery, Park Victoria Church back lot
875 S. Park Victoria Dr., Milpitas


Tuesday, September 21
Public Hearing Meeting
7:15 p.m.
Learn about redistricting and share your input
Via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/92566745156

Wednesday, September 22
Guys and Dolls $
7 p.m.
Classic film musical starring Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando
Bankhead Theater
2400 First St, Livermore

Wednesday, September 22
Demonstration by Watercolorist Meghana Mitragotri R
10:00 a.m. – 12 noon.
Watercolor tips and techniques
Via Zoom (link sent upon registration)
Register at https://olivehydeartguild.org/

Wednesday, September 22
A Better Way to Grow Revenue with a CRM
12 noon – 1:30 p.m.
Learn about Client Relationship Management (CRM) software. Free webinar by the SBDC

Wednesday, September 22
Protecting Your Intellectual Property R
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Workshop on trademarks, copyrights, and patents
Via Zoom

Thursday, September 23
Legal Issues of Doing Business Online R
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Business websites, terms of use/service, and privacy policies
Via Zoom

Thursday, September 23
Tap Into the Rain
6 p.m.
Learn about rain barrels, cisterns, rain gardens and pervious pavement
Register: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register

Thursday, September 23
Fireworks Safety in Union City
6 p.m.
Webinar with panel discussion about fireworks safety
Via Zoom: https://bit.ly/3tKepnl
Passcode: M9wu#wFi

Saturday, September 25
Beatles Day 1: Concert in the Park
12 noon – 6 p.m.
Lawn area opens 11 a.m.
Food trucks and live music; bring water, blankets, lawn chairs, umbrellas

Saturday, September 25
Storefront Storytime with Sara
11 a.m.
Hayward City Councilmember reads “The Monster at the End of this Book!”
1014 B St., Hayward

Saturday, September 25
HERS Walk/Run/Yoga Fundraiser Kickoff R
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Bollywood warmup, breakfast, giveaways
1262 Quarry Lane, Ste B, Pleasanton
https://hersbreastcancer. itsyourrace.com

Saturday, September 25
Fremont Area Writers: Police Sergeant Adam Plantinga
1:45 p.m.
SF street cop and writer shares his insights
Via Zoom
Request link: scottfrombayside@yahoo.com
(include “FAW link” in subject line)

Saturday, Sept 25
Art on the Rebound opening reception
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Enjoy ART, Inc.’s first in-person show since 2020! Snacks will be provided.
Adobe Gallery
20395 San Miguel Ave., Castro Valley

Monday, September 27
Washington Township Historical Society
7 p.m.
Associate Landscape Architect, City of Fremont
Rico Lardizabal
190 Anza St., Fremont (in person)
Via Zoom: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/76473734687

Tuesday. September 28
7 o’clock Rocks!
7 p.m.
The Groovy Judy & Pete duet plays tunes online

Tuesday, September 28
The Drought and Your Water Supply R
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Conversation with the Alameda County Water District
Via Zoom: https://bit.ly/3nElEw5

Tuesday, September 28 – Wednesday, September 29
Fall 2021 Virtual Career Fair
12 noon – 2 p.m.
Hundreds of qualified prospective employees from across the Bay Area
Day 1: https://bit.ly/3E31SR0
Day 2: https://bit.ly/3BWsSPV
For more info: ctamayo2@ohlone.edu

Thursday, September 30
Pop-Up COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Free vaccination and a one-day Oakland Zoo Family Pass with free parking
9777 Golf Links Rd., Oakland

Boo Calendar 2021


Arata’s Pumpkin Farm
Sun – Thurs: 9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Fri – Sat: 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
185 Verde Rd., Half Moon Bay
(650) 726-7548


Alameda Point Pumpkin Patch
Friday, Sept 17 – Monday, Nov 1
10 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily
Pumpkin patch, slide, petting zoo, and more
2453 Hancock St., Alameda
(510) 705-2352

Alameda Point

Ticketed entry or order online

Pick of the Patch Pumpkins
Friday, Sept 24 – Sunday, Oct 31
Pumpkin patch, inflatables and paint ball

September 24 – October 9
Mon – Thurs: 3 p.m.– 9 p.m.
Fri: 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Sat: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sun: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

October 10 – 21
Mon – Thurs: 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri: 1 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Sat: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sun: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

October 22- 31
Sun – Thurs: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri – Sat: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Bayfair Center
Parking lot opposite Kohl’s
15555 East 14th St., San Leandro
Paint ball: $5 (opens 10/1)
Inflatable access: $15 for 30 minutes

Classic Pumpkin Patch
Opens late September
Mon – Thurs: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Fri – Sat: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sun: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Rowell Ranch
9711 Dublin Canyon Rd., Castro Valley
(650) 544-4728
Free entry and parking

Joan’s Farm & Pumpkin Patch
Sunday, Oct 3 – Sunday, Oct 31
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
(Closed Mondays)
4351 Mines Road, Livermore
(925) 980-7772

Pumpkins in the Park Milpitas
Saturday, Oct 23
12 noon – 4 p.m.
Trick or treat stations, performances and more
6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Choose a pumpkin from the floating pumpkin patch, watch Monsters University
Cardoza Park
Kennedy Park/Victoria Dr., Milpitas


Winchester Mystery House Halloween tours
Friday, Sept 10 – Sunday, Oct 31
Spooky tours of the historic house and grounds
525 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose
(408) 247-2000

Hallowe'en Flashlight Tour

Tickets: $19.99 – 41.99

The Menagerie Halloween Market
Saturday, Sept 18
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Outdoor market of handmade wares, pumpkin painting for kids, pet costume contest
Alfresco Dining Park
1435 Webster St., Alameda

The Immortal Reckoning SF
Friday, Sept 24 – Sunday, Oct 31
Wed – Sun starting Oct 6
Theater, haunted mazes, and special events
San Francisco Mint
88 5th St., San Francisco
Masking and proof of vaccine required
Tickets: $50 – 70

Fear Overload
Saturday, Sept 25 – Saturday, Nov 6
Open Fridays starting Oct 1
Open Wed/Thurs starting Oct 13
Open daily week of Oct 24
See website for hours of operation
Explore two terrifying attractions: Descend the Basement and The Demon
Fear Overload Scream Park
15555 E 14th St., San Leandro


General admission: $19.99

Pirates of Emerson
Thursday, Sept 30 – Sunday, Oct 31
7:05 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
(11 p.m. on weekends, 12 midnight on special days)
Walk-thru haunted house returns for 2021
Alameda County Fairgrounds, Pleasanton

Pirates of Emerson “Official Site”

Tickets available online only: $36:50 – 56:50
Landlubber pass: $10

Mockingbird Lane Halloween Market
Sunday, Oct 3
12 noon – 6 p.m.
Market of the macabre, strange and unusual
Alameda Elks Lodge #1015
2255 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda

Boo at the Zoo
Weekends: Friday, Oct 8 – Sunday, Oct 31
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Wear your costume, get a goodie bag, and join a scavenger hunt.
Special event days:
Fridays: Twinning for parents and kids
Saturdays: Monster Squad – dress up as a monster
Sundays: Favorite Animal Friends – dress up as your favorite animal
Oakland Zoo
9777 Golf Links Rd., Oakland
(510) 632-9525
Tickets: $20-24
Tickets go on sale 28 days prior to entry day.

Saturday, Oct 23
10 a.m. – 12 noon
Canine costume contest, resource fair, and more.
NewBark Dog Park
35501 Cedar Blvd., Newark

The Running Dead 5k Fun Run
Sunday, Oct 24
8 a.m.: Check in
8:30 a.m.: Costume Contest
9 a.m.: Race begins
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Trunk or Treat
Run in costume and dodge the zombies!
Civic Center/City Hall
34009 Alvarado-Niles Rd., Union City
Registration: $22

Halloween Night Exploration
Friday, Oct 29
6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Explore Sunol with a naturalist after dark; costumes encouraged.
1895 Geary Rd., Sunol
Parking $5

The Haunted Garden at Camron-Stanford House
Saturday, Oct 30
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Arts & crafts, lawn games, music, museum exhibit Morbid Desire. Victorian/Halloween costumes encouraged.
1418 Lakeside Drive, Oakland
(510) 874-7802

The Haunted Garden (Halloween Celebration)

Admission: $5

Halloween events @ Ardenwood
Sunday, Oct 31
10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: Three Little Witches Puppet Show
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Costume Clothespin Dolls
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.: Halloween Farm Games
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont
(510) 544-2797
Park entry fee: $2-6

Honor Roll

Missouri State University
Summer 2021 graduate
• Donelle Block of Newark

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Spring 2021 Dean’s List
• Anureet Kaur of Fremont
• Jane Doan of Fremont

Southern New Hampshire University
Summer 2021 Dean’s List
• Edward Cendejas of Fremont
• Sana Nasiri of Fremont

Summer 2021 President’s List
• Arthur Espinosa of Fremont
• George Dibert of Hayward
• Kirsten Way of Fremont
• Hannah Shelley of Newark
• Darren Watanabe of Milpitas
• Sara Coffield of Hayward
• Jennifer Cornejo-Paez of Hayward
• Phillip Valaveris of Fremont
• Panhasak Bun of Fremont
• Anna Chanpensai of Hayward

2021 Youth Art Contest
Submitted by FUSS

The 2021 National Youth Art Charity Art Contest is organized by the non-profit Youth Art Foundation. Proceeds will be donated to the Afghan Refugees Resettlement Program. All K-12 students are eligible to participate in five groups:

Kindergarten – Grade 2
Grades 3-5
Grades 6-8
Grades 9-10
Grades 11-12

There is no specific topic or size restriction to your art. Any artworks that reflect your creativity will be accepted. Each participant may submit a maximum of two pieces of artworks.
Submit your artwork online at https://forms.gle/gVH4HuyH8ghn3aX76.

Entry Fee: $15 for each piece of artwork submitted
Submission Deadline: October 15, 2021

Award certificates for gold, silver, bronze, honorable mention and finalist will be emailed to participants. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@youthart.org, or visit http://www.youthart.org/contactus.html.

2021 Youth Art Contest
Deadline: Friday, Oct 15
Entry fee: $15 per artwork

Alameda County2021 Teachers of the Year
Submitted by Alameda County Office of Education

The Alameda County Office of Education is honored to recognize the 2021 Teachers of the Year, as named by county school districts, in advance of the 32nd annual “Teacher of the Year Awards Ceremony” on Thursday, November 4 at Castro Valley Center for the Arts.

Seventeen district-level honorees were selected by 15 districts across the county over the past few months. The honorees are recognized for their individual dedication and excellence in the classroom, and they collectively represent the thousands of educators across Alameda County.

“It's one of my favorite moments of the year when I get to recognize and honor our stellar Teachers of the Year for their hard work and commitment to students in our county,” said Alameda County Superintendent of Schools L. K. Monroe. “With all the challenges our students and school staff have faced over the last 18 months, the light shines even brighter on the educators who, day in and day out, found a way to keep students engaged and learning under exceedingly difficult circumstances.”

District-level honorees submitted applications, which were reviewed by a panel of educational leaders. County honorees are then submitted for consideration for the California Teacher of the Year program administered by the California Department of Education.

Event details are available at acoe.org/teachersoftheyear. Tickets can be purchased in advance at acoe.org/tickets, and also will be available for sale at the event.

We are proud to introduce you to this year’s honorees.

Lori Thelen
Alameda County Office of Education
Quest & EMERGE Academies
9th-12th Grade Independent Studies

Elisa Correia-Dasalla
Castro Valley Unified School District
Castro Valley Adult & Career Education
Medical Academy

Lilia Tsui
Dublin Unified School District
Fredriksen/Dublin Elementary Schools
English Language Development (ELD)

Cheryl Grixti
Eden Area Regional Occupational Program
Hayward Center
11th-12th Grade Merchandising

Ashante Smith
Emery Unified School District
Anna Yates Elementary/Middle School
6th Grade English Language Arts/Social Studies

Thalia McNeil-Smith
Hayward Unified School District
Brenkwitz High School
12th Grade English

Christopher Filice
Livermore Unified School District
Livermore High School
9th-12th Grade Choir

Chef Christopher Skrocke
Mission Valley Regional Occupational Program
Newark Memorial High School
9th-12th Grade Culinary Arts

Catherine Scheving
Newark Unified School District
Schilling Elementary School
4th-6th Grade Special Day Class

Chantel Parnell
Oakland Unified School District
Bret Harte Middle School
6th-8th Grade Computer Science & Girls Who Code

Jessica Jung
Oakland Unified School District
Bridges Academy
3rd Grade

Whitney Dwyer
Oakland Unified School District
Met West High School
10th Grade Humanities/Academic Advisor

Russell Sato
Pleasanton Unified School District
Village High School
9th-12th Grade English/Career Readiness

Erica Viray Santos
San Leandro Unified School District
San Leandro High School
9th-12th Grade Social Justice Academy

Sue Guinee
San Lorenzo Unified School District
Arroyo High School
9th-12th Grade PE/Special Day Class
Posthumous Award

Christopher Wheeler
Sunol Glen Unified School District
Sunol Glen High School
6th Grade RLA, Math, Science, Social Studies, PE

Diana Hasenpflug
Tri-Valley Regional Occupational Program
Amador Valley High School
9th-12th Grade Sports Medicine/ Athletics Trainer

32nd annual Teacher of the Year Awards Ceremony
Thursday, Nov 4
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Castro Valley Center for the Arts.
19501 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley
Tickets: $15 adults, students free

Daisy’s Day fundraiser 2021
Submitted by Karin Conn

The Palo Alto Humane Society (PAHS) is proud to present the fifth annual Daisy’s Day 2021 fundraiser taking place now through December 31, 2021. Our goal is to raise $100,000 to help sick and injured animals in the Greater Palo Alto/mid-Peninsula Area. Donations from Daisy’s Day will help provide emergency veterinary services for pets whose owners might not have the necessary funds for lifesaving intervention. PAHS’ unique program of veterinary help is often the first line of assistance for sick and injured pets and strays—keeping them out of shelters due to lack of means to pay for their care.

Daisy’s Day is named after a shelter dog named Daisy. Fortunately, Daisy was adopted, but she needed medical attention. Daisy’s companion was able to provide for Daisy, but realized that many pet owners cannot shoulder the financial burden of unexpected veterinary care. Her decision to generously contribute to PAHS’ intervention program is the inspiration for Daisy’s Day and a call to the community to support this lifesaving program.

In 2019 & 2020, Daisy’s Day raised more than $200,000, which helped 177 stray and rescued animals through PAHS’ Animal Rescue Fund (ARF) and 71 animals and their families through PAHS’ Pet Help program. Additionally, 210 dogs and cats were spayed and neutered.

Learn more and donate at www.paloaltohumane.org.
The Drought and Your Water Supply
Submitted by Ruth Narayan

Join The League of Women Voters Fremont, Newark, and Union City in a zoom presentation with leaders of the Alameda County Water District on Tuesday September 28, at 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for a conversation about our water supply.

As everyone knows, clean, reliable, water is central to good health and many of our home activities such as bathing, laundry, gardening, and even recreational activities. So how much do we know about our water supplier, the Alameda County Water District?

Take this quiz to test your knowledge about this important resource (answers are at the end of this article).

1. Which of the following is a primary source of drinking water from the ACWD:
A. Hetch-Hetchy Aqueduct
B. Niles Cone Groundwater Basin
C. South Bay Aqueduct
D. All of the above

2. The Alameda County Water District was formed in:
A. 1946 – After WW 2
B. 1934 – as part of the New Deal
C. 1914 – to protect the Niles Cone Groundwater Basin
D. 1956 – when Fremont was incorporated

3. The ACWD has how many miles of pipes?
A. 350
B. 900
C. 600

4. The ACWD serves which of the following areas?
A. All of Alameda County
B. Southern Alameda County
C. Fremont, Newark, Union City

If you want to learn more about the ACWD and how it is meeting today’s challenges of drought, climate change, and increased water demand please join us for this presentation. Panelists will also discuss the following:

• ACWD residential water rates and how they compare with fees of other water supply agencies in the Bay area.
• The planned change from at-large to zone-based elections for ACWD board of directors, and the current status of that project.
• A brief description of the Smart Meter program, and how that will help customers know more about their own water consumption.

Presenters from ACWD are Ed Stevenson, General Manager, Aziz Akbari, Board President, and Laura Hidas, Director of Water Resources. Gayle Tupper will be moderating the presentations and follow-up questions. She is an Observer for the League of Women Voters at ACWD Board meetings. Before retiring she worked for water and wastewater agencies for 30 years and is very familiar with the important issues facing ACWD and our water supply.

This is your opportunity to learn more about one of our most precious resources and how it is managed. (Quiz Answers: 1.D 2.C 3.B 4.C)

Questions for the LWVFNUC can be sent to: lwvfnuc@lwvfnuc.org

The Drought and Your Water Supply
Tuesday, September 28
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Zoom Program Registration Link: https://bit.ly/3nElEw5

Fall 2021 Virtual Career Fair
Submitted by Ohlone College

JOB SEEKERS: Opportunity is knocking at the Fall 2-Day 2021 VIRTUAL Career Fair, sponsored by the Ohlone College Foundation/ Ohlone College Tri-Cities Career Center. Whether you are looking for full-time work or a part-time job, or if you're ready to move to the next level in your career, the Fall 2-Day 2021 Career Fair is the place to start!

Meet and network with a broad range of potential employers and explore today's leading-edge career options, with such industries as:

Food Industries

Featured employers will present for 30 minutes. All employers will then host individual virtual rooms for you to visit. All employers will also have a designated resume-collection box where you may upload your resume for consideration.

Employers recruiting at this 2-Day Career Fair include:

American Swim Academy*
AEC Living
Balance Staffing
ChanceLight Education Services
Friends of Children with Special Needs
Serra Center
Slingshot Connections
Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits
Spectrum Lithograph
Think Together
Vishay Thin Film
Volt Workforce Solutions
and more.


Hosted by the Ohlone College Foundation and the Ohlone College Tri-Cities Career Center

Tuesday, September 28 and Wednesday, September 29
Fall 2021 Virtual Career Fair R
12 noon – 2 p.m.
12:00 p.m. Start of main session
12:30 p.m. End of main session and start of individual employer rooms
2:00 p.m. End of event and wrap up
Register at: www.ohlone.edu/careerfair
(510) 742-2323

Fremont Area Writers hosts Police Sergeant Adam Plantinga
Submitted by Tish Davidson

Ever wanted to write a reality-based crime story and wondered what a real cop’s life is like?

Police Sergeant and author Adam Plantinga will talk to Fremont Area Writers at their monthly gathering on Saturday, September 25 and will answer questions about exactly that. Topics will include everything from routine patrols to what it’s like to handle stress and even deaths as part of working as a street cop in San Francisco.

It’s a subject he knows well, having literally written the book on it: “400 Things Cops Know: Street-Smart Lessons from a Veteran Patrolman.” It’s a collection of insights to our society with offbeat personal anecdotes taken from his years as a police officer. Now, he’s followed that up with his latest: “Police Craft,” which provides a hands-on view of the police officer’s job, from handling evidence and conducting interrogations to coping with danger and violence.

This event will be live on Zoom. It’s free and open to anyone who's interested in writing and helping other writers. For a Zoom link/invitation to the event, email your request to scottfrombayside@yahoo.com with “FAW link” in the subject line.

Fremont Area Writers: Police Sergeant Adam Plantinga
Saturday, Sept 25
1:45 p.m.
Via Zoom
Request link: scottfrombayside@yahoo.com
(include “FAW link” in subject line)

What is GMHO?
Submitted by Global Mental Health Outreach

The Global Mental Health Outreach Program (GMHO) was founded by Cheryl Tang from California and Natalie Cheung from Hong Kong in June 2020 to challenge the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. GMHO focuses on teen-to-teen interactions. Many find talking to a peer more relatable, and have an easier time opening up and seeking help in difficult situations.

Our past events
In addition to creating webinars and articles for our website, we established branches in multiple countries to plan events tailored to local needs. We recruited over 60 students around the world, including Egypt, Bangladesh, and Romania, to assist organizing local events, both in person, and online. The diversity in GMHO has helped bridge cultural gaps on sensitive topics. We have coordinated webinars with RehabAfrica (March 2021), MINDS Foundation (May 2021), and Med-ucate (August 2021) to address the importance of mental health, as well as the repercussions of mental health disorders.

Our ongoing events
“My Mental Health Story” gathers recovery stories from people with mental illnesses to motivate those who are experiencing the same struggles. “Letters for Care” collects greeting cards made by volunteers around the world to spread hope and encouragement. The 200+ cards we received so far were sent to mental health organizations like RehabAfrica. After launching these events, many teenagers used our website to reach out for support.

Future events:
GMHO is partnering with Med-ucate to teach the Mental Health Hero Training Course. Juggling school and mental health can be challenging for students. In this 7-week course, students will explore the connections between biology and psychology to de-stress from school and life. Topics include nutrition, addiction, sleep, and mood disorders.

This is a free course, consisting of one class a week, from September 24 to November 5. Each class will be 50 minutes to one hour long. The instructors are high school and college students who have taken Advanced Psychology and Biology, and have earned a mental health first aid certification. Session One times each week are Fridays at 8 p.m. pacific time. Session two times are to be announced. Recommended for students ages 10-21.

For more details, please visit the website: https://www.globalmentalhealthoutreach.com/ongoing-events.

To register for our classes, please fill in the google form:
Get involved!
If you are a student, and would love to help raise awareness for mental health you can join via the website. Click on the “Apply now!” button in the upper right-hand corner.

Students will be able to gain community service opportunities, and experience on event planning, conducting research, graphics design, or coding.

We regularly post information about mental illnesses, advice, and words of encouragement on our social media channels. Past webinars are uploaded to our YouTube channel.

Instagram: @globalmentalhealth.outreach
Website: https://www.globalmentalhealthoutreach.com/
Email: globalmentalhealthprogram@gmail.com
YouTube: Global Mental Health Outreach Program

Apply Today for the Leadership Hayward
Submitted by Hayward Chamber of Commerce

Applications are now being accepted for the 32nd annual class of Leadership Hayward, to begin in November. With more than 400 graduates since 1990-1991, this outstanding program develops leaders knowledgeable about the greater Hayward area and prepared to address complex social and economic issues. The program is particularly valuable to those in the business community, who learn about Hayward's economic development to enhance their professional growth and that of their business.

The coursework will begin in November and, if necessary, include an option for both online and in-person sessions. Safety will be the top priority on determining how presentations will be offered. The class of 2021 began as all-virtual and by its August commencement date was nearly all in-person.

How Does it Work?
Leadership Hayward features eight monthly, one-day sessions from November to June. Each class focuses on a topic presented by experts, including heritage and cultural awareness; economic and public policy; community design and transportation; health and human services; education; arts and recreation; public safety and disaster preparedness; and public facilities.

Those meeting the attendance goals receive 2.0 units of continuing education credit from California State University, East Bay University Extension.

Who's Involved?
About 25 individuals participate each year representing a cross section of Hayward's diverse, private and public sectors, cultures and age groups. Participants have included bankers, retailers, restaurant owners, teachers, professors, police officers, firefighters, medical personnel, nonprofit staff, and government employees. Businesses have been represented by owners, executives, managers and staff. Faculty come from across the spectrum of Hayward's leaders in business, government, health care, emergency services and more.The selection criteria include a commitment to Hayward's well-being, to regular attendance, and active participation. Title sponsor of Leadership Hayward is St. Rose Hospital.

What's the Investment?
Tuition for each participant is $950. This covers breakfast and lunch, materials and certification. Fees may be paid by the individual, an employer or a sponsoring organization. Participants are encouraged to seek tuition assistance from employers and civic and professional organizations.

Apply Today!

Obtain the brief application form from the Hayward Chamber of Commerce or download it at https://bit.ly/3AmrYfl. Call the chamber for information at (510) 537-2424 or e-mail Hayward Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Kim Huggett at kimh@hayward.org.

Rotary Club Helps with Milpitas Community Cleanup
Submitted by Rotary Club of Silicon Andhra

Rotary Club of Silicon Andhra (one of the 61 clubs associated with Rotary Dist. 5170) partnered with the City of Milpitas on September 12th to beautify the Milpitas city by participating in a cleanup activity at 680 and Calaveras Boulevard intersection. Rotarians, also popularly known as “People of Action”, joined this event and made this event successful by becoming the largest group that helped with the cleanup activity. These Rotarians were acknowledged by California Assembly member Alex Lee & Milpitas City Councilmember Evelyn Chua for their volunteerism.

Please reach out to Sim Gopalan (510-512-8805) for more details on the upcoming community service events by the Rotary Club of Silicon Andhra.

To learn more about the Rotary Club of Silicon Andhra, visit our website at www.siliconandhrarotary.org

New technology quickens library checkouts
Submitted by San Leandro Public Library

Patrons who visit the San Leandro Public Library may notice a quicker checkout and check-in process of books and other library materials thanks to a new Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system recently installed.

Library officials said installing the RFID system involved tagging more than 290,000 books, DVDs, CDs, and other items which allows items to be quickly scanned into or out of a patron’s library account. RFID systems are widely used at libraries across the country, and San Leandro Library officials said the technology offers an additional service option for patrons.

“The addition of RFID technology provides significant advantages for both library operations and patron convenience,” explained Library Director, Brian Simons. “San Leandro is a deeply diverse community and to help make the library more accessible to all, this system provides services in 35 languages, so patrons can have an easy to use, checkout experience in the language they feel most comfortable in. Additionally, RFID allows the library to look at future services and how we might be able to rethink how things are done, so we can focus our staff resources on impactful outcomes for the community.”

What kind of changes will patrons see when they visit a San Leandro Public Library branch? All four library branches now have self-checkout machines for patrons to use. The machines offer 35 language options, and patrons can use either a physical library card or the San Leandro Public Library mobile app to check out library items. For returns, the Main and Manor Branch libraries have RFID-enabled book drop slots where items will be removed from the patron’s library account instantly upon return all day, every day.

While library officials continue to slowly progress toward reopening all library locations back to full time hours, patrons are asked to visit the Main or Manor Branch libraries during their limited in-person service hours so they can try out the new RFID system. Library staff members are available to help. For details, call the Main Library Information Desk at (510) 577-3971.
Heads up! Motorists should expect construction delays
Submitted by City of Union City

Motorists traveling northbound on Decoto Road in Union City should plan for delays and detours during evening and overnight hours until October 15 while work continues on a PG&E Gas Main Safety Project.

Work is taking place weekdays starting at 6:00 p.m. and continuing until 5:30 a.m. the next day on the portion of Decoto Road between Alvarado-Niles Road and Myers Drive/Union Square. No work is scheduled on weekend nights. Motorists should try to avoid the area if possible.

For details, call (510) 471-3232.

Student starts online tutoring program to help with distance learning
By Niamh Lambert
Photos courtesy of Iha Gadiya

The past year has been trying for many people, but for some, the coronavirus pandemic led to new opportunities and ideas. Iha Gadiya, a Sophomore at Washington High School, was one of those people. Gadiya was able to put a positive spin on our new way of life, starting her own online tutoring business called Tutor2Aid.

Gadiya started her business during summer 2020. She had been looking for a way to help the community, as she’d seen those around her impacted by Covid-19, including family friends with children stuck in online learning. Kids were struggling to keep up, confused about how to complete assignments, and uninterested with the material provided.

Along with that, Gadiya saw how Covid-19 impacted so many around the world. She watched closely as the surges hit India, her native country, and wanted to find a way to help. This is when inspiration struck and Tutor2Aid was born. “I just wanted to help the community, and being able to tutor kids was perfect for me. I’m a little shy, but when I’m in a one on one environment that's where I really thrive. Tutoring gave me that opportunity, plus I’m helping so many families in positive ways. I also donate a portion of my earnings to Covid relief funds such as Give India and Benevity.”

Gadiya offers support to a wide range of students with Tutor2Aid, from kindergarten through tenth grade. She specializes in three subjects, Math, Spanish, and Coding. Below is a brief overview on each of the subjects Gadiya offers aid in.

• Math for grades K-10: Students learn the basics through interactive games and simulations.
• Spanish for grades K-10: Three different levels are available, starting with basic literacy and grammar. All levels use games, songs, and quizzes.
• Coding for grades 1-10: Covers a foundational understanding of software engineering.

All courses are 45 minutes long and offered virtually. They give students the opportunity to receive one-on-one support for $5 a session. In addition to the lesson, students will receive 45 minutes of homework for the course that is expected to be completed outside of class time.

Along the way, Gadiya encountered a few obstacles; her main hindrance was her young age. “Parents often second guess me because I’m still a minor. To combat this I offer a free trial so families are given the opportunity to get to know my business before committing to paid classes.”

Gadiya has the goal of donating $2,000 to Covid relief funds and expanding to at least 100 students by the end of 2022. She has worked tirelessly to achieve these goals and support her community. “I hope people see my story and it inspires them to go out in the world and help others.”

If you would like to enroll in a course offered by Gadiya, you can do so through her website.

Meet with police over boba tea
Submitted by Milpitas Police Department

Pull up a chair and enjoy a boba tea and chat with members of Milpitas Police Department. That’s the idea behind a Boba with a Cop event set for Tuesday, September 21 in Milpitas.

The goal for this informal meet-and-greet is to let community members ask questions and share neighborhood concerns with police. No formal presentation is planned, so people are free to drop in anytime during the two-hour event which starts at 2:00 p.m. at I-Tea Doraku on Calaveras Boulevard. Admission is free; for details, call (408) 586-2400.

Boba with a Cop
Tuesday, Sep 21
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Meet members of the Milpitas Police Department
I-Tea Doraku, 760 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas
(408) 586-2400

Cool beans! Share coffee with a cop
Submitted by CHP Hayward

Do you have questions for the California Highway Patrol? Officers from the local CHP Hayward office just might have the answers you’re looking for. They are inviting citizens to join them at a Coffee with a Cop gathering on Friday, September 24 in Hayward.

The 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. event will be at Frodo Joe’s Coffee & Tea on Hesperian Boulevard. The informal gathering is designed to let people ask questions, voice concerns or simply get to know members of the CHP Hayward office. No formal presentation is planned, so people can drop by anytime during the event. Admission is free and open to the public.

Coffee with a Cop
Friday, Sep 24
7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Q&A with local CHP members
Frodo Joe’s Coffee & Tea, 17665 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward
(510) 489-1500

Longtime firefighter retires
Submitted by Fremont Fire Department

After more than 20 years with the Fremont Fire Department, firefighter Mark Hogan is retiring with a round of applause and kudos from colleagues on his long tenure. In a September 13 announcement, fire department officials offered their congratulations to Hogan, citing his exceptional job knowledge, professionalism and tireless work ethic as key elements for his success.

Hogan started his fire service career in 1986 as a volunteer in the Ripon Consolidated Fire Protection District in San Joaquin County. Two years later he joined the department as a fulltime firefighter and stayed with them for 11 years before coming to Fremont in 1999.

Over the years, Hogan kept busy in various capacities with the department including working in its Rescue Systems and Water Rescue units, and participating in Hazardous Materials training. He received multiple commendations and accolades, including the department’s first “Firefighter’s Cross” meritorious award in 2001 for bravery during a successful rescue operation of an electrical worker who had been electrocuted on a hydraulic lift.

In 2005 Hogan was part of the California Task Force 4 Water Rescue Team that responded to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, affecting rescues of 952 New Orleans residents trapped by flood water.

Fremont Police Log
Submitted by Yanneth Contrada, Fremont PD

Wednesday, September 8
• At 4:58 p.m. officers located a stolen vehicle in the area of Auto Mall Parkway and Grimmer Boulevard in the Irvington area. A homeless man, identified by police as Guillermo Hernandez, 42, from Santa Clara was arrested on suspicion of auto theft.

• At about 5:00 p.m. detectives found a stolen vehicle in the area of Solar Way in south Fremont. A man located nearby and identified by police as Kenny Bradley, 28, was arrested on suspicion of auto theft.

Friday, September 10
• At about 3:58 p.m. officers located a stolen vehicle in the area of Stevenson Boulevard and Davis Street in the Irvington area. A check inside the vehicle uncovered a Glock style handgun. Two suspects, identified by police as Craig Spencer-Doran, 25, of Redwood City and Angelina Silva, 19, of Fremont were arrested.

Saturday, September 11
• At about 12:05 p.m. a female was walking in the area of Palm Avenue and Corte Santa Ines in the Mission Valley area of Fremont. A vehicle approached and a male exited and told the female he wanted to give her a gift. As he placed costume jewelry on her, he removed her real jewelry.

Sunday, September 12
• At about 11:17 a.m. officers located a stolen vehicle in the area of Auto Mall Parkway and Christy Street. A homeless man, identified by police as Miguel Valdivieso, 18, from Fremont was arrested on suspicion of auto theft.

Monday, September 13
At about 12:44 a.m. officers located a stolen vehicle in the area of 5505 Stevenson Blvd. A man identified by police as Luis Amaya, 27, of Mountain View was arrested on suspicion of auto theft.

How to follow Hayward community safety innovations
Submitted by The City of Hayward

The City of Hayward announced a new webpage for following implementation of new initiatives intended to address community concerns about policing and public safety in Hayward.

On May 18, the City Council directed City staff to begin testing and implementing nine high-priority initiatives that grew out of a series of community conversations on policing and public safety that took place in 2020 and a follow-up Policy Innovation Workshop on Community Safety.

The workshop, conversations and an associated public opinion survey were part of a Public Safety Community Outreach Project undertaken in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., on May 25, 2020, and the ensuing national dialogue on race and equity in policing and law enforcement in America.

One of the Innovation Workshop initiatives already under way in Hayward entails piloting a Mobile Evaluation Team (MET), which pairs Alameda County behavioral health clinicians with specially trained Hayward Police Department (HPD) district command police officers to respond to community members experiencing acute mental health crisis. It was launched in June.

Other Innovation Workshop initiatives include:

• A 911 dispatch needs assessment.

• Improving access to medical, mental health and other supportive services through the new Hayward Evaluation and Response Teams (HEART) program. The program consists of two separate mobile teams: MET (as described above) and a new Mobile Integrated Health Unit (MIHU), which pairs a Hayward Fire Department (HFD) community paramedic with a mental health clinician from a community organization.

• The hiring of a behavioral health coordinator to provide daily coordination of the HEART program and improve the network of resources available to Hayward residents.

• Expanding shelter options and outreach services to unhoused residents through the City Manager's Office Division of Community Services.

• Expanded use of unarmed HPD community service officers.

• Community review of the HPD training curriculum.

• Establishment of a community complaint liaison position.

The new webpage for following progress on implementation and testing of these and future Innovation Workshop initiatives can be found on the City Hayward website at: www.hayward-ca.gov/HaywardSafeDashboard

San Leandro welcomes new police chief
Submitted by San Leandro Police Department

During a virtual meeting of the San Leandro City Council on Monday, September 13, Abdul Pridgen was sworn in as the city’s newest chief of the San Leandro Police Department. He took over the top spot from interim Police Chief Susan Manheimer who concluded her service September 12.

Pridgen’s appointment was announced July 6 by San Leandro City Manager Fran Robustelli who expressed confidence in her choice. “Chief Pridgen is a well-respected law enforcement veteran, who is an advocate for diversity, inclusion, and a community builder,” Robustelli said. “Chief Pridgen will provide immediate attention to pressing needs, such as transparency, investment into personnel, and implementing police oversight for the department.”

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

Fremont police release video of deadly shooting
Submitted by Yanneth Contrada, Fremont PD

Video and details were released Thursday, September 16 by the Fremont Police Department from its investigation into an August 25 officer-involved shooting that left a 22-year-old Hayward man dead.

At a press conference, Acting Police Chief Sean Washington said investigators reviewed the video and talked with officers and witnesses and determined the fatal shooting of Kevin Johnston was justified.

The video is posted the department’s online Transparency Portal page at www.fremontpolice.gov/about-us/transparency-portal.

According to police, the August 25 incident stemmed from a 911 call about a shooting at the Southlake Mobile Home Park, 4343 Auto Mall Parkway that left a 25-year-old man with life-threatening injuries. Officers arrived on the scene at 5:24 p.m. and found the victim on Winnipeg Terrace. He was taken by an ambulance at 5:32 p.m. to a trauma center.

Then, 6:07 p.m., an officer identified by police as Officer Jesse Hartman, tried to stop a man who matched the description of the earlier shooting suspect about a half mile away near the intersection of Auto Mall Parkway and Southlake Common. Hartman was not wearing a body camera because investigators said it was charging in his car. However, the police car camera captured the shooting, but without audio. Police said Hartman made it clear he was with law enforcement.

Police said Johnston pointed what they have identified as a ghost gun at Hartman who fired at Johnston, killing him. Investigators are still trying to determine if Johnston fired a round at the officer. Meanwhile, the victim in the shooting at the mobile home park remains in the hospital. Police have not released his name or the motive behind the shooting. Hartman has returned to active duty.

The investigation is continuing and police are asking that anyone with information about the incident to call their Investigative Unit at (510) 790-6900 or send an anonymous tip by texting TIP FREMONTPD followed by a message to 888777, or via the web at https://fremontpolice.gov/TIP.

Fireworks Safety in Union City: A Discussion of Potential Policies
Submitted by the City of Union City

This 4th of July in Union City, we had 169 reported incidents of illegal fireworks use, 10 total fires – including 2 structures impacted by fire, 5 vegetation fires and a medical call attributed to fireworks. Union City's Police Department, firefighters, paramedics and other city staff commit significant resources responding to service calls related to fireworks.

In response to the fire safety risk, noise nuisance to residents and pets, as well as the litter and pollution caused by fireworks, the City is now considering new policies related to fireworks and increased penalties for illegal use.

You are invited to join an upcoming webinar at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 23 to learn more about the current challenges we face when dealing with fireworks, the policy options under consideration and to provide your input.

Panelists will include:

Joan Malloy, City Manager
Mark Evanoff, Deputy City Manger
Jared Rinetti, Union City Police Chief
Mark Camfield, Union City Public Works Superintendent

Fireworks Safety in Union City: A Discussion of Potential Policies
Thursday, September 23
6 p.m.
Via Zoom. https://bit.ly/3tKepnl
Passcode: M9wu#wFi

Or one tap mobile: US: +1(213)338-8477,,82375522420#,,,,*36914219# or
+1(408) 638-0968,,82375522420#,,,,*36914219#

Or telephone: US: +1 (213) 338-8477 or +1 (408) 638-0968 or +1 (301) 715-8592 or
+1 (646) 518-9805

Webinar ID: 823 7552 2420
Passcode: 36914219


When people listen

A series of E.F. Hutton brokerage commercials in the 1970s featured conversations between individuals comparing advice from different stock brokers. Although setting and situation vary, the conclusion always ends with a reply to a query about advice: “My broker is E.F. Hutton and E.F. Hutton says….” Whether in a restaurant, airplane, hallway or schoolroom, all action stops and those around lean in to listen to what will be said. The tag line is always, “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen!”

These classic commercials were an iconic representation of the rare personality that listens, learns and thinks before speaking. Although commendable, it’s just about impossible to follow this pattern 100% of the time. All of us are guilty of occasional, inopportune blurts of emotional nonsense when provoked or simply responding without much thought. However, when the pattern repeats consistently, a word or two of caution is justified. While not always consequential, outbursts of this type can be annoying and delay or even sidetrack serious discussions. As we mature and learn to socialize with others, it can become painfully obvious that consistent inappropriate grandstanding can lead to ostracizing or little or no reception by listeners.

Our system of government is designed to allow citizens to act as participants in decision-making processes. Interaction is encouraged and can take place in a variety of forms and venues. One highly visible venue is the public comment period of city council meetings. For non-agenda items, this offers an opportunity for any attendee to address councilmembers on any subject that is not included in the formal agenda. Although the council is restricted from response due to lack of prior public knowledge, this does open a pathway for staff interaction and future formal council consideration.

Another avenue of input for public comment is under the formal agenda. Some issues are fairly routine and without much controversy so are considered as a group through a “Consent Calendar” while others may involve significant funding and/or be separated for closer scrutiny and debate. Highly controversial items may involve extensive discussion and input from residents while others, consistent with prior practice and good governance, evoke few or no remarks. Public input is guaranteed and welcome so decision-makers can consider all points of view. However, overly repetitious or specious presentations not only waste time, but suffer from sensory overload and inattention by others. Even if solid points of contention are contained within, too much verbiage can ruin the message.

Each council is asked to balance rights and obligations of its residents with the necessity to carry out the business of government. This balancing act is not easy and a problem can arise when attempting to contain and direct the enthusiasm of a few who seek to dominate proceedings. In such cases, time limits and other forms of restraint may help, but a private discussion with those involved may solve the dilemma. A prime example of this conundrum is a recent meeting of the Fremont City Council in which every item of the consent calendar was removed for individual consideration by one resident (who also spoke on almost every other item on the agenda as well). In almost all cases, the same points for discussion were raised. Excess verbal volume results in little or no reception of the message. This is not valuable input, rather becomes a monotonous, irritating background noise that neither convinces or impresses. The resident actually used the term “pebble in your shoe” to signal his acknowledgement of this behavior.

Just as I would prefer to listen to council member comments in a succinct, thoughtful manner that does not waste time and threaten their impact, the public also has the same responsibility. Be known by the same tag line as E.F. Hutton:

When [insert your name] talks, people listen!