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Homework assistance offered

Submitted by City of Fremont

 

The City of Fremont Community Services Department offers a homework assistance program at the Warm Springs Community Center, located at 47300 Fernald St. Offered Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Warm Springs After School Care and Homework program runs throughout the school year beginning September 26. Register at RegeRec.com and use barcode # 274330.

 

Youth in grades K-6 can take part in the homework support program that provides an environment to thrive both academically and emotionally through well-structured daily curriculum, nutritious snacks, outdoor supervised recess, and fun activities in a nurturing environment. Experienced and enthusiastic staff monitors homework and provides students quality help when needed. This unique program offers a smooth transition from school activities to a dedicated space for daily homework assistance. The program runs every four weeks through the school year (except holiday breaks).

 

For more information, call: (510) 494-4318 or (510) 494-4300

 

 

Executive Director to retire from Alameda County Transportation Commission

Submitted by Tess Lengyel

 

With the support of the Alameda County Transportation Commission (Alameda CTC), Arthur L. Dao, Executive Director and chief executive officer of the organization will retire in December 2019 after more than 33 years in the transportation industry. Mr. Dao’s career has included infrastructure delivery and investments to support mobility, efficiency, access, economic development and the environment throughout the Bay Area.

 

As Alameda CTC’s first executive director, Mr. Dao led the merger of the Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority (ACTIA) and the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency (ACCMA) in 2010, which has resulted in improved governmental efficiency and strengthened the funding and delivery of capital projects and programs.

 

Prior to being the Executive Director of Alameda CTC, Mr. Dao was the Deputy Director of Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority (ACTIA). In that capacity, Mr. Dao was responsible for the delivery of the $1.4 billion 2000 Measure B capital program almost 10 years ahead of schedule.

 

“I have been at the helm all of these years, but I am well aware that none of this happens without my excellent and passionate staff,” says Mr. Dao. “It has been my privilege to serve alongside such hardworking and dedicated people that are cognizant of the value of the good work that we do here at Alameda CTC.”

 

The Alameda CTC Board has initiated a national search for Mr. Dao’s replacement.

 

For additional information, visit: www.AlamedaCTC.org

 

 

BART Police Logs

Submitted by Les Mensinger and BART PD

 

Friday, August 23

  • At 11 a.m., a man identified by police as Michael Leon of Hayward was arrested at Bay Fair Station for narcotics, possession of stolen property, probation violation. Leon was transported and booked into Santa Rita Jail.

 

Saturday, August 24

  • At 9:39 p.m., at a traffic stop in Union City, a man identified by police as Timothy Maloney of Hayward was placed under arrest and booked into jail for 23152 VC (DUI).

 

Tuesday, August 27

  • At 6.13 p.m., a victim reported having been stabbed in the leg on the platform of South Hayward Station. The victim was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Trains were searched for the suspect that had departed the station around the time of the incident, with no results. The investigation is ongoing.

 

Wednesday, August 28

  • At 5:41 p.m., a man identified by police as Davis Zachary of Oakland was booked into the Rita Jail on an outside agency warrant. Warrant Arrest – San Leandro Station.

 

 

Protect consumers with mortgages from abusive debt collectors

Submitted by Jeff Barbosa

 

On August 30, the California State Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) to protect consumers with mortgages from abusive debt collection tactics. SB 187 now goes to Governor Newsom for his consideration.

 

“SB 187 clarifies that the state’s Fair Debt Collections Practices Act protects individuals with mortgage debt and prevents mortgage servicers from threatening and harassing them to collect that debt,” said Wieckowski. “This will end the conflicting court rulings that have occurred over the years. It also removes the exception that attorneys or counselors at law are not subject to the act. For too long, attorneys have harassed individuals for payment over mortgage debt. SB 187 will end these threats.”

 

In 1977, Congress created the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to regulate how creditors and debt collection agencies enforce and collect payment of debts. It granted consumers protections and rights, such as an avenue for disputing debt, the ability to obtain accurate debt information, and rules on how and when a collection agency can contact a consumer. That same year, California approved the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, which expanded upon the protections in the federal statute. But the law was silent as to whether it applies to collection agencies trying to collect mortgage debt.

 

“This is a great victory for consumers because SB 187 removes any doubt that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act covers individuals with mortgage debt,” said Ted Mermin, director of the California Low-Income Consumer Coalition. “This will reduce the number of consumers who are subjected to deceptive and dishonest collection practices.  Now, people with mortgage debt will have the same rights and protections as all other consumers.”

 

 

Takes from Silicon Valley East

 

Fremont Joins National Main Street Program

By Hannah White, director of outreach and engagement, National Main Street Center

 

Main streets and downtown areas play vital roles in cities’ communities, cultures, and economies. This trend holds true in Fremont, a city that knows its downtown and neighborhood commercial corridors as gathering spaces, representations of local history, and homes to many of the local businesses and establishments that add to its uniqueness and diversity.

 

Fremont recently began an exciting new chapter in its ongoing efforts to heighten economic opportunity and quality of life in these areas by joining the California Main Street Alliance (www.mainstreet.org/californiamainstreet/home) (CAMSA). CAMSA is part of a national network that provides tools, resources, and strategic support to thousands of community revitalization efforts across the country. Since 1980, communities participating in the Main Street program have generated $79.12 billion in public and private reinvestment in their downtown districts, overseen the rehabilitation of 284,936 buildings, catalyzed 640,017 net new jobs, and spurred 143,613 net new businesses. Fremont’s participation in the program allows City and neighborhood leaders to access this nationwide network (www.mainstreet.org/mainstreetamerica/theprograms) and a suite of revitalization tools that can help bring new momentum to the City’s economic development work.

 

The Main Street Approach: Four Points and Transformation Strategies

The hallmark of the Main Street program is a framework known as the Main Street Approach (www.mainstreet.org/mainstreetamerica/theapproach). This method provides municipalities, nonprofits, and local leaders with a strategic roadmap for downtown or neighborhood commercial corridor transformation that is easily tailored to local conditions. Since its start almost 40 years ago, over 2,000 cities and towns of all sizes—from Bonaparte, Iowa (pop. 411) to Washington, D.C.’s Shaw District—have participated in the program. Together, this vast network of community-based revitalization programs used the Main Street Approach to transform their downtown economies, rally volunteers, and celebrate their historic character.

 

One important aspect of the Main Street Approach is its comprehensive nature. Decades of Main Street community successes have demonstrated that there’s no “silver bullet” when it comes to creating sustainable, thriving downtowns. Lasting change comes from focusing holistically on all components that impact the health of a community. In Main Street parlance, this means focusing on four key areas, also known as the “Four Points:” promotion, economic vitality, organization, and design.

 

Short- and long-term work across these “Four Points” is guided by “Transformation Strategies,” comprehensive initiatives that direct revitalization and transform districts over time. Each “strategy is generated through meaningful community engagement, informed by analysis of the district’s market position, and based on several important characteristics:

  • rooted in the community’s vision
  • based on a solid analysis and understanding of the district’s economy and its best economic opportunities
  • comprehensive implementation through a broad range of activities that span the four broad areas of work represented by the “four points”
  • measurable ability to track progress

 

Main Street in Action

So, what does this look like in practice? Part of the beauty of Main Street is that it looks different in every city. The Main Street Approach builds on local character and history and leverages existing assets. So, success varies from place to place. Look at a few success stories such as Livermore, California; Alberta Main Street, Oregon; and West Chester, Pennsylvania for a sense of what Main Street transformation can look like.

 

New Era of Main Street in California

Fremont is joining the CAMSA at an exciting time, thanks to a new partnership between CAMSA and the National Main Street Center.

 

Due to budget cuts over the years, the California Main Street Program, which was established in 1986, struggled to maintain a consistently high level of service and benefits to communities across the state. To build greater capacity and support for the program, the National Main Street Center partnered with CAMSA in 2018 and is the current administrator of the statewide Main Street program. The newly reconstituted Main Street program has 26 initiatives located throughout the state and provides convening and networking, personalized coaching, Main Street-specific programming and tools, and professional development opportunities to its members.

 

Fremont’s Main Street efforts will complement its ongoing economic development work throughout the city by bolstering community outreach efforts and giving local leaders additional tools to bring new economic opportunities while reinvigorating the character of the city’s neighborhood commercial corridors.

 

Main Street America is a program of the National Main Street Center (NMSC), based in Chicago. The National Main Street Center is a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

 

 

Fall Festival

Submitted by Emily Enquist

 

The Castro Valley/Eden Area Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to once again host the annual “Castro Valley Fall Festival,” Saturday, September 7 – Sunday, September 8. Coming into the 47th year of this wonderful community-focused event, the Fall Festival remains a favorite amongst our residents. Get ready for more than 150 local vendors and artists, craft brews, great wine, family fun, kid’s zone, robust community engagement, and 32 hours of live entertainment!

 

There will be three designated beer and wine booths: Drake’s, 21st Amendment, and our own Castro Valley winery – TwiningVine. Fall Festival is known for its unique wine glass and beer stein, and this year we will be putting a new twist on these items—so make sure you stop by! A few of the food vendors will be Jenn’s Cupcakes, Desserts First, Coastal Paella, San Francisco BBQ, Wingless Famous Chicken, On Your Way Mini Donuts, and Sonoma Teriyaki.

 

Please keep in mind that Castro Valley Boulevard will be closed from 12 midnight September 7 until 12 midnight September 9. Detours and roadblocks will be in place for the safety of our festival goers.

 

Our Chamber of Commerce staff and Board of Directors invites everyone to celebrate with us at the 47th Annual Castro Valley Fall Festival! Thank you to our sponsors: Kaiser Permanente, Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation, Sutter Health Eden Medical Center, Charles Mortimer, RE/MAX Key, BrightNow! Dental, Fremont Bank, Castro Valley, Redwood Christian Schools, Hayward Area Rec & Park District, Assemblymember Bill Quirk, among many others.

 

Bandstand Stage Schedule

 

Saturday

10:00 a.m. Brewers Brass

11:15 a.m. Algo Mas’ (Santana tribute)

12:30 p.m. Jeff Ricketts & the Dirt Road Band

1:45 p.m. C.V.S.O.M All Stars

3:00 p.m. Gilly

4:15 p.m. Pretending / 2 Jet

5:00 p.m. Reckless Few

 

Sunday

10:00 a.m. In Full Swing (Castro Valley Adult School)

11:45 a.m. Castro Valley CVUSD Mariachi Voce Dell Valle

12:45 p.m. Fleet Street

2:15 p.m. Bad Boy Bruce

3:30 p.m. The Reverbivores

4:45 p.m. Earthquake Classic 60’s

 

Bedford Stage Schedule

 

Saturday

10:00 a.m. Maria Charito Martinez (Zumba fitness)

11:00 a.m. Phil Santos Violins (ABC Music)

12:00 p.m. Castro Valley School of Music

1:00 p.m. Bedford Studios

2:00 p.m. Bedazzled Dancers

3:00 p.m. Eden Aoba Taiko (Japanese drumming)

4:00 p.m. Pallen Martial Arts

5:15 Dream Team Variety Show Stoppers

 

Sunday

10:00 a.m. H.A.R.D. Dancers

11:00 a.m. Joan Bascom Presents

12:00 noon H.A.R.D Belly Dancing

1:00 p.m. Bedford Studios Presents

2:00 p.m. Dance Live Dream Center

3:00 p.m. Castro Valley Performing Arts

4:45 p.m. Audio Arc

 

Fall Festival

Saturday, Sept 7 – Sunday, Sept 8

10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Castro Valley Blvd. at Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 537-5300

http://www.edenareachamber.com/fall-festival

 

 

California poised to overhaul charter schools

By Adam Beam

Associated Press

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Aug 28 – California is poised to tighten rules for charter schools as the state sees growing enrollment in communities serving mostly low-income families.

 

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a deal on Wednesday that would overhaul how the state authorizes and judges its charter schools. State lawmakers must still approve it, which appears to be a formality after the Legislature's top two leaders endorsed it.

 

Charter schools are publicly funded, but they operate by different rules than traditional public schools. Anyone can apply for a charter school, and state law requires school districts to OK them if they meet certain basic requirements.

 

The result is charter school enrollment has more than doubled over the last 10 years, according to a legislative analysis of the proposal. Today, California has more than 1,300 charter schools that account for about 10% of the state's more than 6.2 million public school students, according to the California Department of Education.

 

The bill, which would have to pass the state Legislature by Sept. 12, would no longer let the state authorize charter schools. Instead, only school districts and county governments could do that. And it would narrow the appeals process, forcing applicants to focus on the same set of facts as laid out in their original proposal.

 

The bill would also require all new charter school teachers to be credentialed and would give existing teachers five years to do so.

 

And the bill would alter the criteria for approving new charter schools to include an assessment of how the school would impact the community. Going forward, schools would be judged not only by test scores, but also things like graduation and suspension rates.

 

Details of the bill were confirmed by the governor's office.

 

“This agreement focuses on the needs of our students,” according to a statement released by Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and other legislative and executive officials. “It increases accountability for all charter schools, allows high-quality charter schools to thrive, and ensures that the fiscal and community impacts of charter schools on school districts are carefully considered.”

 

More than 60% of the state's charter schools are either in Los Angeles County, San Diego County or the nine counties included in the Bay Area near San Francisco. A legislative analysis says most of the growth in charter schools has been in areas where students come from low-income families.

 

Critics, including teachers unions, have long blamed the proliferation of charter schools for putting pressure on local education budgets. But supporters say the schools are a necessary alternative for students who need something more than what traditional schools can offer.

 

The California Charter Schools Association, which had opposed the bill, says it is now “neutral” after the changes.

 

“We are committed to moving forward together to increase access to high-quality public schools of all types and for all kids,” association President and CEO Myrna Castrejon said in a news release.

 

Labor groups – including the California Teachers Association and the California Labor Federation – issued a statement saying they look forward to Newsom signing the bill into law and that “the groundswell of action and support for this bill over the last several months underscores the sense of urgency in our communities to enact these much-needed changes.”

 

 

Every plant needs a friend

Article and photos by Daniel O'Donnell

 

Behind every Formula 1 champion is an extraordinarily well-oiled pit crew; behind any mountaineer who climbed Mt. Everest is a hardworking, tenacious Sherpa; and behind every boxing title holder is a scrappy indefatigable sparring partner. People who work diligently behind the scenes and are crucial to the success of a leader are not limited to the sporting world. They are referred to in other realms as worker bees, support staff, workhorses, or team members. Even the most successful “star” plants have supporting actors to help them shine; these are called companion plants.

 

When taking the term companion plant at face value, it seems that planting two plants together would qualify them as companion plants. It may also seem that plants that have similar water requirements could be called companion plants because they can be planted in the same hydrozone or irrigation zone that meets their specific watering needs. However, horticulturally, the name has a more specific meaning. Companion plants, in this instance, provide one or more specific benefits to a plant or plants that a gardener is partial to.

 

There is a long list of plants that will benefit from having one or more appropriate companions. They are primarily fruits and vegetables, but there are also ornamentals that will prosper from a companion plant nearby. It can be difficult to remember every camaraderie. Simply knowing that certain plants have companion plants is all someone needs to know. There are plenty of books and websites that have detailed list of the plants that should be grown next to each other.

 

Planting plants that are used together in cooking is not a precise way to determine a companion plant but is an easy way to get a good degree of accuracy. A marinara recipe is a good example. Basil can be planted near tomato and pepper plants to repel flies, mosquitoes, and aphids. It also releases substances in the soil that improve the growth and flavors of both fruits. Other companion plants for them include eggplant, rosemary, onion, celery, carrot, parsley, and spinach, all of which are no strangers to a flavorful pasta sauce.

 

Much like a Formula 1 pit crew keeps an engine functioning properly, companion plants can keep the micro-environment running smoothly. Companion plants create a balanced environment of predators and prey. Many different types of flowers can be planted as companion plants to attract not only pollinators but also pest-eating birds and carnivorous insects. Yarrow, Coreopsis, and Cosmos, for example, can attract predatory ladybugs to the vegetable garden and limit the aphid, mite, and scale populations. Borage deters tomato and cabbage worms. Certain companion plants exude substances or scents that repel devastating insects, keeping their numbers in check. Mint planted near cabbage deters ants and cabbage moths.

 

Companion plants can also do the heavy lifting when it comes to protection from severe weather conditions, much like a Sherpa, who provides other climbers with equipment to protect them from extreme elements. Some companion plants provide shade and humidity as tomatoes do for carrots. Tomatoes produce solanine, which is a natural insecticide that targets pests that torment carrots. Growing a couple of rows of corn at the end of a vegetable bed can provide a trellis for squashes, bean vines, and cucumbers, maximizing growing space.

 

Finally, in the same way a sparring partner absorbs multiple punches from their champion in order to help them succeed, companion plants can endure a multitude of hits from insects and diseases so that their “companion” does not get knocked out. Nasturtium is a great example of how a companion plant can take the brunt of a pest infestation. Its succulent leaves are a favorite food of black aphids and lure them away from other plants. Once a leaf is infested, it can be picked off and thrown into a compost bin along with the aphids. Marigolds can be used the same way for snails and slugs but also have chemical compounds that deter or poison a variety of damaging beetles and nematodes as well as whiteflies, thrips, and squash bugs.

 

It is important to know that there is also a shorter list of plants that are not compatible with each other because the plants will attract, house, or support insects or pathogens, which will feed on or infect other plants nearby. Tomatoes, squashes, and potatoes, for example, are affected by certain blights. Keeping them apart will slow the spread if there is an outbreak. Strawberry yields can be reduced by bugs that are attracted to members of the cabbage family, so they should not be planted together. Many plants release compounds into the soil that slow or stunt the growth of other plants. Garlic and onion should not be planted with peas; sage should not be planted near cucumbers.

 

There are many other combinations of plant pairs that work well together. Although one of the plants might steal the show for its prolific production, its companion plant deserves its own spotlight.

 

 

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

 

 

Letter to the editor

Fremont Navigation Center – the time to act is now

 

Now is the time to address the shelter crisis in Fremont. We should build the Homeless Navigation Center (HNC) to house our homeless neighbors. The time to act is now because there is funding from the State of California, the city owns property appropriate for this purpose, and the Chief of Police thinks that the city will be safer for all with an HNC.

 

The silent majority of Fremont residents are counting on the City Council to carry the burden of leadership. We must take care of the most vulnerable among us and express our compassion through deeds, not just words.

 

Though some are fearful of the HNC, they cannot ignore the growing problem in our midst.  They have not offered viable alternatives to care for the homeless people already living in Fremont parks and open spaces. Compassion demands that we act to alleviate local suffering.  We insist that the City Council implement the HNC in 2019.

 

 

Compassionate Fremont Steering Committee

Fremont

Music & Art in Hayward Memorial Park

Submitted by Julie Machado

 

“Plunge” into music for Summer Sundays in the Park!

 

Hayward Odd Fellows Sycamore Lodge #129 is partnering with H.A.R.D. and local non-profits for the 10th Annual Summer Concert Series on a series of Sundays from August to September at the Hayward Memorial Park. The concerts are held in the outdoor amphitheater behind the Hayward Plunge swim center.

 

Enjoy a variety of music such as Blues, Big Band & Jazz, Original Feel Good Music, and Rock ‘n’ Roll! Bring a blanket or lawn chairs, a picnic (no alcohol), and enjoy an afternoon in the park with Music, Art, & Dance! Kids of all ages are welcome to come create chalk art!

 

All activities will be at the Hayward Memorial Park. Admission is free. A tot lot is nearby, as is a lovely hiking trail, indoor pool (the Hayward Plunge), tennis courts and plenty of free parking. This magnificent local park is managed by the Hayward Area Parks and Recreation District, the premier agency in the greater Hayward area.  

 

Each event will showcase and benefit one of our area's fine 501c3 nonprofit groups, which do much of the heavy lifting in the community. All donations received go to the featured 501c3 non-profit of the day and are tax deductible.

 

  • Sunday, August 4: Giant Garage Spiders, Chris Marquis and Sycamore 129 Blues Band to benefit the Family Emergency Shelter Coalition (FESCO)

http://fescofamilyshelter.org  with Celebrity Chef City Council Member Mark Salinas

 

  • Sunday, August 11: 3 O’Clock Jump and What’s Up Big Band big bands benefiting the HARD Foundation www.haywardrec.org/191/HARD-Foundation with Celebrity Chefs Dennis Hancock, Paul Hodges and Dennis Waespi

 

 

 

  • Sunday, September 15: Gravity+4 and East Bay Youth Orchestra benefiting the East Bay Youth Orchestra www.ebyo.org

 

 

  • Sunday, September 29: Original Rock ‘n Roll with the Hypnotones, The New Naturals, Alrighty Then and HHS musicians for the Hayward High School Instrumental Music Program www.haywardhigh.net/HHSMusicProgram with Celebrity Chef City Council Member Mark Salinas

 

These concerts are sponsored by H.A.R.D. and Hayward Odd Fellows Sycamore Lodge #129 www.HaywardLodge.org . Thank you also to co-sponsors Berkeley Lodge #270 and Pacheco Lodge #117.

 

The Hayward Odd Fellows Sycamore Lodge #129 was re-formed in 2010 with a focus on supporting music and arts in the community, as well as doing other good work and providing good fellowship. For more about the lodge, see www.HaywardLodge.org.

 

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is a worldwide fraternal organization that believes in Friendship, Love and Truth; in making the world a better place; and in supporting community.

 

For more about I.O.O.F, see  www.ioof.org. We are celebrating 200 Years of Odd Fellowship in the U.S. Musicians, artists, dancers, guest chefs, and food servers are all donating their time for these events.   

 

Music & Art in the Park

Sundays, Aug 4 – Sep 29

1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Memorial Park

24176 Mission Blvd, Hayward

1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

(510) 881-6700

www.haywardrec.org

Free Admission

 

 

Cougars Report

Submitted by Timothy Hess

 

Volleyball:

The Girls Varsity Volleyball Team opened the season August 22nd with a convincing 3-0 (25-3, 25-7, 25-12) win over Mt. Eden. On August 27th, the Cougars lost 3-1 (25-15, 29-31, 16-25, 21-25) at Arroyo.

In an August 29th match with Milpitas, the Cougars’ Varsity Volleyball Team won, 3-1 (25-19, 25-21, 22-25, 25-17).

 

Water Polo:

The Girls Varsity Water Polo Team opened the season on a positive note with a solid 14-1 win over Bishop O'Dowd on August 27th. The Boys Varsity lost to the Dragons by the score of 19-7.

 

Champions of Character

 

Varsity Volleyball: Ari Pereira

Ari does an extremely great job leading by example and doing tasks without being told. She exhibits being a true champion on and off of the court by having high character in the classroom and amongst her teammates on campus. Even when not confident she plays with enthusiasm and continues to work hard.

 

JV Volleyball: Grace Macasaet

Grace works hard and does her best in all situations. Even when unsuccessful, she keeps a positive attitude and continues to support her teammates. She provides stability on the court which creates trust within the team.

 

 

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Submitted by Fremont Police Department

 

The Fremont Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred on August 27 in the area of Stevenson Boulevard and Farwell Drive. At 3:48 p.m., a witness called 911 and reported hearing shots fired as a suspect in a dark colored sedan waved a gun out the window at people in a second vehicle.

 

The police department immediately responded and learned that the two vehicles left in the direction of I-880 and got on the freeway heading north. The police have no information as to what led to this shooting and no confirmed reports of injuries. This remains an active investigation and no further details are available currently.

 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Fremont Dispatch through the non-emergency number, (510) 790-6800 x 3. The department also accepts anonymous tips. Text, “Tip FremontPD” followed by your short message to 888-777 or online at https://local.nixle.com/tip/alert/6216337.

 

 

New Disney park attractions will have Mary Poppins, Wakanda

By Mike Schneider

Associated Press

 

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP), Aug 26 – Mary Poppins. Wakanda. Rapunzel. A hodge-podge of beloved characters and settings would hardly fit in the same sentence if not for the fact they're all coming to Disney parks or cruise ships within the next few years.

 

Disney Parks chairman Bob Chapek announced the new attractions over the weekend at the company's D23 Expo in Anaheim, California.

 

The first Mary Poppins attraction at a Disney park is headed to Epcot as part of the transformation of the Florida park. Appropriately, the Cherry Tree Lane neighborhood will be housed in the United Kingdom pavilion in World Showcase.

 

Other changes are afoot in Epcot's World Showcase, the area around a lagoon that shows off pavilions from almost a dozen nations.

 

Next year, the French pavilion is adding a new attraction based on the animated film “Ratatouille,” as well as a new French restaurant. The French pavilion also will host a sing-along with songs from the film, “Beauty and the Beast” starting next January.

 

Both the Canada and China pavilions are getting new movies showcasing their countries, and Disney officials said a new nighttime extravaganza will offer various interpretations of classic Disney songs from people all over the world.

 

In other parts of Epcot, a “Guardians of the Galaxy” ride is planned, as well as a new restaurant at the Mission: Space pavilion.

 

Elsewhere in Disney's “park-dom,” “Avenger Campus” areas are planned for Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Paris, based on “The Avengers” movie franchise. Both campuses will have Spider-Man attractions. The California park will have an Avengers Headquarters which will become the entrance to a ride that features the Avengers on a mission in Wakanda, the fictional land from the film “Black Panther.”

 

Disney is bringing online three new cruise ships, including Disney Wish, upon which the image of Rapunzel will grace the stern when it starts sailing in 2021.

 

Disney also is building a “Zootopia”-themed land at Shanghai Disney Resort.

 

Details on the new attractions were made just days before the new “Star Wars” land is opening at Walt Disney World on Thursday. An identical land opened at Disneyland in California at the start of the summer.

 

 

Letter to editor

Downtown homeless shelter – not the right site

 

My name is Jim Griffin. I am a lifelong resident of Fremont and for the past forty years have owned and occupied an office building in downtown Fremont. My business is General Contracting. It is a sixth-generation business, dating back to the days of the Gold Rush. Just six weeks ago I learned from the newspapers that a possible site for a Homeless Navigation Center was just 25 feet from my office building. Over the years I have been an active supporter of the growth of the Downtown. I served as a member of the planning commission when Fremont’s General Plan was adopted in 1967.

 

The number of street people has been increasing. I have learned to live with their unavoidable presence and to find ways to get along. Most respond positively when given respect and treated as equal human beings.

 

My tenants are not necessarily in accordance. A few years ago, when a homeless day camp was permitted to exist in the same location where the HNC is to be built I lost my major tenant, and was not able to find another tenant until the area was cleared. I have been notified by my new tenant that they too will certainly leave if the downtown location is selected.

 

Shop owners, shoppers, tenants, employees, are worried. Apartment dwellers are now swarming into new buildings in the downtown area. This was planned. A vibrant downtown was promised when a strong residential population moved into the area. They are worried.

 

A political frenzy has come about and it is very damaging to the city as a whole. The sooner the residents of the community are relieved of the fear and tension that has built up, and continues to build, the quicker we can return to normalcy.

 

The current City Council is determined to be proactive regarding the overwhelming growth of homelessness, and in this I think they have the support of most people. The eleven sites presented for consideration for an HNC have proven unworkable. Squeezing and penning in the homeless wishing to return to society into the heart of the downtown is recipe for failure. People here are already weary and sometimes hostile. The transitioning homeless will be forced to mix with the existing indigent homeless. There are other sites that have been suggested for review that would be far more comfortable and would allow a return of confidence and self-esteem.

 

The Council must step back and assess other sites. They must first prepare and educate the people of the community before their selection.

 

Jim Griffin

Fremont

 

 

Park It

By Ned MacKay

 

Apples in all their delicious variety are at the core of the free Garin Apple Festival, which will be from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, September 7, at Garin Regional Park in Hayward. The park is home to an antique apple orchard, which is maintained by volunteers and has varieties of apples you won’t find in your supermarket.

 

Visitors can hand-crank ice cream or press apple cider, then test the fruits of their labor. Other activities at the park’s Red Barn Visitor Center will include live music, dancing, crafts and old-fashioned games. It’s a great event for the entire family.

 

Garin Regional Park is at the end of Garin Avenue, off Mission Boulevard. There’s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle. For information, call (510) 544-3220.

 

From 1937 to 1944, playwright Eugene O’Neill and his wife, Carlotta Monterey, lived in Tao House overlooking Danville, a residence they built with money O’Neill received when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936. The home is now a National Historic Site.

 

At Tao House, O’Neill wrote three of his most famous plays: “The Iceman Cometh,” “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” and “A Moon for the Misbegotten.” The Tao House property adjoins Las Trampas Regional Wilderness.

 

From 9 a.m. to 12 noon Sunday, September 8, park district interpretive staff will lead a hike from Front Street Park in downtown Danville along the Iron Horse Trail and up to Tao House. The hike is part of the Eugene O’Neill Festival, an annual event celebrating the playwright’s legacy. For information and hike registration, visit https://tinyurl.com/HillsofSolace.

 

They are large (for arachnids), furry, and lovelorn. At this time of year, male tarantulas venture forth in search of females, who await in silk-lined boudoirs for purposes of procreation. You may see the boys crawling slowly across roads and trails in the park district and other places. If you do, please leave them alone. Though they may look threatening, they are harmless and will only bite in self-defense.

 

You can meet a captive tarantula and learn more about their life cycle in a program with a naturalist from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays, September 8 and September 22 at Del Valle Regional Park south of Livermore.

 

Del Valle is at the end of Del Valle Road off Mines Road, about 9 miles south of town. There’s a $5 parking fee. Meet the naturalist at Rocky Ridge Visitor Center. For information, call Sunol Wilderness at (510) 544-3249.

 

Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont is the site of a 2,000-year old Ohlone village. Learn about Ohlone culture past and present during a guided half-mile walk to the site from 10 a.m. to 12 noon or from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, September 8, Sunday, October 13 or Saturday, October 26; or from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, September 21. The site has a reconstructed shade structure, pit house and sweat house.

 

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

 

The rich history of Alameda’s shoreline will be the topic during a walk from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, September 7, led by naturalist Michael Charnofsky.

 

Meet at Crown Beach near the intersection of Park Street and Shoreline Drive for the 3-mile stroll to Doolittle Pond at Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline. For information, call (510) 544-3187.

 

Spiderology is the theme of a program from 11 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday, September 7 at Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley. Spiderman-naturalist Anthony Fisher will introduce the group to a very large spider, then lead everyone into the woods in search of other living examples of the species.

 

Meet at Tilden’s Environmental Education Center, which is at the north end of Central Park Drive. For information, call (510) 544-2233.

 

A couple of free activities are on the calendar at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley. From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, September 7, it’s owl pellet dissection. Pluck apart owl pellets to discover what the feathered predators have been eating.

 

From 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sunday, September 8, there’s a second Sunday campfire. This is a family-friendly evening with nature-themed activities and that gooey campfire treat, s’mores. Bring a picnic to enjoy before the program starts.

 

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

 

Information on all these activities and more is available at the park district website, www.ebparks.org. And remember, Fridays are free in the regional parks from now through the end of the year, in celebration of the district’s 85th anniversary.

 

 

The ghost of Antigonish

 

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
I wish, I wish he'd go away…

When I came home last night at three
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn't see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don't you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don't slam the door… (slam!)

Last night I saw upon the stair
A little man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
Oh, how I wish he'd go away…

-Hughes Means

 

It was rumored that a ghost roamed a house in Antigonish, Nova Scotia (Canada). Inspired by accounts of this apparition, American poet and Harvard educator Hughes Mearns wrote of an encounter with the spirit in 1899. As a component of a play called The Psycho-ed, the poem didn’t create much of a stir, but as a witty and succinct comment on the vagaries of existence it has survived and blossomed, integrated into a myriad of media – movies, song lyrics, cartoons, political critiques and more.

 

Means’ poem expresses wonder, revulsion, horror and whimsy simultaneously. Having met “the man who wasn’t there” and expressing a wish for him to “go away” without conflict (“please don't slam the door”), the request is ignored “…(slam!). Following multiple entreaties, the conflict and contradiction of what is there and what is not remains unresolved.

 

Applied to our present political circumstances at all levels of government, Means’ ditty can be seen as a clear warning similar to that sent to Ebenezer Scrooge in the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol or a satirical remark reflecting a chasm of political differences. In either case, examination of behavior and underlying premise is warranted.

 

One of the most pressing issues currently confronting local society is the cost of living and its deleterious effect on individuals and families. Rapid transformation of the workplace from pastoral to technological has created a freefall for many in which uncertainty is a certain result. The irony is a reprise of the “little man,” an illusion of reality that we wish would go away. But, just as the apparition on the stair is simultaneously present and absent, so does the specter of instability continue even for those who presently have the means to support themselves and family. Both visible and invisible, many people at the lower end of the economic ladder struggle for basic subsistence. Societal efforts to assist are a reminder to all of the tenuous hold others have on what is believed to be economic success. What appears may be real or an illusion – a fearful realization: “Go away, go away, don't you come back any more!”

 

Fear is stoked by fact infused with illusion. In the present debate over use of “Navigation Centers” to aid homelessness individuals find permanent housing, the little man is neither fact or fiction, rather a complex combination of circumstances that threaten stability. Of course, it is undesirable to even think of being homeless and without resources. The little man is on the stair, yet if we shout loud enough, maybe he will disappear. Unfortunately, volume is not a good answer to fundamental challenges. The question to be answered is not if the little man is on the stair or not, rather why is his existence such a point of contention, anger and terror.

 

Until we face the little man without dread and revulsion, he will continue to appear at three… waiting.

 

 

Education Workshop for Fremont Renters and Landlords

Submitted by City of Fremont

 

The City of Fremont Human Services Department and Housing Division are hosting a free education workshop. All Fremont renters and landlords are encouraged to attend. Topics that will be covered include the City’s ordinance on Source of Income Discrimination. Housing discrimination based on source of income is banned in the City of Fremont. Learn more at this workshop about your housing rights and responsibilities. RSVP at www.fremont.gov/educationworkshop or (510) 733-4945

 

Renters/Landlords Workshop

Tuesday, Sep 3

1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Fremont Main Library, Fukaya A Room

2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont

(510) 733-4945

www.fremont.gov/educationworkshop

 

 

Family seeks kidney donor

Submitted by Sunita Parasuraman

 

A family of long-time Fremont residents is currently seeking a kidney donor for their 23-year-old niece, Ranjana Sundaram, a recent college graduate who is suffering from end-stage renal disease. Ranjana’s journey started nearly a decade ago when the sudden onset of an autoimmune disease produced devastating effects on her kidneys. Despite pursuing an array of (often painful and debilitating) treatments and trying to stay in her best health, Ranjana watched her kidney function slowly deteriorate. As her options ran out, many family members and friends underwent testing to see if they could donate, all without success. Currently, Ranjana is on the waitlist for a transplant, and her best chance is a living donor.

 

Her family urges anyone who feels called to become a part of the kidney registry, or who simply wants to learn more about Ranjana’s case and spread the word, to find more information on the National Kidney Registry’s website at https://www.nkr.org/FSG594.

 

In her own words, Ranjana tells her journey with chronic kidney malfunction:

 

“I've lived with chronic kidney disease through high school and college. My life during this time has been filled with doctor visits, blood draws, hospitalizations, and procedures. Despite all these disruptions, I graduated from Lexington high school and Mount Holyoke College on time, both intense and competitive institutions. My doctor says the longer I am on dialysis, the more it will affect my overall health. Since I have no other medical problems, a kidney transplant is the best option for me. This will allow me to move on with my life and become a productive member of society. Once I get the kidney transplant, I would like to attend graduate school to gain the necessary skills to help others who suffer from this horrible disease. I want to give back to the community by being a kidney disease advocate.” – Ranjana Sundaram

Flash Fiction Contest: Call for Writers

Submitted by Arathi Satish

 

The Fremont Cultural Arts Council and Half-Price Books are co-sponsoring “Flash Fiction Writing Contest” on Saturday, October 19. Once again hosted at Half-Price Books in Fremont Hub, this contest is open to everyone who writes a story of 300 words or less, including title, based on the theme, “An alternative history of Fremont.”

 

Writers can submit up to three stories, but cannot submit stories that contain plagiarism or would be offensive to the general reader. Over $200 in cash and gift card prizes will be awarded to the winners. There is no age or residency restriction. Stories without a title will be disqualified. Entries must be in English and a maximum of three stories per person are allowed. Submitted entries must be in 12 point or larger font, which will fit on a printed 8 ½” x 11” sheet.

 

There is more information on FCAC website at: www.FremontCulturalArts.org. Stories will not be accepted at Half-Price Books. Entries must be received by midnight, Saturday, October 12. Stories can be mailed to: FCAC Flash Fiction Contest, c/o Fremont Cultural Arts Council, P.O. Box 1314, Fremont, CA 94538. Write the author’s name and phone number with area code on the back of the story.  To submit by e-mail, send your story as a Word-compatible attachment to fcacwriters2019@gmail.com. Include the author’s name and phone number with area code in the body of the e-mail message.

 

Make history by writing a story!

 

Submissions:

FCAC Flash Fiction Contest

c/o Fremont Cultural Arts Council

P.O. Box 1314

Fremont, CA 94538

 

OR

fcacwriters2019@gmail.com

Free Employment Workshop

Submitted by Hayward Chamber of Commerce

 

This Career Vision workshop is for:

  • Adults
  • The unemployed, underemployed, part- and full-time job seekers
  • Career changers, retirees, workforce returnees
  • GEDs to PhDs, students, and recent grads
  • Veterans transitioning to civilian life
  • Current and future entrepreneurs
  • Those seeking to work remotely from home
  • Workforce and career education professionals

 

Registration is encouraged since space is limited. This is a 6-hour training with no formal lunch break. Bring a bag lunch.

 

Employment Workshop

Saturday, Sept. 7

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Hayward Library

888 C St, Hayward

Registration: http://bit.ly/hpl-career

 

 

20 years of serving Tri-City Area

By Jui Sadekar

Photos Courtesy of Fremont Family Resource Center

 

“I always say the stars were in alignment. We had an idea. It was a good one,” says Suzanne Shenfil, director of human services, City of Fremont, while talking about the journey of Fremont Family Resource Center (FRC). The center, which will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, was started to help families and children without money being a problem. It is dedicated to strengthening families and building a healthy community and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a best practice.

 

“In Fremont [20 years ago] social services agencies were spread across the cities; transportation was not great, so families found it difficult to access services,” says Shenfil. “We began researching the concept of co-locating. There were family resource centers around. We visited some in Santa Clara, San Francisco and thought, ‘Yes, this is a good model, and we would like to develop it for the Tri-City Area’…So, we had a city-sponsored series of visioning sessions… the idea of co-locating various services together emerged and the concept of a family resource center was born.”

 

An unexpected personal crisis can hit anyone at any time and trigger a cascade of consequences.

Social service agencies spread throughout a community have limited opportunities to work together effectively. Thus, families in crisis find it difficult to locate the services they need and often run an exasperating gauntlet of “wrong doors” before finally connecting with the proper agencies.

 

The Family Resource Center is about connectivity and providing resources people need as effectively as possible. According to Shenfil, the vision was a lot bigger than just having a bunch of agencies working together. “From the moment customers enter the Fremont FRC and meet the multi-lingual staff at the Welcome Desk, they know they are in the right place. The Fremont FRC has no wrong door… People know no matter what their issues are, their needs, they can get help and resources.”

 

Customers have immediate access to 24 caring and capable agencies under one roof. Services include SparkPoint Fremont, coaching to help families achieve financial stability and success by building assets, advancing their education, and gaining sustainable wages; financial services including tax preparation, credit repair, matched savings accounts, peer lending circles, and benefits assistance; family support service coordination; CalFresh food assistance; health and nutrition; culturally-informed immigrant services; employment and job training for youth and adults; veteran services; mental health counseling and support for children, teens and adults; and housing assistance. The center also provides day-care service (Discovery Cove Childcare Center) for visiting families; the service is also available for the public at minimal cost.

 

“The Fremont Family Resource Center helped me tremendously when I was laid off. Coming here was a godsend. They immediately connected me with a counselor and all the services I needed to begin a new career. It takes a village to raise a child, and the Fremont FRC is my village,” says Kitty Brand, a client.

 

For effective communication internally and with the public, the center develops monthly newsletters, a view of current happenings. Fall updates can be seen at: https://fremont.gov/228/Family-Resource-Center.

 

The Fremont FRC continues to build a vibrant Tri-City community. To mark its 20th anniversary, the center will host a benefit concert and dinner, “With a Little Help from My Friends,” on Friday, September 13. The event features The Sun Kings, California's premiere Beatles Tribute Band. Proceeds will benefit the resource center and its programs.

 

“We are hoping our fundraiser is a success…. We don’t do a lot of direct community fundraising, so this is a big event for us. We welcome the community to be a part of the celebration,” concludes Shenfil.

 

Ticket options include both general seating (buffet dinner and general seating at the concert), and VIP experience (buffet dinner, drink ticket, mixer with the band, and private pre-concert show with California's best John Lennon vocalist). Purchase tickets at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4286518.

 

For details about the event, email FRCevent913@gmail.com or call (510) 818-9888. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, call Paula Manczuk-Hannay at (510) 574-2049. For more information about Fremont FRC, visit http://www.fremont.gov/228/Family-Resource-Center.

 

Fremont Family Resource Center Anniversary

Friday, Sept 13

6 p.m.; doors open at 5:30 p.m.; concert starts at 7:15 p.m.

Campo Di Bocce

4020 Technology Place, Fremont

(510) 818-9888

Sponsorship: (510) 574-2049

https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4286518

http://www.fremont.gov/228/Family-Resource-Center

 

Tickets: $95General Seating, $175 VIP Experience

 

 

Fremont Unified School Board Highlights

Submitted by Ken Blackstone

 

August 21 meeting, Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) Board of Education

 

  • Authorized staff to amend agreement with Construction Testing Services, Inc. (CTS) by $22,746 to provide material testing and special inspection services for new 10-classroom building at Washington High School. The total contract amount is now $95,000. The cost is within budget for the project.
  • Received a presentation on the design of theater improvements at Washington High School, which was authorized by the board at its June 26 meeting. Project design is complete and has been submitted to the Division of the State Architect. Staff described add alternates and reviewed next steps for the project.
  • Authorized staff to amend agreement with architects LPA, Inc. in the amount of $553,630 (including 5 percent contingency) for the new construction and modernization project at Centerville Middle School. The total contract amount is now $4,113,961. The cost is within budget for the project. LPA is preparing the design for the new construction and modernization project at Centerville in alignment with Option 2D as directed by the Board of Trustees on June 26, 2019. The selection of option 2D increased the project scope and budget, and LPA has provided a corresponding proposal. This increased architectural fee was accounted for in the option 2D budget increase presented on June 26.
  • Authorized staff to execute final deductive change order with Western Water Features, Inc. and file a notice of completion for the pool replacement project at Mission San Jose High School. This will return $406,177 to be used for Measure E Bond projects.

 

 

Safe Toxic Waste Disposal

Submitted by City of Fremont

 

The Fremont Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Facility provides residents with an environmentally safe and convenient method to dispose of hazardous waste. The facility is open every week from Wednesday to Saturday, and drop-off is easy and free.

 

A typical home contains an array of hazardous products for maintaining cars, cleaning and disinfecting homes, painting, and gardening. The health and safety of our families, neighborhoods, and environment are threatened when household hazardous waste is stored or disposed of improperly.

 

The city encourages residents to take advantage of the facility instead of disposing of hazardous waste in the garbage, sink, toilet, or storm drain, which can have harmful effects on our communities and the environment.

 

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

 

Some of the unwanted paints, cleaners, sealants, and garden products left at the drop-off facility are moved to the Fremont Recycling & Transfer Station’s re-use area. For more information, visit http://www.stopwaste.org/at-home/household-hazardous-waste or call (800) 606-6606. Some small businesses can also use the site and should call (510) 670-6460 for more information.

 

Toxic Waste Disposal

8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday to Friday

8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Facility

41149 Boyce Rd., Fremont

(800) 606-6606

(510) 670-6460

www.stopwaste.org/at-home/household-hazardous-waste

 

 

Garin Apple Festival

Submitted by East Bay Regional Park District

Photos by Victor Carvellas

 

The yearly “Apple Festival” celebrates Garin’s farming past. Thanks to a donation of 150 trees from Emil Lindquist in 1985, Garin is home to an “antique” apple orchard with varieties too fragile to be sold in stores. Overall, the park is home to 200 trees in its orchards, and 180 varieties of apples, over a dozen of which will be available at the festival.

 

Try your hand at hand-cranking ice cream or pressing apple cider and then taste the “fruit” of your labor. Music, barn dancing, crafts, farm-themed children’s area, and old-fashioned games like tug-of-war make this event fun for the whole family.

 

Garin Apple Festival

Saturday, Sept 7

12 noon – 4 p.m.

Garin Regional Park

1320 Garin Ave., Hayward

(510) 544-3220

www.ebparks.org

Parking $5

 

 

Hayward Mariachi Festival

Submitted by Kim Hugget

Photos by Victor Carvellas

 

Mariachi bands, ballet folklorico dancers, kids’ activities, taco-eating contest and outdoor market celebrating Mexico’s food and art will highlight the tenth annual “Hayward Mariachi Festival” on Friday, September 13 at City Hall Plaza. The free family-friendly event is hosted by the Hayward Chamber of Commerce Latino Business Roundtable, the City of Hayward, and the Downtown Hayward Improvement Association.

 

This event is focused on music with featured performers Mariachi Juvenil de Hayward, Mariachi Mi Tierra Linda, and Mariachi Mexicanisimo de Raymundo Coronado, Hayward and singer Jose Juan Reyes. Also performing will be Grupo Tlapalli and Ballet Mexico Dana de Hayward ballet folklorico dancers. Celebrity announcers will introduce each group of performers. Guests should bring lawn chairs and blankets, and make themselves comfortable to enjoy the show.

 

Activities for kids will include face painting, Dia de los Muertos mask-coloring, and paper flower making. There will be a taco-eating contest sponsored by Jorge Espinosa and his team at El Taquito Restaurant Dos. Specialty beverages to be served include margaritas, sangria and Mexican beer.

 

For more information, go to the Hayward Chamber of Commerce website at www.hayward.org or call the chamber at 510-537-2424.

 

Hayward Mariachi Festival

Friday, Sept 13

5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

City Hall Plaza

777 B St., Hayward

(510) 537-2424

susanoc@hayward.org

 

 

Good Vibes bring Indian Tradition to the Bay Area

By Marisol Cabrera

 

“We kind of know people there [at the Ganesh festival] and it’s like a big family and we all have the same beliefs and it’s kind of just connecting.” HITHA (sub headline)

 

The pop singer’s eyes lit up when she realized she was seconds from performing to an audience of around 2,000 in India. Independent and artistic, with a goal to inspire her generation, up-and-coming artist and Bay Area native, HITHA is a 14-year-old singer who spreads positivity, wisdom and grace in her songs to help inspire others to follow their dreams just as she did.

 

The Bay Area native stays true to herself when it comes to her music. Performing live for an audience excites her and keeps her wanting more. HITHA is now preparing for her second appearance in the “Ganesh Utsav festival” occurring this Saturday, September 7 – Sunday, September 8 in Newark’s NewPark mall. She will perform on Sunday evening.

 

The festival is held to honor Lord Ganesha (one of many names), worshiped for being the god of wisdom and intelligence who removes obstacles and brings good fortune. Radio Zindagi 1170 AM and the community have brought the celebration to the Bay Area for the fifth year in a row. For a $2 entrance fee, everyone is welcome to be part of this spiritual experience. “Thousands of people get together, and they chant the Ganesh name and it’s a way to send out positive vibes in the community, so it has a very spiritual context to it,” said director of sales and operations at Radio Zindagi, Sehba Shah.

 

The festival will hold activities for all ages and will showcase over 800 performers who will sing and dance before a giant statue of Ganesh. The festival will host a Ganesh Darshan & Aartis, Lezim, a Saturday finale performance with ICC Bollywood by Amit, and a Sunday finale by Ditya Patel Company. Shah expects that 30,000 – 40,000 people will show, judging from previous years.

 

“We call it an offering to the god. You are an artist, [therefore] you offer your art to the god,” said cultural chair at Radio Zindagi, Renuka Inamdar. “We try to follow the routine that we do at home on a bigger scale, so Aarti is something that is praising the god and asking for blessings. We [will] do that three times during these two days.”

 

The 10-day celebration begins when a clay idol is welcomed into the home. On the last day, it is submerged in water to dissolve and leave the home. Inamdar explains the experience a pleasant one since the idol is welcomed to stay for 10 days, but it is also a mixed feeling of sadness and anticipation that the god will leave on the last day, not to return until the following year. Inamdar remembers doing the celebration of Ganesh at her home, and that eventually expanded to the community in 2015 when the first Ganesh festival debuted here in the Bay Area. Hosted in cities, such as Milpitas, Santa Clara, and Newark, the festival has been growing its audience ever since.

 

“[Ganesh] is a big celebration in India. It is celebrated on a large scale in cities like Maharashtra, so we wanted to duplicate the same thing here in the Bay Area,” said Shah.

 

Everyone is welcome to participate, and the festival provides an opportunity to let upcoming artists like HITHA be part of the celebration. HITHA expresses her eagerness to perform again for a larger crowd in her hometown, the Bay Area, remembering the excitement she felt when performing in India. “It hit me the second before I walked on to the stage and I was like ‘Geez, I’m going to be performing!’ and I rocked it. I was so comfortable on stage and it was like my place [India] so I was really excited,” said HITHA.

 

Pursuing her passion has led HITHA to spread positive messages to her teenage peers and everyone else who listens to her music. The support of her family and the inspiration of her grandmother led her to experiment with genres such as Indian classical among others. Before going to India to tour for her first concert, HITHA released her first single “Independent,” which speaks to teenagers like her who must deal with society’s pressures while undergoing the process of self-discovery.

 

“Do what you love because honestly you only have one life at the end; just live it to its fullest,” said HITHA.

 

To find out more about HITHA visit: www.hitha.me. For more information about the Ganesh Utsav festival visit: http://radiozindagi.com/sanfrancisco/ganesh-utsav/

 

Ganesh Utsav festival

Saturday, Sept 7 – Sunday, Sept 8

11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

NewPark Mall parking complex

2086 NewPark Mall, Newark

(510) 387-5381

http://radiozindagi.com/sanfrancisco/ganesh-utsav/

 

 

Robert Lee Hoffman, Sr.
11/19/51 – 08/15/19

Robert Hoffman passed away peacefully at Washington Hospital, August 15, 2019, after complications following a stroke.

Bob moved to the Bay Area at an early age, spending most of his childhood in Newark, CA. A proud Newark Knight, who enjoyed playing basketball at Newark and Ohlone. He was employed for 12 years at Alameda County Water District. Bob also spent many years working in the telecommunications industry for several local businesses. After retirement, he realized his dream of living in a houseboat on the Delta near Brentwood.

Bob's biggest joy was coaching and watching his two sons participate in sports and other activities. His latest, greatest joy was his two grandchildren, Layla and Mikah. He was their adoring sidekick.

Bob is survived by his loving ex-wife, Lonee, sons Robert (Joanna) and Matthew (Marcia). Grandchildren Layla and Mikah. Bob came from a large family and is survived by brother David Hoffman, sisters, Sam Douglas, Connie (Dennis) Wilson, Debbie Lewis, Jeanette Sherman, and Pam (Bob) Vaughn. Bob is also survived by many, many nieces and nephews and other kids, he loved as his own.

Bob will always be remembered as an easy walking, jive talking, gentle giant of a man. We will love and miss him forever.

Please join us for a joyful celebration of life at a Motown Throwdown. Saturday, September 21st from 2 p.m. – 9 p.m., Swiss Park, Newark. Wear dancing shoes, Bob loved to rock out to the oldies. Feel free to bring a favorite dish to share.

 

 

Bikeshare hops into Fremont

Article and photos by Stephanie Gertsch

 

A colony of vibrant black and teal bikes has hopped into Fremont. You can see them perched solo on sidewalks and near bike racks, or you might come across a row congregating near the Fremont Hub or BART station. While they might seem to have descended mysteriously during the first week of August, they are no Biblical plague but instead the city’s latest project to expand eco-friendly transportation options.

 

As part of its Shared Active Transportation Program, Fremont has issued a permit to the dockless bike company HOPR to debut up to 250 bikes for a one-year pilot program. A rideshare system has been in the works for a while; back in November of 2018, Fremont entered into a similar contract with bike/electric scooter company Lime. Unfortunately, soon after that Lime shifted their focus to scooters exclusively, prompting Fremont to shift gears and find another provider who could offer bikes. HOPR stepped up.

 

Matthew Bomberg, Senior Transportation Engineer with the City of Fremont, says the environment could be perfect for bikes to thrive. “There’s a lot of ways in which Fremont’s a great city for biking. It’s flat. Much of the year, there’s not a lot of rain. We’ve got rapidly-expanding bike infrastructure in the city, so there’s a lot of people who might like that option available.”

 

HOPR bikes are “dockless,” meaning they don’t need to be locked into a special rack at the end of a trip. Instead, they lock themselves and can be parked in any location where they’re accessible to the public and don’t block traffic (although there are some areas marked as suggestions). A built-in GPS allows riders to find the closest bike via app, prevents bike-napping, and lets HOPR staff round up bikes that have wandered too far. (If moved while locked, the bikes emit defensive warning beeps.)

 

The goal for now is to deploy bikes around the city center (near Fremont Hub and Paseo Padre Parkway) to facilitate quick errands and movement to and from public transit. Bomberg says, “Those are areas where going we had a sense that there would be a strong market for bikeshare because there’s a lot of people going to and from regional transit hubs; there’s a lot of people who work in those areas who may not commute by driving and may have a lot of errands during the day where they’d like the option of a bikeshare bike for a short trip.”

 

However, the advantage of flexible dockless bikes is that they can naturally redistribute to suit community needs. Since the launch on August 5, bikes have migrated beyond their original territory. “We’ve been surprised how the bikes have already started to disperse even beyond what our initial deployment areas were,” says Bomberg. “People have been taking them into neighborhoods. Frankly further from the city center or the transit hubs than I would have expected, but I think that demonstrates that there is interest in the broader part of the city.”

 

These versatile machines have already adapted to survive in both commercial and residential ecosystems. This is good news for residents who lack access to a vehicle and might otherwise find themselves trapped in Fremont’s labyrinthine neighborhoods. By tracking data, the city will be able to tweak the program as they go to achieve the highest usability for residents.

 

So far at least, most users have been riding and parking responsibly. “Since our official launch date on August 6, it’s actually been pretty quiet in terms of reports we’ve been getting from residents or community members about mis-parked bikes,” says Bomberbg. Complaints get passed on to HOPR, who sends out an agent to corral stray bikes. So far only about two or three calls come in per week, which is an encouraging sign. “People are understanding the premise of where is an acceptable location to end a trip.”

 

With this system, users are responsible for their own safety. Although helmets are encouraged, riders need to provide their own. Naturally, they should also be mindful of the rules of the road that pertain to bikers. Organizations like Bike East Bay offer free safety lectures, which may be helpful to residents transitioning to bike commuting. (More information available at https://bikeeastbay.org/.)

 

HOPR includes the first ride for free so people can try the bikes out, and three levels of payments plans:

 

Pay as you go

  • $1 to unlock
  • 15 cents per minute

 

30-day pass

  • $20 per month
  • Free unlocks
  • 10 cents per minute

 

360-day pass

  • $60 per year
  • Free unlocks
  • 30 minutes free use per day
  • 10 cents per minute for additional use

 

During the pilot program, HOPR will report to the city on performance metrics: how quickly they respond to service inquiries, how well they are maintaining bikes, reports of mis-parking bikes, general usage, etc. At the end of one year, the city will do an evaluation and propose more permanent regulation based on collected user data. If enough residents take to the bikes, Fremont may expand their rideshare options to include electric bikes and scooters. Hopefully, HOPR bikes mean that in Fremont at least it’s easy going green.

 

 

CONTINUING EVENTS:

 

Mondays, May 14 – Dec 30

English Conversation Group

1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Practice spoken English in a friendly environment

Union City Branch Library

34007 Alvarado Niles Rd., Union City

(510) 745-1464

 

Fridays, May 17 – Oct 25

Fremont Street Eats

5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Food trucks, beer, wine, music

Town Fair Plaza

39100 State St., Fremont

fremontstreeteats.com

 

Thursdays, Jun 20 – Sep 19

Fatherhood Class

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Relationship, parenting, management, job search skills

Fremont Family Resource Center, Pacific Room #H800

39155 Liberty St. (at Capitol), Fremont

(888) 308-1767

www.r3academy.org/fremont

 

Monday – Friday, Jul 30 – Sep 13

Celebrating Wildlife: The Animals of Sulphur Creek

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Photos of local wildlife

PhotoCentral

1099 E St., Hayward

(510) 881-6721

info@photocentral.org

 

Thursday – Sunday, Aug 9 – Sep 21

Annual Textile Exhibit

12 noon – 5 p.m.

Traditional and contemporary artists

Olive Hyde Art Gallery

123 Washington Blvd., Fremont

(510) 791-4357

www.olivehydeartguild.org

 

Friday – Sunday, Aug 16 – Oct 5

Planet Hayward

11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Eclectic collection of art celebrating “The Heart of the Bay”

Sun Gallery

1015 E St., Hayward

(510) 581-4050

www.sungallery.org

 

Wednesdays, Aug 21 – Oct 30

Citizen Police Academy R

5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Volunteers train to assist Newark Police

Newark Police Department

37101 Newark Blvd., Newark

(510) 578-4000

(510) 578-4352

beverly.ryans@newark.org

 

Saturdays – Sundays, Sep 1 – Oct 27

Nature Crafts

10 a.m. – 12 noon

Discover the natural world through your artistic side

Sunol Regional Wilderness

1895 Geary Rd., Sunol

(510) 544-3249

www.ebparks.org

 

Saturdays – Sundays, Sep 1 – Oct 27

Wild Wonders

2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Games, activities, crafts for all ages

Sunol Regional Wilderness

1895 Geary Rd., Sunol

(510) 544-3249

www.ebparks.org

 

Sundays, Sep 1 – Oct 27

Animal Feeding Time

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Discuss reptiles, observe feeding time

Sunol Regional Wilderness

1895 Geary Rd., Sunol

(510) 544-3249

www.ebparks.org

 

1st & 3rd Sundays, Sep 1 – Oct 20

Sunday Cinema at the Newark Library

2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Classic, superhero, or 80's films. Sing-a-longs

Newark Branch Library

6300 Civic Terrace Ave., Newark

(510) 284-0684

www.aclibrary.com

 

Sundays, Sep 1 – Oct 19

Dove Gallery “Parables: Art with a Message” Exhibit

12 noon – 3 p.m.

Art inspired by meaningful experiences and deep convictions

Park Victoria Baptist Church

875 S. Park Victoria Dr., Milpitas

(408) 464-5011

dove@parkvictoria.org

 

Tuesdays, Sep 3 – Sep 24

Yoga For Everybody R$

7 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Gain strength, flexibility, and mental focus

Kenneth C. Aitken Center

17800 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 881-6738

www.haywardrec.org

 

Fridays, Sep 3 – Nov 5

Fremont Bridge Club

10 a.m.

Open stratified and newcomer games

Bronco Billy’s Pizza – Irvington

41200 Blacow Road, Fremont

(510) 438-0121

www.unit500.org

 

Wednesdays, Sep 4 – Sep 25

Wild Goose Qigong $

9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Beginning class on mind-body practice

Kenneth C. Aitken Center

17800 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 881-6738

www.haywardrec.org

 

Thursdays, Sep 5 – Sep 26

Lap Harp $

1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Easy to learn lap zither

Kenneth C. Aitken Center

17800 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 881-6738

www.haywardrec.org

 

Fridays, Sep 6 – Sep 27

Toddler Ramble $

10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Some Like It Hot! Science experiments for kids ages 1 – 3

Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

4901 Breakwater Ave., Hayward

(510) 670-7270

www.haywardrec.org

 

Sundays, Sep 8 – Dec 1

Family Friendly Matinee

3 p.m.

Dates: 9/8, 10/6, 11/3, 12/1

Made Up Theatre

4000 Bay St.  Suite B, Fremont

(510) 573-3633

www.madeuptheatre.com

 

Mondays, Sep 9 – Dec 17

Advanced Math and Science Tutoring

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

High school and college level help in math, physics and chemistry

Castro Valley Library

3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley

(510) 667-7900

www.aclibrary.org

 

Friday nights

Laugh Track City $

8 p.m.

Fast-paced improv comedy show

Made Up Theatre

4000 Bay St., Suite B, Fremont

(510) 573-3633

https://madeuptheatre.com/

 

Saturday nights

8 p.m.

Audience-inspired improv play

Made Up Theatre

4000 Bay St., Suite B, Fremont

(510) 573-3633

https://madeuptheatre.com/

 

 

THIS WEEK:

 

Tuesday, Sep 3

Public Hearing

6:30 p.m.

Transition to a new system of electing governing board members

New Haven Unified School District Office

34200 Alvarado-Niles Road, Union City

(510) 471-1100

(510) 476-2611

 

Wednesday, Sep 4

Guest Artist Jan Grady

1 p.m.

Watercolor art demo

Fremont Art Association

37697 Niles Blvd., Fremont

(510) 792-0905

www.FremontArtAssociaion.org

 

Wednesday, Sep 4

Economic Development Forum R

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Discussion with founders/leaders of Eden Area's major food businesses

Hayward Community Development Agency

224 W. Winton Ave., Hayward

(510) 208-0411

www.acgov.org/cda/ecd

 

Wednesday, Sep 4

Community Information Meeting

5 p.m.

Transition to a new system of electing governing board members

Itliong-Vera Cruz Middle School

31604 Alvarado Blvd., Union City

(510) 489-0700

(510) 476-2611

 

Thursday, Sep 5

Twilight Coffee with A Cop

5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Join police officers for coffee and conversation

Pearl's Cafe

26775 Hayward Blvd, Hayward

(510) 293-7000

 

Thursday, Sep 5

Community Information Meeting

5 p.m.

Transition to a new system of electing governing board members

Cesar Chavez Middle School

2801 Hop Ranch Rd., Union City

(510) 675-5482

(510) 476-2611

 

Friday, Sep 6

Family Movie Night: Ralph Breaks the Internet

6 p.m.

Bring a blanket, lawn chair and picnic

Meek Park

240 Hampton Rd., Hayward

(510) 581-0223

www.haywardrec.org

 

Friday, Sep 6

Eden Area Village Member Forum & Outreach

2 p.m.

Meet members, learn how local seniors are being helped

Hayward City Hall

777 B St., Hayward

(510) 208-0410

www.edenareavillage.org

 

Friday, Sep 6 – Monday, Sep 9

150th Anniversary of Transcontinental Railroad $R

various times

Commemorating the connection of Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads

Niles Canyon Railway

37001 Mission Blvd, Fremont

www.ncry.org

(510) 996-8420

 

Friday, Sep 6

Skate Park Grand Opening

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Ribbon cutting, food trucks, DJ, raffle, skating demos

Mel Nunes Sportsfield

6800 Mowry Ave, Newark

(510) 578-4668

 

Friday, Sep 6

Family Music Hour

4 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Singing, rhythmic movement and dance

Fremont Main Library Fukaya Room A

2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont

(510) 574-2063

www.aclibrary.org

 

Saturday, Sep 7

Nature Detectives $

11 a.m. – 12 noon

Children discover animal habitats. Ages 3 – 5

Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

4901 Breakwater Ave., Hayward

(510) 670-7270

www.haywardrec.org/hayshore.html

 

Saturday, Sep 7

Garin Apple Festival $

12 noon – 4 p.m.

Music, dancing, games, crafts and food

Garin Regional Park

1320 Garin Ave., Hayward

(510) 582-2206

(510) 544-3220

www.ebparks.org

 

Saturday, Sep 7 & Sunday, Sep 8

Rabbit Rendezvous

Sat: 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.; Sun: 11:30 a.m. – 12 noon

Rabbits are great hoppers and use their long ears to sense danger

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797

www.ebparks.org

 

Saturday, Sep 7

Garden Bug Safari

12 noon – 1 p.m.

Discover the world of bugs while you explore the vegetable garden

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797

www.ebparks.org

 

Saturday, Sep 7

Old-Fashioned Fun

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Stilt walking, sack races, tug-o-war, potato-spoon racing

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797

www.ebparks.org

 

Saturday, Sep 7

Fremont Saturday Market

2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Local artists, vendors, food trucks, craft beer, entertainment

Town Fair Plaza

39100 State St.

www.townfairplaza.com

 

Saturday, Sep 7

Open House

1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Visit museum and see fossils. Electricity sessions and planetarium

Children's Natural History Museum

4074 Eggers Dr., Fremont

(510) 790-6284

msn@msnucleus.org

 

Saturday, Sep 7

Flight to Freedom $R

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Interact with wildlife, enjoy dinner, drinks, silent auction

Sulphur Creek Nature Center

1801 D. St., Hayward

(510) 881-6747

www.haywardrec.org

 

Saturday, Sep 7

Garden Open House

10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Discussion on horticultural therapy

Paradise Community Garden

20095 Mission Blvd, Hayward

(510) 909-4077

 

Saturday, Sep 7

Career Vision Employment Workshop R

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Bring a bag lunch, learn about employment options

Hayward Main Library

888 C St., Hayward

(510) 881-7980

http://bit.ly/hpl-career

 

Saturday, Sep 7

Breakfast with the Fire Chief

8 a.m.

Free breakfast and presentation by Milpitas Fire Chief Brian Sherrard

Peace United Methodist Church

355 Dixon Rd., Milpitas

(408) 262-1486

 

Saturday, Sep 7 – Sunday, Sep 8

Fall Festival

10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Live music, food and drink vendors

Castro Valley Village

Norbridge Ave. Between Redwood Road & Castro Valley Blvd., Castro Valley

www.edenareachamber.com/fall-festival

 

Saturday, Sep 7 – Sunday, Sep 8

Ganesh Utsav Festival

11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Indian cultural and music festival

New Park Mall

2086 Newpark Mall, Newark

(510) 794-5523

radiozindagi.com/sanfrancisco/ganesh-utsav

 

Saturday, Sep 7

Scarecrow Planter Workshop R

9 a.m. – 12 noon

Children and parents work together on a project. Ages 5-12

 

Home Depot

1177 Great Mall Drive, Milpitas

(408) 942-7301

 

Home Depot Newark

5401 Thornton Ave., Newark

 

www.homeimproverclub.com/kidsworkshops.aspx

 

Saturday, Sep 7

Vintage Alley Car Show

11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Classic cars and bikes, food, shopping, kids zone

Downtown Hayward

B St. and Foothill, Hayward

(510) 537-2424

(510) 695-3211

www.hayward-ca.gov/discover/events/6th-annual-vintage-alley-car-show

 

Sunday, Sep 8

Stilt Walkers

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Improve your balance

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797

www.ebparks.org

 

Sunday, Sep 8

Play with Dough

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Shape a pretzel and bake it in a woodburning stove

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797

www.ebparks.org

 

Sunday, Sep 8

Ohlone Village Site Tour

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

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

Coyote Hills

8000 Patterson Ranch Rd., Fremont

(510) 544-3220

www.ebparks.org

 

Sunday, Sep 8

Sevathon $

6:30 a.m.

Walk, run, dance, do yoga

Arena Green East

349 W. St. John St., San Jose

http://www.iccsevathon.org/

 

Sunday, Sep 8

Farm Chores for Kids

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Crack corn, feed animals, help with morning chores

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797

www.ebparks.org

 

Sunday, Sep 8

Cooking in Country Kitchen

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Sample food cooked on a wood-burning stove

Ardenwood Historic Farm

34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont

(510) 544-2797

www.ebparks.org

 

Sunday, Sep 8

Odd Fellows Summer Concert

1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

La Honda All Stars benefitting the Hayward-La Honda music camp

Memorial Park

24176 Mission Blvd., Hayward

http://www.ci.hayward.ca.us

www.haywardlodge.org

 

Sunday, Sep 8

Golden Gate Blues Society

3 p.m.

Wanda Diamond and Friends

World Famous Turf Club

22519 Main St., Hayward

(510) 881-9877

www.WorldFamousTurfClub.com

 

Sunday, Sep 8

Plastic Pollution Solutions

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Learn how to reduce waste and curb plastic pollution

Union City Branch Library

34007 Alvarado Niles Rd., Union City

(510) 745-1464

www.aclibrary.org

 

Sunday, Sep 8

Weekend Weed Warriors

1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Volunteer to remove litter from shoreline. All ages

Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center

4901 Breakwater Ave., Hayward

(510) 670-7270

www.haywardrec.org

 

Sunday, Sep 8

St. Teresa of Calcutta

2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Example of Undemanding Love presentation

Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose

43326 Mission Blvd., Fremont

(510) 933-6335

http://bit.ly/2019_StTeresa

 

Sunday, Sep 8

McDonald's Education Expo

10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Info on applying to colleges

India Community Center

525 Los Coches St., Milpitas

(408) 934-1130

(510) 383-1147

www.indiawest.com/collegefair

 

Monday, Sep 9

Outdoor Discoveries: Settler Days R

10:30 a.m. – 12 noon

Preschool and home school nature series. Ages 4-8

Sunol Regional Wilderness

1895 Geary Rd., Sunol

(510) 544-3249

www.ebparks.org

 

Monday, Sep 9

Milpitas Rotary Club Meeting

www.aclibrary.org

Speaker Milpitas Police Chief Armando Corpuz

Dave and Busters

940 Great Mall Dr., Milpitas

(408) 957-9215

http://www.clubrunner.ca/milpitas

 

Tuesday, Sep 10

Booklegger Volunteer Orientation

10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Fun and engaging opportunity with a flexible schedule

Fremont Main Library

2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont

(510) 745-1421

www.aclibrary.org

 

Wednesday, Sep 11

Knights of Columbus Bingo Night $

6 p.m.

Sponsored by St. Maximilian Kolbe Council 16770

Our Lady of Grace

3433 Somerset Ave., Castro Valley

(510) 537-0806

 

Wednesday, Sep 11

Music for Minors II Orientation

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Training orientation for docents

Niles Elementary School

37141 2nd St., Fremont

(510) 845-7549

www.musicforminors2.org

 

Wednesday, Sep 11

Music for Minors II Orientation

7:00 p.m. – 8:30p.m.

Training orientation for docents

Proctor Elementary

17520 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley

(510) 733-1189

www.musicforminors2.org

 

Thursday, Sep 12

Music for Minors II Kids Choir Audition

3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Open to first through sixth graders. Prepare one a cappella song

Niles Elementary School

37141 2nd St., Fremont

(510) 845-7549

www.musicforminors2.org/kids-choir

 

Friday, Sep 13

With A Little Help From My Friends $

6 p.m.

Benefit celebration for Fremont Family Resource Center

Campo di Bocce

4020 Technology Pl., Fremont

(510) 651-2500

(510) 574-2000

 

 

California Senate OKs bill targeting hospital giant Kaiser

AP Wire Service

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Aug 27 – Hospital giant Kaiser Permanente would have to disclose more financial information about its hospitals under a bill that has cleared the California Legislature.

 

The state Senate approved a bill on Monday that would require Kaiser Permanente to disclose revenue and profits for each hospital individually. Right now, Democratic Sen. Richard Pan says the company it lumps the numbers together into two categories for its hospitals in Northern California and Southern California.

 

The bill now heads to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom for his consideration.

 

Pan said the bill would force Kaiser Permanente to follow the same financial disclosure requirements as other hospitals.

 

Kaiser spokeswoman Hilary Costa said the hospital is not exempt from disclosure rules and is disappointed bill sponsor California State Council of Service Employees International Union chose “conflict over compromise.”

 

 

LEAF Events

Submitted by Fremont LEAF

 

BEESWAX WRAPS // Saturday, September 7
1 – 2:30 PM // Class fee: non-members $25 / members $15
Part of our Summer Garden Maker class series, in this class you will tour our apiary and learn how to make beeswax wraps, the environmentally friendly alternative to plastic cling wrap. Email to sign-up.

1ST URBAN FOREST ALLIANCE MEETING // Monday, September 9
Noon – 1 PM // No fee
The Tri-City Urban Forest Alliance will be holding their first meeting with Lynn Miller and Kip Jory from the City of Fremont.
LEAF C.R. Stone Garden at 55 Mowry Ave, Fremont

SALAD GARDENING FOR BEGINNERS // Monday, September 9
7- 8 PM // No fee
Have you ever wanted to grow your own food, but aren't sure how to start? Join us for a hands-on look on what it takes to start a garden. 
Fremont Main Library, Fukaya A, 2400 Stevenson Blvd, Fremont

LEAF (Local Ecology and Agriculture Fremont)

PO Box 2816

Fremont, CA 94536

www.fremontleaf.org

 

 

Renovated Marina Dog Park

Submitted by Alice Kim

 

Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter and the San Leandro City Council will host a ribbon-cutting event on Tuesday, September 10 at the city’s newly renovated dog park. Community residents and their pet dogs are welcomed. The upgraded facility includes new dog play equipment and facilities, upgraded turf, and a recently installed dog-themed mural, spanning nearly 600 feet in length and directly facing the San Francisco Bay Trail.

 

“We are excited to announce the completion of the newly renovated dog park for our families and their pets at one of our finest city parks,” said Cutter. This project is yet another example of the city’s efforts to upgrade and modernize our existing City facilities. We invite members of the public and their pets to join us in the celebration.”

 

The event will include brief remarks from the mayor or other local officials, and city staff will be available on-site to answer any questions. For more information, email akim@sanleandro.org.

 

Ribbon-Cutting of Renovated Dog Park

Tuesday, Sept 10

1 p.m.

Marina Dog Park

14001 Monarch Bay Dr., San Leandro

akim@sanleandro.org

 

 

Leveling the Playing Field

By Hugo Vera

 

On Saturday, August 24 the city of Newark took a solid step toward making soccer “a game for all” with the opening of the Mel Nunes Sportsfield Park at 6800 Mowry Avenue. Although soccer has received national recognition—especially after the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) won its second consecutive world championship in July—the sport has also been criticized by the likes of former USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo for its inaccessibility to children of more racially and economically diverse backgrounds. Hopefully, spaces like Sportsfield Park will help close the gap.

 

A hot, 86-degree afternoon on August 24th could not deter a sea of young soccer players and their families from attending the grand opening. Boys and girls of all ages representing teams such as Newark Soccer Club, ELITE Soccer and Lil’ Strikers eagerly awaited the chance to roam on a state-of-the-art soccer enclosure made just for them. The six-acre park features two regulation-sized soccer fields, a baseball pitch and more than 35,000 square feet of synthetic turf for recreational use.

 

During the ribbon-cutting and opening ceremony, Newark Mayor Alan Nagy took time to commemorate the man for whom the park is named, Mel Nunes. A former professional baseball player, Nunes became Newark’s first Park and Recreation Director. “The city has worked tirelessly to make this park a place of pride,” said Mayor Nagy. “This park will serve as a place to be inclusive, to be engaging to the community and to be a place of high athletic performance.”

 

Dignitaries in attendance included several of Nunes’ teammates, Newark City Council members and the ceremony’s two keynote speakers Paul Bravo and Brandi Chastain. Bravo, a former midfielder and current manager of National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) team the Oakland Roots, emphasized to the audience the importance of staying rooted in one’s community. “It’s important that we stay close to our roots and our community because this will shape the future of our youth,” Bravo said. “By creating this park, we may be providing hope and aspirations to all kinds of young players in the East Bay and beyond.”

 

The theme of inclusion and equal opportunity for recreation was apparent in the following speech made by two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion midfielder and San Jose native, Brandi Chastain. “Playing this game has always made me think about what I can do to make myself a better teammate, a better leader, a better person and to lead a better life,” declared Chastain. “When you walk through the gate to this field today, remember that this is for all of you. No matter what gender you are, no matter what language you speak; we all speak soccer.”

 

Mel Nunes Sportsfield Park

6800 Mowry Ave., Newark

9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Seven days a week

(510) 578-4620

 

 

Nevada will start tracking drivers' mileage this fall

AP Wire Service

 

RENO, Nev. (AP), Aug 26 – The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles will soon start tracking the miles drivers travel each year – data that state lawmakers aim to use to help determine the future of infrastructure funding.

 

The state will begin collecting odometer readings on most vehicles in October, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported last week.

 

In the Las Vegas and Reno areas, the department will gather mileage with the smog check data collected during the vehicle registration process.

 

In other areas, drivers will be required to submit odometer readings when they register.

 

Mileage information will not be required for motorcycles and scooters.

 

The mileage data will not be linked to individual drivers, department spokesman Kevin Malone said.

 

“It is only going to be used to compile reports for the Legislature,” Malone said. “We are not using it for any other purpose.”

 

The state Legislature approved a bill earlier this year calling for the mileage data as they look for alternatives to the gas tax. Revenue from fuel taxes has paid for roadwork, but lawmakers are concerned that funding might become less reliable as more electric and fuel-efficient vehicles hit the roads.

 

Backers of the bill said knowing how much people use the roads will inform how lawmakers might update the tax, including changing the model to a tax based on per mile driven.

 

State Senate Minority Leader James Settelmeyer has advocated against collecting mileage, arguing there are other ways to update the tax system without it.

 

“I don't think the government should know how many miles you drive in a year,” Settelmeyer said. “That is your own personal business.”

 

Settelmeyer said drivers of electric vehicles could be taxed at electric car charging stations or through new fees on the vehicles.

 

–––

 

Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com

 

 

Roller Derby Champion strikes gold twice!

By Madhvika Singh

Photos Courtesy of Kit Anderson and Misty Greer

 

Dreams do come true, but not without commitment, dedication and perseverance. Misty Greer’s story is an embodiment of this. Greer, a Fremont resident, goes by “Pia Mess 24/7” as her Derby name. She remembers watching roller derby on television as a child and telling everyone around her that she was going to be a roller derby star when she grew up. All her childhood birthday celebrations were at the roller rink. Over the years her passion for the sport grew, and the magnetism of the sport pulled her in!

 

Greer started her career in roller derby in Seattle, where she grew up. She gave it her all and made it to the local team. Ten years ago, she moved to Fremont and started training with the Silicon Valley Roller Girls. With her commitment and dedication, Greer made it to Team USA for World Roller Games 2017 in China, where the team earned the Gold Medal in roller derby. She made it to Team USA again for World Roller Games 2019 in Barcelona. There, she struck gold both as part of the women’s team, and as the head coach of the men’s team. Leagues from all over the world now invite her to coach and skate with them.

 

“Getting here hasn’t been easy,” Greer says. The process of getting selected for Team USA itself is grueling, involving tryouts over a period of a year, clearing multiple levels, and finally reaching the coveted top 20. Apart from that, the sport itself requires high levels of physical and mental conditioning. Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members skating around a track. Game play consists of a series of short matchups (jams) in which both teams designate a jammer (who wears a star on their helmet). The jammer scores points by lapping members of the opposing team. The team members attempt to hinder the opposing jammer and assist their own jammer.

 

Greer and her teammates from all over the country also had to overcome the challenges of cost and travel logistics to train together. Spending enough time together was a must for the members to get to know each other and bond together as a team. The 2018 team had members from their late teens to forties, and understanding and acknowledging everyone’s style and strengths was a critical contributing factor to their success.

 

Accommodating her team’s training in her family’s schedule was another challenge Greer had to overcome. Greer divorced soon after moving to Fremont, and is a single parent. Having seen her share of ups and downs, Greer credits perseverance through all the road bumps as the key to her success. In her words, “You don’t win or lose, you either win or you learn.” This is definitely something aspiring athletes can look up to!

 

Greer also credits her success to Orangetheory Fitness in Fremont and Hayward (www.orangetheoryfitness.com, where she is both a member and a fitness coach. Orangetheory Fitness has developed a unique approach that integrates science, coaching, and technology to offer members the best workout for optimal fitness and to achieve personal goals.

 

When Greer moved to California, she did not have family or friends nearby; roller derby filled that role. The nature of the sport is such that the team members rely on each other completely. In Greer’s words – “there is a need for 100% trust among the team members, it is like having each other’s back.” This bonding extends into their personal lives as well, and the team becomes like a family.

 

Between taking care of family logistics and following a strenuous training regimen, Greer finds spare time hard to come by. And when she does have some, she likes to travel. Greer looks forward to trying out for Team USA for World Roller Games 2021.

 

To contact Misty regarding support and sponsorships, email her at: misty.greer@gmail.com

 

 

Spot the Stars of the Summer Triangle

By David Prosper

 

September skies are a showcase for the Summer Triangle, its three stars gleaming directly overhead after sunset. The equinox on Monday, September 23 ushers in the official change of seasons. Jupiter and Saturn maintain their vigil over the southern horizon but set earlier each evening while the terrestrial planets—Mars, Venus, and Mercury—remain hidden.

 

The bright three points of the Summer Triangle are among the first stars you can see after sunset: Deneb, Vega, and Altair. The Summer Triangle is called an asterism, as it’s not an official constellation but still a striking group of stars. However, the Triangle is the key to spotting multiple constellations. Its three stars are themselves the brightest in their respective constellations: Deneb, in Cygnus the Swan; Vega, in Lyra the Harp; and Altair, in Aquila the Eagle. That alone would be impressive, but the Summer Triangle also contains two small constellations inside its lines, Vulpecula the Fox and Sagitta the Arrow. There is even another small constellation just outside its borders: diminutive Delphinus the Dolphin. The Summer Triangle is huge.

 

The equinox ushers in autumn for folks in the Northern Hemisphere and brings longer nights and shorter days, a change many stargazers appreciate. Right before sunrise on September 23, look for Deneb—the Summer Triangle’s last visible point—flickering right above the western horizon, almost as if saying goodbye to summer.

 

The Summer Triangle region is home to many important astronomical discoveries. Cygnus X-1, the first confirmed black hole, was initially detected here by x-ray equipment on board a sounding rocket launched in 1964. NASA’s Kepler Mission, which revolutionized our understanding of exoplanets, discovered thousands of planet candidates within its initial field of view in Cygnus. The Dumbbell Nebula (M27), the first planetary nebula discovered, was spotted by Charles Messier in the diminutive constellation Vulpecula way back in 1764.

 

Planet watchers can easily find Jupiter and Saturn shining in the south after sunset, with Jupiter to the right and brighter than Saturn. At the beginning of September, Jupiter sets shortly after midnight, with Saturn following a couple of hours later, around 2 a.m. By end of the month, the gas giant duo is setting noticeably earlier—Jupiter sets right before 10:30 p.m., with Saturn following just after midnight. Thankfully for planet watchers, earlier fall sunsets help these giant worlds remain in view for a bit longer. The terrestrial planets remain hidden in the Sun’s glare for the entire month. Discover the latest in space science from the NASA missions studying our universe at www.nasa.gov.

 

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

 

 

Bay Area native trains as U.S. Navy warfighter

Submitted by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson Brown and Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jerry Jimenez

 

Lt. Christopher Yee, a native of Fremont, was inspired by family to join the Navy. Now, five years later, Yee is currently stationed at the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC). “My dad inspired me to join the Navy,” said Yee. “He's a Berkeley police officer and deputy district attorney for Santa Clara County. Growing up I always saw him wanting to serve his community…and wanted to also serve my community and my country.”

 

Yee, a 2008 graduate of American High School, is a Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) at the training center located in San Diego. “I'm in charge of amphibious mine warfare analysis,” said Yee. “I identify all the gaps in the requirements we have as a warfighting community in those areas and we marry technology and tactics to help fill those gaps.”

 

SMWDC exists to increase the lethality and tactical proficiency of the Navy’s surface force. The command’s headquarters is at Naval Base San Diego with four divisions spread across Virginia and California. The command is focused on anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, as well as integrated air and missile defense.

 

 

Fremont News Briefs

Submitted by Cheryl Golden

 

Senior Center September Events

The Fremont Senior Center is offering a variety of programs and activities during National Senior Center Month in September. The center is a welcoming community for local seniors to gather, learn, and simply enjoy life through a full range of social and health services, leisure activities, and events. Throughout the year, the Fremont Senior Center offers numerous trips, workshops, classes, and support and interest groups.

 

How to Spot a Stroke Lecture

Wednesday, Sept 4

1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Join the Eden Medical Center Community Outreach Program for a free educational lecture about strokes, how to identify them and what you can do to prevent them. Davinder Lell from Eden Medical Center will be here to present the important information. To RSVP, sign up at the Senior Center front desk or call (510) 790-6600.

 

Intergenerational Landscape Art

Thursday, Sept 5   

3:30 p.m.

Join Girl Scout Troop #33623 to paint and create vibrant rock art for the front of the senior center. If interested, sign up at the front desk or call at (510) 790-6600. Limited spaces available.

 

Fremont Senior Center Member Appreciation

Thursday, Sept 12

2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

The Fremont Senior Center is grateful for its members, who support a busy vibrant center that does a lot with a small budget. Join us during National Senior Center Month and let us say thanks to all our members. The event is sponsored by Clear Caption Phones, and light refreshments will be provided. RSVP by calling (510) 790-6600 or sign up at the senior center front desk.

 

Karaoke

Thursday, Sept 19

10:00 a.m. – 1.30 p.m.

Get those vocal cords warmed up and ready! For all karaoke lovers out there, this is your chance to let your hair down and have some fun with music and friends. RSVP by calling (510) 790-6600 or sign up at the senior center front desk.

 

Art Show

Wednesday, Sept 25

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Students from the Fremont Senior Center’s own Intro to Drawing Class, which is held Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon, are ready to showcase what they’ve created. Come and be inspired and consider joining a class taught by Richard O’Clarke.

 

To find out more about membership, benefits, and events, stop by the Senior Center at 40086 Paseo Padre Parkway, visit www.Fremont.gov/SeniorCenter, or call (510) 790-6600.

 

Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response

The Fremont Fire Department has been training community members to respond to emergencies such as earthquakes, fires, and floods for the past 15 years. This year is no exception. To prepare for emergencies on a household level, residents can take the free Personal Emergency Preparedness (PEP) class to learn how to take care of themselves and their families before, during, and after a disaster.

 

This three-hour class will offer training in gas, electric, and water shut-off, hazardous material awareness, smoke detector placement, sheltering in place, and more. PEP classes at the Fremont Fire Administration Office, 3300 Capitol Avenue (behind the building), are held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and are offered on Tuesday, October 15 and Monday, November 18.

 

If residents are interested in making a broader impact by helping the Fire Department serve the community, they can join the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program. This program consists of three free classes of skills residents need to assist themselves, their families, neighbors, and the fire department in the event of an emergency.

 

In CERT classes, participants will get detailed “hands-on” training in

  • Hazardous Material Recognition
  • Building Damage Assessment
  • Small Fire Fighting
  • Search and Rescue
  • First Aid / Triage
  • Lifting heavy objects off trapped persons
  • Lifting and moving injured people
  • Incident Command System and Disaster Communications

 

Anyone interested in taking a CERT class must first attend a PEP class. CERT classes will be held at the Fremont Fire Training Tower on the following dates:

 

CERT Class Series III

  • Class 1: 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Friday, October 11
  • Class 2: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, October 12
  • Class 3: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, October 13

 

To register for a PEP or CERT class, call (510) 494-4244 or email FirePubEd@fremont.gov.

 

If your group would like to schedule their own personal group PEP class at your location, contact Chuck Guaraglia, public education, Fremont Fire Department, at (510) 792-3473 or guaragliac@comcast.net.

 

Afterschool Educational Enrichment

The City of Fremont Community Services Department offers a homework assistance program from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Warm Springs Community Center, 47300 Fernald Street. The Warm Springs After School Care and Homework program runs throughout the school year, beginning September 26.

 

Youth in grades K-6 can take part in the homework support program that provides an environment to thrive both academically and emotionally through well-structured daily curriculum, nutritious snacks, outdoor supervised recess, and fun activities in a nurturing environment. Experienced and enthusiastic staff monitors homework and provides students quality help when needed. This unique program offers a smooth transition from school activities to a dedicated space for daily homework assistance.

 

To register, visit www.RegeRec.com and use barcode # 274330. For more information, call (510) 494-4318 or (510) 494-4300.

 

Niles Canyon Stroll & Roll

Mark your calendar for the Niles Canyon Stroll & Roll from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, September 22, a rare event where Highway 84 (Niles Canyon Road) is closed to vehicular traffic. This is an opportunity for people to bike and walk safely through the canyon with their friends and family.

 

From 7 a.m. – 8 a.m. the road will be closed to all vehicles and will be open only to cyclists; from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. the road will be open to all pedestrians and bicyclists to “stroll & roll” through.

 

The Stroll & Roll was started in 2015 by Alameda County Supervisors Richard Valle and Scott Haggerty to promote an initiative to create a Class 1 Trail through the Niles Canyon. For more information, visit www.84strollroll.com.

 

 

PG&E launches new weather website

Submitted by Tamar Sarkissian

 

As part of its efforts to prepare customers and communities for the growing threat of wildfire, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has launched a weather webpage on pge.com, providing detailed, localized forecasts.

 

Of special note, the page offers a seven-day, look-ahead regional forecast updated daily by a PG&E meteorologist or fire scientist that indicates the potential need to call a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). PG&E monitors conditions across our system and evaluates whether to proactively turn off electric power lines in the interest of public safety if gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with a heightened fire risk, threaten a portion of the electric system. That PG&E potential forecast will provide an instantaneous sense of what’s going on and what’s ahead. The forecast encompasses nine geographic regions of PG&E’s service area and four levels of PSPS potential:

 

  • Not Expected – Conditions that generally warrant a PSPS event are not expected at this time.
  • Elevated – An upcoming event, typically a period of adverse weather combined with dry fuels, is being monitored for an increased potential of a PSPS event.
  • PSPS Watch – PG&E’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is now activated based upon a reasonable chance of executing a PSPS to reduce public safety risk in a given geographic zone due to a combination of adverse weather and dry fuel conditions. A PSPS watch is typically only issued within 72 hours before the anticipated start of an event.
  • PSPS Warning – Customers in areas being considered for a PSPS have been or are being notified. This level indicates execution of a PSPS is probable given the latest forecast of weather and fuels and/or observed conditions. PSPS is typically executed in smaller and more targeted areas than the PG&E Geographic Zones. This level does not guarantee a PSPS execution as conditions and forecasts might change.

 

Even beyond PSPS information, weather geeks will find a lot to love about the new weather page (www.pge.com/weather). With PG&E’s weather map at your fingertips you’ll be able to check humidity, precipitation, temperatures, wind speeds and wind gusts across 70,000 square miles of Northern and Central California. And you can check out those same conditions in your hometown, based on the closest weather station. Additionally, the map shows whether the National Weather Service has called a Red Flag Warning and where. It also offers access to the thousands of weather stations and dozens of high-definition cameras in use by PG&E. There’s even a daily sunrise and sunset timetable.

 

For information about fire conditions in California, go to CAL FIRE’s website at www.fire.ca.gov. For more information about the Community Wildfire Safety Program, including links to update contact information, resources for Public Safety Power Shutoffs and a schedule of upcoming regional open houses and webinars, visit PG&E’s website at www.pge.com/wildfiresafety.

 

 

California court eases secrecy on police officer records

By Don Thompson

Associated Press

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP), Aug 26 _ The California Supreme Court on Monday expanded rules for telling suspects that they've been arrested by a police officer who has previously been accused of taking bribes, tampering with evidence or witnesses, lying or using excessive force.

 

The justices ruled that a suspect's right to a fair trial outweighs the privacy rights of officers who might have a history of bad behavior.

 

Justices rejected a lower court ruling that barred the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department from giving prosecutors the names of deputies accused of improper conduct.

 

“The importance of a fair trial to a criminal defendant is paramount to our justice system, and this reinforces that,” said attorney Geoffrey Sheldon, who argued the case on behalf of the department.

 

Longstanding U.S. Supreme Court rulings require prosecutors to share that background with defendants, who can then use it to argue that they were framed or otherwise harmed by rogue officers.

 

But California has some of the nation's tightest privacy rules involving law enforcement officers.

 

The justices noted that a new law requiring more public disclosure of police misconduct means some police records are no longer confidential.

 

The law requires public access to records if an officer has been found by the agency that employs them to have improperly used force or discharged firearms, committed sexual assaults on the job, or has been dishonest in official duties.

 

Some officers manage to stay on the force _ even if violations are sustained by their department _ if the conduct was not criminal, prosecutors declined to file charges or officers were not convicted.

 

Some can keep their jobs even with certain criminal convictions. Others appeal their discipline and are reinstated.

 

Law enforcement unions have tried unsuccessfully to block public disclosure of records from incidents that took place before this year, arguing that the law shouldn't be retroactive.

 

The Association of Los Angeles (County) Deputy Sheriffs argued that disclosure of so-called “Brady lists” also violated deputies' due process rights.

 

The list “is a direct product of a flawed disciplinary process,” union officials said in response to the court's ruling. “This flawed disciplinary process, which may be filled with bias, grudges, faulty analysis and outright misrepresentation, has plagued the Sheriff's Department for decades.”

 

The California District Attorneys Association said 22 of the state's 58 counties have adopted disclosure policies, though some provide prosecutors with a full list while others disclose the name only when a specific officer is subpoenaed to testify in a particular case.

 

The justices said officers' names can be disclosed to prosecutors only when they are relevant to a particular case, with no blanket disclosure.

 

The name of the list stems from a 1963 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Brady vs. Maryland, that prosecutors must disclose any evidence in their possession that might help defendants.

 

Eleven years later, the California Supreme Court decided that evidence can include information from a peace officer's otherwise confidential personnel file. But to get it, defendants must show “good cause” in each case and a judge must privately review the officers' records before releasing any relevant information.

 

It is not a violation of confidentiality to disclose to prosecutors that an officer is on the Brady list even if the underlying records are confidential, the high court ruled. Prosecutors can then ask the court to review the officers' file and release any pertinent details.

 

“In this context, construing the … statutes to cut off the flow of information from law enforcement personnel to prosecutors would be anathema to Brady compliance,” said the opinion written by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, whose husband is a retired Sacramento police lieutenant.

 

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department compiled a list of about 300 deputies whose names it intended to send to prosecutors, though it said their actual records would not be disclosed without a judge's order. The department has about 7,800 deputies.

 

The deputies' union sued to block the department from releasing the list, arguing in part that prosecutors are only obligated to disclose what they learn in their own investigations. It's up to defendants to seek deputies' background information, the union argued.

 

 

Registration Open for Preschool Kiddie Kollege

Submitted by Alice Kim

 

The City of San Leandro’s Recreation and Human Services Department is accepting registrations for the Kiddie Kollege program. Classes begin the week of September 3, 2019 and run until May 2020. There are several days and times to choose from; the fee varies according to the schedule of each class.

 

The program provides preschool children ages 19 months to 65 months a variety of recreation activities designed to develop social skills, independence, and positive self-esteem in a safe and supportive environment.

 

Activities for Kiddie Kollege are age appropriate for the developmental level of class participants and include arts and crafts, circle time, sharing, free play and more. Classes are available at Halcyon Park and Washington Manor Park. For more information, call customer service at (510) 577-3462. To register online, visit www.SanLeandroRec.org.

 

Preschool Kiddie Kollege Enrollment

Ongoing registration

Classes: Week of Sept 9 – May 2020

Halcyon Park

1245 147th Ave, San Leandro

 

Washington Manor Park

14900 Zelma St, San Leandro

 

(510) 577-3462

www.SanLeandroRec.org

Renegades Report

 

Volleyball

Submitted by Jeremy Penaflor

 

Napa Valley Classic

August 28

 

Ohlone d. Lassen College, 3-0 (25-11, 25-12, 25-10)

  • Freshmen middle blocker Katie King led in hitting percentage (0.583) and kills with 8 on 12 attempts
  • Sophomore setter Raychelle Rebosura-Castillo led in assists with 16
  • Sophomore libero Elena Webster led in digs with 16, and in service aces with 5

 

Ohlone d. Napa Valley College, 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-11)

  • Sophomore middle blocker Daisy Armerding led in hitting percentage (0.714) on 5 kills in 7 attempts and 0 errors, and led in blocks with 2
  • Freshmen outside hitter Clare Deal led in total kills with 11 on 23 attempts and 0 errors, giving her a 0.478 hitting percentage. She also contributed 10 digs
  • Sophomore setter Raychelle Rebosura-Castillo led in assists with 18
  • Sophomore libero Elena Webster led in digs with 21

 

 

Soccer

Submitted by Don Jedlovec

 

The Renegades men’s soccer team opened their season against the Butte Roadrunners with a 4-1 loss on August 27. Their next challenge will be at American River on August 30.

 

 

Organized retail thief arrested

Submitted by Sgt. Jason Speckenheuer, Milpitas PD

 

At 8.32 p.m. August 2, officers responded to a report of a theft at Big 5 Sporting Goods, 757 East Calaveras Boulevard, where three suspects stole $7,000 worth of merchandise. The suspects were last seen leaving the area in a grey four-door Nissan Altima in an unknown direction.

 

Milpitas Police Detectives have been working this case diligently and obtained security camera footage of the suspects from Big 5 Sporting Goods, which helped identify Kiaira Kellie Fluker as one of the suspects. Fluker was identified as a suspect in other sporting goods store thefts in Daly City, Napa, Redwood City, Sacramento, Sunnyvale, and Walnut Creek. Detectives learned Fluker had a $50,000 Ramey arrest warrant for grand theft from the Sacramento Police Department.

 

At approximately 12:30 p.m. August 28, detectives from the Special Investigations Unit located and arrested Fluker at her residence, in Antioch, and transported her back to Milpitas. Fluker was interviewed and booked into the Santa Clara County Jail for commercial burglary, grand theft, organized retail theft, and the warrant. Currently, the other two suspects are still unknown and remain at large.

 

If you have any information regarding the incident at Big 5 Sporting Goods, call the Milpitas Police Department at (408) 586-2400. Additionally, information can be given anonymously by calling the Crime Tip Hotline at (408) 586-2500 or via the Milpitas Police Department website at http://www.ci.milpitas.ca.gov/crimetip.

 

 

Santa Clara County Counsel’s Office receives recognition

Submitted by Santa Clara County Public Affairs

 

Last month, the Santa Clara County Counsel’s Office received the American Bar Association’s (ABA) prestigious Hodson Award. Awarded to one office nationwide each year, the Hodson Award recognizes outstanding performance and extraordinary service by a government or public-sector law office. The county counsel’s office also accepted an official commendation from the county’s board of supervisors for representing public service at its finest, working to improve people’s lives, and ensuring the county’s critical safety net services are available to all county residents.

 

“I am thrilled that the county counsel’s office is being recognized as a nationwide leader in developing innovative legal solutions to some of our community’s greatest challenges—from protecting immigrants’ rights and access to health care to holding corporations accountable for their role in creating the lead paint and opioid public health crises.  Our attorneys demonstrate their commitment to effective public service every day, and we are proud to be a model of excellence in public lawyering,” said Santa Clara County Counsel James R. Williams.

 

The office’s commitment to excellence and innovative approach to its work stands out among the nation’s public law offices. The county’s lawyers have worked to provide critical assistance to address the county’s housing crisis, prevent federal funding cuts to “sanctuary jurisdictions,” preserve access to healthcare and essential public services, challenge federal efforts to repeal net neutrality protections and undermine the 2020 census, and protect consumers, immigrants, and vulnerable residents.

 

 

Ex-Google engineer charged in Uber self-driving theft case

By Michael Liedtke

AP Technology Writer

 

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP), Aug 27 – A former Google engineer was charged Tuesday with stealing self-driving car technology from the company shortly before he joined Uber's efforts to catch up in the high-stakes race to build robotic vehicles.

 

The indictment filed by the U.S. attorney's office in San Jose, California, is an offshoot of a lawsuit filed in 2017 by Waymo, a self-driving car pioneer spun off from Google. Uber agreed to settle the case for $245 million last year, but the presiding judge made an unusual recommendation to open a criminal probe after seeing enough evidence to conclude a theft may have occurred.

 

Uber considered having self-driving technology crucial to survive and counter potential competitive threats from Waymo and dozens of other companies working on robotic vehicles. Uber wants to build self-driving cars so it can eliminate the need to have a human behind the wheel, one of the biggest expenses in its still-unprofitable ride-hailing service.

 

Anthony Levandowski, a pioneer in robotic vehicles, was charged with 33 counts of trade secrets theft. Each count carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or $8.25 million if convicted of all counts.

 

Miles Ehrlich, one of Levandowski's attorneys, maintained his innocence in a statement read outside the courthouse.

 

“He didn't steal anything, from anyone,” Ehrlich said. “This case rehashes claims already discredited in a civil case that settled more than a year.”

 

Prosecutors say the probe is ongoing, but they wouldn't say whether Uber and former CEO Travis Kalanick are targets. Prosecutors say Google, Waymo and Uber cooperated in the investigation. Uber issued a statement Tuesday promising to continue to cooperate.

 

Although Tuesday's indictment didn't charge Uber, it's a stain for a company that has been trying to recover from a series of scandals since jettisoning Kalanick two years ago. Besides trying to reverse perceptions that it's a technological thief, Uber has been dealing with fallout from its own acknowledgement of rampant sexual harassment, its use of software designed to dupe regulators and a yearlong cover-up of a hacking attack that stole the personal information of 57 million passengers and 600,000 drivers.

 

The case seems unlikely to endear Uber with investors already skeptical about the company's ability to make money after piling up billions of dollars of losses. The lack of profits is the main reason the company's stock has fallen about 25% below the price set during its much-ballyhooed initial public offering of stock in May. Nonetheless, Uber's stock fell less than 1% after the announcement.

 

The FBI depicted its pursuit of the complex case as a sign of its commitment to protecting technology considered vital to the economy's growth. “Silicon Valley is not the Wild West,” said John Bennett, the FBI agent in charge of the investigation.

 

Prosecutors say Levandowski turned himself in earlier Tuesday.

 

Levandowski was accused of stealing years of top-secret information, which prosecutors likened to the crown jewels of the Waymo spinoff. That included breakthroughs in lidar, a key piece of technology that enables self-driving cars to detect what's around them.

 

During the Waymo trial, Kalanick conceded that Uber needed to develop self-driving cars if it hoped to maintain its early position as the world's largest ride-hailing service. But he denied that he ever resorted to stealing technology from Google, whom he believed was an ally until he began to suspect the company intended to launch its own ride-hailing service consisting entirely of its robotic vehicles.

 

But Kalanick also testified that his push to build a fleet of self-driving cars for Uber led him to start wooing Levandowski in 2015 while he was still at Google. Levandowski left early the following year to devote his time to Otto, a self-driving truck company he started with another Google employee, Lior Ron, who also left. Uber bought Otto later in 2016 for $680 million.

 

Waymo, which spun off from Google in 2016, alleged that Levandowski downloaded 14,000 documents containing its trade secrets before he left for Otto.

 

Uber denied know anything about those documents, but eventually fired him after he repeatedly asserted his constitutional right against self-incrimination leading up to the trial.

 

Ehrlich's statement Tuesday said Levandowski downloaded the documents as an authorized Google employee and never brought those files to Uber or any other company.

 

The whiff of potential wrongdoing in Waymo's civil case became even more pungent following the disclosure of allegations by a former Uber security specialist, Richard Jacobs, that the company employed an espionage team to spy on Waymo and other rivals while creating ways to conceal any stolen technology.

 

Google also pursued a separate case against Levandowski in arbitration proceedings, which resulted in a panel ordering Levandowski to pay the company $127 million, according to disclosure made by Uber leading up to its IPO. Uber may be held liable for paying all or part of that as part of guarantees it made in its Otto acquisition, but believes it may be able to get out of those obligations.

 

After Levandowski left Uber, he started another self-driving startup called Pronto, which said Tuesday that he would no longer be its CEO as he defends himself against the charges.

National Food Safety Month

Submitted by Roger Ross

 

September is National Food Safety Month, and the County of Santa Clara’s Environmental Health Department is reminding the public about proper food handling to prevent you and your family from getting sick.

 

Common sources of foodborne illnesses include raw meat, leafy vegetables, fruits and nuts. Salmonella, E. Coli, and Campylobacter are leading foodborne dangers that can lead to an upset stomach, a hospital visit, or even death.

 

“Simple actions can make all the difference between a healthy dinner or a visit to the doctor,” said County of Santa Clara Director of Environmental Health, Michael Balliet. “Proper hand washing, cleaning food prep areas, separating raw meats, properly cooking food to the right temperature, and chilling food after preparation can eliminate many of the risks.”

 

Recommended food safety tips:

  • Cleaning: Rinse all fruits and vegetables and wash hands for 20 seconds before and after handling food.
  • Separating: Don’t allow raw meat to have contact with other food.
  • Cooking: Ensure all meat and eggs are cooked to a safe temperature (varies by meat type).
  • Chilling: Move cooked food to cold storage (41 degrees or below) within four hours after it has been served.

 

For more information, visit www.fightbac.org.

 

 

Social Security Column

Social Security can help if you’re young and lose a parent

By Linda Zamfino

Social Security Representative

 

For young people whose parent passes away, Social Security is here. Losing a parent is both emotionally painful, and often, devastating to a family’s finances; we provide support to the family who loses an income-earning parent. You should let Social Security know as soon as possible when a person in your family dies. Usually, the funeral director will report the person’s death to Social Security. You’ll need to give the deceased’s Social Security number to the funeral director to make the report.

 

Some of the deceased’s family members may be able to receive Social Security benefits if the deceased person worked long enough in jobs covered by Social Security to qualify for benefits. Contact Social Security as soon as possible to make sure the family gets all the benefits it is entitled to. The following information gives an idea of what benefits may be available.

 

Your unmarried child can get benefits if he or she is:

  • Younger than age 18,
  • 18-19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12), or
  • 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22

 

To get benefits, a child must have:

  • A parent who’s disabled or retired and entitled to Social Security benefits, or
  • A parent who died after having worked long enough in a job where they paid Social Security taxes

 

Benefits stop when a child reaches age 18 unless the child is a student in secondary school or disabled. Within a family, a child can receive up to half of the parent’s full retirement or disability benefit. If a child receives Survivors benefits, he or she can get up to 75 percent of the deceased parent’s basic Social Security benefit.

 

There is a limit to the amount of money that we can pay to a family. This family maximum is determined as part of every Social Security benefit computation. It can be from 150 to 180 percent of the parent’s full benefit amount. If the total amount payable to all family members exceeds this limit, we reduce each person’s benefit proportionately (except the parent’s) until the total equals the maximum allowable amount.

 

Children with disabilities may also be eligible for benefits. To learn more about Benefits for Children with Disabilities, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10026.pdf.

 

 

Starstruck call for Auditions: The Wizard of Oz

Submitted by Starstruck

 

Soon Starstruck will hold auditions for their upcoming production of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, directed by Lori Stokes with music direction by Nancy Godfrey and choreography by Juliane Godfrey.

 

A spectacular celebration of the iconic 1939 MGM film, The Wizard of Oz will blow you away from the moment the tornado touches down and transports you to the magical land of Oz. Featuring breathtaking special effects, dazzling choreography and classic songs, StarStruck’s 25th anniversary winter MainStage production is not to be missed!

 

Young performers ages 9 – 19 are encouraged to try out. Auditions will be held Friday, September 13 – Sunday September 15 at the StarStruck Rehearsal Studios. Callbacks will be from September 15 – 17, with the cast list posted the week of September 16. Rehearsals will start on Tuesday, October 1.

 

Find more information on how to sign up for an audition time and what to bring on the day at https://starstrucktheatre.org/auditions/. For any questions, contact the StarStruck office at starstruckoffice@gmail.com or (510) 659-1319.

 

Starstruck Wizard of Oz Auditions

Friday, Sept 13 – Sunday Sept 15

42307 Osgood Road Unit L

Fremont, CA

(510) 659-1319

Auditions

 

 

New Summer Research Program Picks Up STE(A)M

By David R. Newman

Photos courtesy of ASDRP

 

On Sunday, August 25, high school students from around the Bay Area gathered at Northwestern Polytechnic University in Fremont to present their scientific findings, the culmination of an intense 10-week summer program that gave them hands on experience doing high-level research in a professional lab setting.

 

This is the second year of the Aspiring Scholars Directed Research Program (ASDRP), a learning model that is quickly picking up STE(A)M, having grown from 90 participants last year to over 250 this year (selected from over 800 applications). Students are matched with research mentors who have experience in academia or industry, and together they design a research project. The end-of-summer Symposium & Expo is a way for the students to share their findings with their fellow colleagues, family and friends.

 

This year, 49 groups presented their work in the form of poster boards and oral presentations, covering a wide variety of STEM topics in fields ranging from chemistry and biology, to computer science, engineering, psychology and environmental science.

 

Atharva Gupta, a sophomore from Cupertino High School, said, “It was pretty amazing. I learned so much, not only about our topic, but also about how to present your research in a format that’s easy to understand.” Gupta’s group presented on “Implicit Gender Bias within Resume-Ranking Tools,” a title that typifies the level of research being conducted by these young scientists.

 

Said Jimmy Qian, M.D. student at Stanford University and one of the founders of the program, “We want to show young people the beauty of science, that there’s much more to it than what you get from most high school labs.” In particular, Qian says they want to reach those students whose parents have never done science, who don’t necessarily associate themselves with having a scientific mind, but who might be curious.

 

Allen Chen, a sophomore at Mission San Jose High School, said, “I loved being in a lab and getting that hands-on experience. It really beats out just learning it from a textbook.” Chen’s group presented on “Synthetic Studies Toward the Total Synthesis of Etoposide.” It took them over 30 tries before one of their experiments was successful. Says Chen, “It definitely teaches you perseverance and patience. I’d say it builds character through failure.”

 

Typically, these types of summer programs are very expensive and are offered only at high end research institutions like MIT or Boston College. The goal of ASDRP is to be accessible to students of all socio-economic backgrounds. To that end, they offer full and partial tuition scholarships. Says Qian, “Talk to us, apply, join us for free. We’ll even pay for your transportation to get here. Just come see if you like it.”

 

As with most non-profits, it takes a village. Marketing for ASDRP has been primarily through word-of-mouth, with some online flyers emailed through their parent organization, the Olive Children Foundation. Several members of Fremont STEM volunteer their time to help advise the students. Lab space has been provided by Berkeley Academy in Fremont, and lab equipment has been donated or deeply discounted by Nanalysis and BioLink Depot.

 

Natalie Hoffner, a senior at Mission San Jose High School, said, “I loved it! I spent so many hours in the lab, learning how to use the equipment, which I know is really expensive. To give high schoolers access to these resources is amazing. I also appreciated that the projects were primarily student-driven.” Her research topic: “Synthesis of Nattokinase Protease Inhibitors.”

 

At the end of the program, all the research papers are collected and assembled into a scientific journal. Says Stephanie Sun, a senior at Basis Independent Silicon Valley, “Writing the paper was interesting. We conducted a literary review, wrote an introduction, and discussed our methods. I had never written this type of paper before. I learned a lot.”

 

Over 30 high schools were represented in this year’s cohort, with over 600 people in attendance at the expo. In his closing remarks, Qian was proud and hopeful. “I hope this is something you take with you to college and beyond, because the world always has new problems, and we always need scientists to come solve those problems.”

 

Perhaps Rohan Adwankar will someday be one of those scientists. He is currently a freshman at Irvington High School and enjoys chemistry. His group’s topic: “Late-Stage Beckmann Rearrangements of Dibenzylidene Cyclohexanones Towards Development of Novel Caprolactam Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors.”

 

To learn more about ASDRP, email them at asdrp@fremontstem.com or visit www.fremontstem.org/asdrp

 

Applications for 2020 will be available on the website on October 15, 2019.

 

 

Successful launch of Talent2Give

Art sale raises money for Kids Against Hunger.

Submitted by Daksh Kohar

 

Talent2Give, a local nonprofit, launched its operations by holding an art fundraiser at Slap Face Coffee & Tea on Friday, August 16. The exhibit was a huge success. Guests supported the noble idea by buying amazing art and also donating art supplies. “I gave up painting long time ago, but the artist in me wants to paint now!” exclaimed an enthusiastic grandmother who purchased a few paintings for her grandkids.

 

The money raised at this inaugural event was donated to fight child hunger. On Sunday, August 25, the young artists of Talent2give partook in a mass meal packing event at the Kids Against Hunger, Pleasanton Headquarters. 11,232 meal packets were made comprising soy, dried vegetables, rice and vitamin powder. Founder Daksh Kohar, a rising sophomore from American High School explained, “A $2 packet prepares six meals, which is only 20 cents per serving. Imagine what it means for a kid who is hungry for days! I believe in the purity of using talent to help others. I want to rally at the grass-roots level and form a union of fellow artists to demonstrate that young and passionate individuals can help make the world a better place.”

 

Kohar is looking for young artists who can collaborate to grow this organization. For more information about Talent2Give, contact him at talent2give@gmail.com.

 

 

The Robot Report

 

Designers of service robots must marry advanced technologies such as natural language processing, facial recognition, and a humanoid form factor with an understanding of psychology for human-machine interaction. SoftBank Robotics Group Corp.’s Pepper, which is being used in retail, educational, and hospitality settings, is an example of the thought around trust that goes into building and using such robots.

 

“We’re currently working on several projects, with a focus on retail and banking,” said Matt Willis, design and human-robot interaction strategy lead at SoftBank Robotics. “There are plenty of other robots in retail for tasks other than customer service.”

 

“While they may be working on other tasks, such as scanning inventory or cleaning, any robot in a public setting requires an understanding of human interaction,” he told The Robot Report. “It must convey its purpose and intent for things such as what direction it’s going.”

 

Building Pepper with purpose

“Since Pepper is primarily customer-facing, its form factor has a lot of affordances for people,” Willis said. “We include speaking, waving, and other nonverbal gestures.”

 

“When somebody walks into a store and sees the robot, it grabs their attention,” he added. “People are curious and looking to be entertained, and our responsibility is to convey its purpose and build trust.”

 

SoftBank Robotics, formerly Aldebaran, makes the humanoid Pepper, Nao, and Romeo robots, as well as the Whiz floor-cleaning robot, using BrainOS technology for autonomous navigation.

 

“Our robots offer different things. Our principle for providing value through robotics includes a human-first approach,” said Willis. “What problem are we trying to solve? Nao has been a great platform for educating the next generation of engineers.”

 

“Pepper is also used in education and research, but it is larger, with a tablet interface,” he explained. “Public schools in Boston and San Francisco are already using Pepper, and we’ll have more educational news and products soon.”

 

Multimodal interaction

SoftBank’s hardware and software developers continue to learn from human-robot interactions. Pepper has been in HSBC banks in New York, Seattle, and Beverly Hills, California.

 

“As we focus on how to support retail environments, we see what we can do in a conversational setting to support multimodal interactions, like speech, gesture, and on-screen displays,” Willis said. “In cases where things don’t go as planned, we look to improve our technology and services to support customers so that they still have a great experience.”

 

“Social cues, such as Pepper nodding, can mean an acknowledgement in one culture and in others, ‘Yes,'” he said. “We manage that through testing to find common responses.” What about emotion recognition? “Pepper can recognize some states, but the better question is, ‘How can we use that to guide interactions?'” responded Willis. “Emotion is one of many tools to understand how someone is behaving and what they want.”

 

Working to exceed expectations

“We chose not to make Pepper too human-like,” Willis explained. “Pepper is often the face of social robots, and it has an attractive, non-threatening design. People are more willing to accept occasional failures in voice recognition, based on the design,” he added. “Such robot form factors encourage you to trust and help the robot.”

 

While SoftBank Robotics has not announced any future humanoid designs, it is working on other improvements, which are pushed out to users via a Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) model.

 

“Pepper’s capabilities are always improving, including internal hardware and services,” said Willis. “As we demonstrated at CES, we’re also integrating with other cloud services to deliver more front-end experiences and value to store associates and consumers.”

 

Social robot challenges

Social and other consumer robot makers have struggled in the past year, with Kuri, Jibo, Keecker, and Anki among the casualties. Anki’s shutdown was one of the most-read stories on The Robot Report so far this year.

 

“SoftBank is leading in this space with Pepper, and we face the same challenges as every social robotics company,” Willis acknowledged. “It’s no longer a challenge of navigating from here to there. The question is moving to what it should do.”

 

“Our approach is to experiment and try new things and to start with the need and trust,” he said. “We need to balance that with current expectations. If you see a humanoid robot in a store and you’ve never seen one before, you might approach it with a different goal in mind than someone who is going to the store and who has a question for the robot to answer.”

 

While SoftBank has had slow renewals of its contracts with some retailers, its trial with HSBC continues. “We’re still learning from engagements at their branches,” Willis said. “We’re improving the platform and services.”

 

AI and funding

In 2017, SoftBank Group, the parent of SoftBank Robotics, purchased Boston Dynamics. While Boston Dynamics and SoftBank Robotics said they aren’t working on any robots together, Boston Dynamics is working to commercialize its Handle and Spot Mini robots.

 

One company funded by SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund is CloudMinds Technology Inc., which recently filed for a $500 million initial public offering. Its cloud-based AI could help Pepper be more intelligent.

 

Recently, Tokyo-based SoftBank announced a second Vision Fund worth $108 billion, so it could help keep Pepper and other robots going as the technologies and markets mature.

 

“There’s still plenty to learn, and I hope we’ll see many more social robotics and AI companies come up,” Willis said.

 

— Eugene Demaitre

 

 

The Waiting Period

Submitted by Karin Conn

Photos courtesy of Brian Copeland

 

Brian Copeland performs “The Waiting Period” – winner of the Theater Bay Area Award for Outstanding Production of a Solo Play in 2015. This deeply moving and surprisingly funny work outlines Copeland’s struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts, and is presented to remove barriers for those who may be struggling with depression themselves. Featuring humorous, poignant, and riveting insights, the solo show written by Copeland and directed by David Ford will take place at the Douglas Morrisson Theatre in Hayward on Saturday, October 5.

 

This captivating drama provides an unrelenting look at a key turning point in Copeland’s life—the mandatory ten-day waiting period before he could lay his hands on the newly purchased gun with which he planned to take his own life. Laced with surprisingly funny moments that serve as a buffer against the grim reality of his intentions, Copeland hopes this very personal, and ultimately redemptive, story will reach people who struggle with depression—often called the last stigmatized disease—as well as their families and loved ones. As critic Sam Hurwitt put it in The Idiolect: “It’s a play I’d strongly recommend to anyone who is now or has ever been depressed or who knows someone in that situation. But honestly, it’s such a strong piece that I’d recommend it just as heartily to anyone who’s ever been human.”

 

The Waiting Period opened in 2012 to overwhelming critical and audience response and has been lauded by survivors and co-survivors of depression. Copeland performs a series free shows at The Marsh SF to provide an opportunity to reach those who need to see the show but have been unable to due to the price of admission. A number of people struggling with suicidal thoughts have told Copeland that seeing his piece has literally saved their lives.

 

Brian Copeland has been in show business since he first stepped on the comedy stage at age 18. He has headlined at clubs and concerts across the country and opened for artists such as Ringo Starr and Aretha Franklin. In the realm of television, he has hosted on KTVU and 7Live. His own network special, “Now Brian Copeland,” premiered on NBC in 2015. Copeland's other theatrical work includes “Not a Genuine Black Man,” the longest-running one-man show in San Francisco history; “The Scion,” a tale of privilege, murder, and sausage; and the critically acclaimed Christmas classic, “The Jewelry Box.”

 

Tickets cost $35 and can be purchased online at https://www.dmtonline.org/ or via email at DMTticketing@haywardrec.org. To learn more about Brian Copeland, visit his website at briancopeland.com.

 

The Waiting Period

Saturday, Oct 5

8 p.m.

Douglas Morrisson Theatre

22311 N 3rd St., Hayward

(510) 881-6777

https://www.dmtonline.org/

DMTticketing@haywardrec.org

Tickets: $35

 

 

German city offers $1.1M to whoever proves it doesn't exist

AP Wire Service

 

BERLIN (AP), Aug 21 – A German city that's been the subject of a long-running online light-hearted conspiracy theory claiming it doesn't really exist is offering big bucks to whoever proves that's true.

 

Officials in Bielefeld said Wednesday they'll give 1 million euros ($1.1 million) to the person who delivers solid proof of its non-existence.

 

They said there are “no limits to creativity” for entrants, but only incontrovertible evidence will qualify for the prize.

 

The idea that Bielefeld doesn't exist was first floated by computer expert Achim Held, who posted the satirical claim on the Internet in 1994 in an effort to poke fun at online conspiracy theories.

 

Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel once jokingly cast doubt on the existence of Bielefeld, which is allegedly located about 330 kilometers (205 miles) west of Berlin.

 

 

Niles Canyon Railway celebrates completion of Transcontinental Railroad

Submitted by Niles Canyon Railway

 

It’s our turn to let the Bay Area in on the historic opportunity to celebrate the all-important 150th anniversary of the connection between the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad through Niles Canyon on September 6, 1869. Our celebration will include two train rides—for pro rail fans and novices—and take place Saturday, September 7, starting at 10 a.m.

 

The Niles Canyon Railway (NCRy) is the only railroad that runs on the original and best-preserved alignment of the Transcontinental Railroad, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This last link is historically important for the surrounding communities, as their very existence and sustained growth was predicated on the railway passing through them.

 

The NCRy Pro Railfan event offers the serious railfan an exclusive opportunity to ride behind two iconic standard gauge Mallet locomotives, the 2-6-6-2T Clover Valley Lumber Company #4 and the 2-4-4-2 Columbia River Belt Line Railway #7 (better known as the Skookum), through Niles Canyon. Departure time is 10 a.m., and the event is limited to 150 passengers. Morning beverages and croissants will be served on board the train, and there will be multiple photo run-bys in Historic Niles Canyon.

 

Once we return to Niles the locomotive will take water and reset for the next operations. Included with your fare is a 1:00 p.m. lunch prepared by the Niles Canyon Railway Commissary team in the Niles Station Garden, as well as some special souvenirs commemorating your visit.

 

For those who want more railroad exposure, we will make a guided tour of Brightside Yard available after lunch to the passengers on this train. This tour will be limited to 30 people and will cost an additional $30. You will get an opportunity to see many additional pieces of our historic collection, including some that haven’t been seen publicly for many years. Drive your vehicle to Brightside Yard and meet one of our experienced volunteers.

 

On Saturday, we will also hold a Families & Novice Railfan event in celebration of the 150th anniversary. Check-in time is 11:45 a.m., with a noon lunch in Niles Station Garden. Attendees will get a chance to ride two standard gauge Mallet locomotives, with a departure time at 1:30 p.m. Commemorative souvenirs are included.

 

The goal is to introduce Bay Area families to “railfanning,” an activity similar to Great Britain’s trainspotting. Railfans worldwide make stopping at historic or interesting rail destinations an important part of their vacation activities. There are thousands of interesting locations, and Niles Canyon Railway is near the top of everyone’s list! Families or individuals attending this event will learn about the joys of railfanning, and how to do it safely and with maximum benefits. There is no better way to experience it then actually riding on a train.

 

Transcontinental completion celebration

Saturday, Sept 7

 

Pro railfan

10 a.m.

Tickets: $200

 

Novice railfan

11:45 a.m.

Tickets: $120 adults, $60 seniors and children

 

Niles Canyon Railway

37029 Mission Blvd., Fremont

www.ncry.org

(510) 996-8420