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Fremont: Road closures this weekend for Festival of India

A Nixle announcement from the Fremont Police Department on road closures this weekend for the Festival of India:

The City of Fremont has issued a special event permit for the 22ndAnnual Festival of India.  The event will take place on Saturday and Sunday (8/16 & 8/17) from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Please be advised that several roads will be closed in the Downtown area.

Saturday, August 17, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, August 17, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

  • Walnut Avenue – between Paseo Padre Parkway and Liberty Street in both directions:

Sunday ONLY, August 17, 2014, from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. – PARADE

  • Paseo Padre Parkway – between Mowry Avenue and Stevenson Blvd. in both directions
  • Walnut Avenue – between Paseo Padre Parkway and Liberty St.
  • Liberty Street – between Capitol Avenue and Beacon Avenue in both directions
  • Capitol Avenue – between State Street and Paseo Padre Parkway in both directions
  • State Street – between Beacon Street (mid-block) and Capital Ave.
  • Kearny Street – between Stevenson Blvd. and Liberty Ave.
  • City of Fremont Development Services parking lot at 39550 Liberty St.

Roads to remain open:

  • Beacon Ave.
  • Liberty St. (between Beacon Ave. and Stevenson Blvd.)
  • Walnut Ave. (between Liberty St. and Fremont Blvd.)

Please feel free to contact Special Events Manager Maya Williams if you have any questions regarding the special event permit process.  Maya can be reached at 510-790-6967.

For more, click here.

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Advocate: Newark school board violated Brown Act after vote

NEWARK — The school board is negotiating a new superintendent’s contract this week as a question arose over whether the board violated the state’s open meeting law.

On Friday, board members rejected Superintendent Dave Marken’s attempt to rescind his resignation, then refused to reveal how each member voted. That refusal violated state law, an open meetings expert said this week.

But the district’s attorney, Lou Lozano,¿ said his view “at the time” was that trustees only need to report votes on motions that pass.

However, the board’s attempted secrecy violated state law, said Terry Francke, founder of Californians Aware, a nonprofit organization dedicated to open government. The Brown Act says local government boards must report how each member voted on any action taken, Francke said.

“What (the board is) saying is it’s all in how you formulate the motion, and I don’t believe the Brown Act puts up with such exercises in semantics,” he said. “The public has a right to know who did what on that issue, no matter how the motion was framed.”

For more, click here.

 

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Fremont school district delays adopting controversial health book, will work with publisher to change it

FREMONT — The use of a health textbook some deemed inappropriate for students has been delayed, giving school district leaders time to consult the book’s publisher over its chapters on sexual education.

The Fremont Unified school board held off on adopting “Your Health Today” on Wednesday night, after parents complained that its discussion of bondage, prostitution and other frank sexual topics was unfit for teaching ninth-grade students.

At the board meeting’s outset, Superintendent James Morris recommended that trustees choose among three options. Two choices involved revising “Your Health Today” to varying degrees. A third option would create two different health courses, including an honors health class using the new textbook.

The five-member board decided that the district should work with the publisher to make changes to the book, creating a high school edition that will be age-appropriate for 14-year-olds.

The motion passed on a 3-2 vote, with trustees Larry Sweeney and Lily Mei dissenting.

For more, click here.

 

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Fremont police to hold training Friday at Ohlone College

If you hear loud noises and see lights flashing Friday near Ohlone College, don’t be alarmed, says the Fremont PD. Here’s their announcement:

On Friday, August 15, 2014, from approximately 7:00 a.m. – 11:30 p.m., the City of Fremont’s Police and Fire Departments will conduct a joint training exercise at Ohlone College, located on the 43600 block of Mission Blvd.

The training will involve a large number of police and fire personnel at the school campus. The purpose of this specialized training is to enhance the ability of our Fire and Police departments to jointly respond to major acts of violence.  Part of the training involves expanding the delivery of medical aid during high risk situations.   This partnership is of great benefit to those we serve and is a core component of our mission to provide the highest level of public safety to our community.

During the training, you may see public safety vehicles driving on the campus with emergency lights flashing and limited occasional pyrotechnics will be used to simulate the noise and smoke of an incident.  Training safety during this exercise is of the utmost importance to us.  The training site will be secure and will not be open to the public, press or media.   The theater performance scheduled for Friday evening on the campus will not be affected.  We appreciate your understanding and have structured the training to limit the impact on the surrounding community.

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Fremont: School leaders may delay use of health textbook after parent outcry

FREMONT — School district leaders are considering delaying the adoption of a health textbook after parents complained that its presentation of frank sexual topics is inappropriate for ninth-grade students.

Superintendent Jim Morris has recommended putting on hold the use of “Your Health Today” until Fremont Unified employees can work with the book’s publisher to make it more “age-appropriate.”

Meantime, school board members on Wednesday will consider using last year’s health textbook for the short term.

“I … recognize and respect the concerns of some of our families,” Morris said, “and believe this recommendation is a great compromise that will address those opinions while still working toward ultimately providing the best curriculum possible in our schools.”

The controversy started June 25, when Fremont school board members voted 3-2 to buy copies of the book. But parents objected to the book’s sections that talk about sexual education topics. A petition on the website Care2 has nearly 2,200 signatures calling for the book’s removal.

For more, click here.

 

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Oakland Tribune editorial: Newark school board trustees should reveal their votes or resign

Here’s a Bay Area News Group editorial about the Newark Unified school board’s vote in closed session on Friday. The editorial that appeared in Tuesday’s (Aug. 12, 2014) newspaper edition:

Elected officials too frequently forget they’re accountable to the public for their votes.

In this case, the Newark school district board last week in closed session defeated a motion to allow popular Superintendent Dave Marken to rescind his resignation.

Two trustees supported the motion, and three did not. The board refused to reveal publicly how each trustee voted. They relied on convoluted legal advice from their attorney, Louis Lozano.

The state open meeting law is clear. Local government boards must report how each member voted on any “action taken.” That includes “a collective commitment … to make a positive or a negative decision.”

Nevertheless, Lozano argues that trustees only need to report votes on motions that pass. The motion that failed, Lozano says, was to allow Marken to rescind his resignation. Lozano argues that had the board instead passed a motion not to allow Marken to rescind his resignation, trustees would have had to make their votes public.

Lozano’s legal hairsplitting runs roughshod over the intent and language of the law. Even Lozano admits that the board could have opted to reveal the vote anyhow. So far, it hasn’t.

If trustees don’t want to be accountable, they should resign.

For the online version, click here.

 

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Newark school trustees decline superintendent’s offer to rescind resignation

Lots going on in Newark on Friday afternoon/night. First, the Newark Unified school board interviewed at least one candidate in closed session after 100 people crowded a Silliman Center room, urging the trustees to keep Superintendent Dave Marken. After three hours in closed session, the board announced it had declined Marken’s offer to rescind his resignation and had selected a finalist (still unnamed) to replace him, pending official approval at an Aug. 19 meeting. Later, trustee Charlie Mensinger announced he will not seek re-election in November. Busy night.

NEWARK — With a November election now set to feature three challengers against one incumbent, the school board was enveloped Friday by the campaign’s biggest issue: whether to replace a popular superintendent.

Board members — including incumbent Nancy Thomas — had a vested interest in the question. After three hours in closed session, they declined Superintendent Dave Marken’s offer to rescind his resignation, and identified a finalist who could replace him.

Also, school board member Charlie Mensinger said after the meeting that he had withdrawn his candidacy papers Friday and will not seek re-election.

“I am withdrawing due to the negative climate surrounding the election,” Mensinger said. “I feel it is better to go away quietly than to participate in something that is tearing the district apart.”

Each announcement likely will affect the election prospects of Thomas and the board challengers — Elizabeth Brazil, Tom Huynh and Christopher Wecks.

Keeping Marken on the job would improve the education prospects of Newark’s children, said a dozen speakers among 100 people who crowded into a Silliman Center room Friday. A few waved signs with scrawled messages: “We love Marken” and “You asked. He said yes!”

The special meeting had been scheduled for trustees to interview at least one candidate to replace Marken, whom many credit with lifting Newark Unified to unprecedented heights after three years on the job.

For more, click here.

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Newark schools superintendent rescinds resignation

NEWARK — Superintendent Dave Marken rescinded his resignation Thursday, telling school board members in a letter that he will continue to lead Newark schools until his contract expires next June.

“My duty is to the students of Newark, and so I will no longer remain unresponsive to the overwhelming support of the community and leadership of the district,” Marken said in the letter. “I am rescinding my resignation, effective immediately, and will fulfill the terms of my contract.”

His letter was sent a day before the five-member school board planned to interview at least one candidate to replace him. The interview is scheduled for closed session at a special board meeting at 3 p.m. Friday, at the Silliman Center, 6800 Mowry Ave.

For more, click here.

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Fremont: Free electric vehicle test drives scheduled Saturday

FREMONT — Anyone curious about getting a charge out of driving an electric vehicle can do so Saturday at Pacific Commons.

The free test drives will be part of the “Experience Electric — The Better Ride” campaign and run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the shopping center parking lot at 43484 Boscell Road.

Drivers there can get behind of the wheel of the Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e, Volkswagen E-Golf and other electric vehicles.

For more, click here.

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Union City sues financial consultant, says errors cost nearly $140,000

UNION CITY — The city has sued a financial consultant, saying that errors in handling a sanitation rate hike cost the city nearly $140,000, according to court documents.

Willdan Financial Services and Union City have negotiated for months over the money, but city leaders filed the lawsuit Friday after talks stalled, said City Attorney Benjamin Reyes.

“Willdan has not met any of the demands that the city has presented to date,” Reyes said.

Two other California communities have also accused the Anaheim company of costly errors.

For more, click here.