We have a race, folks


7/1/08 UPDATE: Ann Crosbie has responded to my e-mail. I asked her to comment on a perception held by some in the community that the Fremont Education Foundation is a breeding ground for trustees. (Current Trustees Nina Moore and Lara York serve on the foundation board, as does school board candidate Desrie Campbell.)

Crosbie no longer sits on the FEF board but remains involved with the foundation’s afterschool band and teacher grant programs. She’s also a member of the League of Women Voters and had served on the school district’s community facilities committee. She stated in her e-mail:

“I do not think it is problematic to be involved with FEF. Lara and Nina have also been actively involved with the League of Women Voters, as have many city officials. Nina, Peggy and Lara were all members of the CFC, as was Bryan [Gebhardt], I believe, and myself.”

Crosbie also stated that she’s “not currently running on a slate.”


Parent Ann Crosbie has announced her candidacy for the Fremont school board. With three seats up for grabs, she’s the fourth person to toss her name in the ring. (The others are Bryan Gebhardt, Desrie Campbell and Lily Mei.)

I called Ann this morning, hoping to interview her, but apparently she’s in Ireland at the moment. Hopefully she’ll respond to my e-mail today. (I still have hope that I can churn out a story for the paper.) In the meantime, you can learn more about her at www.crosbie4kids.com.


Minutemen welcome to march in Fremont parade

I just found out that the Golden Gate Minutemen will be invited after all to march in Fremont’s Fourth of July Parade. Parade Chairwoman Patty Hitchcock told me that she and other organizers decided it was better to just let the minutemen march even though they have concerns that groups opposed to the minutemen could start trouble.

“They’re in the parade,” Hitchcock said. “It’s not worth the fighting.”

As a goodwill gesture, she said, the Minutemen will be offered the opportunity to carry three large red, white and blue balloons.


Divine Mercy Church

If you missed the story I wrote about the church and church-related homes planned for unincorporated land just east of Fremont, here it is again. It was a frustrating story because the group wouldn’t tell me much, and since they aren’t registered as a charitable trust, I couldn’t find out much about them.

I did have a very bizarre 0ff-the-record conversation with Thelma (who in some documents spells her name “Phelma”) Orias, the group’s head honcho. Talking to her and others, I got the sense that this church is still along way from getting built. I also get the sense that these people are even more religious than one might expect.

Case in point is a letter the project’s architect, Salvatore Caruso, sent to the county planner responsible for the project. Usually such correspondences are as technical as can be. But Caruso finished this one with a sermon. Here’s what he wrote to the planner:

We ask only that through God’s Grace delivered through your hands that we be allowed to build a place to spread the message of hope, the message of God’s infinite Mercy. That the greater the sinner, the greater God’s mercy will be given to that person. We need only to approach God in our hearts and ask, ask for his Mercy which is Love. This passion of spreading this message of mercy has been brought to us through the work and dedication of Pope John Paul II. We ask for your guidance in achieving our goal.
May God reward you,
Salvatore Caruso A.I.A.


Fremont Festival of the Arts sacrificed on the altar of chili

The Firefighter Combat Challenge, which I gleefully covered in 2006 and 2007, won’t be part of this year’s Fremont Festival of the Arts as it has in years past. This year, the tournament that Fremont’s Bravest won in 2007 will be held on July 27  outside the Saddle Rack on Boscell Road. An annual chili cook-off will also be part of the festivities.

I asked one of the organizers why they were ditching the festival and this was his response: “We truly believe that it will add to the spirit of the the Fremont Chili Cook-Off. “


Cops: Don’t blame us for minutemen parade exclusion

The Minutemen/Fourth of July Parade issue is getting more confusing.

Police spokesman Det. Bill Veteran said Fremont police didn’t charge parade organizers extra last year for beefed up policing when the minutemen marched and won’t charge them extra this year if the minutemen are once again allowed.

“We don’t charge for police services when we are protecting a person exercising first amendment rights from someone who may object,” Det. Bill Veteran said.

But Parade Chairwoman Patty Hitchcock said, “That isn’t how they broke it down to us when we were sitting in gigantic meetings with all of the (city) departments.”

I have no inside info on this. My best guess is that no one wanted the minutemen in the parade and now no one wants to be the first amendment bad guy for keeping them out.

The minutemen have said they will sue. I’m not a lawyer, but growing up in New York I remember that judges repeatedly ruled that the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which puts on New York’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade had the right to reject a gay Irish group that wanted to march. This seems like a similar case.


I’ve been scooped by the Tri-City Voice

scream1.jpgThis is a pretty low moment for me. Our cops reporter handed me the Tri-City Voice, and there it was on the bottom of Page 1, “Lorenz announces candidacy for Fremont City Council.” Of course, next to the little story is a big picture of Planning Commissioner Dirk Lorenz inside his van with the name and phone number of his business prominently displayed. How convenient.

The TCV also scooped me on a children’s pie-eating contest and a tug-of-war competition.

My bad. I should have been first on Dirk. I know his city of residence has been an issue on this blog. I will get around to following up on that.


We have a winner

5001.gifJon Simon’s response to Coyote Bill was the 500th comment. Apparently it was so monumental, that our servers malfunctioned and the blog went dead for a few hours.

Anyway, if Jon is willing to step inside Argus headquarters next week, there will be an Argus t-shirt, Celebrate Fremont commemorative wine glass and the baked goods of his choice waiting for him.

He’ll also find a lot of open space. To answer Jon’s question about our newsroom, The Argus had 11 full-time reporters in 2000. Now we have lots of elbow room.


`Hooter Palooza’ beating may have gang ties

(Update: Link to story

Cops this morning have identified the three men arrested following the beating at The Saddle Rack on Tuesday night during “Hooter Palooza,” an event held to celebrate the 19th anniversary of a Bay Area radio station’s morning show. They also say that the assault that left one man unconscious appears to be gang related. Cops are not discussing the actual motive, saying only that the victim and suspects knew each other.