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Archive for August, 2008

Fremont Republican no longer being sued by fellow GOP’er

Got word that three people who ran for Republican Party Central Committee in June but didn’t win have been dropped from a lawsuit filed by the committee’s chairman.

Chairman Paul Cummings is seeking to overturn the election of seven people — all minutemen or Ron Paul supporters — who won committee seats in June, but may not have been eligible to run.

In Fremont, Lois Davis – a frequent commenter on this blog – is among those who are no longer facing litigation, according Walter Stanley, who is still a defendant in the lawsuit.

Fremont’s John Bartlett, the brother City Council candidate Charles Bartlett, is also still named in the lawsuit, Stanley said.

Posted on Sunday, August 31st, 2008
Under: minutemen | No Comments »

Fremont: Niles Banquet Hall news

Niles Banquet Hall owner John Weed has canceled his appeal of new restrictions in the wake of two violent incidents this year. The Fremont Planning Commission last month forbade alcohol consumption at the hall and ordered to close by 10 p.m.
Weed wrote that those conditions make the hall economically unviable. However, instead of appealing the commission’s ruling, he wrote that he hopes to work with the city to make revisions to his permit.

Posted on Saturday, August 30th, 2008
Under: Fremont, Niles | No Comments »

Fremont: Henkel sues to demolish entire property

UPDATE: OK, here’s a little more detail about Henkel:
After the fire, the city ordered Henkel to abate the office structure, which burned
Henkel said they wanted to demolish the entire site, not just the burnt out former office.
The City said they couldn’t do that yet, because the old warehouse is a potentially historic resource, which means an Environmental Impact Report must be performed before it could be demolished.
Henkel is arguing that the fire has made the buildings even more dangerous and it should be able to demolish the entire site all at once.
The city says it must adhere to the process for dealing with potentially historic resources and that Henkel should deal with the office now and the other buildings after that process has run its course.
The Draft Environmental Impact Report is scheduled to be released Sept. 26.
A hearing on Henkel’s lawsuit is scheduled for Sept. 19.

The Henkel Corporation filed court papers Thursday asking that a judge mandate Fremont to declare the entire property in Niles a public nuisance and order Henkel to demolish the entire site.

The city has issued an abatement order for Henkel to tear down the old offices, which were damaged in a fire earlier this year, but not for the warehouse, which Henkel wants to demolish along with the remnants of the office building.

Posted on Saturday, August 30th, 2008
Under: Niles | No Comments »

Fremont Vector Control

Here’s a link to a story in today’s paper about the county’s vector control district trying annex Fremont. Fremont doesn’t have much in the way of vermin problems so the question is whether it’s worth it for homeowners to pay another $10 bucks a year for the service.

For some reason, Fremont doesn’t attract many rats. I asked Tri-City area sewer district honcho Rich Currie yesterday if his people see a lot of rats. He told me today that no one has seen one in 15 years. Cockroaches are prevalent though. We’ll write more about this as the vote nears.

Posted on Friday, August 29th, 2008
Under: Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

Ohlone Goes Platinum

I was at Gari Browning’s State of Ohlone College address today. It was good and so was the coffee. But the croissants were hella stale.
Browning announced that Ohlone’s recently-opened Newark campus has been certified LEED Platinum, which is the highest environmental distinction a building can get. According to Ohlone, it is the only LEED Platinum campus in the country.

Posted on Friday, August 29th, 2008
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Fremont Chamber picky with endorsements

You’ve got to hand it to the Fremont Chamber, they’ve got some stones. Ten people are running for two city council seats, they represent just about any constituency you can imagine, and the chamber’s political action committee endorses just one person, and it’s not even the incumbent.

The chamber’s PAC, Business for Better Government, endorsed Trisha Tahmasbi and only Trisha Tahmasbi for city council.

They also endorsed Tahmasbi’s boss, Alberto Torrico for Assembly; Bob Wasserman for mayor; Desrie Campbell, Bryan Gebhardt and Ivy Wu for school board; Bob Brunton and Greg Bonaccorsi for Ohlone College Board and Pat Danielson and Bill Nicholson for Washington Hospital Board.

I know what a couple of people are thinking: “Wait a minute, they didn’t endorse Sue Chan? But John Dutra is supporting her, and John Dutra owns Fremont. He owns the Chamber. They could only make endorsements because he let them out of his back pocket.”

I don’t know what to tell you two. Maybe Mr. Dutra has already scaled Mission Peak in a single leap and is preparing to rain down thunderbolts on Chamber CEO Cindy Bonior.

The two mild surprises for me was picking Brunton over Lam Research’s Teresa Cox, and selecting only Tahmasbi for council. You figure if they’re going to endorse Torrico and his top assistant, they may as well also endorse his law parter, Councilmember Bob Wieckowski. Maybe Bob is a little too into banning Styrofoam cups and plastic shopping bags — two initiatives that the chamber opposed. But there are plenty of pro business challengers. How about Fazlur Khan or Larry Montgomery? I just met Larry tonight. Cool guy, cooler bike. He rides a Harley and wears Pittsburgh Steelers crocs. I wish I could be that cool.

Posted on Friday, August 29th, 2008
Under: City Council Election, Fremont, Fremont Chamber of Commerce, Mayor's race | No Comments »

The A’s in your mail

Here is the latest glossy mailer from the A’s. Imagine how empty the triple-play event would have been if I hadn’t written that brief about it in the Argus. It Probably would have been just Stomper and those two anonymous ballplayers. You’ll probably also notice that a well-coiffed 72-year-old is quoted. Sorry if it’s fuzzy.

Posted on Thursday, August 28th, 2008
Under: A's, Fremont | 79 Comments »

Mr. Cho, take down that sign

It’s hard to know who’s ahead in the mayor’s race, but over the past couple of weeks Steve Cho’s name has surged to the top of poles around Fremont. The Cho campaign must have the longest ladder in town, because his people have gotten his campaign signs way up high on lots of light poles on lots of street corners.

Problem is some of those poles are on private property and not everyone is happy to have Cho’s blue and green signs overhead. Take for example John Oxford. He said he asked Cho last week to remove a sign from the light pole on the grounds of the Big O Tires he manages at the corner of Blacow and Fremont Boulevard. Oxford said the Cho campaign promised to take down the sign within 24 hours, but never followed through. In fact, a few days later, campaign signs for two other candidates appeared below Cho’s, Oxford said.

That was all Oxford could take. He got himself an extension ladder and had the signs taken down.

“It’s not just that he didn’t ask permission,” Oxford said of Cho. “(It’s that) I’m not supporting him anyway.”

P.S. I’ll be at Cho’s campaign headquarters grand opening this evening.

Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
Under: Fremont, Mayor's race, Uncategorized | No Comments »

More Niles Stuff

The guy on the left is Addison Niles, the man for whom Niles is named. This portrait was recently purchased on eBay by members of the Niles clan in Upstate New York. They seem to know a lot about the guy. For the story that ran in today’s paper, click here.

Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
Under: Niles | No Comments »

Niles Antique Faire

It’s been a rough summer in Fremont. No Civil War Days, no Festival of India parade, but at least my #1 favorite Tri-City area event is back this Sunday. I had a total blast covering the Niles Antique Faire last year, even though several people told me how all of the police officers and code enforcement officials were ruining it for everyone. I got an earful from a guy who got his unlicensed  Mexican food stand closed down and a 12-year-old who said he was made to shut down a lemonade stand. Several other folks said code enforcement officials were giving them a hard time about their garage sales.

So yesterday when I was writing a preview of this year’s event, which is in today’s paper, I tried to find out why all of a sudden the authorities became such sticklers for the rules. I failed.
Keith Elrod of Niles Main Street Association said his group didn’t ask for tougher enforcement.  Police spokesman Bill Veteran said police had to accompany code enforcement officials who received threats last year, but that they had no interest in shutting down lemonade stands. The fire department declared its innocence too.

One person who should be in the know said confidentially that the call for more enforcement came from Niles residents themselves. I didn’t put that in the story, because, well, I wasn’t convinced it was true. I would never underestimate the capacity for Niles people to disagree, and I could see people complaining about illegal parking. But an upswell of neighborhood disgust over unlicensed Mexican food stands, and dodgy lawn sales? Hard to fathom.

Anyway, one thing is clear. The code enforcement people will be out again this year. I’ll be back too, but only to shop and maybe to get some lemonade, if the kids are allowed to sell it.

Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
Under: Niles, Uncategorized | No Comments »