Old Shell Station still not a mini-mart

On Sunday, the deadline came and went for the owner of the old Shell Station at the corner of Thornton Avenue and Cabrillo Drive to turn his abandoned property into an shiny new mini-mart. You can see by this picture taken yesterday by our Bea Ahbeck that he didn’t quite make it.

In fact, Jim Hardwick is still at least more than a month away from finishing the building, not to mention the fact that he hasn’t yet signed up a tenant.

The ball is in the city’s court now. They can fine Hardwick up to $500 a day if they choose. Hardwick said he’s making a good faith effort, and that he would fight any new fines. Both sides are supposed to discuss it on Monday.


Toll lane project underway

The Argus will have a story on this tomorrow. Here’s a report from KLIV – 1590 on your AM Dial.

Fremont- A groundbreaking ceremony was held in Fremont  today for the Bay Area’s first High Occupancy Traffic lane, otherwise known as a HOT lane.

CalTrans spokesperson Benjamin DeLanty says a HOT lane involves using a transponder. Under the program, participants will pay a fee, similar to Fastrak, allowing them access to the carpool lane. Someone traveling alone in their vehicle will be able to use the express lane and the toll will be collected through the transponder.

DeLanty says the hope is that the HOT lane will reduce congestion and help air quality. It also helps to shore up an important part of the transportation infrastructure.

The HOT lane will be on Highway 680 between Routes 84 and 237. The $37 million project is scheduled to be completed by 2011


The powerful Cho, Part II

A reader pointed out to me that the instructor in Steve Cho’s martial arts video, Tae Yun Kim, has some interesting stuff posted about her online. The old tabloid show Inside Edition had a segment that questioned whether she was a cult leader

Check it out: The segment starts at about the 1:45 second mark

To be clear, I’m sure Steve Cho doesn’t have a cultish bone in his body, but after watching the video, I am tempted to ask whether he plans to change his name to Paul Newman, if elected mayor.

For another site critical of her, just click here.

If Cho is elected mayor, he wouldn’t be first in the Bay Area to have fraternized with Kim. Check out what nice things Willie Brown has to say about her in this video.


New Haven expected to name superintendent Friday

The New Haven school board is expected to name a new superintendent Friday evening.

A special meeting has been called for 5:30 p.m. at the district office, 34200 Alvarado-Niles Road, Union City. The board will meet behind closed doors at first and, around 6 p.m., tentatively is scheduled to vote in public on the hiring of a new supe.

In all, 21 people applied for the position. The board, along with a panel of 20 community members, interviewed the top six candidates two weeks ago.

The new supe will replace Pat Jaurequi, who surprised everyone toward the end of summer when she announced she was leaving to become schools chief of San Juan Unified School District in Sacramento County. (Since school began, David Pava, last year’s deputy superintendent who was preparing to retire this month, has been serving as interim supe in New Haven.)

We’ll have a story in Saturday’s paper about the new leader.


Real seal pics

Here is the scene on Thornton Avenue in Newark today shortly after the an elephant seal left the street.


And here’s the little cutie back in the water:


Here’s the cutline:
A Northern Elephant Seal swims in the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Newark, Calif. Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008. The almost yearling, or ‘weaner’, as it’s referred to by staff at the Marine Mammal Center, probably got into the refuge at high tide, and at one point crawled up on Thornton Ave. in Newark, causing the road to be shut down. He eventually started heading out to sea again, while monitored by U.S. Fish and Wildlife personell. (Bea Ahbeck/The Argus)


Comination of algae and rainstorm apparently caused Alameda Creek fish kill

The Alameda County Water District has tentatively concluded that this month’s fish kill at Alameda Creek was likely caused by a combinationof algae, and run-off from the first rain storm of the season, tts General Manager Paul Piraino said.

Algae draws oxygen out of the water when the sun goes down, and the first storm brought a lot of cloudy, poorly oxygenated water with additional oxygen-sucking organic materials into the creek, Piraino said. The combination apparently caused levels of dissolved oxygen to plunge and led to about 5,000 fish dying in the creek on Oct. 6.

 The conclusions were reached by a panel of experts in urban run-off, fishery and stream beds, Piraino said.

The Water District has drained the affectedpool over the past few days to kill the algae in advance of this weekend’s storm. He doesn’t expect the rains to cause a second fish kill.


Gebhardt’s not the fundraising king after all

Today’s story about local school board candidates raising money for their campaigns named Fremont’s Bryan Gebhardt as the top fundraiser, having amassed $34,296.

Well, he may be the biggest fundraiser among school board candidates in the Tri-City area, but he’s no match for the politicians in the West Contra Costa school district.

There, incumbent Karen Pfeifer has raised nearly $100K (about what the five candidates in Fremont have raised collectively), and Robert Studdiford has collected about $42K. Continue Reading


No Fremont mayoral talk on KGO

Say what you want about the A’s, their ballpark plans for Fremont nearly catapulted the mayoral race into the big time. KGO talk show host Ron Owens wanted to get the city’s three mayoral candidates on the air today to talk about the A’s plan.
Gus Morrison and Steve Cho agreed to the participate, Bob Wasserman did not, said the program’s producer Mark Silverman. KGO wasn’t fully committed to the segment anyway, but it probably would have happened if all three candidates been willing to go on the air, he said.