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Happy New Year

This blog is no place for sentimentality, but I do want to thank all you guys for clicking here to read and comment. I probably spent a little too much time on this thing, but it has helped to make an otherwise dreary work year a little more fun.

I’ll be working on New Years so stay tuned for news on the first baby born in the Tri-City area, New Year’s Eve debauchery, and maybe some more predictions and 80s songs.

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A 2009 prediction

With newspapers continuing to lose lots of money, the Fremont Bulletin, Tri-City Voice and Argus will join forces to form the FREMONT BOGUS. The new name will also be used for Bill Marshak’s editorial, which will appear weekly within a full-page advertisement for Washington Hospital.

You read it here first.

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Big apartment buildings

There’s a new proposal for a big housing complex at State Street and Walnut Avenue. Originally this was supposed to be a really nice condo project for wealthy people whose presence was to help Fremont convince high-end retailers to open shop city’s center.

But no one’s building condos these days, so it’ll be apartments, at least for now And there will be a lot of them, if it’s ever built. The complex will consist of two, four-story buildings with a total of 301 apartments, a park and a small commercial space fronting Beacon Avenue.

It’ll have a pool, fitness area, and – like any new “downtown” transit-oriented development worth its salt – 502 parking spaces. The Planning Commission is tentatively scheduled to consider the project on Jan. 22.

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Fremont passes second tax in two months

Watch out you big government Scandinavians, Fremont is hot on your trail. First residents overwhelmingly approved a tax hike on hotel guests, now property owners have passed a tax hike to join the vermin-fighting Alameda County Vermin Control District.

If only the council would propose another utility tax and promise to spend the money killing rats at city hotels, Fremont could pay its firefighters $200,000 a year.

The Vector Control vote means that single-family homeowners will see another $10 tacked onto their property tax bill. For anyone who yacks at the City Council for wanting to tax tax tax, let the record show that the council, which has final say for city-owned properties, voted against the tax.

Most property owners didn’t bother voting. Out of 52,813 ballots mailed, only 12,606 were returned. That’s. 23.87 percent. 66 percent of respondents voted yes, while 33 voted no.

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Rally for Gaza

There’s another political rally at the corner of Fremont Boulevard and Mowry Avenue. I don’t know how many people are out there, but I’m told there are folks demonstrating against the recent Israeli aerial bombardment of Gaza.

Sadly, we probably don’t have a photographer within 20 miles of here to take a picture. I forgot my camera.

The protesters didn’t let us know in advance. Don’t they realize how desperate we are for copy the week between Christmas and New Years? We’d probably photograph three people demanding a third Applebees this week, if they gave us a day’s notice.

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Two-alarm fire in Fremont

UPDATE #2 Turns out the fire was a big deal. It cost $1 million worth of damage to the building and its contents, which included racing fuel. The fuel didn’t ignite. More in Wednesday’s Argus.

UPDATE: The fire is out. No biggie.

It’s at a strip mall at Grimmer and Industrial. Our cops guy is heading out there. I’m here preparing the paper’s annual year in review two-part spectacular, and talking to blue star moms. They want to start a Fremont branch, and I want to have a story for this very slow week.

Last year, I met a bunch of blue star moms and their pals at a homecoming for a soldier who was coming home from Iraq. The only one I remembered is this woman. Her name is Roberta Allen and her contact lenses would make the perfect finishing touch to any Captain America costume.

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Shooting in Fremont

UPDATE (4:29 p.m.) The gunman was a fifty-something year-old white guy. I saw him get loaded into an ambulance. Don’t know if he was going to jail or a hospital. He fired a single round through his apartment wall shortly before noon. Cops came over, he wouldn’t come out. Cops evacuated people and negotiated with him. And then he surrendered. No one was hurt.

UPDATE (3:40 p.m.): The gunman has surrendered. Things are winding down at the scene.

UPDATE (1:38 p.m.): Turns out no one got shot, but the suspected gunman is holed up in his apartment and refusing to come out. It’s a standoff between him and police right now.

(ORIGINAL ENTRY): This one sounds more serious. It’s at the Glenhaven Savoy Apartments in North Fremont. I’ll be heading over there. Sounds like the shooter had a lot of guns registered to him, and police are now evacuating nearby apartments.

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Is This True?

From KCBS
I-880 Carpool Lanes Improve Commute by 30 Minutes

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KCBS) — The recently added carpool lanes on northbound I-880 are saving commuters from Fremont to the South Bay a lot more time than officials originally predicted.
CalTrans reports that traffic congestion has been reduced by one-third with carpoolers saving as much as 30 minutes on their commute.

For the entire story, click here for podcast and here for print.

Not sure how they get their figures, and I haven’t driven south of Warm Springs in about a year. But it usually seems like HOV lane restrictions further clog rush hour traffic in Hayward south to Fremont.

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Twin apartment fires in Fremont

Not sure if they’re anything major, but one engine just roared down Paseo Padre. Fires are in the Glenhaven Apartments in Centerville and an apartment building on Guardino at Walnut.

Doesn’t look like the Glenhaven fire is anything much. Another engine is heading over to the Guardino one. It looks like there’s no one in the apartment where the reported fire is, so they’re getting the ladder ready so they can look inside.

The Glenhaven call turned out to be a nothing.

And now they’re saying the Guardino fire is just a pot on the stove. This cops/fire reporting stuff can really be a tease.

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Photos of Dumbarton Bridge rescue

Look at earlier post for item about man who drove into the Bay today in Fremont.
Here are pics from Anda Chu of the rescue:

Read earlier post for more about man who drove into the Bay today.
Fremont Firefighters John Garza and Osh Ahmad attach a tow strap to a car that drove off the road and into the San Francisco Bay Thursday December 25, 2008 in Fremont, Calif. The single vehicle accident occurred on the westbound approach to the Dumbarton Bridge past the tollbooth. (Anda Chu/Staff)


Fremont Firefighter Kyle Sana, left, and Menlo Park Firefighter Randy Kelly, right, helps the driver of a car that drove into the San Francisco Bay out of his car and onto shore Thursday December 25, 2008 in Fremont, Calif. The single vehicle accident occurred on the westbound approach to the Dumbarton Bridge past the tollbooth. (Anda Chu/Staff)