Liz Fig running for supervisor

UPDATE: I got beat to the punch on this one. Both in regards to Figueroa and Nadia Lockyer. Click here.

This has pretty much been common knowledge for a long time, but former state Senator Liz Figueroa is, in fact, going to run for Gail Steele’s seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Steele, who isn’t running for re-election, represents Hayward, Castro Valley, Union City, Newark, north Fremont and some other places as well.

It might be a tough race. I heard recently — and folks at Wieckoski’s party were also saying it — that the wife of a major state politician will be seeking the seat. I’ll call today just to make sure it’s true.


Wieckowski kicks off Assembly campaign

There were about 100 people at Bob Wieckowski’s campaign kick-off party last night at Olive Hyde.

It was nice.

He introduced me to his dad and one of his sisters, who gave me a much needed bottle of water. I also talked to the caterer, who taught me that you can actually make pretty good hummus without garbanzo beans or tahini.

Lots of political people there: Gus Morrison, Bob Wasserman, Bill Harrison, Anu Natarajan, Judy Zlatnik, Liz Figueroa, Tom Blalock (BART), Pat Danielson (Washington Hospital), Chris Peeples (AC Transit), Jeff Davis (AC Transit), etc.

Not too many easily identifiable developers in the house. Ray Tong, who is Fremont’s best hope for a funky supermarket, was there. He said no Berkeley Bowl in Fremont until the economy turns around.

I missed Bob’s speech, but I heard someone tell him it was inspirational. If it ever makes it to youtube, I’ll post it.


Newark movie theater could be next to close

When Shiraz Jivani decided to show Hollywood films at the NAZ 8, he was operating on the assumption that the Cinedome 7 Newark was not long for this world.

Why would he think that? Click here.

It’s a plan for a new development on Mowry in Newark. If you go to pages five and six, you see that the Cinedome is proposed to become a gym.

I called Cinemark, which owns the theater, but they didn’t call back.


Good news for Ardenwood commuters

The new and much expanded Ardenwood Park & Ride lot off Route 84 in Fremont will open next Monday, June 1.

It will have 235 more parking spaces for commuters to park their cars and take AC Transit over the Dumbarton Bridge.

The new facility will also have bus shelters, NEXTBUS real-time arrival information and bike lockers.

But it won’t have mini-golf or batting cages. That what used to be there on Ardenwood Boulevard just off Route 84..


G-d bless us all

This one goes out to the folks who malign The Arugs for supposedly being chummy with the cities it covers. It’s the TCV’s coverage of the second coming … oops I mean Union City’s 50th birthday parade.

God Bless America, God Bless Union City

By Simon Wong
Photos By Mike Heightchew
Union City displayed all that is good about America on May 16. The City’s 50th Anniversary Parade, the Classic Car Show at Charles F. Kennedy Park and the 16th Annual Asian-American Heritage Festival, an affiliated event sponsored by the Asian American Federation of California, were celebrations of civic pride, diversity and unity.

UC50 Chair Helen Kennedy and her team of volunteers have donated countless hours to plan the year’s calendar of 50th Anniversary events, backed by sponsors and donors who pledged their support more two years ago and honored them despite the subsequent economic downturn. They brought the City’s community, neighbors and friends together.

The Parade, which seemed to be over so quickly, lasted for 90 minutes. The Island Thunder Motorcycle Club opened proceedings as they roared past the review stand occupied by City Manager Larry Cheeves and Deputy City Manager and Leisure Services Director Tony Acosta, the event’s announcers.


Say Goodbye to Bollywood, NAZ is going mainstream

When I talk about Fremont to my friends back east,  one of the first things I mention is that the city has its own Bollywood movie theater. It pretty much says everything you need to know about the city’s diversity and thriving Indo-American population.

Well, I’m going to need a new example.

Starting Friday, NAZ8 Cinemas is transitioning from Bollywood to Hollywood. It will be debuting “Night at the Museum,” this Friday. Within a few weeks, it will devote five screens to mainstream, first-run Hollywood flicks, and two screens for Bollywood movies.

Ticket prices will be increased to $9.50. But the popcorn will be free, and they’ll still have samosas.

Shiraz Jivani, the theater’s owner, said he got permission from the big Hollywood studios to go mainstream after Cinedome 8 closed earlier this year, leaving Fremont without a first-run English language theater.

He said his business had suffered from tech slowdown, Bollywood movie piracy, and Bollywood’s inconsistency in releasing films. Bollywood producers have been on strike for more than a month, forcing Jivani to show reruns.

We’ll have a full story about this in the paper later this week. I just got back from the theater, and the reaction missed. A couple of people, both Indian said they were happy the theater would also show Hollywood flicks. A couple of others, both white Bollywood film buffs from Berkeley, were sad to hear the news.


Free Food Galore

Bob Wieckowski and Garrett Yee are hosting parties to kick-off their battle to succeed Alberto Torrico in the State Assembly.

Here’s the info on Wieckowski’s party this Thursday:
6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 21
Mission Room, Olive Hyde Guild
123 Washington Blvd., Fremont

And here is the info on Yee’s in June:
6:00 pm – 8:00pm, Monday June 8
Niles Veterans Hall
37154 Second St., Fremont


It’s here

Fremont is officially in the water park business starting Saturday. Fremont Bank Aqua Adventure opensto the public at 11 a.m. on the far south end of Central Park, off of Paseo Padre. I’ve been doing some volunteer work with pre-teens in Union City and this is apparently a big deal.


Violin time

It’s not easy fighting City Hall, but it’s not easy for City Hall to fight Sacramento either.

Tonight, the City Council is going to pass a resolution telling state lawmakers that it would really hurt if they grabbed property tax revenue that was earmarked for the city. Oh well.

If voters reject the ballot measures today, the state might have to borrow more than $2 billion in property taxes that would have gone to cities. Fremont estimates that its share of the loses would be about $5.6 million.

But the state would have to repay the money, and if it borrows this year, it can’t borrow again for a little while.