A new Fremont community blog with odd flier

The blog is www.littlekabul-centerville.blogspot.com

The writer is Bruce Green, a Fremont reverend, and guy who was the point person with the Ansari family.

The flier is strange:


Matt Artz


  1. This scam has been going on for some time. The residents of Centerville are getting upset.
    To Call Centerville little Kabul is a lot of Bull.
    Chinatown in San Francisco, Little Vietnam in San Jose, Chinatown in Oakland, they are all legitimate names, because the majority of the residents who live there are of that ethnic group. There businesses are almost all owned by the ethnic group IE Chinatown.

    Centerville which has a long history going back to the mid 1800’s. It’s residents are proud to be called Centerville
    The Afghan Population in Centerville is less then 10%, The businesses owned by Afghans is less then 5%, so lets just call Centerville, Centerville.
    That is not to say we do not want Afghans in our community, they are welcome. What would I do with out Salang Pass resturant.

  2. The blog seems outdated with only a few posts and the latest one way back in August. Is this guy legit? You should investigate Matt and find out if he’s serious or just another dreamer.

  3. This is not “a new Fremont Community blog”.

    Speak to Rev. Bruce and he’ll be glad to share the evolution of his site as well as some of his ideas.

  4. I’m very curious… is Mr. Rev. Bruce of Afghan descent? Tell me more Bbox… seems you have spoken to him. Very intriguing.

  5. Has anybody checked out the website?

    “It would be Disney-quality scaled to the anticipated regional tourist market. Such a radical makeover would likely involve bulldozing most of Fremont Blvd. around the historic theatre (including the old—but hardly landmark—fire station) and starting fresh. The whole area going south from the train depot to Parrish Avenue would become the showcase of Historic Centerville, built around the theatre with appropriate themes and amenities. The “Little Kabul” themed area would arise on the aforementioned Unified Site . . . But it would all have to be planned and managed by experts in the tourism industry, under contract with the city and private property owners.”

    No wonder the residents are getting upset – this is the first I’ve heard of this. I know the Redevelopment Fund is burning a hole in the pockets of the City fathers, but it needs to be spent responsibly, not on turning us into Disneyland North. We need to create real, long term, well paid jobs here in town, not more seasonal, part-time concession, retail and security jobs.

    I hope it goes without saying that we all welcome Afghan residents to the community. I’m just not clear how building a theme park will assist in overcoming their civic isolation, as Mr. Green states on his site.

    I join Fremontguy in asking Bbox if he could share more with us about what Mr. Green’s whole card is, or perhaps Mr. Green could post here directly. Of course, with everybody’s screen names, he could already be posting for all I know.

  6. I have no idea what “hole” card Niles may be speculating that the Reverend is holding.

    What ethnicity Rev. Green claims is unknown to me (and is irrelevant from my perspective).

    I know that the referenced web site has been around many months; long before the Argus reporter claimed it as “new”.

    If Niles and Fremontguy have questions relating to Mr. Green’s intentions or ethnicity, I suggest they call him.

  7. His ethnicity or nationality is irrelevant, I agree, I was simply curious BBox. Do you have his number, perhaps you pass it on to Matt Artz? I think it would be an interesting story to report on, not that I agree or disagree with Mr. Green, I’d like to know the facts before passing my judgement, latest I heard was the Centerville Theatre owner will not agree on price for the theatre (he wants way more than it’s worth) and Blake Hunt & Partners are moving forward with residential and storefront development on Fremont Blvd., in the empty lot near Thornton. So, Mr. Green should come forward now or bury his wishes as development is moving forward.

  8. This is indeed a very curious thread.

    Consider –

    The web site indicated as “new” by Argus has existed for a very very long time. Rev. Green’s self-described vision of “my “Little Kabul + Centerville” has been on this web site since July of 2007. So – why is Artz just now declaring this as “new” ?

    There is an August 26 2009 and most recent update to the referenced web site which suggests a production that is described as a “..reality-based docudrama tracking proposed development of a world-class attraction (to tap into the huge SF Bay Area tourist market) without offending the host community of Fremont(the core idea of developing a “Little Kabul” with increased tourist draw.”

    THat’s an interesting idea. Make a movie.. . . . a “docudrama” about the PROCESS of the design development process. Could the production of such a movie be of concern to some members of our community ? Could it be of benefit ?

    In this BlOG Matt Artz is encouraged to “…find out if he’s serious or just another dreamer.” But, who would care – – – – ??

    Isnt it curiuous that one would suggest that there is an “urgency” and that Mr. Green needs to “come forward now” ? Who would be in a rush to have this individual reveal his “hole” card ? (Why does one ASSUME that a “hole” card even exists ????)

    Certainly the average Fremont resident is going to possess a healthy does of skepticism about Centerville development. They all recall that the history of this “development” has been one of repeated good intentions and plans only to see those intentions and plans replaced with new ideas. So, WHO needs the Reverend to reveal his intentions NOW ??? Why is this web site, this individual and his intentions NOW of concern and to whom ???

    In conclusion, it seems like our preoccupation with Mr. Green is driven more by his recent pursuit of producing a docudrama and less by his long-standing vision of building a “Little Kabul”. . . . . and I have to wonder – WHO would care ? Who do YOU think would care Fremonter ?

    P.S. –
    If Artz wants to write a FULL story on this individual and their community vision, I’m betting even Matty can figure out how to use a phone book. Why do you suggest he needs MY help ?

  9. Just by way of clarification, I used a colloquial term in an earlier post – whole card – which, while in common use among my associates, appears to have been unclear to some folks. It’s intended use is to describe the full (as in whole) story of a person, concept or idea. I used it as a request for more detailed information about Mr. Green and his proposed development, not to imply anything sinister about him or his concept. Sorry for any confusion.

    An added note – there would be no reason for the docudrama to be done if the proposal for the development did not exist. The proposed development is the stated reason for doing the specific docudrama that Mr. Green proposes. The docudrama only concerns me to the extent that it would document the process which has the potential to lead to the bulldozing of old town Centerville.

  10. An answer (or perhaps a correction) to Californiaguy’s percentages issue…

    Centerville is sometimes nick-named “Little Kabul” not because it has an overall high percentage of Afgans, but because it has the highest population of Afgans living in the US.

    Check out this small article from USA Today:


  11. Andrew,

    In the 2000 census, Afghans were counted under the category of “Other Asian.” Other meaning not Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Filipino, etc. The total in that category is 4056, as I recall, making the Fremont population somewhat less than that. The inflated number read in various national publications is the result of sloppy journalism, simply depending on someone else’s number and never verifying it.

    In actuality, the city with the greatest number of Afghans is Alexandria, Virginia (or Arlington), I’m too lazy to look it up.

  12. Niles –

    The correct colloquialism is “hole card” as in ” A card in stud poker that is dealt face-down and that the holder is not obliged to reveal before the showdown.”


    A “bulldozing of Centerville” which Niles states is their “concern” is premature in the absence of a plan or design and certainly seems contrary to the stated intent to not be guilty of “offending the host community of Fremont”

    I encourage the docudrama and it would appear to be an excellent way of publicizing the exchanging of ideas and actions of all concerned.

    I’ll speculate that the chances for the Reverend to obtain the necessary grants make all of this a rather mute point.

  13. I think we may be talking about two different sayings, B. Mine, whole card, came from my Mom who was an equestrienne and her side of the family. I believe the term had it’s origins in horse racing, where “whole card” referred to the win-place-show history of a particular horse. In time it broadened to the full history of a person or issue. In retrospect, it was probably too obscure to use here, but I hear it so often from family and close friends that I didn’t realize that others were not familiar with it.

    I would question the prematurity of my concern when Mr. Green’s own site states that the proposed project would “involve bulldozing most of Fremont Blvd. around the historic theatre (including the old—but hardly landmark—fire station)”. Sounds like the “bulldozing of Centerville” to me. I can only go by what he states that he wants to do, and that is what my concerns arise from.

    Of course, if we had City management who were capable of accurately assessing the relative values of proposed developments, I would not be so concerned. Unfortunately, current City management seem capable of consistently backing the most hare-brained proposals that present themselves while allowing the proposals with the potential to benefit the City and its residents to die of neglect.

  14. Wow, Niles – I’ll accept your version of “whole card” as new insight.

    I have to say that our Grandad Clyde who lived a lifetime handling, managing, and grooming horses for a couple of the Peninsulas’ well heeled families, never used this term – unless it was in relation to that one last face down “hole” card he was holding . . . . . in a game of poker ( and which WASN’T Texas Hold’em)

    I guess premature is in relation to several events that would have to take place BEFORE your worst fears could be realized – – – things like, a design, an application to the city, loads of financing, design reveiws, EIR, etc., etc., etc., (Gus – could jump in here and tell us the precise sequence of events) – but, those activities feel like they would be several years in the making before any ‘dozers or wrecking balls are turned loose.

    While I admire the Rev for his verbalizing a concept and desire to pursue same – – – I think he has a tall hill to climb before his vision is reality.

    Thus – my conclusion that concerns about Centerville getting “bulldozed” feel premature . . .

    P.S – how many Centerville “designs” have you seen come and go ?

  15. The apparent obscurity of the term may be related to that part of the family’s Maryland origins – anyway, ’nuff said about that.

    Sure hope you’re right about the viability of the plan. I try to put my anxiety on hold pending further information. Happy holidays!

  16. Gus,

    Thank you for the updated information. Good to know.

    That is still the story behind the nick-name, regardless.

    Could you sight your source for your figures in Virginia? I’d be interested in taking a look.

    Thanks! 🙂

  17. Guys, the last thing to worry about is bulldozing of centerville. My gut feeling is 10 years from now, that damn place is going to look the same as it now (an old wild west town). I see no sane guy investing money in that place. And adding “little kabul” label to it, makes it even more ghetto than it actually is. Sorry, this is the reality.

  18. Virginia data is from the census bureau. The story about the name, “Little Kabul” comes from a grocery store owner who proclaimed, in the Argus, that Centerville should be called Little Kabul. 9/11 came along and it got picked up by the same lazy journalists (not all journalists, but a large bunch) who decided there were 20000 Afghans in Fremont.

    There were maybe a dozen Afghan businesses in Centerville, mostly because the rents were low and marginal businesses could subsist. Marty is right (darn it) that the place won’t change for a while. It will take success with the redevelopment project, followed by increasing rents coupled with upgrades by property owners to make the place attractive so there is some change driven by the market.

  19. Hahaha.. this is funny.. what a joke. Like it would actually ever happen.. please.

  20. Yup, that’s what they said about the stadium proposal too. Eternal vigilance, people. Question everything – it’s not just your right, it’s your duty.

  21. The poster reminds me of one of the Bob Hope & Bing Crosby road movies..

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