Old habits blow hard

It only took a few days after Fremont opened the new Paseo Padre underpass for Union Pacific to take down the railroad crossing equipment and flashing red crossing lights along Paseo Padre just south of Central Park.

How long will it take for train drivers to stop blowing their whistles and pissing people off at a crossing that no longer exists? Apparently, longer than it should. I’ve been getting emails about the train horns persisting. One driver blew his horn at a 3 a.m. in the morning at the now phantom crossing.


Good to Fair to Poor

Fremont recently completed a new road survey. Not good news. The city’s roads have gone from “good” to “fair” and in more than a decade they’ll probably be “poor”

On a scale of 1 to 100 Fremont rates a 64, although a small boo-boo by the consultant might have cost the city a point. Seven years ago the city was a smooth 79.

They things are going by 2018 Fremont will be an even 50. That’ll be like having Oakland’s streets, but not its baseball team.

Apparently, the cost of maintenance is up and the money to do street repairs is stagnant. The city would need about $15 million a year just to keep the streets in their “fair” state. It doesn’t even have half that.

In brighter news, Union City expects its new rating to be a 78. Newark expects to be a 71.


Layoffs at Ohlone

Ohlone is laying off several classified workers. It’s hard to tell how many, but it’s the equivalent of nearly 5 full-time employees., none of whom are teachers.

I’ve talked to several people recently who want to teach at community colleges. It seems getting a pension and avoiding contact with rowdy high school kids is the new American Deam.

There are even people who apply to Journalism School in hopes of being able to one day teach journalism in a Community College.


Fremont could get money to redevelop NUMMI site

President Obama’s Car Tzar and a gaggle of federal  officials were in Newark to talk about the demise of NUMMI, and, of course, tour the new Ohlone College campus, which for all its high tech greenery gets terrible Blackberry reception.

The Tzar, Ed Montgomery, didn’t make any promises but he said Fremont potentially was in line for grants to replan/rezone the NUMMI site. Mayor Wasserman said a federal agency had contacted the city about a planning grant.

Meanwhile union folks and county officials like Supervisor Keith Carson kept saying they weren’t giving up on keeping the facility open for a new car manufacturer. That way the workers could keep there jobs and NUMMI wouldn’t have to deconominate the land around the plant.


Big NUMMI Meeting tomorrow

A lot of federal official bigwigs will be at Ohlone’s Newark campus tomorrow afternoon to discuss the impending NUMMI shutdown. The meeting starts at 2 p.m.

It looks like the feds are open to “$upporting” the communities affected by the NUMMI closure.

They asked one Tri-City elected official to address these questions:

1)      What are the biggest challenges you will face as a result of the
layoffs at NUMMI? 

2)      What are the assets your community is trying to build on moving

3)      What federal programs have you taken advantage of or tried to

4)      What obstacles have you encountered in securing help?

5)      What projects or programs would you most like additional
to fund?


Altmont Express could live up to its name

A story about this was in today’s paper.

Traveling from Stockton to San Jose takes more than two hours on the Altamont Express Corridor, which makes its most important stop in Fremont’s Centerville district.

But some planner types have studied udgrading the corridor with faster electric trains that can zip through the route in about one hour. They’d even like to add some stations along the way, maybe in Fremont.

You can see the plans yourself from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Fremont Teen Center, 39770 Paseo Padre Parkway.


Photo Exhibit

This photo won First Place in the Fremont Cultural Art Council’s 16th annual Juried Photography Contest. It and a bunch of other photos will be on display from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the main library’s Fukaya Room. It’s free.


New Water Tunnel into Fremont

The SF Public Utilities Commission approved the new Irvington Tunnel today. The seismically strong tunnel will bring fresh water in the Bay Area right next to the seismically challenged Irvington Tunnel.

The tunnel is named for Irvington, but when the construction starts in April, the impacts will be in the Mission district, along Mission Boulevard near Mission High to be more percise.