Community support for Fremont family facing deportation

Tatiana & EugeneThere seems to be a groundswell of support for Tatiana Miroshnik and Eugene Kotelnikov, her 16-year-old son, who have been served deportation papers to return to Russia by June 18.

Miroshnikov moved to Fremont 13 years ago and married a U.S. citizen but divorced before she had obtained her green card. She appealed, but the court decided this year not to grant her or her son permanent residency. (Eugene was 3 when he came to the U.S.)

Many members of Centerville Presbyterian Church, where Miroshnikov plays the violin, have been rallying for her to stay. They say a woman like Miroshnikov — a single mother who isn’t on welfare nor harmed anyone, and who has given back to the community by performing in various local music groups and promoting music education in schools — shouldn’t be targeted by U.S. immigration officials.

If she is deported, Miroshnikov would leave behind her U.S.-born daughters, ages 10 and 8, and cannot return to the United States for at least 10 years.

Tomorrow, classmates of the son at Washington High plan to march to Rep. Pete Stark’s Fremont office after school, about a mile-and-a-half from campus. Continue Reading


FUSD board rejects Harvey Milk Day resolution

Tonight, the Fremont Unified school board rejected a resolution supporting Harvey Milk Day, which honors the state’s first openly gay elected official who was slain in 1978.

Trustees Larry Sweeney, Ivy Wu and Lily Mei opposed the resolution; Bryan Gebhardt and Lara York supported it. This decision comes one day after the Fremont City Council voted to adopt a resolution mayor issued a proclamation supporting Harvey Milk Day.

The board was supposed to vote on the resolution two weeks ago, but the issue was tabled, an action which in and of itself upset many in the community.

I’ll be writing a story about this tomorrow.


Where in Fremont?

A couple of people have emailed me photos to include in the contest. I’ve found all of them totally impossible, but of all the impossible ones, I think this photo has the best composition. I’ll be on vacation the rest of the week, so I’m hoping the photographer will chime in if someone actually gets it.

In the meantime, click here Thursday for the latest on Harvey Milk, and visit the Political Blotter blog Wednesday for the latest on Obama’s Fremont visit.

where in fremont2


New life for Cinedome?

cinedome 8

I got a tip last week that Cinelux, a local movie theater chain will be moving into the shuttered Cinedome 7 8 this summer.

Little did I know, Cinelux’s interest in taking over Cinedome 7 8 was discussed at a March Economic Advisory Commission Meeting.

I’ve got calls into both Cinelux and SyWest, which owns the theater located in the struggling Mowry East shopping center. If get confirmation that a lease has been signed, I’ll post it here.


Violent crime down in Fremont, property crimes up

The FBI released crime stats for cities with more than 100,000 people.

In Fremont there were only 489 violent crimes reported, compared to 575 last year. And the murder rate was halved — from two to one.

Aggrivated assaults dropped from 304 in 2008 to 237 last year.

Meanwhile property crimes rose from 4,893 in 2008 to 4,978 last year.

For more info, click here.


Washington Hospital’s CEO once again tops salary list

Our newspaper group published a 2009 public employee salary roundup today. Once again Washington Hospital CEO Nancy Farber topped the list.  She made more than $800,000 again last year.

Regarding last week’s discussion about whether Fremont should contract out its fire services to the Alameda County Fire Department, the story notes that county fire department employees (both sworn and non-sworn) had the highest salaries in the survey.

The Alameda County Fire Department, which is a special district governed by the board of supervisors that maintains its own payroll system, had the highest average salary of the 109 entities: Its 311 full-time employees averaged $144,345.23 in 2009.

To read the entire story, click here.


Fremont News of the Day


A Washington High student might be the next Karate kid.

More drama at the Besaro Mobile Home Park, where park owners are still pressing for a major rent increase.

Tesla Toyota and Jobs.

Tesla keeping headquarters in Palo Alto.

From the cops:

Two men in dark clothes flashed a handgun and relieved a victim of his/her backpack and laptop in the vicinity of Cabrillo Drive and Nicolet Avenue. The robbers left in a dark blue, two-door care with tinted windows and a low profile spoiler on the deck lid.


The old Centerville Fire Station

firehouseIn last week’s super-long council report, I noted that David Beretta and Jack Rogers were listening to the discussion on the future of Centerville’s commercial center and that council members were asking about the future of the former Centerville Fire Station (photographed right) on Fremont Boulevard between the Bob’s Hoagy Steaks and Yuk Wah Chinese restaurant.

What I didn’t fully grasp is that Beretta was there because he wants to buy the fire station. Beretta — and possibly his family members, including Rogers — own the the entire eastern side of Fremont Boulevard from Peralta Avenue to Parish Avenue except for the fire station.

If Beretta acquired the station, he would own a contiguous swath of land nearly the size as the big vacant lot directly north that the city has been sitting on for several years.

What would Beretta do if he owned the entire block. Sell it to a developer? I don’t know. He didn’t call me back last week. Councilmember Anu Natarajan asked him the same question when they met before last week’s council meeting. She said he didn’t give her an answer either.

Beretta, who owns a share of the Besaro Mobile Home Park, hasn’t been an ambitious builder in Fremont. He’s pushing to get more money out of the mobile home park; and a few years back, he and his lawyer successfully lobbied the council to allow a mini storage facility on property he owned just two blocks from the Future Warm Springs Bart Station — Fremont’s new green technology hub.

Bill Harrison and Steve Cho were the votes that allowed that to happen, although Harrison argues that once the BART station is built, the land will be worth too much to keep the storage facility.

If Beretta does come up with a great idea for Centerville or finds a developer with a grand plan, Natarajan said she would support negotiating with him for the fire station, even though he’s suing Fremont for the second time in five years over Besaro.

The fire station has been empty for more than a year now. Originally, there was talk that the firefighters union would rent it out, but that didn’t materialize. There’s also been talk of the city using it either as an entertainment venue or for social service programs.

Most of the properties on that side of Fremont Boulevard are listed as being owned by Franmar, a partnership for which Beretta is the agent.


Police reports from the weekend

mickeycopA resident on Musk Terrace in North Fremont lost jewelry and a purse when burglars broke into his/her house while he/she was out walking the dog.

A 17-year-old was arrested for DUI early Sunday morning after he flipped his car with his 15-year-old girlfriend inside near the intersection of Fremont Boulevard and Central Avenue. The teen’s vehicle flipped onto two parked cars, but no one was hurt, Sgt. Chris Mazzone said.

Residents in the are of Roberts and Havens avenues reported hearing a loud explosion. It turned out to be a Cadillac Escalade on fire down the street.  The car was reported stolen out of San Jose and the the fire appeared to be arson.

About 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning police were called out to the area around Thornton Avenue and Blacow Road for a reported auto burglary, Sgt. Mazzone said. Thirty minutes later the same officers were called to a nearby domestic disturbance. The officers entered the home where they found many items reported stolen from the auto burglary as well as cut stereo wires, Mazzone said. The offers searched the area and found that five cars had been broken into that night. The victims arrived at the house where the domestic disturbance was reported, and identified their property.

Also on Friday afternoon, in the area of Thornton Avenue and Dutra Way, police responded to a report of an armed man holding his girlfriend and his family against his will. That turned out not to be true. But the man was a parolee, and police did arrest him. A neighbor sent me photos of the police response:

police action2


Classic Truck on display this weekend


This Ford truck was purchased 76 years ago just down the street from Argus headquarters in Centerville. It’s been in the same Tri-City area family for five generations, and this weekend it’ll be at the National Antique Truck Show at the Alameda County Fair Grounds on May 27, 28 & 29 in Pleasanton.

We might have a story later this week about the family that has owned and restored the truck. Their roots here go back many generations.