City Council Wrap-up

My apologies on not live-blogging last night’s council meeting. It was actually pretty interesting if you were among the 40 people who care exactly where the skate park will be built. Otherwise you were better off watching Janet Pederson of Newark compete on ABC’s Wipeout.

As for the council, after some back and forth they decided to put the skate park right next to the water park along Paseo Padre Parkway. That pissed off several residents along Paseo Padre, who had urged them to consider two other park locations: one near the Teen Center and the other at the corner of Stevenson Boulevard and Paseo Padre.

That vacant corner had long been the proposed site for a performing arts center, but if that ever gets built it’ll probably be somewhere a little bit to the northwest between Walnut Avenue and Mowry Avenue.

Councilmembers Anu Natarajan and Sue Chan were especially interested in the corner site — with a possible cricket field to one day go beside the skate park — but the mayor and Councilmember Bill Harrison were afraid that switching sites could lead to delays and prevent the city from getting the skate park built by next fall.

Councilmember Wieckowski preferred the site near the Water Park, so when it was clear there were three votes to put the skate park near the water park, Natarajan and Chan fell into line and the vote was unanimous.


Fremont News of the Day

fremont_news_linkFrom the cops:
A male found two WWII vintage large artillery rounds stored in the shed outside the home of a deceased relative.
He removed the rounds and brought them to police headquarters. Turned out ammo was apparently still live, and the bomb squad had to remove the rounds.

From the wire:
Lane closures on I-680 to get ready for toll lane debut next week.
PG&E listed Fremont pipeline as one of the most prone in the Bay Area
Omid Popal ruled incompetent to stand trial.


Fremont School Scores

The state released its scores for schools across California today, and we’ll have a regional story in tomorrow’s paper. I don’t like the idea of schools getting covered in the paper like sports, but I’m guessing a lot of  parents want to see the scores.

To see all of them, click here and scroll to Fremont.

Overall 32 of Fremont’s  42 schools earned the same or better scores as last year. Remember a score of 800 means the school is “high performing.”

Quick question, if parents would be so kind to oblige. To the parents who care about these scores, do you care because you think a higher score means your kids will have better teachers and better classes, or do you care because you think a higher score means your kids will be in classes with students who care more about academics and that’s a better environment for your kids? Please feel free to comment.

Now to the not very surprising scores:

The top scoring elementary schools were
1) Mission San Jose — 995
2) Gomes — 992
3) Chadbourne –974

Lowest scoring elementary schools:
1) Cabrillo Elementary — 764
2) Blacow Elementary — 794
3) Durham Elementary — 799

Biggest Elementary School Increase
1) Durham — +64 points from 735 to 799

Biggest Elementary School Decrease
2) Cabrillo — (negative) 36 points from 800 to 764

Junior High School Scores
1) Hopkins Jr. High — 985
2) Horner Jr. High — 893
3) Thornton Jr. High — 871
4) Centerville Jr. High — 841
5) Walters Jr. High — 787

High School Scores
1) Mission San Jose — 952
2) Irvington — 858
3) American — 796
4) Washington — 764
5) Kennedy — 723


Fremont school scores (ethnic breakdown)

You don’t have to be from Taiwan or Bangalore to grasp that Fremont — like just about every diverse school district — as a big-time achievement gap when it comes to race and ethnicity. Remember a score of 800 equals high performance.

Here’s the breakdown:

Subgroup                                2010        2009
African American                    700            691
Latino                                    714             712
White                                     830             824
Asian                                     952             945


Fremont loses Lebanese restaurant

A TCB reader emailed this to me. I haven’t been able to get person or answering machine when I called the restaurant the past couple of days, so it looks to be true.

Am I the only person in town totally excited by the surge in vegetarian Indian restaurants over the past year?

Much more exciting than the surge in 7-11 robberies.

Fremont’s only Lebanese restaurant closed in August.  Habibi Restaurant had been in business for a long time.


According to a yelp reviewer:

“The owners sold it to Biryani Bowl and retired.  It’s being turned into a vegetarian Indian restaurant (or so says the guy working at the liquor store next door).”


Fremont News of the Day

fremont_news_linkFrom the cops

Yet another 7-11 robbery. This one was on at 4:19 a.m. on Gable Drive.  A man walked into the store and asked for cigarettes. When the clerk turned back to face the customer, the customer was holding a pistol. The clerk called the store owner, not the cops. The owner called the cops several hours after the robbery.

From my inbox:
School Board member Ivy Wu emailed me about a cleanup this weekend at the Tropics Mobile Park in Union City. About 150 volunteers from Resonate Movement Church, Grace Church, Abundant Life Christian Fellowship, the Fremont Sikh Temple and other organizations under Compassion Network helped out. Here’s a photo:



School district interested in 40 acres at Patterson Ranch

If Fremont is going to build a new school or schools in the Ardenwood district, the most likely location will be adjacent to the proposed Patterson Ranch subdivision, west of Ardenwood Boulevard.

Fremont Unified Superintendent Jim Morris recently wrote to the Patterson’s chief planner:

We would like to go on record at this time as accepting your officer to donate to the Fremont Unified School District 40 acres or more of the 50-acre parcel to the west of Ardenwood Boulevard. We would like to have the flexibility to consider a future school site in that location.

The district was hoping that the Pattersons would pay to build a new school, but the family dropped that offer after scaling down their housing project from abut 1500 units several years ago to between 500-520 in the current plan.

The Patterson’s haven’t actually offered the site, but it seems likely the would since they’ve got more than 300 acres west of Ardenwood  nearly all of which is being dedicated to open space.

A land gift to the district might piss off environmentalists who want all of the land west of Ardenwood undeveloped since it’s so close to Coyote Hills Regional Park.

 Schools officials say they don’t know yet whether the land, which is in a liquifaction zone and could have drainage issues, is a suitable location for a school.

And the district has no money to build a new school. The school board probably have to go out for a new bond measure to pay for it.

But the district does have some leverage in negotiating with the Pattersons. Without no available space in the Ardenwood district’s already overcrowded elementary schools, the district could make new residents send their children as far away as Warm Springs for school.

The school board says they don’t want to do that, and they mean it. But the implied threat would make it harder for the developer to sell those homes at market value.



Washington Hospital nurse says nurses fear retaliation from management

In July, I wrote this story about nurses at Washington Hospital’s Birth Center (2 West) saying that they were being retaliated against by management after a stillborn birth at the hospital.

Several nurses were forced out, and several more were forced into remedial education classes because of alleged negative reviews from colleagues, according to the nurses union.

Last month, one of the  birthing center nurses ordered into the remedial education class for more than two months even though she wasn’t connected to the stillborn birth addressed the hospital’s Board of Directors and its CEO Nancy Farber.

Below is a portion of what she said.


Allstate’s dubious safe driver rankings

A colleague is writing a story about Allstate’s recently released good driver rankings, so I had to sneak a peak.

Fremont is ranked 152nd best in the nation.
New York City is ranked 159th.

I think we’re putting a positive spin on it, but … ouch.

That’s like saying Fremont has only slightly less smog than Los Angeles, a slightly better economy than Detroit, or slightly fewer smelly old hippies than Berkeley.

Fremont might not give residents much reason to leave their homes, but once behind the wheel, Fremont folks can teach New Yorkers a thing or two about yielding and merging.

Fort Collins, CO has the safest drivers.
Washington D.C. has the least safe.


Fremont News of the Day

fremont_news_linkFrom the cops:
Two transients in the area of Capitol Avenue and State Street had a disagreement and decided to battle each other with sticks, bats, and pepper spray. There were no clear winners. Both went to jail for assault with a deadly weapon.