Television is a strange medium. It makes Mayor Wasserman look younger and City Manager Fred Diaz look older. But it apparently has no affect on city officials like Norm Hughes and Lori Taylor.
The Fremont Firefighters union have responded to the negative mailer the police union sent against Bill Harrison.
Firefighters union President Jim Martin sent out a robo-call to Fremont residents on Friday telling voters that despite what they may have read, Harrison supports public safety. The call didn’t specifically mention the police union’s mailer.
Harrison is apparently tight with the firefighters union. He does their accounting work. The union has paid his firm about $4,500 so far this year, according to the union’s two most recent campaign disclosures.
Meanwhile, I also got a robo-call from outgoing Assemblyman Alberto Torrico telling me to vote Jan Giovannini-Hill for Ohlone College Trustee. Amusing how he and his predecessor John Dutra always seem to disagree on any tightly contested local race.
UPDATE II: Three men rob Union City liquor store at gunpoint
By Roman Gokhman
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 10/29/2010 10:00:50 PM PDT
Updated: 10/29/2010 10:00:50 PM PDT
UNION CITY — Three masked men wielding guns robbed a liquor store Friday afternoon. One suspect was eventually arrested but two others escaped.
The robbery occurred shortly before 2:15 p.m. at Mission View Food and Liquors, in the 33500 block of Mission Boulevard, police said.
The robbers burst into the store and ordered customers and employees to the ground. After taking money and other property, which police did not disclose, the robbers drove away in a white two-door coupe.
A few minutes later a Fremont officer stopped a vehicle matching the description of the robbers’ car but the occupants ran away.
Police surrounded the area and caught one suspect, whose name was not released Friday. Officers also found several weapons.
Anyone with information about the crime or the robbers can call police at 510-471-1365.
UPDATE: Not a good day for a scanner malfunction or a breaking cops story. I haven’t been able to get to the scene or get the a police officer on the line who’s got a lot of details.
Niles people say they’ve caught a couple of the perps, but are still telling people to stay inside. Hopefully we’ll have something definitive in the Morning Report section, but I’ve got to go.
Officers and a helicoptor are in the Niles district looking for multiple armed men, who committed a robbery in Union City.
From the Hayward Hall of Justice
Felix Chavez, the Fremont courthouse clerk, who plead no contest to a charge of embezzlement for dismissing traffic citations in exchange for cash was sentenced to six months jail and 5 years probation this morning. He’ll also have to pay more than $8,000.
From the cops:
Shots were fired on the 4400 block of Romilly Way in north Fremont. Officers found casings and bullet holes in a garage, but no shooters.
A dispute in an apartment complex at 3600 Stevenson Boulevard led to a fight, which led to one man brandishing a handgun. That led to the arrival of the police, who arrested the gunman.
UPDATE: I did talk to police union President Greg Pipp late Friday afternoon, although I don’t have my notes here at home. Pipp said the police were disappointed in Harrison because they thought he’d be a leader in addressing their staffing concerns, but they said he failed.
Pipp said Anu Natarajan opposed Patterson Ranch, which he argued would stretch forces even thinner. Pipp also noted that she supported district elections, which Pipp said would make for a more responsive City Council.
I didn’t have time to get into the fine print of whether Natarajan really opposed Patterson Ranch, but I did ask how district elections and one very large development would really impact police staffing.
He reply was pretty much that at least Natarajan is trying to change things at City Hall, while Harrison is “status quo.”
I was right up against deadline, so the conversation was somewhat brief. I didn’t ask why the union didn’t endorse Vinnie Bacon and Kathy McDonald if they were so opposed to Patterson Ranch and so in favor of district elections.
I also didn’t discuss the fact that in order to have district elections, Fremont would need to pass a charter, and that a charter would allow the police and fire unions an opportunity to ask voters to allow their contract disputes to go to binding arbitration — something the unions generally support and city management fears.
I haven’t given much thought to whether unions or other interest groups would wield more power if Fremont went to district elections.
Most of the other folks I talked to (City Council members current and former) said the mailer was probably in response to city requests for cops to give back a percentage of their salaries.
I’m waiting for the police union chief to give me a call explaining why cops like Anu Natarajan, but not Bill Harrison. Below is the mailer the police union sent out this week asking voters to oppose Harrison.
I got a few interesting emails today:
This one shows the not so surprising foreclosure rates in Fremont based on neighborhood.
One person emailed me an Anu Natarajan poster, which I suppose one could read as “A nude livers,”
And someone also decided to see which major Fremont candidate had the most facebook friends. It’s Anu Natarajan.
Here’s the tally:
Bill Harrison has 1,483
Vinnie Bacon has 1,638.
Anu Natarajan has 1,793.
I remember Anu and Vinnie barely having any facebook friends when I started befriending people at a record clip. Now I’m stuck at about 920 and those two have passed me by. I think Harrison has always had more facebook friends than me, so at least he’s consistent.
Ooh! One more. A 64-year-old man emailed this to me. Good to see you’re never too old to enjoy a little fifth grade humor:
UPDATE: I talked to the mother of one of the boys injured on Scott Creek Road. A few new details
1) There were five boys walking home from school about 3:10 p.m.
2) One boy suffered a broken skull.
3) Another boy suffered a broken skull, broken nose and broken arm
4) A third boy needed 40 stitches to close a major cut on his forehead.
They were walking up Scott Creek Road near Riesling, when they saw the vehicle flipping over down the road heading toward them. They ran into the bushes to try to avoid the van.
From the cops:
Four Horner Middle School students sustained non life-threatening injuries when a motorist lost control of his/her SUV on Scott Creek Road. The vehicle rolled onto the sidewalk striking a light pole, trees and the four students, none of whom were in school today. The students were taken to area hospitals, as was at least one passenger in the car. Authorities said the driver was speeding, but that alcohol didn’t appear to be a factor in the crash.
Newark police were called to the area of Lafayette and Ruschin where car was parked in the middle of the road without a right front tire. Officers contacted the owner, who didn’t know how or where she lost the tire. But gouge marks in the road appeared to show that she had driven without the tire at least from I-880. Officers arrested her for DUI.
From the wire:
Two items of note from the recent round of Fremont City Council campaign contributions filings.
1) Still no Patterson money, although in 2008 Patterson kin waited until just a couple days before the election to give a lot of moolah to one candidate.
2) If Bill Harrison and Anu Natarajan do run for mayor in 2012, Harrison could start off with a significant money advantage.
Harrison, the accountant, had $45,712 in the bank as of last week. He said he’ll spend some more on this race, but he’s setting himself up for a tidy war chest heading into the mayoral race, for which he has NOT declared.
Natarajan meanwhile raised $23,529 during the first three weeks of October. But she had only $4,684 in the bank. That means if she runs for mayor in two years, she’s starting from scratch.
Natarajan got a lot money from a lot of people who will be celebrating Diwali next week. She also got $250 from the wife of Jack Rogers. She is one of thw owners of the Besaro Mobile Home Park trying to get the over 55 tenants to accept a major rent increase.
Natarajan as of last week at received $47,879 in contributions. Harrison had received $62,095 and Vinnie Bacon had received $23,965, including $5,000 from his bank account.
From the cops:
Four people followed a man into the public storage facility on Albrae, near Stevenson Boulevard and I-880. They confronted the man at his storage facility and stole a variety of recording equipment that he kept in his storage locker.
Meanwhile in Newark, an officer stopped a group of juvys at Birch Grove Park. One of the kids had a jar full of marijuana. He was arrested.
From the wire:
Tesla opens today with Diane Feinstein headlining, and Fremont is one of several Bay Area cities to receive a grant for electric vehicles.