Fremont/Newark News of the Day

fremontFrom the cops:
Three gunmen burst into the Chuck E. Cheese in Newark just before 10 p.m. Friday and herded patrons, including many kiddies into a storage room. Cops arrived after the gunmen had left with the loot. The nearby Chevy’s was on lock-down for a bit.

Newark police arrested two teenage girls who tried to shoplift stuff from the Burlington Coat Factory.

Newark police responded to two instances of irate parents at children’s soccer games. In both cases, the parents were drunk.

A woman was making a transaction at the Bank of the West ATM machine on Mowry Avenue in Fremont, when a 20-something-year-old man pushed her to the ground, pointed a gun at her and demanded money. She told him she didn’t have any, and he fled in a Lexus registered out of Oakland. Police suspect the same perp was later involved in a Newark robbery.

A 14-year-old boy suffered two broken legs trying to jaywalk across Mission Boulevard at Paseo Padre Parkway. The light for oncoming traffic was green and the kid wasn’t in a crosswalk when he got hit.

Two men enter entered California Bank and proceeded to jump the counter, issue a death threat and demand money. The got what they came for without ever showing a gun and left in a Chrysler 300 before police arrived.

The Little Grocer on Grimmer Boulevard was visited Saturday by three men wearing masks and carrying handguns. The men relieved the clerk of cash and some booze before fleeing in what police say may have been a gold Ford Tempo.

 From the wire:

Fremont men plead not guilty to cabbie abduction.
Niles travel guide in Mercury News
From today’s paper here’s my story on the upcoming council appointment.
Lastly, what would a farewell to John Weed story be without a prominent mention of “over-sized blue genitals.”

For more about Weed, I found this story that ran about him from 1995 in the Mercury News.

One elected office isn’t enough for Fremont resident John Weed. Next month the Ohlone College board member will also become a director for the Alameda County Water District.

One profession isn’t enough for his private life, either.
Weed is a civil engineer, an attorney, a developer, a real estate broker and a colonel in the Air Force reserve. He is also opening a dinner theater in Niles.
Then there is his avocation: bird-dogging Fremont city government, local politicians and local newspapers. Weed frequently peppers city staff members with detailed questions on a range of subjects, including sidewalks in Mission San Jose, the Interstate 880 overpasses and seismic safety of public buildings.


“Public policy is a serious and very important element of our community, ” said the serious-minded Weed, who has a no-nonsense approach to public service. “Hopefully it’s done in an intelligent manner. . . . I certainly try and hopefully succeed.”


Weed has been on the Ohlone board since 1977, and won election to his most recent four-year term in 1994. He attributes his water district victory last month to “qualifications, . . . but being first on the ballot was a factor as well.”


Three times in the past, Weed tried and failed to win a second public office. He ran for Alameda County supervisor in 1980, the water district in 1992 and the Union Sanitary District in 1994.


Not everyone is thrilled that he finally has won a second public office.


“I frankly think he ought to resign from one (board) or the other, ” said Councilman John Dutra. “It’s difficult to serve two masters.”


Weed, 49, maintains there are no conflicts.


“These are clearly two separate functions . . . (with) no overlap of responsibilities, ” Weed said.


A person can hold two offices as long as there is no “conflict between potentially overlapping public duties, ” according to what the state attorney general’s office calls the “Common Law Doctrine of Incompatible Offices.”


For example, a person cannot serve on two water district boards because the action of one district could affect the other. Likewise a county superintendent of schools cannot serve on the state board of education.


The state attorney general does not automatically review every situation. A review is triggered by a court challenge. At this point, no one is disputing Weed’s ability to serve on the water and college boards.


Despite his long years of service on the college board, Weed is not a well-known name in Fremont. But he is very well-known among Fremont’s political activists.


During interviews with a half dozen of them, there was no shortage of descriptions for Weed: intelligent, honest, serious, sedate, bullheaded, dignified, pedantic, dogmatic, complex, enig matic.


‘Very intense’


“He’s a very intense person and he really spends a lot of time delving into issues that concern him, ” said Councilman Bob Wasserman.


Dutra, never a fan of Weed, respects his credentials. But he complains that Weed gets so hung up on the minutiae of issues such as deed restrictions on projects that he loses sight of the big picture.


“He’s definitely a unique character on the political scene, ” Dutra said.


Weed’s style sometimes even exasperates his allies.


“He’s an honest, good person who can sometimes be a pest, ” said one veteran Fremont political activist who asked not to be named.


Weed seemed interested to hear the comments, but not upset. No outward anger or irritation. No response or counter-attack, other than to say he has an “engineer’s training and temperament.”


“It’s always good to get feedback on your role and function, ” Weed said. “Any criticism, whether positive or negative, is good.”


Military background


Weed comes from a military background. His father, Hampton, is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel. The younger Weed served in the Air Force in Vietnam and has been a reserve officer for 23 years.


Cecilia Weed, longtime historical preservation activist, describes her son as the most honest person she’s ever known, someone who is thorough and conscientious about his public duties.


She recalled her son, who grew up on military bases, as an intensely patriotic youngster. If they were in the car when retreat was called and the flag taken down at 5 p.m., young John would order his mother to stop the car so he could get out, stand up and snap to attention.


Weed doesn’t rule out snapping to attention and running for a third public office:


“Given the time or opportunity, I wouldn’t rule out running for another office, but certainly not in the near future.”



Matt Artz