Business problems kept Lorenz from applying, Zlatnik wouldn’t run in 2012

Got some more text messages from Dirk Lorenz.

He said his business interests aren’t doing so hot, and he needs to focus his attention on that.

Also talked to Judy Zlatnik. Here’s what she said:

I have always felt that elected public officials should be just that, elected public officials. I think it’s very difficult for the council to appoint someone to that position. I just think it’s a rocky situation for council to bestow a political advantage to a candidate. I think it’s especially awkward to select someone who hasn’t run…

In a nutshell I applied to give the council the option of appointing an old hand to the job, who would only be thinking of helping the city with the crisis that it’s in.


Lorenz sends out text message, will run in 2012

The problem with text messages is you can’t copy and paste them:

From Dirk:

I wanted my friends to know that I have NOT applied for the vacant council seat. It was with much deliberation after seeking advice from those I have great respect for that I made this decision. Thank you for your encouragement and faith in my ability to serve our city. I look forward to a robust campaign in two years.

I’ll make some calls. My early read is that this makes it more likely the council picks a caretaker, who won’t run for election in 2012.


Applicants are in for City Council appointment / Lorenz didn’t apply

Here are your candidates:

Vinnie Bacon
David Bonaccorsi
Robert Brunton
Robert Carothers
Yogi Chugh
Teresa Cox
Dominic Dutra
Toai Le
Raj Salwan
Rakesh Sharma
Moina Shaiq Siddigi
Linda Suoev
James Thomas
Judith (Judy) Zlatnik
I’m really surprised that Dirk Lorenz didn’t apply. The sense I got was he had a good chance of getting the appointment, especially if he changed party affiliation.
I’ll try to handicap this sometime after the Giants game, probably on Tuesday. Obviously Dominic Dutra is intriguing. Not sure if he’s putting his name out there as a placeholder, who wouldn’t run in two years. I’m guessing that is the case with Zlatnik, but I’ll call her too.

Fremont News of the Day

fremontFrom the cops:
Two folks in the area of Sundale and Trinity were approached by men who they had seen before around the Park Villa Apartments. This time the men beat the victims and stole their cell phones.

When a couple split up Friday, the boyfriend became distraught and tried to hang himself from a dog leash in his bathroom. The girlfriend called the cops, who found the man hanging from the leash with no pulse. But the officers administered CPR and got the boyfriend’s pulse going again.

A mad at the Huddle bar confronted a rowdy patron and tried to calm him down. The rowdy one punched the victim and hit him with a bottle.

From the wire:
Yay special ed teachers
Fremont to appoint qualified candidate to replace Wieckowski


Mountain Lion Sighting in north Fremont

The feline was seen along Alameda Creek Saturday evening near Niles and Centerville.
The Alameda County Water District folks spotted it. Here’s what they sent, via the Niles Chat Group.

There was a mountain lion sighting today near pit T-2– not far from rubber dam #2 on Alameda Creek
East Bay Regional Park officers are taking the lead in responding. (former Quarry Pit T-2 is near Paseo Padre Parkway and Peralta Avenue)

Also there was a shooting last night at Kirby’s.

From Alan Lopez:

A man is in critical condition at a San Jose trauma center after being shot once in the parking lot of a popular Fremont sports bar Saturday night.

Police received a call at 11:40 p.m. of a gun being brandished at Kirby’s Sports Bar at 42312 Fremont Blvd.

After checking the area, police found the victim down the street from the bar, Fremont police Sgt. Steve Pace said.

“It looks like he’ll make it but it’s touch and go at this time,” Pace said Sunday morning.

A short time later, police pulled over a black Range Rover identified by witnesses as the suspect vehicle at Fremont and Washington boulevards a short distance from the sports bar. Three men in the vehicle were detained for questioning and two have been released, Pace said.


Pa rum pum pum pum

Sorry the blog has been slow since I got back from New York. The same thing happened last December. It’s not that I’ve stopped caring about Fremont, or started caring about Ohlone College, it’s that I’m super into Christmas songs.

It’s all KOIT (96.5 FM), all the the time for me this month. So the spare moments I usually spend blogging about the latest 7-Eleven strong-arm are now spent trying to guess when the Bing Crosby/David Bowie rendition of Little Drummer Boy will be back on the radio.

I love all the classics, especially the really Jesus-ee ones like The First Noel, Joy to World and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. My only wish is that KOIT would stop playing carols by Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Aaron Neville.

Dion over-sings everything and Neville sounds like someone just kicked him in the nads.

My Christmas present came early this year in the form of a burly Italian with great hair. Chris De Benedetti is back at The Argus, covering cops and the little town of Newark.

After a long autumn, we’re back at full-strength with three full-time reporters covering the Tri-City area. That’s one of us for roughly every 113,000 of you Walmart shoppers.

Our staffing is still less than half of what it was in 2006, but at least it’s more accomplished.

You’ve got one reporter who’s produced a feature length documentary, another who’s published the perfect stocking stuffer of a book and, of course, the surefire winner of any Fremont longest face competition.

Welcome Back, Chris, from your favorite Sicilian donkey. Buon Natale!!! Hee-haw, Hee-haw, Hee-haw.


Get these guys a lawyer


UPDATE: So much for reader apathy. I got four voicemails Saturday about the Ohlone stories and one long-winded spirited comment. Three of the voicemails thanked me for the stories, but the fourth noted that I used the wrong reigns/reins in referring to Gari Browning taking over the Ohlone job. I wrote “reigns” as in the queen, when I meant “reins” as in directing a horse. Oops.

I’ve got two stories about Ohlone College in today’s paper. If there’s one thing that binds them — in addition to surefire reader apathy — it’s that they both show that the board could benefit from an attorney.

In November, the board decided it didn’t need vote publicly on a nearly 14 percent raise for the college president. But state law clearly says it does and that it has to first go on an agenda. In January, under pressure from unions, the board will do just that.

Ohlone President Gari Browning told me she wasn’t trying to keep her raise a secret.

Still the announcement could hardly have been less forthcoming. It was one sentence tucked into the meeting minutes from last month:

“During closed session, the board took action on the president/superintendent’s contract, including extension of the contract until June 30, 2014.”

Kinda neglects the salary increase and the huge housing expense increase.

The raise really pissed off some people at Ohlone. Someone was so pissed, he/she took the time to email this to me.

RAISE.jpg - Copy

To read the story, click here.


More on Ohlone trustees and the law

So one month after violating state open meeting law by approving a raise for Ohlone President Gari Browning in a closed meeting, Ohlone Trustees met Wednesday and decided who gets to be board chairman and vice president.

The board’s informal practice of rotating the chairmanship meant Nick Nardolillo would likely become chairman and Garrett Yee vice chairman.

But, wait a minute. Board Chairman Rich Watters — who is considering running for Newark City Council next year — got nominated for a second consecutive term as the top dog. What did Watters do? He asked if the trustees could vote in secret.

Whom did he ask? Not an attorney since none was present. He asked a woman who works in the president’s office. She didn’t really know the answer, but concluded they could.


Luckily for the Trustees, moments before they were about to violate state open meeting law for the second consecutive meeting, recently retired Trustee John Weed, stepped up to the microphone and told them how it goes in the great state of California.

Later in the meeting, Trustees wanted to consider deferring a proposed pay increase the themselves. But they  didn’t know if it was legal. The board got an impromptu legal opinion from Trustee Bill McMillin, who’s a retired school administrator. That wasn’t good enough. The board voted down the pay raise.

I asked several board members and President Browning about the lack of an attorney at the board meetings. They all said they can’t afford to have an attorney present.

Watters said he asked for the secret ballot because he thought Trustees might be uncomfortable bucking the rotation tradition in public. He also said he was surprised to be nominated by Trustee Greg Bonaccorsi. I’m surprised he said that because Bonaccorsi later told me he had felt Watters out about a nomination, although he never told Watters he would do it.

Bonaccorsi, who beat out Yee for vice chair sparred a bit over the trustee pay raise. Yee got a little wise with Bonaccorsi during the meeting because Bonaccorsi pushed to get the pay raise on the agenda only to cast the deciding vote against it. Bonaccorsi, who’s a teacher’s union leader,  said he changed his mind after hearing from Ohlone union leaders about the trustee pay increase.

I got the feeling that Yee is still paying the price for running against Wieckowski in the Assembly primary. The new board member, Jan Giovannini-Hill is a Torrico friend, and she voted against Yee. Pretty amazing that Yee went from almost getting into the Assembly to not being able win a vote for vice chairman of the stinking Ohlone Board.

If there is antagonism toward Yee, he kinda asked for it at Wednesday’s meeting. He was one of four trustees being sworn into new terms. The other three did wham, bam, thank you, mam ceremonies with Mayor Wasserman swearing them in.

Yee had his swearing in done by his pal, Assemblymember Mary Hayashi. She was late. And when she did arrive, she gave an entire speech about Garrett. Then Garrett gave a speech, and then there was five-minute break where they took photos together. It was as if they had what would have been his Assembly swearing-in ceremony, and just did it for the Ohlone Board instead.

The whole thing took way too long.