Whole Foods coming to Fremont

I know I said I wouldn’t post during my vacation, but I didn’t want our business reporter to beat me to the punch.

Tucked into Whole Foods’ Third Quarter results released today is news that the market is coming to Fremont. I’m told the likely site is the vacant lot at Mowry and Paseo Padre.

Also told that Sunflower Market is also coming to Fremont — to the former Barnes and Noble site.

Below is the Whole Foods document. The item about Fremont is on Page 3.
Whole Foods


Realtors assail Fremont’s climate action plan

Fremont’s proposed Climate Action Plan doesn’t do much — at least not over the next few years.

Read the plan here, and check out the verbs: “Continue, collaborate, cooperate, consider.” Pretty mild stuff.

But one of the items the city wants to consider is a conservation ordinance on residences. It would require conservation upgrades when a house is sold. Real estate interests are so opposed to that that they’re still here at 10 p.m. during the most boring council meeting of the year even though there’s no guarantee the council will ever approve it.

And listening to the council members, the real estate guys have nothing to worry about.


Cops criticize council

Here’s the statement the police union released regarding their new contract:

Standing in the back row of the Fremont City Council Chambers, dozens of police officers of the 150-member Fremont Police Association stand tall, but silent, while the City Council approved a new contract that retroactively cuts their pay by 4.25 percent.

“An experienced police officer will take a pay cut of $5,500 to $6,600 a year,” said officer Greg Pipp, president of the Fremont Police Association. “At the same time, we have more responsibilities because of serious understaffing.”

The city of Fremont is recognized as having one of the lowest per capita number of police officers on patrol in California for a city with over 200,000 residents.

“This pay cut will be devastating to our police officers and their families who currently depend upon this income to pay for childcare, college tuition and house payments, ” Pipp said of the pay cut which will retroactively go into effect July 3, 2011. Continue Reading


Fremont City Council Report

The council honored Officer John Rosette for 30 years on the force.

Then they approved the police contract, which the police union isn’t too thrilled with. They gave me a press release about it, saying they love the city, but that they don’t think the council really cares about public safety. I’ll try to post the entire release later tonight.

The city is going to keep on keeping on with its planned housing and retail development for the big vacant lot along Fremont Boulevard in Centerville. Dominic Dutra thinks the city subsidy is way too high for what it’s getting, but he couldn’t sway the other council members from voting to extend negotiations with development firm, Blake-Hunt Ventures.

Fremont’s Economic Development Director is leaving the city. Another sign that I’ve been here too long. A lot of my old city folks are gone: the Suicide Blonds, Mistress Dawn, Bizarro Peter Yarrow and now Lori Taylor. I don’t recognize half the people in suits here.

Sue Chan apparently has a big bet that this meeting is going to go past midnight. She’s been asking minor questions about the Center Theater for what seems like the past hour. The council might approve allowing the theater to hold different types of events like concerts, dinner theater and banquets.

The Planning Commission couldn’t muster enough votes to approve the new uses for the theater last month. Former fire chief Dan Lydon led the charge against the theater, but the current chief seems to think the current arrangement will be OK. Still Chan is concerned, and Anu Natarajan is in India so the councilMen might have to come through for the theater.

Ugh, Bill Harrison is concerned about this too. He thinks parking is going to be a problem. He knows Centerville better than I do, but it’s hard to imagine there ever being a parking shortage.

Don’t these people know that I’ve already written this story, and in my version, they approved it? Let’s see if they make me change it.
They will. Permit denied. Center Theater stays as it is.


Fremont News of the Day

From the cops:

Thieves stole abut $6,000 in auto parts from Niles Smog after cutting a padlock off a gate to a city construction project and then cutting a fence leading onto the smog shop property.

A construction worker suffered serious injuries when an asphalt truck struck him during repaving at Mission Boulevard and Callery Court. It was carmageddon for the next few ours along that stretch of Mission.

A drunk man drove through the gate of a storage facility on Edison Way and was later arrested.


Fremont firefighters also have tentative deal

Apparently the agreement is similar to that of the police union, which gave up 4.25 percent in pay along with reduced benefits for future hires.

Another tidbit about the police contract. It includes a clause that for new hires, pensions will be based on highest pay over a three-year period. Current officers will still have their pensions based on their highest salary over a 12-month period, which can boost pensions. Wish I knew about that when I wrote that story a couple of weeks ago.


Fremont News of Monday

From the cops:

It seems like this should be a biblical prohibition against this: On Lincoln Street, a man took an axe to his brother’s car. Mercifully, the brother was not taken outside the gates of the city, judged by his elders and stoned to death. He was arrested.

The owner of a house on Thornton Boulevard undergoing renovations returned home to find that a squatter had moved in. Police moved out the squatter.

From the wire:
Foreigners boost Fremont real estate values
Feel young; visit Sunol


Council set to ratify new police contract

The city council is set to sign off Tuesday on a new two-year contract for police officers  The deal, which cops ratified last week, would save the city about $1.7 million this year and establish less generous pension and retirement medical benefits for future employees.

Police salaries would be cut across the board by 4.25 percent, retroactive to July 3.

Health benefit allowances would be capped at $580 per month per employee effective June 30, 2013.

Shifts would be reduced from 11 to 10 hours, saving the city about $500,000.

New employees would get roughly the same retirement benefit as current employees, but they’d have to work till age 55 to get those benefits, instead of 50. It’s called 3 percent at 55 in HR speak.


Nearly one-third of Fremont public safety workers retire on disability

I got some additional figures from the city this week.

First, average retirement ages:
Police officer — Age 52
Firefighter — Age 55

Also, since 2005, 80 public safety employees have retired from the city. Of those, 26 retired on disability. That’s 32.5 percent.

I’ve asked other cities to provide me with similar stats to add some context. But, at least compared with San Jose, Fremont’s disability rate is quite low. Two-thirds of San Jose firefighters and one-third of police officers retire on disability.

According to San Jose, that’s way too many.