Center Theater owner decides against demolition — for now

Below is a comment just posted by Center Theater owner David Siddiq. He says he’s holding off on gutting the inside of the theater after reading negative comments posted on the blog.

Not sure if he might have other reasons for deciding against demolition, but for what it’s worth, you guys now can walk up to Dirk Lorenz, look him in the eye, and tell him you’ve done more to save the Center Theater than he ever has.

Hello everyone. After reading many of your comments, I have decided to respond and show you my point of view. I hope that you take the time to read what I have to say.

My name is David Siddiq and I am currently the owner of Center Theatre in Fremont. Seven years ago, I purchased Center Theatre when it was run down and needed extensive renovations, but I decided to purchase it because I had a vision for it. I had a vision that I could restore Center Theatre back to prominence and revitalize the Centerville Area and turn the Fremont downtown center into an area that would rival Pleasanton’s downtown or Walnut Creek’s downtown. Unfortunately, however, the City of Fremont’s consistent denials of my requests to expand operations at the Theatre have left me with few options. Like most people in this economy, I cannot afford to maintain a business that produces no income whatsoever.

For those of you who are attacking me as not caring about the City of Fremont, you could not be further from the truth. Continue Reading


53 percent of Fremont employees get city-issued cell phones

I’ll have a story sometime this weekend about a city-commissioned report to help it cut costs and be a leaner operation. The study found that Fremont is a pretty lean operation, but nevertheless made recommendations that could save up to $20 million.

One of the more interesting ones — albeit a smaller one — was about cell phones.

Here’s what it said:

City-Issued Cell Phones

Fremont currently issues over 450 cell phones to about half (53%) of its workforce. Approximately 265 cell phones are allocated to Police Department staff; 49 cell phones are assigned to Fire Department staff and apparatus; and 116 cell phones are provided to City staff in other departments.

Table 35. Cell Phone Annual Costs

Provider FY 2009/10 FY 2010/11
Verizon $175,421 $186,983
Nextel $26,065 $17,939
TOTAL $201,486 $204,922



Pay to stay

Santa Rita Jail is a scary place, so scary apparently that Fremont thinks crooks might pay not to stay there.

It was mentioned in that report on saving money, but the department has been working on a proposal by which minor offenders could pay to spend their short jail time in the much friendlier confines of Fremont’s jail. The city thinks the proposal could net it $300,000 per year.

Here is the description from that report mentioned above:

The model being developed by the Police Department is termed a “pay to stay” system. It involves offering prisoners who have received jail sentences for low level crimes (misdemeanants) the opportunity to pay a fee to opt out of the County jail facility (Santa Rita) and serve time in what could be considered a safer, less intimidating, facility.

Although this model is not common, mainly because few cities in California have built their own detention facilities, there are several southern California cities that have successfully used this model to generate revenue and offset the costs of operation.


Fremont News of the Day

From the cops:

A cyclist pedaled to a PK Market on Thornton late last night and smashed his bike into the front door shattering it. Then he went inside and helped himself to booze, cigarettes, cigars, sunglasses and loose change.

From the labor front:
Fremont has reached tentative deals with all of its unions. Three will be approved this Tuesday. The others are close behind.

From the wire:
Dour news on the future of the U.S. solar industry.


Center Theater to become shell of former self

The owner of the Center Theater obtained his permit to gut the inside of the theater. David Siddiq said the demolition will begin Monday and that he already has a deal in place to sell the 260 seats to an outfit out of LA.

To get the demolition permit, Siddiq had to surrender his theater permit, so the Center Theater really isn’t a theater anymore.


Fremont News of the Day

From the cops:
A man delivering a pizza to a home on Lake Superior Court arrived to find no one home and a gunman in his grill. The robber got the pizza and the delivery man’s wallet.

Officers went to a home on the 37000 block of Alexander Street to investigate complaints of noise and drug use. Inside they found a parolee, who gave a false name, a loaded assault rifle and ecstasy. Three occupants were arrested.

One of the few places in Fremont you can get away with punching someone in the face is at Sharks Ice rink. Except when the person you punch is the referee. That’s like three 10-minute majors and a game misconduct. It’s also battery. The ref placed the 25-year-old goon under citizen’s arrest.

From the wire:
I hear some solar company went under yesterday.

At least Solaria is still growing.