Judge approves $90 million sale of Solyndra’s Fremont factory to Seagate

Story by BANG’s George Avalos:

The sale of Solyndra’s cavernous solar panel factory for $90.2 million to Seagate Technology was approved Thursday by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

“The primary use of the building will be to replace our current media R&D facility in Fremont,” Seagate spokesman Brian Ziel said in an email to this newspaper. “It’s a little too early to discuss exact plans in terms of expansion or hiring. We have about 500 employees in our current Fremont facility.”

The factory is perched prominently along Interstate 880 at 47488 Kato Road, the northern most building that Solyndra had operated on that street before the once high-flying solar maker imploded in August of last year.

For more of the story, click here.




Election Roundup — Fremont City Council

As provisional votes are counted, there have no changes to the Fremont City Council race — Bacon and Chan are the winners. As of Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 14), here are the results:

Vinnie Bacon –26,470 votes — 25.39 percent

Sue Chan — 24,194 votes — 23.21 percent

John J. Dutra — 18,855 votes — 18.09 percent

Rick Jones — 18,545 votes — 17.79 percent

Rakesh Sharma — 12,171 votes — 11.68 percent

Mark Wadley — 3,873 votes — 3.72 percent


Election Roundup — Fremont Mayor

The latest ballot count was posted around 4:45 p.m. today (Wednesay, 11/14). The Alameda County Registrar has counted the vast majority of ballots, and just 16,000 provisional ballots — which must be handcounted — remain.  The bottom line is that the Fremont mayoral race figures are not budging. On Sunday afternoon, Bill Harrison had 34.09 percent of the vote and led second place candidate Steve Cho (who had 31.95 percent) by a 2.14 percent margin.

Three days later, it’s basically the same. Harrison now leads by 2.16 percent. Cho spoke to me on Nov. 7, the morning after Election Day and said he was not yet ready to concede. A week later, he has not returned any phone calls since last week.

Here are Wednesday’s results:

Bill Harrison — 21,971 votes — 34.03 percent

Steve Cho — 20,577 votes — 31.87 percent

Anu Natarajan — 16,883 votes — 26.15 percent

Aziz Akbari — 3,630 votes — 5.62 percent

Linda Susoev — 1,387 votes — 2.15 percent

Write-In — 118 votes — 0.18 percent


Fremont election results likely to leave open City Council seat

As this Citywise story in Saturday’s Argus covered … If the election results hold and Bill Harrison is officially certified by the Registrar as Fremont’s mayor-elect, it cause a reshuffling of the makeup of the City Council for the third time in as many years.

Barring unexpected changes, Harrison would vacate his council seat when he is sworn in next month, City Clerk Nadine Nader said. The remaining four council members, including the new mayor, then will have 60 days to choose a replacement to serve the remaining two years on Harrison’s council term.

Their two options for that are holding a special election or appointing a new council member after interviewing applicants.

Most cities choose to make an appointment to avoid a costly special election but also to retain control over who they will be working with on the council.

Earlier this year, the Fremont council appointed Gus Morrison to serve as mayor on an interim basis after Mayor Bob Wasserman died.

Last year, the Newark City Council appointed then-Planning Commissioner Bob Marshall to fill the council seat vacated when Alan Nagy was elected mayor.

In 2010, Fremont council members appointed Dominic Dutra, who served on the council from 2002 to 2006, to replace Bob Wieckowski, who resigned after being elected to the state Assembly. Dutra was selected after three council members ranked him first, while Harrison ranked then-Human Relations Commissioner Raj Salwan first and Dutra second.

Who would be the front-runners for appointment this time?

Might it be another Dutra family member, John J. Dutra, who finished third in the council race won by Vinnie Bacon and incumbent Councilwoman Sue Chan? Or will it be Salwan, now a Fremont planning commissioner and still a Harrison ally?

Friday, Harrison said it was too premature to say. Stay tuned.





Harrison’s lead over Cho stabilizes thru weekend vote count

After a weekend of vote-counting at the Registrar’s office, it looks like Bill Harrison’s lead seems to be holding. On Friday, Cho reduced Harrison’s 1,900-vote lead to about 1,200 votes and the Registrar’s bleary-eyed employees still had the whole weekend to go.

But when the latest results were posted late Sunday afternoon, Harrison’s lead had slightly increased. Nearly a week after election day, Cho’s deficit now stands at 1,315 votes. As of Monday AM, here are the latest results:

Harrison: 20,922 votes — 34.09 percent

Cho: 19,607 votes — 31.95 percent

Natarajan: 16,066 votes — 26.18 percent

Akbari: 3,373 votes — 5.5 percent

Susoev: 1,300 votes — 2.12



Harrison’s lead over Cho shrinking

When candidates are slow to concede at the end of a long campaign, it’s hard to know whether they are being rightly competitive or simply graceless. When Steve Cho refused to concede Wednesday morning after trailing Bill Harrison by more than 1,900 votes, I’m sure some thought he was more the latter than the former.

But, then again …

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters office just posted new results on its website, and it appears that Harrison’s lead over Cho has shrunk by about 700 votes in the past 48 hours. That’s quite a bit.

Current results (as of 4:35 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9) are:

Harrison: 20,044 votes — 34.16 percent

Cho: 18,813 votes — 32.06 percent

Natarajn: 15,364 — 26.18 percent

And Akbari (5.35 percent), Susoev (2.06 percent) and 103 various Write-in votes (0.18 percent) round out the rest. That’s quite a bit tighter between Harrison and Cho than the previously listed numbers.

The 1,231-vote deficit is probably still too high for Cho to come back from, but the county registrar workers will continue to wade through thousands of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots this weekend, and well … who knows?


Fremont mayor’s results appear clear, but Cho not conceding

Steve Cho is, if nothing else, very persistent.

As of Friday morning — about 2-1/2 days after polls closed — Fremont’s mayoral results looked like this: Bill Harrison had captured 35 percent of the vote, while Steve Cho had 31.3 percent and was trailing by about 1,850 votes. Anu Natarajan was third with 25.9 percent, Aziz Akbari was fourth with 5.4 percent, and Linda Susoev finished with 2.16 percent.

Cho said the day after the election that county election officials told him they will spend the rest of the week counting remaining ballots, when he hopes his tally passes Harrison’s. If Harrison were to extend his lead in that time, Cho said he does not have a number in mind that would prompt him to concede the race.

“I’ll wait until I get to that point,” he said.


Paddy’s in Union City is closing

Paddy Iyer, owner of Paddy’s Coffee House, has announced that he is closing his Union City establishment in December after being in business for a decade.

When reached by email today, Paddy confirmed that he is indeed closing the shop at the corner of Smith and Watkins when its lease expires in the coming weeks. Paddy’s last day of operation is Dec. 14, and he plans a big going-away party there on Dec. 15.

But he’s not entirely going away, he said. He reiterated in email what he wrote in a recent blog:

“We see the Paddy’s brand continuing with product offerings including a diverse range of ethnic and contemporary baked products. We are partnering with a local baker to give you the best that there will be in terms of coffee, tea, sandwiches and baked pastries while staying true to our philosophy of community service. We are actively scouting out locations and will keep you informed of our new home.”

Wherever he ends up, Paddy’s the coffee house will be missed. It was my first Tri-City-area hangout as I began covering Union City with The Argus, after returning to the Alameda News Group (as it was then known) in September 2005, after taking a year off from journalism.

Good luck, Paddy.