Human skull found in Union City creekbed

Details are still sketchy, but a human skull was found in Union City on Wednesday. Our Breaking News team jumped on it last night when it was announced. Here’s what we have so far.

Story by colleague Daniel Jimenez:

UNION CITY — The Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau will perform a thorough search of a creek bed Thursday after a group of teens discovered what appeared to be a human skull on Wednesday.

The discovery was made in Alameda Creek near Nevada Road, just southwest of a cluster of homes off Alvarado-Niles Road and about half a mile from James Logan High School.

Asked if the discovery might be linked to any particular Union City investigation, Cmdr. Ben Horner said the department has very few unsolved missing-person cases. Considering how strong the creek can flow during heavy winter rains, he added, it’s possible that water may have taken off a layer of ground soil and exposed the skull.

For more of the story, click here.


Earthquake was 3.0, centered northeast of Fremont

An earthquake that registered 3.0 on the Richter scale struck near Fremont just before 2 a.m. Sunday, the United States Geological Survey said.

No injuries were reported.

According to the USGS, the quake centered “two miles northeast of Fremont.” It’s hard to know exactly where that is, but a quick search on Mapquest shows that the intersection of Niles Canyon Road and Palomares Road, deep in the woodsy middle of Niles Canyon, is about two miles northeast of the intersection of Mission and Niles boulevards in the Niles district.

If you were unlucky to be driving through the canyon at that hour, it probably felt like a roller coaster. (Then again, when doesn’t Niles Canyon Road feel like a roller coaster?)

Did anyone feel it? Did anyone hear of any injuries or book shelves flying off walls, etc.?


Fremont’s Washington Hospital sued over alleged sexual assault by nurse against female patient

Story by BANG court reporter Paul Rosynsky:

A 22-year-old woman who was purportedly sexually assaulted by a Washington Hospital nurse while unconscious in the emergency room filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the hospital and the nurse.

The lawsuit was filed almost six months after Jon Jeffrey Quianzon, 31, was charged with five felonies in connection to the purported sexual assault against the 22-year-old in June 2010 and another woman in October 2009. Quianzon is free on $135,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court in April for a preliminary hearing.

In the federal lawsuit, the 22-year-old’s attorney Jason Runckel seeks unspecified monetary damages against Washington Hospital claiming that the hospital is partly responsible for the assault because it failed to notify police about the 2009 assault, did not properly investigate Quianzon’s background before hiring him and never properly disciplined Quianzon after the 2009 complaint was made against him.

Instead, Runckel says in the lawsuit, the hospital allowed Quianzon to continue working and placed him in situations were he was frequently alone with female patients.

Those situations resulted in at least one other woman and the 22-year-old becoming victims of Quianzon’s sexual assaults, the federal lawsuit states.

For more of the story, click here.



Fremont council sends developer of Northgate housing plan back to drawing board

26 residents spoke against it. Just one spoke for it. The Fremont City Council voted 5-0 to ask the developer to go back to the drawing board and address residents’ and council members’ concerns. (I think it would have been defeated 3-2 if the proposal, as is, had gone to a council vote Tuesday.)

I’m talking about the so-called Fremont Gateway Planned District, a project that drew a standing-room-only crowd at the Council Chambers on Tuesday night.

Tom Armstrong of HMH Engineers, representing the project developer, Tim Lewis Communities, told council members Tuesday that they planned to build 63 detached houses on a 4.6-acre property at the intersection of Beard Road and Fremont Boulevard.

But two-dozen-plus residents  asked the council to reject the project, saying they had concerns about traffic, pollution, pedestrian safety, parking and the development’s lack of open space.

When a majority of council members said they were going to vote against the proposal, Mayor Bill Harrison made a motion to ask the developer to address residents’ concerns and bring a new plan back for council approval at a later date. The five-member council unanimously approved Harrison’s motion.

For a summary of the item at Tuesday’s council meeting, click here.


Fremont Education Foundation fundraiser to be held Friday night

Fremont Education Foundation’s Excellence in Education Gala

11th Annual Gala 2013

5:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, February 22, 2013

Fremont Marriott, 46100 Landing Pkwy.

Each year, the Fremont Education Foundation hosts the Excellence in Education Gala, a fundraiser benefiting the Innovative Education Grants program. It is also the nonprofit organization’s opportunity to recognize those in the community who have made outstanding contributions to Fremont students.

This year they are honoring Nina Moore, an Excellence in Education Community Honoree, and the School Resource Officers, Excellence in Education FUSD Honorees.

Cocktail hour: 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Dinner is served: 6:30 p.m.

Tickets: $80 per person ($55 for FUSD Teachers and Classified Staff)

Entree choices: Salmon, Chicken, or Ravioli.

More info at www.Fremont-Education.org.



NorCal Half Marathon & 5k Fun Run slated Sunday in Niles

Source: Fremont Police Department

The City of Fremont has issued a special event permit for a Half Marathon and 5K this Sunday, February 24, 2013, that will take place in the Niles neighborhood. We expect approximately 1,000-2,000 people in the area between the hours of 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. A.C. Transit will be rerouting buses to Mission Blvd. between 7:00 a.m.- 9:00 a.m.

The 1/2 Marathon will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the 5K will begin at 7:45 a.m. The greatest impact to the neighborhood will occur between 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m., however “I” Street will be closed until 11:30 a.m. Fremont Police Traffic Officers will be in the area to monitor the event, assist with emergencies and direct traffic if needed.

The following streets will be closed to thru traffic from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

1. Niles Blvd. (between “J” Street and Nursery Rd.)

2. “H” Street (between Niles Blvd. and 3rd St.)

3. Third (3rd) Street (between “H” and “I” Streets)

4. Second (2nd) Street (between “H” and “I” Streets)

5. Iron Horse Lane and Victory Lane (between “H” and “I” Streets)

“I” Street will be closed from 7:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

The course maps can be found online at http://www.norcalmarathon.com/course.

Thank you and feel free to contact Maya Williams, Special Events Manager, at 510-790-6967 with any questions or concerns.


Piano concert scheduled Sunday as fundraiser for Fremont Symphony Orchestra

A renowned duo of classical music pianists are scheduled to perform Sunday in a fundraiser concert benefiting the Fremont Symphony Orchestra.

Anderson and Roe — featuring the talents of Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe — will perform at 7 p.m. in the Smith Center at Ohlone College, 43600 Mission Blvd.

Their concert Sunday will be part of a series of performances whose proceeds will help fund the Fremont Symphony Orchestra’s 50th anniversary season, which is expected to start in October.

Prices for admission to the Anderson and Roe concert range from $20 to $48. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 510-371-4860 or visit www.fremontsymphony.org.

I first covered the Fremont Symphony Orchestra with an article in early September that captured some of the hard feelings from musicians after the orchestra board replaced longtime music director David Sloss.

But as the orchestra moves forward with new music director Gregory Van Sudmeier and Hillbarn Theatre’s Lee Foster as its business manager, it is aiming to raise money with a series of fundraisers so it can kick off its golden anniversary in style in October.


African-American Leadership Awards slated Sunday in Fremont

State Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski is inviting the community to the African-American Leadership Awards ceremony he is hosting Sunday in Fremont. It’s the second consecutive year he’s hosted the event.

Facebook invite link here: http://www.facebook.com/events/449402418462423/

-A Salute to our Local Leaders-
Please join us in honoring and celebrating the diversity, generosity, and accomplishments of our community and its citizens.
There will be a hosted Reception after Service to recognize the contributions of four amazing heroes in the 25th Assembly District

Sunday, February 24th
12:30pm – 2:30pm
South Bay Community Church
47385 Warm Springs Blvd
Fremont, CA 94539

2013 Honorees
– Rev. Horacio Jones, Family Bible Fellowship
– Jean Ficklin, Founder of the Afro-American Cultural and Historical Society
– Rev. Jethroe Moore, President of the San Jose / Silicon Valley NAACP
– Will Ector, Superintendent of the Berryessa Union School District

If you wish to attend, you can RSVP to Wieckowski’s office at 510-440-9030.


Times-a-changing for Fremont City Council?

Last night’s City Council meeting was not the most boisterous ever, though it ended at nearly midnight, it wasn’t even the longest. But the Council did something that is pretty rare — it rejected staff’s recommendation. In fact, the council rejected staff’s recommendation three times Tuesday night — once to preserve the Historic Architectural Review Board; again by voting to commission Oakland artist Bruce Beasley to place his sculpture at the corner of Paseo Padre Parkway and Stevenson Boulevard; and lastly, when the council voted unanimously to ask developers to go back to the drawing board for the Fremont Gateway planned district, where 63 three-story homes were proposed near Beard Road and Fremont Boulevard in the Northgate neighborhood.

Each time, it appeared that there was a 3-2 split, with Anu Natarajan, Vinnie Bacon and Sue Chan outvoting Mayor Bill Harrison and Raj Salwan. (For accuracy sake, the Fremont Gateway vote was 5-0, but only after Harrison saw that Natarajan/Bacon/Chan bloc had at least three votes. Harrison intervened then and, rather then see the matter die on the vine with another 3-2 vote, he made a motion to ask applicant Tom Armstrong and his development team to address questions and come back at a later date.)

Maybe it means nothing. Last night’s consistent split may have been an anomaly. After all, there were plenty of 5-0 votes last night, too, if you count the consent calendar.

And, as for the consistent 3-2 division, it’s not unheard of. But the reason I mention it is, narrow vote margins on the council have been rare in the 2.5 years I’ve covered Fremont (from late 2005 to 2007, and then the past six months). In Fremont, a staff recommendation is not the rubber stamp it is in Newark, but during the Bob Wasserman years it was rare to see the council, a) vote against a housing development, and b) have multiple 3-2 splits. I’m sure it happened, but rarely.

In the first two months of the Harrison regime, it was more of the same. Until last night. As said, maybe it means something. Maybe not. But suddenly, the Fremont council meetings just got a lot more intriguing.