Fremont and VTA will open Kato Road to traffic on Monday

Source:  Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority & City of Fremont

On Monday, April 1 the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and City of Fremont will open Kato Road between Warm Springs Boulevard and Milmont Drive in southern Fremont to automobile and pedestrian traffic. This important Kato Road Grade Separation project milestone will temporarily allow for one lane of traffic flow in each direction and culminate the conclusion of the several month long Kato Road closure.

A complete roadway opening is expected by May; project completion is expected early this summer. The construction at Kato Road is the first of eleven grade separations needed to complete the BART Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension Project. Kato Road now passes underneath the Union Pacific railroad tracks and future BART tracks and includes new elevated sidewalks for pedestrians. Bicycles will have a permanent bike lane once the completed roadway is opened.

“This important project delivered in partnership with the City of Fremont will help facilitate future BART service to Santa Clara County, and reduce congestion in this area by eliminating competing freight movements with the local traffic,” said VTA General Manager Michael Burns.

Total project cost for the Kato Grade Separation project is $52.7 million, funded by 2000 Measure A and Proposition 1B Highway-Railroad Crossing Safety Account. Remaining work on the project includes pavement restoration, landscape & irrigation, completion of storm water pump station, freight track embankment, safety railings, and removal of traffic mitigation measures in surrounding intersections.

“We are excited that this grade separation brings us one step closer to connecting the BART system between Fremont, Milpitas and North San Jose,” said Fremont Public Works Director Jim Pierson. “We expect that automobiles, pedestrians, and bicycles alike will truly appreciate the safety enhancement that this latest grade separation brings to freight and automobile traffic.”

Traffic that is currently detoured onto Dixon Landing Road in Milpitas is expected to return to Kato Road, relieving some of the congestion along that roadway and Warm Springs Boulevard.

A one-year BART Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension milestone and Kato Road Grade Separation Ribbon Cutting event will be held on April 5th from 12 – 1 p.m. at 466 Kato Terrace to celebrate first year construction accomplishments and the opening of Kato Road. The event will include speeches by local, state, and federal dignitaries followed by a project ribbon cutting.

For more information about BART Silicon Valley, please contact VTA Community Outreach at (408) 934-2662 or TTY (408) 321-2330.


More construction work planned around Mission Blvd., near I-680 & Curtner Road

Hey, Mario Andretti, slow down. That’s the message (kind of) to Fremont motorists from the SFPUC tomorrow morning and the following two Saturdays. Actually, they were way more polite in their press release, but you get the point.

As construction continues to upgrade SFPUC’s aging pipes near Mission Boulevard, Interstate 680 and Curtner Road in south Fremont,  construction crews will be positioning guide beams in the area from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday (tomorrow, March 30), as well as April 6 and 13.

The beam is being installed as part of the construction of a temporary bridge for the on-ramp to I-680. With all this construction, the SFPUC is asking motorists to slow down while driving in the area. Also, because the northbound Mission Blvd. sidewalk will be closed, due to the operation of heavy machinery and and excavated pits. Pedestrians should cross the street and use the southbound sidewalk.

Have a good, safe weekend everybody.


Fremont’s State of the City luncheon

Mayor Bill Harrison, usually so jocular, was all business in the State of the City speech Thursday, listing the city’s successes and describing Fremont as a “city on the move.”

I suppose that if one’s goal is to attract businesses, then it’s fitting to be “all business” in the rookie mayor’s first State of the City address.

It was a good turnout  — around 300 people, including media — to see the 24-minute speech. These types of speeches/events are rarely groundbreaking but even those who did not back Harrison in the election had to have appreciated the semblance of sincere regained optimism brimming around the city.

There are still plenty of problems, of course, and room for improvement. For the first time in half a decade, though, I appreciate that it’s no longer fully depressing (only partly) to attend city council and school board meetings. Sure, a lot of places needed to learn how to trim the fat, but far too many places have been chipping at bone, and doing it for years. Anyway …

For the print story, click here.



Newark City Council meeting slated 5pm Thursday to discuss general plan update

The Newark City Council and Planning Commission have scheduled a special meeting Thursday evening to discuss updates on the city’s general plan. The meeting will be from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Community Meeting Room at the Silliman Family and Acquatic Center, at 6800 Mowry Ave.

A regular City Council meeting will follow at 7:30 p.m. at Newark City Hall at 37101 Newark Blvd.

The city’s general plan is the document that lays out the city’s vision for future land-use decisions for the next two decades. The next general plan work session is scheduled for May 9.

For more information, go to www.newark.org or call 510-578-4266.


“Coffee with the Cops” with Fremont PD slated Wednesday AM

Community members are invited to attend a “Coffee with the Cops” event scheduled from 8 to 9 a.m. Wednesday. It will take place at Ardenwood Forest Club House, at 5016 Paseo Padre Parkway in Fremont.

Interim police Chief Richard Lucero, his command staff and other officers will be there to discuss neighborhood issues and concerns in an informal setting.

For more information, call 510-790-6740.




Newark’s Manhout Thai adds to Tri-Cities’ underrated foodie scene

Ever since my first time working at The Argus, which started in late 2005, I’ve always thought that the restaurants in Fremont/Union City/Newark are really underrated. Not only are there tons of diverse options, but the various eateries are of high quality, too. Even the hole in the wall joints in strip malls would put a lot of places in San Francisco and San Jose to shame. One example is Manhout Thai, which our Features department recently highlighted.

A photo slide show of the place can be found by clicking here. Here’s another photo of a dish:


New construction planned on pastoral land housing Catholic nuns in Mission San Jose

New construction projects are in the works to provide better housing for Catholic nuns in separate orders residing in the Mission San Jose district.

One proposal, from the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, would give nuns a bigger residential space, while the other, from the Sisters of the Holy Family, would involve the sale of some property to a private home developer.

The Sisters of the Holy Family’s proposal might get a little dicey, as Robson Homes — the developer who will control the nearly 15-acre parcel — intends to “restore” the Starr House and the Best House. The houses, built in 1927, have historic status, according to Fremont city planner Joel Pullen. Any changes to the pair of 86-year-old homes will be reviewed by Fremont’s Historical Architectural Review Board.

I imagine the community will do much to make sure that the “restoration” of the homes isn’t like this infamous ‘restoration’




Police ask Newark and Fremont residents to pull in garbage cans because of home burglaries

Sorry for being MIA the past seven or eight days on TCB. I’ll continue to give TCB all the spare time I have. Key word is, ‘spare.’ This afternoon is one of those times. Here’s the first of several posts today:

Story by colleague Natalie Neysa Alund …

Police are asking residents to pull their garbage cans in after trash is picked up due to an increase in home burglaries in Fremont near the Newark border.

Garbage cans left out in front of home or in a driveway signals burglars that residents are not home, said Newark Police spokesman Tim Jones.

He said his department decided to issue an alert after Fremont Police recently discovered a crime trend in the Ardenwood area of the city near the northern border of Newark.

For more of the story, please click here.



Fremont elementary school students win spelling bee, advance to state competition

A pair of Fremont elementary school students tied for first in the Alameda County spelling bee Saturday and will advance to the state finals next month. Colleague Rick Radin covered the Castro Valley contest

Here’s an Alameda County Office of Education press release with more details:

HAYWARD, Calif. – Fremont, Oakland and Dublin students won the annual Alameda County Spelling Bee hosted by the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) on March 16 in Castro Valley. Fremont students Sahir Qureshi from Niles Elementary School and Anish Punaroor from Parkmont Elementary School made history as the first two to tie for first place in the elementary (grades 4-6) competition. Oakland student Aaron Fried from Edna Brewer Middle School won first place in the junior high (grades 7-8) competition, followed by Dublin student Karah Pedregosa from Fallon Middle School. The winners will advance to the elementary state finals on April 20 in Stockton and the junior high state finals on May 11 in San Rafael.

Elementary (Grades 4-6) Winners

28 students from 22 Alameda County schools competed in the elementary competition. The top two competitors will advance to the state final competition on Saturday, April 20 in Stockton.

1st Place (tie) – Sahir Qureshi, 5th Grade, Niles Elementary School, Fremont USD

1st Place (tie) – Anish Punaroor, 6th Grade, Parkmont Elementary School, Fremont USD

3rd Place – Ruhani Kapoor, 6th Grade, Mission Valley Elementary School, Fremont USD

4th Place – Timothy Brahan, 4th Grade, Weibel Elementary School, Fremont USD

Junior High (Grades 7-8) Winners

12 students from seven Alameda County schools competed in the junior high competition. The top two competitors will advance to the state final competition on Saturday, May 11 in San Rafael.

1st Place – Aaron Freid, 8th Grade, Edna Brewer Middle School, Oakland USD

2nd Place – Karah Pedregosa, 7th Grade, Fallon Middle School, Dublin USD

3rd Place – Dong Kim, 8th Grade, Fallon Middle School, Dublin USD

4th Place – Vade Shah, 7th Grade, Wells Middle School, Dublin USD



Fremont gun buyback received hundreds of weapons

Hi, all. I meant to post this first thing this AM, but I was knee-deep in a story I’m hoping to file later this week.

Until then, here are the (belated) results from Fremont PD’s gun buyback on Saturday:

From Fremont police:

“We officially ended the Gun Buy Back Event about 15 minutes ago (that would have been around 12:45pm Saturday). In total we distributed $50,300 in donated funds and collected approximately 343 weapons today.”