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


Chris DeBenedetti


  1. Congratulations to all the participants and good luck to the finalist, going to the State finals.

  2. HAYWARD — Red-light cameras will soon be a thing of the past here, after the City Council voting Tuesday to end the program as soon as possible.

    Police had proposed removing the cameras, citing a lack of evidence that they reduce broadside accidents. However, rear-end accidents had increased at most of the eight intersections after the cameras were installed.

    Although the police recommended phasing out the cameras as contracts began expiring later this year, several council members said that if the program was not working and there were more rear-end collisions, the city should pull the plug immediately.

    Ending the contracts early will cost the city more than $108,000.

    Even though the city is taking out the red-light cameras, “the message I want to send to the community is not that you can now run red lights. It’s just the opposite,” Police Chief Diane Urban said.

  3. #3 – Our continued relationship with RedFlex is curious given the very compelling data that has been presented over and over and over and which makes for a clear case that these things are NOT about safety.

    Our staunch allegiance to these gadgets and the company we pay to manage them is even more curious given the “U” turn that other responsible communities are making as their own experiences validata this long-standing data.

    If that wasn’t enough – some communities are even beginning to question whether or not RedFlex is “.. a fit company to do business here or anywhere else in the country,” – as a result of their business practices.


    Meanwhile, in Fremont, Harrison, Chan and Natarajan all voted to EXTEND their contract with RedFlex for another seven years.

    Go figure.


  4. Sorry for the delay in your comments posting. There have been no recent deletions. Comments that have multiple links automatically get flagged, for some reason, and require moderator approval. They have now been approved. Next time that happens, please just shoot me an email or a phone call. Thanks.

  5. Thanks for the status update, Chris.

    Administering “white lists” and “black lists” of any kind are a major pain. Been there before and I will do my best to stay out of that business. You have my sympathy.

    Having said that – there are definately instances of messages which get “flagged” as you say – – and which NEVER find their way into the live world.

    March 3rd 2013 at 8:27 AM is the first example I can put my hands on – it was the Beaseley thread. Two links as you suggest – little else – but it never saw the light of day.

  6. #7- would be difficult to argue with someone who has as much experience in the matter

  7. #8, I bow to your snark.

    Chris is spot on about more than one link going to moderation. It’s a setting he probably has no control over (ie a global wordpress/ibabuzz thing controled by the site admin).

  8. No problems with the setting as Chris outlined it.

    The problem is that some of those with multiple links do NOT ever make it into the light of day.

    From what I can tell, they do so for reasons completely unrelated to content and totally related to the administration of the site.

    If I’m Chris, I think I bow to the rule – – but also expect that whoever has their hand on the lever also has a responsibilty to pull it on some kind of stated frequency.

    When alerted to what’s going on w/the site – Chris has been responsive to common sense inputs. Sometimes, its just a matter of knowing whats going on.

  9. #10 Your boy Vinnie currently wags the dog.Your boy Bacon opposes what the people of Fremont need. And finally your boy kills jobs…so Boxie, thats whats going on!

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