Fremont joins San Jose, Santa Clara in nonprofit tech group partnership

In case you missed this …

FREMONT — The city has been invited to join San Jose and Santa Clara in a nonprofit organization that aims to partner with businesses and use high-tech tools to help cities improve delivery of public services.

The cities’ nonprofit group, called the Silicon Valley Talent Partnership, plans to reach that goal by forging alliances with Silicon Valley companies, such as Google and Adobe, said Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison.

“Anytime you can forge a partnership between government and business to make government run more efficiently, that’s a good thing,” he said.

For more of the story, click here.



Newark preschool saved after parents’ pleas, promises to help reduce deficit

The Newark-run preschool/childcare program is much loved but fiscally embattled. After parents, including Ohlone College board trustee Richard Watters, gave blistering comments at the June 13 City  Council meeting, Newark leaders reversed course and decided to spare the program:

NEWARK — Heeding the pleas of local parents, city officials have spared a fiscally embattled child care program, but with one condition: They will need help from the impassioned residents who have pledged to lead the program into the black.

Officials announced three weeks ago that the city-run state-licensed program — which has provided child care, preschool instruction, educational field trips and exercise since 1989 — was on the verge of closing because of a hefty operational deficit.

But after a public outcry, Newark officials on Thursday informed the preschool’s six employees that their jobs, and the program, would continue. The announcement came a day after City Manager John Becker and other city officials met with Kristopher Teague, a Newark parent leading the charge to save the program.

“We’ve made the decision to rescind layoff notices for employees, and we’ve mailed a letter to parents advising them that we’ve heard their concerns,” Becker said. “I anguished over this decision for a long time, believe me. But when you have the number of parents and the amount of passion demonstrated for the program, it does give you pause.”

Tri-City parents, including some who packed the City Council chamber last week to protest the planned closure, celebrated the program’s survival.

For more of the story, click here.



Fremont to reopen Sunday library hours in August

The Fremont Main Library, which has been closed on Sundays since 2003, will reopen in August:

FREMONT — After a decade of darkness on one day each weekend, the Fremont Main Library soon will restore service on Sundays, thanks to the city’s increasingly strong finances and the hard work of community advocates.

The library, set along Stevenson Boulevard on the northern end of Central Park, will hold its Sunday grand reopening Aug. 11, Fremont officials said.

“I think it’s perfect timing to open, around when school starts,” Mayor Bill Harrison said. “We’re excited about it — our library is one of the crown jewels of the Alameda County Library system.”

Restoring Sunday hours long been a goal of the Fremont Library Advisory Commission, an eight-member panel appointed by the mayor. Commissioners have spent several years lobbying the community and the City Council to raise awareness about the demand for more library time, said Ruchi Sahota, the panel’s vice chair.

“There’s been a deprivation of hours,” Sahota said. “It’s not open in the mornings on most weekdays, and it’s open only seven hours on one weekend day, Saturday.”

For more of the story, click here.


Corbett names Union City manufacturer “Small Business of the Year”

UNION CITY — Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, has named a Tri-City tech manufacturer as her district’s “Small Business of the Year.”

Corbett gave the award to PTR Manufacturing, Inc., a Union City-based company that serves Silicon Valley companies by providing manufacturing in machining, sheet metal, welding and assemblies for several tech industries.

The family-owned company was founded by Sai La, a Vietnamese-born man who earned an AA degree in machining from Chabot College while working full time.

For more, click here.


Fremont using eminent domain for crucial downtown road extension

City officials expect to file the court action by end of June …

FREMONT — City officials have started the eminent domain process to purchase a parcel of land considered key in developing the downtown area, while taking steps to reassure neighboring owners that their properties are not next for the wrecking ball.

The five-member City Council unanimously voted last week to seize and acquire a 65,150 square-foot property at 39138 Fremont Blvd., between Mowry and Beacon avenues. The parcel is home to a three-story office building that houses a Citibank branch and other businesses. The building is in Fremont Plaza, a strip mall between a pair of outdoor shopping centers, Town Fair and The Hub.

“The city is looking forward to meeting with representatives of the owners of the Citibank building as soon as possible to work out the differences we have regarding the value of the building,” City Attorney Harvey Levine said. “We have already reached out to the tenants to assist them in finding new places to relocate.”

Norm Matteoni, a San Jose-based attorney representing the Southern California-based property owners, Fremont Capital Group, LLC, said the city is not offering fair market value.

For more of the story, click here.


Milpitas man arraigned for Fremont crash that killed wife, 3-year-old son

You never know what’s going to happen when you start a work day as a reporter. I planned to spend the afternoon working on future stories, some of which we’ve discussed on this blog. Instead, I got assigned to cover the court appearance of Gilbert Gil, who less than a week ago was driving his wife and child near Central Park in Fremont. Now? His wife and child are dead and he’s in custody:

FREMONT — A Milpitas felon who crashed his car while speeding last week, killing his 3-year-old son and wife, was arraigned Monday on three felony counts related to their deaths.

Gilbert Jose Gil, 34, bowed his head in court while Superior Court Judge Keith Fudenna read the charges out loud. Gil wore eyeglasses and a county-issued red jumpsuit while standing behind a glass partition. Both of his elbows were covered with bandages.

Fudenna ordered Gil to appear in court again Tuesday for a hearing to assign him a public defender.

According to court documents, Gil is charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence — one each for the deaths of his wife, Joie Marie Gil, 31, and their son, Angelo Francisco Gil. Both counts come with a clause stating Gil inflicted great bodily injury on both of his victims. He also was charged with felony child endangerment.

Gil previously was convicted of three felonies in Santa Clara County Superior Court, according to court documents. In 2000, he was convicted of possession of a controlled substance. He also was convicted of second-degree commercial burglary and corporal injury on a spouse in 2003.

Gil’s family members, who sat in the courtroom, declined to comment after the hearing.

The fatal accident occurred about 12:50 p.m. June 4 in the 41400 block of Paseo Padre Parkway, south of Fremont’s Central Park, police said.

For more of the story, click here.


Fremont video surveillance cameras

I’m working on two stories today and will not get to this until next week, but I saw this email today from Fremont police’s Nixle account. Given the latest news about the NSA and Verizon Wireless, I imagine some will say this is a sign of creeping police state. On the other hand, others will say we should do whatever deters criminals from committing crimes. Either way, here’s the Nixle message:

“In recent weeks, Fremont Police Detectives and Patrol Officers have relied heavily upon private video to investigate criminal activity in our community.  Technology is becoming increasingly more cost effective and is a great deterrent to prevent crime as well as solve crime.  In one of our south end neighborhoods, residents collaborated to raise funds and installed several community neighborhood cameras.  In addition, more than 20 of the 150+ residents installed private residential cameras to better safeguard their neighborhood.  Since doing so last October, the neighborhood has not had one residential burglary!  This is a great success story for the City’s Neighborhood Crime Watch program and a true community-police partnership.

Do you have a residential, neighborhood or business video surveillance camera?  If so, we’d like to hear from you.  We recently added a registration form on our website that allows our community to register private cameras with us.  The registration and sharing of information is 100% optional and not required.  Your information will only be shared with officers and law enforcement personnel who are investigating a crime in the vicinity of where your camera is located.

If you don’t yet have a camera system and are thinking about getting one, we have also added some tips for residential and neighborhood camera installation in the form of a guide on our website.  You can view all of our video surveillance information at www.fremontpolice.org/videosurveillance.

To skip the information and go directly to the registration form, go to www.fremontpolice.org/registercamera.”

Also, Fremont’s surveillance camera web page says this:

Do you currently utilize private video surveillance at your home or business?  If you do, we’d like to hear from you.

Video surveillance is one of the best methods for apprehending criminals and convicting suspects who are caught in the act of committing a crime.  Installing video surveillance is a great example of community-police partnerships and is something we highly value as a police agency serving a very large community.

If you would like to tell us that you have video surveillance and allow officers to contact you, should a crime occur in or near where your cameras are installed, we kindly ask that you let us know by filling out our registration form.

Here’s the registration form:  http://www.fremontpolice.org/forms.aspx?fid=85




Alleged Fremont gang member sent to prison for stabbing high school football star to death

Story by colleague Paul Rosynsky:

OAKLAND — A 19-year-old alleged Fremont gang member was sent to prison for 16 years to life Friday for stabbing a Newark Memorial High School football start to death outside a party last year.

Abraham Hade had no reaction as Alameda County Superior Court Judge Larry Goodman pronounced the expected punishment that came as a result of a jury verdict in March.

The jury found Hade guilty of second-degree murder for killing Osana Futi, 18, as the football player fought with Hade’s friend at about 11 p.m. on April 28, 2012 near the corner of Hyde Park and Yellowstone Park drives in Fremont.

Hade testified during the trial that the stabbing of Futi was conducted by a juvenile friend who told police that he had stabbed Futi.

But the jury believed evidence presented by deputy district attorney Elgin Lowe which suggested the juvenile was attempting to take responsibility for the crime because his punishment would be more lenient.

For more of the story, click here.



Fremont may use eminent domain process to buy land needed for proposed downtown

FREMONT — The City Council on Tuesday will consider using the eminent domain process to acquire a parcel considered crucial for the city’s proposed downtown area.

The 65,150 square-foot property is at 39138 Fremont Blvd., between Mowry and Beacon avenues.

Fremont officials are trying to purchase it for the Capitol Avenue extension project, which would connect Paseo Padre Parkway and Fremont Boulevard.

For more, click here.