Newark’s Slurry Seal road repair will close busy intersections from Aug. 4-14

From the city of Newark:

The work will take place at nights between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., from this Saturday (Aug. 4) to Wednesday, Aug. 14.  There will be lane closures. The Contractor will work on the outside lanes on one night and the inside lanes on another night, such that there is always one lane open to traffic in each direction at any given time.  Please plan accordingly and make certain you do not park on the streets during the construction. The areas will be posted “NO PARKING” and vehicles left in the construction area will be towed.

Sunday, August 4, 2013:
Mowry Ave. between Cherry St. and 530’ east of Alpenrose Ct.; and Newark Blvd. between Jarvis Ave. and City limits

Monday, August 5, 2013:
Cedar Blvd. between Newark Blvd. and Haley St.; Newark Blvd. between Thornton Ave. and Dairy Ave.; and Newark Blvd. between Jarvis Ave. and City limits

Tuesday, August 6, 2013:
Central Ave. between Cherry St. and Filbert St.; and Cherry St. between Thornton Ave. and Smith Ave.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013:
Central Ave. between Cherry St. and Filbert St; and Cherry St. between Thornton Ave. and Smith Ave.

Thursday, August 8, 2013:
Central Ave. between Filbert St. and Cherry St; and Mowry Ave. between Cherry St. and 530’ east of Alpenrose Ct.

Sunday, August 11, 2013:
Central Ave. between Filbert St. and Cherry St. and Mowry Ave. between Cherry St. and 530’ east of Alpenrose Ct.

Monday, August 12, 2013:
Cherry St. between Smith Ave. and Stevenson Blvd.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013:
Cherry St. between Smith Ave. and Stevenson Blvd.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013:
Mowry Ave. between Cherry St. and Union Pacific railroad tracks


Housing development near Fremont’s St. Joseph’s Cemetery area again stirs controversy, rumor

ICYMI: A story that ran in Sunday’s paper:

FREMONT — Plans to build houses next to a Mission San Jose district cemetery were approved three years ago, but the recent sight of bulldozers clearing land for the project resurrected an old turf battle and unleashed alarming rumors about the tombstones’ future.

But, like many a ghost story, much of the rumors have yet to be proven true.

Edenbridge Homes, a Los Altos developer, plans to construct 16 single-family residences by the end of next year on a 3.2-acre property next to St. Joseph’s Cemetery, along Mission Boulevard. The sloping parcel next to the cemetery offers views of San Francisco Bay and Peninsula cities to the west and the Fremont hills to the east.

The parcel once was the home to 251 unmarked graves that were relocated six years ago and some neighbors say they are unhappy that houses will be built on former grave sites.

Joe Lonsdale, who lives next to the cemetery and opposed the project three years ago, said the church should not have built over land that once housed unmarked graves. “I don’t think you should dig up bodies. The church shouldn’t do that,” he said. “To me, that’s a cemetery.”

But to city officials, it’s an issue that was decided three years ago, when the Planning Commission and City Council rejected a recommendation from Fremont’s Historical Architectural Review Board, and approved the development.

“The developer received all the approvals necessary to build a subdivision for developing 16 homes back in 2010,” said Clifford Nguyen, a Fremont associate planner.

For more, click here.


Fremont Planning Commission approves conversion of Dumbarton Quarry into park

The Planning Commission voted Thursday to allow the Dumbarton Quarry to be converted into a 91-acre regional park.

The issue now will go to the City Council for final approval at a meeting scheduled sometime in September, Fremont officials said.

Dumbarton Quarry Associates, a company that operated a crushed rock aggregate quarry at the Ardenwood neighborhood site, has to pay all costs to construct the park. They also have to fill the 300-feet-deep quarry pit, which is approved to receive as much as 6 million cubic yards of soil.

That part is simple enough — who would be against converting an ugly  quarry pit  into a nice extension of nearby Coyote Hills Regional Park?

Here’s where it might get complicated.

As this story and comments posted here have noted, some are concerned that the contaminated soil from the Patterson Ranch development might be allowed to be dumped in the quarry. That toxic soil has not been approved for dumping, but it’s just a Regional Water Quality Control Board decision away from receiving the green light. If approved, the contaminated soil might expose visitors and nearby residents to a health hazard — not exactly what nature lovers have in mind when camping for a weekend.

The Patterson Ranch soil, which will be moved somewhere while 500 homes on the east side of Ardenwood Boulevard are constructed, was not directly part of the item voted upon at the Planning Commission meeting, nor will it be considered when the City Council votes on it in September. It bears repeating that the agenda item is, instead, directly related to approving the filling of the quarry pit and approving the 91-acre park plan next to the Dumbarton Bridge and the Newark border, on the northwestern edge of Fremont.

Will that invite the Patterson Ranch soil and other material that raises the ire of environmental groups to be dumped there?

Stay tuned.


Newark road closures/parade routes this weekend for Holy Ghost Festa

Press release from Newark Police Department:

On Saturday (July 27, 2013) and Sunday (July 28, 2013), 91st annual Newark Holy Ghost Festa will be occurring. Parades will be held on both days causing several road closures within the City of Newark. Residents and visitors are advised to use alternate routes (including trucks) to prevent delays to their destinations.

The following roads will be closed on Saturday, July 27, 2013 between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Thornton Avenue (all eastbound lanes) between Cherry Street and Arden Street, Arden Street, Plummer Avenue, Galletta Drive, and Cherry Street (all northbound lanes) between Plummer Avenue and Thornton Avenue.

The following roads will be closed on Sunday, July 28, 2013 between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Thornton Avenue (all eastbound lanes) between Cherry Street and Saint Edwards Street. The following intersections that intersect with Thornton Avenue will be closed to thru-traffic at Arden Street (southbound), Newark Blvd (north and southbound), and Birch Street (southbound).

All trucks that normally travel on northbound Cherry Street to Thornton Avenue are advised to use Central Avenue to northbound Cedar Boulevard to return to eastbound Thornton Ave. Westbound Thornton Ave. traffic is advised to use Central Avenue to Willow Street. All motorists are advised to follow all detours and exercise caution while driving through the area.


Extended Nighttime Closures on Eastbound Mission Blvd. in Fremont

Traffic Advisory
Mission Warren Area Improvements Project

Mission Blvd (Route 262), westbound and eastbound, between I-880 and Warm Springs Blvd in Fremont

EB, Thursday, 7/25 – Friday 7/26; 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
EB, Friday, 7/26 -Saturday, 7/27; 9 p.m. to 11 a.m. [EXTENDED HOURS]
EB, Saturday, 7/27 -Sunday, 7/28; 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. [EXTENDED HOURS]
EB, Sunday, 7/28 – Monday, 7/29; No closure
EB, Monday, 7/29 – Friday, 8/02; 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
EB & WB Friday, 8/02 – Sunday 8/04 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. [As necessary]

Temporary overnight road closures to allow for delivery of steel beams and construction of new railroad bridge structure over Mission Boulevard.

Eastbound Closures:
From I-880: Eastbound Mission Boulevard closed between I-880 and Warm Springs. Use Dixon Landing or Fremont Boulevard.
To I-680: An alternate option is eastbound Automall Parkway.

Westbound Closures:
From I-680: Westbound Mission Boulevard closed between Warm Springs and I-880. Use Automall Parkway.
To I-880: Alternative options for westbound motorists in south Fremont are Fremont Boulevard and Dixon Landing in Milpitas.

Warren Avenue is closed between Kato Road and Mission Falls Court and cannot be used as an alternate for Mission Boulevard.

City’s web link is here.


Fremont named nation’s 2nd Safest City

Judging by past comments, many of you rightly take those many annual “Best of Cities” lists with a grain of salt — or even outright mockery. But one list recently announced is one worth taking seriously — Top 20 Safest Cities in the U.S.

Fremont came in 2nd, behind Irvine, Calif.

BusinessInsider.com looked at FBI crimes statistics for cities with at least 200,000 people. Here’s the list:

1. Irvine, Calif.

2. Fremont

3. Plano, Texas

4. Madison, Wisconsin

5. Irving, Texas

6. Scottsdale, Arizona

7. Boise, Idaho

8. Henderson, Nevada

9. Chandler, Arizona

10. Chula Vista, Calif.

11. Hialeah, Florida

12. Virginia Beach, Virginia

13. Garland, Texas

14. El Paso, Texas

15. Fontana, Calif.

16. Oxnard, Calif.

17. Reno, Nevada

18. Chesapeake, Virginia

19. Laredo, Texas

20. San Diego, Calif.

There’s plenty of good news for Fremont for being included on that list. If it’s accurate, then Fremont parents and grandparents can rest a little easier when their loved ones are out and about. Also, it will, in ways big and small, help improve home values.

Fremont on a positive national list with Irvine, Reno and Boise — that’s good. The bad news is, the city’s on the same list as places like Irvine, Reno and Boise.

Kidding aside, do you agree with this list? Do you feel safe in Fremont?



Poor Huma Abedin

And, lastly, I can’t end this day without offering sympathies to Huma Abedin … long-suffering wife of Anthony Weiner. His kind of double jeopardy form of self-destruction leaves me speechless. Fortunately, colleague Josh Richman has said something on the issue, or at least created something. He made a Storify story entitled:

Weinergate II: The Ballad of Carlos Danger

As Josh wrote: “It’s hard to believe a married man who had to resign his seat in Congress after becoming a walking, talking penis joke still had the poor judgment to continue sexting with strangers, and now has the cojones to continue his New York City mayoral campaign. But, whoop, there Anthony Weiner is.”

For more of Josh’s Storify story on Anthony Weiner’s second worst day ever, click here.

[And for more info on what  Storify is, click here.]




91st annual Newark Holy Ghost Festa begins Thursday

NEWARK — A cherished yearly festival featuring Portuguese food, folklore and traditional ceremonies returns this week to Newark Pavilion.

The 91st annual Newark Holy Ghost Festa begins at 6 p.m. Thursday with the traditional “Blessing of the Meat and Offerings.”

The four-day event is made possible by the Portuguese Fraternal Society of America, Newark Holy Ghost — a cultural organization that plans the festival’s calendar and holds fundraisers to pay for it. The nearly century-old event teems with tradition, featuring ceremonies aligned with the Catholic Church. Each day’s festivities will take place on the pavilion grounds at 6430 Thornton Ave.

“For me, this festival means going back to my heritage and reliving the steps that my parents and grandparents would take to celebrate the Holy Ghost Festa,” said Lilia Couto, a Newark resident and one of the organizers.

For more, click here.


Fremont Planning Commission to vote on Dumbarton Quarry’s conversion to park land

Here is the second of two Fremont stories in Wednesday’s print edition. This one on Dumbarton  Quarry’s planned conversion to a 91-acre park is the first of a number of stories we’re planning on proposed changes in this part of town.

FREMONT — The Planning Commission on Thursday will consider allowing a former quarry to be converted into a 91-acre regional park, but some environmentalists question whether the quarry company will deliver, given that its first plan to transform the site into a lake fell by the wayside.

Dumbarton Quarry Associates, a company that operated a crushed rock aggregate quarry at the Ardenwood neighborhood site, cut a deal with Fremont in 1996 that called for the city to allow the company to continue quarry operations for another decade. But there was one condition: the company had to pay all costs to fill the quarry pit with as much as 6 million cubic yards of soil and transform it into a regional park.

Once operations ceased in 2007, the company’s first proposal to construct a 20-acre fishing lake hit a wall, as regulatory agencies found there was no feasible way for lake water to flow into the bay, making it inhospitable for fish. That failure led some to lose trust in the company, as even park district officials two years ago wrote a letter to Fremont, questioning the company’s willingness to honor its deal with the city.

For more, click here.


Fremont’s Pay-to-Stay jail program allows some convicts to avoid tougher facilities

Here’s one of two stories running in tomorrow’s paper:

FREMONT — The rooms are tiny, windowless and furnished with cots next to a tiny toilet and sink. Guests get three square but unspectacular meals a day. Prior to check in, a court order is required.

The charge for a not-so-leisurely stay in the Fremont Police Detention Facility’s Pay-to-Stay program? At $155 daily, with a one-time fee of $45, it’s nearly the same as a standard room in a nearby hotel.

But revenue-hungry Fremont officials hope those convicted of misdemeanors in Alameda County courts will conclude that the benefits of the new Pay-to-Stay program — the first of its kind in the Bay Area — are worth the cost. Inmates with brief sentences can serve their time on weeknights close to home, avoiding the larger and rougher county jails in Oakland and Dublin.

“It’s still a jail; there’s no special treatment,” said Lt. Mark Devine, a Fremont police official who oversees the program. “They get the same cot, blanket and food as anybody in the county jail, except that our jail is smaller, quieter and away from the county jail population.”

Don’t bother looking for Yelp reviews — the Pay-to-Stay program is new and has yet to welcome its first guest. Devine acknowledges that the county looked at hotel rates when setting the price, “so we’re not gouging anybody.” Like a hotel, there’s soap, towels and even free toothpaste — everything but the freedom to check out and walk away.

For more, click here.