Food donations needed for LOV’s 25th annual Thanksgiving meal in Newark

Shirley Sisk, executive director of the Newark-based League of Volunteers, is asking the public for donations for the nonprofit group’s annual free Thanksgiving dinner next week. Here are the details:

The League of Volunteers (LOV) is planning on serving 4,000-5,000 meals on Thanksgiving Day at the Newark Pavilion or delivered to the homebound in Fremont, Newark, Union City, Hayward, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Castro Valley.  Only a week to go and to date there is a desperate shortage of the following:

Turkeys – need 300 – have 36 – short 264

Hams – need 80 – have 12  – need 68 more

Pre-baked pies – need 500 – have 20 promised  – short 480

Instant Potato Mix – large box –  have 25 – need 50 more

Chicken Broth – need 20 large cans – have 6

Canned Corn – need 91 more

Canned Green Beans – need 324 more

Oval Aluminum Roasting Pans – need 491 more

Butter – both 1 lb. boxes (40 needed)  & individual patties (box of 200)

Bottled water – need 18 cases

Dessert plates – need 700 more

Sandwich bags  – need 2,500 – have only 396

Take Home Styrofoam Dinner Containers – need 700 more

Large lunch bags – need 1,100 more 

Charcoal to cook turkeys – need 1,000 lbs.

Turkey Roasting bags – need 300


These are just a few of the many food and supply items needed to help make this a happy holiday for those in need or those that are alone this Thanksgiving. You may also call 510-793-5683 for an update on needs.  LOV’s Community Service Center is at 8440 Central Ave., Ate A/B , Newark, 94560.

It is open to receive donations Monday thru Friday from 8:30 am until 5 pm. Or you maycall for pick up. If you don’t have time to shop, monetary donations are very much welcome so that we may purchase what is needed.

For more information, call LOV at 510-793-5683 or send an email at lov@lov.org.



Fremont’s two-week trade mission to India to cost taxpayers $28,500

From our Citywise column that ran Saturday.

Fremont Vice Mayor Anu Natarajan is leading a delegation of elected officials, city employees, and community and business leaders on a two-week trip to India.

The 13-person group includes Councilman Vinnie Bacon, Assistant City Manager Mark Danaj, Deputy City Manager Nadine Nader and Economic Development Director Kelly Kline. Mike Holtzclaw and Bill Sharar, two Ohlone College representatives, as well as officials from Fremont tech companies and the Bay Area chapter of the Center for International Trade Development also joined the trade mission.

From Friday to Nov. 27, the delegation is scheduled to visit the cities of Chennai, Bangalore and Jaipur, said Cheryl Golden, a Fremont city spokeswoman. Chennai, set on the southeastern coast, is a manufacturing hub, while the central city of Bangalore, Natarajan’s hometown, is India’s technology base. Jaipur, one of Fremont’s sister cities, is in north India, near Delhi.

India has more than 1.2 billion residents and the world’s 11th largest economy. In Fremont, nearly 1 in 5 of 217,000 residents are Indian-American, and two serve on the five-member City Council.

The trip’s goals include helping Fremont companies gain a larger market presence in India; establishing partnerships between the city and Indian companies for job creation; making connections with investors seeking construction projects in Fremont and other parts of Alameda and Santa Clara counties; and promoting Ohlone College and other educational institutions with overseas companies.

The trip will cost Fremont taxpayers about $28,500, city officials said. City Manager Fred Diaz, who was out of the office Friday, could not be reached for comment about the trade mission.


Consultant: ‘Washington Hospital’s CEO is underpaid at $813,916’

Thanks, bbox, for the suggestion and reminder to post Ashly McGlone’s stories on Washington Hospital. Here’s Ashly’s latest:

FREMONT — The CEO of the Washington Township Health Care District, who ranks among the highest-paid government employees in the state, is underpaid at $813,916, a consultant told the public agency’s board of directors Wednesday.

CEO Nancy Farber’s total cash compensation this year isn’t competitive when compared to her national and local peer group, and falls $119,000 short of the district’s philosophy to pay the chief executive in the 65th percentile, said consultant Eric Reehl, with Minneapolis-based Integrated Healthcare Strategies.

Further, Reehl said, CEO base pay is expected to rise 3 percent in 2014, as it did in 2013, so the gap will only widen if directors do nothing.

For more of the story, click here.


Rep. Mike Honda to host coffee and benefits forum with veterans Saturday in Fremont

A press release from Rep. Mike Honda’s office:

FREMONT – On Saturday morning, November 16th, Rep. Mike Honda (D-Silicon Valley) will host a coffee and benefits services event for veterans at the Fremont Veterans’ Memorial Building.  All veterans with questions for the Congressman, or who need direct access to constituent staff, are invited.

Also attending the event will be officials from the V.A., as well as health care and Veterans Service Outreach staffers, to assist with filing claims, inquiries on benefits, and other issues. As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Honda has worked to facilitate the creation of a unified electronic health record system to reduce the backlog in veterans’ claims processing.

WHO: Rep. Mike Honda; representatives from the V.A. and government health and outreach agencies

WHAT: Coffee and benefits forum

WHEN:   Saturday, November 16th

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Rep. Honda will meet with veterans

10am a.m. – 11:00 a.m. V.A., Outreach & Constituent Services offered to veterans

WHERE:          Fremont Veterans’ Memorial Building

37154 Second Street

Fremont, CA 94536


John Henneberry files civil rights lawsuit vs. Newark police, city manager and others

NEWARK — Vocal City Hall critic John Henneberry has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Newark, City Manager John Becker, Alameda County, claiming his civil rights were violated when he was arrested in April at the State of the City address.

Henneberry is seeking unspecified monetary damages and claims his 1st, 4th and 14th Amendment rights were violated when he was taken into custody after he sat in the public gallery section at the Newark gathering. Instead of being cited and released, which he says is standard procedure for those arrested on suspicion of a non-violent misdemeanor, Henneberry was held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin for 32 hours.

Story is being filed Friday and will be in weekend print edtion. Stay tuned.

The story that ran in Sunday’s paper can be found by clicking here.


Labor groups accuse each other of misconduct in fight to represent Fremont employees

FREMONT — A dispute between two labor organizations vying to represent more than 25 percent of the city’s employees has turned bitter and seemingly endless, with both sides accusing each other of misconduct as the case awaits a decision from state officials.

On one side is the Fremont Association of City Employees (FACE), while the other is the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 — and each says it alone has the authority to represent 227 city workers in contract talks.

That wide-ranging group of employees — the city’s largest among its 833 workers — includes planners, home inspectors, park rangers, social workers, police administrative workers and more.

For more of the story, click here.


Fremont: Industrial accident injures three employees at Tesla Motors plant

Story by colleagues David DeBolt and Dana Hull:

FREMONT — Three Tesla Motors employees were injured when a low-pressure aluminum casting press failed Wednesday afternoon at the company’s Fremont factory.

There was no fire and no explosion, but fire trucks and an ambulance responded to the factory, located at 45500 Fremont Boulevard near Interstate 880, shortly after noon. The three employees were taken to Valley Medical Center with second-degree burns.

“We had an equipment failure with an aluminum casting machine, which spilled hot metal on three people,” Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said in an e-mail. “Two (workers’ injuries) sound relatively minor, one more serious. (I) am going to visit them in the hospital later today and will personally ensure that they receive the best possible care.”

For more of the story, click here.


Planning Commission approves Newark General Plan, council to vote on Dec. 12

I got back yesterday from a 10-day vacation — Nov. 2 to Nov. 11.  It was sorely needed.

My first day back ended around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday in the Newark City Council chambers. That’s where the Newark Planning Commission voted to recommend approval for the General Plan Update, even after eight residents spoke in opposition to the Updated Plan, the Area 4 development proposal  and other development projects therein.

The Planning Commission voted unanimously 6-0 to recommend the plan for approval.

The commission’s vote on the issue had been continued (in other words, postponed) in meetings throughout October, as local residents, environmental groups and regional agencies voiced their opposition, especially to the housing and mixed-use projects planned in Areas 3 and 4. That opposition was noted in an Argus story filed Oct. 30.

The City Council will vote on General Plan Update at a meeting scheduled Dec. 12.




Fremont studying designs, costs of building new City Hall

What are your thoughts about these preliminary ideas for a new City Hall that the city of Fremont is exploring?

FREMONT — Officials are exploring the idea of building a new Fremont City Hall, adding another element to ambitious plans to create a mixed-use district that they hope transforms a moribund 110-acre area into a regional destination.

Three weeks ago, staff employees and the five-member City Council toured City Halls in Redwood City, Mountain View, Cupertino and Milpitas to do some window shopping and compare notes on those cities’ civic centers.

“We looked at Redwood City and Mountain View to see how they merged their City Hall with active and successful downtowns,” said Jessica von Borck, Fremont’s urban initiatives manager.

Milpitas has one of the newest civic buildings, but Cupertino held special interest because its City Hall includes areas for the community, which is one of Fremont’s goals.

“We want to create a downtown that provides public spaces,” said von Borck. “We want to make part of our civic center area open to the public for events and art shows.”

The new City Hall would be built next to the old one, at the intersection of Capitol Avenue and State Street, where Fremont’s Family Resource Center is located.

Of course, ambitious proposals like these come loaded with an arsenal of questions, such as: How much will it cost? What would a new City Hall look like? How much will it cost? Where will the Family Resource Center go? And — one more time — how much will it cost?

The city is paying San Francisco-based Studios Architecture Associates about $150,000 to study those questions, and they are expected to deliver some answers by early next year, said von Borck.

“At that point, we’ll take a step back and identify how to move forward,” von Borck said. “We really don’t yet know the costs or how many buildings we’ll need. We’re in the data-gathering stage right now.”


Newark recycling plant to hold public meeting with residents Wednesday

NEWARK — An oil recycling company that shut down part of its operations after a fire damaged its facility nearly three years ago is inviting the community to a public meeting Wednesday.

Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc. — formerly known as Evergreen Oil — has scheduled the meeting from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Silliman Activity and Family Acquatic Center, at 6800 Mowry Ave.in Newark.

Company officials say they are holding the gathering to introduce themselves to the community and share their future plans.

The three-hour session will start with a video presentation, followed by a question-and-answer period expected to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Since 1984, the Newark business has been located at 6880 Smith Ave., near Cherry Street and a development of single-family homes. During Evergreen Oil’s nearly 30 years of operation, residents living nearby complained often about unpleasant odors emitted by the company.

For more information about the meeting, call 510-608-0137.

Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.