Tri-Cities Interfaith Council to hold celebration Saturday

A press release form the Tri-Cities Interfaith Council:

Tri Cities Faith Traditions Come Together to Forge a Deeper Understanding

The Tri-Cities Interfaith Council is thrilled to announce that on Saturday, February 1, 2014 from 1 -4 PM they will host Tri Cities first World Interfaith Harmony Celebration. World Interfaith Harmony Week was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010, in a resolution that states: “mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace” and so they “established World Interfaith Harmony Week as a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.”

The local lead organizer of the event, Moina Shaiq, is a member of the Alameda County Human Relations Commission and founder of the Muslim Support Network.  She said she wanted this event to happen in the Tri Cities area, “To build bridges of understanding, respect and support among diverse people of faith through education, dialogue and socialization and to strengthen family and community in solidarity with others across lines of race, class and religion.”

The afternoon event will give space for many different faith traditions to be represented by their local communities.  Participants from local communities of Atheist, Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Unitarian Universalist and more will have booths showcasing their beliefs, traditions and sacred objects.  There will also be an hour long moderated discussion between leaders of the faith communities that is sure to be entertaining and enlightening.  The event will take place at the Fremont Veterans Memorial Building in Niles, which is located at 37154 2nd St. in Fremont, California.

“Fremont is an incredible community, and a big part of what makes it so special is its diversity.  With more languages spoken in the homes than in any other city in the world, we are truly living the American dream.  This event intends to bring all of our traditions together to look for common understandings and shared values.  The differences we find can also be exciting and educational if we approach them non-judgmentally,” said co-planner Rev. Jeremy D. Nickel, the local Unitarian Universalist minister at Mission Peak UU in Fremont.

Anyone is welcome from any or no faith at all!



Fremont: Developer reviving $200 million Asian- and European-themed mall that stalled in ’07

Anybody remember when this very same mall idea on Stevenson Boulevard, next to Newark, was on the verge of being built back in 2007? It’s back. Story by colleague George Avalos.

FREMONT — A stalled $200 million retail mall here is being revived by a development group that wants to turn the retail, restaurant and high-rise hotel complex into a shopping and dining magnet for the Bay Area, the realty firm handling the Asian- and European-themed project said Thursday.

The Globe mall in Fremont will eventually total 450,000 square feet of shops, restaurants and cultural spaces, plus a 12-story, 248-room hotel that will have views of San Francisco Bay and be visible from Interstate 880. The mall will consist of a series of “villages,” each a building incorporating themes associated with a certain part of Asia or Europe.

For more, click here.


Alameda County Water District paying $280,000 for history books celebrating its centennial

From earlier this week:

FREMONT — To celebrate its centennial, the Alameda County Water District is spending about $280,000 to publish two books on its rich history, just as it raised water rates for the 12th consecutive year.

The district board president said the expenditure is right in line with the agency’s mission to educate the community about its valuable water resources. “People are always surprised to learn that ACWD is California’s first and oldest county water district and it’s the oldest government agency in southern Alameda County,” said Paul Sethy.

But Fremont resident Eric Tsai sees things a bit differently. “It’s a waste of ratepayers’ money,” he said, suggesting the district would do better spending the money on “replacing pipes or paying off its debt.”

The district has assembled an experienced team to develop the books: It will pay $219,000 to the Water Education Foundation, a Sacramento nonprofit organization that specializes in state water issues and history, to produce the publications, and another $60,000 to Paul Piraino, the district’s ex-general manager, to research agency history and serve as the main author. Piraino, a district employee for 27 years, receives an annual pension of about $250,000.

Formed in 1914, the Alameda County Water District today serves 336,000 people in Fremont, Newark and Union City, and has an annual budget of $119 million. It employs 238 full-time workers, whose future pension and health costs, estimated at nearly $130 million, are partly why the agency has raised rates each year since 2003.

For more, click here.


Plan okayed to dump Patterson Ranch soil in Dumbarton Quarry pit

In today’s paper:

FREMONT — Developers can dump hundreds of tons of pesticide-laden soil into the Dumbarton Quarry without endangering the health of nearby residents or visitors to the park planned atop the fill, a state agency has ruled.

The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board says that soil from Patterson Ranch — a 102-acre former farm at Ardenwood Boulevard and Paseo Padre Parkway, where developers plan to build 500 homes — contains about a dozen pesticides but their levels that do not threaten human life or the area’s groundwater.

As a result, as much as 210,000 cubic yards of the soil — equivalent to a 100-foot-high mound of dirt covering an entire football field — can be dumped in the quarry, said Keith Roberson, an engineering geologist with the agency.

But the approval comes with conditions, Roberson said.

For more of the story, click here.



Fremont Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition this weekend

Hey, if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, check this out:

FREMONT — The Fremont Symphony Orchestra this weekend will hold its 47th Young Artist Competition, with auditions scheduled Saturday and the finals on Sunday.

Twenty-one students ranging from 10- to 22-years-old are scheduled to participate. The contest’s top prize, the Phyllis Merrifield Award, is $1,000 and an appearance with the Fremont Symphony Orchestra next year. The second and third prizes are $500 and $250. An award reserved for students 15 and younger also is $250.

The contest judges will be Fremont Symphony Orchestra Music Director Gregory Van Sudmeier and concert pianists, Gregory Taboloff and Justin Levitt.

The finals competition will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. Tickets will be available at the door of Ohlone College’s Recital Hall, Room 133, Building 2, 43600 Mission Blvd.

Information available at 510-793-6375.





AC Transit Seeks Volunteers For Accessibility Advisory Committee

Hey, if anyone here is looking to volunteer your time and you  have some ideas how to improve AC Transit, especially for seniors and the disabled, then check out the public transit agency’s announcement:

To ensure that its transit services are used and easily obtainable by all members of the public, AC Transit is seeking volunteers to fill potential openings on its Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) during 2014.  Today the District appealed for applications from people interested in volunteering their input by serving on the committee as advocates for seniors and disabled bus riders.

The AAC, consisting of 14 members, typically meets on the second Tuesday of the month to address concerns about—and implement and enhance—AC Transit’s programs and services as related to seniors and people with disabilities. The committee was established specifically to review policies and procedures, as well as comment and advise the District and its seven-member Board of Directors on all matters related to bus accessibility.

Citizens appointed to serve on the committee shall serve a term of one (1) year beginningMarch 1, 2014.

f interested, applications can be obtained from and returned to the District Secretary’s Office, 1600 Franklin Street, 10th Floor, Oakland, California 94612 or by calling (510) 891-7201. Completed applications also can be faxed to: (510) 891- 4705 or emailed todistrictsecretary@actransit.org All applications must be returned to the District Secretary by January 31, 2014.


Water District might raise rates on Tri-City customers again

FREMONT — For the 12th consecutive year, Tri-City-area residents soon might be asked to dig deeper into their wallets to pay for water, and it likely won’t be the last time.

The Alameda County Water District, which has increased rates each year since 2003, is proposing yet another hike so that it is able to supply “safe, reliable water to 336,000 customers in Fremont, Newark and Union City,” said Walt Wadlow, the agency’s general manager since 2009. “The increases will allow ACWD to offset rising costs, as well as create long-term financial sustainability.”

The Water District’s five-member board will consider the proposal Thursday night. If approved, the average residential customer in 2014 would pay $109.53 every two months, an increase of 7 percent in customers’ bimonthly bills, Wadlow said.

For more, click here.


Ex-New Haven Unified Superintendent (and Fremont school trustee) Guy Emanuele Jr. dies

UNION CITY — Guy Emanuele Jr., a highly regarded former New Haven Unified School District superintendent and Fremont school board member, has died, his family announced Monday. Emanuele, who had been battling complications from Parkinson’s disease, died early Sunday. He was 83.

He led the district from 1976 to 1998, a crucial period of growth for Union City and New Haven Unified, officials said. He “found New Haven a district of bricks, and he left it a district of marble,” said former Union City Mayor Mark Green. “He was the most important person in the school district’s history.”

For more of the story, click here.


Family of teen killed in New Year’s Eve vehicle crash in Fremont seeking donations

Story by colleague Katie D. Nelson:

FREMONT — An online fund has been set up to help pay for funeral and burial costs for 19-year-old Ashley Capuchin, the young mother struck and killed on New Year’s Eve in a crash that seriously injured her infant son.

Capuchin’s family is hoping to raise $10,000 on www.giveforward.com. So far, 36 people have donated over $3,000.

For more, click here.