Newark burglaries drop as residents get involved

This ran yesterday in The Argus/Oakland Tribune/Daily Review:

NEWARK — Tri-City residents fed up with home burglaries have fought back by partnering with law enforcement agencies, employing a mix of Neighborhood Watch groups and teams of police volunteers, sometimes using upgraded technology to catch criminals.

It’s hard to argue with the results, as burglary rates are down throughout southern Alameda County this year, police agencies say.

Fremont burglaries decreased 20 percent between 2012 and last year, and Union City’s rate dipped by 3 percent. Newark enjoyed the steepest drop, 41 percent.

The city of around 42,500 people has succeeded in attacking the crime from several sides, said Tim Jones, a member of Newark police’s community engagement team. “It’s not one singular thing that has done it,” he said. “It’s been about people working more in unison with police.”

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Some Newark News: NUSD teachers, admins get 5.5% raise

Story by colleague Doug Oakley, who has begun covering Alameda County schools:

Newark teachers and administrators will get a 5.5 percent raise under a new contract signed with the Newark Unified School District, officials said.

The teacher raise is retroactive to July 1 and is good through July 1, 2015, said Assistant Superintendent Tim Irwin. It is the first such raise the 300 teachers in the small school district have received in seven years, he said.

Irwin said management in the school district, including district administrators, school principals, coordinators and managers, also will get a 5.5 percent raise.

Newark teachers start at $57,368 a year and top out at $99,514 with 25 or more years experience, Irwin said.

For more of the story, click here.

Newark teachers, administrators get 5.5 percent raise


Mandatory water restrictions declared in Tri-City area

FREMONT — An emergency water shortage has been declared in the Tri-City area with mandatory limits on landscape irrigation.

The ordinance immediately took effect Thursday night when the Alameda County Water District board approved the action, agency spokesman Frank Jahn said.

It bans residents and businesses from irrigating lawns and other landscaped areas on consecutive days. Landscape watering will be permitted just one day a week from April 1 to May 31 and from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30; and two days a week from June 1 to Sept. 30. From Dec. 1 to March 31, irrigation is limited to one day per week and banned on rainy days.

Tri-City school districts and cities receive an extra day per week from June 1 to Nov. 30 to irrigate public parks, school grounds, playing fields and day care center landscaping.

Repeated violations of the new limits could result in serious punishment — termination of water service and a misdemeanor citation that could lead to a 30-day jail sentence and a $600 fine.

Formed in 1914, the Alameda County Water District supplies water to 336,000 people in Fremont, Newark and Union City.

For the story, click here.


Fremont schools: $157 million school bond spent properly, oversight panel says

FREMONT — The panel overseeing a $157 million bond measure says the school district spent the money properly to upgrade its aging 42 campuses, completing the promised work on time and under budget.

The health and safety bond that voters approved in 2002 paid for renovating Fremont’s schools over the past decade, including seismic retrofits, improved plumbing and heating systems, roofing repairs, and safety upgrades for playgrounds, electrical wiring, and automobile traffic, the oversight committee said at a school board meeting last week.

Recent refinancing, and interest earned on bond sales, gave the district more money for added renovations, pushing total expenses to $173 million, according to the committee’s report. The additional school projects included paving new parking areas, replacing a walkway cover, installing a library air conditioning system and renovating Valhalla Theater at Irvington High, the district’s only performing arts school.

“We showed the citizens of Fremont that the board and the district can be fiscally responsible,” said Peggy Herndon, an oversight committee member and a former school board trustee. “And we’re looking at having the same success with the next bond.”

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Fremont police volunteers, American Red Cross to co-host blood drive

FREMONT — The American Red Cross will co-host a blood drive next Thursday at the Fremont Police Department.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the police station, at 2000 Stevenson Blvd., on the north end of Central Park, police said.

Fremont police’s Volunteers in Patrol Services is co-hosting the drive.

To schedule an appointment, go online at www.redcrossblood.org, or call 800-733-2767 and use the following sponsor code: POLICE.

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Fremont residents leading Alameda County’s electric vehicle parade

FREMONT — The East Bay city most closely tied to Silicon Valley has the most electric vehicles in Alameda County, sending a positive charge through city leaders who say their commitment to high-tech businesses has followed residents onto the road.

Fremont, where 14 percent of the county lives, has nearly 30 percent of its electric vehicle owners, according to the California Center for Sustainable Energy, a nonprofit agency that tracks buyers and gives them rebates worth up to $2,500.

Fremont electric car owners have received 1,039 rebates since the program started in 2010, outpacing those in Oakland, Berkeley and even San Francisco. San Jose, the Bay Area’s largest city, has the most, at 3,158.

For more, click here.