Election update

Here’s the latest on who’s pulled/filed papers to run for local office this November (in alphabetical order). Names in blue are those who have “filed,” meaning they’ve submitted completed paperwork as opposed to just picking up papers to run. Also, names with asterisks at the end are incumbents. The filing period ends Aug. 6.

* Alameda County Water District (2 open seats): 1) Judy Huang*; 2) Paul Sethy

* BART, District 6 (1 seat): 1) Tom Blalock*

* Fremont City Council (2 seats): 1) Vinnie Bacon; 2) Kristen Briggs; 3) Bill Harrison*; 4) John T. Herndon; 5) Fazlur Khan; 6) Kathryn Rhyn McDonald; 7) Anu Natarajan*; 8)) Vladimir Rodriguez; 9) Linda Susoev

* Fremont Unified School District (2 seats): 1) Lara York*

* New Haven Unified School District (2 seats): 1) Jerico Abanico; 2) Rosalinda Canlas; 3) Sarabjit Cheema; 4) Gwen Estes*

* Newark Unified School District (2 seats): 1) Charlie Mensinger*; 2) Gary Stadler; 3) Nancy Thomas*

* Ohlone Community College District, Area 1 (2 seats): 1) Bill McMillin*; 2) Richard Watters*

* Ohlone Community College District, Area 2 (2 seats): 1) Bob Brunton; 2) Ishan Shah

* Union City City Council (3 seats): 1) Subru Bhat; 2) Emily Duncan; 3) James Robert Greaney; 4) Venkataraman Iyer; 5) Forrest Patterson; 6) Gary Singh; 7) Bill Stone

* Washington Township Healthcare District (3 seats): 1) Michael Wallace*


Election filing period – Day 2

Here’s the latest on who’s pulled papers to run for the November election. Names that were added today are in blue. Remember: just because someone pulls papers doesn’t mean (s)he is running necessarily. One’s candidacy isn’t official until the completed forms are turned back into the county Registrar’s office (or city hall) and certified by the registrar/clerk. The filing period ends Aug. 6.

* Fremont City Council (2 open seats): 1) Kristen Briggs; 2) Kathryn Rhyn McDonald; 3) Bill Harrison; 4) Anu Natarajan; 5) Vinnie Bacon

* Fremont Unified School District (2 seats)

* Newark Unified School District (2 seats): 1) Gary Stadler; 2) Charlie Mensinger; 3) Nancy Thomas (Thomas pulled and filed papers today)

* New Haven Unified School District (2 seats): 1) Jerico Abanico; 2) Gwen Estes (Estes pulled and filed papers. She said four years ago when she ran for re-election that it would be her last term. I guess she changed her mind.)

* Union City Council (3 seats)

* Ohlone College, Area 1 (2 seats): 1) Bill McMillin; 2) Bob Brunton

* Ohlone College, Area 2 (2 seats)


Let the race began

Today was the first day people could officially declare their candidacy for local government races by filing papers with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters or, in some cases, at city hall. Here’s a summary of Tri-City area races for November and who’s picked up nomination papers. That means these people are thinking about running, but until they submit completed forms (aka “file them,”) they’re not official candidates.

* Fremont City Council (2 open seats):  1) Kristen Briggs; 2) Kathryn Rhyn McDonald; 3) Bill Harrison; 4) Anu Natarajan

* Fremont Unified School District (2 open seats).

* Newark Unified (2 open seats):  1) Gary Stadler

* New Haven Unified (2 open seats): 1) Jerico Abanico

* Union City Council (3 open seats): No one’s pulled papers, but Emily Duncan, of the city’s human relations commission, has had a Facebook page up since June about her candidacy.

* Ohlone College, Area 1 (2 open seats): Bill McMillin.

* Ohlone College, Area 2 (2 open seats).


New Haven honors its staff

Last night, the New Haven school district recognized its Teacher of the Year and its Classified Employee of the Year.

Mikey McKelveyThe Teacher of the Year is Mikey McKelvey, who teaches seventh-grade at Alvarado Middle School.

She’s served as a Writers Workshop coach, literacy coordinator, curriculum leader and department head and is on the school site council. She’s also a National Board certified teacher in English and social science/history.

McKelvey has taught in New Haven for 18 years, the majority of which has been spent at AMS.


Lenora MatthewsOn the classified side, Lenora Matthews was named Classified Employee of the Year.

Matthews has worked at Searles Elementary for four years, supervising recesses and organizing lunch and recess schedules, as well as the supervisors’ schedules. She also mentors students in the PALS program and serves on the Building Effective Schools Together (BEST) team.


Student columnist: hospitality lacking in Bay Area

Here’s the third student column, which we’ve started running monthly on the blog. Leslie Salvador is a senior at James Logan High in Union City.

Last month’s column was by Evangel Penumaka of Newark. Next month’s column will be by Jennifer Siew of Fremont.


leslie salvadorBy Leslie Salvador

New Haven Unified student board member

I have been fortunate to travel across the nation as a member of the renowned James Logan Forensics Speech and Debate Team. Last month, on my second trip to Mississippi to compete in the 2010 Hattiesburg Hub City Classic, I again experienced southern hospitality and realized that that trait is lacking in the Bay Area.

After roughly six hours of being on a plane, the James Logan Forensics Speech and Debate Team, headed by Coach Tommie Lindsey, was welcomed with open arms by two members of the Hattiesburg High School Forensics Team, Reggie and Cory, at the New Orleans airport. They rode with our team for two hours to Hattiesburg.

The time they sacrificed out of their schedules on a weekday to welcome us was a huge gesture, but the hospitality did not stop with the two young men. It started the moment I stepped off the plane and continued throughout the trip, which was something extraordinary. I have never felt so comfortable in a city other than Union City. Continue Reading


NHUSD’s controversial Barnard-White vote

People are still talking about the New Haven school board’s Tuesday meeting, when it voted 3-2 to reopen Barnard-White Middle School. The school closed two years ago as a cost-savings measure to deal with declining enrollment.

Although the board voted to reopen a school, it has not specified how many students can enroll, what type of school it will be (e.g., a regular school, small school, specialized academy, etc.) or how it will pay for it.

Many in the Decoto neighborhood want a school again that’s closer to home, but some community members say it’s fiscally irresponsible to open a school in the midst of budget cuts. The district is projecting a minimum $3.2 million deficit next year, and the board will be looking at possibly laying off teachers, increasing class sizes and cutting the budgets for transportation, band, forensics and other co-curricular programs.

Trustees Gwen Estes, Jonas Dino and Michelle Matthews voted to reopen BWMS while Gertrude Gregorio and Kevin Harper cast the dissenting votes.

For the full story, click here.


Logan High alum in Samoa

James Logan High School alumnus Matt Leal (class of 2000) has been blogging about the deadly tsunami that hit villages in Samoa and American Samoa, killing at least 39 people, on Tuesday. Leal, 27, has been on a Peace Corps assignment in Apia, Samoa, since last October. His mom said that he and the other Peace Corps members are safe.

Here’s an excerpt from his blog (in blue):

Most of Apia evacuated to higher ground. Uphill roads became one-way highways for cars and buses, but most of us just walked. Tsunami sirens blared across Apia. Church bells rang. My school rang its bell. …

I walked with a couple girls from my 11.3 class and held an impromptu geology lesson.

There was much confusion as to where we were supposed t go and where we could stop. Students asked me where we were going, and I could only tell them we were going “Up.” A couple teachers also asked me. “I was following you,” I said. …

It’s unclear what this means for the rest of the school day. Since there’s no articulated evacuation point, students and staff were strewn across multiple villages and it seems impossible for us all to come back and spend the rest of the day as normally scheduled.

To read more of his first-hand accounts and view photos, visit diplomatt.blogspot.com.


More students passing high school exit exam

Today, the state Department of Ed released its report about the number of sophomores who passed the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) this year. Students who did not pass have several more opportunities to retake the test their junior and senior years.

The exam tests students in their English and math skills. Students must pass the test to receive a high school diploma, although some special ed students may be exempt.

Click here for a chart showing the passage rate of first-time test-takers (i.e., sophomores) in each Tri-City school over the past three years.


YouTube: Friend or Foe?

Tonight, teacher Jaime Richards spoke before Fremont school board members, asking them to change a district policy that prohibits educators from using YouTube in the classroom. Richards said teachers should be trusted to use their judgment as to what materials are appropriate for students. I haven’t had a chance to confirm that this is the district’s policy or to get the district’s position, but Jaime raises an interesting point if it’s true:

Should teachers be allowed to show YouTube videos as part of their curriculum? Anyone know what the policy is in other districts?