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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*

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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)

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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).

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A silver lining to ed budget cuts

Here’s the latest student column, by the Newark student board rep. Next month, we’ll hear from New Haven Unified’s Leslie Salvador.

BUDGET CUTS UNITE COMMUNITY

By Evangel PenumakaEvangel Penumaka

Newark Unified student board member

Before this school year, I wasn’t very concerned with the number of budget cuts being made. I hadn’t realized the consequences of these changes and felt they wouldn’t really affect me. At the same time, I had no idea who was making all these decisions that would change our school and passed it off as the Faceless Man who could care less about the schools, the students and the teachers. That being said, my experience on the Newark school board has opened my eyes.

This year, I’m piecing together how everything works, what different factors play a role in the decisions made, as well as the number of people who make these decisions. I learn new things at every board meeting, and I’ve realized how naïve I was. These cuts will affect everyone, regardless of the different impact it has on us.  Continue Reading

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Student column

Here’s the second student column, which we’ve started running once a month since January. This month’s column is by Evangel Penumaka, student representative to the Newark Unified school board. She attends Newark Memorial High.

Last month’s column was by Fremont student school board member Jennifer Siew. Next month, we’ll hear from Leslie Salvador of Logan High School in Union City (New Haven Unified student board member).

LETTING INVISIBLE CHILDREN BE HEARD

BANG TEEN COLUMNIST EVANGEL PENUMAKABy Evangel Penumaka

Newark Unified student board member

When I tell people about the club I started at school, I am sometimes met with skeptic faces and replies such as, “Invisible Children? What, do you go searching for kids that are, like, invisible?”

The other responses I get are positive, as most people become curious about what the club is, and if they’ve heard about it, they are eager to help.

Invisible Children is a non-profit which started in spring 2003 by three filmmakers from San Diego who traveled to Uganda. They were looking for a story and an adventure, but what they found shocked them. They learned about the war that has been waging in Uganda for more 23 years between a rebel army and the government. The rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army, is led by Joseph Kony. When support for the movement to take control dwindled, Kony resorted to abducting children and forcing them to fight in the war. Continue Reading

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Newark teens IDed in murder, attempted suicide

Although investigators have not released the name of the teen believed to have been shot to death by her ex-boyfriend before turning the gun on himself Friday, multiple outside sources have identified the girl as Amanda Caravantes and the suspect as Erik Petersen, both 17.

Both teens attended Newark Memorial High at some point, and Petersen still is enrolled there, according to sources.

Community members have called a candlelight vigil at 7 tonight near Newark Junior High (at Lafayette Ave./Newark Blvd.).

The text in blue is a statement from the Newark school district:

The Newark Unified School District and the Newark Memorial High School community are saddened by the tragic loss and injury of two young people on Friday night in Fremont. 

In order to provide support to students and staff who may know these families, the District will have counselors and psychologists on call this week.  Parents and students are encouraged to contact school staff if they need, or know of anyone who needs support regarding this incident.

Please join us in keeping these young people and their families in your thoughts.

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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.

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Newark Unified School District seeking an interim high school principal

Big thanks to a caller who pointed out that the Newark Unified School District has posted a job listing for an Interim principal position at Newark Memorial High School. The district had been seeking a principal since June when then-principal Connie Spinnato left her post after just one year. The district held a special board meeting last week — to presumably present a candidate for the position — but nothing of significance took place. The next day, the aforementioned job listing was posted.

Both Superintendent Kevin Harrigan and Human Resources Director Tim Erwin are on vacation this week, so we’ll have to wait until Monday at the earliest to find out why the district is now searching for an interim principal. Officials have said in the past that starting a job search in June for such an important position is not ideal. In other words, they would have preferred to solicit applications earlier in the school year because most people have their plans for the next year pretty well mapped out by June.

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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?