Newark OKs 77 houses at ex-Ruschin School site

NEWARK — Nearly 80 houses will replace a 40-year-old school campus in a development that will net Newark Unified nearly $20 million.

Classic Communities, a Palo Alto developer, will build 77 residences at the ex-Ruschin Elementary School site, in a deal the City Council approved Thursday.

The development will be a combination of one-story and two-story houses, with one-story homes built next to existing ones, said Jim Pollart, a Classic Communities executive.

Mayor Alan Nagy said he supported the proposal because it would help satisfy the pent-up demand for housing in Newark, where virtually no homes have been built in the past 15 years.

“We’ve suffered from a financial standpoint because of that,” Nagy said.

At the council meeting, about 10 neighbors criticized the development but said they might support building a smaller number of homes.

“There’s this misperception that all the neighbors are against this (development),” said Jackie Burgess, who lives near the former school. “We’re not. We all would have been happy with 60 homes (instead of 77). We just want a dialogue.”

More than 200 people attended the public meeting, which was held at Newark Pavilion to accommodate an audience too big for City Hall.

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Union City: Job-training program opens satellite branch

UNION CITY — A West Oakland organization that teaches job and life skills to young adults has opened its first satellite branch in the Tri-City area, giving more East Bay students access to its free, nationally recognized program.

The Cypress Mandela Training Center preapprenticeship program, founded in Oakland in 1993, began offering its first 16-week course in Union City earlier this week, said group founder Art Shanks.

On Thursday, Shanks introduced several students in Union City’s inaugural class at a news conference at the former Barnard-White Middle School campus, the program’s southern Alameda County site.

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Water District to discuss proposed rate hike at Thursday meeting

The Alameda County Water District Board of Directors on Thursday night will discuss increasing customer rates and charges. The board will review proposed changes to rates and charges at regular meeting at 6 p.m.

The public is invited to give feedback about the planned rate hike. The water district is currently considering increasing its bimonthly service charges, which are based on customer water meter size. For most single family residential customers (5/8-inch or 3/4-inch meters), this would result in a bimonthly service charge increase of $9.59, or $4.80 per month; the current commodity rate and drought surcharge will remain unchanged, district staffers said..

The meeting will be held in the Board Room at ACWD Headquarters, 43885 South Grimmer Blvd. in Fremont.

Go online at www.acwd.org/rateproposals for more information about the proposed rate increase.



Newark: School board appoints new member

NEWARK — After a year of upheaval, the five-person school board is whole again, as trustees have appointed a new member to an open seat.

Francisco Preciado Jr. joined the board Tuesday night, when he was selected from among five candidates who interviewed at a public meeting.

The Newark Unified School District board of trustees filled the post formerly held by Gary Stadler, who resigned in August after being served with recall papers.

Preciado, 29, is married and has two children. His term expires in November 2016.

The school board decided to appoint its newest member because it was far less expensive than a special election, which would have cost around $300,000.

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Fremont: Upcoming Storm Information for Residents and Businesses

Fremont residents who need sandbags for the storm expected Thursday, can find them at the following locations. More info is listed below:
Fremont residents and businesses may pick up a maximum of 10 sandbags (per household/business), if needed, at the following locations beginning Wednesday morning.  Bags will be provided, but you must bring your own shovel.
• Fremont Fire Station 10 – 5001 Deep Creek Rd.
• Fremont Fire Station 5 – 55 Hackamore Ln.
• City of Fremont Corporation Yard – 42551 Osgood Road (M-F8am – 5pm only)
Contact Information & Resources:
Emergency – 9-1-1
Storm Related Issues (tree hazards, flooding, storm drains, etc.) – 510-979-5700
Fremont Police Non-Emergency – 790-6800 and select option 3
Alameda County Flood Control (flood control channels) – 510- 670-5500
PG&E 24-Hour Emergency – 1-800-PGE-5000
Fremont Fire – 510-494-4200
City of Fremont, Fremont Police and Fremont Fire Communication Resources –www.fremont.gov/socialmedia

Union City: Logan High students stage walkout, march over Ferguson decision

Covering this yesterday, I was impressed this demonstration was wholly peaceful and organized. It was planned by three teenage Logan students.

UNION CITY — About 300 James Logan High School students walked out of class Tuesday in solidarity with nationwide protests over police violence in Ferguson, New York and other cities.

Around 2 p.m., the students left classrooms in the middle of a school period and marched a few blocks to the Union City Police Department.

The students there took turns speaking on a bullhorn, condemning police killings of several unarmed black men across the country.

Some African-American students, including B.J. Lindhurst, said they lived in daily fear of being “the next Trayvon Martin or the next Eric Garner.”

Lindhurst, 16, said, “That fear is very present and you don’t have to actually be doing anything, after seeing what happened to Garner.” Garner was a New York man who died after a police officer put a choke hold on him.

For more, click here.


Union City woman dies after San Leandro-Oakland police pursuit, shooting

Story by Natalie Alund and Harry Harris:

OAKLAND — A 27-year-old Union City woman shot by San Leandro police after she tried to ram an officer in a stolen truck died from her wounds Tuesday morning, police said.

The woman, whose name was not released Tuesday, was shot Sunday night while driving a 2006 GMC pickup truck that was reported stolen Dec. 4 out of Modesto. She died around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday at Highland Hospital.

Her passenger in the truck, a 21-year-old Oakland woman, has been questioned and released. The passenger told Oakland investigators she did not know the truck was stolen when she got into it.

For more, click here.


Share the Spirit: Tri-City Volunteers give food, hope to thousands

If you’re a Fremont resident looking to give time, money or food this holiday season, a good place to start would be Tri-City Volunteers, a longtime Centerville district charity:

FREMONT — When Mary Aguirre lost her job in 2009, she also lost her home, surviving only by turning in desperation to a Fremont food pantry.

 A half-decade later, Aguirre’s finances are on stronger footing. But she has returned to the Tri-City Volunteers Food Bank & Thrift Store, anyway — this time as an employee helping others down on their luck.

Aguirre signs up clients at the Centerville district charity to receive food and social services.

“People tell me their troubles and I try to help,” said Aguirre, 61. “I find the work very rewarding because I’ve been through it on both sides. This work touches my heart.”

Tri-City Volunteers serves about 6,000 families and 16,000 individuals each month but those numbers rise during the holidays, said Manager of Agency Operations Sara Govea.

It tries to connect clients with as many social services as possible, helping them battle homelessness, substance addiction, domestic abuse and other issues.

For more, click here.


Fremont vigil honoring shooting victims scheduled on Sandy Hook anniversary

FREMONT — A candlelight vigil will be held Sunday in honor of the 26 people slain in the Sandy Hook School shooting, as well as the thousands nationwide shot to death each year.

 The event will begin outside Mission San Jose Church at 5 p.m. Sunday — Sandy Hook’s two-year anniversary. An interfaith service will start at 5:15 p.m., said vigil organizer Toni Shellen.

“We want to honor and pray for the victims and survivors of gun violence,” said Shellen, a Fremont resident. “We also want to keep the issue on the front burner. We don’t want to keep waiting for another shooting.”

Shellen said she founded the Tri-City chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence after the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and 6 adults were killed on the Sandy Hook campus.

“I’m a retired teacher and I feel that a classroom is one of those places where you should always feel safe,” Shellen said. “It should be like your home.”

For more, click here.



Union City project would put 243 apartments, retail near BART

Like other East Bay cities, Union City is adding more housing:

UNION CITY — A developer wants to build 243 apartments and ground-floor retail next to the BART station, taking another step toward fulfilling the city’s vision for higher-density homes and commercial space within a thriving transit district.

The mixed-use project would be built on a 2.5-acre parcel at 34588 11th St. in Union City’s Station district.

It would feature market-rate, multifamily housing units in a four-story building, 3,000 square feet of retail, and a five-level parking garage.

“We’re very excited about this project because it will continue that mixed-use theme for the Station district,” said Union City Economic and Community Development Director Joan Malloy. “And it will capitalize on public transit.”

The City Council will consider approving the project in January, she said.

For more, click here.