Fremont police to hold training Friday at Ohlone College

If you hear loud noises and see lights flashing Friday near Ohlone College, don’t be alarmed, says the Fremont PD. Here’s their announcement:

On Friday, August 15, 2014, from approximately 7:00 a.m. – 11:30 p.m., the City of Fremont’s Police and Fire Departments will conduct a joint training exercise at Ohlone College, located on the 43600 block of Mission Blvd.

The training will involve a large number of police and fire personnel at the school campus. The purpose of this specialized training is to enhance the ability of our Fire and Police departments to jointly respond to major acts of violence.  Part of the training involves expanding the delivery of medical aid during high risk situations.   This partnership is of great benefit to those we serve and is a core component of our mission to provide the highest level of public safety to our community.

During the training, you may see public safety vehicles driving on the campus with emergency lights flashing and limited occasional pyrotechnics will be used to simulate the noise and smoke of an incident.  Training safety during this exercise is of the utmost importance to us.  The training site will be secure and will not be open to the public, press or media.   The theater performance scheduled for Friday evening on the campus will not be affected.  We appreciate your understanding and have structured the training to limit the impact on the surrounding community.


Fremont: School leaders may delay use of health textbook after parent outcry

FREMONT — School district leaders are considering delaying the adoption of a health textbook after parents complained that its presentation of frank sexual topics is inappropriate for ninth-grade students.

Superintendent Jim Morris has recommended putting on hold the use of “Your Health Today” until Fremont Unified employees can work with the book’s publisher to make it more “age-appropriate.”

Meantime, school board members on Wednesday will consider using last year’s health textbook for the short term.

“I … recognize and respect the concerns of some of our families,” Morris said, “and believe this recommendation is a great compromise that will address those opinions while still working toward ultimately providing the best curriculum possible in our schools.”

The controversy started June 25, when Fremont school board members voted 3-2 to buy copies of the book. But parents objected to the book’s sections that talk about sexual education topics. A petition on the website Care2 has nearly 2,200 signatures calling for the book’s removal.

For more, click here.



Oakland Tribune editorial: Newark school board trustees should reveal their votes or resign

Here’s a Bay Area News Group editorial about the Newark Unified school board’s vote in closed session on Friday. The editorial that appeared in Tuesday’s (Aug. 12, 2014) newspaper edition:

Elected officials too frequently forget they’re accountable to the public for their votes.

In this case, the Newark school district board last week in closed session defeated a motion to allow popular Superintendent Dave Marken to rescind his resignation.

Two trustees supported the motion, and three did not. The board refused to reveal publicly how each trustee voted. They relied on convoluted legal advice from their attorney, Louis Lozano.

The state open meeting law is clear. Local government boards must report how each member voted on any “action taken.” That includes “a collective commitment … to make a positive or a negative decision.”

Nevertheless, Lozano argues that trustees only need to report votes on motions that pass. The motion that failed, Lozano says, was to allow Marken to rescind his resignation. Lozano argues that had the board instead passed a motion not to allow Marken to rescind his resignation, trustees would have had to make their votes public.

Lozano’s legal hairsplitting runs roughshod over the intent and language of the law. Even Lozano admits that the board could have opted to reveal the vote anyhow. So far, it hasn’t.

If trustees don’t want to be accountable, they should resign.

For the online version, click here.



Newark school trustees decline superintendent’s offer to rescind resignation

Lots going on in Newark on Friday afternoon/night. First, the Newark Unified school board interviewed at least one candidate in closed session after 100 people crowded a Silliman Center room, urging the trustees to keep Superintendent Dave Marken. After three hours in closed session, the board announced it had declined Marken’s offer to rescind his resignation and had selected a finalist (still unnamed) to replace him, pending official approval at an Aug. 19 meeting. Later, trustee Charlie Mensinger announced he will not seek re-election in November. Busy night.

NEWARK — With a November election now set to feature three challengers against one incumbent, the school board was enveloped Friday by the campaign’s biggest issue: whether to replace a popular superintendent.

Board members — including incumbent Nancy Thomas — had a vested interest in the question. After three hours in closed session, they declined Superintendent Dave Marken’s offer to rescind his resignation, and identified a finalist who could replace him.

Also, school board member Charlie Mensinger said after the meeting that he had withdrawn his candidacy papers Friday and will not seek re-election.

“I am withdrawing due to the negative climate surrounding the election,” Mensinger said. “I feel it is better to go away quietly than to participate in something that is tearing the district apart.”

Each announcement likely will affect the election prospects of Thomas and the board challengers — Elizabeth Brazil, Tom Huynh and Christopher Wecks.

Keeping Marken on the job would improve the education prospects of Newark’s children, said a dozen speakers among 100 people who crowded into a Silliman Center room Friday. A few waved signs with scrawled messages: “We love Marken” and “You asked. He said yes!”

The special meeting had been scheduled for trustees to interview at least one candidate to replace Marken, whom many credit with lifting Newark Unified to unprecedented heights after three years on the job.

For more, click here.


Newark schools superintendent rescinds resignation

NEWARK — Superintendent Dave Marken rescinded his resignation Thursday, telling school board members in a letter that he will continue to lead Newark schools until his contract expires next June.

“My duty is to the students of Newark, and so I will no longer remain unresponsive to the overwhelming support of the community and leadership of the district,” Marken said in the letter. “I am rescinding my resignation, effective immediately, and will fulfill the terms of my contract.”

His letter was sent a day before the five-member school board planned to interview at least one candidate to replace him. The interview is scheduled for closed session at a special board meeting at 3 p.m. Friday, at the Silliman Center, 6800 Mowry Ave.

For more, click here.


Fremont: Free electric vehicle test drives scheduled Saturday

FREMONT — Anyone curious about getting a charge out of driving an electric vehicle can do so Saturday at Pacific Commons.

The free test drives will be part of the “Experience Electric — The Better Ride” campaign and run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the shopping center parking lot at 43484 Boscell Road.

Drivers there can get behind of the wheel of the Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e, Volkswagen E-Golf and other electric vehicles.

For more, click here.


Union City sues financial consultant, says errors cost nearly $140,000

UNION CITY — The city has sued a financial consultant, saying that errors in handling a sanitation rate hike cost the city nearly $140,000, according to court documents.

Willdan Financial Services and Union City have negotiated for months over the money, but city leaders filed the lawsuit Friday after talks stalled, said City Attorney Benjamin Reyes.

“Willdan has not met any of the demands that the city has presented to date,” Reyes said.

Two other California communities have also accused the Anaheim company of costly errors.

For more, click here.


Halal fest to return Saturday at NewPark Mall

NEWARK — As nearly 10,000 people last year crowded into the state’s first-ever Halal Food & Eid Festival, its unexpected popularity caused long lines and food shortages, leading organizers to rethink this year’s reprise.
 Co-organizer Irfan Rydhan says now they’re ready for a throng of revelers outside NewPark Mall, where the festival Saturday will celebrate food prepared according to Islamic dietary rules.

“We’re going to do a few things differently that will help things run more smoothly,” said Rydhan, a San Jose resident and architectural designer.

For more, click here.


Fremont: Warren Avenue reopening Monday as BART extension project continues

FREMONT — Lanes closed for more than a year on a short section of Warren Avenue will reopen Monday, likely leading commuters, Fremont pedestrians and Silicon Valley transit leaders to breathe sighs of relief.
The reopening will unsnarl jammed traffic and nearly complete a $24.5 million project intended to make the Warm Springs district roadway safer and to help BART reach the South Bay, linking Santa Clara County businesses and residents to the rest of the Bay Area.
For more, click here.

Newark: Schools superintendent candidate interview set for 3pm Friday

NEWARK — At least one candidate will interview for the superintendent position Friday at a special school board meeting.

The five-member board of trustees will conduct the interview in closed session at 3 p.m., after which they might select a finalist, said Don Iglesias, a consultant hired to find a new superintendent.

A finalist for the job would not be hired until Aug. 19, when the next regular board meeting is scheduled, he said.

Iglesias would not reveal candidates’ names or how many will be interviewed Friday, saying that the search is confidential.

The special meeting at 3 p.m. Friday will be held at the Silliman Center, 6800 Mowry Ave.

For more, click here.