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Fremont city offices closed Dec. 23 to Jan. 1

By Chris DeBenedetti
Thursday, December 19th, 2013 at 2:08 pm in Uncategorized

From the city of Fremont:

Non-essential city services and offices closed Dec. 23 to Jan. 1  (Police, Fire Services Not Affected)

The City of Fremont is implementing a Holiday Closure for many non-essential City Services from Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, through Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. The Holiday Closure is scheduled for Dec. 23, 26, 27 and 30, 2013, while City holidays are observed on Dec. 24, 25, 31, 2013, and Jan. 1, 2014. City offices participating in the Holiday Closure will re-open for business on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. This closure will not affect police and fire services.

Offices that are taking part in the Holiday Closure include:

  • City Hall, 3300 Capitol Ave., Building A and Building B (Administrative offices)
  • Fire Administration, 3300 Capitol Ave., Building A
  • Development Services Center, 39550 Liberty St.
  • Maintenance Center, 42551 Osgood Rd.
  • All Community Centers


Offices and facilities providing limited services during the Holiday Closure include:

  • Parks and Recreation, 3300 Capitol Ave., Building B (for enrollment of recreation programs only, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (510) 494-4300 for additional information.)
  • Community Centers and Recreation buildings with Holiday Day Camps, Programs, and pre-booked facility rentals
  • Life Eldercare (clients should contact (510) 574-2090 for additional information)
  • Afghan Elderly Association (clients should contact their caseworker for additional information)


During the Holiday Closure:

  • The Fire Department and Police Department will continue to provide public safety services.
  • A minimum number of City staff will be available in an on-call status to provide emergency maintenance services such as responding to storm-related issues.
  • Animal Services will provide regular services and the Tri-City Animal Shelter, located at 1950 Stevenson Blvd., will be open Thursday,Friday, and Saturday, Dec. 26-28.
  • The Human Services Department will have two crisis counselors available at the Family Resource Center, located at 39155 Liberty St.
  • The Parks and Recreation Department will offer camps and other programs.
  • Community members with active building permits can call (510) 494-4885 for inspections on Dec. 23, 26, 27, and 30, 2013.
  • The Fremont Tennis Center will be open for public play, weather permitting. Some holiday public hours; call (510) 790-5510 for tennis-related information.

Historically, demand for many City services during the December and January holiday season is low. It is anticipated that the Holiday Closure will have little or no impact on service delivery efficiency.

For more information, visit or call (510) 284-4093.


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ICYMI: Fremont approves latest plan for long-empty Centerville site

By Chris DeBenedetti
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 at 11:50 am in Uncategorized

FREMONT — If it’s possible for an urban planning site to be cursed, a 6.6-acre Centerville district parcel haunted by several past failed proposals certainly fits the bill.

Now, those demons might be exorcised at the long-empty property on Fremont Boulevard, where the City Council has approved plans to build 185 apartments and 28,000 square feet of retail.

“We think it’s a great project that would revitalize Centerville,” said Cliff Nguyen, a city senior planner.

BHV CenterStreet Properties, a Dublin-based development team controlling the land, is calling its proposal, “Artist Walk.”

For more, click here.

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Connolly Shopping Center item pulled from tonite’s meeting, rescheduled Jan. 14

By Chris DeBenedetti
Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 at 10:24 am in Uncategorized

The City Council agenda item pertaining to the Connolly Shopping Center has been pulled from tonight’s (Dec. 17)  City Council meeting. It has been rescheduled for the Jan. 14 meeting.

The city is considering rezoning the 3.7-acre Irvington district property from commercial to residential uses.


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Tri-City Volunteers appealing to public for donations, volunteers this holiday season

By Chris DeBenedetti
Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 at 5:03 pm in Uncategorized

If you’re looking to give back during the holidays, the Fremont-based Tri-City Volunteers might be a good spot to do so. The nonprofit organization can be contacted at 510-793-4583 or email Sara: Here’s more from TCV:

Making Hunger History: Holiday food appeal for the elderly and vulnerable in the Tri-Cities

Once again, an annual appeal has been launched by Tri-City Volunteers food bank to collect food and financial donations to support vulnerable and elderly people living in the area.

The project has already helped to distribute 4,130 Thanksgiving packages, including 1,000 turkeys. Another 4,000 packages will also be needed for Christmas, organizers said.

Anyone interested in setting up a collection point at their work, school or church to receive non-perishable food items is encouraged to contact Tri-City Volunteers on 510-793-4583 or email Sara:

Executive Director Melissa Ponchard said: “Food hampers are appreciated by struggling parents who put food on the table, as well as by the increasing number of elderly people relying on our services and finding it more and more difficult to make ends meet at this time of year.”

Why set up an escape from hunger appeal

With government cuts to food stamps and the prospect of another grim economic Holiday forecast, young families as well as older and other vulnerable people are at risk emotionally as well as nutritionally. We have 16,000 people struggling with poverty in our area. One quarter of our food bank recipients are children, with seniors (a great many of whom live alone) making up another quarter.

Even here in California where temperatures are relatively mild, the cold weather exacerbates coronary and respiratory illnesses, especially among older people. For every winter-related death there are dozens of people suffering illness and hardship. Making a choice between eating and heating is commonplace. But it is a choice which may also lead to life of increased isolation and depression. Tri-City Volunteers food bank protects against such outcomes.

Where your donations go

Your response to the Making Hunger History appeal through the overwhelming generosity of local supporters will hopefully mean that Tri-City Volunteers can make it through its 43rd year helping thousands of people access enough food.

All the money Tri-City Volunteers raises is used for the direct benefit of the older people and vulnerable families who suffer because of poverty. Your donations support those most in need of help, allowing us to make sure people stay warm, eat well and remain positive.

Every single dollar donated to Tri-City Volunteers reaches someone experiencing hunger. Last year, only 3% of our budget was spent on administrative and fundraising expenses. That means 97% of our budget was spent on direct program costs; spent on feeding those who need help most.

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Public meeting slated Dec. 17 for Warm Springs BART extension and Sabercat Creek Riparian Restoration Project

By Chris DeBenedetti
Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 at 4:56 pm in Uncategorized

FYI … this is scheduled next Tuesday, Dec. 17:

The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), the City of Fremont and the Alameda County Resource Conservation District (ACRCD) invite you to attend a public meeting to discuss:

BART’s proposed Sabercat Creek Riparian Restoration Project, phase II planting plan near Bacado Place.

Date: Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Time: 6:30 p.m.

Place: Olive Hyde Program Center, 123 Washington Blvd., Fremont CA

For more information call 510-476-3900 or

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‘Save Connolly Shopping Center’ movement is gaining steam

By Chris DeBenedetti
Monday, December 9th, 2013 at 3:56 pm in Uncategorized

As some here mentioned recently, the grassroots group called “Shape Our Fremont” is working to save the Connolly Shopping Center, which the city is considering rezoning from commercial to residential uses. The 3.7-acre site is at 40744 Fremont Blvd. and 40733 Chapel Way in the Irvington district.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on the item at the Dec. 17 meeting. Stay tuned.

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Fremont-raised soldier overcomes brain injuries to win Army competition

By Chris DeBenedetti
Monday, December 9th, 2013 at 3:53 pm in Uncategorized

Sgt. Jason Manella has scored a victory for underdogs, overcoming brain injuries suffered in combat to win a rigorous Army competition and boosting morale for an oft-maligned part of the military: reservists.

Manella, who has served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, was named the Army’s Noncommissioned Officer of the Year after becoming the first noncommissioned reservist to win the Best Warrior Competition, an annual contest measuring physical and mental strength.

Manella’s historic win in Virginia two weeks ago was as unlikely as it was inspirational. Little more than a year ago, he was in a hospital, wondering if he’d ever fully recover from his injuries.

“My dad and the Army taught me to never give up,” said Manella, who grew up in Fremont and now lives in Hayward. “That sounds like some ’80s ‘Rocky’ movie, but once you do it, you realize that, as long as you have heart, you can do anything.”

For more of the story, click here.



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Food donations needed for LOV’s 25th annual Thanksgiving meal in Newark

By Chris DeBenedetti
Thursday, November 21st, 2013 at 3:24 pm in Uncategorized

Shirley Sisk, executive director of the Newark-based League of Volunteers, is asking the public for donations for the nonprofit group’s annual free Thanksgiving dinner next week. Here are the details:

The League of Volunteers (LOV) is planning on serving 4,000-5,000 meals on Thanksgiving Day at the Newark Pavilion or delivered to the homebound in Fremont, Newark, Union City, Hayward, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Castro Valley.  Only a week to go and to date there is a desperate shortage of the following:

Turkeys – need 300 – have 36 – short 264

Hams – need 80 – have 12  – need 68 more

Pre-baked pies – need 500 – have 20 promised  – short 480

Instant Potato Mix – large box –  have 25 – need 50 more

Chicken Broth – need 20 large cans – have 6

Canned Corn – need 91 more

Canned Green Beans – need 324 more

Oval Aluminum Roasting Pans – need 491 more

Butter – both 1 lb. boxes (40 needed)  & individual patties (box of 200)

Bottled water – need 18 cases

Dessert plates – need 700 more

Sandwich bags  – need 2,500 – have only 396

Take Home Styrofoam Dinner Containers – need 700 more

Large lunch bags – need 1,100 more 

Charcoal to cook turkeys – need 1,000 lbs.

Turkey Roasting bags – need 300


These are just a few of the many food and supply items needed to help make this a happy holiday for those in need or those that are alone this Thanksgiving. You may also call 510-793-5683 for an update on needs.  LOV’s Community Service Center is at 8440 Central Ave., Ate A/B , Newark, 94560.

It is open to receive donations Monday thru Friday from 8:30 am until 5 pm. Or you maycall for pick up. If you don’t have time to shop, monetary donations are very much welcome so that we may purchase what is needed.

For more information, call LOV at 510-793-5683 or send an email at


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Fremont’s two-week trade mission to India to cost taxpayers $28,500

By Chris DeBenedetti
Monday, November 18th, 2013 at 11:44 am in Uncategorized

From our Citywise column that ran Saturday.

Fremont Vice Mayor Anu Natarajan is leading a delegation of elected officials, city employees, and community and business leaders on a two-week trip to India.

The 13-person group includes Councilman Vinnie Bacon, Assistant City Manager Mark Danaj, Deputy City Manager Nadine Nader and Economic Development Director Kelly Kline. Mike Holtzclaw and Bill Sharar, two Ohlone College representatives, as well as officials from Fremont tech companies and the Bay Area chapter of the Center for International Trade Development also joined the trade mission.

From Friday to Nov. 27, the delegation is scheduled to visit the cities of Chennai, Bangalore and Jaipur, said Cheryl Golden, a Fremont city spokeswoman. Chennai, set on the southeastern coast, is a manufacturing hub, while the central city of Bangalore, Natarajan’s hometown, is India’s technology base. Jaipur, one of Fremont’s sister cities, is in north India, near Delhi.

India has more than 1.2 billion residents and the world’s 11th largest economy. In Fremont, nearly 1 in 5 of 217,000 residents are Indian-American, and two serve on the five-member City Council.

The trip’s goals include helping Fremont companies gain a larger market presence in India; establishing partnerships between the city and Indian companies for job creation; making connections with investors seeking construction projects in Fremont and other parts of Alameda and Santa Clara counties; and promoting Ohlone College and other educational institutions with overseas companies.

The trip will cost Fremont taxpayers about $28,500, city officials said. City Manager Fred Diaz, who was out of the office Friday, could not be reached for comment about the trade mission.

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Consultant: ‘Washington Hospital’s CEO is underpaid at $813,916′

By Chris DeBenedetti
Monday, November 18th, 2013 at 11:40 am in Uncategorized

Thanks, bbox, for the suggestion and reminder to post Ashly McGlone’s stories on Washington Hospital. Here’s Ashly’s latest:

FREMONT — The CEO of the Washington Township Health Care District, who ranks among the highest-paid government employees in the state, is underpaid at $813,916, a consultant told the public agency’s board of directors Wednesday.

CEO Nancy Farber’s total cash compensation this year isn’t competitive when compared to her national and local peer group, and falls $119,000 short of the district’s philosophy to pay the chief executive in the 65th percentile, said consultant Eric Reehl, with Minneapolis-based Integrated Healthcare Strategies.

Further, Reehl said, CEO base pay is expected to rise 3 percent in 2014, as it did in 2013, so the gap will only widen if directors do nothing.

For more of the story, click here.

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