Fremont: Final, Final Results for Measure E, Assembly Dist. 25

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters on Saturday updated its vote tally for Measure E, Fremont Unified’s $650 million school bond measure, and very little changed, as expected. The vote tally now is:

YES: 12,969 – 61.07 percent

NO: 8,268 — 38.93 percent

The measure needed 55 percent to pass.

Also, the race for State Assembly District 25 (southern Alameda County, northern Santa Clara County) has been whittled down to two candidates.  Kansen Chu, a San Jose councilman, and Bob Brunton, a former Ohlone College board member and the race’s lone Republican, finished first and second. The top two finishers now move on to the November ballot. The order of finish is:

1. Kansen Chu (Democrat):  11,9171 votes — 30 percent

2. Bob Brunton (Republican): 9,473 — 23.7 percent

3. Teresa Cox (Democrat): 6,759 — 16.9 percent

4. Armando Gomez (Democrat): 6,451 — 16.1 percent

5. Craig T. Steckler (Democrat): 5,309 — 13.3 percent



Newark: Clark Redeker, an original city leader, remembered for tireless community service

I got the chance to meet Mr. Redeker a few times. He was a class act and a humble guy, despite his many accomplishments. He will be missed. This story ran Sunday (June 8):

NEWARK — Clark Redeker, one of Newark’s original elected leaders, has died. He was 96.

The longtime Newark resident was admired for his tireless service and the witty, upbeat leadership style he used to help found the city, said former Mayor Dave Smith.

“He was so involved with so many aspects of the community, he became a truly iconic Newark figure,” said Smith, 68. “I always told him I wanted to be like him when I grew up.”

Born in Idaho in 1917, Redeker moved with his family to Palo Alto in the 1920s. There, he attended Stanford University, played tuba in the college’s famous band and earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1940.

That same year, he married his first wife Marjorie Marliave and they moved to Newark, where Redeker would live for the next 74 years. He soon was promoted to chief chemist of an East Bay paper and chemicals company.

Newark incorporated in 1955, when the rural town had less than 10,000 residents, and he emerged as one of its most active leaders. He served on the first City Council and was its third mayor, serving from 1958 to 1959. In 1954, he joined the Alameda County Fair Association board of directors, a post he held for nearly 50 years.

He was a founding member of the Newark Rotary Club, and served 31 years on the Fremont-based Alameda County Water District board of directors, including seven terms as board president.

The water agency dedicated in his honor its Newark Desalination Facility, which was built on a road the city named Redeker Place.

Even with those accomplishments, he never took himself too seriously, said son Alan Redeker.

“When reminded that Redeker Place was named after him, he’d often reply, ‘I know my place and it’s a dead-end street,’” his son said.

City leaders say his positive mantra — “The good guys are still ahead” — illustrated his optimistic view of life.

“How could you not embrace that philosophy?” Smith asked. “Even when he got older and faced health challenges, I never once saw him be negative.”

For more, please click here.


Newark: Angry crowd blames school board for popular superintendent’s resignation

NEWARK — An angry, overflow audience Tuesday praised exiting Newark schools Superintendent Dave Marken but chastised district trustees for breeding the dysfunctional environment that led to his resignation.

The meeting ended with about 200 people chanting Marken’s name, leaving no doubt over who the community supports in the dispute between his staff and school board members.

When Marken resigned last week, employees and parents were outraged that the leader who had lifted Newark Unified to unprecedented heights was leaving after three years on the job.

Tuesday night, the community put their anger on full display. A dozen speakers lambasted the board for creating the “negative, back-stabbing” atmosphere that eroded trust and chased away Marken.

“I am heartbroken,” Graham Elementary Principal Terrance Dunn said of the resignation, his voice cracking with emotion. “This is a time of great pain.”

Dunn called for school board trustees to cease their “toxic reputation of operating by gossip and bullying,” and instead follow Marken’s model of “trusting good people to make good choices.”

Loud, extended applause followed his remarks.

For more of the story, click here.


Newark superintendent of schools resigns, stepping down in September

I’m hoping to go to this school board meeting tonight, the first once since Marken announced his resignation:

NEWARK — Shortly after the 2014-15 school year begins this late summer, Newark schools will have a new chief.

In a move that has surprised school district leaders, Superintendent Dave Marken has resigned, announcing his decision in a closed-session meeting with Newark Unified trustees earlier this week.

His resignation takes effect Sept. 30.

Marken’s announcement Wednesday night came a month after of his three-year anniversary as Newark schools’ leader.

“He’s the best thing that’s happened to our district; we’ve made amazing progress on all fronts,” Newark school board member Nancy Thomas said. “Dave has been a bulwark in Newark over his three-year tenure.”

For more, click here.




Fremont considering installing surveillance cameras, license plate readers

FREMONT — Investigators increasingly have relied on residents’ private security cameras to find and arrest burglars, lowering the city’s burglary rate last year by nearly 30 percent.

Fremont police now want to install their own surveillance camera systems, including license plate readers, in about a dozen intersections.

The cameras would be placed near city borderlines because most of Fremont’s burglaries are done by out-of-towners, and ¿police want to catch criminals as they drive near the freeway, police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said.

“Having cameras and license plate readers at city exit points gives us the ability to track vehicles used to transport suspects in and out of the city,” she said.

The City Council on June 17 will consider police’s request to spend $300,000 on the video surveillance systems. If council members approve them, the city then would put the job up for bid, Fremont police Chief Richard Lucero said.

For more of the story, click here.


Fremont Citizens Network flier: ’10 reasons to vote NO on Measure E’

Measure E opponents have posted this at www.FremontCitizens.org


10 Reasons to Vote NO on Measure E

1.     The bond is written to make us think that it is ENTIRELY devoted to renovations for existing schools.  However, it contains about $250,000,000 to be used for “over runs and inflation” (~40%).

2.     Coincidentally,  Developers need new schools for new development (more than 3,000 new homes in Fremont).

3.     The bond’s $250,000,000 for “inflation and overruns” could be used to build those new schools.

4.     As Assessed Property Values rise, the Measure E tax will increase year over year through the life of the bond.

5.     Measure E contains $77,000,000+ in Capital Appreciation Bond – akin to a PAYDAY LOAN, discouraged by Jerry Brown (Governor) and Bill Lockyer (State Treasurer) and outlawed in many states.  Repayment of this amount DEPENDS ON the city’s ASSESSED VALUES RISING 4% PER YEAR FOR 38 YEARS.  As Prop 13 puts a 2% cap per year, this growth rate depends on turnover and new developments to make up the difference.  Fremont will be forced to accommodate more growth or make higher payments.

6.     If voters approve Measure E, and renew the parcel tax when it expires, the total property tax (for school bonds) on the average $450,000 (assessed value) home would increase from $191 per year to $479 by 2018.

7.     The bond provides NO SENIOR EXEMPTIONS.

8.     Property owners are still paying for: a parcel tax and two prior voter-approved bond measures from 1991 and 2002.  Measure E would extend payments on district bonds through 2051, but still leaves 3/4 of the identified district needs unaddressed.  There will be more bonds because there is more need.

9.     Measure E bond language is so vague that the District can use our taxpayer $$ to buy land and build schools for all the new developments we will be forced to accept.  The DEVELOPERS should provide the land/facilities for all the students in the developments they build, NOT the taxpayers.  Previous history shows NO BOND should be approved before FUSD has formalized plans on Developers’ promises to mitigate their impact, especially in the new BART development.

10.  Our existing kids will never get new schools, if this bond money is used just to “fix” or buy new land/new schools for the new developments.

Shouldn’t we be spending one-time funds to help current Fremont children by modernizing existing schools and instituting long-term facilities solutions?  VOTE NO ON MEASURE E!

For the link to this, click here.



Fremont parents want developers to do more to ease school overcrowding

From Sunday’s print edition …

FREMONT — With a low crime rate, high-quality schools and a growing tech sector in an improving economy, Fremont has caught the eye of covetous home developers.

But several residential developments soon will add thousands of students to already overcrowded campuses, which school leaders say could damage the quality of education, strain district resources, send students out of their neighborhoods and add to traffic as parents drive kids to those more distant schools.

District leaders say they are close to a crisis point.

And even though it is likely developers will largely finance one new school, the leaders also want voters to approve a $650 million school bond — Alameda County’s largest ever — on the June ballot to ease existing and anticipated overcrowding. That has some parents saying developers should start paying much more in development fees to Fremont Unified, so that property owners aren’t burdened with more tax debt.

“I don’t think it would be fair to saddle taxpayers with costs for a new school,” Fremont resident Mary Biggs said. “You can’t constantly turn to the taxpayers.”

Forest Park Elementary’s overcrowding reflects the district’s challenge, said Superintendent of Schools James Morris. Its 982-student enrollment is well above the ideal maximum, 850 students, for an elementary campus. But it could be worse, as another 215 neighborhood students who normally would attend Forest Park attend other campuses outside their area, district leaders said.

Several other schools are crowded in Fremont Unified, where 33,662 students attend 42 campuses. Enrollment has grown by 2,000 students in the past six years, and 1,500 more are expected by 2017. The district has added portable classrooms as a short-term solution, but it is running out of room, Morris said.

“It’s a problem, and we don’t have the capacity to solve it,” he said. “We just can’t continue like this because we don’t have the seats available for more students.”

And it might get worse before it gets better.

For more, click here.


ICYMI: Fremont police reopen investigation into teacher-slapping incident

Another FUSD-related story by colleague David DeBolt. It ran last Friday:

FREMONT — A longtime Fremont elementary schoolteacher accused of slapping a student who got a math problem wrong was set to return to the classroom Friday but will remain on leave after police reopened an investigation into the matter, officials said.

The planned return of the third-grade teacher drew outrage and protests by students and parents before class at Patterson Elementary School on Friday. Parents said the 58-year-old teacher has no place in the classroom.

“I think there’s no way he should be able to come back,” said Danny Rivera, father of 9-year-old Julian, the alleged victim.

For more, click here.



3rd-grader removed from Fremont school amid claims he sexually harassed girl

The past 12 days have seen a wide range of stories coming out of Fremont Unified School District. Here’s the most recent:

FREMONT — A third-grade Hirsch Elementary student accused of sexually harassing a female classmate has been removed from his school, a Fremont district official said Tuesday.

Fremont Unified School District Superintendent James Morris announced the decision about an hour after the 8-year-old girl’s mother handed out 200 fliers outside the Irvington district campus, calling for the boy’s removal from the school.

The mother says the 7-year-old boy twice touched her daughter in a sexual way during a six-week period, with the most recent instance occurring Thursday on campus.

“Unless we as parents all get together to stand against this, nothing will change,” she wrote in the flier. “Help me support our girls against this type of behavior.”

This newspaper is not naming the mother in order to protect the identity of her daughter.

For more of the story, click here.


Fremont: Recap from Honda/Khanna candidates’ forum Saturday

Story by Paul Rogers and Josh Richman

FREMONT — In their only matchup before the June 3 primary election, U.S. Rep.Mike Honda on Saturday night said he would continue to be a voice for the powerless in his Silicon Valley district, while former Obama administration official Ro Khanna said the region needs a new, more tech-minded representative.

The two Democrats, locked in one of the most closely watched congressional races in the United States, met at a packed candidates’ forum at Fremont City Hall attended by more than 300 people, many of them waving signs and chanting before and after the event.

The biggest news of the evening, however, may have come afterward when Honda, in response to a question from this newspaper, agreed to debate Khanna in the future. For months the congressman, seeking an eighth term in a district that runs from Fremont to San Jose to Sunnyvale, has turned down multiple invitations to debate. Khanna has blasted Honda for agreeing to participate only in scripted events.

Honda promised that after the primary, in which only the top two candidates will advance to the November election, he will go head-to-head with Khanna on a debate stage.

“I think that makes sense because it will be one-on-one,” said Honda, D-San Jose.

Khanna beamed when he heard the news.

For more, click here.