A brewery in Fremont

I got a call today from a man with an impeccably German name who wants to brew German inspired beer on South Grimmer Boulevard, a few blocks from Fremont Boulevard.

Jan Schutze, who lives in Fremont, is going through the hoops to open DasBrew next year. He has an ABC permit pending, but hasn’t quite climbed through the hoop known as the Fremont Planning Department.

Schutze plan is just for a brewery a la Laverne & Shirley. There wouldn’t be a tasting room or restaurant, but it could be available in local stores.


SWAT training in Union City, not a real crime scene

For the second time in recent months, I’ve been tripped up by police scanner traffic that led me to believe there was an active SWAT incident going on in the Tri-City area.

In May I heard SWAT action on the Fremont police radio channels, and it turned out to be nothing more than a training exercise at a defunct car dealership. And today I heard similar static on the Union City radio channels. One big difference though: I didn’t race out there today with my notebook and press pass in hand. Instead I was able to confirm by telephone that stuff I was hearing was indeed a training exercise.

I suppose it’s a dead give away when you hear an officer calmly say “shots fired,” instead of screaming it as would be the case if the incident were real.

For you scanner junkies, be aware that this training will also be taking place tomorrow.


Wasserman broaches asking voters for a tax hike

Mayor Wasserman just spiced up an otherwise dull City Council meeting by bringing up the idea of proposing some kind of tax hike.

“I think it’s something the council should think about,” he said. “If there’s a desire to do it, I’m 99 percent sure there’s an opportunity before the next general election”

It didn’t appear that Wasserman has done a lot of homework on this. He first asked about the deadline for a November ballot. He was told it had passed, although I’m not sure there even will be an election in Fremont this November.

Then he asked if there was a vote in March. The primary is in June, but the school district might choose to ask for a special parcel tax in that election. A city tax proposal wouldn’t help the schools’ tax hike bid one bit.

Councilmember Sue Chan asked about the potential conflict. She said, “It would probably be a good idea to monitor that.” Everyone seemed to agree.


Omeed Popal heading back to court on Monday

Fremont resident Omeed Popal, the guy charged with murder in connection with the 2006 hit and run spree that killed a man in Fremont and left more than a dozen injured in San Francisco, is headed back to court on Monday. Baring some unforeseen event, he will be arraigned on the murder charge and then likely plead not guilty, which is pretty standard. Popal is currently being held in an Alameda County jail without bail.


Shooting last weekend near The Hub?

I received an e-mail yesterday asking about a shooting near The Hub late Saturday or early Sunday. I finally got the information about the incident. According to cops, there was a large hip-hop party held at a restaurant across the street from The Hub late Saturday/early Sunday. During the event — which police broke up — two people were shooting guns, witnesses said. It was not until the next morning (daylight) that police found several expended shell cassings from two different types of guns (9 mm and .45 cal). As of this morning (Tuesday) police have not learned of anyone actually hit by gunfire.


Police dive team at Lake Elizabeth

**Update: Cops this morning said they found a gun in the lake yesterday and have placed it into evidence. No crime has been committed.

If you go walking at Lake Elizabeth today, don’t be alarmed if you see a dive team from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office in the water. The group is not searching for a dead body or anything like that. They’re actually searching for a gun that someone reportedly threw in the lake last night.

Here’s the skinny: Someone threatened to commit suicide last night and a roommate of that person took the gun away, drove to Lake Elizabeth and threw it in the water.

Upon hearing this, Fremont police called the county dive team and told them they could use this opportunity as a training exercise. The county agency agreed, and apparently headed out there this morning.


NewPark Mall gets an arcade

Looks like within the last two weeks NewPark Mall has welcomed a new client — “Tilt” arcade. It’s a rather small location, but it’s toward the south end of the mall on the bottom floor, close to the former Mervyns.

A friend of mine who grew up in Fremont said there used to be an arcade at the mall — he seems to remember it also being called “Tilt” — but I’m not sure if this is the same. There used to be a “Tilt” at Vallco Mall (now known as Cupertino Square) in Cuptertino, but it was much bigger.


`Brave’ Bank robber charged in federal court

Remember the cases about a year ago in which a man wearing an Atlanta Braves baseball cap was robbing banks and check cashing business in the East and South Bay to payoff gambling debts? Maybe you remember this picture?

Well, the man suspected of those crimes has been charged in federal court. Court records show Shaun Shinkyu Kim, A 27-year-old Fremont man, has been charged with a dozen crimes, all of which are a variation of robbery.

In all, authorities believe the man stole almost $58,000 during the six month stretch. In most of the heists only a few thousands dollars were stolen. But in the last one, June 10, 2008, the robbery suspect made off with more than $18,000.