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Speak Out

The place to speak your mind on everything from politics to potholes.

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Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
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Nick July 22, 2014 at 05:58 PM
Next time, get a license plate, car and driver description, call the cops.
Angela July 23, 2014 at 05:21 PM
I am constantly getting people doing donuts behind my house near willow and mayhews. Once almostRead Morehi t parked cars on mahogany and mayhews. They didnt even stop when we all ran out and yelled at them. Every time I call the policy its to late, they are gone. It happens almost every weekend. There are still tire marks to proove it. Lots of walkers, kids bikers around here all the time.
Nick July 23, 2014 at 06:04 PM
Get into a safe spot and copy down their license plates, car descriptions, etc. Use your phoneRead Morecame ra start taking pictures. Do not even approach them until you get enough info. Guessing it's kids bored in the summer time.
SuzyR July 17, 2014 at 01:44 PM
Great to hear that. I am all for it and thank you for suggesting the PAL's. Thanks so much April!
Vlad D July 23, 2014 at 04:30 PM
http://www.greatschools.org/california/newark/177-Lincoln-Elementary-School/ -> Surprised thatRead MoreNe wark has a 7/10 school.
SuzyR July 23, 2014 at 05:20 PM
John F Kennedy and James L Bunker has 8/10 rating and they are also part of NUSD. Anyways... I didRead Morer ead the great school reviews but they are a bit outdated... Thanks Vlad!
James Nelson July 07, 2014 at 03:37 PM
You're welcome! ;)
brandon July 08, 2014 at 02:55 AM
Can you imagine living in a place that has this going on all the time. How lucky we are to liveRead Moreover here
Vlad D July 23, 2014 at 04:38 PM
@brandon: That's not a good argument. People should respect Newark's rules in regards to 4th ofRead MoreJuly Fireworks. I don't know if those or safe/sane but at least they should keep them on schedule and during sane hours. but nope.. we heard them well before 4th of July and after.
James Nelson July 06, 2014 at 02:10 PM
Nadja, I never stated that I did not work, I stated that I did not miss the daily grind of havingRead Moreto work for someone else at a normal job. I work for myself. Currently I pimp myself out as a Hacker / Tech and Editor for NS. As a Hacker, I'm able to work at the drop of a Dime, and earn a large sum of cash almost immediately. As a Tech, I currently have 9 Contracts with Clients, whom pay me to be their Dedicated Tech Support 24/7. Now due to my amazing skills, their systems rarely break down, so I don't have to keep dropping what I'm doing, and can focus on other things while a steady stream of income flows in. Then, I also get peanuts from Premium Subscriptions and Advertisements revenue from My News Site. Not much, but it will grow over time.
Frank Mockery July 06, 2014 at 11:03 PM
Many people ignore laws concerning the possession & use of illegal fireworks for the sameRead Morereason that many people ignore the laws outlawing gambling & marijuana - a complete lack of respect for the law & those who enforce it ! And that goes double for the wishes of their concerned neighbors,they obviously don't care about them or their property either. The chances of being arrested & prosecuted when hundreds of others are simultaneously doing the same thing is very unlikely & when the law isn't enforced it's tantamount to having no law at all. The obvious difference of course being that gamblers & marijuana enthusiasts are unlikely to disturb your sleep or burn your home to the ground. The use of legal & illegal fireworks is a tradition around here & little can be done to curb their use even in zero tolerance cities like Oakland (looked like Baghdad on the news). Only the arrest of those selling illegal fireworks & their confiscation has any effect at all & this results in little more than an insignificant reduction in the tons & tons available. Other than that little can actually be done. Local police & firefighters are completely outnumbered & still have more important matters to deal with like responding to reports of more serious crime scenes & putting out the fires that these fireworks start. Despite the yearly horror stories involving needless injuries,weeks of warnings & dozens ofcomplaints the use of illegal fireworks is as much a part of our collective 4th of July here in Newark as BBQ & beer & will be so in perpetuity. This year was more or less much like last year & next year will be much the same as this year. So you might as well save your breath because nothing anyone can say or do will make one iota of difference - it never has & never will. Let's just that hope they run out of ammunition by Labor Day this year !!!
A.G. July 13, 2014 at 10:25 AM
Wouldn't it be nice if every time you call the police for a non "SAFE and SANE" explosion Read Morethe city council members that voted to allow the fireworks would have their phones at home get the same call also. They too should be subjected to the same discomfort that their actions have created.
Geoff Burton July 03, 2014 at 12:34 PM
I got a letter the other day informing me of some found money and for 10% the company would get meRead Morem y money. This is not a scam,( unless they ask for private info.,money upfront credit card info,etc..), but FYI, if you get one of these notices, go to the CA State Controllers web site http://www.sco.ca.gov/ Search for Unclaimed Property and you will find any unclaimed money owed you at 0% cost.
Mona Taplin July 03, 2014 at 01:11 PM
Since the lost lotto ticket did mention financial things, I'm sure if you click on it there will be Read Morea request for money to "share" the profits and certainly some personal information so they can get it to the "right" person. Just new wording to an old scam.
Mona Taplin July 03, 2014 at 01:18 PM
Geoff, my brother got one like this a few years back. Had to do with some pension money due himRead Morefr om a then defunct company.
Jack Torrance June 25, 2014 at 08:30 PM
Why don't YOU contact a public interest lawyer Fed Up? Anyone can complain; that just puts you inRead Moret he "good people doing nothing" category too.
Fed Up June 27, 2014 at 04:54 PM
JACK: Thanks for your interest. I'm a volunteer. I'm trying to locate a public interest lawyerRead Moret o file for the injunction. I'm also asking other people to help locate that lawyer. So far no lawyer has come forward and announced that they'll be asking the court for the injunction. This also raises a good point-- if a lawyer does decide to file court papers it would be helpful if they posted a reply or made some other kind of public announcement so we can stop looking for a lawyer.
Nadja Adolf June 29, 2014 at 05:06 PM
The only way to actually develop a new consumer base for NewPark Mall would be for it to possiblyRead Morebe come a specialty mall that would attract consumers from out of area. That doesn't require a subsidy.
Jacob M. June 24, 2014 at 03:05 PM
Wow! "Fed Up" sounds just like John Henneberry. Could they be one and the same? MostRead Moreof his post is B.S. so don't pay any attention to it. Even so, the UUT should be voted down. There are many ways to meet budget shortfalls without new taxes.
Mona Taplin June 24, 2014 at 08:29 PM
Jacob, I've been kind of sitting on the fence on the Utility Tax being renewed. I'm inclined toRead Moreagr ee that it's time to vote it down.
lewis2 June 25, 2014 at 12:58 PM
How did a temporary utility tax become 9% of the city's budget in just four years? What's up withRead Moret hat? The police have license plate readers, an armored personnel carrier, new police cars. There is a $6,000 item in the current budget for maintenance for the APC. Newark bought a very expensive lawn mower more appropriate for golf course country club lawns. We can't run our household budgets with wanton spending and neither should the city. Recently staff proposed and council approved giving Rouse, owners of the mall, an 18 year sales tax break on in-line stores. Newark will forgo around $30 million in sales tax revenue. Amazon is opening a huge distribution center in Newark; more revenue. In his 2014 State of the City address the mayor mention new businesses moving to Newark. More revenue. The city has approved several new housing developments; more revenue expected. The current tax has another year to run. When it has expired all the new businesses coming into the city will be pumping revenue into city coffers. The same company that conducted the phone survey for the tax extension will be the company heading up the ballot measure. Of course they are going to say the tax is needed because they are making money. Newark residents and businesses who are paying the utility tax are the ones coming out on the short end of the stick. The extension of the utility tax must be defeated before it becomes out of control.
lewis2 June 23, 2014 at 06:15 PM
Placing the utility tax on the ballot is on the city council agenda of June 26. Once again threats Read Moreto close down the senior center, eliminate school crossing guards, cut park maintenance and public safety programs. The same stuff we heard last time. Property tax and sales tax revenue are down according to the city. The utility tax is now 9% of the city's budget. Lets look at some of the city expenditures. The city's general fund loaned the redevelopment agency (run by the city council) over 400K and it hasn't been repaid. The city purchased an armored personnel carrier and a golf course sized lawn mower. The city has borrowed from its retirement account and must repay. The city moved Terrence Grindall from the planning department to assistant city manager with an increase in salary. Recently Newark agreed to give Rouse Properties, the owner of the mall, 80% of the sales tax revenue from remodeled in-line stores for the next 18 years. If Newark is having trouble making ends meet they sure have a strange way of showing it. Extending the utility tax will not bring fiscal responsibility.
lewis2 June 25, 2014 at 05:38 PM
Residents should be prepared for a vindictive city manager and his minion assistant should there be Read Moreopposition to the utility tax. Several months ago the city closed off the main entrance doors to the Silliman Center claiming there was not enough money in the budget to fund an employee at the front desk. This gives the Silliman Center the appearance of a half-abandoned building. As if you would put a Do Not Enter sign on your front door and direct family and guests to the side garage door. How would that make your house look? Tacky to say the least. Newark is planning for hundreds of new residents and at the same time proposing cutting city services to the bone. What kind of impression does that give future residents or businesses? A city that cannot manage its fiscal responsibilities. A city that hands out corporate welfare to the detriment of city services. We deserve better.
Kiley Kinnon June 26, 2014 at 08:26 AM
I will vote no on a utility tax extension. Temporary means temporary. Long term fixes areRead Morenecessary. Additionally, the economy has improved significantly from when the utility tax was originally approved by voters. I recently reviewed the 2013 City of Newark salaries listed on the Public Employees Salary Database, San Francisco Bay area 2013, via the San Jose Mercury News. One Newark police officer is noted to have received $65,000.00 in overtime. In fact, the Newark Police Department-wide officer overtime amounted to over $0.5 million dollars in 2013. Many rank and file officers received over $200,000 in total annual compensation in 2013. Most of these career officers will one day retire and receive six figure life time public pensions and free lifetime health benefits. Their pensions may also be inherited by a spouse or offspring for life. I respect our city's finest. Better budgeting and accountability is necessary. Beyond the city's meager payroll lurks the greed and endless rate increases of the Alameda County Water District and the Union Sanitary District. Both are special district public governments in and of themselves. These districts are major service providers to Newark as well as Fremont and Union City. The salary, benefits and lifetime pensions paid to their employees often dwarf those paid to comparable Newark employees. Think of the over 500 employees of these two districts as lifetime (job-for-life) millionaires, financed in a major way by property owners (rate payers). Much of the budget dollars of these agency governments go toward payrolls, including endless union negotiated salary increases. These Districts are also much older than the city itself. They will continue to automatically drain away Newark household and business dollars for eternity. Look at your property tax bills and you will find assessments charged by both, in addition to Alameda County Water District's periodic bills. Furthermore, Newark citizens are paying tens of millions of dollars to Alameda County Water District for San Francisco's Hetch Hetchy water delivery system improvements. Newark receives no Hetch Hetchy water, even though one of Hetch Hetchy's huge main water pipelines runs through Newark. Our city water is treated salty ground water produced at an ACWD plant, located on Smith Avenue, Newark.
nonoise July 22, 2014 at 01:11 AM
I would not have believed a church could be so low. I believe it now. I lived it. No SLAPP. Read More We need anti-SLAPP laws now.
April July 23, 2014 at 11:35 AM
walmart does it too.
nonoise July 23, 2014 at 04:28 PM
A lot of big companies do it. Especially the ones with deep pockets. That is why is it veryRead Moreimpor tant to have Federal anti-SLAPP laws. This why the little guy can Slapp-Back which means sue the person who brought the lawsuit.
John R June 03, 2014 at 11:48 PM
I would not "be happy with life" if I had to volunteer with old people all day. ThatRead Morewould just make me depressed and fear becoming old and dying. sorry
Nadja Adolf June 03, 2014 at 01:00 PM
Here is what the SJ Mercury-News has to say aboutRead Moreit: http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_2 5867398/newark-superintendent-schools-resigns-stepping-down-september
Geoff Burton June 04, 2014 at 02:10 AM
I read an opinion piece in the Tri City Voice 6-3-14 issue,Letter to the Editor pg 16 Support forRead MoreDr . Marken by Christine Herrera. Ms Herrera stated that she and some group of concerned parents would show up at tonight's 6-3-14 NUSD board meeting she also called for the Board members to resign I am familiar with 2 of the Board members and would hope that Gary Statler and Charlie Mensinger would ignore this request . I read the story too late otherwise I would have been there to see grass roots in action, unfortunately I had a commitment that couldn't be broken. i RE POSTED THIS SINCE HALF OF MY POSTS HAVEN'T POSTED LATELY.
Mona Taplin June 04, 2014 at 01:23 PM
I will second Geoff Burton's request that Statler and Mensinger do not resign. We need you MyRead Moreposts often disappear too. That's ok because I am going to unsubscribe from the post and rely on letters, fax, phone, newspaper and any other medium I can find to voice my opinion.
John R June 03, 2014 at 11:45 PM
you would be surprised at how easy it is to violate the terms of use. The editors of patch willRead Moreremo ve any negative opinion in a heartbeat
Diane Griego June 08, 2014 at 10:50 AM
Its happened to me many times. What bothers me is while my comment is removed others that areRead Moreoutrig ht rude or negative are still there. Very inconsistent. What kind of honest discussion can anyone have without true opinion and expression.
James Nelson June 09, 2014 at 12:11 PM
Geoff, If you ever get the urge to blow this Popsicle stand, and want to participate inRead Moreconversation s which don't get Deleted, Flagged or Misplaced and have the option to go "private" and hold confidential Conversations via Private Instant Messaging... You give me the word. I would post the link here on Patch, however I don't want Patches crap to tag along. LOL.
James Nelson June 03, 2014 at 10:18 PM
I made a bet when he first took Office that Mr Marken wouldn't go the distance and in fact be outRead Morepr ior to October 1st of this year. Glad to see the chap didn't let me down, LOL. On the upside my Pockets are $120 heavier. I would have bet more, but I don't care for NUSD or it's Drama, and the others in the pool also don't know anything about NUSD. Currently we got a total of 1,391 Bets going from who will resign / quit, to how long a term certain officials serve, and even mundane stuff like how many times citizens use the phrase "lack of accountability" during Newark Council Meetings. This is what happens when your bored. LOL.
Mark D. June 05, 2014 at 12:07 AM
Actual articlesRead Morehere: http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_25867398/newark-superintendent-sch ools-resigns-stepping-down-september and here: http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_25894377/newark-angry-crowd-blames-school-board-popular-superintendents
Nadja Adolf June 05, 2014 at 08:18 PM
We need to do a thorough clean out of our school board. The micromanagement and maliciousRead Moreinterventi ons are part of why our schools have sucked for years. I don't know why anyone thinks that the school district needs to reevaluate its attitudes and behaviors - they know that people will continue to vote for them no matter how bad the schools become.
Geoff Burton May 30, 2014 at 04:15 PM
Mona, I suppose we shall just have to grin and bear it. I plan to vote as always and the mudRead Moreslingin g has a negative affect on my view of the party slinging the mud, as you might well imagine that view sometimes leaves me quite perplexed.
Nadja Adolf May 31, 2014 at 11:01 PM
I wouldn't refer to the critics of the program as "detractors" - I'd refer to them asRead Morehavi ng an understanding of economics. Tesla latest CA company to diss Golden State By Joseph Perkins, Calwatchdog, 5/29/14 Tesla Motors, the Palo Alto maker of luxury electric cars, is holding its annual stockholder meeting next Tuesday. It will be interesting to see whether CEO Elon Musk announces the two states that will compete in a “bakeoff” to determine where Tesla decides to build its new $5 billion “gigafactory.” In February, the electric car company listed four states as finalists to be the site of the gigafactory, which will generate an estimated 6,500 jobs. Musk passed over his home state of California for Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and, not surprisingly, business-friendly Texas. The Brown administration has made a last-ditch effort to get back in the competition. It has suggested Sacramento’s Mather Airport business park – the site of a former U.S. Air Force base – as the perfect location for Tesla’s new facility, which requires a minimum of 500 acres. During a chat this month with analysts, Musk said the Golden State’s desperate bid to be the site of his company’s gigafactory is “sort of improbable.” Not the least because Tesla intends to break ground in June on the first of two separate sites competing in its bakeoff. The state that can get pre-production work completed the fastest gets the $5 billion plant, which will produce lithium-ion batteries. The winning state will need to have all the necessary permits approved by the time Tesla plans to break ground next month. With the onerous requirements of the California Environmental Protection Act (CEQA) and other environmental regulations, Tesla would be lucky to break ground by 2017 – when its battery factory is scheduled to open. At least some California lawmakers think Musk is morally obliged to build his gigafactory in the Golden State. “The policies of this state helped build Elon Musk’s company,” Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, told the Sacramento Bee. “It is outrageous that he is looking anywhere than California to build his factory.” CA subsidies Indeed, the California Energy Commission gifted Musk $10 million to pay for machinery purchased for Tesla’s Freemont factory. The electric car maker was also exempted from sales and use taxes on $415 million in manufacturing equipment, which saved the company $34.7 million. And Tesla received $625,000 from the state for worker training. Tesla officials have confirmed the company has had conversations with state officials on the siting of its gigafactory. And it’s safe to say Gov. Brown’s Office of Business and Economic Development is offering Musk more taxpayer subsidies to reject Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas in favor of California. But Musk himself suggests tax breaks and other incentives are not enough to get him to build his battery plant in the Golden State. While Brown and his staff have “tried to do everything they can,” said Musk, to persuade Tesla to manufacture its electric car batteries here in California, competing states have a “much more streamlined approach” to the permitting process for developments like the Tesla gigafactory.
Nadja Adolf May 31, 2014 at 11:03 PM
Or, to simply, Tesla thanks California for the millions of dollars in donations and plans to putRead Moremos t of its jobs in other states. And California only gave Musk 45 million dollars while Newark wants to give 30 million to Rouse properties.
Nadja Adolf June 01, 2014 at 07:01 PM
OK. Troll, you're comfortable with the city giving $30 million in tax revenue away toRead Morebillionaires? Well, let's see. I wish to start an Urban Farm Supply. Urban Farm Supplies cater to affluent locavores and sell things like $2,000 chicken coops, $800 architectural stone raised garden beds, $50 baby fancy chicks, ducks, and turkey as well as $50 a bag organic animal feeds. Since I am only one business I'll be satisfied if the city lets me keep the first million dollars in sales tax revenue. Would you favor the city working with me? Unlike the Rouse Properties agreement, this business might well attract high dollar shoppers because it would be much more upscale than the existing feed supplies in Pleasanton, Dublin, etc.
Mona Taplin May 29, 2014 at 05:25 PM
We had one jack ass come ring our doorbell after lights were out and we had gone to bed sellingRead Moresecu rity alarms! That was a few years back. Another time close to 10 p.m. a couple young people came to the door,- no more than 18 years old, selling something. Don't remember what. I just said not interested and shut the door. They called out to me--- No! Please wait! It was cool that night and they didn't even have sweaters on. I just called the police and reported them. I've often wondered if maybe they needed some help from me and still feel a little guilty I didn't open the door again to find out for sure.
James Nelson May 30, 2014 at 05:28 AM
When I actually cared about Newark Schools, I used to go door to door selling whatever crap theRead Morescho ol wanted sold. Usually candy bars. So many people turned me away, ignored me etc. One lady over on Orleans drive even called the police on me!!!! I remember kicking her fancy flower as I left, LOL. After that, I decided to just go where ever all the potheads congregated which at the time was Mirabeau Park. Couple times I'd go to Gubera's Pub after old man Richard (Owner) left and make a killing! Once I found my prospective buyers, I earned all kinds of Awards from my schools, usually for most items sold. Potheads were the best customers.
Angela June 02, 2014 at 01:07 PM
I had the same guy come to my door and ask to see my adt panel. He showed me a picture of theRead Morepanel he wanted to update my system with. I told him I already had an updated panel and then he asked to see it saying he had never seen one up close. I told him no way was he coming into my house. His supposed name is Austin Burns from Capital Connect 877-241-1844. Me and my 115pd GSD spoke to him through the front window he seemed kind of offended I wasnt letting him in my house. I also reported this to NPD.
Geoff Burton May 25, 2014 at 03:26 PM
I hear you Tony G. I myself have had to run the bus passenger offloading gauntlet ( did I say run I Read Moremeant gingerly creep around ). There is parking in the rear of the building and it's time to address tour buss parking. I am glad to see businesses thrive, I just feel large tour buses should park in back.
Nick May 28, 2014 at 03:28 PM
Agreed, they park away from the buildings, but still, with all the busyness in that lot now, onlyRead Moreti me until someone gets hurt. City needs to talk to the property owner. Property owners are aware as they have put up signs that say there is parking in the rear.
natasha July 21, 2014 at 04:31 PM
Yes , this area is getting dangerous. we need help soon.
James Nelson May 30, 2014 at 03:17 PM
Teddy, I didn't intend to knock your faith or anything, Churches just make me shriek. When I was aRead Morec hild, toddler and up I had this babysitter who was the meanest old hag I ever met. Used to lock me in a bedroom of her house ALL day long except for lunch and sometimes dinner. Only home I ever been inside where the Lock was on the outside of the room. I used to go crazy in there, Screaming, Yelling, but nobody ever came or interacted with me, it was soooo damn lonely in there. hated it. More or less the same at her Church, used to take me to her place of worship in Fremont and leave me in the nursery which also locked from the outside. Wasn't allowed to interact with the other children or even adults, years of Emotional and Physical abuse, pull my hair out, call me a "demon child" and recite bible verses at me, make me eat Wonder bread with butter and jelly, nasty! Isolation my true friend, even to this day I can go weeks or even months without socializing, on the flipside I hate religion, Can't stand to be inside a church much less near one. But hey we're all damaged in some way aren't we?
Geoff Burton May 30, 2014 at 04:09 PM
Perhaps we should start a separate speak out on this subject and take it away from the condolenceRead Morepa ge honoring the lose of a parent. Just say'n
James Nelson May 31, 2014 at 12:37 AM
Geoff, Getting too real for you? I been telling Patch for YEARS how they could improve and addRead Morecerta in features, even as a member of the engagement council, fell on deaf ears. Honestly, I'm tired of starting speak outs which get deleted because some a-hole gets her or his panties in a twist with what I have to say. Did anybody notice how my initial Comment was removed? That's the great thing about Patches system, reply with a comment get a e-mail, so even if comments are removed, you can still view em in e-mail. Censorship bastards.
Nadja Adolf May 24, 2014 at 04:48 AM
At the meetings I attended, I never saw Mr. Henneberry be disruptive. He did seem to think allRead Moreprobl ems were the result of capitalism, and that we apparently should be taxed more to give more to the poor (I'm more inclined to think we should require companies to train people for jobs rather than run overseas for cheap labor in areas such as nursing, medicine, and engineering) - but he has an absolute right to his opinions. The city overstepped when they transported him to jail for something that was at worst a citable offense - and there is some confusion as to whether he did anything illegal at all as he apparently did have a ticket to that year's State of the City. I believe the city administration resolved the issue to their liking by abolishing the public seating and not publicizing this year's State of the City.
Jennifer Snyder May 24, 2014 at 04:51 AM
Yeah, you folks know more about it than me. I am playing catch-up. But, man, the offensiveness ofRead Moreit is shocking to me.
Jennifer Snyder May 24, 2014 at 05:02 AM
But, neither do I feel there was intent on the part of those involved to act with intent towardRead Moreanti -American ideals. That just does not make sense to me. Our elected officials are such likely because they hold American ideals in high regard. It does not make sense, other than an impulsive, poor choice (born of spite and ability?) I really want my public officials to stand for what is right, not what is convenient, and have the ability to make the right choices, especially in tension-filled situations.
Nadja Adolf May 29, 2014 at 02:01 PM
April, I agree with you on housing. Let me tell the story of how I became involved in attendingRead Moreci ty council meetings. I stopped by City Hall regarding something in the building department and saw the Redevelopment plans for Newark. The first thing I noticed was that the Junior HIgh School football field was slated to become filled with "starter homes" on 2,000 or so square foot lots. I could not believe this suggestion, given the already dangerous traffic around the school in the mornings. Imagine what the addition of another hundred or two cars on Lafayette at the same time parents are dropping off their children in the morning. I began attending meetings. The City Council wanted to increase Newark's population by 20,000 people in a very short time frame. They had not considered congestion, school availability, recreational space, or quality of life. They approved a plan that by their own admission would run at least 100 trucks a day, all carrying fill, down an already congested street. The traffic congestion alone would have been horrendous - yet there was no consideration of noise or dirt spillage along the route. The claim was that Newark needed high density housing. Naïve, silly me, I arrived with a number of ideas and was informed that in our modern era people bought starter homes and moved to something "better." So I came back and suggested building Katrina Cottage type starter homes that families could expand and improve as they grew, enabling them to remain in place and improve the neighborhood while still living in it. The interesting thing is the spurious reasons given for opposing some of the suggestions. One suggestion came from planners who had encouraged people to build small houses with rental units over garages or in the back portion of the building. Families would first build a small core house, add the income generating unit when they could, and continue to expand and improve the house as the family grew. These units from the street appeared to be single family, and they used conventional lots to house two families in units that allowed adequate yard space for vegetable gardens and play spaces more efficiently than many traditional duplexes. This suggestion was discarded out of hand with the argument that "people bought starter homes and moved up." It seems that no one cared that the "starter home" was a marketing ploy developed circa the 1960s to encourage home turnover and new construction. Even today it is an alien concept across vast regions of America where the "core house" concept remains strong - you buy a lot where you want to live, build a house, and expand and improve the house over time. It is still a prominent form of new construction in small town America. Another notion discarded out of hand was attracting urban homesteaders. Urban homesteading is attracting people to transitional neighborhoods to improve them. Attractants may be unique or interesting architecture, lot size for gardening, historic appeal, etc. N I was sagely informed that "many cities had banned Katrina cottages." No mention was made of the fact that in those cases - yes, I had researched this, too - shortsighted city administrations, including that of New Orleans - wanted people to immediately build high dollar housing in order to generate tax revenue. The upshot wasn't that people built high dollar housing in the cities they had been driven from - the upshot was that many people decided to never return to their old home towns.
Nadja Adolf May 29, 2014 at 02:22 PM
April, we did not buy our house to flip. Had we done so we would have sided it with cheap composite Read Moresiding and put in sod. We would have put in those pretty but annoying China destroying marble countertops instead of something more useful. And then we would have departed as promptly as possible when the value more than doubled in about two years. Instead we used high end Class A fire resistant fiber cement and Class A fire resistant roofing - both a nod to a distressing incident involving illegal fireworks that happened in town during our very early years here. (We love the safe and sane fireworks and find them a great excuse to have friends over to enjoy the various neighborhood shows.) We have been here for fifteen years, sixteen in July (we actually bought the house a month or two before moving in and had a delay since the previous owner left later than intended.) Our goal has been to encourage people who wanted a small town environment, liked gardens, and were very interested in their children's education to move here. We wanted knowledge workers because between different classes of knowledge workers, one finds the analytical toolset needed to examine and address the city problems and bring suggestions to the City Council. Eventually, the hope is that some of those suggestions will be adopted, even if the serial numbers are filed off - since the issue isn't receiving credit for the changes - but getting them done in the first place. The Lewis family, Ms. Gonzalez, Dr. Rea and others have been among those who have involved themselves. Ms. Gonzalez was, like my husband and me, an accidental activist - she discovered that the city was pressuring a relative into signing away access to his own property near the former Railroad Avenue, claiming he had no right to go on the property since the city had abandoned Railroad Avenue and therefore claimed to have abrogated his easement. We became involved when I went to the building department regarding permits and codes for an improvement project and found myself staring at a city plan that would have destroyed the recreational field used by youth football and other groups and replaced it with a crowded neighborhood of starter homes and just incidentally added a hundred or more cars to the mix on Lafayette during the morning school drop off period.
lewis2 May 29, 2014 at 03:58 PM
Check out Tri-City Voice of May 27 on page 5. Full color ad very prominent for City of FremontRead Morebudg et hearings. Two public hearings in June; held at 7pm. While the City of Newark is hiding under the rock doing business, Fremont is out in the open encouraging public comments.
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