The day after …


How did area residents get to and from work today? Will it change your daily schedule for the next few months? Have suggestions for the rest of us? Let us know at (510) 293-2473 or mattobrien@dailyreviewonline.com.


Will third time be a charm?


Castro Valley’s Dennis Hayashi lost a 2004 bid for the 20th Assembly District seat, and an election last fall for an Alameda County Superior Court seat. Now, the state is sending out inquiries about applicants for judicial appointments, and the mailboxes of local politicos and community leaders are receiving letters asking about Hayashi. It’s a routine practice, but Democrat Hayashi may have a little more clout than in the past, even with a Republican governor making any future appointments.
Hayashi’s wife, Mary, was elected to the 18th Assembly District in November, and she’s moving fast up the Democratic chain of command in Sacramento. Dennis Hayashi has a lot of “cred” himself, as evidenced by the resume he prepared for his judicial race in November 2006.


A few notes from the editor

I have attempted to change the size of the comment box. I don’t know if it will work. There may not be a way to fix that problem. It frustrates me as well.

RE: moderation. Some comments go to the moderation queue and have to wait for a blog administrator’s approval. I have stated before that I don’t know what kicks some comments into moderation. I believe I have found the answer: Whoever is posting the comment has to fill out the name and address fields. If they aren’t filled out, the comment will go to moderation. Also, comment authors must have a previously approved comment. If you’re a first-time poster, or using a different name and/or address, the comment will go to moderation. Now, a word on moderation. It is impossible for me to be on the computer all the time to approve comments. I left work at 7:30 last night after a 10.5-hour day, went to dinner, enjoyed my Friday night, and then checked my e-mail this morning. I’m sure everyone understands that even blog moderators need a little time off. 😉 So, quite simply put, if your comment goes to moderation and gets stuck there for a while, it’s because I haven’t had the chance to do anything with it yet. That’s the downside of a blog versus a chat room. Not all dialogue is going to happen in real-time.

I saw a comment somewhere that said The Daily Review should be pressured to ask Dr. Vigil the hard questions. I want to assure you that there is much going on behind the scenes of all this. We are indeed posing “the hard questions” to Dr. Vigil. However, some of them don’t always fit into whatever story we’re working on “today.” There are a lot of things in the works for the future. Sometimes the answers need to be researched before they’re given to us. However, I will risk opening this up to you: What question would you like to see us pose to Dr. Vigil? Some rules: One line only. No profanities/obscenities or yes-and-no questions. No questions about your specific personal problem. Questions must be related to the strike, and the strike only. Don’t post the question aqain if you see someone else has already posted it. Perhaps we can try to take these questions to Dr. Vigil and do a Q&A.

Similarly, what questions would you like posed to Kathy Crummey? Same rules as above.

OK, it’s Saturday and I have some things to do, so I may not be able to moderate comments for a while. Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!


Hayward strike updates


The Angry, Tired Teachers — a group of Hayward educators led by art teacher Andy Knight — recently recorded its original song “Teaching in a Hayward School,” inspired by the labor negotiations.

Meanwhile, teachers and the district continue to meet at a negotiation session that began at 1 p.m. today, with Paul Rouse, coordinator of state mediation, and County Superintendent Sheila Jordan mediating.

Check back here or pick up Wednesday’s edition of The Daily Review to get more information regarding the negotiation’s outcome.


Getting rid of the knots in the city’s massage ordinance

San Leandro is not San Francisco and, with a new ordinance on massage parlors passed on first reading Monday night, the San Leandro City Council plans to keep it that way.

The city’s Police Department has noted that businesses looking to solicit prostitution will often ignore the city’s massage ordinance by changing the name to a “healing center” that and offering other non-massage-type services, i.e. prostitution. By doing so, these “healing centers” have been able to circumvent the city’s business license laws, a staff report said.

The council voted to amend the ordinance, which says massage establishments in the city must undergo a permit review and approval process. If this amendment is approved (and it likely will), acupuncture and acupressure businesses will have to go through the same process.


PG&E superhero gets dissed by reader

As plans for two Hayward power plants inch forward, the debate surrounding them is ratcheting up. Texas-based Tierra Energy has launched its own Web page on the Eastshore Energy Center and held a meeting on the plant Monday evening. Residents have started their own blogs and pages, and some were planning to protest that meeting. And the California Energy Commission announced that it will be having a workshop on the other plant (Russell City Energy Center) in Hayward on April 25.

In the meantime, here’s a letter from Hayward resident JoAnn Gross making fun of PG&E’s latest ad campaign. I couldn’t find the ad she mentioned, but here’s another one:

“Sun, water, wind! Sun, water, wind! The future is clean energy!” PG&E’s television commercial shows an adorable little boy playing with his “Renewable Energy Man” action figure, running around in circles and jumping into his mother’s arms. (Mother is wearing her PG&E uniform.)

Another PG&E ad shows California school children demonstrating solar energy experiments in the classroom, courtesy of PG&E’s Solar Schools Program. The message of these commercials appears to be that PG&E is committed to acting in the forefront of a new clean energy era. If PG&E and the California Energy Commission are truly interested in clean energy, why are they planning to build not just one, but TWO fossil fuel burning power plants near the Hayward shoreline?

Natural gas may burn cleaner than coal, but the facts are that the Calpine and Tierra Energy plants will be emitting tons of pollutants into our air for years to come. Air quality in the Bay Area is already poor, especially in the summer months when Tierra’s proposed Eastshore Energy Center will be operating. We live in a highly populated area — our health and safety are at stake here. How much is clean air and our future quality of life worth to you? To me, it is worth much more than the $10 million library that Calpine bribed the City of Hayward with for giving approval to the Russell City Energy Center. And yet it is ultimately up to the California Energy Commission to build these plants or not. The power plants will not just affect the residents of the Eden Gardens neighborhood, but the entire East Bay community as well. Not to mention the bigger picture of the effect of global warming on our planet.

Even Gov. Schwarzenegger has jumped on the Global Warming Bandwagon, but it is all meaningless propoganda if we continue to allow the burning of fossil fuels for energy.

Calling “Renewable Energy Man!” We need your help! Save us from Calpine and Tierra!

Yours truly,
JoAnne Gross


Do you feel safe, comfortable downtown?


It happens at banks, bars, gas stations and pot clubs, but something about robbing a guy who makes pies and cookies for a living seems particularly sinister. On Wednesday morning, armed robbers invaded downtown Hayward’s newest bakery and demanded cash. Despite the scary experience, the owner — who said he’s moved on and didn’t really want to talk about it with the newspaper — made it to the Hayward Chamber of Commerce’s Business Expo on Wednesday afternoon and reopened the shop today. Chamber organizer Peggy Collett said he should “get a medal.”

Anyone with information about this or other crimes can contact the Hayward Police Department at (510) 293-7000. Downtown also has a new bike/walking patrol officer who began this year.


Countdown for development at the marina begins

The San Leandro City Council’s Marina standing committee decided Tuesday to contract with Environmental Science Associates, one of the first steps in the council’s ambitious plan to begin determining development alternatives for the San Leandro Marina.

Environmental Science Associates has worked with the city in the past on development plans for the marina shoreline. The company helped negotiate and permit the Heron Bay housing development and it created the Dredged Materials Maintenance Site, the site the city used in the past to store dredged spoils. It will now do an analysis of the regulatory constraints associated with operating the marina without a yacht harbor.

This move is all part of the city’s recent shift to push through a draft for a master development plan by the end of this year — a plan still attracting many skeptics but one the City Council is hoping will finally get development at the marina off the ground.

Check out the marina committee’s ambitious timeline on the city’s Web site.


Blue-collar Hayward

When the superintendent was quoted last week on KPIX describing Hayward as a “blue-collar school district,” it set off a round of debate here over what that means.

Last week a HayWord commenter wrote: “He said that we are a blue collar town. What does that mean, exactly? The tone of this comment, which aired on the local news, was one of elitism and arrogance.”

So what does it mean? Is it derogatory, factual, neutral? And does it matter? In my few years working here, I’ve heard some politicians take pains to say Hayward is not just a blue-collar town anymore and others who do the exact opposite.

I’ll be writing about this (blue collardom, not Vigil’s specific sound byte) and hope to hear your comments or suggestions. You can call me today or Friday at (510) 293-2473.