Picnic or PR stunt?

Grocery Outlet is coming before the San Leandro City Council on Monday to appeal a decision that has stalled the company’s plan to put a discount grocery store at the vacant Albertsons building at East 14th Street and Juana Avenue.

But instead of waiting until Monday, the company is throwing a picnic tomorrow on the actual site (without the fences, of course) to rally support from residents.

Here’s what the flier for the picnic said (The company sent it out to residents this week):


San Leandro residents urge city council to stop blocking new neighborhood grocery store from coming to downtown

San Leandro- Residents of San Leandro this Saturday will join property owners to bring a neighborhood grocery store to downtown. The city has watched city leaders for the past three years block all efforts to bring a grocery store to downtown.

The event will feature a barbecue, events for children, and opportunities for residents to write their leaders about the need for a new grocery store.

The event is sponsored by Grocery Outlet, a Berkeley-based company that wants to open a new store in downtown San Leandro. All proceeds from the event will go towards the San Leandro Boys and Girls Club and the San Leandro Boy Scouts. San Leandro city leaders have blocked efforts to bring a grocery store to the city. Grocery Outlet offers name-brand groceries at reduced prices.

“San Leandro needs a neighborhood grocery store that’s closer to the many residents who live on fixed incomes or are seniors and retirees, and need to be able to shop for quality merchandise at a discount and for name-brand goods at bargain costs,” said Eric Nelson, an executive of Red Mountain Retail Group, which owns the downtown site of the former Albertsons. “This is a great opportunity for families that have difficulty with the high cost of living in the Bay Area to have access to discounts and bargains on a full mix of dairy, deli, frozen, produce, fresh meat and other grocery items—all at a convenient downtown location.”

San Leandro City Councilmembers will vote on Monday, July 9 on whether to allow Grocery Outlet to open on the former Albertsons site.

San Leandro, Calif.

Sounds like it’s going to be one heck of a picnic.

If anyone goes, let us know your thoughts before Monday’s meeting.


The other Russell City

For those who prefer Russell City blues to Russell City power plants, this weekend marks the eighth annual Hayward-Russell City Blues Festival in downtown Hayward.

Below is a release from the festival organizers and, after that, a schedule of events for Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, including a 94th birthday performance from the legendary Pinetop Perkins:

This year’s edition of the Hayward-Russell City Blues Festival has many unique Continue Reading


Summer reading list

We apologize for technical problems that kept our blog down and out several days.

We’re back, and there’s been lots on the power plant front:

I’m sure everyone is itching to get a copy of the California Energy Commission’s preliminary staff assessment of the Russell City Energy Center project in time to bring it to the beach for the weekend. Well, here it is at 494 pages, 2.9 megabytes.

Meanwhile, as some Haywardites continue to seethe over out-of-town support for the other proposed plant, the Eastshore Energy Center, the commission is furiously working away on that project’s preliminary assessment due at the end of this month. The e-mail that caused the controversy can be read after the jump below.

And finally, if you missed the June 6 meeting in which two energy commissioners came to hear Hayward’s thoughts on the proposed power plants, here’s the 213-page transcript.

“I see Commissioner (John) Geesman moving to his microphone and I’m terrified,” is one of many choice quotes found in the documents. That’s from PG&E representative Scott Galati.

Happy Fourth!

And here’s the Chamber Continue Reading