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Garba garba hey!

If you’re looking for this reporter tonight, which you most probably aren’t, you might find him wielding his dandiyas during Navratri garba at Cal State East Bay. The celebration starts at 8:30 p.m. and continues past midnight in the school gymnasium. The good thing about nine-day holidays is if you miss one day, there are still five more nights to go.

If you’re looking for my editor and co-blogger Kim Santos, you will most definitely find her talking and answering your questions about the newspaper beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 27287 Patrick Ave. The conversation is open to the public, free and hosted by the Hayward Demos.

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Downtown: Where next?

Business reporter George Avalos did a round-up today on Cinema Place. A continued unknown is who will occupy the facility’s biggest store space – some are hoping for a restaurant-club there.

In the meantime, a debate this week about downtown’s free food programs (and other stuff) has already caused some changes. See the city’s full report in PDF form here.

Volunteers at a Castro Valley church announced in a Wednesday letter to city officials that they are suspending their Saturday morning breakfasts outside the main library. The letter:

The CrossStreets Homeless Ministry of Neighborhood Church in Castro Valley has been discussing plans for the past month on how to change the Saturday morning breakfast at the Hayward Library that we have been serving for the past several years. Our concern has been how to better serve the needs of the poor and homeless in our community while reducing the impact and associated problems that sometimes occur.

In the past, we have attempted to schedule the breakfast such that we can clean up and be out of the area before the Library opens. In addition, we have tried to work with the Library staff to address any other concerns.

After listening to the concerns of the community and the City Council we have decided to suspend our Saturday Continue Reading

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Are all parklands equal?

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It only mentions Hayward twice, and once incorrectly (no, the Coyote Hills are not here), but a 69-page report released today by the Golden Gate School of Law raises intriguing questions about flatlander access to parks in the East Bay.

Anyone ever try to take a bus to Garin Park?

In a press release and our story today, the report authors say one solution to the alleged inequity is making parks easier to get to via public transit.

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Not so polite Poplar Ave.

Cherryland area reader Diane Eberhardt e-mailed us, Mayor Mike Sweeney and schools superintendent Dale Vigil about problems neighbors have been having at and around the Hayward Adult School. Sweeney responded today with a return e-mail, telling Eberhardt that he is “sorry to read about what you and your neighbors are experiencing. What you describe is unacceptable behavior. I have asked the City Staff to work with the school district, the county, and the sheriff, to clean things up. Please let me know when you see some improvement.”

Here is Eberhardt’s letter:

Those of us who live closest to Hayward Adult School are being pushed beyond the limits of our patience by the environment that the school creates; constant noise in residential areas, open drug dealing and drug use on school property and in residential areas, trash left by “students” in residential areas, threats of violence against residents, reckless driving by students and their non-student associates, loitering in residential areas and on school property by students and non-students, and overall disrespect for the Continue Reading

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Power plant popularity contest

Do you oppose two planned Hayward power plants? You might still be in the majority, but it’s a dwindling majority of Americans who don’t want power plants in their community, according to a new report by a Massachusetts-based consulting group.

The number of people who support local power plants has increased dramatically in the past year, says a story in today’s East Bay Business Times.

What the Times doesn’t mention is that Saint Consulting, according to the firm’s own Web site, “specializes in winning zoning and land-use battles” for clients including landfills, casinos, prisons, utilities (aka power plants) and anyone else “who absolutely must win a tough land use battle.”

The Business Times report is based on a more detailed press release that includes some interesting tidbits, such as:

John McCain supporters apparently really love wind farms, but Mitt Romney supporters don’t. Maybe because Romney was strongly against putting wind turbines off the coast of Cape Cod? (Although he was OK with the idea of putting some in the Boston Harbor.)

Not sure why supporters of nuclear plants are so big on Rudy Giuliani yet don’t like Barack Obama much. There aren’t any nuclear plants over in New York City, but there is one in Springfield, right? …

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Image copyright: Matt Groening

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Improving downtown

If you’re reading this and have some suggestions about how Hayward can improve the “desirability” and cleanliness of its downtown, give me a call today at 510-293-2473.

We’ll have a story early next week and the Hayward City Council hosts a meeting on this topic at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, at City Hall, Room 2A, 777 B St.

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Hayashi calls for Extreme Makeover

From Castro Valleyan Mary Hayashi, member of the State Assembly:

PLEASANTON, CA – In conjunction with the CEOs of the Pleasanton and San Leandro Chambers of Commerce, Assemblymember Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) today launched a first of its kind business contest entitled, “Assemblymember -– Give this Regulation an Extreme Makeover!” Assemblymember Hayashi is calling on business leaders and owners to participate in the contest by identifying specific state regulations that are either useless both in form and/or function or creates an excessive undue burden on the Continue Reading

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What do Joe Montana and the Wayans Bros. have in common?

They are celebrities trying to build development projects in Alameda County.

More on Montana’s Hayward real estate kickoff in today’s paper.

But unlike the Wayans project and that other deal involving Montana’s former football team, this story has nothing to do with amusement parks.

At least, we don’t think so … MontanaWorld South Hayward, anyone?

And if you missed some of the anonymous online reader comments already made on this story, here they are Continue Reading

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Developers are eyeing the Marina

Today’s San Leandro City Council Shoreline-Marina Committee meeting should be an interesting one, as the committee is expected to announce all the companies interested in developing at the San Leandro Marina — if the council decides to stop dredging the harbor, of course.

According to City Manager John Jermanis, about 50 developers have expressed interest in the city’s request for qualification process for a master developer.

Apparently, the East Bay Business Times’ story focusing on San Leandro as a growth city and luncheon last month played a major role in boosting the city’s image to outside developers.

We’ll have to see whether the developers’ interest is real or Memorex.