A poetic debate

We’ve written about the Route 238/Foothill Freeway/Caltrans controversy many, many, many times in the past several decades, but never in iambic pentameter.

This morning, I received an anonymous e-mail poem poking fun at the debate and particularly Quarry Village, the car-free, ecologically oriented housing development proposed by freeway opponent Sherman Lewis and his Hayward Area Planning Association.


O HAPA guru upon the hill,
Tell again how you would foot the bill
To load a thousand homes onto 29 acres
While relegating autos to other plan makers.

Liquefaction causes wet ‘blue rock’ to flow deep,
not unlike water, we will watch it sweep,
all before it, onto investments below
betraying the fable of they who crow,

“Save open space!
Take 238 Bypass to another place!”
Yelled they, who could not care less
about augmentation of our present traffic mess.

If this was in an anthology, it would require numerous footnotes. Fortunately, we’re just a blog. Got a “local issue” poem you want to submit to The HayWord? Send it to mattobrien@dailyreviewonline.com.

UPDATE: A reader informs me that the above is not, in fact, iambic pentameter:

An iamb is a meter consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (or a short followed by a long). Without the appropriate accent marks here, I’ll represent it as ( ~ / ). Iambic pentameter means there are five of these beats to a line.

~ / ~ / ~ / ~ / ~ /
O HA PA gu ru high up on the hill

~ / ~ / ~ / ~ / ~ /
Tell us a gain how you would foot the bill

As you can see, I adjusted the first two lines to fit more perfectly. It functions as a cute rhyming poem just as it is, but it is not purely iambic pentameter.


Good morning, Hayward!

Did a consultant jinx the Hayward foothills?

At a meeting last night at Centennial Hall to discuss what to do with Caltrans’ 300-plus acres of surplus Hayward land, consultant Tim Rood described much of the property as undevelopable.

“What this shows is some liquefaction zones, some landslide zones,” he said, calling attention to a big, colorful map of various dangers.

In particular, he talked about the steep slopes behind Holy Sepulchre Cemetery and beneath California State University, East Bay, as “pretty significant potential for heavy seismic activity.”


And, lo and behold, a small earthquake struck near the university’s stadium and baseball field sometime after 4 a.m. today, waking a lot of people up.

(Please note that the red star above marks a random piece of Caltrans-owned property, not the epicenter of the earthquake. The red line is the main identified trace of the Hayward fault and the yellow ribbon is what’s called the Fault Zone.)

[On an unrelated note, I walked out of that meeting, which attracted about 150 people, and was surrounded (slight exaggeration) by four raccoons on my way to the parking garage. I guess now we know what’s been going on at the City Center Building during its 12 or so years of vacancy.]


Crematoriums and columbariums, oh my

You know it’s October when crematoriums are a cause for debate at Hayward City Hall and columbariums are a cause for celebration over at the Sun Gallery.

On Thursday, members of the Hayward Planning Commission decide if they think it’s a good idea to permit a crematorium (Note: this is PDF file) at the Mission Funeral Home along Mission Boulevard in north Hayward. You may or may not remember this debate from this week last year. Neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Kolm certainly do, and they wrote to me last night with the following:

No, this is not some kind of gross Halloween joke they have the go ahead from the Planning Commission and it looks like the citizens of Hayward may lose again.

Well, there won’t be any go-ahead at least until tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., when the commission holds a hearing about the crematorium at Hayward City Hall.

Two hours earlier and two blocks away, the Hayward Area Historical Society is hosting the lighter but equally morbid opening reception for its Dearly Departed exhibit. According to the society:

The exhibit is part of a collaborative effort with Sun Gallery and the McConaghy House held in conjunction with the East Bay Art Collaborative’s “Columbarium,” a Days of the Dead art installation by Fernando Hernandez, which runs from Oct. 11–Nov. 24 at the Sun Gallery. A section of Dearly Departed exhibit will also be on display at the Sun Gallery. Sun Gallery, located at 1015 E St., is open Thursday–Saturday from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

McConaghy House will be in traditional Victorian mourning to commemorate the death of the McConaghy’s son, Archie, in a tragic farming accident at the age of 27. Using articles from the Hayward Journal, the house has been rearranged for his funeral held in there in 1892. The McConaghy House is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1–4 p.m. with guided tours. The last tour is at 3:30 p.m. There is an admission charge.

Whatever you do on Thursday and beyond, let the ghost of Mr. William Hayward be your guide:



Viva Villa!


Or rather, Viva Ernesto Nava!

The Hayward resident and nonagenarian son of Pancho Villa speaks in south Hayward this Saturday about his quest through Mexico to discover the truth about his unique parentage.

The talk happens at 1:30 p.m. at the Pappas Room, Weekes Library, 27300 Patrick Ave., in Hayward. Call 510-782-2155 for more information.