Parks ‘r’ us


Do you use a park to walk, run, bike or play? Have any good stories about parkland or jogging/biking experiences in Hayward, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo or San Leandro?

Let us know. And if you’ve got a particularly good story, e-mail it to one of us and maybe we can start a blog post of your own.

FYI: Tomorrow, at 8 p.m., the Hayward City Council is voting to update its decade-old Bicycle Master Plan and also voting to appropriate about $95,000 to create some new bike lanes, including one connecting downtown BART to the Amtrak station.

(Photo by Mike Lucia of Fernando Delgado, 14, at the Eden Greenway in Hayward)


Out with the old, in with the new

It’s official. One of San Leandro’s oldest businesses and major employers, Betts Spring Co., is closing its doors and moving out of the city.

A recent Fresno Bee article reported that the company will be moving its headquarters, which has been in San Leandro for nearly five decades, to Fresno to expand its manufacturing operations. Betts Spring Co., a sixth-generation family-owned business founded in 1868, makes springs and vehicle parts.

As one of San Leandro’s major employers, it makes one wonder why it has all of sudden chosen to leave and what impact its departure could have on the city’s economy.

On the other hand, several new businesses are slated to make the Cherry City home, including Preferred Freezer Services (being built on the former Hudson Lumber Company site and expected to attract a variety of food-processing businesses to the area) and Main Street Properties, which is in the process of developing a downtown improvement plan (think Cinema Place in Hayward).

So, I guess all is not lost. Right?


Ready, aim, Fairway Park!

In its last clean-up of the year, the Keep Hayward Clean and Green Task Force sets its sights on Fairway Park tomorrow morning. Here’s the details:

Saturday, Nov 17 from 8:30 a.m. to noon

Litter Clean up and Graffiti Removal

South Mission Blvd between Industrial Parkway West and Tamarack Drive

Meeting Place: At the white canopy set up across from the Fairway Park Shopping Center on Mission Blvd at the corner of Gresel/Corrine Streets.

Registration Form – Submit by Thursday, November 15. (That’s yesterday!)


Reader asks: Where’s our parking?

Hayward Highlands resident Laura Swan, member of the Downtown Business Improvement Area Advisory Board, had a letter to the editor published today asking:

Why isn’t the new Hayward parking garage open? … How about we ask our council members to have the parking garage’s grand opening no later than Thanksgiving?

Well, maybe Christmas.

Hayward Redevelopment Director Maret Bartlett e-mails:

We’re trying to get this scheduled. We have a few things left to do, but we’re aiming for the first part of December.

Swan referred to past indications that the 237-space public parking garage was supposed to be finished back in June.


When your English bulldogs are actually … Latvian?

Beware of hot links that say “NEW! Click here to see English puppies!” They might actually be Latvian.

Hayward hills bulldog owner Ulla Jensen was apparently one of several people tricked by a Tennessee dealer into buying imported English bulldogs, some with severe health problems, according to a federal indictment and a recent news story.

Reached at her workplace, Jensen said the FBI has asked her not to talk about the case.

But the scam hasn’t dented her love of the bulldog.


Her current dogs Gracie (above, in a bathing suit) and Rocky are the subject of a loving profile by San Jose Mercury News pet blogger Linda Goldston.


Right to know?

Several people called, emailed and wrote letters to us with various perspectives on the subject of disclosing public employee incomes.

One of the responses came from Castro Valley resident Dayna Leines, wife of a police officer, who wrote:

I realize that this is public information. However, I am appalled that The Daily Review would publish the names of those employees, especially without their consent. As per the most recent article, “The California Supreme Court ruled that governments must disclose what they are paying their workers.” Nobody will disagree with that.

However, releasing the names of those individuals was unethical and of no relevance. It seemed like an invasion of their privacy and, in the case of police officers, it put them and their families at risk.

See her full My Word column in Sunday’s newspaper.


Hayward hosts galactic belly-dancers and more

Those of you who were sitting in front of the tube in late 1967 might or might not remember Star Trek: Episode 43, “The Wolf in the Fold,” in which an interplanetary belly-dancer named Lara is found dead and Scotty, everybody’s favorite spaceship engineer, is wrongly accused of her murder.

What does this have to do with this blog? Well, this weekend, almost 40 years after the episode aired, Tanya Lemani aka “Lara the belly-dancer from Argellius II” will be making an appearance in downtown Hayward.

She will be joined by John Stanley, host of the Bay Area’s “Creature Features” horror TV theater show of the 1970s and 1980s and author of a new autobiography.

The event, the Fourth Annual Carnival of Stars, happens from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and will feature belly-dancers, comic book artists, an international bazaar with Moroccan cuisine, three dance workshops on Saturday and a costume contest with cash prizes on Saturday evening at Centennial Hall, 22292 Foothill Blvd., (at City Center Drive), in Hayward.


You’ve got a friend in San Leandro

If you are a city official or business owner from China right now, chances are you’re looking to get in good with your counterparts in the United States.

Tainted food products and toy recalls aside, Chinese movers and shakers are trying to form relationships with governments here, and trade seems to be their main motivation.

San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos alluded to this point earlier in the week during Monday’s City Council meeting, after recalling his recent trip with a delegation of city, business and community leaders to Yangchun and several other Eastern cities.

The city just formed a friendship city relationship with Yangchun, in the the Guangdong province about 250 miles southwest of Hong Kong. But it looks as if city officials liked the trip to China so much that they are already thinking about forming another friendship city relationship (possibly several) with a Chinese city.

Santos said he is recommending to the council to form a foreign relations subcommittee early next year to look specifically into these type of things. The committee also could serve as a board that manages all its sister and friendship city relationships, and generates funds for governmental exchanges, he said.

Unlike San Jose and many other large cities that are feeling swamped with offers from foreign cities to form governmental relationships, San Leandro seems to be laying out the welcome mat.

So let the good times roll.