Coming home a veteran

Here’s a video post sent courtesy of Hayward resident Esther Howard, whose son, Brandon, just returned from Iraq:

My boy is now back in the US though not in the Bay Area. He won’t be outprocessed from Ft Lewis until December and may stay up in Washington to use his VA loan and GI Bill.

The following link is to a video made by his buddy Dan’s brother-in-law (he is the main focus of the video). You will see what we saw on the gym wall being linked in from McChord AFB to Ft Lewis. It was the middle of the night but so worth every second to be there. At the end of the video after you see his buddy hug his dad, when the scene pans out…to the right is my boy ! getting his first hug on US soil from me and then his sisters. I hope you check it out. It is the only video we have of our hero coming back to us.

Esther L Howard

PS: Do you know of any Veteran’s Day events going on in our area? Seems so strange that this year I will be honoring my own son along with his friends!


What city workers get paid

More than 30 percent of Hayward’s city workers, or 280 people, made six-figure incomes in the last fiscal year. Thirty of them made more than $150,000, and all but three of those 30 were firefighters or police officers of varying ranks.

Here is Hayward’s Top 280. You can now compare it to San Leandro (which doesn’t include firefighters because they are contracted through the county), Union City, Fremont and most of the government agencies of Silicon Valley.

All of this information came about as a result of an August 27 state Supreme Court decision that ruled government salaries must be made public. That followed several years of legal debate between newspapers and public employee unions.

“You call it public knowledge and we call it our personal information,” said Garrett Contreras, president of the Hayward Firefighters Local 1909, in an interview last week.

Do you agree or not agree with the state Supreme Court ruling? Should government salaries be public?