Firms ID’d for revamped shoreline


City officials gave some more details Tuesday about the firms who have turned in proposals to be selected as potential master developers for the 40-acre shoreline area at the San Leandro Marina.

The city has stated before that the companies were selected because of their potential to bring mixed-used development to the marina, and because of their experience with waterfront development and working in public-private partnerships.

One of the developers, DEW Partners, was dropped from the city’s list of potential candidates because officials determined it lacked development experience.

Officials also announced that the city is hiring a consulting firm to help with the financial aspects of the selection process.

So here are the candidates:

  • Porto Bello Development Co., a major master developer throughout the country that is most known for its hotel project in the Pismo Beach area (San Luis Obispo County).
  • The INNISFREE Cos. and Lanikai Management Corp., which developed the Tiburon Marina and San Leandro’s Creekside Plaza.
  • California Coast, which developed the Cabrillo Marina in San Pedro (Los Angeles Harbor).
  • Madison Marquette, owner of Bayfair Center.
  • Barry Swenson Builder, a popular San Jose developer.

HUSD’s “Gross Inequities”

As mentioned in today’s Review, Hayward Unified will hold off closing Markham Elementary for another year, and possibly two other campuses if trustees take action on the matter next month.

Feel free to discuss the decision here, but I’m also curious to hear your thoughts regarding board member Dr. Sarah Gonzales’ comments about the “gross inequities” within the district.

While some campuses house a few hundred students, others are bursting at the seams with about 800 students. One parent compared the overcrowding issues to packing students like a can of sardines.

For those of you who were unable to cough up the hefty admission cost to Wednesday’s spectacle at City Hall or don’t subscribe to Pay Per View (I’m joking), Gonzales expressed concerns about district school sizes.

Hayward Unified’s optimal school sizes at the elementary level is about 650 to 750 students.

“The optimal size of 750 students isn’t so optimal anymore,” she said Wednesday evening, which was followed by a standing ovation by parents and teachers who favor smaller schools.


R.I.P. Valle Vista

r28skat2.jpgAs many of you know by now, Valle Vista Skating Center burned down yesterday.

The Mission Boulevard establishment has sat vacant for as long as I can remember, but when some of us from Hayward were growing up here, that used to be the spot.

The memories weren’t that great, but it was one of the last places in town where young people could hang out on a Friday or Saturday night.

For instance, remember the wooden boards on the skating rink floor that were so uneven that if you were skating a little too fast around the place, you might have tripped going over one?

Those are the kind of memories that will be missed at that old place.

So, if you’re driving down Mission and you see what’s left of Valle Vista, give it a little salute. Because it’s one of those things that sticks in your childhood memories.

And if you’re reading this post, share with us your memories. Because, in a small way, we know you will miss it too.


San Leandro to honor soldier killed in Iraq

manibog-with-son.jpgSan Leandro city officials have taken to heart the recent news of Army Spc. Michael Manibog being killed in Iraq.

He was the first soldier from San Leandro to be killed in the Iraq war, according to our records.

Officials have decided the city will honor Manibog by adding his name to the war memorial at Memorial Park on Bancroft Avenue after the war ends. The memorial lists soldiers from San Leandro who died in the Korean and Vietnam wars, and Manibog’s name will be the latest — and hopefully the last, officials said.


Charity begins at home

Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley raised $71,000 in campaign contributions last year, according to his most recent financial statement, and it’s not all going to this year’s re-election campaign.

The Alameda County Labor Council’s Hardship Fund, and the Black Adoption Placement and Research Center are only the few of the charities to which Miley donated, using campaign funds.

However, working outside of office hours, Miley’s county staffers also earned salaries from these funds as campaign workers or consultants. Bob Swanson, an aide in Miley’s Castro Valley district office, was paid $980. Anna Gee, who works in both the Oakland main office and Castro Valley office, received $1,800. Robyn Hodges, who formerly worked in Castro Valley and now is in Oakland, made $1,200, as did Oakland aide Darryl Stewart.

Miley previously has said he has no problem hiring his county assistants to work on campaigns, since they separate the government duties from political work.

Miley’s son, Chris, who works for United Seniors of Oakland and Alameda County, an Oakland-based senior citizen organization, netted $2,500. Nate Miley also donated more than $1,300 in cash or advertising revenue to United Seniors, and forgave thousands of dollars in loans from other campaign funds.

Miley, in addition to his job as a county supervisor, is United Seniors’ executive director. Chris Miley is the agency’s project coordinator.


Stark redux

Congressman and apparently undecideded superdelegate Pete Stark has announced he’ll be having some community meetings in his district tomorrow.

Here’s the press release:

U.S. Representative Pete Stark (D-CA) will meet with residents of the 13th Congressional District on Saturday, February 16th in Fremont, Hayward and Alameda.

The three town meetings will allow constituents to ask questions about important national issues. Given recent news, Continue Reading


Casino on Foothill?

What do you think of the idea of a poker club, sports bar and 24-hour American-Italian-Mexican-Asian restaurant on Foothill Boulevard?

Our story today revealed that the owners of the Palace Card Club want to relocate to the site of the Kumbala nightclub and expand their operations there.

Charles Blanchard, one of the card club owners, wasn’t able to be reached for comment earlier this week, but called today and revealed a couple additional details and opinions. He said:

Continue Reading


Want to fight global warming? Take the day off

Now, here’s a suggestion on how to beat global warming.

At Monday’s San Leandro City Council work session on affordable housing, Councilman Bill Stephens had an idea on how to reduce CO2 emissions while providing people with housing in the city: cut back the work week to four days instead of five.

He said he was surprised nothing had been proposed yet in any of the presidential debates to push back the work week since the global warming situation has become so dire. And he suggested that since people are living longer and spending more time at home, reducing the work week could keep people closer to home and less dependent on the automobile.

“It’s astonishing that we’re giving up more of our free time in America,” Stephens said Monday night.

Does anybody agree with this?


of the people, by the people, for the people

Today is Lincoln’s Birthday and the BART train from SF to Fremont was full of newly minted citizens, all getting off at different stops, carrying big white envelopes with blue letters that said: “A message from the President of the United States of America.”

Better than a parking ticket, for sure.

Meanwhile, we reported today that the season of local politics has begun for Hayward, San Leandro and higher offices.

What are some issues you want addressed by the folks aiming to be your local, state and federal representatives before the June 3 election?

Or, if you want to run yourself, see the pertinent info here Continue Reading