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San Leandro joining fight against moth spraying? Mayor says not so fast

light-brown-apple-moth.jpgA number of Bay Area cities have recently announced their opposition to state plans to conduct aerial spraying to eradicate the light brown apple moth, even though a study reported there is no link between the pesticide spraying and numerous illness complaints reported last fall.

Alameda, Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville, Albany, San Francisco and a slew of other agencies have passed resolutions.

But not San Leandro.

The spraying is not scheduled to occur in San Leandro. But Mayor Tony Santos at the City Council meeting on Monday said he didn’t agree with his counterparts in other jurisdictions throughout the region who have voiced their concerns about the spraying. He said many others, including San Leandro residents, have made assumptions about the spraying without scientific evidence that backs up people’s claims.

He added that the state health officials responsible for determining whether the spraying is harmful are the only ones who can be trusted at this point because they are the experts.

When Vice Mayor Surlene Grant and Councilman Jim Prola suggested the council look into joining their counterparts in signing a petition to stop the spraying, Santos disagreed, saying he would rather put his faith in the state health officials.

“I can’t believe a state agency would use a substance which would harm people,” he said.

Prola interjected: “Well, they have before,” followed by a few chuckles in the audience.

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The Hayward Bus

Not sure what this means for the Cal State East Bay Hill Hopper, but AC Transit is proposing to re-align some of its routes that connect the hills to the Hayward BART.

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See a map of the proposed changes and read AC Transit’s summary descriptions:

Line 92
In order to improve service to Cal State University East Bay (CSU), AC Transit proposes to re-route the portion of Line 92 between CSU and Hayward BART. Instead of traveling along 2nd St. and Campus Dr., Line 92 buses would operate along Mission Blvd. and Carlos Bee Blvd. to CSU, where it would loop around campus and return to Hayward BART. Service frequency along the entire Line 92 route would be every 15 minutes.

Line 94
With the changes to Line 92, AC Transit proposes to also re-route Line 94 to maintain service along 2nd St. The new routing will provide longer service hours but at reduced frequency. The line would operate all day every 60 minutes along 2nd St., Campus Dr., Hayward Blvd., Skyline Dr., Dobbel Ave. and Spencer Ln. Selected Line 94 trips would operate via East Ave., Windfelt Rd., and 2nd St. to provide service to Hayward High School at the school’s front entrance. The schedule, while not finalized as of this printing, will be designed to coordinate with the school’s Continue Reading

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The candidates in their own words (San Leandro version)

Here are the candidate statements for the San Leandro City Council race. (The photos of each candidate were taken by staff photographer Mike Lucia while at the San Leandro Community Action Network candidates forum.)

District 2

CHARLES GILCREST
Age: 52
Occupation: Local businessowner, Gilcrest Management Services/City Commissioner, Board of Zoning Adjustments
cgilcrest1.jpgI am seeking the opportunity to work for you to help create a better future for San Leandro. I was born and raised here, and deeply care about our city. We need to fix our roads. Too often neighborhood streets are ignored, while pavements continue to deteriorate. Together we can create a safer community. More Neighborhood Watch, but also better and interactive crime updates, more community policing, enhanced real-time communication with neighboring forces, and comparable staffing ratios. Downtown BART parking should be increased, not decreased, as we build the Transit Oriented Development. We need to complete the Senior Center and Aquatics Center, and expand transit to reduce traffic. We need to attract and support new and local business, create a stable and self-sustaining shoreline and marina, and partner with the schools, improving both education and recreational opportunities. My service on the Halcyon-Foothill Neighborhood Association Board, San Leandro’s Board of Zoning Adjustments and Redevelopment Advisory Committee, SLUSD Bond Oversight Committee, Chamber Board, Davis Street volunteer, and formerly Human Services Commissioner prepared me to serve as your councilmember, so I can help make our city a better home for us all. Please vote Charles Gilcrest for City Council District 2. Thank you.

LINDA PERRY
Age: 55
Occupation: Public policy consultant/San Leandro schools trustee
lperry.jpgMy education and qualifications are: involvement, experience, leadership and vision. I know the job. I was councilmember and vice mayor from 1988-1996, representing San Leandro on numerous local and regional committees. I have been involved in improving San Leandro for 39 years, appointed to the first San Leandro Youth Advisory Committee at age 16. As a graduate of San Leandro High and California State University, Hayward, I value education. First elected in 1996, I currently serve on the San Leandro Unified School Board and Alameda County School Boards Association. I see first-hand the diverse needs of our young families and children not being addressed by the city. As Halcyon-Foothill Neighborhood Association president, I am a vocal advocate for my neighborhood. I served on the South Area Corridor and Downtown Plan committees. Upcoming district issues include Bayfair Center expansion; BART Transit-Oriented Development; Senior Center; San Leandro Hospital’s future; ninth-grade campus; and I-580 soundwalls. I will demand neighborhood input. My priorities are economic development and jobs; working closely with schools; expanding public safety; affordable housing; neighborhood vitality; quality of life: child care, available health care, senior needs, green space, recreation opportunities; transportation; fixing infrastructure; and government responsiveness. Visit www.lindaperry4council.com. Together we can make a better San Leandro. I ask for your support.

URSULA REED
Occupation: Educator
ureed.jpgI will bring a fresh voice to the San Leandro City Council. I respectfully ask for your vote because I believe in the future of our city and I’ve worked hard to achieve the qualifications, knowledge and abilities to make San Leandro better. As an educator and former school principal, I know how to work with people to accomplish mutual goals. I listen. I bring diverse points of view together to achieve consensus and solve problems. I know how to bring out the best in people. I do not have a hidden or political agenda. I am running for the City Council because I want to make our city a better place to live for my young son, my family and our neighbors. I plan to focus on helping our Police Department prevent and fight crime, keeping fees and taxes low, working for community-oriented economic development, providing increased services for youth and seniors, and helping improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. Your vote for me will add a fresh and new voice to our civic deliberations. I pledge to serve with honesty, integrity and a commitment to quality public service. I would be honored to have your support. www.ReedforSanLeandro.com

District 4

JOYCE STAROSCIAK
Occupation: Incumbent/Small-business owner, Starotech
jstarosciak.jpgGraduated from San Leandro High School at the top of my class. I hold a BS in engineering with honors from Harvey Mudd College and a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech. I’ve done my homework and am honored to serve you as the City of San Leandro District 4 councilmember. In my time on the council, the city has fully recovered from a $3M budget deficit, returning eight police officer positions, Sunday library hours, the Cherry Festival, and a fully funded reserve account. In District 4, the city saw the opening of the Manor Branch Library and the San Leandro Family Aquatics Center at Washington Manor Park. Through my personal efforts, the Manor Branch Library received over $12,000 in private donations to fill the shelves with new books. Over my term, I have worked to improve communication in District 4 with an e-mail news update, an annual Security Summit, and the revitalization of the Washington Manor Homeowners Association. My vision for San Leandro includes a revitalized Marina Shoreline, improving public safety, attracting more business, and creating safe destinations for youth, seniors, residents and guests. Please cast your vote for Joyce Rutledge Starosciak, District 4 City Councilmember.

LOU FILIPOVICH
lfilipovich.jpg
Lou Filipovich did not submit a candidate statement.

District 6

WAFAA ABORASHED
Age: 52
Occupation: Grassroots environmental advocate
waborashed.jpgGraduate of California East Bay University in Sociology. A grassroots environmental advocate, plus president of the Davis West Neighborhood of San Leandro for the past 11 years, and also I am working to protect the environment and reduce negative health impacts for San Leandro citizens. I am a member of the San Leandro Chamber Leadership Program and a Steering Committee member of the following environmental, political and social organizations: Bay Area Health Collaborative, Ditching Dirty Diesel, Environmental Justice Air Quality Coalition, Ambassadors for Peace, chairperson of Women’s Interfaith Circle of Services, vice chair of Peacemakers, board member of the United Nations East Bay. I particpate and encourage participation in bringing people together to explore and resolve everyday community concerns. www.Wafaa4SanLeandro.com

HERMY ALMONTE
Occupation: Regional property supervisor
halmonte.jpgI am a graduate of Alameda County Leadership Academy and was appointed to serve on the Consumer Affairs Commission. I inherited the passion of public service from my grandfather, who was a former councilman. The growing populations of Filipino and Asian communities have “dreams,” of equal representation of ALL in the City Council. Some areas in need of immediate attention are: community safety, wheelchair accessibility, bus stops without waiting sheds, crosswalks for children and wheelchair-bound individuals, missing traffic and pedestrian signs, housing for seniors, teachers, working families and people with medical challenges, and a sports complex and leagues. My past and current community services prove my active involvement in the school district and community. Past member, Disaster Action Team-San Francisco, American Red Cross Bay Area; commissioner on the Consumer Affairs Commission of Alameda County; president of English Learner Advisory Committee of San Leandro High Schooll finance chairman of soccer and scouting, Boy Scouts of America of San Leandro; Leo adviser for Leo Club of San Leandro High School; and California Notary Public, second term. ALL residents of the city of San Leandro, I am willing to serve everyone and focus on all areas needing attention! Vote Hermy B. Almonte on June 3!

ESTELLE CLEMONS
Occupation: Human services manager
eclemons.jpgSan Leandro is a beautiful and diverse city with a landscape that spans from our golden waterfront to our rolling hills. In moving the city of San Leandro forward, we need effective leaders who can advance the priorities of the community and get the job done — I am that public servant. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, a master’s degree in Behavioral Science, and have over 10 years of practical work experience in local government. I’ve worked to bring millions of dollars in additional funding from local, state and federal resources to help local government meet the needs of the community by securing funding for infrastructure, parks and recreation, public safety, transit-oriented development, waterfront dredging, and services for seniors and working families. Serving as a San Leandro city councilmember takes leaderhsip, vision and experience. I am that leader that will help move the city of San Leandro foward. With the support of the community, I am committed to 1) increasing public safety; 2) advocating for and ensuring quality education for all children; and 3) supporting smart growth in the area of community and economic development. For leadership and experience that counts, on June 3 cast your vote for Estelle E. Clemons, San Leandro City Council. www.electEstelleClemons.com

JIM PROLA
Age: 65
Occupation: Incumbent
jprola2.jpgAs your councilmember, it has been a pleasure to serve you these past 15 months. San Leandro has been my home for more than 30 years, and my wife and I raised three children here. I hve volunteered as a youth sports coach and as a leader on many community issues, including cleaning up our shoreline and helping establish the city’s first shelter for women and children. We’ve done a lot on the council to move San Leandro forward, but there’s more to be done, and that’s why I’m running to retain my District 6 council seat. I want to secure our future by creating more programs for children and young families, work with the school district to improve education, increase public safety to better proetect our neighborhoods, continue to advocate for seniors, balance our budget in a tight economy, work with local businesses to ensure they thrive in our city, and preserve San Leandro’s small-town atmosphere. I ask you to join with Mayor Tony Santos, County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker, and many other residents, and vote for me, Jim Prola, to elect a leader with vision and experience. For more information, please visit www.jimprola.com. Thank you.

MARK TICHY
Occupation: Realtor
mtichy.jpgI’ve been a resident in San Leandro for 16 years now, and in that time I’ve noticed our city is taking a turn for the worse. Just recently, my wife and I opened Chicago Blues Cafe located on East 14th Street. Since opening we’ve been overwhelmed by all of the regulation that San Leandro imposes on the small-businessperson. San Leandro is not small business-friendly. Change is needed to address the concerns of the small-businessperson. Our community will never change unless we can attract new business. Only then will our city thrive. Over the years, many businesses have avoided San Leandro due to overregulation. The current mayor and City Council members are more interested in filling in our marina for development, rather then addressing the real issues our city faces. Make a difference and vote for a candidate that understands how to support and attract busines back to San Leandro.

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Swallows, sisterz, etc.

What’s happening next week?

Well, Tuesday is the 6th Annual Return of the Swallows at Chabot College.

On Saturday the 19th, someone from Sisterz of the Underground will be teaching street art lettering and drawing techniques within the confines of the Weekes Branch Library. Says the library: “This program will take place on Saturday, April 19th from 1-4 PM at the Weekes Branch Library, located at 27300 Patrick Avenue in Hayward. Program is free and open to ages 12-19. Please RSVP if you are planning to attend by calling 510-782-2155.”

Anything else? Please share.

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Hey Joe, whaddya think about that … power plant?

Joe Montana may be a savvy multi-tasker, but he is not an expert on the effects of gas-burning turbines on the regional air basin — and didn’t pretend to be this morning.

It was Montanarama in Hayward today as the Hall of Fame QB gave a pep talk at Cal State East Bay to a business summit crowd that included these folks:

joemontanacrowd.jpg

And what, someone asked, did the retired football star think about the proposed gas-fired power plants that so many Haywardites love to hate? According to a reporter who was there (see his full story tomorrow), he answered:

“I’d have to defer that question as I don’t know much about it.”

Fair enough.

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On the move

On the local political scene, Castro Valley’s Karla Goodbody has left the employ of Assemblyman Alberto Torrico, D-Fremont, and gone to work as senior congressional aide for Congresswoman Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, whose district includes some of the greater Hayward area’s unincorporated communities.

And, if Friday night television isn’t your thing, check out the politicos April 18 at the Hayward Demos Democratic Club’s candidates’ forum. The 7 p.m. meeting will be at Westminster Hills Presbyterian Church, 27287 Patrick Ave., in Hayward.
Candidates on the June 3 primary ballot have been invited.

Invitees include Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Hayward, and Jason Teramoto, who’s challenging Hayashi for the 18th Assembly District Democratic nomination.

Hayashi’s husband, Dennis, also is on the guest list, along with Phil Daly, Victoria Kolakowski and Dennis Reid, all of whom are vying for an Alameda County Superior Court judicial seat.

Torrico and Congressman Pete Stark, D-Fremont, both of whom are unopposed in their party’s June primary, also have been asked to speak.

Club members will endorse candidates in the respective races, and also consider Measure I, the $205 million Hayward School District bond measure on the June ballot.

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If it’s not in the dictionary, did it still happen?

I spent much of today at a Cherryland “charette” attended by a couple hundred residents of the unincorporated communities most conveniently known as the Eden Area, which in this case (but not all cases) includes Castro Valley.

edenstudyareainsert1.jpgThe unincorporated areas are confusing enough already, as people who live there will tell you. But no sooner did I file my story when a copy editor called me up and said, “Hey, what is a charette? It’s not in the dictionary.”

And no, it is not in our dictionary. But it is in some others. The exercise had some of the atmosphere of the town meetings I’ve witnessed in New England. The big difference is that while a true town meeting turns the local citizenry into lawmakers, Cherryland’s charette electorate made symbolic votes and now will have to hope the real lawmakers listen to their non-binding suggestions.

But anyway, there was a charette and lots of people voted for lots of different things and here, in a HayWord exclusive, is the Continue Reading

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Ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes pushes it to the limit

dean-karnazes_head-shot.JPGDean Karnazes is at it again. The ultramarathon runner from San Francisco, who last year teamed up with San Leandro-based The North Face to run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days, is now leading another endurance race. And this time, he’s going global.

Karnazes will now attempt to complete the world’s five major desert foot races as part of The North Face Desert Grand Slam, the company announced today.

He has already started, as he is currently running the Atacama Desert in Chile. Throughout the rest of the year, he will run the Gobi Desert in China, Death Valley here in California, the Sahara Desert in Africa, and the desolate, arid plateaus of Antarctica.

I remember when I interviewed him over the telephone last year after he finished running the Endurance 50, he didn’t even pause when he told me he had just run more than 3,000 miles — in 50 days. And he couldn’t wait to get off the phone — not because he wanted the interview to be over, but because he had his running shoes on and couldn’t wait to start running again.

If you want to follow Karnazes as he attempts to set another record, go here. Just be prepared to have your running shoes handy, because his endurance is contagious.

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Bonjour bijou, bon voyage B Street

Yelpers are already mourning the loss of downtown’s B Street Restaurant, which closed last week.

But this is one vacant B Street storefront that shouldn’t be interminably empty. Benjamin Young, a managing partner of Cupertino-based CoreNine Consulting Inc., was working inside the property today and said he’s preparing a significant remodel of its interior and exterior.

By late summer, he said, downtown should see a new restaurant/bar there called Bijou.