Get schooled

Area schools begin the new school year this week. Here are some tips on how to help your student have a successful year, from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell:

1. Put your children in bed earlier. Doctors recommend children in first through fifth grades get as much as 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep can affect children’s ability to learn, and may affect their immune systems.

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Blowing smoke?


No Smoking

Note to Hayward smokers: Time to start packing a measuring stick with your lighter and Camels.

As reported by Eric Kurhi in today’s Review, public puffing will net you a citation and eventual fine — unless you are 20 feet away from “public areas.”

How the new law will be enforced by police remains, to the say the least, cloudy.

Do you think the new law will deter smokers from lighting up in public?


Street talk

Students apparently are feeling threatened by the large amount of day laborers who hang out on Tennyson Road near Cesar Chavez Middle School.

During a school safety meeting held Tuesday evening at the campus, several girls described being the targets of whistles and verbal abuse on their daily walks to and from school.

City, police and school officials are working on ways to help improve the atmosphere for area students. Some are proposing that day laborers be banned from hanging around near the school at least an hour before and after school, while others would just like them removed from the area entirely.

Have any suggestions? Drop them here.


Twinkle, twinkle little…

STAR testing results are in. These are the results from the past spring-testing fever that should return in about 8-9 months or so.

For the most part, all area students improved upon last year’s mark of testing on par to state standards. Still, with the exception of Castro Valley students, less than 40 percent of local students fail to meet proficiency — the state’s favorite “P” word for kids who are mastering core subjects.

Check your school’s report here.

I’ve also provided a quick breakdown of area districts below:

Castro Valley Unified School District
English-Language Arts – 66.3 percent proficient or advanced
Math – 62.3 percent proficient or advanced
Hayward Unified School District
English-Language Arts – 32.6 percent proficient or advanced
Math – 31 percent proficient or advanced
San Lorenzo Unified School District
English-Language Arts – 34.6 percent proficient or advanced
Math – 32.3 percent proficient or advanced
San Leandro Unified School District
English-Language Arts – 37.4 percent proficient or advanced
Math – 33.8 percent proficient or advanced

More STAR-quality coverage in Friday’s edition of The Daily Review!


Nat’l Night Out event interrupted by pot smokers

Message to folks who think doing drugs near a whole bunch of police officers is a good idea: It’s not, and you’ll probably get caught for it.

Well, that’s exactly what happened last night in San Leandro at one of the National Night Out events in the Best Manor neighborhood. According to one of our readers, Michael McGuire, an active citizen and member of the newly formed neighborhood group Citizens for a Safer San Leandro, some parents with young kids who had arrived at the event were trying to enjoy their barbecue but were disrupted by a small group of youngsters smoking weed at the entrance of Siempre Verde Park, apparently oblivious to the nearby crowd or the fact that police officers were out in full force.

McGuire said in an e-mail that police then confronted the pot smokers, and eventually they were arrested.

Don’t know the circumstances involving the arrests yet. But McGuire had this thought on the irony of it all:

In fact, the people arrested were right in front of a poster welcoming people to that event — though it neglected to overtly state that police officers, firefighters and probably the mayor were expected to attend. (All of them eventually did attend.)

McGuire also said this incident reflects what seems to be a growing problem in that part of town, especially at Siempre Verde Park, which is near the Oakland border and apparently attracts some unsavory activity.

But I guess having some people arrested for doing drugs at a National Night Out event isn’t that bad. After all, wasn’t that the whole point: to clamp down on crime by having a huge community and police presence? Who would have guessed it would have happened this way, though?


Razor-sharp criticism against Corbett

Many of you who have been following the news are well aware of the recent firebombings of animal researchers’ homes and cars in Santa Cruz that have put universities on high alert all over the state.

Those attacks have prompted calls for the state Legislature to revisit a bill introduced back in February that would allow UC officials to withhold names of animal researchers from public documents to prevent activists from harassing them.

The attacks also have elicited razor-sharp criticism from a San Diego Union-Tribune editorial writer, Chris Reed, who has been ripping state Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, all morning in his blog for stalling that bill up in Sacramento.

Apparently, his gripe seems to be with Corbett’s refusal to support the bill and that her opposition to the bill doesn’t coincide with her consumer rights/human rights protection record.

From his blog:

Corbett doesn’t think these researchers deserve the same protection from Internet identification and targeting that she enjoys and that is provided to abortion clinic workers. She is wrong. People could die as a result of her machinations.

What do you think? Is this criticism of Corbett warranted? Is she living up to her political standards? Or is this all just being overblown?


Hesperian onramp near Chabot a no-go for now

 So far, things are going swimmingly over at Hesperian Boulevard near Chabot College, where Caltrans closed the popular onramp to Highway 92 last night.

It’s part of a plan to improve the flow of traffic all the way to the Interstate 880 exchange. This particular step will detour drivers to Tennyson Road or Winton Avenue for more than a month, with an anticipated completion date of Sept. 12

Caltrans spokesman Stephen Williams said today that things are “so far, so good,” and that’s “Music to my ears.”

Our own midmorning recon mission found little to complain about. But come Aug. 20, the Fall semester will start at Chabot College, and that could mean things get considerably hairier.

But Williams was optimistic. “Most folks are familiar with the lay of the land out there… it shouldn’t be that problematic,” he said.

Chabot President Celia Barberena said she hopes students will be aware of the route change before courses begin.

“My hope is that there will be enough notice between now and Aug. 20,” she said. “The first week is always very very busy, while everyone gets situated. But this is helpful that we have a couple of weeks before then.”



A resolution to a proposition

Study possible parcel tax. Check. Extend superintendent’s contract. Check. Oppose gay-marriage ban. Wait. What!?

San Leandro school board members are considering a resolution against the controversial Proposition 8, which if passed by voters in November would essentially ban gay marriage in California.

The resolution was proposed by trustee Stephen Cassidy, which sparked up a lively discussion among board members during their last meeting.

More about the possible resolution in this weekend’s edition of The Daily Review.

For now, what are your thoughts on school boards getting into issues that seemingly have no direct impact on public education?

View a draft of the possible resolution. Continue Reading