What hurts? Cuts hurt, say Hayward teacher/musicians

The Hayward Unified School District will hear recommendations for budget reductions at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Council Chambers at City Hall, 777 B St., in Hayward. They will vote on the budget at the Feb. 11 meeting.

Meanwhile, a group of teachers released the following music video:

Here’s the explanation, from Andrew Kong Knight, Hayward High art instructor:

Elimination of the high school block system will give students the choice of only six classes per year instead of eight classes. Limiting the classes will eliminate many of the elective classes students enjoy, such as music and art. Many students attend Hayward high schools because of the strong art and music programs. Elimination of elementary instrumental music program will deny students the opportunity to experience music, which has been proven to help students learn in other subjects. The early development programs are essential to strong music programs in middle and high school.

“I produced the video to spread awareness about the Hayward Unified School District’s continued failure to make budget cuts on an administrative level. Every time they’re in a budget squeeze, they never consider cutting the questionable high-salary district positions. Instead, they hurt students and teachers by eliminating music and art classes.”


Got picket?

We did, last Thursday. A small group of demonstrators came down to stand in front of The Daily Review building on Foothill Boulevard. They were protesting this editorial.

They stuck around for about an hour, and got their fair share of cars that honked in support. They were friendly enough, and explained that they usually carry the same signs at a nearby corner for greater visibility, but came to the Review on account of the paper running the Bay Area News Group editorial.

Photo by Mike Lucia, staff photographer.


The Daily Review “hit the ground running” in 1931

According to an article in the Boston Globe, your hometown paper coined the cliche “hit the ground running,” which the Globe maintains is being tossed around way too much these days. The article states:

The Phrase Finder takes it back to a slightly incoherent editorial observation in the Hayward (Calif.) Daily Review, in 1940, about the eagerness of fledgling journalists: “It sometimes seems to me that the young idea nowadays wants to hit the ground running and to tell the old editors how to run things.”

I suspect that the same anonymous editor had been on the job for at least a decade. In 1938, the editorial column observed that journalism schools “seem to encourage young people to . . . hit the ground running, upon graduation, with a column in hand.”

And in 1931, when Reno’s new law made it a quickie divorce destination, the Review editorial column reported that “One woman was in such a rush to get her decree that she hit the ground running in the morning . . . simply going to court in her pajamas.”


Heading east for the ‘Bama Bash

San Leandrans Sergio Perez and Sarah O’Neal Rush are heading to Washington, D.C., to join millions of others anxious to share in the excitement of the Barack Obama inauguration.

Perez, 17, is taking a few days off from classes at San Leandro High School — where he is a junior — to join three family members for the six-day trip. Perez left Thursday on a flight to Philadelphia; he’ll take a train from there to Virginia, where his family has rented a cabin. They’ll get up early each day to take the train 1 1/2 hours to the capital and sightsee. Then, on Tuesday — inauguration day — Perez expects to be riding the rails by 3 a.m., so he and his family can reach the capital by 5 a.m.

”What an experience,” he said.

Sarah O’Neal Rush is the great-granddaughter of Booker T. Washington, the founder of Tuskegee University, and the first African American to dine in the White House at the invitation of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1901. Rush has written about her great-grandfather, and her family legacy. Rush will be the guest of Congresswoman Diane Watson, D-Los Angeles, her first cousin.


It sure is warm these days in our own Hayward area…

… but for a bit of a polar opposite, a somnambulist died of exposure in another Hayward, where wind chills are expected to bring the temp down to 50 below zero. According to the story, “Flesh can freeze in 10 minutes when the wind chill is 40 below or colder, the weather service noted.”

Around these parts, it’s expected to remain more than 100 degrees warmer than that, for the time being.


Get out those shopping shoes

On Wednesday, add one more store — in San Leandro — to Wal-Mart’s estimated 33 superstores, 139 discount and general merchandise stores, 36 Sam’s clubs and seven distribution centers in California.

At 120,186 square feet, the new Wal-Mart at 15555 Hesperian Blvd. — next to an In N Out Burger, just off Interstate 880 — falls in the discount and general merchandise store size. Superstores size in at 185,000 square feet and larger.

Three other Wal-Marts are within two to nine miles, and all also off I-880: at the Westgate Shopping Center on Davis Street in San Leandro; on Hegenberger Road in Oakland; and off Alvarado-Niles Road in Union City.

Do you plan to shop at the new Wal-Mart store? What other types of retail stores and businesses should San Leandro try to attract?


Barack’s bash to cost San Leandro

San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos isn’t going to President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration, but democracy’s version of a coronation next week in the nation’s capital still is costing the city several hundred dollars.

From Jan. 17 to 19, Santos is attending the annual winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in — you guessed it — Washington, D.C. In December, Santos made his conference reservations for three nights at the Capital Hilton, the conference headquarters, for just over $200 a night.

Then, two weeks ago, Santos’s secretary got a call from the conference. The Capital Hilton was needed for inaugural guests. San Leandro’s top elected official, along with other mayors, will have to spend their last night on Jan. 18 at L’Enfant Plaza Hotel — at $500 a night, Santos said (somewhat indignantly) last week.

So Santos, who just was named to the conference’s Census Committee, is coming home as planned Jan. 19, the day before the inauguration. Rooms for the event, even if they could be found, are priced in the stratosphere, Santos noted. No inaugural tickets are available, and Santos said he might find himself standing in the cold a mile from the Capitol building, where the ceremony will be held. And, getting a plane home during the two to three days following the ceremony could be iffy at best, he added.

But, look at it this way, mayor. L’Enfant Plaza is giving you — and the city’s pocketbook — a deal. While the L’Enfant Plaza Web site on Monday showed all rooms are booked, last week there still were vacancies for Jan. 18: at $799 for the night, plus $115.86 tax, for a total of $914.86.


If you can’t go to one Capital…

Can’t make it to the nation’s capital for the Obama-Biden inauguration? Then turn on the television to next Tuesday’s ceremony while tapping out an application on your laptop or computer for fellowships in California’s state capital of Sacramento.

State Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, is publicizing two programs that have application deadlines of Feb. 25.

The Senate Fellows program offers 18 college graduates the chance to become Senate staff members for 11 months, starting next October. The program is open to anyone who is at least 20 years old and will have graduated from a university or four-year college by next Sept. 1. For an application form and information, visit www.sen.ca.gov/ftp/sen/fellows_home.

The California Judicial Administration Fellowship program is open to 10 people who will be assigned to various courts in Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles, while simultaneously enrolled as graduate students at California State University, Sacramento. Applicants must be at least 20 years old and have earned a bachelor’s degree by next Sept. 1. Graduate, post-graduate and mid-career applicants are welcome, Corbett said. For information, visit www.csus.edu/calst/judicial.


HEA, CTA rally today

As mentioned in today’s story, there will be a protest rally at Birchfield Park this afternoon about pending cuts in the Hayward Unified School District. Organizers say it will be big. Here’s the press release:

East Bay School Cuts Showdown as Hayward Teachers Rally Today Against Music, Smaller Class Size Hits

Marching Band to Join 3:45 p.m. Protest Over $12 Million District Cuts List

HAYWARD — Sparked by the state budget crisis, the Hayward Unified School District’s plans to find $12 million in “savings” for next school year by potentially cutting all elementary instrumental music and class size reduction efforts  — and scrapping high school art and other electives – is prompting a protest rally at Birchfield Park this afternoon. Teachers and members of the award-winning Hayward High School student marching band will attend, and the “Angry Tired Teachers Band” of Hayward High educators will play rock protest songs.

“This district is making the same mistake as the governor and lawmakers in Sacramento by trying to balance the state budget on the backs of students,” said Kathleen Crummey, president of the 1,330-member Hayward Education Association. “Music and arts programs are vital to a well-rounded education, and instrumental music in the lower grades is crucial to strong programs in middle and high schools. The district will have about $11 million in reserves and therefore should not be looking at such severe classroom cuts.”

Among widespread cuts being considered for the next school year, the district is considering ending the 20-student class-size caps in K-3 classrooms and changing the high school block system of scheduling to give students a choice of only taking six classes per year instead of eight, which could eliminate high school music and art programs.

*WHAT: Protest rally by hundreds of teachers and students against music and other cuts now among $12 million in budget “savings” under consideration by the Hayward Unified School District for the 2009-10 school year.

*WHEN: 3:45-5:30 p.m. TODAY, Tuesday, Jan. 13.

*WHERE: Birchfield Park, Santa Clara at Winton streets, across from the main post office in Hayward