Pot club policy on year’s agenda in Hayward

2/17 UPDATE: Not going to happen this year.

2/12 UPDATE: Setting a cannabis club policy is coming back before Council on Tuesday, when they will vote on priorities. City manager is strongly urging them to rethink the direction they are going, and opponents (and probably proponents, too) are expected to show up in force. Story about it in Monday’s paper, but consider this a heads up.

It certainly isn’t the city’s only priority, but Hayward added looking into creating an official policy on medical marijuana clubs to its goals for the coming year.

medpotMost of the Council wanted it to be a priority, with Bill Quirk and Olden Henson being the most vocal proponents of setting a policy. However, City Manager Greg Jones and Mayor Michael Sweeney both said NIMBY aspects of such clubs will make it a tough sell to put it in any given neighborhood.

It should garner its fair share of attention when it comes before council later this year — after a dozen proponents showed up last week, a number of residents spoke out against dispensaries at Tuesday’s Council meeting —  but feel free to weigh in here and now.

Other city priorities included working on issues involving the homeless, and the core values held over from last year: Crime/public safety, cleanliness, organizational health, land use and sustainability and fiscal stability.

The full City Manager’s review of 2009 is available here, with a list of accomplishments here. The proposed goals are available here. Council accepted them for the most part, with the exception of the item regarding the rental inspection program and the study of surrounding areas that could be annexed into the city. Those were dropped so the medical marijuana and homeless items could be added to the year’s agenda.


Storm advice from Hayward FD

Capt. Thor Poulsen, the Public Education Officer for the Hayward Fire Department, checks in with some advice on inclement weather:

floodSevere Winter Weather

The Hayward area is being pounded by a series of powerful storms driven from the Pacific this week. The most severe is scheduled to hit on Wednesday. The intense winds and rain have already caused power outages and flooding across low-lying areas. Please take the time now to prepare in advance and assure your family a safe winter as the storm passes through.

During Severe Winter Weather, if it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of a flood. Listen to local radio or TV stations for flood information and know what the terminology means: Continue Reading


Measure I update: So far, so good


Things are going as planned with funds from Measure I, $205 million earmarked for school renovations and rebuilds. We’ll have a story early next week, but in a nutshell, the design work is complete for all involved campuses: Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School,  Schafer Park Elementary, Tyrrell Elementary, Fairview Elementary and East Avenue Elementary.

There are even 3D virtual tours of each campus, along with more traditional artist renderings.

An extensive security camera system has been installed, now covering all schools in HUSD.

Next step is construction, which will begin with fencing going up at some sites in April, with heavy-duty stuff starting in summer. All five schools are expected to be completed in 2012, and facilities manager Dave Gallaher said they’re going to be something to be proud of.

“We took all the best ideas out there, from the staff, from the community and from the architects, and blended them together,” he said. “We were looking forward, incorporating things like technology in classrooms, energy efficiency, and sustainability in buildings and grounds. The best of new ideas.”


Things too Funky at the Monkey for planners

funkymonkeyA permit that would have allowed live music and a cover charge at the Funky Monkey bar in downtown Hayward was denied by the Planning Commission at its Thursday meeting, on the grounds that the venue is already taxing to police services and doesn’t seem to be interested in doing anything to change that.

 The applicant stated that the cover charge would help keep troublemakers out of the bar. Police didn’t think it would make a difference. An attorney for the applicant said police are out to get the Funky Monkey, and target it on weekend nights and that’s why so many incidents are recorded there.

That didn’t sit well with planners.

“You mention police sitting out in front as if that’s a negative thing,” said Rodney Loche. “I applaud the police for doing what they have to do.  It is unfortunate we have to use police in that way, but they are doing what they feel they need to do to make the city safer…  To suggest it is a negative or personal attack is unfortunate.”

Included in the staff report recommending denial is police information about service calls to the Funky Monkey. There were 80 last year. Three case studies included are kind of a “best of” list. Er, make that “worst of”:

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Understanding Ranked-Choice Voting

This PowerPoint presentation is the best explanation I’ve seen on Ranked-Choice Voting, also known as Instant Runoff Voting.

Click here to download the PowerPoint —> Understanding Ranked-Choice Voting

It was presented to the San Leandro City Council on Dec. 7.

The San Leandro council will decide on Jan. 19 whether to follow Oakland’s lead and make the switch to the new voting system.


Shhhh! Sonic is open!

sonicfrankSo maybe it’s already too late — word is out that they did a soft opening Tuesday night. During off peak hours this afternoon, a couple dozen cars were lined up for the drive-thru, about the same for the drive-in, and a walk-up line was rolling about 12 deep.

Still, fast food fans said they were getting served in short order by the inline-skating bellhops.

We will have a story out over the weekend. Frank Leamy, the pictured co-owner, said they didn’t do any advertising and are already swamped.

“It’s all Facebook and Twitter and online word of mouth,” Leamy said. So consider this is the official online heads up for HayWordians.

There’s even OMG it’s a Sonic YouTube video of a car driving by the new Hayward location.

More details on the Sonic are in our earlier HayWord post.


Update tonight on SROs in Hayward

UPDATE: Here’s the latest on SROs. It appears the idea to go with something other than an HPD presence on campus is no longer on the table.

Some information that didn’t make it to the story:

This was a murky situation. There was no information available from the district about the incident that prompted the discussions of revisions to the SRO contract, which in turn was the basis for looking at alternatives to using HPD officers. At the December school board meeting, the item was pulled from the consent calendar for discussion and the agenda had no indication that there were revisions in the works. Legally, there’s no problem there. The board wasn’t set to vote on any changes to the contract or make any kind of decision. It was pulled for discussion and direction.

At that meeting, available for viewing below, staff was directed to look at alternatives to using HPD officers.  From Reynoso’s comments, it appeared to be a budget issue. Gonzales talked about student rights in regard to search and seizure and interrogation,  and the need for the district to have a say in selecting SROs — something that HPD has since said has always been the case.

Heredia and Frumkin — the board members on the committee that has been meeting with police — both spoke about the contract negotiations, but neither specified what the alterations are or why they are being sought.

Heredia declined to comment about the matter on Wednesday and deferred it to administration.

“The only comment I have is that the district wants a resolution that is favorable to both parties,” she said. “We as a district care about the safety of children.”

The new interim superintendent — on the job since Monday — did not want to comment Wednesday on the April 2009 matter because it happened long before she took the reins.

The April 2009 matter was brought before the public by Police Chief Ron Ace, who responded to the district to explain why the revisions are unacceptable in the letter available below. He reiterated his comments at this week’s City Council meeting.

For decades, Hayward police officers have served as School Resource Officers on high school and jr. high campuses, something that “has been highly successful in improving safety of students,” according to City Manager Greg Jones.

However, at a HUSD meeting last month, trustees asked administrators to review the current arrangement and come back with a “Option B,” possibly utilizing more security hired by, and who would answer to, the school district.

That idea didn’t sit well with some parents, who don’t want HUSD to be in charge of overseeing the safety of their kids. They have said that the cost of the SROs is well worth it, to have an HPD presence on campuses.

Trustees raised other issues, including the selection of SROs. Board member Sarah Gonzales said they should have some say in selecting school officers, looking for ones “with more of a propensity for working with youth” and also wanted clearer language to ensure the Educational Code is followed regarding search and seizure and rules pertaining to the interrogation of youth.

You can watch the recorded meeting here. The issue begins at the 44 minute mark.

The City Manager recently backed statements by Police Chief Ron Ace, who sent HUSD a letter in November. At tonight’s Council meeting, Ace will be giving an update on what’s going on with the agreement. HUSD is supposed to go over alternatives at its Jan. 13 board meeting.

Read on for the full text of Ace’s letter to the district. We’ll have an update on the update after tonight’s meeting.

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