Holzmeister wins history award

KarenHistoryAwardsphotoLongtime Daily Review reporter Karen Holzmeister (on the left, with Hayward Area Historical Society Vice President Gay Ostarello), who retired from the paper last summer, was one of the honorees at the HAHS awards dinner last week.

Karen was an institution in the newsroom, someone whose mind-vault contained a wealth of information about southern Alameda County that can’t be found in any google search. She remains sorely missed — not just by Review staff but by community members as well. Then again, she’s missed particularly by Review staff, who were treated to a delicious sherry cake when she was in the neighborhood and stopped by earlier this week.

Karen’s been busy in her retirement, having done some traveling including a trip to the Middle East.

Here’s an item in Carol Thornberry’s column about another recent honor Karen received.

And here’s the HAHS press release on their event, which included some other local notables:

Hayward Area Citizens Honored for Preserving History

Fred’s Flowers in San Lorenzo, the old Pioneer Skate Arena, a
long-time newspaper reporter, and a Hayward historian were among those
honored at the 11th annual History Awards hosted by the Hayward Area
Historical Society.

Historical Society President, Brian Morrison welcomed over 130 people
to the awards held at Stonebrae Country Club, including Hayward’s
Mayor Sweeney and Council members Kevin Dowling, Barbara Halliday,
Anna May, Bill Quirk and Alameda County Supervisor, Gail Steele. The
Tennyson Blue Knights jazz group provided entertainment and guests
were served an elegant buffet prepared by Stonebrae’s Executive Chef,
Hemant Surendran.

The History Awards recognize the preservation of historic structures
in the Hayward area, as well as excellence in promoting and teaching
history in the community and schools. Myron Freedman, HAHS Executive
Director, began the presentation ceremony by commenting that if it
weren’t for the preserved ideas and accomplishments of the past, the
present would not have the necessary information and resources upon
which to build a future.

This year the Society gave out awards in six categories. The 2009
Historic Preservation award was given to the Varni Family for adaptive
reuse of the A Street Skating Rink, originally built by John and
Claire Varni in 1949 for the Pacific Telephone Company. The Historic
Business award was give to Fred’s Flowers, founded in 1941 in San
Lorenzo by Fred and Lucille Krause, and owned and operated today by
their son, Richard. The Historic Organization award went to Lone Tree
Cemetery founded in 1870. This year’s Educator of the Year award was
won by Kimberlyn Fischer-Hayes, a fourth-grade teacher at Dayton
Elementary in San Leandro.
Dr. Maria Ochoa of Hayward received the Society’s John Sandoval Award
for her research, documentation and publishing of Russell City, a new
Images of America publication. This year HAHS also gave out a special
Community Service award to Karen Holzmeister, a long-time Daily Review
reporter who covered many stories about the Historical Society and
preservation efforts in the Hayward area.

For more information on the activities of the Hayward Area Historical
Society, visit their website at www.haywardareahistory.org.

Eric Kurhi