Spanish-language films for cheap!

FRANCISCO ZERMENO VIDEO STORECity Councilman Francisco Zermeno’s loss could be your gain. His Z Video rental store is about to close at the end of the month, and he’s selling off all his inventory. He specialized in Spanish-language films, and was proud to have a pretty extensive collection of movies from what he called “Mexiwood” era of the ’40s ’50s and ’60s.

There aren’t many mom-and-pop video stores around anymore. About a year ago when Hayward Video was robbed, the lady there told me they get by on account of the porn. In fact, she said the previous time they were robbed, the man demanded a bag full of porn.

Since Hayward Video is right by the Daily Review, I got a membership — not for porn, there’s nothing but RedBoxes near my home and I like to browse. But when I rented a movie one night — I think it was District 9 or Cloverfield or something involving aliens — it came in a DVD box with a label that boasted a XXX type of title, crossed out. Found it sort of disconcerting that they were mixing porn cases with mainstream titles, only on account of what porn aficionados are up to before putting the CD back in the case.

Zermeno said he had a “very limited” porn collection, and lasted longer than other video stores because of the Spanish language niche. I didn’t ask if he has any Spanish-language porn. Anyway, find his email after the jump. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Continue Reading


Calpine says Russell City Energy Center is a go


UPDATE: Here is the story.

The EPA rejected all appeals regarding the federal air permit issued in February by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Calpine representatives say that was the final hurdle for the 600-megawatt facility near the Hayward shoreline; spoke briefly with opponents, who said there may be other ways to block it.

Working on a story for tomorrow, but find the Calpine release after the jump. Curious quote from Kim Huggett, the new president and CEO of Hayward’s Chamber of Commerce about how the power plant will “be a magnet for bringing new business to Hayward.” Continue Reading


Hayward’s partnership program

Hayward city officials, along with HUSD and HARD representatives, have been meeting with residents in neighborhoods all over town to hear what their concerns are and what should be done to improve their quality of life.

Officials say the Neighborhood Partnership Program has been a big success. Here’s a presentation that explains what’s going on. The goal is to have an initial set of four meetings facilitated by the city, then turn the reins over to the residents. So even if the meetings have already been held for your area, you should be able to get in contact with people who have set up an action team. For more information, call Neighborhood Services at 510-583-4227 or e-mail director David Korth at david.korth@hayward-ca.gov.

And just as a reminder, you can also use the city website’s Access Hayward feature to file complaints or suggestions of things that need work.


Hayward library design finalists, and the winner

A design was selected for the proposed new downtown Hayward Main Library and Community Learning Center  at a joint meeting Tuesday between the City Council and Library Commission. There were three design choices, after the jump you’ll find an overview and artist renditions. Design descriptions are from the staff report, illustrations are courtesy of Noll and Tam, the architecture firm involved with the planning. They’re from a PowerPoint presentation that is available here. Continue Reading


Cal State East Bay development blocked

Here’s our story on a judge’s ruling regarding a large parking structure and new dorms planned at the Hayward campus. Basically, the judge agreed that CSU didn’t do enough to mitigate the effects of more cars and residents. City Attorney Michael Lawson said the university planned to ask the state for money to help the city handle the extra load, but would have gone ahead with the projects whether they got the funds or not, putting the burden on the city.

The university plans to double its student body in the next 20 years or so.

You can find more information about the projects on the CSUEB website. The parking lot and dorm reports are under the subheading “Cal State East Bay Hayward Campus Master Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report Volume II

To view the case, go to Alameda County’s DomainWeb site and enter case number RG09480852.


Anyone see any electioneering at the polls?

A reader tells me there was some electioneering going on at polling places Tuesday, witnessed in the parking lot of Loren Eden Elementry School and at a polling spot near San Felipe Park. Basically, the reader said voters were being approached by people carrying sample ballots with some school board candidate names crossed out, and told something to the effect of “we hope you make the right decision.” Another account had people handing out fliers for some school board candidates in front of a polling place.

It’s against California law to campaign within 100 feet of a polling place on Election Day.

Did anyone see any of this going on out there?

And in case you missed today’s school board election story, here it is.


Early returns: Armas, Walker in dead heat

UPDATE: 100 percent reporting, it’s Armas, Brunner and McGee.

Here’s what we’re looking at with most of the mail-in’s counted. I won’t be able to update the blog too often; either watch Twitter.com/erickurhi or get results on our Alameda County election page.

Hayward USD Governing Board Members, Short Term
Vote for One (1) Only
Total Precincts:    113 Precincts Reported:    0 Percent Reported:    0.00
Contest # of Votes % of Total
NP – Annette Walker 4308 43.46
NP – Jesús Armas 4300 43.38
NP – Lawrence M. Fitzpatrick 1261 12.72
Write-in 43 0.43
Hayward USD Governing Board Members, Full Term
Vote for no more than Two (2)
Total Precincts:    113 Precincts Reported:    0 Percent Reported:    0.00
Contest # of Votes % of Total
NP – Lisa G. Brunner 4046 25.19
NP – William L. Mcgee 3905 24.31
NP – Audie Bock 3202 19.94
NP – Sheila Sims 2696 16.79
NP – E. Sue Lafferty 2152 13.40
Write-in 60 0.37

Statement from family of Hayward twins

You’ve probably heard the tragic story that happened last week involving the Hayward High School students. We’re keeping an ear out for updates, but I received a press release  that was e-mailed to me by relatives of the twins. We’re not releasing any names at this point because of the nature of the case.

Here’s the family statement, which they want to be shared: Continue Reading