Events for week of Jan. 31

Items of interest: If you have any acquaintances in the restaurant industry, the city is holding a “Survive to Thrive in the Restaurant Industry” event on Feb. 7. Talk about ways to evolve, such as using social media to promote your eatery.

Also, on Wednesday the Hayward Sustainability Committee is going to be talking about the Residential Energy Conversation Ordinance, something that has brought out the real estate community to speak against it at past meetings. Continue Reading


The word from Hayward Police Chief Ron Ace

Had a story on last week’s State of the City event, a Neighborhood Alert affair at Southland Mall. I ran out of room in the story before I could get to Police Chief Ron Ace’s update on what’s going on with his department, so here it is.

ronaceUsing the latest available figures from Dec 2009 to Dec. 2010, Ace said crime is down compared with the previous year. Violent crime down 7 percent, property crime down 14 percent, overall down 12 percent.

He acknowledged that 13 homicides for 2010 is a considerable uptick from the previous year’s seven, but noted that six of them happened in the first six weeks of the year, 11 in the first six months. Continue Reading


FESCO honored for work with homeless

The Hayward-based Family Emergency Shelter Coalition was named a 2010 Food and Shelter Award recipient for the second straight year.

The coalition is one of 76 nonprofits nationwide to receive the award, which is aimed at getting the word out about nonprofits rated highly by GreatNonprofits.org.

FESCO helps homeless families move toward self-sufficiency through services such as mental health counseling, money management and cooking classes. Its goal is to end homelessness in Alameda County. Read the press release after the jump. Continue Reading


Special HUSD supt. search meeting on Monday

Here’s the agenda for a special Monday meeting that was announced today. A draft letter included in the agenda is soliciting proposals from consultants to perform a nationwide search for a new superintendent.

Board President Lisa Brunner said the firm that was previously hired for the search — the search that was aborted last spring when Janis Duran came on as permanent superintendent — is among those that will be approached for the new search. A bidding process is mandatory, so they couldn’t just be asked if they could resume their search. So it’s possible that the work that was previously done (and money spent) may not go to waste.

Moving fast, tho. According to the draft letter: “The Board anticipates a very short timeline for the selection of the search firm. Therefore, the Board is requesting a response by Feb. 9, 2011. Based on the information submitted by the consultants, three firms will be selected to interview. Interviews will be scheduled sometime during the week of Feb. 14.”


Crime, cleanliness remain top Hayward priorities

The City Council held the first of at least two priority-setting workshops last night. This one was a sort of brainstorming session, the City Manager will take input back to the drawing board and return with a revised version next month. In the end, it’s these priorities that are used to formulate where dollars will be spent when it comes time to create the budget for FY 2011-12.

Main goals carry over from last year. City Manager Fran David wanted to take the “Crime and Public Safety” and “Cleanliness” priorities from last year and also give a nod to the city’s work to be environmentally conscious, packaging it together into “Safe, Clean, Green.”

Mayor Mike Sweeney, who was behind both the city’s Sustainability Committee and the Keep Hayward Clean and Green Task Force, objected.

“I’m very proud of our accomplishments, and we’ve done a lot of good things,” he said. “But I’m not sure I’m comfortable to say it’s an overriding priority.”

Continue Reading


HARD honors its volunteers of the year

hardawardThe Hayward Area Recreation and Park District held its annual volunteer celebration, and chose Frances Horn as HARD Volunteer of the Year. She’s in the photo at left, holding the plaque with a photo of Frances Horn on it, surrounded by family members.  Horn has volunteered at the Kenneth C. Aitken Senior Center since 2001, and is in charge of the Senior Health Screening program. She sounds like a good candidate for one of the Review’s Senior Journal profiles, but for now find the HARD press release after the jump.

Truancy and consequences

Hayward Unified launched a truancy campaign last week, here’s our story from Sunday. It’s going to be discussed at Wednesday’s board meeting, you can find the report and accompanying information here, starting on page 116.

As was mentioned in the story, there are other ways to combat truancy, including the city’s daytime curfew ordinance that was passed a year ago. And as Mr. Kyle has mentioned, a new law went into effect Jan. 1. Sen. Mark Leno’s SB1317 ups the previous penalties for parents of habitually truant students. Parents could be jailed for up to a year and fined $2,000 if prosecutors can make a case that they didn’t adequately encourage their child to make it to class. Applies to kids up through 8th grade.

Essentially, it adds truancy to a list of neglectful things that parents can be jailed for, a list that previously included stuff like not providing adequate clothing, food, shelter or medical assistance.

It is up to the District Attorney’s Office to pursue the penalties offered by SB1317. A year ago, when Hayward passed the administrative fines, one of the reasons given was because while govt. code provided the power to fine parents through the courts for their kids’ truancy, it was seldom used because it would tie up the courts.

The HUSD campaign is more of a carrot than a stick approach. Actually, more of a “get out the word” type of deal, and it’s important to note that the district is talking about the importance of minimizing excused absences as well — whatever the reason class is missed, lessons are not learned nor attendance funds banked.

Would like to hear your thoughts. Here’s some additional truancy information.


Big turnout Hayward Unified’s ELL meeting

There was quite a crowd at last night’s special Hayward Unified meeting at the district boardroom — about 75 people showed up, but it thinned rapidly after public comments were made.

While some speakers were concerned about the state of the Academic Language Development lessons, the majority spoke to the need for keeping the English Language Learner programs and English Language Advisory Committees.

But Board President Lisa Brunner and Superintendent Janis Duran both said that was never on the table, and didn’t know where people got that idea.

“This meeting is for information only, I don’t know where people got the impression there were going to be cuts,” Brunner said, adding that the goal of the meeting was to learn about the programs in an effort to improve services to students in both English Language Development and Academic Language Development programs. Continue Reading


Cinema Place Gallery opening downtown

artgallery02Also on the list of things to do, check out the Cinema Place Gallery, opening Saturday after a Friday night reception. I was told they weren’t prepared to host “Hayward at large” for the Friday event, but I’m betting if you walk by and poke your head in, nobody’s going to bite it off.

Hayward Arts Council organizers were very happy to score works by William “Bill” Sala, and they have a slew of other Hayward area artists: Simone Archer, M. Barta Atkins, Larry Bendoski, Jean Bidwell (who is painting that huge mural over behind the Grand Terrace Townhomes), Carol Jones Brown, Nick Calarco, Beverly Carlson, Philip Denst, Cecil Gertz, Susan Helmer, Molly McKenzie, Walter Levy, Mark Mertens, Denise Oyama Miller, Kathy Ries, Kimberly Rowe, Susan Sarti, Cindy Sullivan, John Warner and Robert Wolff.

They have the space for at least six months; after that it’s not certain how long they’ll stay. Developer is always courting potential tenants for the spot, which, along with other Cinema Place storefronts, has gone unused since the project was finished in 2008.

“We continue to aggressively try to lease the space,” said Bradley Blake of Blake-Hunt Ventures. “The market is soft overall, and we’re experiencing that in Hayward as well. We have prospects that come along every week or so but in this environment, retailers are looking for a really, really good deal. They tend to be focused on the reuse of older space, or going into markets safe and proven. … (Cinema Place) is a pioneering space.”

Speaking of Cinema Place, anyone been to Kokyo Sushi Buffet? They seem to be doing really well and get good online reviews. I tried to do a story about them when they first opened, but they regarded me with suspicion, asking me how much money I wanted for the story. “I find it interesting that a newspaper would want to do a story on us for free,” said one of the Kokyo staffers.