Walker resurfaces as HUSD commissioner, and a possible troika in the works?

Annette Walker, who lost to Trustee Jesus Armas in a close race last November, said at the time that she intended to work in other capacities to help Hayward schools, and tomorrow she’s being sworn in on the district’s Personnel Commission after being appointed to the post last month by State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson.

AnnetteWalkrt“I promised to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s going on with schools,” Walker said. “I didn’t immediately jump at this opportunity, but thought about it and decided I had to do it. There’s no way I could walk away from an opportunity to do greater service to the schools in this tough economy.”

According to a district document, the Personnel Commission is “charged with maintaining a merit system for classified employees of the school system and for fostering the advancement of a career service for such employees.” They hear appeals and protests of personnel matters concerning the district’s non-teaching workforce.

Walker pointed out that this is a six-month appointment, as she is filling in for someone who couldn’t complete the term. She will then be up for a three-year appointment … or might pursue other things, which “absolutely” includes the possibility of another school board run.

“What excites me is that I ran for wiping the slate clean,” Walker said. “And that possibility may come up again, in a run with two other candidates.”

Wait… that word, “slate.” It rings a bell. Wasn’t there a high-profile couple talking about forming a slate for a school board run before deciding not to run? And who did they strongly back in the race? Ok ok, I’m not here to speculate, just to report. But those are the facts.

Terms for trustees Armas, Luis Reynoso and Maribel Heredia are up for election in November 2012.


Calendar for week of May 16

Just announced: Hayward school board will have another meeting on board governance and goal setting from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday at the district office board room.

baby20possum11And if you’re concerned about close encounters with raccoons, possums or other esteemed representatives of wild Hayward, the Hayward Animal Shelter will hold an informative meeting on interacting with our native wildlife at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in room 2A at City Hall, 777 B St.

Remember, if you are interested in a more comprehensive list of Hayward government-related events, check out the City Clerk’s site, with links to the various agendas. This week, that includes Library Commission, Youth Commission, Downtown Business Improvement Advisory Board, Climate Action Management Team and a weekend cleanup event at Weekes Park. Continue Reading


Big hit in latest ideas for cuts: Faith Ringgold

UPDATE 5/16: Here’s the story that ran today.

cutsummaryFaith Ringgold School of Arts and Science supporters were out in force last night, and for no small reason. The superintendent is recommending closing the school to save more than $700,000. That’s the single largest source of $1.5 million in cuts that Supt. Janis Duran said need to be made regardless of what news comes from the state next week. Duran’s not alone in her recommendation — 60 percent of the the Fiscal Integrity and Transparency Advisory Group recommend its closure, 27 percent voted “yes, but modify” the plan, no members voted against it and 13 percent were undecided.

Trustee Jesus Armas said the board “needs a philosophical concurrence” in making decisions such as this one, because without that, “it’s just numbers, dollars and cents.”

That’s what the board’s special meeting earlier this afternoon was aimed at, a discussion of goals and the like.

We’ll have a story on Faith Ringgold in the next couple of days. Board will decide at the May 25 meeting.

Also, item H.6, the one about forming a community interview panel for the superintendent search, passed. Details to be ironed out.


Funny money in Hayward

cfitPolice arrested a man they suspect was bringing up to $10,000 a week in fake currency to the Bay Area, including Hayward, and selling it to people willing to take the risk of passing along the faux dough. Investigators were buying it for a quarter of face value. They don’t know how long this operation had been going on.

The good news: Those bills aren’t too hard to spot. This isn’t one of those sophisticated operations you see in the movies, with painstakingly engraved plates and a press and whatnot. Police believe it was done with a computer, scanner and printer, and as they said in the story, any kind of scrutiny will reveal a fake. Here’s a list of security features currently used on bills. Here’s a neat interactive feature on the latest such features, used on new larger denomination notes. And here’s what the Secret Service says to do if you suspect you’ve been given a counterfeit note.

The bad news: There’s no reimbursement or reward for turning in a bad bill. As the Secret Service info states, “There is no financial remuneration for the return of the counterfeit bill, but it is doing the ‘right thing’ to help combat counterfeiting.”


HUSD special meeting, plus possibility of community voice in supt. search

Quick heads up: Lots of HUSD fiscal recovery/getting to positive certification talk next week. So much that there’s a special board meeting set up for Monday night. Find the blurb below that’s going in the paper’s government listings, but you might want to check the agendas/materials on the district site for more information.

suptsearchAlso, notice the item in Wednesday’s meeting (at over 300 pages, this is one of the larger packets I’ve seen in a while) about setting up the community  interview panel for superintendent candidates… it’s an idea that was put forth by Trustee Jesus Armas, and they plan to discuss it and make a recommendation. See exerpt from report at right. Thought some of you might be interested in that. Here’s the final brochure for the search.

A special meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the district office board room, 24411 Amador St.
Topics include a presentation on staying in qualified budget status and reaching positive certification, and child development budget and programs.
A regular meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the City Council chamber at City Hall, 777 B St.
The meeting will be broadcast live on Hayward cable Channel 15.
Topics include more on the budget and fiscal recovery, and the formation of a community interview panel for superintendent candidates. View the complete agendas at http://husd.k12.ca.us/


Base API scores for schools released

We had a story about the base API scores being released this week. The scores aren’t new — they are rejiggered from the growth API scores that were released in the fall. There are variables that change in the formula for calculating the scores each year, so once those variables are figured out, the previous year’s score is put through the calculations to come up with a base for comparison in the fall.

If you need a recap, here’s a guide to the state’s Accountability Progress Reporting system.

There are links in the story, but click here if you’d like to jump directly to scores for Alameda County’s schools. As you can read in the story, none of Hayward Unified’s schools make it into the statewide top 50 percent. But some fare better when compared with schools similar in terms of student’s socioeconomic status, number of English language learners and other factors, which the district pointed out in a press release you can find after the jump. Continue Reading


No grocery moratorium for Hayward

walmartletterUPDATE 5/9: Here’s the story, which came out over the weekend. Also, on Friday the city provided me the requested original Feb. 1 email from the union to Quirk regarding the matter, you can read it at right. The jist of it is that the union believes Wal-Mart is making a push to set up grocery stores in Hayward and the greater Bay Area. Here’s the union’s page on WalMart.

Just received word  that the proposed moratorium on Hayward supermarkets was shot down by the City Council at last night’s meeting, with Councilman Bill Quirk making the motion to oppose. I did not attend — had some furlough days lately, in case anyone was wondering about the lack of HayWord posts and diminished number of stories in recent weeks.

The video of the meeting has not been posted yet, but according to the City Clerk’s Office, staff was directed to go ahead with the study analyzing the effects of new groceries without imposing a moratorium. Here’s the staff report as well as letters from property owner, neighboring business, a union representative, the union’s lawyers, and lawyers for the property owner.