Volunteer Open House tonight for Hayward advisory boards

If you are board-curious, you can find out more about what volunteering on one of the city’s advisory boards would entail at an open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. tonight.

Applications are due July 8. There are vacancies on the Downtown Business Improvement Area Advisory Board, Human Services Commission, Keep Hayward Clean and Green Task Force, Library Commission, and Personnel Commission.

Members must live in Hayward and be registered voters. The open house will be held at the City Hall Rotunda, 777 B St. Representatives from all the city boards will give an overview of their duties and answer questions. The boards are tasked with discussing matters and passing on recommendations to the City Council.

In addition to the above link, interested parties can visit the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall, or call 510-583-4400 for more information.


Musical superintendent chairs

UPDATE: Here’s the story that ran yesterday.

Also, a reader alerted me to blog coverage from 2009 regarding spending habits of HUSD’s new associate superintendent of educational services, from back when she was associate supt. at San Francisco Unified School District.

With Newark Unified’s hiring of a new permanent superintendent, HUSD  Supt. Janis Duran will only be doing consulting for that district, and says Hayward will “keep me plenty busy.” She has agreed to stick around until a new supt. is found — the first round of candidates didn’t yield someone that board members could agree on, so the search continues. They did get the newly hired Associate Superintendent of Educational Services out of the process, though, and they’ll talk about her contract at a special Friday morning meeting, I’m planning to follow that with a story. Recommended compensation: $183,272. Find the meeting agenda and contract here.

Talked with board President Brunner this a.m., mainly about budget and grand jury report stuff, but we touched on the hire. She said it’s cost neutral, and is considered an important hire because they’re without a long-term superintendent for the time being, and this position will be focused on improving academics for all students. Will have more after Friday mtg.


Alameda County Grand Jury report on HUSD

UPDATE, story ran today.

Back from vacation, found this in my inbox. The Hayward Unified report begins on page 159. The Alameda County Grand Jury received numerous complaints about the district, at first because of the contentious behavior of board members and the process by which a new superintendent was selected. Bottom line: Grand Jury concluded that there wasn’t anything wrong with the supt. appointment and the board’s behavior has improved after new members came on board and training sessions were held, but expressed serious concerns about HUSD’s fiscal management. They made two recommendations:

Recommendation 11-53: The Hayward Unified School District Board of Education must implement the fiscal advice they are receiving in order to prevent relapse into financial insolvency.

Recommendation 11-54: The Hayward Unified School District Board of Education must prepare an array of budget scenarios and adopt a realistic balanced budget, including required financial reserves.


Hayward spares arts, culture, 211 programs

There were some tough cuts to be made this year, and there will be more down the line, but the City Council opted to save funding for popular arts and culture programs — things like the Sun Gallery, Hayward Arts Council, Hayward Municipal Band, Russell City Blues Festival — in their budget meeting on Tuesday.

We reported earlier this year that those programs were in jeopardy due to threatened redevelopment funding take. Here’s a story on the latest incarnation of that, as passed by legislature. And here’s the pre-budget meeting story that has a little more information about why the city’s financial situation is what it is. Find the city’s budget presentation PowerPoint here. Other materials can be found on the agenda page here.

While the 211 dial up service was spared, other social service programs took a 17 percent hit. That figure came from an earlier estimate of how much the General Fund would have to be cut, but City Manager Fran David said since then, it has become clear that the situation is more dire. But, she added, cutting further into social services at this time would be no more fair than hitting up city employees now for the estimated 25 to 33 percent in concessions that may be required to stay in the black down the line. The city’s target with the unions is 23 percent over the next three years.


HUSD Supt. Duran leaving… for Newark

As reported by our Newark reporter, Janis Duran isn’t going back to retirement in New Mexico after all. She’s bouncing south a few districts to serve as the interim superintendent in Newark, a district that has recently lost a lot of top spots and is looking for stability, even if it’s on an interim basis.

For a refresher, find the text of the January story when she announced she was leaving HUSD after the jump. Continue Reading


Le family looking for staging site for searches

UPDATE: They found a spot. Latest release from family:

Hayward, CA (June 14, 2011) – Almost three weeks into missing student Michelle Le’s disappearance, her family is calling on community supporters and volunteers to help conduct volunteer search parties this upcoming Friday, Saturday and Sunday (June 17-19) from 8am to 5pm. Our family’s goal is to reach out to get public help and support to finally bring Michelle home.

Our family is preparing to make a public statement on Thursday afternoon, June 16, 2011, regarding the search parties. Future details will be easily accessible on Facebook, as well as www.michellelemissing.com

KlaasKids Foundation Search Director Brad Dennis will be collaborating with professional and experienced search and rescue parties to adequately train and prepare volunteers. Details of the search will be provided to the volunteer search parties each morning at the command center.

Volunteers are required to be 18 years or older, must have a valid government ID, and must wear appropriate clothing (long-sleeved shirt, pants, closed-toed shoes). If volunteers do not meet these requirements, or choose to opt out of search parties but are still wanting to help, they are welcome to assist in the command center.

The command center is located at 25350 Cypress Ave, Hayward, CA.

erev0611lecampaign02The family of missing nursing student Michelle Le is hoping to find a business or organization that can offer up a space on the cheap for use as a staging site for search parties this weekend. They are working with Marc Klaas’ foundation, and have some experts coming in to help organize and conduct the searches, which are being done in conjunction with Hayward police. They’re hoping to have a place lined up ASAP, like today. If you want to help, contact the family through their website. Message from the family:

Hi everyone,
We’re planning either search parties or more flyer distribution days. We’re thinking Fri
day, Saturday, and Sunday. We’re in contact with people trained in search and rescue so we’re going to do it big and its going to be organized. So if if you could please free up one or multiple days out of your weekend, that would be amazing.
We are in the process of planning a few search parties very soon and would like to ask the community for help in finding a staging area. The staging area is needed for search personnel to gather and organize the search. We would like the the staging area to be in or around Hayward/Union city and can be something like a community center, church, etc; somewhere large enough for a large group to meet. Preferably, the staging area should be indoors, with a parking lot for search personnel, and electricity for computers/printers.
We would like to ask for a place that can be donated for us to use for a couple days or at a very cheap rate. If anyone has any suggestions or offers, please let us know!
Thank you so much,
Michelle’s Family


Anti-bullying program at Hayward schools

Had a story on this program spearheaded by Lynn Bravewomon in yestesday’s paper and got a request to toss up a blog about it for discussion purposes.

saysomethingcoverAlso got a call from Lea Lyon, who wrote a book in 2005 called “Say Something” that also encourages kids to take an active role in quashing bullying behavior at school. You can learn more about Lyon and her books on her website.

Here’s a little more on an anecdote mentioned in the story, from Bravewomon:

“With increasing frequency, as students learn how to speak up when bullying language is heard, they do so. There are stories of many students at many schools who are empowering one another to identify themselves as allies and speak up to their peers to stop bullying language. Student allies support the target by breaking the silence that so often occurs with the witnesses of bullying. One example occurred in an elementary classroom. Two girls overheard a passing and cruel comment muttered to this target by a child moving across the classroom.  They both stood up and clearly stated, “We don’t tolerate bullying at our school, it hurts everyone who hears it, stop it now.”  Students and teacher alike were surprised and impressed with this well-timed and effective display of ally behavior. Their teacher, who had been working with the Safe and Inclusive Schools Program and teaching the importance of being allies, praised the girls and continued teaching. The student who had been the target of bullying  reports that after 2 or 3 weeks of support from a variety of allies in his class, the occurrence of bullying fell from multiple times daily to ‘maybe one time in a week, maybe less’. This student also reports he feels comfortable going to all parts of the recess yard and that people are friendlier.”


Career opportunities at HUSD

Hayward Unified is easily the most popular subject of discussion here at the HayWord. Anyone with a desire to stop talking about the district and start talking for it has just such an opportunity: a colleague of mine pointed out that  Hayward Unified is looking to ramp up its public relations staff, what with the following job postings. This one is for the PIO/Community Outreach Officer. This one seems redundant, maybe it’s the same post, but  it’s for a Public Information Liaison.  Here is one for a Lead Publications Assistant.