Today’s story on HUSD supt. appointment

If you are lucky enough to have picked up a newspaper today, consider it a collector’s edition, similar to that stamp with the biplane flying upside down. Ok, so maybe it’s not so rare and certainly will never be valuable, but the page 3 stories unfortunately end at the jump because of a production error. So here’s the story about the board being divided on the matter of soon-to-be-Supt. Donald Evans’ contract.


Hayward Daily Review will stay!

The Bay Area News Group announced that they are not eliminating all those local mastheads as previously planned, including the Hayward Daily Review. They’re also seeking community bloggers, so now’s your chance to step up to the plate. Find email to send inquiries to at end of story.

Now back to story on last night’s school board meeting, at which the new superintendent’s $229,500/yr three-year contract was approved in a 3-2 split vote amid accusations of racism. More on that soon.


Great ShakeOut comes to Hayward

Tomorrow is the annual statewide Great ShakeOut event, something Hayward takes very seriously because of the city’s proximity to the most dangerous fault in the region.

City Hall sits just 500 feet from Hayward’s namesake fault, and as part of the Bay Area’s main media event related to the ShakeOut, officials are offering news agencies a tour of the base-isolation system in the building’s underground parking garage, which is designed to keep it in one piece when the next big one hits.

“We want to let residents know that there was a lot of forethought, so that after an earthquake City Hall will be intact and functional,” said Hayward fire Capt. Thor Poulsen. “We want citizens to know that to be resilient when — not if — it happens, they also have to be prepared ahead of time.”

Hayward’s has two previous city hall buildings, both of which are still standing, but both of which are not considered seismically sound. The first one was built directly on top of the fault while the second was damaged by the Loma Prieta quake in 1989.

The current building, opened in 1998, sits on 53 seismic isolation bearings and 15 shock absorbers. It can move nearly two feet in any direction, and was designed to withstand a 7.5-magnitude quake with no loss of life, Poulsen said.

Poulsen said he’d like to see more people taking the free CERT classes offered by the city. “There’s always room,” he said, adding that interest spikes after a major earthquake occurs somewhere in the world but doesn’t take long to wane.

“It’s like any disaster,” he said. “After a big fire, people will take care to trim their bushes, but after a little while they will stop thinking about it.”


Red light cams: If you’re not in the pic, it’s not legit

Hayward’s police chief is working to fix a hole in the system regarding red-light cameras, one that allows some violators to get away without paying a $300  ticket (that’s what they cost these days, right?) simply by doing nothing.

It comes down to the difference between a Notice to Appear and a Notice of Violation. The former is what a driver gets when they sail through a red light, the camera flashes and upon review it’s clear as day that the registered owner of the vehicle is indeed behind the wheel. Out of 1,560 drivers caught on camera each month, about 500 get one of these notices.

"I sense something, a presence I've not felt since......." (FLASH!) “…. NOOOOO!!!”

A Notice of Violation, on the other hand, is asking the owner for a little help in identifying the driver. Maybe it’s a friend or relative, or the photo was snapped while  the driver was headed to a Star Wars-themed Halloween party, or maybe it was a rental or company car and only a search of records would reveal who did the deed. About 730 violators get one of these. And of these, 250 just ignore the notice.

It’s fairly labor intensive to investigate each case where the notice isn’t returned — it involves pulling DMV photos of relatives and people living at the vehicle owner’s address, comparing them with the RedFlex photo, that sort of stuff. About 62 hours of staff time per month, it’s estimated. And that’s staff time that can be spent elsewhere, on other police work, and that’s exactly what’s happening right now. “Due to limited staffing, non-responses are not being processed,” according to the PowerPoint presentation given to the City Council on Tuesday.

But Chief Diane Urban is working to change that.

Urban suggests a restructuring of the staff that reviews the violations, using two community service officers and a per diem officer to do more work for less money than the current setup, which includes one full-time sworn officer and a CSO. That would allow better pursuit of those scofflaws who don’t return tickets, for a gain — between saved staff salary and additional fines collected — of about $14,700 a month. Right now the program brings the city about $10,700 per month – the real money maker is RedFlex, the company the city rents the cameras from. The city pays them about $59,000 monthly.

And a sworn officer would then be put back on the streets, which Urban says is the best use for someone with a badge anyway.

As a side note, the chief said they are in the process of changing the way they deploy traffic officers, with an emphasis on the areas around the 10 intersections in the city most prone to crashes. She said a similar effort she spearheaded in San Jose yielded a 22 percent reduction in crashes overall. Some of those notable intersections: Foothill at Grove. Hesperian at A. Tennyson between Patrick and Tampa. Santa Clara and Jackson.


Occupy protest coming to San Leandro on Friday

By now you’ve probably heard about the various “Occupy Wall Street” protests that started on the East Coast and are now taking root in cities across the nation. They’ve garnered support from a lot of our local U.S. reps, saw an Oakland councilwoman join them in their tent city and are starting to pop up in places that usually don’t see very many demonstrations: San Ramon on Tuesday, Walnut Creek on Wednesday and on Friday, MoveOn.org will bring it to the Bank of America near Bayfair Mall in San Leandro. Find the press release after the jump. Continue Reading


Nominees sought for history honors. Winners get an obelisk!

Here’s some news from the Hayward Area Historical Society. Each year, they honor local residents, organizations and businesses that are history minded, and for 2011 they’re seeking the public’s help in coming up with some candidates. They’d like to hear from you by the end of the mo nth.

Click on the link at left to cue the theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey."

The Daily Review received one in 2006, a few years before I landed at the paper. I took a photo of the black obelisk award, attempting for some kind of dramatic perspective.

Submissions can be made by mail:

ATTN: History Award Nominees

Hayward Area Historical Society

22392 Foothill Blvd.

Hayward, CA 94541-2710

By phone: (510) 581-0223 ask for Alison

By email: alison@haywardareahistory.org

Find press release after the jump, but feel free to also bounce some ideas around in the HayWord comments, too, it could be fun!  Continue Reading


Compton Unified admin selected to lead Hayward schools

UPDATE: Here’s the story.

In a unanimous vote, Hayward Unified trustees voted Tuesday to appoint Donald Evans as the new superintendent of schools, subject to contract negotiations. Evans’ previous post was as associate superintendent of middle schools for the Compton Unified School District.

Story in the works for tomorrow, but here’s the announcement

Evans earlier this year with Compton students in a free throw-contest for scholarship money.

from board President Lisa Brunner:

This evening , Tuesday, October 4th, a motion was made by Board Member, Ms Maribel Heredia, to “appoint Dr Donald E Evans as Superintendent of HUSD pending contract negotiations”. The motion was seconded by Vice President, William McGee, and was approved unanimously by the HUSD Board, 5-0-0.

After having completed an extensive search for the candidate that best fits the challenges facingHaywardUnifiedSchool District, we are very pleased to announce Dr Donald E Evans as our choice for Superintendent. We the Members of the Board respect and admire Dr Evans’ professional skills, focus and energy, and dedication to education. We have faith in his ability to articulate and carry out the goals set by the Board to make HUSD a school District everyone can be proud of. We look forward to a long and successful future in preparing all of our students for the 21st Century.