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Archive for March, 2013

Julian’s BBQ, Beer & Wine ribbon-cutting on Thursday

HAYWARD — Julian’s BBQ, Beer & Wine will have a ribbon-cutting by the Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, March 28.

The restaurant has live jazz on the weekends, and plans call for expanding to other nights.

It has been open with limited hours for several months. Its owner, Keith Burks, is also founder of BJK’s Rib Factory of Bethel Island, Team Rib Factory Catering of Concord and Team Rib Factory of Walnut Creek.

Outdoor seating is planned for the front and side of the restaurant, which is between A and B streets on the east side of Foothill. On the side of the restaurant in the breezeway, an outdoor stage has been built.

New front windows can be slid open during warmer weather, much like restaurants along University in Palo Alto.

Workers are finishing up the renovated facade, which has new lighting.

On the same block, Chalk It Up! billiards parlor has been renovated and is getting a new entrance. Cyclepath has redone its display windows, and a new sign is coming soon. A few doors down from Julians’s, Doc’s Wine and Cheese Revival opened late last year and features a certified sommelier.

Posted on Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
Under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Loop meeting Thursday

In case you missed it, Hayward staff members will be holding a meeting Thursday to talk about the loop and the rest of the Route 238 Corridor Improvement project.

It seems everybody has an opinion on the new one-way traffic loop through downtown Hayward that started March 16. My perspective? It seems to work if you’re in the correct lane to get to where you want to go. I’m hoping that with final paving, striping and signs, it will be more clearer.

I have been testing out the loop from different approaches for a week. It is still confusing as to which lane you need to be in, but I think we’ll figure that out. I do hope that Hayward PD has radar guns out on Foothill Boulevard headed north; the tickets from speeders could generate quite a bit of income for the city.

Drivers headed east on A Street seem to be confused when they hit the one-way segment. Some are looping back down B Street and then right to A Street west; others seem to have no idea where to go. I’m pretty sure I would be confused, if not downright lost, if I were not from Hayward and was trying to head east on A Street.

Now, what does this mean to downtown merchants? I’m sure they will express their opinions at Thursday’s meeting, which starts at 9 a.m. in Room 1C at City Hall, 777 B St. Can’t make the meeting? The city’s loop website: haywardloop.org.

Posted on Sunday, March 24th, 2013
Under: Alameda County, Ashland, Castro Valley, Fairview, Hayward, San Lorenzo, Transportation, Union City | 19 Comments »

New exhibit at City Hall gallery

HAYWARD — A new exhibit is going up at the John O’Lague Galleria at Hayward City Hall.

Beginning March 29, the gallery will be presenting Mark Mertens’s pastels. The public is invited to a reception at 5:30-7:30 p.m. April 5 at the gallery, 777 B St.

Mertens, of Castro Valley, has won several art awards.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, please call the Hayward Arts Council Office at 510-538-2787.

Mark Mertens’ seeks to capture the effects of light on color and realism. His work is rooted in realist traditions, careful draftsmanship and observation. Beginning with a loose sketch done in warm colors of hard pastels the final layer consists of rich, soft pastels that are directly applied.
Mertens is the recipient of many local art awards, is a signature member of the Pastel Society of the West Coast and studied landscapes with Duane Wakehan and Clark Mitchell. He resides in Castro Valley.

Posted on Sunday, March 24th, 2013
Under: Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Have an idea to help make Hayward unique? You could win $250

HAYWARD — To mark the city’s 137th upcoming birthday, a contest is being held to come up with the best project idea to make Hayward unique, with the winner receiving $250.

Councilman Francisco Zermeno is sponsoring the contest, and plans to take the top three ideas to the other council members and staff members to see if they can be carried out.

Entries are due before March 31, Hayward’s birthday, when the winners will be announced. “Team Zermeno” will pick the best three ideas, and award prizes of $250, $150 and $100.

To submit an idea, email Zermeno at machetez@sbcglobal.net, send regular mail to him at P.O. Box 92, Hayward, CA 94557 or post an idea on his Facebook page.

Posted on Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
Under: Hayward | 1 Comment »

Now that would have been cool

HAYWARD — A rumor was circulating that the city planned to use a helicopter to put the last two signal bridges in place along Foothill Boulevard.

Not so, says Morad Fakhrai, Hayward’s director of public works, engineering and transportation.

He said someone did actually check to see if using a helicopter would make sense. Turns out the signal bridges would be too heavy for a helicopter to lift.

Instead, two cranes will be used to install the bridges sometime this week. The work will be done late at night.

Meanwhile, drivers and pedestrians are adjusting to the new one-way traffic loop. Hayward police were stationed at major intersections Monday morning with lights flashing on their cruisers, mostly to try to get motorists to pay attention. Old habits die hard.

A lot more motorists were using B Street on Monday. There didn’t seem to be as many wrong-way drivers on the loop.

Posted on Monday, March 18th, 2013
Under: Alameda County, Castro Valley, Hayward, Transportation | 4 Comments »

Castro Valley Class of 1963 plans reunion

CASTRO VALLEY — The Class of 1963 graduated at the beginning of what would become the turbulent 1960s. Those high school seniors saw a lot of changes over the next decade, and listened to a lot of great music.

Fifty years later, Castro Valley High School 1963 grads are planning a reunion the weekend of Sept. 21. Tentative plans include a casual get-together Friday evening, a Saturday barbecue/picnic and a Saturday evening main event.

Reunion organizers are compiling a contact list and ask that all 1963 Spartan classmates email Tara O’Leary at olearytara@mac.com.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, it appears that Castro Valley High students were called the Spartans before the school merged with Canyon High School and Canyon became a middle school.

Posted on Saturday, March 16th, 2013
Under: Alameda County, Castro Valley, Odds & Ends | 12 Comments »

Food for thought

CASTRO VALLEY — While many think of St. Patrick’s Day as a time for wearing of the green, the community is invited to be green in eating habits at the same time.

A free screening of the documentary “Forks Over Knives” is planned for this coming Sunday, March 17, at the Castro Valley Library.

The film will focus on how a low-fat, plant-based diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and autoimmune diseases while helping the planet.

Snacks will be provided, and a short discussion will follow the film, sponsored by Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church.

The event begins at 1:30 p.m. at the library, 3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley.

Posted on Sunday, March 10th, 2013
Under: Alameda County, Ashland, Castro Valley, Environment, Fairview, Hayward, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Union City | 1 Comment »

Hayward school board considers sending pink slips to all principals, vice principals

A proposal to send out potential layoff notices to all Hayward Unified principals and vice principals will be taken up by the district trustees on Wednesday, March 13, their last scheduled meeting before the state-mandated March 15 deadline.

Trustees talked about the idea for more than two hours this past Wednesday without taking action. But before they went into closed session, they got an earful from angry teachers who said the notices would be demoralizing. Several teachers spoke about how after years of high turnovers of principals, the district seemed to be moving forward and there was starting to be a sense of stability and team-building.

All of the principals and vice principals were evaluated, and the school board earlier approved dismissal notices for five principals and two vice principals. However, the notices discussed this past Wednesday would go to administrators who received good reviews. An email that was sent to administrators said the move would allow the superintendent more flexibility in any restructuring.

Several people said it appeared that the board had taken action of some form in closed session without reporting it, resulting in allegations of lack of transparency. Trustees are not allowed to disclose closed-session discussions.

Trustees only allowed 20 minutes for public comment, and limited each speaker to one minute at Wednesday’s meeting. Board president Will McGee, with the approval of the rest of the trustees, extended the comment period so that everyone who had asked to speak could.

The meeting was packed, with the conference room where trustees were meeting full and others in an overflow room.

Under the state Brown Act, trustees could not respond to comments made.

Sending out pink slips, as it is commonly referred to among educators, to all principals and vice principals in a school district appears to be an unusual move. It is true that Oakland did it a couple of years ago, but that district was having to close schools for financial reasons, and it didn’t have a plan in place by the March 15 deadline.

Those I spoke to at several state agencies and groups said sending out the notices was not something that they tracked, but many agreed informally that it seemed to be out of the ordinary. None would go on the record, because they didn’t have any data, but a spokesperson at one expressed surprise that pink slips would be sent out for reasons other than financial.

Hayward, like all school districts, is preparing its students for state standardized testing that will start soon. The district also has begun contract talks with its teachers union. Many of those who waited outside the more than two hours of closed session expressed concern that sending out the pink slips could disrupt things at an important time for Hayward schools.

Wednesday’s meeting begins at 5 p.m. at Hayward City Hall, 777 B St.

Posted on Friday, March 8th, 2013
Under: Alameda County, Cherryland, Fairview, Hayward, Layoffs, Schools, Union City | 9 Comments »

Girding for the Hayward traffic loop

The city of Hayward has started its campaign to let people know that some downtown streets will become one-way on March 15.

The city hired someone to put together an explainer that is going in water bills and is online. It contains some interesting statements: “The Loop is easy!” “The Loop is a small change with a BIG new look for Downtown!” “Easy Access to all Downtown Businesses.” Hmmm.

There also is a typo in the insert that was sent out to many water customers and on big signs along Mission Boulevard between A and B and near the main library: It refers to Off the Gird. As gourmet food truck followers know, that should be Off the Grid.

In fairness, a Hayward official said the typo was pointed out by city staff. But apparently not soon enough.

The city also has made a video explaining the loop. It has little colored cars speeding through downtown with cheerful music in the background. The voice-over refers to “the downtown one-way traffic circulation, or the ‘loop’ as it’s more affectionately called.” Gosh, I can’t remember the loop and “affectionately” being used in the same sentence.

Check it out at www.youtube.com/watch?v=09hSr8GlPq4&feature=youtu.be. There’s also a link at http://user.govoutreach.com/hayward/faq.php?cid=14252, but I couldn’t get it to load.

(Sorry, but I have not been able to get links to work on this blog. Working on it.)

Starting March 15, Foothill will be one-way north between its intersection with Jackson Street-Mission Boulevard up to A Street. A will be one-way west between Foothill and Mission, and Mission will be one-way south from A down to the Jackson-Mission-Foothill intersection.

Posted on Friday, March 1st, 2013
Under: Alameda County, Castro Valley, Fairview, Hayward, San Lorenzo, Transportation, Uncategorized | 17 Comments »