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Annual Hayward Area Historical Society awards on Friday

The Selmeczki family outside their newly opened hardware store on Castro Valley Boulevard in 1926. From left, dad Pete, son Ernie, mom Mary and son Frank.

The Hayward Area Historical Society will hold its 13th annual history awards ceremony on Friday, and tickets are still available. We had a story on Pete’s Hardware in Castro Valley, which is being honored as a historic business.

This year’s other winners are Randy Wittorp for his work to restore his Tudor home on Prospect Hill in Hayward, the Hayward Municipal Band for years of summer concerts and other events, Hayward High teacher Peggy Hearne for her history-rich curriculum, Robert and Erica Campisi for their work to improve Cherryland and Meek Park, and Supervisor Nate Miley for his leadership in preservation efforts at the San Lorenzo Pioneer Cemetery.

Find more information on all the winners in the HAHS press release after the jump. Continue Reading

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Hayward City Council candidate forum Tuesday night

UPDATE: Story on forum.

Tomorrow’s brief, today: The League of Women Voters-Eden Area will host a pair of nonpartisan political forums Tuesday night, one for Hayward City Council candidates and the other for contenders in the 15th Congressional District.

For Hayward City Council, nine candidates are vying for four seats that are up in June. Incumbents Barbara Halliday, Olden Henson and Francisco Zermeno are facing challengers Shahla Azimi, Peter Bufete, Ralph Farias Jr., Greg Jones, Fahim Khan and Al Mendall.

It will be followed by candidates in District 15, where incumbent Pete Stark is up against challengers Chris Pareja and Eric Swallwell.

The City Council forum starts at 6:30 p.m., District 15 at 8 p.m. at Hayward City Hall, 777 B St.

Judging from various candidate statements, there’s sure to be talk about economic revitalization and bringing businesses to Hayward. Other possible hot topics (and new territory for HayWord commenters as well) include a contested Walmart Neighborhood Market in south Hayward, and the reuse of the former Mervyn’s headquarters site as upscale housing. And there’s always gang injunctions or even happy hour restrictions/alcohol policy.

Take a gander at political reporter Josh Richman’s blog for the latest word on the District 15 race.

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Harleys and hot dogs in Hayward

From the City Manager’s report. By the way, has anyone seen the Honda Pilot commercial shot in Hayward? Portions were filmed at the newly renovated 1/4-pound Giant Burger and the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge.

Harley Davidson Commercial – Saturday, March 31 – Fresh off a Honda Pilot commercial filmed in December 2011, another vehicle company has chosen Hayward as their location for filming. On Saturday, March 31, Gravy Productions LLC in partnership with Harley Davidson, will be filming a still shoot commercial in front of Casper’s Hot Dogs, located at 951 “C” Street. The producers were looking for a vintage theme to showcase their illustrative bikes. Harley Davidson has been a long standing motorcycle company known for innovation and attraction.

These are exciting times in Hayward as the City is receiving unprecedented requests for these types of activities. Anytime you can have a commercial or an ad filmed in your City, it increases exposure and places you on the map for future productions.Haywardis becoming a popular Bay Area destination for filming, which is aiding in our efforts of attracting even more of these productions. The City looks forward to increasing its filming presence and becoming a permanent destination for these types of activities.

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Live barn owl webcam at Sulphur Creek Nature Center

Two barn owls, that's whooo!

UPDATE 4/9: Got this from Wendy on Thursday, haven’t had a chance to blog. 

“Just a quick up date on the Owl Cam at Sulphur Creek. Five eggs have hatched to date and we expect the 6th egg to hatch on Good Friday, April 6th.  All the babies seem to be doing well.   The male had been bringing in food at night and mom has been patiently feeding the little babies (owlets) little pieces of rodent that the dad brought in.   The owl cam has been a huge success.   Since put onto the web three weeks ago, we now have had over 35,000 hits by 4,000 viewers from 25 countries.  Images of the babies show that the owlet the first hatched is substantially bigger than his siblings, but all are doing well.”

Feel like snooping on some feathered friends? Sulphur Creek Nature Center set up a camera to record what’s going on with a pair of wild, nesting barn owls and their six eggs. They expect them to hatch any day, and you can take a real-time peek at what’s going on right now on the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District website.

The small camera was placed in a nesting box that is used every year, said Wendy Winsted, an coordinator at the center. It is equipped with infrared light, so activity in the box can be watched 24 hours a day.

Winsted said the first egg is expected to hatch between now and Monday, and the others will follow at two-day intervals.

That’s different than for, say, ducks, because owls lay an egg and immediately start incubating it, Winsted said. Ducks also lay an egg every two days or so but wait until they’re all done before they incubate the lot of ‘em. So they all hatch at once.

With owls, Winsted said, the first egg out will contain an owl with considerable advantages over its peers. It will always be the one that’s a bit bigger.

Winsted is very excited about the owl-cam, and said they tried something similar  years ago with a system wired to a VCR. But going public with it brings an all new element.

“This is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Winsted said, adding that technological assistance was provided by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park Department, funding from the Castro Valley Rotary Club.

More info on press release after the jump.

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Hayward fire Chief Craig Bueno to retire in May

City just sent out a press release, here it is:

HAYWARD FIRE CHIEF ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

Hayward Fire Chief Craig Bueno announced his retirement Friday, March 16 after many years of dedicated service to the City of Hayward.  His retirement will be effective May 12, 2012.

Chief Bueno began his service with the City as a firefighter in 1985 and was quickly elevated through the ranks, serving as Apparatus Operator, Captain, and Battalion Chief before his promotion to Deputy Fire Chief in November 2006.  He began an acting assignment as the Fire Chief in December 2007 and was officially promoted to Chief in March 2008.

Then a battalion chief, Craig Bueno answers a call at Station 1 in 2002, when he was awarded the city's medal of valor for dragging a man out of a burning building. (File photo by Jane Tyska/staff)

“Chief Bueno has provided critical leadership to the Fire Department during challenging economic times for the City, while protecting and enhancing the quality of services provided by the Department.  I am grateful for his service and contributions to the Department and the community,” commented City Manager Fran David.

During his career, Chief Bueno was elected and served on the Executive Board of Hayward Firefighters IAFF, Local 1909 for 13 years, leaving as President in 1998.  He has also served as President of the Alameda County Fire Chief’s Association (ACFCA) and is currently serving as Section Chief of the ACFCA EMS section. Chief Bueno has also been very active in the Hayward community, serving on the St. Rose Hospital Foundation Board of Directors and actively participating in the Hayward Rotary Club.

In reflecting on his service to the Fire Department, Chief Bueno remarked that, “Since the beginning of this Administration, we have worked extremely close with Hayward Firefighters Local 1909 to address the fiscal crisis that struck our Country. I am proud to say that their selfless actions, not accepting a single raise in five years and not only paying the full share of their pension cost, but paying 6% of the City’s cost, are the reason we have been able to keep 100% of our service level to our residents. The relationship that I enjoy with our professional Firefighters is based on respect and trust. Our men and women are the finest the fire service has to offer. I know they will always do the right thing and have trusted them with my life many times.”

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More info on Hayward City Council candidates

UPDATE: Here’s the story.

Our  story on who’s running for Hayward City Council come June should be posting online soon. And as promised at the end of the story, you can find more information on each candidate here, as collected from the City Clerk’s Office, candidate statements, websites and interviews. Candidates in order per Secretary of State’s randomized alphabet, starting after the jump.

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Tax resolution passes, with some reservations

Correction: Oops, the link below isn’t to the final story after all, but this one is.

 Here is the final story on the board’s approval of the parcel tax measure. I had a voice mail from Trustee Luis Reynoso this morning, he wanted people to know that he tried to get a low-income exemption added to the measure but the addendum was not accepted by Trustee Maribel Heredia, who made the motion on the item.

He said at the meeting that when he was a teacher he stockpiled granola bars and snacks because a lot of kids were coming to school unfed because they lived in poverty. He added that includes homeowners, and said to look at the number of foreclosures as evidence.

“So when you tell me it’s only $58, go tell people who lost their homes that it’s only $58,” he said. “Tell them when they can’t feed their kid when they send them to school.”

Also of note: Trustee William McGee said he’s wary of the tax because of the “way the school board conducts business.” He expressed disappointment earlier in the meeting because he has requested a demographics study be taken up by the board, and it has yet to happen. Also said they have yet to address the matter of new schools opening, some of which will be underenrolled.

“I hear the community wanting us to support this, but I’m not hearing the board talking about agenda construction, and the schools opening up,” he said. “I’m not sure staff has direction.”

He wanted to discuss the matter, but Board President Jesus Armas said the matter at hand is the resolution concerning the parcel tax.

“Wow,” McGee said. “This is an issue. I’m asking when are we going to start talking, as a school board, about how to maximize dollars if this gets passed. … I’m looking for an answer and not getting it.”

For the sake of school district comparison, here are stories on what’s going on in Castro ValleySan LorenzoSan Leandro and New Haven.