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Hayward city offices closed next week

HAYWARD — If you have business with the city, you’d better not delay; City Hall will be shut down next week to celebrate the federal holiday Thanksgiving Day.

Hayward’s planning department has been slammed by business owners for being business unfriendly: slow response, not helping businesses, surprises, not working with the businesses, bureaucratic attitude, etc. Don’t know if the criticisms are justified, but there have been a lot of them.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the planning department presented an update on “development review and building permit/inspection processes and plan for system improvements.” The update told of how the planning department is addressing those concerns.

Sounds good. But the city permit center began closing on Fridays earlier this year. This is in addition to the longstanding practice of Planning Commission and City Council going on recess in August. putting a halt on approval of conditional use permits.

Makes one wonder what kind of message closing an entire week for what is a one-day federal holiday says about perceived city attitude toward assisting businesses.

 

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Hayward business expo Oct. 8

From the Hayward Chamber:

As our exhibitor space continues to fill up we are preparing for a great networking, and dining, experience for those attending the Hayward Chamber of Commerce Business Expo Wednesday, Oct. 8 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Grand White Tent at St. Rose Hospital, 27200 Calaroga Ave.

Admission is free to chamber members and $10 to  non-members. Prizes will include gift cards and a huge basket of treats from Office Depot. Vehicles in the tent will include a “stretch” limousine.

“This event is one of the East Bay’s premier business networking and exhibitor activities,” said Kim Huggett, president and CEO of the Hayward Chamber of Commerce. “It’s a place where networking abounds and deals are made. That’s why it continues to attract attention after so many years. And this year the food options are better than ever.”

 

The cost of exhibitor spaces remains the same as the past three years: $250 for chamber members and $395 for non-members. Admission is free for chamber members and $10 for non-members. Exhibitor entry forms are available at the chamber at its website www.hayward.org.

In addition to mingling with representatives of local businesses, attendees will enjoy food from local restaurants, gourmet coffee, wine, beer and sodas.

Business Expo guests will enjoy samples of cuisine from Hayward restaurants, caterers and food manufacturers including Blue Heron Catering/Cannery Cafe, Berkeley Farms, Pucci Foods, Sugar Bowl Bakery, Metro Taquero, Straw Hat Pizza, Taqueria San Marcos, the Golden Peacock Restaurant, The Cupcake Shoppe, Shark Shack, and classic popcorn from Century Theatres. And more are signing on. Plus, we’ll enjoy soft drinks from Smart & Final and great vintages served up by our ambassadors from the chamber’s wine collection.

For additional information, contact the Hayward Chamber of Commerce at (510) 537-2424.

 

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Castro Valley push to replace Daughtrey’s building with park

CASTRO VALLEY — Instead of the county trying to find a tenant for the long-vacant Daughtrey’s building on Castro Valley Boulevard, a resident is proposing the building be torn down and the space converted into a town square.

The Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Committee will take up the matter at its Tuesday, Feb. 4, meeting.

Peter Rosen sent a letter to the Castro Valley MAC outlining his argument why the former department store should be demolished. The building was purchased by Alameda County with redevelopment funds, but the county has been unable to find a new tenant. Rosen’s letter can be found under agenda at http://www.acgov.org/calendar_app/DisplayDetailServlet?site=Internet&ag=CDA&ty=PLAN&m=1&d=24&y=2014&t=M&i=2014-01-06%2011:22:48.417

Tuesday’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Castro Valley Library, 3600 Norbridge Ave.

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Hayward business expo Oct. 7

HAYWARD — Merchants and nonprofit groups can showcase their products and services at a business expo Oct. 7.

Individuals are welcome to attend; admission is free for Hayward Chamber of Commerce members and $10 for nonmembers. Those attending can check out local businesses and organizations and sample food and drinks from local restaurants and caterers. Some new car models will be on display.

Sign-ups are being accepted from businesses wanting to take part in the expo, which will be 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the white tent in the St. Rose Hospital parking lot, 27200 Calaroga Ave. Booth fee is $250 for chamber members and $395 for nonmembers.

The business expo, sponsored by the chamber and the city of Hayward, will be at the white tent at St. Rose Hospital, 27200 Calaroga Ave., from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. For additional information, call the chamber at 510-537-2424 or go to www.hayward.org.

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Business comings, goings

HAYWARD — Famous Dave’s is close to opening at Southland Mall. A sign in front says it’s opening July 22. There’s also a sign indicating the barbecue chain is hiring.

Famous Dave’s is moving into the old Marie Callendar’s building facing Winton Avenue that has been vacant for some time. The barbecue restaurant was serving up food at the recent downtown street fair.

And in downtown Hayward on Foothill Boulevard between A and B streets, a Filipino restaurant is opening at the former crepes restaurant. I haven’t seen a sign showing when it will open.

The consignment shop at A and Foothill is closing. It’s started a going out of business sale. Meanwhile, a few doors down, Dollar Tree has been open for awhile.

The Zumba place that was on Foothill in the same block as the consignment shop and Dollar Tree has moved to B Street next to Eden Jewelry, near Mission Boulevard.

Avocado Freddy’s is scheduled to reopen July 26. It’s on Main Street near the Jackson-Mission-Foothill intersection (the building was formerly a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet) and close to Bret Harte Middle School and St. Regis Retirement Center Avocado Freddy’s is offering some specials with its reopening; check its website for details.

If you hear of other places opening (and yes, closing, sadly), please share. Thanks!

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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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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.

Continue Reading

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Downtown Hayward comings and goings

This week’s City Council meeting includes a presentation from the Cal Poly Technical students who have been working with the city to bring some fresh ideas to rejuvenate the downtown plan, some of which dates back to the ’70s. The students have a website soliciting input from the community; you have until March 20 to weigh in. Take a look at some of the ideas that are being floated over there and if you weigh in, cut and paste it over here for the HayWorders.  And the city also has a page dedicated to the downtown plan update with a lot of information.

Buffalo Bill's Brewery, which has been around since 1983, is one of downtown's success stories and owner Geoff Harries recently told city officials that business is better than ever these days. Here, manager Alex Caldeira doles out the good stuff. (Photo by Doug Duran/Staff)

Figured I’d use this as an opportunity for an update blog and clean out my notes of recently collected downtown stuff.

Here’s a story about a new owner taking over the Cinema Place property, which a lot of people are excited about. Here’s one about the ongoing roadwork in the area — the job is about halfway done and that controversial loop of streets is set for completion at the tail end of the project, about a year from now.

Recent downtown closures, openings and odds and ends:

Garry’s Donuts, the little shop kitty corner to the Bistro, closed after more than 20 years. A number of people cited an increase in rent as the reason. There used to be an older fella who enjoyed sitting outside the donut shop on warm afternoons — haven’t seen him since it closed.

Crepes de Art shut its doors on Foothill, and one of the sisters that opened it back 2009 said they’re still making crepes but on a catering basis only, without a storefront. The yogurt shop next door has been gone for a while, more recently Zuckersuss vacated its Cinema Place space, although you can still see a white baby grand piano inside. Foothill also took a hit with the closure of Montero’s Market, the big Mexican supermarket and taqueria.

The BBB Salon on B Street  held a blow-out sale a few weeks ago before also closing, building owner managed the shop and she said she simply doesn’t have time to spend running a clothing boutique that wasn’t making money. She added that the city is “too strict” in what uses they allow for downtown space, and said she could have rented it out to a popular S.F.-based boxing gym if the city had been receptive to such a use. “You have to accept whatever type of business wants to open,” Hong Do said. “After a while, once you have foot traffic, then you can pick the businesses that come in.”

Leather Odyssey also put up a clearance sign, but  is sticking around, although owner Glenn Marciel said it’s “really sluggish” right now and he’s in “survival mode.” He said the owners of the Odd Fellows building he’s in gave him a pretty good break on the rent and that’s the only reason he’s getting by.

Now some good stuff: We had a story on Vintage Alley and its friendly owners, and new burrito joint Avocado Freddy’s recently set up shop the old KFC building at that tricky E/Foothill/Mission intersection. Story on the Hayward Area Historical Society, which is well on the way to opening up their new space in the former Kumbala building, and have rented 6,000 square feet of space to a health services company. Turns out that was the spot that Big 5 Sporting Goods was eyeing a while ago, which fell through.

There’s a restaurant going in at the old Smith building on B Street, called KUPE Studio. It will be African-themed fare, with a bar. As you can see on the website, owner Richmond Apande originally wanted to open a spot with music, entertainment and dancing, but said he got in a “back and forth” with the city over his business and security plan and eliminated that part of KUPE. Now things are going smoother, he said, and he hopes to have it open in the next few months.

Also new on B: California Acupuncture Center and Herbal Shop. Around the corner on Main, the former Main Street Diner is now Bombay Masala Cafe, noticed a opening special of three beers for $10 so they might be aiming for the same college crowd that was attracted by the previous incarnation’s nightly specials.

That’s it for this round. Anyone see something else appear or disappear?

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What’s up at the San Leandro Marina?

Had a story updating what’s going on at the San Leandro Marina, with a focus on the “liveaboards” who call it home. Story was long, never got around to certain aspects such as the crime that accompanies blight. Clipped this part:

Reverse racism! Also, beware the satanic thug and his evil can of hot pink paint.

“There is crime,” said boat owner Oliver Campbell. “Prostitution, and drugs. You run around out there and you got to be careful or you’ll get a needle stuck in your foot.”

Up around the bend in the jetty, past the fenced off former Boat Works site that is now a haven for feral cats, hot-pink and black tags marred the outside wall of a public restroom.

“I’ve been coming here for years, but this is the first time I’ve seen this,” said James Mason, pointing at a pair of hateful little symbols. “It must have been kids – they didn’t even do the swastikas right, they’re going the wrong way. But the intent is still there.”

It should be noted that while I was going through archives I came across a lot of stories related to crime at the marina back in better days. It was once quite a party hangout for teenagers, and there were also some interesting tales of out-of-control incidents at the Blue Dolphin.

“It’s like that with any public park that’s open at night,” said harbor master Delmarie Snodgrass. “You’re going to get people out there, some of them looking at the water, others just to party.”

Snodgrass added that when it comes to big  displays of illegal behavior – think sideshows – “police have been on top of that.”

She said if necessary, cops have a handy way of isolating and catching troublemakers.

“They will close Marina Boulevard and Fairway Drive,” she said. “They’ll box them in if they start doing that stuff again.”

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Hayward chamber to honor persons of the year

From the Hayward Chamber of Commerce:

Hayward will honor recipients of the Educator, Firefighter, Police Officer and Business Person of the Year Award at the 68th Annual Hayward Chamber of Commerce Awards Celebration Gala on Jan. 28, 2012.

“This is one of Hayward’s great traditions, and a reflection of the esteem that this city has for those that make community service their priority,” said Kim Huggett, president and CEO of the chamber. “The fact that this event sells out every year says a lot about Hayward.”

Those to be honored are:

Julie McKillop, Business Person of the Year

Julie McKillop, owner and executive chef of Neumanali Restaurant and principal of McKillop Accountancy, will receive the Business Person of the Year Award. A lifelong Hayward resident and graduate of Cal State East Bay, she and husband Tim began a major redevelopment project in 2000 that became the upscale wine-centric Victorian-style restaurant Neumanali. Both her restaurant and accountancy business are located downtown, across from city hall. Her long record of public service includes serving on the boards of directors of Spectrum Community Services, the Hayward Historical Society, St. Rose Hospital and the Hayward Chamber of Commerce. She also served on the Hayward Planning Commission, the city’s Small Business Revolving Loan Committee, and she worked with the Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment.

Hector Garcia, Educator of the Year

Hector Garcia has been an educational leader for 16 years, most recently as principal of Harder Elementary School. At Harder, he has worked with universities, public health and safety agencies in Hayward and Alameda County to leverage support, tutoring and professional development resources to transform Harder into a model school.  He initiated an arts program in Hayward in 1998 for elementary and middle school students called Mariachi Juvenil de Hayward, which serves students and families throughout the East Bay. He served as director of curriculum and instruction at Alameda County Office of Education for five years, focusing on the needs of underachieving student populations and organized parent education forums throughout the county, utilizing parents as facilitators, leaders and advocates.

Captain Joe Stilwell, Firefighter of the Year

Hayward Fire Capt. Joe Stilwell discovered his love for the fire service as a young man when he joined the volunteer fire department in Chico. He became a paramedic, then a firefighter and joined the Hayward Fire Department in 2005. Early in his career with HFD, he noticed that the department’s ventilation saws were stalling during operations due to tar build-up. On his own time, he fabricated a metal guard to protect the motor, a feature now used throughout the fire service. He also developed new hose rollers for HFD equipment, saving the city considerable cost in maintenance and equipment. Embracing the HFD commitment to community service, he has worked on the annual Toys for Kids Program and the charity golf tournament. He has responsibility for the HFD’s popular 1923 Seagrave fire engine that is exhibited at community functions and which is representative of Hayward’s appreciation for its fire service and city history.

Faye Thomas, Police Officer of the Year

Officer Faye Thomas began her law enforcement career at 16, when she began volunteering at the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office and, in 1999, was hired there as an administrative assistant. She later became a dispatcher and in 2009 became an officer with the Hayward Police Department. Over her two years in the HPD, she has consistently been a leader among her peers in arrests, citations and DUI suppression. In July 2010 she initiated a project  that led to an investigation of human exploitation and trafficking that involved nine Bay Area municipalities and three countries. Largely as a result of her work, 15 suspects were taken into custody and three victims rescued from human trafficking. Officer Thomas put herself through a Drug Abuse Recognition Course and Narcotic Investigators School and has taught coursework in drug trends and investigation to more than 100 HPD officers. She also is in demand as a speaker on child abduction issues and is a participant in Susan Komen Cancer Society fund-raisers. Her next goal is to obtain a law degree and earn a doctorate in international relations.