18

It’s a Big Mike mystery!

Only Big Mike's big dirty footprints remain.

UPDATE: Story on Big Mike being found in Castro Valley.

Here’s our story on Hayward’s own Muffler Man disappearing from the Mission Boulevard spot where he’s stood for decades. I was first alerted to his absence by a keen-eyed reader last Thursday, and after talking with nearby merchants it sounds like that’s the same day he was chopped up and trucked off. They say it took about four hours to do the deed. For more on Mike and his brethren, this site is always worth revisiting for fascinating lore on Muffler Men and photos of all the variants.

So I’m hoping now that the story is out, someone will contact me and let me know what’s going on with Mike. Will let you all know if they do.

And yes, I am still here.

3

Know someone who needs a car?

Pit crew is not included.

Here’s a story about a Hayward auto shop that’s doing something nice. If you know someone who is as philanthropic as they are car-less, think about nominating them to win a set of wheels. As you can see, it’s a sharp-looking ride and has a Kelly Blue Book value in the $2,200 range. And if you know anyone in the auto repair business who would be interested in joining this national endeavor of giving away cars, direct them to the Wheels to Prosper website.

12

Styrofoam ban — is it being enforced?

Got an email from a reader saying that although the city’s ban on polystyrene foam products at restaurants and other businesses serving food went into effect in July, he’s seen some of the nonbiodegradable culprits being used out there. I’m going to go take a look at the locations he specified, but has anyone else noticed noncompliance?

The ordinance was approved by council in October of last year.

From city’s website: Effective July 1, 2011, restaurants and all other vendors selling food at retail must use only paper, cardboard, aluminum or recyclable plastic cups, plates, bowls or trays.

This requirement applies to:

•Foods eaten at a business, packaged leftovers, or ordered “to go”

•Foods offered by a Hayward business that can be eaten without further preparation (e.g. cooked chicken, sandwiches or sushi)

There’s also a bill going through legislature that would take such a ban to the statewide level by 2016.

 

These are the bad boys we're looking for. Seen any around?


0

Shop Hayward this weekend, get a gift bag

From the “better late than never” file, if you are planning on having a spendy weekend, do it in Hayward. There are some kickbacks:

The first 100 shoppers who spend a total of $100 or more at Hayward retailers or restaurants from Monday, 15th to Sunday, August 21st can claim a free sports pack of gifts consisting of a Back to School Hayward sports pack along with two free movie tickets to the Cinemark Theatre in Downtown Hayward, a $10 Gift Certificate from Southland Mall, a $5 Gift Certificate from Bijou in Downtown Hayward, and a $5 Gift Certificate from Shark Shack, in addition to some other gifts.

Click here for more information.

 

16

1/4 lb. Giant Burger: The beef shall return

It's time for a giant makeover.

It's time for a giant makeover.

So it turns out the 1/4 lb. Giant Burger on Mission Boulevard is merely on a hiatus for renovations. I spoke with Kathryn Lee, a member of the Hahn family that owns the restaurant as well as others in Oakland, and she said that after 50 years it was time to do some major repairs. The floor and counter are all ripped out, and they will also make all facilities, including the bathrooms, updated to the latest ADA standards. What’s really exciting for the Mission corridor aesthetics is that they plan on refurbishing the big burger sign, which is looking pretty haggard there days but would be a nice retro beacon if restored.

Estimated time before you can get 1/4-pound beefed again: One month.

And as I mentioned in earlier comments but bears repeating, there will also be a Five Guys Burgers and Fries opening, possibly by the end of the year, in the Target shopping center at A Street and Hesperian.

12

San Leandro “more walkable” than Hayward, according to study

The walkability index is a guide that rates cities and neighborhoods based on proximity to nearby amenities such as grocery stores, restaurants, schools, parks, and public transit. 

Here is Hayward’s data and a pretty cool map in which green is good and red is bad in terms of legging it around town. Notice that while the overall number isn’t very impressive, some areas of town are indeed very walkable according to their methodology. In particular, North Hayward is up there at 77, which isn’t bad considering the 85 rank enjoyed by the country’s two most walkable cities of New York and San Francisco. San Lorenzo also got a 58 overall score, while San Leandro was somewhat higher at 65. Castro Valley faired poor for walkers, with a score of 45.

Fun feature: Enter an address and find a walk score particular for where you are. I’ll have you know that the Daily Review’s address is a “Walker’s Paradise” with a score of 98. The Castro Valley neighborhood where I grew up rated a dismal, “Car-Dependent” score of 28, but I could have told you that it wasn’t much fun getting around pre-car without the rating. 

 Here’s the press release from Walk Score.

According to the website, “The 372 largest cities in California have an average Walk Score of 50. The most walkable cities in California are West Hollywood, Albany and San Francisco.  The least walkable cities are Mead Valley, Prunedale and Adelanto.”

4

Your furry friend at Southland Mall

Southland security agent Benny strikes a pose.

All usage of the comfy couch must be approved by Benny.

Have you met Benny? He works security at Southland Mall, always on the patrol for suspicious activites while serving as a goodwill ambassador to shoppers. He’s not from around here — Benny is Dutch, with German heritage, so if Benny were to don traditional garb he’d be in wooden clogs and lederhosen. But Benny doesn’t go for such costuming, probably because he’s a dog. Press release:

K-9 BENNY IS COMMUNITY’S FRIEND AND SECURITY AT SOUTHLAND MALL

 
(Hayward, CA) – Everyone loves Benny the Dog, Southland Mall’s official security K-9.  He is no ordinary dog.  The four-year-old purebred German Shepherd has the important job of enhancing security at Southland Mall and providing an additional level of comfort for customers who visit the center. Continue Reading
6

No grocery moratorium for Hayward

walmartletterUPDATE 5/9: Here’s the story, which came out over the weekend. Also, on Friday the city provided me the requested original Feb. 1 email from the union to Quirk regarding the matter, you can read it at right. The jist of it is that the union believes Wal-Mart is making a push to set up grocery stores in Hayward and the greater Bay Area. Here’s the union’s page on WalMart.

Just received word  that the proposed moratorium on Hayward supermarkets was shot down by the City Council at last night’s meeting, with Councilman Bill Quirk making the motion to oppose. I did not attend — had some furlough days lately, in case anyone was wondering about the lack of HayWord posts and diminished number of stories in recent weeks.

The video of the meeting has not been posted yet, but according to the City Clerk’s Office, staff was directed to go ahead with the study analyzing the effects of new groceries without imposing a moratorium. Here’s the staff report as well as letters from property owner, neighboring business, a union representative, the union’s lawyers, and lawyers for the property owner.

2

Those potential arts, culture and downtown business cuts

The potential dissolution of redevelopment agencies isn’t just a problem for large-scale projects such as the development surrounding the South Hayward BART station or Mission Boulevard improvements. We had a story on Monday about how many of the city’s art and cultural programs are in jeopardy.

2012CommProHere’s a breakdown of what programs receive how much money through redevelopment, as seen on page 10 of this report. Click on it for a larger view.

The staff recommendation was largely based on an across-the-board slash to funding. There will be further talks on the matter at the May 2 Council Economic Development Committee meeting before a recommendation is made to the City Council.

And as mentioned in the story, the Downtown Business Improvement Area also received half its budget via redevelopment funds. According to a report from the last meeting, the total budget was $112,140 last year, with $55,000 coming from business owners, $55,000 from redevelopment funds and $2,140 from reserves.

DBIA2011That was allocated for 2010-2011 in the manner illustrated at right. The events, which make up the largest category, include the Summer Street Parties and Light Up the Season. According to Chamber of Commerce President Kim Huggett, the advisory board will meet again next month to discuss how to divvy up the remaining funds.

Any thoughts on how limited remaining funds should be allocated, in regards to arts and culture programs as well as downtown business improvements? As was said in the story in regards to arts/culture, while trimming across the board may be equitable, it could prove to be a death knell for more programs than if some kind of triage system were utilized.

5

Fresh and Easy supermarket coming to Fairway Park

fresheasyThe grocery chain announced that it will open the doors of a new market at the Fairway Park Shopping Center, on Mission Boulevard at Rousseau Street on April 27. Fairway Park residents have long said that their neighborhood needs just such an addition, and everyone’s invited to a five-day grand opening celebration. According to the Fresh & Easy map of East Bay locations, there’s also another one slated to pop up at A Street and Hesperian Boulevard. Find the press release after the jump.

Coincidentally, the Bay Area Newsgroup business editor was talking about Fresh & Easy in his column today, mainly about those self-service checkout counters that are popping up everywhere. Continue Reading