Here’s this week’s calendar. Just about to head to San Leandro to see what they say about options for a medical marijuana ordinance. Tomorrow, the Hayward City Council is poised to take steps to save redevelopment assets from a possible state take. And Wednesday’s Sustainability Committee meeting could be a big one, as they will be looking at the draft Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance. They moved that meeting into the main Council Chambers instead of the work session room, in case people turn out. Read the rest of this entry »
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Also on the list of things to do, check out the Cinema Place Gallery, opening Saturday after a Friday night reception. I was told they weren’t prepared to host “Hayward at large” for the Friday event, but I’m betting if you walk by and poke your head in, nobody’s going to bite it off.
Hayward Arts Council organizers were very happy to score works by William “Bill” Sala, and they have a slew of other Hayward area artists: Simone Archer, M. Barta Atkins, Larry Bendoski, Jean Bidwell (who is painting that huge mural over behind the Grand Terrace Townhomes), Carol Jones Brown, Nick Calarco, Beverly Carlson, Philip Denst, Cecil Gertz, Susan Helmer, Molly McKenzie, Walter Levy, Mark Mertens, Denise Oyama Miller, Kathy Ries, Kimberly Rowe, Susan Sarti, Cindy Sullivan, John Warner and Robert Wolff.
They have the space for at least six months; after that it’s not certain how long they’ll stay. Developer is always courting potential tenants for the spot, which, along with other Cinema Place storefronts, has gone unused since the project was finished in 2008.
“We continue to aggressively try to lease the space,” said Bradley Blake of Blake-Hunt Ventures. “The market is soft overall, and we’re experiencing that in Hayward as well. We have prospects that come along every week or so but in this environment, retailers are looking for a really, really good deal. They tend to be focused on the reuse of older space, or going into markets safe and proven. … (Cinema Place) is a pioneering space.”
Speaking of Cinema Place, anyone been to Kokyo Sushi Buffet? They seem to be doing really well and get good online reviews. I tried to do a story about them when they first opened, but they regarded me with suspicion, asking me how much money I wanted for the story. “I find it interesting that a newspaper would want to do a story on us for free,” said one of the Kokyo staffers.
Here’s what we saw at Hayward’s holiday events this year. The good-looking shots are by staff photographers Aric Crabb and Anda Chu, while the ones that look like they were taken with a phone cam were indeed taken with a phone cam by yours truly.
In other news, the vet bill for guest of honor Diamond the Hayward Hero Hound has been paid by a generous community that stepped up after hearing the story.
Click “read the rest…” to see the photos. Read the rest of this entry »
Couple of holiday events coming up in the next few days, what with the Light Up the Season street party Thursday followed by the Santa Paws pet parade on Saturday.
Also got a call from Jim Wieder, owner of the downtown Ace Hardware and former president of the Chamber of Commerce. He said there’s a sense of disappointment among some merchants because of the lack of promotion of the Light Up the Season event.
“The city gives $10,000 to light up B Street, but it hasn’t been advertised,” he said. “Why light it up if it hasn’t been advertised? The lights aren’t up, the posters aren’t up, the skating rink isn’t there. It all makes the area more festive and shoppers kind of enjoy that feeling.”
Wieder, who was dismissed as Chamber president earlier this year, said it’s “not a case of sour grapes” on his part.
“All kinds of things are supposed to be happening. There’s concern among merchants about where that (city) money is going.”
A quick stroll down B Street revealed that there didn’t appear to be nearly as many lights strung up as in previous years. Current chamber President Kim Huggett said they didn’t light all the trees because it’s more difficult than the streetlights, which have an outlet at the top and the lights can be wrapped downward. Trees need to be wrapped upward and there’s more breakage involved and the lights don’t last as long, he said.
But he said they’ve done plenty of promoting, including sending 20,000 postcards out to elementary school students, and there has been considerable interest in the events.
“A lot of businesses will be open later, and a number will be serving refreshments and Christmas treats,” Huggett said. “It’s hard to say how many people will be coming out, but it was well advertised. … We’ll know tomorrow.”
Let’s all find out tomorrow! See you there!
City Councilman Francisco Zermeno’s loss could be your gain. His Z Video rental store is about to close at the end of the month, and he’s selling off all his inventory. He specialized in Spanish-language films, and was proud to have a pretty extensive collection of movies from what he called “Mexiwood” era of the ’40s ’50s and ’60s.
There aren’t many mom-and-pop video stores around anymore. About a year ago when Hayward Video was robbed, the lady there told me they get by on account of the porn. In fact, she said the previous time they were robbed, the man demanded a bag full of porn.
Since Hayward Video is right by the Daily Review, I got a membership — not for porn, there’s nothing but RedBoxes near my home and I like to browse. But when I rented a movie one night — I think it was District 9 or Cloverfield or something involving aliens — it came in a DVD box with a label that boasted a XXX type of title, crossed out. Found it sort of disconcerting that they were mixing porn cases with mainstream titles, only on account of what porn aficionados are up to before putting the CD back in the case.
Zermeno said he had a “very limited” porn collection, and lasted longer than other video stores because of the Spanish language niche. I didn’t ask if he has any Spanish-language porn. Anyway, find his email after the jump. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Read the rest of this entry »
UPDATE: Here is the story.
The EPA rejected all appeals regarding the federal air permit issued in February by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Calpine representatives say that was the final hurdle for the 600-megawatt facility near the Hayward shoreline; spoke briefly with opponents, who said there may be other ways to block it.
Working on a story for tomorrow, but find the Calpine release after the jump. Curious quote from Kim Huggett, the new president and CEO of Hayward’s Chamber of Commerce about how the power plant will “be a magnet for bringing new business to Hayward.” Read the rest of this entry »
Hayward wouldn’t be the first city to pass such a ban, and it wouldn’t be the first city to have said ban opposed by the Chamber of Commerce. According to an e-mail from Councilman Bill Quirk, that opposition is expected at tonight’s meeting.
Save the Bay also checked in and will be there to speak to the importance of such a ban.
Also on the agenda: A work session on regulating hand-cart vendors, which are currently banned from operating but do anyway.
Here’s the gist of things that came out of Tuesday night’s meeting, I’m working on a couple of stories for later this week:
BURGLARY UPDATE: Council heard a report about this summer’s uptick in residential burglaries from Lt. Sheryl Boykins and Lt. Reid Lindblom, who are the community resource officers for the southside and northside, respectively. They had some figures, here are the highlights:
June saw the largest increase, from 78 to 118, a 51 percent increase, while May saw a 28 percent increase and July 13 percent. If you look at the totals for the first seven months of the year, there’s only been a 5 percent spike during that period compared with 2009, so it’s pretty clear the rise began with summer. And it’s not a Hayward thing, there have been increases in surrounding communities and most of those arrested have been from out of town. They’ve arrested 44 burglary suspects in the past three months, what Boykins said is “more than we usually arrest in a year.”
The lieutenants said the most affected neighborhoods are Darwin, Leeward, Bell Harbor, Palma Ceia, Fairway Park, and Silver Maple in S. Hayward, while in N. Hayward it’s Prominence, Bailey Ranch, area around Atherton and the area around Pinewood and Farm Hill.
They said they’ve increased presence in those areas but more importantly have worked with the community to let them know what’s going on and what they can do to prevent it, most notably helping watch over the neighborhood.
“We make way more arrests by networking with the community than we do by being in the right place at the right time,” said Lindblom. Read the rest of this entry »
Heads up, in case you want to get one of your favorite sandwiches or Greek cuisine over at the popular Zorba’s Mediterranean Deli: You have until 2 p.m. Friday to do so.
“Oh yeah, I’d get customers from all over,” said cofounder Berc Maner. “We’re not just a Hayward place. I’d have people coming over the (San Mateo-Hayward) Bridge every day for lunch.”
Maner wanted to work with the property manager to get a break on their rent, but nothing doing.
We’ll have a story, but I wanted to let anyone know, who might be a fan. While I was down there earlier today, I talked to a couple people who were almost in tears over the impending closure. And if you are not a fan, or haven’t been there — I had my first Zorba’s sandwich today, a pastrami reuben, and boy was it tasty — maybe you can suggest an alternative sandwich shop or Greek deli.
There still will be a Zorba’s in Fremont, and the San Ramon location will be open for another year, Maner said.
They also told me that there was a nasty anti-Me campaign being waged on Yelp, the online review site, although it appears some of the comments have been removed. According to Traci Thompkins, negative feedback was posted before the Me was even opened.
The Thompkins, who own and are running the venue, come across as a smart, well spoken family who genuinely want to have a quality establishment that benefits the city. They have invested a lot of money into the venue and stayed the course when licensing costs went way above the estimate they’d been given. They’ve impressed city staff with their vision and police haven’t had any problems with their events.
However, it’s the out-of-town aspect that some residents find worrisome. When an event is promoted on the radio — such as the Me’s Champagne Life event with a KMEL DJ — it can bring people in from everywhere, and the fear is that there could be friction between groups.
There are worries that it could become another Kumbala, the Foothill Boulevard nightspot that drew more than its share of attention from police before being shuttered.
“There are a lot of reasons Kumbala was the way it was,” said Joe Thompkins. “We are no Kumbala.”
Has anyone checked out the Me? I’ve only been in there off-hours, although I may try to catch the Taco n’ Tequila Thursday after work one of these days.
Just throwing it out there in case, you know, someone wants to talk about something other than the school board.