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Castro Valley: Community meeting Thursday on new park

CASTRO VALLEY — Residents can give their opinion on what a new park should look like at a meeting Thursday, Feb 26.

The 26-acre undeveloped site was purchased for $5.6 million last year by Hayward Area Recreation and Park District from the East Bay Municipal Utility District. The hilltop site is one of the last large parcels of land in Castro Valley.

East Bay MUD at one time planned to build a filter plant there but declared it surplus about 10 years ago. Some developers bid on the property but then backed out, and the utility district took it off the market until 2013.

The site is bordered by Sydney Way, Carlton Avenue, Jennifer Drive and Stanton Avenue in northwest Castro Valley.

The district is starting a master plan process that will decide on park design.

The meeting will be 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Castro Valley Community Center, 18988 Lake Chabot Road.

 

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Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council seeks applicants

CASTRO VALLEY — Applicants are being sought for two vacancies on the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council.

The council, known informally as the MAC, advises Alameda County supervisors on Castro Valley issues and concerns. Applicants must be Castro Valley residents; the term is four years.

Council members typically spent 12 to 15 hours a month on MAC-related matters. The council, which reports to county Supervisor Nate Miley, meets the second, third and fourth Mondays of each month at the Castro Valley Library.

Miley’s District 4 also has existing or upcoming vacancies on the Local Planning Council, Human Relations Commission, Consumer Affairs Commission, Commission on the Status of Women, Septic Commission and Fire Advisory Commission.

Those interested can download an application at www.acgov.org/clerk/apply.htm and send it along with a resume to Anna Gee at anna.gee@acgov.org, fax 510-465-7628 or mail 1221 Oak St., Suite 536, Oakland, CA 94612.

 

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Hayward area park district is hiring

HAYWARD  — The park district is hiring for both full-time and summer jobs.

The Hayward Area Recreation and Park District has part-time openings in its sports, aquatics, facility rentals, day camps, tennis, after-school programs, nature, ranger and theater programs.

Pay ranges from $9.49 to $20.82 an hour.

For more information and to get an application, go to www.haywardrec.org/451/Part-Time-Employment-Opportunities or call 510-881-6700.

 

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Chabot College to remember Reed Buffington, its first president

HAYWARD — Chabot College will honor Reed Buffington, who led what would become Chabot-Las Positas Community College District for 20 years, on April 12.

In 1961, Buffington was named superintendent of the South County Community College District  and founding president of Chabot College, a position he held for 20 years until his retirement in 1981. He died June 9 at age 94.

A celebration of Buffington’s legacy will be at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 12, at the performing arts center named in his honor, 25555 Hesperian Blvd.

Before then, the college is recording recollections of people who want to share memories of Buffington. Those include people who worked with Buffington, knew him or were his neighbors when the family lived on Oakes Drive. If interested, please contact Maria Ochoa at mochoa@chabotcollege.edu to schedule a taping in the college’s television studios.

 

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Hayward park district to interview 7 to fill board vacancy

HAYWARD — Park district directors will interview seven candidates to fill a board vacancy on Monday, Feb. 9.

The vacancy was created when Hayward Area Recreation and Park District board member Dennis Waespi was elected to the East Bay Regional Park District board.

The seven candidates are: Aileen Chong-Jeung of Castro Valley, Ryan “Rocky” Fernandez of Hayward, Rick Hatcher of Hayward, David Kleczek of Castro Valley, Adam Korbas of Castro Valley, Guillermo Nevarez of San Lorenzo and Randy Vanderbilt of Castro Valley.

After the interviews, directors will choose one of the seven candidates to fill the board seat.

The meeting is open to the public and begins at 6 p.m. at the district office, 1099 E St.

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Castro Valley: Bike and pedestrian advisory panel applications sought

CASTRO VALLEY — The county is looking for residents to serve on a bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee.

The newly created Castro Valley Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee will work with county public works staff on a Castro Valley bicycle and pedestrian master plan.

To be eligible, those applying must be Castro Valley residents or own property or a business in the community. Applications are due by Feb. 6.

To apply, go to www.acgov.org/pwa or call senior transportation planner Paul Keener at 510-670-6458.

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Hayward holiday boutique fundraiser Nov. 21-22

HAYWARD — A holiday boutique fundraiser Nov. 21 and 22 will benefit SOS/Meals on Wheels.

More than 20 local craftspeople will sell jewelry, paper crafts, clothing and specialty food. The Meals on Wheels chef will be preparing meals, and a cookbook compiled by the nonprofit group can be purchased. A raffle also is planned.

The boutique will run from noon to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, at the Hill & Valley club, 1808 B St.

SOS/MEALS on Wheels serves residents in Hayward, Castro Valley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Oakland. The agency delivers 1,200 meals daily to home-bound seniors, according to its website.

 

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Castro Valley holiday art fair

CASTRO VALLEY — A holiday art fair will be Saturday, Nov. 1, at the Kenneth Aitken Senior and Community Center.

Items for sale include handmade ceramic bowls and mugs, vases, pottery, garden art, hand-sewn items, jewelry, wood crafts, and knitted and crocheted items.

Proceeds will support special needs and arts programs.

The fair will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the center, 17800 Redwood Road.

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Castro Valley orthodontist to collect Halloween candy

CASTRO VALLEY — An orthodontist will once again trade prizes for candy brought to his office.

Dr. Ronald Griggs will donate money to Blue Star Moms; the size of the donation depends on how much candy is brought in.

Kids can get a prize token for each pound of candy they bring in.

Trick and treating is fun, but candy can damage braces or aligners used in orthodontic treatment.

People with braces should avoid any candy that is sticky, chewy, hard or crunchy. That includes jellybeans, jawbreakers, bubblegum, hard candy, gummy candies, caramels and nut-filled candies.

Candy can be dropped off at Griggs’ office, 20265 Lake Chabot Road, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.Nov. 3-25.

For more information, go to www.griggsorthodontics.com

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Castro Valley tempest in a coffee pot

CASTRO VALLEY — Some tempers started boiling over when a recent school board agenda listed a proposed purchase of a $14,000 coffee machine.

What seems to have started the brew ha ha was the way the item was listed on the school board agenda: as an espresso machine. That got comments flying on social media in an election year:

“Return the machine, get a Mr. Coffee, and if Jim Negri wants a latte, well he can go to Starbucks and pay for one from his own income, just the way everyone else in town does,” a parent posted, referring to the school superintendent.

The machine in question is not a standard espresso machine, though apparently it can whip up a mean one. It is an industrial coffee maker that also would quickly heat water for tea and hot chocolate, heat apple cider and steam milk.

But after parents raised a ruckus, the district held off on the purchase.

The machine was part of a plan to expand the district’s in-house catering service to reduce the cost of providing food for school events, train culinary students and possibly offer catering for activities outside the district.

Yes, $14,000 is a lot of money, school board member Janice Friesen said. But the machine would get a lot of use.

“We want something that will last and be a good investment,” Friesen said.

Currently, Castro Valley students enrolled in the vocational culinary program travel to the regional occupational center campus near Chabot College in Hayward to take classes. The coffee maker was part of plan that would allow them to get hands-on training in Castro Valley instead.

The machine also would have been used to serve drinks at district functions. Castro Valley Unified said “expanding district catering services” when mentioning meals provided at school workshops, planning sessions, teacher training, etc. For many, catering conjures up an image of waiters with trays of appetizers.

What the district was referring to is breakfasts for staff at the beginning of the year, basic lunches and light breakfasts for all-day training sessions, food at after-school sessions for teachers, etc. While there may be a coffee pot at each site, when staffs from three or four schools gather, that coffee pot cannot fill the demand, Friesen said.

“If it’s after school and you’re asking people to come for development, you cannot not give them something. You have to feed them,” she said.

Castro Valley has paid other local school districts to provide food at staff events, Friesen said. The district also holds a teacher of the year event at the Castro Valley Center for the Performing Arts, which an outside vendor caters.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our school district catered it and our school district got the money?” Friesen asked.

The money to buy the machine would not being diverted away from classrooms. It’s in the food services budget, whose funds are restricted (they can’t be spent elsewhere).

The coffee maker was to be part of a plan to revitalize the district’s food service program proposed by Brenda Lightfoot-Handy, hired earlier this year as head of child nutrition.

The official statement from Superintendent Negri:

“Questions have been raised about a purchase for our Child Nutrition Program, and in an effort to be responsive to our school community, we have made a decision to hold the purchase. Long term, we feel the investment in this commercial grade coffee and beverage machine would expand the capacity of our catering program, as well as benefit our vocational education food and catering program. However, given that we are in the process of developing these programs, for now we believe it is prudent to hold the purchase. Our community hears us when we ask for their support, and, in turn, we must hear them when they raise questions and concerns. I hope the decision to revisit the purchase reflects our commitment to be responsible partners with our community members and staff.”