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Meeting to focus on phones for people with disabilities

CASTRO VALLEY — Information will be shared Thursday, March 6, about special telephones for disabled and deaf people that make it easier to hear, dial and call.

A representative of the California Telephone Access Program will talk about the state program at the Quest Low Vision Support Group meeting. The representative will demonstrate the types of phones available, such as ones for people with hearing loss, low vision, memory problems or limited mobility.
The phones are free, but there are eligibility requirements.

The meeting starts at 1 p.m. at Baywood Court, 21966 Dolores St.

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Silent auction of longtime artist Eva Best’s work March 2

CASTRO VALLEY — The art legacy of Eva Best will be displayed at a silent auction on Sunday, March 2, from 1 to 3 pm at the Adobe Art Gallery, 20395 San Miguel Ave, Castro Valley.

Best, a San Leandro teacher and artist, died Dec. 26. Over the years, she received many awards for her art, and exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Oakland Art Museum, the Alameda County Fair, the Sun Gallery in Hayward, the East Bay Watercolor Society, The Oakland Art Association and the Adobe Art Gallery in Castro Valley.

The exhibit and silent auction is a retrospective exhibit of her paintings, collages and drawings. More than 50 watercolors, oil and acrylic paintings will be on display.

Proceeds from this event will help support art programs, classes and demonstrations at the Adobe Art Center. Best was an avid artist who explored a variety of mediums well into her 90s. She also was a member of A.R.T., Inc., a nonprofit group that promotes the visual arts.

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Sea level rise forum Saturday in Castro Valley

CASTRO VALLEY — Climate change and rising sea levels can be scary topics, but a community forum is planned for Saturday, Feb. 22, to help people prepare

“What?! Sharks in My Backyard?” will explore what is happening with climate change and what residents can do. It takes place at the Castro Valley Library.

Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center naturalists will lead a community discussion, and representatives of the Adapting to Rising Tides Project will talk about local effects.

Also taking part in the forum are Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church, Hayward; Hayward Area Recreation and Parks Department, MoveOn.org, 350Bay Area.org, the American Association of University Women, Hayward Area Shoreline Planning Agency Citizens Advisory Committee and the American Association of University Women and others.

The forum starts at 2 p.m. at the library, 3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley.

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Castro Valley forum to consider Delta tunnels

CASTRO VALLEY — Representatives of both for and against arguments about a plan to dig two massive tunnels under the Delta to carry water from the Sacramento River to federal and state pumps in Tracy will talk about the plan at a forum here Feb. 20.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has proposed building two tunnels, each 40 feet in diameter, running 35 miles under the Delta, and restoring 147,000 acres of wetlands and other habitat.

Supporters say the tunnels would make it easier to move water south without grinding up salmon, smelt and other fish in giant pumps at Tracy, which has caused federal officials in recent years to limit pumping. Environmentalists and Delta politicians say it could result in even more water being taken from the Delta.

Speaking in favor of the tunnels will be Paul Helliker, deputy director of the state Department of Water Resources, Delta and Statewide Water Management, and Jill Duerig, general manager of Livermore/Amador Valley Zone 7 Water Agency.

Arguing against the tunnels will be Barbara Barrigan-Parilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, and Nick Di Croce of the Environmental Water Caucus.

Brown’s administration has been describing his plan to build the tunnels through the Delta as a $25 billion project. That would rank it as one of the largest public works plans in California history. But when factoring in long-term financing costs, the price tag actually ranges from $51 billion to $67 billion, according to the Mercury News, a sister newspaper of this publication.

The forum is not a debate, emphasizes the League of Women Voters Eden Area, sponsors of the event along with the Sierra Club Bay Chapter Water Committee, the Sierra Club Southern Alameda County Group, and the Castro Valley Library.

The free discussion will be at the Castro Valley Library, 3600 Norbridge Ave., from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 20. Advance registration is recommended because seating is limited. To register, go to http://bit.ly/LTw59e

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Hayward Area Recreation and Park District website looking good!

HAYWARD — The website for the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District has undergone a major redesign.

The new sophisticated design is a VAST improvement over the old one, which was frustrating for members of the community and HARD employees and board members.

Check it out at www.haywardrec.org. The site had a “soft” launch Friday, with an official launch next Monday.

The site quickly loads, features some great photos (though I’m not sure what that kid who popped up on several pages is actually doing, but that’s one intense look). There’s even a place where people can submit suggestions and questions. It’s easy to provide feedback, and the list of facilities also include maps for each place. Many of the site listings also have photos, and I assume more will be added.

There are still a few small kinks when I checked out the site. The search function did not seem to be working smoothly in every case, and some of the pages did not have a link back to the home page. I couldn’t find a staff directory.

There’s a photo of district general manager John Gouveia along with an interesting bio. It would be nice to have photos of department heads on their respective pages.

If there are things you notice that might need adjusting or suggestions for improving the site, it’s easy to give feedback on the site or call the district office at 510-881-6700.

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How unincorporated area residents can have say in community’s future change

A press release from Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley’s office:

When asked why he is involved in improving his community, Keith Barros, a long time San Lorenzo resident quipped, “It’s better than being a mere spectator, and much better than being a victim.”

Are there things you would change or improve in your community? Then join the residents of Ashland, Cherryland, Castro Valley, Fairview and San Lorenzo who are forming working groups to improve their communities in the areas of public safety and realignment, economic development, education, governance, and agriculture and environment. Community members can join the working groups by attending any of the meetings listed below.

Over the next five years, unincorporated Eden Area residents, business owners and others will be working to implement goals and projects in each of the areas listed above. These goals were voted on by more than 350 residents at a community meeting held last November. That meeting was the culmination of a community visioning process known as the Eden Area Livability Initiative Phase II (EALI II), which had more than 700 participants total.

Organized by Alameda County Supervisors Nate Miley and Wilma Chan, EALI Phase II is part of an ongoing effort that began in 2006 with the EALI Phase I process that resulted in the planning, building, and opening of the $25 million state-of-the-art, 32,000-square-foot REACH Ashland Youth Center.

Other projects for EALI Phase I included streetscape improvements and the creation of a community design team that is now planning the Cherryland Community Center.

“It’s an opportunity to participate and advocate for my community,” said Peter Rosen, an involved Castro Valley resident, who has invited his neighbors to join the working groups. “I can have a positive impact and can improve local control.”

The formation of working groups to implement EALI Phase II goals presents a chance for unincorporated Eden Area community members to address important issues and participate in improving their communities together.

Ruth Baratta, a Cherryland resident, said, “Those of us who were involved in EALI Phase I came back for EALI Phase II because it worked. We can make a difference, and it’s up to us to create the community we want to live in.”

For more information contact Eva Poon at eva.poon@acgov.org or 510-670-5717 or visit the EALI website at www.acgov.org/edenareavision.

Schedule of Working Group Meetings

Agriculture & Environment
Thursday, February 6
6:30-8:30pm
Castro Valley Library
3600 Norbridge Avenue, Castro Valley

Education
Thursday, February 20
6:30-8:30pm
Castro Valley Adult School, Upper Campus, Rm12-13
4430 Alma Avenue, Castro Valley

Public Safety & Realignment
Thursday, February 27
6:30-8:30pm
Castro Valley Library
3600 Norbridge Avenue, Castro Valley

Economic Development
Thursday, March 6
6:30-8:30pm
Castro Valley Library
3600 Norbridge Avenue, Castro Valley

Governance
Thursday, March 13
6:30-8:30pm
Castro Valley Library
3600 Norbridge Avenue, Castro Valley

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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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Blood drive in Castro Valley

CASTRO VALLEY — The American Red Cross is holding a blood drive Jan. 20 in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the National Day of Service.

The office of Congressman Eric Swalwell is hosting the drive. Blood donors usually drop off this time of year, and to increase awareness, January is National Blood Donor Month.

The blood drive is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hayward Castro Valley Moose Lodge, 20835 Rutledge Road.

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Election season is already here

Hi. Sorry to be away for so long. Illness plus technical difficulties were not a good combination.

A few updates: Two candidates in the Hayward mayor’s race — Mark Salinas and Francisco Zermeno — both have been busy, hosting community events, raising money, attending just about every local gathering. I haven’t seen as much from Barbara Halliday, but that doesn’t mean she’s not connecting with voters; she doesn’t seem to use social media as much as the other two. All three have a lot of connections in the community.

I have been hearing rumors that two others will enter the race to replace longtime Mayor Michael Sweeney, who has announced his retirement at the end of June. But no names have been attached.

One guy did stop  by the Daily Review office and said he was running for mayor. I won’t give his name, because he didn’t speak to me; I only overheard him as he was flirting with our office manager. We do get some interesting characters wandering in off Foothill.

Salinas’ council seat will be up for grabs. Councilman Marvin Peixoto has announced he plans to run for re-election.

Meanwhile, Hayward Unified Trustee William McGee has set up a website for his re-election and to keep the community informed. His and Trustee Lisa Brunner’s terms expire next year; Brunner has not announced whether she will seek re-election.

The city of Hayward also is looking at a ballot measure to pay for a new main library and two fire stations, and possibly more upgrades and services. A series of meetings and outreach are planned, beginning next month.

The Hayward school district is talking about another bond measure to replace more of the district’s aging schools, but no date has been set.

Alameda County is looking at asking voters to extend Measure A, a half-cent sales tax set to expire in 2019. It helps fund medical services to the county’s low-income residents, but some have complained that too much of the money currently goes to Highland Hospital or is at the discretion of the county Board of Supervisors and subject to political maneuverings. Without it, services will be drastically cut, advocates say. But it was approved in much better economic times, 2004.

Oh, and remember Measure B-1, the proposal that would double the county sales tax for transportation from a half-cent to a full cent that was narrowly defeated in 2012? It will be back on the ballot in November, though with a 30-year time limit (the previous proposal had no time limit).

These are just a few local measures being considered; statewide ones could also be on the ballot. With all the competing interests asking voters to open their wallets, there is concern it will be overwhelming and voters will just say no to all.