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A party to die for

SAN LORENZO — A Block Party to Die For will raise funds for the San Lorenzo Pioneer Cemetery.

The party takes place from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at College and Usher streets. There will be tours of the historic cemetery, carnival games, crafts and food. Live music will be provided by the Bay Area Blues Society Caravan and Leo Oliver and the Blues Knockouts.

The Friends of the San Lorenzo Pioneer Cemetery and the Hayward Area Historical Society are hosting the event, and all proceeds will support preservation of the cemetery.

The cemetery at Hesperian Boulevard and College Street in San Lorenzo recorded its first burial in 1854. East Bay historic figures William Meek and John Lewelling are among the 2,500 buried there.

Tickets are $10, or $5 for children and seniors. They can be bought at the event or in advance at 510-581-0223.

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Sen. Corbett to address Latino Business Roundtable

HAYWARD — Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett will be speaking Friday at the Hayward Chamber of Commerce Latino Business Roundtable.

Corbett’s district includes Hayward, Union City, Castro Valley, Pleasanton, part of San Leandro and a northern portion of Santa Clara County. She is serving her second term in the state Senate.

Among the legislation she has passed are laws to provide students with more information regarding student loan options and risks, give car buyers additional safeguards, and protecting homeowners that have suffered during California’s housing crisis.

The meeting begins at 8:15 a.m. at St. Rose Hospital Balch Pavilion, 27200 Calaroga Ave.

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Parks district seeking advisory committee members

HAYWARD — If you love local parks, now is the chance to have your say about them.

The Hayward Area Recreation and Park District is accepting applications for its Citizens Advisory Committee. The committee meets four times a year and reviews park design projects and program, makes recommendations to the district board and works on projects requested by the board.

To qualify, you must live in Hayward, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, Fairview or the other areas of the unincorporated western part of the county.

Applications can be downloaded from www.haywardrec.org or call 510-881-6704.

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Senior Scam Stopper planned for June 21

CASTRO VALLEY -- Seniors are often targeted in scams. To help them become more aware of current frauds, Assemblyman Bill Quirk and the Contractors State License Board are holding a free Senior Scam Stopper event Friday, June 21.

Those attending will get information on frauds in home repair, auto repair, telecommunications, identify theft, Medicare and other topics. Seniors are not the only ones who should be aware of potential scams; the free session is open to all.

It takes place from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Kenneth Aitken Senior Center, 17800 Redwood Road, Castro Valley. Call 520-583-8818 for reservation.

 

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Military recruits to be honored

CASTRO VALLEY — New military recruits will be honored at a ceremony June 2 at Castro Valley Center for the Performing Arts.

Congressman Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin, will help hand out certificates to the more than 50 recruits from the Bay Area.

A Soldier’s Medal also will be presented to Staff Sgt. Jason Ramsey of the Alameda Recruiting Center. Ramsey is credited with helping rescue a woman in June 2012 from a car that had gone into the Oakland estuary and was sinking.

The ceremony takes place 1 to 4 p.m. at 19501 Redwood Road. For more information, go to www.smr1.org.

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Uncovering local history

HAYWARD — Cal State East Bay graduate students will share some of what they’ve learned about the area’s colorful history on Thursday, May 16.

The presentations include:

– Michael Burton, “Port Costa: Sustaining an Unlikely Coastal California Boomtown, 1879-1909;”

– Edwin Contreras, “Mexican Land Grants: The Case of Don Castro’s Rancho San Lorenzo;”

– Olga Kachina, “How Global History Became Local: The Memory of the 1918 Izhevsk-Votkinsk Anti-Bolshevik Uprising as It Is Preserved in California;”

– Andrew Levin, “BART: The Backbone for Who?”

– Bria Reiniger, “Salt of the Hayward Shoreline: The Oliver Salt Company;”

– Carlotta Falzone Robinson, “Designing a Unified City: The Aesthetic Ideals of the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition.”

The free talks begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Pancho Villa Event Center, 1026 B St. The event is a collaboration of the Hayward Area Historical Society, the History Department at Cal State East Bay and the Pancho Villa Event Center.

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Youth sought for Hayward Youth Commission

HAYWARD — The city is looking for students interested in serving on the Hayward Youth Commission.

Students must be ages 13 to 20 at the time of appointment and live in the city or within the boundaries of the Hayward Unified School District.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. May 16. Interviews will take place May 23.

The commission advises the mayor and City Council, Hayward Area Recreation and Park District and the school district about issues affecting young people. Members also work on projects such as organizing conferences.

Application forms may be found on the city’s website, www.hayward-ca.gov, under city government, boards-commissions-committees. They also can be requested from the city clerk’s office, 777 B St., fourth floor, telephone 510-583-4400.

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Hayward foundation recognizes school heroes

HAYWARD — The Hayward Education Foundation is honoring school heroes at a dinner on April 23. Every school in Hayward, public and private, was asked to nominate one person as its hero, someone who had gone above and beyond to enrich students’ lives.

If you’d like to attend the 5:30 p.m. dinner at Golden Peacock Restaurant, 24989 Santa Clara St., tickets are $25 at the door. Call 510-881-0890 or email Admin@HaywardEd.og

Elementary school:

BOWMAN Patricia (Trisha) Garcia Attendance Clerk
BURBANK Jason Brown Playworks Recess Coach
CHERRYLAND Jason Arenas Project EAT Coordinator
EDEN GARDENS Thu Tran Volunteer
ELDRIDGE Martie Canterberry Teacher
FAIRVIEW Tina Lagdamen Teacher
FAITH RINGGOLD Jill Strother Office Manager
GLASSBROOK Maria Radilla Volunteer
HARDER Jean Hakanson Attendance Clerk
LONGWOOD Kim Turner Parent Volunteer
PALMA CEIA Dorothy Stredic Volunteer
PARK Linda Lanthier Teacher
RUUS Felecia Chapman Office Manager
SOUTHGATE Maggie Albarran Teacher
STONEBRAE Frankie Smith Noon Supervisor
STROBRIDGE Diana Ingalls Volunteer
TREEVIEW/
BIDWELL Linda Brune Breakfast & Noon Supervisor & Volunteer
TYRRELL Adam Boettcher Teacher

Middle School:
BRET HARTE Jorge Zarate Senior Custodian
M.L. KING JR Austin Bates MLKing Graduate/Mentor
OCHOA Russelle Obee Campus Supervisor
WINTON Erik Waite Teacher
High School:
BRENKWITZ Shan Chu Teacher
HAYWARD Rev. Dr. Arlene Nehring Community Volunteer
TENNYSON Melissa Morris Nutrition Educator
MOREAU CATHOLIC Petar Zegura Teacher
IMPACT ACADEMY Patricia Ramirez Volunteer

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Big Mike gets the ax — but that’s OK

HAYWARD — In case you missed it, Big Mike, the iconic 20-foot-tall fiberglass he-man statue that stood for decades on Mission Boulevard, has a new home.

As you can tell from the top of our page, Big Mike holds a special place in the HayWord’s heart.

Bruce Kennedy, owner of Bell Plastics in Hayward, bought Big Mike as the former Tyre Treads property where the big guy stood went into foreclosure. The years had not been kind to Big Mike: In addition to his paint being faded, he had a hole in a leg and part of him bore graffiti markings.

Kennedy had the statue restored and returned to Hayward, in the driveway of Bell Plastics on a side street in the industrial area. Big Mike looks great, but he held nothing in his hands, one of which is upturned and the other facing down. One report we read said that at one time he held a giant scrub brush in front of a car wash. Later, it may have been a muffler. Please feel free to verify items and dates.

Not long after Big Mike was settling into his new digs, he was given an anonymous gift. On a Monday morning, workers arriving at Bell Plastics found a package left out in front. Inside was a 104-inch ax for Big Mike.

“It looks brand-new,” Kennedy said.

Sadly, Big Mike has not been able to hold onto his new gift. The ax handle is too wide for one of Mike’s hands, Kennedy said. So the ax has been relegated to the custom plastics’ front office, at least for now, where it shares space with 6-foot-tall human statues from China.

If you want to see the big dude, he’s at 2020 National Ave., off Clawiter Road.

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Hayward school board considers sending pink slips to all principals, vice principals

A proposal to send out potential layoff notices to all Hayward Unified principals and vice principals will be taken up by the district trustees on Wednesday, March 13, their last scheduled meeting before the state-mandated March 15 deadline.

Trustees talked about the idea for more than two hours this past Wednesday without taking action. But before they went into closed session, they got an earful from angry teachers who said the notices would be demoralizing. Several teachers spoke about how after years of high turnovers of principals, the district seemed to be moving forward and there was starting to be a sense of stability and team-building.

All of the principals and vice principals were evaluated, and the school board earlier approved dismissal notices for five principals and two vice principals. However, the notices discussed this past Wednesday would go to administrators who received good reviews. An email that was sent to administrators said the move would allow the superintendent more flexibility in any restructuring.

Several people said it appeared that the board had taken action of some form in closed session without reporting it, resulting in allegations of lack of transparency. Trustees are not allowed to disclose closed-session discussions.

Trustees only allowed 20 minutes for public comment, and limited each speaker to one minute at Wednesday’s meeting. Board president Will McGee, with the approval of the rest of the trustees, extended the comment period so that everyone who had asked to speak could.

The meeting was packed, with the conference room where trustees were meeting full and others in an overflow room.

Under the state Brown Act, trustees could not respond to comments made.

Sending out pink slips, as it is commonly referred to among educators, to all principals and vice principals in a school district appears to be an unusual move. It is true that Oakland did it a couple of years ago, but that district was having to close schools for financial reasons, and it didn’t have a plan in place by the March 15 deadline.

Those I spoke to at several state agencies and groups said sending out the notices was not something that they tracked, but many agreed informally that it seemed to be out of the ordinary. None would go on the record, because they didn’t have any data, but a spokesperson at one expressed surprise that pink slips would be sent out for reasons other than financial.

Hayward, like all school districts, is preparing its students for state standardized testing that will start soon. The district also has begun contract talks with its teachers union. Many of those who waited outside the more than two hours of closed session expressed concern that sending out the pink slips could disrupt things at an important time for Hayward schools.

Wednesday’s meeting begins at 5 p.m. at Hayward City Hall, 777 B St.