1

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

1

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.

9

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.

0

Big flea market planned in Castro Valley

CASTRO VALLEY — More than 55 vendors will be selling items at a flea market March 2 at the Kenneth C. Aitken Senior and Community Center.

There also will be a snack bar and a bake sale with homemade treats at the flea market, which runs 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 17800 Redwood Road.

The event is being hosted by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District. For more details, call 510-881-6738.

11

Update on the loop

The one-way traffic loop through downtown Hayward is scheduled for early March, according to the city’s website. I am working to get a more precise date, since March is less than three weeks away.

What’s involved: Massive traffic signal bridges that are being fabricated to order in Utah have to be shipped here. That entails getting permits to drive uber-wide loads through several states.

Once the bridges are here, there’s no good place to store them – we’re talking really wide – so they probably will go up pronto, though “pronto” still will take some doing and time. The bridges will span intersections along Foothill. The foundations (which run deep) were constructed earlier; remember those plywood boards for pedestrians near traffic lights? The foundations have been filled with asphalt for pedestrian safety. The bridges couldn’t be ordered until the foundations were constructed. It’s complicated, but Foothill is an old street, and the underground pipes and conduits aren’t always where the blueprints say they are, so each bridge’s specs are different. The asphalt was temporary and will be dug out.

Final paving of the loop – Five Flags north on Foothill to A Street, left on A to Mission Boulevard, south on Mission back to Five Flags – and lane striping will be needed, so, combined with installation of the signal bridges, we’re looking at major road closures and detours coming up. And you thought traffic was bad now!

Next week: According to city’s website, expect lane closures on Mission and Foothill, mostly Mission from Industrial to about Moreau High School both ways and Mission from Jackson Street to Highland Avenue, both ways.

The good news: Driving down Mission, big stretches are finished except for landscaping. The roads are smooth, and the ugly utility poles are gone. The lights look great.

8

Fundraiser for Lighthouse Community Center

What sounds like a fun event Saturday will benefit the Lighthouse Community Center of Hayward. Viva Las Vegas casino night starts at 5 p.m. at the Hayward City Hall Rotunda.

Entertainment includes Sasha Stephane as Cher, the Golden Follies and the Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus.

It’s $25 advance, $30 at the door. If advance tickets are still available, you can get them at the Lighthouse Community Center, 217 A St., Hayward; Curly’s Place, 2059 B St., Hayward; and www.eventbrite.com.

Tickets get you $100 in gaming chips plus gourmet food, and there will be a cash bar. You must be 21 to attend.

The Lighthouse Community Center serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community of Southern Alameda County.

For more information, email bobnsl@aol.com.

0

Emergency Shelter Program wins van

Emergency Shelter Program of Hayward has a new van from AutoWest Toyota in Hayward, thanks to Toyota’s Cars for Good program.

Toyota’s initiative hands out 100 cars to 100 nonprofit agencies over the course of 100 days.

Emergency Shelter Program provides shelter and other services to women and children who are survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking and homelessness. The van will be used to transport its clients to emergency shelter, medical and social service appointments, and legal proceedings.

1

Keep Hayward Clean and Green Cleanup this Saturday

This month’s Keep Hayward Clean and Green Cleanup will target the South Garden neighborhood in the northern part of the city this Saturday, Jan. 26.

Those interested in taking part in the litter cleanup and graffiti removal should gather at 8:30 a.m. at Shiloh Baptist Church, 22582 S. Garden Ave. Supplies will be provided, but bring your own gloves.

Those under age 18 need to be accompanied by an adult.

3

Hayward roadwork update meeting Thursday

Hayward city officials will hold their monthly update meeting Thursday on the Route 238 Corridor Improvement Project that includes Foothill Boulevard south from Interstate 580 through downtown and Mission Boulevard from A Street south to Industrial Parkway.

Merchants along Foothill and A Street have asked that some on-street parking, which would be eliminated as part of the work, be restored. At Thursday’s meeting, city staff members are expected to show where they plan to allow parking.

The road project includes a one-way traffic “loop” through downtown. So far, the city has not said when the loop will go into effect.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. Jan. 24 in Conference Room 2A at Hayward City Hall, 777 B St.

3

Free massages for those 60 and older

Are you 60 or older and do you live in the Hayward-Castro Valley-San Lorenzo area? If so, you can sign up for a free 10-minute massage by a trained massage therapist. The massages, held the second Monday of the month from 1 to 3 p.m., are by appointment only. They will be given at the Kenneth C. Aitken Senior and Community Center, 17800 Redwood Road. Call 510-881-6738.

The massages are only one of the many things going on at the Hayward Recreation and Parks District. The Aitken Senior Center is organizing a day trip to Cache Creek casino Feb. 6. Cost is $33 for HARD residents, $43 for others. Call 510-881-6738.

The center also is hosting a flea market March 2. Tables are on sale now for $25 residents, $35 others.

And there’s a new exhibit at the Adobe Art Gallery. The A.R.T. annual members exhibit runs through March 2. The gallery is at 20395 San Miguel Ave., Castro Valley. For details, contact adobegallery@haywardrec.org.

The Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center is hosting an exhibit of artistic walking sticks by Rick Boreliz, “Take Art for a Walk,” through March 3. Call 510-670-7270 for more information.