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Concerns voiced after last weekend’s club violence

There were three nightclub related incidents last weekend: a shooting at a Mission Boulevard karaoke joint, shots fired and fights in the downtown area. There have been a couple other incidents on B Street in the past month, including a Pizza House employee being punched in the face and shots fired in the alley next to the building.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Mayor Mike Sweeney asked the city manager to prepare a report on what’s going on. Fran David said she’s already talked with police as well as nightclub owners and will have that report for them by the end of the week, I’ll watch for it. Continue Reading

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Calendar for week of Feb. 21

privatelivesHere’s the calendar for the coming week. At right is a photo from “Private Lives,” at the Douglas Morrison Theater.

Feb. 23
Job lab — 12:30-2:30 p.m. Wednesdays. The Castro Valley Library, 3600 Norbridge Ave., offers assistance for community members seeking employment by providing a quiet space for job seekers to use the library’s laptops to update or create a resume, search for jobs online, or other employment-related activities. Computers and assistance available on a walk-in basis. For more information, call Lyn at 510-667-7903.

Continue Reading

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Lighthouse LGBT center Casino Night fundraiser was aces

We had a blast at the Lighthouse Community Center Casino Night fundraiser Saturday, held in the Hayward City Hall rotunda. Delicious food, well-poured drinks, flashy entertainment and boisterous gaming while it lasted — I blew my fistfull of chips in rapid fashion at the Texas Hold ‘Em table, but my more skilled or luckier wife shared her winnings to keep me in the game a little longer.

lighthouse1Took this pic of the Golden Follies Dancers, a revue featuring performers ages 60 to 85.

“It’s a Las Vegas kind of singing revue,” director Susan Bostwick told the Contra Costa Times last year. “Our costumes are very elaborate, a lot of feathers.”

The Follies were one of many acts that would start at the top of the rotunda stairs and then descend into the crowd to raise the roof. There are a bunch more pics on this site – wife and I can be found in No. 66. Organizer Kari McAllister posted the following shout-outs on her Facebook site: Continue Reading

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Crime, cleanliness remain top Hayward priorities

The City Council held the first of at least two priority-setting workshops last night. This one was a sort of brainstorming session, the City Manager will take input back to the drawing board and return with a revised version next month. In the end, it’s these priorities that are used to formulate where dollars will be spent when it comes time to create the budget for FY 2011-12.

Main goals carry over from last year. City Manager Fran David wanted to take the “Crime and Public Safety” and “Cleanliness” priorities from last year and also give a nod to the city’s work to be environmentally conscious, packaging it together into ”Safe, Clean, Green.”

Mayor Mike Sweeney, who was behind both the city’s Sustainability Committee and the Keep Hayward Clean and Green Task Force, objected.

“I’m very proud of our accomplishments, and we’ve done a lot of good things,” he said. “But I’m not sure I’m comfortable to say it’s an overriding priority.”

Continue Reading

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Cinema Place Gallery opening downtown

artgallery02Also 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.

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Voice of the Giants talks Hayward

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS VS NEW YORK METS

Voice of the Giants Jon Miller with his wife, Janine. They met in Hayward -- Janine lived across the street and would babysit Jon, who is five years younger.

Jon Miller, the announcer for the champion San Francisco Giants, was honored by the Hayward City Council earlier this month. You can watch the video of the  Dec. 14 meeting, which had Miller talking about the city where he grew up and developed his announcer voice.

Miller said it all started with Strat-O-Matic Baseball, a table-top game that uses dice and charts to replicate ballgames.

“I found it was a lot more fun if I broadcast the games. I would while away the hours in my bedroom, playing Strat-O-Matic Baseball. Everybody I knew was out doing things you did in summertime in California. Friends would say, ‘Let’s go to Half Moon Bay, do a little surfing,’ And I’d say, ‘I’d love to but I got the Cards playing the Cubs, after that it’s the Giants-Dodgers series and I’ve been waiting for that series for weeks.’”

He even offered the Council a demonstration of how he’d run the games, playing the part of the announcer, a cheering crowd, the PA guy, even the ballpark organist.

Miller grew up off Highland Boulevard, and attended Hillcrest Elementary School before graduating from Hayward High. He said it was the first time he’d been to Hayward City Hall since he was 15, when he was on an all-star little league team that won the pennant for the area.

“What a team we had,” he said. “The mayor, a fellow by the name of Jack Smith, invited our team to city hall, the other city hall, down the street, and they took a photo of our team and the mayor on the steps of city hall, and put it  in the Hayward Daily Review. Somewhere, in a box somewhere, deep down inside of a box of things I haven’t looked at in  years,  is that photo.”

It’s a fun presentation, worth a look and a listen. Starts at the 9 minute mark. Also, the Chron had a pretty nice profile on Miller when he was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this year.

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Hayward noise ordinance debate, and how some council members like it loud

carspeakersHayward is holding a community meeting Thursday to discuss amending the city’s noise ordinance to bring it into the modern age. The current ordinance was drafted in the 1950s, and is vague. The city hopes to include language that will give it more teeth.

There’s concern over enforcement — it’s one thing to have an ordinance on the books, another to have the resources to go after what many consider a low-level concern.

“It’s probably going to be a work in progress,” said Assistant City Attorney Maureen Conneely, who prepared the draft ordinance brought before a council work session in October . “We’re going to have to see how to implement it, and it may need some adjustments depending on whether it is easy or difficult to enforce.”

At the Oct. 26 work session, the noise ordinance drew support from the council, although members spoke about how they or family members could well be current or past violators. Read about it after the jump. Continue Reading

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Lighting Up the Pet Parade in downtown Hayward

citytreeCouple 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.

We had a story on the events; organizers are excited to have Deuce the Alameda Dognap Victim as a guest of honor in the pet parade, which was 100 dogs strong as of Wednesday afternoon.

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!

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The Tweets are now a three-man cacophony

twitter_logoIt’s been nearly a year to the day since intrepid reporter Kris Noceda announced he joined the world of Twitter.

That was a good call. After waiting and watching to see if Twitter wasn’t some kind of online flash-in-the-pan, the other Review reporters have joined him. Follow Eric Kurhi at www.twitter.com/erickurhi and Jason Sweeney at www.twitter.com/Jason_Sweeney .

Twitter serves a different function than either stories or this blog. It’s an instant-information mechanism, good for short bursts. For example, when someone’s out in the field chasing down fire or crime information, or as-it-happens reports from school board or City Council meetings. Expect information to be in very short form and more informal than you’d see in a story or even on a blog.

You can also find links to other Tweeters, such as the City of Hayward or the Hayward Public Library.

You don’t have to be on Twitter to read the entries — just visit the sites to see what’s been posted.

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Ice dancing in Hayward, anyone?

OLY-2010-FSKATE-MEN-SHORTOk, so maybe it’s not suitable for Olympic-style competition (don’t even think about bringing a curling stone) but there will be a 1,200-square-foot synthetic ice rink set up at Hayward City Hall from 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday. If watching Vancouver footage has you all riled up and eager to lace-up, it could be fun for only $2 per 25-minute session, skates included.

BH Skating Parks International is bringing the faux ice. It’s a Canadian company, so if you want to rub in Sunday’s upset hockey win, feel free to chant “U-S-A!” ad infinitum as you slide around. But keep the cross-checking in check — this is a family affair.

While the synthetic ice provided  supposedly not as slick as the real deal, this guy makes it look pretty fun:

Synthetic ice demontration