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Archive for the 'Environment' Category

Why did the chicken stand in the middle of the road?

UPDATE: The HARD board voted to oppose construction of the power plant at its Monday night meeting. They essentially said that it’s their job to act in the interest of the parks, and the plant would have a negative impact, at least visually, for people using the Hayward Regional Shoreline. “It’s our job to make sure that our assets are protected,” said boardmember Minane Jameson. “Tens of thousands of people use the shoreline and the interpretive center, and (the power plant) will hurt our business.” Jameson made the motion to oppose and was joined by Paul Hodges and Dennis Waespi. Carol Pereira and Lou Andrade were absent. We’ll have a story about the upcoming Sept. 2 meeting on the power plant later this week.

To protest the proposed Calpine Russell City Energy Center, of course.

At Thursday night’s downtown Hayward street party, a small group of demonstrators gathered in front of the Calpine booth. One was dressed as a chicken and carried a sign urging people to honk, but the road was closed to vehicle traffic so few could comply.

Calpine opponents plan on attending Monday’s HARD meeting, urging the park and rec district to oppose the power plant. And the next big deal is set for Sept. 2 at City Hall in Hayward, when the Bay Area Air Quality Management District will hold a public hearing regarding issuing a permit for the plant.

The BAAQMD issued a draft permit earlier this summer.

Back to the street party. Thursday was the third of four such things, and there seemed to be more people than at the last one. It went off pretty smooth, police said, although there was a skirmish in the parking lot behind Buffalo Bill’s (also behind the Daily Review) after the party ended. There were reports it was a 15-on-1 fight, and at least one hysterical woman called police, but when they arrived the involved parties had scattered.

Here’s a few more pics from the festival:

Posted on Friday, August 21st, 2009
Under: Business, Energy, Environment, General, Hayward, Health, Odds & Ends | No Comments »

Loma Prieta quake: Where were you?

We know you weren’t surfing the web when the ’89 quake hit. But what were you doing?

Our online production team has created a Loma Prieta Earthquake page in conjunction with the 20th anniversary. Check out the cool interactive map at www.contracostatimes.com/loma-prieta-earthquake or www.insidebayarea.com/loma-prieta-earthquake. Add a marker to show where you were and what you were doing at the time the quake struck.

The map is the first element on this page. Much more to come. Have fun posting and reading. And please share this link with others.

Posted on Thursday, August 6th, 2009
Under: Environment, General, Odds & Ends | 7 Comments »

Hayward names new commissioners

ADDENDUM – At its June 23 meeting, the City Council appointed the following new members to the Youth Commission: Dayana Morales, Sarahi Bautista, Alex Harmon, Dulce Andrade, Erika Ramos, Yessenia Sanchez and Claudia Canales. Reappointed were Jessica Bravo, James Dixon, Jeevit Gill, Lawrence McGee and Lauren Quan, with Rachel Rojas, Frances Naguit and Arlene Valencia on the alternate list.

The City Council filled most of the vacancies on various boards and commissions at its meeting last week. A total of 19 new commissioners and six reappointments filled the slots on six different boards.

Here are the appointments:

Downtown Business Improvement Area Advisory Board — Nicole Reams, Cynthia Chang, Meg Shaw (reappointment).

Citizens Advisory Commission — Donna Allen-Thomas, Nicholas Terry, Linda Moore, Cynthia Chiasson and Peggy Guernsey (reappointment).

Economic Development Committee — Jim Wieder, Christopher Lam and Terri Swartz.

Human Services Commission — Lucy Castillo, Todd Davis, Robert Lara. Reappointments: Ben Henderson, Julie LInd, Elizabeth Samayoa.

Library Commission — Stephanie Ayala and Judith Harrison (reappointment).

Keep Hayward Clean and Green Tast Force: Carolyn Grieco, Jennifer Ong, Kevin Thompson, Antonia Elizalde, William McGee, Kelly Doyle-Pasion.

The city received 36 applications and conducted 35 interviews. A vacancy remains on the Downtown Business Improvement Area Advisory Board.

The boards serve in an advisory capacity to the City Council. Congrats to everyone selected!

Posted on Tuesday, July 7th, 2009
Under: Business, Development, Environment, General, Hayward, Health, Politics | 6 Comments »

Calpine-PG&E energy agreement for Russell City approved

Calpine announced Thursday that an amended power-purchase agreement with PG&E was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission for the proposed Russell City Energy Center, a 600-megawatt power plant that would be placed near the Hayward shoreline.

That doesn’t mean the plant itself is approved. It has some of the required permits, but the main hurdle remaining is approval from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, acting as a delegate of the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The air district previously gave it the go ahead, meaning it didn’t find evidence that the plant would add significant amounts of pollution to the air, but that permit was revoked after a lawsuit on the grounds that BAAQMD did not follow federal guidelines for publicly noticing the permitting process.

The air district is currently reviewing and responding to public comments submitted regarding the permit. No time frame has been given in which a decision will be made.

We will have a larger story on this posted online Friday, running in Saturday’s paper.

Posted on Thursday, April 16th, 2009
Under: Alameda County, Business, Cherryland, Development, Energy, Environment, Fairview, General, Hayward, Other unincorporated areas, Politics, San Lorenzo, Schools, Transportation, Union City | 1 Comment »

For those dreaming of a green Christmas

Hayward power plant foe and recent City Council candidate “Redwood” Rob Simpson has a 1,000-strong forest of 2-foot-tall redwood trees on his Grandview Avenue lot that he’s willing to give away to anyone who wants to plant one.

Simpson’s been doing this for years, he said, and started because he felt “environmentally responsible” for driving a large car. He didn’t want to downsize his transportation – Simpson is a pretty tall guy — so he started giving away the trees as a mitigation measure. This batch will bring his grand total up to 31,000.

“I’m just spreading my seed,” Simpson said.

Anyone who wants a tree should contact Simpson at www.redwoodrob.com or 510-909-1800.

Posted on Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008
Under: Alameda County, Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Energy, Environment, Fairview, General, Hayward, Odds & Ends, Other unincorporated areas, Politics, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Union City | 1 Comment »

‘Cougar!’ cried the Hayward neighborhood alerter

“Hello. This is the Hayward Police Department with an important safety message. We are currently working with the California Department of Fish and Game and the Union City Police Department to contain a mountain lion in the Chapel of the Chimes Cemetery. … The mountain lion has not been aggressive; however, we are taking precautions to help ensure the safety of residents in the surrounding areas. If you see a mountain lion, do not attempt to approach it. Get everyone indoors and call 9-1-1.”

So went an autodialer message to residents in southeast Hayward on Thursday, after a resident spotted — and an officer confirmed — a cougar walking the tree line adjacent to the cemetery.

Such sightings are not uncommon.  Police opted to take the precaution of letting residents know about the animal, which turned out to be a scaredy cat and ran off into the hills when given a bit of attention.

Thus, this, a couple hours after the first message:

“Hello. This is the Hayward Police Department with an important update. The mountain lion has been safely returned to his natural habitat in the hills. You may resume normal activities.”

Police advise residents who spot a mountain lion to get indoors and call 9-1-1. If you are the type who ventures into neighboring lion country (a.k.a. our regional parks and all that hilly open space to the east) here’s a Fish and Game brochure on the subject.

Posted on Friday, December 12th, 2008
Under: Alameda County, Environment, General, Hayward, Odds & Ends, Union City | No Comments »

Cities ready to boogie, if feds download funds

San Leandro and Hayward are early birds in the hunt for federal economic stimulus funds.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors went to Capitol Hill on Monday with 11,391 “ready to go” projects from 427 cities, including ones from the Cherry City (San Leandro) and the Zucchini City (Hayward). The projects total $73 billion, and would jumpstart 847,641 construction and project support jobs nationally in 2009 and 2010.

San Leandro’s $20.5 million proposal would create 155 jobs. The projects, their cost and the numbers of jobs include: citywide handicapped ramp improvements, $600,000, 10; senior center construction, $10 million, 60; water pollution control plan co-generation project construction, $4.6 million, 32; streets reconstruction, $2.5 million, 30; and improvements to the city’s sewer system, $2.8 million, 23.

Hayward, a bigger city, isn’t hesitating to ask for more money. Its $135 million list of projects would create 1,730 jobs. Projects, their cost, and number of jobs are: Hayward Executive Airport hangar construction, $6.5 million, 120; airport underpass roadway, $22 million, 250; pedestrian bridge over Union Pacific Railroad to link homes and Centennial Park in the Burbank cannery area, $2.5 million, 80; new main library, $30 million, 300; replacement of 150 traffic controllers, $1.5 million, 40; street light replacement program, $8 million, 150; improvements to waste-water treatment plant, $8 million, 200; new dispatch and records management system for police and fire departments, $3.5 million, 40; new Fire Station 7, $10 million, 100; street and drainage system improvements, $10 milllion, 100; and citywide road pavement replacement, including reconstruction of some streets, $33 million, 350.

Posted on Thursday, December 11th, 2008
Under: Development, Energy, Environment, General, Hayward, Politics, San Leandro, Transportation | No Comments »

Eastshore Energy Center denied in final Sacto vote

The California Energy Commission, which has the final say in the construction of new power plants in the state, voted against allowing the Eastshore Energy Center to set up shop with a 115-megawatt facility near the Hayward shoreline.

While a main reason for the denial was its proximity to the Hayward Executive Airport (energy plants release hot plumes that stir up the air for low-flying planes), the decision also took into account that the plant does not fit into Hayward’s general plan for the area.

Local activists hail this as a huge victory, and the presiding commissioner Jeffrey Byron thanked everyone at the end for mounting a very informational, civil campaign. There were a lot of speakers at the Sacramento meeting this morning, and we’ll have more comprehensive coverage in tomorrow’s paper.

Posted on Wednesday, October 8th, 2008
Under: Alameda County, Development, Energy, Environment, General, Hayward | 3 Comments »

BYOB please

No, not that kind.

The Castro Valley Sanitary District is offering free reusable tote bags in support of the countywide Bring Your Own Bag campaign.

The bags are made of 80 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, and officials estimate the average person will save 250 plastic bags a year when bringing their own reusable bag to go shopping.

BYOB give-away schedule (for residents of the Castro Valley Sanitary District only):

Rite Aid Pharmacy
9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 11
3848 Castro Valley Blvd.

Longs Drug Store
12:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25
3667 Castro Valley Blvd.

Each event will last about three hours and supplies are limited.

Posted on Thursday, September 25th, 2008
Under: Alameda County, Castro Valley, Environment, General, Other unincorporated areas | No Comments »

Blowing smoke?

no_smoking

No Smoking

Note to Hayward smokers: Time to start packing a measuring stick with your lighter and Camels.

As reported by Eric Kurhi in today’s Review, public puffing will net you a citation and eventual fine — unless you are 20 feet away from “public areas.”

How the new law will be enforced by police remains, to the say the least, cloudy.

Do you think the new law will deter smokers from lighting up in public?

Posted on Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
Under: Environment, General, Hayward | 1 Comment »