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A close look at wildlife rehabilitation

HAYWARD — Sulphur Creek Wildlife Center is taking visitors into its hospital to show how the staff assesses an injured or orphaned animal, cares for them and prepares them for release back into the wild.

Advance registration is required for this adults-only event, which takes place 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. The fee is $18. To register, go to www.haywardrec.org or call 510-881-6700. Program #23747.

Sulphur Creek is at 1801 D St. It’s worth a visit. Even though it’s in an urban area, when you’re there, you feel as if you’re in the country; the center is nestled along a creek, and you can visit its year-round animal residents, including coyotes, o’possums, snakes and birds of prey, for free. The animals are ones that could not be returned to the wild because of injuries.

The center has lots of programs and events throughout the year, and many of them are very child-friendly. It also has an animal lending library, where you can “check out” a guinea pig, hamster or rat for a small charge. The library is a great way to teach kids about the responsibilities of having a pet.

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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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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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Loop meeting Thursday

In case you missed it, Hayward staff members will be holding a meeting Thursday to talk about the loop and the rest of the Route 238 Corridor Improvement project.

It seems everybody has an opinion on the new one-way traffic loop through downtown Hayward that started March 16. My perspective? It seems to work if you’re in the correct lane to get to where you want to go. I’m hoping that with final paving, striping and signs, it will be more clearer.

I have been testing out the loop from different approaches for a week. It is still confusing as to which lane you need to be in, but I think we’ll figure that out. I do hope that Hayward PD has radar guns out on Foothill Boulevard headed north; the tickets from speeders could generate quite a bit of income for the city.

Drivers headed east on A Street seem to be confused when they hit the one-way segment. Some are looping back down B Street and then right to A Street west; others seem to have no idea where to go. I’m pretty sure I would be confused, if not downright lost, if I were not from Hayward and was trying to head east on A Street.

Now, what does this mean to downtown merchants? I’m sure they will express their opinions at Thursday’s meeting, which starts at 9 a.m. in Room 1C at City Hall, 777 B St. Can’t make the meeting? The city’s loop website: haywardloop.org.

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Food for thought

CASTRO VALLEY — While many think of St. Patrick’s Day as a time for wearing of the green, the community is invited to be green in eating habits at the same time.

A free screening of the documentary “Forks Over Knives” is planned for this coming Sunday, March 17, at the Castro Valley Library.

The film will focus on how a low-fat, plant-based diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and autoimmune diseases while helping the planet.

Snacks will be provided, and a short discussion will follow the film, sponsored by Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church.

The event begins at 1:30 p.m. at the library, 3600 Norbridge Ave., Castro Valley.

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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.

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Girding for the Hayward traffic loop

The city of Hayward has started its campaign to let people know that some downtown streets will become one-way on March 15.

The city hired someone to put together an explainer that is going in water bills and is online. It contains some interesting statements: “The Loop is easy!” “The Loop is a small change with a BIG new look for Downtown!” “Easy Access to all Downtown Businesses.” Hmmm.

There also is a typo in the insert that was sent out to many water customers and on big signs along Mission Boulevard between A and B and near the main library: It refers to Off the Gird. As gourmet food truck followers know, that should be Off the Grid.

In fairness, a Hayward official said the typo was pointed out by city staff. But apparently not soon enough.

The city also has made a video explaining the loop. It has little colored cars speeding through downtown with cheerful music in the background. The voice-over refers to “the downtown one-way traffic circulation, or the ‘loop’ as it’s more affectionately called.” Gosh, I can’t remember the loop and “affectionately” being used in the same sentence.

Check it out at www.youtube.com/watch?v=09hSr8GlPq4&feature=youtu.be. There’s also a link at http://user.govoutreach.com/hayward/faq.php?cid=14252, but I couldn’t get it to load.

(Sorry, but I have not been able to get links to work on this blog. Working on it.)

Starting March 15, Foothill will be one-way north between its intersection with Jackson Street-Mission Boulevard up to A Street. A will be one-way west between Foothill and Mission, and Mission will be one-way south from A down to the Jackson-Mission-Foothill intersection.