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Castro Valley: Aitken senior center to celebrate 25th anniversary

CASTRO VALLEY — The Kenneth C. Aitken Senior and Community Center will marks its 25th anniversary with entertainment by Stagebridge Senior Theatre on Friday, June 20.

Stagebridge, an Oakland senior acting group, performs musical revues, improv sessions, radio dramas and music.

The free celebration will be 1 to 3 p.m. June 20 at the center, 17800 Redwood Road in Castro Valley. The public is invited, and light refreshments will be served.

For more information, go to www.haywardrec.org or call 510-881-6738.

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Hayward Coffee With a Cop on June 14

HAYWARD — Police are inviting residents to join them for Coffee With a Cop on Saturday, June 14.

This is a chance to voice concerns, ask questions and get to know Hayward police officers.

Coffee With a Cop takes place from 9 to 11 a.m. at Starbucks coffee shop, 20523 Hesperian Blvd. (A Street and Hesperian)

For more information contact Gale Bleth, 510-293-7151 or gale.bleth@hayward-ca.gov

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Hayward seeks applicants for boards, committees

 

From a Hayward press release:

HAYWARD – The city is seeking individuals interested in serving Hayward. There are openings on the following bodies, which serve in an advisory capacity to the City Council:

  • Community Services Commission (2 vacancies, 4 potential vacancies)
  • Council Economic Development Committee (1 vacancy, 3 potential vacancies)
  • Downtown Hayward Business Improvement Area Advisory Board (3 vacancies, 1 potential vacancy)
  • Keep Hayward Clean and Green Task Force (3 vacancies)
  • Library Commission (2 vacancies)
  • Personnel Commission (1 vacancy, 2 potential vacancies)
  • Planning Commission (3 potential vacancies)

Applicants must be registered voters living in Hayward city limits. Applicants for the Downtown Business Improvement Area Advisory Board do not need to live in Hayward; however, they must own a business in the city’s Downtown Business Improvement Area and pay assessments.

Applicants for the Council Economic Development Committee must be residents of Hayward, own/operate a business in Hayward, be senior management at a corporate business in Hayward or be formally affiliated with and represent another entity or agency concerned with economic development in Hayward.

People appointed to the Planning Commission, Community Services Commission, Council Economic Development Committee, and Keep Hayward Clean and Green Task Force are required to file a Fair Political Practices Commission Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700).

Interested individuals can apply online at www.hayward-ca.gov; pick up applications at the city clerk’s office, 777 B St.; or call 510-583-4400.

The deadline to apply is July 10, and interviews with the City Council will take place July 22. Keep Hayward Clean and Green Task Force applicants will be interviewed by the Task Force Panel on July 16.

 

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Hayward open house to share vision for city’s future

HAYWARD — People’s eyes often glaze over when hearing the words “general plan,” but if you ask them what they want their city to look like in 25 years, most have suggestions.

Over the past 18 months, Hayward has been asking its residents the vision thing, and on Saturday, March 8, the staff will host an open house from 9 a.m. to noon to share the results.

The general plan often has been called a blueprint for future growth and development, though some question how people now can anticipate what the future may bring. Still, the overall direction helps the city make day-to-day decisions.

To get to the draft 2040 General Plan (named for the year it will expire?), city staffers held public workshops and Planning Commission and City Council study sessions. The liveliest discussion has been at the online community forum, www.Hayward2040.org, though it appears city planners may have tried to make the site dull while at the same time not checking their spelling. From the site: “What are your comments related to the enviornmental analysis for the draft General Plan?”

Now, you may be asking why you should get up early on Saturday and make yourself presentable. Seriously, this is something that affects all Hayward residents. At the open house, you’ll find a series of stations for the topics covered in the plan and that oh-so-popular EIR (that’s government-speak for environmental impact report, which is a boring way of saying that if a project could harm the environment, you’d better spell out what you’re going to do to make sure that doesn’t happen).

City staff members and consultants who worked on the general plan will be at the open house to answer questions. Overview presentations are planned every 45 minutes. It’s a drop-in event, so feel free to wander over from the Saturday farmers market any time during the three-hour event.

For those who don’t know, Hayward City Hall is at 777 B St.

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Election season is already here

Hi. Sorry to be away for so long. Illness plus technical difficulties were not a good combination.

A few updates: Two candidates in the Hayward mayor’s race — Mark Salinas and Francisco Zermeno — both have been busy, hosting community events, raising money, attending just about every local gathering. I haven’t seen as much from Barbara Halliday, but that doesn’t mean she’s not connecting with voters; she doesn’t seem to use social media as much as the other two. All three have a lot of connections in the community.

I have been hearing rumors that two others will enter the race to replace longtime Mayor Michael Sweeney, who has announced his retirement at the end of June. But no names have been attached.

One guy did stop  by the Daily Review office and said he was running for mayor. I won’t give his name, because he didn’t speak to me; I only overheard him as he was flirting with our office manager. We do get some interesting characters wandering in off Foothill.

Salinas’ council seat will be up for grabs. Councilman Marvin Peixoto has announced he plans to run for re-election.

Meanwhile, Hayward Unified Trustee William McGee has set up a website for his re-election and to keep the community informed. His and Trustee Lisa Brunner’s terms expire next year; Brunner has not announced whether she will seek re-election.

The city of Hayward also is looking at a ballot measure to pay for a new main library and two fire stations, and possibly more upgrades and services. A series of meetings and outreach are planned, beginning next month.

The Hayward school district is talking about another bond measure to replace more of the district’s aging schools, but no date has been set.

Alameda County is looking at asking voters to extend Measure A, a half-cent sales tax set to expire in 2019. It helps fund medical services to the county’s low-income residents, but some have complained that too much of the money currently goes to Highland Hospital or is at the discretion of the county Board of Supervisors and subject to political maneuverings. Without it, services will be drastically cut, advocates say. But it was approved in much better economic times, 2004.

Oh, and remember Measure B-1, the proposal that would double the county sales tax for transportation from a half-cent to a full cent that was narrowly defeated in 2012? It will be back on the ballot in November, though with a 30-year time limit (the previous proposal had no time limit).

These are just a few local measures being considered; statewide ones could also be on the ballot. With all the competing interests asking voters to open their wallets, there is concern it will be overwhelming and voters will just say no to all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hayward limits free food hand-outs downtown

HAYWARD — The City Council on Tuesday put restrictions on free outdoor feedings downtown, limiting them to once a month at city parks.

The rules cover Portuguese Park and other city-owned properties. Portuguese Park has been the site of two or more food handouts daily to 50 to 100 people, which neighbors say has resulted in thefts, vandalism and trash in the area, plus people relieving themselves in the park and the area.

At the Daily Review office on Foothill a few blocks away, we’ve seen some of the problems neighbors describe, though to a lesser extent. We have had people defecating near a dumpster behind our office. We’ve come to work in the morning walking past people sleeping in corners. We’ve had to call the police because of mentally unstable people going off and trying to smash things as they stagger along Foothill, where traffic zips by at 40 to 50 mph. We’ve been accosted and intimidated in the municipal parking lot behind our office.

The problems in downtown Hayward are real. These are problems the city has been grappling with for years, yet they only seems to intensify.

City staff members and council members are quick to point out that the new restrictions aren’t intended to address homelessness, or hunger, but to make downtown safer and to regulate what occurs on city property.

What do you suggest be done? Everyone seems to be sympathetic and compassionate, but long-term solutions remain elusive. I’d love to hear what others think.

 

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Fashion show to help others

HAYWARD — Nina’s Bode, a boutique on B Street downtown, is hosting a fashion show Saturday, Oct. 19, to raise funds for Eden I&R (2-1-1).

Eden I&R is a nonprofit agency that connects people with services available to them. It’s the only centralized source for health, housing, and human services information exists anywhere else in Alameda County.

According to its website, it serves thousands of at-risk individuals, including youth, non-English speakers, the economically disadvantaged, people living with HIV/AIDS, domestic violence survivors, the elderly, disabled, the homeless, and human service agencies seeking services or housing for their clients.

The fundraiser, entitled “The Gift of Giving,” begins at Nina’s Bode, 1037 B St., with appetizers at 6 p.m., followed by the fashion show at 7 p.m. Tickets are $50 and may be purchased at the boutique, 510-537-3900.

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A book with a powerful message

HAYWARD — In April, 30 volunteers handed out free copies of the book “The Language of Flowers” in Hayward to people who don’t normally read as part of World Book Night. On Saturday, Aug. 17, the book’s author will give a free talk at Hayward City Hall.

“Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is about Victoria, 18, who has aged out of the foster care system. She sleeps in a San Francisco park, where she plants a garden. The discovery of her garden leads to discoveries of herself.

In addition to sharing the book, Hayward Library’s Book-to-Action program focused on raising awareness about foster youth. The program connects reading a book with a civic engagement project.

Volunteers let the community know about Bay Area and national organizations that help foster youth, including The Camellia Network (co-founded by Diffenbaugh), Hayward-based Bay Area Youth Centers, Beyond Emancipation, First Place for Youth, Alameda County Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA), and Adopt a Special Kid, according to a release.
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Representatives of those groups will be at Diffenbaugh’s talk, which begins at 2 p.m. in Hayward Council Chambers, 777 B St.

Those interested in becoming a World Book Night book giver next year can sign up for the WBN mailing list at http://www.worldbooknight.org/ .

The Aug. 17 event is sponsored by the Hayward Public Library, the Friends of the Hayward Library, and the Book Shop on B Street. For more information, call 510-881-7700, email sally.thomas@hayward-ca.gov or visit http://library.hayward-ca.gov