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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.

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Dogs in the park

We’re hearing a lot from folks regarding dogs running off-leash in Hayward Area and Recreation District Park parks, specifically East Avenue Park in Fairview. Currently, dogs must be on leash at all HARD parks and facilities except in designated dog parks, but the district board is looking at the rules after an East Avenue resident called them too strict.

http://www.insidebayarea.com/breaking-news/ci_22388687/hayward-park-district-look-at-off-leash-dog

The callers/emailers have been split between those who favor looser rules and those who have had bad experiences with dogs at East Avenue Park. And everyone seems to have strong opinions.

We don’t envy HARD directors or staff as they wrestle with the issue, which was brought up during public comments at Monday’s board meeting. The controversy over the size of the Duck Pond in the master plan for San Lorenzo Community Park, aka the Duck Pond, which drew large crowds to HARD board meetings, may end up seeming relatively minor.

Related: Because of an editing error, some printed versions of the off-leash dog story in the Daily Review incorrectly said that Alameda County and Hayward allow dogs to be off-leash in public spaces. Not true. Both the city and the county prohibit dogs off-leash except in designated dog parks.

Our apologies to HARD staff members, who already are dealing with a headache.

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Trees along Foothill

Rumors that trees would not be planted along Foothill Boulevard are false.

The rumors apparently started when work crews filled up the tree wells with asphalt. Not to worry – the asphalt will be dug out and trees will go in later. The trees are part of the landscaping along Foothill, which also has new sidewalks and streetlights as part of the Route 238 Corridor Improvement Project.

The asphalt is temporary, says Kevin Briggs, Hayward’s project manager for the road construction. “We put the asphalt in for the holiday season to clean things up and make the area more pedestrian friendly,” he says.

And some of the irrigation system still needs to be installed before the trees are planted, Briggs says.

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Annual Hayward Area Historical Society awards on Friday

The Selmeczki family outside their newly opened hardware store on Castro Valley Boulevard in 1926. From left, dad Pete, son Ernie, mom Mary and son Frank.

The Hayward Area Historical Society will hold its 13th annual history awards ceremony on Friday, and tickets are still available. We had a story on Pete’s Hardware in Castro Valley, which is being honored as a historic business.

This year’s other winners are Randy Wittorp for his work to restore his Tudor home on Prospect Hill in Hayward, the Hayward Municipal Band for years of summer concerts and other events, Hayward High teacher Peggy Hearne for her history-rich curriculum, Robert and Erica Campisi for their work to improve Cherryland and Meek Park, and Supervisor Nate Miley for his leadership in preservation efforts at the San Lorenzo Pioneer Cemetery.

Find more information on all the winners in the HAHS press release after the jump. Continue Reading

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Live barn owl webcam at Sulphur Creek Nature Center

Two barn owls, that's whooo!

UPDATE 4/9: Got this from Wendy on Thursday, haven’t had a chance to blog. 

“Just a quick up date on the Owl Cam at Sulphur Creek. Five eggs have hatched to date and we expect the 6th egg to hatch on Good Friday, April 6th.  All the babies seem to be doing well.   The male had been bringing in food at night and mom has been patiently feeding the little babies (owlets) little pieces of rodent that the dad brought in.   The owl cam has been a huge success.   Since put onto the web three weeks ago, we now have had over 35,000 hits by 4,000 viewers from 25 countries.  Images of the babies show that the owlet the first hatched is substantially bigger than his siblings, but all are doing well.”

Feel like snooping on some feathered friends? Sulphur Creek Nature Center set up a camera to record what’s going on with a pair of wild, nesting barn owls and their six eggs. They expect them to hatch any day, and you can take a real-time peek at what’s going on right now on the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District website.

The small camera was placed in a nesting box that is used every year, said Wendy Winsted, an coordinator at the center. It is equipped with infrared light, so activity in the box can be watched 24 hours a day.

Winsted said the first egg is expected to hatch between now and Monday, and the others will follow at two-day intervals.

That’s different than for, say, ducks, because owls lay an egg and immediately start incubating it, Winsted said. Ducks also lay an egg every two days or so but wait until they’re all done before they incubate the lot of ‘em. So they all hatch at once.

With owls, Winsted said, the first egg out will contain an owl with considerable advantages over its peers. It will always be the one that’s a bit bigger.

Winsted is very excited about the owl-cam, and said they tried something similar  years ago with a system wired to a VCR. But going public with it brings an all new element.

“This is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Winsted said, adding that technological assistance was provided by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park Department, funding from the Castro Valley Rotary Club.

More info on press release after the jump.

Continue Reading

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Hayward fire Chief Craig Bueno to retire in May

City just sent out a press release, here it is:

HAYWARD FIRE CHIEF ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

Hayward Fire Chief Craig Bueno announced his retirement Friday, March 16 after many years of dedicated service to the City of Hayward.  His retirement will be effective May 12, 2012.

Chief Bueno began his service with the City as a firefighter in 1985 and was quickly elevated through the ranks, serving as Apparatus Operator, Captain, and Battalion Chief before his promotion to Deputy Fire Chief in November 2006.  He began an acting assignment as the Fire Chief in December 2007 and was officially promoted to Chief in March 2008.

Then a battalion chief, Craig Bueno answers a call at Station 1 in 2002, when he was awarded the city's medal of valor for dragging a man out of a burning building. (File photo by Jane Tyska/staff)

“Chief Bueno has provided critical leadership to the Fire Department during challenging economic times for the City, while protecting and enhancing the quality of services provided by the Department.  I am grateful for his service and contributions to the Department and the community,” commented City Manager Fran David.

During his career, Chief Bueno was elected and served on the Executive Board of Hayward Firefighters IAFF, Local 1909 for 13 years, leaving as President in 1998.  He has also served as President of the Alameda County Fire Chief’s Association (ACFCA) and is currently serving as Section Chief of the ACFCA EMS section. Chief Bueno has also been very active in the Hayward community, serving on the St. Rose Hospital Foundation Board of Directors and actively participating in the Hayward Rotary Club.

In reflecting on his service to the Fire Department, Chief Bueno remarked that, “Since the beginning of this Administration, we have worked extremely close with Hayward Firefighters Local 1909 to address the fiscal crisis that struck our Country. I am proud to say that their selfless actions, not accepting a single raise in five years and not only paying the full share of their pension cost, but paying 6% of the City’s cost, are the reason we have been able to keep 100% of our service level to our residents. The relationship that I enjoy with our professional Firefighters is based on respect and trust. Our men and women are the finest the fire service has to offer. I know they will always do the right thing and have trusted them with my life many times.”

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More info on Hayward City Council candidates

UPDATE: Here’s the story.

Our  story on who’s running for Hayward City Council come June should be posting online soon. And as promised at the end of the story, you can find more information on each candidate here, as collected from the City Clerk’s Office, candidate statements, websites and interviews. Candidates in order per Secretary of State’s randomized alphabet, starting after the jump.

Continue Reading

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Downtown Hayward comings and goings

This week’s City Council meeting includes a presentation from the Cal Poly Technical students who have been working with the city to bring some fresh ideas to rejuvenate the downtown plan, some of which dates back to the ’70s. The students have a website soliciting input from the community; you have until March 20 to weigh in. Take a look at some of the ideas that are being floated over there and if you weigh in, cut and paste it over here for the HayWorders.  And the city also has a page dedicated to the downtown plan update with a lot of information.

Buffalo Bill's Brewery, which has been around since 1983, is one of downtown's success stories and owner Geoff Harries recently told city officials that business is better than ever these days. Here, manager Alex Caldeira doles out the good stuff. (Photo by Doug Duran/Staff)

Figured I’d use this as an opportunity for an update blog and clean out my notes of recently collected downtown stuff.

Here’s a story about a new owner taking over the Cinema Place property, which a lot of people are excited about. Here’s one about the ongoing roadwork in the area — the job is about halfway done and that controversial loop of streets is set for completion at the tail end of the project, about a year from now.

Recent downtown closures, openings and odds and ends:

Garry’s Donuts, the little shop kitty corner to the Bistro, closed after more than 20 years. A number of people cited an increase in rent as the reason. There used to be an older fella who enjoyed sitting outside the donut shop on warm afternoons — haven’t seen him since it closed.

Crepes de Art shut its doors on Foothill, and one of the sisters that opened it back 2009 said they’re still making crepes but on a catering basis only, without a storefront. The yogurt shop next door has been gone for a while, more recently Zuckersuss vacated its Cinema Place space, although you can still see a white baby grand piano inside. Foothill also took a hit with the closure of Montero’s Market, the big Mexican supermarket and taqueria.

The BBB Salon on B Street  held a blow-out sale a few weeks ago before also closing, building owner managed the shop and she said she simply doesn’t have time to spend running a clothing boutique that wasn’t making money. She added that the city is “too strict” in what uses they allow for downtown space, and said she could have rented it out to a popular S.F.-based boxing gym if the city had been receptive to such a use. “You have to accept whatever type of business wants to open,” Hong Do said. “After a while, once you have foot traffic, then you can pick the businesses that come in.”

Leather Odyssey also put up a clearance sign, but  is sticking around, although owner Glenn Marciel said it’s “really sluggish” right now and he’s in “survival mode.” He said the owners of the Odd Fellows building he’s in gave him a pretty good break on the rent and that’s the only reason he’s getting by.

Now some good stuff: We had a story on Vintage Alley and its friendly owners, and new burrito joint Avocado Freddy’s recently set up shop the old KFC building at that tricky E/Foothill/Mission intersection. Story on the Hayward Area Historical Society, which is well on the way to opening up their new space in the former Kumbala building, and have rented 6,000 square feet of space to a health services company. Turns out that was the spot that Big 5 Sporting Goods was eyeing a while ago, which fell through.

There’s a restaurant going in at the old Smith building on B Street, called KUPE Studio. It will be African-themed fare, with a bar. As you can see on the website, owner Richmond Apande originally wanted to open a spot with music, entertainment and dancing, but said he got in a “back and forth” with the city over his business and security plan and eliminated that part of KUPE. Now things are going smoother, he said, and he hopes to have it open in the next few months.

Also new on B: California Acupuncture Center and Herbal Shop. Around the corner on Main, the former Main Street Diner is now Bombay Masala Cafe, noticed a opening special of three beers for $10 so they might be aiming for the same college crowd that was attracted by the previous incarnation’s nightly specials.

That’s it for this round. Anyone see something else appear or disappear?