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HARD honors volunteer of the year

Volunteer Joel Ellioff and HARD trustee Louis Andrade at the honarary brunch on Jan. 28.

Joel Ellioff was honored with Hayward Area Recreation and Park District’s volunteer of the year award. He works at the senior centers, and is a volunteer driver for day trips, bringing seniors co museums and other cultural attractions. He also volunteers in the woodshop program and spends his lunch  break in the kitchen, serving up hot meals.

HARD has a honors a volunteer each month and then picks one from the 12 for this honor. Find a list of all volunteers of the month and more on Joel in the press release after the jump. Continue Reading

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Hayward chamber to honor persons of the year

From the Hayward Chamber of Commerce:

Hayward will honor recipients of the Educator, Firefighter, Police Officer and Business Person of the Year Award at the 68th Annual Hayward Chamber of Commerce Awards Celebration Gala on Jan. 28, 2012.

“This is one of Hayward’s great traditions, and a reflection of the esteem that this city has for those that make community service their priority,” said Kim Huggett, president and CEO of the chamber. “The fact that this event sells out every year says a lot about Hayward.”

Those to be honored are:

Julie McKillop, Business Person of the Year

Julie McKillop, owner and executive chef of Neumanali Restaurant and principal of McKillop Accountancy, will receive the Business Person of the Year Award. A lifelong Hayward resident and graduate of Cal State East Bay, she and husband Tim began a major redevelopment project in 2000 that became the upscale wine-centric Victorian-style restaurant Neumanali. Both her restaurant and accountancy business are located downtown, across from city hall. Her long record of public service includes serving on the boards of directors of Spectrum Community Services, the Hayward Historical Society, St. Rose Hospital and the Hayward Chamber of Commerce. She also served on the Hayward Planning Commission, the city’s Small Business Revolving Loan Committee, and she worked with the Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment.

Hector Garcia, Educator of the Year

Hector Garcia has been an educational leader for 16 years, most recently as principal of Harder Elementary School. At Harder, he has worked with universities, public health and safety agencies in Hayward and Alameda County to leverage support, tutoring and professional development resources to transform Harder into a model school.  He initiated an arts program in Hayward in 1998 for elementary and middle school students called Mariachi Juvenil de Hayward, which serves students and families throughout the East Bay. He served as director of curriculum and instruction at Alameda County Office of Education for five years, focusing on the needs of underachieving student populations and organized parent education forums throughout the county, utilizing parents as facilitators, leaders and advocates.

Captain Joe Stilwell, Firefighter of the Year

Hayward Fire Capt. Joe Stilwell discovered his love for the fire service as a young man when he joined the volunteer fire department in Chico. He became a paramedic, then a firefighter and joined the Hayward Fire Department in 2005. Early in his career with HFD, he noticed that the department’s ventilation saws were stalling during operations due to tar build-up. On his own time, he fabricated a metal guard to protect the motor, a feature now used throughout the fire service. He also developed new hose rollers for HFD equipment, saving the city considerable cost in maintenance and equipment. Embracing the HFD commitment to community service, he has worked on the annual Toys for Kids Program and the charity golf tournament. He has responsibility for the HFD’s popular 1923 Seagrave fire engine that is exhibited at community functions and which is representative of Hayward’s appreciation for its fire service and city history.

Faye Thomas, Police Officer of the Year

Officer Faye Thomas began her law enforcement career at 16, when she began volunteering at the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office and, in 1999, was hired there as an administrative assistant. She later became a dispatcher and in 2009 became an officer with the Hayward Police Department. Over her two years in the HPD, she has consistently been a leader among her peers in arrests, citations and DUI suppression. In July 2010 she initiated a project  that led to an investigation of human exploitation and trafficking that involved nine Bay Area municipalities and three countries. Largely as a result of her work, 15 suspects were taken into custody and three victims rescued from human trafficking. Officer Thomas put herself through a Drug Abuse Recognition Course and Narcotic Investigators School and has taught coursework in drug trends and investigation to more than 100 HPD officers. She also is in demand as a speaker on child abduction issues and is a participant in Susan Komen Cancer Society fund-raisers. Her next goal is to obtain a law degree and earn a doctorate in international relations.

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San Leandro “more walkable” than Hayward, according to study

The walkability index is a guide that rates cities and neighborhoods based on proximity to nearby amenities such as grocery stores, restaurants, schools, parks, and public transit. 

Here is Hayward’s data and a pretty cool map in which green is good and red is bad in terms of legging it around town. Notice that while the overall number isn’t very impressive, some areas of town are indeed very walkable according to their methodology. In particular, North Hayward is up there at 77, which isn’t bad considering the 85 rank enjoyed by the country’s two most walkable cities of New York and San Francisco. San Lorenzo also got a 58 overall score, while San Leandro was somewhat higher at 65. Castro Valley faired poor for walkers, with a score of 45.

Fun feature: Enter an address and find a walk score particular for where you are. I’ll have you know that the Daily Review’s address is a “Walker’s Paradise” with a score of 98. The Castro Valley neighborhood where I grew up rated a dismal, “Car-Dependent” score of 28, but I could have told you that it wasn’t much fun getting around pre-car without the rating. 

 Here’s the press release from Walk Score.

According to the website, “The 372 largest cities in California have an average Walk Score of 50. The most walkable cities in California are West Hollywood, Albany and San Francisco.  The least walkable cities are Mead Valley, Prunedale and Adelanto.”

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Chabot College faculty group supports power plant appeal

chabotlogoHad a story over the weekend about Chabot-Las Positas Community College District being the sole party still fighting the approved 600-megawatt Calpine powerplant at the Hayward shoreline, about a mile and a half away from the campus.

I just received a letter of support from the Chabot-Las Positas Faculty Association, which was sent to the district’s trustees. Find the full text after the jump, and here’s the district’s web page dedicated to the subject. Continue Reading

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Social networking blitz earns St. Rose a cool $10K

spectacularThere was a “Most Fabulous Event” contest from the party company that rents the big white tent that goes up for a week every year at St. Rose Hospital. The winner of the $10,000 prize  was determined by a tally of Facebook votes.

If you’re on Facebook and follow Hayward folks, you’d know all about this — it was hard to avoid being hit up to vote for St. Rose’s “The Spectacular” event, pictured at right. Competition was tough, and included some heavy hitters, but late last week St. Rose was informed that they prevailed. Here’s their press release. Continue Reading

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No medical marijuana outlets for San Leandro

no-marijuanaThe City Council voted to have staff write up an ordinance that will ban any medical marijuana dispensaries from moving into town. That will make them the seventh Alameda County city to do so — Alameda, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Livermore and Pleasanton have such bans in place, according to a staff report. Dispensaries are allowed in Albany, Berkeley, Oakland and unincorporated Alameda County. There are two nearby AlCo dispensaries, in San Lorenzo and Cherryland.

Hayward remains the biggest AlCo city that doesn’t have a policy one way or the other.  The city was considering prioritizing the matter last year, but did not do it. There was no mention of medical marijuana during the priority setting process this year.

Cities such as Oakland are looking at the industry as a potential boost to city coffers. Oakland has a business license tax on marijuana dispensaries, and it was estimated at San Leandro’s meeting that it brings in about $1.4 million each year, based on gross sales of $28 million.

Find Hayward’s story from last February after the jump. Continue Reading

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St. Rose Hospital expansion

Update: Here’s our story on the renovations. And here’s one on St. Rose entering a confidentiality agreement with Eden related to San Leandro Hospital.

After two years of construction, St. Rose Hospital now has more beds, and the whole facility has been retrofitted to comply with state seismic requirements through 2030. I’m headed out there later this afternoon to take a look, but find the press release below. Continue Reading

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FESCO honored for work with homeless

The Hayward-based Family Emergency Shelter Coalition was named a 2010 Food and Shelter Award recipient for the second straight year.

The coalition is one of 76 nonprofits nationwide to receive the award, which is aimed at getting the word out about nonprofits rated highly by GreatNonprofits.org.

FESCO helps homeless families move toward self-sufficiency through services such as mental health counseling, money management and cooking classes. Its goal is to end homelessness in Alameda County. Read the press release after the jump. Continue Reading

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Calpine says Russell City Energy Center is a go

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UPDATE: Here is the story.

The EPA rejected all appeals regarding the federal air permit issued in February by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Calpine representatives say that was the final hurdle for the 600-megawatt facility near the Hayward shoreline; spoke briefly with opponents, who said there may be other ways to block it.

Working on a story for tomorrow, but find the Calpine release after the jump. Curious quote from Kim Huggett, the new president and CEO of Hayward’s Chamber of Commerce about how the power plant will “be a magnet for bringing new business to Hayward.” Continue Reading