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


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


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


Calpine says Russell City Energy Center is a go


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


Something good down in South Hayward

We had a story today about how a Cal State-based foundation scored a grant that’s going to be used to better the South Hayward community. It’s a rare thing — only one of 21 communities across the nation to get a “Promise Neighborhood” grant, which is modeled Harlem Children’s Zone. That program was created to give kids a  chance to beat the surrounding conditions of poverty, with social and educational support. Check out the story for more information.


Storm advice from Hayward FD

Capt. Thor Poulsen, the Public Education Officer for the Hayward Fire Department, checks in with some advice on inclement weather:

floodSevere Winter Weather

The Hayward area is being pounded by a series of powerful storms driven from the Pacific this week. The most severe is scheduled to hit on Wednesday. The intense winds and rain have already caused power outages and flooding across low-lying areas. Please take the time now to prepare in advance and assure your family a safe winter as the storm passes through.

During Severe Winter Weather, if it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of a flood. Listen to local radio or TV stations for flood information and know what the terminology means: Continue Reading


Letter sparks a war of words over San Leandro Hospital

Rajendra Ratnesar, chairman of the Eden Township Hospital District board, released “An Open Letter to the Community” to local media Tuesday, stating that efforts to save San Leandro Hospital are threatening all hospitals in the district.

State Sen. Ellen Corbett and board member Carole Rogers responded with sharply worded letters of there own.  Click below to read the letters…

Continue Reading


Close call in the Hayward hills

Capt. Thor Poulsen of the Hayward Fire Department said a close call this week serves as a reminder to keep those smoke alarm batteries fresh — and make sure you have one installed in the garage as well. Here’s the brief story from the paper:

GARAGE FIRE A ‘CLOSE CALL’: A small fire in the garage of a Hayward hills home was quickly extinguished Thursday morning, but fire officials said it had the potential to be much worse because of the early hour.

At 3:39 a.m., a homeowner in the 28100 block of Dobbel Avenue called authorities to say he heard popping sounds coming from his garage and, upon checking, saw a fire had started near his workbench, fire Capt. Thor Poulsen said. The man opened the garage door, allowing his dog to flee, then yelled for his wife and 6-year-old daughter to get out as well.

His wife awoke, grabbed their 6-year-old daughter, who was asleep in the room above the garage, and fled the house. The man and a neighbor called 911, and firefighters arrived within three minutes.

“There were smoke detectors throughout the house, but not in the garage,” Poulsen said. “If they had all been sleeping, they could have easily succumbed to smoke and died.”

The fire did not spread to the house, and the cause was not determined.

In addition, Poulsen said it’s common for people not to install detectors in the garage, “but that’s where you have gas stored, sometimes a water heater, flammable stuff. You really need one there.”

He said if the man hadn’t been awake, browsing the Internet, nothing would have warned the slumbering family — not even the dog.

“Dogs typically don’t act like Lassie,” he said. “They’ll get scared, go over into the corner, curl up and hide. It would have been the first to succumb to smoke.”

“This was a real, real close call. If the guy went upstairs and went to bed, I don’t know if we would have been pulling bodies out of there.”

Here are some more fire safety facts and tips from HFD.


Blackout blues in Hayward

Police said about 2,000 residents had their power knocked out until wee morning hours on Thursday, starting around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday when a car crashed into a power pole on the 26100 block of Eldridge Street.

Despite a dramatic, power-pole shearing crash, only one person was injured, and it was minor. Rob Ritchie lives nearby and sent us this photo. “I was sitting at my computer working on a project, when a huge thundering sound occurred, followed by an explosive sound, as well,” wrote Ritchie. “Instantly, all power went out. I went outside and looked down the street to see quite a horrific sight!”

Police said they had to put out stop signs and assign officers to direct traffic in the area. “It was a mess,” said Lt. Christine Orrey.

Ritchie said he has been trying to get speed bumps installed on his street for nine years. “Cars constantly speed on this street, sometimes at very high speeds for the conditions,” he wrote. “Perhaps the city of Hayward will reconsider, before other tragedies occur.”

Another Hayward resident called and said he had just taken his mother to a dialysis treament at a Jackson Street clinic when the lights went out. Karl Kanoho said patients had to be transported to hospitals because the facility has no backup power. His mother hadn’t started treatment yet and had to come back the next day.

“None of the (dialysis centers) have backup generators,” Kanoho said, adding that he felt lucky because his mother wasn’t in critical need of the treatment. “But it could have been a disaster.”

Anyone else with a blackout story?


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: