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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

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A party to die for

SAN LORENZO — A Block Party to Die For will raise funds for the San Lorenzo Pioneer Cemetery.

The party takes place from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at College and Usher streets. There will be tours of the historic cemetery, carnival games, crafts and food. Live music will be provided by the Bay Area Blues Society Caravan and Leo Oliver and the Blues Knockouts.

The Friends of the San Lorenzo Pioneer Cemetery and the Hayward Area Historical Society are hosting the event, and all proceeds will support preservation of the cemetery.

The cemetery at Hesperian Boulevard and College Street in San Lorenzo recorded its first burial in 1854. East Bay historic figures William Meek and John Lewelling are among the 2,500 buried there.

Tickets are $10, or $5 for children and seniors. They can be bought at the event or in advance at 510-581-0223.

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Local author, musician at Hayward library Saturday

author photo Amy Franklin-Willis high res

HAYWARD — A local author and a musician will combine their talents Saturday, June 15, at the Hayward Main Library.

Amy Franklin-Willis of Castro Valley will talk about her debut novel, “The Lost Saints of Tennessee,” and Andrew Castro will perform original songs inspired by Franklin-Willis’ book. The event starts at 1 p.m. at the library, 835 C St.

“The Lost Saints of Tennessee” tells the story of three generations of a working-class Southern family from the 1940s to the 1980s. Library Journal wrote in its review, “Franklin-Willis plumbs the depths of family dynamics, compassionately depicting her characters as they struggle with situations over which they have no control.” After losing his twin to a drowning accident and his wife to divorce, Zeke Cooper leaves his mother and two daughters in Tennessee and travels to Virginia, where he considers his responsibility to repair his fractured family.

Librarian Sally Thomas selected the novel for the Mostly Literary Fiction Book Group, which discussed it last month. “The novel provoked passionate discussion about love between parents, siblings and married couples, and the ways that our intentions to protect our loved ones go awry if secrets are involved,” she said.

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Glad Tidings church’s community festival to celebrate 35th anniversary

HAYWARD — Glad Tidings Church of God in Christ is celebrating its 35th anniversary with a community festival that begins Friday evening and continues Saturday.

The festival will include musical entertainment, games, dunk tanks, basketball, jump houses, rides and more than 50 booths selling merchandise.

A food court will feature hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, barbecue, fish, cakes, pies, nachos, corn dogs and soda.

Author and early childhood educator Vanessa Moore-Bulnes will be signing copies of her children’s book, “A Piece Is Missing,” on Saturday. The book’s story encourages young children to work together to solve problems.

The festival runs 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the church, 27689 Tyrrell Ave., Hayward. For more information, go to www.gladtidingscogic.org.

Glad Tidings has been active in South Hayward for years, working with other groups to make it a safer place with better schools.

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Art exhibit in South Hayward

HAYWARD — Sorry this is last-minute, but there’s a free art exhibit at Westminster Hills Outreach Center on Friday, May 3. It runs until 9 p.m.

The exhibit, called PLAY, is composed of repurposed and refreshed children’s toys and games, designed to reminder viewers of their own playful days.

There will be a reception for the artists from 5 to 9 p.m. at the center, 27287 Patrick Ave.

The exhibit is free, but items from the Homeless Angels’ on-site art and gift store will be available for purchase. Prices range from $5 to $25. The Homeless Angels project works to eliminate obstacles to self-sufficiency.

For more information, go to www.southhaywardparish.org/hcan.

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Hayward animal shelter seeks volunteers

HAYWARD – An orientation session is planned Saturday, April 27, for anyone interested in volunteering at the city’s animal shelter.

Volunteers are involved in a variety of tasks, including community outreach, animal “pet pals,” social media, office assistant, kennel assistant, groomer, housekeeper, photographer, humane educator, adoption specialist and helping at special adoption events.

The one-hour orientation begins at 10:30 a.m. at the shelter, 16 Barnes Court. Please RSVP to 510-881-7927.

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Poet to speak at Cal State Distinguished Writers event

HAYWARD — Patricia Smith will recite some of her latest poetry Thursday, April 25, at Cal State as part of the Distinguished Writers Series

The 7 p.m. event will be held in the Biella Room of the University Library, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd. Admission is free, and the public is invited. A book signing and question and answer session will follow. The event is hosted by the university’s English department.

Smith, who is also a playwright and performing artist, has published six books of poetry, including “Blood Dazzler,” a National Book Award finalist, and “Teahouse of the Almighty,” a National Poetry series winner.

The Chicago native is a four-time National Poetry Slam individual champion.
“We’re fortunate to celebrate April, National Poetry Month, with a reading by one of the nation’s foremost writers and performance artists,” Susan Gubernat, English professor and director of the Distinguished Writers Series for 2012-13, said in a release.

Smith is a professor of English at City University of New York and a faculty member of the Sierra Nevada masters of fine arts program and Cave Canem Foundation.
She has performed on stage and on film, CDs and in the HBO series “Def Poetry Jam.” She has been published in numerous literary journals.
Campus parking is $2 per hour, payable at kiosk machines in the parking lots.

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Castro Valley Class of 1963 plans reunion

CASTRO VALLEY — The Class of 1963 graduated at the beginning of what would become the turbulent 1960s. Those high school seniors saw a lot of changes over the next decade, and listened to a lot of great music.

Fifty years later, Castro Valley High School 1963 grads are planning a reunion the weekend of Sept. 21. Tentative plans include a casual get-together Friday evening, a Saturday barbecue/picnic and a Saturday evening main event.

Reunion organizers are compiling a contact list and ask that all 1963 Spartan classmates email Tara O’Leary at olearytara@mac.com.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, it appears that Castro Valley High students were called the Spartans before the school merged with Canyon High School and Canyon became a middle school.

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Mountain climber to give talk in Castro Valley

CASTRO VALLEY — A Castro Valley High graduate who became a mountaineer will share some of his adventures March 15.

Marty Schmidt, who now lives in New Zealand, is a certified mountain climber and guide. He has ascended some of hte world’s highest peaks without bottled oxygen.

He will be showing some photographs and talk about his climbs on Mount Everest, Makalu, Gasherbrum 1 and 2, and other peaks.

Schmidt’s presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Castro Valley Center for the Arts, 19501 Redwood Road.

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Workers cut gas line to Hayward hair salon

Workers tearing out old sidewalks along Mission Boulevard in Hayward accidentally cut the gas line to Sue’s Cuts & Perms on Saturday morning.

That meant no hot water, and thus no shampoos or perms Saturday or Sunday. a serious hit for the shop. A electric heater was brought in so the haircuts could continue. Sue’s is at 24277 Mission, across the street from Memorial Park.

The sidewalks are being replaced along Mission in the stretch south of the Jackson-Foothill intersection as part of the Route 238 Improvement Corridor Project.

Drivers can expect slow traffic through the area the next few days as work continues.