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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.

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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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Hayward City Council candidate forum Tuesday night

UPDATE: Story on forum.

Tomorrow’s brief, today: The League of Women Voters-Eden Area will host a pair of nonpartisan political forums Tuesday night, one for Hayward City Council candidates and the other for contenders in the 15th Congressional District.

For Hayward City Council, nine candidates are vying for four seats that are up in June. Incumbents Barbara Halliday, Olden Henson and Francisco Zermeno are facing challengers Shahla Azimi, Peter Bufete, Ralph Farias Jr., Greg Jones, Fahim Khan and Al Mendall.

It will be followed by candidates in District 15, where incumbent Pete Stark is up against challengers Chris Pareja and Eric Swallwell.

The City Council forum starts at 6:30 p.m., District 15 at 8 p.m. at Hayward City Hall, 777 B St.

Judging from various candidate statements, there’s sure to be talk about economic revitalization and bringing businesses to Hayward. Other possible hot topics (and new territory for HayWord commenters as well) include a contested Walmart Neighborhood Market in south Hayward, and the reuse of the former Mervyn’s headquarters site as upscale housing. And there’s always gang injunctions or even happy hour restrictions/alcohol policy.

Take a gander at political reporter Josh Richman’s blog for the latest word on the District 15 race.