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New veterans memorial being built in Castro Valley

Last weekend saw the groundbreaking of a the Castro Valley Veterans Memorial at Castro Valley Community Park. That’s the one on Lake Chabot Road near Seven Hills. Here’s the press release:

Castro Valley, CA – It was history in the making Saturday, March 3, 2012 as a dedicated band of volunteers and local dignitaries joined more than 200 members of the public to break ground on a permanent tribute to the sacrifices of military men and women: the Castro Valley Veterans Memorial. The Memorial, now fully permitted, is closer than ever to completion.

The Memorial will one day soon occupy a prominent corner of Castro Valley Community Park at Lake Chabot Road and Quail Avenue.  The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post #9601 has been the driving force to bring the vision to reality, all in the name of commemorating those who have honorably served our nation and defended and continue to defend our freedom and way of life.

“I see this memorial as a salute to the military veterans of Castro Valley and Alameda County who have given so much to defend and protect this great nation, the United States of America,” said Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley.

Supervisor Miley donated funds for part of the memorial that will signify the contribution of women, a “Rosie the Riveter” bench. His is one of the many generous contributions, including a $50,000 donation from the family of U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Travis M. Amsbaugh. Sgt. Amsbaugh was a Castro Valley native who passed away on September 1, 2011.

Joining Supervisor Miley at the groundbreaking were State Senator Ellen M. Corbett, State Assemblyman Bob Weickowski,  Hayward City Council Member Bill Quirk, Hayward Area Recreation and Park District Director Dennis Waespi and East Bay Municipal Utility District Director Frank Mellon.

The  Castro Valley Veterans Memorial Committee acknowledges all of the major donors on its website at www.cvvm.info/sponsors. Committee members are: Michael L. Emerson, Patrick Flanagan, BART Board President John McPartland, Bob Pirone, Jim Uhlik, Art Benin and Mary Greenlee.

Although the committee has been successful in raising almost all of the required money,  more donations are still needed. Go to: www.cvvm.info for more information and to make a tax deductible donation.

Posted on Friday, March 9th, 2012
Under: Castro Valley, History, Odds & Ends | No Comments »

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?

Posted on Monday, March 5th, 2012
Under: Business, Entertainment, General, Hayward, Health, History, Odds & Ends, Real Estate | 3 Comments »

Antiques appraiser comes to town

Guitars! Bayonets! Bling!

One of those gold/silver/antique and collectibles appraisers is in town through Saturday. If you end up going and get something appraised, let us know what it was and what they said. Here’s the press release and a photo of some of the stuff they’ve acquired so far from the Hayward stop.

ROADSHOW COMES TO HAYWARD!

February 14- February 18

Tuesday – Friday 9am – 6pm, Saturday 9am – 4pm

Hampton Inn

24137 Mission Blvd.

Hayward,CA94544

If you have gold, silver, antiques or other rare collectibles lying around your house, the Ohio Valley Refinery & Roadshow wants to see them!

The Ohio Valley Refinery & Roadshow is making a stop in Hayward this week in search of rare and unique collectibles. The refinery has the resources to pay top dollar for your gold, silver, and collectible items.  “Gold and silver markets have not been this strong for over 30 years,” states company spokesperson, Dennis Kouts. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, February 16th, 2012
Under: General, Hayward, Odds & Ends | 26 Comments »

Just don’t let the big rat drink

Sunday update: Here’s that happy hour story.

Hayward was talking alcohol at Tuesday’s meeting, in particular loosening a restriction on happy hours around town. More on that later. But as part of the informative packet, they included a chart of the most problematic alcohol serving locations around town based on calls for police between January 2010 and August 2011.

By far the highest number of calls (8 battery, 2 assault w/deadly weapon, 60 disturbances, 6 drunk in public, 6 Alcohol and Beverage Control violations) were to a liquor store at the corner of Mission and Industrial boulevards, with downtown’s Funky Monkey bar settling for second place (5 battery, 15 disturbances, 30 drunk in public, 4 ABC violations).

But the most surprising entry came in midway through the list of 30 establishments.

No. 15, with two calls for battery and 11 for disturbances: Chuck E. Cheese.

Click on the chart for a larger view. See any other surprises? Downtown venues are highlighted in yellow, top six in pink. To be fair, higher numbers can also indicate an owner’s lower tolerance for shenanigans, particularly when it comes to determining what exactly qualifies as a “disturbance.”

Posted on Thursday, January 26th, 2012
Under: Crime, Hayward, Odds & Ends | 7 Comments »

It’s a Big Mike mystery!

Only Big Mike's big dirty footprints remain.

UPDATE: Story on Big Mike being found in Castro Valley.

Here’s our story on Hayward’s own Muffler Man disappearing from the Mission Boulevard spot where he’s stood for decades. I was first alerted to his absence by a keen-eyed reader last Thursday, and after talking with nearby merchants it sounds like that’s the same day he was chopped up and trucked off. They say it took about four hours to do the deed. For more on Mike and his brethren, this site is always worth revisiting for fascinating lore on Muffler Men and photos of all the variants.

So I’m hoping now that the story is out, someone will contact me and let me know what’s going on with Mike. Will let you all know if they do.

And yes, I am still here.

Posted on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
Under: Business, General, Hayward, History, Layoffs, Odds & Ends | 18 Comments »

Hayward Daily Review will stay!

The Bay Area News Group announced that they are not eliminating all those local mastheads as previously planned, including the Hayward Daily Review. They’re also seeking community bloggers, so now’s your chance to step up to the plate. Find email to send inquiries to at end of story.

Now back to story on last night’s school board meeting, at which the new superintendent’s $229,500/yr three-year contract was approved in a 3-2 split vote amid accusations of racism. More on that soon.

Posted on Thursday, October 27th, 2011
Under: General, Hayward, Odds & Ends | 30 Comments »

‘Survivor’ favorite talks about his TV time

"I took the crate, the big gorilla guys couldn't open it, I hit the corner on the ground and it broke open and suddenly I'm the genius."

Went to Monday’s meeting of the Hayward Rotary Club to gather information related to a story on fraternal organizations and service clubs. In attendance as guests were a couple of reality television stars from the “Survivor” series: Yau-Man Chan from the Fiji and Micronesia editions, and Vecepia Robinson, Hayward’s own contestant who took home the $1 million prize in Marquesas back in 2002.

It’s part of the Rotary’s efforts to bring in interesting speakers and in turn attract current Rotarians and prospective members to the meeting. More on that later, but Yau-Man definitely had the lunchtime crowd intrigued.

The MIT grad, chief tech officer at UC Berkeley’s College of Chemistry and national table tennis champion was recruited by the show in an effort to increase the diversity of contestants. Young white men dominate the pool of people trying out, Chan said, and show producers discovered him on the American Table Tennis website. They had him take an aptitude test of sorts to see whether he’d be a good, entertaining Survivor candidate.

“They said I tested high in shyness,” he said. “I told them I may be shy on an American scale, but among Chinese people I’m your wild and crazy guy.”

He said show producers are very strategic in what they cut and what they keep for the final product, highlighting only certain character traits. As a result you’ll always see “the loudmouthed jerk, the buffed guy, the exhibitionist.” As for Chan, he was the “lovable old geek.”

Interesting tidbit: One of Chan’s accomplishments on the show was starting a fire using a lens from his glasses. This feat can only be done if you know the trick, which they never revealed on the show, undoubtedly leading to thousands of failed fire-raising attempts by spectacle wearers everywhere.

The trick, Chan said, is to put a drop of water on the convex side of the lens. That will result in the concave shape necessary to concentrate light. So now you, too, have the knowledge. Use it wisely.

 

Posted on Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
Under: Entertainment, Hayward, Odds & Ends | 4 Comments »

Know someone who needs a car?

Pit crew is not included.

Here’s a story about a Hayward auto shop that’s doing something nice. If you know someone who is as philanthropic as they are car-less, think about nominating them to win a set of wheels. As you can see, it’s a sharp-looking ride and has a Kelly Blue Book value in the $2,200 range. And if you know anyone in the auto repair business who would be interested in joining this national endeavor of giving away cars, direct them to the Wheels to Prosper website.

Posted on Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
Under: Business, Charity, Hayward, Odds & Ends, Transportation | 3 Comments »

Mt. Eden student’s work on display in Washington D.C.

Jared Gochuico, a senior at Mt. Eden High School, earned high honors over the summer when his mixed-media work titled “Examination” was selected as winner of the 30th Annual Congressional Arts Competition. The piece is on display at the Capitol, along with other winners from across the nation.

Jared Gochuico said his work, "Examination," represents adolescence (done in grayscale) combined with the "childish, playful" colors of a Rubik's cube.

“As you can imagine, winning this award was no small accomplishment,” wrote his art teacher, Carrie King, in an email. “The competition was intense with only the very best work from the students from all over the East Bay on display. I’ve taught art at Mt. Eden for the past 19 years and I know that in that time no student from Mt. Eden has won this award. I am unaware of the last time (if ever) a student from HUSD has won. I’m very proud to be his teacher.”

She said on Tuesday that Jared is extremely talented but is also very disciplined and doesn’t coast on his skills. “He absolutely works harder than any other student I have had,” she said. “He won’t just put in partial effort and still get an A. So much of it is sweat.”

Jared and his family were flown to Washington DC courtesy of Southwest airlines in late June to view his artwork, which will remain on display in the Cannon Tunnel in the capitol building for the next year. Jared and over 430 winners from other districts, about 50 from CA, were in Washington DC to celebrate this national competition.

Read Rep. Pete Stark’s release after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011
Under: Alameda County, Arts, Hayward, Odds & Ends, Politics, Schools | 2 Comments »

Only 70 more Daily Review issues left!

We’re being rebranded. Here’s the story, feel free to discuss. The Hayward Review first published on Nov. 5, 1891. The name change to the East Bay Tribune takes effect Nov. 2.

Posted on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011
Under: Alameda County, Castro Valley, Hayward, Layoffs, Odds & Ends, San Leandro, San Lorenzo | 20 Comments »