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Harleys and hot dogs in Hayward

From the City Manager’s report. By the way, has anyone seen the Honda Pilot commercial shot in Hayward? Portions were filmed at the newly renovated 1/4-pound Giant Burger and the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge.

Harley Davidson Commercial – Saturday, March 31 – Fresh off a Honda Pilot commercial filmed in December 2011, another vehicle company has chosen Hayward as their location for filming. On Saturday, March 31, Gravy Productions LLC in partnership with Harley Davidson, will be filming a still shoot commercial in front of Casper’s Hot Dogs, located at 951 “C” Street. The producers were looking for a vintage theme to showcase their illustrative bikes. Harley Davidson has been a long standing motorcycle company known for innovation and attraction.

These are exciting times in Hayward as the City is receiving unprecedented requests for these types of activities. Anytime you can have a commercial or an ad filmed in your City, it increases exposure and places you on the map for future productions.Haywardis becoming a popular Bay Area destination for filming, which is aiding in our efforts of attracting even more of these productions. The City looks forward to increasing its filming presence and becoming a permanent destination for these types of activities.

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Live barn owl webcam at Sulphur Creek Nature Center

Two barn owls, that's whooo!

UPDATE 4/9: Got this from Wendy on Thursday, haven’t had a chance to blog. 

“Just a quick up date on the Owl Cam at Sulphur Creek. Five eggs have hatched to date and we expect the 6th egg to hatch on Good Friday, April 6th.  All the babies seem to be doing well.   The male had been bringing in food at night and mom has been patiently feeding the little babies (owlets) little pieces of rodent that the dad brought in.   The owl cam has been a huge success.   Since put onto the web three weeks ago, we now have had over 35,000 hits by 4,000 viewers from 25 countries.  Images of the babies show that the owlet the first hatched is substantially bigger than his siblings, but all are doing well.”

Feel like snooping on some feathered friends? Sulphur Creek Nature Center set up a camera to record what’s going on with a pair of wild, nesting barn owls and their six eggs. They expect them to hatch any day, and you can take a real-time peek at what’s going on right now on the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District website.

The small camera was placed in a nesting box that is used every year, said Wendy Winsted, an coordinator at the center. It is equipped with infrared light, so activity in the box can be watched 24 hours a day.

Winsted said the first egg is expected to hatch between now and Monday, and the others will follow at two-day intervals.

That’s different than for, say, ducks, because owls lay an egg and immediately start incubating it, Winsted said. Ducks also lay an egg every two days or so but wait until they’re all done before they incubate the lot of ‘em. So they all hatch at once.

With owls, Winsted said, the first egg out will contain an owl with considerable advantages over its peers. It will always be the one that’s a bit bigger.

Winsted is very excited about the owl-cam, and said they tried something similar  years ago with a system wired to a VCR. But going public with it brings an all new element.

“This is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Winsted said, adding that technological assistance was provided by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park Department, funding from the Castro Valley Rotary Club.

More info on press release after the jump.

Continue Reading

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Hayward fire Chief Craig Bueno to retire in May

City just sent out a press release, here it is:

HAYWARD FIRE CHIEF ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

Hayward Fire Chief Craig Bueno announced his retirement Friday, March 16 after many years of dedicated service to the City of Hayward.  His retirement will be effective May 12, 2012.

Chief Bueno began his service with the City as a firefighter in 1985 and was quickly elevated through the ranks, serving as Apparatus Operator, Captain, and Battalion Chief before his promotion to Deputy Fire Chief in November 2006.  He began an acting assignment as the Fire Chief in December 2007 and was officially promoted to Chief in March 2008.

Then a battalion chief, Craig Bueno answers a call at Station 1 in 2002, when he was awarded the city's medal of valor for dragging a man out of a burning building. (File photo by Jane Tyska/staff)

“Chief Bueno has provided critical leadership to the Fire Department during challenging economic times for the City, while protecting and enhancing the quality of services provided by the Department.  I am grateful for his service and contributions to the Department and the community,” commented City Manager Fran David.

During his career, Chief Bueno was elected and served on the Executive Board of Hayward Firefighters IAFF, Local 1909 for 13 years, leaving as President in 1998.  He has also served as President of the Alameda County Fire Chief’s Association (ACFCA) and is currently serving as Section Chief of the ACFCA EMS section. Chief Bueno has also been very active in the Hayward community, serving on the St. Rose Hospital Foundation Board of Directors and actively participating in the Hayward Rotary Club.

In reflecting on his service to the Fire Department, Chief Bueno remarked that, “Since the beginning of this Administration, we have worked extremely close with Hayward Firefighters Local 1909 to address the fiscal crisis that struck our Country. I am proud to say that their selfless actions, not accepting a single raise in five years and not only paying the full share of their pension cost, but paying 6% of the City’s cost, are the reason we have been able to keep 100% of our service level to our residents. The relationship that I enjoy with our professional Firefighters is based on respect and trust. Our men and women are the finest the fire service has to offer. I know they will always do the right thing and have trusted them with my life many times.”

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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.

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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?

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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. Continue Reading

7

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.”

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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.

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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.

4

‘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.