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Plenty of events, starting tonight, in Hayward

Four days of outdoor events — street party, City Hall concert and Zucchini Festival — kick off tonight, here’s our story on that. Sean Brooks, the city’s economic development manager, said he expects to see a large turnout at the Friday concert because of former Tower of Power frontman Lenny Williams and Lava, a popular local Latin group that will also be performing at tonight’s street party.

“We had 100 to 200 people come to the concerts earlier this summer,” Brooks said. “Expecting more like 800 to 1,000 on Friday.”

Rich Essi, the general manager of the Zucchini Festival, said he expects one of the founding Pointer Sisters to be a draw to his event, which he said has been growing in recent years.

“It’s because of the economy,” he said. “People don’t go anywhere, they don’t like to spend the money on gas. So they’ll keep close to home.”

Asked about rumors that the festival is leaving town, he acknowledged that it’s something he has threatened to do because he feels the city doesn’t offer enough support and promotion of the event. But he said he has no plans to change the venue at this time.

Posted on Thursday, August 18th, 2011
Under: Arts, Calendar, Entertainment, General, Hayward, Odds & Ends | 2 Comments »

Hayward spares arts, culture, 211 programs

There were some tough cuts to be made this year, and there will be more down the line, but the City Council opted to save funding for popular arts and culture programs – things like the Sun Gallery, Hayward Arts Council, Hayward Municipal Band, Russell City Blues Festival — in their budget meeting on Tuesday.

We reported earlier this year that those programs were in jeopardy due to threatened redevelopment funding take. Here’s a story on the latest incarnation of that, as passed by legislature. And here’s the pre-budget meeting story that has a little more information about why the city’s financial situation is what it is. Find the city’s budget presentation PowerPoint here. Other materials can be found on the agenda page here.

While the 211 dial up service was spared, other social service programs took a 17 percent hit. That figure came from an earlier estimate of how much the General Fund would have to be cut, but City Manager Fran David said since then, it has become clear that the situation is more dire. But, she added, cutting further into social services at this time would be no more fair than hitting up city employees now for the estimated 25 to 33 percent in concessions that may be required to stay in the black down the line. The city’s target with the unions is 23 percent over the next three years.

Posted on Thursday, June 16th, 2011
Under: General, Hayward, Layoffs, Odds & Ends | 8 Comments »

Le family looking for staging site for searches

UPDATE: They found a spot. Latest release from family:

Hayward, CA (June 14, 2011) – Almost three weeks into missing student Michelle Le’s disappearance, her family is calling on community supporters and volunteers to help conduct volunteer search parties this upcoming Friday, Saturday and Sunday (June 17-19) from 8am to 5pm. Our family’s goal is to reach out to get public help and support to finally bring Michelle home.

Our family is preparing to make a public statement on Thursday afternoon, June 16, 2011, regarding the search parties. Future details will be easily accessible on Facebook, as well as

KlaasKids Foundation Search Director Brad Dennis will be collaborating with professional and experienced search and rescue parties to adequately train and prepare volunteers. Details of the search will be provided to the volunteer search parties each morning at the command center.

Volunteers are required to be 18 years or older, must have a valid government ID, and must wear appropriate clothing (long-sleeved shirt, pants, closed-toed shoes). If volunteers do not meet these requirements, or choose to opt out of search parties but are still wanting to help, they are welcome to assist in the command center.

The command center is located at 25350 Cypress Ave, Hayward, CA.

erev0611lecampaign02The family of missing nursing student Michelle Le is hoping to find a business or organization that can offer up a space on the cheap for use as a staging site for search parties this weekend. They are working with Marc Klaas’ foundation, and have some experts coming in to help organize and conduct the searches, which are being done in conjunction with Hayward police. They’re hoping to have a place lined up ASAP, like today. If you want to help, contact the family through their website. Message from the family:

Hi everyone,
We’re planning either search parties or more flyer distribution days. We’re thinking Fri
day, Saturday, and Sunday. We’re in contact with people trained in search and rescue so we’re going to do it big and its going to be organized. So if if you could please free up one or multiple days out of your weekend, that would be amazing.
We are in the process of planning a few search parties very soon and would like to ask the community for help in finding a staging area. The staging area is needed for search personnel to gather and organize the search. We would like the the staging area to be in or around Hayward/Union city and can be something like a community center, church, etc; somewhere large enough for a large group to meet. Preferably, the staging area should be indoors, with a parking lot for search personnel, and electricity for computers/printers.
We would like to ask for a place that can be donated for us to use for a couple days or at a very cheap rate. If anyone has any suggestions or offers, please let us know!
Thank you so much,
Michelle’s Family

Posted on Tuesday, June 14th, 2011
Under: Alameda County, Crime, General, Hayward, Odds & Ends, Other unincorporated areas, Union City | No Comments »

Anti-bullying program at Hayward schools

Had a story on this program spearheaded by Lynn Bravewomon in yestesday’s paper and got a request to toss up a blog about it for discussion purposes.

saysomethingcoverAlso got a call from Lea Lyon, who wrote a book in 2005 called “Say Something” that also encourages kids to take an active role in quashing bullying behavior at school. You can learn more about Lyon and her books on her website.

Here’s a little more on an anecdote mentioned in the story, from Bravewomon:

“With increasing frequency, as students learn how to speak up when bullying language is heard, they do so. There are stories of many students at many schools who are empowering one another to identify themselves as allies and speak up to their peers to stop bullying language. Student allies support the target by breaking the silence that so often occurs with the witnesses of bullying. One example occurred in an elementary classroom. Two girls overheard a passing and cruel comment muttered to this target by a child moving across the classroom.  They both stood up and clearly stated, “We don’t tolerate bullying at our school, it hurts everyone who hears it, stop it now.”  Students and teacher alike were surprised and impressed with this well-timed and effective display of ally behavior. Their teacher, who had been working with the Safe and Inclusive Schools Program and teaching the importance of being allies, praised the girls and continued teaching. The student who had been the target of bullying  reports that after 2 or 3 weeks of support from a variety of allies in his class, the occurrence of bullying fell from multiple times daily to ‘maybe one time in a week, maybe less’. This student also reports he feels comfortable going to all parts of the recess yard and that people are friendlier.”

Posted on Wednesday, June 8th, 2011
Under: Hayward, Odds & Ends, Schools, Uncategorized | 26 Comments »

Funny money in Hayward

cfitPolice arrested a man they suspect was bringing up to $10,000 a week in fake currency to the Bay Area, including Hayward, and selling it to people willing to take the risk of passing along the faux dough. Investigators were buying it for a quarter of face value. They don’t know how long this operation had been going on.

The good news: Those bills aren’t too hard to spot. This isn’t one of those sophisticated operations you see in the movies, with painstakingly engraved plates and a press and whatnot. Police believe it was done with a computer, scanner and printer, and as they said in the story, any kind of scrutiny will reveal a fake. Here’s a list of security features currently used on bills. Here’s a neat interactive feature on the latest such features, used on new larger denomination notes. And here’s what the Secret Service says to do if you suspect you’ve been given a counterfeit note.

The bad news: There’s no reimbursement or reward for turning in a bad bill. As the Secret Service info states, “There is no financial remuneration for the return of the counterfeit bill, but it is doing the ‘right thing’ to help combat counterfeiting.”

Posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
Under: Alameda County, Crime, Hayward, Odds & Ends | 1 Comment »

Hayward artist’s mosaic bench installations

Sometimes, for various reasons, a story runs online without a key component, like today’s tale about artist Terry Hunt and the mosaic benches he makes. I bet you’d like to see what these benches look like, wouldn’t you?

erev0402mosaic03Here’s Terry with his fishing-themed bench in front of St. Rose Hospital.

There are additional benches at various locations around town; read the story to find out where.  Funding for the benches comes from the city’s Mural Art Program, the same one that supports the various murals on walls and utility boxes to deter vandalism.

erev0402mosaic06Here’s the Russell City blues-themed bench in front of the noodle restaurant at Southland Mall.

Posted on Thursday, April 14th, 2011
Under: Alameda County, Arts, Castro Valley, Hayward, Odds & Ends, San Lorenzo | 2 Comments »

Those potential arts, culture and downtown business cuts

The potential dissolution of redevelopment agencies isn’t just a problem for large-scale projects such as the development surrounding the South Hayward BART station or Mission Boulevard improvements. We had a story on Monday about how many of the city’s art and cultural programs are in jeopardy.

2012CommProHere’s a breakdown of what programs receive how much money through redevelopment, as seen on page 10 of this report. Click on it for a larger view.

The staff recommendation was largely based on an across-the-board slash to funding. There will be further talks on the matter at the May 2 Council Economic Development Committee meeting before a recommendation is made to the City Council.

And as mentioned in the story, the Downtown Business Improvement Area also received half its budget via redevelopment funds. According to a report from the last meeting, the total budget was $112,140 last year, with $55,000 coming from business owners, $55,000 from redevelopment funds and $2,140 from reserves.

DBIA2011That was allocated for 2010-2011 in the manner illustrated at right. The events, which make up the largest category, include the Summer Street Parties and Light Up the Season. According to Chamber of Commerce President Kim Huggett, the advisory board will meet again next month to discuss how to divvy up the remaining funds.

Any thoughts on how limited remaining funds should be allocated, in regards to arts and culture programs as well as downtown business improvements? As was said in the story in regards to arts/culture, while trimming across the board may be equitable, it could prove to be a death knell for more programs than if some kind of triage system were utilized.

Posted on Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
Under: Arts, Business, Entertainment, Hayward, Odds & Ends | 2 Comments »

When ‘free’ does not mean free: A craigslist tale

No, this isn’t a righteous screed about freedoms being impugned or any such heavyweight subject matter. It’s about what happened to a Hayward resident who put out various items he wanted to give away, then posted an ad on craigslist. A fellow reporter stumbled across the resulting secondary ad and sent it my way, I got a chuckle out of it and maybe you will, too:

** PLEASE RETURN OUR “FREE” SIGN **(hayward / castro valley)

freesignDate: 2011-03-31, 10:47AM PDT
Reply to:


We posted more free items out front of our home the past couple of days  and someone has taken our FREE sign.

This was not intended to be part of the FREE items and we would  like it returned.

I’m sure this was a misunderstanding to someone.

We post many MANY many things on Craigslist for FREE and this sign is instrumental for this cause.

We ask that you return our sign to the front of our home, no questions asked.

xxxxx Monte Vista Dr.
Hayward, 94545
Thank You,

ps. please don’t flag this posting. I’m sure the person that took the sign visits regularly and would need for them to see it.

Posted on Thursday, March 31st, 2011
Under: Hayward, Odds & Ends | 8 Comments »

Hayward seeks input for selection of new police chief

HaywardPDThe city has set up an online survey to solicit ideas from residents regarding a new top city cop. Police Chief Ron Ace announced in December that he would be retiring, and agreed to stick around until a successor is found. The process is expected to take until early summer.

The three questions asked:

1. What qualities and characteristics should the new the Police Chief have in order to receive your respect and be most effective as a community leader and Hayward’s “top cop”?

2. What would you like potential candidates to know about your community?

3. What community issues would you advise the new Police Chief to focus on during his or her first year on the job?

According to the city’s website, “The feedback received will help inform the recruiter about the qualities of a Police Chief and community leader that are most important to Hayward residents, as well as help identify community priorities for the City’s next law enforcement leader.”

While the HayWord and its readers would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section, it’s probably more important to let the city know on the survey site. Why not post on both?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, March 31st, 2011
Under: Crime, Hayward, Odds & Ends | 1 Comment »

Text of Councilman Quirk’s slam on the Review

Boo the Review! Rejoice the Voice!

Boo the Review! Rejoice the Voice!

Councilman Bill Quirk had some strong words about the Daily Review at last week’s City Council meeting, starting exactly at the one hour, three minute mark. Piggybacking on comments made by a public speaker who said she hadn’t seen much information in the paper about the gang injunction ordinance that was on the agenda, Quirk advised the room and television audience to seek information elsewhere:

“First of all, anyone who’s waiting for the Daily Review to tell you what’s happening, that was 10 years ago. Do ask the City Clerk to send you our agendas regularly. They just come and you dont have to look if you don’t want to but she sends them out by email regularly.

“Second, start reading the Tri-City Voice. Simon Wong is back there, he’s there at all our meetings and he does a good job. So please start reading the Tri City Voice. Simon, put up your hand, there. Just to let us know. Ok. He’s here at every meeting. The Daily Review is not here.”

At this point, Mayor Mike Sweeney interrupted Quirk: “Actually, they are here.”

“Oh they are here. Oh good!” Quirk said. ”Eric, good to see you. Good to see you.”

Sweeney: “And Eric, that was Bill Quirk. By the way.”

Quirk: “Well, it’s not Eric’s fault, the problem is they won’t give him the column inches to ah, to ah, report that he would like to have and he has to cover the whole city which used to be covered by like four reporters. So it’s not his fault but it’s just — we don’t have the coverage we used to have.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
Under: Hayward, Odds & Ends, Politics | 30 Comments »