Holzmeister wins history award

KarenHistoryAwardsphotoLongtime Daily Review reporter Karen Holzmeister (on the left, with Hayward Area Historical Society Vice President Gay Ostarello), who retired from the paper last summer, was one of the honorees at the HAHS awards dinner last week.

Karen was an institution in the newsroom, someone whose mind-vault contained a wealth of information about southern Alameda County that can’t be found in any google search. She remains sorely missed — not just by Review staff but by community members as well. Then again, she’s missed particularly by Review staff, who were treated to a delicious sherry cake when she was in the neighborhood and stopped by earlier this week.

Karen’s been busy in her retirement, having done some traveling including a trip to the Middle East.

Here’s an item in Carol Thornberry’s column about another recent honor Karen received.

And here’s the HAHS press release on their event, which included some other local notables: Continue Reading


HUSD budget info/input opportunity

UPDATE 2/25: Survey has been updated so that it’s no longer confusing.

The Hayward Unified School District set up a special Web page that has a load of information regarding upcoming budget cuts. It has feedback from the community meetings held in recent months, and links to information about budget timeline, who is on the Budget Advisory Committee, statements from top HUSD officials and a feedback form, where you can rank priorities for cuts.

In addition for a chance to weigh in, it gives a good idea about how much can be saved by doing what. The format is a little confusing, however. From the survey:

cuticonRespond to the following questions by ranking each one on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being most important and 5 being least important.

Q4: Reduce or eliminate staff development for teachers (currently 3 days). Saves $400,000.


So what this means is, you’d rank it 1 if you consider it “most important.” That doesn’t mean you think staff development for teachers is a most important priority, but rather that you think it’s most important for the district to cut said development.

To see other savings, read on: Continue Reading


Meanwhile, in the supervisor’s race

Here’s an interesting item , from the Inside Bay Area political blog. To those who need more incentive to click, the gist of it is that Nadia Lockyer has a sizable head start in money raised for the upcoming Alameda County District 2 supervisor race. Hayward Councilman Kevin Dowling has considerably less cash available, but he’s maintaining that most of his donations come from within the district, while nearly all of Lockyer’s war chest comes from outside the area.


Checking in with San Lorenzo Creek

The National Weather Service issued an urban and small stream flood advisory for the Hayward area, meaning that nuisance flooding could occur. Not nearly as extreme as a flash flood watch. Regardless, we went down to take a look at San Lorenzo Creek in a number of spots and found it flowing rather rapidly.

Here it is near Foothill Boulevard and City Center Drive.

Here it is at the Grove Street Bridge.

Here it is behind the Meek Mansion.

Want to know how your surrounding area would fare in a 100-year-flood? Here’s a FEMA site where you can punch in your address and get an overview.

And here’s a Daily Review from the mid-1950s, before the San Lorenzo Creek was calmed by dams and culverts.

Let us know if you are aware of any particularly flood prone areas in the greater Hayward area that we should be keeping an eye on.


That ’70s BMX Show

With a new bicycle motocross track approved for a lot behind the San Lorenzo Adult School, local BMXers will soon have a place to play. Jon Moohey, who has been involved in the sport since the 1970s, was at Monday’s meeting and had fond memories of the old Depot Road course in Hayward. He was kind enough to send along some photos of the track and a flier — here they are:


Return of the HUSD block debate

THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE: Motion failed 2-to-3 in an overflow meeting that involved a lot of heat, not just from audience members but between board members as well. Here’s our early version of the story, we will have a longer piece in tomorrow’s paper. A motion to approve a modified six-period schedule passed, although the HEA is challenging the validity of that schedule because it wasn’t bargained.


The Hayward Unified School District meeting on Wednesday is sure to produce some feelings of deja vu, as the board is slated to again address the high school block schedule. While the board voted in February to nix the schedule to save money, board member Luis Reynoso changed his mind and is bringing it back.

What do you think about Reynoso’s decision to revisit the issue? Is it a chance for a needed reprieve for a well-liked system, or is it time to accept the change as a budget-cutting casualty and move on?


Train a comin’ through town!

UPDATE: They changed the route at the last minute this morning. Not sure why, but the train came through town on the less-used rails closer to the shoreline off Industrial Boulevard, then hooked up through Newark to Niles before continuing its route. An unfortunate bypass of the more populated parts of Hayward. I asked avid train chaser and Lamorinda Sun editor Sam Richards about it and he said not to take it personally — railroads change their routes all the time like that and often run late.

An old Union Pacific steam-powered locomotive is on tour in the area, and will be making a run from Oakland to Stockton on Wednesday morning.

According to the UP tracking site, our leg will bring it through San Leandro, Ashland, Cherryland, Hayward and Union City! It is scheduled to leave Oakland at 9 a.m. and arrive in Stockton around 11:30 a.m., so those with an inkling to see some vintage steam action should plan accordingly.

The planned course follows the rails next to the BART tracks, down San Leandro Street, Western Boulevard and Whitman Street.

We’re trying to figure out the best spot along the route to watch this magnificent machine chug through. Any suggestions?


Calpine-PG&E energy agreement for Russell City approved

Calpine announced Thursday that an amended power-purchase agreement with PG&E was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission for the proposed Russell City Energy Center, a 600-megawatt power plant that would be placed near the Hayward shoreline.

That doesn’t mean the plant itself is approved. It has some of the required permits, but the main hurdle remaining is approval from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, acting as a delegate of the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The air district previously gave it the go ahead, meaning it didn’t find evidence that the plant would add significant amounts of pollution to the air, but that permit was revoked after a lawsuit on the grounds that BAAQMD did not follow federal guidelines for publicly noticing the permitting process.

The air district is currently reviewing and responding to public comments submitted regarding the permit. No time frame has been given in which a decision will be made.

We will have a larger story on this posted online Friday, running in Saturday’s paper.


BART shooting demonstrators in Hayward on Friday

UPDATE: The march was a peaceful event, as reported on Saturday. The family of Oscar Grant sent this note to city and police officials to thank them for their professionalism:

“We the family of Oscar Grant would like to thank the mayor of Hayward for allowing the peaceful march and celebration of Oscar Grant’s birthday.

His death has awakened this community to the needs of all the citizens. Through injustice and tragedy our great nation was founded. We can now see that there is a problem in the BART system. Working together, we, the people (the Legislature, BART and the citizens) can change what is needed to change.

We would also like to thank the businesses of Hayward and the patrons of those businesses who were affected by the march. We are sorry for any inconvenience it may have caused.

To all the police officers that were there: Thank you. Your professionalism in the march and at the rally was greatly appreciated.

Saying ‘thank you’ is such a small thing but that is all we the family of Oscar Grant have to give.”


There will be a rally and march by friends, family and supporters of Oscar Grant beginning at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Hayward BART station. The demonstrators reiterated a list of demands on Thursday, among them calling for BART officer Johannes Mehserle — who shot and killed Grant at the Fruitvale BART station just after New Year’s — to return to jail. Police say they’ve been talking with Grant’s family, and everyone is hopeful that the protest goes off without any ugliness. They did, however, send an officer around the downtown area to alert merchants about what’s going on, and will have extra officers in the area during the march. Press release from organizers of the march is after the jump.

Continue Reading


What hurts? Cuts hurt, say Hayward teacher/musicians

The Hayward Unified School District will hear recommendations for budget reductions at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Council Chambers at City Hall, 777 B St., in Hayward. They will vote on the budget at the Feb. 11 meeting.

Meanwhile, a group of teachers released the following music video:

Here’s the explanation, from Andrew Kong Knight, Hayward High art instructor:

Elimination of the high school block system will give students the choice of only six classes per year instead of eight classes. Limiting the classes will eliminate many of the elective classes students enjoy, such as music and art. Many students attend Hayward high schools because of the strong art and music programs. Elimination of elementary instrumental music program will deny students the opportunity to experience music, which has been proven to help students learn in other subjects. The early development programs are essential to strong music programs in middle and high school.

“I produced the video to spread awareness about the Hayward Unified School District’s continued failure to make budget cuts on an administrative level. Every time they’re in a budget squeeze, they never consider cutting the questionable high-salary district positions. Instead, they hurt students and teachers by eliminating music and art classes.”