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‘Into the Beautiful North’: San Leandro panel to discuss Urrea book

From the city of San Leandro:

SAN LEANDRO — Local author Mitali Perkins will moderate a panel discussion about The Big Read 2015 novel “Into the Beautiful North” from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 27, at the San Leandro Main Library Lecture Hall, 300 Estudillo Ave.

Perkins will moderate a panel of four librarians from the Biblioteca Para La Gente, who will discuss the themes referenced in the book by Luis Alberto Urrea.

“No one writes more tragically or intimately about border culture than this son of a Mexican father and Anglo mother,” journalist Bill Moyers said of Urrea, author of numerous works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

In his third novel, “Into the Beautiful North,” Urrea transcends the “us against them” discourse of immigration and writes with compassion, complexity and humor about the people and places caught up in the border wars.

Urrea invites readers to think of the border as more than a stark divide between nations: He reminds us that it is a place of convergence where meaningful conversations, and even love, between cultures begins.

Perkins, the guest speaker and panel moderator of The Big Read 2014, will return to moderate this year’s discussion.

Her eight novels include “Rickshaw Girl” (chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the top 100 books for children in the past 100 years) and “Bamboo People” (listed as American Library Association’s Top Ten Novels for Young Adults, starred and described in Publishers Weekly as “a graceful exploration of the redemptive power of love, family, and friendship.”).

The panel discussion is a free event and no prior registration is required. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. For more information, call Mary Beth Barloga at 510-577-3992

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San Leandro downtown farmers market opens April 1

SAN LEANDRO — The downtown farmers market will open for the season Wednesday, April 1.

The market will be 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays on Parrott Street from East 14th Street to Washington Avenue through mid-October.

This will be the downtown market’s eighth season. It will have weekly themes

The first Wednesday of the month: Cooking demonstrations.

The second Wednesday of the month: Green Market Days sponsored by San Leandro Recycling.

The third Wednesday of the month: Bicycle Wednesdays.

The fourth Wednesday of the month: Wine tasting.

It will have weekly live music and merchant and community booths. The market accepts CalFresh/EBT cards (food stamps).

The market is run by Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association.

 

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San Leandro: School readiness forum March 28

From San Leandro Unified:

SAN LEANDRO – Every parent has experienced the discomfort—and possibly avoidance—of discussing sensitive issues and having difficult conversations with their child.

San Leandro parent Rebecca Day-Rodriguez, a trainer and facilitator with twenty years’ experience, will be presenting a workshop titled “From Challenges to Connection: Strategies for Tackling Difficult Conversations with Our Children” at 10 a.m., at the School Readiness/Early Learning Forum, on Saturday, March 28, at Jefferson Elementary School, 14300 Bancroft Ave.

Day-Rodriguez, the parent of three children in San Leandro schools, has extensive experience running support groups and training youth and providers on subjects ranging from reproductive health and substance use to sexual assault prevention and meeting the needs of LGBTQ and people of color communities.

“As a parent,” Day-Rodriguez said, “I have found this experience only moderately prepared me for the anxiety and pressure of answering my own children’s questions.”

Also newly added is a workshop for Spanish speaking parents, “Ideas: Como ayudar a su hijo(a) a tener exito en Kindergarten,” presented by preschool teacher and parent educator Gloria Bustamante.

Other workshops at the forum include:

• Building Strong Foundations: Making the Connections between Play and Later Academic Success, presented by Julie Nicholson, Mills College, Center for Play Research; and Michelle Grant-Groves, founding director, Inquiry, Intention and Innovation Institute

• Cardboard Creations: STEM Activities to Spark Creativity and Learning, presented by Bobby Hawke, Lakeshore Learning

• Cracking the Communication Code: the brain puzzle, presented by Dale Gregory, co-director, Broadmoor Parent Cooperative Preschool

• Exciting, Engaging, and Interactive Reading with JaNay Brown-Wood, presented by the children’s author and professor of early child development.

• Is Your Child a Fern or a Cactus? presented by Colleen Trujillo, co-director, Broadmoor Parent Cooperative Preschool

• Safe, Strong, & Free, presented by Claudia Arce, Child Assault Prevention Center

• Yoga in the Classroom, and The Yoga of Parenting, presented by Christina Robohm

The day will feature remarks by Alameda County Office of Education Superintendent of Schools L. Karen Monroe and San Leandro Mayor Pauline Cutter, strong advocates of early learning.

Lunch will include a panel discussion featuring educators Victoria Forrester, Rachelle Parham, Sonal Patel and Christie Anderson, moderated by Linda Olivenbaum, director of the California Early Childhood Mentor Program at Chabot College, and the vice chair of the California Association for the Education of Young Children Public Policy Committee.

This event is free, with child care available. It is funded through the generosity of First 5 Alameda County, and supported by Davis Street Family Resource Center and Primary Care Clinic, East Bay Agency for Children, Lakeshore Learning, Kenneth Pon, CPA, Kidango, and the San Leandro Education Foundation.

To register, visit www.slusd.us, and click on the link under announcements.

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Chabot College to remember Reed Buffington, its first president

HAYWARD — Chabot College will honor Reed Buffington, who led what would become Chabot-Las Positas Community College District for 20 years, on April 12.

In 1961, Buffington was named superintendent of the South County Community College District  and founding president of Chabot College, a position he held for 20 years until his retirement in 1981. He died June 9 at age 94.

A celebration of Buffington’s legacy will be at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 12, at the performing arts center named in his honor, 25555 Hesperian Blvd.

Before then, the college is recording recollections of people who want to share memories of Buffington. Those include people who worked with Buffington, knew him or were his neighbors when the family lived on Oakes Drive. If interested, please contact Maria Ochoa at mochoa@chabotcollege.edu to schedule a taping in the college’s television studios.

 

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Black History Month: Bill Patterson to give talk in San Leandro

SAN LEANDRO — Bill Patterson, one of Oakland’s civic champions, will give a talk Feb. 11 as part of Black History Month.

Patterson has been active in political campaigns and community organizations for more than four decades.

The past president of the Oakland NAACP is a retired Oakland Parks and Recreation manager. He has been credited by many athletes who have gone on to gain Hall of Fame recognition, including basketball’s Bill Russell and baseball’s Joe Morgan.

Patterson was a confidant and adviser to Lionel Wilson, Oakland’s  first African-American mayor.

Information about elder care resources also will be provided at the gathering from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Feb. 11 at the San Leandro City Hall  Sister Cities Gallery, 835 E. 14th St. Admission is free; to register for breakfast, contact maecity@aol.com.
The Rev. Betty Clark will present information about colon cancer and its effects on the black community. Clark is the spiritual care coordinator for Senior Moments, which provides support for isolated, disabled and home-bound older adults.
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Coffee with mayors, cops

Hayward police and San Leandro’s outgoing and incoming mayors are inviting people to come join them for a cup of Joe and conversation this week.

The cops will be at Tyrrell Elementary School from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 12. The school is at 27000 Tyrrell Avenue.

On Saturday, Dec. 13, outgoing San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy and incoming Mayor Pauline Cutter will be available to listen to residents’ and merchants’ concerns. The mayors will be at the Main Library, 300 Estudillo Ave., from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

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Downtown San Leandro to celebrate holidays Dec. 5

SAN LEANDRO — Downtown will hold its annual “It’s a Wonderful Night” holiday celebration Friday, Dec. 5.

Festivities will be downtown between Washington Boulevard and East 14th Street from 6 to 9 p.m.

Horse-drawn carriages will carry passengers through downtown, leaving from Joaquin Plaza. Performers will include Prescott Circus Theater, DC Dance, San Leandro Players, Pallen’s Martial Arts, Broadmoor Preschool and Zumba.

Hands-on activities will include games, cookie decorating and kids’ art and crafts. Holiday movies will be shown on an outdoor screen.

People are encouraged to take unwrapped new toys to donate to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots drive.

6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

The clippity clop of horse hooves herald the annual “It’s A Wonderful Night” holiday celebration as horse-drawn carriages transport their passengers to another time and back again as they make their rounds through historic downtown San Leandro. Passengers may embark in Joaquin Plaza for the round-trip.

Taking a little time out from holiday preparations to join the festivities, Santa Claus will be sitting to pose for pictures with little ones.

The evening is chock-full of free holiday entertainment including performances by DC Dance, San Leandro Players, Pallen’s Martial Arts, Broadmoor Preschool and Zumba. So you know, dancers, prancers, singers and martial artists.

Hands-on activities will include games, cookie decorating, make-and-take art and crafts for children. Kid-friendly costumed characters will ramble about. Catch an elf selfie! Prescott Circus Theater performers will also join us, enchanting young visitors with their unique skills.

Holiday movie favorites will be showing on an outdoor screen. Bring an unwrapped toy for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots collection drive and receive a free bag of popcorn. Sit a bit, relax, have some fun and join us for a wonderful night!

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San Leandro: Volunteers, donations needed for homeless warming center

SAN LEANDRO — Some San Leandro nonprofits are trying to open a warming center to provide shelter for the homeless this winter on cold and rainy nights.  They have the support of the city, but they need help.

A meeting is scheduled Saturday, Nov. 22, to explain the program. The nonprofits need volunteers and donations. Please read their press release below about this urgently needed warming center to help the less fortunate.

Questions? Contact Building Futures with Women and Children, 510-357-0205, www.bfwc.org.

SAN LEANDRO – In October, the City of San Leandro formed a Homelessness and Housing Task Force. The Task Force was convened as a human response to the needs of San Leandro’s unsheltered, chronically homeless residents. Members include the City of San Leandro, Interfaith Task Force/April Showers, Building Futures, and Davis Street Family Resource Center.

Last winter when temperatures dipped several times below freezing, seven Bay Area homeless people—including one Hayward man—died on the streets. San Leandro has about 50 homeless people who live outside. Some are senior citizens. Many have long histories of homelessness and a high level of vulnerability.

This winter, April Showers/Interfaith Homeless Network and Building Futures aim to identify and reach out to these people, and provide overnight shelter in a three-month “Warming Center” during rainy or very cold weather.

On nights when the weather is forecast to be 38 degrees or colder or rain is predicted, the Warming Center would be open. The Center would be overseen at all times by the project’s paid Outreach Coordinator, supervising at least two Building Futures’ staff members associated with the project, and by the community volunteers staffing the Warming Center.

All guests will be pre-screened. This is not a drop-in center.

An important meeting will be held at First United Methodist Church (1600 Bancroft Avenue)  on Saturday, November 22 from 10 am to 11:30 am.

The meeting will provide an overview of this critically needed initiative, and outreach to prospective volunteers. Many volunteers are needed to staff the Warming Center, secure the donation of food, bedding, sleeping mats, jackets, scarves, and socks, collect/cook/serve dinner and breakfast to go.

The hope is that the San Leandro faith communities and service groups will enthusiastically embrace this ministry. Interfaith Homeless Network/April Showers has twelve years of service to unsheltered homeless persons here in San Leandro.

The seed that was to become Building Futures was founded by faith volunteers and the community at Saint Leander Catholic Church in 1986. Today Building Futures brings to this project expertise in running three emergency shelters.

Based upon the similar program which has been successfully running in Fremont, we anticipate the Warming Center being open about 50 nights during the three-month pilot period beginning in early December.

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Hayward holiday boutique fundraiser Nov. 21-22

HAYWARD — A holiday boutique fundraiser Nov. 21 and 22 will benefit SOS/Meals on Wheels.

More than 20 local craftspeople will sell jewelry, paper crafts, clothing and specialty food. The Meals on Wheels chef will be preparing meals, and a cookbook compiled by the nonprofit group can be purchased. A raffle also is planned.

The boutique will run from noon to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, at the Hill & Valley club, 1808 B St.

SOS/MEALS on Wheels serves residents in Hayward, Castro Valley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Oakland. The agency delivers 1,200 meals daily to home-bound seniors, according to its website.

 

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San Leandro gets $1.4 million grant to upgrade parks

SAN LEANDRO — The city has received a $1.4 million state grant to upgrade two parks and create an interactive art exhibit downtown.

The city plans to replace playground equipment at Siempre Verde Park. It also will upgrade the park’s group picnic area to meet federal disability access requirements.

Thrasher Park’s playground equipment also will be replaced and a taller safety fence will be erected to prevent balls from entering the play area. The park has a softball field.

The city will install a science-based interactive art exhibit at Joaquin Plaza downtown. San Leandro is partnering with San Francisco’s Exploratorium on the project.

Work on the parks will begin in 2016. The grant was awarded by the state Department of Housing and Community Development through its housing-related parks program.