Changes to Hesperian/Jackson interchange

 If you use Jackson Street to get to and from Hesperian Boulevard, for example if you’re a Chabot College student, take heed: Motorists on Hesperian Boulevard will not be able to access Jackson Street for travel toward the downtown area beginning Saturday, as a split will divide traffic for Jackson and Interstate 880 before it crosses Hesperian.

The split will remain in place for the time being, according to Caltrans, but the configuration will allow for access to Jackson sometime before the project is completed in late summer or fall.

Motorists are advised to take Hesperian to either Winton Avenue or Tennyson Road to travel east into Hayward.

Illuminated message signs will advise drivers of the changes.

For more information about the project, go to www.i880corridor.com and click on the SR-92/I-880 link. There’s a map of what’s going on to help clarify things.


Calendar through Jan. 25

Hey, I really appreciate the feedback that came in, both in the comments and emails. I like Kelly’s idea about a place to put info regarding upcoming public events. Here’s what I can do — post what the Review has in the calendar section, looking forward about a week or so. Then everyone can use that post as a springboard to add events in the comments section. Let’s try it out, let me know what you think. You’ll find the community event calendar after the jump, followed by government listings. Continue Reading


Cal State East Bay development blocked

Here’s our story on a judge’s ruling regarding a large parking structure and new dorms planned at the Hayward campus. Basically, the judge agreed that CSU didn’t do enough to mitigate the effects of more cars and residents. City Attorney Michael Lawson said the university planned to ask the state for money to help the city handle the extra load, but would have gone ahead with the projects whether they got the funds or not, putting the burden on the city.

The university plans to double its student body in the next 20 years or so.

You can find more information about the projects on the CSUEB website. The parking lot and dorm reports are under the subheading “Cal State East Bay Hayward Campus Master Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report Volume II

To view the case, go to Alameda County’s DomainWeb site and enter case number RG09480852.


Pleased as punch to get that ‘D’

ailygoneWe’re whole again! Ok, I suppose we may still be short-staffed, but at least our sign isn’t.

Here’s a couple of other things to look at, while I’m posting:

The Hayward Fire Department took some dramatic footage of last week’s apartment fire near Cal State East Bay.

And that DMV that used to be in Hayward? Sounds like it won’t be back for a while. Here’s the letter.

And in case you heard about a million sirens going off around noon today, here’s the skinny on that.


Jones, May decline to run for school board

Find a preview of tomorrow’s story below for the nitty-gritty on all the elections with extended filing periods.

Both former city officials said they have a lot of other community service opportunities, as well as professional and personal goals.

“I definitely believe in Hayward, and schools are a priority,” said Greg Jones. “I’m certainly interested in using leadership however I can. I thought this would be a good way to serve but it did not turn into that in my mind.”

Jones added that he is a flexible man, and has no regrets about leaving the city to pursue other goals. May said the same about her departure from the City Council, adding that the atmosphere could be “stifling.”

She quoted a line from her Facebook page: “The right team can make the most mundane task worthwhile. Similarly, the wrong team can make the most meaningful endeavor a complete waste of time.”

Here is the election update story:

 By Eric Kurhi and Jason Sweeney
Staff writers
ALAMEDA COUNTY — An anticipated run for the Hayward school board by former City Councilwoman Anna May and her fiance, former City Manager Greg Jones, did not materialize as the Wednesday deadline passed and they decided not to file.
In addition, two candidates for Hayward Unified — Sabrina Becerra and Gabriel Jimenez — withdrew from the race, leaving a field of Audie Bock, Lisa Brunner, Sue Lafferty, William McGee and incumbent Sheila Sims seeking two available seats. Continue Reading


Big city lights near the bridge?


CORRECTION: Whoops! I was given incorrect information regarding what happened at last night’s meeting. The item that was postponed was NOT the Clear Channel billboard — it dealt with a cell phone tower at the Stonebrae Country Club.

Planners APPROVED the billboard 5-to-1 with Rodney Loche dissenting. The decision may be appealed to City Council.

The Planning Commission approved postponed making a decision on a billboard that would brighten up the approach to the Hayward-San Mateo bridge.

Clear Channel wants to put in one of those LED billboards, the ones with the changing ads. Like the Xtronx ones you see at Southland Mall or in San Leandro near Marina Boulevard. Sizewise, the Southland billboard is 14-by-26 feet. The Marina one is 20-by-30. The new one would be more of an elongated rectangle, the same size as a billboard currently there: 14-by-48 feet.

The city report is pretty extensive, and goes into possible side effects on drivers (deemed not distracting enough to be a safety hazard) and wildlife (overall light output won’t be much more than current billboard, and trained away from marshes).

Two planners recused themselves from Thursday night’s vote, and it was decided that with the current deficit of two commissioners, they will wait until September to make a decision, after the new members are seated.

It would make entrance and egress more exciting, but a lot of people don’t like those adboards and say they belong in, say, Times Square. This one would have some added benefit to the city because 12 percent of the adspace would be dedicated to city and community events, at no cost.

Here’s an interesting article on cities that have digital billboard bans.

Any thoughts on such a billboard?


Redevelopment take means $5.3 million loss for Hayward

Earlier this week, a judge upheld the state’s takeaway of local redevelopment dollars. As reported in today’s regional story, that means $5.3 million for Hayward. Here’s more information that didn’t make it into the story because of space constraints:

In Hayward, where the two-year grab will total about $5.3 million, Redevelopment Director Maret Bartlett said projects will be slowed down but not derailed.

That means less money for key projects such as the South Hayward BART redevelopment area, City Center and downtown retail attraction program. For example, the city is in the process of buying land along Mission Boulevard that will be then redeveloped.

“We were hoping to assemble the block on the west side of Mission between Pinedale and Sycamore,” she said. “We’ve acquired half the block but not as much as we’d like, and we can’t do it now.”

The blow was lessened because the redevelopment agency borrowed much of the lost money from its affordable housing fund, which must be paid back in five years.

Bartlett said that’s about how long she expects it to take to recuperate from the loss.

She added that it is frustrating that the money is being taken for use in schools because the city was already partnering with the school district on projects, and used redevelopment money for the creation of the new Burbank Elementary School.

“I think Hayward has been trying to do the right thing by the school district here,” she said. “We contributed a lot of redevelopment money to build a new school, and (the school district) has been a great partner. I just think it’s sad.”

Barlett added that it’s especially tough because with property values dropping, the tax increment going into the redevelopment fund is lower than it has been in prior years. About 17 percent lower.

“That’s huge,” she said. “And it’s expected to be down again this year.”

As a side note, the property acquisition for the downtown loop project will not be affected because those are not gained through redevelopment funds but rather through Measure B transportation funds.


Shhhh! Sonic is open!

sonicfrankSo maybe it’s already too late — word is out that they did a soft opening Tuesday night. During off peak hours this afternoon, a couple dozen cars were lined up for the drive-thru, about the same for the drive-in, and a walk-up line was rolling about 12 deep.

Still, fast food fans said they were getting served in short order by the inline-skating bellhops.

We will have a story out over the weekend. Frank Leamy, the pictured co-owner, said they didn’t do any advertising and are already swamped.

“It’s all Facebook and Twitter and online word of mouth,” Leamy said. So consider this is the official online heads up for HayWordians.

There’s even OMG it’s a Sonic YouTube video of a car driving by the new Hayward location.

More details on the Sonic are in our earlier HayWord post.


NUMMI closure fallout hits Hayward company

Today’s paper had this story about what happens when a large plant such as NUMMI closes. Nearly 400 workers will soon be out of work at a Hayward supplier of plastic parts whose sole customer was NUMMI. And, of course, more than 10 times that many people will no longer have jobs at NUMMI itself when the plant closes in April.

And for the big picture, multiply that again by 10. According to today’s story, “some industry watchers believe the auto factory’s closure could imperil 40,000 to 50,000 jobs in California.”