Castro Valley salutes dogs and musical kids Saturday

CASTRO VALLEY — This community is going to get a little goofy Saturday, Aug. 8, with a “Barks and Brass” celebration.

A press release about the dogs/kids mash-up from the Castro Valley/Eden Area Chamber of Commerce explains the event:

Downtown Castro Valley will play host to young musicians and their fans, right alongside Castro Valley’s cherished dogs and their owners. Barks and Brass, a new community event, organized by the Castro Valley/Eden Area Chamber of Commerce and the Alameda County Economic Development Department, will have its inaugural run on Aug. 8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot behind the Daughtrey Building.

“We wanted to do something downtown that would be just pure fun, and kids and dogs were the first things that came to mind,” said Bill Mulgrew, chamber executive director.

“So many kids spend summers developing musically, we thought it would be a good idea to give them an outlet for appreciation. And, people have been suggesting pet related events to us for a long time, so we’re going to combine them, have a really fun program.”

There will be two stages. At 11 a.m., one of the kids musical acts will perform 20 minutes. That will be followed by a a dog-related contest on the other stage for 20 minutes, then back to the next musical act, and so forth.

Five musical acts will be featured, interspersed with four dog contests: best dressed, best trick, owner look-alike and best looking. The day will conclude with a dog parade.

Local vets, groomers, pet retailers, pet blessings and law enforcement K-9 teams will have exhibits. There will be raffles and giveaways, and food trucks will be on hand.

“We wanted to give the community some reasons to come together and have fun on a Saturday, and thanks to the generosity of Alameda County we get to use the parking lot of the Daughtrey Building before work starts on the building remodel,” Mulgrew said.

Registration for the dog contests starts at 10 a.m., and it is suggested that those interested go early because the number of entries will be limited.

For more information call the chamber at 510-537-5300, email info@castrovalleychamber.com or go to the www.edenareachamber.com/events.

The howling takes place at 3295 Castro Valley Blvd.



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.



Castro Valley tempest in a coffee pot

CASTRO VALLEY — Some tempers started boiling over when a recent school board agenda listed a proposed purchase of a $14,000 coffee machine.

What seems to have started the brew ha ha was the way the item was listed on the school board agenda: as an espresso machine. That got comments flying on social media in an election year:

“Return the machine, get a Mr. Coffee, and if Jim Negri wants a latte, well he can go to Starbucks and pay for one from his own income, just the way everyone else in town does,” a parent posted, referring to the school superintendent.

The machine in question is not a standard espresso machine, though apparently it can whip up a mean one. It is an industrial coffee maker that also would quickly heat water for tea and hot chocolate, heat apple cider and steam milk.

But after parents raised a ruckus, the district held off on the purchase.

The machine was part of a plan to expand the district’s in-house catering service to reduce the cost of providing food for school events, train culinary students and possibly offer catering for activities outside the district.

Yes, $14,000 is a lot of money, school board member Janice Friesen said. But the machine would get a lot of use.

“We want something that will last and be a good investment,” Friesen said.

Currently, Castro Valley students enrolled in the vocational culinary program travel to the regional occupational center campus near Chabot College in Hayward to take classes. The coffee maker was part of plan that would allow them to get hands-on training in Castro Valley instead.

The machine also would have been used to serve drinks at district functions. Castro Valley Unified said “expanding district catering services” when mentioning meals provided at school workshops, planning sessions, teacher training, etc. For many, catering conjures up an image of waiters with trays of appetizers.

What the district was referring to is breakfasts for staff at the beginning of the year, basic lunches and light breakfasts for all-day training sessions, food at after-school sessions for teachers, etc. While there may be a coffee pot at each site, when staffs from three or four schools gather, that coffee pot cannot fill the demand, Friesen said.

“If it’s after school and you’re asking people to come for development, you cannot not give them something. You have to feed them,” she said.

Castro Valley has paid other local school districts to provide food at staff events, Friesen said. The district also holds a teacher of the year event at the Castro Valley Center for the Performing Arts, which an outside vendor caters.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our school district catered it and our school district got the money?” Friesen asked.

The money to buy the machine would not being diverted away from classrooms. It’s in the food services budget, whose funds are restricted (they can’t be spent elsewhere).

The coffee maker was to be part of a plan to revitalize the district’s food service program proposed by Brenda Lightfoot-Handy, hired earlier this year as head of child nutrition.

The official statement from Superintendent Negri:

“Questions have been raised about a purchase for our Child Nutrition Program, and in an effort to be responsive to our school community, we have made a decision to hold the purchase. Long term, we feel the investment in this commercial grade coffee and beverage machine would expand the capacity of our catering program, as well as benefit our vocational education food and catering program. However, given that we are in the process of developing these programs, for now we believe it is prudent to hold the purchase. Our community hears us when we ask for their support, and, in turn, we must hear them when they raise questions and concerns. I hope the decision to revisit the purchase reflects our commitment to be responsible partners with our community members and staff.”


Single payer health care film to screen Thursday

CASTRO VALLEY — A movie about the single payer health system will be screened Thursday, followed by a discussion and question-and-answer session.

“The Healthcare Movie” focuses on Canada’s single payer system and what it would mean in the United States.

The discussion following the screening will be led by people from Healthcare for All California, which advocates for publicly financed universal health care.

The free screening, sponsored by Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, is intended to educate people about single payer. The movie and discussion will be 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Castro Valley Library, 3600 Norbridge Ave.

For details about single payer, go to http://healthcareforall.org


Hayward creates library website

HAYWARD — The city has created a website to give updates for its new downtown library, which will be built after voters approved a half-cent sales tax increase in June.

The site, www.haywardlibrary.org, includes schematics for the new three-story library, which will be built across the street from the current one, at C Street and Mission Boulevard.

The site also has information about plans for the park surrounding the old library, which will be torn down. The park dates back to the time of Don Guillermo Castro, who had his homestead at C and Mission, with his corral in what is now the park. By 1889, it was the town plaza.

Some of the trees date back to that era; the block has more than 40 varieties of rare and mature trees, including examples of century-old American elm, Giant Sequoia, coastal redwood and a  100-foot-tall Australian bunya pine (the size of the bunya cones has been compared to bowling balls, watermelons and footballs).

Hayward is still trying to figure out the best use for the plaza; the City Council has not taken a formal vote.

While the name 21st Century Library & Community Learning Center was probably a good marketing tool during the campaign, Hayward might want to reconsider adopting it as a formal title. For one thing, “21st century” likely soon will sound dated. And it’s just way too long a name.

Whatever the city decides to call the building, people probably will still call it “the library, “the main library” or “the downtown library.”




Hayward’s The Book Shop celebrates California Bookstore Day

HAYWARD — The Book Shop is selling limited-edition books and artwork Saturday as part of a statewide celebration of independent bookstores.

Author Stephen D. Gutierrez will sign the third installment in his trilogy, “The Mexican Man in the Backyard,” at 1 p.m. Gutierrez is a Cal State East Bay professor.

The Book Shop is joining almost 100 other independent bookstores statewide that are hosting special events Saturday. The celebrations are being held to mark California Bookstore Day.

The Book Shop at 1007 B St. will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.


Hayward police blotter, April 21-27

04/21 03:29 AM
An armed robbery occurred in the Food Source Parking lot at 26905 Mission Blvd. The victims were confronted by two men who drove up in an older blue or gray  compact sedan. The men got out of their car and demanded the victims’ property at gunpoint. The victims surrendered their property and the robbers got back into their car and fled the scene northbound on Mission Boulevard. Robbers were described as a Hispanic male, 16-19 years old, 6’02”, medium build wearing a black hoodie and a Hispanic, male, 5’08” wearing a red hoodie.

04/21 03:07 PM
An armed robbery occurred at a 7-Eleven at 24476 Mission Blvd. south of the Plunge. Two people entered the store and robbed the clerk and owner at gunpoint. As the robbers were leaving the store, a citizen wrote down the license plate number of their vehicle and called the police. An officer then saw the vehicle as it drove by him. The vehicle was stopped a short distance away on Clarendale Street, and the passengers ran from the officer. The driver was detained by the officer stopping the vehicle, and other responding patrol officers found two other suspects. All three were arrested. The weapon used in the robbery was recovered as well as the cash taken from the store.

04/23 06:50 AM
An armed robbery occurred at a Chevron Gas Station at 26990 Hesperian Blvd. between Highway 92 and Tennyson Road. A man with a handgun entered the station and demanded money. The clerk gave him money from the register. The robber fled from the store northbound on Hesperian Boulevard. He is described as a Hispanic male in his 30s wearing a white hoodie.

04/24 03:34 PM
An attempted robbery occurred in front of Tennyson High School on Whitman Street. Two people confronted the victim as he was walking past the school. They knocked the victim to the ground and went through his pockets, but did not take anything. The two left the school and were stopped by officers a short distance away. Both were arrested.

04/25 11:15 AM
An assault with a deadly weapon occurred at A and Hathaway streets. The victim was walking on A Street when a vehicle occupied by three Hispanic males pulls up alongside him. The men ask the victim a question, which the victim ignored. When the victim got to the corner the driver got out of the vehicle and hit the victim two times in the leg with a baseball bat. The car containing the three men fled the scene traveling southbound on Santa Clara Street.

04/26 09:40 AM
An officer on his way to a call was flagged down by a citizen regarding a theft. The citizen gave the officer a description of the thief and his vehicle. The officer located a suspect at Interstate 880 and Winton Avenue. The officer recovered appliances taken from the Airport appliance store and arrested the suspect for theft.

04/26 04:08 PM
An assault occurred on Celia Avenue between two subjects. Officer responded to a disturbance and found one subject with a head injury. Officer determined that the two subjects had engaged in mutual combat and threw rocks at each other causing injuries. Both people were arrested for assault.

04/26 08:45 PM
Hayward police were called to the downtown cinema on B Street regarding a group causing a disturbance. As officers responded, they were advised by dispatch there had been several calls of a subject shooting a handgun up in the air. Officers did not find any victims or evidence of a shooting at the scene. With the assistance of BART police, the group was dispersed without incident. Several hours later, officers responded to a disturbance involving a large group at a nearby hotel. When officers arrived, they contacted a subject who matched the description provided by witnesses to the gun being shot. Witnesses identified the subject as the shooter at the theater. The suspect was arrested for reckless discharge of a firearm.

04/27 05:10 PM
An armed robbery occurred in the area of Dixon Street and Tennyson Road near South Hayward BART. Two men  approached the victim and demanded his property at gunpoint. The robbers left the scene in a silver or light brown sedan. Both suspects were Hispanic males.

04/27 07:12 PM
A carjacking and assault occurred in the 1300 block of Martin Luther King Drive in the Cannery Park neighborhood. A man approached one victim and tried to rob the victim’s car. The man fled over a fence when he was unsuccessful at getting the vehicle. A short time later the same man confronted a second victim in his garage and assaulted him. The suspect took the second victim’s vehicle and fled. The carjacker is described as an African-American male, 6’ – 6’2”, 160 to 180 pounds and armed with a large silver revolver. The next day, the stolen vehicle was found parked on Central Boulevard.


Hayward police blog April 15

From Hayward police:

04/15 00:04 AM

The Hayward Police Department was called by a local hospital regarding a patient who had been admitted with serious injuries from an assault. The victim told the police he had been walking through the parking lot of the 24 Hour Fitness on Whipple Rd when three males attacked him without provocation. The victim was injured after the incident but did not go to the hospital until the following day, when it was reported to the police.

04/15 07:40 PM
An injury traffic collision occurred in the 100 block of B St. A bicyclist collided with a parked vehicle and sustained major injuries. The bicyclist was taken to a hospital for treatment and observation.

04/15 09:52 PM
A home invasion robbery occurred at a residence in the 23000 block of Second Street. The robbers entered the victim’s residence and demanded property at gunpoint. The victims surrendered their property to the robbers who then left the scene. The robbers were described as black males in their 20’s wearing dark clothing. One of the robbers had a handgun. The robbers fled in a small black sedan.

04/17 11:00 AM
The Hayward Police Department vice unit conducted a citywide decoy operation for underage alcohol purchases. The unit went to seventeen businesses and two restaurants throughout the city where decoys attempted to buy alcohol. Five businesses were cited for sales to minors.

04/17 05:31 PM
An assault with a deadly weapon occurred in the 900 block of Central Ave. An informant called stating a victim had been struck with a baseball bat. The victim said he had pulled a knife on a group of six subjects who then proceeded to strike him with various blunt objects. The victim could not provide any information on his attackers. The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries.

04/18 07:20 PM

A shooting occurred in the area of Garin Ave and Chevy Chase Way. Several callers contacted 911 regarding hearing three to six gunshots in the area. When officers arrived they located casings on the roadway. No evidence of damage or injuries was located.

04/19 10:00 AM
The Hayward Police Department vice unit conducted a citywide tobacco decoy operation at various retailers throughout the city. Twenty-six locations visited, and five citations issued for selling tobacco to a minor.

04/20 00:58 AM
A bicyclist riding in the 24000 block of Whitman Ave was tackled and knocked off his bicycle. The robber brandished a knife at the bicyclist and then took the bicycle, riding north on Whitman Ave. The bicycle was recovered near the Whitman Ave and Sycamore St pedestrian bridge. The thief was described as a black male with yellow tipped hair.

04/20 03:27 AM
An armed robbery occurred at B St and Watkins St. A cab driver parked across from the BART station was confronted by a robber with a gun who took the driver’s cell phone. The robber demanded money from the victim who resisted and fought with the thief. The robber sprayed the victim with a chemical and then fled. The victim’s cell phone was located a short distance away using a mobile phone locator application. The robber was not located.

04/20 06:32 AM
A burglary occurred to an occupied home in the 22000 block of Watkins St. The resident heard the front door of the residence being opened. When the resident investigated, he found the front door open and property taken from the residence.


Hayward park district honors Gordins, Castro Valley Rotary

HAYWARD — Jana and Jeff Gordin and the Castro Valley Rotary are the winners of the park district’s annual awards.

The Gordins are being honored for establishing and supporting the Karen Gordin Scholarship Fund. The fund was established in 2001 in memory of their daughter, Karen Gordin, who was killed when her car was hit by the driver of a stolen van who was being pursued by deputies. Gordin, 19, had been on her way to work as a lifeguard at the Hayward Plunge, which is run by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District.

The scholarship has benefited more than 24 lifeguards with their college education. The fund also has provided swimming lessons for hundreds of low-income youth and swim team scholarships. The Karen Gordin Foundation has donated more than $28,000 to the park district since 2001.

The Castro Valley Rotary is being recognized for its partnership with the park district and support of its programs. In 2013, Castro Valley Rotarians donated funds and volunteered for the Ashland holidays gift giveaway and Sulphur Creek Nature Center and hosted a Thanksgiving luncheon for 150 seniors in Castro Valley.

The Rotary club donated money to help the district set up the Sulphur Creek Owl Cam. (If you haven’t viewed the owl cam, check it out once nesting season begins.)

Castro Valley Rotary partners with the district and other groups to stage the Rowell Ranch chili cook-off, the Castro Valley Blues Festival and the Rowell Ranch Rodeo Parade.


Hayward police blotter 1/14/14

01/14 03:56 PM
There was a traffic collision at B Street and 3rd Street involving a motorist and a wheelchair-bound pedestrian. The pedestrian was crossing in the crosswalk when she was struck by the motorist. The pedestrian was transported to a local hospital.

01/14 04:11 PM
A vehicle struck a church at the 27000 block of Patrick Ave. The driver was parking her vehicle when they accidentally stepped on the gas instead of the break causing the vehicle to hit the building. There were no injuries to the driver.

11/17 03:44 AM
A suspicious fire occurred at an apartment building on Cypress Ave. The fire started in a storage unit and spread causing damage to two apartments. There were no injuries.

01/17 03:50 AM
While filling his vehicle at the county gas pumps a police officer observes a mentally unstable suspect vandalizing Alameda County vehicles. The suspect is detained and Alameda County was advised of the incident.

01/17 12:22 PM
An unknown suspect set fire to an abandoned structure on the 1400 block of B Street causing significant damage to the structure.

01/17 12:48 PM
A robbery occurred at a bank on the 27000 block of Hesperian Blvd. The suspect presented a teller a demand note and then fled with cash. A search for the suspect was unsuccessful. The suspect was later determined to have committed or attempted to commit two other robberies in adjacent jurisdictions.

01/18 01:20 AM
An officer pulled over a suspected DUI driver, who fled when the officer approached his vehicle. The suspect crashed his car a short distance later and tried to flee from the scene but was captured and arrested. One city vehicle was damaged during the incident.

01/19 02:41
Officers respond to the intersection of Mission Blvd and Hancock Ave for a vehicle collision. The driver of one of the vehicles tries to flee the scene but is captured. After officers take the suspect into custody they transport him to a local hospital for treatment. While at the hospital the suspect is found to have narcotics in his possession.

01/19 07:40 PM
Police responded to a shooting on the 22000 block of South Garden Ave and find a single male victim who has been shot in the shoulder. The victim is transported to a local hospital where he is treated.

01/19 07:47 PM
There was a fatal vehicle accident on Industrial Parkway SW involving a single vehicle running into a light pole. The driver was declared deceased at the scene. Witnesses indicate the driver was seen driving erratically prior to the collision and was not wearing his seatbelt.

01/20 06:24 PM
Officers respond to an assault with a deadly weapon at the Timbers Apartments on Santa Clara Street. Officer arrived to find a male and female involved in a domestic dispute. The male was found to have a single laceration to his hand from the altercation.

01/20 08:08 PM
A shooting occurred in the area of Myrtle St and West Winton Ave. The suspect pulled up next to the victim and fired rounds into the victim’s vehicle. Further investigation determines that the victim and suspect know each other through female associates.

01/20 09:30 PM
An attempted robbery occurred in the area of Manon Ave and West Tennyson Rd. Two suspects attacked the victim but did not take any property. Both suspects are stopped by police nearby and were arreste