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Hayward councilman wants to hear from you

HAYWARD — The city is updating its general plan, and one of the recommendations is “improving two-way communication between the city and members of the public on a broad realm of subject matter.”

Councilman Francisco Zermeno says he agrees 100 percent with the recommendation, and he wants residents to feel free to contact him about any city-related at 510-732-2746 or He promises to respond within 24 hours.

The general plan is Hayward’s city’s blueprint to help guide decision by the counil and city staff. If you want to weigh in, you can go to and leave suggestions.

Posted on Sunday, April 21st, 2013
Under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Hayward police blotter, April 1-7

Hayward police blotter for April 1-7:

Monday 4/1/2013
The Hayward Police assisted the Hayward Fire Dept. in the area of Depot Rd and Industrial Bl. for a toxic chemical spill. The spill was not serious enough to require evacuations and the area was clear of emergency personnel by 11:00 AM
HPD responded to Prospect St at the request of Hayward Fire. An unknown suspect put a possum under a milk crate and set the possum on fire. The milk crate caught fire which in turn cause a minor structure fire. The fire was quickly extinguished and the possum had to be humanely dispatched at the scene. No known suspects at this time
7:30 PM
Officers responded to the 28900 block of Vagabond St regarding a traffic collision that turned violent. The suspect and victim were involved in a minor traffic collision and the (V) agreed to go with the suspect to the suspect’s home to exchange the required information. The suspect brandished a firearm at the victim and fled in a vehicle. Responding officers located the suspect a short time later and arrested him. Officers found two firearms in the suspect’s vehicle. The victim was not injured in this incident.
Tuesday 4/2/2013
11:36 PM
A lone male was walking home from South Hayward BART when two suspects approached him and demanded money. One of the suspects brandished a firearm and fired one round into the ground when the victim didn’t move quickly enough. The suspects took property from the victim and fled on foot. The victim was not injured.
Thursday 4/4/2013
5:29 PM
The victim of a recent stolen vehicle case called HPD to report that they had seen their vehicle in the Target parking lot on Whipple Rd. The responding officer located the vehicle as it was leaving and followed the vehicle to Home Depot just down the street. The officer utilized his patrol vehicle to block the suspects in. Responding officers assisted in taking four juveniles into custody for the stolen vehicle case.
8:28 PM
A robbery occurred in the 400 block of West A Street when a suspect walked up to the victim and brandished a knife. The suspect took property from the victim and fled on foot. The suspect is at large and the victim was not injured during the incident.
Friday 4/5/2013
Officer responded to a hotel in the 24000 block of Mission Bl. when suspicious activity was reported and prostitution was suspected. Investigating officers located a juvenile who had recently run away from home and was being unwillingly trained to be a prostitute. The suspect was identified and arrested.
Crime Prevention Note: Human Exploitation and Trafficking is a serious crime. Pimps will often prey on young juvenile females who have run away from what they perceive as difficulties at home. The suspects will then threaten the young girls with harm if they try to flee. Help prevent these predators from taking advantage of young girls by stressing the dangers of such occurrences to anyone who may be affected.
6:07 PM
An 81 year old female was walking toward Kaiser Hospital when a suspect approached her from behind and attempted to take the victim’s purse. The victim did not release her purse and the suspect pushed the victim to the ground. The suspect was able to get away and the victim suffered moderate injuries from the fall.
Saturday 4/6/2013
4:00 AM
Officers responded to a business in the 400 block of Harder Rd regarding a burglar alarm. The attentive officers found a suspicious vehicle in the area and discovered that it was occupied by two people. Evidence on the suspects indicated that they were responsible for breaking into the business and video surveillance from the business confirmed it. Both suspects were taken into custody for burglary.

Posted on Monday, April 15th, 2013
Under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Big Mike gets the ax — but that’s OK

HAYWARD — In case you missed it, Big Mike, the iconic 20-foot-tall fiberglass he-man statue that stood for decades on Mission Boulevard, has a new home.

As you can tell from the top of our page, Big Mike holds a special place in the HayWord’s heart.

Bruce Kennedy, owner of Bell Plastics in Hayward, bought Big Mike as the former Tyre Treads property where the big guy stood went into foreclosure. The years had not been kind to Big Mike: In addition to his paint being faded, he had a hole in a leg and part of him bore graffiti markings.

Kennedy had the statue restored and returned to Hayward, in the driveway of Bell Plastics on a side street in the industrial area. Big Mike looks great, but he held nothing in his hands, one of which is upturned and the other facing down. One report we read said that at one time he held a giant scrub brush in front of a car wash. Later, it may have been a muffler. Please feel free to verify items and dates.

Not long after Big Mike was settling into his new digs, he was given an anonymous gift. On a Monday morning, workers arriving at Bell Plastics found a package left out in front. Inside was a 104-inch ax for Big Mike.

“It looks brand-new,” Kennedy said.

Sadly, Big Mike has not been able to hold onto his new gift. The ax handle is too wide for one of Mike’s hands, Kennedy said. So the ax has been relegated to the custom plastics’ front office, at least for now, where it shares space with 6-foot-tall human statues from China.

If you want to see the big dude, he’s at 2020 National Ave., off Clawiter Road.

Posted on Friday, April 12th, 2013
Under: Cherryland, Hayward, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Larry and the ducks

HAYWARD — The Hayward Rotary Club, like its counterparts throughout the country, playfully fines its members during its weekly meetings to help raise money for the organization.

Fines are routinely levied for birthdays and vacations. But the club gets creative, customizing fines for targeted individuals.

One of those “lucky” individuals at Monday’s meeting was Larry Lepore, Hayward Area Recreation and Parks District parks superintendent.

Hayward Rotary President Brian Schott noted that Lepore had closed a bathroom at the Duck Pond, aka the San Lorenzo Community Park.

“Where are the poor ducks going to go to the bathroom now?” Schott asked.

“Where they’ve been going for 40 years,” Lepore replied, trying to defend himself by adding that the district had installed portable toilets.

Schott countered that the poor little ducks were not taught how to use them, and fined Lepore $10.

HARD is replacing the old restrooms with ones that meet ADA standards. Lepore said later that the new restrooms could be open as early as this weekend.

Posted on Thursday, April 11th, 2013
Under: San Lorenzo, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Hayward park district is hiring fishing naturalist

HAYWARD – If you like to fish and are good with people, especially children, the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District may have a job for you.

The district is hiring a naturalist to coordinate its popular shoreline fishing program, including leading summer fish camps for youth and weekend fishing programs for adults and families.

Application deadline is April 19. Applications can be picked up and delivered to the HARD office, 1099 E St., Hayward, CA 94541, attention: Adrienne De Ponte. They also can be downloaded at For more information, contact De Ponte at 510-670-7270.

Posted on Friday, April 5th, 2013
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Historical society honors individuals, organizations

HAYWARD — The Hayward Area Historical Society is honoring five people and organizations for preserving the area’s past.

Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley is being given the historic business award. Called Eden Hospital when it was founded in 1954, it is being honored for its years in the community and for renewing its presence with a new facility, which opened late last year.

Rowell Ranch Rodeo of Castro Valley is the winner of the historic organization award. Rancher Harry Rowell held the first rodeo on his Dublin Canyon property more than 90 years ago, but for several years, the rodeo was held at Burbank School in Hayward. It is now back at the ranch, along Interstate 580.

A historic preservation award is being given to Michael and Julie Sundita for maintaining their early 20th-century home on Pinedale Court in Hayward.

Cheryl Gerard of Lea’s Christian School in Hayward is the society’s teacher of the year. Lea is being recognized for her efforts to make history come to life, and taking part in the society’s tours of McConaghy House, downtown walking tours, and discovery kits and online classroom resources.

Betty Moose of San Lorenzo is the recipient of the John Sandoval Award, which is given for outstanding volunteer service. Moose is president of the San Lorenzo Heritage Society, which strives to preserve and document the historic community.

Personal comment: Betty, as she seems to prefer being called, is an amazing, cheerful, energetic person. She’s in her 80s, but her mind is sharp, and she’s always at meetings, looking out for the best interests of her community.

The awards will be given at the society’s gala April 26 at Stonebrae Country Club. Tickets are $85 for historical society members, $95 non-members. Tables of eight are available for $650 for members, $730 for non-members.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Alison Wenz at 510-581-0223 or

Posted on Thursday, April 4th, 2013
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

What should Kennedy, Fairmont Terrace parks look like in the future?

HAYWARD — The Hayward Area Recreation and Parks District is considering what some of its parks should be in the future. Next up: popular Kennedy Park in Hayward and not as well-known Fairmont Terrace in unincorporated San Leandro/Ashland depending on your definition.

A community meeting to discuss Fairmont Terrace Park’s master plan will take place at 7 p.m. April 10 at the Epiphany Lutheran Church, 16248 Carolyn St., San Leandro.

On April 11, HARD directors will hold a work session on Kennedy Park’s master plan. Residents are encouraged to attend. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the HARD administration building, 1099 E St., Hayward.

Representatives of the master plan architects, RRM Design Group, will be at both meetings.

If preliminary drawings become available, I will post. It will be interesting to see recommendations for Kennedy, which already is often at capacity on weekends.

The master plan for the Duck Pond in San Lorenzo, adopted last year, calls for a pond about a third of the size of the current one and in a different location in the park. The changes won’t occur overnight; they will likely take years, especially considering the tight fiscal times. But it is a document to guide district decisions.

So if you have opinions, now is the time to voice them.

For more information, call 510-881-6715 or email
Those who cannot attend can mail written comments to the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, 1099 E St., Hayward, CA 94541.

Posted on Thursday, April 4th, 2013
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Swalwell sightings

Congressman Eric Swalwell has been popping up in the area lately. He held a press conference March 9 on B Street in downtown Hayward to talk about his proposed small-business tax-relief legislation, the first bill he has introduced since taking office in January.

On March 23, he led a short bike ride through San Lorenzo and Hayward.

His latest? This past Monday, he tagged along with a Lake Chabot park ranger as part of his “In Your Shoes” monthly events. He was photographed driving a cart and talking with a ranger about improvements that were made to make the park more accessible for those with disabilities.

Posted on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
Under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Julian’s BBQ, Beer & Wine ribbon-cutting on Thursday

HAYWARD — Julian’s BBQ, Beer & Wine will have a ribbon-cutting by the Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, March 28.

The restaurant has live jazz on the weekends, and plans call for expanding to other nights.

It has been open with limited hours for several months. Its owner, Keith Burks, is also founder of BJK’s Rib Factory of Bethel Island, Team Rib Factory Catering of Concord and Team Rib Factory of Walnut Creek.

Outdoor seating is planned for the front and side of the restaurant, which is between A and B streets on the east side of Foothill. On the side of the restaurant in the breezeway, an outdoor stage has been built.

New front windows can be slid open during warmer weather, much like restaurants along University in Palo Alto.

Workers are finishing up the renovated facade, which has new lighting.

On the same block, Chalk It Up! billiards parlor has been renovated and is getting a new entrance. Cyclepath has redone its display windows, and a new sign is coming soon. A few doors down from Julians’s, Doc’s Wine and Cheese Revival opened late last year and features a certified sommelier.

Posted on Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
Under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

New exhibit at City Hall gallery

HAYWARD — A new exhibit is going up at the John O’Lague Galleria at Hayward City Hall.

Beginning March 29, the gallery will be presenting Mark Mertens’s pastels. The public is invited to a reception at 5:30-7:30 p.m. April 5 at the gallery, 777 B St.

Mertens, of Castro Valley, has won several art awards.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, please call the Hayward Arts Council Office at 510-538-2787.

Mark Mertens’ seeks to capture the effects of light on color and realism. His work is rooted in realist traditions, careful draftsmanship and observation. Beginning with a loose sketch done in warm colors of hard pastels the final layer consists of rich, soft pastels that are directly applied.
Mertens is the recipient of many local art awards, is a signature member of the Pastel Society of the West Coast and studied landscapes with Duane Wakehan and Clark Mitchell. He resides in Castro Valley.

Posted on Sunday, March 24th, 2013
Under: Uncategorized | 4 Comments »