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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 parkdept@haywardrec.org.
Those who cannot attend can mail written comments to the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, 1099 E St., Hayward, CA 94541.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Girding for the Hayward traffic loop

The city of Hayward has started its campaign to let people know that some downtown streets will become one-way on March 15.

The city hired someone to put together an explainer that is going in water bills and is online. It contains some interesting statements: “The Loop is easy!” “The Loop is a small change with a BIG new look for Downtown!” “Easy Access to all Downtown Businesses.” Hmmm.

There also is a typo in the insert that was sent out to many water customers and on big signs along Mission Boulevard between A and B and near the main library: It refers to Off the Gird. As gourmet food truck followers know, that should be Off the Grid.

In fairness, a Hayward official said the typo was pointed out by city staff. But apparently not soon enough.

The city also has made a video explaining the loop. It has little colored cars speeding through downtown with cheerful music in the background. The voice-over refers to “the downtown one-way traffic circulation, or the ‘loop’ as it’s more affectionately called.” Gosh, I can’t remember the loop and “affectionately” being used in the same sentence.

Check it out at www.youtube.com/watch?v=09hSr8GlPq4&feature=youtu.be. There’s also a link at http://user.govoutreach.com/hayward/faq.php?cid=14252, but I couldn’t get it to load.

(Sorry, but I have not been able to get links to work on this blog. Working on it.)

Starting March 15, Foothill will be one-way north between its intersection with Jackson Street-Mission Boulevard up to A Street. A will be one-way west between Foothill and Mission, and Mission will be one-way south from A down to the Jackson-Mission-Foothill intersection.

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Mountain climber to give talk in Castro Valley

CASTRO VALLEY — A Castro Valley High graduate who became a mountaineer will share some of his adventures March 15.

Marty Schmidt, who now lives in New Zealand, is a certified mountain climber and guide. He has ascended some of hte world’s highest peaks without bottled oxygen.

He will be showing some photographs and talk about his climbs on Mount Everest, Makalu, Gasherbrum 1 and 2, and other peaks.

Schmidt’s presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Castro Valley Center for the Arts, 19501 Redwood Road.

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Parking enforced downtown Hayward

I noticed several parking tickets this week on windshields of cars along B Street between Foothill and Watkins, where there is a two-hour time limit on parking. I also noticed that tires were being chalked on cars parked in 24-minute spaces between Bank of the West and Bijou Restaurant.

Merchants have complained in the past about cars parking for hours in front of their stores, causing their customers to have to park far distances from the shops — or sometimes decide not to stop.

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Update on the loop

The one-way traffic loop through downtown Hayward is scheduled for early March, according to the city’s website. I am working to get a more precise date, since March is less than three weeks away.

What’s involved: Massive traffic signal bridges that are being fabricated to order in Utah have to be shipped here. That entails getting permits to drive uber-wide loads through several states.

Once the bridges are here, there’s no good place to store them – we’re talking really wide – so they probably will go up pronto, though “pronto” still will take some doing and time. The bridges will span intersections along Foothill. The foundations (which run deep) were constructed earlier; remember those plywood boards for pedestrians near traffic lights? The foundations have been filled with asphalt for pedestrian safety. The bridges couldn’t be ordered until the foundations were constructed. It’s complicated, but Foothill is an old street, and the underground pipes and conduits aren’t always where the blueprints say they are, so each bridge’s specs are different. The asphalt was temporary and will be dug out.

Final paving of the loop – Five Flags north on Foothill to A Street, left on A to Mission Boulevard, south on Mission back to Five Flags – and lane striping will be needed, so, combined with installation of the signal bridges, we’re looking at major road closures and detours coming up. And you thought traffic was bad now!

Next week: According to city’s website, expect lane closures on Mission and Foothill, mostly Mission from Industrial to about Moreau High School both ways and Mission from Jackson Street to Highland Avenue, both ways.

The good news: Driving down Mission, big stretches are finished except for landscaping. The roads are smooth, and the ugly utility poles are gone. The lights look great.

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Fundraiser for Lighthouse Community Center

What sounds like a fun event Saturday will benefit the Lighthouse Community Center of Hayward. Viva Las Vegas casino night starts at 5 p.m. at the Hayward City Hall Rotunda.

Entertainment includes Sasha Stephane as Cher, the Golden Follies and the Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus.

It’s $25 advance, $30 at the door. If advance tickets are still available, you can get them at the Lighthouse Community Center, 217 A St., Hayward; Curly’s Place, 2059 B St., Hayward; and www.eventbrite.com.

Tickets get you $100 in gaming chips plus gourmet food, and there will be a cash bar. You must be 21 to attend.

The Lighthouse Community Center serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community of Southern Alameda County.

For more information, email bobnsl@aol.com.

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HARD names veterinarian volunteer of the year

Dr. Rene Gandolfi was chosen volunteer of the year by the Hayward Recreation and Park District for his work with Sulphur Creek Nature Center.

Gandolfi has volunteered at the center since 1987, logging more than 2,300 hours treating the animals at the center, which treats sick and wounded wildlife.

He was among those honored at a brunch Saturday hosted by the district. Gandolfi also was a volunteer of the month last year, along with Mark Sandfort, Laura Jones, Katie Souza, Marcie Zimmerman, Jim Patrick, Ashley Linnekin, Michaela Burpee, Halston Butler, Alice Reis, Don Eick and AmeriCorps.

Gandolfi and the others were honored at a brunch Saturday at the Hayward Area Senior Center to recognize volunteers. Last year, 894 district volunteers donated more than 72,000 hours of service.