Help clean up Eden Landing

Save the Bay is still seeking volunteers for tomorrow’s Coastal Cleanup event at Eden Landing. They need 40 to 50 people to come out and collect the various trash — mostly plastic — that accumulates along the shoreline, which is in the process of being rehabilitated to its natural state.

Amy Alton Ricard of Save the Bay said our article about urine-filled bottles washing up on the San Leandro shore probably didn’t help the recruitment effort, though as the story states, volunteers are not expected to go near such nasties. Most of the trash consists of plastic bags, empty bottles, bottle caps and other refuse that isn’t biohazardous but is wrecking the Bay nonetheless. Save the Bay will have gloves and some extending trash-grabbers available.

Sign up here for the Eden Landing cleanup. It starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19.


Bulk shoppers, mark your calendars

The new south Hayward Costco Wholesale warehouse store is scheduled to arrive in the nick of time for those planning huge Thanksgiving feasts –Costco reps say they plan to open on Nov. 24. It’s going to be the biggest Costco around, and they plan to have an opening day celebration including numerous “roadshows” — that’s what Costco calls it when they bring in goods not normally carried, which could be anything from fine art to specialized mattresses to pool tables to solar panels to grand pianos.

As for what else is coming to the area around Hesperian and Industrial boulevards, that’s more ambiguous. 24 Hour Fitness has yet to apply for a building permit, although a large facility was approved at the same time as the Costco. We’ll have a story in the Review about it this weekend.


Train a comin’ through town!

UPDATE: They changed the route at the last minute this morning. Not sure why, but the train came through town on the less-used rails closer to the shoreline off Industrial Boulevard, then hooked up through Newark to Niles before continuing its route. An unfortunate bypass of the more populated parts of Hayward. I asked avid train chaser and Lamorinda Sun editor Sam Richards about it and he said not to take it personally — railroads change their routes all the time like that and often run late.

An old Union Pacific steam-powered locomotive is on tour in the area, and will be making a run from Oakland to Stockton on Wednesday morning.

According to the UP tracking site, our leg will bring it through San Leandro, Ashland, Cherryland, Hayward and Union City! It is scheduled to leave Oakland at 9 a.m. and arrive in Stockton around 11:30 a.m., so those with an inkling to see some vintage steam action should plan accordingly.

The planned course follows the rails next to the BART tracks, down San Leandro Street, Western Boulevard and Whitman Street.

We’re trying to figure out the best spot along the route to watch this magnificent machine chug through. Any suggestions?


Calpine-PG&E energy agreement for Russell City approved

Calpine announced Thursday that an amended power-purchase agreement with PG&E was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission for the proposed Russell City Energy Center, a 600-megawatt power plant that would be placed near the Hayward shoreline.

That doesn’t mean the plant itself is approved. It has some of the required permits, but the main hurdle remaining is approval from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, acting as a delegate of the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The air district previously gave it the go ahead, meaning it didn’t find evidence that the plant would add significant amounts of pollution to the air, but that permit was revoked after a lawsuit on the grounds that BAAQMD did not follow federal guidelines for publicly noticing the permitting process.

The air district is currently reviewing and responding to public comments submitted regarding the permit. No time frame has been given in which a decision will be made.

We will have a larger story on this posted online Friday, running in Saturday’s paper.


For those dreaming of a green Christmas

Hayward power plant foe and recent City Council candidate “Redwood” Rob Simpson has a 1,000-strong forest of 2-foot-tall redwood trees on his Grandview Avenue lot that he’s willing to give away to anyone who wants to plant one.

Simpson’s been doing this for years, he said, and started because he felt “environmentally responsible” for driving a large car. He didn’t want to downsize his transportation — Simpson is a pretty tall guy — so he started giving away the trees as a mitigation measure. This batch will bring his grand total up to 31,000.

“I’m just spreading my seed,” Simpson said.

Anyone who wants a tree should contact Simpson at www.redwoodrob.com or 510-909-1800.


‘Cougar!’ cried the Hayward neighborhood alerter

“Hello. This is the Hayward Police Department with an important safety message. We are currently working with the California Department of Fish and Game and the Union City Police Department to contain a mountain lion in the Chapel of the Chimes Cemetery. … The mountain lion has not been aggressive; however, we are taking precautions to help ensure the safety of residents in the surrounding areas. If you see a mountain lion, do not attempt to approach it. Get everyone indoors and call 9-1-1.”

So went an autodialer message to residents in southeast Hayward on Thursday, after a resident spotted — and an officer confirmed — a cougar walking the tree line adjacent to the cemetery.

Such sightings are not uncommon.  Police opted to take the precaution of letting residents know about the animal, which turned out to be a scaredy cat and ran off into the hills when given a bit of attention.

Thus, this, a couple hours after the first message:

“Hello. This is the Hayward Police Department with an important update. The mountain lion has been safely returned to his natural habitat in the hills. You may resume normal activities.”

Police advise residents who spot a mountain lion to get indoors and call 9-1-1. If you are the type who ventures into neighboring lion country (a.k.a. our regional parks and all that hilly open space to the east) here’s a Fish and Game brochure on the subject.


You do what, now?

We’ve had a number of “interesting hobby” stories lately, what with the Hayward snake guy, Filipino stick-fighters, Alameda County Fashion Doll Club, and even the dude who looks like Jerry Garcia

Well, maybe the last one isn’t really a hobby as much as a lifestyle choice.

Bottom line is, they’re fun stories for the reporter and readers seem to like them, so we’re always on the lookout for more. Do you have a unique pastime? Do you belong to an interesting club? Taxidermy fanatic? Street luge? Let us know — more than likely, your neighbors would love to hear about it. So would we.


Mark your calendar…

The Day of the Teacher is approaching and educators from Castro Valley, Hayward, San Lorenzo, New Haven and Newark Unified School Districts will meet from 3 to 6 p.m. that Wednesday, May 14, at the Five Flags area in Hayward (corner of Jackson, Mission and Foothill) to protest possible cuts imposed by the state.

Teachers are asking you to join the rally to help air your concerns about the state budget and how it relates to public education.