Winda Shimizu of Castro Valley has been named one of 13 leaders to be inducted into the 2018 Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame. This year marks the 25th anni-versary of the creation of the Hall of Fame, which recognizes the con-tributions that women make in the community. Inductees are selected in a vari-ety of areas, including education, law and justice, philanthropy, ath- Winda Shimizu letics, and technology. Shimizu will be inducted for her contributions to culture and art. In addition to creating her own photographic art, Shimizu has expanded arts programming in Castro Valley schools and created scholarship programs to promote local artists. Shimizu is the executive director of the Hayward Arts Council and is also on the Board of Directors of the Castro Valley Education Foundation. She is the chair of a creative writing workshop for middle and high school students at the Castro Valley Library and she has promoted poetry shows for students in the Castro Valley School District. Shimizu’s photography has been exhibited at the Adobe Art Gallery, the Foothill Gallery, and Hayward City Hall. Shimizu and her fellow honorees will be inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame at a luncheon and awards ceremony on March 24, at 12:30 p.m. at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 4700 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland. Tick-ets to the event are available at www.acgov.org/whof/.
CAPTION: Winda Shimizu
Eden Award 2018 Honorees
Some 180 guests were on hand Saturday evening for the Castro Valley/Eden Area Chamber of Commerce gala Eden Awards for 2018 held at Redwood Canyon Golf Course. From left, Ala-meda County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Swalwell who received the “First Responder of the Year” award; Dr. Heidi Hausauer, who was named “Volunteer of the Year”; Maria Leyson who received the Castro Valley School District’s “Teacher of the Year” honors; and, representing the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, Board President Carol Pereira and General Manager Paul McCreary accepted the “Business Organization of the Year” award. Not pictured was Dawn Wilson, the San Lorenzo School District “Teacher of the Year,” who was unable to attend. One of the evening’s highlights was Congressman Eric Swalwell who flew in for the event to pay tribute to younger brother Jacob and all first responders who put their lives on the line every day. Castro Valley Rotary President Jim Negri was master of ceremonies for the evening.
PHOTO BY CATHY BRESLOW OF BRESLOW IMAGING
CVSan’s First Fruit Gleaning Harvests 823 Pounds of Citrus
Last Tuesday, as a part of Zero Waste Week 2018, CVSan organized a community tree fruit gleaning and harvesting of local citrus trees bursting with extra fruit.
Thirteen volunteers of all ages worked hard last Tuesday afternoon to save fruit that would otherwise have become waste.
Thanks to nine Castro Valley homeowners who opened their yards to the volunteers, a total of 823 pounds of juicy and sweet oranges, grapefruits, and lemons were saved during the two-hour harvest and delivered to the Castro Valley Food Pantry at Faith Lutheran Church.
There is more citrus still out there for saving and donating. If other members of the community would like to organize their own fruit gleaning, they should contact CVSan at email@example.com for information.
For more information on CVSan’s Zero Waste Week or Green Hearts Volunteer Program, visit www.cvsan.org/ZeroWaste or www.cvsan.org/GreenHearts.
CAPTION: The volunteer crew of tree fruit gleaners for Zero Waste Week picked lower fruit by hand while others used CVSan’s telescoping fruit pickers during last week’s harvest. More than 800 pounds of fresh citrus fruits were picked by volunteers from the yards of nin Castro Valley homeowners.
Wake the Dead – A Scotch/Irish Twist to Music of Grateful Dead
By Terry Liebowitz
SPECIAL TO THE FORUM 02-14-18
Next up in the Castro Valley Arts Foundation 2017-18 Series is Wake the Dead, Saturday, February 24, at 7:30 p.m. at the Castro Valley Center for the Arts.
Explaining the curious title, their tagline is: “A Celtic Celebration of the Grateful Dead.”
Rock grooves, fiery reels, achingly beautiful melodies, they put an Irish/Scottish twist to the music of The Grateful Dead!
Wake the Dead was born in 2000 when Cindy Browne (double bass), Danny Caranahan (vocals, octave mandolin, guitar fiddle), Kevin Carr (fiddle, uilleann pipes, penny whistle), Sylvia Herold (vocals, guitar), Paul Kotapish (vocals, mandolin) and Brian Rice (hand percussion) got together to create a brand-new sound.
When Wake the Dead released their first album, Grateful Dead Records took one listen and immediately signed the band, selling 25,000 copies of the CD and booked Wake the Dead at the Fillmore.
Since then they regularly play at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley.
Whether you are new to the Grateful Dead’s songs “Sugar Tree,” “Bertha,” “China Cat,” “Bird Song,” or you remember them with nostalgia, this will be a special evening.
Arts Foundation President Mary Ann De Grazia says, “Think Irish wake—a rollicking good time!” Go to www.cvartsfoundation.org for tickets.
Terry Liebowitz is a founding member of the Castro Valley Arts Foundation.
CAPTION: Wake the Dead will perform at the CV Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24.
Info Night Tomorrow For TK, Kindergarten
The Castro Valley School District will hold a parent information night from 6 to 7 p.m. tomorrow in the District Board Room, 4400 Alma Ave., for children entering Transitional Kindergarten.
Transitional Kindergarten, commonly referred to as TK, is a publicly funded program for 4-year-olds who turn 5 between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2, and is designed to be a bridge between preschool and kindergarten.
To allow younger siblings of current students to enroll in the same school, the district has arranged a priority sibling enrollment period for the upcoming year that will run from Feb. 22 to Feb. 28 for district residents.
Enrollment for new TK and Kindergarten students begins on Thursday, March 1.
To enroll a student for Kindergarten or TK for the 2018-19 school year, follow the instructions found on the Enrollment tab at www.cv.k12.ca.us.
Mission to Mars
‘Landing’ in Castro Valley in 2 weeks
• CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 2-07-18
Pascal Lee is almost a Martian. He likely knows the Red Planet as well as any Earth-bound human.
Dr. Lee is a planetary scientist who is internationally recognized for his study of Martian water, of Mars’ moons, and of future human voyages to Mars.
On Wednesday, Feb. 21, two weeks from today – Dr. Lee will present “Mission: Mars—Toward the First Human Journey to the Red Planet” at Castro Valley’s Center for the Arts.
This free lecture/adventure is sponsored by three community organizations: Castro Valley Education Foundation (cvef.org), Castro Valley Science (cvscience.us), and Wonderfest (wonderfest.org). To learn more and to register, visit: bit.ly/go-mars.
Dr. Lee, is also Chairman of the Mars Institute, Senior Scientist at the SETI Institute, and Director of NASA’s Haughton-Mars Project.
To fully secure that “almost Martian” title, Dr. Lee has led over 30 expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica to study the Red Planet by comparison with Earth.
Dr. Lee’s personal history is almost as interesting as his explorations. Born in Hong Kong, he lived in France as a child. As a teenager, Lee already had his eyes on the stars.
He pursued amateur astronomy and read every book he could on space travel as he earned his bachelor’s in physics and masters in geology from the University of Paris.
Lee earned an astronomy PhD from Cornell, working with Prof. Joseph Veverka, a pioneer in robotic exploration of the solar system.
During that time, Cornell was also home to world-renowned astronomer Carl Sagan. Lee became the legendary science popularizer’s very last teaching assistant.
Lee’s work at NASA’s Ames Research Center and SETI takes him to the Arctic every summer to Devon Island, one of the most Mars-like places on Earth.
Recently, Dr. Lee led the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition along the fabled Arctic Northwest Passage. This daring adventure, a glimpse into what a future Martian road trip might be like, is the subject of the award-winning documentary film Passage To Mars, released to much acclaim in 2016.
As great explorers go, they often have a trusty companion. Lewis had Clark, Armstrong had Aldrin, and Kirk had Spock. Lee is no exception, for his sidekick is his trusted dog, King Kong, who bravely accompanies him to every hostile and desolate place, from pole to pole… and, at talks.
In his scarce free time, Dr. Lee likes to be walked by his dog, to paint, and fly helicopters. He is an FAA certified flight instructor on rotorcraft, which he views as analogous to future Mars exploration craft.
At the upcoming community presentation of “Mission: Mars,” Dr. Lee will discuss progress made around the world — from the Arctic to Antarctica, from basement labs to the International Space Station — in preparing for humanity’s first voyage to Mars.
Dr. Lee will also sign copies of his first book, “Mission: Mars,” winner of the 2015 Prize for Excellence in children’s science books from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Tucker Hiatt, a former high school physics teacher, is the Executive Director of the nonprofit, Wonderfest – Bay Area Beacon of Science. For more information and photos of Mars, visit mars.nasa.gov
‘ Trails Challenge’ Marks 25th Year
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 02-07-18
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the East Bay Regional Park District’s signature outdoor activity program, Trails Challenge.
aunched in 1993 to get East Bay residents moving outdoors and exploring their trails, the program makes it easy for hikers of all abilities to get to know and love their Regional Parks.
“The 2017 Trails Challenge was great,” said 2017 participant Diane Petersen. “I’ve been hiking at the same park (Mission Peak) forever and Trails Challenge got me out to other amazing parks in the region.”
“My pups especially liked the Trails Challenge because they got to go to new parks with new sniffs!” added Petersen.
To complete the 2018 Trails Challenge, participants need to hike a marathon’s length of trails (26.2 miles) or at least five of the 20 designated hikes in the Trails Challenge guidebook.
“Trails Challenge is about people connecting with nature,” said David Zuckermann, the district’s recreation services manager. “Hiking is one of the best ways people can enjoy our Regional Parks.”
Each year, a new Trails Challenge guidebook highlights 20 different trails throughout the parks. From shorelines to ridgetops, there is something for everyone.
handy matrix helps readers choose from easy, medium or challenging hikes, and to identify trails accessible to wheelchair users, and those that allow dogs, bikes or horses.
articipation in Trails Challenge is easy – simply visit www.ebparks.org/TrailsChallenge to download the guidebook and get started. No online registration is required. Free printed guidebooks and T-shirts are also available at participating Visitor Centers while supplies last.
see TRAILS on page 15
Participants who complete the challenge and turn in their log by December 1 will receive a commemorative Trails Challenge pin.
This year, all 20 featured trails are featured on the free mobile app AllTrails. Download the app, sign-up and log in, then go to: alltrails.com/lists/trails-challenge-2018 and click on “Copy to my lists.” Then click “Continue in App.” The featured trails will show under ‘Lists’ in ‘Plan.’
The 2018 featured hikes include these nearby parks: Cull Canyon Regional Recreation Area and the Lake Chabot Regional Park, both in Castro Valley, Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda, Garin/Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Parks in Hayward, Dublin Hills Regional Park in Dublin, Tilden Regional Park in the Berkeley/Orinda Hills, and Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve in Oakland.
CAPTION: Diane Petersen of Hayward, a participant in the 2017 Trails Challenge, at Garin Regional Park.
EAST BAY REGIONAL PARK DISTRICT PHOTO
CV Volunteers and Chamber Honored
The Hayward Area Recreation District (HARD) has recognized two Castro Valley men – Veterinarian Rene Gandolfi and activist Billy Bradford – for their volunteer contributions to the community during the past year.
Dr. Gandolfi, a volunteer for HARD since 1987, has logged over 3,100 hours in helping with the care of the more than 100 resident animals at Sulphur Creek as well as the 700 injured, sick, and orphaned native wildlife that are brought in for rehabilitation each year.
He has shared his veterinary skills free of charge and is always on call for a variety of services including surgeries, X-rays, pathology tests, and general exams.
Billy Bradford has volunteered for HARD’s Senior Adult Programs for the past three years. He is founder of “Castro Valley Pride,” a community event to raise awareness and promote equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender people.
see HARD on back page
Bradford also operates “Bad Business Model Bikes” out of his Castro Valley garage where he acquires used bikes, refurbishes them, and then gives them to those in need. He has not tracked how many bikes he has given away or how much money he has spent, but he says he loves what he does.
The district also paid special recognition to the Castro Valley/Eden Area Chamber of Commerce and to CAHR, a nonprofit organization founded 45 years ago to enrich the lives of those with intellectual disabilities which was forced to dissolve in 2015 for financial reasons.
The Castro Valley/Eden Area Chamber, which serves Ashland, Cherryland and San Lorenzo besides Castro Valley, was honored for its sponsoring of a variety of positive programs to area residents and partnering with HARD on many others.
In addition, HARD recognized the Hayward Junior Giants Program, and named Christina Sonas as Volunteer of the Year.
CAPTION: Dr. Gandolfi - Billy Bradford
Chamber Installs Leaders for 2018
A large crowd was on hand last Thursday evening at the Moose Lodge for the installation of the Castro Valley/Eden Area Board of Directors for 2018. The new officers were sworn in by Assemblymember Bill Quirk. Shown from left, Hans Cho, Bryan Daylor (Treasurer), Kathy Anderson, Sandra Macias, Bill Mulgrew, Julie Sumiki, Captain Marty Neideffer, Zelma Byrd, David Gehrke (Vice President), Assemblymember Quirk, Peter Rosen (Vice President), Tim Castle (Board President), Cindy Torres (Vice President) and Brian Morrison (Vice President).
PHOTO BY FRED ZEHNDER
County ‘In Good Health Financially’
BY AMY SYLVESTRI • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 1-31-18
Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley discussed a range of local issues — everything from homelessness to mattresses being dumped on the side of the road — during a live-streamed “State of the District” speech online last week.
On the county’s $3.1 billion budget, which had a $108 million deficit this fiscal year, Miley lamented that for every dollar of property tax, the county only gets 15 cents, so the county depends on state and federal money for most of its funding.
That federal funding could be jeopardized, he said, if the county doesn’t cooperate with the Trump administration on issues like immigration enforcement. But Miley said that he was committed to continuing to provide services for the county’s immigrant population.
“We’re doing that irrespective of what’s happening on the federal level,” he told viewers.
Despite the large budget gap, Miley said the county is in “good health financially” and unemployment remains low.
He criticized Trump’s tax plan, but said it remains to be seen how much it will affect his constituents.
“I’m hoping that this doesn’t have a significant impact on the county, but we’ll see how it plays out,” said Miley.
He promoted a proposed $140 million county sales tax on the June ballot which would fund early childhood education programs.
witching gears, Miley said that Alameda County is in “the sports biz” despite the ongoing issue of a new stadium for the A’s and the impending departure of the Warriors and Raiders. He wants to keep the A’s at the Coliseum and he’d like to see an expansion football team return to Oakland.
Miley said affordable housing needs to be a priority in his district and discussed the feasibility of 200-square-foot tiny homes as one solution.
“I’d live in a tiny home, it’s like living in a dormitory” said Miley, who went on to call the lack of affordable housing and increasing homelessness a “crisis that needs immediate attention.”
Miley named helping seniors, violence prevention, and making sure the unincorporated areas are fairly represented in county governance as areas he’ll focus on in 2018.
Finally, Miley talked about recreational marijuana, saying the county will have to develop regulations concerning delivery, cultivation, and other factors, now that recreational use has become legal.
“We aren’t naive enough to think that there won’t be issues associated with cannabis,” said Miley, but he said it should be regulated like alcohol and cigarettes.
The Board of Supervisors is creating a public awareness campaign called “weed can wait” to discourage young people from using pot before they are 21.
Miley said the main take away from his talk is that the people of District 4 – which includes Castro Valley, Ashland, Cherryland and parts of Oakland – should get involved in local government and shouldn’t hesitate to call his office at 272-6694 with any issue.
“Get involved and get engaged,” said Miley. “We can’t do this on our own.”
The entire speech can be seen at facebook.com/pg/SupervisorMiley
Neighbors Want to Keep l-Way Barrier On Gary Drive
BY AMY SYLVESTRI • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 1-31-18
A standing-room-only crowd at the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) meeting Monday night heard an update from the county on the one-way closure of Gary Drive, and changes coming to some Caltrans-owned parcels.
At the intersection of Strobridge Drive and Gary Avenue, there is a concrete island and two “Do Not Enter” signs that prevent people from turning left from the I-580 exit and into a residential area. It blocks only one lane and traffic can flow in the opposite direction, allowing people to leave the area.
The barrier was erected in 2005 and was originally going to be temporary. The county’s Public Works Agency told the audience that opening up the other lanes would help with traffic circulation and the county does not typically put restrictions on a public street.
But most of the residents who addressed the MAC want the barrier to remain. It might add several minutes to their commute time by forcing them to use a longer route around the barrier, but it also prevents thousands of drivers from using their neighborhood as a short cut.
When the barrier was put up, a traffic study estimated that 4,000 cars per day were using the route. Now, with
see MAC on page 7
web apps like Waze, drivers know about shortcuts and residents said they fear there would be even more traffic.
“This road is not built for that kind of capacity,” said Hobert Street resident Derek Hudson. “It’s inconvenient for all of us that live there but we’re the ones that have to live there and we prefer it (the barrier). I’d rather take three or four extra minutes driving and have our neighborhood.”
The MAC directed the Public Works Department to look at some alternative solutions, perhaps moving the barrier to past Strobridge Elementary School so residents would have a bit more freedom of movement, but people still couldn’t use it as a thoroughfare.
“I see no reason at all to remove a bypass before we find a solution for the neighborhood,” said MAC member Chuck Moore. “The convenience of commuters shouldn’t outweigh the homeowners.”
The MAC also heard about the future of several parcels of land owned by Caltrans located near I-238.
In the 1970s, Caltrans planned a I-238 bypass expansion and purchased 400 parcels in the vicinity of Castro Valley and Hayward. The project was eventually abandoned and the properties have been sold off. Just 10 remain, including two that encompass parts of Castro Valley.
Hayward City Manager Kelly McAdoo said that by 2022, Hayward will create a master plan to determine desirable uses for the property from input they are currently getting from residents. McAdoo said that additional housing has been one idea.
Speakers said they were concerned about new construction affecting their views, disturbing wildlife, and bringing more crowding and traffic to the area.
MAC Chair Marc Crawford was also critical, saying the sale of the property would be a “sweetheart deal” for the city of Hayward, as they are the property owners and would be in the position of approving developers and profiting from the developments.
Crawford said that, going forward, he’d like to have a discussion about whether some profits from the sale of the property could be earmarked for Castro Valley.
“There should be some sort of benefit for Castro Valley,” said Crawford.
White Stripes to Be Painted on Stanton Avenue
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 01-31-18
The Alameda County Public Works Agency has been actively seeking innovative solutions to the long-standing issue of vehicles parked on dirt pathways or unimproved sidewalks.
These blocked pathways force pedestrians to walk into streets to maneuver around the obstacles.
As part of a new pilot program, the Public Works Agency will be installing white line striping in gutter areas to better define the area intended for use by pedestrians.
This first installment of white edge-line striping will appear along Stanton Avenue, between Castro Valley Boulevard and Somerset Avenue. Other locations in Castro Valley are also being evaluated for consideration.
A longer-term solution for Stanton Avenue is also in the works. After securing grant funding for sidewalk installation, the Public Works Agency has started preliminary design activities for sidewalks along Stanton Ave. between Castro Valley Blvd. and Miramar Avenue.
More information on the conceptual design will be available this spring.
For more on the edge line striping, contact the Maintenance and Operations Department at 510-670-5500.
Women’s March 2018
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 01-24-18
Hundreds of women and men from Castro Valley joined a rally of an estimated 50,000 people at the Alameda County Court House Saturday morning for a march through Oakland in support of women’s rights and against the Trump administration. The energetic audience heard women speakers and joined in song with the Oakland folk group Emma’s Revolution. This was just one of scores of rallies and marches in towns and cities across the United States marking the anniversary of the nationwide Women’s March in DC against the incoming president last year. The Oakland march ended at Frank Ogawa Plaza with a “Call to Action” by a number of women’s advocacy groups. PHOTOS BY DAWN MARTIN
Chamber Announces 2018 Eden Awards
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 01-24-18
The Castro Valley/ Eden Area Chamber of Commerce has announced this year’s selections for the 2018 Eden Area Awards.
Alameda County Deputy Sheriff Jacob Swalwell was named “First Responder of the Year,” Dr. Heidi Hausauer will receive the “Volunteer of the Year” award, Maria Leyson was named Castro Valley School District “Teacher of the Year,” Dawn Wilson will receive the San Lorenzo School District’s “Teacher of the Year” award, and the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District will be awarded the “Business Organization of the Year.”
A celebration of the honorees will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 10, at Redwood Canyon Golf Course, 17007 Redwood Road, in Castro Valley.
The gala evening will include dinner, desserts and silent auction.
For tickets ($75), please visit: edenareachamber.com.
First of BART’s New Railcars Make Debut
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 01-24-18
Ten new BART train cars made their debut Friday morning with first customers boarding at MacArthur Station for the inaugural passenger run.
The first riders seemed most impressed by how clean the new cars were. But they also liked a whole list of other improvements including quieter rides because of new, tapered wheels, better air conditioning, and more comfortable padded seats.
The most notable difference is that the new cars have three doors on each side instead of two which will allow for quicker on-and-off boarding.
That’s important because BART is working towards carrying more passengers in the future. Since 2012, when 775 new rail cars were ordered, ridership has grown 14 percent. Train routes are color-coded to match the BART system map, and next-stop
information is readily available on digital screens and easier-to-understand recorded announcements.
Another 10 new cars are awaiting final testing on the system before being put into service.
CAPTION: BART’s new cars made their first passenger run Friday.
SHOTS SCREEN SHOTS FROM BART VIDEO
CV Rock Legend to Have Day in Honor
BY AMY SYLVESTRI • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 1-24-18
Cliff Burton, the Castro Valley native who went on to become a bassist for the heavy metal band Metallica before dying in an accident at the age of 24, will have a day named in his honor.
The Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) voted unanimously at their Monday night meeting to make Feb. 10 (Burton’s birthday) “Cliff Burton Day.”
The proclamation will now go to the Alameda County Board of Supervisor for approval.
Burton was 20 years old when he joined Metallica and played with them until his death in September of 1986. He was killed when the band’s tour bus crashed in Sweden.
Burton was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 and has been named one of the top ten greatest bassists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.
Currently, a small plaque commemorates Burton at Marshall Elementary School, where he attended before graduating from Castro Valley High, but the MAC felt Burton deserves further recognition
“I think (the proclamation) is a great idea,” said MAC member Linda Tangren. “If I didn’t say it was a great idea, my older daughter would come after me.”
AC Chair Marc Crawford said he couldn’t recall the MAC making any other proclamations naming days after notable Castro Valley figures and said they were “breaking new ground” in honoring Burton.
Also at Monday night’s MAC meeting, the council heard from the county’s Community Development Agency about the state’s new regulations for “accessory dwelling units.”
Sometimes called in-law units, these structures are add-ons to existing homes. They are becoming more popular as soaring real estate costs are forcing people to consider alternative housing solutions in the Bay Area.
The state of California is making a push to make it easier for people to build accessory dwelling units by cutting through some red tape and streamlining the application process, explained Christina Horrisberger, a senior planner with the county.
“The state wants more leniency rather than more restrictions,” said Horrisberger.
The MAC expressed concerns about parking as well as the visual impact of more structures on smaller pieces of land.
“It leaves a bad taste in my mouth,” said Tangren. “It’s not that I don’t understand the need for more housing, but it’s our local communities that are going to be affected.”
Crawford said that “not in my backyard” views are when the state stepped in to change the process in the first place.
“Overly restrictive attitudes are why the state is taking action,” said Crawford.
Changes to the current policies governing the specifications of creating accessory dwelling units will now go to the Board of Supervisors for approval in the next few months.
The MAC also unanimously approved two land uses – the construction of a 2,950-square-foot single family home at 5922 Jensen Road, and an application to allow up to 51 children at a child care facility at 20166 Wisteria Street.
CAPTION: Castro Valley native Cliff Burton will have a day named in his honor
Martin Luther King Day 2018
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 01-17-18
A crowd of about 200 gathered at Hayward City Hall Plaza for a rally and march on Monday morning to celebrate Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Others spent the day in community service projects cleaning up and restoring waterways around the Bay Area.
PHOTO BY FRED ZEHNDER
Smalltown Society: Popular Hang-Out for Artists, Musicians, Community Advocates
BY LINDA SANDSMARK • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 01-17-18
If you’ve wondered what’s in the little storefront to the left of Trader Joe’s grocery, the Smalltown Society invites you to drop by and take a look.
The space welcomes anyone in the community who wants to make our area a better place — especially artists, musicians, and advocacy groups.
“It started with my band called Smalltown Society, where we were writing songs about the various social issues we saw in the community,” says lead curator Paul Keim. “After the band recorded an album, I turned to my wife and said, ‘I don’t think we’re done here.’ ”
First Presbyterian Church provided the space next to Trader Joe’s for this new type of community outreach, which now includes daytime and evening activities.
Smalltown Society hosts a variety of events, including speakers, films, forums, rehearsal and performance space, and artists’ workspace.
“We want to foster and highlight more beauty and justice in the community. Volunteers are keeping the doors open every Wednesday through Friday.
Every Thursday night we have an open door session, which is like a community living room. We hope more people will come. And they can get snacks and drinks next door at Trader Joe’s,” says Keim with a smile.
When he first took on the role of lead curator/community organizer, Keim thought it best just to listen to the hopes and issues brought up by people in the community.
He discovered an impressive and diverse array of talented and knowledgeable locals, including a variety of artists and people doing advocacy work.
The space’s calendar is now full of events, and may be viewed online at www.smalltownsociety.com. Of special interest may be “The Lab” (musician/poet workshop) next Tuesday, Jan. 23, and a writers’ workshop with local author Mark Vaz on Feb. 9.
Hours for the Smalltown Society space are 9 to 5, Wednesdays and Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays. Additional events are also held outside those days.
Questions about the gathering space may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAPTION: This space next to Trader Joe’s in Castro Valley houses the Smalltown Society Space, a popular spot for local artists and advocates to hold their meet-ups.
PHOTO BY LINDA SANDSMARK
Miley to Deliver Virtual ‘State ofDistrict’ Speech
Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, whose District 4 extends from East Oakland through Castro Valley and into Pleasanton, will deliver a virtual “State of the District” address on his priorities for 2018 online at 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday, Jan. 23. The live-streaming speech will be available at www.facebook.com/pg/SupervisorMiley.
Yet Another Hazard for Pedestrians
BY JIM KNOWLES • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 01-17-18
You’re about to step off the sidewalk and cross the street.
You remember the old adage: make eye contact with the driver, so you know that they see you before you step in front of a car.
But how do you do that when so many cars have tinted windows?
A lot of cars these days have their driver’s side windows darkened. All you see is a blackened window. Do you step in front of a 4,000-pound motor vehicle when the driver could be looking the other way, or at their phone?
To not be able to see the driver puts a person walking in jeopardy, and that’s why there is a law against tinting the front windows (the driver’s side and passenger’s side windows).
It’s okay to darken the backseat windows, but not the front ones.
But it turns out that law doesn’t do much because more and more cars have tinted windows that hide the driver. Safety organizations and law enforcement don’t exactly have window tinting as a top priority.
It is against the vehicle code to have the front driver side or passenger side windows tinted, said Chris Cochran, spokesman for the California Office of Traffic Safety.
“I agree it would be hard to catch the eye of someone behind a front driver side tinted window,” Cochran said.
Cochran said that’s about as far as his knowledge on the subject goes. He added that enforcement is up to each law enforcement agency.
The National Safety Council said they aren’t familiar with any studies on window
tinting and pedestrian safety, and that accident reports don’t track window tinting.
After asking their road safety experts, the consensus was that window tinting was not an issue that the National Safety Council has been involved with, said the NSC’s spokesperson Tatyana Warrick.
Law enforcement uses their own discretion when enforcing the laws, Warrick said. With pedestrian fatalities, the NSC looks at speed, distraction and impairment, which are also the primary causes of motor vehicle fatalities, she said.
The National Safety Council has seen an influx of pedestrian and other “vulnerable road user” fatalities over the past two years, Warrick added. But it’s not know if the increase is caused by tinted windows.
Police issue tickets for illegally tinted car windows, though it’s difficult to determine just how often.
It would be hard to get the number of tickets written for tinted windows, said San Leandro police spokesman Isaac Benabou.
But it is a citable offense, he added.
“It’s a violation of the vehicle code,” Benabou said. “It’s a citable offense. We do enforce it, but it would be up to the officer’s discretion whether or not to issue a ticket.”
Castro Valley Sisters Achieve The Status of ‘All American’
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 01-10-18
Anna and Maya Dughi of Castro Valley recently competed in the USA Track & Field Cross-Country Nationals in Tallahassee, Florida. Anna, at left in both pictures, placed 8th out of 302 of the fastest 9-10 year-old girls in the nation with her sister Maya placing 14th.
Ten-year-old sisters Anna and Maya Dughi of Castro Valley traveled to Florida last month to compete in the USA Track & Field Cross-Country Nationals in Tallahassee.
Anna placed 8th out of 302 of the fastest 9-10 year-old girls in the nation.
To get a feel for the pace, the winner averaged 5:47 minutes per mile for the 1.86 mile (3 km) course – a track star at most high schools. Anna averaged 6:01 minutes per mile for a total time of 11:14 min.
This is Anna’s 3rd “All American” title (top 25) for cross-country. She also received a special award for 3 undefeated regular seasons.
However, this was really Maya Dughi’s race, easily achieving the goal of her first “All American” title by placing 14th.
She exceeded her own expectations, averaging 6:09 minutes per mile for a final time of 11:28, not far behind Anna.
Even more impressive, she passed three girls in the final 30 meters by maintaining focus and determination to the end!
The girls, who attend Independent Elementary School, are the daughters of Garland and Bruce Dughi of Castro Valley.
New Library Program Will Celebrate Reading and Community Discussion
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 01-10-18
The Castro Valley Library will kick off its first annual Castro Valley Reads on Sunday, Jan. 21, from 2 to 3:00 p.m.
Following the lead of successful city-wide “read” programs from across the country, the library is seeking to get as many people as possible to read and discuss the same book.
The idea is to celebrate reading, great literature, and to build community through a thoughtful exchange of ideas.
“A library is at its best when it is promoting community engagement through excellent programming,” said Dawn Balestreri, branch manager.
“With Castro Valley Reads we want to answer the questions: What would happen if everyone in Castro Valley read the same book? What could we learn from each other? What could we learn together? We hope you’ll join us and find out!”
The 2018 book selection is the best-selling memoir, Lab Girl, a book about science and the environment by acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren.
Lab Girl is the witty and moving coming-of-age story of an American geo-biologist. Jahren has spent her life studying plants, seeds and soil to learn about our environment both past and present. A fierce advocate for funding scientific research, she wants all of us to be good stewards of the green things on this earth.
This book is also about her life, the ups and downs she’s experienced on her journey to becoming an award-winning scientist, and her quirky friendship with her lab partner Bill.
Jahren is the winner of many prestigious awards, including three Fulbright Awards, and is the only woman to have won both Young Investigator Medals given within the earth sciences.
After she finished graduate school at UC Berkeley, she built four labs from scratch including the one she now leads in Norway.
Her book was called one of the best books of 2016 by The Washington Post, The New York Times, NPR, Slate, Time, and Entertainment Weekly. She is a great writer who is serious about her work, open about her life, all while employing a wicked sense of humor.
The Kick Off on Jan. 21 you’ll hear dramatic readings from Castro Valley High School students, sign up for a book discussion, get a free copy of the book, and learn how you can get a special invitation to meet Hope Jahren.
The celebration continues throughout February and March with many special Castro Valley Reads programs.
If you can’t make the Kick Off, come to the Library after Jan. 21 to sign up for a discussion. Free copies of Lab Girl are available while supplies last.
Castro Valley Reads is generously funded by the Friends of the Castro Valley Library.
CAPTION: Acclaimed scientist and author Hope Jahren, above, with her lab partner Bill. Jahren’s best-selling memoir “Lab Girl” has been selected by the CV Library to kick off a new program called “Castro Valley Reads” on Sunday, Jan. 21. Those who sign up will get a free copy of the book to read and share its ideas with others in the community.
Update on ‘Castro Valley Marketplace’
BY AMY SYLVESTRI • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 1-10-18
The Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) got an update Monday night on the much-anticipated “Castro Valley Marketplace” project at the old Daughtrey’s site.
Developer Craig Semmelmeyer presented some drawings of the exterior and also told the MAC that he has successfully leased out over half of the space.
Semmelmeyer first proposed the grocery store concept to the MAC back in February of 2017 and he was selected as a the developer in June.
“It’s been almost a year since I first came to the MAC and we’ve accomplished so much,” said Semmelmeyer. “It’s really been an amazing year.”
MAC member Dave Sadoff commended Semmelmeyer for getting so much of the property leased so early. Tenants will include the
grocery store, a restaurant, and a yoga studio.
“It’s got success written all over it,” said Sadoff.
Semmelmeyer showed plans for a terracotta-colored building with yellow stripes at the corners, which the MAC said was a bit bold. But council members also said they weren’t interested in holding up the project’s progress over cosmetic issues.
“The last thing we want to do is stall this project over a paint color,” said MAC member Ken Carbone.
Semmelmeyer said that the store front designs will come back before the MAC for approval in the near future.
MAC chair Marc Crawford said that a tremendous amount of time and effort has gone into ensuring the marketplace project will be a success.
“I can’t think of another building (in Castro Valley) that has had this level of thought put into it,” said Crawford.
The MAC also got an update on the shared parking project and “paseo” alongside of the marketplace – a project that is running months behind schedule.
The $4.8 million parking project creates a lot from the western entrance of the Daughtery’s building to Wilbeam Avenue, consisting of parking spots, lighting, and landscaping behind what will become the new grocery shop and extending behind the Ice Creamery building and other stores.
The parking lot is now open, but the paseo remains unfinished. It was originally planned to be completed in September, then postponed to late November. One aspect of the paseo – a thick wooden trellis – has been scrapped.
Eileen Dalton, the county’s community development director, said the project was further delayed when some poles were installed in the wrong place, but the problem has been corrected. Rain has also delayed the pouring of some cement, but Dalton said it’ll be completed by the end of the month.
’18 Flu Season May Be Worst In a Decade
Since California’s flu season began last October, 27 people under the age of 65 have died, about seven times as many during the same period in previous years.
“This appears to be one of the worst seasons we’ve had in the last 10 years,” state epidemiologist Dr. Gil Chavez told reporters yesterday. “We’re early, and we’re trending up.”
The death toll is actually much higher because the state’s statistics do not include deaths among those over 65.
Dr. James Watt, chief of the division of communicable disease control with the California Department of Public Health said that the state’s outbreak might just seem worse because the season is peaking early.
“Our hope is that because we started early, we’ll end early,” Watt said.
Both officials urged getting a flu shot for everyone over six months old. While this year’s vaccine is not as effective as in previous years it can still reduce the severity of the disease.
It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to take effect.
THE FIRST BABY OF THE YEAR
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 01-03-18
Prince Abraham McElligott was born at 2:11 a.m. on New Year’s Day, Castro Valley’s first baby of 2018. Prince, weighing 7 pounds and 2 ounces, was delivered at Eden Medical Center by Dr. Sonia Badheka. Prince’s father, Reuben M. McElligott is not only from Castro Valley, but his family has lived here for generations. Prince’s mother, Edlyn P. Rodriguez, is from San Leandro and still has family in the area. In addition to mom and dad, Prince will be welcomed home by two brothers (Jayden and Reuben III) and three sisters (Anaisha, Lili, and Ruby). The family currently lives in Discovery Bay but hopes to move back to Castro Valley soon.
PHOTO BY EMMA DUGAS / SUTTER HEALTH
Longtime School Board Member Kunio Okui Dies
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 01-03-18
Former Castro Valley School Board member Kunio Okui, 72, passed away December 19 at Kaiser San Leandro Hospital.
A CPA by profession, Okui was known for his integrity on the school board and his watchful eye over district expenditures.
Former Castro Valley Unified School District superintendent Jim Negri remembers Okui as a friend as well as a colleague.
“I was saddened to learn of Kunio’s passing. I first met him at a California School Boards Association (CSBA) training in the 1990s when I was working for the Pleasanton School District. We remained friends throughout the year,” said Negri.
“As a board member, Kunio was fully committed to ensuring that every student had access to a quality education and quality teachers. While fiscally conservative, Kunio understood the challenges of balancing the budget during the difficult years, while maintaining quality programs,” Negri continued. “He worked diligently to pass the bonds that upgraded and provided new facilities.”
Bruce D. Johnson, Superintendent Emeritus of Redwood Christian Schools, said Okui “leaves a marvelous legacy of service and commitment.
“He was a true Christian gentleman and all who knew him were blessed by his steadfast faith and love for all kids regardless of their age or what school they attended,” said Johnson.
Okui left the school board in 2012 after 21 years of service, including the position of President. Besides his school board service, he was active in the San Lorenzo Japanese Christian Church. He also played bridge and was a devoted Golden State Warriors fan.
Kunio Okui is survived by his wife Patti, three children, and six grandchildren. His full obituary is on page 14.
Legal Pot’sFirst Day
BY AMY SYLVESTRI • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 1-3-18
New Year’s Day was the first day for legal recreational marijuana sales in California and two cannabis shops in the unincorporated were open for business.
We Are Hemp on East Lewelling Boulevard in Ashland and Garden of Eden on Foothill Boulevard in Cherryland say business is booming, especially with new customers.
“We had someone in here on Monday who’d never smoked a cigarette before or any cannabis,” said Sarah Morgan, a manager at We Are Hemp. “He wanted to try it out. We’ve had a few first-time customers ask for recommendations.”
But Morgan added that most people who have visited the shop have medical marijuana cards and aren’t buying pot for the novelty.
“We still serve primarily a medical base,” said Morgan.
Over at the Garden of Eden, one employee estimated that they had three times as much business this week as they did prior to legalization.
“We are extremely busy right now,” said the woman. “It’s chaotic.”
egal recreational marijuana sales went into effect on Jan. 1 and existing medical marijuana dispensaries were the first to open their doors to new users. In the future, recreational-only shops may be permitted with county approval.
In December, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors created a last-minute resolution to authorize the sales at We Are hemp and the Garden of Eden.
Last year, the Board of Supervisors also voted to allow up to five cannabis shops, an effort spearheaded by Supervisor Nate Miley whose recent reelection campaign received $60,000 in donations from the cannabis industry.
The California Police Chiefs Association, the Castro Valley CHP, and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office have gone on record about their concerns about stoned drivers, the risk of theft associated with the all-cash marijuana sales, and the thriving black market.
According to USA Today, 13.5 million pounds of marijuana were produced in California in 2016 and 80 percent was illegally shipped out of state. Of the remaining 20 percent, only one-quarter as sold legally.
Police also say that the legal pot – which is taxed heavily up to 70 percent – won’t end black market sales.
CAPTION: We Are Hemp, left, on East Lewelling Blvd. in Ashland, and Garden of Eden on Foothill Blvd. in Cherryland did a booming business on the first day of legalized recreational sales of marijuana in California.
PHOTO BY FRED ZEHNDER
The 1950 Castro Valley Fair: ‘Bigger, Better Than Ever’
BY JOHN CHRISTIAN
SPECIAL TO THE FORUM • 12-27-17
Castro Valley boasts many annual events. The Fall Festival, the Rowell Ranch Rodeo, and the Light Parade just to name a few. But Castro Valley has been the home of many other events in the past.
The 1950 Castro Valley Fair is one such event.
The Castro Valley Fair was an end of summer celebration that began in 1947. The first fair was a humble affair, taking place on the grounds of the Castro Valley Grammar School on Castro Valley Boulevard. The next two were held at the site of the Castro Valley Community Center. Those fairs were well attended but still relatively small.
In 1950, the Castro Valley Fair Committee wanted to expand the event and make it bigger and better than ever.
Led by local clothier Ted Lawrence, the committee worked to move the fairgrounds to Castro Valley Boulevard between Baker and Rutledge Roads. This new location was more prominent and helped to increase attendance over the previous three fairs.
It featured a large concession area with matching green and gold booths decorated by volunteers to attract a bigger crowd.
Another goal was to make the event a little more family friendly and had a very specific policy of “no hard liquor, no dice.” This apparently was an issue at past celebrations.
ith these goals in mind, the committee scheduled a variety of events for the four-day celebration which ran from August 3-6, 1950.
Highlights included an amateur talent show at the Chabot Theater. The winner of the event, attorney Gene Rhodes, beat out a magician by singing romantic ballads for a raucous crowd.
Another event was a baking contest won by a Mrs. Wilkins for her “Sunshine Sponge Cake” recipe. For her efforts she received an engraved silver platter.
The Castro Valley Community Center sponsored a country themed “gingham and overalls dance.” There was even a parade down Castro Valley Boulevard featuring floats built by local businesses and organizations. The winner was Paine Realty, which built a float that represented the “evolution of a home.”
The float had a chronological theme with trees, then lumber, and then a large model of a complete ranch style home.
The most reported event of the fair by far was the crowning of the
event’s “Sunshine Girl.” Six contestants entered the hotly contested competition. When all the votes were counted Diane Gonsalves emerged victorious.
Gonsalves was crowned by the previous year’s champion Elaine Machado in front of a large enthusiastic crowd. She presided over many of the fair’s events and was even a part of business ribbon cutting ceremonies well into the next year.
After four jam-packed days, the fair came to a close. The Castro Valley Fair Committee gave 50% of the proceeds to the community center and thanked the community for turning out. The event drew people from far and wide and was largely a success.
The 1950 Castro Valley Fair just goes to show that Castro Valley has always loved a good party.
If you are interested in researching local history please visit the Hayward Area Historical Society at 22380 Foothill Boulevard in downtown Hayward. Visit our website haywardareahistory.org or call 510-581-0223 for more information.
John Christian is Associate Archivist of the Hayward Area Historical Society.
CAPTION: Winner of the 1950 CV Fair Parade was Paine Realty with this float that represented the chronological “evolution of a home,” with trees, lumber and a model of a ranch-style home.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE HAYWARD AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
New Year,New Laws
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 12-27-17
At the stroke of midnight Sunday, a slew of new laws go into effect in California that will likely affect nearly everyone in some way.
The one that has received the most attention, of course, is the one approved by voters in November of 2016. Prop. 64 legalized the recreational use of marijuana.
On Jan. 1, Californians age 21 and over can legally buy as much as an ounce of pot, but only at businesses registered with the state. However, using marijuana while driving – or even while riding as a passenger – is banned.
California’s minimum wage will increase on Monday to $11 per hour for companies with 26 or more employees and to $10.50 an hour for businesses with 25 or fewer workers. Employees making at least $45,760 a year are exempt from the minimum wage increase.
Vehicle owners will have to pay a transportation improvement fee
along with their DMV registration in 2018. Most will pay $25 or $50 depending on the value of their vehicle.
Gun owners will have to buy ammunition in person through an authorized vendor. Ammunition can still be purchased online or from a catalog, but it will have to be shipped first to a licensed vendor who can charge a processing fee.
Taking effective in 2018 is the New Parent Leave Act requiring small businesses with 20 or more workers to provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to bond with a new child. The leave must be taken within a year of the child’s birth or adoption. Employers are not required to provide leave other reasons, such as a family member’s medical issue.
A new law will prohibit parking enforcement officers from issuing a ticket at a parking meter or parking payment machine that is broken, and you can park at the broken meter for hours if there is no posted time limit.
A Sanctuary State regulation will restrict local police agencies from communicating with federal immigration authorities about people in custody, except for those previously convicted of felonies in the past 15 years.
Public schools, including community colleges, Cal State University and U.C. campuses, will be prohibited from collecting information about student citizenship or immigration status and that of their families.
Tenants in new housing developments will be permitted to have one or more pets if the development receives financing through state programs.
Bad Start to Christmas Eve
A collision between a truck and this SUV at the corner of Cull Canyon and Crow Canyon roads Sunday morning resulted in the SUV driver being transported to Eden Hospital. The accident occurred at abut 9:30 a.m. next to the Fire Station. Then Sunday night, California Highway Patrol Officer Andrew Camilleri, Sr., a 33-year old father of three who lived in Tracy, was killed when an impaired driver crashed into his patrol vehicle on I-880 near the Winton Ave. onramp in Hayward. Another CHP officer, Jonathan Velasquez, was injured.
PHOTO BY EDWARD GERVASONI
County Fast-Tracks Pot Sales
BY AMY SYLVESTRI • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 12-27-17
A late decision from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors last week will allow dispensaries in the unincorporated area to sell marijuana to anyone over the age of 21 as soon as they open their doors in 2018.
By a vote of 3-1 (with Supervisor Wilma Chan dissenting and Supervisor Keith Carson absent), the board created a resolution on Dec. 19 to allow existing medical marijuana dispensaries to also sell recreational pot to adults.
Under the new ordinance, the Supervisors said that legal dispensaries “advance the goals of the county by supporting emerging businesses.”
Though there are no cannabis dispensaries in Castro Valley, there are currently shops in Ashland and
Cherryland. Those business are now eligible to apply to the state to be given priority in obtaining a temporary permit for recreational sales.
Last Wednesday, the Board of Supervisors hosted a “Winter Cannabis Summit” detailing how people in the pot business can comply with new laws related to the legalization of recreational use.
Supervisor Nate Miley, an organizer of the summit, spearheaded a successful county initiative this year to increase the number of medical marijuana shops in the unincorporated areas of Alameda County from two to five.
Pot stands to be a cash crop for both the business owners and the state and county, as government officials will collect taxes and fees. Annual license fees to sell recreational marijuana will range widely – from $1,200 to $78,000 depending on size and location of the businesses.
One issue with legalized marijuana is that it’s an all-cash business since most banks won’t deal with the pot business because it remains illegal under federal law.
At the marijuana summit last week, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said that the cash aspect was a concern, as she feared that employees of cannabis shops may be target for robberies. She also said that legal weed may bring an increase in illegal street sales because the drug will be more readily available.
Other local law enforcement officials agreed.
Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Bret Scheuller recently discussed how cannabis enforcement will be handled, saying his department did not support the ordinance to increase the number of dispensaries, but it’s happening, so the department is doing its best to prepare.
“We are going to be a very active partner in trying to police these (growers and stores),” said Scheuller. “We’ve never had to deal with legal cultivation before. It’s a cash crop. It’s a commodity. Also, the black market is here and it is going to remain.”
Scheuller said that trouble stemming from marijuana – thefts, fires from illegal grows, etc. – have gone up “exponentially” since medical marijuana use was made legal 20 years ago.
“We have committed to policing it,” said Scheuller.
California Highway Patrol Commander Steve Perea said that his officers have received additional training about what to do with drivers that they think are impaired by marijuana
Officers must use their observation skills during field sobriety tests and find probable cause for an arrest. At the station, an officer with specific training as a “drug recognition expert” can request a blood test which can determine levels of THC present.
“When it comes to recognize impairment, it’s different than drinking,” said Perea.
In 2017, there were 441 DUI arrests by the CHP in the Eden Area through the month of October and 34 were from drugged driving, up from 19 such arrests in 2016.
“We get good, strong convictions in drug arrests.” said Perea. “With Prop 64, we are in uncharted territory. We want to get ahead of it as much as possible.”
CAPTION: Annual license fees to sell recreational marijuana will range widely – from $1,200 to $78,000 depending on size and location of businesses.
Saturday’s Big Traffic Snarl on I-580
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 12-20-17
This big rig overturned on eastbound I-580 near the Crow Canyon offramp in Castro Valley at around 11 a.m. last Saturday, leading to multiple lane closures and clogging traffic for hours. All lanes were finally reopened around 4 p.m. There were no injuries, according to the Alameda County Fire Department and the cause of the crash is under investigation.
PHOTO BY ALAMEDA COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT
Making Spirits Bright
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 12-20-17
Castro Valley Rotary Club hosted its annual Children’s Christmas Party last week for kids and families who are living in local shelters.
Santa and his helper, “Dr. Heidi,” arrived by a hook-and-ladder fire truck – with siren wailing – at the Castro Valley Adult School, where the multipurpose room had been transformed into a Christmas wonderland for the party by Rotary members.
More than 60 children and 30 adults attended this year’s event where dinner was prepared by Rotary Club members Cliff Sherwood, Randy Vanderbilt and Dan Willets, and staff members of the Castro Valley Sanitary District.
Each child received a word of encouragement and a personal gift and from Santa. The presents were provided through the CV California Highway Patrol Office’s Annual Toy Drive, overseen by CHP “Officer Dan” Jacowitz and secured by Rotarian Ceta Dochterman.
“Al The Clown” Proietti and “Joyce The Clown” Miyoha entertained the guests while Santa Helper Dr. Heidi Hausauer assisted Santa distributing the gifts with help from Castro Valley Schools’ Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi and Redwood Christian Schools’ Superintendent Al Hearne.
Entertainment was provided by members of Redwood Christian’s InterAct Club and Ladies’ Basketball team.
The party was chaired by Mark Poniatowski with help from other members of Rotary and the community.
“It is truly exciting and heart-warming when the entire Castro Valley community can come together for an event such as this where the focus is on serving, not self-recognition,” said CV Rotary President Jim Negri. “This is the Rotary belief of ‘Service Above Self’.”
CAPTION: Santa Claus and his helper arrive on a fire truck at Castro Valley Rotary Club’s Annual Christmas Party for kids and families living in local shelters.
PHOTO BY MIKE KADY
MAC Meeting All About the Dangers of CV Roadways
BY AMY SYLVESTRI • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 12-20-17
The Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council’s last meeting of the year was all about hitting the road – pedestrian and bicycle safety, traffic gridlock, speeders, and more.
First, the council heard from Maurice Kaufman of the county’s public works agency who has been tasked with finding solutions for streets near Stanton Elementary School which don’t have sidewalks.
Cars park on the shoulders, forcing pedestrians – including many children – to walk out on the street, which can be dangerous. Kaufman said about $4.2 million in county funding from Measure B and gas taxes has been set aside to construct concrete sidewalks on Stanton Ave. from Castro Valley Blvd. to Miramar Avenue.
The bad news is that the project design phase won’t be completed for at least a year and construction wouldn’t begin until mid-2019. And the county will have to get the permission of about 60 property owners along the route to enter their property to build the sidewalks, although Kaufman said he didn’t anticipate having any problems with the homeowners.
A temporary solution in the interim 18 months will be the painting of white lines along the shoulder to show drivers that they need to allow space for pedestrians and bicyclists when they park. Kaufman said the painting will commence next month, weather permitting, and that law enforcement will be able to ticket drivers who cross the line.
Several speakers, including some kids from Stanton, addressed the MAC to urge them to get the project up and running.
“I walk rain or shine,” said a student named Sam. “Please keep our sidewalks safe.”
Amy Ramos of the Stanton PTA said “All I want for Christmas is sidewalks.”
And MAC member Linda Tangren agreed that the project needs to be prioritized, saying that during peak times at the school people double park and make the kids step even farther out into the street.
“This is a critically unsafe situation for kids,” said Tangren.
The discussion then switched to traffic on canyon roads – especially Palomares and Crow Canyon. A boom in housing construction in San Ramon and Dublin has turned those roads into major commuter arteries, according to residents. And traffic apps like Waze don’t help because when people see I-580 getting congested, they switch to the side streets.
Speakers said that there were two problems – people speeding when the roads are clear, and bumper-to-bumper traffic when they are not.
MAC member Chuck Moore suggested that the areas be rezoned to agricultural districts so speed limits can be changed, saying it takes him twice as long to get out of his Crow Canyon Road driveway than it did a few years ago because he can’t find a gap in the speeding traffic.
“It’s a heck of a lot different than it was five years ago,” said Moore. “It’s gotten a lot worse.”
Representatives from the CHP and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office shared some statistics.
“People are driving way too fast on these roads,” said Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Martinez. “We do enforcement, but we are stretched thin.”
The CHP reported that there have been four serious accidents on Palomares Road this year during a period when much of the road was closed due to storm repairs.
And there have been 57 accidents on Crow Canyon Road, including a fatal crash last week. In most cases, these are single vehicle accidents where speed causes the driver to lose control and crash.
Moore added that when people hit PG&E poles, he and his neighbors are often without power for hours at a time.
“Where you have 57 accidents on one road, you have a problem,” said Moore.
State, County Officials Meet Today to Discuss Legal Pot
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 12-20-17
The sale and taxation of marijuana for adult use will be legal in California in 12 days and, in preparation, Alameda County is hosting a Winter Cannabis Summit all day today in the County Supervisors’ Chambers in Oakland.
Today’s meeting is being billed as a way to bring major interests together to discuss the challenges and opportunities related to pot sales.
“The cannabis industry is emerging as a major force,” Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, organizer of the Summit, said in a press statement.
“We have a great opportunity for a new source of untapped tax revenue to strengthen our public infrastructure and to grow jobs.”
The summit will begin with a morning panel with state licensing officials including the Bureau of Cannabis Control, CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, California Department of Food and Agriculture, and California Department of Public Health.
County officials say the meeting’s focus will be on regulations concerning manufacturing, retail sales, distributing, laboratory testing and microbusinesses.
The panel will also discuss a track-and-trace system to record the movement of cannabis through the distribution chain.
“As we move toward issuing the first start licenses for commercial cannabis activity, the state’s three licensing authorities are grateful for the opportunity to interact with our key local government partners,” Bureau of Cannabis Control Chief Lori Ajax said in a statement.
“A tremendous amount of work has gone into this process and we wouldn’t be in the position we are today without the feedback received at events like this summit.”
The afternoon panel session will include Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, prevention specialists, and community partners focused on what legalization brings, and cannabis education for youth. The session will also include information about how schools and community groups can prevent access to cannabis.
Tickets for the summit, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the supervisors’ chambers at 1221 Oak Street in Oakland, have been sold out, but the morning and afternoon sessions will be live-streamed. For more information, visit alamedacounty. granicus.com/winter cannibas summit
Love of Song: Canyon Choral Teacher Raises Student Voices and Self-Esteem
BY MICHAEL SINGER • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 12-13-17
On any given school day, between 40 and 60 students cram into the Canyon Middle School choir room ready to make beautiful music with their voices.
The school’s Director of Choirs, M. Kaitlyn Burke, known among her friends as Katie, leads the students in a multi-cultural journey of styles: from African spirituals to classical arias.
For example, last Tuesday’s Winter Choir Concert included songs sung in Spanish, German, Korean, and English.
Canyon Middle School’s administration has been supportive in adding classes to choir, band, and orchestra; giving Burke’s students more time to sing. Now, three different groups meet five days a week including a 60-member beginner’s choir, a 40-student Treble choir of girls, and a 60-member Choral Ensemble. The classes are very supportive of each other.
Burke’s love of music and teaching it to students is helping develop some very talented vocalists. Recently, 14 students from Canyon and Creekside Middle Schools auditioned and were selected to participate in the 2018 California All-State Music Education Conference in San Jose.
The Canyon Middle School All-State Students include, Josiah Batista, Jason Baumann, Jasmine Bernal, Jacob Bull, Stephen Caudill-Merida, Jacob Caviness, Cedric David, Morgen Guillen, Dennise Moreno, Annabella Phillips, Rachel Raskin, and Kylie Yu.
Representing Creekside Middle School at the event will be Justin Cataag and Zean Ylaya.
“Singing is a very personal thing,” Burke says. “Unlike using an instrument that you play, singing is you. Allowing the students to sing in front of each other and clapping for them signifies that we’re not going to make fun of you as well as everyone is asked to speak kindly toward each other. It’s about creating a safe space but also about gaining self-confidence, kindness to themselves, and to each other.”
Working as a team is a huge part of what Burke emphasizes in her classes, as well as spreading tolerance and kindness to make the classroom is a safe space for students.
“Especially recently, I’ve been feeling that there is a lot of terrible stuff going on in the world, so it’s really nice to just create something beautiful with students,” Burke says. “With these performances, we have created something out of nothing and provided that experience for the audience as well as for ourselves as an ensemble.”
Burke was drawn to music from an early age with piano, orchestra and choir. She notes that she had a really great choral teacher in high school that inspired her to teach others to sing.
Burke says she is very grateful that the Castro Valley Unified School District heavily supports both its athletics and arts programs. Given the success of the music, Burke encourages even more emphasis on music education in the earlier grades.
To raise money and awareness for the music programs in town, the Castro Valley Music Parents’ Society recently sold mattresses as a fundraiser. If you weren’t able to participate but would like to contribute, visit www.cvmps.org/index.php/support/store/category/view/4
CAPTION: M. Kaitlyn Burke, Canyon Middle School Choir Director.
BY LINDA SANDSMARK • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 12-13-17
An enthusiastic group of Castro Valley student volunteers is refurbishing old computers for others. They have already given 70 computers to less-fortunate kids.
“It’s incredibly gratifying to know that we can help some of our classmates,” says Alayna Chinn, who started the non-profit organization called ‘ReConnect’ when she was just an eighth grader. “But also, volunteering is fun and easy. We get to learn a bit about hardware and software, while just hanging out at lunch.”
Everyone loves a new computer. But when old, functional computers are sent to recycling they’re usually melted down for scrap metal.
Two years ago, Alayna, then an eighth-grade student at Canyon Middle School, was inspired to refurbish retired computers instead, for students who lack a computer at home.
In 2015 she started ReConnect, Inc., a non-profit organization, with the goal of refurbishing surplus computers for students. Together with her friends she started student volunteer clubs at both Canyon Middle School and at Castro Valley High School.
Today ReConnect has over 40 hard-working student volunteers. Together they wipe existing data from surplus computers, repair and upgrade them as necessary, update operating systems, and install all the software a student really needs. The group is on track to donate at least 50 more by the end of the school year, and is always hoping for more. Tech-minded students are invited to look into volunteering with the ReConnect Clubs.
The program has been so successful that the Castro Valley School District donates its retired computers to ReConnect.
“It’s really inspiring...our student volunteers actually turn trash into educational opportunities,” says ReConnect Board President Craig Herendeen.
If someone you know has a new computer under the Christmas tree, let them know that their old, functional computer can still help deserving Castro Valley students. Computers from businesses and institutions are also welcome.
To contact or learn more about ReConnect, visit ReConnectCalifornia.org
CAPTION: Student volunteers at ReConnect have refurbished 70 old computers for less fortunate kids, and are looking for more donated computers to work on.
PHOTO COURTESY OF RECONNECT
Center St. Housing Approved
BY LINDA SANDSMARK • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 12-13-17
The Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) has approved a controversial housing project which neighbors are opposed to, and also gave the go-ahead to facade improvements to the Village shopping center at their Monday night meeting.
After directing the developers of the housing project to install a sidewalk, the
MAC unanimously approved construction of seven single-family homes at 19430 Center Street.
Over a dozen neighbors were in attendance to protest the project, citing such reasons to nix the project as the lack of parking, increased traffic, density, and even water drainage issues.
But the MAC members, who
winnowed the project down from 12 to seven homes, said the project should go forward.
The MAC also approved a plan for improvements at the Village, including new facades, landscaping, and some plaza seating areas.
The council was concerned that the new developments might cut into parking, but were assured by developer Randy Nahas that the same number of spots would be available.
MAC Chair Marc Crawford pointed out that the Village maintains four parking spaces per 1,000-square-feet of retail space, which is industry standard even though many people often decry the lack of spots in the Village.
The council also heard from the Castro Valley Sanitary District about plans to open a new corporation yard at 21195 Center Street, a former Caltrans property.
CVSan purchased the property in 2013 for $1.5 million and estimate that it will take a total $6 million to build the yard with office space, vehicle maintenance areas, showers, and lockers. The current CVSan administration offices on Marshall Street would remain.
he full funding for the project is not yet in place, but CVSan general manager Roland Williams presented the MAC with his pans.
any on the MAC questioned how much rate payers would be on the hook for the construction fees, as funding is still up in the air
“How much will our rates go up to pay for this?” MAC Chair Marc Crawford asked. Williams said that a lot is still unknown because the plans are still preliminary.
Crawford and other MAC members also criticized the design of the building, which is three stories tall, as rather plain.
“The design is too simple,” said Crawford.
Others asked for a sound wall between the yard and neighboring houses. The meeting lasted over three hours and other items, including regulations on massage parlors, were continued until the Jan. 22 meeting.
Our Wildlife Neighbors
BY AMY SYLVESTRI • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 12-6-17
When Castro Valley photographer Ed Gervasoni visited the dog park at the corner of Crest and Stanton avenues last week, he spotted some unusual four-legged friends. At least four coyotes – which can weigh up to 45 pounds – were roaming the park.
“I was in the park and it was hard to see because it was so camouflaged, but I saw the eyes and the tail then realized a huge coyote was right there,” said Gervasoni. “I felt goosebumps.”
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says that, while people might be afraid to see a coyote near their home, it’s the animals who have more to fear from humans.
Never feed to try to tame a coyote. When people feed coyotes – or they are allowed to scavenge in garbage cans or eat pet food left outside – they become bold and expand their territory into more populated areas. Keeping coyotes “wild” is better for the animals and their human neighbors.
Gervasoni said that the dog park coyotes he has spotted seem content to leave humans alone.
“Lately, those guys have been more active and it’s a little intimating, but they aren’t bothering anyone,” said Gervasoni.
Coyotes mating season is around January and pups are born in late spring and sometimes more of them are spotted by people during that season as the mom and dad coyotes become more protective of their offspring.
Pups are ready to leave their parents at around seven months, so this is the time of the year when young coyotes could be stepping out without mom and dad for the first time.
Coyotes can kill small dogs and cats, so never leave pets outside unattended. Coyotes are also natural rodent control and Gervasoni pointed out that the ones he has seen seem to feasting on squirrels and other small critters.
“They are definitely well-fed,” Gervasoni said.
The University of California has created the “coyote cacher,” an interactive online map where people can report their coyote sightings and see if any coyotes have been spotted near them in the past 30 days at www.ucanr.edu/sites/coyotecacher.
Countdown Kicks Off Christmas Season in CV
BY LINDA SANDSMARK • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 12-6-17
Castro Village was packed with kids of all ages Friday night, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive and help light a giant Christmas tree.
Before his entrance in an Alameda County Fire truck, the crowds were treated to music and dancing from Castro Valley School of Music, Castro Valley Performing Arts, Alameda Civic Ballet and Castro Valley High Madrigals.
Shane Sharkey of Castro Valley School of Music provided on-stage introductions for the ceremonies.
“This was a Castro Valley tradition for quite a while, back in the ’50s and ’60s. They took a break for quite a while, and we’re happy to start again last year,” he said.
Once Santa arrived with his elf, he provided the countdown to light a giant Christmas tree in the center of the Village. The crowd cheered as the tree lit up.
“I hope you all have a great, happy holiday,” said Santa.
He departed with his traditional, “Merry Christmas and ho, ho, ho,” as he headed offstage for photos with children.
CAPTION: Santa Claus waves to the crowd as he steps off an Alameda County fire truck at Castro Village on Friday evening.
PHOTO BY LINDA SANDSMARK
Wild Boars Tearing Up CV Lawns
BY MICHAEL SINGER • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 10-18-17
Under the mask of darkness, they come — tearing up lawns and destroying property. Sometimes they descend in packs as large as 20 with their children running alongside.
It’s enough of a nuisance that homeowners are ready for drastic actions.
In the Summerglen neighborhood of the Palomares Hills housing development, packs of wild boars are terrorizing homeowners.
Located at the top of Villareal Drive, the subdivision is adjacent to heavily-wooded hills and creeks that support wild animal species including deer, raccoon, opossum, and, yes… the wild boar.
While boar infestations are not uncommon near open space areas, Summerglen had been relatively quiet until this year.
“These are vicious wild boars and they are holding us hostage in our homes at night,” says Summerglen Homeowner’s Association vice president, Cheryl Bolling. “I’ve heard they typically come out long after midnight. But the security guards say they are now spotting the boars around 9 p.m.
“We have people up here who jog or who walk their dogs at that time. That’s scary. I’m afraid that our residents are no match for these wild boars when some weigh as heavy as 200 pounds.”
Boars are fond of grubs, worms, and insects that can live underneath lawns. Nearly 90 percent of the grassy areas in Summerglen show damage from wild boar attacks, mostly the corner lots. The neighborhood has even vilified the animals by giving them a name: The Eden Canyon Gang.
“Even if you don’t see wild pigs, evidence of their presence is obvious,” says California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesperson, Harry Morse. “It could be as benign as a few pig tracks, or an entire hillside that looks like it’s been worked over with a Rototiller.
“Wild pigs use their snouts to root up the ground in search of food, including roots, fungus, and other items,” Morse says.
While other Palomares neighborhoods have replaced their grassy areas with rock or other types of hardscaping, the Summerglen Homeowner Association is looking to take a stand against these marauding boars.
“This problem can be solved rapidly with commitment and resources because the pig problem is not just in Palomares Hills. Many of the open spaces outside of our neighborhood belong to Alameda County,” Summerglen Homeowners’ Association president Tracy Davenport told the Castro Valley Forum. “Regulations and state law permit actions to be taken to solve this problem and we plan to do so.”
In a two-step process, the Summerglen HOA instructed its landscape company to strip off and cover the affected areas of turf. “The rains are right around the corner and the boars will just make it look like we took mortar fire,” Davenport says.
The Summerglen HOA has also instructed its management and landscape companies to hire a licensed and experienced company to permanently solve the wild boar problem. The solution will likely include physical deterrents to keep the boars away from homes and hunting them down, known as depredation.
Despite the damage done to private property, landowners are not generally permitted to shoot or kill wild animals unless they are being attacked. Instead, California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife issues permits that allow a homeowner or a professional to hunt under certain conditions.
The depredation permit will allow Summerglen to fight back. CDFW’s Morse said Summerglen’s management group received their permit back in May of 2017, which is good for one year.
Davenport says he is trying to rally support from the larger Palomares Hills community HOAs as well as Alameda County representatives to help fund the cost of depredation.
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Smoke Pollution Cancels CVHS Homecoming Parade
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 10-18-17
Castro Valley High cancelled its 2017 Homecoming Parade on Friday the 13th due to concerns about air quality.
Principal Blaine Torpey issued the announcement Thursday, citing concerns for student and staff health due to smoke pollution from Napa and Sonoma county fires.
Both varsity and junior varsity football games scheduled for Friday evening were also cancelled.
An indoor assembly was held instead of the usual parade and rally. This year’s overall homecoming theme was “Let The Games Begin.” Each class chose a game: Freshman chose “Clue,” sophomores decided on “Dungeons and Dragons, ” juniors went with “Jumanji,” and seniors chose “Candyland.” Class colors were black for frosh, red for sophomores, blue for juniors and pink for seniors.
CAPTION: Castro Valley High School’s annual Homecoming Parade was cancelled on Friday because of unhealthy smoke pollution. Students celebrated with an assembly inside the gym.
A Candlelight Vigil Held for Las Vegas Shooting Victims
BY LINDA SANDSMARK • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 10-11-17
A somber gathering of around 200 people assembled at the corner of Castro Valley Boulevard and Redwood Road Sunday evening, holding a candlelight vigil for victims of last weekend’s deadly shooting in Las Vegas.
The vigil was hosted by Congressman Eric Swalwell and was attended by relatives of victim Denise Cohen, a 1977 graduate of California High in San Ramon.
“It’s heartening to see so many of you come out to remember the victims of last week’s tragedy,” said Swalwell, adding that a country music concert is the last place one would expect something like this to happen.
Bay Area TV stations covered the event, which was led as a memorial service by the Rev. Dr. Arlene Nehring of Eden United Church of Christ.
In her opening prayer, Nehring expressed hopes for “a better way and a better day for all of us.”
Swalwell said that though we should honor the traditions of our country, he nonetheless wondered, “why anyone but a warrior should have a weapon of war.” He added that lawmakers should at least have the courage to discuss such issues.
People at the memorial appeared to come from a wide variety of backgrounds, expressing sadness about the killings and concern for the future — balancing the
rights of gun owners with the right of citizens to live in peace.
“I’m just here to stand with the community and support the victims,” said Jerry White of San Leandro. “These things always end with knee-jerk solutions on gun control, but that’s not the only solution. The Second Amendment is not going anywhere.”
Swalwell said another Cal High graduate, Stacee Etcheber (class of 1985) of Novato, was killed in the Las Vegas attack. Local friends of another victim, Michelle Vo of San Jose, displayed photos of her as well.
The names of all 58 victims were read aloud, along with descriptions of their lives and the families they left behind. Many people at the gathering left in tears.
Swalwell said it meant a lot to the victims’ families for so many to attend the candlelight vigil and show their support. He recalled the last time such a vigil was held here in June 2016, following a mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Florida.
“I hope we will not have to gather like this again,” said Swalwell.
CAPTION: Congressman Eric Swalwell addresses a solemn gathering of about 200 people at a candlelight vigil Sunday evening in Castro Valley in emory of the victims of last week’s deadly shooting rampage in Las Vegas.
PHOTO BY LARRY ROSA
Castro Valley to Finally Get Its Sign
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 10-11-17
Oakland artist Robert Minervini has been selected to create the official Castro Valley sign, the Alameda County Arts Commission announced on Friday.
Minervini’s design for the Castro Valley mural (called the “Community Identifier”) is a panoramic landscape that features Lake Chabot and the Bay. It will stretch across the I-580 Overpass at Redwood Road.
Minervini was one of three artists selected for local overpass murals. Nico Berry was chosen for the Ashland-Cherryland sign on the I-238 Highway Overpass at Mission Blvd. and E. 14th Street, and John Wehrle’s won with his design destined for the I-880 Highway Overpass at Hesperian Blvd. in San Lorenzo.
The artists and their designs were chosen by three separate selection committees made up of local community members.
But don’t expect to see paint being slathered on those overpasses right away. The designs are headed for several more layers of bureaucracy.
The recommendation of each selected artist and their proposal design will be presented to community groups this month and then be forwarded to the Arts Commission for review and approval at their meeting on Nov. 8 (at 4 p.m. at 1401 Lakeside Drive, Oakland).
The artists’ contracts will then be presented to the County Board of Supervisors this winter for approval and finally go before Caltrans for its OK.
The three artists are expect to begin hand-painting the signs late next Spring.
CAPTION: This design by artist Robert Minervini of Oakland is the Alameda County Arts Commission’s selection for the Community Identifier to go on the Interstate 580 Overpass at Redwood Road in Castro Valley. Work is expected to begin in late spring of 2018.
Neighbors Cry Foul to Dump Site
BY MICHAEL SINGER • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 10-11-17
Residents living close to Lake Chabot’s southwest border say foul odors coming from the nearby park grounds are affecting their health and their quality of life.
The culprit seems to be a manhole used to dispose sewage and waste from portable toilets and similar holding containers. The manhole can be found a few yards north of a road used to access East Bay Regional Park’s Public Safety Headquarters and Corporation Yard, which begins at Lake Chabot Road.
People who live near the intersection of Carmel Drive and Arcadian Drive are currently the most vocal about the smell that has permeated the neighborhood on and off since May.
“As my husband was leaving for work, he saw an EBRPD truck at the dump site,” said Carmel Drive resident, Theresa Menchini. “He instantly noticed the foul odor from the truck. He got my attention and I went outside and also smelled it and it was very strong. The weather was extremely cool and still. The smell also permeated our home.”
The waste is collected from various East Bay Regional Park District properties, carried by tanker trucks, and then discharged into the manhole where it will eventually be processed at a sanitary facility. Castro Valley Sanitary District (CVSan) has had a 45-year contract with EBRPD to manage its sewage and disposal sites.
Prior to May, EBRPD trucks would discharge the waste further up the hill, closer to Arcadian Drive and Mayflower Drive. The site is no longer usable, according to CVSan because the pipes are too small. The current discharge station began operating in May 2017. The sanitary district sent letters to neighbors in April, with followup letters sent in August, and September alerting them to the project and asking them to continue helping monitor the area for odors.
“We take odor complaints like this very seriously,” CVSan General Manager Roland Williams told the Castro Valley Forum. “We are now focusing our attention on these complaints and we will have our staff out there while checking the next time that the trucks are discharging to see if we can also detect the odors that people are complaining about.”
The project has two weeks to go before CVSan reviews its findings including public feedback to East Bay Regional Parks management.
East Bay Regional Parks spokesman Dave Mason said the District will work with CVSan and the neighbors to come up with a viable solution. He noted that the discharge station is a closed system and is regularly monitored, but EBRPD staff has not detected the apparent odors reported by the neighbors.
Meanwhile, the neighbors are holding their noses at the situation.
“We don’t care about the changing the way the dump site is handled, we want it gone,” Menchini says. “It affects our property values. That is right near where people park and where people walk with their pets into the park. There are small children in the neighborhood that are being babysat during the day. If there is any kind leak or airborne bacteria coming out of there, that is an issue.”
Neither EBRPD nor CVSan could say what an alternative plan would entail if the current discharge site was deemed unfit for use.
Bridge Built to New Crow Canyon Development
BY MICHAEL SINGER • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 10-04-17
A massive crane lifted 102-foot long, 100,000-pound sections of a pre-fab bridge this past week, marking the beginning of a new single-family home development being built along Crow Creek in Castro Valley.
The new 21-unit development, called Roberts Ranch, sits at the end of Veronica Ave. just off Center Street.
The bridge is providing temporary access for the construction of the project, with first homes expected to be available early next year.
The entrance to Roberts Ranch will be on Crow Canyon Road. The bridge will eventually act as an emergency access point to the subdivision but it will not be available as a commute option or pass-through for residents.
The developer, Edenbridge Homes in Cupertino says the homes will range in size between 2,527 square feet and 3,066 square feet and have three layout versions with 4- and 5-bedroom options. Each home will still need individual permits from Alameda County.
The development includes 42 garage spaces and 59 on-street spaces. In addition to building the property, the developer is mandated to protect 188,000 square feet of Crow Creek and surrounding borders to the homes as well as two bioretention areas for protecting local trees and shrubs.
Initial applications for Roberts Ranch, which began back in 2007, have undergone at least two environmental impact reports. The latest report filed in 2016 found no additional conditions preventing the project from moving forward.
Marc Crawford, chairman of the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council, said Roberts Ranch is scaled back from its original proposal.
“When we first reviewed the project in 2007, Edenbridge indicated that they wanted to build 27 homes on this 8-acre area,” Crawford told the Castro Valley Forum. “The neighbors were not too happy about more homes being built along Crow Creek, but when we talked to them about it, we explained that it’s now scaled back to 21 homes, so it should not have as much of an impact as it once would have.”
The development is only a handful of options for new housing in Castro Valley as most of the open spaces around Castro Valley are protected by East Bay Regional Parks.
The construction is also novel in that these are single family homes and not townhomes or apartments such as the 27 townhomes being built on Jamison Way.
Edenbridge has done similar developments in Napa, Mountain View, and Los Altos Hills.
To see what the new homes in Castro Valley will look like, visit: edenbridgehomes.com/robertsranch.htm
CAPTION: Trucks deliver 100,000-pound sections of bridge to be erected over the creek at Roberts Ranch development.
PHOTO BY HOWARD MORRISON
Redwood Canyon Course Gets a New Lease on Life
BY LINDA SANDSMARK • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 10-04-17
Redwood Canyon Golf Course is undergoing a renaissance of sorts, having recently inked a 15-year lease with its interim steward, Touchstone Golf.
Players on the links are already taking notice.
“Real work on the irrigation system is now starting — not just installation of repair clamps,” says golfer and longtime Castro Valley resident Bob Maddow. “I think this is an important sign that this wonderful local golf course is finally coming back to what it can be, and I’m more optimistic about it than I have been in years.”
Touchstone was awarded Redwood Canyon’s management lease last month by the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) after competitive bidding.
The company has managed Redwood Canyon on an interim basis since December 2014. (The previous operators —Baldock Pacific Properties/Willow Park Public Golf Course Corporation— had a 50-year sublease that expired November 2014.)
“The untold story is that the East Bay Regional Park District has saved the golf course two times now,” says Touchstone’s President and CEO Steve Harker. “When the previous tenant left, there was talk that it might have to close, but the park district didn’t let that happen. Then this year, when the golf course was closed for 65 days due to flooding, they worked side-by-side with our folks to get it back up and running.”
Of the course’s 22 bridges, 17 had been damaged or dislodged by extensive rains and water overflow. Drainage systems were clogged, and silt covered parts of the course. All that is beginning to change. In the next six to 12 months most repairs should be done, with improvements ongoing.
“The park district orchestrated help from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the insurance company. We’re getting what we need with this partnership. Their focus and support have been fantastic,” Harker says.
Redwood Canyon is a lovely setting with a creek running through it, but its location between the Upper San Leandro Reservoir and Lake Chabot exposes it to water overflow issues. According to Park District press releases, the 150 acres comprising the golf course facilities and surrounding areas are leased by the East Bay Municipal Utilities District to the Park District, which in turn entered into the management lease with Touchstone.
Harker says Touchstone is grateful for the support of Jim O’Connor and Mimi Waluch of EBRPD, and trustee Dennis Waespi.
“We’re still recovering from the flood, but we’re going in the right direction, and our loyal customers in Castro Valley have been very understanding,” adds Harker. He says over the next three to five years extensive upgrades are planned for the irrigation system, buildings, and equipment. New golf carts are coming in October and renovations are planned for the grill and clubhouse.
Bob Maddow, who has lived in Castro Valley for 45 years, is pleased with what he sees so far. He and his wife have been golfing for 15 years, and are enthusiastic about the future of the scenic course.
“It’s not going to be easy, but Redwood Canyon’s General Manager, Jake Stewart, has just the right temperament for the job,” says Maddow. “He’s the calm in a storm. We’re overjoyed with what we’re seeing there. It’s a quiet, beautiful location when the playing surfaces are in good shape.”
Touchstone Golf manages 34 golf courses in 10 states. Nine of these courses are operated in conjunction with government or municipal agencies, including the cities of Oakland and Mountain View, and the Presidio Trust in San Francisco.
Redwood Canyon Golf Course is located at 17007 Redwood Rd., Castro Valley. Call 537-8001 or visit www.redwoodcanyongolf.com/ for more information.
CAPTION: Ben Morrison of San Francisco tees off at the first hole of Redwood Canyon Golf Course. The course is completely open now and work continues to improve the infrastructure after last winter’s floods.
PHOTO BY LARRY ROSA
CV Woman Aiding Puerto Rico Relief Effort
BY JIM KNOWLES • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 10-04-17
A Castro Valley woman who’s lived in the Caribbean wants to help the small island of Culebra, which is part of Puerto Rico, a United States Territory.
Kelly Marquez Johnson is of Puerto Rican descent, lived on St. Croix in the 1980s, and she visited Culebra many times. The small island, just off the main island of Puerto Rico, was devastated by both Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
All the hurricane assistance goes into Puerto Rico, but Johnson is afraid that little Culebra won’t get help until much later if at all. Johnson said she just has to do something to help the little island where people rely on tourism to make a living.
“I’m Puerto Rican and I’ve been going there for many years,” said Johnson who was born in San Francisco. “They were hit by Irma and they were without power and then they got Maria.”
She talked to a friend on the island who said people are being told to save rainwater to drink.
“They’re not getting water,” Johnson said. “They’re saving rainwater because they don’t have any other water. They’re the poorest. They don’t get anything until last.”
So she’s trying to raise money for batteries, small flashlights, canned meat and water purification tablets. Johnson plans to collect the goods and get a flight to deliver the items herself as soon as regular air travel resumes to Puerto Rico in October.
Her friend, Guillen Pena, is a retired park policeman on the island. Today Pena runs a little water taxi and Johnson said she would trust him with anything, so she would let him distribute the items she brings.
The electricity could be out for 4 to 6 months, so the restaurants and hotels will be without power. So the people will suffer without tourism, Johnson said.
“If everyone reading donated one dollar we could be part of something fantastic,” Johnson said. “We can collectively help. These are American citizens.”
Johnson is contributing $1,000 and has a goal of $5,000 to help Culebra. She has set up a GoFundMe page for anyone who wants to contribute at www.gofundme.com/culebra-puerto-rico-in-crisis.
Johnson asked that if anyone would like more information they can call her at 862-6555 or write to Kelly Johnson, 20885 Redwood Road, #272, Castro Valley, CA 94546.
CAPTION: Kelly Marquez Johnson is trying to help the Island of Culebra, part of Puerto Rico.
See’s Grand Opening Attracts Huge Crowd of Candy Lovers
BY LINDA SANDSMARK • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 09-27-17
Throngs of happy chocolate lovers crowded Castro Village Friday morning, eager to pick up some free candy, tote bags and special offers at the grand opening of Castro Valley’s new See’s Candies store.
Judging by the crowds, the new shop will be a popular addition to the Village. A line of several hundred customers stretched down the sidewalk, some maneuvering strollers, walkers, and even crutches.
The crowd surprised some locals, including Area Cycles owner Kenji Iwahashi.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before in Castro Valley,” he said. “The line to get inside stretches almost to the Ross store.”
Many customers got up early to make sure they received goodies at the 9:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. They needn’t have worried — there was plenty to go around. See’s employees even walked along the waiting line to distribute free lollipops, chocolate samples, and paper hats.
“I got here at 9 a.m. and was 50th in line. I counted,” said Bobby Dozier of Castro Valley. “I didn’t expect this much of a line, but it moved pretty quickly. Everybody seemed pretty happy to get some chocolate.”
Eric Martin, See’s Vice President of Human Resources, said the company is pleased with the Castro Valley location.
“We’re so thrilled and honored to be opening in this community and this location,” said Martin. “We’re excited to bring this iconic brand to this warm and welcoming community.”
Sees had been considering a Castro Valley location for a while, according to marketing director Jensen DeWees. She points out that the company had temporary stores here in the past, and that residents have been sad when they close.
“We’re just so excited to be in this neighborhood. We love it here. It’s the perfect community for us,” DeWees added.
Members of the Chamber of Commerce said they were impressed with the huge turnout at Friday’s grand opening. And customers exiting the new shop were all smiles, happy to finally have a nearby location to purchase their favorite candy.
“We’re dedicated See’s customers,” said Castro Valley resident Sandy Fong, who left the store with Halloween candy, boxes of chocolates, and free lollipop samples. “We’re so happy it’s here. Our whole family has been driving to Stoneridge Mall to get See’s candy, and we’re excited that this store is so much closer.”
See’s Candies is located at 3344 Rustic Dr., Castro Village, near Merle’s Hallmark Shop. Hours are 10 to 7 Monday through Saturday, and 11 to 6 on Sundays.
Limited fund-raising may be arranged at the Castro Valley store; expanded fund-raising/group discounts are available through Alissa Yusko (email@example.com), 510-326-8891.
CAPTION: See’s Candies opened a new store this past Friday in Castro Valley’s Castro Village.
PHOTO BY LARRY ROSA
KFC ‘Circus Tent’ Paint Job Vetoed
BY AMY SYLVESTRI • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 09-27-17
The Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) sent Kentucky Fried Chicken’s plans for a bold new paint job back to the drawing board on Monday night, saying the circus-tent-like vertical stripes weren’t a good fit.
KFC wants to perform interior and exterior renovations to their existing store at 3625 Castro Valley Boulevard. An initial plan called for bold stripes around the building in the style of the designs on their buckets of chicken.
A KFC in Alameda was painted with wide red and white stripes last June and the city council in that city is in the process of getting the company to paint over the stripes after much public outcry.
The MAC ruled out the stripes completely and also rejected a secondary proposal that would have involved black, grey, and white painting.
The MAC said the bold black color was too harsh and suggested that artificial stonework might have a more pleasant look around the base of the building.
MAC Chair Marc Crawford added that the stonework would add a “diversity” of materials to the building instead of just various shades of painted stucco. He told KFC that just because the MAC didn’t like initial ideas, that doesn’t mean they should opt for a completely boring look.
“We get a lot of complaints about ‘Castro Valley beige,’” said Crawford, referring to the color of many buildings in town.
Crawford told the officials that other fast food restaurants including Burger King and Jack in the Box had to go before the MAC three or four times before getting approval for their remodels. Burger King apparently originally wanted a black and orange to echo the appearance of a grill, but the MAC thought it looked more like a Halloween store.
“These ideas that come from corporate aren’t necessarily what we agree with,” said Crawford.
Also at Monday night’s MAC meeting, the council endorsed a proposed county ordinance that would allow microbreweries in the agriculturally zoned areas of Alameda County.
The ordinance would include microbreweries in areas that previously allowed wineries and olive oil mills.
The MAC added language that would allow breweries and wineries on the same site and the provision that some cultivation of hops and other crops also be done on the same site as the breweries.
“It is agricultural land, after all,” said MAC member Chuck Moore.
The MAC also approved a metal sign for the Redwood Commercial Business Park at 21634 Redwood Road.
Ten New Lake Chabot Signs Warn of Deadly Mushrooms
BY MICHAEL SINGER • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 09-27-17
After a concerted effort by Castro Valley dog lovers, 10 new signs are on display at Lake Chabot warning about the dangers of poisonous wild mushrooms.
While most mushrooms have little or no effect if eaten by an animal, about 1 percent contain toxins that cause life-threatening problems in pets.
Such was the case last year when CV dog owner, Linda Devetter-Dearborn saw her beloved dachshund eat a wild mushroom along the lakeside trails and had to be put down 24 hours later.
“After 15 months of working with the head of East Bay Regional Park District, new signs that explicitly state the dangers of wild mushrooms to dogs as well as humans, are finally up,” Devetter-Dearborn says.
The bright yellow sign clearly identifies a picture of three Death Cap mushrooms (scientifically known as the Amanita phalloides) with warnings for dog owners. The 10 permanent signs are displayed at each of the trail heads leading into the park including the main entrance.
The park did respond last year with temporary signs located at message boards. The permanent signs are meant to continually remind park-goers about the potential danger.
If a dog eats a wild mushroom, negative responses may include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness and seizures. Veterinarians can first treat the animal by giving it something to clear the stomach. Depending on the severity of the poison to the liver, kidneys, or brain, the dog could eventually end up on a respirator hooked up to a machine to push fluids.
Dog owners should also be aware that mushrooms can pop up overnight after a rain, which may be the case if the East Bay encounters another El Niño winter.
If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 888-426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.
CAPTION: Ten new signs warning of the dangers of poisonous wild mushrooms have been posted a Lake Chabot.
Tiny Homes, Big Plans
BY BRUCE ROBERTS • SPECIAL TO THE FORUM • 09-20-17
Tom Flemming has a mission in life.
Long bothered by the plight of the homeless, he has begun constructing — in his big back yard in Hayward – tiny but functional houses as a beginning solution to the world’s homeless problem.
Noah built an ark; Tom builds tiny houses. Problem solving requires action, and to Tom Flemming, that means house-building.
In just 135 square feet, the first of these homes — set on something akin to a boat trailer — includes a fold-out bed, storage cabinets, a clothes closet, a sink and stove, a TV and a heater. In addition, the first edition also has a working toilet and shower, with insulation in ceiling and walls.
Luxury — the small version.
As he perfects his art, subsequent editions will have less features, but be better suited to group gatherings of such homes. The plan could be for a central bathing house, thus no showers needed in each.
The expensive trailer will likely be replaced by skids, or some adaptation whereby the home could be set directly on the ground. Reduced costs would make such homes more attractive to non-profit organizations and city governments.
There is much talk today that all people matter, and that is the motivation here. Tom understands that if people are allowed off the street, given a safe place where they can retreat and live, given a sense of community, and that they’re not alone, then their problems can be calmed down, and worked on.
His homes even include a 9 foot vaulted ceiling so no one feels claustrophobic.
Non-profits such as Abode Services, the Family Emergency Shelter Coalition, and the Hayward DownTown Streets Team, as well as local city governments, are all interested in helping the homeless.
Just banning them, or making them move on, says Tom, is not the answer. Thus he proposes the gathering of tiny homes on vacant lots, operated by a city, or a non-profit group, so that homeless people have a chance to be safe, and recover some dignity in their lives.
Tom Flemming is a public-spirited inspiration. He doesn’t have to build these tiny masterpieces. He does it because of concern for the plight of his fellow man (and woman).
Noah only accepted passengers on the ark two by two. Thomas wants to change the lives of as many homeless as he can, as soon as he can.
With public support, it could happen.
CAPTION: Tom Flemming seeks to help solve the homeless problem by building tiny houses.
PHOTO BY BRUCE ROBERTS
Firefighters Set Goal of 2-Minute Response Time
BY AMY SYLVESTRI • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 09-20-17
Alameda County Fire Chief Dave Rocha gave the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) an annual update on Monday night on what the fire department has been up to lately, including the number of calls for service and this year’s budget.
The MAC also heard a bit from the county on an upcoming Eden Area signage project – always a popular topic of conversation in town ever since the “canoe sign” controversy some 20 years ago.
Rocha told the MAC that the Alameda County Fire Department covers approximately 394,000 residents in a service area of 508 square miles. They have 29 fire stations, including four in Castro Valley.
In addition to the unincorporated area, the ACFD covers the cities of San Leandro, Dublin, Emeryville, Newark, and Union City as well as the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.
“We have to deal with everything from high-rises in Emeryville to grasslands at the Altamont Pass,” said Rocha.
The department has 442 full-time employees and 100 reserves; at any given time, 105 firefighters are on the clock and ready to respond to a call.
Rocha said that the department meets national standards for response times, but acknowledged that there is “room for improvement” in their “turnout time” – that means actually getting out the door of the fire station.
The goal set is 60 seconds which Rocha said was “unrealistic” and he said the average turnout time in Castro Valley is currently 2 minutes, 32 seconds, which he’d like to see reduced to 2 minutes. From the time a call is placed until the first firefighters arrive on the scene, the average response time is 7 minutes and 43 seconds.
Rocha says that “shot clocks” have been installed at the fire stations as a reminder of how many seconds are ticking away and everyone revives an email detailing their performance times after a call.
“As we start to hold people accountable, we see the impact,” said Rocha.
The Alameda County Fire Department received a total of 40,921 calls for aid during the 2016/2017 fiscal year and 15,520 were in the unincorporated areas. Of those, over 11,000 calls were for EMS or medical help, almost 400 were fires, and over 550 were false alarms.
The fire department’s proposed annual budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year annual budget is nearly $139 million,with most of the revenue (46 percent or $64 million) coming from the individual cites who pay for a contract for fire services. Unincorporated area property tax accounts for 26 percent or $36.2 million.
Most of the budget is spent on salaries, pensions, healthcare and other benefits – a total of 82.6 percent ($110 million).
Eden Area Signs
The MAC also heard from Jaimie Orfanos of the Community Development Agency about the Eden Area signage plan.
The agency wants to make cohesive signs that highlight points of interest, give directions, and create a community identity. The idea would be for the signage in Castro Valley to coordinate with signs in San Lorenzo, Ashland, Cherryland, and Fairview.
No funding is yet in place for the project, but Orfanos said they are looking for funding and applying for grants.
Orfanos presented various prototypes for the signs. Castro Valley was represented by an icon of a bird in flight – similar birds are on the makers on Castro Valley Boulevard.
Well, the MAC wasn’t too fond of the bird logo, with MAC member Ken Carbone saying it looks “like a little mustache” in some of the mocked up drawings.
Carbone and other MAC members said they’d prefer something symbolizing Lake Chabot or nature to represent Castro Valley.
Orfanos presented other designs for the unincorporated area that included an art deco look for San Lorenzo that was inspired by the vacant Lorenzo Theatre, the Meek Estate for Cherryland, ash tree leaves for Ashland, and hills for Fairview.
Since funding is not yet in place, any date for the actual installation of signs is not yet known, but they will be discussed next at the county’s economic development forum on Oct. 11, at the Redevelopment Agency Office, 224 West Winton Avenue, Room No. 160, Hayward.
‘Traffic-Calming’ To Cause Delays
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 09-20-17
Effective today, you can expect the drive to be much slower along Mission and Foothill boulevards as a result of a “traffic-calming” pilot project by the city of Hayward.
The three-month trial aims to reduce speeding by shortening traffic-signal cycle lengths and eliminating the ability of drivers to travel through multiple intersections without stopping.
All intersections in downtown Hayward on Mission and Foothill boulevards – from A Street to Industrial Parkway – are part of the so-called Adaptive Traffic Control System.
Responding to traffic-safety complaints in downtown Hayward, the shortened green-light cycles will result in longer travel time for drivers, but should make the roadways more conducive to pedestrians, cyclists and public transit, according to officials.
During the next few weeks, traffic engineers will be fine-tuning the cycles to smooth traffic flow and will gather data to assess whether the changes are achieving the goal of reduced speeding and improved safety.
Castro Village: The Heart of The Community for Almost 70 Years
BY JOHN CHRISTIAN • SPECIAL TO THE FORUM • 09-20-17
When most people think of Castro Valley, Castro Village is often the first thing that comes to mind.
The Village has been the heart of the community for almost seven decades and most can’t remember a time before it. The building of the Castro Village transitioned Castro Valley from its agricultural roots to a modern suburb—literally.
Local real estate agent Arnold Anderson purchased a tomato field across from his office and made plans for the construction of a shopping center.
Anderson, along with developer Robert Nahas, started the Castro Village Association, making plans and enticing investors and business owners. The group asked potential investors “Are you aware that Castro Valley is the greatest commercial ‘sleeper’ in Northern California?”
From the onset, the Castro Village was envisioned as a nearby shopping center that would keep retail dollars in Castro Valley, taking advantage of the growing suburban housing tracks that were beginning to cover what used to be farm land.
The project officially took off in April of 1950 with a survey of the original 4-1/2 acre property. On August 10 that same year, ground was officially broken on the $600,000 Castro Village.
Arnold Anderson noted at the ceremony that 10 of the 28 planned stores were leased out before construction even started. A newspaper noted that the “architecture will feature modern California design, tile roofs, incense cedar walls, and landscaped areas.”
The advertising agency for the new village remarked “as late as two years ago Castro Valley was still very much a country town” and that the new Castro Village “was a part of the transformation to a progressive community”.
Less than four months later, the Castro Village celebrated its grand opening on Thursday, November 30, 1950. The event featured a variety of celebrations including a square dancing performance by the “Dip and Divers” and “Teen Swingers” dance troupes.
For children, they brought in the “Children’s Daylight train” which took children around in a circle in what is today the Starbuck’s parking lot area—an estimated 1,200 children road the train on opening weekend.
Other events included raffle prizes, featuring a 19-inch Packard Bell television set.
The large crowds helped the new stores to do a brisk business. Lee Brother’s Grocery store, Loupy’s Bakery, Hamilton Bros. Shoes, Ashby’s Furniture, and Fit-Rite Maternity were just some of the shops who took advantage of opening festivities.
Ideally located in the heart of town, the Castro Village has been at the center of it all ever since.
If you are interested in researching local history please visit the Hayward Area Historical Society at 22380 Foothill Boulevard in downtown Hayward. Visit our website haywardareahistory.org or call 510-581-0223 for more information.
John Christian is Associate Archivist of the Hayward Area Historical Society.
CAPTION: An aerial view of Castro Village (December 1950) shows that the village would not expand into its current size until the 1960s and 1970s.
PHOTO COURTESY OF HAYWARD AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Palomares Elementary Opens New Facilities
BY LINDA SANDSMARK • SPECIAL TO THE FORUM • 09-20-17
Palomares Elementary School officially opened its new track, field and outdoor amphitheater on Sept. 8 with a ribbon–cutting ceremony, songs, and treats for all.
State Senator Bob Wieckowski, Castro Valley School District Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi, Asst. Superintendent Dr. Candi Clark and Palomares Parent Club President Lisa May attended the event, along with Palomares students, parents and many other guests. The Priem Family Foundation provided funding for the new facilities.
“The Palomares community is extremely grateful to the Priem Family Foundation for the amazing additions to our school. Students and families recently enjoyed the field for our Welcome Back Family Picnic, and the amphitheater is being used weekly for our Friday Flag assemblies,” said Dr. Jennifer Tomita, Palomares Elementary principal. “Our students, families and staff will enjoy and utilize the field and amphitheater for years to come.”
Superintendent Ahmadi agreed, saying the donation “has provided our students, staff and families at Palomares with such great outdoor space for sports and many other activities.”
Palomares Kindergarteners helped cut the official ribbon, and the student body joined in singing the Palomares School song. Knudsen’s Ice Creamery and Jen’s Cupcakes provided treats for the event.
CAPTION: Palomares Elementary’s Kindergarten class helped cut the ribbon to open the school’s new track, field and amphitheater.
PHOTO COURTESY OF DR. JENNIFER TOMITA
Nobody’s Perfekt: Saving Dogs That Are Running Out of Time
BY AMY SYLVESTRI • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 09-20-17
Nobody’s Perfekt Dog Rescue, an adoption center for some of the area’s most needy shelter dogs, recently opened in Bayfair Mall in San Leandro.
Rick Hollander, director of the non-profit, says that he got the idea for Nobody’s Perfekt after years of rescuing and fostering dogs.
Hollander and his volunteers work closely with local shelters to bring dogs into foster care who are scheduled to be euthanized because they’ve been up for adoption for too long or perhaps they are older or have a medical issue that makes them difficult to adopt out.
“These are the dogs who were running out of time,” said Hollander.
The thing that makes Hollander’s rescue center special and different from a shelter is that the dogs are out of their cages at the space and people can come and hang out with them.
Prospective pet owners can come have a coffee and get to know the animal in a more causal setting to see if their personalities mesh, Hollander says. People can pet the dogs, feed them treats, and hopefully find a new best friend.
“We’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response,” said Hollander, who opened the storefront in July.
When not at the adoption center, the dogs are in foster homes and Hollander says he has a group of about 70 volunteers who care for the dogs.
Adopting a dog from Nobody’s Perfekt costs about $125 to cover medical and dental fees and spaying or neutering the dog.
Nobody’s’ Perfekt Dog Rescue is open weekends only from noon to 4 p.m. at Bayfair Mall, 15555 East 14th St., in San Leandro, near Entrance 2.
For more information and to see adoptable dogs, visit www.nobodysperfektdogs.org.
CAPTION: Nobody’s’ Perfekt Dog Rescue volunteer Danielle Harrell looks after “Keana” at the recently opened facility in San Leandro.
PHOTO COURTESY OF RICK HOLLANDER
Reconstruction of Redwood Road is Currently Underway
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 09-13-17
Reconstruction of the Redwood Road roadway failure that occurred last winter was scheduled to begin yesterday and is expected to be completed by next January, although another heavy storm season could impact the schedule, according to John Medlock, Deputy Director of the Alameda County Public Works Agency.
Redwood Road will remain closed to all motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians at mile marker 7.38, for the duration of the reconstruction project.
Guests accessing the East Bay Regional Park District’s Anthony Chabot campground facilities need to enter from the Oakland side of Redwood Road.
Visit the Public Works Agency website at www.acpwa.org for construction updates.
CAPTION: A section of Redwood Road collapsed last winter after record rainfall saturated the soil beneath the roadbed and closed the back road link between Castro Valley and Oakland.
PHOTO BY GARY BOSLEY
Less ‘Monolithic’ Daughtrey’s Will Open Next Year
BY AMY SYLVESTRI • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 09-13-17
The architects who are designing the new Castro Valley Marketplace gave a presentation to the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council Monday night, detailing plans to make the former Daughtrey’s building less “monolithic.”
The key will be large windows on the bottom floor, smaller windows on the top floor, and using different colors and materials on the facade in order to make the space at 3259 Castro Valley Boulevard more inviting and less like a simple big square building.
Architects SZFM Design Studio presented their sketches and Alameda County Development Director Eileen Dalton confirmed that the project is on track to open in September of 2018.
If the project is delayed, the opening date would be pushed back to the spring of 2019, as the developer would not want to open during the holidays, Dalton said.
The MAC then approved a Disposition and Development Agreement between the county and Castro Valley Marketplace LLC which has the developer paying the county $405,000 for the property.
The property was valued at $900,000 but the purchase price includes $495,000 worth of “public benefits” which the Marketplace will pay for and be credited towards price, according to Dalton.
The public benefits include $200,000 in building enhancements such as a paseo, lighting, landscaping, and public art.
The Marketplace will also contribute $30,000 to the shared parking maintenance fund and pay $100,000 for a new crosswalk.
Alameda County paid $2.8 million for the building in 2011. The MAC originally hoped the $405,000 purchase price money might stay in Castro Valley for local uses, but the county says it’s owed to various taxing entities instead.
Other MAC Business
Also at Monday’s meeting, the MAC approved plans for new tenants at the empty former site of the old Hollywood Video and Dunn-Edwards paint store in the Lucky’s shopping center.
The building at 20923 Redwood Road will be split into three interior spaces. One will be an urgent-care medical office, according to owners Browman Development. The other tenants have not yet been decided, but the developers say in their other projects they feature a split between chain stores and local businesses.
MAC Chair Marc Crawford got some laughs when he requested that the new tenants not be any fast food chains, saying there is a perception that Castro Valley is a “burger community.”
“We (the MAC) get blamed for every burger joint that comes into town,’ said Crawford. “We don’t get to dictate the tenants.”
The MAC also approved plans for the construction of eight townhouses at 21091 Wilbeam Avenue and continued another proposal to build 20 townhouses at 20785 Baker Road.
The MAC told the Baker Road developer to come back with better plans for guest parking and garbage collection, and some MAC members had concerns about the density of the project.
“I’ve got too many questions,” said MAC member Ken Carbone.
Rowell Rodeo Announcer Corley Inducted into Rodeo Hall of Fame
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 09-13-17
For more than 30 years Randy Corley has been a part of the Rowell Ranch Pro Rodeo.
The 12-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s “Announcer of the Year” has helped East Bay rodeo fans learn about the sport and experience the fast paced action at the annual Castro Valley event.
Last month, Corley was among an elite group inducted into the prestigious ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, joining five world champions to headline the 12-member induction class of 2017.
“We couldn’t be prouder of our friend Randy Corley, he does so much for our rodeo, and the sport of rodeo, by entertaining and educating fans while announcing the play by play in the arena,” said Russ Fields, Rowell Ranch Pro Rodeo President. “He understands the heart of a cowboy and is able to convey to our fans why the Rowell Ranch Pro Rodeo is an important piece of our community’s history.”
Corley’s induction follows several local honorees including the Rowell Ranch Pro Rodeo itself in 2014, while past president Cecil Jones was included in the class of 2000 and Harry Rowell in 1979.
The 98th Rowell Ranch Pro Rodeo will take place next May 18-20, with Randy Corley back behind the microphone announcing the action.
CAPTION: Longtime Rowell Ranch Pro Rodeo announcer Randy Corley has been inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. He has been named “Announcer of the Year” 12 times by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
Fall Festival Attracts Thousands
BY LINDA SANDSMARK • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 09-13-17
Castro Valley’s 45th Annual Fall Festival attracted thousands of visitors this year, despite temperatures that reached the high 90s.
It was so hot that the Sno-Cone vendors ran out of ice and Chamber of Commerce volunteers went booth-to-booth with a wagon full of bottled water for participating organizations.
Over 160 booths were set up along Castro Valley Boulevard Saturday and Sunday, selling and giving away everything from food and drinks to shopping bags and fans.
A children’s play area and two entertainment stages added to the festivities.
“It’s a great opportunity to meet members of the community, to share what the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary and others are doing, while listening to the music,” said Castro Valley Rotary President Jim Negri.
Civic groups were featured as well as food and craft vendors. The Chamber of Commerce booth provided information on a wide variety of area activities.
Dozens of local entities such as Waste Management of Alameda County, EBMUD, the California Highway Patrol, Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, 4-H, sports organizations, businesses, schools and churches greeted locals.
The Castro Valley Women’s Club (castrovalleywomensclub.weebly.com/) announced its 70th anniversary, supporting a new partnership with SOS Meals On Wheels.
Chamber Executive Director Ashley Strasburg said this year featured the most vendors in years, and the musical line-up was excellent.
Intrepid Boy Scouts and volunteers from several other organizations helped with cleanup.
CAPTION: Big crowds visited this weekend’s Castro Valley Fall Festival, enjoying the hometown atmosphere on the Boulevard while trying to keep cool.
PHOTO BY LINDA SANDSMARK
CV Criminal Suspect Dies in Shootout
BY AMY SYLVESTRI • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 09-06-17
A Castro Valley man, identified as a suspect in the killing of a sheriff’s deputy, has died from injuries he sustained during a deadly shootout in Sacramento last week.
Authorities say Thomas Daniel Little Cloud, 32, shot and killed Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert French, 52, and injured two undercover California Highway Patrol officers last Thursday as he tried to flee a Ramada Inn.
The incident began last Wednesday morning when police spotted a stolen car at the hotel. The driver refused pull over and led police on a high-speed chase into neighboring Elk Grove. The driver was eventually pulled over and was identified as Priscilla Prendez, 23, of Oakland.
Prendez was on probation which enabled officers to search her, and it was discovered that she had a room at the Ramada Inn in her name.
When detectives returned to the hotel and knocked on the door of Prendez’s room, police said Little Cloud began shooting through the door and the wall, injuring the two CHP officers.
As he attempted to escape through a back balcony of the hotel, he engaged deputies with a high powered assault rifle, mortally wounding French, a 21-year veteran of the sheriff’s office.
Little Cloud attempted to flee in a stolen car, leading police on a chase onto city streets in Sacramento before crashing his car and being taken into custody. He died from his injuries in a Sacramento hospital on Saturday.
Little Cloud had an extensive criminal record in Alameda County over the past 14 years, including assault on a police officer, battery on emergency personnel, robbery, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and assault with a stun gun.
Authorities say Littlecloud was eluding police in two separate court cases after failing to appear in court in July.
French, the deputy who was killed, is survived by three children, several grandchildren and a sister.
CAPTION: Thomas Daniel Little Cloud, a Castro Valley resident, died from injuries he sustained during a deadly shootout in Sacramento.
Weekend of Record-Breaking Heat Ends
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 09-06-17
The weather in Castro Valley will return to normal tomorrow, with a predicted high plunging to 73 degrees from the 81-degree-forecast for today. Low cloudiness will give way to sunshine later in the day on Thursday, with the slight possibility of rain.
The entire East Bay began cooling off on Labor Day after a record-breaking heatwave that began Friday sent thousands to beaches, cooling centers, air-conditioned stores – anywhere they could find some relief from the scorching temperatures, which didn’t let up much at night.
On Friday, some temperatures inland surged well over the 110-degree mark, resembling more like what you’d expect to see in Death Valley than the Bay Area. Parts of Castro Valley reached 105 degrees at times over the long weekend.
One of the cooling centers was the Castro Valley Library. Branch Manager Dawn Balestreri said 50 to 60 people were standing at the entrance of the library waiting for it to open and most stayed for several hours.
Private weather forecaster Mike Pechner attributed the heatwave to a large dome of high pressure that covered much of the West Coast, shutting off the usual sea breeze and allowing a very hot air mass over the interior to spread westward towards the coast and the Bay.
“The area of high pressure has moved to the east and the marine layer is back with cooler temperatures for the next six to 10 days,” Pechner told the Forum on Tuesday. “However it will be muggy with higher humidity because moisture from tropical storm Lidia is still present, allowing for the slight possibility of a stray summer shower.”
Temperatures were expected to remain in the70s through Saturday.
CAPTION: As temperatures rose above the 100 mark on Friday, the Castro Valley Water Park attracted plenty of grateful clients.
PHOTO BY LARRY ROSA
Longtime Castro Valley Stationery Store Closes Doors
BY LINDA SANDSMARK • CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 09-06-17
Another piece of Castro Valley became history last week, with the Aug. 31 closing of Treible Stationers office supply store.
Treible’s incorporated in 1959 and has been located in Castro Valley ever since. The store was originally owned and operated by Robert Treible. The Bolin family of CV bought the business in 1994.
Local residents shopped at the retail store, which carried school supplies, printer ink, paper, greeting cards, calendars and office furniture. But there was much more going on behind the scenes.
“Most of our retail customers had no idea about the commercial side of our company,” says Ken Bolin. He estimates that the retail portion was only about five percent of Treible’s business.
Under the Bolin family, Treible added an outside sales team, an inside customer service department, and delivery drivers. The company was able to deliver office products quickly to commercial customers throughout the Bay Area.
Treible’s increased the store’s sales to 20 times its original volume. The company outgrew its earlier location near Castro Village, moving in 2014 to larger quarters at 2743 Castro Valley Blvd.
The Bolins recently merged with AAA Office Solutions and Interiors of San Francisco. The merger will allow Ken and his wife Rose to retire. Ken’s brother, Bob Bolin, will stay on with the new company, which will retain an office in Castro Valley.
“We are happy to say that all our staff will be employed by the new company,” says Ken. “It is bitter sweet. We have met so many great people throughout our years at Treible’s. We will miss that part of the business, but we are also excited about our new chapter in life, spending time with our first grandchild and catching up with things we never quite had time for when you own a business.”
Ken adds that Rose is happy he will finally get around to his “honey-do list,” which has been growing over the past 30 years.
“My wife says I have no excuses now!” says Ken.
The Bolins would like to thank the community for their loyal support all these years. They live in Castro Valley and plan to continue to be active around town.
CAPTION: Ken and Rose Bolin are retiring and closing Treible Stationers retail store on the Boulevard.
This week’s Athletes of the Week are the members of the Castro Valley High School’s JV girls basketball team. The team comprises five Freshmen, eight sophomores, and one junior, and is coached by Jerry Oliver and Rob Gardner. They have an 8-2 league record and an overall record of 20-4. A couple of JV team highlights include that they finished second in the Newark Memorial Christmas Tourney and that they enjoyed a 9-game winning streak in December.
Shown top row from left, Samantha Santos, Malan Potts, Samantha Martinez, Christine Xu, Alyssa Tung, Megan Chinn, Sylvia Ross, and Penelope Wong. Bottom row, Rachel Jackson, Valerie Santos, Jessalen Slayton, Kyla Harrison, Ashley Seto and Mandy Kwok.
Peter Brewer Creates Legacy in Track, Cross Country at CVHS
Twelfth in a series profiling the 16 new members of the Castro Valley Sports Hall of Fame. The induction banquet will take place Saturday, April 21, at Redwood Canyon Event Center. For tickets, call Ted Riche at 510-537-2048.
By Dave Del Grande
SPECIAL TO THE FORUM • 02-14-18
Peter Brewer’s legacy as a highly successful cross country and track and field coach at Castro Valley High lives on through annual invitational meets that he created and the school continues to host today.
Now there’s another reason: Brewer’s 26 years of hard work in helping the Trojans’ powerhouse programs grow are being acknowledged with his induction into the Castro Valley Sports Hall of Fame in April.
All because he wanted to give up smoking.
“I was 29 years old and I was smoking a lot,” the Redondo Beach native recalled. “I love the environment here. I thought if I coached cross country, it would help me quit smoking.”
It worked, in more ways than one. Within two years, Brewer had both quit smoking and convinced himself this “perennial JV athlete,” as he referred to himself, could be a varsity-level coach.
The rest is history because, Brewer insists, he was surrounded by historic coaches: from Norm Guest, whom Brewer credits with putting Castro Valley’s cross country and track programs on the sports map; to John Brosnan and Oscar Sakamoto, legendary Castro Valley football and basketball coaches who, Brewer recalls, “gave me a lot of grief for being young and stupid;” to Tony Casillas, who Brewer says “was producing real good runners without basically any support.”
So Brewer listened and, in 1983, offered to help out. “I hung around,” as he put it.
And when Brosnan, the athletic director, made him the head track coach in 1985, “I got really involved with it,” he said. “I really didn’t know squat. I went to clinics. Read books. Then I got a couple of athletes. That makes a big difference.
“We went to North Coast. The State Meet in 1987. It wasn’t like I had a magic bullet or had a secret or anything. I just stole from real good coaches. Athletes came along and I kinda knew what to do with them.”
Guest, who went from Castro Valley High to Cal State Hayward to help clear a path for Brewer, was a great role model.
“He instituted a lot of policy that made my job easier,” Brewer claimed. “He kept strong records. He had an inventory procedure I followed … A tip of the hat to Norm.”
Brewer became the cross country head coach in the fall of 1985, and the rest is history.
Counting all levels (frosh-soph, junior varsity and varsity, boys and girls), his cross country teams won an amazing 101 Hayward Area Athletic League titles from 1985 to 2008. They won four North Coast Section championships. And he had four NCS individual champions, as well as State Meet qualifiers in 20 different seasons.
In track (where there was no JV level), those numbers were 43 HAAL team titles and one NCS championship. Brewer proudly notes he had at least one athlete qualify for the State Meet in all 16 events along the way.
People noticed. The NCS selected him as an Honor Coach and for a Distinguished Achievement Award. The CIF jumped onboard with a Distinguished Achievement gesture of its own.
“I had a lot of help,” Brewer unselfishly claims. “The best assistant coaches in the business.”
Brewer credits Castro Valley’s growth, especially the development of Five Canyons, as propelling his rise.
“In 1982, there were 1,200 students (at Castro Valley High). Now there’s 3,000,” he noted. “That explosion doubled the classroom space. Added a second gym. Built the track . . . With athletes, the demographics changed. (Castro Valley) was a ranch town. Now it wasn’t just ranch kids anymore. Suddenly it was high-end professionals and their children.”
Now 65, Brewer and his wife live in Walnut Creek, but two annual events on the Trojans’ sports calendar still catch his eye: The Castro Valley cross country and track and field invitationals.
“Still ongoing,” he proudly boasted of the popular events that began in 1993 and 1996, respectively.
“We established consistent excellence, which I took great pride in,” he said of his impact on the programs. “We were able to track the kids. Put them in highly competitive areas. Condition them. Push them farther than they thought they could go. And I was fortunate to have some great athletes who came around.”
CAPTION: Peter Brewer
Athlete of the Week:
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 02-07-18
This week’s Athlete of the Week is Payton Stanberry, a junior at Castro Valley High School. Stanberry is a member of the varsity girls basketball team. She scored her season high of 29 points in the season opener against Clayton Valley Charter. In 21 games played, Stanberry has scored 247 points, has 123 total rebounds, 21 assists, 22 steals, and 13 blocks for the season. She won “All-Tournament” honors in the Emerald Division Jamboree at the end of December and has helped her team to a 6-1 league record and a 19-2 overall record.
Kollias’ Winning Obsession Proved Boon to CVHS, Cal
Eleventh in a series profiling the 16 new members of the Castro Valley Sports Hall of Fame. The induction banquet will take place Saturday, April 21, at Redwood Canyon Event Center. For tickets, call Ted Riche at 510-537-2048.
By Lowell Hicky
SPECIAL TO THE FORUM • 02-07-18
The late Al Davis would have loved Alexis Kollias.
The former Oakland Raiders’ owner had a motto, “Just win, baby.” Kollias certainly could relate to that.
“I was obsessed with winning,” said Kollias, whose married name is Alexis Kollias Thiele. That obsession began as a seven-year-old swimmer and tennis player and continued through college and beyond as a standout volleyball player.
At Castro Valley High, Kollias led the Trojans to two Hayward
Area Athletic League volleyball co-championships and three North Coast Section qualifications while earning first-team all-league honors as a junior and senior.
Taking her talent to the University of California in 2002, she helped the Bears rise from the bottom of the Pac-12 to near the top and make their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 13 years.
There was a bit of a party atmosphere around women’s volleyball in Berkeley prior to 2002, Alexis recalled. But that culture soon changed.
“We had a phenomenal group of freshmen,” Kollias said. “The priorities became academics and volleyball. We wanted to change Cal volleyball forever.”
Included in that freshman class were Alicia Powers, from Clayton, and Texan Jenna Brown. “We were the Three Musketeers,” said Kollias, who has been elected to the Castro Valley Sports Hall of Fame. The Bears made the NCAA Tournament in three of the four years Alexis was there, including one Sweet 16 appearance.
Kollias, who was recruited by Yale and MIT among other universities, twice earned Pac-12 All-Academic honors while majoring in public health. Why did she choose Cal?
“Being Greek, there was a little bit of pressure to stay close to home — and by that I mean a lot of pressure,” she declared, smiling.
A self-described “tomboy,” Kollias tried many sports as a youngster, but by middle school she had it narrowed down to volleyball, basketball and occasionally track and field (high jump was her specialty). While playing in the National Junior Basketball League, she came under the positive influence of coaches Tina and Bob Frey.
“They taught me teamwork,” Alexis said. “I was a bit of a crybaby, a poor loser. I’d pout. They taught me how to be more of a presence for my team.”
A physical education teacher at Canyon Middle School, Steve Spinola, recognized Kollias’ volleyball potential and told his daughter, Shelby, to take a look. Shelby was coach of the Golden Bear club team, an elite traveling club that played top competition around the country.
She obviously liked what she saw. Alexis soon was playing volleyball with and against the best in her age group.
“The club was loosely associated with Cal,” she explained. Alexis would attend Cal volleyball matches, even collecting autographs from the players. “I fell in love with the campus.”
Kollias played two years of junior varsity and one year of varsity basketball at Castro Valley before deciding to concentrate solely on volleyball. Playing for both the high school and Golden Bear club volleyball teams, she also was a member of the USA High Performance team, which aimed to develop elite athletes as future Olympians.
At CVHS, Alexis played outside hitter, a front-line position that emphasizes slamming the ball into the opponents’ court. “Trying to give people facials, bloody noses, on the other side of the net ... I loved it,” she said.
But at 5-foot-7, Kollias was too short for the front line in the Pac-12, where the women occupying that position were 6-foot-1 and up. At Cal, she was strictly a libero, a defensive player limited to the back line. Instead of making “kills,” she was defending against them with “digs,” which requires a lot diving on the floor.
In her four years at Cal, Alexis had 594 digs, including 31 in one match against St. Mary’s (the third most single-match digs in Cal history).
“I was never afraid of hitting the floor,” she said. “I was always ready to sacrifice any part of my body so the ball wouldn’t hit the ground.”
Kollias, who began her Cal career as a walk-on, eventually became the first Cal libero ever to be awarded an athletic scholarship.
Alexis and many of her Cal teammates still have frequent reunions. “When you bleed, sweat and cry together, you form bonds that can’t be broken,” she said.
Upon graduation from Cal, Kollias played one year (2006-2007) in the Greek A1 Women’s Volleyball League, considered one of the top professional leagues in Europe.
Kollias Thiele is now a nurse at Eden Hospital. She and her husband, Aidan Thiele, have two children and live in Castro Valley.
Oh, yes, when her busy schedule permits, Alexis also plays in a Hayward Area Recreation District volleyball league. And you can bet she plays to win.
Athletes of the Week:
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 01-31-18
Dakine Hoops Basketball Team Members
His week’s Athletes of the Week are the members of Castro Valley’s Dakine Hoops basketball team.
They participated in the third Annual XBA Winter Classic and won the Championship over the weekend of January 20-21, at the Jamtown facility in Oakland.
Dakine Hoops won their first 2 games against San Jose Elite’s blue team 56-31 and their yellow team 41-36, to finish Saturday’s pool play with two wins.
Sunday’s playoffs started with a 36-17 semifinals win over ASA prime green, to send Dakine into the Championship game. Dakine battled against NorCal Xpress and brought home the Championship trophy after a 44-35 win.
Pictured from left: Riley La Rosa, Ekam Sandhu, Joshua Racimora, Marcelles Allen, Michael Li, Travis Simmons, Aadi Malali, Avi Rajbhandary and Head Coach Armando. Missing from the photo are Shriyans Vittal, James Ren, Porter Tien and Coach John.
During All Her Soccer Travels, Cameron Misses Castro Valley
Tenth in a series profiling the 16 new members of the Castro Valley Sports Hall of Fame. The induc-tion banquet will take place April 21, 2018, at Redwood Canyon Event Center. For tickets, contact Ted Riche at 510-537-2048.
By Lowell Hicky SPECIAL TO THE FORUM• 01-31-18
The farther Mariah Cameron travels to pursue her passion to play soccer, the more she realizes one thing.
She misses Castro Valley.
So when a professional team for which the former Castro Valley High standout was playing folded last year, leaving her to sort through other European options, Cameron made what on the surface might seem like an odd decision.
She came home.
“I spent a lot of time networking,” said Cameron, who on April 21 will be inducted into the Castro Valley Sports Hall of Fame.
art of that networking included talking to her old coaches at the Castro Valley-based 24-7 UK Soccer Academy. Heck, they went as far as to give her a job coaching one of their competitive teams while she was between teams of her own. year later, Cameron has been recruited to play for FC Lugano in Switzerland’s top professional league as a glorified ringer. She was brought in for the second half of the season to help rescue the team from its current middle-of-the-pack status.
“I hope that is the effect I will have,” Cameron chuckled when it was suggested she’s been brought in as a hired gun of sorts. “They’re changing my position.”
Cameron was an All-American defender on Castro Valley teams that won three league championships in her four years. The team her senior year reached the North Coast Section semifinals, setting the stage for Castro Valley -- led by Hall of Famers Micaela and Morgan Castain -- to claim the NCS title the following season.
But coaches all the way back to her rec days in the Castro Valley league have recognized Cameron is far too talented to just play defense. Fortunately, her high school coach also recognized this, pushing her forward to score the league-championship-clinching goal her senior year against Bishop O’Dowd.
Versatility has been Cameron’s forte ever since she enrolled at Vannoy Elementary and then Canyon Middle School.
She played CYO basketball and youth volleyball, was one of two girls on the Canyon flag football team, ran track so well she once qualified for the Junior Olympics, and was the shortstop on a Castro Valley Synergy softball team that won a national championship.
All the while, she juggled a soccer career that often had her coaches scratching their heads.
“As I got older, I gravitated to fewer sports,” she said of playing just soccer and softball in high school. “But there definitely were times when my soccer coach would tell me: ‘Kick that soccer ball. You’re a lot better player when it’s not softball season.’”
Among dozens of accomplishments that would make the top of most girls’ lists -- including getting to play varsity softball on the same team as older sister Danielle -- the game-tying goal against O’Dowd (Castro Valley needed just a tie to win the league title) stands out.
“My grandfather had just died,” she recalled. “My grandmother and grandfather had been at every game I had ever played in all the sports. My grandmother was there (at the O’Dowd game). It was very emotional.
“It was a two-fold emotional night because we were playing for the championship, too. And it was Senior Night as well.”
One negative of splitting time in high school between soccer and softball was it confused recruiters. It wasn’t until Cameron made it clear she’d be going forward in soccer that Washington State invited her to visit and made her an offer.
Cameron was so impactful for the Cougars both on and off the field as a freshman, the coach made her the team captain as a sophomore. It’s a title and responsibility she cherished for three years, two of which ended in knee surgeries.
“You always hear about things in college that are applicable later in life,” he said. “Being 19 years old and learning how to manage a group of 30 girls from the ages of 18 to 22 … that was a huge time of growth for me.”
After a year off to recover from her second surgery, Cameron continued her education and soccer playing in England, earning a Masters degree while gaining the type of experience that eventually would make her a key “free agent” signing in Switzerland.
Now as she prepares for a new soccer life -- one of a striking midfielder -- the 26-year-old is more appreciative than ever of the opportunities she got playing sports in Castro Valley.
“I will always think of Castro Valley as my training ground,” she said. “Running up Seven Hills Road, the stadium, the bleachers, running through town … it’s like the city has been my training structure since I was a kid.
“I’ve run all the hills at Canyon, Vannoy, Creekside. I’ve gone to do ball work in all the same places. Castro Valley has just given me all the tools I’ve needed to hone my skills as an athlete.”
CAPTION: Mariah Cameron was team captain for three years at Washington State.
Athletes of the Week:
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 01-24-18
This week’s Athlete of the Week is Bailey Jones, a senior at Castro Valley High School. Jones plays as a guard on the varsity girls basketball team.
In her 17 games played, she has amassed 248 points, 55 rebounds, 72 assists, 51 steals, and 2 blocks for the season, taking her season average to 14.6 points, 4.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 3.0 steals per game.
Jones has scored 23 3-pointers for the season, and scored her season high of 28 points, with 5 made 3-pointers against South Medford on Dec. 28. She has been a consistent driving force for the Varsity team, since her freshman year, and has helped them to a current 15-2 record.
She won All-Tournament honors in the Emerald Division Jamboree at the end of December and was recently recognized on the 49ers Cal-hi sports report as their Player of the Week.
Anthony Reyes’ Love of Baseball Leads Him into Sports Training
Ninth in a series profiling the 16 new members of the Castro Valley Sports Hall of Fame. The induction banquet will take place April 21 at Redwood Canyon Event Center. For tickets, contact Ted Riche at 510-537-2048.
By Lowell Hicky
SPECIAL TO THE FORUM • 01-24-18
His friends called him “Shoebox” during his baseball playing days in Castro Valley.
From Castro Valley Little League through Castro Valley High varsity baseball, Anthony Reyes would bring his shoebox full of band-aids, tape and other first-aid materials to practices and games.
“I wanted to be prepared in case something happened to me or a teammate,” Reyes explained, smiling.
Although he no longer carries a shoebox and his equipment is a bit more sophisticated, Reyes is still taking care of baseball players some two decades later. Only now those players are major leaguers. Anthony is assistant trainer for the San Francisco Giants.
After graduation from CVHS in 1999, Reyes entered the University of Washington as a computer science major. He quickly realized he was in the wrong field. He missed baseball, a sport he loved.
“I wanted to be a major league baseball player, like every kid,” he said during an interview in the players lounge at AT&T Park.
f he couldn’t make a living playing baseball, Reyes figured he’d try another approach. He signed on as an intern in the athletic training program at Washington, but was assigned to work with the football and basketball teams – not baseball.
Reyes transferred to San Jose State after his sophomore year, majoring in kinesiology. He also interned part-time at a physical therapy clinic run by Gary Lang, the athletic trainer at Foothill College. Lang occasionally recommended interns for the Giants.
Anthony completed his degree and earned his athletic trainer certification just when the Giants happened to be looking for an intern. Talk about perfect timing. Lang recommended Reyes and he got the job – his dream job. That was 2004 and he’s been with the Giants organization ever since.
“I got into athletic training because I wanted to get into baseball,” said Reyes, who has been elected to the Castro Valley Sports Hall of Fame.
After a year with the Giants’ rookie league team in Arizona, Reyes was assigned to the Giants’ double-A team, the Connecticut Defenders. His title was head trainer, but his job description was much more than that. He was trainer, strength and conditioning coach and traveling secretary – typical duties for a minor league trainer.
eyes would check in players at the hotel on road trips, dish out meal money, welcome new players and perform other necessary tasks while overseeing the health and fitness of young major league prospects. It meant for long days and a lot of bus rides.
It could have been worse, though. “Back in the days before I got into the business, the trainer would often drive the team bus,” Reyes noted with a chuckle. Anthony wasn’t complaining. After all, there was a baseball game every night.
Reyes was promoted to the Giants’ triple-A team, the Fresno Grizzlies, in 2008. Although he still performed traveling secretary duties, now he was arranging flights instead of bus rides. And, in 2009, the Grizzlies added a full-time strength and conditioning coach, so Anthony could devote more time to being a trainer.
ince the minor league season ends after August, Reyes would join the parent team in San Francisco in September and in 2010
that meant he was with the Giants during their post-season drive to the World Series championship. He was awarded a World Series ring. He didn’t know it at the time, but it was his first of three (so far).
Reyes was promoted to the Giants full-time as assistant athletic trainer prior to the 2012 season, so he earned two more World Series rings when the Giants ran the table again in 2012 and 2014.
uring the baseball season, Reyes’ day begins about noon for home night games. The entire medical staff -- doctors, trainers, physical therapist and strength coach -- meet to plan or modify treatment of injured players. About 2 p.m., players start trickling in for treatment. There is always at least one trainer on the field during batting practice and one is helping the starting pitcher get ready. Around 5:30 for a 7:15 game, the trainers start helping the position players get loose.
During the game there are two trainers in the dugout at all times. They’re ready in case a player (or umpire) gets injured, plus they keep manager Bruce Bochy and the coaching staff appraised of what players might be limited to pinch hitting or pinch running that night. Another trainer works with the relief pitchers to get them ready for action.
After the game, medical reports need to be written, some examinations may be required and equipment made ready for the following day. Reyes usually leaves the ballpark about midnight. It’s a long day.
Would Anthony recommend athletic trainer as a career?
“Oh, yes,” he replied immediately. “But you have to be passionate for the sport you’re in and for the profession. There are a lot of sacrifices.”
Reyes and his wife, Fay, and daughter, Amelia, currently live in Martinez.
CORRECTION: Last week’s story about Juan Anderson had an incorrect by-line. The story was written by Dave Del Grande.
Athletes of the Week:
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 01-17-18
This week’s Athletes of the Week are the members of the Castro Valley High School’s Varsity Lady Wrestling Team.
The Lady Trojans traveled to American Canyon to compete at the Wolfpack Classic at American Canyon High School, on Saturday. This tournament was on the back end of a back-to-back for the team, but after a full day of hard competition, the team rallied together to take home the First Place team trophy.
The first meeting of the weekend started with the Lady Trojans competing in the second annual Kusumoto Classic girls wrestling tournament in Saratoga last Friday.
The tournament, hosted by Prospect High School, had 35 schools, mainly from the Central Coast Section. Castro Valley was the only team representing the North Coast Section.
The Lady Trojans, with a little more than half their team members (10 wrestlers), scored a total of 108 team points, taking home the Second Place team trophy, behind Alisal High School, with more than 20 team members. Congratulations to the Lady Trojans!
SPORTS HALL OF FAME
Anderson’s Basketball Skills Now On Display in Mexico
Eighth in a series profiling the 16 new members of the Castro Valley Sports Hall of Fame. The induction banquet will take place April 21, 2018, at Redwood Canyon Event Center. For tickets, contact Ted Riche at 510-537-2048.
By Dave Del Grande
SPECIAL TO THE FORUM • 01-17-18
Juan Anderson was one of the most highly recruited prep basketball players in recent East Bay history.
His decision as a senior at Castro Valley High in 2011: Go to a big-time college and probably play less, or accept a mid-major offer and get a chance to star.
He took the high road, accepting an offer from Marquette University in Milwaukee.
As he prepared for a key game recently in Mexico’s top professional league (the LNBP), Anderson -- known as Juan Toscano on the Monterrey Fuerza Regia (Great Force) team -- had only momentary second thoughts on his life-changing choice.
“In hindsight …” he said with some hesitation. “If I’d have played mid-major, the ball would have been in my hands more. I might be in the NBA today. Who knows?
“But at Marquette, I got to experience some things nobody else will ever experience. I got a degree, a Sweet 16 (NCAA Tournament) ring, a Big East (Conference) championship.
“Playing in Madison Square Garden (in New York) and winning the Big East championship off a buzzer-beater. These are experiences you can’t buy.” Anderson, a driving force in Castro Valley’s only North Coast Section boys basketball championship in 2011, is one of 16 athletes and coaches selected to the 2018 class of the Castro Valley Sports Hall of Fame.
reat basketball experiences started early for Anderson, who admitted his family’s first love in sports was soccer.
ut he branched off to play AAU basketball for the Oakland Stars, and later the Oakland Rebels, and landed in a talented crop of freshmen at Castro Valley High that included Roderick Bobbitt, another 2018 Hall of Fame inductee, and Chris Read.
“After that (freshman) year, we kinda knew we had a core group,” Anderson recalled. “Going into junior year, we knew it would be our time.”
he time was never better than when the Trojans beat De La Salle by 18 points in the 2011 NCS finals.
ut then the clock struck midnight shortly after Castro Valley enjoyed a big lead over the same Spartans at the Northern California finals, minutes away from a shot at a state title.
“I think we were the most talented trio in California at the time,” Anderson said. “We knew we had already beat them. We knew that nobody could play with us. We felt like we were going to win even before the game started.”
nderson narrowed his choice of college to Marquette, Cal, Arizona State, Oregon and Texas, and chose the Warriors in part because of ESPN.
“The Big East was the best league in the country,” he gushed. “On ESPN every night. Playing against (future) NBA players every night. I wanted to play against the best.”
he 6-foot-6 Anderson played 121 games at Marquette in four seasons, starting 77 of them. His senior season was his best: 8.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, shooting 49 percent from the field and 35 percent on 3-pointers.
he highlight of his college career was also a lowlight: One win from the treasured 2013 Final Four, Marquette was beaten by Syracuse in the Elite 8 in Washington, D.C., with President Obama in attendance.
ike with De La Salle in high school, Marquette had beaten Syracuse in a previous matchup.
pon graduation, Anderson
see FAME on page 10
took his talents to Mexico, where he’s been a league champ, a league Finals Most Valuable Player, a two-time All-Star Game MVP and, this year, the league’s dunk champ, citing Vince Carter (“the greatest dunker ever”) as his inspiration.
ll while speaking mostly Spanish and splitting time with the Mexican National Team, which -- you guessed it -- lost to Argentina one win shy of qualifying for the London Olympics.
he Olympic flame still fuels Anderson, whose Mexican National Team will get its greatest spotlight ever when it faces the NBA G-League All-Stars on NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles on Feb. 18.
t might be the most important basketball game of Anderson’s life.
“Get in front of NBA personnel,” the 24-year-old said of next month’s opportunity. “This is a chance to showcase myself. I’d like to play in the (NBA) summer league this year.
“My best basketball days are ahead of me. I’m only getting better. I’m definitely going to keep pushing.”
Athletes of the Week:
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 01-10-18
This week’s Athletes of the Week are the members of the Castro Valley High School’s Trojans wrestling team.
They won the Mat Classic Tournament at Granada High School on Saturday, January 6, capturing their third team title this season.
Max Plotzeneder led the way, winning by pin in his finals match. Kris Darrin and Alex Sousa both finished second. RJ Maes and Andrew Kohl finished third, scoring four pins throughout the day. Isaac Morris finished fifth. Dylan Vanerwegan and Charles Alejo were consolation champs.
SPORTS HALL OF FAME
Klews Protected Quarterbacks, Now Protects Eugene Citizens
Seventh in a series profiling the 16 new members of the Castro Valley Sports Hall of Fame. The induction banquet will take place April 21 at Redwood Canyon Event Center.
SPORTS HALL OF FAME• CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 01-10-18
By Lowell Hickey
SPECIAL TO THE FORUM
For most of his life, Michael Klews has been in the protection business.
“I used to protect quarterbacks. Now I’m protecting an entire community,” said the former offensive lineman and present-day police officer.
Klews protected quarterbacks at Castro Valley High and the University of Oregon back in the 1990s. Since 2002, he has been protecting the good citizens of Eugene, Oregon, as a patrol officer with a specialty in collision investigation.
Born in Germany, Klews was 12 when he came to the United States and entered Canyon Middle School. He knew little English and even less about football.
“My aunt took me to one or two games at Cal, but I didn’t know what I was watching,” he recalled.
Mainly so he could be with a couple of buddies, Klews joined the frosh-soph football team at
CVHS as a sophomore. Already approaching 300 pounds, his size was impressive. John Brosnan, the varsity coach, watched him in a couple of blocking drills and invited him to join the varsity.
“I told him, ‘No,’ I wanted to stay with my buddies on the soph-frosh team,” Klews remembered. “He said to try it for three days and if I didn’t like it I could come back down.”
After three days, Klews wanted to return to the frosh-soph team but Brosnan insisted he stay with the varsity. “So, I stayed,” said Klews, who has been elected the Castro Valley Sports Hall of Fame.
“He was one of my favorites,” Brosnan said. “I have a picture of him on my wall. Helluva player. Great speed, good feet. A good team player and a good leader.”
Klews became an immediate starter with the Trojans, mostly at offensive tackle and occasionally at guard. He also played defense, but offensive line was his forte. He made second team All-Hayward Athletic League as a junior, first-team all-league as a senior and played in the prestigious Alameda County vs. Contra Costa County All-Star Game.
Colleges came knocking on his door. Mike Bellotti, the then assistant coach who recruited Klews, convinced him that Oregon was the right choice. By the fall of 1994, Klews was a Duck.
Klews played “a fair amount” his freshman year – even started a game against Iowa – when the Ducks went 7-1 in conference play and met Penn State in the Rose Bowl. During a practice for that Rose Bowl game, Klews tore his ACL, although the injury wasn’t properly diagnosed at the time.
“I had the knee wrapped and actually got in the game – for one play, a field goal attempt,” he said. Oregon lost that game, 38-20.
It turned out that Michael’s ACL injury required two surgeries in a four-month period, forcing him to redshirt the next year. He returned to see periodic playing time as a redshirt sophomore in 1996, then
made his impact as a starter in 1997 and 1998 when Akili Smith was the Ducks’ quarterback.
Klews rotated through all the offensive line positions, except center. One time, against Nevada his junior season, he played both guard spots and both tackle spots in the same game, changing positions to fill in for injured teammates.
“I think my biggest attribute was my versatility,” he said. He actually had to write “odd/even” on his shoes with athletic tape so he could remember which way to block on a given play.
Klews started in the Ducks’ 41-13 win over Air Force in the 1997 Las Vegas Bowl and in their 51-43 loss to Colorado in the 1998 Aloha Bowl. His play on the offensive line helped enable Akili Smith to pass for a school record 3,763 yards and receive Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year honors in 1998.
After that Aloha Bowl, Klews, a history major, hung up his cleats for good. He said he had an opportunity to play professionally, but decided against it, citing the numerous injuries he had received during his high school and college careers.
“I knew I wasn’t going to make millions of dollars,” Klews said. “There’s not that much money unless you’re a star. I had to decide whether to start a career or did I want to become a cripple.”
After a few years as a security officer, Klews reached his goal of becoming a police officer. He joined the Eugene Police Department, following in the footsteps of his father, who was a police officer in Hamburg, Germany, for more than 30 years.
Klews and his wife, Janel, have three teenage children (two boys and a girl). His sister, Barbara Anderson, teaches German at Castro Valley High.
CAPTION:Michael Klews in action
CVHS SPORTS SCHEDULE
Wed., Jan. 10, 4 p.m. Frosh/soph vs. San Leandro away
Wed., Jan. 10, 5:30 p.m. JV vs. San Leandro away
Wed., Jan. 10, 7:00 p.m. Varsity vs. San Leandro away
Fri., Jan. 12, 4:00 p.m. Frosh/soph vs. Piedmont at CVHS
Fri., Jan. 12, 5:30 p.m. JV vs. Piedmont at CVHS
Fri., Jan. 12, 7:00 p.m. Varsity vs. Piedmont at CVHS
Wed., Jan. 10, 5:00 p.m. JV vs. Alameda at CVHS
Wed., Jan. 10, 6:30 p.m. Varsity vs. Alameda at CVHS
Friday, Jan. 12, 5:30 p.m. JV vs. Piedmont away
Friday, Jan. 12, 7:00 p.m. Varsity vs. Piedmont away
Wed., Jan. 10, 4:00 p.m. JV vs. Arroyo at CVHS
Wed., Jan. 10, 6:00 p.m. Varsity vs. Arroyo at CVHS
Fri., Jan. 12, 3:30 p.m. JV vs. Mt. Eden at Chabot College
Friday, Jan. 12, 3:30 p.m. JV vs. Mt. Eden at Chabot College
Wed., Jan. 10, 3:30 p.m. JV vs. Arroyo away
Wed., Jan. 10, 3:30 p.m. Varsity vs. Arroyo away
Fri., Jan. 12, 4:00 p.m. JV vs. Mt. Eden at CVHS
Fri., Jan. 12, 6:00 p.m. Varsity vs. Mt. Eden at CVHS
Thurs., Jan. 11, 4:00 p.m. dual meet vs.
Mt. Eden and Arroyo at CVHS
Fri., Jan. 12, 7:00 a.m. Varsity is participating in a tournament being held at Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento.
Thurs., Jan. 11, 4:00 p.m. dual meet vs. Arroyo and San Leandro at CVHS
Athlete of the Week:
CVHS Varsity Girls BasketballTeam
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 01-03-18
This week’s Athletes of the Week are the members of the Castro Valley High School’s Varsity girls basketball team. They finished second in the Emerald Division Jamboree Tournament, held at CVHS, from Thursday, December 28 through Saturday, December 30.
Bailey Jones started the tournament scoring 28 points in an 82-62 win over South Medford, on Thursday. They won on Friday in a 67-63 overtime win over Antelope, propelling CV to the Emerald Division Championship. The Championship game saw California defeat CV 53-41.
The team scored a season high and school record 110 points as they defeated Livermore 110-69, on Monday, December 18, and finished 2017 with a 10-1 record.
SPORTS HALL OF FAME
Proulx is Hard to Pronounce But Even Harder to Contain
Sixth in a series profiling the16 new members of the Castro Valley Sports Hall of Fame. The induction banquet will take place April 21 at Redwood Canyon Event Center.
By Dave Del Grande
SPECIAL TO THE FORUM • 01-03-18
For a guy named “Pro XL,” it’s really no surprise that Mike Proulx has had a lot of success playing football.
Except for one thing: You don’t really pronounce his name that way.
“I’ve heard, ‘Prue Licks,’ a lot, too,” the former Castro Valley High award-winning quarterback noted. “I’m used to it.”
Rest assured his name will be pronounced correctly when Proulx is among 16 standouts inducted into the Castro Valley Sports Hall of Fame on April 21.
Actually, figuring out that Proulx is a complicated way of spelling “Prue” is about as difficult as figuring out how to stop his passing attack while he was at Creekside Middle School, Castro Valley High and finally Humboldt State.
In all three cases, he joined a football program that had its hands full with a particular rival.
But by the time he was done, Creekside had its first-ever win over Canyon, Castro Valley had knocked off Bishop O’Dowd, and Humboldt had shocked U.C. Davis.
It’s been 14 years since that win over Canyon, but Proulx, now 28 years old, remembers it like yesterday.
“All my friends from elementary school, we all played together on the schoolyard, and we all went to Creekside together,” the former Chabot Elementary student recalled. “We weren’t surprised (to beat Canyon); we knew we were pretty good.”
Considering he had never played tackle football and was joining a run-oriented program, passing Castro Valley High over O’Dowd had to rank as a bigger shocker.
But a coaching change to Craig Nieves and a little help from former Cal coach Roger Theder made it possible.
“I remember going out to Pittsburg to attend his passing camps,” Proulx said of sessions with Theder that featured several Division I quarterbacks, including Nevada-Reno’s Colin Kaepernick. “That’s when football really started to click for me.”
Proulx was named the All-Hayward Area Athletic League quarterback after leading Castro Valley to a 7-3 season as a record-setting senior. He hoped that would be good enough to get him a shot at U.C. Davis.
It didn’t work out that way, which turned out to be the Aggies’ regret.
Rejected by Davis, Proulx accepted a partial scholarship at Humboldt. He was a starter by midseason as a redshirt freshman, and a school touchdown-pass record-holder – as well as Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year – by the time his senior season was complete.
Proulx recalled being happier for the Lumberjacks’ program than for himself.
“I came into something that wasn’t a very good program. At the end, it was one of the best programs in the nation,” he said of the Arcata school. “That’s something I am most proud of: building something from nothing, and with a coaching change. A lot of the core guys stuck together.”
Turns out, Proulx was motivated by more than just the Davis snub.
“I remember in high school, I went to a passing tournament at Stanford,” he said. “I remember talking to the head coach face-to-face. I shook his hand. He told me straight-up: He only likes his quarterbacks 6-foot-2 and above. I’m only 5-11.
“That comment always stuck with me. It gave me a bit of an edge.”
Between the Theder camps at one end of the Bay and the Stanford tournament at the other, Proulx noted he’d never have developed into the quarterback he became without the support of his mother and stepfather.
“I definitely tried to put in the extra work. I was always trying to stay active,” he said. “My mom and my stepdad, they told me if I continued to play sports and get good grades, I wouldn’t have to worry about getting a job, or paying for college, or any of that other stuff.”
When Proulx finally got that job, it was in football. He played one season in the professional German Football League, something he called “one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.”
“I got to live on my own in a foreign country, travel to other places in Europe, and we finished undefeated,” he said. “It was great. But after one year, I decided to come home and get a real job.”
Today, the Danville resident is flanked by a wife and three dogs, and works as a deputy sheriff with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.
CAPTION:Mike Proulx led the Humboldt State offense after leaving Castro Valley High School.
MARK HARRIS PHOTOGRAPHY 2012
Athlete of the Week: Allanah Lee
CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 12-27-17
This week’s Athlete of the Week is Allanah Lee, a senior at Castro Valley High School who has been a star on the CV Varsity track team for the last 3 years and will begin her fourth year this Spring.
Lee competes in the hurdles and triple jump and is ranked No. 2 in California and No. 5 in the U.S. Her personal records are: 55mH-8.91, 60mH-9.56, 100mH-14.70, 300 mH-45.77, and triple jump- 41-feet, 11-inches.
As a Student-Athlete, she maintains a 3.28 GPA. Lee began her love for track and field at a young age and all of her hard work recently paid off, as she recently signed her letter of intent to run for the Sooners at the University of Oklahoma.
She has been coached by Dooney Jones, “2015 Coach of the Year” and her father, Mike Lee, “1985 NCAA All American” 110 hurdles and retired USA world class hurdler.
Sasha Wallace’s Latest Dream:
Make the 2020 Olympic Team
Fifth in a series profiling the 16 new members of the Castro Valley Sports Hall of Fame. The induction banquet will take place April 21, 2018, at Redwood Canyon Event Center.
SPORTS HALL OF FAME• CASTRO VALLEY FORUM • 12-27-17
By Lowell Hickey
SPECIAL TO THE FORUM
When Sasha Wallace has a dream she pursues it. Relentlessly.
It was that determination and perseverance that made Wallace a four-time state high school champion and a national collegiate champ. Her present dream is to compete in the 2020 Olympics.
The NCAA Indoor 60-meter hurdles champion currently trains with Lawrence Johnson, the track and field coach at Cal State Northridge and the 2013 USA Track and Field Coach of the Year.
One of her training partners is Brianna Rollins, the gold medal winner in the 100-meter hurdles at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Wallace is working with the best.
“I’m in a good position to a be on the next Olympic team,” said the Castro Valley High and University of Oregon graduate.
She plans to run the hurdles on the track and field professional circuit beginning in January. That will pit her against the best women hurdlers in the world and take her to events around the country and overseas.
Wallace, who won state titles in the 100-meter hurdles and triple jump in consecutive years (2012 and 2013) as a junior and senior in high school, recently was elected to the Castro Valley Sports Hall of Fame.