June 29, 2004

Euro Soccer Semis and Final at Englander Pub

We're admittedly late on this, but if you are looking to share the fun and excitement of the Euro 2004 soccer tournament, the Englander Pub in San Leandro is the place to be.

The semi-final between Portugal and the Netherlands is June 30 at 11:45am and the semi-final between Greece and the Czech Republic is July 1 at 11:45am. The final will be shown on July 4 at 11:45am. Games are $20, which is a bargain, considering the $10,000 the Englander paid to show all of the Euro 2004 games.

The Englander Pub is located at 101 Parrott Street in San Leandro between Washington and E. 14th St.

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June 22, 2004

Revised San Leandro Budget

A revised San Leandro budget was presented at the June 21, 2004, meeting of the San Leandro City Council. In the working session a week earlier, the main option for securing extra revenue was a $5.85 million parcel tax. After taking into account suggestions from last week's working session, City Manager John Jermanis proposed bridging the $5.85 million budget gap by instituting a new 911 communication fee to raise $2.35 million and sending a parcel tax totaling $3.5 million to the voters in November.

Heidi Finberg, representing the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce, said that while the Chamber spoke in favor of an increase in the business license fee at the working session a week earlier, it didn't object to a parcel tax if it contained a sunset clause (which would automatically repeal the tax after a certain amount of time), there was a moratorium on business license fee increases, and the parcel tax reflected the business and residential use of public safety services.

The City Council voted unanimously to adopt the budget for fiscal year 2004-2005. The exact details of the proposed ballot measure for the parcel tax and the 911 fee will be presented at the July 5, 2004, meeting of the City Council.

The City Council also voted 6-1 to adopt a somewhat controversial ordinance establishing a business improvement district (BID) to fund the West San Leandro Shuttle. The dissenting vote was cast by Council Member Glenda Nardine.

Mayor Sheila Young suggested that an ad-hoc committee be formed to come up with alternative funding for the Cherry Festival, Miracle on E. 14th Street, and Sausage and Suds events since funding for these activities was significantly reduced or eliminated in the proposed budget. At the end of the meeting, council members Orval Badger and Tony Santos agreed to join Young on the committee.

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June 15, 2004

San Leandro Budget Presentation

On Monday, June 14, 2004, San Leandro City Manager John Jermanis presented the proposed budget for the City of San Leandro to the City Council and the public.

The short story is that the city is facing a $9.35 million deficit because of a decrease of $2.1 million of revenue and an increase of $7.25 million in expenses. Unfortunately, many of the expenses can't be controlled by the City Council: things like contributions to the public employees retirement system (PERS), workers' compensation, the fire department contract, and elections.

Cuts are proposed for all departments, except for the fire department, which gets a 9% increase, and the police department, which gets a 14.5% increase. Proposed program reductions include $784,000 from the City Manager's Office, $167,000 from City Development, $185,000 from Engineering & Transporation, $75,000 from Finance, $89,000 from Human Resources, $450,000 from the Library, $623,000 from Public Works, and $331,000 from Recreation & Human Services.

The total workforce is expected to be reduced by about 12 people, some through elimination and others through attrition.

In the area of revenue enhancement, three options were presented:

  1. a parcel tax split evenly between residential and commercial that would raise a total of $5.85 million. Each homeowner would end up paying $95/year and each commercial property owner would pay $34 per thousand square feet.
  2. a parcel tax split 60% residential and 40% commercial that would raise a total of $5.85 million. Each homeowner would end up paying $126/year and each commercial property owner would pay $27 per thousand square feet.
  3. increase business license fees by 260% (yes that's 260%) to raise $2.85 million and cut $2.7 million in public safety expenditures (one fire engine company, nine sworn police officers and two non-sworn)

Only eight people came forward with comments on the proposed budget. Three people spoke out against the proposed cuts to the library (including the author of this article). Three people representing apartment owners and Chuck Pershing of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce spoke out against the parcel tax and in favor of increasing the business license fee.

Contact information for the San Leandro City Council can be found here. Contact them and let them know how you feel about the proposed budget.

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June 14, 2004

Go See "Not a Genuine Black Man"

Everyone should go and see Brian Copeland's "Not a Genuine Black Man" at The Marsh in San Francisco. And if you live in San Leandro, you must see it. The show has been such a hit that its run was first extended from May 15 to June 26 and it's been extended again to July 24, 2004.

It is a moving, funny, and poignant show. In his first solo show Copeland takes you from his childhood when his family moved into the racist San Leandro of the 1970s into the fight against housing discrimination and the importance of family. For those who regularly read the San Leandro Times, you may remember seeing columns by Copeland discussing the racism that plagued San Leandro while San Francisco was experiencing the "Summer of Love." As a newcomer to San Leandro, I had been unaware of San Leandro's past and it was informative and refreshing to see how things have changed so quickly. It was good to hear that he still lives in San Leandro.

You can also listen to Copeland's radio show Sundays from 9am to 10am on KGO at AM 810.

In the program handed out at the show, Copeland thanked City of San Leandro librarians Penny Peck (known by many library patrons as Miss Penny) and Cindy Simmons (San Leandro City Employee of the Month, June 2004).

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June 8, 2004

Free Computer and IT Jump-Starts at Hilton

If you're looking to jump into a new IT or computer career, UC Santa Cruz Extension is offering free technical jump-starts on Saturday June 12 and Sunday June 13 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 510 Lewelling Blvd., San Leandro.

The sessions are as follows:

Saturday, June 12

Visual Basic.NET
9:30-10:30 am
EDP 041E07 (use this EDP code to enroll)

Introduction to System Verilog
11:00 am-12:30 pm
EDP 041E16 (use this EDP code to enroll)

1:00-2:30 pm
EDP 041E08 (use this EDP code to enroll)

Sunday, June 13

Introduction to Databases
9:30-10:30 am
EDP 041E09 (use this EDP code to enroll)

Challenges in Next-Generation IC Designs
11:00 am-12:30 pm
EDP 041E15 (use this EDP code to enroll)

Object-Oriented Programming Essentials
1:00-2:30 pm
EDP 041E10 (use this EDP code to enroll)

Click here to enroll.

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June 1, 2004

Le Soleil and McKevitt Volvo Opening Soon

Le Soleil, a new Vietnamese restaurant at 1515 E. 14th St., is scheduled to open on Saturday June 12, 2004. The restaurant is owned by either Wal Hung Investment Inc. or Wal-Fund Investment Inc. depending on whether you believe the liquor license application or the fictitious business name paperwork.

McKevitt Volvo is advertising that it's moving to San Leandro, so its new dealership on Marina Boulevard must be close to complete, right? Well, the paving seems to be done, lights are installed, and most of the landscaping is complete, but since we were more than a month off on when Le Soleil would open, we'll refrain from any predictions.

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