December 23, 2004

Migrating Monarchs at Monarch Bay Golf Club

Each year, thousands of migrating Monarch butterflies spend the winter at the Monarch Bay Golf Club to avoid the colder temperatures up north. According to the City of San Leandro web site, "Tours are conducted on Saturdays from November 6, 2004, to February 5, 2005, at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., and meet at the Mulford-Marina Branch Library parking lot at 13699 Aurora Drive."

You can read the Chronicle article and see some photos here.

Note that photos can't match the experience of seeing the butterflies yourself.

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December 19, 2004

San Leandro Light up the Night

San Leandro highlights some of its residences in a special "Light up the Night" directory. Residents with holiday light displays are encouraged to submit their address and the addresses this year are:

  • 1624 Daily Ct
  • 3494 Figueroa Drive
  • 1271 Vista Grand Dr
  • 769 Sybil Ave
  • 15688 Elko Court
  • 13625 School St.
  • 1794 Vining Drive
  • 156 Estabrook St.6
  • 632 Begier
  • 672 Tiffany Road
  • 1267 Lillian Ave.
  • 13954 Samoa Road
  • 15103 to 15113 Chapel Ave & Farnsworth
  • 1335 Manor Blvd
  • 1705 Manor Blvd

At least one of the addresses above seems to have listed itself mainly to get people to see that it has apartments for rent. But some of the best are shown below:

Holiday lights at 15102 Chapel Ct
15102 Chapel Ct

Holiday lights at 15103 Chapel Ct
15103 Chapel Ct

Holiday lights at 1101 Gardner Blvd.
1101 Gardner

We recommend the holiday lights at the houses near the intersection of Chapel Court and Chapel Avenue. If you know of a more extravagant display, please let us know.

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December 11, 2004

Failed Car Jacking Attempt in San Leandro

At approximtely 8:25pm Wednesday, December 8, 2004, a Union City man foiled a car jacking attempt near the 2600 block of Marina Boulevard.

Men carrying a shotgun and a handgun confronted the driver when he was dropping off a passenger and the driver threw the keys out the window. The driver grabbed the shotgun barrel as the gunman looked for the keys and the second gunman lated fired at the driver and missed.

The gunmen fled in a late model blue Ford Sedan.

[Editor's note: I'm glad that nobody got hurt, but is it worth it to risk your life for your car?]

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December 7, 2004

The Bal Theatre Now Showing Indian Movies

Since the San Leandro Police arrested former Bal theater operator Brady Ferguson in February 2001 and the city revoked the theater's permit in April 2001 for showing "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" after midnight, the Bal theater had been relegated to free screenings of "family" and religious movies on an irregular basis.

However, now the Bal is part of NAZ8 Cinemas, a small chain of four movie theaters showing movies from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, China, Taiwan, Korea and the Philippines. The Bal is currently showing Yash Chopra's Veer Zaara. According to the press releases, "Veer-Zaara recounts the epic tale of an Indian man, Veer Pratap Singh (Shahrukh Khan) and a Pakistani woman, Zaara Hayaat Khan (Preity Zinta) - a story of a love so great that it knows no boundaries. It is also the story of Saamiya Siddiqui (Rani Mukerji), a Pakistani lawyer who tries to break the barriers separating the two."

You can check out reviews from the New York Times, BBC, and IndiaFM.

The movie is showing with English subtitles until December 9, 2004. Click here to see Veer Zaara previews. The Bal Theatre is located at 14808 E. 14th Street in San Leandro. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children. Call 510-797-2000 for up-to-date showtimes.

According to a press release dated July 14, 2000, "The Bal Theatre was built post-WWII, and served as the community theater for first-run films through the 60's. Sold to the Martin family in the early 70's, the repertoire changed to Spanish language films until the late 80's. Competition with VHS caused the theater to close, then the Martins leased the building to a Hindi movie company. The Bal has sat vacant since around 1998." Brady Ferguson and Desiree Costa re-opened the Bal on August 25, 2000, with a screening of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

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Third San Leandro Murder Ties Previous Year

Ruben Arturo Perez, 26, became San Leandro's third murder victim of the year after he died of gunshot wounds on Saturday, December 4, 2004.

The shooting was reported to police Saturday afternoon and responding police found Mr. Perez lying in the street near the 1000 block of Douglas Drive with two gunshot wounds to the chest.

Police have named Adam Galvan, 19, as the suspect in the murder, and expect to issue a warrant for his arrest. At this time, however, he is currently at large.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Perez was reported to be a member of the South Side Locos gang and Galvan, known by the nickname "Lazy," is "associated with the Border Brothers and Norteņos gangs."

San Leandro's other 2004 murder victims were William Simpson on September 24, 2004, and Shenise McLemore on May 28, 2004. San Leandro had three murders in 2003, five murders in 2002, and one murder in 2001.

Update: On Friday, December 10, 2004, shooting suspect Adam B. Galvan turned himself in at the San Leandro Police Department, accompanied by an attorney and family members. Galvan is expected to be arraigned at the Hayward Hall of Justice on Monday, December 13, 2004.

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December 6, 2004

Rep. Stark Speaks to Constituents

Representative Pete StarkAfter arriving more than 10 minutes late to his town hall meeting at the San Leandro Library on Saturday, December 4, 2004, Congressional Representative Pete Stark thanked the crowd for re-electing him and for those who didn’t vote for him, promised to make the next two years as painless as he could.

The following Monday (December 6, 2004), Stark said that the House would likely vote to remove a controversial provision of a spending bill that would have permitted certain Congressional members to review the tax returns of any person. He also expected the House to vote on an intelligence bill containing reforms recommended by the 9/11 Commission, although he thought that more conservative members of the House may try to delay a vote on the intelligence bill until a more conservative Senate convenes next year.

Stark expects the GOP to begin its session by focusing on privatizing Social Security, followed by a similar plan for Medicare and a reform of the tax system. Although a reform of the tax system is sought by some Republicans, Stark thinks that there are enough disagreements within the Republican party that tax reform is unlikely to make any significant progress. He holds no hope for education, human rights, the environment, or getting out of Iraq any time soon. Stark also predicts that Republicans will prevent Democrats from fully participating in the legislative process, as they have done for much of the past four years.

As a result of the Anthrax letters sent in 2001, Stark noted that mail to his Washington, D.C. office address is often delayed by six to eight weeks and letters are often unreadable and even destroyed by the time his office receives them. He advised his opponents to not "waste you money on Anthrax you don't like me; it won't get to me." Stark said that mail should be sent to his Fremont office address, which is 39300 Civic Center Dr., Suite 220, Fremont, CA 94538.

After his brief statement, Rep. Stark took questions from the audience, which, as usual, touched heavily on Social Security and Medicare. The first question was about when Congress will reconvene to privatize Social Security. Stark noted that it was one of the first items on the GOP agenda and he expects the issue to be taken up shortly after Congress reconvenes, in February 2005. Stark noted that Social Security is funded through 2050 or 2070, depending on which report you believe. He also stated that nearly half of Social Security recipients are single women, mostly surviving spouses receiving a disbursement of less than $1,000. [Editor’s note: For more information about Social Security, see the 2004 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds.

The next questions were about the threat to US jobs from NAFTA and, in particular, Mexican trucks being allowed into the United States, and illegal immigrants receiving Social Security benefits, medical treatment, and education. Stark answered the question about Mexican trucks by suggesting that enforcement of US safety standards should reduce competition from Mexican trucks. On the question of illegal immigrants receiving Social Security benefits, Stark noted that nobody receives Social Security that hasn’t paid into it over the last 40 quarters. On medical treatment of illegal immigrants, Stark said that, by law, hospitals are required to stabilize all patients that arrive at the hospital and that he thought that this was a good thing. As for the children of illegal immigrants, Stark said he did not think that the children of illegal immigrants should be punished for the transgressions of their parents.

When one audience member noted that part of the problem with the Democratic party is its lack of a clear policy about the direction in which it wants to lead the country, Stark largely talked around the issue, but agreed that the Democratic party needed to better convey its goals and directions to the public.

Stark was asked whether he thought the U.S. would intervene militarily in Nicaragua if the Sandinistas win in the next presidential election, noting that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited Nicaragua in November. Stark said that he hopes not, but is more worried about what the US is doing in Colombia.

Stark’s last question was about why he wasn’t mentioned in an ANG newspaper story (This one, I think) detailing other Bay Area Congressional Representatives' success at bringing home "pork" to their respective districts. Almost immediately, Stark fired off the figure of $9.5 million that he had helped get for his district, and then rattled off a list of projects and dollar figures. Stark noted that often works with the Bay Area Congressional Delegation on things like transportation projects, but noted that he failed to secure funding for needed dredging in Alameda. Stark said that he doesn't pride himself on bringing "pork" to his district but that he works to get a fair share and to ensure that his district is not overlooked.

Representative Pete Stark's next town hall meeting will be held in January 2005.

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December 2, 2004

Meeting to Discuss Proposed Indian Casino Near Oakland Airport - Dec. 14

A joint Alameda-San Leandro town hall meeting will held at 7pm on Tuesday, December 14, 2004, to discuss the proposed Koi Nation Indian Casino. The meeting will be held at the Grandview Pavilion, 300 Island Drive, Alameda (on the edge of the Alameda Golf Course. Click here for a map.

Those unable to attend are encouraged to comment via e-mail to using the subject line "Casino Comment" and including their city of residence. For more information, contact Jane McCrea at 510-577-3363.

The Koi Indian Nation has proposed a casino to be located in the Oakland Airport Business Park, adjacent to the airport at Pardee Drive and Swan Way. The preliminary proposal includes a 250,000-square foot Las Vegas-style facility with card games and 2,000 slot machines.

Since the casino is in Oakland, the proposal includes an annual payment of $10.7 million to City of Oakland. The proposal does not appear to address concerns in neighboring communitied.

The 30-member Koi tribe is based in Santa Rosa and regained federal recognition in 2000.

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December 1, 2004

Pete Stark Town Hall Dec. 4

Congressional Representative Pete Stark will hold a town hall meeting at the San Leandro Library on Saturday, December 4, 2004, from 10:30am - 11:30am. The meeting will be held in the Dave Karp Senior Meeting Facility. The library is located at 300 Estudillo Avenue.

Other town hall meetings will be held on the same day from 9am - 10am at the Fremont Senior Center at 40086 Paseo Padre Parkway and noon - 1pm at the Alameda City Hall.

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