May 30, 2005

Tale of elder abuse in San Leandro

In Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle, Chip Johnson recalls how San Leandro's Mary Basera was abused when she took in Lena Bianco and her husband.

Basera, who was more than 80 years old at the time, soon had her bank account emptied and her house became a haven for ex-convicts. After seeing the unemployed Bianco driving a new car with new clothes and jewelry, Basera's neighbor, Tom Scovill, discovered that Bianco had obtained a power of attorney from Basera and obtained a second mortgage on Basera's house.

It got worse from there. By the time it ended in late 2003, the house had no power, gas, or water, the police had arrested nearly 60 people at or near the house, recovered numerous stolen vehicles, and engaged in a high-speed chase.
Bianca's case is currently making its way through the courts.

Scovill later received a Citizen's Commendation from the police for his assistance. Basera sold the house.

Here are some photos of San Leandro police arresting people at the house:

San Leandro Police Arrest a Suspect at 350 Sybil Avenue
San Leandro Police Arrest a Suspect at 350 Sybil Avenue, San Leandro on August 20, 2003

San Leandro Police Arrest Suspects at 350 Sybil Avenue
San Leandro Police Arrest Suspects at 350 Sybil Avenue, San Leandro on August 20, 2003

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May 29, 2005

Two Killed by Amtrak Train

Larry David McDaniel, 53, and a 52-year-old woman were killed at approximately 6:35pm on Saturday, May 28, 2005, when they were hit by an Amtrak train as they were sitting on the tracks near the intersection of Hesperian Boulevard and Springlake Drive in San Leandro. Police have not released the identity of the woman pending notification to her family.

Police speculate that the victims may have been homeless because there have been a number of complaints about homeless encampents near the area. Suicide has not been ruled out as a reason for why the two victims were sitting on the tracks.

Update: The woman was identified as Susan Diane Haskett-Mayo, 52, of San Lorenzo.

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May 19, 2005

Pete Stark's June Town Hall Meetings

Congressman Pete Stark continues his monthly town hall meetings on Saturday, June 4, 2005.

The table below shows the time and locations of Stark's town hall meetings.

Union City9 - 10:30amRuggieri Senior Center
33997 Alvarado Niles Road
San Leandro11 - 12:30amSan Leandro Library
Lecture Hall
300 Estudillo
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May 16, 2005

Strizzi's to be replaced by Thai Restaurant

The venerable Strizzis, located at 1376 E. 14th Street, will be replaced by Thai Sa-Tay, according to a public notice posted on April 29, 2005. Strizzis opened in San Leandro in 1986. To the best of my knowledge, this will be the only Thai restaurant in San Leandro.

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May 11, 2005

Copeland has continued success with "Not a Genuine Black Man"

Brian Copeland's one-man show Not a Genuine Black Man has been at The Marsh for more than a year now, making it the longest-running solo show in the last 30 years in the Bay Area. The show details Copeland's experiences when his family moved to racist San Leandro in 1972 when he was a child through some of his life-changing experiences as an adult.

Copeland is working on a book for Hyperion and a fictionalized series for HBO is in the works.

Read more details in the San Francisco Chronicle's article TV sniffing around solo show that just won't quit.

"Not a Genuine Black Man" is playing at The Marsh until May 28, and tickets are $15-$22.

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May 5, 2005

Hayward Man Killed Outside San Leandro Liquor Store

George Cleveland, a 62-year-ol Hayward man, was shot and killed outside E-Z Shop at 650 MacArthur Blvd., San Leandro, at approximately 1:30am on Monday, May 2, 2005. Cleveland was pronounced dead at 2:07am at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.

According to police, the two suspect left the scene in a 1990s model Buick LeSabre with black rims and no hubcaps. Police ask that anybody with information about the murder call the San Leandro Police Department at (510) 577-3237.

The murder was San Leandro's first homicide of 2005.

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San Leandro's CafePress wins the Retail Webby

San Leandro-based won the 2005 Webby award for best retail web site, announced on May 3, 2005.

According to its web site, " is an online marketplace that offers sellers complete e-commerce services to independently create and sell a wide variety of products, and offers buyers unique merchandise across virtually every topic." CafePress is perhaps best-known for offering customized t-shirts, along with coffee mugs, underwear, mousepads, and other assorted products. was noted in this May 4, 2005, Wall Street Journal article, and you can see a portion of the article at The

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