June 30, 2006

A "Sweatshop Free" San Leandro

The following is the text of a letter I sent to all San Leandro city council members in support of a "Sweatfree Ordinance" for San Leandro. You can call them and e-mail them to show your support as well. Their contact information is available at http://www.ci.san-leandro.ca.us/slcitycouncil.html. For more information on the issue visit http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/sweatshops/


Dear City Council Members:

Last Tuesday night, Berkeley became the third city in the United States (after San Francisco and LA) to allocate funding for a “Sweatfree Ordinance” that would prohibit the city government from purchasing any and all goods produced in sweatshops. The Berkeley City Council approved $25,000 for initial funding and vowed to revisit the issue again in December during the mid-year budget review.

Earlier this year, Council member Tony Santos committed himself to introduce an ordinance that would provide a living wage to all city employees and employees of large companies doing business with the city. Legislation that would prohibit the San Leandro city government from purchasing goods produced in sweatshops would not only compliment the living wage ordinance, but assure that it was meaningful. It would also assure that the city government is not unwittingly exploiting workers, in particular immigrant workers, by buying products from companies that do not adhere to fair labor practices.

I urge you to consider introducing and passing an ordinance similar to the one passed by the city of Berkeley and to allocate sufficient funding to support it.

Sincerely,

Margarita Lacabe

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June 29, 2006

Local Politicians Gather at Eden Medical Center

Local politicians representing school boards up to the state senate gathered at the Eden Medical Center on Thursday, June 29, 2006, for a "Meet your elected officials" event sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Eden Area. San Leandro officials included City Council members Joyce Starosciak (Districe 4) and Bill Stephens (District 5) and recently elected Michael Gregory (District 1). Name tags had been prepared for Mayor Shelia Young, Surlene Grant, and Tony Santos, but they did not attend. Nor did School Board Trustee Linda Perry, who had been mistakenly listed as a member of the San Leandro City Council.

With 28 elected officials or their representatives in attendance, each official was allowed two minutes to speak. If there was a group of three of more officials, the group was allowed five minutes to speak.

Starosciak observed that the San Leandro City Council approved the budget at its June 19, 2006, meeting. She was pleased that Measure I, the business license fee, was passed with 67% of the vote. Starosciak said that the Finance Committee will meet to find a way to bring back the Cherry Festival, Sunday library hours, and a full complement of police staff. In her district, she noted that a new branch library and pool will open later this summer.

Stephens remarked that ancient Greeks required all citizens to serve and referred to it as a ride on the wild beast, because it was unpredictable. He said that he agreed with Starosciak's remarks and noted that they had served together on the San Leandro School Board. After he express his support for education, Stephens noted Gregory's work in obtaining a grant for Bancroft School's field and then thanked his wife Connie.

Gregory appeared somewhat reluctant to join Stephens and Starosciak at the podium as he will not be sworn in until January 2007 as the District 1 representative to the City Council. "I have about six months to learn," stated Gregory, before making a brief appeal for people to donate blood, as he supplies local hospitals with blood as part of his work for the American Red Cross.

Representatives Barbara Lee and Pete Stark sent representatives, since they were in Washington, D.C.

Ellen Corbett, Democratic nominee for State Senate said that she was "happy and lucky to be here and lucky to have your support" after a tough primary against Johan Klehs and John Dutra. She also noted that her Republican opponent, whom she did not name, has a lot of experience running for office. That opponent is San Leandro resident Lou Filipovich, who ran unsuccessfully for Alameda County Supervisor and San Leandro Mayor, but won the Republican nomination for State Senate.

Other elected officials included three members of the Alameda County Board of Education, two members of the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District Board of Trustees, Janice Friesen of the Castro Valley School Board, two directors of the Oro Loma Sanitary District, three directors of the Castro Valley Sanitary District, Doug Siden of the East Bay Regional Parks District board of directors, three directors of the Eden Township Healthcare District, three Alameda County Supervisors, Hayward City Council Member Bill Quirk, two board members from the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association and Dennis Hayashi from the AC Transit Board of Directors.

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Nardine Endorses Santos for Mayor

In a letter to the editor published in the June 29, 2006, edition of the San Leandro Times, Marcene Nardine endorsed Tony Santos for Mayor of San Leandro and encouraged those who voted for her to support Santos.

Nardine received 1,463 votes or 10.04% of the votes. In her letter, Nardine wrote, "Tony has expressed a vision for our future and will work hard to achieve it by working with his peers, city staff, but more importantly, with the community."

The election will be held on November 7, 2006.

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No Kids Injured in Davis Street Family Resource Center Bus Crash

A bus carrying 32 children from San Leandro's Davis Street Family Resource Center was involved in a crash on Interstate 580 on Thursday morning, June 29, 2006. The Ford Explorer changed lanes into the bus and overturned, but the driver only received minor wounds. None of the children or the chaperones were hurt.

The bus was on its way to the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. The crash closed down the Foothill exit of eastbound Interstate 580 for approximately 45 minutes.

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June 28, 2006

Invitation to join SLCAN mailing list

You're invited to join the San Leandro Community Action Network e-
mail announcement list.

This list is intended for anyone interested in the happenings,
concerns, and activities in San Leandro. Announcements will include
significant meetings in and around San Leandro and alerts will be
sent to inform and inspire you to get involved on an issue that
impact our neighborhoods, schools, or otherwise affect our lives.
You can subscribe at: http://www.slcan.org/email.html.

In the near future, we will also be setting up a discussion list, but
until then you can email us with upcoming events or topics that
concern you at elist @ slcan.org.

SLCAN values community involvement. What else can you do to get
involved now? Pass along this e-mail to others you believe may be
interested in receiving our news and announcements.

SLCAN is a newly formed grassroots organization dedicated to
improving the quality of life in San Leandro by ensuring quality
education, smart growth, and an inclusive and equitable community.
For more information about SLCAN, visit our website at http:// www.slcan.org.

SLCAN will not share your personal information or email address with
any other entity; your contact information will be used just for
announcements, discussions and organizational activities of SLCAN.
When our new email listserv is available, you will have the ability
to unsubscribe at any time.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

SAN LEANDRO COMMUNITY ACTION NETWORK
info@slcan.org
http://www.slcan.org

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White Washing History in San Leandro

WHITE WASHING HISTORY
By Brian Copeland

“Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.”

“History is written by the victors.”

I think that I’ve heard the aforementioned quotes most of my life in one form or another. I’ve always found them to be somewhat contradictory in that they say that history is important and that it is also subjective depending upon who’s telling the story. In my naiveté, I had always believed that what was important about history was truth, but alas, there was no incident involving a cherry tree and George Washington told many lies, Columbus was a much more complicated (and brutal) man than the noble explorer we were taught about in grade school and Thomas Edison received much credit for inventions that, while developed in his laboratory, he personally had very little to do with.

In spite of these revelations, it is a recent experience that has shaken my personal faith in the accurate dissemination of historical records for posterity.

As you have no doubt heard by now, for the past two years, I have been performing a one man play called NOT A GENUINE BLACK MAN, which deals with the organized housing discrimination in San Leandro in the 1960s and 1970s. It was a history that I was never taught in school and one that I only discovered when I began researching a few years back. I found newspaper and magazine articles, transcripts of government hearings as well as a nationally aired documentary (THE SUBURBAN WALL, see it at www.briancopeland.com) on the sorry situation. Today, the formerly 99.99% white enclave is among one of California’s most diverse cities. Unfortunately, that fact hasn’t stopped some in the town from trying to hide the fact that it ever happened.

Recently, the city sanctioned the writing of a book on the official history of San Leandro. A young writer was commissioned and given the task of telling the suburb’s story from inception through the present day. As part of his research for the book, he attended my play and planned to use some of my documents in his book.

When he presented his outline to the powers that be, he included a chapter on San Leandro’s Housing Discrimination as well as his intention to interview me regarding the materials I’d uncovered. He was told in no uncertain terms that this material was not to be included in the book.

The young author made the case that the segregationist policies of the past are part of the city’s history and should be recorded. Just because they are shameful doesn’t mean they are invalid. He likened it to writing the history of America and omitting slavery. The opposition was adamant.

To make their case, they went to San Leandro’s mayor, Sheila Young who has spoken on the issue in an LA Times profile on me recently. “Of course, it has to be included,” she said. “It’s history and it happened.”

Next they went to the Assemblywoman representing the district, Ellen Corbett, who also said, “it’s history so it has to be in there.”

At that point, the young author was paid for his outline and told that there was no longer funding available for the project and that the book was dead.

Maybe there’s a more important proverb I forgot. The Golden Rule. “He who has the gold makes the rules.”


Brian Copeland’s memoir, ‘Not a Genuine Black Man’, will be released nationwide by Hyperion on July 11.

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Patty Price, Public Interest Lawyer, Dies of Cancer

On June 15, 2006, Patricia "Patty" Gail Price, 54, died at her home in San Leandro from ovarian cancer. Price had worked at Public Interest Law Firm from 1991 to 1998, where she worked on the historic Denny's discrimination case, which resulted in a $54 million settlement in 1994.

Price is survived by her domestic partner Teresa Friend, daughters Lindsay Price-Friend, 10, and Aimee Price-Friend, 6, and brother Jim Price.

More information is available in the San Francisco Chronicle article and Los Angeles Time article.

Legacy.com has an obituary and guest book.

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San Leandro Toddler Dies After Hotel FallO

On Saturday, June 24, 2006, three-year-old Leialoha Fotu of San Leandro died after falling from the third floor onto the lobby floor of the Embassy Suites Hotel in Burlingame. Although she was breathing when she was discovered, she died hours later at San Francisco General Hospital from her injuries. According to what the girl's family told police, Leialoha wandered away from a family member who was watching her. Police are treating the girl's death as an accident.

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June 22, 2006

First Review of Brian Copeland's New Book

Not_a_Genuine_Black_Man.jpg Publisher's Weekly has the first review of Brian Copeland's new book, "Not a Genuine Black Man: Or How I Learned to Be Black in the Lily-White Suburbs," which is due to be released on July 11, 2006.

The review, though quite brief, ends with the following positive impressions, "Copeland's comedic talent is evident throughout the book, though he concedes that he uses laughter to keep the pain at bay and endured a time when he descended into depression. Honest and engaging, this memoir is a valuable book for anyone trying to straddle racial lines, for anyone who has ever felt out of place."

The first printing run will reportedly number 35,000 copies.






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June 21, 2006

San Leandro Cop Appointed to California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training

San Leandro Police Officer Michael Sobek was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST).

According to the POST web site, Sobek, 43, of Dublin, "has over twenty years experience in law enforcement, serving with the San Leandro Police Department since 1991 and the Alameda County Sheriff's Department from 1984 to 1991. Additionally, Sobek has served as adjunct faculty at Chabot/Los Positas Community College since 2002. Sobek is an American Independent."

According to the Daily Review, Sobek "oversees the department's field-training program, is also an instructor at the Alameda County sheriff's Regional Training Center and vice president of the San Leandro Police Officers Association."

Sobek was the police officer who found the bodies of the USDA and state inspectors at the Santos Linguisa factory after they had been shot and killed by Stuart Alexander in June 2000.

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June 20, 2006

Otis Spunkmeyer to Go Public

On Tuesday, June 20, 2006, San Leandro-based Otis Spunkmeyer filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering that could raise up to $230 million. Merrill Lynch & Co. and JPMorgan were listed as the underwriters.

In 2005, Otis Spunkmeyer had sales of $336.3 million with $5.4 million in profit.

Private equity firm Code Hennessy & Simmons bought Otis Spunkmeyer for $275 million in 2002 and its partners, Andrew W. Code, Steven R. Brown, and Thomas J. Formolo, and Vice President Mark A. Dolfato are on Otis Spunkmeyer's Board of Directors.

According to its web site, Otis Spunkmeyer sells "frozen gourmet cookie dough, ready-baked muffins, and a variety of other premium bakery products..." Otis Spunkmeyer made news last year by becoming one of the first US cookie makers to eliminate trans fats from its frozen cookie dough.

Otis Spunkmeyer's corporate headquarters is located at 14490 Catalina Street, San Leandro, California.

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City Council Approves 2006-2007 Budget

In its June 19, 2006, meeting, the City Council approved the 2006-2007 unanimously. Vice-Mayor Surlene Grant presided over the meeting as Mayor Sheila Young was absent. As in the previous four years, the budget had a structural deficit, which was made up for by using reserve funds. According to City Manager John Jermanis, the good news this year was that the structural deficit was just over $500,000. For more details on the budget, see this previous item.

The City Council also unanimously approved a loan of up to $884,000 to Mercy Housing for the renovation of the former Islander Lodge Motel, which is being converted to affordable rental housing.

Santos and Starosciak both expressed a desire to fund the Cherry Festival, Sunday library hours, and hire additional police officers. Nardine asked for a clarification as to how much the Cherry Festival costs and Jermanis responded that it costs $80,000. Vice-Mayor Grant recommended that the Finance Subcommittee hold an evening workshop so that the public can help to decide what should be the funding priorities.

Public comments included complaints from business and property owners about parking issues on MacArthur Bouelvard, complaints about a neighbors' dogs, and, of course, Lou Filipovich.

One of the items on the consent calendar was the auction of 19 vehicles, four pieces of heavy equipment and one boat. Council Member Nardine asked about the details of the auction, which can be found on the Finance department section of the city web site. The auction of heavy equipment will be held June 24, 2006 at 9am with previews on Friday, June 23, 2006. The auction of vehicles will be held August 5, 2006, at 9am. with previews on Friday, August 4, 2006. For more information contact the City of San Leandro Purchasing Office at 510-577-3376 or First Capitol Auction Co. at 707-552-0739.

The item on the conent calendar that generated the most discussion was the eradication of non-native Spartina (cordgrass) along the San Leandro shoreline. Council Members Starosciak and Santos attended a meeting in which the eradication program was discussed in great detail. Starosciak expressed surprise that environmentalists were willing to use an herbicide against the Spartina. Vice-Mayor Grant expressed concern about the aerial spraying effects on the health and safety of nearby residents and the potential for the spray to drift onto vehicles. Starosciak reassured Grant that the herbicide broke down after two weeks and was so safe that no mask or protective equipment was needed when applying it.

The resolution approving the grant agreement between the City of San Leandro and the State Coastal Conservancy for Spartina Treatment and Eradication Activities at the San Leandro Shoreline was approved unanimously. The cost of $50,000 would be almost completely reimbursed from a grant of $49,996.

For more information about Spartina, see the San Francisco Estuary Invasive Spartina Project.

The meeting was adjourned in memory of two residents that recently passed away, including Lois M. McDonald, who served on the San Leandro School Board for 21 years.

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School Bond Community Meeting

The San Leandro Unified School District's second Community Forum was held on Monday, June 19, 2006, at the San Leandro High School cafeteria. The purpose of the meeting was to get input from the community for placing a school bond measure on the November 2006 ballot.

The attendance at this meeting was noticeably less than the May 31st meeting, with the crowd estimated between 50 and 60 people. School board trustees Stephen Cassidy, Pauline Cutter, Ray Davis, Linda Perry, and Rick Richards were present, but Lisa Hague and Louis Heystek did not attend.

Superintendent Christine Lim ran through a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the various issues surrounding a bond measure, especially the need to prioritize the man needs and desires of the community and the school district.

The reasons given for pursuing a bond were to address overcrowding, renovate and modernize the schools, to gain potential matching funds from a state bond that will also be on the November ballot and to take advantage of Proposition 39, which allows school bonds to pass with 55% approval in even-year elections.

In order for the bond to be improved, the voters must approve the amount of the bond and the projects that funds from the bond will be used for. The funds from the bond must be used for capital improvements - they cannot be used to pay for salaries - and the funds are issues as needed over the 25-year term of the bond. In addition, regulations stipulate that a citizen's advisory committee must be established to oversee bond expenditures and make reports to the school board. Annual financial and performance audits are also required.

According to one slide, here are the 2005-2006 tax rates for Alameda County School Districts:

District	Tax rate per $100,000 of assessed value
Berkeley USD			$142.60
Albany USD			$131.60
New Haven USD			$116.90
Newark USD			$114.80
Piedmont USD			$88.40
Pleasanton USD			$85.40
Livermore Valley USD		$83.00
Dublin USD			$81.70
Oakland USD			$78.00
Castro Valley USD		$71.80
Alameda USD			$51.70
Fremont USD			$43.30
Sunol Glen USD			$40.80
San Leandro USD			$35.80
San Lorenzo USD			$23.90
Emery USD			$18.90

Based on feedback from the previous forum, the categories under consideration were:

1. District-wide school-site modernization
2. Secondary overcrowding
3. Potential projects w/9th grade academy
4. 7th/8th grade Opportunity School
5. Burrell Field renovation
6. Jefferson multipurpose room
7. Other potential bond projects

School site modernization consisted of new roofing, new ceiling and lights, painting walls, new flooring, new marker boards, restroom modernizations, technology (data and VOIP), health, safety and code, and high-priority heating systems at a total estimated cost of $62 million.

Secondary overcrowding included three options for a 9th grade academy: on campus ($31m), one block away off campus ($32m/$37m) and across the street off campus ($32m). Potential projects with a 9th grade academy included a performing arts center ($17m), auxiliary gym ($5m), library expansion ($900k) and the PG&E easement for a parking lot ($4m).

The 7th/8th grade opportunity school consisted of adding a building at John Muir Middle School for at-risk students at an estimated $3 million. Options for Burrell Field ranged from recondition the cinder track for $200k up to replacing the field lights, restroom building, bleachers, drinking fountains and fence for $4 million.

The Jefferson multipurpose room could could be modernized for $1.6 million or be a newly constructed building for $3.5 million. Other potential bond projects included purchasing the parking lot across from Bancroft Middle School for $350k and expanding the new adult school at the corner of Williams and Leonard Drive for $900k.

After one attendee questioned the $4 million estimated cost for the parking lot and the $900,000 for the library expansion, Roxanne Ansolabehere, the librarian for San Leandro High School, noted that the school library has just seven books per student. She compared this to the 15 books per student average in California and 25 books per student nationally, but saw the expansion as a good start. Assistant Superintendent Glaster stated that the bond funds could not be used to books and instructional materials, but he expected some money from Proposition 98 this year could be used for such things.

After comments and questions from the audience, the attendees split into four working groups to discuss the options in greater detail and prioritize each of the various options. The results will be presented at the next school board meeting on Tuesday, June 20, 2006.

The remainder of the schedule for the bond measure includes finalizing the project list in July and submitting a board-approved bond measure to the county by August 11, 2006.

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June 13, 2006

Village Voice on Copeland's Not a Genuine Black Man

In the June 13, 2006, review of Brian Copeland's Not a Genuine Black Man, The Village Voice's Alexis Soloski writes of Copeland's musings on what it means to be black that "These jokes amuse, but they aren't nearly so compelling as his autobiography...Clearly, the comedy comes easier to Copeland... It's a shame director Bob Balaban couldn't help infuse this far more powerful material with the onstage naturalness Copeland is capable of. Copeland is undoubtedly a genuine black man and a genuine memoirist..."

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June 12, 2006

Police Officer Injured by Driver of Stolen Truck

On Saturday June 10, 2006, a San Leandro police officer's car was struck by a stolen truck driven by 20-year-old Linda Nazar. When police attempted to pull the truck over, the driver fled on Highway 238 and exited onto Foothill Boulevard in Hayward. When the driver made a U-turn, the truck smashed into the door of the officer's car, trapping her.

The officer, who was not named, was extracted by the Hayward Fire Department and treated for minor injuries at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.

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San Leandro Chamber CEO Featured in East Bay Business Times

San Leandro Chamber of Commerce CEO Heidi Finberg was featured in an article in the East Bay Business Times over the weekend.

The article notes that Finberg spent four years in the Coast Guard as a communications specialist followed by 13 years working for ANG's Oakland Tribune in advertising management. She joined the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce in the 1990s as the Vice President of Government Affairs, a volunteer position. When then CEO Tom Guarino left to take a job with PG & E, Finberg asked to be considered for the job, which she has held since.

The article notes that two of her dreams are to own a community newspaper and to run for political office.

According to the article, the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce is the second biggest in the East Bay, with almost 1,000 members.

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June 7, 2006

Corbett vs. Filipovich in November!

Ellen Corbett will face off against the surprise Republican nominee Lou Filipovich for the 10th Senate State District seat in November.

With all precincts reporting, Corbett lead the Democratic candidates with 39.2% of the vote, followed by Johan Klehs with 31% and John Dutra with 29.8%. The battle for the Democratic nomincation for the 10th District Senate seat gained notoriety when the Californians for Civil Justice Reform entered the ring, spending $500,000 in the race. Other independent expenditures targeting candidates brought the total amount spent by independent expenditures to at least $1.5 million and likely close to $2 million.

Lou Filipovich, a San Leandro resident with a perennial habit of running for multiple offices, won the Republican nomination to the 10th District Senate seat with 58.2% of the vote to Laura Riffle's 41.8%. In the primary election this year, Filipovich also ran for Mayor of San Leandro and County Supervisor. In these races, Filipovich finished last with 5.83% and 3.46% of the vote respectively.

Update: Latest results from the California Secretary of State added on June 12, 2006.

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Runoffs for Mayor and District 3; Measure I Passes

With all precincts reporting, Tony Santos received 47.59% of the vote in the race for Mayor, followed by OB Badger with 36.33%, Marcene Nardine with 10.03%, and Lou Filipovich with 5.83%. Santos and Badger will compete in a runoff election in November to decide who will become the Mayor of San Leandro. Complete results from Alameda County are available here.

In the race for the District 3 City Council seat, Diana Souza received 41.43% of the vote, followed by Julian Polvorosa with 39.89%, and Nat Kleinstein with 18.45%. Souza and Polvorosa will be foreced to compete in a runoff election in November. Complete results from Alameda County are available here.

Measure I, the increase in the business license fee, passed with 67.19% voting yes. Complete results from Alameda County are available here.

The District 1 seat was effectively handed to Michael Gregory when Frank Lynn dropped out of the race on June 1, 2006. Complete results from Alameda County are available here.

Bill Stephens ran unopposed for the District 5 City Council seat. Complete results from Alameda County are available here.

Update: Latest results from Alameda County Registrar of Voters added on June 12, 2006.

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Polvorosa Campaign Takes in $2,300 Just Before the Election

District 3 City Council candidate Julian Polvorosa reported $2,334 in cash contributions from May 21 to June 6, 2006. Anthony Batarse Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Lloyd A. Wise Inc., contributed $1,000, Glen Evans, Jr. and Jerry Finch of EF Communities, a development company (and subsidiary of Dover Investments), each contributed $250, and Jack Goodrich, the owner of Bancroft Dental Care, contributed $200.

As of June 6, 2006, Polvorosa had spent $11,236 since the beginning of the year and had $4,376 in cash on hand. Polvorosa also spent $605 on inserts for the San Leandro Times.

For a complete listing of Polvorosa's campaign contributions, click here.

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June 6, 2006

City Budget and Islander Lodge Motel at City Council Meeting

The main items on the June 5, 2006, City Council meeting agenda were an update on the conversion of the Islander Lodge Motel to affordable housing and the presentation of the 2006-2007 city budget by City Manager John Jermanis.

All members of the City Council were present: Orval Badger, Vice Mayor Surlene Grant, Glenda Nardine, Joyce Starosciak, Bill Stephens, Tony Santos, and Mayor Sheila Young.

The audience for the meeting was nearly doubled by the 12-14 friends and family of Senior Library Assistant Mary Lutvinchuk, who was honored as Employee of the Month.

Public comments consisted of Mike Katz suggesting that the City Council record its meetings digitally so that it can be made available on the city web site and Harold Perez complaining about the lack of adequate response to his complaints about the numerous pit bulls at his neighbor's residence.

After Council Member Nardine asked for clarifications of the consent calendar items, they were approved unanimously. One item included approving $2,000 from the Mayor's Community Fund for Mayor Young to travel to Ponta Delgada, San Leandro's sister city in the Azores.

The Islander Lodge Motel (2398 E. 14th Street) project has changed from the original plan in that the City of San Leandro will maintain ownership of the property and improvements while Mercy Housing will manage the property for the next 55 years. The Islander Lodge Motel will be converted to 62 studio apartments, two one-bedroom apartments and one two-bedroom apartment for the manager. Rents are expected to range from $406 to $626 per month depending on the apartment and the renter's income. The current plan includes gated parking and a computer. The Board of Zoning Adjustments provided the project with an exemption for parking, as the plan calls for just 62 parking spaces. The City Council voted unanimously to approve a loan of up to $727,000 from the Redevelopment Agency to Mercy Housing to cover the costs of predevelopment activities such as architecture, engineering, geotechnical, and legal services. The loan will have a 0% interest rate and will be paid back in late 2006 or early 2007.

City Manager Jermanis provided a very brief summary of the previous year's budget, noting that the City of San Leandro incurred a $1.3 million deficit instead of the budgeted $3 million deficit because of 1.9% higher property tax revenues, 1.2 % higher sales tax revenues, and higher transfer tax revenues, due almost entirely to the $94.5 million sale of the 63-acre Albertson's distribution center property at 1701 Marina Boulevard to Kaiser. The city also managed to save 1.4% in expenditures (almost $1 million).

For 2006-2007, total revenues to the general fund are estimated at $73.6 million and total expenditures from the general fund are estimated at $74.2 million. Reserve funds will be used to make up the deficit of $570,000. The workforce is being rearranged, but the net result is an increase of four full-time equivalents, with a decrease in full-time employees and an increase in part-time employees.

The current budget depends on the passage of Measure I, the business license fee increase, and if it not passed, the $2 million in expected revenue will have to be found elsewhere. Other new revenue in the budget includes $500,000 from the Oro Loma franchise fee and $500,000 from the red light camera program, although that is offset by $500,000 in costs for the program. The State of California will no longer be taking property tax money under Proposition 1A, so that frees up $1.2 million, while growth in property taxes, sales taxes, the 911 fee, utility user tax, and franchise fees all help the growth in revenues. The budget projects a decline in revenues from the real property tax, based on declining home sales.

Public safety (police and fire) constitute $41.1 million (55%) of the expenditures, followed by general government at $6.5 million (9%), and community development at $6.1 million (8%). Of the $2.4 million increase in expenditures over last year, $1.9 million is due to new contracts and step and benefit rollups.

The city still expects to hand out $324,500 in community assistance to groups like the Boys and Girls Club, Building Futures for Women and Children, Davis Street, Project Literacy, Stepping Stones, and SAVE. The city will also hand out $25,000 in community benefit funds to the Arts Council of San Leandro, California Conservatory Theater, Pacific Chamber Symphony, San Leandro Art Association, San Leandro College Bound, San Leandro High School Musical Theater, San Leandro Players, and Washington Manor Middle School Worldancers.

Items that don't have funding include the senior center, a competition pool at Washington Manor, park renovations, the Cherry Festival, Sunday hours at the library, capital improvement projects, police positions, and equipment and maintenance costs.

The budget will be presented to the public at the City Council meeting at 7pm on June 19, 2006. If you want to voice your opinion about how the city should spend its money, contact your City Council Member and make sure to attend the next City Council meeting.

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June 5, 2006

San Leandro Resident Drowns in Wisconsin

San Leandro resident Cameron K. Talauta, 27, drowned on June 2, 2006, after jumping off a pontoon boat in Round Lake's Hinton Bay. He was swimming with friends and yelled for help, but went under before his friends could get to him. Divers recovered his body in 18-feet of water.

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Michael Gregory Late Contribution Report

According to a late contribution report received by the San Leandro City Clerk on June 2, 2006, Michael Gregory contributed $3,295.12 to his own campaign. No other information was reported.

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June 3, 2006

Daily Review Endorses Gregory and Souza for City Council

In an op-ed published on June 3, 2006, The Daily Review endorsed Michael Gregory for San Leandro's District 1 City Council seat and Diana Souza for San Leandro's District 3 City Council Seat.

Souza is running against Julian Polvorosa and Nathan Kleinstein for the District 3 City Council seat. Polvorosa has name recognition, but Souza has definitely been making more of an effort to be involved in city events and meet potential voters. Souza, for example, attended the San Leandro School District community meeting at San Leandro High School on May 31, 2006, the San Leandro Community Action Network Mayoral Candidate Forum at Zocalo Coffeehouse on June 1, 2006, and the Downtown Development community meeting on June 3, 2006, while Polvorosa was notably absent.

After Lynn dropped out of the race on Thursday, June 1, 2006, Gregory will take over the City Council seat from OB Badger, who is running for Mayor. Bill Stephens ran unopposed for the District 5 City Council seat. Stephens and Gregory will have to wait until 2007 join the City Council.

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Lynn Drops Out; Gregory takes District 1 City Council Seat

Frank Lynn dropped out of contention for the District 1 City Council seat on Thursday, June 1, 2006, after buying a house in an area of San Leandro outside of the district. Although the election is now a formality, Lynn's name will still appear on the ballot.

The Daily Review has the complete story.

Posted by mike at 6:51 PM | Comments (0)

June 2, 2006

Daily Review Endorses Badger for San Leandro Mayor

In an op-ed published on June 2, 2006, the Daily Review endorsed OB Badger for San Leandro Mayor. According to the piece, the decision to endorse Badger was because Santos objected to and tried to make an issue of the Vice-Mayor title used on Badger's campaign literature.

As a result, the op-ed claims that it made Badger look "mature and savvy" and "left Santos looking like a candidate who felt he needed to manufacture an issue to win."

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