August 30, 2006

San Leandro's Bigge Crane and Rigging Co. Lifts Part of New Bay Bridge Into Place

San Leandro's Bigge Crane and Rigging Co. was featured in the August 30, 2006, edition of the Contra Costa Times as it lifts a 1,750-ton piece of steel that will connect the skyway to the new suspension span of the Bay Bridge. In a press release, Weston Settlemier, president of Bigge Crane & Rigging states, "We are unaware of such a heavy load ever being lifted so high anywhere in the United States. However, what makes this job possible is that we have an engineering solution using our own equipment, which is the very latest in computer-controlled lifting technology."

The San Francisco Chronicle covered the same story, but didn't mention Bigge Crane & Rigging's name.

Bigge Crane & Rigging is located at 10700 Bigge Avenue in San Leandro and was founded by Henry J. Bigge, who established Bigge Drayage Company in 1916. According to its web site, "Bigge hauled steel for the building of the Golden Gate Bridge. Bigge transported Liberty ship sections during World War II. Bigge has contributed to the erection of fossil and nuclear power stations and every refinery in Northern California."

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August 29, 2006

Trial Date Set for Man Accused of Killing Officer Niemi

On Monday, August 28, 2006, Alameda County Superior Court Judge C. Don Clay set the trial date for the alleged killer of San Leandro Police Officer Nels "Dan" Niemi for February 20, 2007. Irving Ramirez is charged with shooting and killing Niemi on July 25, 2005, near the intersection of Doolittle Drive and Belvedere Avenue in San Leandro.

District Attorney Tom Orloff is seeking the death penalty in the case.

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August 28, 2006

"Not a Genuine Black Man" on SF Chronicle's Top 10 List

Brian Copeland's "Not A Genuine Black Man," his story about growing up black in lily white San Leandro, is number 9 in the San Francisco Chronicle's list of the top-10 best non-fiction best sellers in the Bay Area. The book, just likes his one-man show, is both moving and hillarious and Brian deserves its aclaim. If you haven't read it, make sure to get a copy.

There should be a signing at the San Leandro Public Library later this fall.

This
Week Last
Week Weeks
On List NON-FICTION / BAY AREA
1 1 3 FIASCO, Thomas E. Ricks (Penguin; 496 pages; $24.95): A strong indictment of the war in Iraq, from planning to occupation, by the longtime Pentagon reporter at the Washington Post.
2 2 18 THE OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA, Michael Pollan (Penguin; 464 pages; $26.95): UC Berkeley Professor Michael Pollan examines what he considers America's unhealthy food culture and takes on some surprising targets.
3 3 2 THE FEMALE BRAIN, Louann Brizendine (Morgan Road; 279 pages; $24.95): A Bay Area doctor and UCSF scientist weighs in on the side of biology in the latest round of the scholarly gender wars.
4 6 3 I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK, Nora Ephron (Knopf; 160 pages; $19.95): Fifteen short essays about aging and womanhood by the author of "Heartburn."
5 9 5 CONSERVATIVES WITHOUT CONSCIENCE, John Dean (Viking; 288 pages; $25.95): The Watergate conspirator-cum-political critic takes aim at social conservatism, arguing that it has claimed the mantle of conservatives' past while eschewing libertarian policies.
6 8 70 FREAKONOMICS, Levitt and Dubner (Morrow; 256 pages; $25.95): An economist and a New York Times columnist delve into the often-surprising explanations for current trends and everyday events.
7 5 6 THE LONG TAIL, Chris Anderson (Hyperion; 256 pages; $24.95): A theory of the future of commerce in which companies will thrive by selling "less of more."
8 - 22 MARLEY & ME, John Grogan (Morrow; 304 pages; $21.95): Memoir of the Philadelphia Inquirer's life with his irrepressible Labrador retriever.
9 - 1 NOT A GENUINE BLACK MAN, Brian Copeland (Hyperion; 272 pages; $22.95): Based on the longest-running one-man show in San Francisco history, this is Copeland's discussion of life as a black child (and, later, man) living in white suburbs.
10 - 1 THE QUANTUM ZOO, Marcus Chown (J. Henry; 200 pages; $24.95): A layman's guide to complex issues in contemporary science by the former radio astronomer and author of "The Universe Next Door."

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August 27, 2006

San Leandro Woman Dies After Being Left at Hospital

A 36-year-old San Leandro woman died on Saturday night August 26, 2006, after she was dropped off at Highland Hospital in Oakland. The woman had suffered traumatic injuries and police are treating it as a homicide. The woman's name has not been released.

Update 8/28/06: The woman has been identified as Leslie Lamb.

Update 10/5/06: Earl Stefanson was charged with murder for the torture and beating death of Leslie Lamb. According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, a torture room was found in his Oakland home and blood from Lamb and two other people was found in the room. Stefanson was arrested after leading police on a chase through Oakland and Hayward. He was also charged with being a felon in possession of a gun after police found a handgun at his home.

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Local Senior Pushes for City-Wide WiFi

Local senior George Tucker is pushing for city-wide wifi internet access in San Leandro, which would enable anyone with a wireless computer to access the Internet from anywhere in the city. Tucker is chairman of San Leandro's Senior Commission. More details in the Daily Review article.

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August 24, 2006

Local Artist Carl Angel Visits Libraries in Hawaii

Carl Angel, who lives in San Leandro, has collaborated on two children's books that are written in Tagalog and English. Angel is in Oahu this week, where he will read from his book Lakas and the Makibaka Hotel at local libraries. He also illustrated Lakas and the Manilatown Fish, Xochitl and the Flowers, Willie Wins, Honoring our Ancestors, and Mga Kuwentong Bayan: Folk Stories from the Philippines.

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California High School Exit Exam Results Look Good for San Leandro's Sophomores

California High School Exit Exam Results for San Leandro showed that more sophomores passed the test on their first try last year.

According to the Daily Review:

"We want them to pass the first time around, that's for sure," said San Leandro High School Principal Amy Furtado.

This year, many more black and Latino 10th-graders at San Leandro and San Lorenzo high schools did just that. At San Leandro High School, 71 percent of black 10th-graders passed math, up from 54 percent the year before. At San Lorenzo High School, the gains of black sophomores were almost as dramatic: 12 percent more passed the math section (68 percent), and 11 percent more passed the English section (69 percent).

Furtado said she believed improvements in algebra instruction helped spur gains in 10th-grade math passing rates (overall, 78 percent passed the first time, up from 72 percent). Ninth-grade algebra, which is usually relegated to newer teachers, was shared last year by nearly all of the mathteachers at San Leandro High School -- a practice that will continue this year.

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Eat at Horatios on August 29 to Help the Gulf Coast Rebuild

Horatio's will help to support rebuilding in the Gulf Coast areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina by participating in Share Our Strength's Restaurants for Relief 2 on Tuesday, August 29, 2006. Other local particpants include Knudsen's Ice Creamery in Castro Valley and Kincaid's Fish, Chop and Steak House and Montclair Bistro in Oakland. Horatio's and Kincaid's will donate $1 per guest served and Knudsen's and the Montclair Bistro will donate 25% of sales.

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Brian Copeland to Speak at Commonwealth Club

After a successful book-signing at Zocalo Coffeehouse - A World of Books sold all 74 copies of Not a Genuine Black Man - Brian Copeland will speak at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Tuesday August 29, 2006.

A wine and cheese reception is scheduled for 5:30pm and the program will start at 6pm. Prices are $12 for Commonwealth Club members and $18 for non-members. The Commonwealth Club is located at 595 Market Street in San Francisco.

From the Commonwealth Club web site: "Bay Area diversity has a downside. In 1972 African-American Copeland moved to San Leandro - which was, at the time, 99 percent white - and spent his youth struggling with racism and identity issues. As an adult, he turned his experiences into humor. His recently closed performance was the longest running one-man show in San Francisco history and is now headed off-Broadway. Come hear him talk about trying to be a kid and learning to be a man."

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August 21, 2006

San Leandro Boy Shot in Oakland

A 15-year-old San Leandro boy was shot in the knee as he was walking to a party in Oakland on Saturday, August 19, 2006. The shooting occured at approximatly 10:47pm near the intersection of 82nd Avenue and Birch Street. Andrew D. Porter, 16, of Oakland High School was killed and a 14-year-old boy from Oakland was wounded in the leg.

More details from the Daily Review.

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August 20, 2006

Local Doctor Dan Martin Profiled on KGO

Local doctor and family physician Dan Martin was recently featured on KGO. Although he's retired after serving San Leandro for 51 years, Martin volunteers at the Davis Street Family Resource Center, where he provides free medical care services. During his career, Martin was a pioneer in the use of ritalin and was a strong opponent of cigarette smoking.

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August 17, 2006

SLUSD Hires New Maintenance & Construction Supervisor at August 15 Meeting

The August 15, 2006, meeting of the San Leandro School Board began with an announcement that Gregory Dyer was hired as the Maintenance & Construction Supervisor during closed session.

Trustee Lisa Hague reported correspondence from Kathy Goodall, Maria Pena, Heidi Finberg, and Deborah Cox.

Superintendent Christine Lim reported that the middle school principals met regarding the district's resident verification program. Lim also noted that it was the first day of registration for freshman students. On August 28, 2006, there will be a BBQ at the high school for the entire school staff and Lim invited the school board.

Trustee Rick Richards reported that the Edea Area Regional Occupational Program met on August 11, 2006, and said that transportation would be provided to and from the high school. Board President Pauline Cutter asked about the cost and Richards reported that the cost was the same as it was for special ed.

Trustee Ray Davis reported that the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce Community Partners Committee did not meet this month.

With the approval of all but four of the consent calendar items, the San Leandro School Board unanimously approved the contract with Kelly, Northcross & Norbriga to be the school district's financial adviser. The board also approved an increase of .007% from the original contract sum of Calstate Construction's bid for the John Muir Adult School Phase I Site Work Project and an increase of .006 % from the original Design Building Systems' contract for the John Muir Adult School Phase II Site Work Project.

President Cutter requested a change in the minutes from the July 18, 2006, meeting to reflect the board's concensus on the amount of $40 per $100,000 of assessed value for the proposed bond. The board unanimously voted to table this item until the minutes were revised.

Trustee Linda Perry requested changes to three items involving student expulsions, which were unanimously approved by the board.

During the time for board member comments, Trustee Louis Heystek noted that Linda Birky was stepping down from the San Leandro Collaborative.

Trustee Stephen Cassidy noted that the state released results from standardized tests today and expressed hope that Washington Elementary's results will lift it out of the state program. Cassidy reported that scores for every class at Wilson Elementary went up in 2006 - the only school that did so. Cassidy also said that he researched the sale of Pacific High and found that it was sold in May 1989. President Cutter added that Pacific High was originally to be sold to Home Depot.

President Cutter noted that the school bond kickoff was a success, with all members of the Board and some members of the City Council were present at the event on Monday, August 14, 2006.

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August 16, 2006

School bond measure off to flying start

The kickoff for the school bond brought out a host of local elected officials and candidates to Zocalo Coffeehouse on Monday night, August 14, 2006.

All of the School Board Trustees, and City Council members OB Badger, Tony Santos, and Joyce Starosciak, joined Superintendent Christine Lim, and Assistant Superintendents Cindy Cathey and Michael Martinez in getting the bond campaign off to a running start. County Superintendent of Schools Sheila Jordan and County Board of Education Trustee Felix Elizalde were on hand as the county educational representatives.

Among the crowd were those running for office, including Dennis Hayashi, a candidate for Alameda County Superior Court Judge, School Board candidates Pauline Cutter, Mike Katz, and Peter Lismer, City Council candidate Diana Souza, and member-elect to the City Council Michael Gregory.

After nearly an hour,, Leroy Smith, co-chair of the school bond campaign, gave a stirring speech that had the crowd responding with chants of "Now" to his question of "When do we want it [improved schools]?" Co-chair Deborah Cox followed Smith's speech with brief remarks noting what a difference six month makes, praising those who had already volunteered and asking for volunteers for phone banking and precinct walking.

If the enthusiastic crowd is any indication, the bond measure looks set for passage in November.

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Copeland, S.L. racism mentioned in the Chronicle

From yesterday's Leah Garchick column in the San Francisco Chronicle
(http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/08/15/DDGMQKH0R41.DTL):

"The San Leandro Community Action Network is throwing a book party on
Thursday at Zocalo Coffee House for Brian Copeland. Copeland's
one-man show/book/forthcoming TV series, "Not a Genuine Black Man,"
is about his family moving to San Leandro in 1972, when the National
Committee Against Discrimination in Housing called it "a racist
bastion of white supremacy." Copeland says there's lately been a
local controversy over whether an official history of the town should
make reference to these not-so-shining aspects of its past.

Margarita Lacabe, one of the organizers of the book party, says that
although San Leandro is now home to people of many different origins
-- it is said to contain the fourth-biggest number of diverse
communities in any town in California -- "we are still surprised at
how strong the current of racism in this town can be.''

Posted by marga at 6:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Invitation to Reception for Brian Copeland - Reminder

The San Leandro Community Action Network & Zocalo Coffee House invite you to

A RECEPTION & BOOK SIGNING
in honor of
BRIAN COPELAND
and his new book

Not a Genuine Black Man:
Or, How I Claimed My Piece of Ground in the LilyWhite Suburbs

The reception will take place on
Thursday, August 17th 7 PM at
Zocalo Coffeehouse, 645 Bancroft Ave. San Leandro

Copies available for purchase at the event.

" Based on the longestrunning oneman show in San Francisco history now coming to OffBroadway a hilarious, poignant, and disarming memoir of growing up black in an allwhite suburb

In 1972, when Brian Copeland was eight, his family moved from Oakland to San Leandro, California, hoping for a better life. At the time, San Leandro was 99.4 percent white, known nationwide as a racist enclave. This reputation was confirmed almost immediately: Brian got his first look at the inside of a cop car, for being a black kid walking to the park with a baseball bat.

Brian grew up to be a successful comedian and radio talk show host, but racism reemerged as an issue only in reverse when he received an anonymous letter: “As an African American, I am disgusted every time I hear your voice because YOU are not a genuine Black man!” That letter inspired Copeland to revisit his difficult childhood, resulting in a hit oneman show that has been running for nearly two years which has now inspired a book. In this funny, surprising, and ultimately moving memoir, Copeland shows exactly how our surroundings make us who we are."

Reviews
“A beautiful mix of wry humor and heartbreak, indignation and inspiration, a singular story of extreme isolation that speaks to anyone who’s ever felt out of place.”
San Francisco Chronicle"

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August 14, 2006

San Leandro Mother and Two Children Killed in Nevada Car Accident

On Friday, August 11, 2006, Amy Hong Ma, 36, and her children, Amanda Lauren Lew, 9, and Alec Bernard Einhaus, 7, were killed when their sport utility vehicle overturned near Winnemucca, Nevada. Ma's husband, Wallace Woo, was injured and was taken to Humboldt General Hospital.

More details from the Daily Review.

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School Bond Campaign Kickoff Event Tonight

The kickoff for the campaign to fund the school facilities bond will be held tonight, Monday, August 14, 2006, at Zocalo Coffeehouse from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Deborah Cox and Leroy Smith will be leading the campaign.

The school facilities bond will provide $109 million in funding to reduce overcrowding at San Leandro High School by building a Freshman Campus across the street. It will also fund construction of a performing arts center with a 450-seat theater, purchase of the PG&E lot at SLHS, SLHS Library Expansion, purchase of a parking lot at Bancroft and Callan, and landscaping in front of the new arts center. The bond will also fund modernization, including ADA, Fire Life Safety, replacing roofs, installing package heating, replacing restrooms, painting, data networking improvements for three schools, voice over internet protocol installation, lighting modifications and improvements, and industrial arts building improvements.

The board and the district hope to take advantage of matching funds from a state facilities bond scheduled to be on the November ballot. In 1997, the school district was able to obtain $34 million in matching state funds after a $54 million bond measure was approved. Projects from the 1997 bond were completed on budget and six years ahead of schedule.

The school facilities bond will appear on the November 7, 2006, ballot.

Zocalo Coffeehouse is located at 645 Bancroft Avenue, near the intersection of Dutton and Bancroft.

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August 12, 2006

Lisa Hague Retains School Board Seat While Areas 2 and 4 are Contested

The filing deadline to run in the November election ended on Friday, August 11, 2006, and Lisa Hague can celebrate retaining her Area 6 seat on the San Leandro School Board since nobody is running against her.

The Area 2 school board seat will be contested by incumbent Pauline Cutter and Vera Ayres. San Leandro Chamber of Commerce CEO Heidi Finberg had pulled papers but decided not to run.

Mike Katz (the author) and Peter Lismer are both seeking the Area 4 school board seat that was occupied by Louis Heystek. In late July, Heystek announced that he would not seek re-election to the school board. Because the incumbent is not running, the filing deadline is automatically extended to August 16, 2006. It could be a three-way race, as Gerald Shovlin has not yet completed the process to become a candidate for the Area 4 seat.

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August 11, 2006

San Leandro's Associated Aerospace Activities Gets $22.4 Million DoD Contract

According to a Department of Defense August 10, 2006, press release, Associated Aerospace Activities, Inc., was awarded a $22,409,592 firm-fixed price contract for F-16 fighter engine parts and B-1 Bomber engine parts. The work is being contracted out of Headquarters Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker Air Force Base, in Oklahoma.

Associated Aerospace Activities is located at 2502 Williams Street in San Leandro.

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August 9, 2006

Cinemark USA to buy Century Theatres

Century Theatres, the owner of the Century 16 Bayfair at Bayfair Center, will be acquired by Cinemark, USA. San Rafael-based Century Theatres has more than 1,000 screen in 12 states.

Century Theatres is one of the few movie theaters that doesn't show television-like commercials before previews for upcoming movies.

After the purchase, Cinemark will have 4,395 screens, behind AMC Entertainment's 4,437 screens and Regal Entertainment Group's 6,383 screens.

According to its web site, Century Theatres started in 1941, when "founder Raymond J. Syufy opened his first indoor movie theater in Vallejo, CA."

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Free Shots for Kids at Davis Street on August 30, 2006

From 2 to 6pm on Wednesday, August 30, 2006, the Davis Street Family Resource Center will offer free immunization shots through its RotaCare Free Acute Clinic. Shots will be offered for measles, mumps and rubella, including booster shots, to children of all ages.

The Davis Street Family Resource Center is located at 3081 Teagarden Street in San Leandro. Call (510) 347-4620 or email info@davisstreet.org for more information.

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Reception for Brian Copeland

The San Leandro Community Action Network & Zocalo Coffee House invite you to

A RECEPTION & BOOK SIGNING
in honor of
BRIAN COPELAND
and his new book

Not a Genuine Black Man:
Or, How I Claimed My Piece of Ground in the Lily White Suburbs

The reception will take place on
Thursday, August 17th 7 PM at
Zocalo Coffeehouse, 645 Bancroft Ave. San Leandro

Copies available for purchase at the event.

Based on the longest-running one-man show in San Francisco history - a hilarious, poignant, and disarming memoir of growing up black in an all-white suburb.

In 1972, when Brian Copeland was eight, his family moved from Oakland to San Leandro, California, hoping for a better life. At the time, San Leandro was 99.4 percent white, known nationwide as a racist enclave. This reputation was confirmed almost immediately: Brian got his first look at the inside of a cop car, for being a black kid walking to the park with a baseball bat.

Brian grew up to be a successful comedian and radio talk show host, but racism reemerged as an issue only in reverse when he received an anonymous letter: “As an African American, I am disgusted every time I hear your voice because YOU are not a genuine Black man!” That letter inspired Copeland to revisit his difficult childhood, resulting in a hit oneman show that has been running for nearly two years which has now inspired a book. In this funny, surprising, and ultimately moving memoir, Copeland shows exactly how our surroundings make us who we are."

Reviews
“A beautiful mix of wry humor and heartbreak, indignation and inspiration, a singular story of extreme isolation that speaks to anyone who’s ever felt out of place.”
San Francisco Chronicle"

----
Please forward this invitation to your friends

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Stark back in town

STARK TO HOLD TOWN MEETINGS ON A NEW DIRECTION FOR AMERICA
Saturday, August 12, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Pete Stark (D-CA) plans to speak with residents of the 13th Congressional District at town meetings on Saturday, August 12 in Newark and San Leandro.

At both town meetings, Representative Stark will discuss the need to take America in a new direction – one that focuses on addressing domestic needs and peacefully resolving international conflicts. Last month, Congress wasted time debating gay marriage, prohibiting court challenges to the constitutionality of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, and instructing the federal government to purchase City-owned land in San Diego in order to circumvent a judicial ruling requiring the removal of a 43-foot-high cross.

Instead, Congress should have acted to improve Americans’ lives by raising the minimum wage, providing health care to all, and advancing embryonic stem cell research. Congress should also have worked to lower interest rates on loans for college tuition and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming.

The following is information on the town meetings:

Saturday, August 12, 2006

NEWARK
9:00 a.m. -- 10:30 a.m.
Newark City Hall
Council Chambers
37101 Newark Boulevard

SAN LEANDRO
11:00 a.m. -- 12:30 p.m.
San Leandro City Hall
Council Chambers
835 East 14th Street

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August 2, 2006

Campaign Finance Summary Through the June Primary

The latest campaign finance disclosures were filed on July 31, 2006, revealing how much each campaign spent through the June primary.

In the mayor's race, OB Badger spent $75,307.62 from the beginning of the year while raising $37,937.50. Badger received 5275 votes (36.2%), so Badger spent $14.28 for each vote. Badger reported an additional $1,850 in contributions after the primary with $1,000 from Lloyd Wise CEO Anthony Batarse Jr. and $500 from Trumark Companies LLC. Notable expenses included $2,700 to K. Mitchell for campaign consulting, $9,489.49 to Flying Colors USA for campaign literature, $1359.78 to Political Calling.Com for phone banks, $4,714.72 to Handle With Care for campaign literature, and $600 to Suzanne Pershing for campaign literature.

Tony Santos spent $46,656 since the beginning of the year while raising $36,508, including a total of $12,000 that he loaned to himself. Santos received 6952 votes (47.71%), so Santos spent $5.25 for each vote. Santos reported an additional $500 in contributions from Electrical Workers Local 595 after the primary. Notable expenses included $10,6363 to Careful Design for campaign literature, $5,276 to Handled With Care for postage and mailhouse services, $1,483 to the San Leandro Times for print ads, and $920 to Your Ballet Card for a slate card.

Michael Gregory spent $6,407.49 securing the District 1 City Council seat while raising $6,770.94. Gregory received 7366 votes (63.6%) so his campaign spent about $0.87 per vote. Notable expenses included $3,295.12 to Handle With Care for campaign literature and $1,127.82 to Shawn Wilson for campaign literature. Gregory's opponent, Frank Lynn, pledged to spend no more than $100 and received 4174 votes (36.04%) for $0.024 per vote.

In the race for District 3, Diana Souza spent $7,295.51 since the beginning of the year while raising $7,596.30. Souza received 5399 votes (41.39%) so her campaign spent about $1.35 per vote. Notable expenses included $1,000 to Ken Pon for professional services.

Julian Polvorosa, Souza's opponent, spent $11,919 since the beginning of the year while raising $16,614. Polvorosa received 5196 votes (39.83%) for a total of about $2.30 per vote. Polvorosa reported an additional $400 in contributions after the primary with $200 from Reed Gehrke and $100 each from Robert Byers and Emily Hernandez. There were no expenses.

Although Bill Stephens ran unopposed for the District 5 City Council seat, he has still spent $5,061.61 since the beginning of the year while raising $5,146. Stephens received 11059 votes (99.09%) for a total of $0.46 per vote.

Tony Santos and OB Badger will face off in the mayor's race in the November election while Diana Souza and Julian Polvorosa will face off for the District 3 City Council seat. The election will be held on November 7, 2006, and the deadline for registering to vote is October 23, 2006.

Posted by mike at 9:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

School Bond Increased to $109 Million with a Smaller Tax Rate

The August 1, 2006, meeting of the San Leandro School Board began with the announcement that Robin Michelle had been hired as the Communication Outreach Specialist during closed session and will start on August 14, 2006. She replaces Barbara Reynolds, who had been appointed on December 6, 2005. The position was advertised on Craigslist the District's web site.

All members of the board were present.

After unanimously approving the agenda, Wendy Ponder, Assistant Director of Categorical Programs, ran through a PowerPoint presentation entitled "EL Program Update" about the English Learners Master Plan which will be piloted at Jefferson, Washington, and Wilson schools next year for K-3. The exact scope of the program was unclear, but it appeared that the goal was to have the students literate in Spanish and English by the third grade. One of the slides read, "When 15% or more of the student population at the school site speak a single primary language other than English, all notices, reports, statements, or records sent to the parent or guardian of any such pupil by the school or school district are, in addition to being written in English, written in the primary language(s). [Ed Code 48985]" Accordng to Ms. Ponder, for San Leandro, that language is Spanish. The goal is to eventually extend the program to 4th and 5th grade as well.

After Ms. Ponder's presentation, Trustee Stephen Cassidy asked about documentation of its effectiveness and Ponder responded that she would get some more information to the Board. Trustee Linda Perry noted that Ponder had done a great job and she invited other Board members to attend District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) meetings.

Then it was on to discussion of the bond. Based on feedback from the July 18, 2006 meeting, Ruth Alahydoian of Kelling Northcross & Nobriga reviewed all of the previous information to come up with a revised recommendation for the bond amount. Her recommendations were for an authorization amount of $109 million, a tax rate of $39 per $100,000 of assessed value with assessed value growth of 5% from 2007 to 2020 and 4% after 2020. The bonds would be issued as follows: $27 million on March 1, 2007 at 5.25%, $25 million on August 1, 2009, at 5.50%, $25 million on August 1, 2011 at 5.75%, and $32 million on August 1, 2013 at 6%. All of the bonds would be for 25 years except the $32 million of bonds.

Based on this information, the district came up with allocating the extra $5.5 million as follows: $0.9 million to restore the original estimate of $4.8 million for painting classrooms, $1.5 million to restore the original estimate of $3 million for renovating the industrial arts building, $0.6 million to renovate and modernize the former SLAM area, and a financial safeguard of $2.5 million.

Trustee Ray Davis asked if there was any advantage to extending the first three series of bonds to 30 years and Alahydoian said that there was not. Perry commented that given how well the 1997 bond estimate went, she was comfortable with the tax rat of $39 per $100,000 of assessed value. Cassidy noted that in one year, the tax rate for the 1997 bond was actually $29, well under the original estimate.

During public comments, Dan Walters, previous president of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce, said that the "Board [of the Chamber] is supportive of the process" and was unanimous in its support.

Tom Silva of the Rental Housing Owners Association of Southern Alameda County (RHO) told the Board "thank you for all your efforts" but cautioned that there was a lot of work ahead to convince those without children in the school district to vote in favor of the bond. Silva promised that the "RHO will do what it can to make this happen."

Gerald Shovlin thanked the previous speakers for their expressions of support and noted that the effort from the Board seemed much more serious this time than for Measure A.

The Board then voted unanimously to adopt the text to place on the November 7, 2006, bond, formally known as Resolution 06-33, San Leandro Unified School District Facility Improvement Bond.

During public testimony on non-agenda items, Republican candidate for State Senate Lou Filipovich spoke up even though he had not filled out a yellow speaker's card. Board President Pauline Cutter tried to silence him a number of times, but Filipovich's voice won out and he accused the Board of violating procedures by failing to close public hearing on the bond before voting on it. After a few minutes, Filipovich had said his peace and returned to his seat.

I missed approval of the consent calendar, but everything is normally approved, so the following things were probably approved:

  • the personnel report
  • the renewal of the Student Teaching Agreements between the District and Saint Mary’s College.
  • contract award for Bid Package #06-08, Window Replacement at Madison Elementary Repair Phase II, to Coulter Construction.

It was interesting to see that the Republican candidate for State Assembly, Jill Buck, was at the meeting and offered her help to Deborah Cox and Leroy Smith in working for passage of the bond. Katy Murphy, a reporter for the Daily Review, was also present at the meeting and interviewed Cox and Smith, who are co-chairs of Citizens for San Leandro Schools.

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Joint City Council and School Board Meeting

On July 31, 2006, the San Leandro City Council held a joint meeting with the Board of the San Leandro Unified School District.

After welcomes from Mayor Shelia Young and Board President Pauline Cutter, City Engineer Ken Joseph summarized two joint use projects: the Bancroft Middle School Sports Field and the Cherry Grove Park Well. Construction of the new field is expected to occur during the spring and summer of 2007 and construction of the well is expected to be completed in October 2006.

Superintendent Christine Lim summarized the process by which the bond measure received community input, the different projects considered, and the total amount of the bond and the projects it will fund.

After Lim's presentation, Council Member Surlene Grant asked about the size of the proposed arts education center (26,600 square feet) and expressed concern about isolating freshman from the high school campus. She noted that there had been problems with students cutting class to go to the Starbucks at Palma Plaza and said that a three-story building would be imposing on the half-block.

Council Member Starosciak noted that she was on the School Board when the 1997 bond measure was passed and observed that the assessed value [of property in San Leandro] had doubled in the nearly 10 years since then. After noting that she supports "this bond 100%," Starosciak expressed concern about 20 years into the future and cited demographics projecting 120,000 residents in San Leandro in 20 years. She noted that while the freshman campus will relieve overcrowding at the high school, it won't relieve traffic and pollution in the area. She suggested that the Board consider a second high school and suggested the Kaiser site, Kelloggs site, Scott, or even the Marina. Assistant Superintendent Glaster responded that they had consider sites for a second high school but none were big enough or they were contaminated. He also noted that they work with the City on demographics, which showed a relatively stable student population for the next 20 years. If 120,000 residents were reached, developer fees would help fund a new school.

Trustee Stephen Cassidy noted that now is not the time to call for a new high school the day before the Board is set to vote on the bond. He noted that San Leandro has the lowest funding per student in Alameda County and is ont of the lowest in the Bay Area.

During public comments, Morgan Mack-Rose noted that she was the parent of two kids that would graduate from San Leandro High School in 2019. She encouraged the City to work with the School District to help fund the extra $5 million needed to increase the planned arts education center from a 450-seat theater to a 650-seat theater. She also said that she would support the bond on foot and knocking on doors and encouraged all council members to support the bond.

Republican candidate for State Senate Lou Filipovich said that the city is already paying on a bond and then starting saying things that were hard to decipher.

Mike Katz echoed Morgan Mack-Rose's comments and said that it was imperative that the City Council unite to support the bond. He also noted that many older residents speak with great affection about how good San Leandro schools used to be and this bond can be an opportunity to move the schools back in that direction. Katz also urged non-parents to invest schools because better schools will mean increased equity for all homeowners and property owners.

Jeni Engler said that while she was focused on the benefits of an arts education center, she would like to see the City and School District cooperate on maintenance of the theater and the grounds since she has been impressed with the City's maintenance abilities.

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