July 31, 2007

City Council Approves Living Wage

At a special meeting on Monday, July 30, 2007, the San Leandro City Council unanimously approved a living wage ordinance. Councilmember Diana Souza removed the living wage ordinance from the consent calendar and expressed disappointment that the final language of the ordinance had not gone through the Finance Committee. She also expressed concern about section 11b of the ordinance because some companies may not be familiar with or use seniority within their organization.

Three speakers spoke in favor of the living wage ordinance, including Sharon Cornu, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Alameda County Central Labor Council. Robert Brannan, President of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce and Martin Babinec, President and CEO of TriNet, spoke against the living wage ordinance.

In the end, the living wage ordinance passed unanimously. A truancy ordinance also passed unanimously as part of the consent calendar.

The City Council approved a total of $4 million in loans to Estabrook Senior Housing to buy the property at the intersection of E. 14 Street and Estabrook Street. The property is slated for development as a 51-unit affordable senior housing project.

Participation in the East Bay Regional Communications System (EBRCS) was approved. The EBRCS would establish a regional interoperable radio communications system throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Finally, the Marina Committee is now the Shoreline-Marina Committee.

No City Council meetings are scheduled for August.

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July 30, 2007

Assemblymember Hayashi Brings District Office to San Leandro July 31

Assemblymember Mary HayashiAssemblymember Mary Hayashi will bring her "mobile district office" to the Marina Community Center from 12 to 1 pm on Tuesday, July 31, 2007.

According to the email from Hayashi, "Assembly staff will be available to answer questions and address any concerns the community may have regarding state agencies. Seniors will receive complimentary copies of the 2007-2008 Senior Community Resource Guide. The guide provides listings of federal, state, and local community and non-profit services available to seniors. The guide also includes a section on senior scams and tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud and theft. Other informational literature will be available on topics such as stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, identity theft prevention, and earthquake preparedness."

For more confirmation contact Assemblymember Hayashi's office at (510) 583-8818 or go to http://www.assembly.ca.gov/hayashi/.

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Joint BZA/Planning Meeting August 9 on Changes to Implement the TOD

In a letter sent July 27, 2007, Interim Planning Manager Kathleen Livermore announced a joint meeting of the Board of Zoning Adjustments and Planning Commission on August 9, 2007. The subject of the meeting will be proposed changes to the Zoning Code and General Plan to implement the Downtown San Leandro Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Strategy.

The meeting is scheduled for 7pm and will take place in the Sister Cities Gallery at City Hall at 835 E. 14th Street in San Leandro. The Sister Cities Gallery is to your left as you enter City Hall from E. 14th Street.

The complete text of the letter from the city is below:

Dear Interested Parties:

On August 9, 2007, the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Adjustments will hold a Joint Work Session to discuss proposed Zoning Code and General Plan Amendments to implement the Downtown San Leandro Transit-Oriented Development Strategy.


In 2005, the City of San Leandro received a $450,000 pilot planning grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to assist local governments in developing land use plans and policies for areas immediately surrounding bus, ferry, and train stations. The City of San Leandro also received a supplemental planning grant of $51,750 from the Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority (ACTIA) for the City's matching requirement. The product of both grants is a Downtown Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Strategy ("Strategy") to foster transit-oriented development and to revitalize downtown San Leandro.

Over a fifteen month period, the City Council-appointed Downtown San Leandro Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Strategy Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) met to guide the planning process and to assist in the development of the Downtown San Leandro TOD Strategy.

Comprehensive land use policies have been developed along with a detailed land use map that reflect the benefits of enhanced bus service through downtown and improved connectivity to the BART system. Selected opportunity sites have been studied to provide more specific guidance for future development.

The purpose of the work session is to receive input from the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Adjustments on proposed Zoning Code and General Plan Amendments that would implement the Downtown TOD Strategy.

The Public Review Draft Strategy is available for review at City Hall or in the San Leandro Main Library. A Draft Environmental Impact Report had a 45-day review period from June 5 to July 19, 2007. The Planning Commission public hearing on the DEIR was held on July 12, 2007. A Final Environmental Impact Report, which responds to comments on the Draft EIR, is now being prepared. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to make a recommendatIon to the City Council on the Final Environmental Impact Report(FEIR), the TOD Strategy and the implementing Zoning Code and General Plan Amendments on August 23, 2007. To hear the discussion regarding the Zoning Code and General Plan Amendments to implement the Downtown Transit-Oriented Development Strategy, we encourage you to attend the joint Planning Commission/Board of Zoning Adjustments Work Session at 7:00 p.m., on August 9, 2007, in the Sister Cities Gallery in City Hall, at 835 East 14th Street, San Leandro.

For further information concerning the Strategy, please visit our website at http://www.ci.sanleandro.ca.us/CDTODOview.asp. For specific questions, please contact Kathleen Livermore, Interim Planning Manager at (510) 577-3350 between the hours or 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM or via email at klivermore@ci.san-leandro.ca.us. For general questions, please contact Nina Hinton, Administrative Assistant at (510) 577- 3415 or email at nhinton@ci.san-leandro.ca.us.


Kathleen Livermore, Interim Planning Manager
Community Development Department

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July 29, 2007

San Leandro Company Produces Dive Mask with Built-in Computer and Display

DataMask HUDSan Leandro-based Oceanic Worldwide has developed a dive mask that displays current depth, elapsed dive time, cylinder pressure, and dive time remaining inside the dive mask. The DataMask HUD (heads up display) doesn't project the information onto the diver's mask, but uses a small LCD to display vital dive information. The Oceanic website includes a slide show and PDF demo.

Originally developed for the military, the website indicates that it will be available in July 2007, for nearly $1,500.

Oceanic Worldwide is located at 2002 Davis Street in San Leandro.








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July 27, 2007

City Council to Vote on Truancy and Living Wage Ordinances in Special Meeting Monday

At a special meeting on Monday, July 30, 2007, the City Council will vote on adopting ordinances for truancy and a living wage.

The San Leandro Chamber of Commerce is asking for changes to sections of the Living Wage Ordinance that require worker retention, require time off for part time workers, and exemptions that aren't clear about gratuities being included when calculating compensation.

The City Council will also vote on issuing a total of $4 million in loans for an affordable senior housing project at the intersection of E. 14th Street and Estabrook Street.

Immediately following the City Council meeting, there will be a work session discussing the San Leandro Marina.

The meeting will be held at the City Council Chambers at 835 E. 14th Street beginning at 7:00pm.

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Brian Copeland's Show Knows the Way to San Jose

Brian Copeland will perform his one-man show, Not a Genuine Black Man, at the San Jose Stage Company from August 3 to 25, 2007.

Ticket prices range from $25 to $40 and can be purchased from TicketWeb.

The San Jose Stage Company is located at 490 South First Street in San Jose.

Copeland also penned an op-ed piece that appeared in the July 27, 2007, edition of the Los Angeles Times, about Barack Obama's ethnic credentials.

The book derived from the show is on the incoming freshman reading list at CSU East Bay and is part of the reading list for numerous schools.

Copeland has been a San Leandro resident since he moved to San Leandro with his family in 1972.

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San Leandro Boy Loses Leukemia Battle

Harrison LeonardoHarrison Leonardo, a two-year-old San Leandro boy who had been battling leukemia, died on July 16, 2007, at Children's Hospital in Palo Alto.

Thousands of potential bone marrow donors were tested for a possible match for Harrison. For Harrison, this was very difficult because of his mix of Filipino and Caucasian parents.

A funeral mass was held Friday, July 27, 2007, at St. Monica's Church in San Francisco.

Harrison is survived by his parents O.J. and Stephanie and his brother Lucas.

Previous stories on SF Gate blog, San Francisco Chronicle, KPIX, KCBS, KGO, and the Rice Daddies Blog.

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The Reasons Behind our Street Names

As part of San Leandro's centennial celebration in 1972, the city commissioned a history of San Leandro. Harry E. Shaffer authored this history entitled, "A Garden Grows in Eden." The book covers San Leandro's history from the first Spanish expedition that crossed through San Leandro in 1772 until about World War II. You can get your own copy of the book at the San Leandro History Museum and Gallery.

Many of San Leandro's street names come from its earliest residents, owners, developers, lawyers, and even the wife of an early city engineer.

In Shaffer's "A Garden Grows in Eden," he writes, "...the list [of street names] is only a start. Perhaps readers can help us add to it." Below are the names of many San Leandro streets and who or what they were named for.

StreetNamed forChanged
Alice Ave.prob. Alice A. Young, wife of Charles A. Young, owners
Antonio St.Antonio Estudillo, son of Don Joaquin
Bancroft Ave.H. P. Bancroft, Sec. of Breed & Bancroft, developersfrom Santa Clara St.
Begier Ave.I.H. Begier
Belleview Dr.prob. developer Belleview (Belleview Gardens subdiv.)
Best Ave.Daniel Best, whose children subdivided the property
Billings Blvd.Ray L. Billings
Bradhoff Ave.Lloyd Bradhoff of Bradrick Homes, subdivider
Bradrick Ave.Bradrick Homes, subdivider
Breed Ave.A. H. Breed, Pres. of Breed & Bancroft, developers
Bridge Rd.R. C. Bridge (& wife Helen L.) and E. S. Bridge (& wife Emma Lou), owners
Callan Ave.Father James Callan, first resident pastor of St. Leander's parish
Carpentier St.Horace Carpentier
Cary Dr.T. P. Cary & children, Amzi B. Cary & Lucy (Cary) Walrath (who subdivided the estate) T.P. Cary provided the land for San Leandro's Library
Castro St.Guillermo Castro, owner of Spanish grant to southeast (Castro Valley)
Clarke St.Henry Kirk White Clarke, attorney for Ward & Estudillos against the squatters (for ex. George Zimmerman)
Collier Dr.C. H. Collier (& wife Avis M. Collier), owner
Dabner St.John Pimentel Dabner, owner
Davis St.Wm. Heath Davis
Diehl Ave.Fred W. Diehl & wife Lena A. Diehl, owners
Donovan Dr.J.J. Donovan
Doolittle Dr.Jimmy Doolittle who led raid on Tokyo in W.W.IIfrom Bayshore & Shoreline Blvds.
Dowling Blvd.Geo. F. Dowling, Gertrude M. Dowling & Catherine C. (Dowling) Slattery, owners, & prob. descendants of Richard Dowling
Durant Ave.Durant Motor Car Co. & founder Cliff Durant (Co. was where Chevy plant now is)from Stanley Rd.
Dutton Ave.widow Jane Dutton, owner & pioneerfrom Chicken Lane
Elsie Ave.Miss Elsie Nugent, dau. of Magdalena Estudillo Nugent
Estabrook St.George Estabrook Smith, County Clerk & subdivider for Jacob W. Harlan
Estudillo St.Don Jose Joaquin Estudilloto San Leandro Blvd.
Eveleth Ave.Larry Eveleth (of Linton, Sundberg & Eveleth, developers)
Farrelly Dr.R.S. Farrelly
Garcia Ave.Joseph Garcia or descendants Manuel H., Joseph H. and Frank H. Garcia (owners)
Graff Ave.A. W. Graff (possibly miswritten for Robert W. Graff), owner
Haas Ave.John L. Haas & wife Mary (Reid) Haas, owners
Harlan St.Jacob Wright Harlan, owner
Harrison St.? (named by Jesus Maria Estudillo)
Hays St.Col. Jack C. Hays
Haywards Rd.to E. 14th St.
Hellman Ave.I. W. Hellman Jr.,former owner
Hepburn St.Hiatt P. Hepburn, of Hepburn & Saunders, attorneys for Estudillos against the squattersto W. Joaquin Ave.
Holland Ave.Edward J. Holland, ownerto Halcyon Ave.
Huff St.Socrates Huff
Hutchings Dr.E.F. Hutchings
Hyde St.? (named by Jesus Maria Estudillo)
Joaquin Ave.Don Jose Joaquin Estudillo, grantee of Rancho San Leandro
Juana Ave.Doña Juana M. Estudillo
Knox Ave.Lewis Knox (by widow, owner)to 143rd Ave.
Lemon Ave.part of Orange Grove tractto Euclid Ave.
Leo Ave.Clarence Leo Best, owner
Lewelling Blvd.John Lewelling & son Eli Lewelling, owners
Lewis Ave.George A. Lewis, Pres. of Lewis & Mitchell Inc., developers
Linton St.George W. Linton of Linton, Sundberg & Eveleth, developers
Lloyd Ave.Lloyd Bradhoff, subdivider of Bradrick Homes
Lola St."Tia Lola" Dolores (Estudillo) Cushing, dau. of Don Joaquin
Manthey Ave.Chas. E. Manthey, Pres. of Hollywood Land Co.to pt. of Broadmoor Blvd.
Martinez St.Ignacio Martinez, Spanish Don, father-in-law of Joaquin Estudillo
Maud Ave.Miss Maud Nugent, dau. of Magdalena Estudillo Nugent
McKinley Ct.Chas. A. & Pauline McKinley, ownersfrom Shirk Ave
Melvin Ct.prob. Melvin E. Lyon, trustee for Peralta Land Co. in Hollywood subdivision
Mitchell Ave.Arthur R. Mitchell, Sec. of Lewis & Mitchell Inc., developers
Mulford Gardenssubdivided by Gertrude H. (Mulford) Collins (dau. of Thos. W. Mulford) & husband Robert H. Collins
Oakes Blvd.William Edward ("Billy") Oakes, ownerfrom Palm Ave.
Orchard Ave.prob. for George Smith's cherry orchards; he subdivided
Parrott St.John Parrott of S. F., testified for Juana Estudillo against squatters
Pelton Center WayAllen E. Pelton
Peralta St.Don Luis Peralta
Ramon St.Ramon Estudillo, son of Don Joaquinnow vacated
Reva Ave.wife of Cliff Cline of City Engineer's Dept.
Rodney Dr.poss. R. C. Bridge if R. stands for Rodney
Ruhe St.Bert Ruhe, Sec. of Hollywood Land Co.now vacated
St. Mary Ave.Joseph St. Mary & wife Sophie St. Mary, owners
Sandelin Ave.Fred Sandelin, proprietor of tract
Saunders St.R. F. Saunders, of Hepburn & Saunders, attorneys for Estudillos against the squattersto West Juana Ave.
Shirk Ave.A. Shirk, ownerto McKinley Ct.
Stoakes Ave.Benjamin Franklin Stoakes or children who subdivided, i.e. Frank C. Stoakes & Flora (Stoakes) Rider
Sundberg Ave.Sundberg of Linton, Sundberg & Eveleth, developers
Sybil Ave.Miss Sybil Nugent, dau. of Magdalena Estudillo Nugent (named by Jesus Maria Estudillo)
Sybil St.Miss Sybil Nugent, dau. of Magdalena Estudillo Nugent (named by Jesus Maria Estudillo)to Jefferson St.
Thornton St.Harry Inness Thornton, Federal Commissioner appt. 1851 to settle Mexican & Spanish land grant titles, S. F. lawyer
Toler Ave.William P. Toler, son-in-law of Ignacio Peralta; built what is now the Alta Mira Clubhouse in 1860
Valita Dr.wife of Charles Martin, City Engineer
Valley St.Wayne Valley of Valley & Lincoln subdividers
Ward Ave.John B. Wardto Estudillo Ave
Ward St.John B. Wardto W. Estudillo Ave
Warren Ave.poss. for owners W. A. Brown & wife Mary R. Brown
Wicks Blvd.Moses Wicks & family, owners
Williams St.John J. Williams, S. F. law partner of Harry I. Thornton & James D. Thornton

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July 24, 2007

Shark Bites San Leandro Man's Kayak

San Leandro resident Dan Prather was fishing in his kayak off Bean Hollow State Beach when a great white shark bit into the kayak on Saturday, July 21, 2007. The shark knocked Prather out of his kayak but he was able to get back in the kayak after falling out two more times. Prather was uninjured, despite the tooth marks on his kayak.

For eyewitness accounts and picture of Dan and the damaged kayak, click here.

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July 23, 2007

Forty Years of Mixed Marriages

My People are...Youth Pride in Mixed HeritageJune 12, 2007, marked the fortieth anniversary of the Loving vs. Virginia decision, which made it illegal for states to prohibit interracial marriages.

To celebrate the anniversary of this landmark Civil Rights case, Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker, iPride, and the San Leandro Community Action Network are co-sponsoring a screening of My People are ... Youth Pride in Mixed Heritage at the San Leandro Library.

The movie will be shown on August 4, 2007, from 1 to 2:30pm in the auditorium of the San Leandro Library and will be followed by a panel discussion. The San Leandro Library is located at 300 Estudillo Avenue.

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Meeting on I-580 Soundwall July 24, 2007

The Congestion Management Agency will present information about the San Leandro I-580 Soundwalls project at a public meeting on July 24, 2007.

The $5.5 million project will consist of nine sections of 12-foot-tall walls totaling more than 8,000 feet on both sides of Interstate 580 from 141st Avenue to Marlowe Avenue as shown in the graphic below from a November 2006 presentation to the City Council.

Graphic showing extent of soundwalls along Interstate 580 in San Leandro

The meeting will be held at the Dave Karp room of the San Leandro Library from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. The San Leandro Library is located at 300 Estudillo Avenue in San Leandro.

Click here for Daily Review coverage.

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July 20, 2007

Small Quake in Oakland Jolts Area

A 4.2 magnitude earthquake struck just a few miles from Oakland on the Hayward fault at 4:42am early on July 20, 2007.

No injuries were reported, but windows at a Safeway store in Berkeley reportedly broke.

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July 17, 2007

Living Wage Passes Unanimously

The City Council unanimously passed a living wage ordinance at its Monday, July 16, 2007, meeting. A minor change was made in section 9 of the ordinance from "Every City contract, lease, license..." to Every City contract, lease, license agreement..."

Living wage ordinances are already in effect in Hayward, Oakland, and Richmond. In September 2005, Superior Court Judge Steven Brick upheld Hayward's 1999 living wage law against Cintas Corp.

Click here for the City's press release or here for Daily Review coverage.

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July 13, 2007

Two Wal-Marts, In-N-Out Burger, Living Wage Ordinance, Senior Center and More

At the monthly San Leandro Chamber of Commerce luncheon, City Manager John Jermanis stated that San Leandro will be getting a second Wal-Mart store. The owners of the property at 15555 Hesperian Blvd, which was recently vacated by Target, have leased the site to Wal-Mart and building permits are expected soon. Since the property is currently zoned for "big-box retail," Wal-Mart doesn't need any approvals by the Board of Zoning Adjustments (BZA), the Planning Commission, or the City Council. In-N-Out Burger received a conditional use permit in March 2006 for a drive-up facility at 15559 Hesperian Blvd, at the corner of Lewelling and Hesperian and will be opening in the near future.

Jermanis also addressed the recent articles about Grocery Outlet and Faith Fellowship Church and said that the City hopes to work with each to find a suitable location for them.

The City Council has decided it wants a conference center, another hotel, and more restaurants at the Marina. Restaurants have expressed interest previously, but only if there is an existing restaurant shell - the restaurants didn't want to pay for the construction of a new building. Now the City will be reconsidering its refusal to construct a building shell.

A living wage ordinance will come before the City Council at its July 16, 2007, meeting. Mayor Santos has been a longtime advocate of a living wage ordinance and the issue has received greater attention since he began his term as Mayor.

The City now owns the property on which a Senior Center will be built. Construction is expected to begin this year on a parking lot that will be used jointly with San Leandro Hospital and on construction of a traffic light at the intersection of E. 14th Street and 138th Avenue.

Jermanis noted that the City Council recently extended his contract for another year. Jermanis has been City Manager for 10 years and has been on the City staff for 36 years.

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July 9, 2007

City Council Unanimously Denies Grocery Outlet Appeal

At a public hearing on July 9, 2007, the City Council unanimously denied an appeal by Grocery Outlet and Norcal AI, LLC, of the city's classification of Grocery Outlet as a supermarket and not a neighborhood grocery store. More than 50 people attended the meeting and more than 20 people spoke during public comments with about half supporting Grocery Outlet and half opposing it.

The first speaker noted that Grocery Outlet describes itself as a supermarket on its own web site: "Grocery Outlet is the shopping experience you expect from supermarkets..." and "We compete with conventional and discount supermarkets, supercenters, club stores, Dollar and 99 Cent Only! stores, closeout retailers..." Other commenters opposed to the store noted that the store didn't fit in to the City's Downtown Transit-Oriented Development Strategy. Those in support of the store appreciated the bargains offered by the "extreme-value retailer."

City Councilmembers reported receiving overwhelming email opposed to Grocery Outlet.

Eric Nelson, entitlement director of Red Mountain Retail Group, made his case for Grocery Outlet as a tenant, claiming that most of the shoppers that would go to the store would come from within two miles.

Eric Nelson
Eric Nelson of Red Mountain Retail Group

Click here for Daily Review coverage.

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July 7, 2007

San Leandro Man Wins World Boxing Title

San Leandro's Nonito Donaire won the IBF and IBO flyweight championships on Saturday, July 7, 2007, after a technical knockout of undefeated Vic Darchinyan. The end came 38 seconds into the fifth round when Donaire, The Filipino Flash, nailed Darchinyan with a left hook. Darchinyan fell to the floor, tried to get up, but ended up on his knees with his hands raised. The referee stopped the fight and awarded the win to Donaire, his first world title.

Donaire is originally from General Santos, Philippines. The win improves Donaire's rcord to 18 wins and 1 loss with 11 knockouts.

Click here for news article from Connecticut Post.

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July 6, 2007

Local Man Gets Posthumous Carnegie Hero Award

Marlin and Jacqueline CoatsMarlin A. Coats, 29, a store manager from San Leandro, Calif., received a Carnegie Hero Award on July 6, 2007, for helping to save two boys, ages 11 and 14, from drowning when they were caught in a riptide off Ocean Beach in San Francisco on May 14, 2006. According to the press release, "He swam out to the older boy and helped him toward shore, and that boy left the water. Coats turned back for the other boy, who was farther out. Others entered the water, including two lifeguards who had been alerted. Finding that Coats had submerged, the lifeguards pulled him to the surface of the water and placed him on a rescue board. They returned him and the other boy to shore. Coats and both boys were taken to the hospital for treatment, but Coats could not be revived, as he had died of drowning."

The mission of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1904, is "To recognize persons who perform acts of heroism in civilian life in the United States and Canada, and to provide financial assistance for those disabled and the dependants of those killed helping others." Winners of the award are announced five times a year.

According to this San Francisco Chronicle article, Coats' widow is facing deportation to Kenya because her husband died before immigration paperwork needed for her to remain in the country was completed. In response to this, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced S. 420 on January 29, 2007, a bill that would grant permanent residency to Jacqueline Coats.

Each of the honorees or the next of kin receives $5,000 and becomes eligible for one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.

Click here for Daily Review coverage.

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July 5, 2007

City of San Leandro and Housing Discrimination

On May 31, 2007, the San Leandro City Council's Human Relations Committee released a draft document entitled, "Chronology of City of San Leandro’s Efforts to End to [sic] Housing Discrimination and Promote Community Diversity." The document details the city's attempts to address the discrimination and segregation that became synonymous with San Leandro from the 1950s to the 1970s. According to a June 2, 2007, article in the Daily Review, the document was prompted in part by San Leandro resident Brian Copeland's memoir "Not a Genuine Black Man," which chronicles Copeland's experiences as a child growing up in a city where black people were unwelcome.

The earliest city action in the document is July 8, 1968, when the City Council adopted a policy on Community Relations and Responsibilities. However, as detailed in American Babylon, San Leandro actively became a segregated community after World War II:

Immediately after the war, San Leandro residents erected a figurative white wall along the city's border with Oakland. M. C. Friel and Associates, a Hayward real estate firm with expertise in racial covenants, became the East Bay's leading consultant on shoring up segregation. In 1947 Friel developed a plan to place as much of San Leandro's residential property under restrictive covenants as possible, limiting future property sales to "members of the Caucasian race."

If there is any documented complicity by the City of San Leandro in establishing discriminatory policies, it remains well-hidden today. However, the actions of the business leaders and residents of the time are documented:

The San Leandro News-Observer reported in the autumn of 1947 that Friel outlined his "plan for protecting property values" in an address "before the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce," which concluded with "the board giving its approval of the program and authorizing that a letter of approval of his program be furnished Friel." In undisguised language the News-Observer announced that the "sudden increase in the East Bay Negro population" meant that "local neighborhoods are spontaneously moving to protect their property values and calling upon Friel's company to assist them."...These restrictions enjoyed official local support through the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce and city council...

Many homeowners associations, few of which are thriving today, were a part of the effort to seal off San Leandro's borders to African Americans:

Already known in the East Bay for designing racial covenants that could survive close legal scrutiny, Friel responded to the Court's landmark decision by reconfiguring San Leandro's covenant agreements into "neighborhood protective associations," pseudo-corporations of homeowners that could legally select acceptable home buyers through "corporation contract agreements" as long as "race and creed" were not taken into account.

As noted by Copeland in the Daily Review article, the chronology developed by the City fails to include any information about its complicity in the housing discrimination that was implemented in San Leandro after World War II.

Some of this history still struggles to be told. At the September 20, 2005, meeting of the San Leandro Library-Historical Commission, Library Services Director David Bohne announced, "I just met this afternoon with the City Manager at my office. We're going to move ahead with a book on San Leandro history.... Hopefully it will done around June of next year and kind of tie in a little bit too with our celebration of 100 years." A writer was contracted to write an outline for the book, but when the writer submitted an outline that included a section on housing discrimination in San Leandro, the project was canceled.

Despite its history of housing discrimination, according to the 2000 census, San Leandro is now a diverse community, with whites comprising just over 50% of the population, Asians 23%, Hispanics 20% and African Americans 10%.

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Grocery Outlet and Red Mountain Hold Neighborhood Picnic for Community Support July 7, 2007

In a message sent to a local mailing list on Juy 5, 2007, and post card invitations sent to local residents, Red Mountain entitlement director Eric Nelson announced a neighborhood picnic at the former Albertson's site at 1550 E. 14th Street (at the intersection with Juana Avenue).

The announcement stated that a "BBQ Will benefit the San Leandro Boy Scouts of America and San Leandro Boys & Girls Club" and will feature prizes, giveaways, and an "appearance by drag racer Chuck Moore and his blown alcohol-fueled Corvette."

Although the email message didn't mention Grocery Outlet or Red Mountain Retail Group, the post card's return address was Red Mountain and the event was listed as being sponsored by Grocery Outlet.

The event is scheduled just two days before a public hearing of Grocery Outlet's appeal before the San Leandro City Council scheduled for 8pm on July 9, 2007. In addition to the free prizes and giveaways, attendees can expect to have plenty of propaganda supporting Grocery Outlet's attempt to open a store at the former Albertson's site.

The event is scheduled for 10am to 3pm.

The Daily Review's blog has more on the postcards sent to some local residents.

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July 4, 2007

Significance of Historical Sites in San Leandro

On January 26, 2000, Community Services Director (now Library Services Director) David Bohne submitted a staff report to City Manager John Jermanis entitled, "Historical Sites in San Leandro and Their Significance." Here is an opportunity to learn about the history of San Leandro as we celebrate the independence of the United States.

The complete text of the staff report is shown below. The photos below were taken in 2007 and are not part of the original report.



Date: January 26, 2000
To: John Jermanis, City Manager
From: David R. Bohne, Community Services Director
Subject: Historical Sites in San Leandro and Their Significance


This report is for information only, and no action is required.


The Library-Historical Commission has identified a variety of historical sites in San Leandro. The attached list is of sites that exist today.


1. Alta Mira Clubhouse
Alta Mira Clubhouse, San Leandro
The first brick house built ill Alameda County, the Peralta home was constructed in 1860 by W. P. Toler for Ignacio Peralta, an early San Leandro Spanish settler. The bricks were handmade from the Alameda Brickyard Slough. The original cost of the home was $3,000. It boasted a four-acre garden surrounded by an ornate iron fence, with a horseshoe-shaped main drive extending to E. 14th Street. The next owner, A. C. Peachy, bought the property in 1875 and added a wooden wing to the rear and front porch. It was covered with stucco in 1909 and was owned by C. L. Best before the Alta Mira Club acquired it in 1926. The home is California Landmark No. 285, and is also registered in the National Register of Historic Places. This was the final home of Ignacio Peralta.

2. Casa Peralta - 384 West Estudillo Avenue
The Casa Peralta was constructed in 1901 and has not been modified since exterior additions were added in 1925, which included many external and additional features of Spanish architecture. Some of the foundations and first floor may pre-date 1901 as remnants of the first dwelling built on this site around 1869; however, the most visible basic structure is that built in 1901. - The entrance and porch are decorated with tiles and adobe bricks from the original Antonio Maria Peralta adobe home in Oakland, dating to 1853. The interior of the Main Building remains exactly as it was designed in 1901. A few dormer windows have been added to the roof for decoration. The principal importance of this site derives from the Peralta family descendents who lived here: Ludovina Peralta Ivey, Maria Peralta Toler, and Herminia Peralta Dargie. The grounds are enhanced by three trees planted by the founder of the Golden Gate Park, John McLaren. The trees were called the "The Three Graces." The house is presently owned by the City and houses our City museum. City docents lead tours of the house and grounds.

3. Little Brown Church
The First Presbyterian Church was always known as "The Little Brown Church" to its members. Rev. James McKinney Alexander dedicated the church in April, 1867. It was the third church building constructed in San Leandro and is the oldest such structure remaining. The church stood on Clarke Street near W. Joaquin. In 1880, a room 12 x 16 feet was added to the church. This addition was the Sunday School and it is the building that you see today. The sanctuary portion of the building was moved to the Ashland area in 1935. It stood near Fairmont Hospital and was used as a church for the Latin community. In the early 1960's the site was needed for a new freeway, and the original Little Brown Church was demolished. The Sunday School building remained behind on Clarke Street. When the Clarke Street lot was sold, this Sunday School Wing was offered to the San Leandro Historical Society, provided that the building be moved. It was placed temporarily on a site on W. Estudillo and then moved to its current home on the back lot of Casa Peralta. Since the wing is all that remains of the original church, this portion is fondly known today as "The Little Brown Church." The redwood building seats about 50 people, its antique door and four stained glass windows are original. It is used by the San Leandro Historical Society as a meeting place.

4. Daniel Best House -1315 Clarke Street
Daniel Best House, 1315 Clarke Street, San Leandro
The Daniel Best home was built in the late 1870's by Joseph Demont. (It is noted that the assessor's office gave a probable 1900 construction date.) The second owner of the building, in 1886, was Daniel Best, an early developer of steam tractors and plows. His tractor firm eventually evolved into the Caterpillar Tractor Co. The home is a two-story Italianate Victorian with 15 rooms and a cellar. Occupying three City lots, the property also includes a large, old-fashioned garden, a Victorian carriage house, and a workshop. The wrought-iron fence was handmade in 1894. Daniel Best lived in the home until his death in 1922. At one time the Best House was a Bed and Breakfast Inn.

5. Manuel Garcia Home -1106 Hyde Street
This home of the first prominent Portuguese settler in San Leandro was built in 1875. Manual Garcia left the Azores aboard a whaling ship when he was only a boy of nine. In 1864, at the age of 14, he jumped ship in San Francisco Bay and ultimately settled in San Leandro. Garcia was the town's first dentist and one of the earliest businessmen. The home was used as both a residence and a business establishment. The original structure has been altered considerably as a result of various renovation projects, including the removal of a front porch and the addition of a side door.

6. Captain William Roberts Home - 526 Lewelling
This building is of notable historic significance as well as architectural value. There is no record of its construction date, but the house is noted on a map of early San Leandro circa 1878. The style is in the second French Empire tradition of Victorian period construction, but the addition of stucco over the original siding lessens its architectural value. Captain Roberts arrived in San Leandro in 1850 and established one of the first bay landings and produce wharves in the county. He built up a thriving trade in grain, vegetables, fruits, hay, and cattle at his landing. This home represents an era of San Leandro history which goes back 130 years - an era of bay landings, oyster beds, grain wharves, hay schooners, lumber shipments from San Leandro redwoods, fruit orchards, salt ponds, cucumber fields, general stores, and family life. Currently, there are plans for a hotel on the property with the house preserved and used for the caretaker or office.

7. Southern Pacific Railroad Station - 801 Davis Street
This railroad station was built in 1898. From the beginning, San Leandro was an important station. Southern Pacific's records show an agency and telegraph office located here as early as the 1870's. It is reminiscent of the single most important factor in the growth and development of San Leandro, the coming of the railroads in the late 19th century. The station is one of the last such buildings that served farmers and commuters in California before the arrival of autos and electric railways. Various interior alterations were made in 1953.

8. Little "Shul" - 642 Dolores (rear)
This is the first synagogue in San Leandro and possibly in the East Bay area. It is the fourth house of worship built in San Leandro and is in excellent condition. In 1889, $1 was paid by the San Leandro Hebrew Congregation for the land at 59 Chumalia Street upon which the Shul was built. The early Jewish residents who formed the San Leandro Hebrew congregation were prominent businessmen arid civic leaders. Sunday School classes arid religious services were held at the Little Shul for many years, attracting Jewish families from Hayward to Richmond. As San Leandro's population swelled during Second World War, it was obvious to the membership of the Little Shul that changes were needed. In 1949, construction of a larger synagogue began on this site. The Little Shul was moved from the Chumalia location by the Congregation of Temple Beth Sholom and beautifully restored at its present location behind the Temple Beth Sholom.

9. Holy Ghost Chapel and IDES Hall - 790 Antonio
Holy Ghost Chapel and IDES Hall, San Leandro
This site has been a Portuguese Community Center since 1889 and has been used ever since for the Holy Ghost celebration on Pentecost Sunday. The chapel was built in 1895. The initials I.D.E.S. translate as Brotherhood of the Division Spirit. The I.D.E.S. hall and chapel of Alvarado Street received its charter in 1882. The man most responsible for its establishment was Joseph Frances Focha. Born in the Azores, he immigrated to the United States aboard a whaling vessel. He and many other Azorean settlers in the San Leandro area raised funds for this land and this chapel and hall as a place to hold celebrations. Joseph and two of his brothers erected the buildings. The Holy Ghost Festa has been held here since 1882. The Holy Ghost Association moved from Dutton Avenue to the IDES Hall (originally an old barn) in 1889.

10. Tree at corner of Juana and Bancroft Avenues
This unusually shaped tree marks the site of the Gooch Estate and is considered to be of historical interest to many San Leandro citizens.

11. Best Building - Estudillo and East 14th Street
The Daniel Best Building had its formal opening on April 1, 1911. This neo-classical building was of mat-glazed terra cotta with a reinforced steel structure. The E. 14th Street side had an eight-foot arcade supported by 16-foot pillars. The arcade's floor was tiled and French glass was used throughout. The wainscoting of the lower floor and the stair entrances were of imported marble. The Best Building was restored to most of its former glory in 1973-1974 by the Best Building Partnership.

12. 308 West Joaquin Avenue. ,
The house on this site, built in 1896, is typical of California homes built in the 1890's. Its architecture is commonly referred to as the San Francisco style, which combines a variety of Victorian characteristics. Often, only the "freaks" and/or magnificent mansions of a given period are preserved, rather than the common homes that more accurately reflect an architectural and historical period. This "strick style" example of San Francisco architecture combines the scollops, stained glass, bay window and porch ornamentation into a conservative version of the Queen Anne design built during the Victorian period.

13. 1363 Hays Street
The blacksmith shop fronting on Hays Street and located at the rear of 308 West Joaquin Avenue has educational value as an illustration of one of the many home craft endeavors common to the turn of the century and since given way to mass productions.

14. 857 Estudillo Avenue
This home, built around 1890, is a reminder of a typical family home around the turn of the century. The house reflects elements on Italianate design with its bracketed rusticated corner quoins and pedimented window hoods. The carport is a modern addition.

15. 678 Juana Avenue
678 Juana Avenue, San Leandro - a Victorian home
This refurbished Victorian home adds flavor and color to the city. Because of the intriguing color combinations used, restored Victorian homes have been referred to as painted ladies. Victorian architecture as such does not really exist. It is a merging of a number of styles combined in many different ways. This house is a combination of Queen Anne and Eastlake, a style that was very popular from 1870 to 1890. The house, built in 1890, has boxed eaves and channel rustic siding.

16. 397 Maud Avenue
397 Maud Avenue, San Leandro
The comparatively plain house on this site is one of many built in the 1880's. It is an early Italianate style with a bay window, channel siding and a partial Mansard roof. The roof design represents the second empire styling, popular from the 1860's to the 1880's. During its restoration, the owners discovered two roof lines, leading to speculation that the present house may be an enlargement of an earlier structure. This one probably was built around 1880.

17. 310-312 Warren Avenue
The style of this structure, Queen Anne Revival, is the most frequently encountered form of Victorian architecture .. The house was built circa 1900 and is not pure in design as it exhibits details of other styles such as Eastlake and Romanesque. . The house was converted to two units in 1954.

18. 659 Estudillo Avenue
659 Estudillo Avenue, San Leandro - a Modern Colonial Revival home
This home is an example of the Modern Colonial Revival style. Notice the boxed eaves, oval window, mitered comers, and porch columns. The siding is lap and rustic. The garage is new and added in 1960. The house was built circa 1910.

19. Orchard Street Neighborhood (Kanaka Lane),
1348 Orchard Street
1349 Orchard Street
1350 Orchard Street
1364 Orchard Street
1376-78 Orchard Street
1427 Orchard Street
1470 Orchard Street
The historical-architectural value of these properties lies in their combination as a "period neighborhood." The area was settled and built by Portuguese immigrants. The sign reads "Orchard Avenue" but many know this street as "Kanaka Lane" or "Little Portugal." The names recall the settlers, who came from the Azores (Western Islands), the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii), and Portugal. San Leandro is infinitely richer for its Portuguese heritage. The people form a close-knit community. Family ties, religious beliefs, common language, and valued traditions are respected and honored. Like other ethnic groups, today's Portuguese strive to preserve their proud heritage despite great population shifts and ever-growing assimilation.

20. 444 Harlan Street
444 Harlan Street, San Leandro -home with a water tank house
Once, water tank houses like this example were far more common than they are today. The water tank is located at the rear of this property and originally was used to store water from a well below. It is typical of Northern California water tanks in that it has a "house" built around the tank - a pleasing architectural bonus not found in rural areas.

21. 383 Preda Street
This structure represents part of Northern California's unique vernacular architecture. Unlike most rural water tanks, this is enclosed by a "house," quite detailed in structure and style. Such water tank houses are rapidly disappearing from East Bay urban areas and should be preserved for their educational value, as well as for architectural attention.

22. 254 Callan Avenue
This structure represented part of Northern California's unique vernacular architecture. Unlike most rural water tanks, this is enclosed by a "house," quite detailed in structure and style. Such water tank houses are rapidly disappearing from East Bay urban areas and should be preserved for their educational value, as well as for architectural attention. This structure was torn down during the early 1980's.

23. 647 Juana Avenue - Redwood Trees
Redwood tree at 647 Juana Avenue, San Leandro
The redwood trees (Sequoia sempervirens) on this site and on the grounds of Bancroft Junior High School are over a century old and represent the last sizable redwoods that once covered much of the East Bay hills. Many early San Leandro buildings were constructed from local redwood. Early descriptions of this area did not mention any large tall trees. We must assume that these redwoods were not indigenous to this site.

24. 651 Juana Avenue - Redwood Trees
The redwood trees (Sequoia sempervirens) on this site and on the grounds of Bancroft Junior High School are over a century old and represent the last sizable redwoods that once covered much of the East Bay hills. Many early San Leandro buildings were constructed from local redwood. Early descriptions of this area did not mention any large tall trees. We must assume that these redwoods were not indigenous to this site.

25. Old Lamplighter's Home - 28 Dabner Street
Old Lamplighter's Home, 28 Dabner Street, San Leandro
The "Dabner's Addition," currently Dabner Street, was originally filed with Alameda County on May 16, 1871, just prior to San Leandro's incorporation in 1872. A study of county records revealed that the first house built in that new addition was built around 1872 on the northeasterly corner of Dabner and Davis Streets. The original owners were Mr. and Mrs. P. Mattos. Mr. Mattos was the new town's first official "lamplighter" for that neighborhood. In 1921, the home was moved back 75 feet to its present location at 28 Dabner Street. Prior to World War II, the house was owned by a Japanese family and used as a church when the family was sent to a relocation center. The home was also owned by the Mario Polvorosa family. The house is a two story wood frame structure. Its foundation is constructed of handmade brick and the house itself lies on 6 x 6 timbers on the brick foundation. Dabner Street was named for John Pimental Dabner who came from the Azores to San Leandro in the 1860's.

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