San Leandro City Council candidates were out in force for last-minute campaigning at the Cherry Festival on May 31, 2008.
District 2 candidate Charles Gilcrest was prepared to hand out hundreds of bottles of water, but the cool weather lessened the effectiveness of this approach.
Ursula Reed, one of Gilcrest's opponents, had a group of supporters with t-shirts walking around the Cherry Festival.
District 6 candidate Estelle Clemons was handing out literature with a group of enthusiastic supporters.
Jim Prola, the District 6 incumbent, was also at the Cherry Festival handing out literature. Other candidates spotted at the Cherry Festival include District 2 candidate Linda Perry, Superior Court judge candidate Phil Daly, and State Assembly candidate Jason Teramoto.
On May 29, 2008, San Leandro High School student Huong Cheng won first place at a regional business plan competition, according to Merrill Lynch, which sponsored the contest. Cheng received $1,500 for her "Personal Person" business plan and an expense-paid trip to New York to compete in the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship for a $10,000 prize.
According to Merrill Lynch, "Since its inception in 1994, the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) of Northern California has taught thousands of students the basics of starting and operating a small business. Merrill Lynch and NFTE work together to promote entrepreneurship education for low-income youngsters ages 14 to 18 by helping them improve their academic, business and life skills."
Cheng also plays on the badminton team at San Leandro High School.
According to a financial disclosure filed on May 30, 2008, San Leandro District 2 City Council candidate Linda Perry received a late contribution of $1,000 from the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council.
During the period between May 18 and the election (June 3, 2008), candidates are required to disclose contributions of $1,000 or more within 24 hours.
The 2008 Cherry Festival is scheduled for 10am to 6pm on Saturday, May 31, 2008. Admission is free.
|Main Stage Entertainment|
|9:00am to 10:00am||San Leandro Municipal Band|
|11:00am to 12:00pm||Tamika Nicole Clark|
|12:30pm to 1:30pm||Native Elements|
|2:15pm to 3:15pm||Avance|
|3:45pm to 4:30pm||Michael Henderson|
|5:00pm to 6:00pm||The Best Intentions|
|Community Stage Entertainment|
|10:00am to 11:00am||Falung Gong|
|11:15am to 11:45pm||Ron Esteller Martial Arts|
|12:00pm to 1:00pm||B’Dazzled Dancers|
|1:30pm to 2:30pm||Fighting The Villain|
|3:00pm to 4:00pm||Tatseena Good Vibes & Troup Tareefa|
|5:30pm to 6:00pm||Jeff Chames|
According to a financial disclosure filed on May 29, 2008, San Leandro District 6 City Council candidate Jim Prola received a late contribution of $1,000 from Service Employees International Union Local 1021.
During the period between May 18 and the election (June 3, 2008), candidates are required to disclose contributions of $1,000 or more within 24 hours. Prola also reported an in-kind contribution of $2,650 from AFSCME on May 21, 2008.
On May 29, 2008, San Leandro District 4 City Council candidate Joyce Starosciak reported $2,000 in late contributions. Starosciak received $1,000 each from The Sentinels and the Deputy Sheriffs Association of Alameda County PAC.
The Sentinels are a group of mostly local businessment that make financial contributions to local candidates. Starosciak's husband, Allan Starosciak, is an Alameda County Deputy Sherrif.
During the period between May 18 and the election (June 3, 2008), candidates are required to disclose contributions of $1,000 or more within 24 hours. Starosciak has received a total of $4,000 in contributions of $1,000 or more since May 18, 2008.
According to a financial disclosure filing, San Leandro District 2 City Council candidate Charles Gilcrest received a total of $7,000 in contributions on May 27, 2008. Gilcrest received $5,000 from the Committee to Re-Elect Scott Haggerty and $2,000 from The Sentinels.
Scott Haggerty is running unopposed for a fourth term as District 1 Alameda County Supervisor. The Sentinels are a group of mostly local businessment that make financial contributions to local candidates.
During the period between May 18 and the election (June 3, 2008), candidates are required to disclose contributions of $1,000 or more within 24 hours.
The San Leandro Community Action Network (SLCAN) celebrates the multimedia accomplishments of San Leandro High School's student filmmakers with a film festival highlighting the works of the San Leandro Academy for Multimedia (SLAM). These sophomores, juniors, and seniors are learning their core classes through use of digital photography, animation, web design, video production, 3D graphics, and special effects.
Animated shorts depict the reproduction cycle of a cell, Harvey Milk, a clay man who falls into a drawn world, the story of a boy with no name, and a pear dance.
Other films include:
The films will be shown at Zocalo Coffeehouse at 7pm on June 5, 2008. Zocalo Coffeehouse is located at 645 Bancroft Avenue in San Leandro.
In case you have missed the influx of campaign mail and sprouting of campaign signs, San Leandro voters will elect three Councilmembers on June 3, 2008. The field of candidates includes just two incumbents, because Surlene Grant is being forced out by term limits. San Leandro is unique because although each Councilmember represents a certain district, the entire city votes for one candidate in each district.
District 2 candidates Ursula Reed and Charles Gilcrest held fundraisers on May 10 and May 12, respectively, that featured high-profile guests. For Reed, it was actor Danny Glover while Assemblymember Alberto Torrico was a speaker at Gilcrest's fundraiser.
All District 2 candidates and District 6 candidates Jim Prola and Estelle Clemons have sent out the first round of mail directed at absentee voters. Consistent or newly registered voters can expect more mail to arrive this week.
If you're unsatisfied with the information provided by the candidates' flyers, you can check out the candidates' answers (except for Wafaa Aborashed) to questions asked by the San Leandro Community Action Network. The candidate's web sites for Charles Gilcrest, Linda Perry, Ursula Reed, Joyce Starosciak, Wafaa Aborashed, Hermy Almonte, Estelle Clemons, and Jim Prola are generally light on specifics. Even less information is generally provided by the candidates at the respective sites for Ursula Reed, Joyce Starosciak, Hermy Almonte, and Jim Prola at SmartVoter.org.
Previous articles showed the candidates describing their vision for San Leandro, what the candidates will do about the Marina, and the candidates describing specific issues on which the voters may base their decisions.
The latest campaign finance disclosure filings for candidates for San Leandro City Council are in and incumbent Jim Prola continues to lead the field in campaign contributions and expenditures.
During the most recent reporting period from March 18 to May 17, 2008, District 6 candidate Prola spent $16,545 including $6,773 to Autumn Press for campaign literature, $3,500 to Alliance Campaign Strategies for campaign consulting, $2,605 to Handled With Care for mailings, $1,859 to Prime Signs for lawn signs, and $665 for the Voter Information Guide slate mailer.
Prola received contributions of $1,000 from the Rental Housing Owners Association of Southern Alameda County, $1,000 from The Sentinels, and $500 from Assemblyman Alberto Torrico's campaign, . Unions gave $10,500 to Prola's campaign, with $1,500 from Operating Engineers Local #3, $1,000 from American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), $1,000 from the Teamsters DRIVE Committee, $1,000 from AFSCME Local 2019, $1,000 from Good Jobs JAC, Unite Here Local 2850, $1,000 from the California Nurses Association, $650 from International Association of Firefighters Local 55, $500 from United Food & Commercial Workers, Local 5, $500 from AFSCME Local 444, $500 from Sheet Metal Workers Local 104, and $500 from International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 21.
At the end of the reporting period, Prola had $14,153 in his campaign account and $8,000 in outstanding loans.
In a late filing dated May 21, 2008, Prola reported an in-kind contribution of $2,650 from AFSCME.
Prola raised more than three times his closest District 6 competitor, Estelle Clemons. Clemons raised $4,400, including contributions of $999 from the Political Action Committee for Excellence (PACE), $600 from Dover Investments Corp., and $500 from California Real Estate Political Action Committee.
Clemons spent $4,459 during the reporting period, including $4,195 to In & Out Printing for campaign literature and lawn signs.
At the end of the reporting period, Clemons had $4,690 in her campaign account and $4,000 in outstanding loans.
District 6 candidate Hermy Almonte reported $2,956 in campaign contributions, consisting largely of a $2,631 loan to his campaign. Almonte spent $2,558 during the reporting period, including $1,200 to repay a loan and $431 to Vista Print for campaign paraphernalia.
At the end of the reporting period, Almonte had $653 in his campaign account and $2,631 in outstanding loans.
Wafaa Aborashed failed to submit her paperwork on time and Mark Tichy has indicated he will not raise or spend more than $1,000 and is not required to file a campaign finance campaign disclosure.
In District 2, Charles Gilcrest was the lead fundraiser with $7,413, including contributions of $1,500 from Rental Housing Owners of Southern Alameda County, $1,000 from The Sentinels, $650 from Alameda County Firefighters Local 55, and $500 from Louis Pelligrini of Alameda County Industries. Assemblyman Alberto Torrico, who was the keynote speaker at Gilcrest's fundraiser on May 12, 2008, gave $1,000 from his campaign fund. Former San Leandro Chamber of Commerce CEO Heidi Finberg was listed as providing a non-monetary contribution of food for a fundraiser.
Gilcrest spent $11,054 during the reporting period, including $3,141 to Autumn Press for campaign literature, $2,693 to Prime Signs for lawn signs, $2,442 to Handled With Care for mailing, and $813 to Trident Communication for automated campaign calls known as robocalls.
At the end of the reporting period, Gilcrest had $1,064 in his campaign account. Gilcrest failed to report outstanding loans totaling $5,250.
Ursula Reed raised $6,614 during the reporting period and reported $8,427 in non-monetary contributions. Substantial contributions included $999 from PACE, $500 from Eric Hoffman of Madison Marquette (owners of Bayfair Center), $500 from Dr. James Perry of Oakland, $500 from Monica Walker, an investment advisor in Chicago, and $200 from San Leandro Councilmember Surlene Grant. Non-monetary contributions included $5,000 in catered food from Manor Delicatessen and $2,988 in campaign flyers from American Lithographers.
Reed spent $9,573 during the reporting period, including $4,461 to The Everhart Co. for campaign consulting, $1,500 to The Howard Agency for data analysis services, $1,345 to Kirk Briggs Signs for lawn signs, and $924 to Computerized Political Services for data analysis services.
At the end of the reporting period, Reed had $2,271 in her campaign account. Reed failed to report an outstanding loan of $3,000.
Linda Perry raised $5,350 during the reporting period, including a $5,050 personal loan to her campaign and a $250 contribution from Ken Pon, a former member of the San Leandro School Board.
Perry spent $5,308 during the reporting period, including $3,503 to Autumn Press for campaign literature and postage, $802 to Bel Aire Displays for lawn signs, and $665 for the Voter Information Guide slate mailer.
Perry had $191 in her campaign account at the end of the reporting period and $6,250 in outstanding loans.
Incumbent Joyce Starosciak raised $8,899 during the reporting period, despite the lack of any campaign by her opponent Lou Filipovich. Substantial contributions included $1,000 from the California Apartment Association PAC, $1,000 from the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, $1,000 from International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), $1,000 from Electrical Workers Local 595, $999 from PACE, $500 from the Peace Officers Research Association of California, $500 from the Economic Development Alliance, $500 from James Hussey, a contractor with Vanesco Consulting, $500 from former San Leandro City Councilmember Gordon Galvan, and $100 from Hayward Councilmember Bill Quirk.
At the end of the reporting period, Starosciak had $12,941 in her campaign account and no outstanding debts.
Lou Filipovich has stated he will not raise nor spend more than $1,000 and is not required to file campaign finance disclosures.
The signs are up for a new Vietnamese Restaurant coming to San Leandro on East 14th Street near McKinley Elementary. The building has been vacant for months after Fashion City, an urban clothing store, went out of business.
Pho Anh-Ha is located at 2089 E. 14th Street near the intersection with Estabrook Street.
The inaugural downtown Farmer's Market opened on Wednesday, May 14, 2008, to an enthusiastic crowd. Strawberries from Watsonville, seafood from Santa Cruz, baked goods from Alameda, Indian food from Hayward, gourmet Italian food from San Francisco, almonds from Modesto, and BBQ from Vallejo were among the variety of offerings. For kids, there was face-painting, balloon animals, and a walking over-sized carrot.
Mayor Tony Santos was joined by California State Senator and former San Leandro Mayor Ellen Corbett, Councilmembers Diana Souza and Joyce Starosciak, and City Manager John Jermanis in a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to mark the start of the Farmer's Market.
The Farmers' Market is held on Wednesdays from 4 to 8pm on Parrott Street between E. 14th St. and Washington Avenue and will continue until October 22, 2008. The first Wednesday of the month will feature cooking demonstrations followed by live music, family entertainment, and wine tasting on subsequent Fridays.
For video of the ribbon-cutting, see below:
San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos, interim Planning Manager Kathleen Livermore, and Community Development Director Luke Sims, were featured on the Pix page in the Sunday May 11, 208, edition of the San Francisco Chronicle. They picture was taken at the Breathe California Annual Clean Air Awards, where the city received an award for the Downtown Transit-Oriented Development Strategy.
San Leandro received an honorable mention "For adopting a Transit Oriented Development strategy that promotes development in the transit-rich downtown area to reduce driving and encourage the use of alternative transportation."
Cleaire Advanced Emission Controls, based in San Leandro, received an award "For devising and manufacturing the Longview and Horizon emission devices which can reduce particulate matter by at least 85 percent in diesel buses and trucks."
The picture was taken at the Breathe California Annual Clean Air Awards Luncheon, held April 18, 2008, in San Francisco.
San Leandro High School teacher Tony Farley has been publishing video podcasts of beautiful natural places since May 2007. Farley combined his job as a teacher in the San Leandro Academy of Multimedia (SLAM) with his love of hiking and the outdoors and now has the backing of On Networks, a producer of a variety of video podcasts.
On Networks provides production assistance and marketing. The assistance from On Networks is most notable in the additional narration. Farley will also get a cut of sales of related DVDs and apparel, when they become available. This will help him fund trips for future episodes farther from home, such as Hawaii. Prior to his current relationship with On Networks, Farley had been courting other possible sponsors, as in this post, "...if someone wants me to come to their neck of the woods, I would be more than happy to come out and do a show that includes something about whatever service they provide."
What is a video podcast? A video podcast is basically a shorter version of something you might see on television. They typically run less than 10 minutes and instead of being produced by major networks, they are usually homemade by enthusiasts. Many video podcasts are available for free and can be accessed using Apple's iTunes or Miro to find and "subscribe." After subscribing to a video podcast, future episodes are downloaded automatically each time you open iTunes or Miro.
So far, Farley's twelve podcasts have focused mainly on California places like Yosemite, Big Sur and Point Reyes with two episodes on Rocky Mountain National Park. Four more episodes have been filmed, but still need to be edited. The podcasts range in size from about 30 megabytes (MB) to 260 MB and all are less than 10 minutes long.
You can subscribe to the video podcasts using iTunes, Miro, and Zune (standard definition only), at http://www.onnetworks.com/videos/beautiful-places-in-hd/. The HD podcasts take longer to download, but they're worth it.
Demolition of the last building at former site of Sir Richards Car Store Outlet was completed on May 7, 2008. The site will be developed into a 51-unit senior housing development by Eden Housing. Construction is scheduled to begin this Fall and completed in late fall 2009.
The lot is located at 2121 E. 14th Street.
The recently-formed group Citizens for a Safer Leandro is working to fund a pilot project to install motion-activated lights in about 500 to 600 homes in each of San Leandro's six council districts. The group made a presentation at the May 5, 2008, meeting of the San Leandro City Council. The cost of the pilot project is estimated at $5,700, and Councilmember Michael Gregory presented the group with a check for $500 from his empowerment fund at the conclusion of their presentation.
The group hopes that installation of the motion sensors will help reduce crime. Subsidies will be provided for those who can't afford the estimated $20 cost and the group will work with another group to get the motion detectors installed. Their goal is to get the sensors installed by mid-summer and to expand the program to the entire city next year.
During the presentation, one of the group's founders, Connie Stephens (wife of City Councilmember Bill Stephens), noted that San Leandro has had six residents killed during 2008, although it was unclear how these were related to crime in San Leandro, since all but one were killed outside of San Leandro.
Stephens also said she was concerned about students gathering at the library after school and noted that a student ran in front of her car without looking as she was parking during a "disturbance" at the library. Stephens told the City Council, "As I parked and went into the library, there were kids everywhere and I couldn't imagine what was going on...I wasn't so much concerned for myself, but my community and the seniors that have built this community deserve better. I think if I was a senior citizen I would be very intimidated to have to walk through that kind of disturbance."
The entire presentation is posted below:
Judith Collins and John Kaplan:
The San Leandro Community Action Network (SLCAN) is offering interested voters an opportunity to have coffee with San Leandro City Council candidates Jim Prola and Ursula Reed on May 13, 2008, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. The group recently endorsed Prola in District 6 and Reed in District 2 for the June 3, 2008, election.
Prola was appointed in February 2007 to replace Tony Santos. Reed has been a member of the Library-Historical Commission since February 2006.
At the May 5, 2008, meeting of the San Leandro City Council, Bill Stephens was elected Vice Mayor. Current Vice Mayor Surlene Grant nominated Stephens and Councilmember Michael Gregory seconded the nomination. Gregory noted that Stephens had been considered for the position previously and withdrew because of his work commitments. Councilmember Diana Souza then offered a substitute motion nominating Councilmember Joyce Starosciak that was seconded by Jim Prola.
Starosciak advocated to be elected Vice Mayor, noting that the title would add credibility to San Leandro's presence on the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency, to which she is assigned. She also noted that she would have the energy and time to devote to the position.
Mayor Tony Santos noted that Districts 5 and 6 had not had a Vice Mayor in many years and he believes that the position should rotate among the City Council districts. A review of recent vice mayors shows that Councilmembers from Districts 3, 5, and 6 have not been Vice Mayor for more than 10 years. During that time, District 4 Councilmember Bob Glaze served as Vice Mayor for four straight years and District 1 Councilmembers Gordon Galvan and Orval "OB" Badger served for two years each.
In a 1992 staff report from former San Leandro City Clerk to former San Leandro City Manager Mike Oliver, Calvert wrote, "As you will recall, in 1989, the City Council discussed the matter of the designation of the vice mayor and concurred that the position of vice mayor should not be just one of rotation, but was a privilege given to the vice mayor, and that the new policy would be that the vice mayor will be elected by the City Council."
Councilmember Jim Prola expressed his support for Starosciak, noting that she has the time and that the Vice Mayor should be female because we have a male Mayor.
Grant noted that this is an election year and Starosciak may have an advantage if she was elected Vice Mayor. She also stated that the position of Vice Mayor has been held by members of the same sex previously and discounted the need to have it filled by a member of the opposite sex of the Mayor.
Councilmember Stephens joked that he was "not going to get a sex change operation," but noted that he did have a demanding schedule. Stephens said that he would be "honored to perform the duties of Vice Mayor."
The City Council vote on electing Starosciak as Vice Mayor was defeated with Souza, Starosciak, and Prola voting for Starosciak and the other four members voting no. The subsequent vote on electing Stephens as Vice Mayor was unanimous, making Stephens San Leandro's new Vice Mayor.
According to Section 310 of the City Charter, "In the absence of the Mayor, the Vice Mayor shall possess and perform the powers and duties of the Mayor."
For a listing of recent Vice Mayors, see below.
Vice Mayors of the Recent Past:
The Alameda County Health Department and San Leandro Building Department aren't the only ones forcing City Council candidate Mark Tichy to comply with regulations. At its March 20, 2008, meeting, the Board of Zoning Adjustments approved a staff recommendation to "obtain a court order to enter the property and abate the violation" consisting of "Unlawful outdoor storage of items in the front yard."
A complaint about the property, where Tichy resides with his wife Candus Baca, was first received on October 4, 2007. The staff report noted, "Weeds and grasses were approximately 1 1/2 feet tall throughout the property. The driveway was filled with appliances, boxes and miscellaneous debris."
Subsequent visits were made on October 18, 2007, November 12, 2007, November 27, 2007, and March 20, 2008. Although the grass and weeds were cut prior to the October 18, 2007, visit, the items stored in the driveway still haven't been abated and the BZA will require Baca, the property owner, to pay fines of $300 and the cost of the contractor hired to abate the violations.
A photo taken by city staff on one of the visits to the property:
Adan Alonzo and Hillary Van Austen will likely be appointed as at-large members to the Personnel Relations Board at the May 5, 2008, San Leandro City Council meeting. They will replace Michael Munoz and Anna Brannan.
Brannan left the Personnel Relations Board when she was appointed to replace Marcene Nardine at the Planning Commission on March 3, 2008. The City Council issued a resolution commending Munoz for his years of service on the Personnel Relations Board at its April 7, 2008, meeting. Munoz was first appointed in March 1993.
Van Austen is president of the Broadmoor Neighborhood Association and works for the East Bay Regional Parks District. She also works with her husband at Van Austen Creative, a design, illustration, and multimedia communication company.
Alonzo is active at Madison Elementary and sought the appointment to the District 6 City Council seat in February 2007. He was a vocal opponent of a possible bridge over San Leandro Creek between San Leandro and Oakland's Sobrante Park neighborhood. Alonzo works for Waste Management at its Fremont transfer station facility.
Update: Alonza and Van Austen were appointed unanimously on May 5, 2008.
On April 30, 2008, Baskin Robbins and National Fallen Firefighters' Foundation joined together to honor America's firefighters. Baskin Robbins offered scoops of ice cream for just $.31 while Alameda County Firefighters were on hand to collect donations and hand out plastic firefighter hats to kids.
The line for ice cream stretched halfway through Pelton Center with a wait of more than an hour.
Baskin Robbins is located at 100 Pelton Center Way in San Leandro.