September 30, 2008

San Leandro School Board At-Large Candidates in Their Own Words

These are the statements from San Leandro School Board At-Large candidates Morgan Mack-Rose, Don Grundmann, Ray Davis, and Mark Tichy that appear in the voter information pamphlet:

Occupation: Home maker
Age: 37
My education and qualifications are: I am running for the School Board because it's time for a change in priorities. We need to focus on our high drop out rate, end the contentious relationship between our teachers and the School District leadership, and restore the community's trust in our school system. My daughter attends San Leandro public school, where I am a PTA President, and I serve on the District's Budget Advisory Committee. I was an active member of the campaign committee for Measure B, which provides $109 million in construction projects for our schools. San Leandro has one of the highest drop out rates in Alameda County. This must be addressed immediately through intervention programs at early grades before students fall behind. Our schools must reach out to parents as partners in education. We must prepare our students to excel at college and in today's competitive workforce. San Leandro's teachers are our greatest strength and the School Board must be open to their advice. I will insist the leadership truly engage with the community in open, honest dialogue. This is the way to restore trust In our schools and ensure our children receive a quality education. I would be honored to have your vote.

Occupation: Doctor of Chiropractic
My education and qualifications are: Many sources johntaylorgatto com;;; have recognized that our public schools are dismal failures. Parents flee from the public schools since home school students outscore their public school counterparts In all categories. The reason for this is that the political and educational elites "teaching" purpose is "social engineering" - reforming the intellectual and, especially, social development of the child to create a docile member of "the hive," - the elite terminology for dumbing down children like lab rats Instead of educating them. The completely outrageous introduction within the SLUSD of homosexual literature and discussion beginning in kindergarten and extending to homosexual clubs in elementary schools proves that the elites are dedicated to a social engineering war against children rather than true education. Our schools are notorious for graduating students who then need remedial courses to enter higher education facilities. The physical safety of children in our schools is compromised as never before. Citizens must give no money to the SLUSD until the elites surrender in their war against the children. We must demand a return to true education and the end of social engineering. Until and unless the elites surrender parents must save their children by abandoning the public schools.

Occupation: Current School Board Member
My education and qualifications are: Thank you for the privilege of serving you as School Board President and Trustee over the past four years. We have made historic and unprecedented improvements to the education, health and safety of our children. I now ask you to vote for me so that I may continue working on your behalf. Our test scores across all ethnic groups continue to rise with the overall Academic Performance Index exceeding 700 for the first time. We achieved the highest gains in Alameda County. Our equity programs are second to none. We exceed the State's requirements for healthy foods. We embrace diversity. We demand providing a safe environment for all of our students. We successfully passed Measure B that addressed the overcrowding and will create a flagship High School with a Career Technology Center, Arts Education Center with theater, new 9th grade campus and modernize all of our schools. We insured all this will be built with Union Labor. We must now focus on maximizing all of the district's resources to address the pay of our teachers, union members, and other employees. This needs to be accomplished before extending our hands to the Community for continued support of our Schools.

My education and qualifications are: Mark Tichy has been a resident of San Leandro for over 15 years. He is married and has a two year old daughter; therefore, he has a vested interest in the San Leandro School District. Tichy has been involved in City elections for over 10 years; running for City Council and Mayor. Tichy would like to see local businesses support San Leandro schools. Each business would "Adopt a School" in their area. Tichy envisions a City in which teachers and residents opinions count. He doesn't understand how a school board superintendant who is clearly disliked by 90% of teachers can have their contract renewed year after year. Its time to show our school board that we are tired of their old politics and games. Tichy asks that he have the honor and privilege to represent the citizens of San Leandro. Elect a new voice who doesn't play by the old rules.

The At-Large School Board seat is currently held by Stephen Cassidy, who decided not to run for re-election. Cassidy has endorsed Mack-Rose to replace him.

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San Leandro School Board Area 1 Candidates in Their Own Words

These are the statements from San Leandro School Board Area 1 candidates Rick Richards and Hermy Almonte that appear in the voter information pamphlet:

Occupation: Incumbent
My education and qualifications are: More than 38 years ago I called San Leandro home and for the past 8 years I have worked hard on San Leandro's Board of Education to make our schools the best that they can be. Much has been accomplished. Much more still needs to be done. I am running for re-election to continue the work and improvements that have been started for our children and community. We must continue modernizing our school facilities. Increasing the achievement of all students. reducing the achievement gap, improving the communications with parents, staff and community, controlling expenses, while enhancing revenues, to assist us in the hiring and the retaining of quality teachers and staff, maintaining a safe, clean and positive learning environment for students and staff, enriching the learning experiences of students with more college or career pathway opportunities and working with community leaders for the betterment of San Leandro. For a brighter educational future for our children in quality schools. Join the many parents, educators, and community and business leaders supporting my re-election. Together we can make San Leandro schools the best in the state for our children, their future, and our community!

Occupation: Property Manager
My education and qualifications are: I am running for School Board to bring positive change and restore trust In our schools. We must value parent participation, respect teachers and staff and unite the community In support of our schools. As a manager at a non-profit developer of affordable housing, I have assisted families of all cultural backgrounds find safe, affordable shelter. I will bring this experience and skill set to the School Board to promote fair and balanced leadership. My son attends San Leandro High School and my daughter graduated last June. I serve as president of the English Learner Advisory Committee. I understand the challenges our students face. School safety will be one of my highest priorities. We need to keep kids off drugs and away from gangs and violence. This means having students know there will be zero tolerance for unacceptable behavior, and it means supporting effective prevention programs that help kids stay on the right track. The high school is critically overcrowded. That is why I will vote to reverse the decision to weaken residency verification. I am committed to enhancing the education of our kids by Investing in art, music and vocational education programs. I would appreciate your vote. Thank you.

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City Council Candidates in Their Own Words

These are the statements from San Leandro City Council candidates Ursula Reed and Linda Perry that appear in the voter information pamphlet:

Occupation: Educator Age: 44
My education and qualifications are: San Leandro faces big challenges: local businesses moving away, declining property values, a budget deficit, an understaffed police force, and a City Council and School Board struggling to work together. We can overcome these challenges, with a new generation of leadership, that has new energy, and fresh ideas and solutions. I haven't been a politician before, but I've been an active community leader for 14 years. I've been a teacher, school principal, Library Commissioner, member of Citizens for a Safe San Leandro, church volunteer, and non-profit leader, keeping kids in school and off the streets. I know how to listen, build consensus among diverse communities, and find solutions that work. As your Councilmember, I'll find the resources to hire more police, and give them the tools they need to make our city safer. I'll help repair the relationship between the Council and the School Board, to get our schools and city back on track. I'll work with local businesses towards community-oriented economic development. I'll make sure youth and senior services are a priority. I'm supported by San Leandro Police Officer's Association, Firefighters Local 55, San Leandro Teacher's Association President, Jonathan Sherr, and the current Council Two member, Surlene Grant.

Occupation: Public Policy Consultant
My education and qualifications are: Involvement, experience, leadership and vision. I know the job. I was Councilmember and Vice-Mayor from 1988-1996, representing San Leandro on numerous local and regional committees. I have been involved in improving San Leandro for 39 years, appointed to the first San Leandro Youth Advisory Committee at age 16. First elected in 1996, I currently serve on the San Leandro Unified School Board and Alameda County School Boards Association I see first-hand the diverse needs of our young families and children. As Halcyon-Foothill Neighborhood Association President, I am a vocal advocate for my neighborhood. I served on the South Area Corridor Plan. Upcoming District Issues include BART Transit-Oriented Development; Senior Center; San Leandro Hospital's future; 9th Grade Campus; sound-walls. The next Council will decide on revitalizing Downtown, the Marina/Shoreline and Kaiser developments. Impacts must be addressed. I will demand neighborhood input. I listen. I am an independent voice. My priorities are increasing economic development and jobs; working closely with schools: expanding public safety/crime prevention; improving quality of life and neighborhoods: affordable housing, childcare, senior needs, green space, recreation opportunities, transportation; fixing infrastructure, and government responsiveness. Visit Together we can make a better San Leandro. I ask for your support.

Reed's campaign kickoff is Tuesday, September 30, 2008, at Ricky's Sports Theatre & Grill, 15028 Hesperian Boulevard in San Leandro.

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September 25, 2008

Drawings of San Leandro Crossings

The San Leandro City Council work session on September 22, 2008, included a presentation about San Leandro Crossings with some drawings of what the project will look like. The first phase of San Leandro Crossings will include 100 affordable units and 200 market-rate/semi-luxury apartments. The market-rate apartments will be located east of San Leandro Boulevard where the current BART parking lot is located. A parking garage with an equivalent number of parking spaces will be built west of San Leandro Boulevard and southwest of the Downtown San Leandro BART station. The affordable housing apartments will be located between the Downtown San Leandro BART station and the railroad tracks and adjacent to the new parking structure.

Some of these drawings are shown below. Click on the images to enlarge them.

San Leandro Crossings Master Plan

San Leandro Crossings as seen from San Leandro Blvd

San Leandro Crossings as seen from West Juana

For more information about San Leandro Crossings, see the City of San Leandro web page.

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San Leandro School Board Candidates at Hayward Demos Forum

The Hayward Demos endorsed San Leandro School Board candidates Hermy Almonte and Morgan Mack-Rose after a Hayward Demos forum on Saturday, September 20, 2008. Area 1 candidates Almonte and Rick Richards and At-Large candidate Mack-Rose spoke to the Hayward Demos and answered questions as they sought the group's endorsement. Ray Davis, also a candidate for the At-Large seat, did not attend the event. Other candidates for the At-Large seat were not invited because they were not registered Democrats.

The Hayward Demos are the local Democratic club covering San Leandro and previously co-sponsored a San Leandro City Council candidate forum with the San Leandro Community Action Network in April 2008.

Videos of the opening statements:

See below for more video.

On Safe Schools:

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September 24, 2008

Jon Voight to Rally Support for McCain in San Leandro

Alameda County GOP HQ

Actor Jon Voight will visit Alameda County Republican headquarters tomorrow to rally support for GOP presidential candidate John McCain. The San Leandro visit is part of a long day for Voight, which starts with Burbank and Sacramento before visiting San Leandro and Fresno and Santa Monica later in the day.

Voight is the second Hollywood star to visit San Leandro during this year's elections. Danny Glover was featured at City Council candidate Ursula Reed's campaign kickoff event in May 2008.

Since protesting against the Vietnam War in the 1970s, Voight has become more conservative and endorsed Rudy Guiliani for President before it became clear that Guiliani's one-state campaign strategy had failed.

The Alameda County GOP office is located at 1039 MacArthur Boulevard in San Leandro. Voight is expected to join the afternoon phone bank from 2pm to 4pm.

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September 23, 2008

Free Housing Crisis Workshop on Saturday September 27, 2008

On September 27, 2008, Alameda County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker together with Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA) and Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) will hold a free workshop on the housing crisis at the San Leandro Library. The workshop is for homeowners facing foreclosure, home buyers, and renters who are renting homes that are in foreclosure.

According to Default Research, there were 218 foreclosures in San Leandro in August 2008, up from 150 during the second quarter of 2008.

The workshop will be held from 10am to 12 pm at the San Leandro Library at 300 Estudillo Avenue in San Leandro. Click here for a flyer. For more information and to RSVP for the event, call (510) 278-0367.

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September 13, 2008

Coming Soon: More Crime Information

slpd_logo_small.jpg According to San Leandro Police Chief Dale Attarian, San Leandro Police will be making crime information available online at a new web site in the next month. The name of the web site,, was purchased in late July 2008, but nothing has been posted yet. Attarian hopes to publish crime alerts, statistics, and other useful information for San Leandro residents.

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September 11, 2008

Ten Arrested for DUI at San Leandro Police Checkpoint

On August 30, 2008, the San Leandro Police arrested 10 people on suspicion of driving under the influence at a sobriety checkpoint on E. 14th Street near 148th Avenue, according to San Leandro Police Sergeant Randall Hudson. The checkpoint, which was publicized in local newspapers beforehand, also netted citations for 20 drivers without driver's licenses and the subsequent towing of their vehicles.

Fifteen police officers, one sergeant, one lieutenant, two community safety officers and one jailer were involved in the checkpoint, which lasted from 9pm until 3am. The checkpoint was funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety, which provided the grant as part of the "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest." campaign from August 15 to September 1, 2008.

Guidelines for sobriety checkpoints were established by the California Supreme Court decision Ingersoll v. Palmer (43 Cal.3d 1321 (1987), which include advance notice of the checkpoint and using a neutral formula (not officer discretion) to decide which cars are selected to be stopped. Critics claim that the checkpoints violate the Fourth Amendment, but the Supreme Court said that the infringement of this right was outweighed by the public interest in reducing drunk driving.

Sgt. Hudson reported that more than 400 cars passed through the checkpoint and the police considered it a success.

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September 8, 2008

San Leandro Library Offers New Digital Audio Books

Playaway.jpg The San Leandro Library has added Playaway audio books to the cassette tape and CD-ROM audio books it has offered for years. Unlike tapes and CD-ROMs, no separate player is required - each book comes as its own self-contained electronic device, much like an iPod. Users only need a pair of headphones and a library card to listen to the book.

The library currently has 26 Playaway audio books, including classics like The Great Gatsby, The Stranger, 1984, Animal Farm, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to modern titles like Angela's Ashes and The Kite Runner.

Like other audio books, checking out the Playaway audio books is free to library cardholders. The San Leandro Library is located at 300 Estudillo Avenue in San Leandro.

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