October 31, 2009

City Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Seeks Applicants


The City of San Leandro is seeking applicants for a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, according to a press release issued on October 29, 2009.

According to the press release, "The goal of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan is to set forth a blueprint for bicycle and pedestrian facilities throughout the City to enhance bicycle and walking as appropriate and healthful transportation choices for San Leandro residents."

Previous iterations of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan were prepared by Fehr and Peers, most recently in 2004. As a result of earlier master plans, the City of San Leandro added 30 miles of bicycle lanes, including those along Bancroft Avenue.

The committee is expected to meet three times on Wednesdays over the course of six months beginning in 2010. Applications are available online or from the City of San Leandro Engineering and Transportation Department at 835 E. 14th Street. November 20, 2009, is the deadline for submission of applications.

For additional information, contact Senior Transportation Engineer Reh-Lin Chen via email or telephone at (510) 577-3438.

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October 26, 2009

Halloween in San Leandro

Here's a list of Halloween events in San Leandro to entertain the whole family:

Friday, October 30:

Safe Treats, Safe Streets features trick or treating at 30 businesses near the corner of
Dutton Ave. and Bancroft Ave. from 3 to 5 pm. This event is free.

Across town at the Washington Manor Library, the Annual Halloween Extravaganza will be held from 4 to 5:30. The Manor Library is located at 1241 Manor Avenue. This event is free.

Washington Elementary will be transformed into a haunted house on Friday and Saturday from 5 until 8pm. Admission is $5 and goes to support the school. Washington Elementary is located at 250 Dutton Avenue.

October 31:

Alameda County Fire Station #12 will hold an open house from 11am to 3pm on Saturday, October 31. The first 100 kids will receive a free Halloween Fire Safety Treat. You can also enter a raffle to win a ride on a fire truck in a parade by bringing a $10 gift card for the Holiday Toy Drive. The fire station is located at 1065 143rd Avenue.

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Upcoming Meetings on how to Spend Measure WW Funds

The San Leandro Recreation and Parks Commission is holding two public meetings to seek community input on how best to spend $3.7 million in Measure WW funds. Measure WW was a $500 million East Bay Regional Park District bond measure passed in November 2008. The $3.7 million allocated for San Leandro is to assist "with financing the acquisition and improvement of local park and recreation facilities."

The Measure WW ad-hoc committee consisting of Councilmembers Joyce Starosciak, Diana Souza, and Michael Gregory, met privately three times in 2009 and did not seek public input. On May 18, 2009, the committee recommended that $2.4 million be used to help build a competitive lap pool at the Washington Manor Aquatic Family Center, nearly $1 million for renovations at the San Leandro Marina, and $250,000 for improving other San Leandro park areas. After it became clear that the committee's recommendations lacked support, the Recreation and Parks Commission was tasked with seeking community input.

The workshops will be held as follows:

For more information, Carolyn Knudtson at the San Leandro Recreation and Human Services Department at 510-577-3466.

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October 22, 2009

Tis the Season...for Campaign Fundraisers

San Leandro Mayoral candidate Joyce Starosciak will hold her first fundraiser at Sergio's Pizzeria in San Leandro on November 5, 2009.

According to the flyer, the three donor levels are bronze: $25, silver: $100, and gold: $500+. The event will take place from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Sergio's Pizzeria is located at 150 W. Juana Ave. in San Leandro.

The flyer notes that "There are no campaign contribution limits for the Mayor's race." In fact, while state senate and assembly campaigns face contribution limits of $3,900, San Leandro City Council and Mayoral candidates have previously chalked up $5,000 contributions.

Starosciak currently holds the District 4 San Leandro Council seat, which she has held since she defeated Mike Mahoney in a runoff election in February 2005. Starosciak was re-elected in June 2008 and, if successful in her campaign, the City Council would likely appoint her replacement, as happened when Tony Santos became Mayor in 2006.

Three candidates have announced their intention to run for Mayor: Starosciak, Santos, and former San Leandro School Board trustee Stephen Cassidy.

The election is currently scheduled for June 2010, but if the San Leandro City Council decides to implement instant run-off voting (IRV), also known as ranked-choice voting, the election could be moved to November 2010.

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October 16, 2009

Firefighters Win 16th Annual Trivia Bee


The Alameda County Firefighters Local 55 team correctly answered all 10 of the last round of questions to win Project Literacy's 16th annual Trivia Bee held on October 16, 2009, at the Marina Community Center. Second place went to Friends of the Library Team #4. Third place went to last year's champions, 24 Desperate Lost Heroes, after a sudden death round against four other teams tied for third place at the end of the last round.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Robert Kurtz read questions for the first round and Leslie Frates, a San Leandro resident and professor who has appeared on the television quiz show Jeopardy 14 times, read questions for the second and third rounds. Kathy Kurtz served as the official time keeper and former Library-Historical Commission member Sue Kleebauer was the emcee. Students from San Leandro High School's Interact club acted as scorekeepers for each of the thirty teams. There were 30 questions in the first round, 20 in the second round and 10 in the last round.

In addition to the Trivia Bee, a raffle featured a flat-screen television, a GPS system, and dozens of other prizes from local businesses and individuals. Funds raised by the Trivia Bee help Project Literacy to provide literacy services to more than 200 adults and 1,500 kids each year.

Thirty teams competed in the annual fundraiser that brings in more than $10,000 each year for Project Literacy. Teams included businesses like State Roofing Systems, the San Leandro Library, Project Literacy, former City Manager John Jermanis family, Mayor Tony Santos, San Leandro Players, the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce, the San Leandro Times, and the San Leandro Police Officers Association.

Mayor Santos and most of the San Leandro City Council were on-hand to present trophies and medals to the top three teams.

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October 15, 2009

School Board Seeks Input on Name for New School


In the fall of 2010, the San Leandro Unified School District will open its new ninth grade campus. School Board Trustees are in the process of talking to community groups to encourage widespread community input.

The ninth grade campus is part of a $109 million school bond passed by voters in 2006. Other projects include an arts education center with classrooms and a 550-seat theater, an expansion of the high school library, a new high school parking lot, and modernization of restrooms, roofs, and heating systems throughout the district.

The guidelines for submissions are that the name must be:

- Individuals, living or deceased, who have made outstanding contributions to the county or community.
- Individuals, living or deceased, who have made contributions of state, national or worldwide signi´Čücance.
- The geographic area in which the school or building is located.

The guidelines are part of Board Policy 7310 and are similar to guidelines at other school districts.

Submissions must be 150 words or less and the deadline is November 18, 2009. Suggestions can be submitted by email to newcampus@sanleandro.k12.ca.us or by mail to: Board of Education, 9th Grade Campus Naming, 14735 Juniper Street, San Leandro, CA 94579.

The San Leandro School Board will begin deliberations on the selection at its meetings in December 2009.

All of the elementary schools are named after Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Garfield, William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, James Monroe, James Madison, and Theodore Roosevelt. The middle schools are named after naturalist John Muir and H.P. Bancroft, a secretary for Breed & Bancroft, a local real estate company and developer. The high school is named after San Leandro and the continuation high school school is named for Abraham Lincoln.

The application is available at http://www.sanleandro.k12.ca.us/pdfs/Measure%20B/9thGradeNaming.pdf

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October 7, 2009

Cassidy Joins the Race for San Leandro Mayor

cassidy_small.jpg Stephen Cassidy announced today that he will join Mayor Tony Santos and Councilmember Joyce Starosciak in seeking to be elected Mayor of San Leandro in 2010. Cassidy also filed his Candidate Intention Statement with the City on October 7, 2009, indicating that he will seek to become Mayor.

Cassidy served on the San Leandro School Board from 2004 to 2008 and was Vice President in 2006 and 2007.

According to the press release, Cassidy also serves on the Board of Directors of Building Futures with Women and Children and the San Leandro Scholarship Foundation.

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October 3, 2009

Mobile Solar Generator to Power Sausage and Suds


A mobile solar generator, dubbed the SolaRover, from Renewables West will help power the Sausage and Suds Food and Music Festival on October 4, 2009.

The trailer-mounted solar panels generate approximately 2 kilowatts of power.

One of the units was on display on Saturday, October 3, in the parking lot outside Ploughman's Restaurant in San Leandro.

Renewables West is a division of Mr. Plastics, a "full-service plastics distribution, fabrication and manufacturing company" that has operated in San Leandro for more than 20 years.

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San Leandro Zoning Board Gets New Member and Elects Gilcrest as Chair

After the recent appointment of Catherine Vierra Houston as the District 4 representative on the San Leandro Board of Zoning Adustments (BZA), the BZA elected Charles Gilcrest as the new Chair at its October 1, 2009, meeting. Gilcrest ran unsuccessfully for the San Leandro District 2 City Council seat in November 2008 and is the campaign manager for Tony Santos' re-election campaign. Darryl Shields, who has been on the BZA since March 2007, was elected as Vice Chair.

The election of Chair and Vice-Chair is normally done in July, but was delayed until last night's meeting.

Houston replaced Frank Sidari, who has served on the BZA since June 1986. Houston is a representative of United Steelworkers Local 1304 in San Leandro. With much of organized labor throwing its support behind Santos' re-election, insiders have suggested that Councilmember Joyce Starosciak's selection of Houston was an attempt to garner some labor support. Starosciak was endorsed by the Alameda County Central Labor Council in 2004 and 2008 while Santos received the group's endorsement in 2006 and in previous City Council elections.

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