Letters • 02-20-2013 | Print |  E-mail

Chamber President David Wilhite

Responds to Forum’s ‘Bail-Out’ Story



On behalf of the Castro Valley/Eden Area Chamber (“Chamber”) of Commerce Board of Directors, I respectfully request a retraction of the story titled, “MAC Delays Bail-Out Funding For Chamber,” in the Feb. 13 edition (front page).


In regard to the story, there are a number of errors that were printed:


•The MAC (Municipal Advisory Committee) did not “Delay” any funding from Alameda County (“County”). Instead, they voted to recommend a 30-day delay to present the County contract to the Board of Supervisors.


•The funding from the County is not a “Bail-out,” as reported in the headline. It is assistance for the Chamber to deliver specific requirements in the Scope of Work outlined in an exhibit in the contract.


•The Chamber has not received $200,000 on an annual basis from the County. In 2012, the Chamber received $55,000.00 in assistance from the County and did meet many specific goals.


•The 7-month agreement is for $57,250.00, of which $13,500.00 is specifically restricted for street banners for the new Ashland Youth Community Center and the business district on E. 14th Street.


Additionally, when the Chamber was established in 1937 (then known as the Castro Valley Chamber of Commerce), it was independent of government funds for the first 72 years. Due to the expansion into San Lorenzo, Ashland, and Cherryland (where there was no Chamber for these unincorporated areas), the County began providing funding assistance to perform services and include businesses within this Eden Area.


Furthermore, public meetings were held on a monthly basis from June through Nov. 2012 to discuss the Chamber contract as well as a number of other programs the County had or wanted to fund. Meeting dates, times and locations were posted on the Chamber’s calendar, as well as printed in the Castro Valley Forum.


Meetings were held at the Castro Valley Library and the San Lorenzo Homes Association. Participants at these meetings included local business owners, citizens and community leaders, and a representative from the Alameda County Development Agency, Supervisor Nate Miley’s office, and Supervisor Wilma Chan’s office.


From there, individuals and groups were encouraged to submit their support for items they felt would improve their community – the Chamber was one of the groups to submit support not only for assistance to its organization but also for assistance for other enriching programs.


Lastly, the severe economic downturn beginning in 2008 and the slow recovery that is still on-going has had an effect on businesses within the Castro Valley/Eden Area. Membership loss due to closed business and tighter budgeting as well as a reduction in sponsorship, both general and for certain events, has had its impact on the Chamber.


In closing, we do not feel that the MAC wants the Chamber to fail, and we do feel that accountability is important. We continue to strive for programs and benefits that promote local businesses and enrich the lives of those within our community.  We ask that you retract the current published story and replace it to include the corrections outlined above.  Thank you for your consideration on this matter.

David Wilhite, Board President

Castro Valley/Eden Area Chamber of Commerce


Thinks Marc Crawford’s Getting

Too Much Ink in the Local Paper



Two articles on the front page Mr. Mark Crawford (president of the MAC board) apparently were not enough for you, because you  wrote a letter to the editor of the Forum also.


Actually everything I read sounds like they were good things for CV. It just seems like your the only voice in our Advisory Council.


If you were behind getting rid of the BLVD sign, I think you’re getting a little arrogant for my hamburger buns.

Jack Gayle, Castro Valley


Pedestrians Wearing Dark Clothing

At Night ‘a Recipe for Disaster’



Tonight I was driving northbound on Redwood Road. As I came up on the crosswalk near the Lutheran church I didn’t see anything unusual until I was about 20 yards from the crosswalk.


Then I saw the gray dog and the owner, dressed in black.


They were crossing from the west to the east side. I slammed on the brakes and stopped just short of a potentially serious injury to the pedestrian. He looked hard at me as he finished crossing the street and I thought, “You should know better than to cross a busy street at night dressed in black.”


The lighting isn’t that good there, people tend to look away from the lights of oncoming cars, and all this is a recipe for disaster. I didn’t see him until the last couple seconds.


So my warning is for all of us to keep our eyes peeled at all crosswalks, day or night. My wish is that we had the technology that some cities use where the crosswalks light up when someone is crossing.

Stephen Craig, Castro Valley



Says TJ Maxx ‘Would Be a Great

Addition to Castro Valley’



Regarding Richard Purdee’s letter (“Doesn’t Want a TJ Maxx Adding to Village Traffic, Parking Problems,” Letters, Feb. 13), we have no place to shop in Castro Valley but the Ross Store.


I think the seniors on Jamison Way would like to walk across the street to a new store to shop.


To get to a store that sells clothing, household goods, jewelry and purses, we have to go to Bayfair, Stoneridge or Southland.


I think TJ Maxx would be a great new addition to Castro Valley. There are eight ways to get into the Village.

DiAnn Squaglia, Castro Valley


Prefers a Bookstore to a TJ Maxx in Castro Village



Really, they are going to build a TJ Maxx at Castro Village?


Most of us who drive to Pleasanton or Dublin are going to Target, REI, Half Price Books or to a real department store like Sears or JC Penney.


A bookstore would be ideal. Half Price Books is great because they sell used and new books and you can sell to them. They have a store in Dublin, Fremont, Berkeley and Concord.


Alameda, Berkeley and Palo Alto have a Books, Inc. Why can’t we have one of those?


I loved Village Crafters and am still mourning its loss. I didn’t even know they were closing until after the fact. I shopped there all the time for vintage containers, books, jewelry and the doll clothes. Is there no other alternative other than TJ Maxx, really?! Even a Michael’s Craft store would be better than that.

Kim Loisel, Castro Valley




TJ Maxx: ‘Best Thing Since Trader

Joe’s Came to Castro Valley’



I agree with Mr. Purdee (see above) on one subject, in that it would be a good idea for Castro Valley to become a city, and have its own planning commission.


However, I strongly disagree with him in regards to Castro Valley possibly getting a TJ Maxx store, and the possible harm that it would do to our town.


TJ Maxx is a wonderful store with name brand items at a good prices. It is an upbeat store that is orderly and a pleasure to shop in. By the way, I am a senior citizen, and drive all the way to


Hacienda in Dublin to shop at the nearest store, so wouldn’t it be better to keep that money in Castro Valley, and give some of our locals a job?


In my opinion, it would be the next best thing that has happened here since Trader Joe’s came to Castro Valley. There is more than one way to enter the shopping center besides Jamison.


Lighten up Mr. Purdee, and give the residents of Castro Valley a break.

Barbara Lang, Castro Valley


County Should Get Rid of Weeds as

Fast as They Got Rid of The Sign



I was delighted to see Shelly Torrao’s letter (“It’s Not the Sign, But the Weeds We Should be Worried About,” Letters Feb. 13).


Why did the Powers That Be think planting weeds would add beauty to the run-down Blvd.?


They block the view of the businesses and are ugly.


Let’s get rid of the weeds as fast as they got rid of the “great” sign.

Alene Rudy, Castro Valley


All Those Weeds Make Castro Valley

Look Like Dodge City



Well-said, Shelly Torrao (see above), I agree, the Blvd. has been turned into Dodge City.


I could have told you this would happen when the project began. It is clear,  the priorities of our County Planners are lost somewhere, millions have been spent with out planning ahead and for not one good reason.


Who picked the plants? Did anyone think of hiring gardeners to take care of them?


I always say, if something works leave it alone, if only our County Planners would leave their offices and take a look around our streets, potholes everywhere, many need to be paved, I am sure that the millions spent on the Blvd., for nothing, could have been put into better use.


People, let’s wake up, priorities should be at the top of your list, not wise to spend millions on silly and left field decisions.

Josie Pastorino, Castro Valley



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