Thursday, 23 April 2015 16:43
By Amy Sylvestri • San Leandro Times
A San Leandro police officer shot an alleged car thief who police say tried to ram a police car in East Oakland last Wednesday.
Uniformed and undercover San Leandro police were on the 300 block of 105th Avenue in Oakland just after 4:30 p.m. on April 15 for a separate investigation when they spotted a car that had been reported stolen.
The officer tried to stop the car, but the driver, a woman in her 20s, would not pull over, according to the Oakland police department.
The driver then drove onto the sidewalk, striking several parked cars, and then rammed into an undercover police car and an officer fired his gun, hitting the woman, according to police.
The woman was taken to the hospital for her gunshot wounds and listed in stable condition.
A male passenger, also in his 20s, was not injured. No officers were injured.
The Oakland police department is investigating the shooting.
San Leandro police spokesman Lt. Robert McManus said the police department has no comment on the shooting.
There have been a few San Leandro police shootings of suspects in cars in the past six months.
Last December, San Leandro police shot and killed Guadalupe Ocoha-Manzo as she rammed the stolen truck she was driving into a patrol car on Springfield Drive in Oakland.
Also last December, police shot and wounded a 16-year-old girl driving a stolen car who they say aimed her car at officers on Broadmoor Boulevard. In that incident, an officer was injured when struck by the car and required surgery on his leg.
Last October, an officer opened fire on a suspect who rammed a police cruiser with his car after a police chase onto a cul-de-sac on Woodland Avenue. That suspect drove away from the scene and it is unknown if he was hit.
And in 2010, an officer shot and killed a woman named Gwendolyn Killings driving a stolen car, following a police chase into Oakland. Police said they believed she was going to use her car as a weapon against them.
Thursday, 23 April 2015 16:42
The public is invited to a procession through town and a memorial this Saturday for San Leandro police Captain Ed Tracey, who passed away last week after a lengthy battle with cancer.
The ceremony honoring the 25-year police veteran will be at the Three Crosses Neighborhood Church, 20600 John Drive in Castro Valley at 10 a.m.
Before the funeral, a police procession will begin at the Santos Robinson Mortuary at 7:30 a.m., led by motorcycle officers from the San Leandro and Oakland police departments.
The procession will go through San Leandro and into Oakland, past the Oakland police department and into Chinatown, where Tracey once served the Chinese community.
The procession will then travel back into San Leandro at around 8:30 a.m., where officers will line East 14th Street from Broadmoor Boulevard to the police station to salute Tracey.
The procession will continue all the way through San Leandro on East 14th Street to Mattox Road and onto Castro Valley Boulevard before turning onto John Drive.
Anyone wishing to donate to Tracey’s family can do so at Gateway Bank, 360 8th Street, Oakland, CA 94607 or online at www.gofundme.com/edtracey.
Thursday, 23 April 2015 16:39
By Amy Sylvestri • San Leandro Times
Three men were stabbed after a fight broke out at Shilo’s Cocktails on Manor Boulevard last Wednesday night.
Several people were involved in a fight and three men in their 30s suffered stab wounds on April 15 just before 9 p.m.
The injured men were taken to the hospital and two needed surgery. All three are in stable condition, according to Lt. Robert McManus of the San Leandro police.
Police have surveillance footage from the bar and neighboring businesses and are investigating several suspects who remain at large.
McManus said that there were 15 to 20 people at the bar at the time the fight broke out and that “several” were involved in the fight.
“This was an extremely violent attack in Shilo’s a small bar,” said McManus. “It is very fortunate that no one else was injured.”
Shilo’s employees would not comment on the incident.
In February, shots were fired at a California Highway Patrol officer in the Shilo’s parking lot. The next day, an 11-year-old boy walking to school found a gun in the bushes nearby that police think was involved in the shooting.
CAPTION: Three men were stabbed in a fight at Shilo’s bar in the Washington Manor neighborhood last Wednesday night.
PHOTO BY AMY SYLVESTRI
Thursday, 23 April 2015 16:35
By Amy Sylvestri • San Leandro Times
San Leandro resident Arthur Renowitzky cannot walk, so his friend Eugene Yoon is taking a hike for him.
Yoon plans to walk over 1,000 miles to raise money for Renowitzky to get a medical device that may help walk again one day.
Renowitzky was in his early 20s when he was paralyzed from the chest down after he was shot outside of a nightclub in San Francisco in 2007. The shooter, who was never caught, stole $20 from him.
Since the shooting, Renowitzky has started speaking out against gun violence, running his own non-profit called the Life Goes On Foundation and speaking at over 130 schools, juvenile halls, and other places young people can hear his message.
Yoon didn’t know Renowitzky at all until he saw the paralyzed man’s story in the local papers.
Yoon and Renowitzky started talking on Facebook and became friends and Yoon became inspired to walk through the entire state of California on the Pacific Crest trail – 1,726 miles from Oregon to the Mexican boarder later this month.
“I followed his story and his philanthropy work and became inspired by how he took his tragedy and turned it into an opportunity for generosity,” said Yoon, who quit his job earlier this year in order to train for the hike.
And Renowitzky has also been inspired by his friend.
“I was blown away when Eugene told me he was going to do this,” said Renowitzky. “It’s a random act of kindness to raise awareness about spinal injuries. It’s such an amazing thing to do.”
A device called ReWalk, basically a robotic pair of legs, has recently come on the market and might allow Renowitzky to walk again.
Yoon and Renowitzky have set up a Go Fund Me page (www.gofundme.com/iwillwalk) to raise the $80,000 for the ReWalk and the physical training it requires.
CAPTION: Eugene Yoon is planning to walk over 1,000 miles to raise money to get his paralyzed friend Arthur Renowitzky a new pair of robotic legs (right).
PHOTOS COURTESY OF EUGENE YOON
Thursday, 23 April 2015 16:31
By Amy Sylvestri • San Leandro Times
Mayor Pauline Cutter delivered San Leandro’s annual “State of the City” address to a packed crowd at the Senior Center last month, saying San Leandro’s future is looking better than ever.
Cutter touted developments over the past 12 months including body cameras on police officers, expanding the city’s internet capabilities, and the openings of the Village shopping center and the new Kaiser hospital.
Cutter says one major trend was finding new businesses to go into long-deserted manufacturing sites.
The 21st Amendment Brewery is set to open soon at the old Kellogg’s plant on Williams Street, a tech campus for OSIsoft recently broke ground on what was the old Del Monte Cannery property, and a Preferred Freezer warehouse opened its doors last year at the former Hudson Lumber site.
“Although some of San Leandro’s legacy businesses are no longer here, we’ve lured about $1 billion in new business investments back to the city,” said Cutter.
The city’s major focuses in the future will be developing the marina and shoreline, redeveloping the south end of town by partnering with Bayfair mall, and creating a 20 percent reserve in the city’s budget, Cutter said.
Cutter’s speech definitely accentuated the positive, but she did briefly mention some challenges the city will face in the next few years – public safety, creating affordable housing, and paying over $158 million in unfunded liabilities from employee pensions.
There was no word on how those issues might be fixed.
Cutter also touched on what was probably the most controversial issue in San Leandro over the past year, the police department’s acquisition of an armored vehicle.
Many people protested the armored car, saying it is unnecessary and intimidating.
Cutter said that she has a lot of faith in the SLPD but she also pledged “close oversight” and vowed to listen to public feedback on police issues.
Cutter also talked about the medical marijuana dispensary that will likely open its doors later this year. No operator has been selected yet, but the City Council has approved the opening of one dispensary in town.
Cutter said that the dispensary will become part of San Leandro’s “ecosystem of health care” which also includes Kaiser, San Leandro Hospital, the high school’s new student health center and the Davis Street health clinic.
Cutter said that council will consider creating a tax next year on the dispensary, which could create revenue for the city.
In addition to the bigger events of the past 12 months, Cutter also went over some smaller, quality-of-life issues happening in town.
The mayor praised the return of the Cherry Festival last June after a 5-year hiatus due to budget cuts.
And Cutter promised better lighting, more public art and even pledged more flowers to be planted around town.
“Our future is bright when we put it all together,” Cutter said.
Thursday, 23 April 2015 16:24
By Jim Knowles • San Leandro Times
Students from around the Bay Area came to John Muir Middle School in San Leandro on a Saturday in early April full of ideas about the future.
The annual Youth Summit is held during National Volunteer Week where students learned about leadership, volunteering and putting their ideas into action.
The kids also painted tiles, with the help of a couple of Oakland Raiders, for a mural at John Muir. The talks and workshops throughout the day ended with a painting project at the school, putting the ideas into action.
“This teaches us that we can be leaders,” said John Muir seventh grader Kayla Jones. “We can help the world in many ways, and I want to change the world.”
Muir eighth grader Matthew To said he was part of a group workshop where students on opposites sides of a wall constructed a Lego project. The goal was to make their pieces identical but without seeing each other’s projects.
“It teaches you the importance of communicating,” To said.
All the kids said the Raiders gave an inspiring talk. Later they broke up into smaller groups in classrooms.
One group took on some of the world’s biggest problems – hunger, poverty, drought, climate change. But they got to know each other a little first, talking about their fears and what they’re passionate about, in a discussion led by Hallie Pond who works with Free the Children.
Free the Children is an international charity and youth movement, specializing in sustainable development and runs educational programs aimed at empowering youth.
One exercise, designed to be fun, had the students jump off an imaginary bus on the side of an issue they thought was more important, and then discuss it from that point of view.
On drought vs. hunger, a student said drought is more important, because you need water to grow the food.
It’s okay to change your mind and change sides in a discussion, Pond told the kids, because changing your mind is part of growing.
Climate change vs. overpopulation was another tough one to pick on its importance. One student got a laugh when she said that overpopulation was a problem but she didn’t want to have to kill her parents.
Just what number of people on Earth is overpopulation wasn’t questioned. Everyone seemed to accept the premise that the planet had too many people.
But the consensus was that families shouldn’t have 15 kids, so it wouldn’t be necessary to kill off the older folks.
So it looks like there may be hope for the future after all.
CAPTION: Lily Buchanan plays the driver of an imaginary bus as she leads the students in a discussion at the Youth Summit at John Muir Middle School earlier this month.
PHOTO BY JIM KNOWLES
Thursday, 23 April 2015 16:20
Oakland Raiders veteran long snapper Jon Condo (#59) and second-year defensive back Keith McGill (#39) recently joined about 100 local youngsters at the Free The Children’s Northern California Youth Summit on Saturday, April 11, at John Muir Middle School in San Leandro.
In addition to offering opening remarks, the players also participated in a “Hotseat” ice breaker — a brief Q&A session.
Since 2008, Free The Children’s Youth Summits have brought young people together for a day of social justice learning and leadership building.
All students attending the summit are enrolled in schools that are participating in Free The Children’s “We Act” service learning program. All of these students will have taken at least one local and one global service action throughout the course of the year.
CAPTION: Oakland Raiders players Keith McGill and Jon Condo participated in the Free The Children’s Northern California Youth Summit on April 11 at John Muir Middle School.
PHOTO COURTESY OF TONY GONZALES / RAIDERS.COM
Thursday, 23 April 2015 16:18
Asia and David Torres (at right) of San Lorenzo were among the more than two dozen volunteers who came out to the Pioneer Cemetery in San Lorenzo on Saturday to clean up around the headstones in the historic graveyard. Since 1854, some 1,900 people have been buried here, ranging from wealthy landowners with prominent names like Lewelling and Meek, to paupers whose graves are marked with simple, nameless white crosses. The Hayward Area Historical Society sponsors the cleanups four times a year. The next one will be in June.
PHOTOS BY FRED ZEHNDER
Thursday, 23 April 2015 16:16
By Amy Sylvestri • San Leandro Times
The Oro Loma Sanitary District Board of Directors unanimously appointed Dan Walters to the board to replace Laython “Judge” Landis who retired earlier this year amid accusations of racist language.
Oro Loma handles wastewater, trash, and recycling services for parts of Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, San Leandro, Cherryland, and Ashland. It is overseen by a 5-member elected board of directors.
The board moved to have Landis, 89, removed on grounds of mental incompetency but Landis chose to retire last month instead. Landis admitted to using the n-word in what he called a “colloquialism” but denied having any racist intention.
With Landis gone, the board had to select a replacement to serve the rest of his term, which is through November 2016, when the seat will be up for election.
The current board is all white and until this past November’s election of director Shelia Young, had been all male.
There were five applicants for the job, including three African-Americans (two of whom were women). Several speakers urged the board to pick a minority candidate to mitigate the fallout from Landis’ comment and also to show that the board is no longer an “old boy’s club.”
In the end Walters was selected over the other candidates – former San Leandro City Councilwoman Surlene Grant, Tom Silva, Chike Udemezue, and Rita Duncan.
Current City Council members Ursula Reed and Lee Thomas urged the board to pick Grant, both for her governmental experience and to bring diversity to the board.
“The district finds itself at a point of trying to prove itself,” said Reed. “Appointing Surlene Grant sends a message that the days of the old boys club are over. I believe that women and ethnic minorities should be present at discussions of public policy. Show that this is a board of 2015, not 1950.”
Walters unsuccessfully ran for the Oro Loma board last fall. He is a former engineer for Chevron and now runs his own manufacturing business in San Leandro. An inventor who holds five patents, Walters is also a member of many city boards, including the Shoreline Citizens Advisory Committee, the LINKS Transportation Management Organization, and Alameda County Workforce Investment Board.
“I can bring to the board experience in both policy and technical know-how,” said Walters. “I hope to be able to bring a lot to the board and also do public outreach.”
CAPTION: Dan Walters is a former engineer for Chevron who has a manufacturing business and is on the Shoreline Advisory Committee.
Thursday, 23 April 2015 16:13
Born in Poland, in 1915, long-time San Leandro resident Danuta Schachter turned 100 years old earlier this month.
She was living in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation with her husband, who was Jewish.The couple spent much of World War II in hiding, according to Schachter’s granddaughter Melissa.
When the war ended, the Schachters moved to the United States and raised their family in San Leandro, where they lived on Washington Avenue for decades.
Melissa Schachter said that growing up she and her brother Roman couldn’t pronounce “babusia,” the Polish word for grandmother, so they called her “Baba,” a nickname that has stuck to this day. The family recently all got together of celebrate “Baba’s” 100th birthday.
CAPTION: Danuta Schachter survived World War II, raised a family, and just celebrated her 100th birthday.
PHOTO COURTESY OF MELISSA SCHACHTER