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Rowell Rodeo Rounds Up a Big Crowd
Thursday, 21 May 2015 12:09
A cowboy practices for the roping event at the Rowell Ranch Pro Rodeo this past weekend.

By Amy Sylvestri


A century-old Castro Valley tradition – the annual Rowell Ranch Rodeo – attracted thousands of fans last weekend to watch the more than 100 riders, ropers and assorted cowboys competing for big cash awards.

The rodeo, always held on the third weekend in May, is one of the oldest in America and is the longest continually-run rodeo in the Bay Area.

“We come every year and it’s always a lot of fun,” said Rita Cardinale. “In fact, every time we drive by this place on the freeway, my kids ask ‘Is it time for the rodeo yet?”

Brian Collier and his family made the trip from the Reno area to watch a friend compete.

“It’s one of my favorite rodeos out there,” Collier said.

The Rowell Ranch Rodeo began in the 1921 as a small show put on in Hayward by Harry Rowell, “the Rodeo King of the West.” Each spring, Longhorn cattle would be gathered for branding and local cowboys would get together to show off their rodeo skills.

A few years later, the rodeo moved to it’s current location on Dublin Canyon Road.

Rowell went on to become the director of the Bay Area’s first Grand National Rodeo, in 1941 at the Cow Palace. He was eventually inducted to the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.

These days, the Rowell property in Castro Valley is run by the Hayward Area Recreation District, with the stipulation that once a year its made available for that rodeo.

Mosquito with Potential to Carry Tropical Disease Found Locally
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 10:14
The non-native Aedes aegypti mosquito, black with white markings, was found in Hayward last week. The small mosquito is capable of transmitting such tropical viral diseases as yellow fever and dengue fever.
By Amy Sylvestri


A species of mosquito unfamiliar to Californians has been discovered in Alameda County, and officials say it needs to be eradicated before it spreads tropical diseases to this area.

Aedes aeypti, a one-quarter-inch long black mosquito, notable for its white markings and banded head, was discovered in Hayward last week, according to Erika Castillo of the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District.

This species originated in Africa but is now found in other tropical and subtropical regions all over the world, including Mexico and the southeastern United States.

Although not native to our area, it has been discovered in nine other counties in the state so far.

The Aedea aegypti is unusual in that it prefers to bite indoors and during daytime hours, said Castillo. Typically, other mosquitos are most active outside and at dusk and dawn.

A bite from one of these type of mosquitos probably won’t feel much different than a regular mosquito, but the danger is that they spread disease including dengue fever, yellow fever, and chikungunya (a disease that causes fever, rashes, and joint pain).

“If it becomes established in Alameda County, we will have a vector here for diseases that we do not currently have,” said Castillo.

This species is unique in that it can breed in a very small amount of stagnant water, and lay eggs in small containers like flower vases or toilet tanks.

The Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District offers the free “mosquitofish” – which are small fish that eat mosquito larvae (called “wigglers”) and can be placed in ornamental ponds, and horse troughs.

But Castillo says, while those fish are useful for mosquito abatement in general, the Aedes aegypti can breed in amounts of water that are much too small for the fish.

Castillo says that to help eradicate the Aedes aegypti, county residents are urged to report mosquito bites received during the day of mosquitoes matching the Aedes aegypti description.

People should also apply insect repellants that contain DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus, make sure all their doors and windows have screens, and be sure to regularly clean or change standing water in places like bird baths, fountains, and pet water dishes.

To pick up some of those free mosquitofish, visit the district office from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at 23187 Connecticut Street in Hayward. For more information, call the district at 510-783-7744.

What’s Cookin’? Chili! (as if you didn’t know)
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 10:00

Looking forward to Friday evening’s Chili Cook-Off at the Rowell Ranch at 9725 Dublin Canyon Road are, from left, Bruce Johnson

(Redwood Christian Schools), Liddy Goldberg (Kae Talbot Salon), Bill Mulgrew (CV Chamber of  Commerce), Morgan Nicademus (Miss Rodeo 2015), Janet Lemmons, Marge Engridge and Ethan Lemmons, (Rowell Saddlery), Ashley Strasburg (CV Chamber of  Commerce), and Tim Fiebig (Re/Max). From 5 to 8 p.m. the public can sample chili ($1 each) from some 20 contestants, many of them new this year. $25 gets you 2 hot dogs, 4 soft drinks (soda or water),14 chili tasting tickets, and 2 unlimited Fun Zone wristbands.

Trojans Win on Walk Off Home Run
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 06:33
Jake Peterson greets his teammates after a dramatic walk off home run Friday night at CVHS.

By Martín Báez


The Castro Valley High varsity baseball team split its two-game series vs. the Berkeley High Yellowjackets last week.

Playing two very exciting and thrilling games, losing 3-2 in the bottom of the 7th at Berkeley, then winning 5-4 in 11 innings on Friday at home.

In the first game, CV rallied from a 2-0 deficit to score 2 runs in the 7th on a Cody Sandall steal of home and a clutch 2 out RBI by Joe Welliver, only to see Berkeley score the winning run in the bottom of the 7th.

Then in Castro Valley last Friday, on a cold, blustery and cloudy day, the Trojans battled for 11 innings to win a dramatic, thrilling victory. CV wasted little time scoring a run in the first inning when Christian Merriweather scored on a fielder’s choice.

The Trojans plated another run in the third inning, only to see Berkeley erupt for a four-run fourth inning to take the lead.

In the bottom of the sixth the Trojans went to work. Shortstop London Penland led off with a long double, then catcher Justin Cabral followed

with a single, Penland advanced to third, Cabral quickly swiped second base, and then right fielder Robbie Brue smoked a double down the left field line, tying the score.

Ryan Rosellini in relief of starter Nick Simsek, threw seven strong shutout innings leading to the dramatic bottom of the 11th.

Left fielder Jake Petersen stepped up to the plate, and on the first pitch he saw, crushed a 320-foot bomb over the left field fence, sending his teammates and the faithful crowd into a wild celebration.

Coach Randy Green said this game was “huge” in his team’s quest to get into the playoffs and the North Coast Section.

Martín Báez is a student journalist at Castro Valley High School and a member of the varsity baseball team.

Talent and Humor Reign at Crowning of Mr. CV
Tuesday, 12 May 2015 12:04
Mr. CV, Cameron Niven (back row, second from right, wearing crown) and fellow contestants show off their best James Bond looks after Friday’s competition.  With Niven, from left are Blake Brown, David Gutierrez, Darren Theard, Joshua Valli (foreground) and Braxton WaxdeckMr. CV, Cameron Niven (back row, second from right, wearing crown) and fellow contestants show off their best James Bond looks after Friday’s competition.  With Niven, from left are Blake Brown, David Gutierrez, Darren Theard, Joshua Valli (foreground) and Braxton Waxdeck.
By Linda Sandsmark


Castro Valley High’s most entertaining contest took on a James Bond theme this year:  “The Name’s CV. Mr. CV.”

The annual Mr. CV pageant, presented by the school’s Spirit Boosters, played to a standing-room-only crowd last Friday. Twenty-four male contestants and their lovely escorts presented a night of talent and humor, culminating in the crowning of Cameron Niven as Mr. CV 2015.

First runner-up was Nick Dang, and Mr. Congeniality went to Jordan Pelzl. The People’s Choice Award, which was voted by the audience, went to Lior Raskin for his spot-on rendition of  “Drops of Jupiter.” Also in the Top Five contestants were Darren Theard and Josh Valli.

The talent portion of the program included a chicken-wing eating contest, a hot dance number by Santa’s Helpers to “Jingle Bell Rock,” contestants tossing candy into each other’s mouths, Country-Western, rap, break-dance and gymnastics-inspired performances, and some truly excellent musical numbers.

Perhaps the most mysterious performance was “The Legacy of Chocolate,” presented by Dane Delaney, who danced in a tie-died full bodysuit that covered even his face.

“That was something!” remarked Chloe Billings, who co-hosted the show with Konnor Callihan.

All contestants joined on-stage dances in honor of Agent 007 wearing Bond-like tuxedoes donated by Maria Keller and the Men’s Wearhouse.

An unexpectedly touching moment during the show was a Prom invitation onstage from contestant Blake Brown to his lovely girlfriend Jessica.

As Niven was crowned, he said this was the first time he had ever participated in an event like this, and was in fact his first time up on the stage. But he wowed the judges with his description of what he’d bring if he were stranded on a desert island: a tetherball that he would paint a face on for company, and an airplane so he could leave the island.

Mr. CV is a fund-raising event to support Castro Valley High Cheer and Dance. The contestants’ escorts are members of the Cheer, Dance, and Varsity sports teams. Judges this year were Gerri Burruel, Adam Korbas, Greg Rice, Kerrie Rice and Jaclyn Wright.

Former Secretary to Gen. MacArthur, Ann Jones to Celebrate 100th Birthday
Friday, 17 April 2015 13:17
Ann Jones of Castro Valley turns 100 years old this week. Mrs. Jones led an adventurous life, which has inspired her granddaughter Adriana (right) to travel.



When Ann Jones was born in 1915, women did not even have the right to vote. When she turns 100 this weekend, Mrs. Jones and her family will celebrate her century of adventure, which included solo worldwide travel and seven years of post-WWII service in Japan.

Born in Red Wing, Minnesota on April 18, 1915, Ann Jones was raised in St. Paul near Hamline University.  Although it was unusual for women to seek higher education, she told her mother early on that she wanted to attend college.

“She got her degree at Hamline and decided she wanted to see the world,” says her daughter, Yvonne Jones. “She started by buying a one-way ticket to Texas and got a job at Walgreens there. With her first paycheck she bought herself a ring, which she still has today.”

Ann then moved to Georgia, helping to teach pilots to “fly blind” during WWII. Determined to see other countries, she joined the civil service. Because she had a college degree, she was given high security clearance and was a secretary for Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Japan after the war.

While there, she hiked Mt. Fuji and volunteered at orphanages, where she was able to arrange for schooling for several disadvantaged children.

She worked in military intelligence in Austria before moving to London to become a teacher. While hiking there she met the man who was to become her husband, a British gentleman named Winston Jones. When Ann was in her 40s the couple adopted a boy (Colin, who now lives in Arizona) and a girl (Yvonne).

The Joneses decided to move to San Francisco when the children were six and seven years old. Ann had passed through the City once during her travels and liked what she saw. The family’s introduction to America was living in the Haight-Ashbury district in 1966.

Yvonne explains, “As a child in Minnesota, she had stood in a corn field one day and stretched out her arms, saying, ‘One day I will have mountains on one side and the ocean on the other,’ so it’s no surprise that she ended up in California.”

Eventually the Joneses  relocated to the East Bay. Ann Jones taught at Lockwood Elementary School in Oakland, returning to school for her Master’s in Education in her early 60s. After retirement she continued volunteer work at several locations, including Strobridge Elementary School here in Castro Valley.

Mrs. Jones has always been active. She walked three to five miles daily well into her 90s, and traveled every time she got the chance. Though her husband passed away in 2001, she continued joining in new activities, including learning American Sign Language and bocce ball.

“She always said, ‘You can’t wait around for other people to do things.’  She always took advantage of every opportunity that came her way,” says Yvonne.

A quiet and easygoing woman, Ann Jones loves to laugh and has a ready smile. She still eagerly participates in activities offered at the retirement facility in Castro Valley where she now resides, and agrees that a key to her long life was always being ready for the next adventure.

“Sounds pretty sensible to me,” she says with a smile.

Ann Jones has been an inspiration to her college-age granddaughter Adriana, who recently returned from studying overseas. Adriana recalled her grandmother’s fondness for the WWII cartoon figure “Kilroy Was Here,” so she had a tiny version of the cartoon tattooed on her ankle before she left.

“It’s like she’s traveling with me wherever I go,” says Adriana. “My grandmother is still curious and extremely independent. She’s a great role model who taught me not to be afraid of failure, and that as women we have to pursue our dreams.”

Ann’s century of adventure will be celebrated Saturday with her favorite treat, an ice cream party. Joining her will be her children and three grandchildren, family members, and many friends.



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