Letters • 06-11-2014 | Print |  E-mail


Takes Issue with Bradford Letter on

Businesses and Marriage Equality


Correction to Billy Bradford’s May 28 letter (“Businesses Welcome Marriage Equality”) regarding repealing of Prop. 8 and “baker.”

Prop. 8 has never been “repealed” and the First Amendment is still law. Corrupt governments and courts are not allowing what the majority of Californians and other states have stood for over 237 years: marriage is fundamentally between a man and woman.

The majority understands the true meaning of marriage as it has been for 40,000-plus years. Jack Phillips. a

Christian baker of Colorado, was threatened when he declined to create a wedding cake for a gay ceremony in Massachusetts even though Colorado’s constitution doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage!

Billy and crooked governments seek to impose a new belief system upon us – even one that is fundamentally at odds with one’s conscience and liberty. People are attacked for their beliefs and for not conflicting with their own faith.

Phillips was ordered, on pain of fines or even jail time, to violate his faith and provide the wedding cake to the homosexuals, or else. People must not be forced to convey a message with which they believe to be sin.

Conduct and expressions are protected by the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and by Article II, Section 10 of the Colorado Constitution.

Phillips simply declined to promote a false view of marriage. This has also happened to photographers, florists, and innkeepers – just Google it.  This is not about race, but one’s true faith in regards to sin.

It’s outrageous that the government would threaten jailing unless they say and do what it demands even if it is sin. Religious beliefs have stood for 5,000 years and the fact that one man’s anatomical body part doesn’t fit within another man’s and can produce no offspring doesn’t seem to matter to the fascists. We can both respect religious convictions and free choice.

Stacy Jonez, Castro Valley


Wants to Keep Convenience Store

From Selling Alcohol


A warning to residents along Crow Canyon near the Valley Convenient Mini Mart.  This establishment has changed hands and it appears to have changed business models as well.

Our once-convenient store for those 1-2 items we didn’t feel like jumping in our car to pick up would like to be our one-stop shop for all things alcohol in the very near future.

Please join our Shadow Creek neighborhood at the MAC meeting to stop the approval of a liquor license. Research  clearly states that liquor stores

1) decrease property value and 2) increase crime when added to a given neighborhood.

This is a store that our children stop in on their way home from school to buy a snack or drink.  As you walk into the store the first display wall you see is all wine. This is not the type of establishment I would support or want at the entrance to my street.

MAC meeting, Monday, June 23 in the CV library. Please come to this meeting and help stop this campaign for a liquor license! (You received a notice of this meeting in the mail in a font too small to read and the date has been changed from the one originally stated).

Kate Teague, President


Shadow Creek Association

A Speeding Problem on Sydney Way


I live on Sydney Way and we have a speeding problem.

The speed limit is 25, the average speed is 35-45, some even more.

We have tried everything; we even had a mobile speed sign once. We have requested speed bumps, but have been denied for many reasons.

Everyone know there are not enough officers to enforce traffic laws in every area. With so much crime, they are kept pretty busy. So in order to make Castro Valley a safe place, we all need to do our part and obey the traffic laws.

Now, as to the kids crossing the streets by the high school, they need crossing guards! After a couple of times, I learned never to go near there when school lets out.

Final note: To the bald man in the tan car, who stuck out his tongue at me in front of Walgreens when he didn’t stop of a pedestrian (me), I thought it was childish. We shouldn’t let children drive! Please slow down.

Mary Valens, Castro Valley


School Buildings and Grounds Worker

Honored by Educational Foundation


On June 5th, I was honored by the Castro Valley Educational Foundation for the work I give to our school district. I am a classified  buildings and grounds worker at Creekside Middle School.

I am very proud of my work with some of the kids at our school who need a different approach to education. They learn some basic skills of life and the meaning of an honest day’s work.

I was so pleased that the Foundation took the time to look at the classified members of our district and honor them as they do the teaching staff. We are over 300 members strong and are the core of the daily function of our district.

Again I would like to thank the Castro Valley Educational Foundation for this wonderful look at what classified folks offer to the daily role of our district, and for the honor of being selected for this award.

Tim DeForest


Creekside Middle School Lead Buildings and Grounds

Old Timers Baseball – An Evening Of Great Entertainment


I would like to share an experience that I had recently in the company of some of my Castro

Valley neighbors.

Rob Scott, who I see frequently, has been telling of his involvement with the San Leandro Old Timers baseball team, part of the NorCal Oldtimers Baseball Association. The guys (35 and over) play at fields as far away as Napa, Modesto, Lodi, and Watsonville, with a season finale is in Benicia.

The home game on May 4th pitted the Old

Timers against the Watsonville Angels. It was a short drive to the San Leandro Ball Park at Teagarden St. and Aladdin Ave. in San Leandro, close to Marina Square.  Parking was free (as was the admission!)

A plaque above the concession area proclaimed that this is the Old Timers’ home. It impressed me that such a well-kept, dedicated facility, complete with grandstands, restrooms (and even a kitchen!) was available to amateurs.

The low-key ambience afforded access to the dugout for chats with the players (and a few of their teenage sons, busy keeping score, minding statistics, etc.,) who were happy to explain fine points of the game they love.

Mingling with the participants, hearing their stories, and seeing their uniforms and the field close-up, was special. It reminded my of my 1960s childhood, when athletes were heroes.

A camaraderie-bolstering post-game barbecue put on by the home team afforded a chance to socialize with the visitors. The Scott family had trucked in a pair of barbecue kettles that were used to cook hot dogs and tri-tips rubbed with spices and sea salt.

Other home-made dishes included green salad with locally-raised vegetables, macaroni salad with pimento-stuffed olives, and several kinds of cookies. It was quite a gourmet spread, assembled during the game – an impressive bit of multitasking.

The fun culminated in a raffle at which bottles of wine and other prizes were distributed.

All in all, this pleasant outing made me wish I had some talent for baseball. And I marveled at the mere handful of spectators – these games are probably not well-publicized. The next home game is at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 14th – hope to see you there!

(The team seeks players.) For league information and a schedule of games, contact Bob Scott, 510-889-1878,  or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Ralph H. Page, Castro Valley


A Thank You to Castro Valley’s

‘Amazing Teachers’


As the parent of a graduating senior at Castro Valley High School, I want to thank all of the teachers who taught my two children during their years in Castro Valley Unified School District.

We have terrific schools, but those great schools are no accident. We have wonderful parents who support their students and the schools whole-heartedly and a very generous community. But it is the dedicated teachers who work so hard every day to make our schools the best they can be.

My children had a great education in Castro Valley, and I thank all those amazing teachers for all they did for my children and the other children in our community. Thank you and have a great summer. You earned it.

Gary Howard, Castro Valley


Grateful to Live in a District Where

Teachers and Parents Work Together


This is my family’s 10th year in Castro Valley. Like so many families, we moved here for the great schools.

Our experience in the Castro Valley Unified School District has been a good one. My children go to a wonderful school, Castro Valley Elementary, and are taught by amazing and dedicated teachers. We love Castro Valley Unified and the diversity of the Castro Valley community.

I am grateful to be a part of a top-notch school district, and to live in a community where teachers and parents work together. Through my involvement in a variety of organizations in CVUSD I have met many parents who want to carry on the long tradition of excellence in this district.

Thank you parents for giving time and energy to build supportive school communities. Thank you teachers for working hard educating our students and creating a safe learning environment. As the saying goes, “it takes a village.” Parents and teachers are an integral part of that village.

I’m looking forward to a long fun summer and returning to the Castro Valley Elementary community and entering the Creekside Middle School Community in the fall. I hope that everyone has a fun and safe summer.

Please be watchful at the pool and always wear your helmets when riding bicycles and scooters.

Dot Theodore, Castro Valley Parent






Letters • 06-04-2014 | Print |  E-mail


The Reason Why Pedestrians

Don’t Follow the Rules


I was disappointed, but not surprised, to read letters recently published here that were quite biased against pedestrians.

Let’s try to understand why pedestrians do not follow rules: fundamentally, the system as it exists prioritizes cars to the detriment of walkers.

Pedestrians will cross streets in the middle of a block to avoid unnecessarily long waits at car-biased intersections. For example, pedestrians in Castro Valley have to push a button in order to cross a lighted intersection. This guarantees a wait, since the pedestrian’s light always starts red, while a car has a fair chance of hitting a green light.

In Oakland and San Francisco, pedestrian lights are automatic just like car lights, so both are treated equally.

Additionally, some crosswalks like the one near CVHS don’t even have stop signs/lights for cars, making pedestrians subject to car traffic. This is an explicit choice to prioritize cars over pedestrians.  Could this be why there have been several pedestrian/vehicle collisions there recently?

Finally, for a pedestrian to cross an intersection diagonally, he must cross two streets and wait through two lights. A car making a left turn has only to wait for one cycle of lights which might be green with no wait at all.

We need to make legal intersections so easy and convenient that walkers want to use them by default. Here are some ideas, although I am sure there are many other possibilities:

• Automate pedestrian lights, just like car lights, to reduce pedestrian wait time

• Add car stop signs/lights at crosswalks to give walkers same priority as cars

• Raise the crosswalks so they serve as a speed bump and therefore slow down cars. These were recently added in front of Ardenwood Elementary in Fremont.

• Paint the road with a brightly visible pattern and add brilliant flashing lights like the new crossings near Marshall Elementary.

• Install diagonal crosswalks like those in Oakland’s Chinatown to make intersections more efficient for pedestrians.

Let’s fix our transportation system to make walking more equitable and more practical as a mode of transportation so we can get more walkers out there.

Bruce Dughi, Castro Valley


Can’t Understand Why Ken Martin

‘Expressed Such Anger’


Mr. Martin, I do not understand why you expressed such anger with me in your May 21 Letter to the Editor. Perhaps it’s because I have a prior commitment and cannot attend your bocce ball tournament this year. It certainly doesn’t derive from my May 14 letter.

I did nothing to merit your accusations that my reading skills are inadequate. I did exactly and precisely what I said I would do: I explained the laws governing the voting process, which many seemed confused about. I was hoping that public discussion could then focus on just the merits of the tax.

While your May 21 letter stated “I fully understand the balloting process and its requirements,” you clearly didn’t. Your May 7 letter expressed confusion: “Aren’t the terms ‘elected’ and ‘appointed’ virtually mutually exclusive?” You incorrectly assumed that the Waste Management Authority Board Members’ names would “apparently appear on a ballot somewhere at some time. Should you see this entity on a ballot. . . .”

I explained how you would not see this entity on the ballot, and would only see one of the many member agencies’ appointed member’s names on the ballot.

Your May 7 letter also impugned our “Worst Sleazebag Penny-ante Politicians” with their “First sleazy move: sending out postcards. . . .” My May 14 letter served to educate you and exonerate the public officials’ otherwise evil actions by noting that officials did nothing more than adhere to voting law requirements.

I am sorry that you are offended. I have 30 years of experience in municipal management and finance. It is your choice as to whether you benefit from the expert advice I offered in what you termed my “irrelevant” letter.

Brian A. Foster, Castro Valley


VA Scandal: Says Many Members of

Congress Should Also Resign


Now that Veterans Affairs Secretary Shinseki has resigned, it is time for more people in to step aside in connection with the terrible scandal at the VA hospitals.

The next to go should be the members of Congress who have repeatedly voted against helping our vets the past four years by opposing funding for job training and other programs and benefits for warriors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The mention of those two wars brings me to my next point. If there are any members of Congress still left who 10 or more years ago sided with the Bush administration to send our soldiers into senseless wars which cost billions of dollars and left thousands dead, then they should retire too. Their action only created more vets who just got neglected and mistreated once they returned home.

Either help the men and women who serve, or stop fighting other country’s battles.

David Shipp, Castro Valley


Coping with Global Warming

Requires a Proactive Attitude


Keeping California Green is an ongoing process. If we are waiting for someone else to take charge, it may be a long wait.

Does anybody really think that PG&E is going to encourage us to use the free energy that the sun provides? There are many things that we, as individuals, can do.

Solar is now available at a price less expensive than current PG&E rates. While it makes it much less expensive, one of the most important reasons is the environmental impact.

As homeowners in Castro Valley, we have decided to remove our lawn and have installed solar. The solar system is working very well and is providing us with all of the electricity that we need.

Do your homework on this one. It is still the Wild West out there when it comes to solar companies. Look here in your own town. You will find the best. Mandatory water rationing is assuredly part of our future. It certainly would be nice if the state of California considered giving tax incentives to those of us who are reducing our reliability on state resources.

The Federal government does provide a 30% tax credit for the installation of solar. EBMUD is providing a small rebate for lawn removal if it is replaced with native drought resistant plants.

There are a myriad of signs that global warming is here to stay. We should all be proactive rather than our usual course of being reactive.  While Governor Brown is spending a lot of time talking about it, he has done little to motivate individual conservation. However, that should not stop us all from doing our part to make our community an example of renewable energy without sacrificing comfort ability.

Trish DeSloover, Castro Valley


Join the March Against Influence of

Money on Government


Are you worried and concerned or maybe really sick and tired of the influence of money on our elected politicians? Around 80% of the American people across party lines, when asked, would like to see less of this corrupting influence on our political system.

Almost every significant issue from climate change and pollution, to continuation of starvation wages for our fellow workers, to the assault on public education and other social programs can be linked to corporate lobbying groups.

Well, right now there is an ongoing effort to change all this for good.  A group called 99Rise.org embarked on a 480-mile march on May 17 from Los Angeles to Sacramento. The March for Democracy’s goal is to raise awareness of the underlying problem our society faces and to demand that those we have elected to represent us start representing for the people’s needs. It is time to place the needs for the many above profit for the tiny few. And it is time to hold our politicians personally accountable for their actions in keeping the failing status quo.

99Rise.org is asking for help on all levels to make this on-going campaign a resounding and a lasting success.  And one that will change Sacramento and then Washington forever.  They can use help with finances and logistical help with media outreach, assistance to the marchers and to promote the massive planned rally on the capitol steps on Sunday June 22, 2014.

Many people from Castro Valley, Hayward and San Leandro will be helping and joining. Please join us and help us make sure that this is the beginning of our new democratic society that provides opportunity for all its citizens.

David Siegel, Castro Valley


Letters • 05-28-2014 | Print |  E-mail


Disappointed by Forum’s Page One Rodeo Caption


Reading the recent cover story on the Rowell Rodeo, I was greatly disappointed by the “Bucking broncos and bulls await their 15 seconds of fame” caption with the accompanying picture.

The only thing those animals are awaiting is a mechanical inflicting of pain in order to force them to perform unnatural actions for macabre entertainment.

To recast that senseless and unnecessary violence against animals in a cutesy light is to forsake truth for public relations puffery, and I would have thought better of the Castro Valley Forum than that.

Dale DeBakcsy, Castro Valley

Photo Shows Students’ Shortcuts at Crosswalk


In response to your front page article “Three CVHS Student Hit by Cars in a Single Week Last Month (The Forum, May 21), we were dismayed to hear of the recent student injuries and hope all will recover quickly.

We’d also like to point out that the attitude of many CVHS students is apparent by observing the photograph in the article. It shows that the two students are preparing to leave the crosswalk and “shortcut” to the other side of the street.

We live on Heyer Ave. less than a block from the school and often drive on Redwood Road during the time that student pedestrians are in the area. Many times, they are ignoring basic pedestrian rules and regulations while using their phones and other portable electronics devices.

They do not pay much attention to such controls as wait-walk signals and pedestrian crosswalks. Maybe the student body should have an orientation covering the various intersections in the school vicinity and how to conduct themselves to promote both driver and pedestrian safety.

The three injuries covered by the article didn’t mention whether the driver or the pedestrian was at fault. The implication was that the driver was responsible, but we believe that this information is important to solve the problem and prevent future events that hurt students.

Richard Rufer & Camille Minichino, Castro Valley

Discouraged by Drivers’ Behavior


I am discouraged by the behavior of drivers, not just in Castro Valley, but in general. It’s difficult enough to deal with people that drive too slow, or too fast, or the ones that refuse to use their blinkers and make random turns wherever and whenever they feel like it.

But recently I have been the victim of more serious offenses. First, I was the victim of a hit and run. However, this person ended up hitting someone else as he tried to flee the scene, and eventually stopped. This young man was seriously impaired. I hope his license has been taken away.

But, even more serious, my son and I narrowly escaped being hit in a crosswalk as we were walking to Chabot Elementary School. We had already stepped into the crosswalk, when this truck came down Parsons Avenue towards the stop sign and crosswalk at Christensen. The driver made eye contact with me and proceeded to blow through the stop sign.  It was appalling.

As we continued our walk, I warned another mom with her child to be careful, even in the crosswalk.  She said her mother was just hit in a crosswalk 2 weeks before!

I believe this letter comes to you at an opportune time, since last week you ran a story about other serious incidents at crosswalks. I urge drivers everywhere to pay attention, especially at crosswalks. You are not alone out there in the world.

I love my son, and there are mothers and fathers out there who love their children too. We don’t want to see them taken away from us, and we don’t want to be taken away from them.

How about a crosswalk and stop sign at the intersection of Parsons and Wilson Avenues? It’s a very hazardous spot. Maybe drivers will at least slow down. Who knows? Who’s with me?

Deb Maher, Castro Valley


‘Common Sense Should Prevail’


In response to the article regarding the students being hit by cars, the responsibility does not just lie with the drivers. These are young adults that should have learned at a early age to look both ways before crossing. Common sense should prevail.

We have driven as residents of C.V. for many years during school hours. We have seen students walk against the light, walk diagonally on Mable and Redwood ignoring crosswalks, texting, earbuds in ears and not paying attention to their surroundings.

Maybe the school needs to re-visit basic safety regulations and courtesy’s not only for the drivers, but students as well.

Renee Langon, Joyce Poulos, Joanne Parenti, Genny Maques, Sue Chauquette, Castro Valley


Students ‘Act Like They Own the Road’


I have owned a house across from the high school for 35 years and have witnessed so much on our block. I am sorry for the students who got hit by a car while “crossing the crosswalk.”

Well, I very seldom see the students use the crosswalk. They have jaywalked in front of me while I come down the street and act like they own the road. I see more students doing that then using the cross walks.

On Redwood Road and Mabel Ave. are two crosswalks with lights. The kids will hit the one on Redwood to go across the street but instead of walking in the crosswalk they diagonally walk across Redwood to the school side of Mabel, avoiding the other crosswalk.

One day, several kids were coming back from lunch on Santa Maria Ave. and Mabel. As I was driving down Mabel to stop at the stop sign on Santa Maria, several kids decided to jaywalk across in front of me and I had to slam on my brakes. They stared at me and acted like they owned the road.

So who’s fault is it when the illegally do that? And what if I couldn’t stop? The students have a responsibility also. So I don’t appreciate reading on page 5 “...Drivers need to pay attention to crossing signs, Watch for Pedestrians.” Like I said, very few use the crosswalks near the high school.

Judith Ancar, Castro Valley


‘Motorists Seem Immune from

Personal Responsibility’


Imagine the public outcry if last week’s headline read “Three CVHS Students Shot In A Single Week.”  Folks across town would demand increased gun control, more responsibility from gun owners, and prosecution of the perpetrator(s).

Sadly, last week’s headline did not involve guns, but something much more dangerous - motor vehicles.

Motorists seem immune from personal responsibility. A teenager who drives drunk in Burleon, Texas and kills four persons receives no jail time for the “offense.” Another kills a cyclist in Kirkland, Washington and is given a $42 ticket for an “unsafe lane change.”  The examples are endless. I am sure the motorists who attacked the kids are driving today.

How to fix this?  The only way to get vehicle operators to have proper regard for others (pedestrians and cyclists) would be to hold them to the same standard of accountability as anyone else using a tool that is potentially lethal to others.

If you hit someone and are at fault, the charge is assault with a lethal weapon and it (the vehicle) is confiscated until the charges are settled.  You don’t get to send the victims to the hospital and then drive away.

What else would help? We have 330+ sunny days a year here and 50% of our trips are four miles or less. So many of us could definitely model better behavior – such as showing our kids that you don’t have to operate America’s most dangerous lethal weapon as your primary form of transportation. Besides saving lives, we would also save tons of money, reduce pollution, congestion, and improve public health tremendously.

I see absolutely no chance of any of this happening. Well over 90% of our population are motorists, and they will never vote for any laws to hold themselves accountable for their actions.

Stacy Spink, Castro Valley


Mud-Slinging Scrapes Bottom of Barrel


Of course, I should have expected no less during mud-slinging season, but I thought the nasty mailers by Bob Weickowski and Mary Hayashi were scraping the bottom of the mud barrel – until I received the anti-Ellen-Corbett mailer from Rep. Eric Swalwell’s campaign.

According to Swalwell, while Corbett was in the State Senate, she (Gasp!) “Took a trip to Maui!”

Does his mailer allege that the trip was paid for by a lobbyist and that she later returned the favor? That she charged what was really a vacation to the taxpayers? Nope. It says she went to Maui. Period.

But wait. There’s more. According to Swalwell, Corbett also “Took a trip to India!” (Gasp, again!) And “Took a trip to Spain!” (I’m running out of gasps, here. I’m also running out of exclamation marks trying to keep up with Swalwell.)

I just took a trip myself, so I suppose I’m unsuited for public office. But if I could run and were elected, I would immediately sponsor legislation to levy a hefty fine against any political candidate who slings mud in any fashion (half truths, out-of-context quotes, baseless allegations, etc.) at his or her opponent.

Until that glorious day, however, I’m just a voter. But I’m a voter who counts every mudball against the hurler when it’s time to vote.

Steven C. Dimick, Castro Valley


Businesses Welcome Marriage Equality


What a wonderful time for marriage equality! Since the Supreme Court ruled in two historic marriage cases last summer (including our own Prop. 8), so much has changed for the better for gay families all across our great nation.

Recently our neighbor to the North – Oregon – made civil marriage legal for our LGBT friends and family members living there, followed by Pennsylvania the next day. Today about 40 percent of Americans live in states with marriage equality, and according to a recent poll, 59 percent of Americans support marriage rights for committed and loving gay and lesbian couples.

Unfortunately legally married gay couples in California become “unmarried” when they cross our other borders into Nevada or Arizona. Imagine a fun weekend in Tahoe with your spouse, except that when you get there your spouse is no longer legally married to you!

There is clearly much more work to be done to ensure that we live up to the “equal protection” portion of our Constitution.

Bringing it home, some even better news is that our local businesses realize that treating gay couples equally is indeed good business. We contacted all the CV florists, event planners, party stores, dress stores, bakers, rental venues, etc. and every single one said of course they wanted to help with our weddings now that Prop. 8 had been repealed.

A huge thank you to the Castro Valley businesses and community for being such a warm and welcoming place for everyone. Don’t forget that Castro Valley Pride is Saturday July 12, at Redwood and Heyer from 12 to 5. We’ll see you there!

Billy Bradford, Castro Valley Pride


A Booster for CV’s ‘Tallest Tower’


Jeff Null’s letter (“Well Yes, it Would Be Visible From All Over the Bay Area,” Letters, May 14) is a great example of the creativity and innovation that has made America great.

While most of us have been stuck in limited, small-town thinking the past many months, Jeff leads the way with his proposal to improve Castro Valley and establish its reputation as a design and architectural destination. I applaud his idea to put the world’s tallest tower on the site that is currently occupied by the old Daughtrey’s building.

Imagine the interest from around the world as well as the boost to the local economy that this massive building would bring!

I would also add that I think we should discuss the possibility of a pool on or near the rooftop. I want to be part of that discussion now instead of waiting too long into the design process when architects are much less likely to make changes.

To get the fundraising efforts started, I am willing to empty out the loose change jar that we’ve been filling the past year or so. I estimate that my contribution will be well north of $12 at this time. If we all chip in, and recruit  some corporate sponsors (Ice Creamery, etc?), I believe we’ll be well on our way.

Let’s be open-minded and creative today, like Jeff said. I agree with him: “...it could very well lead to a brighter tomorrow”!

Christiaan VandenHeuvel, Castro Valley


Boulevard’s Wrong-Way Benches


I’m sure you’ve received a multitude of letters concerning the benches in front of Certified Tires. I asked my neighbor, Sarah, whose finger seems to be on the pulse of Castro Valley, why the benches faced the building and not the Boulevard.

She had no answer. For a while the talk of the town was a cell tower on Lake Chabot Road and the Community Center. It had a particular shape, that combined with the upgrade of the Boulevard, we could expect a huge influx of tourists.

While discussing this, I had an epiphany: open a bed-and-breakfast to handle the overflow of tourists. Then, for some unknown reason, our landmark was mutilated. Now our merchants will be hurt, our motel rooms will not be filled with tired and weary travelers, not to mention Wally’s B&B.

There are many reasons why the benches should face the boulevard, so let’s find out why they are not.

Wally Klier, Castro Valley


Letters • 05-21-2014 | Print |  E-mail


Alma Preschooler’s Parents Complain of Lack of Notice About Relocation Meeting


Our child attends Alma Preschool. We want to be clear that we were not informed about the May 9 Project Information Meeting.

The first that we even heard that our child’s preschool was being relocated was the night before on May 8. We feel very disrespected that neither our – nor the other Alma families – were informed.

I want to address these questions to the Board of Education:

Why weren’t the Alma preschool families given advanced notice and informed about this meeting.

Have you considered the safety and well being of our children in this move?

Have you visited Alma preschool and seen the many special needs of the 40 plus children in the 4 classrooms?

I respectfully ask those who are in positions of the planning, decision- making and implementation of this relocation plan to be very careful and thoughtful.  I hope moving forward that this can be a more transparent process.

We will be attending the upcoming May 22 board meeting at 7 p.m.  I have entrusted my 3-year-old in your care and all my husband and I want for our child is a safe and nurturing place for her to learn and grow.

Allan and Tammy Yu, Castro Valley


Martin Says His Complaint Was About Waste Mgmt

Authority Board’s Action, Not the Mailed Ballots


Brian A. Foster (“Blames Prop. 218 for Mail-In Ballot From Waste Management Authority, Letter, May 14) should either learn to read better or to better interpret what he does read!

My letter on May 7 was not critical of the election process or Prop. 218. That is a required and legal process. His letter is entirely irrelevant to mine.

What I was lamenting is the sleazy and underhanded  way the Alameda County Waste Management Authority is attempting to manipulate the vote to be in their favor; i.e. to get this tax passed even though the public has strenuously objected.

Even their own board rejected it. There was a quorum (12 members) present at that vote so that should have been the end of it. But was it?

No. Two members were absent so the board decided (after much manipulation, according to a witness present at the meeting) to re-vote at a later meeting when the missing members had returned so they could bully them into giving the vote that was needed to pass this sneaky tax.

Therein lies my complaint. This tax was twice rejected, once by the public and again by the Alameda County Waste Management Board itself. That should have settled the matter. So what is the board going to do? Keep holding votes until they get their way?

Note that all this has nothing to do with Prop. 218 or the mandated balloting process.

Mr. Foster should learn to read information and correctly interpret that information before he writes irrelevant letters! I fully understand the balloting process and its requirements. It is he that doesn’t understand the subject of my letter!

Ken Martin, Castro Valley


Faith in Humanity Restored By Daring Act to Save

Small Animal on Busy Redwood Road


So often I see and hear about people doing things that cause me to lose faith in humanity, but today was the exception.

My husband, son and I were walking with our two large dogs,  heading south on Redwood Road towards Trader Joe’s about to cross the street and pass under the freeway when I saw a guy hop out of his car, run into the street to try and grab a little creature out there in the middle of the road.

I couldn’t make out what it was but I was scared for him and it. You all know how busy Redwood Road is these days, especially those on/off ramps. He couldn’t get a hold of the thing and had to run out of the street as the light changed and more cars were coming.

I couldn’t believe this guy was risking his own safety for what looked like a very small wild animal. We sort of stood there in horror and watched as several cars drove right over the little thing, I had to look away assuming someone would drive right over but each appeared to miss it thankfully.

Well another guy stopped his car in the middle of the street, walked back and scooped it up, hopped back in his car and just drove off. I don’t know what it was or if it was OK, but I choose to believe it’s just fine and he took it out to the hills behind Five Canyons for a better life.

It was obviously very dangerous, and I can’t honestly say I’d do the same myself, but seeing what appeared to be two caring and compassionate people risk their own safety to try to save that little creature, well it restored my faith in humanity. Thanks guys!

Gena McAllister, Castro Valley


Thanks to All Who Supported Vannoy Cougarthon


Vannoy Elementary School’s Annual Cougarthon (Walk-A-Thon) on Friday, May 2nd was another big hit! The 400-plus students that participated had a great time walking, while raising money for their school!

The Vannoy Parent Club would like to thank all the business sponsors that made this event such a success: Allstate Insurance-Vic Hauser, Alta Electric, Anderson Orthodontics, Aran’s Art Studio, Bee Best Learning Center, Big Tims Landscape & Tree Service, Custom Innovations Painting, Danielle Keil, Realtor-Coldwell Banker, Golfland, Harmony Handyman Services, Hill’s Veterinary Hospital, Jenn’s Cupcakes and Parties, Knudsen’s Ice Creamery, Kingdom Carpet & Stone Cleaning, L.B. Reed Construction, Mary Kay Consultant Teddi Funderburk, Michelle’s Dance X-Plosion, Pacheco Brothers Gardening, Right At Home, Rockin Jump, Screenmobile, Team Beach Body-Brandi Gentry, Village Barbers, Visual Insight Optometry.

We also want to send an extra special thank you to Safeway Castro Valley, Trader Joes Castro Valley and Sprouts in Dublin for the very generous donations in gift cards. Thank you to the Alameda County Fire Department Station No. 6 on Cull Canyon Road for coming out to cut our starting-line ribbon and to cheer the walkers on! All of our community support made this day successful and memorable!

Jenn DeJanes & Serena O’Hara, 2014 Vannoy Parent Club




Letters • 05-14-2014 | Print |  E-mail


Marshall School Called ‘Worst Area’

For Alma Preschool Relocation


I attended the Friday night meeting at Marshall Elementary. I found out about it only by a post on FaceBook.

Residents that are affected have not been notified. Candi Clark of the Castro Valley School District presented conceptual drawings and information for a project that has already been approved by the board.

There were more questions than answers. Mostly, smoke and mirrors. I guess Castro Valley School District feels that they can do whatever they want without input from the community it is impacting.

They intend to add 5 portable classrooms and move the Alma Preschool to the blacktop area that Marshall School and CVI Sports League depends on.

It is an area where our community gathers to support our kid’s athletics. It is an area that Marshall School students use for various activities throughout the school year, including PE. It is a park for the residents of the area.

This project will detract from an area that was improved by the community and the sports league. It is taking away much needed space in our neighborhood to accommodate 20 preschool children this year and more after that.

The proposed bus schedule for the preschool alone is 8 buses at various times. This project is impacting more residents and children than it is helping. This is the worst possible area for the District to consider.

We are already saturated with traffic congestion in our neighborhood. We have huge safety concerns as it is. There are 5 schools, including Marshall, that are within less than a 1 mile radius of each other.

There is already insufficient parking for the residents of the area. I urge you to share this post, email Superintendent Jim Negri at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ., make your voice heard through the Forum and attend the next CVSUD board meeting to voice your concerns.

Anyone with ties to news organizations would be helpful. Thank you!

Debra Farinha, Castro Valley


Forum Flub: Nothing ‘Subjective’ About Chili Cook-Off Judging


In response to Amy Sylvestri’s story about the Chili Cook Off that ran last Wednesday, we in the Rotary Club very much appreciate the publicity.

But I need to correct a quote that Amy attributed to me, in which she quotes me as saying the judging process was “subjective.” I am sure what I actually said was “objective,” because the Rotary Club runs a very careful judging process to ensure that each participant has an even chance of winning.

For the record, here is the process we use, called a “double-blind” process:

• No Rotarian can serve as a judge.

• Judges are isolated in their judging shack until their task is done.

• The chili submissions are collected by a runner who is not included in the judging process.

• An identifying ticket is attached to each submission in a sealed envelope. The chili cooker keeps the other half of the ticket.

• Once the chilies are collected, they are randomly labeled with letters and taken to the judging shack. This is the first time the judges see the entries they are to judge.

• The judges use these letters to identify and grade the chilies submitted.

• The winning entries are brought to the event coordinator.

The competing chili cookers gather to find out who won, and at that time the sealed envelopes are opened by the coordinator and the ticket numbers read out. The cookers holding the matching ticket number are then identified.

I hope this clears up how objective we try to make the judging process at the Chili Cook Off! The Rotary Club thanks everyone who came out this year, and looks forward to having you all join us again next year up at the Ranch!

Kern Lewis, Castro Valley Rotary Club


Blames Prop. 218 for Mail-In Ballot

From Waste Management Authority


I am providing some answers to Ken Martin’s letter (“Says Waste Management Authority ‘Thumbs Its Nose’ at the Public,” Letters, May 7) regarding the recent mail-in ballot for a $9.95 tax on hazardous waste disposal.

I am not opining about the tax itself. I am just filling in the blanks so that he and other readers may understand why that voting structure is required by law. The requirement for voting on special taxes was established by Proposition 218, which California voters approved in 1996.

This “Right To Vote On Taxes Act” was heavily supported by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. Among other things, Proposition 218 required that all taxes go to a vote of the people instead of allowing elected representatives to set tax levels.

Proposition 218 specified that ballots be sent by mail. Thus, California law requires mail ballots, and the only way to change that is to change the law.

As for Mr. Martin’s conundrum about elected and appointed representatives on the Alameda County Waste Management Authority Board, its 17 members are indeed elected and appointed.

Since the County Board serves a broad array of cities (and unincorporated areas like Castro Valley), each elected city council or sanitary district board appoints one of its members to represent them. So, the members are elected locally, but then appointed to the County Board.

For Castro Valley residents, the only name that we can vote on will be for the Castro Valley Sanitary District Board. Presently, our appointed representative is David Sadoff.

Should he not serve on the Castro Valley Sanitary District Board, the Sanitary District Board will simply appoint another member to serve on the County Board. Castro Valley citizens have no control over the remaining 16 votes on the County Board.

I hope that helps Mr. Martin to understand the process that we voters imposed on ourselves by approving Proposition 218.

Brian A. Foster, Castro Valley


Boulevard’s Volunteer Clean-up Corps

Could Use a Little Help


Have you noticed a little less litter on Castro Valley Boulevard?  

In January we started a monthly litter pick up effort that covers the Boulevard from Grove Way on the east to Foothill Boulevard on the West  We use the group name of “Keep Castro Valley Beautiful” and could use some help.

I am looking for a few more volunteers willing to commit 2-3 hours per month to pick up litter on the Blvd. Rather than trying to coordinate one day each month, we have small groups (1 or 2 people) taking ownership for 1/2 mile segments of the Blvd. These small groups arrange their own schedule with a goal completing the clean-up of each segment within the first 10 days of each month.

This effort is done through the Alameda County Adopt-A-Spot program. The County provides bags, vests, pickup tools, safety instruction and picks up the bags of litter.

To participate you must sign a “Hold Harmless” agreement for the program. If you are interested please email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Carl Owens, Castro Valley


Doesn’t Want to Be Receiving All of Those Hayashi Campaign Mailers


Almost weekly I receive a slick mailer from Mary Hayashi’s Senate campaign.

Mary should save some trees and stop sending these to me – I’m not voting for her. I realize that she has money to burn thanks to a huge campaign war chest – most probably funded by Medical PACs during her stint in the State House of Representatives.

This is the same person that 2 and 1/2 years ago was charged with felony shoplifting from Neiman Marcus in San Francisco – pleading no contest to a reduced charge.

I urge 10th district voters not to support Mary Hayashi – we deserve better.

Matt Porter, Castro Valley


Sees No Reason for Rep. Swalwell

To Be Turned Out of Office


David Siegel (“Calls Corbett ‘True Champion of Workers and Small businesspeople,” Letters, May 7) made an interesting case for supporting Ellen Corbett in the upcoming election.

The only thing he failed to articulate was any reason why Eric Swalwell deserves to be removed from Office.

Two years ago voters had a clear reason to replace Pete Stark. His behavior and lack of accountability to his constituents, along with Swalwell’s persuasive campaign, convinced voters that the time had come to change our representation in D.C.

Today, we have a representative who is active, approachable, accountable and available to his constituents. In that respect, Swalwell has earned straight ‘A’s for his performance in office.

One of the most important questions we should ask in an election is whether an incumbent has met the needs of their constituents and is deserving of our continued support. Despite Corbett’s qualifications, Swalwell has represented us with the highest of integrity, shared our values and looked out after our best interests.

Swalwell is not only eminently qualified, but has diligently earned our trust and is therefore deserving of our continued support in his bid for re-election.

Rich Cooper, Castro Valley


Thankful for Senator Corbett’s

Support of Poetry and Art Show


I want to thank State Senator Ellen Corbett for attending the 4th Poetry & Art Show sponsored by the Castro Valley Educational Foundation on April 26 at the Castro Valley Library.

Senator Corbett delivered a positive message to the finalists and highlighted their artistic abilities, achievements and participation in the event with a certificate of recognition.

Students are well deserving of this acknowledgement. Their poems will be published in an Anthology of Creative Writing in the summer.

Winda Shimizu, Castro Valley

Well Yes, It Would Be Visible From

All Over the Bay Area


I have been following the debate about the Daughtrey’s building here and online, and I think both sides have legitimate ideas.

But the other day I was reading about the plans to build the Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia, which would stand 1 km (3,281 feet) tall. And it got me to thinking, why shouldn’t Castro Valley be the place to build a tower that’s even higher, say 1.25 km (about 4 times the height of Sutro Tower) high?

It would truly make Castro Valley a destination city, as our new tower would be visible from all over the Bay Area (on a clear day), and would provide top-notch office space, entertainment options, and living accommodations.

Granted, it would cost a lot of money and would mean demolishing most of the Boulevard to make room for the CV Tower, but I think it would really be a signature building that could transform the city.

The cost would be hefty, sure, but I think if creative ways were used to finance the construction, it could pay for itself fairly quickly.

An observation deck (with a coin catcher below, to guard against any ne’er-do-wells), bungee jumping, and an indoor hockey rink that we could use to lure the Sharks away from San Jose are just a few features I have in my current mock-up.

If we are all open-minded and creative today, it could very well lead to a brighter tomorrow.

Jeff Null, Castro Valley





Letters • 05-07-2014 | Print |  E-mail


Says Waste Management Authority

‘Thumbs its Nose’ at the Public


The envelope, please! And the winner for “Worst Sleazebag Penny-ante Politicians In A Group” goes to....the Alameda County Waste Management Authority!

First sleazy move: sending out postcards about a $9.55 tax (Yes, it is a tax! Fees don’t require a vote.) with the proviso that to vote “No” you must return the attached postcard. If the card wasn’t returned, you were automatically counted as a “Yes” vote whether you liked it or not.

What they got, but I’m sure they didn’t expect, was that over 90% of returned cards were “No” votes! So, with a “public be damned” attitude, they decided to have their own board vote on it.

Twelve “yes” board votes were required for the tax to pass but they only got eleven. Logically, this should have ended it. But wait! There’s more!

Second sleazy move: Because two of their board members weren’t there to vote on the first vote, the administration (which is obviously a puppet of Waste Management Corporation) decided to hold a second vote after the absent members returned. This would give them the opportunity to bully, browbeat, bribe, or otherwise coerce at least one of these missing members into casting a “yes” vote thereby passing a tax that had already suffered two defeats.

Remember, these are people that you are paying to do a job for you. Instead they are thumbing their collective noses at you, the public, and contriving underhanded ways to get what they want regardless of what the public thinks!!

As near as I can tell, this board is made of “elected” members “appointed” by each local city. (Aren’t the terms “elected” and “appointed” virtually mutually exclusive?). Their names will apparently appear on a ballot somewhere at some time. Should you see this entity on a ballot, remember to vote out the people that are hoodwinking the public!!!

Ken Martin, Castro Valley


Calls Corbett ‘True Champion of

Workers and Small Businesspeople’


At election time this year we have an obvious choice for our representative to the Congress. We should elect Ellen Corbett, our current State Senate Majority Leader, to serve us in Washington.

Ellen has true Democratic ideals; she has a long and successful track record as a legislator and is a true champion of the workers and small businesspeople.

Ellen has the distinction of being a Distinguished Consumer Champion and the backing of most all the local labor groups. Ms. Corbett works for you and me, not big business interests, as the source of her campaign contributions illustrate.

With over 20 years of experience as a San Leandro City Councilmember and Mayor, State Assemblyperson and Senator, she knows what it takes to effectively run government.

Many of her bills have benefitted the local environment, hospitals, job growth and education. With Ellen’s record of service, there really is not a close comparison in experience between her and the other candidates. I urge everyone to make sure and vote for Ellen Corbett for Congress later this year.

David Siegel, President

Castro Valley Democratic Club


Letters • 04-30-2014 | Print |  E-mail


No Need for Another Park When the

Town Needs a Revenue-Generator


It has been said before, we have a park at the Adobe on San Miguel which is not used very much; were it not for the bocce players it would be used even less.

To some it may appear that a downtown park is a good Idea. I will tell you why it’s not. For starters, it will not be a revenue generating venture. It will, instead, be a drain on the local economy.

Where will the money come from to develop the site? Will there be funds set aside for maintenance needs? What will happen when the park needs upkeep and there are no funds? Take a look at Adobe Park, it’s already looking shabby.

The property should be marketed to a private developer, who will build it out to its maximum potential. I believe it should be primarily retail in nature. Creative minds who are investing their own money find ways of maximizing land use.

It will create jobs, and add to the central shopping core of our town.

Much planning went into the Streetscape project, the wider sidewalks were a major part of the plan, designed to accommodate pedestrian traffic.

Take a good look at the tenant mix on the Boulevard. We are not going to attract shoppers when much of what we have to offer are gasoline stations, auto repair shops and banks.

The Village has been upgraded and has become a very attractive and busy place, and with the addition of TJ Maxx Castro Valley can become a shopping destination.

We need to start improving our tenant mix if we want people to spend money in Castro Valley.

Al. Bronzini, Castro Valley


Crawford’s Claims About Castro Valley Matters Volunteers Called ‘False’


In a letter (“Calls on Town Square Proponents to Reject CV Matters’ Online Tactics,” Letters, April 23), Marc Crawford, Chair of the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council (MAC), accused Castro Valley Matters volunteers of vandalism and anonymous online attacks against him and Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley.

When a public official makes unsubstantiated claims and broadly targets a group of residents petitioning their government for positive change in Castro Valley, a response is necessary.

Chair Crawford’s claims about Castro Valley Matters and its volunteers are false.

Neither Castro Valley Matters nor anyone associated with Castro Valley Matters was behind the graffiti that appeared on the Daughtrey’s building.

Further, Castro Valley Matters volunteers do not participate in, condone, or promote anonymous online attacks.

Castro Valley Matters seeks to “Engage, Inform, Promote, and Advocate for a Better Castro Valley.” We are community members from different backgrounds who live in and love Castro Valley. We do what we do openly and remain completely transparent about who we are. The opinions we share on our blog are thoroughly vetted and supported by facts. We believe that transparency and honesty benefit the public process.

We are encouraged by Supervisor Nate Miley’s engagement with the Castro Valley community, particularly through the Eden Area Livability Initiative (EALI), and we enjoy a positive working relationship with him. Castro Valley Matters has actively participated in and promoted EALI, and will continue to do so as that process moves into its implementation phase.

We invite anyone who lives in and loves Castro Valley as much as we do to join us as we seek to make Castro Valley a better place. Join in the conversation at castrovalleymatters.org, or on Facebook and Twitter.

David Ashton & Michael Kusiak

‘Disappointed’ by Crawford’s Remarks

On Daughtreys, CastroValleyMatters


In regards to Mark Crawford’s Letter to the Editor on April 23 (see above), I have to say I was disappointed in him.

I could not believe that he basically called the Daughterys slum lords. He has no idea how much good this family has done for Castro Valley.

Then he went on to attack a Castro Valley native, David Ashton. Maybe he doesn’t know all the good that Mr. Ashton (also known as CV Legend) has done for Castro Valley. He has a Facebook page called CV Legends that is a history/gathering place for all those who love Castro Valley. I met him through that page and have had the honor to be administrator a few times while he was out of town.

To even suggest that he would graffiti anything in Castro Valley or elsewhere is to not know the man. He has started food drives during the holidays; people dropping off the food at his home and other locations. He will even come pick it up for you.

Due  to his efforts and hard work, he was able to get a CV museum here, if just for a day. He has even started a scholarship at Castro Valley High. Guess what the scholarship is based on? It’s based on who can write the best joke. Yes, David has a sense of humor. And that picture that was posted was just a taste of his humor, which runs amok all over the place.

I feel bad that you don’t have one. And a side note, I was for the town square and still am, just not at the Daughtrey location. I love the fact that both David and Michael Kusiak have passion for CV. David, born here, has lived here all his life, and Michael, new to the Valley.

They have vision and spunk. And while I may not always agree with what they envision, I would never attack or slander them.

I really believe that you, Mr. Crawford, owe the Daughtrey family, David Ashton and Michael Kusiak an apology. And shake their hands for goodness sake next time you run into them!

N. A. Patterson, Castro Valley


Would Like to See a Macy’s or

JCPenney Occupy Daughtrey Site


Regarding news about the ancient building on Castro Valley Blvd., my recommendation is the following:

Move in a department store such as J.C.Penney or Macy’s, etc. It would keep us out of the malls and spending our money locally as in the old days before the malls.

Sandra Hinton, Castro Valley


Despite Drought, East Bay Residents

Lack Concern for Conserving Water


I am dismayed at the complete and total lack of concern in our communities concerning this extreme drought.

Nightly we are kept informed by the weather people how bad this extreme drought is. In certain communities in California there is mandatory rationing and water police are making rounds informing people as to this drought and how to manage water.

Yet in our communities in the East Bay, I have seen people still washing their cars while letting the hose run, washing down their sidewalks, watering lawns in the middle of the day and our schools having “car washes.”

There is not enough water for the farmers yet there is enough water to waste washing cars and feeding lawns?

There are many ways to conserve water and it starts with education. The last big drought was in 1977 and we have had another 15 million people added to the population of California since then.

There needs to be a better government response for the control of water and my recommendation is that the schools have a one-day-a-year “Drought Day.” On this day they can understand the history of water usage in California and how to conserve. This would include using drought resistant plants and how to use water in the home.

We have too many people thinking water is an unlimited resource and that it originates from a faucet.

Dan Dalton, Fairview


Concerned About Old Pipes and Water Usage for Pot-Growing, Fracking


I am very disturbed about the pressure of solving the drought problem being primarily put upon the general public. Of course, we all need to do our best to conserve water. However, I have 3 concerns.

One is EBMUD. There have been several water main breaks in neighborhoods this year. Who knows how many considerable gallons were lost? The causes of the breaks, as I understand it, are outdated, very old pipes, lack of proper maintenance, and not enough oversight.

Another major concern is the practice of fracking. The fact that this process uses so much excess water should be reason enough to have a law against it. At the very least, it should be banned during a drought season. But drought or not, fracking poisons our groundwater, is ugly, and very environmentally destructive.

Only big money corporate executives benefit from fracking, and they would never do it in their own backyard.

Another worry is the process of illegal marijuana growing, which uses an excessive amount of water and endangers our environment. Just legalize pot!

Flo Wiley, Castro Valley


Letters • 04-23-2014 | Print |  E-mail


Urges Opposition to Current

Immigration Reform Bill


Having gone to the Castro Valley Library to hear the 15th District congressional candidates talk about their positions on current legislation and social issues, I was sorely disappointed to hear the two top-tiered candidates – Rep. Eric Swalwell and Ellen Corbett – say they will vote for the current Immigration Reform Bill.

First of all, I would just like to say that I think Americans have been severely misled by the language used to describe this bill, both by politicians and our media.

It has so much more to do with militarizing our borders and putting in a surveillance state than it does to provide immigrants with a pathway to citizenship. It should be called the Militarizing Our Borders Bill, as that is exactly what it would do.

As journalist Todd Miller writes in an article aptly titled “Senate disguises militarization as immigration reform” for Salon Magazine. As

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy put it, this will be the “Christmas wish list for Halliburton,” and the border security industry, as at this year’s Border Security Expo, is visibly licking its chops.

Also, countless immigration reform groups do not support this bill as they point out that it puts very onerous conditions on citizenship and would be dangerous. And, one group, Presente.org, claim, “[it] will turn the southern border of the United States into a permanent war zone.”

So, why are Democrats on the bandwagon to pass a bad bill that will to dole out billions of taxpayers monies to military contractors to militarize our borders? Please call them and ask them not to support this bad bill.

Camille Sauvé, Castro Valley


Calls on Town Square Proponents to

Reject CV Matters’ Online Tactics


The Daughtrey’s Department Store closed in 1991. Since then, the Daughtrey’s family failed to find a decent tenant.

In 2009, the County was about to cut a $2-million loan to the family to fix up the building. Upon recognizing that $650,000 would never be repaid, we managed to terminate the deal. Rewarding this landlord for blighting our downtown would have been insulting.

We pushed for the County to use eminent domain to take the property. By 2011 the County had closed escrow paying  $2.7 million. The property remains in limbo due to the State dissolving the Redevelopment Agency.

The County put the property up for sale and selected a developer. The County and developer  have been negotiating a contract while awaiting approval by the State.

Recently, some citizens suggested a replacement of the building with a Town Square. These town square proponents brought their idea to the CVMAC and wanted the County to do a feasibility study on their concept. The Council recommended these individuals do their own study and bring it back to the CVMAC for approval.

Passionate members of the group were inflamed by the CVMAC requiring them to do the study. They immediately started attacking me and Supervisor Miley on anonymous Facebook pages. These same people chose to graffiti the building the day of the hearing by spray painting “Tear it Down” in several locations.

One of the group’s leaders, David Ashton posted a photograph of the graffiti on his CV Legends Facebook page with a protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask (which is a symbol for worldwide anarchy). No one from the Town Square-CV Matters group has publicly condemned these despicable tactics. Why is that?

On March 17, the town square proponents returned to the CVMAC. Unfortunately the cost analysis was severely underestimated and there was no public entity willing to build the project.

One presenter, Michael Kusiak, said that a public agency (namely HARD) should do all the work while the proponents just act as cheerleaders on the sidelines. The presentation offered nothing more than a hope and a dream. The MAC voted 4-2 to continue to pursue remodeling the building.

It is time for the town square proponents to look inside their group and decide if they approve of these tactics. There are many good people involved, but they need to decide if their leaders’ two-faced behavior is acceptable.

Is attacking and alienating decision-makers a recipe for success? Do you really want to be involved in the glorification of public property vandalism? Is cowardly attacking people online appropriate, simply because you disagree?

This group will continue to be marginalized from within as long as this conduct is condoned.

Marc Crawford, Chair


Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council

Appalled by Irresponsible Dog Owners


I am an avid dog lover and rescuer, live and breathe for my beloved dogs, but completely agree with the letter in the April 9 Forum regarding dog walkers not picking up after their dogs.

I am appalled to walk down sidewalks throughout Castro Valley where irresponsible dog owners let their dogs defecate on lawns and sidewalks and just leave it there.

I see them all the time at parks as well, that is why one by one all schools and most parks have converted to the “No Dogs Allowed” policy, because of the few that ruined it for the rest of us and our dogs.

While we were chatting and our dogs were playing together, I asked a man at Carlos Bee Park if he picks up after his little dog. He told me “only if someone is watching, otherwise I don’t,” and he was serious.

Another time I was walking behind a man with a big dog and a lady with a small dog that were heading towards the bridge in the back of Earl Warren Park. The man let his 100-plus-pound dog take a poop, right beside the walking path, knowing I was watching and just left it there for children, elderly, other dogs – whatever – to step in. 

I was so horrified. I picked it up. Unfortunately I am finding myself doing this more and more, but it is disgusting and I shouldn’t have to.

Please people, not only the individual who lets their dog defecate on Hillside Court, but all of you, please pick up after your dogs, otherwise may I suggest you relinquish your dog to responsible owners who will. The community thanks you.

B.L. Espinoza, Castro Valley


Says Pelosi Got it Wrong on

Unemployment Benefits


Democrat Nancy Pelosi claims that every dollar spent on unemployment benefits will somehow stimulate the economy by $1.90, due to “the multiplier effect.”  Obviously she still believes in Keynesian economics, the fantasy that government spending helps the economy.

Politicians like Pelosi fail to understand two things about economics: First, they don’t understand how wealth is created. Wealth is created by “transferring assets to a higher valued use.”  This only happens when a business in the private sector makes a profit, i.e. when it sells a product or a service. Then it uses some of that profit to invest in more labor and equipment to make more profits. That is the only true “multiplier effect.”

However, the government never makes a profit when it spends money. That’s because government spending does not “transfer assets to a higher valued use.” Therefore, government spending does not create any new wealth. So it does not have any “multiplier effect.” At best, most government spending just transfers money from one pocket to another. But in reality, the government destroys some of the money it transfers, because the government must pay for the bureaucrats who actually transfer the money.

The second fact which Keynesians don’t understand is that every time the government spends a dollar (to “help” the economy) it must first remove a dollar’s worth of wealth from the private sector, which hurts the economy. The government removes money by taxing, borrowing, or inflating the currency (printing excess money). But removing money from the economy prevents the private sector from using that money to create new wealth. Obviously this hurts the economy.

If government spending on unemployment benefits really helped the economy, then why don’t we all stop working and live off unemployment benefits? Of course that would be absurd. Well, Keynesian economics is absurd.

Peter Hauer, Castro Valley


Calls Supreme Court’s Ruling on

Donations to Candidates a ‘Horror’


So the corporate lackeys on the Supreme Court bench just took the gloves off of the Corporation’s ability to buy our elections. This, they claim is in the interest of free speech, yet they somehow forgot to take the limits off of us Citizens.

This wouldn’t be such a big thing if it weren’t for the fact that modern advertisers have such amazing ability to sway the public. Maybe this is best summed up in the term the CEOs themselves use when they refer to buyer loyalty, that is, “Branding.”

In fact, research shows that branded customers display the same sorts of physiological and psychological responses to their favored product line as the Faithful show to their religion; maybe a little more sway than one ordinarily assumes.

From now, until the time this horror is reversed, we ought to first follow the money behind every voting option, then turn away and vote to maintain our own rights as Citizens.

Karl Hodges, Castro Valley


Letters • 04-16-2014 | Print |  E-mail


MAC’s Miraglia: CVMatters Ignores

Long Public Process on Daughtrey


There was a very long and public process that led to the purchase of the Daughtrey’s building.

The Castro Valley Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) wanted the building purchased for retail redevelopment in the downtown. The Town Square advocates have ignored this process or, as Mr. Foster (a history teacher no less) told me, “the history doesn’t matter.” Well, history does matter, particularly in terms of public process.

If the intent of the purchase based on public process had been a town square and there was suddenly a group wanting it sold to a developer for retail, would the CVMatters’ tune change?

The MAC’s motion stated that the County should finish its negotiations with the developer and bring it to the Board of Supervisors by June 30. Should that not happen, the County will open up the bidding process again by remarketing the property for sale. Should another qualified bidder not be selected within a six month period, the  County will provide a feasibility study to the MAC of other options for the property to include but not be limited to a town square or parking.

The MAC had two other options in terms of a motion: endorse retail only or endorse the town square only, throwing the other out the window.

Instead, a motion was crafted in an effort to be fair and give respect to the public process thus far, to the developer who has acted in good faith, and to the people who care so passionately about a town square – even though they are coming very late to the table with little more than that passion.

In closing: I understand that the Town Square advocates are passionate and believe in their cause. However, I do not condone the attack mode and/or smoke-screen-and-mirror actions that some in their group employ.

What “matters” in living as a community in Castro Valley is the same here as anywhere else: speaking in truth, acting with integrity and treating each other with respect even when we disagree.

Cheryl Miraglia, Vice Chair


CV Municipal Advisory Council

Says Daughtrey Building Just Right

For a Safe, Fun Kids’ Club


Haven’t our small businesses taken enough with big construction? Are we really going to pay to destruct a large historic building?

Our community is full of exceptionally awesome kids. Can someone bring the bucks and give them a proper kids’ club? A private club with picture IDs for accountability and a good feeling of being a part of something good.

Fun stuff, educational stuff, sports, diversified tournaments, prizes for grades, wall of honor, after school supervision, on and on the possibilities are endless. Located right next to the creamery, Olga’s Piano Studio, USA Kungfu Studio, and the Village, it’s our kids favorite place in town.

I’m not talking about a teenager hangout. None of that. I’m talking about a kids’ club. Safe, fun and healthy. Snack bar, computer centers, chess, reading, math lessons. Kids teaching kids. Astro turf the entire 2nd floor and create a playing field. Soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball, badminton, whatever they want to play.  Local coaches for training. Teams, groups, lessons.

The possibilities just grow and grow. It’s a gold mine. We all know how much we pay for child care and activities. Lets invest some of that into ourselves and  our community.

Randy Ray, Castro Valley


Thinks CVMatters Should Devote

Energies to Recruiting New Business


From the number of letters in support of a Downtown Plaza in the April 9 issue of the Forum, it is obvious that Peter Rosen is encouraging his followers to write letters to further distort his claims of support for the project.

In the analysis packet that he gave me, he claims to have “engaged over 1,000 Castro Valley residents” at a Saturday Farmers’ Market and by other methods and “found wide support” for removing the Daughtrey building.

(Note: it does not say support for building a plaza, only for removing the building!!) I seriously doubt this support exists.

Of the many residents (certainly not 1,000 but a significant number) to whom I have broached the subject, only two, Peter Rosen and a casual acquaintance of mine (who said it might be “nice”), showed any kind of support for a plaza. All others, 100% of them, vehemently opposed it, including many merchants whose support Rosen claims to have. It appears that is claim of “wide support” is largely a fabrication.

The packet also cites the fact that many other cities have plazas. I find these constant comparisons to other cities totally irritating because we are not other cities.

We are Castro Valley with our own needs, most of which are of much higher priority than a poorly designed and high maintenance plaza. Just look around and you will see them.

If “Castro Valley Matters” is so concerned about our community, wouldn’t their energies be better directed toward promoting other community needs like obtaining new businesses (restaurants, for example, so we don’t keep sending our tax money to Pleasanton) and curbs and sidewalks for the plethora of CV neighborhoods that don’t have them?

It is interesting to note the letters noting all the wonderful Castro Valley activities in which “Castro Valley Matters” is involved. If all this is so, why have most of us never heard of them until Mr. Rosen initiated his vendetta against the Daughtrey building?

Ken Martin, Castro Valley


If You’re Aware of Domestic Violence,

Don’t Turn a Blind Eye!


It was truly a tragedy that a recent domestic violent situation in our Castro Valley community resulted in homicide. However, I want to thank Evelyn Carmack and Dot Theodore, for their letters to the Forum (April 2) in pointing out that: (1) domestic violence exists and is occurring closer to us than we would like to acknowledge; (2) don’t wait for “someone else” to deal with it - I/you/we can help end domestic violence by getting involved; and (3) there will always be additional victims involved in these situations that need our assistance, generosity, and compassion.

I also want to thank “Amar” of Wells Fargo Bank in Hayward for his diligence and willingness to follow up in order to provide the following information. For anyone interested in contributing to the Mi Fund, send check donations to: Mi Fund, PO Box 2131, Castro Valley 94546, or you can go to any Wells Fargo Bank and tell the staff that your contribution is for the “Mi Fund in Castro Valley” or you can go to Wells Fargo in Hayward and ask for either “Amar” or “Lucky.” Amar said bank staff should be able to locate the right account.

If you or someone you know is in a domestic violent situation, reach out and get help. If you are fortunate enough to be able to help those who are in that situation, please don’t turn a blind eye. Get involved. Kudos goes to the swim team, the East Bay Bat Rays, and their board for supporting the Mi sisters! I/you/we can make a difference by getting involved. Let’s start with our own community of Castro Valley.

Domestic Violence Hotline: 1(800) 799-7233;

TTY-hearing/speech impaired: 1(800) 787-3224.

Kaiser: xnet.ph.org/domesticviolence/gethelp/index.html and click on “Alameda County.”

Aileen Chong-Jeung, Councilmember

CV Municipal Advisory Council




Letters • 04-09-2014 | Print |  E-mail


Crawford’s Reaction to Foster Letter Called

‘Unnecessarily Extreme’


In his April 4 letter, Marc Crawford (MAC Chair Crawford on the March 17 ‘Town Square’ Meeting) unfortunately provided another example of the concerns I expressed in my initial letter to the Forum: he reacted in an unnecessarily extreme manner, ignored my main concerns, and then tried to avoid the real issues by setting up a straw man argument (arguing over competing unofficial cost estimates).

Sadly, it seems I failed to get my message across. I am simply working to improve our community by supporting and encouraging those who are acting in good faith to do so, inviting others to join in that effort, and creating partnerships with elected officials to achieve results.

Mr. Crawford might ask himself why – instead of embracing the volunteer efforts of highly educated members of our community – he instead chose to demonize them as anarchists. After all, they have nothing personal to gain except a better Castro Valley.

Why does he not support State Senator Corbett’s attempts to fix an unforeseen problem with redevelopment instead of blaming her for her vote on the State’s budget package that inadvertently created this problem?

Why is he trying to block the idea of the Town Square before official cost estimates can even be created? He required nonprofessionals to create unofficial estimates and then (surprise) disagreed with them in favor of his own unofficial estimates that he plucked out of thin air.

No, Mr. Crawford, leadership does not mean getting mired in irrelevant, inconsequential, and unwinnable arguments over whose unofficial cost estimates are more valid. Leadership means encouraging, supporting, and inspiring others to do great things.

So once again I invite you to add your apologies to mine, and vow to create open, welcoming public forums that support the efforts of others to improve our community.

Brian A. Foster, Castro Valley


Hopes Crawford ‘Can See Past His Personal

Issues’ with Castro Valley Matters


In response to Mr Crawford’s letter (see above) of last week:

When I joined the cause for the Castro Valley Town Square, I leaned toward the “Give Retail a Chance” camp that Mr. Crawford and the MAC espouse.

But after research into urban design and economic development planning, I saw the logic for a Town Square to improve a downtown area, and also realized the fallacy of my thinking that a single retail store could revitalize downtown, especially with dozens of vacancies in the area.

Mr. Crawford has done some amazing things for the benefit of Castro Valley. I hope he can see past his personal issues with those in our group (Castro Valley Matters) that he mistakenly thinks are linked to “anarchists” and see this idea as the residents and businesses of Castro Valley see it: A logical next step to improve Castro Valley - a place I know he loves as much as we do.

We invite him to sit down with us for a coffee or lunch to discuss this issue, rather than air them out on these pages – I have a feeling that the differences are not as great as any of us think they are.

The Town Square is an important part of Castro Valley’s General Plan – let’s complete that vision and construct the Square at the Daughtrey site, the historic and cultural town center. This is an opportunity that should not be missed.

Scott San Filippo, Castro Valley


‘To Clarify Some Misconceptions’ about Town

Square Proposal


I would like to clarify some misconceptions about our Town Square proposal.

We actively engaged the businesses in the village and those nearest the Daughtrey’s building because these businesses would directly be affected by the parking and community events that a Town Square would bring.

When we first approached these businesses, most of them were in favor of remodeling the building, but after a few minutes of discussing the site and ideas with them, most of them realized that the town square would be more beneficial to the entire downtown than the remodel.

The Chamber of Commerce poll did not include any information, mention the added parking value, and asked all of the Chamber of Commerce members, regardless of their location. Bill Mulgrew from the Chamber of Commerce mentioned this at the MAC meeting, and the poll that they commissioned should be viewed in that light.

Our report is not “riddled with errors.”  The demolition costs were based upon known estimates, and there have still been no estimates for the lead and asbestos mitigation that include backfilling the basement.   Anything else is pure speculation.

Eileen Dalton from the AC Community Development Agency did inform us that the $950,000 appraisal of the site includes the $260,000 reduction for the water contamination. She told me that she understood where the confusion came from on these two errors, and she referred to our report as “great” and “impressive” and confirmed that the town square construction costs were in line with Alameda County’s own estimates for a mid-level plaza.

Thomas Jefferson wrote that a well informed electorate is a prerequisite to democracy, and if people would like more information, please contact us at castrovalleymatters.org.

Peter Rosen, Castro Valley


All are Welcome to Join Castro Valley Matters;

Here’s How


This is an open letter to the Forum and to all of Castro Valley. Castro Valley Matters is a group of residents whose stated goal is to engage, inform, promote, and advocate for a better Castro Valley.

The Town Square proposal is only one of the things we are focused on – we are also focused on everything from schools to sidewalks to state legislation.

We welcome anyone who lives in Castro Valley to join us on any and all of our projects. You can find us on our blog, www.castrovalleymatters.org; on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/CastroValleyMatters ; and on Twitter, at @CeeVeeMatters.

You can also find us in person at MAC meetings, EALI working group meetings, school board meetings, parent-teacher association meetings, taking our kids to the library, biking to the movie theater, cleaning up on Earth Day, and at countless other places and events in Castro Valley.

Whether you are new to the political process or a seasoned veteran; whether you are a lifelong resident or moved here yesterday, we look forward to hearing from you and working with each and every one of you to make Castro Valley a better place to live.

Rebecca Stanek-Rykoff


Joined Castro Valley Matters to Find Solution to

Parking and Central Gathering Place


I am a supporter of the Castro Valley Matters Town Square Proposal.  I believe that Castro Valley needs a destination in its downtown.

We have been through a process of beautification on Castro Valley Boulevard. What we need now is transformation – a reason to come to the downtown and support our local businesses.

I became part of Castro Valley Matters because I wanted a solution to an ongoing problem in our downtown, namely a desperate need for parking and the lack of a central spot to gather that offers a reason to walk around and enjoy Castro Valley.

What CV Matters apparently did not understand was the depth of feeling on the part of those MAC members, local citizens, and politicians who had been dealing with the eyesore of the Daughtrey’s Building site for a very long time. They wanted it off their docket and they finally saw an end in sight with the potential sale to the developer.

It’s hard to argue with someone who has dealt with a long-term problem that they are using short-term thinking.  I would in no way diminish their efforts.  However, I think that losing this site, which urban designers we talked to felt was ideal for a Town Square, would offer only short-term gain and be a long-term mistake.

A well-designed town square will lift the fortunes of all the businesses surrounding it, raising their value by increasing foot-traffic and keeping open 50-60 parking spaces that would be swallowed up by the remodeled building.

Also, towns and cities within short driving distance of Castro Valley have moved ahead, retrofitting their suburban, car-centered development to create places in which people want to gather.  Yes, there’s a cost to transformation, but the cost of not keeping pace also is very high.

Ellen O’Donnell, Castro Valley


Wants to See Historic Daughtrey Building

Preserved, Renovated


Mr. Lorentzen wrote a good article about the history of Daughtrey’s Department Store in Castro Valley (“From the Boulevard: Remembering Daughtrey’s,” Page 1, The Forum, March 26), but he didn’t mention Daughtrey’s history in Pleasanton. It was located in the historic Roxy Theatre building at 641 Main St., which was Pleasanton’s first moving picture house in 1927, and in 1937 it became the Roxy Theatre. It closed in 1955 because of the popular drive-in theatres.

After that, the building was occupied by Slettin’s Department Store, followed by Daughtrey’s.

Pleasanton is doing a great job of restoring and preserving its original historical buildings, and Castro Valley should, too. The Daughtrey’s building in Castro Valley should not be demolished, it should be renovated.

Sharon Burns, Castro Valley


An Open Letter to an Irresponsible Dog Walker


To the person who walks the dog on Hillside Court in CV and lets it defecate on the sidewalk in front of my house, today marks the 5th time in 2-3 weeks that I have had to clean up your dog’s mess and who knows how many times previously.

Why are you leaving the mess? Being a responsible pet owner includes feeding pets properly, providing them clean water, taking them to the vet for check ups and vaccinations and cleaning up after them.

Do you leave piles of poop in your yard?

Neighborhood children run and play on the sidewalk and the mess there is not only a problem of hygiene but also of safety.

When you are out for a walk next time please take a plastic or paper  bag along and clean up after your pet. If you can’t be responsible for that you probably should not be a pet owner.

E.M. Lewis, Castro Valley


Your Invitation to This Weekend’s Book Sale


We are writing to inform the Castro Valley community of the upcoming Book Sale sponsored by the Friends of the Castro Valley Library which begins with member’s night from 6-8 p.m. this Friday, April 11, and continues with a general public sale 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and concludes with the general public “$3 per bag sale” on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

We expect to have our usual fine collection of children’s books, hardback/paperback fiction and mystery books, trade fiction, science fiction, literature, and a wide selection of non-fiction books. The public support of the Book Store sales, of the weekend sales, and online sales of the Friends of the Castro Valley Library over the past four years has been tremendous and we are very gratified.

Community donations and support in our sales have enabled the Friends to provide thousands of dollars of support to the Castro Valley Library.  Thank you very much.

Jane Kraut, President

Ned Lyke, Past-President

Friends of the Castro Valley Library






Letters • 04-02-2014 | Print |  E-mail


Editor’s Note: In last week’s Letters column, an editing error deleted the first portion of the headline on the first letter. It should have read:

“Open Letter to Marc Crawford:

‘Embarrassed’ by MAC Chair at Town Square Meeting.”

Crawford’s response is below.

MAC Chair Crawford on the March 17

‘Town Square’ Meeting


I rarely respond to hate letters in the Forum, but Mr. Foster, you should be embarrassed with yourself for your petty attack on me in your March 26 letter.

I have always assumed that you were more mature than that. I realize that the group of town square supporters runs the gamut from concerned citizen to anarchist (clearly evidenced by their Facebook posts). Many in this group came on scene a couple of years ago and their tendency for attacking anyone who disagrees with them is well documented. It is a shame to see that you have been consumed by that influence.

The town square proponents based the financial success of their proposal on SB1129 and Senator Corbett’s support of that bill. I rightly pointed out that Senator Corbett voted for the bills which dissolved our redevelopment agency. Her actions have caused the Daughtreys building to be held in limbo since 2011. It makes no sense to me to pin our hopes on such a fantasy. Your exaggerated  tantrum on this is beneath you.

As MAC Chair, it is my responsibility to control the meeting. Anyone in the audience is allowed to speak at the microphone during a public hearing. When outbursts are allowed, within a few short minutes the meeting can descend into utter chaos. The gentlemen that I corrected apologized to me after the meeting. I did not “yell” at him but certainly had to raise my voice to be heard over him. That is hardly the abuse case that you describe.

You and your new associates constantly proclaim that the majority of citizens and businesses support the town square. Your poll of 18 of 20 businesses in support is your evidence. Yet when the Chamber of Commerce did their objective poll it was 75% of businesses against the town square. There are a number of other statements made during the town square presentation that were disingenuous.

The Town Square Team spent weeks assembling their presentation which they state was in collaboration with all manner of experts. While there was plenty of good information,  the demolition and construction analysis was riddled with errors. I used my 30 years of experience in construction to correct the record. Your version of leadership would suppose that I allow the Council to vote based on misinformation. I am not willing to do that.  I believe that is called Leadership.

In the end the Council voted 4-2 for the retail option to be fully explored for the Daughtreys site before any other options are explored. A town square could be a possibility. However, if the County has $2-3 mil to spend in CV, there needs to be a much larger discussion about where that money should be spent.

Marc Crawford, Chair


Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council

Superintendent Negri Asks for Input

On New Method of School Funding


The Castro Valley Unified School District is seeking community input.

This year, California significantly changed how it funds schools with the adoption of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which requires all districts to develop a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) for all students based on input from all stakeholders.  The LCAP will further align the district’s financial resources with its educational goals.

Learn more about the LCAP by going to the district webpage at www.cv.k12.ca.us under “News & Updates” and view a short video and, more importantly, provide your input on the LCAP by taking the survey.

Additional input can be emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Thank you in advance for your participation. It will help shape the future of our students.

Jim Negri, Superintendent


Castro Valley Unified School District

Recent CV Homicide a Reminder of

Domestic Violence Here at Home


Although I was appalled by the events described, I want to thank you for publishing the article about the suspected domestic violence murder on Stanton Avenue in early March (“Suspect in CV Homicide Surrenders,” Page 1, The Forum, March 19).

I want to encourage you, the editor, and everyone who reads The Forum to use this incident as an opportunity to raise awareness about domestic violence. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice state that in 2013 over 6 million children witnessed domestic violence and each day an average of 3 women and 1 man was murdered by their partner.

There is no reason that our neighbors, friends or family should be silently suffering or dying. The fact that something like this could happen is evidence that we still have some major shortcomings as a community. We must not let domestic violence happen to each other. Even though it is a difficult subject to talk about, we should no longer ignore the suffering of those in our community.

Those who are not fluent in english, such as Yun Yi Zhang, or those who are living here as undocumented immigrants are especially vulnerable to domestic violence because they fear losing their home, children or job if they report any crime to the authorities. You may know someone living in this situation who is afraid to speak up.

If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence, talk about it. There are many resources out there for free, confidential, emotional and legal support.

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233

1-800-787-3224 (TTY for hearing/speech impaired)

Kaiser website: xnet.kp.org/domesticviolence/gethelp/index.html click on the link: “Alameda County”

Evelyn Carmack, Castro Valley


Asks for Community’s Compassion For Daughters of Murder Victim


A community is more than just a place where you live. A community is made up of the people around you. A community can become that thing you rely on when tragedy strikes.

We are all painfully aware of the tragic murder of YunYi Zhang, on March 14 in her home in Castro Valley, right here in our community.  Her daughters are now on a long journey of healing.

The Mi sisters are part of our community.   Whether or not you know the girls, or whether or not you knew YunYi Zhang, their mother, they are a part of our community. We have an opportunity to show the sisters our support as they rebuild their lives.

The Mi sisters have received incredible support from their swim team, the East Bay Bat Rays. Teammates rallied around the sisters days after the tragedy, embracing them and reassuring them that they were surrounded by love. This is what community does.

The swim team board has set up a charitable account for them at Wells Fargo in Hayward.   If you wish to make a donation, please send a check to Mi Fund, PO Box 2131, Castro Valley 94546.

Let us all show these girls that their story is not just a tragic story in our community. Let us show them that their well-being matters to us all, that we are a community with compassion.

Dot Theodore, Castro Valley


So, What – Just Exactly – Does ‘Upscale’ Mean?


During the debate concerning who should occupy the former Blockbuster Video store at the corner of CV  Boulevard and San Miguel it was argued that the entrance to Castro Valley should have a more  “upscale” tenant than a Goodwill store.

So with the addition of Nation’s  Hamburgers to that corner we can now all be thankful that visitors to our hometown are welcomed with the sight of stacked 5 gallon paint buckets and enticed by the aroma of rapidly prepared food.

Marcos Eisenberg, Castro Valley


Hundreds of Items to Bid On During

Proctor PTA Online Auction


Proctor School PTA would like to invite the community to check out our online auction at www.biddingforgood.com/ProctorPTA.

We have over 200 items to bid on, including amusement park tickets, bay cruises, sports memorabilia, hotel accommodations, summer camps, gift cards, museum tickets, and so much more! Funds raised from the auction will be used to support school programs for our students. The auction closes this Friday, April 4th.

Debbie Parkes, Proctor PTA






Letters • 03-26-2014 | Print |  E-mail


‘Embarrassed’ by MAC Chair at

Town Square Meeting


There have been times when I have supported you, and times when I’ve disagreed with you.

During the March 17 MAC meeting, I was disappointed, embarrassed, and ashamed about how you portrayed Castro Valley.

I ask that you review the proceedings and evaluate whether you overstepped your position and acted inappropriately. Personally, I found that you bullied and shamed people into arguments that served no purpose.

When you insulted Senator Corbett’s staff member by stating that you had no faith in the Senator’s bill (no faith in her effort? ability? intention?), I apologized to her aide on behalf of Castro Valley, and said that you did not represent all of Castro Valley.

Indeed, since you are not elected, you represent only yourself. After you reflect on your words, perhaps you will apologize to Senator Corbett as well.

When you yelled at the man in the audience, threatening to call the Sheriff and have him removed for talking out of turn, did you not think that a more measured response would have handled the situation with dignity and respect?

There is an old adage: “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” Marc, ask yourself why you are blocking at every instance an effort by a wide-ranging group of citizens to create what a clear majority of the people thinks is a good idea: a Town Square.

Why don’t you let this community-driven effort succeed or fail on its own merits? During the EALI process, Supervisor Miley asked us to dream and create a future, yet you insist on saying no and living in the past.

You have no authority over the Town Square project, yet you insist on requiring ordinary citizens to have knowledge expected of engineers. At most, you might have asked County Pubic Works staff to develop cost estimates for this project, but to demand that citizens fight with you over your figures – which are just as invalid as anyone else’s  – is to create a paper tiger that wastes everyone’s time. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

This grass roots effort will go forward – to either success or failure – whether you like it or not.

You insist on treating this project as if it were a developer’s proposal that has personal benefit (for which you would have oversight). It’s not! It’s simply citizens wanting a better future for all of us (a public project).

If a public agency creates an engineered design for a Town Square, you might wish to review it. Until then, it is a conceptual project for which you should lead, follow, or get out of the way. But, do not require citizens to jump through hoops just to satisfy what seems to be some underlying need you may have.

Brian A. Foster, Castro Valley


Doubts There is ‘Wide Resident

Support’ for Town Square


A few days ago my doorbell rang. When I opened the door, there stood Mr. Peter Rosen, he of the Downtown Plaza advocacy. I believe his intent was to bring me into the Downtown Plaza fold.

After I immediately advised him that I thought it was crazy and he handed me a very biased information packet, we had a very civil discourse.

I reasserted the premise that such a plaza would be virtually assured of attracting the homeless, graffiti vandals, drug dealers, etc. as do our other public areas.

His reply was that they (who?) would “mitigate” that.

How? The entire Alameda County Sheriff’s Department has only been able to partially “mitigate” that type of activity in other public areas! The presence of only a few of these undesirables is all that is needed to keep the area devoid of other citizens.

In the packet, it asserts that this project has “wide resident support.” This I seriously doubt. I have a large number of friends and acquaintances in Castro Valley – friends, neighbors, fellow club members, merchants, etc. When the subject of the plaza comes up, all (100%) that I have spoken to are opposed to this fiasco.

At one point, Mr. Rosen advised me that this project wouldn’t cost me anything. Since it is obvious that there is an expense involved, I asked him where the money is coming from. He replied, “From the community!” From the community!!?? That’s you and me! Now he wants to put his hand in our pockets for the cockamamie scheme.

The estimated cost for all this unneeded foolishness, according to the info he gave me, could be as much as $1.8 million.

We have neighborhoods in Castro Valley that don’t even have curbs or sidewalks. Wouldn’t spending this amount to improve these neighborhoods benefit the community more than a superfluous plaza?

Why build a plaza in this location when Adobe Art Center Park, a much more complete facility, is only a couple of hundred yards away? This doesn’t make any sense at all!

Included in the info he gave me was a plan drawing of the proposed plaza. It shows a few benches under an arbor, two medium sized lawn areas (which will require maintenance), a couple of planted areas (more maintenance), a fountain of some sort, with the rest of the area covered with pavers or decomposed granite (more maintenance especially when it rains).

There is no elevation drawing, probably because it would further show the lack of pleasing aesthetics that the plan view also indicates. The blandness of this plaza matches perfectly the blandness of the Boulevard Streetscape. There is nothing in the drawings that would, by itself, particularly attract people to this facility.

Peter Rosen seems to see the Daughtrey building as some kind of ogre that must be killed regardless of cost. More of us see it as an entity that can be developed in revenue generating asset to the community. Go, David Greenfelder!!

Ken Martin, Castro Valley


Feels Castro Valley Not Interested in

‘Maturing’ or ‘Finding its Own Feet’


When people travel to the towns and cities of the world, what they tend to remember and photograph as much, if not more than, the pubs, the restaurants, the shops, and the buildings are the public spaces:  the statues, the fountains, the plazas, and the wide, tree-lined pedestrian boulevards.

Castro Valley, it seems, isn’t much interested in these things, just like it is not interested in fully maturing, finding it’s own feet, and incorporating; content, rather, to forever remain a ward of and at the whim of the county.

Paul Anderson, Castro Valley


Community ‘Admirably Supportive’ of

Self-Funded High School Sports


Castro Valley pride can be found throughout our town. And many in our community have ties to the high school – from times past, present and future.

Approximately five years ago, all district funding for athletics was pulled and we, once again, witnessed the strength of our community, as we pulled together to ensure athletics at our schools would stay intact.

The Castro Valley community has been admirably supportive of our totally self-funded local high school’s athletic programs, which are so critical for our young men and women. And thanks to the wonderful efforts of the parents, teachers, coaches, volunteers and students each year, the student athletes continue to participate in a great variety of sports and enjoy an enriching high school experience.

Efforts of CVHS Athletic Boosters, a 501c3 non-profit organization, brought over $50,000 in net profit during the 2012-2013 school year to support the 23 competitive sports teams that help student athletes reach their potential on and off the field.

This included paying for coaches’ safety training and $2,000 in scholarships to student athletes to help them with their first year in college. And we are on track to do it again this year, thanks to our amazing community.

There are two upcoming events that will continue the tradition we’re building of having some fun, while supporting our student-athletes: Casino Night on April 4 at Transfiguration Church and the 5th Annual Run to Play (5K/10K) on Sunday, May 4.

Go to the fundraiser page at www.cvhsathleticboosters.org for ticket information for both of these events that support our self-funded athletic programs at Castro Valley High School. And thank you for the continued community support!

Mary Janatpour, PhD

Athletic Boosters President 2012-2014




Weekly specialty items listings, garage sales, and much more!


Current Ads


If you would like to place a Classified Ad, call Patrick at 510-614-1558.

Biz Spotlight

Tell us about your local business, events, and special offerings. Where you make the news!


Submission form

Real Estate

Get the latest in housing news and services delivered to you in full color PDF.


Browse this weeks gallery