Bug Bites and Stings: When to See a Doctor | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 15:33




Although most bug bites and stings are harmless, some can be dangerous. This is especially true if you are allergic to the bug’s venom, or if the bug is carrying a disease.

In the U.S., it’s common to experience a bite or sting from mosquitoes; fleas; spiders; bees, wasps and hornets; biting flies; mites; ticks; fire ants; and bedbugs.

“Most bug bites and stings can be safely treated at home with topical medication, such as hydrocortisone cream or ointment, or an oral antihistamine to reduce the itch,” says Dr. Margaret Parsons, associate professor of dermatology at U.C. Davis. “Sometimes, however, a bug bite or sting could turn into something serious, particularly if you have been bitten or stung by many insects at the same time.”

Dr. Parsons advises going to emergency room immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms after a bug bite or sting:

• Difficulty breathing or the sensation that your throat is closing

• Swollen lips, tongue or face

• Chest pain or racing heartbeat lasting more than a few minutes

• Dizziness, vomiting or a headache

• A red, donut-shaped or target-shaped rash that develops after a tick bite: This could be a sign of Lyme disease, which should be treated with antibiotics.

A fever with a red or black, spotty rash that spreads: This could be a sign of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a bacterial infection carried by ticks, which should be treated immediately.

“Although most bug bites and stings do not turn into a severe or even fatal illness like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, it’s important to pay attention to your symptoms,” says Dr. Parsons. “If you feel tired all the time, you have a headache, fever or body aches, or you develop a rash after a bug bite, see a board-certified dermatologist immediately.”

Memorial Day 2015 | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 14:36



The hundreds attending the 112th Memorial Day ceremonies at Lone Tree Cemetery (above) saluted the flags of Castro Valley VFW Honor Guard Post 9601 and American Legion District 10  as a Huey helicopter flew overhead Monday morning. Highlights included patriotic selections by the Hayward Municipal Band, speeches by local veterans, and the placing of memorial wreaths. At right, guests chatted and took pictures after Monday morning’s services at Castro Valley’s Veterans Memorial. The program, sponsored by the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, included the reading of the Gettysburg Address and the naming of known Castro Valley natives who were Killed In Action.




Free Pet Adoptions This Weekend | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 12:05



Families who have been wanting to adopt a pet will have the chance to get one – or more – free this weekend at the Hayward Animal Shelter. In a collaborative effort of countless people to save the lives of shelter animals during the national “Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days 2015,” the shelter will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, May 30-31, to find homes for as many of their adoptable pets as possible. All shelter fees will be waived, paid for by the Maddie’s fund. Dog adoptions by Hayward residents will require the city’s regular license fee. Those who plan to visit the shelter over the weekend are urged to visit ahead of time to get pre-qualified. The shelter is located at 16 Barnes Court, near the Hayward DMV office.

Call 510-293-7200 or visit for information.

Noisy Jets Disrupt CV Neighborhood | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 12:07



By Amy Sylvestri



When Sal Tanner is at home, he can’t hear himself think. That’s because planes come roaring over his Tyee Street house several times a day on their way to and from Oakland Airport.

Tanner says he has lived in his house near Strobridge Avenue for decades, but the plane noise has only been problematic for the last few years.

He says that they are mostly smaller commuter-type private jets and a few commercial flights too, and they are coming in so low that he can read the numbers on their tails.

“I could have a bow and arrow and hit them, I think,” said Tanner. “There are more and more coming and it is just so aggravating – you can’t sit down and enjoy watching TV or have a barbecue outside.”

Tanner says the noise is the worst around 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. He figures that’s when people are commuting to and from distant jobs.

Larry Galindo, Oakland Airport’s noise affairs supervisor, says that Tanner is probably correct and added that he sympathizes with anyone who has to deal with too much noise.

Galindo says that no fight patterns have changed, so he’s unsure why Tanner has only noticed a problem in the past few years, but the most likely answer is simply that more planes are traveling to the airport.

“Traffic is up a bit,” said Galindo. “We had a dip in traffic with the 2008 recession, we were down 30 percent, but it has picked back up.”

Galindo says that flights coming from the north and east make the “right turn” to Oakland over the interchange of I-580 and I-238. And, he says, that same area also gets a bit of traffic from Hayward Executive Airport because they turn east in Castro Valley in order to avoid traffic from Oakland International.

“That area is kind of a ‘perfect storm’ for air traffic,” says Galindo.

Another issue is what the airport calls the “Southeast Plan.” When there is a storm in the Bay Area, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose all reroute their planes and many of them make their climbing turns over Castro Valley instead of the Bay.

It doesn’t happen that often, says Galindo, but people tend to notice flights when they are where they weren’t before.

There is a sensor near Lake Chabot. Flights should be at an altitude of around 3,000 feet when they pass over it, Galindo says. But Tanner says they are much lower when they pass over his place.

Oakland Airport offers sound-proofing programs to San Leandro and Alameda residents, but nothing for Castro Valley.

On the airport’s noise website ( you can file a complaint, and Galindo said he wants to hear from people who are having issues.

Another interesting feature of that website is that you can live-track flights over your area by entering your street name. A check of Tyee Street where Tanner lives showed a half-dozen flights over his place in a half-hour period, many commuter jets with under 15 passengers and most coming in at around 3,000 feet, just as Galindo says.

Tanner has contacted County Supervisor Nate Miley and Congressman Eric Swalwell, but he says they told him that there’s not much that can be done. Tanner says he hopes other people in his neighborhood and around Castro Valley will contact Miley, whose office said that maybe changes could be made if enough people complain.

“It’s just crazy,” says Tanner. “It’ll drive you nuts.”

Take-Back Drug Law Stands | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 12:00


A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday is allowing

Alameda County’s Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance to stand.

The law, spearheaded by Supervisor Nate Miley and passed by the Board of Supervisors in July 2012, requires makers of prescription drugs sold in the county to pay for the picking up and disposing of unwanted or outdated drugs. It was designed to keep drugs that linger in medicine cabinets from being abused by children or flushed down toilets and eventually ending up in the Bay.

Soon after its approval, trade groups representing drug manufacturers and distributors filed a lawsuit, arguing that the ordinance, the first of its kind in the nation, violated the Constitution because it interfered with interstate commerce.

After a federal appeals court upheld the ordinance last fall, the trade group asked the Supreme Court to review that ruling. But yesterday, in a major set-back for drug manufacturers, the high court declined to hear the suit, allowing the law to stand.

Alameda County officials immediately called on the pharmaceutical companies to assist in making the take-back program a success in Alameda County and in creating a model program that can be followed by the rest of the country.

Former CVHS Musician Wins Position in the West Point Band | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 14:41



Carl F. Stanley of Castro Valley will join the West Point Band at the U.S. Naval Academy.


Carl F. Stanley, 30, of Castro Valley, has won a trumpet position in the West Point Band at the U.S. Military Academy in New York.

A 2003 graduate of Castro Valley High School, Stanley completed his B.A. in music in 2008 from Cal State East Bay and won a position with the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band.

In his four years as principal trumpet, he toured the U.S. performing in concerts and ceremonies as an Airman musician.

Stanley graduated this month from Yale University School of Music with a Masters in Trumpet. He left the Air Force in 2013 and will now be transferring from the Air Force Reserves to the U.S. Army.

He comes from a musical household in Castro Valley. His mother, Liz Stanley (CVHS 1974) is a mezzo-soprano and Professor of Music at William Jessup University. His father, Carl R. Stanley (CVHS 1968) is a bass player and Personnel Manager for the Oakland/Eastbay Symphony.

Chanticleers’ Open House | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 14:48



Have you ever wondered what that building is that’s alongside the children’s water park in the Castro Valley Community Center at Quail Ave. and Lake Chabot Road?

It’s Chanticleers, of course – a community theatre for live performances! Maybe you’ve wondered what goes on in there and what’s behind the scenery at a theatre.

Now’s your chance to find out. Chanticleers Theatre will hold its 4th Annual Open House and Audience Appreciation Picnic from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, May 30.

Have a free hot dog or hamburger amd enjoy a guided tour of the theatre, including back stage where all the magic is produced (tours led every half hour, except at 12 noon).

Mingle with directors, actors, costumers, stage designers and fellow theatre-goers. Get information about upcoming plays and auditions for adults and children. You might get bitten by the theatre bug and sign up to volunteer your time.

It’s all free, so come and meet the folks who provide local performances throughout the year. Reservations aren’t required, but appreciated. Check-in at the desk in picnic area adjacent to theatre at 3683 Quail Avenue.

To RSVP or for more information, visit, or call 510-see-live (733-5483).

Marshall State Preschool Fall Enrollments | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 14:44


Applications for the 2015-2016 Marshall State Preschool year will be accepted next week, June 1 to 4, from 3 to 4 p.m. at Marshall Elementary School, 20111 Marshall St. in Castro Valley. Low income children who will be 3 and 4 years old by Sept. 1, 2015 are eligible. Parents should bring one month’s documentation of income. For more information, contact Amber Dearborn, Director, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by calling 510-537-5933.

Schools Plans to Dispose of Surplus Math Textbooks | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 14:46


The Castro Valley School District has given notice that it intends to dispose of K-5 math surplus instructional materials, including textbooks per Calif. Education Code 60510.5, according to Assistant Superintendent Mary Boyle.  Further information can be obtained by calling the Educational Services Dept. at 510-537-3000.

Little Change in Mortgage Rates | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 15:14


Average fixed mortgage rates moved slightly lower last week following three consecutive weeks of increases.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.84 percent, down from 3.85 percent the previous week.

Fifteen-year mortgages averaged 3.05 percent, down from 3.07 percent.

Five-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 2.88 percent last week, down from 2.89 percent, and one-year ARMs averaged 2.51 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from 2.48 percent.

WWII Aircraft Goes on Display This Weekend | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 14:50


In honor of our WWII Veterans, the Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tour will arrive at Concord’s Buchanan Field at 2 p.m. this Friday and will be on display at the main ramp, 45 John Glenn Drive, until 5 p.m. Sunday, May 31.

Participating in the show will be a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” WWII Heavy Bomber, Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” Heavy Bomber and P-51 Mustang fighter.

The B-17 is one of only 8 in flying condition in the U.S., the B-24J and Full Dual Control P-51C Mustang are the sole remaining examples of their type flying in the World. The B-25 is best known for flying the Doolittle raids.

The weekend display is part of a nationwide tour bringing extremely rare aircraft to 110 airports in the country as a Local Living History Display, sponsored by the nonprofit Collings Foundation.

WWII Veterans can tour the aircraft at no cost. Other visitors are invited to explore the aircraft inside and out for a requested $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12.

Visitors may also experience the opportunity to actually take a 30-minute flight aboard these rare aircraft. Flights on either the B-17 or B-24 are $450 per person.

For reservations and information on flight experiences call 800-568-8924.

Navy Veteran John Zebratski Celebrates His 100th Birthday | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 10:30



John Zebratski, 100, of Castro Valley, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, cuts his birthday cake during a celebration at the local VFW meeting.

By Linda Sandsmark



Castro Valley resident John Zebratski is not only a Navy veteran, he has reached the distinguished age of 100 and is still in great shape. Zebratski celebrated his centennial at Castro Valley’s VFW meeting this month, and still has many memories of his days at sea.

“I served in the Navy for 20 years, on an aircraft carrier all during World War II. This was mostly in the Pacific Theater. I was a country boy and it was all new to me. I was in seven major battles, and we got hit once. Luckily, I made it through.”

Zebratski was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania. He graduated from high school in 1932 and enlisted in the Navy in 1934. Basically, he says,  many people joined because of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, and recruits like him regularly sent home half their salary so their families back home could eat.

“I was on the USS Essex CV-9, which was an aircraft carrier,” says Zebratski. “The enemy really came after the aircraft carriers, because if they got one they also got the 81 planes aboard.”

He stayed in the service through WWII, and when the war was over he had 12 years under his belt. He decided to make a career of it, and continued on for another 8 years.

After retiring from the Navy, Zebratski went on to another 20-year career at the Coca-Cola bottling plant on Mattox Road in Hayward. He’s lived in Castro Valley since 1946, in one of the first 81 homes built in the area of Grove Way, Queen and Cameron streets. He and his wife still enjoy gardening in their yard there.

Zebratski is a regular participant in Castro Valley’s Rowell Ranch Parade. During our May 9 parade he rode in a Cadillac with other Veterans.

He says he likes seeing Veterans honored for the work they have done.

“I like Memorial Day and I’m glad to see the American public showing more respect for the people in uniform these days. When I was in the military, it seemed civilians didn’t have much use for us. If you were in uniform, you didn’t dare look at a girl!” he says with a laugh.

“I hope the American people are good to the Veterans,” he adds.  “People don’t understand what folks in the military go through, unless they’ve been out there themselves.”



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