April 2017 President’s Message by Cindy Towles

Last year, when Supervisor Miley instituted a cleanup day along the Mission Blvd-E. 14th Street corridor, it didn’t quite make it down to my block, so I went out into the median strip at the Grove Way light and hoed some weeds, at the crack of dawn, so I wouldn’t get run over.

I took notice of the lamp posts on the Grove Street bridge and was thinking that I didn’t remember the lights ever being turned on.  Fast forward to early morning March 13th of this year.   I noticed that the lights are on.  When did THIS happen?  I didn’t know how long the lights had been on the bridge; I suspected that they were not part of the original construction in 1910, so I did some research.  I didn’t find out when the lights were added, but I found some interesting facts, such as, that on an average day 3,500 cars pass over it.  And in 2011, some gal publicly repented in the Facebook group “You know you’re from HayWarD if…” for spray painting the bridge on Grove Way at Mission with Led Zeppelin symbols and graffiti in the late 70’s. Good thing she was sorry.   My Grandma had to look at that.

Speaking of Facebook, when I posted the pictures of the lights being on, my dear friend and CCA Board emeritus, Derry Silva, said that she, her late husband had painted that bridge years ago with Bob Campisi, Erica Campisi and Sherry Klepper.   I’m glad, because sometimes that little gateway to Cherryland gets forgotten next to the big one at Mission & Hampton or even Meekland Ave.

That fact and the lights being on reminds me of the lamppost in The Chronicles of Narnia.   That lamppost, which started as a piece of a bar that the sorceress had chucked at the Lion; and the land was so fertile, anything would grow in an instant if it was planted in the ground. Trees and flowers blossomed into life.

Kind of like this plot of land that used to be the Meek Orchards because it was such good ground, until they didn’t rest the land and sub-divided it for houses.   (BTW, the ground here is fertile again.   I know this because tomatoes have volunteered on my property line, near the sidewalk.)   This lamppost, (as our Grove Bridge lights) set in an unlikely location in a Waste place, marvelously displaces the dark with light near the portal between the land and the other realm.

“It will not go out of my mind that if we pass this post and lantern, either we shall find strange adventures or else some great changes of our fortunes.”

―Lucy Pevensie, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

May our lights remain ever lighted, and be symbolic of new life and great changes in our fortunes here in Cherryland.   And perhaps also of strange adventures.

This entry was posted on April 1, 2017.

March 2017 President’s Message by Cindy Towles

As I write my first President’s Message from my little house on the plot on Mission Boulevard that was originally a piece of what was “Meek Orchards Tract” purchased by my grandfather in the 1930s from the Bank of Haywards, I reflect on the many changes that have occurred over the years.

Even though my parents lived in the City of Hayward off of Winton, I stayed with my grandmother frequently and she would take me to Cherryland Park to play occasionally.   In the decades that followed, “progress” began to take its toll on our community and was particularly evident on the thoroughfare running in front of grandma’s house.

What began as the El Camino Real then the unpaved road for horses and buggies traveling from Niles to Oakland, became East 14th Street, then Mission Blvd and finally SR-185.  It reminded me of a line in a John Mellencamp song where the interstate runs through the man’s front yard.   Cherryland was no longer a destination but a blur as cars whizzed by.  The failure of the Ashland and Cherryland business district specific plan created in the 1990’s didn’t help.  Chain stores such as Long’s and Lucky left Creekside.   After my grandma died in the 80s, my parents eventually down-sized and moved into the house, and put up lattice on the windows as well as an extra gate to keep prostitution activities out of our driveway.   My colleagues on the CCA Board tell me that in the interior of the community, as the original owners passed away, single-family dwellings were torn down and replaced with tenements, spurring the creation of the “Cherryland Homeowner’s Association”.

When I took over the house in 2009, I ended up being the beneficiary of low-income assistance from the now-defunct Alameda County Redevelopment Agency to upgrade my home as well as a grant to paint it.   I opted to not put the lattice back on the windows, because I had began to see things improve; instead of prostitutes walking in front of the house, I was seeing moms with strollers, and I said “I am not going to live like this, not going to hide in my own house”, and subsequently received a postcard in the mail requesting public input for the Update of the Business District Specific Plan.   I showed up a meeting and began my journey in service to my community.

Since then, I have seen some wonderful things:  the halfway house across the street becoming a haircut place, Meekland Avenue getting repaved, community gardens, the street sweepers coming by every now and again, Eden night live, and developers interested in blighted lots at our major intersection.  I anticipate even more wonderful things.

When I spoke recently at a forum for potential retailers at Kitchen 1014 in Ashland, one of the attendees commented to me that my love for my community was evident.   I hope that it is evident to Cherryland as well.

This entry was posted on March 4, 2017.

THE NEW BOARD: The Real People behind the Scenes by Ingrid Moller

President: Cindy Towles

Cindy was born at Eden Hospital and re-planted in Cherryland in 1996 in the house her grandfather and great-grandfather built on Mission Blvd. Cindy has a big heart for Cherryland and is involved in many of its causes (Ashland/Cherryland Fam Fest 2015, Chamber of Commerce, Ashland/Cherryland Business District Specific Plan etc.). She works for a start-up company.

Vice President: Cindy Torres

Cindy has lived most of her life on Hampton Rd in Cherryland. She considers the Meek Estate her backyard and gives plenty of her time to good causes: The Hayward Historical Society, Cherryland Community Association and the Castro Valley Eden Area Chamber of Commerce. She runs the annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Meek Estate.

Treasurer: Hugh O’Donnell

Hugh lives on Grove Way and is our newsletter editor and all around go-to guy. He communicates with the county. He has been working for an aluminum company in Hayward for a long time. He also plays the drums in a band called: “Hugh and the Hefners”.  What is there not to like about Hugh?!

Secretary: Sandra Macias Archuleta

Sandra is a very talented young lady. She has a KCMC Channel 28 program “Ask Sandra” and works together with the Padres Unidos. Her calling is to be a community activist. Her husband Carlos shares her passions. They have two lovely children.

Parliamentarian: Mike Baratta

Mike worked for a boat building company in Richmond for many years and is now re- tired. He works very hard to help the unincorporated area out, especially Ashland and Cherryland and has very close connections to our Supervisor and the Deputy Sheriff’s Activities League. He is an all-around helpful man.

Member at large: Ruth Baratta

Ruth, Mike Baratta’s wife, has been on our board several times, serving as an excellent President. She worked as a manager for a large company.  Her mind is super sharp.

She has a passion for Cherryland.

Immediate Past President: Ingrid Moller

Ingrid has been a resident of Cherryland since 1980 and have been selling real estate here from 1983 until now. I am a founding member of the Cherryland Community Association together with my husband

Basil Sherlock, Member at Large: Retired professor from Cal State East Bay and former president.

This entry was posted on February 1, 2017.

President’s Message January 2017… A Call to Service

by Ingrid Moller
“No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a …part of the main…and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.”
The year is quickly coming to a close as I am writing this. A New Year will be starting soon bringing in its wake new hope, new responsibilities, new events, pleasures and surprises—hopefully good ones.
In Cherryland, we are hoping for the new streetscape to begin on Meekland Ave, the new fire station on Meekland Ave to be completed, the ground to be broken for our Cherryland Community Center on Hampton Rd, and the start of the mixed use development at the corner of Mission Blvd and Hampton Rd. A lot of exciting things!
The Cherryland Community Association will have a new board of directors. Some of the previous directors will stay: Cindy Towles, Cindy Torres, Hugh O’Donnell, my husband Basil Sherlock and myself. Because some of these will be “at large” directors, we need more members to join us . At the last general meeting, a few folks volunteered to serve or at least give it a thought: David Koutney and Sandra Archuleta.
Sandra runs a TV show “Ask Sandra” for the Chabot Channel and is a community organizer. She is a member of the Padres Unidos, a Hispanic group of women borne out the Cherryland Elementary School’s PTA and now representing parts of our Hispanic community. Sandra would be a great liaison between the Padres and CCA. She is enthusiastic, smart and full of energy (besides being beautiful).
David Koutney owns several apartments in Cherryland which all show pride of ownership. He cares about his tenants and it shows. He also cares about Cherryland and has been a member for several years and keeps coming to our meetings. Blight is one of his and his wife’s Shirley major concerns.
At our next general meeting on January 10 we will vote for a new board. Please come and join us. Please think about serving on the board. We all have put in our time for years. No matter what age, walk of life, ethnicity you are, you are welcome as long as you live or own property in Cherryland.
Some think that our organization is now run by “Octogenarians” which they mean in a derogatory sense. I take it as a compliment. The democracy in Greece in ancient times was run by wise and old men. Seniors stood in high esteem because of their age and wisdom and experience. In our fast and changing times, that seems to have changed. Be that as it may, our octogenarian stock could use some youthful sparks. Do come and give a little of your time to make this wonderful Cherryland a beautiful, safe and just place to live. Our board meetings are always interesting and never boring. We have a lot of fun besides the work we do, not to mention the delicious cakes and cookies and occasional wine. Step into the footprints of our generation and take it further into the future. It is yours to shape!

This entry was posted on January 1, 2017.

December 2016 President’s Message by Ingrid Moller

When one returns from a trip, you often see your own home and neighborhood in a new and fresh way. This is what happened to me coming back from Europe this time. There had been several rain storms already and our neighborhood seemed to be greener than before. The hills were turning green after months of brownness. It is a change that I often look forward to after the long dry summer.

Some great changes have taken place also in our Cherryland neighborhood:  Meekland Ave has been resurfaced from Blossom Way to Lewelling Blvd., a much-needed improvement and probably in preparation for the opening of the new fire station on Meekland.

Down towards A Street around Poplar and Smalley Ave, EBMUD was busy lowering the main to prepare for the county’s Public Works coming in to start the new streetscape from A Street to Blossom Way. We have been waiting for this for a long time. Let’s hope it will happen next year.

New trees have been planted between Sunset Ave and A Street along Western Blvd right across from Hayward Adult School. Some rocks have been placed in between with oleander plants interspersed. It looks very pretty and prevents those big rig trucks from parking there. Actually, it has become a non parking zone. Of course now the trucks are all parking on Sunset Ave and along Laurel Ave. But at least the Western thoroughfare has much improved.

Another improvement happened under the radar screen along Western Blvd. A house near Hampton Rd that was known as a drug house and caused the neighbors great concern with frequent visits from the Sheriff and the zoning enforcement agency is now vacant and will be sold. A sigh of relief can be heard around the neighborhood.

Two developments slated for the corners of Hampton Rd and Mission Blvd and Mattox Rd and Mission (site of the Serra property) are inching forward. They will feature residential housing and commercial opportunities, and will bring those corners to life. They will fit into the new Specific business plan for Cherryland and Ashland. Hopefully the county will also improve the streetscape along those developments to give the area a much needed lift.

We might see the start of construction for the Cherryland Community Center in 2017 as well the start of a new Cherryland Elementary School on the campus of the Hayward Adult School. We are hoping for a K-8 for our kids.

A lot of things to be thankful for!!!

This entry was posted on December 1, 2016.

July 2016 President’s Message by Ingrid Moller

The sudden vacancy of the “Presidency” forced us to be creative about our next meetings, our speakers and our board configuration. What first felt like a problem, may as well be a good thing: Several board members rushed to the rescue and will be conducting our meetings and looking for interesting speakers.
You will be treated to a whole round of new leaders of the Cherryland Association Community. Basil Sherlock will convene the next July meeting, which features newly-re-elected Supervisor Nate Miley. Cindy Towles will be the one for August, facilitating about how we can better support bicycling in our community, Derry Silva will be at the helm in September. Her topic will be human trafficking.
October will feature Isaac Caselis and Hugh O’Donnell who will share the leadership for the meeting. November will see us celebrating Thanksgiving with our own homemade pies and in December, as usual, Nate Miley will give the State of Cherryland address.
Our community calendar is filling up as well: July 1st and 2nd launched Summer Nights Live at the corner of Hampton Rd and Mission Blvd, which will bring food and entertainment to our corner every Friday and Saturday until October. The Deputy Sheriff Activity’s League received a grant for approximately one million dollars to provide us with great healthy family fun, i.e. beach volley ball, wall climbing, food trucks, music, dancing etc. Come and bring your friends and family. Here is a chance to meet your neighbors!
On July 21, we will have a Castro Valley Eden Area Chamber Mixer at the Meek Estate Park in the Carriage House. Business folks from Castro Valley, Ashland, Cherryland and San Lorenzo are going to mingle there. For quite a few it will be the first time to set foot in our beautiful Meek Estate. The Cherryland Community Association will be hosting this event. We are looking forward to this.
The fire station on Meekland Ave is emerging. Walls are up and the framing is almost finished. We have been promised that Meekland Ave from A Street to Blossom Way will receive a new streetscape and the remainder from Blossom Way to Lewelling Blvd will receive a new cover. Let’s hope it all happens!

This entry was posted on July 8, 2016.

June 2016 Vice-President’s Message by Ingrid Moller

We hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend. It seems that summer is finally here after a very temperamental May. Our gardens are blooming, the birds are singing and raising their young ones, and BBQ aroma is in the air.
Our June General Meeting was very interesting. It was all about the corner lot at Hampton Rd and Mission Blvd. Stuart Rickard, from Bay Area Urban, is the developer who has the exclusive right to negotiate with the county about buying this lot and developing his project there. It will be a mixed-use project featuring 53 market rate apartments combined with approximately 20,000 square feet of commercial space. The commercial space will consist of a co-op like grocery store and many smaller commercial spaces which can also be combined to make larger ones for incubator businesses.
This means that local residents have a chance opening up a store of their own that they always dreamt of and try out their business skills under the tutelage of our local Chamber of Commerce. So if you are making tamales, jams, cakes, arranging flowers, opening a catering business, want to sell your handicrafts or art objects, this may be the place for you to try out your wings at a very reasonable rate (as low as $1.00 per square foot). A small nursery area combined with a coffee shop and gathering place is something the developer is hoping for. He has developed contemporary projects in Oakland, San Francisco and Emeryville and is on the cutting edge of urban planning and design.
The previous board was very pleased to see this project come in after years of having only an empty lot that looked deserted and neglected. A mixed-use project of this kind is cutting edge urban development as you might see in Emeryville.
The mixed-use development needs some tweaking as far as parking is concerned, but it is very forward looking.
Have a great summer!

This entry was posted on July 8, 2016.

May 2016 President’s Message by Mike Baratta

HELLO, CHERRYLAND!Bay_Fair_TOD_Study_Area_030716
There is so much going on it’s hard to stay uninvolved. First let me talk about the Bay Fair BART TOD “Transportation Oriented Development (or District)” project (see project area, right).
San Leandro is bringing their vision and energy to the Bay Fair area. BART has been promoting their TODs. The concept to build housing and commercial closer to BART, creating a transportation hub. This would create a more walkable, bikeable community minimizing the need for auto transportation. The proposal starts with 1,000 housing units with a potential for 2,800. There are multiple land owners at the table looking at designs and timetables. Streetscapes would change all bringing an energy burst to our front door, the Ashland – Cherryland Business District. This is why it is vital to maintain a voice in the development of our corridor.
Protected bike lanes are being considered for Hesperian, Fairmont, and E. 14th, all of which I find particularly exciting. Cars will still have their access as will BRT; bus rapid transit. AC Transit would like to see a bus from Oakland to Fremont every 5 minutes down E. 14th – Mission Blvd.!! Our voice is being heard. We can create the local, walkable, bikeable business district that will bring us to the forefront of planning for not just the region, but the country. The opportunities we have before us are not to be taken lightly and our voices must continue to promote our potential.
With this new energy and high density plan, I want to point out again my personal effort for the property at Mission and Hampton, the DSAL Park Plaza Proposal. The developer chosen for the site has gotten support from those standing on “conventional wisdom”. I believe (and this is my personal opinion and not necessarily that of the Community Association) that conventional wisdom is good for looking back, not forward. An economic tax base will be established either way. High density, which our corridor is zoned for, will bring more tension and busy-ness to the community; more stress. I believe Cherryland’s deep value is in the relaxed atmosphere we still have and are trying to maintain. A respite in the center of a 5 mile corridor (A St. to Blossom in San Leandro) will offer a place for exercise, outdoor performances, or just sitting in a relaxed atmosphere. This area is the center of a park deficit. At the same time Ashland and Cherryland lead Alameda County in respiratory, and diabetes issues. The developer chosen is offering housing along with small commercial opportunities. Our corridor is full of small business opportunities that lack energy which could be provided by wider community access.
E. 14th and Mission Blvd. offer anything but comfortable access. There are plenty of buildings capable of housing a cottage business but people are driving by at 40+ miles/hr. Let them do that on the Hayward Loop. We need to create a district of local businesses, supported by local residents, in a relaxed atmosphere. The millennials are literally walking away from cars for walkable/bikeable, mass transit. Our immigrant community is comfortable with walkable/bikeable, mass transit communities. We need desperately to impact greenhouse issues and start living locally by creating attractive districts, which always include the creative placemaking concepts DSAL’s proposal offers.
We have agencies looking to the rest of the country to see what works in areas like Ashland and Cherryland, to impact the issues we face. DSAL’s proposal was supported by Alameda County Arts Commission, HARD, and Public Works, not to mention The National Endowment for the Arts, The Packard Foundation, and Kresge Foundation among others. These projects transform neighborhoods and communities by bringing energy and people to the street. Why would we ignore their strategies and ideas? Not only does this attract business owners, but brings a safety element with more eyes on the street.
I will continue my effort to reach our potential, not settle for what works.
Infinity Park Plaza

This entry was posted on May 1, 2016.

Mixed-use project proposed for Mission Boulevard lot in Cherryland area

BY DARIN MORIKI

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors is giving an Alameda real estate investor a chance to refine plans for a mixed-use project on Mission Boulevard in the Cherryland area near Hayward.

Bay Area Urban Development LLC wants to build retail as well as 54 apartments and townhouses on a 2.6-acre lot at 20095 and 20097 Mission Blvd., the site of a long-vacant Jeep dealership.

“The Mission Boulevard corridor is somewhat neglected right now,” Stuart Rickard, principal of Bay Area Urban Development, said Monday. “It feels barren and unfriendly for pedestrians, and this project makes an effort to change that. It’ll be inviting and have landscaping and be green. It’ll have exciting retail tenants there, and we hope it’ll revitalize that whole Mission Boulevard corridor.”

At its April 19 meeting, the Board of Supervisors authorized the developer and the county’s Community Development Agency to enter exclusive negotiations in an effort to make the project work.

Preliminary plans call for about 20,000 square feet of retail space and 90 shared parking spaces for retail customers and residents of the proposed market-rate rental units.

“I think the market for rentals is perhaps more appropriate for that site based on how hard it is to get into a new home in terms of coming up with the down payment,” Rickard said.

Some of the retail space in the 70,000-square-foot project, to be called Cherryland Place, will be set aside for “below-market incubator opportunities for local start-ups,” according to plans that Bay Area Urban Development LLC submitted to the county.

“I think what we’re doing is somewhat innovative in combining retail and residential in one project at that location,” Rickard said. “You can see that in San Francisco and other locations that are a little bit more urbanized. At this location, it’s a little bit out of the norm, so we also think that renters are more willing to invest in that than a buyer is. A buyer is taking on a long-term commitment, so they want to make sure it’s going to work first.”

Susan McCue, economic development manager of the Community Development Agency, said the county’s former redevelopment agency acquired the property in January 2009 with commercial uses in mind.

But those plans were put on hold when Gov. Jerry Brown’s call to dissolve all redevelopment agencies was approved by the state Legislature in 2011.

The Community Development Agency, charged with managing assets once controlled by the county’s former redevelopment agency, requested development proposals in April 2015 for the vacant Cherryland lot. Five proposals were submitted and vetted by a Board of Supervisors committee.

Among the proposals was one by the Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs’ Activities League to operate a retail plaza and cafe, a sheriff’s community office, a community garden and a community room or event rental space.

Bay Area Urban Development’s proposal was selected to advance, however.

“It’s a wonderful reuse of these 2.6 acres, and it will have this stimulating effect for the whole corridor, where you bring in new customers and other potential investors once they see that someone has made a major investment along the Mission corridor,” McCue said about its proposal.

Castro Valley/Eden Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bill Mulgrew agreed, saying Bay Area Urban Development “has done extensive work learning the nuances of the area, discussing the project with community groups and talking through it with our Chamber of Commerce.

“We think that mixed use is absolutely the right application there … with the living-over-retail concept, the separate condos, the planned market and planned restaurant,” Mulgrew said. “It’s going to be just an awesome attracter for the millennials, who I think can use it as a live-walk-eat environment and will have the opportunity to catch public transit — either at BART or AC Transit — or jump on the freeway, which is just a couple of hundred yards away.”

Not everyone agrees.

Cherryland Community Association President Mike Baratta said he favors the park plaza proposal submitted by the Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs’ Activities League.

“We only have one suitable opportunity for a park where community can gather for exercise, outdoor performing arts or just sitting in a relaxed atmosphere,” Baratta wrote in an email. “We are creating a high density, highly stressful community but we have an equal responsibility to ensure open spaces to decompress.”

Bay Area Urban Development must now submit a full site plan, development schedule and financing schedule to the Alameda County Community Development Agency within three months. Once it is publicly reviewed, a final version must be completed by October and submitted to the Board of Supervisors, who ultimately will decide whether the developer may purchase the land for the project.

This entry was posted on April 28, 2016.

March 2016 President’s Message by Mike Baratta

Hello, Cherryland Community Association!  My name is Mike Baratta.  I was recently elected president of the association.  I have served for years in many ways but never as an officer.   I want to start by thanking the past presidents and board members for the constant progress that has shaped Cherryland in general and our neighborhoods in particular.

SAFE STREETS has been the number one priority of every group living in Cherryland.  The Board of Supervisors, Jan. 14, “Year Four Realignment Report/Status Update” puts REPEAT OFFENDERS, (within the first year), at 11.8%, NEW CONVICTIONS, (after 1 year), at 9.7% (down from 15.6% in 2012), and a program through the Public Defender’s Office has repeat offenders down to 7%.  Our agencies have heard us and are responding with effective programs.  I can’t thank them enough.

Cherryland has seen some glorious days and some challenges.  Our present is getting better by the day, and our future has huge potential.

The Community Health and Wellness Element has been added to the General Plan making the impact to our health a consideration in future planning, one of the first General Plans in Alameda County to include it.  Ashland and Cherryland lead Alameda County in too many health issues, this needs to be a priority.

Our Ashland Cherryland Business District Specific Plan went through a 25 year update and was adopted by the Board of Supervisors in December of 2015.  Many agencies have been waiting for this update to see what the community wants on our major corridor of E. 14th Street and Mission Blvd.  I feel our potential is incredible:  JOBS, HOUSING, and BUSINESSES.

The Regional Economic Council of the Bay Area says the greatest concern for investors in the East Bay is the Dropout Rate.  The streets will take anyone, we need to build bridges for youth to show them the community does too.  This is our future and some great progress is being made by agencies and families to keep youth engaged.

I bought a trailer to go into the neighborhood to pick up mattresses.   Picking up trash is a priority.  There is no reason any of us should be walking through trash.  This is what I’ve been working on and will continue to work on with community and county.   Let me know your concerns.

Thanks, much more to come.

Mike

This entry was posted on March 3, 2016.