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What Should Happen to That Downtown Building? A hot topic across town

Greensfielder told council members there has been interest for the building from a number of restaurant operators, BEVMO in addition to an archery range and a batting cage business.

is whether folks want the building at the center of our downtown area demolished to make way for a park area or home to new businesses. The “town square” proposal, floated by Castro Valley resident Peter Rosen, went before the CV Municipal Advisory Council earlier in February. Discussion on the item drew support from a number of speakers expressing frustration the building has been an empty eyesore on the boulevard for years. After months of mystery about potential buyers, county officials introduced Berkeley-based developer David Greensfielder who told the council future use includes reusing the building and the ovearall purchase deal is about 93% complete.

“The building is in fairly good condition and it is perfectly reasonable to be saved and reused,” said Greensfielder, who seemed surprised to be put on the spot fielding questions and concerns from the audience of CV residents. The Alameda County Redevelopment Agency purchased the building in 2011 for $2.8 million under the direction of the now defunct Community Advisory Committee that was made up of Castro Valley residents and business owners.

Above: For over 20 years the Daughtrey building has sat at the center of Castro Valley Boulevard empty in waiting for development . Bottom Left: During its heyday, Daughtrey’s depatment store was the shopping destination in Castro Valley. Bottom Right: A well-remembered glimpse into what the once bustling department store looked like.

Council members directed park proposers to return in about a month with exact numbers for their park proposal, which could include $900,000 for purchase of the building, $500,000 for demolition and an estimated $2 million for proposed park component. -Story by Robert Souza

Castro Valley High Teacher is ‘Whip Smart’ for Indy Jones

Castro Valley High english teacher Daren

Wilkerson looks the part and shares a mastery of the bullwhip identical to a certain iconic action film hero. “I always wanted a whip when I was young because of the Indiana Jones movies,” explains Wilkerson, who said he tried his best to crack inexpensive whips he started with that he said were “no more than ropes with pieces of string on the end”. Five years ago Wilkerson purchased a $100 whip from Rowell’s Saddle shop and that waswhen he got “cracking” serious about whips. He viewed a number of instructional YouTube videos by Adam Winrich and got a better idea on how whip cracking works. Wilkerson also practiced and learned from

Hollywood actor and stuntman Anthony De Longis, who trained Harrison Ford for the fourth Indiana Jones movie installment. How does it feel to crack a whip? “Controlling that speed and power is extremely satisfying and kind of addictive,” explained Wilkerson, who hosts the East Bay Bullwhip Crackers Group at a public park in Castro Valley on a monthly basis and does whip demos and lessons at corporate events and birthday parties. -Story by Robert Souza View a full Story Video by Scanning this QR Code with your Smart Phone:

Sign of the Times Across Town: County Orders Biz Ads Removed

Castro Valley business owner Arnie Gordon is

getting an education on what can and cannot be placed outside business storefronts in accordance with Alameda County regulation. Responding to a public complaint to the county, an inspector issued Gordon warning to bring all store inventory inside from an adjacent parking lot remove an “a-frame” sign and other signage posted outside. “It’s really another slap in the face for Castro Valley,” asserted Gordon, who claims to have been in business for 20 years in Castro Valley and San Lorenzo and never experienced an issue like this. Tona Henninger, who serves as Alameda County Assistant Deputy Director of Code Enforcement, told CVN her department does not go out looking for violators—but instead responds directly to community concerns and complaints.

“We don’t go out (to inspect or enforce) unless we get complaints and when we do, we need to react,” said Henninger, who explained businesses have options such as applying for permits or Site Development Reviews in order to have occasional sales that include additional external business signage. Gordon had 10 days to come into compliance and could face a $500 fine for future violations. “I don’t want to see signs everywhere either, but we are just trying to advertise and get the word out here.” -Story by Robert Souza

CV News Restaurant Review with Ashley - Portales Taqueria

Among the handful of Mexican eateries across Castro Valley, CVN restaurant reviewer Ashley chose to pay a first time visit to Portales Taqueria on CV Boulevard.

What was ordered from the menu? The three chicken taco platter with rice and beans. The verdict issued after just a few bites? Portales gets two thumbs up from our reviewer.

again soon to give the highly recommended enchilada platter on the menu a try. A self described “salsa dipper” meaning she’s not a fan of salsa, Ashley likes to dip her chips in salsa juice. “I take my chip, dip it in the juice and tap it off because I only like the juice, but it was some really good juice,” she added.

View Full Story Video by Scanning this QR Code with “It was filling, but not super heavy…so I your Smart Phone:

don’t feel like I need a nap,” quipped Ashley who said she heard a lot of good things about the eatery, but never visited them before. She said you get a decent amount of food for the price at the register and that she will return

Castro Valley Boulevard’s “Cruising” Days Remembered

There really is a reason “No U-turn” signs

populate many Castro Valley Boulevard intersections...come along with CVN on a verbal history of the long-gone, but not forgotten cruising days of Castro Valley Boulevard. “Cruising around town was something we all liked to do and highlighted what it was like to be a teen in Castro Valley,” said Marc Crawford, who looked back to the days when hot rods like his 1969 Chevy Nova growled and prowled along Castro Valley Boulevard. Dating as far back as the 1950s, many local folks would fuel up and rack up miles on an unofficial cruise loop that included San Leandro, Hayward, Union City and Castro Valley. Cruising in the Valley was shut down here in the late 1980s when those “No U-Turn” signs

Three CV “cruisers” (left to right): The 1979 Z-28 owned by John Blakley, Ken Carbone’s 1955 Chevy pickup and Mike Rosenthal’s 1957 Chevy. They are parked in the lot at the corner of San Miguel Ave. and CV Blvd.

popped up along Castro Valley Boulevard. People and cars would gather in Castro Village, a gas station at the site where Chipotle is now and the Hutch’s Car Wash where the paint store is at the corner of San Miguel Avenue. Sure, there would be a few burnouts and races, but back in the day, cruising was one of the biggest local social happenings in the Valley. “It was very harmless and a lot of fun,” said Alameda County Sheriffs Sgt. JD Nelson who was an Oakland resident in the late 1980s. Nelson owned a 1968 Ford Mustang convertible that he would cruise down Castro Valley Boulevard after a few loops along East 14th in San Leandro. -Story Continues on Back Page of this Magazine

Letters To The Editor Submissions must be no more than 300 words, include writers first and last name, phone number and city of residence. CVN may edit letters as needed. Email all submissions to: Editor: I noticed your cover story on Castro Valley Boulevard and agree that it did not turn out as well as promised. The Daughtrey’s building is the most visible space in the downtown area, and it is still a vacant eyesore.

vicariously through you. The coverage that you provide is always fresh, friendly, and informative. Your staff is approachable and knowledgeable. I look forward to reading more from you!

~Jennifer Kline / Castro Valley

Editor: News travels...especially “Castro Valley News”! We just got back from Madagascar recently. It was a great eye opening trip.

Instead of gambling on another failed business at the location, why not tear it down? If the building comes down, imagine the opportunities for the site. We can hold summer concerts, the Fall Festival and Rodeo could be based there, and there will finally be parking in the downtown business district. The Daughtrey’s sale to a developer has been stalled for over a year, and myself and other CV citizens have asked that other options for the site be explored so that we do not need to have to deal with the same derelict building in a few more years.

~Peter Rosen / Castro Valley

Editor: I am writing this letter to express my gratitude for all of the work that you do. I am fairly active in the Castro Valley community and am always pleased to see a cameraman or reporter from your organization at the same events as I am. I even see through the internet, that the events that I am unable to attend are covered. I can live

Madagascar is rich in nature and culture, but one of the  poorest countries in the world. A must see for all explorers!

~Rickey and Nina Chang / Castro Valley CORRECTION: The story: “Whats Happening on the New $9 Million Dollar Boulevard” on page one of the January Castro Valley News magazine misidentified the project area of the streetscape project as being between Wisteria Avenue and Redwood Road. The project area is between Redwood Road and San Miguel Avenue.

“What Castro Valley Issue Is On Your Mind?” Asked at Pete’s Hardware

“Shorter red lights.

Especially along Castro Valley Boulevard.” Joe S. - Castro Valley Resident

“That more folks not in the

CVB ‘streetscape’ area take better care of the boulevard! ” Brenda Rae - Castro Valley Resident

“Traffic lights near Wendy’s are timed wrong. It causes delays and needs to be fixed.” Bill Cameron - Castro Valley Resident

CV Cruising Story Continued:

Nelson told CVN the “No U-Turn” signs came

to Castro Valley in 1982 after numerous complaints came from business owners regarding littering and loitering by parked cruisers. Lifelong Castro Valley resident Ken Carbone cut his teeth tearing apart and reconstructing an abundance of hot rods that made the rounds on the boulevard. Carbone says cruising CV was the most important social thing to do.


“It really was the internet of the 1980’s. There were no cellphones, pagers or seat belts….you only had a hard line phone at home, so it was hit or miss going out and meeting with friends,” he explained. During the heyday of cruising, you could see folks of all ages congregating in parking lots, talking and comparing cars which was the highlight of the cruise. On any given night you might see a 1930s hot rod pull up to a blown 1970s Plymouth Barracuda. Nods of appreciation would be exchanged at the intersection and the next thing you would hear is the roar of a powerful engine, skidding tires and laughter. “Nobody got shot or stabbed back then, just sometimes a few dollars changed hands betting on who had the fastest ride. We’d bust up our cars on the weekend driving and spend all week fixing

it just to get back on the boulevard the next weekend,” added Carbone, who continues torestore hot rods and classics to this day. -Story by Robert Souza / Below photo of a ‘69 Nova “cruiser car” (and wife Helen) near Sambo’s in the Village is printed courtesy of Marc Crawford.

Castro Valley News - Year 1 , Number 4  

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