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MARCH 2014

Castro Valley’s Love-Hate Relationship with Fast Food What

the late 90’s, Castro Valley was awarded a Guiness World Record for the most fast food restaurants within a square mile.

is up with the seemingly endless profusion of fast food restaurants lining the streets and thoroughfares of Castro Valley? “The attraction to fast food is all about convenience,” said CVN Magazine Restaurant Reviewer Ashley S., who says she believes Castro Valley is definitely over-saturated by fast food restaurants. On the boulevard alone we have offerings from Mc Donalds, Wendy’s, Quizno’s, Burger King, Togos, Jack In The Box, Kentucky Fried Chicken and two Starbuck’s coffee-houses. Opening soon on the boulevard will be a Nations Burger and Panda Express. A long running rumor in town is that in

Despite the endurance of that legend, a simple search through the Guiness website reduces the claim to mere conjecture. It’s source is most likely a tongue in cheek way to poke fun at Castro Valley’s “fast food problem”. “There are so many fast food places here, it does not give our real restaurants here any kind of chance to compete,” added Ashley, who says for the most part she steers clear from fast food. “When people say ‘lets go to Castro Valley for food’ they think Jack In The Box and not Portales or Palomares Cafe.”

Above: As you enter Castro Valley from the west, you are greeted by “burger island” that is home to Wendy’s and McDonald’s . Bottom Left: An undated photo from the grand opening of the original Taco Bell on Redwood Road. Bottom Right: One of Castro Valey’s most remembered boulevard fast food eateries known as“Frank’s Footers”.

Certified personal trainer and business owner Pam Ben-Rached says she feels we have far too many fast food restarurants because Castro Valley wants food quick, convenient and on the cheap. -Story Continues on Back Page of this Magazine

“Krayons” Recalls Era of Workplace Inequality for Women

Decades ago women were not allowed

to own a drinking establishment or even tend bar. Castro Valley business owner Karen Jonke remembers the days of a male dominated industry and when those “old school” workplace barriers were shattered. “It was just how things were back then that women were not allowed behind the bar,” explained Jonke, who started serving cocktails in 1967 at the age of 21 as a single mother to support her three young children. She worked years in the industry and purchased “Duffy’s” on Castro Valley Boulevard in 1979 with the help of business partners she later bought out. The establishment was renamed “Krayons” which is Jonke’s nickname. Jonke says one of the main arguments bar owners had was it was ‘not safe for a woman

Above: Owner Karen Jonke behind the bar at Krayons. Below: The former Duffy’s bar gets a makeover transformation to Krayons in the late 1970’s.

to be behind the bar’, but it was fine for them to be cocktail waitresses. All that changed in 1972 when amendments were made to Title VIII of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act that broke down discriminations against women in the workplace. “People hear about those days and don’t believe women were not allowed to do a lot of things,” explained Jonke, who said when the rules and roles changed, most gents were accepting of the new way bars operated. -Story by Robert Souza

CV Education Foundation Distributes Thousands in Mini-Grants Almost $27,000 was awarded in mini-grants by the Castro Valley Educational Foundation (CVEF) to 26 teachers, librarians, and administrators from the Castro Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) at the regular meeting of the CVUSD Trustees on February 27th.

Nine of the mini-grants were awarded to Marshall Elementary School and Principal Jesse Woodward was on hand to accept them on behalf of his staff, who were busy on campus that evening for their Open House. Mr. Woodward later said, “Thank you, thank, you, thank, for everything, and for your generous support of Marshall Elementary!”. Almost half of the minigrants were given for purchase of books, e-books,

and online literature resources. The CVEF mini-grant program has now awarded over $270,000 throughout the District over the past eighteen years to enhance CV education. For more information about the CVEF or how to help more send an email to: info@ or call (510) 397-4095.

Salutes for New Village Flag Drop Box

Community members, local elected officials

and Veterans of all ages gathered on Sunday, March 3rd for the unveiling of an American Flag drop box that will be installed at the Village Shopping Center. Village management, local Veterans of Foreign Wars and Foreign Legion officials made way for the metal box to be installed for folks to retire their timeworn “stars and stripes” properly. During the ceremony a number of people stood by with folded flags ready to be turned in.

The box will be permanently installed adjacent to Capers Restaurant below the clock tower. Once collected, the flags will be honorably burned during ceremonies by local Boy Scout troops who were also at the event.

CV News Restaurant Review with Ashley - Knudsen’s Ice Creamery

“The cheeseburger was delicious. The meat was fresh and the french fries were perfect! They were crispy and unlike any other fries you may get around town,” said Ashley, who told CVN she has never tried a cheeseburger at the Creamery before. Once it was prepared and served…the “black and white” sundae was an irresistible treat that disappeared fairly quickly. The month of March marks the 10-year anniversary for Dave and Kathy Knudsen owning the popular downtown eatery that is a favorite among local families. “CV has been very good to the Ice Creamery. We grow year after year and are happy to be a part of Castro Valley’s downtown,” said Creamery owner Dave Knudsen.


or the newest installment of the CVN restaurant review, our reviewer Ashley paid a visit for lunch at Knudsen’s Ice Creamery on Castro Valley Boulevard across from the Village Shopping Center. Well known for their home made ice cream menu and candy offerings, Ashley opted for a Knudsen’s cheeseburger and a “black and white” sundae. The sundae featured a generous cloud of marshmallow whip that is her favorite sundae addition.

“This place is always packed with families and schools,” added Ashley, who commended the Knudsens’ for their work in Castro Valley through community donations and fundraisers. View Full Video story by Scanning this QR Code with your Smart Phone:

Boat Treehouse Popular Among CV “Landlubbers”

Chart a course and set your sails

for the corner of Center and Ray Streets to view an amazing sea vessel attached to a pair of towering Redwood trees. What you will see be a pirate ship treehouse that is a feast for the eyes! “Building it was a great way to meet our neighbors and their kids,” explained homeowner Vanessa Grazzini, whose husband Pete and stepfather Dave built the boat that features canon portholes and ropes to climb on deck. The boat took about a month to

Above: The Grazzini’s tree house pirate boat is a definite eye catcher. Left: The tree house got its moniker,“Sea Wind” from a wooden name plate they found in the family backyard.

build and her 2 and a half and three year old children—and many of the other neighborhood kids—enjoy playing in the “Sea Wind” on a daily basis. The boat was named after a found name-

View a Full Story Video by Scanning this QR Code with your Smart Phone:

plate and features random boat parts belonging to the former owner of the house who was a biology teacher at CVHS. The boat also earned a SF Chronicle mention online for one of the coolest local tree houses. The “Sea Wind” garners a lot of attention from folks across Castro Valley who catch a glimpse of it. “People continue to stop at least once a day and shout to from their car how cool the tree house is,” Grazzini added. -Story & Stills by Robert Souza

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 really enjoyed your article about cruising the Boulevard (Castro Valley News February Issue: Page Five) up until the 1980’s. It being the reason people can’t make a U-turn anywhere on the Boulevard between 9pm and 3am. However, in 2014, this regulation seems absolutely ludicrous. Is this 30-year-old regulation really necessary? I would also like to add that the Boulevard has extremely low traffic levels from 9pm to 3am. Do the Supervisors fear that if the U-turn restrictions are lifted cruising will return to Castro Valley? That seems like a far-fetched possibility. It seems like an excuse for law enforcement to cite drivers when they’re not actually creating any traffic hazards. It should be justified publicly or changed immediately. Something needs to be done about it, period.

~Piper McKnight / Cherryland Editor: After I read your big story about what should happen to the empty Daughtrey building, I began to wonder why these people are determined to have the place demolished? If the building can be purchased and reused for a new business, why not? The developer says he

wants to bring in some kind of business who may contribute to the community and these people want to have it be a “town square”? Who will maintain it and how much will that cost the community? The most obvious flaw in the “town square” plan is that someone in the community will have to come up with a lot of money for it to go forward and actually happen. It seems financially irresponsible and not well thought out.

~ V. C. Stella / San Leandro

Editor: We are writing to inform the Castro Valley community of the upcoming BOOK SALE sponsored by the Friends of the Castro Valley Library. The sale begins with Member’s Night from 6 - 8 PM on Friday, April 11th, and continues with a General Public sale from 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday, April 12th, and concludes with the General Public “$3/BAG SALE” on Sunday, April 13th, from 1 to 4 PM. 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 BookStore 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

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

“Traffic. It’s bad here, even on the backroads of Castro Valley.” Renee Peet- Tracy Resident

“I would like to see

the Daughtrey’s building torn down for more parking.” Dave Lunge - Castro Valley Resident

“The traffic lights across Castro Valley need to be timed better.” Cody Long - Hayward Resident


Castro Valley’s Fast Food “Love-Hate” Story Continued:

Above: At about 11 a.m. a group of local teens eagerly await the opening of the popular Chipotle restaurant located on Castro Valley Boulevard.

“We are not a city to have them regu-

lated, so we really can’t limit them. Yet we continue to support them for some reason,” said Ben Rached, who asserts she stays away from fast food because it is not worth it from a health standpoint. Castro Valley’s considerable fast food roster includes: Chipotle, Wendy’s, Burger King, Jack in the Box, Togo’s, Round Table, Little Caesers, Taco Bell, KFC, Kaspers Hot Dogs, Quiznos, two McDonald’s and two Subways.

Castro Valley restaurant owner Hugo Gamboa says the best and only way to compete with fast food chains is by raising the bar of quality. “My way of business is quality food and taking care of customers. Not just driving people in and out of the restaurant,” said Gamboa, who has ran Capers restaurant in Castro Valley for the past nine years. -Story & stills by Robert Souza

Join an online internet conversation about CV Fast Food at the CV News Facebook However, on the other side of the gastronompage by scanning this ical coin, we have great restaurants such as QR code with your Limeleaf Thai, Aroma, Dampa, Katsu, GengSmart Phone: hix, Palomares Cafe and Norman’s Grill.

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