Monthly Archives: May 2023

Hayward Futsal Courts

The Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD) has recently collaborated with the Alameda County Deputy Sheriff’s Activities League (DSAL) and the Hayward Unified School District (HUSD) and have developed a state-of-the-art futsal court facility to address the growing demand for sports fields in the community. Located on an undeveloped, one-acre site owned by HUSD, adjacent to the Sunset Swim Center on Laurel Ave, this project provides an exciting new venue for sports enthusiasts in the district. 

The facility boasts four futsal courts, designed primarily for youth play. However, these courts can be easily converted into two futsal courts for adult play, offering a versatile space for players of all ages. In addition to the courts, the project includes essential amenities such as perimeter netting/fencing, lighting, a restroom, a drinking fountain with a bottle filler, a covered entry, and a spectator viewing area. Moreover, the facility has utility connections and accessible parking to ensure convenience and inclusivity for all visitors.

To gather public input and ensure community involvement, a virtual public meeting was organized on Jun. 24, 2020. Numerous attendees passionately voiced their support for the new futsal court facility, emphasizing the benefits it would bring to the district. Taking these opinions into account, the final concept plan was presented to the HARD (Hayward Area Recreation and Park District) Board of Directors at their meeting on Jul. 20, 2020.

After months of planning and construction, the futsal court facility was completed on Feb. 24, 2023, and is now open to the public. This development marks a significant milestone in the district’s ongoing efforts to provide accessible recreational spaces for its residents. The futsal courts offer a unique sports experience, combining elements of soccer and indoor football, creating a fast-paced and dynamic game that attracts players and spectators alike.

The facility’s opening has been met with enthusiasm and excitement from the local community. Hayward resident Luis Delgado expressed his excitement for the courts, “I love playing soccer and it’s been really hard to find a place where I can go with my friends to play but with these new courts it makes it much easier for all of us”.

The partnership between the District, Alameda County Deputy Sheriff’s Activities League, and Hayward Unified School District has proven instrumental in transforming an undeveloped site into a thriving recreational space. This collaboration highlights the value of public-private partnerships in addressing community needs and creating positive spaces for social interaction and physical activity.

Saying Goodbye to the Queen of Rock ‘n Roll

Tina Turner, also known as the “Queen of Rock ‘n Roll,” died on May 24, 2023. The iconic singer/performer is believed to have died from natural causes at the age of 83 in her home in Küsnacht, Switzerland.

Tina Turner, a legendary singer and performer, captivating the audience with her powerful voice and electrifying stage presence.
Tina Turner photographed by Heinrich Klaffs

Turner started her career off with the iconic Ike & Tina Turner duo. After going solo, she struggled in the beginning but would go on to create hits such as “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” This record earned her first and only Billboard No. 1 hit and three Grammy awards.

Born Anna Mae Bullock, Turner had an incredibly successful career starting with her role in Ike & Tina Turner. She met Ike Turner after seeing his band perform at a club in St. Louis, Missouri. After hearing her sing, Ike asked her to join the band and worked with her to perfect her voice. During this time she was referred to as “Little Ann”.

After sending one of Tina Turner’s records to Sue Records President Juggy Murray, he convinced Ike Turner to give Tina Turner a stage name. Ike Turner then dubbed Little Ann as Tina Turner which would later become the name she is most notorious for.

Ike and Tina were married in 1962 and released their mainstream hit “River Deep, Mountain High” four years later. The two would continue to be a duo until 1976 when they split after issues with domestic violence and substance abuse from Ike. After their split, Tina Turner went solo. 

Turner died with eight Grammys and three Hall of Fame awards to her name. She had an immensely successful career spanning over three decades. Her funeral was attended by close family and friends in Switzerland where she was cremated. Beyonce Knowles, another iconic singer, honored Turner by adding her rendition of Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” to the setlist of her 2023 Renaissance Tour. She is survived by her second husband Erwin Bach.

Chabot College Fire Station

The Chabot College Fire and Technology program has long been advocating for a new facility to better meet the needs of its students and equip them for successful careers as firefighters and EMS workers. After years of seeking support, the program is thrilled to announce the opening of its new training facility in 2023.

Bob Buell, the fire technology coordinator, explained the reasons behind the department’s decision to pursue a new facility. He highlighted the expansion of fire departments’ services beyond traditional firefighting and emergency medical services (EMS), which necessitated the evolution of pre-employment candidate preparation for more realistic training experiences.

“Since 2008, I’ve been working to secure a home for the Chabot Fire Academy,” said Buell. “With the services provided by fire departments expanding, it became crucial to develop our students for the ever-evolving demands of their future careers. The State of California has also transitioned from a statewide to a national training certification system, allowing students to seek employment anywhere in the country. To meet these national certification requirements, we have had to invest in additional equipment and acquire suitable facilities to deliver comprehensive training.”

The collaboration between the City of Hayward and the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District has been instrumental in making this new facility a reality. Through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and a ground lease agreement, the partnership not only provided a permanent home for the Fire Academy and EMS Program but also established the facility as a regional resource for training first responders. Additionally, this collaboration supports the K-12 to College to Career pathway, creating a seamless educational journey for students interested in pursuing a career in the field.

The newly constructed state-of-the-art training facility comprises nine buildings and structures, enabling students to gain practical experience in various scenarios. These range from firefighting in a three-story building to search and rescue operations in a collapsed parking garage structure. Notably, the facility boasts a Bart platform, complete with a Bart train generously donated by the Bay Area Rapid Transit department. Students will receive comprehensive training on how to respond in the event of a platform collapse during an earthquake.

At the heart of the training facility stands the main building, serving as a combination fire station and college classrooms and offices facility. The western section accommodates the crew and company of Hayward Fire Department station 6, as well as a Crash Fire Rescue vehicle for airport responses. On the eastern side, there are classrooms, offices, conference rooms, a dispatch training room, and student/staff break rooms.

Buell adds, “The building is also designed to serve as an alternate Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in case of a disaster, should the primary EOC be unavailable. This flexibility ensures that we can effectively respond to emergencies and provide support to the community when it is most needed.”

The completion of the new training facility represents a significant milestone for the Chabot College Fire and Technology program. Equipped with modern amenities and realistic training environments, students will be better prepared to handle the challenges they may encounter in their future careers. The facility’s construction underscores the commitment of the City of Hayward and the Chabot-Las Positas Community College District to fostering educational opportunities and ensuring the safety and well-being of the community.

Reusable Containers in the Cafe

As of March 6, Encora, a company specializing in reusable containers, aims to decrease waste and plastic waste at Café Chabot. The implementation of Encora’s containers not only promotes environmental sustainability for students and staff but also reduces waste management expenses.

Ted Wallis, the Founder, and CEO of Encora, told us in an interview that Chabot College and Ohlone College are currently the exclusive recipients of these containers. As the company expands its product distribution, users can access the service through a free app.

To use the app, students must provide credit or debit card information for identification purposes only. Encora employs STRIPE, a secure third-party payment processor, to ensure that sensitive information remains protected and inaccessible to the company.

When ordering lunch from the cafe, students and staff can request their food to be packed in an Encora container. To do so, they simply scan the container’s QR code, akin to borrowing a book from the library. These containers are then returned to a designated silver bin in the cafeteria, collected, and sent back to the distributor for cleaning.

Chabot student Iyan Gilder, expressed his thoughts about Encora’s container return process, applauding the app’s easy procedure, and walked through the steps of maneuvering the app’s scan feature. 

Encora’s containers can withstand up to 1,200 washes without being damaged by food stains. They are cleaned using high-temperature commercial dishwashers, ensuring thorough sanitation.

Although the Encora app requires a valid credit card, users will only be charged if they fail to return the container within seven days. As an incentive to use and return the containers, customers can earn a five-dollar discount on their meal after returning five containers at Café Chabot.

Encora envisions its products eventually replacing single-use plastic containers. With longer-lasting containers, the Seattle-based company offers a variety of options, including a three-compartment clamshell, a 9×9 box for larger meals, a soup cup, a 5×5 sandwich container, and drink cups. If successful, the program will expand its product range next year.

Chabot student Ian Beyea shared his positive experience using Encora’s containers, praising their quality and durability. He acknowledged the potential benefits of the program for Chabot College moving forward.

Through the introduction of Encora’s container program, Chabot College is taking a significant step toward reducing single-use waste and mitigating its environmental impact.

Tio’s Mediterranean Grill Review

Tio’s Mediterranean Grill is a flavorful restaurant located in San Leandro. Owned by two brothers-in-law Guan Gal Danez (head chef), Enrique Ayala (Chef) along with their business partner Jonathan Nichols. In their six months of operation, Tio’s has gotten raved reviews on Yelp, Instagram, and Facebook. located  794 E 14th St, San Leandro 94577. They’re open Monday through Thursday 11 am to 8:30 pm and on Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The owners pride themselves on making sure the quality of food they’re cooking is top tier for their customers. “We really do care about how we deal with our food. We take good care of our customers. We care about the freshness and quality of the food.” Said Gal Danez.

After eating here, I can say that the food is magnificent. The chicken and lamb combo kabob served with yellow or white basmati rice is cooked to perfection. The chicken and lamb are grilled nicely due to the tender and moist that the meat holds in after it’s cooked. The Lamb is so tender you can cut it with a butter knife. The falafel is crispy on the outside yet soft and moist once bite into it. 

“When I come here, I always get the beef shawarma along with the fries its always a hit to me. The owners always treat me nice.” Said customer Marvin Cole.

The owners spread love to their customers. Chef Danez came up with the name of the restaurant Tio, meaning uncle in Spanish. The customer service here is astounding, the Owners and staff always come out to cater to their customers and are friendly towards everyone. 

“We were catering, before we opened the restaurant. The owner of Carniceria Meat Market which is next door we catered for him. He knows our food is good. So, one day he reached out and told us a building next door to him was empty and we brought the place,” said Gal Danez.

“This is my first time here. I’m a yelper. I write reviews for restaurants on yelp. I came here because the food looks great on Yelp and has nice reviews. This place has a variety of things to choose from,” said customer Craig Strutter.

A customer favorite dish is the Chicken or Beef Shawarma wrap served with either fries or salad that cost between $16 to $18. Another dish is the chicken or beef kebab ranging between $20 to $22.

  “The things that are special about our restaurant are consistency, cleanliness, and customer service. Those are the three things that keep us motivated and keep our customers happy,” said owner Nichols.

“We were catering, before we opened the restaurant. The owner of Carniceria Meat Market which is next door we catered for him. He knows our food is good. So, one day he reached out and told us a building next door to him was empty and we brought the place,” said Gal Danez.

Please come out and give it a try. You will not regret it. The customer service, awesome food and cleanliness checks in all the boxes. For me this establishment has earned its five stars.

13th Annual Poetry Reading

Chabot College’s 13th Annual Poetry Reading took place on Apr. 27 in building 100 from noon — 2 p.m. The reading was in celebration of National Poetry Month and welcomed the talented author and poet, Anthony Fangary as the guest speaker. 

The poetry was presented by The Chabot College Library and English Department, originally started in 2010 by instructors Landon Smith, Homeria Foth and Librarian Pedro Reynoso. Foth said, “One day Pedro and I were just talking about how it would be a great idea to bring poets on campus. Students need to experience this.” 

Fangary is a writer and an artist who resides in San Francisco. His poetry has appeared in a couple literary journals, received backing from several institutions, and he is even the author of HARAM, a poetry book published in 2019. HARAM, Etched Press 2019 is available on Amazon, with a total of 44 pages that brings a certain intensity regarding discrimination and religion. 

Fangary read a total of 13 poems at the event, many of which had relations to his Coptic background. A Copt is an adherent of the Coptic Orthodox Church, an early Christian community originating in Egypt with a predominantly Egyptian ethnic background.

His poem titled “The Liquor Store,” talked about the pros and cons of Copts owning or working in a liquor store. “Europe,” depicted Fangary’s experience in how Europeans mistreat the Coptic people. As well as “Harem,” which talked about colorism in the Coptic community as well as religion, plus more.

The reading was smooth and the delivery was delicate, the audience seemed to enjoy the number of poems read, and a Q&A session was held after the reading on Fangary’s inspiration, dedication, and overall mindset while writing. 

“One of the things that motivates me to write is working out questions I’ve had since I was younger. It’s been a lifelong exploration on what it means to be here with the circumstances in which they are prevalent.” Fangary stated. He also noted several poets that have and continue to inspire him; Joy Pries, Solmaz Sharif, and Dorothy Chan.

Fangary’s poems touched many attendees’ hearts, one of them being Chabot instructor Tobey Kaplian, “His poetry was personal and political. Poetry is not about expressing. Poetry is about discovering, and he shared that with us, in which I was very moved by.” 

This is the first time since the pandemic that students gathered in person for the poetry reading in the Chabot library. Student Michelle commented, “His poems were captivating. I love his poems and I also believe in coming out and supporting poets.”

For more information on Fangary go to

Pinterest Safety Updates for Children

Pinterest, a photo-sharing app often thought of as the last safe social media platform for children by the general public, made waves last month for issues on the site regarding child safety.

An NBC article released in early March highlighting the dangers of children being on the app became the first of many on the topic. In the original NBC article, author Jesslyn Cook discussed the story of a 9-year-old girl who was using Pinterest primarily because her mother was worried about the type of content she’d be exposed to on other social media platforms like TikTok.

Unfortunately for both the mother and daughter this was not the case and shortly after creating the account, the girl’s mother found that certain accounts were saving her daughter’s posts onto boards titled things like “sexy little girls,” and “guilty pleasures.” Along with these boards, the 9-year-old was also getting bombarded with direct messages from followers, commenting inappropriately on her body.

While Pinterest has always had certain safety measures in place, like only allowing teen users to receive direct messages from users they follow and requiring users to be at least 13-years-old. Since the NBC article was published they have begun to implement even more safety requirements. The company has stated that they have increased the number of human content moderators and are developing new features that allow users to report accounts for certain offenses.

Although this is a step in the right direction, the gesture did not appease senators Marsha Blackburn and Richard Blumenthal who wrote a letter to Pinterest after the NBC article was released. According to a follow-up article written by NBC, in the letter the senators wrote: “It should not have taken national media coverage of such graphic misuse targeting young children to prompt action … This report is particularly disappointing given that Pinterest has branded itself the ‘last positive corner of the internet.’”

As of April, the app has made some drastic changes regarding their policies on child and teen safety. Accounts for users under 16 are completely private meaning that they aren’t discoverable by other people, and their accounts won’t show up when searched. Pinterest has also disabled the messaging feature for teen accounts since the article, but are currently working on updating the feature so they can “allow for safe connections with people [the] teen knows.”

Along with banning certain features, Pinterest has since swept its entire platform to deactivate any accounts they believe to be dangerous. While a good idea in theory, this has caused a lot of innocent accounts to be disabled for no reason — an issue content creator Dove Clarke was forced to deal with. After having her 10-year-old account deleted for seemingly no reason she took to Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to post her complaints.

In a tearful video on TikTok, Clarke states: “Your stuff is not safe on Pinterest. I use Pinterest religiously for my job, I used Pinterest to find myself and now it’s all gone.”

Although Clarke was able to get her account back, this whole ordeal has tarnished Pinterest’s safe image and has made people weary of the app in general. Some Chabot students have also weighed in on the subject, with second-year Isaiah Moore stating: “I don’t use Pinterest but, that’s not really surprising. Unfortunately, stuff like that happens all the time on the internet.”

Another Chabot student, Cynthia Hernandez, had this to say: “I haven’t used Pinterest since middle school but, it’s terrible that that’s how certain people would use it. It’s just supposed to be an app for sharing pictures.”

Chabot Wind Symphony Music Festival

On May 3 the Chabot College wind symphony held a music festival conducted by Timothy Harris, Director of Bands and Music Department Coordinator at Chabot College, with clarinetist Duy Tran and the Mt. Eden high school orchestra as special guests.

The show began with a performance by the Mount Eden High School orchestra and was followed by three performances by Chabot’s wind symphony, one of which featured a solo by Chabot student and pharmacist Dr. Duy Tran. Dr. Tran’s solo during a piece composed by renowned American music composer, Johnathan Leshnoff, highlighted his amazing breath control and skill while demonstrating why, “He is one of the finest clarinetists here at Chabot,” according to Harris.

After Dr. Tran’s performance, the wind symphony performed “Variations on America” which was composed by Charles Ives. This piece was specifically chosen for this performance, according to Harris, because the composer was only seventeen at the time that he wrote it – around the same age as the Mount Eden students in the audience, giving them something to relate to.

For their final performance, the Chabot students performed a Spanish opera titled “El Gato Montes” written by Manuel Penella about the love affair between a bull fighter and the woman he loves. This dramatic piece is well known throughout the musical world as it was the inspiration for many other march composers like John Philip Sousa who wrote the national march, “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”

The students in both the Mount Eden orchestra and the Chabot wind symphony showed incredible talent and skill during their performances and that could be seen by how well they were received by the audience. Applause could be heard before and after every piece and audience members whispered about their approval throughout the performances.

After the festival was over a lot of the audience members spoke about how much they enjoyed the performances, with most being supportive family members of both the Chabot and Mount Eden ensembles. First year Chabot student Natalie Munoz attended the show after seeing the flier on Chabot’s website and said that she really enjoyed all the performances, stating: “I was in the orchestra at my high school, so it was cool to see high school students and college students play at the same level.”

Sims 4 Update: Playable Babies & Bay Area World

On Mar. 14 Electronics Arts (EA) released a patch update for the Sims 4 which introduced infants, making them the youngest playable life stage in any Sims game so far. Along with this patch, EA also released a new expansion pack featuring a world modeled after the Bay Area, CA.

This new update was highly anticipated by fans of the Sims franchise as it introduced a concept that hadn’t been seen in any of the Sims games over the past twenty years: playable babies. Up until now, babies in the Sims games were no more than objects that players could interact with and even then these interactions were limited. Not only were they limited in interactions but, before this update, baby sims could only come in three skin tones and were confined to their cribs.

In games like the Sims 2 and 3, players were able to satisfy their baby-fever with toddlers; however, for the Sims 4, toddlers weren’t added to the game until 2017 – nearly three years after its release. Before this, newborn Sims would immediately age into children, skipping a vital life stage and taking away the opportunity for them to bond with other Sims in that aspect.

The “Growing Together” expansion pack combats this issue by adding the concept of milestones to the game, allowing Sims to remember and be influenced by the good and bad moments that have happened to them throughout their lives. Sims can now reminisce about their first time riding a back or losing a tooth, a feature that is similar to the “memories” in the Sims 2 which helped provide a basic form of storytelling for the players.

San Sequoia, the new world that came with the “Growing Together” expansion pack for the Sims 4, is just one of many in-game worlds based on places in real life. Worlds like Del Sol Valley from their “Get Famous” pack and Sulani from the “Island Living” expansion pack are based on Los Angeles and Hawaii, respectively. Regarding San Sequoia the developers drew inspiration from Silicon Valley specifically, adding in NPCs with jobs as app developers and start-up employees.

This new world mirrors the Bay Area in terms of diversity, as well, by adding the games first canonically transgender and non-binary Sims, Celeste Michaelson and Jay Robles. The NPCs can talk about their gender-identity with players through certain social interactions if they have a high enough relationship level.

While a lot of members of the Sims 4 community were initially excited about the new pack, a month after its release, it received mixed reviews – with a lot of those being on whether or not the content in the pack should’ve been released for free.

Youtuber Catkin commented that this was the first pack they felt that nearly everything included should’ve been included in the base game, stating: “The milestones, relationships and quirks are all quite important and would have been a huge quality of life update.”

Among these complaints, there was also the argument that this pack was only focused on familial interaction and didn’t offer anything for players that are not interested in that playstyle. Reddit user Nicky Q says that the pack is useless to them since they don’t play with families. They say: “I play Sims to live my best childfree life with a bunch of pets. I’m happy for everyone else, but if I ever end up buying this pack it would just be for the build items.”

Rooted In Oakland

While the departure of the A’s from Oakland has left many fans feeling disillusioned and abandoned, it’s important to remember that there is still a sports team that calls Oakland their home. One such team is the Oakland Roots, a soccer team currently in the USL Championship. Chabot College student Chris Ruiz expressed his admiration for the Oakland Roots,” I love the culture they built around the team and with us (the fans). I also love the fact that they prioritize helping the city of Oakland to grow and reach its fullest potential.”

On Apr. 20, an announcement was made that the Oakland A’s had signed a binding agreement to build a new stadium in Las Vegas. This would be the third team in the last five years to leave the city of Oakland following the departure of the Raiders and the Warriors. Oakland is filled with many passionate fans who now feel abandoned by their favorite teams.

Chabot College student Kevin Medina expressed his frustration regarding the A’s leaving, “It truly sucks, I grew up going to A’s and Raiders games and this just feels like a gut punch. It’s going to be hard to continue to support these teams.”

The Oakland Roots were founded in 2018 with a mission to bring the community together through soccer. The team is strongly committed to social justice and community engagement, and they have quickly become a beloved part of the Oakland sports scene.

Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Edreece Arghandiwal spoke about his aspirations behind creating this team from the ground up, “Our purpose behind creating this team was to try to do something different in a world of sports where we’ve seen so much of the same exist. We also want to encompass everything that is the magic of Oakland, art, history, diversity, inclusivity, and music.”

He continues, “America has become so corporate in the way they think about soccer and we like to think of ourselves as a disruptor in that. We build the way Europeans built, which is from the ground up. We are an example of starting from nothing and building it with the community and with the city that you operate in, in the name of the crest. Without that, you’re nothing. And so we hope that we can be disruptive in that way.”

Edreece’s aspirations for the Oakland Roots went beyond just creating a different kind of sports team. As a team committed to social justice and community engagement, they have partnered with various organizations to positively impact their community. From providing education on how to live a better life and be more health conscious to kids with type 2 diabetes to participating in the creation of an anti-racist curriculum and an inclusivity program for the LGBTQ+ community, the team has made giving back a fundamental part of their identity. They have even partnered with East Bay Community Energy to plant trees in deep East Oakland to create a healthier and more peaceful environment for the future.

The team also prioritizes helping soccer not only grow in Oakland but in the Bay Area as a whole. The organization envisions the team as a conduit for young talent in the Bay Area. They want to help develop this next generation and assist them to reach their fullest potential. “With a population of millions, the Bay Area is a hotbed of talent that can help elevate the sport of soccer not only in the region but globally.” 

As for the team’s future, Edreece envisions the Oakland Roots becoming as big as Oakland wants them to be. The Oakland Roots is a shining example of a sports team that truly cares about the community they represent. Despite the departure of other teams, the Oakland Roots remain a bright spot in Oakland’s sports scene and a source of hope for passionate sports fans in the city.