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Sorry for the late notice everyone - haven't had time to post this until now, and it's due tomorrow! The good news is it's quick and easy and you can send your feedback by email. Please fill out this questionnaire to provide your views on Castro Valley life to the 6 artists being considered to design our downtown artwork. The artists' proposals will be displayed for public comment in late October/ early November - details to follow closer to that time.

Here's the request from the Arts Commission:


To All Castro Valley Community Members:

We want your ideas to help shape the future artwork for Castro Valley Boulevard
Send in your ideas by September 7th
Please help spread the word. This is your chance to get involved before the artwork proposals are created!

Over 30 Castro Valley community members attended a Community Roundtable Event on August 24th to express ideas that will help shape the artwork that will be created for Castro Valley Blvd as part of the major Streetscape Improvement Project. The meeting was hosted by the Alameda County Arts Commission and the Alameda County Redevelopment Agency. We would like to thank all of you who attended the Event and we want to encourage more people to become involved in this process!

In July, a committee including seven Castro Valley residents plus County staff, and regional arts professionals selected six artists who have been invited to submit proposals for the project. Tuesday’s event was an opportunity for the artists to meet with community members and to learn about the Castro Valley community prior to making a specific proposal for the project. Lots of great thoughts were shared with the artists that night. If you were unable to attend, I’d like to encourage you to complete the questions below. The submitted information will be distributed to the artists. Your responses will help the artists develop their proposals. The proposals will be on display for public comment in late October and November.

This is your opportunity to contribute to the artwork style and concepts. The artists are dedicated to developing proposals that will be well-received by the community but they can’t do it on their own – they need your feedback! Please take a few minutes to provide them with thoughtful ideas; they value your input.

Please respond via email
artscommission@acgov.org or print out the attached questionnaire fax to the Arts Commission Office at (510) 271-5192 OR mail to 1401 Lakeside Drive, Suite 603, Oakland CA 94612. Questionnaires must be submitted by Tuesday, September 7th.

1) Why did you choose Castro Valley as your home?

2) What ideas and words come to mind when you think of –
The history of Castro Valley’s and the surrounding region?
Today’s Castro Valley (the region and residents)?
The future Castro Valley (the region and residents) in 20-30 years?
Today’s Castro Valley Boulevard and business district?
The future Castro Valley Boulevard and business district in 20-30 years?

3) What is unique about Castro Valley?

4) What type of environment do you want the artwork to help create? And what feelings should the artwork convey?

5) Please list places that you think the artists should visit while conducting research for this project.

6) Other comments or suggestions for the artists or the Arts Commission.


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CV Schools win awards!

We all know this is a big reason we live here :) Some recent news about our fantastic Castro Valley schools:

  • Independent, Jensen Ranch, Palomares, Proctor, Vannoy Elementary schools recognized by the California Business for Excellence in Education (CBEE) Foundation http://bit.ly/dBoGmf
  • Canyon Middle School in Castro Valley has been recognized for the second time as a California & National School to Watch - Taking Center Stage. http://bit.ly/9QjbJB

You can join the SOSCV! group on Facebook here: http://facebook.com/SOSCV
Or beeline directly the website if you prefer: http://www.soscv.org/

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Eat Real Fest @ Jack London Square this weekend

So the sun may have (mostly) abandoned us again, but that means it will be more than bearable this weekend at Jack London Square for major foodie grazing at the Eat Real Festival! Starting today and running through Sunday, this is an opportunity to check out some of the best food trucks in the Bay all in one location. Some of my lunchtime favorites from work who will be there include Chairman Bao (a gourmet twist on the traditional chinese stuffed buns with fillings such as duck confit or pork belly with pickled daikon radish) and IZ IT (secret family recipe chinese style fried chicken and "spammers" - a super-tasty take on the traditional Japanese musubi sushi wrap).

In addition to good old grazing - as if we needed more - there will be a handful of seminars & demos throughout the weekend, including butchery contests & workshops, all about eggs, urban homesteading, home brewing & canning and the like, plus music & film.

Worth a BART trip? Aw yeah. Hot tip from friends who have gone to this event in the past is to get there EARLY to beat the crowd. Times & details are here: EatRealFest.com

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Win a sleepover at the Academy of Sciences

Wanted to take your kids to a Penguins & Pajamas sleepover at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park but thought it was too pricey? Have a chance to win a package for a family of four! The Academy is running a sweepstakes through August 31; strangely, they are not taking online entries, but you can either enter on site when you visit the Academy, or mail in your entry. Full details are on their site here: http://calacademy.org/promo/sleepovers/

Good luck!

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Hello folks! You may have heard about a beautification project that is underway for Castro Valley Boulevard. As part of this project, commissioned artwork will be integrated into the seating and gateway markers (you may have seen some similar new fixtures in downtown Dublin recently). A committee has already narrowed down the selection of artists, but YOUR presence is requested to meet and interact with the artists to ensure that the end result best reflects all aspects of our community.

Please see below for the official notice about this roundtable meeting coming up at the CV Library on August 24, and pass the word along to other interested parties. You can also see more about this project here.


present a

about the Public Art Program associated with the Castro Valley
Boulevard Streetscape Improvement Project

To create a safe, comfortable and attractive pedestrian main street for downtown Castro Valley, a series of street improvements are currently being implemented for Castro Valley Boulevard by the Alameda County Redevelopment Agency. As part of the overall project, an artist will be hired to create artwork that will be integrated into the seating and gateway markers along the Boulevard.

EVENT DESCRIPTION: In July, a committee including seven Castro Valley residents plus County staff, and regional arts professionals selected six artists who have been invited to submit proposals for the project. Join the Arts Commission, the Redevelopment Agency, and the artists at a Community Roundtable event at the Castro Valley Library.

This event is an opportunity for the artists to meet with community members and to learn about the Castro Valley community prior to making a specific proposal for the project. Please attend the event and share your thoughts with the artists!

Everyone is invited! Please attend and share your thoughts with the artists.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 24, 2010, 6:30-8:00pm

WHERE: Castro Valley Library (3600 Norbridge Avenue, Castro Valley, 94546)



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Junior Rodeo August 7th & 8th - Free event!

Didn't get enough local rodeo action back in May? Rowell Ranch is back with the 48th Annual Junior Rodeo on August 7th & 8th, and better yet, attendance & parking are FREE! More information on some of the key events is on the website at www.rowellranchjrrodeo.net. Participants range in age from "Pee-Wees" (under 5!!) on Saturday morning, to "Seniors" (one of the few places this term refers to 14-18 yr olds).

Interested in participating? Rules & Entry forms are here - note the deadline to enter is July 26.

Kids & farm animals, and just a few minutes drive - you just can't go wrong! This is a great event for all ages to help wrap up the summer.

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1) Castro Valley Sanitary District will pickup extra green waste if it
is enclosed in plastic bags they sell (20 gallon size) for $5.73 per bag.
You set the bags out on your regular trash pickup date. The cost of
the bag pays for the pickup of the extra green waste....
Bags can be purchased at:
CV Sanitary District
Marshall Street (across from Rite Aid)
Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
2) Bulky green waste or any bulky waste can be picked up once a year for free per
home through Waste Management. This is an agreement with CV Sanitary District.
You put the bulk waste (3'x3'x21' = 7 cubic yards maximum) out per a pre-set
appointment by calling WM at: 510-613-8710
Bulky green waste has to be wrapped, roped or containerized and not loose.
Large appliances and furniture can be set out as is.
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Just thought I'd share this great retro-modern style video intro for local SF artist Brian Barneclo's latest and most ambitious work, Systems Mural Project being planned down by the Caltrain station in San Francisco. I've written about his work before, which fits perfectly into the whole MCM/ Eichler aesthetic (he sells prints if you're interested). Enjoy!

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On the Castro Valley Library Blog, on the left hand side of the page, is a series of photos of native California flowers planted in the gardens. If you click on the pictures at the bottom of the blog where it says "more photos"you get the names of the each of the flowers planted so far.


One day no less than fifteen people asked the Librarians the name of this plant -- blue eyed grass.

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SF Design Center Sample Sale - June 12 & 13

Select showrooms at the San Francisco Design Center will be participating in their Summer Designer Sample Sale which is open to the public. As you may know, unless you are a credited designer, you may browse but not buy at this behemoth showcase of furniture and interior design elements. But June 12 & 13, you, lowly layperson, can bring your wallet and this 10% off coupon good for a single item, already a deal at up to 70% off.


San Francisco Design Center

Galleria & Showplace Buildings

101 and 2 Henry Adams St.

San Francisco, CA 94103

Saturday, June 12 from 10am - 5pm

Sunday, June 13 from 10am - 4pm

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The Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park is introducing a supercool new program this summer, for children 6 years and older called "Penguins & Pajamas": an actual sleepover in the Academy! There are only 3 dates and I'm sure they will fill up fast, so book ASAP: June 18, July 16 & August 13.

The program, which runs from 6pm overnight and includes admission for the next day as well, encompasses the best of the Academy enhanced with unique kid-friendly features including an after-hours planetarium show, a special penguin talk, and storytelling accompanied by milk & cookies before bed.

Bring your sleeping bag & pick a spot to settle in near Claude, the albino alligator, down by the giant aquarium window, or by your favorite diorama in African Hall, before heading to the Academy Cafe for breakfast in the morning.

Tickets are $99 for members, $119 for non-members. All adults must be accompanied by at least one child under 18, and there must be at least one adult chaperone for every 5 kids.

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Rowell Rodeo Rides Again - May 14-16, 2010

As you may have realized from the posters dotting shop windows down Castro Valley Boulevard, the annual Rowell Rodeo and its ancillary activities are around the corner!

A few of the events not to be missed:

* Chili Cookoff sponsored by the Rotary Club - Friday, May 7 @ 5:30pm

* Parade down CVB - Saturday, May 8 @ 10am

* Tri-Tip BBQ & Dance - Saturday, May 15 @ 5pm

And of course the main rodeo-ic events starting Friday May 14 through the weekend. For complete details including schedule, location and ticket prices, visit their official site.

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Crow Canyon road closures through May 6

In case you hadn't heard, Alameda County Public Works will be closing one lane of Crow Canyon between the Contra Costa County Line in San Ramon up to a little East of Norris Canyon Road for roadwork, which is expected to end May 6. You'll still be able to get through, but they anticipate up to a 30 minute delay during the week. For the next month you can of course take I-580 to I-680 to go around, or simply veer off at Norris Canyon to Bollinger Canyon to get over the hill (which puts you closer to Target & Whole Foods anyway :).
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Photo Contest by East Bay Regional Parks District

Love snapping shots of our local wildlife, flora & gorgeous scenery while tramping around our East Bay Parks? Enter your best photos in the East Bay Regional Parks District 2010 Photo Contest, running now through the end of May, for a chance to have your skills recognized and prizes. See the EBRPD website for details on requirements and how to enter - there's a youth category for nature photographers under 18 as well. Also be sure to view the EBPRD Flickr feed near the bottom of the GreenridgeCV home page for some inspiration and to get a sense of your competition!
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We know everyone loves a peek into some lovely examples of mid-century modern homes. The first-ever Sacramento MCM home tour will take place on Saturday, June 26 and features over 20 beautiful examples of some of the best that our state capital has to offer. I'm hoping some of those fantastic river-side Strengs are part of the mix. Tickets are now on sale for $20 each - more info and some sneak peeks of houses on the tour are here. The event is being organized by our friends over at Eichlerific, who've sent a few folks our way here at GreenridgeCV!

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DWR Warehouse Sale - THIS WEEKEND

I'm not quite sure why I'm on the Design Within Reach email list for events when they neglect to send notification about the one we care about: the famed DWR warehouse sale! Just heard that it's happening this weekend, March 27 & 28, in the Potrero Hill warehouse which is adjacent to their PotHill store on the corner Potrero @ Alameda in the City. Hours are brief: 10a-4p today, and 11a-3p tomorrow.

We went to the last warehouse sale 2 years ago at Fort Mason, and found many incredible deals at 30-70% off on great modern furniture (including a George Nelson bench which was damaged but fixable) - definitely worth a look. Full details are here. Thanks to the San Filippos for the heads-up on this one.

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Classic George Nelson bench... of Legos!

This is pretty incredible. Someone has built the familiar George Nelson bench (retail about $700 depending on what size you get) out of LEGO plastic toy blocks. And it looks great!

Although initially this project was prompted by the cost of the bench, the Legos ended up costing a few hundred dollars, too, and the final product is not sturdy enough to sit on, but is obviously much more of a whimsical conversation piece! Thanks to Craft Magazine for the heads-up - read the whole story here.

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The Greenridge Eichler Community website is generously underwritten by your neighbor & local Realtor:
Thomas Westfall
Cal BRE license # 01833889
+1.415.889.7608 (m)