By Ken Martin

IMPRESSIVE: Erma Smith has been one of the major driving forces in getting our new Performing Arts Center built. Last week I received a very welcome phone call from Erma inviting Patty and I on a tour of the still-under-construction facility.

Led by Cliff Hammond, the resident project inspector, we went on a very complete tour of the building, into virtually every nook and cranny. The basic construction if the building is done. What remains to be done are the finish and fixtures that will make it a truly beautiful arts center.

During the tour, Inspector Hammond informed us of many interesting facts about just what it takes to complete a project of this size. Among other things, he told us that this is the sixth time the architects, Akol & Yoshii, have used this same building design with slight variations. I guess practice makes perfect.

After the building itself is finished, fixtures like lights, curtains, props, etc., will still have to be installed. These items are not included in the construction cost. The landscaping alone is estimated to be a five-figure project. You can help to support all this by sending contributions to Castro Valley Performing Arts Center, 16988 Brierly Court, Castro Valley 94546. This center is going to be great asset to the high school and to the community. Please help if you can.

WANDERING AROUND: Car shows abound during the summer months. It seems like every weekend spawns a half dozen, some large, some small.

I ran across one at Spanky’s Lounge on Baker Road a few days back. This wasn’t a large show, maybe a couple of dozen beautiful custom cars, but Spanky’s owner Ron Willet sponsored the show to collect money for a good cause – The Jenny Lin Foundation. Funds were made through the sale of raffle tickets.

Ron told me that this was just the second year of the show but it will recur on an annual basis. Ron is retiring and has sold the business to his son, Shane, who assured me that the event will continue. Watch for it next year.

SPREADING THE WORD: The main reason I started writing this column three years ago was to let Castro Valley residents know what is happening in Castro Valley. To this end, I need the help of you, the readers.

I find, after the fact, many local events that could have used some publicity to support their particular cause. I hear, second or third hand, of people with interesting hobbies and activities. If you have anything, please let me know at or 727-9296 so I can spread the word to other CV folks. Thanks for your help!

FOR THE KIDS: Along that line, here is a happening of some interest. On Wednesday, October 12, 7:30 AM, a “Friends of Youth” breakfast will be held at Willow Park. It is hosted by the Castro Valley Sports Foundation as a fundraiser for the “Kids First/Measure B” bond issue. The key word is “fundraiser”. For more info, call Darrell Lavin at 727-0660.