By Ken Martin

NOT SEEING RED: Sometimes it is hard to fathom the reasoning of our Alameda County agencies. One mystery involves the Public Works Department.

I walk around our community a lot and it dawned on me recently that the great majority of the fire hydrants I see in our area do not have red painted areas to designate a “No Parking” zone. This seems strange, especially in light of the fact that the County PWD obviously has plenty of red traffic paint. If not, why do we have miles of red curbs on Castro Valley Boulevard in areas that should be OK for much-needed parking, such as in front of the Village?

A few weeks back, a high school student parked directly in front of a hydrant on our street. When I commented that this was illegal, she told me she didn’t know that it was. Another person told me that it was alright to park in front of a fire plug if there was no red zone there. With this ignorance extant, shouldn’t the County make some effort to clearly designate such a restricted area? Fire hydrants are there to enhance our public safety. To do this, they need to be readily available in an emergency. Having cars parked in front of them can greatly diminish their effectiveness. So how about it, Nate? Could we get our Public Works people to paint the town red where it is needed?

For the uninformed, it is illegal to park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant whether it is marked or not.

GREAT BOCCE: Every year, in September, the Fratellanza Club in Oakland hosts a wonderful bocce ball happening. They call it the East Bay All-Italian Club Bocce Tournament. It is a fantastic day of bocce that generally attracts some 20 or so teams, both men’s and women’s. In addition, the host club presents a great Italian lunch for the players and spectators. It is a fun day and is more “Italian” than most of the Italian festivals in the area.

This year the Buon Tempo Club, our local Italian-American club, entered two teams. The women’s team members were Esther Fragoza, Elda Protti, Jo Spinardi, and Marge Perata. The men were Al Pinocci, Leo Giacomini, Gianfranco Corti, and Ken Martin.

Unfortunately, neither team fared well. The women’s team lost their first two games and were eliminated. The men’s team won their first game but, in their next two games, were then  paired against the two teams that eventually played in the final match, which was won by the Ligure Club.

But win or lose, it was great outing. Oh, well, at least Castro Valley was represented and there’s always next year!

A FEW GOOD MEN: Speaking of the Buon Tempo Club, that fine organization has openings for some new members. While being of Italian descent is ostensibly a requirement, the club has many active non-Italian members in its ranks. Activities, some of which take place at the Castro Valley Moose Hall, include two dinners each month, bocce during the week, an opera night, golf tournaments, an annual picnic and bocce tournament, support of other activities as they present themselves, and general all-around fellowship.  

If any of my male readers are interested in becoming members, contact Wayne Caporusso at (510) 483-6991 or Paul Grazzini at (510) 633-3015.

What’s up? Let CV Side Trips know at or (510) 727-9296.