By Ken Martin

GOOD SHOW!: Congratulations to all the CV citizens that put so much time and effort into pursuing the Library Grant from the State and succeeding!! Thanks goes to all of you from the entire community!

With all the experience you gained from this, would you like to try for a post office?

HOW COME?: Speaking of the post office, I keep wondering why San Leandro has four post offices (including a brand new big one), Hayward has three (four if you count ours, which is under Hayward), and we can’t even get a replacement for our little crackerbox.

Maybe we need to organize a march to Barbara Lee’s office. Nate, would you lead it?

SUCH IS FAME: If you caught the 10 PM version of “Curb Appeal” on Home & Garden TV last December 8, you saw my good friend and Castro Valley resident Russell Miller for about 6 seconds. Russ is the Manager of the San Leandro Tap Plastics store and made some of the decorations used in the decorating of the homes featured on the program. Incidentally, one of the homes is on Piccardy Drive in Oakland and the other is here in Five Canyons if you would like to see the final results.

The way I see it, Russ, you have about 14 minutes and 54 seconds of fame still coming to you!

COME ON DOWN!: It seems like I continually hear grumblings, ideas, schemes, and what-all about what we should do to improve our community. Yet, when I attend Redevelopment and General Plan meetings, I only see something like one-tenth of one percent of our citizens showing up. Even if you go by households, it is still only about three-tenths of one per cent. Doesn’t this seem like a very small amount when we are planning the future of our community?

Whether you are really interested or not, you are going to have to live with what is determined from the input of the residents present at these meetings. It might be worth it to give up a couple of hours of TV occasionally.

ALTERNATIVES: If you are really unable to attend these various meetings, you can still give your input.

The Redevelopment Citizens Advisory Council is pretty much made of MAC members, any of whom can be contacted by various methods.

Any comments or questions on the General Plan can be directed to Lou Andrade, Project Planner, at or (510) 670-5400.

“LIGHT THE LIGHTS” IS COMING!: One of my most favorite Castro Valley events is coming to town next January 28. This would be the third annual “Light the Lights” concert at Redwood Chapel.

If, for some reason, you missed the first two shows, don’t miss this one! While there is a featured performer – usually some one of show biz note – the real thrill for me is seeing and hearing the choruses and orchestras from our local middle schools and the high school decked out in fabulous finery. They are a delight to the eye. And then it gets better. They play and sing!!!

Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers are the stars (in addition to the school kids) this year. Don’t let the name throw you. They play all kinds of music, usually in the big band swing style. This group has appeared all over the world and in many local venues, including Café du Nord in San Francisco and Ashkanez in Berkeley.

All in all, it will be a great show. Tickets are on sale at the CV Adult School office on Alma Avenue or from any of the committee members. For info, call (510) 537-8117. Hurry! This is a beautiful, not-to-be-missed show!!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!: My wife, Patty, and I want wish all the CV Side Trips readers the happiest of holidays!!

What’s your favorite Castro Valley event? Tell CV Side Trips at or (510) 727-9296.