By Ken Martin

GI, CALL HOME!: Castro Valley resident Al Bronzini is a supporter of many causes, all of them very worthwhile. One of his latest is Cell Phones for Soldiers, an organization that sends cell phones and calling cards to our armed forces overseas, allowing the soldiers to call home. As would be expected, most of them are presently going to Iraq. To date, Al has shipped more than 600 phones to service men and women but can still use more.

With all the hot cell phone offers out these days, old phones are frequently abandoned in favor of a better deal. It’s these unused phones that Al Bronzini is looking for. If you have an inactive cell phone that you can part with, there is a choice of ways to get it to Al.

You can take it to the Moose Hall on Rutledge Road. There is a box in the bar on top of the juke box marked “Cell Phones for Soldiers”. Just put it in the box and Al will do the rest.

If you can’t get into the Moose Hall, drop the phones off at the Village Barber Shop in Castro Village and Al Proietti will see to it that they get to Al Bronzini.

Or you can call Al Bronzini directly at 581-2339 and he’ll arrange to get the phones somehow.

I can only imagine what a great comfort it must be to our service people overseas to be able to call home. What a great program this is. Please help if you can.

MIXED EMOTIONS: Now that Measure Q is, as of this writing, in limbo and not really expected to survive, I imagine that, should it fail, we'll still hear from both sides about what happened. Early on I was contacted by both sides asking for my support. Because there many pros and cons, I choose to publicly remain neutral.

On one side, as I stated in a previous column, I would have liked to see the area remain as open space, possibly developed as a natural park. Many residents with whom I spoke shared this vision. This can only  happen if Measure Q had passed. On the other side, soccer and baseball fields, to which the sports nuts seem to feel they are entitled and may well get if the measure carries, are NOT open space. They are structured, limited-use facilities that fulfill the needs of a very small portion of the community but would have to be financed by the entire community.

A lot of voters were probably uncomfortable with giving H.A.R.D. $14.5 million carte-blanche with only a virtually powerless oversight committee to police its use. Also, the tax increase involved, which was certainly more than the proponents claimed it would be, most likely didn’t set well with property owners.  

All this is conjecture on my part. Whatever happens, I guess all we can do for the time being is wait to see what ultimately happens with this measure. The final outcome will probably, like all things here, hold some detriment and some benefit for Castro Valley. We’ll see.

ANOTHER MILESTONE: CV Side Trips was first printed on November 20, 2002. This is our fourth anniversary. I hope you have enjoyed the last four years of this column as much as I have. Thanks for reading it.

your time. Also check on the Friday and Saturday night activities there. Always live, always good!