James Castro 
Member since Feb 18, 2018

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Recent Comments

Re: “The Fault Line and the Dams

Pill Hill (located south of the Macarthur Freeway, west of Broadway, east of Telegraph Avenue, and north of 29th Street) is several miles from the Hayward Fault. The fault runs along the Warren Freeway, goes through the UC stadium, follows Wildcat Creek, passes through the Contra Costa College campus on the Richmond-San Pablo, line, and crosses the bay near Point Pinole.

Posted by James Castro on 08/27/2019 at 12:08 PM

Re: “The Fault Line and the Dams

In downtown Hayward you used to be able to see the evidence of fault creep on the sidewalks. A few years ago they repaved almost all of that area, so it will be a few more years before the creep is evident there again. However, up on the ridge formed by the fault scarp, along Hotel Street (where the Haywards Hotel once stood -- that was its name), fault creep is evident in fences and garden walls.
There was a building between C and D Streets , originally built as the City Hall. The fault tore that building apart. It was evacuated and eventually was torn down.
San Lorenzo Creek runs into downtown Hayward until it encounters the fault, turns right for a mile or two, and then goes west again. That kind of stream offset is typical of an active transform ("strike-slip") fault.
They really picked the worst possible location to build Hayward's downtown area, but it grew naturally around the old Haywards Hotel in the decades before earthquake building codes.

Posted by James Castro on 08/27/2019 at 11:20 AM

Re: “That Old Gas Stove Is Not Your Friend

Not stated in the story: An induction cooktop only works with metal pots and pans. You can't use a Pyrex or Corning Ware pan on that type of stove, because only conductive metal cookware can be heated by induction.

Posted by James Castro on 07/03/2019 at 9:47 AM

Re: “Recycling's Sword of Damocles

I'm glad to see the Express bringing this up. It highlights the fact that some recycling makes abundant sense and some is just feel-good stuff.
Aluminum and scrap iron (including cans) are excellent candidates for recycling. Cardboard is also a good candidate if there's a paper mill reasonably close. To some extent, newsprint can be recycled, although the supply far exceeds the demand. And adding other kinds of paper to the recycled mix lowers the value of the newsprint. (Newsprint mostly gets used making certain products like liners for automotive glove compartments and trunks. Since the demand is limited -- no one is going to make more cars just because there is more recycled newsprint -- most of the newsprint goes straight from the recycling center to the landfill.)
Glass can be recycled only if there is a local glass factory (which needs a certain amount of cullet) or cement plant (which uses glass as a silica source) to take it. Products like "glassphalt" haven't worked out too well. However, glass beverage bottles that come from a local bottler are excellent candidates for reuse. (Reuse is always superior to recycling!)
Finally, certain automotive parts are successfully recycled all the time. There's a thriving market for motor and generator cores and old batteries. Other parts are sold at junkyards for reuse. What doesn't get sold eventually gets sold as scrap and goes into the next generation of steel.
The thing NOT to do is to obsess on recycling every little thing. That's what can kill recycling efforts,

Posted by James Castro on 05/24/2019 at 10:39 AM

Re: “Fully Automatic Rifle Among Weapons Stolen from Federal ATF Agent's Vehicle Outside Oakland Federal Building

Wow. The .556 caliber quoted in the story would have been heavier than the old (.45 cal) Thompson submachine gun. Okay, it was .223 cal, like the M-16 rifle, only maybe fully automatic. (If -- and only if -- that part of the story is true, it was a Colt M4A1, not the garden variety M4.)
What kind of idiot leaves a military-grade rifle and a bunch of ammo in a car parked on the street? Hopefully he or she will get a thorough arse-chewing out of this.

Posted by James Castro on 11/30/2018 at 3:03 PM

Re: “Did Freemasons Secretly Build an 'Equinox Observatory' in Oakland's Skyline?

I checked out Bing Street View and noticed that the sight line due west from 1940 Lakeshore Avenue just misses the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple and Noble Tower, passes through the "temple" structure on top of the Central Building ... and continues through the site of the former Athens Athletic Club building at 12th and Clay (now part of the Federal Building site). In fact, it seems to pass precisely through the south tower of the Federal Building.
I don't find it at all hard to believe that Masons could have been involved in the placement of the Central Building and Athens Club. (For that matter, they could have had enough influence in the Oakland Redevelopment Agency and the General Services Administration to get that office tower placed just where it is.)

Posted by James Castro on 11/28/2018 at 4:50 PM

Re: “The East Bay's Changing Demographics

None of this is new.
I left the Bay area in 1991; in fact I left California altogether. During the Eighties I worked at Clorox in Pleasanton and lived nearby in Dublin. I saw the trends then. One by one, people I worked with relocated from the Eastbay to places they could afford -- places in the San Joaquin Valley like Manteca, Patterson, and Newman. Of course the commute was horrible, but they could afford the rents there and many were able to buy condos or houses. There was also the crime. My wife and I were badly shaken when one of our neighbors -- Ilene Misheloff -- disappeared and was never seen again. Two other little girls were also kidnapped about the same time in Pinole and Hayward. They were also never seen again. A little boy in Berkeley was kidnapped and murdered. I couldn't keep my family in such a dangerous place. I began looking for a job out of state. Eventually I found one in Montana. But I have been following the Bay area news, and all this has come as no surprise.
Anyway, this exodus from the Bay area is nothing new. During the Eighties and Nineties it was the lower middle class, mostly white and Asian. Now the poorer people, many of them black, are also getting pushed out. When this is over, the core cities will be populated by the rich, the yuppies, and the drug dealers. The yuppies will be hanging on by their fingernails and living in studio apartments. The only solution is to go to some other state with a saner society.

Posted by James Castro on 02/18/2018 at 9:27 PM

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