First Fridays will continue in April under the same rules implemented recently to help rein in the festival and avoid another shooting.
As was the case in March, street closures along Telegraph will be limited from West Grand Avenue to 27th Street -- about half the footprint of previous festivals. Open-bottle laws also will be more rigorously enforced and the event will close at 9 p.m.
Under the new rules, March's First Friday drew around 8,000 people -- about half the attendance from February's, when an Oakland teenager was shot to death shortly before 11 p.m.
Police officials at Tuesday's City Council meeting said they were considering scaling back their presence at future First Fridays. During that meeting, council members Larry Reid and Desley Brooks both criticized the city's decision to have more than 30 officers from special units, including crime reduction teams, assigned to the events.
"It does not make sense for you to utilize our police officers to safeguard a freaking block party," Reid said. "It is not an appropriate use for our police."
Hayward to build airport headquarters
The city's airport will be getting a new administration building.
The airport staff has outgrown its offices in the first two floors of the five-story control tower, which was built in 1961. The Federal Aviation Administration occupies the top three floors.
The new building will be next to the
The City Council approved the building's plans Tuesday. Staff members will now call for bids for the project, which will be just under 5,000 square feet.
The $2.88 million structure is being built with Hayward Executive Airport funds. Work is expected to begin in late May and finish in March 2014.
Newark to consider ban on panhandling
The City Council on Thursday is expected to consider banning aggressive panhandling within city limits.
Staff members, responding to residents' complaints and police reports of a significant increase in begging for money on Newark streets, are recommending that the five-member council approve the item.
City officials say they decided to pursue the ban after reports increased of aggressive panhandling in Newark's commercial areas, including near supermarkets and banks.
Aggressive panhandling is defined by the California Penal Code as "accost(ing) other persons in any public space or in any place open to the public for the purpose of begging soliciting alms."
If the item is approved, nonaggressive panhandling in Newark will remain legal as nonthreatening requests for money fall within free speech rights under the First Amendment, according to a staff report.