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Walnut St. to be Completely Closed for 24-36 Months for Kaiser Rebuild-Closure Starts April 10

As you probably know, Kaiser Hospital in Redwood City is about to go through a major rebuild. The rebuilt hospital will be 280,000 square feet (149 beds), and tiered in height from two to six-to-seven stories. Maybe you’ve seen some of the prep work going on for the last few months – now, they’re just about ready to break ground for the new foundation. Take a look at Redwood City’s project information page at for more details about the project, including a computer-generated overview of what the rebuilt Kaiser Hospital Campus will look like (provided by Kaiser).

I’m writing to let you know that the initial phase of work requires the complete closure of Walnut Street between Veterans and Bradford Street as of Sunday, April 10th, 2011. This portion of Walnut Street will be closed for 24 to 36 months to accommodate the new hospital construction and roadway re-alignment.

Changeable message boards will be in place by this Friday April 1st to inform the motorists and pedestrians of the upcoming closure. Deliveries of a significant amount of materials including concrete k-rail, fencing, and barricades will take place through April 4th. Traffic control devices and signal light reprogramming will be implemented by April 8th, and the complete closure of Walnut Street between Veterans and Bradford will be effective at the end of day on Sunday, April 10th

Thanks in advance for your patience, and please be careful if driving or walking in the area as there will be equipment and trucks moving in and out of the work site.

If you have questions for the City about this project, you can call 650-780-7380. Questions to Kaiser about the project should be directed to Mark Srebnik, Project Director, at (650) 299-4919.


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“One Marina” Project Getting Underway – First Step is Detour of Bair Island Road

The first phase of work on the One Marina project includes a detour of Bair Island Road, and is scheduled to begin on April 1. This may not affect you if you don’t drive on Bair Island Road, but in case you do, here is the info.

One Marina is a 231-unit waterfront residential project including three community parks, a 14 acre marina basin, a waterfront esplanade along Redwood Creek, an inner village walk, and siting for up to 200 hotel rooms and up to 10,000 square feet of retail use. It’s located on a 33-acre property at 650 Bair Island Road.

As part of the project, Bair Island Road has been approved for substantial upgrades including the installation of a new round-a-bout, a two directional separated bike path, a pedestrian sidewalk shaded by street trees and equipped with pedestrian scale lighting.

The first phase of work starting Friday April 1 entails rebuilding a section of Bair Island Road, including a temporary detour. Here is the initial schedule: 

•           Mobilize equipment – April 1, 2011

•           Install 20” water line under Highway 101 – mid-April

•           Build a detour south of Bair Island Road at the project site and re-routing traffic onto the detour – by second week of April

•           Rebuild existing Bair Island Road (utility placement, improvements/upgrades, etc.) – start by third week of April

•           Re-route traffic onto “new” Bair Island Road – this fall, at end of estimated eight months of construction 

The construction of the initial set of buildings is expected to commence in mid-2011.

To keep the community informed as the construction of the project takes place, the City maintains an informational web page at

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Mountain Lion in Redwood City Backyard; State Fish & Game Decides Risk Too High, Puts Animal Down

You’ve probably already heard about the mountain lion incident that took place this morning. Here is what I sent to the media, so that you’re fully aware of what happened.

~ malcolm


At approximately 8:19 am this morning (Tuesday), a report was received by Redwood City Police of a mountain lion in the vicinity of Alameda de las Pulgas and Whipple Avenue. As police were responding, a high speed automated phone call was made to over 600 residents in the area, to notify them of a possible sighting and to urge caution.

Subsequently the sighting was confirmed as a mountain lion, and the police set up a perimeter to contain the animal to a backyard. In addition to that residence, police contacted approximately 10-12 other residences to advise of the situation. All residents are either safely inside their homes, or not at home.

As of  about 10:30 am the mountain lion was located in a residential backyard, inside a police perimeter. The police had contacted  California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) officials who were on site, and working on alternatives for safely removing the animal.

At approximately 11:30 am, officers with the DFG made the determination that it was too great a risk to the public safety to attempt to administer a tranquilizer dart to the mountain lion in a residential backyard, and therefore they took the unfortunate but necessary step of putting the animal down.

In this situation, the safety of the public is of paramount importance to both the DFG and the Redwood City Police Department. The goal in a situation like this is to try to keep both the community and the animal safe, and return the animal to its natural habitat. Due to the position of the animal, between two fence panels in a residential back yard, DFG officers concluded, regretfully, that they could not be certain of applying the tranquilizer to the optimum location on the mountain lion’s body. Secondly, the tranquilizers can take up to 10 or 15 minutes or more to take effect, and the prospect of the animal reacting violently to the dart and escaping the perimeter presented an unacceptable risk to the residents of the neighborhood.

Both Whipple Avenue and Alameda de las Pulgas are very heavily traveled roadways, and the entire area is very urban and populated. The incident took place not far from Sequoia Hospital, and about ½ mile from Stafford Park, which is heavily used by residents, especially on a sunny day like today.

The mountain lion’s weight was estimated at 100-110 pounds. Its gender was not determined on-site. The mountain lion will be taken to DFG in Sacramento for examination.

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Community Update from Mayor Jeff Ira: Budget Problems Prompt Need for Structural Change

I’m sure the entire community is aware of Redwood City’s serious budget difficulties. Skyrocketing pension and benefit costs; steady increases in operating expenses; flat revenues; a stagnant economy; and the necessity for significant reductions in expenditures. One result is a Redwood City organization with far fewer staff than we had ten years ago. Even while working to generate new revenues and improve efficiencies, we have to address the underlying structural problems with our budget to ensure we’re creating a sustainable fiscal foundation.

A big part of the solution is permanently reducing costs. Using “smoke and mirrors” (think: California) won’t provide long-term financial stability. Temporary fixes are just that – temporary. Using one-time funds, such as reserves or gifts, only delays the need for real fiscal reform.

If we were to use reserves to balance our budget, at the end of three years those funds would be exhausted and we’d still be facing a deficit in the following years. We’ve utilized reserves in the past – under specific circumstances to endure temporary revenue losses, to buy time as the financial tide turned. But today’s situation is different. The “new normal” of the fiscal environment requires significant, permanent structural change in our expenditures.

In the same manner, using bequeaths or other one-time funds for ongoing operations merely postpones the inevitable. Once those funds are gone, they’re gone – but our day to day services must continue.

Such use of reserves or one-time funds doesn’t provide for a solid, sustainable financial structure. It creates a short-term dependence that will unquestionably be followed by a collapse when the dollars run out and we’re left with providing services we can’t continue to fund. That path is simply not sustainable. A permanent reduction in expenditures is the only viable way to lay the foundation for a more prosperous future.

In fact, the use of reserves to support long-term ongoing operations is the kind of fiscal course that could lead to bankruptcy in cities like ours. It’s far more prudent to make the tough decisions now, in order to build for tomorrow. Every Redwood City department, at all levels, is making difficult choices right now. There are no easy answers, but in the long run it’s precisely those tough decisions that will lead toward fiscal stability.

I’m proud and gratified that the Police Officers Association, Police Sergeants Association, and Executive Management Team have made those tough decisions and come to agreements on concessions that will help our long-term finances. They are leading the way, and are good examples of the City moving in the right direction.

These difficult times illustrate the value of giving back to the community. This is the time to work together, get involved, find a passion and interest in the community, and take action: volunteer with a non-profit, help out with a league sports activity, help our Library, or a school, or service club – there are many volunteer opportunities online at (sort by “Volunteering”) and at

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Sandpiper Youth Club Raises Over $1,000 for Japan Relief

Here is information on a great project taken on by the kids at Redwood City’s Sandpiper Youth Club, in Redwood Shores. I thought that during this rainy, windy week a little bit of uplifting news would be welcome!

 The recent devastation in Japan prompted the children of the Sandpiper Youth Club, lead by the City’s staff person Telisha Brent, to put together a fundraising bake sale to help.  Armed with homemade flyers and great enthusiasm, the staff and children promoted their “Bake Sale for Tsunami/Earthquake Relief” – they informed the community and the school, and asked for donations of baked goods or cash to support their endeavor. City Parks staff also agreed to bake cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and other goodies on their own time, in the name of charity.

Over 25 parents brought baked goods from home and got others donated…in fact, they had over 500 cupcakes and lots of other stuff ready to be sold for a good cause. The bake sale took place last Friday March 18 – you might remember that day had a lot of weather, including a tornado warning (!).  Despite the weather, an estimated 300 people purchased baked goods, or just made a donation to the cause. That says a lot about the Redwood City community, and about these Sandpiper students!

These amazing kids raised a whopping $1,042 for Japan relief efforts. And through their actions, they also gained a sense of compassion and caring, and a strong feeling that they have made a difference.

To read more and see pictures, please visit

The Sandpiper Youth Club is a program of the Redwood City Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department. It’s a fun after school club run by City Parks staff, offering  play games, sports, crafts, teaching of life skills, movies, special visitors and presentations, and more! Kids also have homework time during the program. You might want to visit the Parks web page at

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San Mateo County Offering Free Business Property Tax Seminar

I’m forwarding this information as a courtesy, it’s from the County but is relevant to any small business owner in Redwood City (and beyond).


San Mateo County Assessor Mark Church Invites You to a Free Seminar
How to Prepare and File your 2011 Business Property Statement (Form 571.L)

 THURS., MARCH 31, 9 AM – 12 PM

 TUES., APRIL 19, 1:30 – 4:30 PM

We know you have lots of pressure these days with the economy, government requirements and everything that goes with running a business. We’re here to help!

We can’t free you from the requirement to file a Business Property Statement (571-L), but we can reduce the pressure and the unknowns. Come to a free seminar where you will get your questions answered by the experts and learn how to avoid mistakes from other business owners. We’ll show you how to file – on paper or online – the choice is yours.

What will this valuable seminar cover?

• Who must file
• What is the Business Property Tax
• How to classify personal property and fixtures
• How to file electronically
• Legal requirements and rules
• What to do if we disagree about the value

Space is limited. Please RSVP to Marsha Winters: or (650) 599-1628. For more information, go to

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Fun, Family Event This Saturday – GeoKids 2ND ANNUAL FAMILY GREEN FEST

Here’s information about a fun family event this Saturday, March 26 from 10 am – 4 pm. It’s not a City event, but I thought you might want to check it out. Most of it is indoors as well, so if there’s rain it’s still a good option! Read on for the details. 



Peninsula preschool’s eco-living expo & pop-up retail store helps schools & families green their lives

GeoKids’ Family Green Fest
Saturday, March 26th
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2120 Broadway in Downtown Redwood City’s Theatre District
Free & open to the public!

GeoKids’ Family Green Fest event is designed to raise eco-awareness among Peninsula families and schools. We invite your family to join ours at this free Redwood City festival for all ages! An acclaimed non-profit and parent-cooperative preschool and daycare center, GeoKids will be hosting green demos and easy Earth-friendly projects for families while green businesses we respect and patronize sell their eco-conscious products and services at our pop-up retail store. 

More about GeoKids and our Family Green Fest:

GeoKids Early Childhood Development Center provides both childcare and preschool in Menlo Park, on the campus of theU.S. Geological Survey. Our school is going green—using compostable diapers, growing organic produce, raising chickens for eggs, composting with worms. And we’d like to make it easier for other families and schools to go green, too.

So we started hosting an annual Family Green Fest to raise awareness and put the best eco-friendly, kid-oriented products within reach. At our event’s pop-up retail store, eco-conscious products and services from Northern California’s finest Web-based retailers make it into the hands of Bay Area families, preschools, and childcare providers.

This is GeoKids’ 2nd annual Family Green Fest. It’s both a fundraiser for our non-profit school and a way for us to share our passion for the planet with other Peninsula families and schools. Each year, we invite companies that support GeoKids’ mission of going green, and they donate a percentage of their sales of products and services to our non-profit, so we can keep offering quality affordable childcare and preschool to Peninsula families.

GeoKids is a developmental, play-based program founded on the belief that children are capable, competent, self-motivated learners. Within our Reggio Emilia–inspired program, teachers and parents encourage children to participate in everything that concerns them and to do as much as they are capable of doing for themselves.

Event location:

GeoKids’ 2nd annual Family Green Fest will be held at 2120 Broadway at Jefferson Avenue — a bright, airy retail space in downtown Redwood City’s  historic and recently revamped Theatre District. Parking is plentiful! Metered at 50c/hour with no time limit. 

Expect to enjoy:

Tons of freebies, including:

  • Samples of healthy & yummy portable snacks
  •  Hands-on crafts for kids, like origami with newspaper
  •  Face painting
  • Green-themed demos like Composting Made Easy

In our pop-up retail store, expect to get to know Northern California’s finest Web-based retailers, who’ll be on hand to describe and sell their:

  • Compostable and cloth diaper services
  • Stainless steel water bottles
  • Organic cotton clothes for babies & kids
  • Healthy, portable snacks for kids’ lunches
  • Organic bodycare & beauty products
  • Wooden & earth-friendly toys
  • Books on living green & sustainability
  • Green games
  • Planting kits
  • + LEED-certified green builders & architects
  • + Solar installers & panel-leasing companies  
  • Lineup of products/services is subject to change & may be limited to stock on hand.

Follow us on Twitter: 
Find us & photos of our event space on Facebook:
out GeoKids’ school website:

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Improvements to Street Sweeping Schedule Start April 1; Reminder: Move Cars on Street Sweeping Days!

Redwood City is making some changes to the Neighborhood Street Cleaning Schedules in order to eliminate conflicts that arose between the new garbage collection days and your street cleaning days.

The new schedule is effective April 1, 2011, with the first street cleaning day falling on April 5.

Please visit for the updated street cleaning schedule and map. We will be mailing one to each household shortly (excluding private streets and unimproved streets that are not cleaned by the City).

Please review the new schedule carefully. There may be a change to the week and/or day that your street is cleaned. The City’s Geographic Information System web page at will be updated soon to reflect this new schedule information, so you’ll be able to use that to find your street cleaning schedule as well.

If you have questions, please contact the Public Works Services Department at (650) 780-7464 or send an email through the Public Works Services “Report Problems” webpage at

Street cleaning is performed once per month in residential neighborhoods to remove trash and debris that may enter the storm drain system and San Francisco Bay, and to maintain the appearance of our roadways. All residents are asked to do their part in helping us to Keep Redwood City Beautiful: Don’t litter. Dispose of trash properly. Place your yard waste in the container provided by Recology.

And, be sure to move your vehicle OFF of the street on street cleaning days so we can adequately sweep the road surface!

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Roy Cloud School Theater Performance of “Adventures of a Comic Book Artist” – get tickets now!

Adventures of a Comic Book Artist
Presented by Roy Cloud School and San Carlos Children’s Theater

Roy Cloud students and the PTA team up with the San Carlos Children’s Theater to perform three great shows that are guaranteed to entertain!

This year’s full-stage production brings to our local Redwood City community, “Adventures of a Comic Book Artist,” where hysterical singing superheroes and dancing villains come to life in this action-packed musical spoof of the comic book genre.

As the janitor at Wonder Comics, Stanley Leonardo Sappovitz wants nothing more than to become a comic book artist and create heroes and villains for the comic books he loves so much. The action develops as a set of magic pens brings the villains and superheroes that Stanley draws to life — charismatic but egotistical Star Guy, speedy Triple Time, environmentally correct Blossom, and cranky little Wombat Woman. Stanley’s heroes battle Dr. Shock Clock and his henchmen, the Minotos. Who will save the day?

Join the adventure and get your tickets online at or in the office and on campus – available now! Shows are April 1st at 7 pm and April 2nd at 1 & 7 pm at McKinley School Auditorium, 400 Duane Street.

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Please consider helping the people of Japan during this crisis – here’s how

This information appeared in yesterday’s Daily News (thank you, Daily News). It’s a list of some ways we can help with the unimaginable situation facing the people in Japan. Please read below, and consider helping.


American Red Cross: U.S. mobile-phone users can text REDCROSS to 90999 to add $10 automatically to their phone bill. Or go to or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

International Medical Corps: Sending relief teams and supplies to the area. Call 800-481-4462, or visit

Save the Children: The relief effort providing food, medical care and education to children is accepting donations through mobile phones by texting JAPAN to 20222 to donate $10. People can also call 800-728-3843 during business hours or go to to donate online.

Global Giving: The nonprofit that works through grass-roots efforts says Americans can text JAPAN to 50555 to give $10 through their phone bill, or go to

Interaction: The group is the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations and lists many ways to help on its website,

Network for Good: The aggregator of charities has a list of programs and ways to donate to relief efforts. Go to

BuddhistTzu Chi Foundation: Donations can be made online at or by calling 408-457-6964 or 888-989-8244. Checks can be mailed to Tzu Chi Foundation locally at 2355 Oakland Road, San Jose, 95131.

Americans in Japan who need help or family members looking for their loved ones in Japan can send an e-mail to the U.S. State Department: A telephone information line for calls from within the United States has been set up at 1-888-407-4747. For calls outside the United States, call 1-202-501-4444.

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