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Hometown Holidays children’s festival and fireworks show – this Saturday Dec 3!

It’s almost here – the Hometown Holidays annual children’s festival and fireworks show! See

Be part of the all-day family fun in Downtown Redwood City on Saturday, December 3, 2011 starting at 10 am. It’s on, rain or shine, and it’s FREE* admission! *Tickets will need to be purchased for the carnival rides, food vendors, and some other activities*

Each year on the first Saturday of December, Redwood City’s Downtown Business group throws a party in celebration of the Holiday Season! The entire community enjoys a parade, entertainment, SNOW, Santa Claus, and a grand finale with a fantastic FIREWORKS show!

(And don’t forget, you can support Redwood City PAL at a neighborhood pancake breakfast fundraiser for just $5, then head Downtown to enjoy the fun, festive Hometown Holidays the rest of the day! The breakfast is from 8 – 10 am at Kennedy Middle School, 2521 Goodwin Avenue. All proceeds from the fundraiser breakfast go to Redwood City PAL.)

For additional info go to, where you can also see a great video that really tells what it’s all about. Presented by the Redwood City Downtown Business Group. Diamond Sponsor: Redwood City Civic Cultural Commission.

Please bring your unwrapped toy to donate to the Samtrans/Caltrans booth!

Here’s what’s happening:

  • 10 am – 4 pm – Photos with Santa, fabulous Carnival, Vendor Booths, and more!
  • 11 am – 4 pm – Play in the real snow
  • 4:30 pm – Children’s Parade
  • 5:45 pm – City Hall Tree Lighting
  •  5:50 pm – Fireworks spectacular
  • All day – Holiday Skating on the Ice, Live Entertainment!

Here’s the schedule for two stages of LIVE entertainment:

Courthouse Square Stage

  • 10 -10:30 am – CA Kung Fu & Tai Chi Institute
  • 10:40-11:10 am – Dance Mode Studio
  • 11:20-11:50 am – Woodside High Orchestra
  • Noon-12:30 pm – John Gill Elementary School Advanced Dance
  •  12:40-1:10 pm – Woodside High Jazz Band
  • 1:20-1:50 pm – Professional Ballet School
  • 2  -2:30 pm – Studio S Broadway
  • 2:40-3:10 pm –  Dance Expressions
  • 3:20-3:50 pm  –  Sequoia High School Band
  • 4 -4:30 pm  –  North Star Academy Chorus

Rock Star Stage (Broadway at Redwood Creek Crossing)

  • 10 – 10:30 am – Toxic Playground
  • 11 – 11:30 am – Marjikeze
  • Noon – 1:15 pm – Riekes Center
  • 1:45 – 2:30 pm – Crimes of Passion

See for all the details!


~ malcolm


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Holiday Shopping Safety Tips from the Redwood City Police Department

Good afternoon –

Many of you are no doubt gearing up for some shopping (Black Friday, anyone?) – and I HOPE you all plan to spend those shopping dollars right here in Redwood City!

No matter where you shop, especially in crowded places during the holidays, it’s important to remember some basic safety measures to prevent theft and keep yourself safe. The Redwood City Police Department is offering these Holiday Shopping Safety Tips, that are actually good year ‘round.

Please read on, and happy shopping!


~ malcolm


Holiday Shopping Safety From the Redwood City Police Department!
With the holiday season such a hectic time of year; people tend to forget that they must be aware of their surroundings while shopping. Please take a moment to ensure that you and your family remain safe and have great holiday season.


• Carry only small amounts of cash

• Shop during daylight hours whenever possible—or go with a friend if you shop at night (or the pre-dawn sales).

• Carry keys, credit cards and cash separate from each other. • Be extremely careful and watchful when using ATM machines.

• Wear conservative, comfortable clothing, and minimal jewelry. • Carry a cell phone, if you have one.

• While driving, keep your doors locked and windows rolled up – including in the parking lot.

• Maintain at least half a tank of fuel


• If you have to carry a purse, carry it close to your body and keep it zipped.

• Park close to where you are going and park in a well-lit area.

• Heighten your awareness – be aware of your surroundings and who is nearby.

• Grip carried items firmly and do not leave them unattended.

• Do not overload yourself with packages to maintain visibility and freedom of motion, and to avoid mishaps

• Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible. • When hurried or in a crowded shop, make sure you get all forms of ID and credit cards returned to you before leaving.

• Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost or stolen.

• Keep a record of all credit card numbers in a safe place at home.

• Keep a close eye on children while shopping.


• Leave the mall before closing time; it is safer to walk out of the mall with other people.

• Be aware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, “con-artists” may try various methods of distraction with the intent of taking your money or belongings.

• Use an escort or mall security if you have a lot of packages or if you are leaving the mall after closing.

• When returning to your vehicle, carry your keys in your hand and be ready to unlock the door and enter as quickly as possible.

• Check under your car as you approach it; this is a common spot for criminals to hide.

• Check the interior of your car before entering.


• After opening gifts, break down cardboard boxes of expensive electronics and put them in plastic bags to hide the fact you have new high-value items in your home.

Wishing you a very safe and happy holiday season, from the Redwood City Police Department!


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2 quick items: 1. Food donation barrel at Fair Oaks Adult Clinic; 2. Vote for Local Charity to receive Chase Giving Program funds

Hello – two quick items for you this afternoon:

1. For those wishing to donate food to those in need during the holiday season, I’d like to let you know that the Fair Oaks Adult Clinic, which is part of San Mateo Medical Center, has collection barrels for the Second Harvest Food Bank. It’s located at 2710 Middlefield Road in Redwood City – please consider donating non-perishable food. The clinic is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 am to noon, and from 1 – 5 pm. Their food drive ends December 12. For more information contact the Fair Oaks Adult Clinic at (650) 363-4602.

2. I was just made aware of this opportunity to help local charities – it’s the Chase Community Giving program, on their Facebook page. They’re giving over $3 million to charities, and people can vote for the charity of their choice. There are a number of Redwood City charities/non-profits listed. You can to this Facebook link – – and consider voting. There is just one day left to vote. Once you go to the page, click on “Like” and then continue, search for Redwood City, and you’ll see a variety of our local non-profits that you can vote for.



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Fire Dept. Offers Holiday Fire Safety Tips

Good afternoon, and happy Friday!

This year, the Redwood City Fire Department’s holiday fire safety recommendations focus on holiday cooking safety, since cooking fires continue to be the most common type of fires experienced by US households. Please read these important tips, and note that at the bottom of this email are additional fire safety tips regarding trees and candles.


~ Malcolm


• Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

• If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.

• Keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains – away from your stovetop.

• Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire if it comes into contact with a gas flame or electric burner so wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.

• Plug microwave ovens and other cooking appliances directly into an outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance, as it can overload the circuit and cause a fire. If you have a fire:

• If you have a cooking fire: when in doubt, just get out. When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 911 after you leave.

• If you do try to fight the fire, be sure others are already getting out and you have a clear path to the exit.

• Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.

• Always keep an oven mitt and a lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan (make sure you are wearing the oven mitt). Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.

• In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing.

• If you have a fire in your microwave oven, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed. Never open the door until the fire is completely out. Unplug the appliance if you can safely reach the outlet.

• After a fire, both ovens and microwaves should be checked and/or serviced before being used again.

Because of the large quantity of very hot oil used when someone uses a turkey fryer, and the potential for fire or injury, here are some safety tips specifically for that use:

• Use turkey fryers outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other combustible materials.

• Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck. • Make sure fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.

• Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.

• Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.

• To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.

• Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.

• Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix; water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.

• The National Turkey Federation recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight. Burns and Scalds

• Most burns associated with cooking equipment, cookware, and tableware are not caused by fire or flame. In 2009, ranges or ovens were involved in an estimated 17,300 thermal burn injuries seen in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. Microwaves are a leading cause of scald burns.

• Be extra careful when opening a heated food container. Heat food in containers that are marked ‘microwave safe.’ Since foods heat unevenly in the microwave, make sure you stir and test the food before eating.

Children and cooking safety:

• Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove, and around where food and drink are being prepared or carried.

• Keep hot foods and liquids away from the table or counter edges.

• Use the stove’s back burners if you have young children in the home.

• Never hold a child while cooking, drinking, or carrying hot foods or liquids.

Here are other tips for even more holiday fire safety:


• Consider using flameless candles, which look and smell like real candles. However, if you do use traditional candles, keep them at least 12” away from anything that can burn, and remember to blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed. Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over and are placed on uncluttered surfaces. Avoid using candles in the bedroom.

Trees: • If you have an artificial tree, be sure it’s labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.

• If you choose a fresh tree, make sure the green needles don’t fall off when touched; before placing it in the stand, cut 1-2” from the base of the trunk. Add water to the tree stand, and be sure to water it daily.

• Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit, and is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles and heat vents or lights.

• Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory, and make sure you know whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use.

• Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.

• Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.

• Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed.

• After Christmas, remove the tree from your home. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside the home.

• Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

Additional information on home fire safety for the holidays is available from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) website, located at More information on how to make your home “fire-safe” can be obtained by contacting the Redwood City Fire Department at 650-780-7400 or visiting



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Your Invitation: Reception & Swearing-In of Recently-Elected Council Members

Good morning –

Here is your invitation to join with friends, neighbors, City staff, and your City Council, for a welcoming reception and swearing-in of the four recently-elected City Council members. Please read below, note that RSVPs are requested, and plan on attending!


~ Malcolm


Mayor Jeff Ira and the City Council of Redwood City Cordially Invite You
to the
Swearing in of the 2011-2015 Redwood City Council Members

• Alicia Aguirre
• Ian Bain
• Rosanne Foust
• Barbara Pierce

A reception will be held on Monday, December 5, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall Foyer.

The ceremonial meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. with Oaths of Office and Council reorganization.

City Hall, City of Redwood City
1017 Middlefield Road
Redwood City, CA 94063

Please RSVP to Ms. Terrie Gillen (650) 780-7220 or

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Pancake Breakfast December 3 to Benefit PAL

Good afternoon –

Here is a great new event, that not only brings neighbors together but also helps benefit Redwood City PAL. You probably already have your calendar marked for Hometown Holidays on December 3 – add this to your morning: a great pancake breakfast for just $5, with proceeds going to PAL. Everyone is welcome! Read below or go to and click on “Upcoming Events” for the details.



Woodside Plaza Kick-Off the Holidays
Pancake Breakfast (and Neighborhood Meeting)
Support PAL at this great pancake breakfast for just $5, then head Downtown to enjoy the fun, festive Hometown Holidays the rest of the day!

Saturday, December 3, 2011
8 – 10 am (neighborhood association meeting from 10 – 11 am)
Kennedy Middle School, 2521 Goodwin Avenue

Get a full breakfast for $5 – Pancakes (with or without chocolate chips), sausages, hot chocolate, and Tang.
All proceeds go to Redwood City PAL.

Also – short movies for the little ones (like Rudolph and Frosty), a great time to chat with your neighbors, and make new friends; then a Woodside Plaza Neighborhood Meeting from 10 – 11 am.

While you’re there you can sign up for Nextdoor, the neighbor-to-neighbor social network, in partnership with Redwood City.

For more information call John Nelson, Woodside Plaza Neighborhood Association Chair at 650-888-4408.

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Holiday Skating on the Square – Starts 11/18 Downtown!

Good evening – here’s something I know you’ll want to know about. You’re invited to enjoy somethign new and exciting for the holidays in Downtown – “Holiday Skating on the Square”

We’re delighted to announce to the community that this holiday season there’s going to be a fantastic, festive, fun new activity that will thrill the entire family. It’s Holiday Skating on the Square, right on Courthouse Square in beautiful Downtown Redwood City!

Holiday Skating on the Square uses a remarkable technology, similar to what is used on cruise ships, at malls, and for some ice skating shows, that does not use actual ice. Instead, the 60’ by 67’ skating rink in the Square will have a special synthetic “ice” which performs like regular ice – and people will be using real ice skates (available at the Square, or people can bring their own). This is sure to be a huge hit with families throughout the community, and will extend the fun of Redwood City’s Downtown event “season.”

The skating rink will open on November 18 and continue through January 16, 2012. It’s just $10 on weekdays and $12 on weekends. Up to 100 people can be skating in the rink at one time. How fantastic is it to be “ice” skating during the holidays in the middle of Downtown Redwood City where the climate is best?

Skates are included with the admission fee. During rainy periods, the rink may be periodically closed. Tickets will go on sale a few days before the start date – once on sale, they can be purchased in advance by visiting the City’s events web page at, or at the kiosk on Courthouse Square right before skating. Follow Redwood City Events by going to and selection Twitter, Facebook, or RSS, or sign up to receive event email blasts.

Here is the schedule and pricing for Holiday Skating on the Square, starting November 18:
Monday – Thursday:  2 – 9 pm ($10)
Fridays: 2 – 6 pm ($10)
Fridays:  6 – 10 pm ($12)
Saturdays:  Noon to 10 pm ($12)
Sundays:  Noon to 8 pm ($12)
(prices are for approximately 1.5 hours of skating; sessions start on every even hour)

How does this “ice” skating technology work without real ice? This synthetic ice consists of a plastic polymer that can be described as having the consistency of a giant, white cutting board. The skating rinks are fitted together from 4’ X 8’ synthetic ice sheets. These panels are treated with a non-toxic lubricating solution that reduces contact friction and enhances the glide and speed of the skating experience. On this synthetic ice, the skate blade causes pressure which generates heat and causes a release of the lubricants in the sprayed-on solution which gives skaters the feel of skating on natural ice. It’s also more environment-friendly than real ice rinks, since no machinery or power is needed to keep ice continually frozen. This will be great fun for the whole family, and will add a new cheerful element to the festive holiday atmosphere of Downtown Redwood City.

Redwood City is grateful to these local businesses who are generous sponsors of Holiday Skating on the Square: Barrett Insurance, the Fox Theatre, Fresh Takes, Harry’s Hofbrau, Lacewell Realty, Pamplemousse, Peninsula Infiniti, Redwood General Tire, Saba Café, Sakura, San Mateo Credit Union, State Insurance, and T.W. Bay.


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Ring In the “Nerd New Year” on 11/11/11, 2600 Block of Broadway – benefits local non-profits, organizations

Good evening –

Here’s a new event for Redwood City, sponsored by the non-profit 106Miles, and the group Hackers and Founders (both are made up of high-tech entrepreneurial types).

With this Friday being 11/11/11, it turns out that at 11:11 pm it’s…Nerd New Year!

Not only will it be a lot of fun, but proceeds go to a variety of local charities, organizations, and non-profits. Please read below, and check out Nerd New Year, on the 2600 block of Broadway, this Friday from 3 pm – midnight.

~ Malcolm


Eat. Drink. Experience…for Charity!
Nerd New Year! 11/11/11 in Redwood City
It’s all happening on the 2600 Block of Broadway near El Camino, in Downtown Redwood City

Great live bands on stage, live shark tank, food, beer and wine, raffles, robots (robots? Yes, robots!)…and a lot more!
Prizes include lots of sports memorabilia, as well as great stuff from Zumba, Philz Coffee, certificates, Complete Therapeutic Massage gift certificates. Pizza and Pipes gift certificates, Bottles of wine from local wineries, Gift Certificates from The Counter.

$11 gets you 11 raffle tickets – proceeds go to these deserving groups: Second Harvest Food Bannk, Marine Science Institute, Redwood City PAL, Redwood City Fire Department, San Mateo County Community College Foundation, Torture Cancer Foundation, Dream Volunteers, Peninsula Vet Center, San Mateo County History Museum, Aim High, and Nine Lives.
Visit for details!

Here’s the schedule:
• 4-5pm Jeff Hayward with an acoustic set
• 5-6pm Sam Marshall of the band Marshall Law
• 6-8pm Lisa Marie Johnston and Band
• 9-11pm Night Train will rock the street electric

• 3-5pm Shark Tank brought by the Marine Science Institute
• 3-6pm Kittens! from Nine Lives Foundation
• 3pm-11pm Stilt Walkers
• 3pm-11pm Face Painters
• 3pm-11pm Giant 22’ inflatable slide
• Evening only: Magicians
• Evening only: Fire Dancers

See you at Nerd New Year on 11/11/11!

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5th Annual Tree Decorating Contest – see – deadline 11/12/11

Good morning – this is a little late, but I wanted to be sure you know about the tree decorating contest that’s happening as part of Hometown Holidays! This is the 5th annual contest, where organizations can help to spread holiday cheer downtown by putting decorated trees into storefront windows, then the community votes for their favorites.

Please read below, which is from the Hometown Holidays website  Oh, by the way, the application deadline is November 12! And of course, Hometown Holidays is December 3.

~ malcolm


The Redwood City Downtown Business Group is proud to sponsor the
5th Annual Hometown Holidays Community Tree Decorating Contest!
Help spread holiday cheer by decorating trees that are displayed in participating downtown storefront windows.

Application deadline November 12, 2011 by 5pm. Free to enter.  Applicants must be a community organization,  business, or school or youth organization. Only one entry per group will be accepted. Decorating may ONLY  take place on Wednesday, November 30  from 3:00pm – 7:00pm. This is strictly enforced due to light and access limitations in some buildings.

The Downtown Business Group will Provide each entrant with one 5-7 foot artificial tree with lights placed on a box , an 8.5×11 sign with your organization’s name.

Each selected Organization will Provide a minimum of 80 ornaments, skirting to cover the box under the tree

Removal of decorations ONLY on: Wednesday, January 4, 3pm-7pm.

Recognition Categories:
Recognition Certificate Categories: Youth and School Organizations, Community Organizations; Businesses. First and Second place recognition certificates to be awarded at the first City Council meeting of 2012. First place in each category gets $200, Second place in each category gets $125.

Sponsored By:
Redwood City Downtown Business Group

Where to vote:
Multiple downtown locations to be announced!


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Reminder: Dumbarton Rail Corridor Project Meeting Wed. Night

Good morning – here’s a quick reminder, that there is a Dumbarton Rail Corridor project information meeting tomorrow night in Redwood City:

• Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, 6 pm – 8 pm
Redwood City Main Library
1044 Middlefield Road, Redwood City

Please read below for the details, and for more information, you can call Cathy LaFata at (650) 622-7824, email or visit the project website at

~ malcolm


Dumbarton Rail Corridor Project
The Dumbarton Rail Corridor project is a proposed trans-bay commuter rail service between San Mateo County along the San Francisco Peninsula and Alameda County in the East Bay.

The Dumbarton Rail Corridor (DRC) Project was initiated in the 1990s through several planning efforts and preparation currently is underway of environmental documentation pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

What is the DRC Project?
The DRC Project proposes to provide commuter rail service in the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay by improving 20.5 miles of existing rail infrastructure in the corridor.

The project includes:
• the improvement, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of tracks, including rehabilitation of a rail bridge currently not in use;
• new stations and modification to existing stations;
• improvements to signals and grade-crossing warning systems;
• the replacement and/or retrofit of structures; and
• marsh enhancements

DRC Stations are Proposed at:
• Redwood City (existing Redwood City Caltrain Station)
• Menlo Park (new station at Willow Road)
• Newark (new station at Willow Street)
• Fremont (existing Fremont-Centerville Station)
• Union City (existing Union City BART Station)

Where Do You Come In?
Five public information meetings will be held from November 2nd through 10th, 2011 to provide more information on the Dumbarton Rail Corridor project and what it will mean to the residents and communities proposed to be served by this rail extension.

The public information meetings will be in an open house format at which you will have the opportunity to examine details of the DRC Project, to meet with Project Team staff, review project exhibits, ask questions, and share any concerns you may have.

We look forward to seeing you at one of the following meetings:

• Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, 6 pm – 8 pm
Redwood City Main Library
Redwood City: 1044 Middlefield Road

• Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, 6 pm – 8 pm
Menlo Park Senior Center (Belle Haven)
Menlo Park: 110 Terminal Avenue

For more information:
– Contact Cathy LaFata at (650) 622-7824, or
– E-mail:
– Visit the project website at

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