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Shop – and Eat! – Local During the Holidays

Good morning – and happy Winter Solstice!

Yes, today is the shortest day of the year, and winter officially starts tonight at 9:30 (pacific time).

This is just a quick reminder to those of you who still need to do some holiday shopping – please SHOP LOCAL! You can get everything you need for holiday gifts and entertaining right here in Redwood City. You’ll be helping our local businesses and contributing to the City’s revenues, which of course are used to provide services to the community.

In addition, please see the articles below from the Redwood City Patch, noting some of the businesses and restaurants that will actually be open on Christmas Day.

Thanks, ~ Malcolm


Redwood City Patch

10 Businesses Still Open on Christmas Day
This Christmas you can grocery shop, rent a video, or grab a bagel, or a latte, because these local stores will be open for Christmas.
Kimberly Ewertz

Century 20 Downtown Redwood City 825 Middlefield Road:
The theater is open 365 days a year.  Christmas day the hours of operation will be slightly altered, opening at 12:00 p.m. and closing at 11:00 p.m.  This is typically one of the busiest days of the year for movie theaters due to the release of the big blockbuster movies during the holiday season.

Safeway (Sequoia Station):
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  You can still do some last-second grocery shopping, but the pharmacy will be closed.

Starbuck’s (Sequoia Station):
Open 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stay caffeinated as you put the final touches on your holiday feast.

Noah’s Bagels (Sequoia Station):
Open 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

CVS (Sequoia Station):
Open 24 hours, pharmacy open: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Still need to fill your prescription on Christmas day? Get it done at CVS.

Rite Aid 2150 Roosevelt Avenue:
Open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For those emergencies, when little Timmy needs a band-aid, Rite Aid will be waiting for you.

Rite Aid 340 Woodside Plaza:
Open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There are two locations to even more convenience.

Blockbuster Video (Sequoia Station):
Open 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  Rent your favorite holiday movie and share it with the family.

Espresso Lane 865 Woodside Road:
Open 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  An express café offering coffees, teas, and all the caffeine you need to get you through the holidays when all you want to do is sleep.

Tacone Flavor Grill 865 Middlefield Road:
Open 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Want some spicy variety to complement your holiday ham? Tacone will still be open!

Don’t want to cook on Christmas Day at all? Stay tuned tomorrow as we list sit-down restaurants that are open.


Redwood City Patch

Dine Out on Christmas at These Restaurants
Don’t have time or the energy to cook a giant dinner for the family? Stacie Chan

Let’s face it. With all the holiday shopping completed just in the nick of time, who has the energy to cook a five-course meal for their family? People will just scoff at the pre-cooked turkey from Safeway anyway, so why not treat everyone to a dinner out where everyone can order exactly what they want.

Crouching Tiger, 2644 Broadway Street; 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. (650) 298-8881
It’s almost too cliché, but having a delicious Chinese dinner on Christmas at a big round table is almost as good as having a home-cooked meal. They’re open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. so you can still go there for lunch and dinner.

Margaritas, 2098 Broadway Street, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (650) 701-0709
There’s nothing like Mexican food to spice up the cold weather on Christmas Day. Bring your family to this festive restaurant, which is also offering a 60% off coupon at! With a full bar and extensive menu, you’ll be celebrating Christmas all night, or until 9 p.m.


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2nd Annual Chanukah Festival in Downtown Redwood City – 12/22

Good afternoon – here’s info on a new and welcome tradition in Downtown Redwood City. It’s the second annual Chanukah Festival, this year on Broadway in front of Courthouse Square. Please read below for information and plan on attending!


~ Malcolm


The Chabad of MidPeninsula presents the
Second Annual Chanukah Festival in Downtown Redwood City
Thursday, December 22 from 5:30 – 6:45 pm
On Broadway in front of Courthouse Square FREE

Redwood City Mayor Alicia Aguirre and California State Senator Joe Simitian will join in to help light a Grand Menorah, and everyone will enjoy Chanukah Music, Chanukah Latke, Arts and Crafts, Live Entertainment for the Kids, and more!

The entire community is invited to come join in this celebration of the triumph of light over darkness, and to help spread some extra joy and warmth into the world at the Second Annual Chanukah Festival in Redwood City.

The festival is open to all and admission is free. For more information call 650.232.0995 or email, or visit

Go to and fill out the RSVP form – that’ll register you for a chance to win a Flip video camera!


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“Help Us Help Our Neighbors” through the Fair Oaks Community Center

Good afternoon –

I want to share with you a note from the manager of Redwood City’s Fair Oaks Community Center (FOCC).

As many of you may know, FOCC provides some critically important resources to the community – a wide variety of human services such as homelessness assessment and referral, basic forms, translations, and legal assistance, a mobile health clinic, emergency food and housing, crisis intervention, senior services, and much more. The staff there, and the many social services agencies which are under the roof at FOCC, work diligently to help the underserved and those in most need in our community.

During this holiday season, FOCC is an even more vital resource for those in need. Please read below to learn how your small contribution can make a huge difference in a family’s life, and help them to share in the holiday spirit.

Thank you,

~ Malcolm


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I am writing to invite you to join with the Fair Oaks Community Center in assisting families in need in our community.  During the holidays and throughout the year, we provide vital resources to several thousand individual households who are struggling to survive in our high cost economy.  One of our programs is our monthly Family Harvest Food Program offered through a partnership with the Second Harvest Food Bank.  Families receive groceries each month including fresh eggs, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables.  Some of the families (names have been changed to protect client confidentiality) who are participating in that program include:

– The Carillo Family.  Dad works full time and mom is a stay at home mom caring for their 5 children ages 2-14 years.  The family shares a two bedroom apartment with another family so they can keep their housing costs to $600 a month.  Getting extra food each month helps them to keep food on the table for their family of 7.

– The Orellana Family.  Dad and mom both work to support their family of three.  Because both work at low paying jobs, they still have difficulty making ends meet.  Being a part of our monthly food program helps them to be able to pay their bills and maintain a stable living situation.

– The Martinez Family.  Dad had been working steadily until April of 2011.  When his work hours dropped, they came to the community center to sign-up for the monthly food program.  Prior to this, the family had only come one other time to sign up for our Annual Toy Program.  Our program helps families like the Martinez’ through these tough economic times.

This holiday we are providing families like the Carillo’s, the Orellana’s, and the Martinez’ with an extra grocery certificate for their holiday meal.

Please help us in this effort.  A $25 contribution helps provide grocery certificates to one family for Christmas.  A $50 helps provide grocery certificates for two families for Christmas.  A $100 contribution helps us provide food certificates, transportation, and other emergency assistance throughout the year.

In addition, through our partnership with Redwood City Pal, the Redwood City Police and Fire Departments, and the generous donation of a local family and their friends, we are also able to offer toys for children and Christmas trees to 500 families including all of the families in our monthly food program.

Please help us this year with a contribution to the Fair Oaks Holiday Appeal.

Checks for the Fair Oaks Holiday Fund can be sent with the form below to:

Fair Oaks Community Center Holiday Appeal
Attention: Hector Avila
2600 Middlefield Road
Redwood City, CA 94063

Thank you in advance for your support.  May the upcoming holidays be a special time of celebration for you and your family.


Teri Chin
Redwood City Human Services Manager


Fair Oaks Community Center Holiday Appeal

Please print and attach the form below with your check for the Fair Oaks Community Center Holiday Appeal, and send to:

Fair Oaks Community Center Holiday Appeal
Attention: Hector Avila
2600 Middlefield Road
Redwood City, CA 94063

Your Name:
Street Address:

Enclosed is my contribution to the Fair Oaks Community Center Holiday Appeal (please check one)

$25 will provide a grocery certificate for one family for Christmas.

$50 will provide grocery certificates for two families for Christmas.

$100 will provide grocery certificates, transportation, and other emergency assistance throughout the year.

Other amount to support the Fair Oaks Community Center Holiday Appeal.


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Tips to Prevent Home Burglary

Good morning, and happy Friday!

The Redwood City Police Department wants to remind you that during this hectic time of year, don’t forget to take these easy steps to prevent a home burglary:

1. Make your residence look like someone is at home, even when no one is there.

2. On sliding glass doors, use a wooden dowel or a track blocker to prevent opening.

3. Always lock exterior doors and windows. 4. Don’t hide your house key in close proximity to entry doors.

5. Mark valuables with your driver’s license number, using an engraving tool, and take photos of valuables.

6. Secure guns in safes that are bolted to the floor or large enough that someone could not move without a lot of help.

7. Know your neighbors! Establish good neighbor relationships so that they will keep an eye on your home, especially if going out of town (and you do the same for them). Encourage neighbors to call the police if they see suspicious activity around your property. Give them contact numbers for reaching you.

8. Start a neighborhood watch group in your neighborhood.

9. If out of town, have your neighbor collect mail, newspaper, packages; leave a radio and lights on an automatic timer to make it look like you’re home.

10. Report suspicious people, door-to-door solicitation, strange vehicles in area, people asking for work, anyone with stories that don’t add-up, and anyone carrying items from someone’s home, or suspicious persons carrying back-packs or bags in the area.

11. Be careful of who you invite into your home.



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“Home for the Holidays” Open House at Nine Lives Foundation Cat Shelter

Good afternoon –

I want to let you know about the Nine Lives Foundation, a non-profit no-kill cat shelter here in Redwood City, and their “Home for the Holidays” event at their shelter on Rolison Road. They’ll have a gingerbread house contest, lots of stuff for sale, refreshments, and a big silent auction and raffle. Proceeds benefit the Nine Lives Foundation. Take a look – the event is this Saturday, December 17 from 11 am – 5 pm.


~ malcolm


A Home for the Holidays Open House with the Nine Lives Foundation
Saturday, December 17, 11 am – 5 pm
3016 Rolison Road, Redwood City

The Nine Lives Foundation volunteers invite you to join them to celebrate the holidays, and thank everyone for their generous support over the past year. Stop by on Saturday December 17 between 11 am and 5 pm at our shelter at 3016 Rolison Road in Redwood City – enjoy some toasty holiday drinks, wine, and sweet treats! Visit with our precious cats and kittens, and get your photo taken with our ever-so-charming hero, Christopher the Cat. Shop for holiday gifts, and bid for unique items at our Silent Auction. Gift Certificates will be available for adoptions, low-cost spay and neuter, and low cost cat dental services. Anyone who brings their gingerbread house for others to admire will get a complementary Nine Lives Foundation t-shirt!

Special Holiday Adoption Rates! $10 – cats over one year old; $25 – kittens under one year old (must be adopted in pairs if under 6 months old).

Everyone is welcome – invite your family and friends. Visit All proceeds directly benefit the cats and kittens cared for by the Nine Lives Foundation, a 502(c)3 non-profit, no-kill cat shelter.

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Avoid drain and sewer backups in your home – don’t pour grease or oils down the drain

Good afternoon –

Redwood City wants to remind you that during the holidays (and year ‘round!), you can help avoid drain and sewage backups in your home – simply by NOT putting cooking oil or grease down the drain. You’ll Avoid Pain in the Drain!

Cooking fats, oil, and grease will block drains and sewers, causing backups and possibly costly drain cleaning. So don’t put them down the drain. Prevent raw sewage backups into your home, your streets, and the Bay.

Did you know you can recycle large quantities of turkey fryer oil and cooking grease? To find a recycle location go to

Here are tips for properly handling your cooking oil and fat and grease:

• Never pour fats, oil, or grease down drains, even if you have a garbage disposal. • Pour cooking oil and grease into a sealable container with an absorbent such as paper garbage and discard with your other garbage. • Recycle large amounts of grease or cooking oil (including from deep fryers) at Bay Area grease recycling locations (see • Use food strainers in kitchen sinks to catch food particles and scrape leftover food waste into the garbage or compost container instead of the garbage disposal.

Thanks for helping to Avoid Pain in the Drain!

~ malcolm

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Redwood City Notice of Funding Availability/Request for Proposals

Good afternoon – here’s something that may be of interest, since some of you may be involved (or know others who are involved) with organizations which provide assistance to low/moderate income households. It’s aimed at such organizations, soliciting proposals for funding of relevant programs related to affordable housing, homelessness, human services, etc.

Please read below, and do pass this along to others who might be interested.


~ malcolm


City of Redwood City – Notice of Funding Availability and Request for Proposals

The City of Redwood City is pleased to announce the availability of the Request for Proposals (RFP) for eligible projects to be funded with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME and Human Services Financial Assistance (HSFA). These grant fund sources are available to organizations providing assistance to low and moderate income households residing within Redwood City that meet one or more of the City’s Consolidated Plan priorities relating to affordable housing, homelessness, basic human needs services, public facilities and economic development activities that create jobs for low income persons.

Complete information and the full Notice of Funding Availability/Request for Proposals is available on the City’s Housing Services website at  All proposals must be submitted electronically by 5:00 pm on Friday, January 20, 2012.

Technical Assistance Workshop A technical assistance workshop will be held on December 15, 2011 from 10:00 am -11:00 am at City of Redwood City, City Hall, Council Chambers, 1017 Middlefield Road, Redwood City. Attendance at the workshop is mandatory for all new CDBG or HOME applicants and for all HSFA applicants.

Please RSVP for the workshop as soon as possible.

For more information, contact Rhonda L. Coffman at 650.780.7299 or via email at


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Your kids will want to know this – Santa Claus is coming to the Redwood City libraries!

So… bring the kids, the lists, the cameras, and the good cheer!

o Schaberg Branch Library, Tuesday, December 13, 3:30 – 5:30 pm

o Downtown Library, Wednesday, December 14, 6 – 8 pm

o Fair Oaks Branch Library, Thursday, December 15, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Children who visit Santa at the Downtown library on December 14 are further advised that while waiting to talk to Santa they can enjoy a book reading by local author Karen Morss, accompanied by her red-haired poodle, Lucy. Ms. Morss will be sharing her book Flying Poodles: A Christmas Story. Copies of this fun holiday book will be available for sale at the events, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the non-profit group Smile Train (

Those attending Santa’s December 14 appearance at the Downtown Library can also enjoy a live holiday concert featuring Gabriel’s Trumpet Trio, at 6:30 pm in the Fireplace Room.

Finally, a reminder that any “naughty” Redwood City residents with outstanding library fines is invited to deliver nonperishable food items to any Redwood City library (or to any of the San Mateo County Library’s twelve branches) during regular business hours – and their Library fines will be erased! This special “Food for Fines” program continues through the month of December. Those “nice” Redwood City residents who do not have any Library fines are also encouraged to donate food!




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Two Holiday Shopping Events – Mt. Carmel Holiday Boutique / Mothers Club Holiday Fair

Good morning, and happy Friday!

Here are two holiday shopping events this weekend – the Mt. Carmel Holiday Boutique on Saturday, and the First Annual Redwood City Mothers Club Holiday Fair on Sunday. Take a look and plan on dropping by for some great shopping and good cheer!

Thanks, ~ Malcolm


Mount Carmel Holiday Boutique
Saturday, December 10
10 am – 4 pm 301 Grand Street

Mount Carmel School hosts its Annual Holiday Boutique on Saturday, December 10 at the school located at 301 Grand Street from 10 am until 4 pm.   With 30 craftspeople and artists from around the peninsula, you are sure to find both past boutique favorites, and new and unique items to please everyone on your holiday shopping list.

A box lunch is available for purchase for $10 and will be available from 11:30 am – 1 pm.  Holiday entertainment is provided by Mount Carmel Students, and our Girl Scout and Brownie troops will be selling homemade treats!  Don’t miss out on your chance to win a tabletop Disney themed tree and four 1-Day Disneyland park Hopper passes – raffle tickets are just $5 each or 5 for $20 – the winner will be drawn at 4 pm Saturday!

For more information call Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, 650-366-8817


1st Annual Redwood City Mothers Club Holiday Fair
Sunday, December 11
10 am – 4 pm 350 Convention Way

The Redwood City Mothers Club is having our 1st Annual Holiday Boutique on Sunday, December 11th from 10 am- 4 pm. It will be held at the San Mateo Credit Union Corporate Offices, 350 Convention Way, Redwood City. There is plenty of parking.

We will have a kid’s corner, so the kids can play while parents shop. Come check out our wide variety of vendors and avoid the packed malls.

Happy Shopping!

More Information: Rheanna Carter – (650) 773-0771 /

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Community Meeting to Discuss Garbage/Recyling Service and Proposed Rate Increase

Good afternoon –

I apologize if you are receiving this information twice, but I want to make sure you know about a community information meeting next week, to bring residents up-to-speed on a moderate garbage rate increase proposed for next year. I also want to assure you that the City is well aware of the difficulties that some residents may experience, in light of rising costs in these and other services. We’ve been diligent in our efforts to try to mitigate increases in garbage rates (and water and sewer rates), and reduce “sticker shock” for customers. Our proposed rate increase for garbage is 7.81% – which is less than most cities are proposing.

For the great majority of Redwood City households (most of which have a 32-gallon cart), this increase represents an additional $1.93 per month/per cart (for those with 20-gallon carts the proposed increase is 81¢ per month/per cart). Corresponding increases would be effective for larger carts and for commercial service.

The City will hold a community information meeting on Thursday, December 15, 2011, starting at 7 pm, in the Community Room of the Downtown Library, 1044 Middlefield Road. At this meeting, staff from Redwood City, Recology, and the South Bayside Waste Management Authority (SBWMA/RethinkWaste) will be present and provide an update on garbage and recycling services, including a proposed new Household Hazardous Waste collection service. And, the latest information on the proposed 2012 rate increase will be discussed. (you probably know that SBWMA is the joint powers authority representing the various cities and agencies that contract with Recology). Also, I’ll publicize it on the first of the year, but you should know that the required public hearing on the proposed increase is scheduled for January 9, 2012, at 7 pm at City Hall.

In brief, the rate increase is due to higher costs and lower revenues than originally anticipated, during Recology’s first year of service and projected for service to be provided in 2012. Also, the new Household Hazardous Waste curbside collection service that is being considered, which I think you’ll agree is a great idea, contributes a small percentage to the proposed increase.

As you may know, rates charged to customers must reflect Recology’s actual cost of providing service, and must take into account the contractually-agreed upon revenues (typical in the garbage/recycling collection industry). Each year an analysis is done of the prior year’s and upcoming year’s expenses and revenues. A rate recommendation is made by SBWMA, which is then considered by the City Council. Based on that analysis for 2011 and 2012, the proposed 7.81% rate increase is made up of:

• 2.9% to cover cost increases that occurred in 2011

• 2.3% to cover anticipated cost increases for 2012

• 0.61% to cover the proposed Household Hazardous Waste Collection service

• 2.0% to cover anticipated revenue shortfall in 2012 due to cart-size reductions (customers choosing to move to a smaller cart, at a lower cost)

If the proposed rates are approved by the City Council at the public hearing on January 9, the rate increase would be effective the following day, January 10, 2012. Notices of the proposed increase have been sent to all garbage/recycling service customers in Redwood City. Customers have the opportunity to protest the proposed rate increase in advance of the public hearing by writing to the City. Details of the protest procedure were included in the mailing, and are also available online, along with more information on the proposed rates, at

Finally, in the interest of keeping you fully informed, I want to mention that in spring of 2012 the City will need to propose increases in water and sewer rates, due to continually escalating costs in those services (for a number of years, we’ve informed you that rate increases for those services would likely be an annual occurrence, for the foreseeable future). As I said, we understand that these increases are a challenge for many residents, and we continue to work very hard to keep necessary increases to a moderate level.

Please plan on attending the community information meeting on December 15, at which our staff, and that of Recology and the SBWMA, can answer any questions or concerns.

Thank you,


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