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Friday Items of Interest

Good morning, and happy Friday to you!

Here is a short selection of items that you may find interesting:

  • Redwood City’s Low-Interest Home Improvement Loan Program
  • The San Mateo County Eco-Friendly Fair on April 6
  • A Conversation with Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas

Please read below for information on those events.

Some of you have also asked about what’s going on with the scaffolding around the flagpole at City Hall. The flagpole, first presented to Redwood City 105 years ago, is getting a new coat of paint, plus some other refurbishment. You can see some pictures from the top of the 121-foot high scaffolding here.


~ malcolm



Low-Interest Home Improvement Loans Available!

The City of Redwood City’s Home Improvement Loan Program has low interest home improvement loans available to eligible owners of single-family homes and owners of rental housing located within Redwood City.

Loan terms:

  • 3% Fixed interest
  • Fully amortized over 15 years
  • No points and no “out-of-pocket” expenses

Repairs may include but are not limited to:

  • Roof replacement
  • Kitchen and bathroom rehabilitation
  • Foundation and structural repair
  • Interior and exterior paint
  • Plumbing and electrical systems
  • Energy-efficient window replacement
  • New floor coverings

Basic loan qualifications include:

  • Property must be located within incorporated Redwood City.
  • For Single-Family Homes, structures include 1-4 units, one of which must be owner-occupied and income must not exceed the income eligibility shown below.
  • For Rental Housing, Owners must rent 51% of their units to low-income tenants. Income must not exceed the income eligibility shown below.

2013 Income Eligibility (subject to change):

Number of Persons in Household / Maximum Household Income
1 / $59,100
2 / $67,550
3 / $76,000
4 / $84,400
5 / $91,200
6 / $97,950

Call 650.780.7229 for more information or visit the program website.




San Mateo County Eco-Friendly Fair

Shop Green — Eat Green — Be Green!

Enjoy great food, informative workshops, fun prizes, numerous vendors – this event will introduce youth to the importance of being green and supporting sustainable, local businesses. Sponsored by the San Mateo County Youth Commission
Saturday, April 6 2013

County Center in Redwood City

10 am – 4 pm

For more information visit



A Conversation with Immigrant Rights Activist and Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist

Jose Antonio Vargas
Sunday, April 7th
3:30 pm
Carrington Hall on the Sequoia High School Campus
1201 Brewster Street, Redwood City

Tickets can be purchased online at Tickets are $25 general admission and $5 for students.

Jose Antonio Vargas has quickly become one of the nation’s most sought-after speakers on immigration.  He will talk about his personal experiences and give his perspective on the larger issue of immigration reform.

When he was a child, Vargas’s mother sent him from his home in the Philippines to live with his American grandparents in the United States.  He grew up in Mountain View and went to public schools there.  He had no idea that he was undocumented until, at age 16, he went to the DMV to apply for a driver’s license.

As an adult, Vargas worked briefly for the San Francisco Chronicle and then for the Washington Post.  While at the Post, he was awarded a Pulitzer for excellence in journalism. In 2011, he wrote an essay for The New York Times Sunday Magazine in which he revealed that he is an “undocumented immigrant”, detailing how he came to discover this as a teenager and kept it hidden for almost 15 years, during which time he worked, paid taxes, and worried that his status would be exposed.  His story touched a nerve in our nation and catapulted him to the cover of Time Magazine on June 25, 2012. And just this past February, he testified on immigration issues before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In addition to Vargas, several adult immigrants in English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) classes will briefly share some of the challenges and victories they have experienced in their efforts

Event sponsor and purpose:
This event is sponsored by Sequoia Adult School Scholars, a small non-profit foundation that provides scholarships for Sequoia Adult School graduates–primarily adult ESL students–who want to attend community college.  More information about SASS is available at


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