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SamTrans Summer Youth pass goes on sale today

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SamTrans board approves express bus feasibility study

The SamTrans Summer Youth Pass goes on sale today, costing $40 for unlimited travel on any route to youth 18 years and younger from Jun 1 through Aug. 31.

Typically,  compared to purchasing a Monthly Youth Pass for $27 each summer month.

Students purchasing the pass will save $41 since they won’t have to buy three Youth Monthly passes at $27 apiece.

“It’s one of the best summertime bargains for kids and teens to ride all over San Mateo County,” the transit agency said.

The pass is not available on Clipper. Click here to find out how to purchase the pass.

Multi-unit apartment building in Redwood City damaged in fire

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Multi-unit apartment building in Redwood City damaged in fire

Redwood City firefighters battled a two-alarm fire Saturday that damaged an apartment complex at 2411 Middlefield Road, across from the Costco store.

The fire was reported just before 4 p.m. at a multi-floor, multi-unit building, according to the Redwood City Fire Department. About 45 minutes later, officials reported the blaze was under control.

Fire officials shared the photo above of the damage at the scene.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Further details weren’t immediately known.

Upcoming workshop to discuss rebates to help make multi-unit properties more energy efficient

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If you’re an apartment building owner, you have an opportunity to receive $750 per unit to make your property more energy efficient.

Those interested in an opportunity to save not only money but water (and the water bill), and to reduce electricity use (and the electric bill) – or something a little bigger, like more energy-efficient heating or cooling – then don’t miss an upcoming workshop.

The time is Thursday, May 24, 10-11:30 am.  The place is the library community room (1044 Middlefield Road).  The group sponsoring the meeting (and giving out the help) is BayREN (Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancements Network).

And if you need more information, you can find it here.

Fair Oaks Community School families win chance to keep school open

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Fair Oaks Community School families win chance to keep school open

Following a school district announcement in March that Fair Oaks Community School would close after this school year due to declining enrollment, concerned families pushed back and ultimately won the chance to keep their school open.

At the Redwood City School District board meeting April 25, the Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to allow the school 2950 Fair Oaks Ave. to remain open for one more year as long as it can meet certain conditions, including that a minimum of 200 students be registered by May 15.  Previous to that decision, parents began actively protesting the closure decision, including speaking out at the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors meeting, according to an in depth report of their efforts by KALW public radio.

The school’s families successfully met the deadline for registrations, according to a notice from Superintendent John Baker posted to Facebook on May 11.

“I write to congratulate you and to thank you for the role that you have recently taken as the biggest cheerleaders and leaders for Fair Oaks Community School,” Baker wrote, adding, “You met this condition and you achieved it well before the May 15 deadline. You should be very proud of this achievement. We are.”

The battle to keep the school open isn’t over, as more conditions must be met per an agreement with the district. Other conditions require that a minimum of 200 eligible students be attending the school before Aug. 31, 2018. The school’s attendance rate, currently the district’s lowest at 86-percent, must also improve to the district average of 96-percent. The conditions require organized parent involvement in achieving the stated goals.

The school district says it is working with Fair Oaks families to meet the conditions. Baker said the district will “continue to review the numbers to make sure that we remain fiscally responsible while operating Fair Oaks.”

About 180 students are enrolled this year at the school, down from just under 500 in the 2008-9 school year, according to the district. Before earning a chance to stay open, the district projected the student population to drop to below 150, prompting the March decision to close the school. With state funding tied to school attendance, the district said it wouldn’t be fiscally responsible to keep the school open. At the time, the district had planned to transfer Fair Oaks students to one of three larger neighboring schools: Garfield Community School, Hoover Community School or Taft Community School, and also to consolidate a charter school’s operations on the Fair Oaks campus.

Photo courtesy of the Fair Oaks Community School Facebook page.

Pop-up park coming to downtown Redwood City on June 9

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A pop-up park is coming to downtown Redwood City on Saturday, June 9.

Parts of parking lots at the downtown library and City Hall at 1017 Middlefield Road will be transformed into park space from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The pop-up park is set to have various activities, including a trike/scoot/bike track (bring your own wheels), a rock wall, skate ramp and slack line, chalk art, helmet decorating, places to chill, and other family fun for all ages. The Main Street lot will remain partially open for people needing to park, along with additional nearby lots.

There’s another motive for this event: the city is going to set up a park design station where residents can provide feedback about their wants and needs for green space downtown.

“This temporary installation will convert parking lot(s) into ‘people space’ for a few hours, populated with outdoor activities that will elicit the feeling of an urban park,” the city said. “There will be activities along the entire length of the pop-up park to help people imagine what a park in that location might feel like. During the event, the City will solicit feedback from the community about the proposed location for a permanent park and their preferences for types of amenities. In addition to the surveys, large touchscreen monitors will be provided for anyone to draw their ideas. The drawings will be digitally captured and shared with the community.”

For more info about this event visit here.

For additional information about the Downtown Park Site Assessment and Feasibility Study and to take the city’s survey, visit here.


Tesla on Veterans Blvd. gets planning commission nod

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The Redwood City Planning Commission on Tuesday recommended that City Council approve Tesla’s bid to build a sales and service center at the space at 515 Veterans Blvd., which once housed a gym and restaurant.

In a 4-0 vote, the Planning Commission recommended approval of a zoning amendment, conditional use permit and architectural permit for the Tesla project, which would feature a 4,941 square foot show room and 15,257 square foot service area.

A company representative said Tesla wants to increase sales and service presence in Redwood City, which is centrally located on the Peninsula and can potentially draw customers anywhere from Santa Clara to San Francisco. Its service center will be exclusively used for Tesla’s electric vehicles and will provide charging, software updates and routine maintenance.

Redwood City staff says a zoning change for the Tesla site would remain “fully consistent with the general plan for this location.”

Tesla plans to revitalize the streetscape along Veterans Boulevard by widening sidewalks and adding trees and lighting.

Medical professionals sought for tattoo removal program

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Medical professionals are being sought to assist in a laser tattoo removal program that aims to help people transitioning out of gang life, along with survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.

Qualified medical professionals are asked to commit at least one session per year — six hours — to help with the laser tattoo removal program, which is a collaboration between multiple law enforcement agencies in San Mateo County.

To learn more about the program and for contact information, go here.

Since the program began in 1996, 2,200 participants have been served, 44,000 treatments performed, with over 1,000 hours volunteered by doctors. The program has led to 25,000 hours of completed community service, as those benefiting from treatments must each perform over 20 hours of community service.

Program beneficiaries must be at least 10 years or old, be attending school or currently working and be willing to meet regularly with a program sponsor and maintain a positive lifestyle.

Those before-and-after shots of your home project could win you a beautification award

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If you’ve done something to make Redwood City more beautiful this past year, or you’re thinking about it, then think about applying for the 2018 Mayor’s Beautification Awards.

Your beautification work does have to be on property you own: your house, an apartment building (if you are the owner), your business or your mobile home.

The Mayor’s awards recognize the work city residents and business owners do to make a good place to live, a beautiful place to live as well.  That work could be a nice paint job – some trees out front – a garden – a major facelift of your building.

The deadline to apply is June 30th, so even if you haven’t gotten beyond the dreaming stage yet, there is still time (just look over the rules first).  And if you need some ideas to get you started, take a look at the 2017 winners (including pictures before and after).

Here are a few basic rules:

  • You’ll need to take some pictures (before AND after).
  • It can be work you did yourself, or work you hired someone to do (so if you’re a klutz, don’t despair. Just don’t hire one).
  • And (very important), whatever beautification you do, has to be visible to the rest of us (so no walled gardens, sorry).

You can look over all the rules, or just go ahead and apply here.

Photo above, one of last year’s beautification winners, is courtesy of Redwood City.

Annual Union Cemetery Historic Site tour set for this Saturday

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We recently told you that we’re in the midst of National Historic Preservation Month, which has led to several opportunities to enjoy tours of Redwood City’s historic sites.

The next event is set for Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to noon with the annual tour of the 1895 Union Cemetery Historic Site, located at Woodside Road off El Camino Real. Sponsored by the Historic Union Cemetery Association, the tour provides history related to the Union Cemetery, which serves as a permanent archive of San Mateo County’s history, with the lives of many pioneer families and war veterans recorded on stone.

Last Saturday, an annual tour of the city’s historic downtown was held, as sponsored by the Historic Resources Advisory Committee (HRAC). Also this month, all 7th grade students from the Redwood City School District were set to take an Historic Downtown Walking Tour, an event sponsored annually by the HRAC for more than two decades.

Those unable to attend the tours can always visit the San Mateo County History Museum at 2200 Broadway, which is open Tuesday  through  Sunday, 10 a.m. to  4 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and students  and free for children ages 5 and under.

Photo and flyer courtesy of the City of Redwood City

Redwood City police focusing on seatbelt violations today

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Drivers in Redwood City better wear their seatbelts today.

The Redwood City Police Department is among 13 law enforcement agencies throughout San Mateo County participating in the San Mateo County Saturation Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP).

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, police will look to bust seatbelt violations in the area of Farm Hill Boulevard and Hopkins Avenue.

The enforcement runs in conjunction with Click It Or Ticket seatbelt safety month, which is in May, police said.

“Click It or Ticket isn’t about citations; it’s about saving lives,” police said. “In 2016, there were 10,428 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. To help prevent crash fatalities, we need to step up enforcement and crack down on those who don’t wear their seat belts.”

Photo courtesy of the Redwood City Police Department

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