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Clipper BayPass pilot to give ‘unlimited transit access’ to 50K Bay Area residents

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BART Board of Directors reinstates mask mandate

A new pilot program will give 50,000 residents in the Bay Area free rides on bus, rail and ferry services throughout the nine-county region.

The Clipper BayPass will initially be distributed to students at San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, UC Berkeley and Santa Rosa Junior College, according to BART. All Santa Rosa JC students will have access to the pass, while about a quarter of students will be invited to participate in the pilot at the other campuses, where alternative transit pass options are offered.

After the rollout to colleges, the pilot program will expand to include all residents of select affordable housing communities managed by MidPen Housing, according to BART.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission in partnership with all Bay Area transit agencies launched the two-year pilot program to study the impact of the Clipper BayPass.

“This limited distribution, which will be based on random assignment, is designed to measure the impact on travel of an all-system pass when compared to students not using Clipper BayPass,” according to BART’s statement.

The pass is being implemented on recommendations of an 18-month study led by the MTC and BART that focused on creating a “more customer-friendly transit fare system in the Bay Area,” BART stated.

“MTC will provide funds to transit agencies to offset the revenue impacts of the Clipper BayPass pilot, which is expected to conclude at the end of 2024,” according to the transit agency.

Firefighters battle blazes in area of Edgewood Rd and Crestview Dr

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Firefighters respond to blaze at Edgewood Rd and Crestwood Drive

Cal Fire CZU is asking community members to avoid the area of Edgewood Road and Crestview Drive due to a couple of fires.

The fires were reported at about 2:24 p.m. today. One, called the Colton Fire, was contained to several acres and no longer poses a threat, while the other, called the Edgewood Fire, is not contained and had grown to about 20 acres as of about 5:45 p.m.

The Edgewood fire was burning in a north, northwesterly direction, toward Canada Road and areas just south of the town of Woodside proper, according to Cal Fire CZU Battalion Chief Ethan Petersen. The hope is that relatively light winds will work in firefighters’ favor.

“There is active structure defense going on in that area…and there are also active aircraft flying, multiple large air tankers as well as helicopters,” Petersen said. “Additional air resources has been ordered from throughout the area to really try to put a significant amount of retardant on the ground and slow the progress of this fire.”

Evacuation orders are in place for areas surrounding the fire. Click here for map-assisted updates on evacuation orders.

Check back for updates.

 

Medical Equipment Loan Program launches at San Carlos Farmers’ Market

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Medical Equipment Loan Program launches at San Carlos Farmers Market

Need to borrow a wheelchair, walker, cane or crutches? Look no further than the San Carlos Farmers Market.

On Sunday, San Carlos Mayor Sara McDowell joined the San Carlos Parks & Recreation Department and other community advocates in celebrating the launch of the Medical Equipment Loan Program (MELP) at the Farmers’ Market.

MELP is a relatively new nonprofit partnership involving local Rotary Clubs, Villages of San Mateo County, and the City of San Carlos, that lends donated equipment to people who need them at no cost.

“In our short 6 months of operation we have loaned out over 100 pieces of equipment, and we have a couple hundred more in our inventory in two storage lockers in San Mateo,” officials said.

For more information about MELP or to volunteer, email BRS.Rotary.MEP@gmail.com or call (650) 590-9112.

Photo courtesy of the San Carlos Parks & Recreation Department

Arsenal found at home of San Mateo man who randomly opened fire at passing vehicle

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San Mateo police find arsenal at home of man who randomly opened fire at passing vehicle

A search of the home of William Boulier, 38, of San Mateo, who was arrested on suspicion of randomly shooting at a passing vehicle near his home Monday, uncovered an arsenal of guns along with gun parts and gun manufacturing equipment, police said.

Police responded to the area of S. Norfolk Street and Kehoe Avenue at about 11:21 a.m. Monday on a report of a suspect on foot who shot at a random passing car before fleeing southbound on S. Norfolk St. Officers responded and met with the victim, whose vehicle was struck numerous times by the gunfire.

Police began a search for the suspect and were told a person fitting the description was seen in the area of Parkside Plaza.

Officers responded to set up a perimeter in the area, but did not locate him. Detectives joined the search and while canvassing the area to interview possible witnesses, they learned of the shooter’s identity, police said. With a search warrant, a San Mateo police SWAT team was dispatched to the home of Boulier in the 1300 block of Norfolk Street.

“While awaiting authorization of the search warrant, the subject returned to the home and was contacted by waiting patrol officers,” police said.

Boulier was taken into custody without incident and arrested on suspicion of assualt with a firearm and booked into Jail.

After the arrest, detectives searched Boulier’s residence and located about 10 functioning firearms, parts and pieces for an additional 10 firearms, over 30 loaded and unloaded gun magazines, thousands of varying brands and calibers of ammunition, and gun manufacturing equipment, police said.

“The firearms and gun parts were both serialized and unserialized (‘ghost guns’),” police said. “All these items were collected as evidence and firearm charges are pending.”

Photos from the scene Monday courtesy of the San Mateo Police Department

Lucid Motors opens studio, service center in Millbrae

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Lucid Motors opens studio, service center in Millbrae

Lucid Motors, makers of luxury electric vehicles, has opened a new studio and service center at 355 Adrian Road in Millbrae.

Headquartered in Newark, Lucid’s first car is the Lucid Air, a luxury sedan named the 2022 MotorTrend Car of the Year that starts at $77,400. The Lucid Air Dream Edition, which costs $169,000, “features an official EPA estimated 530 miles of range or 1,111 horsepower,” the company said.

The Lucid Air is produced at Lucid’s new factory in Casa Grande, Ariz.

Millbrae’s studio hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Lucid’s only other Bay Area location is at West Valley Fair in San Jose, where it has a studio.

Learn more about the company here.

Bay Area stakeholders laud passage of Infrastructure Bill

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Bay Area stakeholders laud passage of Infrastructure Bill

Bay Area officials have lauded passage of the federal $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, saying the bill will help fund a wide range of local projects.

Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) Chair Alfredo Pedroza and Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) Executive Board President Jesse Arreguín said the bill will help “fuel” Plan Bay Area 2050, the long-range regional plan for transportation, housing, the environment and the economy that the agencies adopted last month.

Pedroza, who is also a Napa County supervisor, said that the increased transit capital funding will “help modernize our existing transit network,” while the expansion of nationwide grant programs to the tune of $140 billion will allow the Bay Area to compete for money that can help largescale new projects come to fruition.

Bay Area cities and counties will also be able to compete for funding via a $4.5 billion fund for bridge repair projects throughout California, to “upgrade bridges along local streets and roads” per an MTA statement. Funding is also dog-eared for airports, ports and inland waterways.

The Bay Area is also expected to see $4.5 billion out of an approximate $475 billion reauthorization of the central federal transportation program spanning the next five years, per the statement. This represents a 56 percent increase over the existing Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act from 2015.

Other facets of the bill, such as $65 billion for expanding broadband service, $65 billion for upgrading the power infrastructure and $71 billion for resilience, water storage and environmental remediation, will help narrow the digital divide for low income households, reduce greenhouse emissions and equip shoreline cities to adapt to rising sea levels, said Arreguín, who is also the mayor of Berkeley.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s resilience, remediation and water storage sections include—among other initiatives—more than $8 billion for reservoirs, water recycling and ecosystem restoration in California and other western states; $3.3 billion for the reduction of wildfire risks; and increased funding for the San Francisco Estuary Partnership and restoration projects around the bay.

California and other states will be able to cultivate digital equity plans to subsidize Internet service costs for low-income households as part of the bill’s $65 billion investment to help expand broadband service.

Nationwide, $17 billion will be set aside for Army Corp of Engineers flood control projects; $1 billion for FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grants; and $1 billion for state and local government grants to develop cybersecurity plans.

The bill’s power infrastructure and clean energy sections will direct $65 billion toward creating a new Grid Deployment Authority; provide states with grants to prepare the electric grid against extreme weather; establish four regional clean hydrogen hubs; fund state and local governments via grants for energy efficiency and conservation projects; and fund a competitive grant program for states or regional partnerships to update building energy codes.

MTC serves the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area as the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency, while ABAG functions as the council of governments and the regional planning agency for the Bay Area’s 101 cities and towns and nine counties.

Photo courtesy of MTC

27-year-old man shot in San Mateo

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Suspect sought in robbery at gas station in North Fair Oaks

A 27-year-old man was injured in a shooting in San Mateo Thursday afternoon, police said.

Police responded just after 3 p.m. to the 1000 block of College Avenue on a report of a person requesting assistance from police, and located the victim suffering from a gunshot wound. He was transported to a local trauma center.

San Mateo police are investigating. No arrests have been announced, but police say they’ve learned the incident was “isolated and targeted.”

“The San Mateo Police Department is working vigorously to bring all responsible parties to justice,” police said.

Anyone with information or surveillance footage related to this shooting is encouraged to contact Detective Sergeant Kurt Rodenspiel (650) 522-7662 or KRodenspiel@cityofsanmateo.org. Anonymous tips can be submitted here or by calling (650) 522-7676.

Photo by Getty Images

Redwood City Public Library offering on-demand children’s stories via phone

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Redwood City Public Library offering on-demand children’s stories via phone

Redwood City Public Library is now offering Dial-A-Story, a new feature for on-demand children’s stories shared on the phone.

Stories are available in both English and Spanish, with new material added monthly, that children can listen to while in the car, at home, or elsewhere, Library officials said. In addition to the preselected stories, kids can listen to songs by some of Redwood City’s librarians.

Dial-A-Story is part of the Library’s Storytime program collection.

To access the collection, call (650) 839-9399 and select the story/item you want to hear.

Photo courtesy of the Library

 

San Mateo Central Park Music Series’ band lineup announced

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San Mateo Central Park Music Series' band lineup announced

In a sign that summer has officially arrived, the band lineup for the 2021 Central Park Music Series has been announced by the City of San Mateo Parks and Recreation department.

The series will kick off at the park Independence Day Sun., July 4 from 12-2 p.m. with a performance by Club 90, a high-energy, choreographed dance party show. Attendees can arrive early at 11:45 a.m. for the national anthem and a “thank you” to essential workers, said Parks and Rec officials.

Here are the rest of the Music Series’ performers set for this summer, appearing on Thursday nights from 6-8 p.m.: July 15: Native Elements (reggae); July 22: Maya Latin Band (Latin rock); July 29: Bud E. Luv (party/swing big band); and Aug. 5: Pop Fiction (party band).

According to Parks and Rec, they’re currently working to arrange food vendors, with more info to follow online next week. However, the department did clarify that their usual beer and wine sales will not be offered during this year’s concert series. However, attendees are permitted to bring their own food and drinks to the events. Registration is not needed to attend any of the concerts.

Central Park is located at 50 East 5th Ave. in San Mateo. For more info about the summer Music Series, click here, call (650) 522-7400 or contact parksandrecreation@cityofsanmateo.org.

Photo of Club 90 courtesy of the band

San Mateo Public Library locations to open to public May 3

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All three San Mateo Public Library locations will open to the public for browsing, holds pickup and limited computer use starting May 3.

Patrons are encouraged to limit their stay to 60 minutes, and face coverings and social distancing guidelines are required at all times.

“In-person reference will be available on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors,” the Library system said. “Other services include magazine checkout, wi-fi, and limited study tables (one person per table). The Friends of the Library bookstore will be open.”

Last week, San Mateo County Libraries reopened most of its libraries with modifications for the first time since the pandemic began in March 2020.

All Redwood City Public Library locations are currently closed, but all locations offer Curbside Pickup services.

Photo courtesy of San Mateo Public Library

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