Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Out with the Old, In with the New

It's that time...time to ring out 2008 and welcome 2009! We hope that you have a safe and enjoyable time celebrating the start of new hopes, dreams, and expectations. Be sure to keep in mind that City Hall will be open tomorrow, New Year's Eve, until noon, closed New Year's Day, and then open 8:00am - 5:00pm on Friday, Jan. 2nd.

The New Year also allows the opportunity for improvements in the way you live, and plan for the future. Therefore, there's no better time than now to Resolve to be Ready for 2009.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Ready Campaign is reminding Americans to Resolve to be Ready in 2009. Resolve to be Ready is a nationwide effort designed to encourage individuals, families, businesses and communities to take action and prepare for emergencies in the New Year. One of the ways you can do this is to pick up an emergency preparedness kit at City Hall. It could turn out to be the most important purchase you'll have made all year.

With that, have a happy and SAFE New Year!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Big Things Will Be Happening Here in Brisbane in the New Year!

This year is quickly drawing to a close, with already there being much to look forward to in 2009. In January alone, there are a few items well worth mentioning:

On 1/10, you’ll have the opportunity to help beautify Old Quarry Road. From 9am-noon, come and lend a hand planting indigenous, native plants and pulling the less welcome ones like broom and ivy. Meet at the entrance to Old Quarry Rd. @ San Francisco St. Hopefully the rains will remain at bay (in case of showers, the event will be canceled). This event is co-sponsored by Lipman School and the City of Brisbane Parks & Recreation Dept., with Lipman students able to earn community service points for this activity. For more information, please contact Peter Stiehler at (650) 291-2400.

Also taking place on the 10th is the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Bayshore North-South Bikeway project. This project was started in early October, propelled by the Council’s desire to reduce greenhouse gases and increase the safety for our citizens who walk or ride their bikes on Bayshore Blvd. A total of $550,000 (87% of the project) was granted through the California Transportation Development Act to widen and smooth over the bike lane on Bayshore Blvd., as well as install grooved pavement rumble strips and a 6” wide bikeway shoulder stripe for further safety. See the photo below for details:

Come join us at 10:00am in the Park and Ride Station at Bayshore and Old County Rd. as we celebrate the successful completion of this project! Light refreshments will be served.

The Calendar of Events located on the City’s website will begin incorporating the meeting times and special events information for community groups here in town. Click here for a listing of the community clubs and organizations that exist in Brisbane. With currently over 20 groups, you are bound to find something that suits your needs. If you would like to add your club’s meetings times or include one of their upcoming events on the Calendar of Events, please contact Parks & Recreation supervisor Steve Beaty at sbeaty@ci.brisbane.ca.us.

Then there are some events that don’t necessarily require any reminders. One of those being the inauguration ceremony of president-elect Barack Obama on 1/20. U.S. senator Dianne Feinstein, heading the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, has invited both the San Francisco Boys Chorus and San Francisco Girls Chorus to lend their voices as Obama is being sworn-in on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. You may recall the San Francisco Girls Chorus (previously Chorissima) had performed at Live at Mission Blue as part of the 2007-2008 season.


Make sure to tune in for the swearing-in ceremony, as you may catch one of Brisbane’s own, Elizabeth Stern, performing alongside 85 other choristers from the Bay Area (43 young singers from the SF Girls Chorus and 43 from the SF Boys Chorus will be singing Obama into office). In a press release, Dianne Feinstein said that the “two choruses were selected for their high level of artistic excellence, embodiment of the American spirit and promise for the future.” To hear more on this much talk-about event, click here for a webcast of NPR’s “All Things Considered”.

Congratulations to all the young singers! You’ll soon be a part of history, and that alone is considered to be a huge achievement!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wishing You a Wonderful Holiday Season~!!

Photo courtesy of www.panza.smugmug.com
All Brisbane is aglow...and City Hall will be open next week: Mon. & Tues. 8-5pm, Weds. (Christmas Eve) 8-12pm, closed Thurs. Christmas Day, and Fri. 8-5pm.
May you have a joyous and star-filled holiday!

Friday, December 12, 2008

In Hopes of Creating a Sustainable Crocker Industrial Park

There is no doubt that change is imminent. The idea of change can quickly conjure up more fearful sentiments at first, but with the proper resources, thought, and planning, the fearfulness is bound to fade away, as it is replaced with actionable steps in how to move forward. And politics aside, change with a purpose is something that this City of Stars has always believed in, and fought hard for.

With 2008 drawing to a close, we find ourselves at a time in Brisbane's history that can greatly affect the future state of the City. With the economy the way that it is, even more thoughtful planning and foresight is being required than ever before. These are uncertain times, but one thing's for sure...decisions having to do with the preservation of Brisbane's community will always involve weighing all the possible alternatives. We who have come to love this place want to know for certain that future generations will also stand to benefit from all the big prospects and hopes this small town has to offer.

A part of the methodology which has become ingrained in the Brisbane Way is questioning what is right, and best for the city. That is where this idea of change becomes the most dynamic. When everything around us is changing, there is a need to start entertaining how we can stay sharp, actively pursuing that which will lend the most strength in providing for a sustainable and viable community.

As the City Council picks up the conversation regarding freight forwarding this coming Monday (12/15), this notion of sustainability and what it entails for Crocker Industrial Park is what will be at the forefront. As they review proposed changes to the Industrial Park, most notably -- current regulations which limit freight forwarder uses in Crocker Park equal to 20% of the total gross square footage of all the buildings in the Industrial Park -- the Council will entertain questions regarding whether a change in the current policy fosters 1. economic vitality, 2. if it will improve (or at least not diminish) the environment, and 3. whether it leads to social equity. For a more complete look at each of these three areas, click here and read the prepared staff report.

But before any policy is created, or changed, you can expect there to be some changes to the weather patterns first. In anticipation of a wet and rainy weekend, there have been two pallets of sand bags made available for the public at the Fire Station (3445 Bayshore Blvd.). Look for the orange cones on the left when you pull in!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Beware of Fake Fire Inspectors!

North County Fire Authority, which serves the cities of Brisbane, Daly City, and Pacifica, is advising local businesses and apartment complex owners to be aware of a scam involving fake "fire inspectors". At least one Bay Area business has been targeted by a company going by the name of "Fire Systems Inspections of USA." This company has recently been victimizing businesses throughout California, with the scam first being reported in Los Angeles, making its way up to Central California, and just now hitting the Bay Area. Individuals from the company usually arrive in a uniform and say they are there to conduct a fire inspection on behalf of the City. Once they complete the inspection, the business is sent a bill for the service.

Brisbane businesses should be aware that North County Fire Department’s inspectors always arrive in an officially marked vehicle, not a private, unmarked car. If in doubt, business owners should ask inspectors for proper identification and official inspectors should willingly present it. Additionally, North County Fire inspectors wear their badges on their chest, along with their name plate. When they are through with their inspection, they will leave a Fire and Life-Safety Inspection Report, not an actual invoice. A copy of that report is given to the administrative office at North County Fire Authority who in turn will bill the business or property owner. Invoices will display the official North County Fire Authority logo and request the remittance be sent to them at North County Fire Authority, 10 Wembly Drive, Daly City, CA, 94015-4314.

If you are a business and receive a false invoice you should immediately file a police report. If you are able, discretely call police while the phony inspectors are in your business. For more information, please contact North County Fire Authority at (650) 991-8138.

* * *
Today has been designated as a Winter Spare the Air Day.
As you may know, it is now illegal to burn wood from noon the day the alert is issued to noon of the following day. Those who violate the rule will receive a warning for their first violation, followed by fines upwards of $1,000.
You can sign up to get these Winter Spare the Air alerts directly from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District by clicking here or on the BAAQMD's Burn Status widget in the left sidebar.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

2nd Public Meeting for Bi-County Transportation Study Tomorrow Night

Last month we blogged on the first of the public outreach meetings, which took place at Bret Harte Elementary School in San Francisco. Tomorrow night, 12/10, there will be a second opportunity for the public to get involved in this portion of the Study...and it will be happening at a location closer to Brisbane. This time, the meeting will be held at Visitacion Valley Elementary School (55 Scherwin St.), which is less than 2.5 miles away and just beyond the city limits. This gets at exactly what the Bi-County Transportation Study hopes to ultimately address in its evaluation: potential transportation improvements based on current and anticipated land use growth on both sides of the border. So, if you've got an opinion to express, now would be the time to do so. The meeting starts at 6:00pm and is scheduled to run until 8:00pm. For more information, contact Chester Fung from the San Francisco County Transportation Authority at chester.fung@sfcta.org or (415) 522-4804.

Friday, December 05, 2008

There is Much Celebrating to be Had...Due in Part to All That We Have.

There is true meaning behind the name "City of Stars". This coming Sunday marks the day that Brisbane's mountain hillside will tranform into an even more stunning canvas, as it becomes aglow with holiday stars of all sizes. It is the brilliance of these stars that further distinguishes Brisbane's small-town charm, quickly felt by all who stop by (or drives by, for that matter).

This was the sentiment expressed by a fellow citizen, saying that he's only been living in town for 6 weeks now, but quickly realized how special of a place Brisbane is. He went on to say that he's hoping to one day retire here.

The rest of Monday night was nothing short of distinct and memorable. With a Resolution presented by former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown in dedication to the new "old" City Hall, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the entrance of the first-ever Community Meeting Room (as Senator Leland Yee and SF Board of Supervisors member Sophie Maxwell looked on), it was an outstanding turnout by the community to celebrate former Mayor Michael Barnes' past year of service to Brisbane and welcoming newly-appointed Mayor and Mayor Pro-Tem, Sepi Richardson and Clarke Conway. Enjoy the pictures that highlight the night's festivities, courtesy of Beth Grossman.


We look forward to all the things that will be celebrated in Brisbane in the year to come. But first, one of the most celebratory nights in town is taking place this Sunday with the Festival of Lights. Start the night by lighting your holiday star at 4:00pm and then join in with the carolers at the top of Visitacion starting at 5:30pm to help spread some cheer as you progress down the hill to the Community Park for a short holiday program performed by the children in the Brisbane Dance Workshop and the traditional lighting of the Festival Tree. There will be cookies and cocoa to warm you through the night.

As this evening approaches, may we all be reminded of all that we have, and remember those less fortunate. Look for donation boxes near the Festival Tree for canned food and/or unwrapped toys. The Brisbane Lions Club and the Brisbane Fire Department will cheerfully distribute your gifts to those in need. There will also be a collection bin at City Hall for the next few weeks to afford you the chance to give a little this holiday season.

Monday, December 01, 2008

"Timing is Everything"

This oft-used expression doesn't seem to ever lose its luster, evoking the sentiment that the outcomes of life situations and circumstances fall outside the realm of our control. The theme of happenstance seemed to be what was driving the economy, as we heard and read about the Fed's decisions in who they would "bail out". "Winners" such as Citigroup Inc. had hundreds of millions of dollars of capital injected into them, while "losers" such as Lehman Brothers failed to find a buyer and were forced to then file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This became one of the largest failures of an investment bank, which undoubtedly left casualties in its wake.

This may sound like more dreary financial news, but there is a silver-lined cloud amidst the storm, and remarkably so for Brisbane. As was mentioned by newly-appointed Mayor Richardson during last night's City Council meeting, the City's loss after Lehman's collapse was just $6,000. This represents a fairly small amount, for reasons explained as you read on. But first, a photo from the meeting, the first-ever City Council meeting in the new Community Meeting Room located at City Hall (more to come, along with an overview of a very celebratory night):


Lehman's main customers were big institutions, with the County of San Mateo having invested 5.7% of its funds in short-term unsecured loans. Therefore, when the investment firm collapsed in mid-September, some jurisdictions felt the financial blow harder than others. The Menlo Park City School District was one of the most impacted agencies, themselves hit with a $3.5 million loss. On the other hand, jurisdictions which invested with State-operated programs such as LAIF (Local Agency Investment Fund) were not as hard hit. Fortunately, this was the case for Brisbane, itself invested in LAIF at the time Lehman collapsed. LAIF, an investment alternative for California's local governments and special districts, pays a lower interest rate than the County, but has grown from 293 participants in 1977 to more than 2,715 participants and $21.3 billion in October of 2008.


The City of Brisbane regards safety of principle a higher priority than yield on investment, and in this occurrence, this more conservative way of thinking ended up being the better approach.

There is, however, a slight loss for all San Mateo County cities due to the 1992 state-enacted legislation (Prop. 98) that shifted partial financial responsibility for funding education to local governments (cities, counties and special districts). The state did this by instructing county auditors to shift the allocation of local property tax revenues from local government to "education revenue augmentation funds" (ERAFs), directing that specified amounts of city, county, and other local agency property taxes be deposited to these funds to support schools.

Beginning in 2002-03, the City began receiving ERAF reimbursements from the County since so many County school districts are basic aid. However, due to the County having a portion of their investment pool in Lehman Brothers, approximately $6K of our ERAF funds was lost. Though this is not a very significant amount, all cities in the County were named in news articles dealing with the lawsuit now being brought before Lehman Brothers, in hopes to recoup the $155 million loss, including $25 million of school district finances.

In this tumultuous age, there is no telling what actual finances will be recovered. We in Brisbane are just fortunate to not be as negatively affected as could have easily been the case. Whatever the outcome, we'll have to do what another oft-heard expression suggests...just "wait and see".

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

City Hall will be closed in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday tomorrow and Friday. We look forward to seeing you next week, though, for our Dedication Ceremony at City Hall! Guided tours are starting at 6:00 pm, with the ribbon cutting at 7:00. Click here for the agenda of the City Council Meeting that will be following directly afterwards at 7:30 pm. At the meeting, we will be recognizing Mayor Barnes for his most recent year of service to the Brisbane community as Mayor!

May you be stuffed with all the things that make you happiest this Thanksgiving Holiday, as you celebrate with those near and dear to your heart!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Another Spare the Air Alert Issued

** edited Tuesday, Nov. 25th **

Yet ANOTHER Spare the Air Day is in effect for today until noon tomorrow. Please respect the Air Quality District's regulation in curbing wood smoke pollution! Thank you for your kind attention.

* * *

The Bay Area Air Quality District has issued another Spare the Air Alert for today, so please make sure you do what you can to reduce wood smoke pollution by avoiding any wood-burning tonight and until noon tomorrow.

If you want to sign up to receive these alerts via e-mail, phone, or text message, you may do so when you sign up at http://airalert.sparetheair.org/.

Also, City Hall will be open to the public tomorrow, but just be warned...we're still in the process of unpacking. So, although red plastic moving bins will still be visible, our willingness to make sure you get what you need when you stop by will be, too.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Word to the Wise

Reminding you that today marks Moving Day and that City Hall is closed to allow for the movers to work most efficiently. And since with every move comes a time of unpacking, offices will be closed to the public on Monday the 24th so that everything can get placed back in order. We will be re-opening for business beginning Tuesday the 25th.

Please come visit us in our "new" home and be sure to join us for the grand unveiling of the new City Hall on Monday Dec. 1st. Guided tours will be starting at 6:00 pm, with a ribbon cutting and first Council Meeting in the new Community Meeting Room commencing at 7:00 and 7:30 pm, respectively. It's sure to be quite the celebratory night!

So, although the next few days may have you holding off running down to City Hall, watching this clip may have you making a run to Bamboo Garden for their featured Chicken in Lettuce Cups! A View from the Bay certainly did!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Winter Spare the Air Alert Issued

The Bay Area Air District has issued a Winter Spare the Air Alert for today, which bans wood burning both indoors and outdoors through noon tomorrow. This wood-burning ban will be in effect for Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, southern Sonoma and southwestern Solano Counties.

Winter air pollution is mainly caused by small particle pollution or particulate matter (PM) from wood smoke. Smoke from wood-burning fires is linked to illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and lung disease, and is especially harmful for children and the elderly.

For more information about the wood burning rule, or to check before you burn, visit http://www.sparetheair.org/ or call 1-877-4-NO-BURN.

Thank you for doing your part to Spare the Air!

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's Time to Gear Up for Winter Storm Preparedness Weekend!

Dumpsters are being dropped off today in preparation for the next two days...where the community has the opportunity to dump all yard trimmings, branches, plants, and whatever else could wind up clogging our storm drains and gutters once the rainy season starts. This citywide effort is a preventative measure taken every year to prevent flooding and damage to personal property as well as our storm drains. With 2008 marking the 11th consecutive year the Annual Winter Clean Up has taken place, there is a clear benefit seen when we all pitch in and make sure our individual yards are properly maintained. And what better time to get this done than now, when the sun's still shining!

But before you roll up your sleeves and start trimming and hauling, please keep the following in mind:
  • Do NOT place yard trimmings in plastic garbage bags when disposing of them in the dumpsters - this makes the entire load unrecyclable.
  • All trimmings and branches placed into a dumpster MUST BE LESS THAN 4 INCHES IN DIAMETER
  • NO RUBBISH OR OTHER WASTE IS TO BE DISPOSED OF IN THESE DUMPSTERS
  • If you need assistance or to arrange for pickup, please call the Public Works Dept. at 508-2130 between 10:00 am - 3:00 pm on Saturday Nov. 15th or between the hours of 9:00 am - 1:00 pm Sunday the 16th. Again, no branches or logs larger than 4 inches in diameter or 6 ft. in length will be picked up by city maintenance crews. For information regarding tree removal, please call the City Manager's Office at 508-2112.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and pitching in to help make sure our storm drains and gutters are as clear from debris as possible this winter!

Friday, November 07, 2008

In Honor of All Who Served

Every November 11th since 1919, when U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day, the country has an opportunity to stop and appreciate the military veterans who proudly served this country and sacrificed for the common good. Have you ever wondered about the significance of Nov. 11th, though, when all the history books have June 29, 1919 as being the official end to World War I, when the Treaty of Versailles was signed? It's due to the fact that fighting between the Allied nations and Germany ended with an armistice (temporary cessation of hostilities) on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

You truly can learn something new every day...

This year, Nov. 11th falls on a Tuesday. City Hall will be closed that day, but will re-open the following day. Come visit us for one of the last times at our temporary location...as we'll be moving back across the street to 50 Park Place on Fri. 11/21 and Mon. 11/24. (Just as a friendly reminder: to accomodate for the movers and to make the moving process as streamlined and safe as possible, the building will be closed to the public those two days). Don't forget to come check out the new building on Mon. 12/1 - guided tours start at 6:00 pm, a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 7:00, and a City Council meeting follows immediately afterwards at 7:30 pm. See you there!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Seasons of Change

Usually with dipping temperatures comes the increased smell of burning firewood permeating through the cold night air. However, there will be a decrease in the likelihood of that happening this winter season. A new wood-burning law has come into effect, requiring residents of the nine Bay Area counties to think of alternative ways to keep warm, and which doesn't involve lighting up a fireplace, wood stove, or outdoor fire pit.

Air experts estimate that wood burning in fireplaces and wood stoves creates about one-third of the winter particulate air pollution in the Bay Area. Due to that, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) has banned wood-burning on Spare the Air days. The ban will be in effect until Feb. 28th and is expected to affect about 20 days. First time violators will receive written warnings. A second violation could result in a fine ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

If you'd like to be notified via e-mail or text message regarding which days those will be, you can sign up to receive alerts by visiting http://www.sparetheair.org/. You can also get that same information by calling the Bay Area Air District's "Check Before You Burn" line at 1-877-4NO-BURN (1-877-466-2816). Any complaints should be directed to the BAAQMD, toll free at 1-800-334-ODOR (6367), and NOT the Fire or Police departments. Names and addresses will be kept completely confidential.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Results for Measure T

* edited 12/5 at 9:30 am Friday morning *

It's official!! The final vote increased by two Yes and No votes each for an official count of 1,316 (70.3%) Yes and 556 (29.7%) No votes.


* edited 11/20 at 8:45 am Thursday morning *

Semi-official results for Measure T, the Brisbane Business License Tax, are: 1,314 (70.3%) Yes and 554 (29.7%) No votes.

You can see more election results by clicking here.

* * *

At the time of this posting (Tues. night @ 8:45 pm), 977 Yes votes and 414 No votes have been cast for Measure T. This count reflects the mail-in ballots that were dropped off at the polling place and the ballots that were cast today. However, the rest of the mail-in and provisional ballots still need to be counted. Once that is done, we will announce the final numbers here.

The measure, if passed, imposes a special business license tax for capital improvements on any business in the City having gross receipts in excess of $10,000,000, at a rate of seven and one-half cents per $100 of gross receipts, subject to certain maximum limits and reduced by any sales taxes that may be paid by that business to the City.

Make Yourself Heard

There is an intensive coordinating effort being headed up by the San Francisco Country Transportation Authority to evaluate potential transportation improvements on the San Francisco/San Mateo county border. This long-range transporation study is being referred to as the Bi-County Transportation Study, which will be published in Spring 2009. The multi-agency approach for the Study will incorporate the feedback received at a couple different community workshops scheduled to soon take place. The first of these workshops will be taking place tomorrow, Weds. Nov. 5th, at Bret Harte Elementary School in San Francisco from 6:00 - 8:00 pm. Wednesday's workshop will be followed by a second event in Visitacion Valley in early December at Visitacion Valley Elementary School.

Your input at these workshops is imperative. Community workshop participants will also have the opportunity to learn more about potential development projects in the area, as well as offer feedback on the proposed transportation projects. The Transportation Authority will be joined by representatives from the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County, the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Economic & Workforce Development, the City of Brisbane, the City of Daly City, the San Francisco Planning Department, the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the San Francisco Department of Public Works, the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, the San Mateo County Transit District, the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Authority, and the California Department of Transportation. For more information about the Study, or background information on the SFCTA, please visit www.sfcta.org/bi-county.

Don't forget to exercise your civic duty - GET OUT & VOTE today! Polls close at 8:00 pm, so if you haven't already done so, get yourself to the Community Center (250 Visitacion Ave.) and make sure your vote gets cast, and your voice heard.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Blogworthy Administrative Matters

The Nov. 3rd City Council meeting has been cancelled. The Council will meet next on Nov. 17th, at 7:30 pm in the Community Center. This meeting will be the last time the Council will be gathering in the lower portion of the Library, as the “new” City Council will be having it’s Open House Monday Dec. 1st, starting at 6:00 pm. Come and see for yourself the various types of improvements that have been made to the building (guided tours will be taking place). Enjoy some light refreshments as you tour around…and since you’ll already be there, might as well grab a seat in the Community Meeting Room where the Council Meeting will be taking place directly afterwards, starting at 7:30 pm.

Just as a friendly reminder, City Hall will be closed the day of the move back to 50 Park Place (Friday, 11/21) and Monday the 24th in order to allow for the movers to work as swiftly as possible and complete their job. Offices will be open Tuesday and Wednesday (11/25 – 11/26, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm), upon which City Hall will be closed the remainder of the week (11/27 – 11/28) for the Thanksgiving holiday.

But for now, please have a safe and Happy Halloween.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We Will Miss Your Smiling Face, Angelina

For those of you who knew Angelina Ciucci, you know she was hard to miss. She instantly lit up every room she walked into with her brimming smile and cheery personality. Serving as a Fire Inspector, she was a huge asset not only to the Fire Department, but to the Brisbane community at large. It is with great sorrow that we inform you that last night, Angelina passed away after a valiant battle with her illness.

Angelina, you are a shining example to us all of what it means to be joyful no matter what the circumstances. Our thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathies go out to your family during this time.

Hoping for More TREATS than Tricks this Halloween

In efforts to realize this, the Brisbane Police Dept. has reflective trick-or-treat bags for the community at the PD. They also suggest reflective clothing, as Friday evening is expected to be hazy, with a 70% chance of rain.

Some other tips to help make this night as safe as possible follow (because when it comes to participation, our city has no problem).
  • Children should stay in groups with at least one adult

  • Several people in the group should carry flashlights

  • Children should be careful not to run across the street...look both ways!

  • Don't accept candy or treats whose wrapper has been tampered with or opened

  • Stay away from tricks (pranks can be destructive and could be considered vandalism)...focus on treats!

The North County Fire Authority also has released a Media Advisory regarding Halloween Safety. Check it out here. With that, have a SAFE and Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Recycle 1234...

56789?

Recycle 1234 was in town on Saturday morning, but if your old TV or computer is still waiting to get picked up, please contact the company at (510) 468-2642 today and a driver will be by to do so (a collection center has been set up nearby on Junipero Serra to get the job done). So if you haven't already done so, this is an opportunity to rid yourselves of the electronic devices you've been wanting to do away with...including cell phones!

Thank you for recycling and apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused over the weekend.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Seeking out Best Opportunities Takes Being OPEN

It's a pretty well-known fact that public transportation in and out of Brisbane is tough. The Caltrain station is located near 101 and, unlike most of the places in town, isn't easily accessible by way of a short stroll.

There may be a way to change that.

By participating in the FOCUS Program, led by four regional agencies - in partnership with congestion management agencies, transit providers, and local governments throughout the Bay Area, a transit network for the Baylands could one day be possible. The goals of the FOCUS Program - promoting transit usage and reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) - are consistent with the City's stated objectives to achieve a sustainable and environmentally responsible development on the Baylands.

What usually goes hand in hand with transit-oriented districts is planned housing. In 2007, a Priority Development Area (PDA) was designated encompassing the Schlage Lock site, Visitacion Valley, and Executive Park in San Francisco, all of which already had included planned housing as part of that region's development. In other words, participation in the FOCUS Program does not constitute the building of housing. Rather, it allows Brisbane eligibilty to receive discretionary funding available through the FOCUS program. This would especially be the case if a reduction in VMT and associated greenhouse gas emissions is probable (which would be the likely case if the train station was moved closer to central Brisbane).

To date, Planning Grants totaling $7.5 million were awarded to PDAs during the last fiscal year, and an additional $22 million is estimated to be available in the next 3-4 years. (If a PDA does not receive incentives in the first round, it will remain eligible for future rounds of funding, as available). On Monday night, the City Council voted to adopt Resolution #2208-38, allowing for staff to apply for inclusion in the existing PDA. More information about this next planning step was requested as well, as the Council keeps an open mind while seeking out the best opportunities for the Baylands and the City.

Speaking of being OPEN, the Pool will continue to be operating its Adult Lap Swim morning session (6:30 am - 9:30 am) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. In addition, it will be open an extra hour on Tuesdays and Thursday. See below for the rest of this week's hours:

Adult Lap Swim
Monday: 6:30am-9:30am, 11:30am-1:30pm, 4:00-7:00pm
Wednesday and Friday: 6:30-9:30am, 11:30am-1:30pm, 5:15-7:00pm
Tuesday and Thursday: 11:30am-1:30pm, 4:00-8:00pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10:30am-1:00pm

Recreation Swim
Monday-Friday: 4:00-7:00pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10:30am-1:00pm

Friday, October 17, 2008

Free Events Taking Place on Saturday

Autumn has arrived, and tomorrow, the Community Flu Shot Clinic will have as well. The clinic will be held at the Sunrise Room, located at the corner of Visitacion & San Francisco Ave. The clinic is FREE to all Brisbane residents, courtesy of Seton Health Services Foundation Brisbane Community Fund. So come by the Sunrise Room between 9:30 am - 12:30 pm tomorrow morning and help minimize the risk of contracting influenza this season!

Then afterwards, you'll want to stop by the Fire Dept., Station 81 (3445 Bayshore Blvd.), as it's Fire Service Day at all North County Fire Authority (NFCA) fire stations. Starting at 10:00 am and going until 2:00 pm, members of the Brisbane Fire Dept. will be hosting an OPEN HOUSE to warmly welcome community members of all ages. Along with personal tours of Station 81, there will be live demonstrations of the special gear and equipment used by our firefighters to tackle the blazes, along with a plethora of information so that you can hear the latest on emergency preparedness and how you can help prevent home fire hazards.

Hope to see you at these two very important events taking place in our City of Stars this weekend!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Have you not Heard??

Exciting things are happening in Brisbane!

First off, starting TOMORROW, Live at Mission Blue will be kicking off its 5th straight season with a mens a capella group, Clerestory (pronounced "clear story"). All concerts start at 8:00 pm with tickets able to be purchased either through the web or by contacting info@liveatmissionblue.com. Check out this article, published in the San Francisco Classical Voice, touting not only Mission Blue Center as being one of the best venues for hearing chamber music in the Bay Area, but how fortunate we are here in Brisbane to experience the grandeur of local and internationally renown artists showcasing their masterpieces in our small community.

Adding to the excitement is the thought that in just one week from now, acclaimed author, professor, and radio host of KQED's Forum, Michael Krasny, will be the honored guest at the next Starlight Reading Series. The event takes place next Friday, Oct. 17th beginning at 7:00 pm, also at Mission Blue Center. Get your tickets NOW as they are sure to go quick.

The Fire Dept. is gearing up for their annual Open House, scheduled to take place next Saturday, Oct. 18th from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Come to Brisbane's Station 81 located at 3445 Bayshore Blvd. for a tour of the station, live firefighter and fire extinguisher demonstrations, a display of specialized equipment, plus activities for all ages! It's Fire Service Day, so allow the firefighters to show you, the citizens of Brisbane, just what services are afforded to you!

And if all that wasn't exciting enough already, starting on Mon. Oct. 20th, the Brisbane/Crocker Park shuttles, serving the Balboa Park BART station in the morning and and Balboa Park BART and Bayshore Caltrain station in the afternoon, will increase to three vehicles. The two 35-passenger heavy-duty Gillig Phantoms will soon be replaced by three mid-sized 30-passenger shuttles operating on unleaded fuel. The ride should be much smoother and the seating more comfortable. Click here to download the new schedule. If you'd like a shuttle pass, just stop by City Hall and we'll see that you get set up with one!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Attending to the Things that Matter

Every first weekend in October, the white tarps go up and the booths set out for what is known as a Day in the Park. It is here that community members can expect to enjoy great music, food, games, arts & crafts, and even dancing as they become informed about the various community groups and volunteer opportunities available through them. This is one of the most popular events to take place in town during the year, so even though the weather outlook is calling for a 60% chance of rain, we're still calling the community to come out and enjoy a Day in the Park, which will be happening starting at 10:00 AM, rain or shine. The only thing that may have to be postponed would be the Brisbane Derby...but if the weather permits, be sure to see the cars and their talented young drivers coming down San Francisco Ave. (@ Plumas St.) around 8:30 AM.

More experienced drivers, on the other hand, may have noticed the portable message signs at the north and south ends of Bayshore, alerting them of the upcoming Bayshore North-South Bikeway project set to begin on Monday, 10/6. Workers will be mobilizing their operations and equipment along Bayshore on Monday, and starting the actual grinding the following day. Expect some traffic control to be taking place, as grinding will be taking place the first week, and paving the second. The goal behind the project is to make Brisbane into a place where pedestrians and bicyclists can safely access all parts of town. So even though the strip of Bayshore between Valley and the southern city limits wil be under construction for about 1 month between the hours of 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM, the result will be a solution that adds to Brisbane's high standards when it comes to safety and being an interconnected community.

And speaking of safety...National Fire Prevention Week starts this Sunday, Oct. 5th, and goes through Saturday, Oct. 11th. Established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, it's a good time to consider how you could make your home safe from fire hazards, most often caused by cooking, heating, electrical, and smoking materials. Visit www.firepreventionweek.org to learn more about this year's theme, "Prevent Home Fires" and become better informed on the things that could make the difference between saving your life, that of your loved ones, and the place that you call home.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Attention Brisbane Residents & Hikers

The Daly City Police Department reported to County OES this afternoon that a citizen reported a possible mountain lion sighting on the "San Bruno Mountain Trail" today. The exact location of this alleged sighting is unknown at this time. The validity of this report has not been confirmed.

Any sightings of the mountain lion should be followed by immediately calling 911.

Click here for further information related to mountain lion sightings, provided by the CA Dept of Fish & Game.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Benefits of Being in Brisbane

As you know, they're countless. Adding to them is the Starlight Reading Series, which is kicking off its inaugural season TONIGHT at 7:00 pm at Mission Blue Center. Come and check out the artists that will be coming to our City of the Stars...you will not be disappointed. Don't have a ticket yet? Don't worry! Tickets can be purchased at the door, and tonight, they will be sold at the advance-ticket sale price! That's only $5 for Brisbane residents who show proof of residence, and $7 for non-residents. Proceeds from the Starlight Reading Series support the efforts of the Brisbane Educational Support Team/Parent Teacher Organization. Here's to yet another way to embrace the cultural and artistic talents that are so well fostered in Brisbane.

Another benefit of being in Brisbane is that one has access to their very own Community Pool. Not many cities with populations less than 5,000 can say that have the likes of our aquatic facility. Right now, applications are being taken for Lifeguard, so click here if you or someone you know would like to work at one of the most highly-regarded assets Brisbane has to offer.

And, what could possibly add more to Brisbane's small-town atmosphere more than its annual Brisbane Derby?? Next Saturday (10/4), see San Francisco Ave. be transformed into a straightaway for our young drivers to steer their homemade soapbox cars down. The start time for the Derby is 8:30 am, so grab a spot between Santa Clara & Plumas and cheer them on as they whiz on by!

Afterwards, you'll want to stop off at the Community Park for the Day in the Park Community Festival. Festivities run between 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. See you there!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

SSF Scavenger Truck Breakdown

Unfortunately, one of the trucks for our garbage, recycling, and yard waste collection company, SSF Scavenger, experienced a broken robotic arm and had to be replaced with an old rearloader garbage truck to pick up the remainder of the recycling in town this morning. So it may not have appeared that what had been nicely sorted out would remain that way, but rest assured, your recyclable materials will be properly sorted and recycled as usual by SSF Scavenger.

If you have any questions, you may contact Paul Formosa at SSF Scavenger at (650) 589-4020, ext. 111.

SSF Scavenger will be working diligently today so that the truck can be back on the road by tomorrow. Thank you for your understanding regarding this matter.

And since we're on recycling and trash collection, thank you to the 70+ volunteers who came out this past weekend to help pick up litter at the Lagoon Clean Up! That is a great turnout and we thank you for your stalwart efforts to keep Brisbane looking beautiful!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The City's annual Lagoon Clean Up will be taking place this Saturday (9/20) from 9:00 AM - 12:00 noon at Fisherman's Park. Come early to lend a hand in keeping one of the most-loved and picturesque spots in Brisbane clean & beautiful! And, as an added incentive, the Parks & Recreation Dept. will be handing out a limited number of aluminum water bottles, donated to us by the San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program. They're sure to go fast, so be sure to get there early tomorrow!

One of the items discussed at this past Monday's City Council meeting was street-sweeping. Just as a reminder, residential streets are swept the 2nd Monday of each month and commercial streets, the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month. Please note that the lower part of Visitacion is commercial (the portion above Alvarado is covered on the residential day) and so cars need to be cleared on those Wednesdays to maximize sweeping effectiveness. If, in a residential area and unable to move your car, any debris you want removed should be swept away from the gutter to a location at least 18 inches away from the car's bumper. This will allow adequate room for the sweeper to pick it up.

With school now resuming, limiting the availability of trained staff, the Pool will be discontinuing its Monday - Friday morning session (6:30 AM - 9:45 AM) until further notice. Currently, the City has an open-until-filled Lifeguard recruitment, but to date, there currently aren't any qualified candidates available to assist with this time period. We appreciate your understanding as we look to find adequate, trained staff who are able to work this early morning shift.

Each September for the past 7 years, a handful of city staff step out to participate in the American Heart Association's Heartwalk, held at the EA campus in Redwood Shores. Each participant is to raise at least $100 beforehand. This year, the team raised over $3,000 towards fighting heart disease! From the top left, going clockwise, Team Brisbane consisted of: Albert Duro, Clara Leong, Lisa Macias, Maria Saguisag-Sid, Betsy Cooper, Jeannette Maldonado, Elizabeth Solis, and Caroline Cheng. They are looking forward to being able to raise even more dollars next year towards the cause.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A reminder that between 10:00 am - 2:00 pm this Saturday Sept. 13th, the 4th annual Disaster Preparedness Day will be taking place at the San Mateo Event Center. September is National Preparedness Month, so this free expo will sure to have attendess learning how to be ready for the next disaster, enjoying free hot dogs and soda, plus covering a quick overview in basic CPR. And new this year, you'll be able to meet the sheriff's bomb squad robot in person. All that to say, you have very little reason to not be there!

Speaking of being there, you should have seen the Marina last Sunday where rows of antique cars lined the waterfront and entire main parking lot...in celebration of the annual British Car Meet. Many families came to gaze at the shiny collector cars, and enjoy a nice stroll along the Marina...with maybe a Lions Club-prepared banger or burger in hand. The weather was sunny and perfect, too...just another gorgeous and peaceful day in Brisbane!

Leading us to the last weekly update...and that is the announcement that first on the City Council's agenda for this coming Monday's Sept. 15th meeting will be the reading by the mayor of a proclamation for A Day of Peace in the City of Stars. In observance for the past 27 years, the International Day of Peace now includes the the call for a full day of peace and cease-fire throughout the world. Join your fellow community members at the Gazebo in the Community Park on Sept. 21st at 7:00 pm to commemorate this very important day. May we band together, so that the peace we all long for in the world might find a home in our small town, and be evident to all.

Note: If you're looking for an opportunity to see the community do some banding together, you may need not look any further than Monday's Council meeting. As part of that meeting, City Council will be finalizing a water and sewer rate increase. Public input as to how we pay for continuing to supply clean, safe, and reliable drinking water and sewer services is appreciated. Once again, any questions or concerns can be directed to the city's Administrative Services Director, Stuart Schillinger, at either schillinger@ci.brisbane.ca.us or 508-2151.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Activity on and near Humboldt, and the City at Large

The retaining wall at the 900 block of Humboldt has been completed, able to greatly lower the chances of any landslides occurring again at that site, as was the case several rainy seasons ago. Due to those events, this project was able to be funded by FEMA and the State Office of Emergency Services (OES). Construction of the retaining wall has also helped to ease parking-related issues, which had arisen due to the placement of its K-rail predecessor - also having served its purpose as a concrete barrier between the street and the hillside. So not only has more parking been made available with the completion of this new retaining wall, the safety of the homes on Humboldt and in central Brisbane have been further elevated as well...and accomplished in a far more aesthetically-pleasing way!


In mid-September, following the raptor nesting season, a row of 16 eucalyptus trees will be removed on San Mateo Ln. Removal of these trees (between Humboldt and Kings) allows for a non-native species to be replaced by ones that are indigenous to Brisbane, and is also the first step towards restoration of the canyon (San Mateo Ln follows along one of the canyon reserves). It is yet to be determined which Brisbane-native trees will be taking the place of the eucalyptus, but they will undoubtedly be a better characterization of the town's original roots.

The City Council has taken a brief recess but will be resuming their semi-monthly meetings beginning on Sept. 15th. One of the items on the agenda will be a presentation by the City's Administrative Services Director regarding an increase in the City's water and sewer rates. This scarce resource has everyone talking, so come and see what the buzz over the rate increase is all about. If you would prefer, you may also contact the City's Administrative Services Director, Stuart Schillinger, directly at schillinger@ci.brisbane.ca.us or by dialing 508-2151. He would be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Tonight marks the FINAL Concerts in the Park, so be sure to come on down for a night of disco. And, you will want to come prepared, as the town this evening will be sure to be experiencing some
FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER!!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

It's sure to be a SUPER SUNDAY...

this weekend at the Marina! The Brisbane Lions Club is holding it's 5th Annual Sierra Point Prowl...a 5K, 10K, or 1 mile children's walk...IN CONJUCTION with the British Car Meet - showcasing both vintage and antique cars. The Sierra Point Yacht Club will also be serving brunch for $8 starting at 9:00 AM when the event takes off (though brunch ends at 11:00, food & festivities continue until 4:oo PM). The Sierra Point Prowl begins at 10:00 (reg. is at 9:00), and the entry fee is only $15 ($50 for families, up to 4 people), which includes a BBQ lunch ticket and a commemorative T-shirt! Your contribution to the Brisbane Lions Club goes right back to the community for scholarship awards for deserving students, so don't let this Sunday pass you by without a visit to the Brisbane Marina for some exercise, food, fun, and fanfare! Live music will be performed by the Herb Gibson Jazz Orchestra. For more information about Sunday's host of events, call the Brisbane Marina at (650) 583-6975. See you at the docks!

Friday, August 29, 2008

LEDs, a new City Hall, and a Dance Party are Coming to Town

The City of Brisbane has recently installed a new energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) lighting source in the Sierra Point Parking Lot. The LED product was installed as a pilot program to test the feasibility of using LEDs in area lighting applications. LEDs have been widely used in other applications such as traffic signals and recent technology has expanded its application to area and roadway lighting. The benefits of using LED versus traditional lighting sources are the reduced energy consumption and extended life of the bulbs (LEDs last about 10 years). The LED bulb replaced the traditional high pressure sodium (HPS) and consumes only 35 watts vs 122 watts for the HPS bulb, translating to over 70% in saved energy.

The City of Brisbane is currently applying for additional grant funding opportunities to expand the program to remainder of the light in the parking lot. If the entire parking lot is converted to LEDs, it would be the very first in all of San Mateo County to do so. For additional inquiries on this project, please contact Matt Lee at mlee@ci.brisbane.ca.us or 508-2132.

City Hall continues to show weekly construction improvements, signaling that the time for the project's completion is fast-approaching. Move-in day is slated to occur sometime this coming December.

The weather in Brisbane has been warm the last couple days, but you know what that means...nighttime weather that's near perfect. So, be sure to come on down to the Community Park tonight and check out the live band that will be performing. Festivities begin at 6:00 pm. And taking into account the name of the band, you can expect it to be a night filled with dancing...so long as you, "BUSTA GROOVE"!


Have a great Labor Day Weekend! Just a reminder that City Hall will be closed on Monday, Sept. 1st. Also, the Community Pool will be open on Monday from 12:oo pm - 3:00 pm, but limited to ~50 people, so get there early! Saturday and Sunday Pool hours remain unchanged.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Intersection Improvements at Visitacion/Mariposa, San Bruno/Santa Clara and at Solano crossing above San Francisco

You probaby have noticed by now the concrete “safe havens” (Visitacion/Mariposa), in-roadway flashing photovoltaic-powered markers (Visitacion/Mariposa and San Bruno/Santa Clara), and lane delineators and pavement markings (Solano). These were all installed under the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, a 100% federal grant funded program for the construction of infrastructure projects to improve the safety of students who walk or bike to school and to encourage more students to do so.

The SRTS project was started in 2005, when the City Council approved the formation of a SRTS Workgroup. The Workgroup developed a survey that was sent to all Brisbane School District parents. Of the community response from the mailed survey, 56% of the respondents indicated they would allow their child to walk/bicycle to school if the sidewalk/crossing area were improved and clearly separated from traffic; another 32% indicated they would allow their child to walk/bicycle to school if traffic was slowed.

The responses were compiled and developed into two maps; a “weighted” route map showing the current and expected walking/bicycling/walking routes from the children’s homes to their school; and a “spot” map of trouble areas and locations of concern noted by parents. The two maps were overlayed, which indicated three candidate project areas based on the overlap of heavily used routes and identified locations of concern.

Thanks to the City Council's formation of the Workgroup (which included the Council Member assigned to the City’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, the Director of Public Works/City Engineer, the Brisbane Police Department School Resource Officer, and supplemented by the Principals from BES and Lipman), approval of the federal grant application, support from Brisbane School District Board of Trustees, the Brisbane Education Support Team, and the Mothers of Brisbane, the SRTS project has finally come to its completion. And, nicely enough, just in time for the start of the new school year!

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Come on out this Sunday afternoon for a special rhythmic treat at the Community Park! Wave Jazz Band is scheduled to perform from 2:00 - 4:00 pm as a special installment of the Brisbane Concerts in the Park series. Don't miss it!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Real-Time Emergency Information to the Community Ramping Up

In efforts to increase the distribution of real-time emergency information to the Brisbane community, the City will be acquiring a message overlay system, which it will use on Channel 27. The digital signage system is being paid for by a Comcast-provided Public, Educational, and Governmental (PEG) Access Capital Grant and will allow the City to program messages in that can then be set to scroll across the bottom of your TV screen. We’ll let you know when the digital signage system is all set up and ready to go. We just wanted to give a heads-up now so that the community is aware of the fact that Ch. 27 is being further optimized to be a more robust resource for receiving breaking emergency news and information.

Speaking of emergency news and information, the San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services will be hosting its 4th Annual Disaster Preparedness Day on Sept. 13th, 2008. What better time than now to get information on how to prep your emergency kits and disaster plans, as well as see First-Aid, Police, Fire & emergency equipment demonstrations? And if you haven’t yet signed up for San Mateo County’s emergency alert system, SMCAlert, what are you waiting for? It’s yet another way to receive real-time emergency information…sent directly to your mobile device. Click HERE to do so now!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Brisbane Police Department is Asking for Your Help

Between approximately 8:00 PM last night (8/12) and 7:00 AM today, we experienced a number of auto burglaries in the area of Kings Road, Humboldt Road and Sierra Point Road. Most of the vehicles had their passenger side window broken (the side facing away from the street). The suspect(s) appeared to be very selective in what they were looking for. Many of the vehicles had been ransacked, with nothing taken from them despite items of value being in plain sight. Items that were taken, however, included GPS units and satellite radios.

If you have any information regarding these burglaries, please contact the Brisbane Police Department at 415 467-1212.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Local Garbage and Recycling Company to Cut Carbon Footprint by 15% by 2010


The South San Francisco Scavenger Company has been on the forefront of recycling and has been addressing climate change issues for some time now. “We started testing biodiesel a few years ago, and have just installed solar panels on top of our Recycling Center,” said Doug Button, President of the company, “We’ve already reduced our carbon footprint by 7%, and have plans to reduce our carbon footprint by a total 15% by 2010. “We have been using biodiesel successfully on some of our fleets over the last two years now,” said John Rossi, Fleet Manager. “Seeing the importance of climate change, we have plans to use biodiesel in all of our fleets next year.”

In addition to using cleaner fuel and renewable energy, recycling also reduces greenhouse gas emissions as it takes less energy to manufacture products using recycled materials than virgin resources. Recycling one ton of garbage reduces greenhouse gases by about 1.8 tons according to California Air Resources Board Fact Sheets.

“South San Francisco Scavenger Company is better than just being carbon neutral,” said Evan Edgar, Greenhouse Gas Inventory Engineer from Sacramento.” The benefits of recycling far outweigh the fuel and energy to collect and process the material, and in the case of the South San Francisco Scavenger Company, the greenhouse gas reduction benefits are 9 times greater that their carbon footprint. The more recycling, the better the climate and the economy.”

“Back in 1989, the state passed a law to require 25% recycling by 1995, and 50% recycling by 2000”, South San Francisco Scavenger Company President Doug Button reflected. “We’ve done that with the support of the cities and the County, and the great participation by the residents and businesses, and now we are supporting a new law to boost recycling to 75% by 2020 to further address climate change issues.”

SSF Scavenger Co. has said that at some point in the future, they'd like to come to a City Council meeting to make a short presentation of their progress in reducing their carbon footprint through the use of cleaner fuel, renewable energy, and recycling. We will definitely keep you posted as to when that will be.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Recent Going-on's in the City of the Stars

In order to ensure that water and sewer rates pay for expenses directly tied to providing the service, the City is proposing to increase water and sewer rates both by 17%, starting in Oct. 2008. The average residence in Brisbane uses 10 units of water in a 2-month billing period (equivalent to 748 gallons)...meaning an additional $9.09 in water service and $13.93 for sewer service for every 2-month billing cycle. It should be noted, however, that households who qualify for PG&E's low-income program, CARE, will NOT be affected by the increase.

Council will hear any protests for this item at the Sept. 15th Council meeting. If a majority of ratepayers protest, then the increase will not go into effect and there will be a need to reduce the level of service for our water and sewer systems. City Council meetings take place in the Community Center, located at 250 Visitacion, and begin promptly at 7:30 pm. You should be receiving a notice in the mail with this information, along with the current and proposed rate charts, by early next week.

The Traffic Advisory Committee is conducting a Residential Parking Survey...which you should also be seeing in your mailbox shortly. Please help the City design the program by filling out the questionnaire and returning it no later than Aug. 29th. But...since you're reading this, why not just click here to take the survey right now??

Thank you for your time in providing your feedback, and your willingness & participation. Each of these enhances the unique charm of Brisbane and adds to the flavor and appeal of our little City of the Stars.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Baylands Alternatives before City Council this Monday

Community-wide workshops have been held at several points in the planning process to provide information to, and receive feedback from the public. A visioning workshop was held on May 12, 2007. A second workshop on June 23, 2007 helped to further define the direction of the Preferred Community Alternative. Both workshops were summarized in reports available on the City website (see last two links under “Documents”). After three alternatives reflecting the community’s input were prepared, two Community Open Houses on Alternatives were held on June 7 and July 12, to present the alternatives.

As you can see, in addition to alternatives that will satisfy CEQA requirements for minimizing impacts of the proposed project, the City’s preparation of a Preferred Community Alternative is one that is taken in the highest regard. This is a process unique to Brisbane, as it presents the opportunity for the community to be involved in a systematic way in shaping the future for the Baylands. This is the heart and soul of the town, with public participation having been an integral aspect of Brisbane’s history since its incorporation as a city in 1961.

This coming Monday, the City Council will be hearing feedback on the three alternatives, as it seeks to develop a community-based alternative for study which will be subject to full analysis in the forthcoming EIR. Designating an alternative for study in the EIR does not guarantee or imply that such an alternative will be approved without change…but such decisions would be made once the EIR analysis is completed and all pertinent information is disclosed as part of the alternatives review process.

So plan on being at the Community Center at 7:30 PM this coming Monday the 28th…as an aside, this will also be the last Council meeting until the next one takes place Sept. 15th. Also, if you would like to receive City Council agendas with direct links to reports that will be discussed at the meeting, send City Clerk Sheri Spediacci an email at cityhall@ci.brisbane.ca.us and she will make sure you're added onto the list!

A reminder tonight about Concerts in the Park…put on your dancing shoes and get ready for DOUBLE FUNK CRUNCH, jamming away TONIGHT at the Community Park from 6:00 – 9:00 PM!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Concerts in the Park Schedule

There will be a variety of tunes wafting through the crisp Brisbane air, starting tonight and continuing every Friday night, through 9/5.
The weekly line-up is as follows:


Local businesses help to sponsor* Concerts in the Park each year, realizing the importance of community and how a night spent listening and grooving to great music can do just that! So, bring a lawn chair, some snacks, a friend, and HAVE FUN TOGETHER as a COMMUNITY! Oh, and don't forget that jacket. Concerts start at 6:00 PM sharp and go until approximately 9:00 PM.

* If you're interested in becoming a sponsor for next year's Concerts in the Park series, contact Recreation Supervisor Julie Potashnick at 657-4320 or jpostashnick@ci.brisbane.ca.us. But if you'd rather not wait a year before your business' name gets noticed by the Brisbane community, contact Recreation Supervisor Russ Carmick at 508-2143 or rcarmick@ci.brisbane.ca.us as he is currently taking sponsor sign-up's for the Second Annual Brisbane Derby. The race to the finish line takes place October 4th, the same day as the Community Festival.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Make a Note...and Get Ready to Hear Some, Too

A reminder about the Baylands Alternatives Community Workshop taking place tomorrow from 10:00 - 11:30 AM at the Community Center. You may recall that the purpose of the workshop is to provide the community with feedback on the development alternatives for the Baylands. This is THE last scheduled community workshop before the City Council reviews the alternatives in July, so make it a point to be there and make your desires for the Baylands known.


Also an item from this past Monday's Council meeting, staff was given direction to tap into the wealth of creativity that resides in Brisbane for the design of about 20 bird signs that will be put up along the newly-constructed Tunnel Ave. Bridge. If you are interested in partnering with the City on this project and would be willing to donate your time and talents to see it to completion, we'd love to hear from you. Call Steve Beaty at 508-2144 or e-mail him at sbeaty@ci.brisbane.ca.us to get more information.

Steve, as the Youth Advisory Committee advisor, is also seeking applicants for the YAC 2008-09 term! So, if you are a Brisbane resident between the ages of 13 & 18, and have ideas for the Parks & Rec. Dept., click here to download an application. Deadline for submittal to Steve is Aug. 15th. Good luck!

Summer's now in full-swing, and that of course means it's time for Concerts in the Park to be getting underway! Starting next Friday 7/18 and continuing on every Friday through Sept. 5th, witness the small-town charm of Brisbane as people gather at the Community Park to unwind to great tunes, dancing, and all things fun. Concerts begin promptly at 6:00 PM each Friday and go until around 9:00. So grab your lawn chair, some good eats, and enjoy!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Question Raised at Last City Council Meeting

The thought goes, if there is any information we feel would benefit the community to know, then it is deemed, "blogworthy". The below certainly falls in line with this same notion.

At this past Monday's City Council meeting, the comment was made of there being cancer clusters in Brisbane. The City contacted San Mateo County's Director of Public Health early this week, and were told that there have been no known cases ever filed with the County regarding this matter. The Public Health Director did recommend, however, that if there was any concern where an individual suspected there being a cancer cluster in Brisbane, then the immediate protocol would be for the Director's physicians to look into the issue, and that an epidemiologist would be sent out to investigate the matter further. So, if you perceive there to be a cancer cluster in our community, please take the next step and contact the Dept. of Public Health so that it can get the proper investigation it warrants. They can be reached by calling (650) 573-2346. An Officer of the Day routinely monitors this number and handles all Public and Environmental Health questions and concerns including cancer clusters. Click here for more information on basic facts about cancer clusters and several CDC investigations into specific cancer cluster reports.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Celebrating the 4th Sans Sparklers

Given the fact that fire season is upon us in the Bay Area, and especially given our recent encounter with a wildfire that came dangerously close to harming the homes and lives of our residents, it should be of no surprise then that the City does not allow or permit the use of fireworks. And we're not alone. Of the 20 cities and towns that make up San Mateo County, only two, Pacifica and San Bruno, will be allowing the use of "safe and sane" fireworks this year. "Safe and sane" fireworks refer to consumer fireworks that stay on the ground and may shoot sparks into the air but not projectiles.

The Brisbane community should be aware that fines and penalties for the distribution and/or use of any fireworks, which includes the "safe and sane" ones, will be strictly enforced. If you are aware of any fireworks being sold or used within your neighborhood, we encourage you to contact the Brisbane Police Dept. with the information at 467-1212.

As in previous years, the Fire Dept. will be augmenting staff tomorrow, in preparation of potential emergencies during the 4th of July celebrations, but they need the public's assistance in avoiding the use of illegal fireworks, which can cause fires, injury or even death and may exceed or overwhelm emergency response resources. So let's be sure we're safe this 4th of July...and do our part to ensure the same rings true for our community!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Baylands Alternatives Workshop Scheduled for 7/12

The Baylands Alternatives Workshop originally scheduled to take place on June 28th has been re-scheduled for Saturday July 12th from 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM. The purpose of this public workshop is to provide feedback on the Brisbane Alternatives for the Baylands. This is a very exciting time in the City's history, and so we invite the entire community to come join the discussion! Your participation in these neighborhood workshops is paramount to what the Brisbane community is built upon and can make the difference as to where it is headed. With that, we look forward to seeing you at 10:00 at the Community Center on July 12th!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A Word on City Hall

Please note our special hours for this week, in observance of the 4th of July holiday:

Monday, June 30, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday, July 1, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday, July 2, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday, July 3, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday, July 4, CLOSED

We'll be reverting back to our normal hours of operation the following week - open until 8:00 PM on Wednesdays and 1:00 PM on Fridays.

And in case you haven't seen the recent construction taking place at our permanent location at 50 Park Place, the crews have made noticeable progress.

Thanks for working so hard, keeping on schedule, and keeping up a positive attitude!

We're still looking at the end of the year to be back in our former abode. In the meanwhile, we're right across Valley, sharing a parking lot with KTSF Ch. 26. Come and visit!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Post-Incident Debrief of Last Week's Fire

This past Saturday, over 50 Brisbane residents, along with the CEVs, Mayor and councilmembers, City Manager, Brisbane PD, firefighters representing Station 81, North County Fire Authority, and CAL Fire, as well as City Hall staff, gathered at 9:00 am at the Sierra Point Yacht Club (located at the Brisbane Marina) for what would unfold to be a very lively discussion of last Sunday's fire and evacuation.


Over the course of 1 and 1/2 hours, an overview of the fire and the strategy used to successfully attack it was presented by Fire Chief Ron Myers, followed by a question-answer time with community members bringing forth ideas regarding everything from the importance of maintaining a defensible space around one's personal property, to the felt desire for more information in the wake of an emergency. The City is working to strengthen its Emergency Response Plan to account for all the various suggestions which have been brought to the table, and welcome any more you may have. A reminder to sign up to receive instant updates from San Mateo County ALERT if you haven't already done so...it is right now the fastest way for you to receive up-to-the-second emergency information...and not just that which pertains to Brisbane, but any jurisdiction(s) of your choosing.

Thanks to all who made it out to personally express their comments, concerns, and compliments for a job well done...and for Christie's and Jamba Juice for helping to keep 'em coming!

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Look Back to Sunday

In less than a week, the town has gone from being threatened by a 300-acre wildfire ravaging the canyons of San Bruno Mtn. to resembling again the small, quaint community which so many of us love in Brisbane. This would not have been the case without the quick thinking of firefighters from CAL Fire, North County Fire, and of course, our own Station 81 guys. Let's recount the events from Sunday evening, and see just how fortunate we are because of their efforts!

(The pictures below were taken by Brisbane resident Steve Berry who dropped off over 300 of his pictures at City Hall. Here are the ones that particularly stand out):




The backfire which CAL Fire implemented was successful in that it resulted in the fire burning into itself. Cutting the fire's oxygen and fuel supply were both a part of that strategy. If you look closely at the picture below, you'll see a little red dot under the fire - that is the flare which was used to start the backfire.

The big flames seen below are due to the fire burning in tall trees.
The fire started burning in Owl Canyon and then made its way left to Buckeye Canyon.
It is quite scary to consider how close the fire got to the houses at the upper part of Central Brisbane. Residents from the evacuated streets of Kings, Margaret, Trinity, and Paul did a tremendous job that night, along with the Police Dept., CEVs, and Public Works crew who all helped make the evacuation process a success, as well as Parks & Rec., who opened up Mission Blue Center so the evacuees would have a safe and warm place to stay for those hours outside of their homes. But let's not delude ourselves into thinking we can now rest on our laurels, because there is always room for improvement. If you have ideas or suggestions, or comments about what worked well and what didn't, we need you to be there at tomorrow's post-incident debrief (9:00 am at the Marina) to share them with the Fire and Police departments, and City Hall staff. Something as important as this just can't wait.