Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tidings for the New Year

On the eve of it turning a new year, not to mention a new decade, we wanted to let you know that almost as soon as 2010 begins, the City Council will be meeting for their first night of business in the new year.

One of the items on their agenda for next Monday, January 4th, is considering a request from San Francisco Trains, Inc., which is seeking to nominate the Bayshore Roundhouse to the State National Registers of Historic Places. At their December 7th meeting, the Council had asked staff to look into the potential implications of historic designation.

Staff found that the State Historic Resources Commmission will be reviewing San Francisco Train, Inc.'s nomination of the Bayshore Roundhouse in late winter/early spring of 2010. Also, while property owner approval is not required for historic designation, San Francisco Trains has kept property owner UPC informed of the nomination, and UPC has expressed no objection to designation.

It should be noted that designation of the property imposes no obligation on the City's part in regards to either maintenance or restoration of the structure. Additionally, historic designation does not restrict the City's ability to determine future land use of the structure.

Check out some photos from a San Francisco Trains, Inc. brochure about the Bayshore Roundhouse, built between 1907 and 1910:

(To see more photos and to read about the Bayshore Roundhouse, click here.)

Come out to City Hall (50 Park Place, Brisbane) at 7:30pm next Monday, January 4th, to see what City Council decides concerning the Bayshore Roundhouse.

Please have a safe and happy New Year's! And here's to good tidings in 2010!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

On Board for the Holidays

It's Christmas Eve, but still, some important news needed to be shared. First off, holiday hours will continue to be observed at City Hall next week (12/28-1/1) as they were this past week. We will be here to serve you during the following days and times:

Monday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am - 12:00pm
Friday: CLOSED

ALLLL ABOARD! January 18th marks the 26th Annual Freedom Train. In celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a full program is planned for that morning, beginning at 9:00am, at the Downtown San Mateo CalTrain Station (385 First Ave.). A hosted continental breakfast will kick off the morning, followed by an arts program for kids. The Freedom Train is scheduled to arrive at approximately 10:22am, so make sure to get there early enough to purchase your special Freedom Train tickets to ride into the San Francisco Civic Center where more programs will be taking place (NOTE: regular CalTrain tickets are not valid). Be a part of the 1,500 Freedom Train riders expected to take part in this year's Celebration! If you'd like more information, contact the MLK, Jr. Day HOTLINE at (650) 377-8708.

Last but not least, you may have received notice through the Jefferson Union High School District's newsletter that the bus which brings students from Brisbane to Terra Nova and Oceana high schools will not be available for the next school year. However, both the City Council and Clay (Brisbane's City Manager) want the community to know that the current program will be in place for the remainder of the school year and that they are now considering options for the next school year.
With that, we wish you a safe, warm, and happy holiday season!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Creativity at Any Age!

Creativity doesn't wane with's probably only enhanced by what the eyes have seen over the years. The art currently on display in the Conference Room at City Hall, created all by Brisbane Seniors, is a sure testment of that. Here are some of the artists gathered together at this past Wednesday's Art Reception. For a more in-depth look of the 12 works on display and the artists behind them, click here to go to the Senior Art Blog.

Beth Grossman and her son Avi were also on-site, bringing out their inner MichaelCANgelo. Bring in your cans, coats, and new toys to City Hall by Dec. 21st so that they can be distributed in time for Christmas to Brisbane residents in need.

The next day, Thursday, the Seniors got together at the Sunrise Room to trade artist trading cards, or ATCs. Much like modern baseball cards, the miniature works of art measure 2.5"x3.5" and can be made using whatever media the artist chooses.

Some examples included watercolor...

acrylics and textures such as beads and sequins...

and hand-made paper. To see more examples of "upcycled" art, come by Brisbane City Hall by December 30th to view some very unique and creative artwork done by Brisbane Seniors!

Now unfortunately, artists aren't the only ones exercising creativity in these times. Homeowners need to be aware of notices such as the one shown below hitting mail boxes all over San Mateo County as well as the state.
They are being sent by companies with clever names like "Tax Adjusters", soliciting fees as high as $200 to file a homeowner's Request for a Decline in Value review for the 2010-2011 Property Assessment. This something that can be done for FREE by all Assessors' Offices in California. Property owners are encouraged to call the Assessor’s Office at (650) 363-4500 if they have questions about the process or need help in filling out the Request for a Decline in Value form. Click here to be taken to the San Mateo County Assessor's Office and make sure you're not one of the ones fooled!

There's no fooling anyone that the holidays are now in full swing. There will be a Senior Brunch tomorrow, 12/19, from 10:00am-noon at Eagles Hall (185 Visitacion Ave.), followed with a visit from Santa from 1:00pm-3:00pm at the Community Center. If you or your kids haven't already taken a picture with Santa, tomorrow's your chance! Topping off the festivities, the Lions Club will be hosting a Senior Luncheon on Sunday, 12/20, at the Community Center. Come and take part, if you can!

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Call to Action

We've seen the Art to Soup! "exhibit" grow over the weeks in the lobby at City Hall. Take a look!

At the beginning of November...
and now!
There is still time for you to bring in your cans goods and add to this ever-evolving canned food sculpture. An opportune time to do so would be this coming Wednesday when there will also be an art opening for the Brisbane Seniors from 6:00 - 8:00pm. So come down to City Hall on 12/16 to drop off your donations and view the artwork done by our very talented Senior community during their Art Class at the Sunrise Room! The artists behind Art to Soup!, Beth Grossman and her son Avi, will also be on-site 6:30-7:30pm, adding to the sculpture. All the canned food and goods collected in the Art to Soup! exhibit will be distributed to Brisbane residents in need. The Brisbane Police Dept is also collecting canned goods which can be dropped off in the Police Dept. Lobby. In addition, we're collecting any new and unwrapped toys as well as your used coats (adult-sized only, please). Bring them all down to City Hall until 12/21 and drop them in the barrels! You can make a true difference this holiday season!
That's right! We want you to consider serving on a City Commission or Committee. Applications for the Planning Commission (2); Parks, Beaches, and Recreation Commission (3); Open Space and Ecology Commission (3); and Traffic Advisory Committee (3) are still open. To request an application or get more information, please send an e-mail to Sheri Spediacci, City Clerk of Brisbane at or give her a call at (415) 508-2113. Applications are due December 18th. Help shape YOUR community!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Reasons to Gather & Celebrate!

Maybe you heard, saw, or felt the hail this past Sunday evening? The harsh and chilly temperatures that night caused for a slight change in plans regarding the 23rd Annual Festival of Lights, but the show still went on. Residents quickly gathered inside the Community Center where they escaped the cold...

not to mention, warmed their tummies with hot cocoa and cookies.Everyone who was there came prepared for that evening's weather conditions.
And instead of the usual caroling down Visitacion Ave., caroling took place in the safety and warmth of the Community Center.
Behind Kathy, who led the caroling, kids formed their own caroling groups...
...and came to her rescue when she asked their help with singing, "The Twelve Days of Christmas."
After the program, the Community made their way down to the Community Park to see the tree get lit.
Many thanks to all those who helped put on this annual event, and all the residents who didn't allow the weather to prevent them from having a great time together as a community Sunday night.

Monday's City Council meeting was a special one. Not only were 5 Brisbane soccer championship teams and leaders recognized, Councilmember Richardson was recognized for her year of service to the Brisbane community as Mayor, a new Councilmember was sworn in, and a new Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem were appointed, taking the Oath of Office as well. As you can see, there was plenty to celebrate that night, and the overflow that occurred from the Community Meeting Room was a reflection of that!
Assemblywoman Fiona Ma was even there to join in on the festivities. Joining former Mayor Richardson, the two expressed their appreciation to the Brisbane coaches and referees who volunteered their time. The result of them doing so? At the end of the season, all five teams were awarded the title, CYSA or AYSO Area Champions!
Hats off to the Brisbane Bombers (U10 Boys) and Coach Litvin, the Brisbane Arsenal (U12 Boys) and Coach Sosa, the Brisbane Blaze (U12 Girls) and Coaches Castillo and Avila, the Brisbane Blast (U13 Girls) and Coaches O'Connor and Lacayo, and the Brisbane Super Women (U14 Girls) and Coaches Davis and Reyes.
All your hard work and dedication paid off in the end! Congratulations on a job well done!!

New Mayor Conway then recognized Sepi for all of her hard work and service to the Brisbane community, presentating her with an honorary plaque and recognition award.
Assemblywoman Ma then expressed her own words of thanks for Sepi, for her service as a dedicated community leader and as a friend.
Assemblywoman Ma afterwards swore in newly-elected Councilmembers Richardson and Conway.
This was followed by our City Clerk administering the Oath of Office to newly-elected Councilmember Lentz.
Lastly, Councilmembers Conway and Bologoff were appointed as Brisbane's new Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem.
Brisbane's new City Council take their seats behind the Council dais...
And look like they are eagerly anticipating their next years of service to the Community.
It's now down to official business...
...which, from the looks of it, will be accomplished...with some fun and laughs thrown in too. If you'd like to receive notification about upcoming City Council meetings and to see what's on their agenda, send an e-mail to By being on this list, you'll receive notification when new blog entries are posted as well.

Friday, December 04, 2009

A Time to Reorganize

The official votes are in and on Monday night (12/7), the Oath of Office will be administered to Brisbane's newly-elected Councilmembers. A new Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem will also be sworn in, so please join us at 7:30pm in the Community Meeting Room at City Hall (50 Park Place) to meet your City Council, and to help celebrate Sepi Richardson's contributions to the City of Brisbane while serving as Mayor this past year. Cake and coffee will follow this special reorganization meeting.

Also taking place on December 7th is the Brisbane Police Department's Open House and the start of their Canned Food Drive. Come down to the Police Station from 4:30pm - 6:30pm to tour the facility, meet and greet with the officers, and donate some canned goods which will be go directly to Brisbane residents in need. Light refreshments will also be served. If you don't have canned goods that night, you can drop them in barrels that will be placed in the lobbies of City Hall and the Police Department.

We all have our own yearly traditions we employ to help get the
holidays started. In Brisbane, we have the Festival of Lights to do just that. This year marks the 23rd anniversary of the Festival of Lights, and it is an event not to be missed! If you feel in the mood for caroling, meet at the top of Visitacion at 5:30pm on Sunday, 12/6. And if you'd like to help decorate the tree in the Community Park, you can participate in doing so TODAY (Friday) at 3:00pm. (BYOD - Bring Your Own Decorations!) If you're unable to make decorating, you can witness the fully-decorated tree be lit at approximately 6:00pm on Sunday at the tree-lighting ceremony. Also taking place will be plenty of entertainment, holiday music, and sweets! Sunday also marks the day which all the holiday stars in town will begin twinkling on the hillside and atop businesses through the new year.

Yes, it is a time to reorganize...but the opportunity to do so joyously could not be more available or evident as it is our little City of Stars.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Blogworthy Tunnel Ave. News

This past May, Brisbane participated in Bike to Work Day, where high participation levels have been seen in recent years due in part to "Spare the Air" days and high gas prices. This past year, a second Energizer Station was added at Bayshore & Old County Rd. to help supplement the original station located at Tunnel & Lagoon Rd. The community should know that out of the 25 total Energizer Stations in San Mateo County this year, Brisbane's Energizer Stations saw the highest number of bikers! In total, 364 bikers passed through the Energizer Stations, with most of them stopping to re-fuel before continuing on their way to work. (The next most-visited Energizer Station was in Menlo Park which saw 228 bikers pass through).

Part of the fun of bike-riding is getting a chance to take in the scenery around you more easily than you could when driving a car. And with so many people biking to work, there's a pretty high liklihood of them riding over Tunnel Ave. Bridge to connect to Lagoon Rd. and into Sierra Point/Oyster Point. Which is precisely why the Parks and Recreation Department wants the residents and businesses in Brisbane to know about the opportunity to sponsor one of the interpretive bird signs that will be placed on Tunnel Ave. Bridge and overlooking the beautiful Brisbane Lagoon. As a sponsor, your name or businesss logo will appear on the sign, as seen below:

The cost of sponsorship is $100 and will help to pay for the cost of creating our educational trail of bird identification signs. So if you have ever enjoyed taking in the wildlife at the Lagoon or would like more information about sponsorship, please contact Recreation Supervisor Steve Beaty at 508-2144 or

Friday, November 27, 2009


We hope this Thanksgiving holiday left you stuffed, not only with turkey and all the Thanksgiving trimmings, but with thankfulness for all that is around you that you may take for granted. It's holidays like Thanksgiving that allow us a time to pause to evaluate all that we have in our lives and how thankful we really are for it all.

It's not long before one has lived or spent time in Brisbane that they realize the depth of artistry that surrounds them. We have many a writer, painter, and performer residing in town. In order to honor their recognition for their given art, the Mayor's Art Achievement is awarded each year to qualifying applicants. Click here to view more information about the award and how you or someone you know could be a recipient this year. Applications are due to the City Manager's office at 50 Park Place by 5:00pm Tuesday, December 15th. Good luck to all!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Many Hands Make Light Work!

Hats off to the residents of Brisbane who trimmed, dragged, and piled up yard trimmings like the one below for Public Works to haul away over the weekend for the 12th Annual Fall Clean-Up!

This pile was removed yesterday from the middle of Trinity.

Approximately 3.755 tons of green waste was collected by the Public Works Teams in their flatbed trucks...

...which was covered with a tarp and driven over to SSF Scavengers to be properly recycled.

It's true that "many hands make light work!" Scavengers reported to the City Tuesday afternoon that through 24 dumpster loads and 8 truckloads of yard trimmings which the Public Works Teams hauled over, a total of 26.11 tons (that's 52,220 lbs.!) of green waste was disposed of during last weekend's Fall Clean-Up. Great job, everyone, and many next year's number be even higher!

Continuing with the color green and the mention of hands...have you heard of the new mentoring program in town for youth and older adults, called Growing Green Hands? Well in case you haven't, GGH is an intergenerational mentoring program which seeks to empower local youths (ages 8 - 17 yrs.) from disadvantaged circumstances by providing them with mentoring and motivational opportunities that will include:

* one-on-one older-adult-to-child mentoring (based on the principle of reciprocity)
* group educational mentoring (to promote interpersonal intelligence)
* group career mentoring (to increase vocational skills/opportunities)
* environmental education (to increase naturalist intelligence)
* sustainable personal and community living skills (with an emphasis on "Green" living and to promote civic responsibility)

GGH is a non-profit mentoring program, co-sponsored by the City's Parks and Recreation Department. If you are interested in making a profound difference in the life of a young person for one year, and willing to give a portion of your time to meet with your mentee and for mentor training/support meetings, then please contact Tamberly Mott at (415) 632-8702 or Donna Wolfe at (650) 291-2593. To get all your questions answered, there will be a Mentor Orientation (Q&A) meeting coming up on Sunday, Nov. 22nd from 4:00 - 5:30pm. Contact either Tamberly or Donna for more information, or check out the Growing Green Hands website at Remember...many hands make light...and in this case...meaningful work!