Monday, March 30, 2009

Not Quite the Ripple Effect We Wanted

A moderate earthquake shook Northern California today, at 10:40am. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake measured 4.3 on the Richter scale, with its epicenter located 11 miles north of Morgan Hill. Please read the News Release from San Mateo County OES on Practical Emergency Survial Tips. Also, if you haven't already done so, register your handheld device or e-mail with SMC Alert to receive text message alerts from County OES during urgent or emergency situations. You'll be notified instanteously with useful information and take advantage of this free community alert system. And, as heard more and more often these days...Please note, standard text messaging rates apply.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hoping for a Ripple Effect

On February 17, 2009 President Barack Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The purpose of the ARRA is to ultimately get our country on the road to economic recovery through job creation and to invest in areas that will provide long-term economic benefits, such as, transportation, environmental protection, as well as technological advances in science and health.

The total cost of the package is $787 billion, with ARRA funds investments in many programs, including health care, infrastructure, education, and public safety. The City right now is making a concentrated effort to apply for these funds in the areas Police and Fire.

Wanting to take advantage of all the available funding opportunities, the City has also completed an appropriations request for funding through Congresswoman Jackie Speier's office. The projects the City was requesting funding for were: repaving Bayshore Blvd., increasing fire flow capacity in the Annis Rd. area, seismic and structural repairs for Crocker Tank, and undergrounding an 8" wastewater tranmission line (to prevent sewage from leaking into the Lagoon and San Francisco Bay by way of the City's storm drain system). In the past 8 years, when Tom Lantos was Congressman, the City received roughly $1.5 million which it utilized for water, sewer, and Police.

Only time will tell if the federal government's dollars will benefit the economy, but we're sure hoping it will make waves!

A lot of what's been on the minds of people is how to save, and how to cut back on their spending wherever possible. Well, there is a world-wide movement taking place tomorrow night to curb the spread of global warming. From 8:30pm-9:30pm, people all over the world will be turning out their lights and participating in EARTH HOUR. So if you're able, stand up against global warming by turning DOWN those lights...because for something so huge as global warming, it will take the involvement of many to produce the needed results!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Here's the Story...

They say there's always a story behind the story. Take the blue bike lane on Bayshore, for instance. Did you know that:
  • multiple State grants were awarded for the design and construction of the bike lane, the first of which staff worked on back in 2005?
  • the bike lane was created out of 3 alternatives made by transportation consultants, Fehr and Peers, in conjunction with a working group which consisted of the City, the Brisbane Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Bicycle Solutions, the City of South San Francisco, and other local biking organizations, such as Genentech employees that take Bayshore to bike to work?
  • you canNOT make any lane changes right after exiting Bayshore from 101 going northbound (crossing over double white lanes warrants a citation) make sure you wait until you reach the Brisbane city limits sign to do so!

  • the Ride-A-Way bike lane coating from Integrated Paving Concepts, Inc. is a highly specialized coating with minimal water absorption and increased friction properties, making it skid and slip resistant and able to retain its original color.

  • the bike lane has been blogged about already? Check this out, from

2009 Brisbane Summer Camp

And in other Brisbane news, registration for Summer Camp will be opening exclusively to Brisbane residents this coming Tuesday, March 24th at 9:00am! So be sure to enroll your child EARLY, as spots always fill up quickly once priority registration ends and registration begins for non-residents, starting April 7th. Click here to explore more about the always highly-anticipated Summer Camp program and to register online (no phone registrations please). For additional registration questions, you can call Nancy at 508-2140. For additional program information, please call Russ Carmick at 508-2143.

Lastly, when you stop by the Parks and Recreation dept., located at the top of the stairs at the newly-remodeled City Hall, you'll see 2009 savings guides by Green Zebra. These function much like the Entertainment Guide, except all of the featured businesses have committed themselves to eco-friendly products and sustainable living. For $25, give the gift of green and pick yours up today!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Orange Flags on Visitacion

You may have noticed by now the orange flecks of color along Visitacion. These temporary orange flags have been deliberately placed to alert citizens of the upcoming enforcement of street sweeping on Visitacion (per Brisbane Municipal Code 10.24.040 G). As you can see, street sweeping occurs on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month between the hours of 2:00am-6:00am. This is to accommodate the businesses on Visitacion and to allow for there to be zero conflict with their hours of operation. Please be sure to heed the NO PARKING signs, so that the sweepers can not only clean Visitaction effectively, but to make sure your money stays in your pockets!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bolstering, and Upholstering, Power

Just a friendly reminder that the Police Lobby will be open for the public's access on Monday, the 16th. The hours for the Police Lobby generally mirror those of City Hall, but if you should come and find the door to be locked, the yellow phone outside the lobby entrance will put you right through to Police Dispatch. Just press the button to contact the dispatch center for assistance, to see an officer, or to request a copy of a police report. If calling from home, Police Dispatch can be reached by dialing (415) 467-1212.

* * * *

This Wednesday, March 18th, City Hall will be the site of an interactive art opening, "Seats of Power". From 5:00 pm - 8:00pm, local artist Beth Grossman will be unveiling her exhibit, which she created as a means to encourage citizen involvement in local politics, as well as a way to welcome Brisbane citizens to the new City Hall. So, come out to the opening reception Wednesday night and see which Brisbane officials put their keisters on the line for civic participation! These posterior photo images (which Beth later converted into textiles and upholstered onto chair seats) will be on exhibit at City Hall through May 2009.

And...say there is no power? Well, if you had an Emergency Preparedness Kit, you'd be all the more better off. The March tip of the month from the Brisbane Office of Emergency Services is simply - Get an Emergency Kit. Here are three alternatives on how you can do so:
  1. City Hall has emergency preparedness kits at the Public Works/OES Counter for $52.00.

  2. A local Brisbane Company specializes in Emergency Preparedness and Supplies; if you are interested in purchasing emergency kits in bulk for your business/home/employees you can contact Med Life Services at (415) 468-8733.

  3. If you are interested in creating your own emergency preparedness kit, follow the Ready Campaign's Emergency Preparedness Supply Kit Checklist. Remember to always customize your emergency kit to your specific needs by using the "Additional Items to consider" checklist.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Police Lobby - Coming Soon to a City Hall Near You

In just a short amount of time, the City Hall remodel will be complete! The final phase involved the construction of the first-ever Police lobby/entrance to City Hall. All that needs to be done now is paving and striping parking spaces for the squad cars. This will be taking place over the next couple days - paving on Wednesday and striping on Thursday. During this period, you will notice barricades put up by the contractor near the the Dog Park. The Dog Park will still be open, but parking near the entrance will be impacted while the work is getting done, between 10:00am - 3:00pm. As a reminder, there are great alternatives for dog-walking located close-by, such as Old Quarry Rd. and the Crocker Park Recreational Trail (entrance on Park Ln). Please just be sure to keep them on their leashes, and take advantage of the mutt mitt dispensers.

We thank you for your continued patience as the remodel progresses to a good ending, and look forward to more parking and a Police lobby at City Hall come Monday, the 16th!

Friday, March 06, 2009

FYP - For Your Protection

In June 2008, a wildfire burned approximately 300 acres in Owl and Buckeye Canyons. During the post-fire analysis, it was recognized that a second line of protection for the homes along Trinity and Kings would be better protected if the fuel load along the wildland interface was reduced. The land in this area is owned by San Mateo County Parks and the California Dept. of Fish and Game. Staff contacted both these agencies to see if they would consent to Brisbane creating a firebreak - an area of reduced vegetation that acts as a barrier to slow or stop the progress of a wildfire. The below project map was produced after staff met with CAL Fire and Fire Safe representatives:

The top half of the left-most dark line represents Trinity, the bottom half being Kings Rd. The project site is shaded to the left of the line.

Upon getting the necessary permits from the County in December and notifying residents of the work taking place in January, construction of the firebreak got underway January 28th. A hand crew from Ben Lomond CDC has been clearing out the taller brush and "limbing" up the trees (cutting the lower limbs to reduce fuel levels). Working Tuesday - Thursday from 11:00am - 2:45pm, their goal, along with CAL Fire, North County Fire Authority, San Mateo County Parks is to slow a fire approaching the homes on Trinity and Kings, as well as enable engines and equipment to be defensible if a fire were ever to occur in that area.
The following photos - taken by Klaus Zalinskis, NCFA Safety Inspector - will provide a pictoral portrayal of the work that's been done so far:
Limbing up a Eucalyptus:

A Fire Captain from CAL Fire helping to oversee the crew: Mark Lee, NCFA Safety Inspector arriving at the site with Leland Simmons from Brisbane Dept. of Public Works behind him. Public Works has helped tremendously with the efforts, from chipping branches to dropping gravel on areas made muddy by the rains.

Gathering non-native brush such as scotch broom and arranging them in piles for chipping or controlled burning after they've dried:

Wood such as that seen here is available to the public! Feel free to pick some up like the SF Zoo did. They were looking for specific Eucalyptus limbs to use for the building of their koala exhibit and found them in Brisbane.

You can see the close proximity of the brush to the homes on Trinity and why a 100-ft. firebreak was needed in order for them to be better protected:

They say that anything of value takes effort. In this case the effort is making a noticeable difference.

Work will continue on the construction of the firebreak as long as crews from Ben Lomond are available. Currently, over half of the project has been completed. If you haven't yet, go up to Trinity and check out all the progress that's been made already. Again, this project would not have been possible without the collective efforts of CAL Fire, North County Fire Authority, San Mateo Co. Parks, and our very own Brisbane Public Works Crew! Kudos to all!

Also, FYP...please do NOT use the fields when they are muddy due to them being slippery and wet. The City has a field use policy for this reason and to ensure they can be properly maintained - using the field when it's still muddy results in hunks of sod being ripped out. Groups who regularly use any of the athletic fields (BES, Lipman, or Mission Blue) are to first obtain a field use permit from the Parks and Recreation Dept. If you should observe any groups using the fields when they are still muddy, please contact the Brisbane Police Dept. at 467-1212. Thank you for your assistance in keeping Brisbane a safe place to live, work, and play!