Thursday, June 25, 2009

Way ta flow!

When taking a visit to City Hall, it's hard to miss the beautifully landscaped garden out in front, adjacent to the parking lot. But in no way is this your typical garden!

View looking away from Park Place

View looking towards Park Pl.

What your eyes saw then, and what you're looking at now, is actually a rain garden. Constructed with the re-model of City Hall (with full funding of $250,000 through C/CAG - City/County Association of Governments), the rain garden actually treats runoff water from the parking lot. This allows rainwater to be treated before it enters the City's storm drain system, which then flows to the Bay. The rain garden is capturing not only runoff, but the attention of those across the Peninsula. Recently, Associate Civil Engineer and Program Coordinator for the San Mateo County Water Pollution Prevention Program, Matt Fabry, was interviewed on PenTV's broadcast, "One on One". Check it out by clicking on the "Play" button below, and hear more about the simple things you can do to prevent harmful substances such as gasoline oils from flowing into the Bay. (If you find the buffering to be bothersome, you can also catch the broadcast on Ch. 26, Mondays during the news hour at approximately 7:45am, 12:45pm, and 7:45pm).

Nowadays, updating one's resume and gaining interviewing tips is the best, if not only way to go. The San Mateo County Library System will be conducting "Get the Job!" workshops throughout the County, beginning with Brisbane on Saturday, June 27th at 9:00am in the Community Center. This 1 1/2 hour free workshop taught by human resources professional, Nancy Miel, will include exercises in self assessment, resume techniques, and interview skills. Participants may bring their resume for critique. Having been on both sides of the job search scenario, the instructor knows the challenges that candidates face, and what employers are looking for in this job market. For more information, contact Steve Rosenthal at the Brisbane Library at (415) 467-2060.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Meetings and Events to be Aware Of

Monday's City Council meeting will be a continuation of the June 8th Baylands Workshop, where the Council provided policy direction on four of the seven issues (Project Square Footage, Form and Intensity, Housing, Charter High School). This coming Monday, 6/22, the Council will focus on the remaining three issues - Caltrain Station Location, Alternative Energy, and a Retail/Entertainment District. For a detailed discussion of each of these issues, please click here to download the June 8th staff report.

Visitacion Creek at the Baylands

All of these meetings and discussions are to ensure the community has plenty of opportunities to weigh in and provide their ideas and desires for the Baylands. The City Council is planning to choose a Community Alternative at their July 20th meeting. This community-based alternative will be the result of countless public meetings, which began in February of 2007 when the City Council established the Community Alternatives Process at their February 20, 2007 meeting. The Community Alternative will then be studied in greater detail in the Baylands Environmental Impact Report (EIR), along with the developer's proposed alternative. Determining a Community Alternative on July 20th that will be studied in-depth will help facilitate the City's goal of publishing a draft EIR for the Baylands Specific Plan by the end of 2009.

Then on the following night, Tuesday 6/23, the Council will be having a Budget Hearing which will include:
  • viewing a Cost of Services Study for the Parks and Recreation Dept.

  • reviewing the City's Fee Schedule, and

  • considering a 3% increase to determine future water and sewer rates

To view the staff reports for these items, please click here.

And now, calling all teens!

Starting tonight and continuing every Friday through August 14th, the Teen Center Program will be hosting an Open Gym at Lipman Middle School (1 Solano Ave.). Come from 3:oopm - 7:00pm to enjoy basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, and other fun games! For more info call the Teen Center at 468-6467.

Oh, and it gets better.

The Teen Center Program will be hosting a double feature every Thursday at the Community Center. Movies and popcorn are free to middle school and high school-aged youth, with movies shown at 4:00 and 6:00pm. Kicking off the first week will be "Twilight" at 4:00pm and "Transformers" at 6:00pm.

It's sure starting to feel like summer in Brisbane! Enjoy the beautiful weather and participate in all the City has to offer!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Acting Towards a Destination

The ongoing process of developing a community alternative for the Baylands has highlighted the critical importance of public space as a cornerstone of any future Baylands Specific Plan. Beginning in early 2007 with the first Brisbane Baylands Speaker Series, the community was asked to provide input on their preferences for the development of the site. With the public encouraged to attend neighborhood workshops throughout the proceeding years, it was evident that Brisbane is home to a passionate citizenry who never failed to deliver informative, and thought-provoking insights.

Please come to the June 22nd City Council meeting, as it will be a continuation of the Council hearing from the community and providing their direction on the policy issues pertaining to the community alternative. Included in these policy issues are: the location of the Caltrain station location, alternative energy, and a retail/entertainment district.

If you'd like to weigh in on City issues before then, come to this Monday's City Council meeting, where one of the agenda items is the update to the Housing Element - the only element of the General Plan that is required to be updated within a specific 5-yr. time frame. Provided a bit of context, it becomes clear why this is so. In April 2005, San Mateo County Supervisors Mark Church and Jerry Hill initiated HOPE (Housing Our People Effectively) by bringing together approximately 150 representatives from all sectors of the community with a mandate to create a plan to end homelessness. The Plan has been completed and can be found by clicking here. Additionally, it was stated in a recent presentation that "In the 1970's there were 300,000 more affordable units in the nation than households that needed them. In 2005, there were 4.4 million households who needed affordable housing and unable to find it."

To give this issue local context, Brisbane's Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) for the last housing cycle (1999-2005) was 426 units. Actual building permits issued, during that period, amounted to 74 (10 affordable, 64 above moderate). Brisbane's RHNA for this period is 401 (57 low income, 77 moderate, and 267 market rate).

So, come to the City Council meeting on June 15th to weigh in on this important issue, which not only encompasses social equity, but economic and environmental issues as well. To view the night's full agenda, please click

You can see that Brisbane has many important issues to work towards, but it's going to take the engagement and involvement of the entire community to make sure that maximum benefit is attained while Brisbane progresses towards the best destination.

However, one destination you will want to avoid is Visitation Ave - on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month (the next time being June 24th). This is when scheduled street sweeping takes place, between the hours of 2:00am - 6:00am. Violators will be cited, so please do your part and ensure your vehicle is parked elsewhere, and Visitacion kept as clean as possible, not to mention the Bay. Thank you in advance for your assistance!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Best of Summer...with the Best of Brisbane

Memorial Day is thought to be the official kick-off of barbeque season, but there's one taking place June 19th that might just surpass them all. Brisbane's Mission Blue Center has been chosen to be the venue for a gourmet summer kick-off cookout. That's right - enjoy the best of barbeque (tri-tip, ribs, and chicken!) as the San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation (SMCCCF) sets out to raise support to fund scholarships and programs for students at Skyline, CaƱada, and the College of San Mateo. Click here to RSVP by mail, or you can do so online at their website by clicking here (make sure you enter "BBQ Registration" in the Comments box).

Have an upcoming party to plan this summer but can't think of a worthy location? Mission Blue Center, located in the Northeast Ridge, will surely not disappoint - you, nor your guests! If you've never been up to visit this stunning facility (which also has panoramic views of San Bruno Mtn. along with the Bay...not to mention seating for over 200 and a truly elegant ambiance) check out this 3-D virtual tour of Mission Blue Center. If you're interested in booking the facility for a private rental, you can contact Recreation Supervisor Julie Weidner at (415) 657-4320 or

And though they haven't hit Brisbane yet, rising temperatures will surely be coming to town as summer gets underway. Make sure you're able to enjoy the best of summer (in Brisbane!) by reading up on the Office of Emergency Service's latest Tip of the Month, and Be Informed about Extreme Heat. With that, we hope you have a great weekend. (And if you haven't already done so, you may want to start it out with a donut!)