Friday, January 29, 2010

Sunshine In Between the Rain

In every storm, relief is sure to come, and we've been fortunate to wake up to sun shining in Brisbane, instead of the torrential rains which came down last week which had seemingly no end to their downpour. Now that we're basking in sunshine, hopefully we each have a better understanding of the idea and importance to be prepared...and that the more pre-planning we can do beforehand, the better off we'll be when a "storm" comes our way.

Take for instance, Brisbane's rain garden located in the parking lot at City Hall. This was one of the first of its kind built in San Mateo County, its construction coinciding with the recently-retrofitted Brisbane City Hall. With all of the rain that came down last week, which did a fine job washing away pollutants from vehicles in the form of oil leaks and dust from brake pads, it was essential for the health of the Lagoon, as well as the Bay, that Brisbane's rain garden was in place. For, that's what treats stormwater runoff as it filters through the specially-selected vegetation and soaks into the ground. The underdrain system collects the now-treated water before sending it through the City's stormdrain system to Brisbane Lagoon and out into the Bay. It is truly a model of sustainable design, and so much so...that it has been selected a second time as a best example of sustainability - this time at the American Society of Civil Engineers International LID Conference (LID = Low Impact Development). Matt Fabry, associate engineer with the City, is the progam coordinator of the San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program. He will be presenting on the program's Green Streets and Parking Lots Program at the conference, and in addition, giving a technical tour to conference attendees of the rain garden and bioswale. Kudos to Matt for representing Brisbane as a regional leader in sustainable design!

The fields are getting less damp with each day of sunshine, and pretty soon, little leagues will be using them for practice and games. But first! We need coaches to teach them how the game is played. If you're interested in coaching youths between the ages of 5 to 14, we need you to call Steve in the Parks and Recreation Dept. pronto! The season starts on March 1st, so don't Steve at 508-2144 or e-mail him at

Mark your calendars! Next Saturday, 2/6 is the 9th Annual Arts Evening of Sharing. This is a special event sponsored by the City where the community is invited to celebrate Brisbane's creative spirit! It's free, refreshments are served, and Brisbane artists and advocates living and working in town are honored. Don't miss it!

Lastly, a reminder about the crab & spaghetti feed taking place tomorrow at the Pacelli Gym in Daly City to raise funds for the Athletics Department at Jefferson High School. If you call in before the event starts, your name will be put on a list and you'll still only pay $35 for an adult ticket (they go up to $45 at the door).

Enjoy the sunshine...while it lasts!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Caltrain's Workin' on the Railroad..."

But hopefully, it won't be all the live long night. You may have heard work being done by Caltrain in the wee hours of Monday night/Tuesday morning. This came from Caltrain using a track stabilizer, which itself combines heavy vibration and weight to compress and level the track (for use when one rail becomes higher than the other). The machine looks like this:

Upon inspecting their previous work, Caltrain officials found an issue at one of the crossovers and will be back in Brisbane tonight to correct it. Therefore, even though Caltrain crews will be working as quickly and quietly as possible tonight to get the job done, you may hear some noise as a result. Click here to watch a video clip of the type of maintenance work that will be done, so you know what to expect.

Caltrain apologizes for this inconvenience...and we hope you're still able to still get some good Z's in tonight!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Making Plans

Planning on a quiet weekend within the comforts of your home, safe and out of the rain? Well maybe you can start prepping for April 15th - Tax Day. State Senator Leland Yee is hosting a Free Tax Preparation Day for taxpayers with household incomes less than $52,000 for 2009. The workshop takes place on Saturday, Feb. 6th from 10am - 2pm at the SSF City Council Chambers (33 Arroyo Drive). Appointments are required, so if you're interested, call Zenaida Montecinos at (650) 583-3373 to schedule one.

The Brisbane Police Department would like to remind everyone that the law requires you to have your headlights on (not driving lights; not fog lights) whenever your windshield wipers are in operation, regardless of the time of day. To read the specifics of the law, click here. Be sure to SLOW DOWN when you're driving as most accidents taking place since the storm started are due to drivers not having enough room to brake while driving at too high a speed on the slick roadways.

Plan on driving at reduced speeds (and budgeting more time getting to your destinations), as the National Weather Service is forecasting the following weather conditions over the next week:
  • Today (1/22) - Showers likely and a slight chance of thunderstorms. Some thunderstorms may produce small hail. Highs in the lower 50s. West winds 5 to 15 mph...becoming south 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon.
  • Tonight - Mostly cloudy. A chance of showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms. Some thunderstorms may produce small hail. Lows around 40. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph.
  • Saturday - Partly cloudy. A slight chance of showers. Highs in the upper 50s. Southeast winds around 5 mph. Chance of showers 20 percent.
  • Saturday Night - Partly cloudy. Lows near 40. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph...becoming east after midnight.
  • Sunday - Mostly cloudy. A chance of rain. Highs in the mid to upper 50s.
  • Sunday Night - through Monday NightRain likely. Lows in the mid 40s. Highs in the upper 50s.
  • Tuesday and Tuesday Night - Mostly cloudy. A chance of rain. Highs in the upper 50s. Lows in the mid 40s.
  • Wednesday through Thursday - Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of rain. Highs in the upper 50s. Lows in the mid 40s.

Tonight, though, you'll want to take your chances on getting a little wet. Because as you make your way into Mission Blue Center (475 Mission Blue Dr.), you'll be greeted by Brisbane Elementary School students who have helped organize a pasta feed (complete with live music and a cake/pie auction!), with all funds going directly to Beyond Borders Haitian relief efforts. There is no charge, but the suggested donation for a delicious regular or veggie pasta dinner (thanks to BiRite Foods and Pasta Pomodoro for supplying their tasty garlic bread!) is $10/adults and $5/kids under 12. Homemade cakes and pies will be auctioned off, so you've got a recipe you've been waiting to try, it's time to get baking! The event starts at 6pm and goes until 8pm. If you're not able to stay, swing by for pasta "take out" and do your individual part to Help Heal Haiti.

And don't forget about the crab & spaghetti feed taking place on January 30th, hosted by Jefferson High School's Athletic Department. All tickets were sold out last year, so be sure to call Barbara Hermasillo at (650) 550-7775 to put yours on will call.

With that, have a safe and (mostly) dry weekend!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Through the Wind and the Waves

Heavy rains and strong winds are expected to hit the Pacific coast by late Saturday and last for the next week and a half. In order to prepare for the storm, the City is encouraging residents and business owners to pick up complimentary sand bags which are being placed outside of Fire Station 81 (3445 Bayshore Blvd.). Let's take advantage of all the resources that are made available!

Another would be H1N1 vaccinations now available for ALL SAN MATEO COUNTY RESIDENTS. Please see the County's Public Health website by clicking here for locations of walk-in clinics throughout the County. There are also downloadable schedules in various languages, clearly indicating the various flu shot clinic locations and times (no appointment necessary).

It was mentioned a few weeks ago that the Freedom Train will be embarking on it's annual journey from San Jose to San Francisco (with a stop at 10am at the Downtown San Mateo CalTrain Station) on Monday, January 18th, in honor of the life and legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Festivities kick off at 9:00am with a hosted continental breakfast and childrens' activities, with the train set to arrive at 10:00am. Call the MLK, Jr. Day Hotline at (650) 377-8708 or click here for a listing of events taking place at the Yerba Buena Gardens MLK memorial. If you're interested, MLK, Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" is being re-posted to the blog for your reading pleasure.

And last but not least, the City Council is having a special meeting on Tuesday, January 19th, where the bulk of the meeting will center around the Northeast Ridge Residential Development Compliance Hearing. From the staff report, approval of the modified project for the Northeast Ridge will result in:
  • 80 less units than what was originally approved for development in the 1989 Vesting Tentative Map
  • the relocation of the remaining units to an area having little or no habitat value, thereby enabling the preservation of prime habitat as open space
  • a significant increase in the funding being provided by the developer (Brookfield) and future property owners

Come and be a part of the discussion on Tuesday as the City Council works to ensure a balanced future for Brisbane.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Good Food and Drink in the New Year

You may have made some New Year's Resolutions about eating healthier in 2010, but on January 30, why don't you reward your efforts and eat for a cause? The Athletic Department at Jefferson High School is hosting their 7th Annual Crab/Spaghetti Feed & Silent Auction at the Pacelli Gym located at the Westlake Community Center in Daly City (next to Lake Merced). All proceeds from the dinner and auction will benefit sports programs at Jefferson High School. Baseball was cut this year, and wrestling had already been. So buy your tickets ($35 - adults, $10 - kids 8 and under) and support the Jefferson High School Athletic Department! Call the school at (650) 550-7775 to have your tickets put on "will call". A no-host bar and silent auction will take place between 6:00pm - 6:45pm with dinner to follow from 7:00pm - 8:30pm when the silent auction will close.

You may have noticed recently your tap water appearing cloudy or milky-white in color. This is due to there being tiny air bubbles in the water. Since the Hetch Hetchy System has been under construction (and will be until February 20, 2010), the City is receiving its water from the Sunol Valley Water Treatment Plant. When the water enters the transmission and distribution pipes, it becomes pressurized, and holds more air. The water depressurizes when it comes out of your tap, with the air coming out of the solution in the form of bubbles - much like a carbonated soft drink. If you can wait a couple minutes, let your glass of water sit on the counter and the air bubbles will leave, allowing you to enjoy a clear and refreshing glass of quality drinking water. Should you have any questions, please contact the City of Brisbane Public Works Office at 508-2130 or visit