April 30, 2014

New County Website

SAN MATEO COUNTY'S website got a facelift. Check it out here and let me know what you think.

April 29, 2014

Affordable Housing Week in San Mateo County

FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS, homeowners, renters and seniors are invited to attend a "Housing Resource Fair on Saturday, May 3 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the St. Francis of Assisi Church located at 1425 Bay Road in East Palo Alto.

Attendees can take part in a buyer preparedness class, get information on down payment assistance locals and energy efficient upgrades - and more.

More information at www.hlcsmc.org or 650.872.4444.

The Housing Resource Fairs are a part of Affordable Housing Week in San Mateo County. Events include a Community Housing Tour, a Social Justice Forum: Housing for All, Affordable Housing Tour and more. Additional information is available at the resources listed above.

Mark your calendar and plan to attend.

April 11, 2014

No Campaign Funds for Criminal Defense

POLITICIANS FACING criminal charges would not be allowed to use campaign funds to pay their legal bills under an amendment Senator Jerry Hill said he plans to introduce in the wake of the indictment of his colleague Senator Leland Yee on charges of corruption and conspiracy to traffic weapons.

Under current law, politicians have wide latitude on how they spend campaign funds. Expenses have to have a legislative, governmental or political purpose, but can be used for everything from hiring campaign consultants and TV ads, to travel and paying legal bills.

Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2014/04/no-campaign-cash-for-fighting-criminal-charges-says-jerry-hill.html#storylink=cpy

April 10, 2014

North Fair Oaks Forward: A Community Project of San Mateo County

NORTH FAIR Oaks Forward is a multi-partner collaboration that is planning, designing and developing enhancements to the North Fair Oaks neighborhood and working on implementing the North Fair Oaks Community Plan. Supporting that work are county outreach specialists (take a look at their busy work area) whose job it is to invite community members to join the conversation and help make the decisions that will impact the community in the future in significant ways. 

For more info contact itorres@smcgov.org.

April 9, 2014

San Mateo County Creek Named One of America's Most Endangered Rivers

SAN FRANCISQUITO Creek has been named one of America's most endangered rivers by the non-profit American Rivers. But the designation is really focused on the future of Searsville Reservoir and Dam, a 122 year-old structure that begins the 14-mile path of San Francisquito Creek through the heart of Silicon Valley.

The future of Searsville is but one of the complex issues facing this creek. Because it divides cities and counties, the San Francisquito Joint Powers Agreement was formed to reduce a proven flood threat, enhance habitat for endangered and other species, and generally convert the creek from a divisive liability into a unifying asset.

The SFCJPA is working with Stanford and others to ensure that a decision regarding the future of Searsville, which will impact many communities downstream, is made in the context of these related regional issues.

The SFCJPA is an independent regional government agency founded by three cities and two countywide agencies divided by San Francisquito Creek and united by its watershed and floodplain. The JPA leads projects along the creek and S.F. Bay that reduce a proven flood threat, enhance ecosystems a
nd recreational opportunities, and connect our communities. Funding comes from East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, San Mateo County Flood Control District and the Santa Clara Valley Water District as well as federal, state and private sources.

Read the narrative on San Francisquito Creek and why it's considered "endangered" in American Rivers.

April 8, 2014

Conclusion of the First Enrollment Period for the Affordable Care Act

MARCH 31 was the deadline to sign up for subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. At the local level, both the Health System and Human Services Agency reported high interest at enrollment sites where staff assisted many residents to complete the enrollment process with extended hours at key dates leading up to the deadline.

According to the County Manager's report, we do not have final data to share with the Board since the enrollment period just ended, we know that more than 32,000 residents have enrolled in new ACA coverage during this historic first open enrollment. This includes almost 14,000 residents newly eligible for Medi-Cal and enrolled as of April 1 and more than 18,000 residents enrolled in a private health plan through Covered California as of March 1. We look forward to updating these data with the results of the high volume of residents whom County staff assisted during the month of March.

An indication of the additional enrollments expected is that as of March 5, San Mateo County received 14,273 Medi-Cal applications. During the final week of March, HSA's call center received 5,609 calls for applications so we know the number of applications is going to rise once we have final numbers.

Covered California has announced an extension for some residents to enroll past the deadline. This is to address the problems that the Covered California enrollment system experienced during the final days as it was overwhelmed and residents had difficulty completing the process on their website. For residents who were unable to create an online account due to technical difficulties and for those who didn't complete their full application, they have until midnight on April 15 to complete their applications. 

April 5, 2014

Teen Digital Media Lab is a Winner

THE TULARE County Library now provides a new way to engage teenagers and prepare them for the future by providing digital resources and guiding them to be creative and think for themselves. It's no wonder the Teen Digital Media Lab is becoming a big hit with Tulare County teens!

April 4, 2014

North Fair Oaks Website Launched

BIG CHANGES are coming to the North Fair Oaks area of San Mateo County.

North Fair Oaks is a densely populated unincorporated area is bounded by the cities of Redwood City to the north, west and southwest; Atherton to the east; and Menlo Park to the south. Highway 82 (El Camino Real) runs along much of its western boundary. Highway 101 (Bay Road which runs parallel to Hwy 101) is provides its eastern border. Highway 84 (Woodside Road) is about 3 blocks north of the community.

Over the past 35 years, the population in North Fair Oaks has grown, issues related to high-density living have developed and predictable difficulties have arisen from the close proximity of commercial, residential and industrial land uses competing for space in an area that is only 798 acres in size.  In 2010, the Census listed the population of North Fair Oaks as slightly less than 15,000 people; 73% were Hispanic/Latino.

As the San Mateo County Supervisor for the Fourth District, it became abundantly clear to me that the community lacked a communication network to share community news and get information. That's why my office launched a new website, www.nfoforward.org -- a website designed for ‘all things North Fair Oaks.

The development of this website was and continues to be a collaborative of community partners create and post content to the website, including County departments, the Redwood CitySchool District, the Sheriff’s Office, the North Fair Oaks Community Council, Family Connections, the Siena Youth Center, the North Fair Oaks YouthInitiative, the NFOForward Outreach Team and others. The website will feature accurate and timely information, promote an exchange of ideas, and build community as partners share information.

The NFO Forward website is bilingual and was developed as part of a multi-prong outreach effort called NFOForward, to inform, engage and involve the community in these long-range decisions. The NFO Outreach Team (which is funded by Measure A), the Redwood City 2020 Workgroups, community partners and County staff are all working together to bring the community to the table to ensure that all voices have an opportunity to be heard.

By creating a site that mirrors the information in English and Spanish, nearly everyone in the community can access accurate and reliable information.  This is critical as we embark on the implementation phase of the North Fair Oaks Community Plan—the first land-use update of the area in 35 years. 

This community resource (a work in progress) was designed to give residents, community organizations, government agencies, and nonprofits an online platform to share news, calendar events, air meetings of the North Fair Oaks Community Council, and provide volunteer sign-up opportunities.  The website is also designed to promote two-way exchanges on topics under consideration in the Community Plan and provide the Council, the County and the community with different perspectives.

The NFOForward website is a place for all community partners to post information—it is truly a collaborative effort.

April 3, 2014

Where is Deadwood City?

YEARS AGO, Redwood City was affectionately known as "Deadwood City." Why? Because there was hardly anything going on in town - the downtown, if you could call it that, was living a slow death. But take a look at the area now. There's a Century Theater, a diversity of good restaurants and a growing number of retail shops.

The big news, however, is all of the housing that's being built. Over 1,600 units are being added to the housing inventory. With that comes infrastructure needs, traffic and obviously more people.

The city has changed and continues to transform itself from a sleepy hollow to a destination where it's hard to find parking.

The video below, "Where is Deadwood City?" was created by Redwood City and tells the story of the city's transformation. It was shown at the State of the City address recently at the Fair Oaks Community Center.

April 2, 2014

Stepping-Up: The Urgency for Fatherhood

THE FATHERHOOD Collaborative of San Mateo County invites you to register for the 2014 Fatherhood Conference. Join the conversation about the challenges and barriers faced by fathers in our communities with keynote speaker Ralph Harper, author of "Stepped Up: The Urgency for Fatherhood."

The event is scheduled for April 17 from 9 am to 2:30 pm at the San Mateo County History Museum located in downtown Redwood City, CA

Register for the conference here.