Saturday, February 27, 2010

First Asian councilman leads San Mateo Lunar New Year celebration Saturday

By Mike Rosenberg
San Mateo County Times
02/26/2010 04:33:59 PM PST

SAN MATEO — With the help of the city's first Asian councilman, the San Mateo Lunar New Year celebration today will benefit local organizations.

The "Year of the Tiger" celebration will be held downtown, starting at the corner of Fifth Avenue and El Camino Real, from 10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Two groups of lion dancers composed of Bay Area students dressed in costumes will visit more than 40 downtown businesses to perform with traditional music and drums.

The businesses will then "feed" the dancers traditional red envelopes that contain money for Self-Help for the Elderly and the Shaolin Cultural Center, which both have locations in San Mateo.

Councilman David Lim helped organize the event with the Downtown San Mateo Association and local companies. Mayor John Lee, Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and council members from other Peninsula cities will also be in attendance.

"The diverse businesses supporting this event showcase the richness and diversity of the San Mateo community, and I hope all our neighbors will come out to enjoy the festivities and celebrate the Year of the Tiger," Lim said in a statement.

The event will finish with a performance by the dancers at the Central Park recreation center at 1:30 p.m.

Friday, February 26, 2010

High Speed Rail Discussion Moved to Full City Council Meeting

The meeting on high speed rail scheduled as a study session this Monday, March 1 has been moved to the full meeting at 7:00 PM as a full hearing item. To see the staff report on this issue, go to:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Study Session on High Speed Rail

Many residents of San Mateo have asked when the City Council will hold another hearing on High Speed Rail. Please note that the City Council is tentatively scheduled to hold a study session on "High Speed Rail Context Sensitive Solutions & Project Update" on Monday, March 1, 2010 at 5:30 PM at San Mateo City Hall.

Please note that the study session is open to the public, but is not part of the main City Council session, so please be sure to be there at 5:30 PM.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Lunar New Year

Happy Lunar New Year to all!

On February 17, 2010 the Downtown San Mateo Association will be hosting a celebration of the Lunar New Year with a a lion dance celebration throughout Downtown San Mateo. The event is designed to celbrate the diversity of our businesses, and promises to be a great event for everyone. Please see the flyer below, and please make plans to make it to Downtown San Mateo on Feb. 27!


WHAT: Lion Dance Performance and Lunar New Year Celebration

WHERE: Downtown San Mateo; Beginning at East West Bank at 491 S. El Camino Real

WHEN: Saturday, February 27th, 11am - 1pm

INFO: Call 650.342.5520 or visit

PRESS: Contact Liz Stigge at 650-548-6700 or email at

Downtown San Mateo Rings in the “Year of the Tiger” at Lunar New Year Celebration

Special Lion Dance Featuring Shaolin Cultural Center and Gee Yung Lion Dance Association

(San Mateo, Calif., February 2010) – On Saturday, February 27th, from 11am – 1pm, local students from Shaolin Cultural Center and the Gee Yung Lion Dance Association will participate in a traditional Lion Dance to usher in the Lunar New Year. Two Lion Dance teams will snake their way through Downtown San Mateo, stopping at various businesses to perform a brief dance that welcomes the New Year. When the Lions have completed the dance, it’s customary to reward them with a small monetary donation to thank it for the blessing. After the Lions visit all the participating Downtown businesses, they will give a final performance at Self Help for the Elderly at 50 East 5th Avenue at 1:30 pm.

The Lion Dance is a common custom in Asian societies and is meant to symbolize good luck, fortune and prosperity. Its practice in the United States originates from the Guangdong Province and is different from the Northern Lions seen in the Beijing Opera or acrobatic performances. The lion dances usually are performed by members of gong-fu (kung-fu) schools and reflect that style. For example, in Hung Gar, the students practice very deep “horse” stances, with the power coming from twisting and rotating the waist. No matter what style, the lion movements are always feline in nature.

For a proper lion dance, the movements must match the music played by a minimum of three instruments: drum, gong and cymbal. All of the movements must be synchronized to the music and usually follow a specified sequence: for example, the 3-Star movement, then the 7-Star movement, followed by High Dance. The loud music, along with the firecrackers and staccato movements of the lion, are used to scare away “evil spirits” so that good luck will follow.

The Lion Dance is just one of the many Lunar New Year events that will be taking place in Downtown San Mateo. The day after the exciting Lion Dance performance, Sunday, February 28th from 1-4pm, Self Help for the Elderly (SHE) will participating in special event sponsored by San Mateo Public Library that features traditional musicians, crafts, Asian snacks and more. Dancers from the Shaolin Cultural Center will also perform a Lion Dance outdoor from starting at 1pm. The event is free to the public and funds raised will help support SHE and the San Mateo Public Library.

The Downtown San Mateo Lunar New Year celebration is supported by the Downtown San Mateo Association, Self-Help for the Elderly, East West Bank, New York Life Insurance and City Councilman David Lim.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Setting Goals for San Mateo 2010-2011

I need your help to chart the future of the City of San Mateo.

A very important study session will take place this Tuesday, February 9 at San Mateo City Hall in Room C starting at 5:30 PM.

The City Council will undertake their yearly planning session to:

  • Identify the City Council's vision and strategic direction for the upcoming year.
  • Discuss organization priorities for the upcoming year.
  • Receive an update from City staff on City Finances and the recommended strategy to develop the 2010-12 Business Plan for the City of San Mateo.
Our City faces a $5 million shortfall due to the continuing recession and state take-away of City funds. Setting priorities and a vision for the upcoming year is essential to help guide our City through these tough times.

Now more than ever we need each San Mateo resident to step up and work as a team to help solve the challenges facing our City.

I also belive that in these challenging times, there are opportunities to be creative, think outside the box, and establish new programs for our City that will improve our quality of life and put us in a position to take advantage of new opportunities for growth and prosperity.

That is why as your elected representative, I am not content to merely help our City "survive". Instead, I have outlined to City staff a full list of priorities, goals and objectives for issues we can address and solve to improve our City. You can read my a full outline of my priorities here, but my top priorities are:

  1. SENIORS & YOUTH. Implementation of a program to create positive interaction between seniors and youth.
  2. SUSTAINABILITY. Helping homeowners reduce their carbon footprint by making their homes more energy efficient. Also, re-examining our City's leaf blower ordinance, which has not been reviewed in over 12 years.
  3. TRAFFIC SAFETY. Increasing traffic safety in all our neighborhoods.
  4. QUALITY OF LIFE. Addressing nuisance and quality of life crimes in our streets such as graffiti and trash dumping.
I hope you will join me on February 9 at City Hall for this very important study session. Don't forget to review my plan, and email me with any thoughts or suggestions of your own.

See you next Tuesday!


David Lim
San Mateo City Council

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Welcome Our Four New San Mateo Police Officers

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the swearing-in of four new police officers to the rank of the San Mateo Police Department. Chief Susan Manheimer swore in the new officers in front of a packed audience of family and friends.

It was great to see four new officers who are dedicated to protecting our community and keep us all safe! I hope you will join me in welcoming them to San Mateo! The new officers are:

  • Officer David Johnson
  • Officer Colby Darrah
  • Officer Nickolas Morsilli
  • Officer Stephen Pettit Jr.

But these officer need our help! If you are not already involved, I urge all neighborhoods to form a Neighborhood Watch group on their block. Besides helping your police department keep you neighborhood safe by being an extra set of eyes and ears on your block, Neighborhood Watch is a great opportunity to socialize and get to know your neighbors better. On the block I live, our Neighborhood Watch meetings always revolve around coffee, ice cream, or a bar-b-que!

To start a Neighborhood Watch program on your block, or to revive a dormant program, please visit the Neighborhood Watch website, or click here. Or you can call Officer John Rink at (650) 522-7744.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Good News & Bad News

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of helping out a great volunteer in our community. Monday was not such a good day for City finances, however. Read on . . .



On Sunday I was proud to donate blood as part of Eagle Scout candidate and local San Mateo resident Robert Bosccaci's successful blood drive for Blood Centers of the Pacific at St. Gregory Catholic Church in San Mateo.

Robert organized this blood drive as part of his community service requirement to obtain the rank of Eagle Scout. The rank of Eagle Scout is the highest rank a Boy Scout can attain, and requires earning at least 21 merit badges and a showing community service and leadership.

Robert's leadership and service to our community reminded me what a great core of young volunteers we have in our community!

Volunteers like Robert Boscacci are what make our community great!



On Monday, the City Council made the difficult buT unavoidable decision to move over $4 million of City Redevelopment funds in order to pay a State ordered payment to fund K-12 schools.

The State ordered this money taken from local property taxes to help balance Sacramento's budget. The $4 million take-away from San Mateo's redevelopment funds means that three capital projects in the City will not be funded:

  • Capital Improvements at 4th Ave. and Claremont
  • Capital Improvements for Downtown San Mateo
  • Capital Improvements for Developer Assistance Programs
YOUR local tax dollars therefore were taken by state mandate to balance the state's budget. This makes it harder for us, the City Council, to provide the level of services you come to expect.

Prior to our required vote to turn this money over to the State, all five Councilmember, myself included, urged all residents of San Mateo to help our City by supporting an ballot initiative that will hopefully be on the November ballot entitled the "Local Taxpayer, Public Safety and Transportation Act". This initiative will stop state raids of local taxes such as the $4 million the City was forced to turn over last night.

I urge all residents to read the ballot initiative and sign the petition to get it on the November Ballot.