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Thursday, December 20, 2012

BOREL MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS SEND HOLIDAY CARE PACKAGES TO 101ST AIRBORNE TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN

Students at Borel Middle School in San Mateo, California are making sure that U.S. troops stationed overseas are getting their share of holiday cheer.

Yesterday, Borel Assistant Principal Lana Fenech delivered 38 gift-wrapped boxes containing various goodies to San Mateo City Hall for delivery to troopers of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, which is currently stationed in Afghanistan.  The 101st Airborne Division is the adopted unit of the City of San Mateo.

According to Borel Middle School teacher Susan Goldfarb, over 90 students grades 6-8 were involved in a weeks-long project to make holiday cards, collect gifts, and wrap the boxes as part of a community service effort to share the holiday spirit with the young men and women serving our nation far from home.  The students involved the entire Borel Middle School community, including students, parents, and teachers to raise the money necessary to buy gifts for the 101st Airborne soldiers. 

“The best part of the process is to watch the students as they make the packages and realize that they are doing something special for our soldiers who are protecting our country around the world,” said Goldfarb. 

City of San Mateo employee will take the final step of mailing the packages to Afghanistan, where they will be distributed to the soldiers.

 The 101st Airborne Division, Alpha Company, 1/327 Infantry Regiment, the “Screaming Eagles” have been the adopted unit of the City of San Mateo since 1968.  Earlier this year, the unit visited San Mateo and marched in the Memorial Day parade in Downtown San Mateo.

San Mateo Mayor David Lim said, “I am so proud of the spirit of goodwill exhibited by the students of Borel Middle School.  Their generous display of appreciation for the men and women of the 101st Airborne shows us all the true meaning of the holiday season.” 

Gifts from Borel Middle School Students to the troops of the 101st Airborne Division sit in the
Mayor's Office at San Mateo City Hall.  Next stop:  Afghanistan!


DUI Checkpoint in San Mateo Tomorrow

Thank you to the San Mateo Police Department for keeping our streets safe during this holiday season!

***********************************************
San Mateo County – Avoid the 23
DUI Checkpoint Planned this Friday (TOMORROW)
December 21st – 6pm to 2am on Peninsula Avenue in San Mateo

SMPD will be working collaboratively with other San Mateo County Law Enforcement Agencies at a DUI Checkpoint in San Mateo. The Following information was provided by the Daly City Police Department via Press Release:

MEDIA RELEASE – DALY CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT
December 14th, 2012

San Mateo County's "Avoid the 23" DUI enforcement activities will include a
checkpoint in San Mateo this weekend.

A sobriety checkpoint will be staffed by personnel from various San Mateo County
police agencies on Friday, December 21st,2012. The checkpoint will be held on Peninsula
Avenue near N. Delaware Street, San Mateo.

This checkpoint will be held in conjunction with other special DUI enforcement patrols occurring throughout San Mateo County as part of the statewide Drunk Driving, Over the Limit enforcement campaign.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For more information, please visit www.StopImpairedDriving.org

Contact Person: Sergeant Michael O'Rourke, 650-520-3310
Daly City Police Department

Friday, December 14, 2012

School Safety in San Mateo

As our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and community in Newton, Connecticut affected by the senseless tragedy of today, as Mayor of San Mateo I want to address our community on the issue of school safety.

In the short term, as today's events unfolded, the San Mateo Police Department increased their presence at our local elementary and middle schools in the San Mateo-Foster City School District to conduct safety checks and reassure students, educators, and parents. 

Although the events in Newton were ultimately deemed to be a localized event, our police officers took the opportunity to review crucial emergency response procedures within our local schools.

I want to personally thank San Mateo Police Chief Susan Manheimer and all her officers for their sensitive response to this situation to reassure our local community.

In the long term, the City of San Mateo Police Department has worked consistently with the school district to constantly update emergency security plans, and review the layout of our schools to increase the overall safety of our campuses. 

While we can never be 100% protected from the dangers of this world, our Police Department and entire City Staff are dedicated to doing everything we can to provide our school district with the tools necessary to protect our children.

I have also been in touch with School Board Trustee President Lory Lawson and Superintendent of Schools Cynthia Sims to renew our commitment to work with our school board to provide any City resources that are needed to help them keep our children safe.

As a parent of kids in our public schools, and as Mayor of San Mateo, I extend my deepest condolences to the community of Newton, and remain committed to protecting our children in this uncertain world. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Councilman's role with 7-Eleven questioned

December 03, 2012, 05:00 AM By Bill Silverfarb Daily Journal staff

A councilman's role in a controversial 7-Eleven set to open today in San Mateo is being questioned by Deputy Mayor David Lim, who supports an outside investigation into whether city staff was influenced to grant a building permit by Councilman Jack Matthews or staff from his architectural firm.

Matthews had involvement with Portfolio Development Partners and its project at 501 N. San Mateo Drive up until February of this year, shortly before city planners abruptly ended a public process for a zoning code amendment to allow a market use on land technically zoned residential.

City staff ended the zoning code amendment process shortly before a neighborhood meeting in February and granted a building permit to Portfolio, which set in motion the construction of a new 7-Eleven at the former Stangelini’s Italian Deli; Hilltop Market.

Phone logs released Friday by the city show a number of calls between Matthews and his staff to city planners in February that Lim is curious about.

The phone logs “raise legitimate questions about communication between city staff and members of the City Council that might be seen as having influenced the granting of the building permit,” Lim wrote in a statement.

Lim told the Daily Journal yesterday that Matthews has a “sterling” reputation but said “tough questions have to be made.”

The old deli on the property was considered a legal non-conforming use and the council is currently going through a series of public hearings to determine if the 7-Eleven is also a legal non-conforming use for the land.

Matthews’ firm had been beaten back repeatedly by city staff when making inquiries into whether a new market could replace the old market because the property had stood vacant for more than six months after Stangelini’s closed its doors for good in 2010.

Lim called the sudden change in land use for the property back in February, however, “very unusual.”

Matthews told the Daily Journal yesterday he had no clue that city planners were seeking a second opinion on city code and did not know a building permit was issued for the site until reading it in the newspaper.

He also said there was “no attempt on our part to influence the process.”

The second opinion given to city staff by an interim city attorney in February indicated that since the owners of the building had no intent of abandoning the market use for the site that it still maintained its legal non-conforming use status.

The controversy has caused the neighborhood to hire its own attorney to keep the 7-Eleven out of the San Mateo Heights Neighborhood and to raise myriad questions as to why the building permit was issued at all.

The phone logs, Matthews said, show that his firm made contact with the city on a variety of projects, including Mission Hospice and others.

“While there is most likely a reasonable explanation for what the phone logs appear to show, even the appearance of impropriety is unacceptable in serving the residents of San Mateo openly and honestly,” Lim wrote in the statement.

Matthews also wants the process to be as “open and transparent” as possible.

“I am fully in support of a transparent process. The public needs to have faith in this process and I have faith we behaved in an ethical manner,” Matthews said about his office.

Matthews has recused himself from hearings on the matter since his firmed did some work for the developer on the project.

Officials with 7-Eleven told the Daily Journal last week the store was scheduled to open today. Lim is also set to be sworn-in as mayor tonight.
 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

San Mateo High School Caned Food Drive

San Mateo High School, in connection with Samaritan House and Second Harvest Food Bank, is hosting their annual canned food drive.

This is a great opportunity to help our those in need. According to Second Harvest, over 90,000 local kids will rely on the Food Bank to receive the healthy food they need.

If you are able to donate to the San Mateo High School canned food drive, follow the link below to make an online donation:

https://www.shfb.org/page.aspx?pid=817&FFDDrive=12+FD+Holiday&FFDOrg=175918