S - The Spectrum Magazine - Redwood City's Monthly Magazine ...


S - The Spectrum Magazine - Redwood City's Monthly Magazine ...




Redwood City's Monthly Magazine

January 2007

Vol 3, No. 4

Steve Penna

Owner and Publisher


Anne Callery

Copy Editor

Judy Buchan

Contributing Writer


Valerie Harris

Contributing Writer


Dale McKee

Graphic Artist

Contributing Writer

Damaris Divito

Photography Stylist

Sales Associate


DJ Design

Dale McKee

Aurora Tucker

Advertising Graphic Art

James R. Kaspar

Cover/Cover Story Photography

We welcome you to the January edition of The

Spectrum Magazine. We are excited about this

month’s stories and know you will enjoy them.

Last month we concluded our three-part series on the proposed

development of the old Leslie Salt property. Our cover

photo generated a lot of comments, as did the series of articles.

This development will grab our attention as the year

continues, and we will cover it for you. If you missed any of

the articles, they are on our Web site at www.spectrummagazine.net.

Our cover story this month on Dominican Sister Christina

Heltsley will both enlighten and make you feel inspired about

the work of individuals in our community. Sister Christina

runs the St. Francis Center of Redwood City, which many

people call La Casita (“the little house”). Discover more and

support what she does!

Publisher Steve Penna discusses several issues this month in

his column, “As I Was Saying…” From the new police chief to

dancing to parking downtown, his candid views may provoke

some conversation around town.

After a few weeks off from school, our student writers at

Woodside and Sequoia high schools write about activity on

their campuses as they return for a new semester.

We also have a great profile on this year’s Business Woman of

the Year and a business profile on The Diving Pelican Cafe.

We encourage you to support community news by filling out

The Spectrum’s subscription form on page 33 and having us

mailed to your home each month. We also thank our loyal

advertisers for supporting community news, and we encourage

you to support them by patronizing them when you can.

With Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day shopping just a

few weeks away, or if you just need to find some fine businesses

in our community that provide excellent service, please

check out our business directory on page 16. We know you

will find our suggestions favorable.

Until next month, The Spectrum staff and contributors say:

Enjoy our city and those who makes us a community!

INSIDE THE SPECTRUM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

THE DIVING PELICAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

CULTURAL EVENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

“AS I WAS SAYING ...” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

LOCAL NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

LOCAL INTEREST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

COVER STORY:LA CASITA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE YEAR . . . . . . . .21

NONPROFITS IN ACTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29

SENIOR ACTIVITIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30

FINANCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~



P.O. Box 862, Redwood City, CA 94064

Advertising and subscriptions:

(650) 368-2434

E-mail: ads@spectrummagazine.net

Published the third week of each month.

Periodical rates paid at Redwood City,


Subscription rate: $30 per year in

Redwood City, San Carlos and Menlo Park

($60 all other cities); $24 for seniors (any

city). Not responsible for the return of

unsolicited material.




Inside The Spectrum:

Our Cover Photo Shoot


After Publisher Steve Penna called our cover subject, Dominican Sister

Christina Heltsley, and made arrangements to visit the St. Francis Center of

Redwood City, this month’s cover photo shoot was scheduled for Thursday,

Jan. 11, at 2 p.m.

Cover Story Photographer James Kaspar arrived first, followed by Penna and

Photography Stylist Damaris Divito, who drove together so they could catch up

after not seeing each other during the holidays. Once there, we were all greeted by

Sister Christina and began the tour.

We were completely surprised by what we saw: a school with the most loving children

and teacher, a clothing and food distribution center that helps those in our

community who rely on their monthly visits just to get by, and an apartment complex

that houses families who cannot afford the high rents in the area.

The organization and cleanliness of all the facilities reflect Sister Christina’s desire

to be an example to those she so unselfishly serves. To lead by example is clearly

a theme she believes in.

As the shoot continued, Sister Christina introduced volunteers, staff and the

clients she serves. We took photos in all areas but decided that the cover shot

should be of her with the children.

Sister Christina has started a campaign to raise money to expand the facility and

serve more people, so we decided to take the photo in front of the “money monitor”

at one of the portable facilities.

As we wrapped up the shoot after about an hour, thanks and hugs came plentifully

from Sister Christina, the students, teacher and volunteers.

Sure, all nonprofits want the much-needed exposure that media outlets like The

Spectrum can provide. But their send-off was genuinely warm and made us feel

that they were just happy to have met new people. We came away with the feeling

that, if only for an hour, we made a difference just by showing our interest.

Photographer James R. Kaspar and stylist Damaris Divito coordinate the shoot

Sister Christina is another example of those in our community who work for others

day in and day out. We have been enlightened and are proud to introduce her

and the St. Francis Center of Redwood City to our readers.





Dale McKee

So there I am, sittin’ on the dock of the bay, as

the song goes. But not just any dock. No, this

is the harborside terrace of The Diving Pelican

Cafe. Nestled between Boardwalk Auto and Pete’s

Harbor, this out-of-the-way treasure on Bair Island

Road is hidden on the east side of 101.

The harbor’s closed now, and the adjacent buildings

are much more sparsely populated following the dotcom

crash that saw a slump in the tech industry here

in Redwood City (and throughout the Bay Area).

But The Diving Pelican is still here, and it’s more

than worth the trip.

With the crazy weather we’ve been having — hot

one day, freezing the next — I happened to visit on

a cold day, when the outdoor dockside dining area

was deserted. Inside, the atmosphere was as warm as

the delicious cooking smells wafting from the back

kitchen. If ever a day was made for clam chowder,

this was it. Waiting behind a line of eager luncheontakers,

I made my way to the counter to meet the

entrepreneurial owner, Bennett Whitestone.

Whitestone cuts a distinct figure. His neatly combed

salt-and-pepper hair, short beard and weathered fea-


tures would seem at home in any New England fishing

town. He cheerfully greets everyone by the handle

of “young man” or “young lady.” A self-styled

“geezer,” he is (if you’ll pardon the poetic license)

the rock upon which the pier of The Diving Pelican

is built.

The Diving Pelican has been around 12 years, having

opened in the summer of 1995.

“I’ve been in the food business all my life,”

Whitestone said. “I have over 50 years in the food

business. I’ve had a very interesting career. I’ve done

a lot of different kinds of restaurants — seafood,

Italian, American-style of various sorts. I’ve done a

lot of different things.

“I had been kind of semi-retired,” he added. “We

were living here on a boat for a few years, and I had

worked as a domestic chef.” Most of Whitestone’s

experience comes from back east, where he worked

in a variety of restaurants before he came to

California over 20 years ago. “I owned and operated

a lot of different kind of restaurants back east,” he

said. “New England, Boston area.”

Sounds like a great place for clam chowder to me!


“When I came out here, I’d been working for a very

well-to-do fellow,” he said. “A developer who had a

home in Portola Valley. I was there for seven years as

a domestic chef, butler — a major-domo kind of guy.

And then the guy’s wife passed away and he didn’t

want to keep the house in Portola Valley, so I kind of

retired onto my boat down here.

Then I needed something to do and this was right

here and empty, so this is what we did,” Whitestone


I commented on the beautiful view, sadly unappreciated

by most due to the cold weather that day, and

he replied, “In good weather, in warm weather, we’re

packed. We’re open every day but Monday. We’re

open on weekends, and we’re very popular in good


That’s not to say the indoor dining area was any less

enjoyable. With a pleasing, ocean-hued blue-grey

accent to the décor, wafting pipe music, an array of

plush pelican toys, quaint nautical paintings and

knickknacks, it was certainly full of charm.

The Diving Pelican specializes in breakfast and lunch

plus, on weekends, brunch. The restaurant is open 8

(continued on page 6)





(continued from page 5)

a.m. to 3 p.m. every day but Monday, and you can

almost always find Whitestone behind the counter.

His wife helps, but the downfall in the economy

means she’s spending less time at the cafe and more


shores, the scene is more placid.

Even with all the recent redevelopment downtown,

Bair Island Road hasn’t yet seen an upswing. Make

no mistake, though; the food is more than worth a

* Special “Geezer” salad — house version of a Caesar

with grilled chicken, $9.50

* Baked sea scallops hollandaise with green salad or

taters, $12.50

* Eggs “Bennett” — poached eggs on English muffin

with hollandaise and smoked ham, $9.50

* Chili — tasty, not hot, topped with red onions and

cheddar, $8 for a “tub”

The turkey hash is one of our most popular things,”

Whitestone admitted.

With so many items to choose from, I settled on giving

the eggs “Crabnett” a try. They’re a variant of the

eggs “Bennett” with crab replacing the smoked ham.

I have to say, they did not disappoint. Succulent crab

covered in a smooth hollandaise sauce, with the eggs

poached to perfection — firm but not dry. Layered

atop a crisp English muffin, it was the perfect thing

on a cold day.

In fact, the menu was so diverse, I decided to return

the next day with family in tow. We sampled the

chili, which lived up to its billing — zesty and flavorful,

but not spicy, with chunks of stewed tomatoes

and fresh ground beef, smothered in rich cheddar

and sharp red onions. We also tried the veggie

scramble, and if you like your eggs mixed with thick

chunks of fresh vegetables and scrambled to perfection,

this one earns a big thumbs up. The kids shared

a roast turkey sandwich with “the works.” I don’t

think I’ve ever seen one disappear so fast!


time working in San

Francisco as an accountant.


slight detour. “We focus on

quality,” Whitestone said.

Oh, and lest I forget, the “taters” alone are worth a

visit. Fried but not sliced, they’re a golden brown

and, inside the crisp exterior, practically melt in your

mouth. One warning, however — if you’re coming

down to The Diving Pelican, bring an appetite or

bring a friend. The portions are generous and not for

the weak!

The entire area has changed, Whitestone remarked.

“Up until six years ago, we had 400 boats out here in

this marina. These developers bought the property

with the idea that they were going to redevelop. So

the first thing they did after buying, they closed the

marina. And that affected us tremendously, right off

the bat.”

The economy changed around the same time, too.

These buildings used to be 90 percent occupied,”

he said. “Now they’re 90 percent empty. There were

three big dot-coms. At one time, weekdays, we had

four or five hundred people around here every day.

But that all went away.”

The clientele at The Diving Pelican is an eclectic

blend from all walks of life. “We used to have a lot

of boat people — we still do, because Pete’s Harbor

is right down the street. People I’ve known for years,

even before we opened this place,” Whitestone said.

And how did the name Diving Pelican come about?

“We were going to call it originally the Pelican Cafe.

But then when we went to register the name with the

county — which is what you have to do — they told

us that there was some place in Pacifica that was

already using the name Pelican Cafe. So we needed

to make a decision right then and there, so it just

dawned on us, my wife and myself — we decided

right on the spot we’ll call it Diving Pelican.”

With a flavorful variety of soups, salads, sandwiches

and brunch foods on the menu, it was difficult to

choose. A small sampling of what you’ll see on the

colorful specials chalkboard when you walk in the


* Pear Gorgonzola walnut salad with grilled chicken, $10

If you’re looking for a great place for weekend

brunch or just a good place to bring your friends

from the office for lunch, give The Diving Pelican a

try. The food alone is worth it, and the outdoor patio

dining, friendly service and warm atmosphere are

icing on the cake.

Pelicans still occasionally come into the harbor,

although without the 400 slips that once dotted the







“Artifacts: Cuba, California, and post-

Katrina New Orleans”

Photographs by Charles Anselmo

Jan. 10 to Feb. 11

1018 Main St., Redwood City

(650) 701-1018



The museum is located in the old courthouse

with its historic dome. Its collec-

tions include horse-drawn carriages,

models, railroads from Caltrans and the

Ocean Shore Railroad, relics from San

Mateo’s past and lithographic art dating

from 1875.


The Great Rotunda.” The stained-glass

dome of the rotunda, thought to be the

largest in a Pacific Coast public building,

is the architectural highlight of the museum


“Courtroom A.” The oldest courtroom in

San Mateo County has been restored to

its appearance in 1910.

“Nature’s Bounty.” This exhibit gallery

explores how the earliest people of the

Peninsula used the natural resources of

the area and how these resources were

used to help build San Francisco after

the discovery of gold in 1849.

“Journey to Work.” This exhibit gallery

shows how transportation transformed

San Mateo County from a frontier to


“Carriage Display.” An exhibit of the

museum’s 30 horse-drawn vehicles.

“Charles Parsons Gallery.” An exhibit of

the 23 historical model ships created by

Charles Parsons of San Carlos.

“Politics, Crime and Law Enforcement.”

The Atkinson Meeting Room includes

the Walter Moore Law Enforcement

Collection of historic badges.

“San Mateo County History Makers:

Entrepreneurs Who Changed the

World.” This exhibit chronicles the entrepreneurs

who made San Mateo County

internationally known.

“Land of Opportunity.” This exhibit tells

the story of the diverse people who

came to the area and explores how different

groups faced hardships and discrimination.

“Living the California Dream.” This

exhibit depicts the development of the

suburban culture of San Mateo County.

Special Exhibit

“Precious Cargo.” Through May 1. This

exhibit features cradle baskets in their

cultural context through direct collaboration

with contemporary California Indian

weavers. Learn about traditional beliefs

concerning childbirth and the use of cradle

baskets among Pomo and Western

Mono peoples. The exhibit includes

additional material from 28 other tribal

regions throughout California.

Admission $2-$4; children 5 and under


Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

777 Hamilton St., Redwood City

(650) 299-0104, (650) 359-1462



2209 Broadway, downtown Redwood


Ticket purchase and info (650) 369-4119

Tickets also available online at foxdream.com

and at the Fox Theatre Box


Welcomed by Fiddling Cricket


Keith Greeninger Band plus Jeffrey

Halford & The Healers

Friday, Jan. 26, 8 p.m.

$12 adv./$14 door

Keith Greeninger’s own engaging brand

of contemporary California folk sets him

apart — it is all about his tone, delivery

and earthy elegant style. Greeninger

paints intricate portraits of the human

condition with powerful melodic images,

deep, engaging guitar rhythms and

warm, heart-wrenching vocals. His

husky, heartfelt vocals and aggressive

acoustic guitar style offer more than the

standard bill of fare for most contemporary

folk singers. Greeninger is that rare

performer for whom people lean forward

in their seats.

Mardi Gras Party!

Jo-el Sonnier & Band Rockin’ “King

of the Cajuns”

Saturday, Jan. 27, 8 p.m.

$16 adv./$18 door

The music of Jo-El Sonnier is a way of

life. Steeped in passion, relentlessly

committed to his craft, he has been the

undisputed “King of Cajun” for the past

20 years and occupies a significant

place in the rich artistic landscape of this

country. His fans are undeniably dedicated,

while the music industry elite —

Dylan, Costello, Diamond and Cash, to

name a few — admire his work to no

end. He is a “musician’s musician” with a

wonderful gift.

Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express

Sunday, Jan. 28, 7 p.m.

$18 adv./$20 door

For over 40 years, Brian Auger has been

a musician’s musician. Jazz pianist,

bandleader, session man, Hammond B3

innovator and key player in the rise of

jazz/rock fusion, Auger has done it all

and then some. An incredible gentleman

with one of the most varied careers in

music, he has incorporated jazz, early

British pop, R & B, soul and rock into an

incredible catalog that has won him

legions of fans all over the world. There

is no one on the planet quite like this

amazing guy.

Welcomed by Fiddling Cricket


Wake the Dead plus Adam Traum

Friday, Feb. 2, 8 p.m.

$16 adv./$18 door

Wake the Dead is the hot Northern

California septet whose unique blending

of Celtic traditional music and the songs

(continued on page 33)






Newly elected San Mateo County Sheriff Greg

Munks was born and raised and has lived his entire

life within an eight-mile radius of his new office in

downtown Redwood City.

Munks is as hometown as they come. He was born

at Stanford Hospital, went to Palo Alto High,

attended Menlo College and currently lives in

Portola Valley. He started his career at the Palo Alto

Police Department, where he forged a longtime —

and sometimes competitive — friendship with new

Undersheriff Carlos Bolanos.

Munks, 51, was sworn in Jan. 8 in a ceremony at the

San Mateo County History Museum.

For Munks, the job is an easy transition. He was

appointed undersheriff by his predecessor, Don

Horsley, in 1993. Munks ran unopposed for the top

spot in June but knew no one else was running in

March. He had about nine months to take over the

important duties as the county’s top law enforcement


Munks’ focus for the last nine months was setting

the groundwork for his term. He has reviewed policies

and procedures from use of force to general

orders. He hasn’t had time to unpack his boxes or

rearrange the office while working on the policies

that govern the 600 people below him.

“Essentially, come Monday, whatever goes right or

wrong is on my watch,” Munks said.

offenders to other types of treatments for drug

abuse, job training or mental treatment. At the same

time, the sheriff’s office can reintroduce the work

furlough program, which was cut due to funding

shortfalls in the 1990s, Munks said.

When he’s not gearing up for the new job, Munks

volunteers on a number of community boards,

including the San Mateo County Service League,

Youth and Family Enrichment Services and the San

Mateo County History Museum.

He is married to Brenda Lane Munks and has four

children, Jessica, Cristina, Bryan and Riley. Munks

enjoys golf, skiing, travel and horseback riding.

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the Daily

Journal newspaper.




Don’t expect to see much change, however. Munks

said he is happy with Horsley’s management of the

department. He will take up many of Horsley’s same

causes, such as jail overcrowding and jail diversion


His first point of business is jail overcrowding. The

county is already taking steps to build a new

women’s jail, and a needs assessment is due out

sometime later in January. However, there is a rising

need to also rebuild the men’s jail and make sure

both facilities are equipped with enough space and

personnel to manage the growing number of

inmates, Munks said.

Having worked in the county for more than 30 years,

Munks has plenty of connections and hopes to forge

partnerships with many other cities. The partnerships

will be one of the goals with which Bolanos will

help him, Munks said.

Bolanos, the former Redwood City police chief, and

Munks rose through the ranks at the Palo Alto Police

Department. The two share a brotherly rivalry that

keeps them in constant competition — whether it is

for promotions or a tennis match, Munks said.

is now the largest

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He also wants to work with judges to develop jail

diversion programs that would sentence minor

Munks joked that Bolanos’ first point of business

will be to teach him how to speak Spanish.



Lunch Special - CHOICE OF 4 ITEMS - served with: Soup, Salad, Rice, Fresh Fruit

Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Daily Specials for Lunch and Dinner

2432 Broadway . Downtown Redwood City


Open: Mon - Fri Lunch and Dinner

Saturday Dinner Only

Closed Sundays

Dine in our restaurant or enjoy our outdoor patio

Catering Available for all occasions




As I Was Saying...

As I Was Saying...


Steve Penna


In case you have not been following the recent

activity of new housing in the area, a few exciting

developments are coming — or should I say

potentially coming — to our community.

Local developer Max Keech wants to develop an

area in Redwood Shores that is known as Area H.

His plans are to build 110 townhouses and a community

park on the 109-acre site, which Keech

owns. He also plans to clean up and preserve the

tidal marsh area if he can find some “partner agencies”

to help foot the bill. There are also plans to build a new

elementary school — a $25 million bond passed by

voters in 2005 will help with that — to educate the

additional students that would move to the area.

City officials recently held a community meeting to get

feedback and, surprisingly, heard very few negative

comments. The next step will be to enact a report on

the potential environmental impacts of the plan.

In the downtown area, a few projects are moving forward

or being discussed. Developer John Baer is building

100 new condominiums at 333 Main St. and has

just purchased a 33,000-square-foot parcel at the old

Summit School site at 201 Marshall St. That project

could bring an additional 100 condos to town.

And don’t forget that architect Kurt Anderson will

submit his final version of The Renaissance (formerly

called Tuscan Towers), a project proposed for 439

Fuller St. that would bring an additional 877 condominiums.

All this, of course, is sweet music to the ears of local

businesses that have seen little or no new activity since

the cinema complex opened. It will also help out

Caltrain, because all the projects are within walking

distance of the train station and those wanting to can

commute to work instead of clogging our streets and


During the past month, many new businesses in the

downtown area have opened — all food-oriented —

and a few have closed. Escape From New York Pizza

opened, as did the Flaming Fresco Mexican restaurant,

Ristorante Casablanca, two new bakeries and Mr. Pizza

Man on Broadway. Isn’t it nice to have so many opportunities

to try different foods?

Sadly, a few of the only retail outlets downtown — A-

1 Rental Center, the Wheelchair Shop, Skateworks and

Avail Gift Wraps, all on Broadway — have closed or are

in the process of closing. These shops and businesses

provided excellent foot traffic to the restaurants down-

(continued on page 32)


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Spending the evenings in several layers of clothing

in a room full of other women is better than

battling the elements this month, said Suzanne

Alexander as she found a spot in Redwood City’s

Maple Street Shelter Thursday evening.




according to the Shelter Network and St. Vincent de

Paul. At the same time, Alexander and others at

Maple Street Shelter said they know plenty of homeless

braving the weather rather than trying their luck

at getting housing.


Many homeless will chance the inclement weather so

they can continue using drugs or drinking. Safe

Harbor is a clean and sober shelter, Hearne said.

“You’ve got to want to change,” Hearne said.

Alexander, 37, has been homeless for more than

three years. She suffers from a number of physical

ailments such as fibromyalgia, which causes her

severe pain during cold weather. She used to spend

her nights sleeping in her car and running the heater

when she could afford it. She was one of the 75 men

and women on a recent night who managed to get a

bed at Maple Street Shelter as temperatures dipped

below 40 degrees.

With forecasters predicting such temperatures for

several days, shelters across the county were packed,

and officials implemented a motel voucher program

to provide temporary housing for individuals who

need to escape the elements.

Meanwhile, the San Mateo County Department of

Housing and the Office of Emergency Services

received state approval to open the National Guard

Armory in Redwood City’s Red Morton Park for

emergency shelter, said Jennie Loft of the San Mateo

County Human Services Agency.

The armory will be open from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. and

the San Mateo Medical Center will provide light


Alexander was impressed the armory would open.

“I have friends who can’t get in here that are spending

the night on the street tonight,” Alexander said.

Maple Street has a policy that prohibits people who

were sheltered there recently from coming back within

30 days, Alexander said.

Alexander was provided with extra blankets and fed

a dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes and broccoli.

She was still wearing flannel pajamas under her

jeans, three layers of jackets and sweaters, a scarf and

a hat.

She’s not the only one used to dressing for the worst.

Most at Maple Street had hats, sweaters and gloves.

“It’s freezing out there. To be out there on the streets

with no place to go is no good. I’ve been there

before,” said Charles Hearne.

Hearne was homeless three times before in the last

15 years. This time he finds himself on the streets

after his roommate got in trouble with the law and

left Hearne unable to pay the rent.

Sometimes it’s the loneliness that makes people

want to change.

“When you’re homeless you’re alone a lot,” said 47-

year-old Thomas Farmer. “It’s a blessing to be here,

to have the extra blankets. Outside, you don’t know

if it’s going to rain or snow.”

Without shelter, Farmer would be sleeping on a park

bench or under cardboard.

“Your feet are freezing and they feel like they are

going to fall off,” Farmer said.

Farmer is schizoaffective and does crack and marijuana

and drinks a lot of beer, he said. He was willing

to put his addictions aside at least for one night

in return for a warm bed.

“It’s a scary world we live in,” he said. “But it’s good

to be alive.”

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the Daily

Journal newspaper.

Only a handful of people requested motel vouchers,


A school district’s challenge to a state law requiring

it to fund a charter school it didn’t charter could set

a precedent in how similar districts are on the hook

financially for other charter schools.

For the Sequoia Union High School District, passing

the charter and the financial responsibility for High

Tech High Bayshore to the state could save it $1.45

million a year — money the district needs to educate

approximately 7,800 students.

However, that quest is being halted temporarily.

In November the board of trustees decided to challenge

state law that required it fund the Redwood

City school. The matter was slated to be discussed

Thursday, Jan. 11, at the state Board of Education

meeting but was pulled by Sequoia to consult state

departments, said Superintendent Pat Gemma. The

request was recommended for denial by the state

Board of Education, simply because it doesn’t want

to pay the bill either.

If Sequoia’s quest is successful it could change the

financial obligation of local districts to stateapproved

charter schools. In January 2006, High

Tech High Bayshore became the first charter school

organization in the state to be granted the right to

skip local approval. The school is chartered by the

state, yet Sequoia is responsible to pay for the students

attending. The setup, the board argues, is




Under state law, basic aid districts — which receive

revenue from local taxes — must pay for the students

attending charter schools within the district boundaries.

Currently Sequoia budgets $4 million annually

to go to Summit Preparatory High School and

High Tech High Bayshore — $6,000 per pupil.

The difference is that Summit is chartered through

Sequoia. Therefore, the two parties work together.

High Tech High, on the other hand, has a county

charter approved by the state — a unique standing.

This setup does not require High Tech High

Bayshore to work with Sequoia at all. The state pays

for most schools it approves — including the other

High Tech High schools in California.

High Tech High Bayshore is special because it was

approved by the state, but not to be paid for under

the state umbrella. High Tech High has 262 students

currently enrolled — a $1.45 million bill for Sequoia.

Making the state responsible to fund High Tech

High would give Sequoia about $185 more per student

every year.

Despite the recommendation of denial, the argument

was briefly discussed in the state Board of

Education’s staff report.

The state would be against switching the cost to

cover High Tech High Bayshore because of the financial

burden. Interestingly, a school district cannot

consider this option when deciding to charter a

school under state law. An approval would also open

up the option for similar districts — or neighboring

districts with students who attend High Tech High

Bayshore — to request a waiver to pay. If San Mateo

Union High School District, for example, had six

students from its district attending High Tech High,

it could request the state to take over its financial

obligation as well.

The county Board of Education granted High Tech

High a yearlong charter in 2005 to keep its 71 students

in school. High Tech High applied and was

granted a charter through the state without reapplying

to the county.

Sequoia argued the school didn’t have the right to

appeal to the state for a charter. The district was asking

that the state waive its requirement to pay the

school. The district suggested High Tech High

Bayshore operate under the state charter for the

High Tech High organization, which would make the

state responsible for footing the bill.

Sequoia plans to resubmit its request for the March

state Board of Education meeting.

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the Daily

Journal newspaper.













Nick Markwith, Student Writer

The first day back to school from winter break has

always been a challenge. Used to waking up at all

hours of the afternoon, students drag their feet to

their first-period class at the unbearable time of 8 in

the morning, after receiving their new schedules.

Lifting up a pencil and coordinating a hand to form

unrecognizable shapes that are supposed to be letters

is an obstacle all on its own. But no matter how hard

it is to get back into the swing of things, life at

Woodside High School always resumes with newfound


Many might think all the homework assigned over

winter break would have allowed the students to

lessen the chance of cramps in their hands from the

lack of writing. This may be true for other high

schools, but at Woodside, things are a little different.

As in the year before, the Shared Decision-Making

Council (SDMC), a board of teachers, parents and

students who decide whether certain policies should

be enacted, decided to prohibit homework over this

past winter break, from Dec. 22 to Jan. 10. You

heard me correctly. No homework at all, not even

extra credit, could be given to students. The SDMC

opted on this call of action for a few reasons, the

most important being that winter break is a holiday

time and should be spent with family, not homework.

In addition, the first day back was a

Wednesday, the day of the week when classes start at

8:45. Students still had to arrive at school earlier

than usual to pick up schedules for the new semester,

but it was a nice bonus at the end of what

appeared to be a short vacation.

With the New Year come and gone, Woodside

seemed to have made its own New Year’s resolution:

better health and wellness. The faculty decided to

form a task force called Health and Wellness. This

new gang of health-conscious teachers was created to

deal with the growing threat of child obesity and

help balance students’ and staff’s minds and bodies.

This directly affected every student’s decision at

lunchtime. The oh-so-popular, melt-in-your-mouth,

freshly baked cookies that could have been found

everywhere last year have disappeared to reduce students’

unhealthy consumption. The policy does not

stop there. Students cannot even sell candy or any

junk food on campus. Many clubs, including the

ever-growing, community service Octagon Club,

used candy sales as fundraisers to cover costs the

school cannot provide for. With this loss of income,

many clubs will not be able to pay for those costs,

reducing the extent of good they can do.

Before the break began, auditions were held for the

spring musical production, amusingly called

“Seussical the Musical.” On Nov. 28, a variety of students

waited nervously in the Performing Arts

Center hoping to land a role in the musical. Out of

nowhere, senior Alex Purcell landed the lead role as

Cat in the Hat in his first musical ever. As you may

have guessed, “Seussical the Musical” is a play based

on a collection of Dr. Seuss’s work, from “The Cat in

the Hat” to “The Whos.” If you are interested in seeing

this group of talented performers on stage,

“Seussical the Musical” will be open from Thursday,

March 1, to Sunday, March 4, at varying times.

It is sad to see the end of winter break. Not because

it means a return back to school from merrymaking

and celebrations, but because it means the end of the

first semester, with only one more semester to go. For

some, their first semester of high school was full of

new and interesting things, and those freshmen realize

they have seven more to go. For a larger group, it

is another step toward that day in June with caps

and gowns. The first day back may be a challenge to

many, but it is a challenge we are excited to overcome.










Nicole Quasney, Student Writer

As winter break comes to an end and students, faculty

and families come home from vacations,

Sequoia High begins buzzing with life once again.

Students had to be on campus at 7:30 a.m. on Jan.

10 to stand in tremendously long lines to get their

schedules for the second semester. The gym was

filled with hundreds of students catching up on the

past few weeks and vice principals running around,

trying to get everyone to their classes. It was at this

time that I looked around and truly realized this was

many students’ last time to be in an environment as

crazy as this. At this time, we became second-semester


To many of the seniors, graduation and college are

becoming quite the reality. Around this time, colleges

start sending admission letters to hopeful students.

It is between now and April that some of our dreams

will either be made or ruined. As much as we are all

tempted to succumb to a deadly case of “senioritis,”

colleges will be looking more than ever for students

who begin slacking off during their second semester.

They realize that many seniors begin to ride through

their senior year, but they believe students should

treat it the same as any other year of their schooling.

During these final months of being students at

Sequoia High, all of us will be doing what we can just

to make these months the most memorable yet, and

still pass all of our classes.

For our sports, the varsity boys’ basketball team

looks as if it will be having a very successful year.

“Our team is coming together and stepped up big in

our league opener,” expressed senior Eric Powers.

The league opener was on Wednesday, Jan. 10,

against Woodside High School. The score was 52

(Sequoia) and 44 (Woodside). Basketball games are

on almost every Wednesday and Friday, beginning

with junior varsity girls and ending with varsity boys.

All of the students at Sequoia are looking forward to

getting pumped up every Friday night to support our


At Sequoia, we are expecting a great semester full of

exciting sporting events, high grades and more purple

pride than ever.

Visit our Web site at



for the latest on

The Spectrum

and a complete archive

of our past issues!


Local Interest




Self-Defense for Women

Saturday, Jan. 27, 10 a.m.–noon, $35

This interactive workshop teaches you what to

do if you find yourself in a dangerous situation

and helps you avoid getting into one in the first

place. The prevention-based workshop covers

important topics such as Acquaintance versus

Stranger Danger, the five stages of an assault, and

verbal and physical self-defense options.

Hand Weights How-To

Saturday, Feb. 17, 10:30–11:15 a.m., $15

Weight training builds bone density and increases

muscle mass and metabolism. Learn the proper

use of hand weights to maximize the benefit to

your muscles and prevent injury.

Space to Claim: A Workshop for Women

Wanting to Claim Their Bigger Self

Saturday, Feb. 24, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., $35

When was the last time you checked in on who

and where you are right now in your life? This

interactive workshop is for women who are

courageously willing to step up and take charge

of their lives and dive into discovery around what

makes them tick. Get back in touch with your

personal or professional goals and dreams, discover

and clarify what inspires you to live a life

that is personally and uniquely fulfilling, learn

how to get unstuck from the “status quo” and

begin seeing and creating open doors for all that

is possible, and claim your commitment to stepping

into your bigger self by moving forward

from intention to action in your life.

Pre-registration is recommended for all workshops.

Reduced rates for club members. For more

info or to register, call (650) 364-9194 or e-mail


Every Woman Health Club, 611 Jefferson Ave.,

Redwood City, www.everywomanhealthclub.com





The San Mateo County Health Department is

offering free smoking cessation groups for San

Mateo County residents that want to quit smoking.

Nicotine patches are available to group participants

free of charge. Classes are offered in San

Mateo, Redwood City, Daly City, East Palo Alto

and South San Francisco. Group classes will soon

be held in Pacifica. Pre-registration is required.

Registration for the winter groups is happening

now. If you’d like more information you can log

on to www.smhealth.org or call (650) 573-3989.




A new $180,000-a-year commuter shuttle for

downtown Redwood City could be coming as

soon as February, if Council Member Diane

Howard can convince her colleagues of its worth.

Howard, also chair of the Traffic Congestion

Relief Alliance, helped coordinate a long public

outreach process kickstarting the new program,

which she hopes to grow as interest increases.

The next goal is to establish a community shuttle

by this summer, she said.

The way to start a successful shuttle is to start

small and go from there,” Howard said.

The community shuttle may serve the Fair Oaks

neighborhood and possibly the senior center, said

Christine Maley-Grubl, executive director of the

Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance.

The money to pay for the shuttle will come from

regional transportation grants and 20 percent

from the city, Maley-Grubl said. The commuter


shuttle will receive some financial contributions

from riders’ employers and will loop through

Broadway to Midpoint Technical Park in the

early morning and afternoon. Approximately 25

to 35 riders are anticipated at first, Maley-Grubl


Once the shuttle gets going, there will be some

discussion of expanding it through the middle of

the day to serve low-income areas and the senior

center, she added.

Similar shuttles have been instituted in other

cities, with mixed results. In Burlingame, a trolley

takes hotel guests downtown and is paid for

by the hotels. In San Carlos, residents rejected a

$59-a-year tax to pay for the popular service.

What makes the Redwood City program different,

Maley-Grubl said, is that it is mostly paid for

with grants. The partnerships are what makes it

work, Howard said.

“We’re very excited,” Howard said. “We have

some very good partners.”

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the Daily

Journal newspaper.





(650) 368-2434




Shop Redwood City - and Keep

our sales Sales tax Tax dollars Dollars local! Local!


The Spectrum Magazine has been out in our community, using

businesses that not only provide excellent service but also contribute

to our community. Now that a new year has begun,

shouldn’t you make the commitment to shopping local? Check out

our Best of the Best selections. When you are shopping, we urge

you to shop local and shop often!


Redwood General Tire – 1630 Broadway – Whether you

are looking for a new set of tires or need repair work on

your vehicle, this Redwood City institution has been providing

quality vehicle services since 1957. Redwood General

Tire was founded on the premise that good customer service

and quality products at fair prices will succeed in the

marketplace. They continue to follow this philosophy today

and expect it to guide them into a successful future. Many

of their satisfied customers have been with them since their

founding and continue to do business with them today.

They proudly serve the third generation of many of their first

Redwood City customers.


Canyon Inn – 587 Canyon Road – You will find everything

at this Redwood City favorite. The Canyon Inn is nestled in

the small, quiet neighborhood of Emerald Hills. It’s a popular

stop for bicycle touring clubs and local sports celebrities

such as members of the San Francisco 49ers. But the reputation

draws celebrities and personalities from all over the

world. The restaurant is noted for its burgers and beers,

most notably the Hacksaw Burger, a big double cheeseburger

named after Jack “Hacksaw” Reynolds. The Canyon

Inn also offers hot and cold sandwiches, hot dogs, fish and

chips, spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna, tacos and quesadillas.

Encore Performance Catering – 2992 Spring St. – Owner

Dave Hyman’s menu goes on for eight pages of mouthwatering

suggestions for everything from continental breakfasts

to formal dinners. Despite an entire page devoted just

to warm appetizers, these are mere suggestions, and

Hyman is quick to offer additional possibilities to fit any

occasion. He also has a strong sense of community and

participates in many community-oriented events.

Additionally, Hyman is proud of the fact that his business

products are nearly 100 percent recyclable, and they contribute

their leftovers to St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room

in Redwood City. Need a caterer for that party or event?

Call Dave at (650) 365-3731.

Little India – 917 Main St. – This stylish Indian restaurant

features a reasonably priced all-you-can-eat buffet for both

lunch and dinner. The home-style food is mainly from the

northwest region of India, and items from other regions of

India are also featured. The food is low in fat and sodium.

You can dine in or take out. Senior citizens receive $1 off

and children under 12 dine at half price. Bring your

appetite, because you will want to try everything!


Arthur Murray Dance Studio – 2065 Broadway –

Whatever your goal — meeting people, gaining confidence

or preparing for the first dance at your wedding — the

expert instructors can design a customized program that’s

just right for you! One strength of the Arthur Murray system

is the wide variety of dances you can choose from: foxtrot,

merengue, waltz, swing, hustle, rumba, cha-cha, tango,

salsa and many more. You can hire genuine Arthur Murray

professionals to teach and dance at your special event. For

weddings, hire dance hosts to come and dance with your

guests. For birthday parties, have a group lesson and then

everyone can dance together. Go with the era of your

choice for anniversary parties. At business parties, they will

teach your group with fun and flair. For holiday parties, they

will prepare your crowd for the festivities. Hire someone to

teach at your ’50s party, ’70s party or at the theme party of

your choice. Put a little fun in your life; try dancing! Take the

first step to years of fun and confidence on the dance floor.

Contact Arthur Murray to get started today. And your first

lesson is always complimentary!


Capital Mortgage Lending – 805 Veterans Blvd., #202 –

Lourdes Carini and her team of dedicated loan agents

focus on residential lending, including purchases and refinances.

As a mortgage company, they deal with a large

assortment of lenders, allowing them to research the best

financing to meet each client’s individual needs. Carini has

over 25 years of experience in the Bay Area financial services

industry. The company’s success is based on referrals,

its track record and being accessible to clients. So if you

have a mortgage loan need or question, please pick up the

phone and call (650) 362-2700. Refinance now and start

the new year right!

Edward Jones – 702 Marshall St., #515 – For decades,

Edward Jones believed in building relationships through

face-to-face interaction and adherence to a strategy of recommending

quality investments that have proven themselves

over time. So does Investment Representative David

Amann, who manages their Redwood City office. He understands

that this approach might be considered unfashionable.

But if it means helping his clients achieve their goals,

whether for retirement, education or just financial security,

it’s an approach he plans to stick to. Create a financial portfolio

that will start the new year right.


Redwood Massage & Sauna – 797 Arguello St. – First

opened in 1964 by two Finnish women, this professional

facility is now under the management of Beverly and Harold

May. Ms. May is a full-time massage therapist with almost

30 years of experience. They pride themselves on having

exceptionally talented massage therapists to care for you,

trained in a variety of specialized techniques to improve

your circulation, mental clarity and creativity as well as optimize

your overall physical health. Your experience at

Redwood Massage & Sauna will enhance your health and

well-being naturally in the true Finnish tradition of therapeutic

massage and sauna amid clean, comfortable and serene


Re:Juvenate Skin Care – 805 Veterans Blvd., Suite 140 –

Treat yourself, you deserve it! Re:Juvenate is owned and

operated by Sherna Madan, M.D., and Linda S. Moore,

R.N. Together they have more than 50 years in the healthcare

industry and over 10 years in the field of aesthetics.

Both have lived and worked in the community for the majority

of those years. When a consumer is looking for a facility

that offers a list of services that are so personal, name

recognition and reputation are of the utmost importance.

Relationships are formed quickly, and trust is a huge part of

the equation. Whether you are seeing a Re:Juvenate clinician

for acne, sun damage, skin tightening, wrinkle reduction

or laser hair removal, the process starts with a complimentary

consultation with a member of the aesthetic staff.

Call (650) 261-0500 and mention The Spectrum Magazine.

Warren Street Chiropractic – 520 Warren St. – Warren

Street Chiropractic Wellness and Injury Center was formerly

Lease Chiropractic Offices, owned and operated by Timothy

H. Lease, D.C. Dr. Lease is beginning his 22nd year of

practice and has a very broad patient base, from infants to

folks in their 90s. Cases include work injury (workers’ compensation),

personal injury (car accidents, slips and falls,

bicycle and pedestrian accidents), carpal tunnel syndrome,

plantar fasciitis, headaches, neck pain, back pain and leg

and arm pain. He has a working network of other doctors

and therapists, so he is able to refer for second opinions or

other therapy if appropriate. The office has six spacious

exam rooms, including a massage room.


Lulu’s – 846 Main St. – Lulu’s is the latest and most unique

gift store to open in downtown Redwood City. Owner Nancy

Radcliffe has taken 24 years of design experience to create

a collection of cards and gifts intermingled with eclectic

antique pieces, all affordably priced! In addition, Lulu’s carries

everything from baby gifts that put a smile on your face

to whimsical candles. Pamper your dog or cat or find that

perfect hostess gift.

Mayers Jewelers – 2303 Broadway – Redwood City’s oldest

family-owned jewelers still sparkle like they did the first

day they opened in 1969. They have a large selection of

necklaces, rings and watches. If you cannot find exactly

what you want, they have personal designs that have kept

Redwood City residents frequenting this fine business for

years. Valentine’s Day is getting closer…

Shadzz – 960 Main St. – Visit this unique card and gift boutique

on Main Street. Their fashions range from vintageinspired

to fun and funky. They feature Pandora silver beaded

bracelets you design yourself, Kokojoi Swarovski crystal

ear threads and ShaDazZle, their exclusive line of fun jewelry.

If it sparkles, you will find it at Shadzz. Best sellers

include hand-painted martini and wine glasses, trendy reading

glasses, faux diamond key rings and enamel and crystal

pill boxes. Come in and sample the latest from Burt’s Bees

and pamper yourself with Camille Beckman hand therapy.

And they just introduced a new section: Shadzz Girlz. Make

custom necklaces, bracelets and key chains or bling your

cell phone. For the men, there are 49ers, San Francisco

Giants and Reyn Spooner shirts. There is something for

everyone at Shadzz, Redwood City’s best-kept shopping



Lewis Carpet Cleaners – 1.800.23.LEWIS – Rick Lewis,

founder, started his business in 1985 out of his home, using

a small, portable machine. Today, Lewis successfully operates

and manages an office/warehouse of six employees

and has five working vans, with future plans for expansion

and growth. Lewis moved his business from San Mateo to

Redwood City in 1995. The Lewis family works and lives in

Redwood City and has truly made this town their home.

They are committed to the vision and success of our community

and will relentlessly continue to support the community,

devoting time, effort, energy and services today and in

the future. Call and ask about their Spectrum special. You

can get 100 square feet of carpet cleaned for absolutely

nothing. Call today and make your house or living space

luxurious for the new year!





Redwood City - San Mateo County

Chamber of Commerce

Networking Mixer

January Networking Mixer

hosted by Redwood City

Industrial Saltworks, LLC


Wednesday, January 17, 5:00-7:00pm

1700 Seaport Boulevard, Suite 200,

Redwood City



Mixers are complimentary and a wonderful

opportunity to network your business

with fellow members.

Please RSVP to (650)298-0800.





Do you have an adjustable rate on your:

* Home Equity Line? * First Mortgage?

Let us provide a FREE, NO OBLIGATION analysis of fixed rate options!

Please call and ask me about our Kids First Program and how

you can earn money for your school!

Committed to the community ... Committed to you.


650.823.1463 (cell)

805 Veterans Boulevard

Suite 202

Redwood City


Call us for details!






Jose Luis Aguirre, Special to The Spectrum

Many people call it La Casita (“the little

house”), but its real name is the St. Francis

Center of Redwood City. Dominican Sister

Christina Heltsley, who has directed the agency for

the past seven years, said this is because everyone

who comes there is welcome and feels at home.

La Casita also refers to the small house in which

Franciscan Sister Monica Asman first began to provide

services to needy people in a poor Redwood

City neighborhood in 1986. Sister Monica was a college

professor before she began her second career in

serving the poor.

St. Francis Center, which is celebrating its 20th

anniversary, provides food and clothing, shower and

laundry facilities, training and counseling to lowincome

individuals and families in southern San

Mateo County.

St. Francis Center also owns and operates the Saint

Clare apartments, a nearby building with 24 units,

for very-low-income families. Rent is about one-half

to one-third of prevailing levels in the neighborhood.

“We know that a lot of the immigrant families live in

a single-car garage, or three to four families live in

the same residence, so these apartments give them a

little bit of privacy and it is safe,” said Sister


St. Francis Center, a nonprofit with a board of directors,

bought the building 10 years ago. People from

the community helped to repaint the building,

install new windows and construct an attractive area

for outdoor barbecues.

“When the families no longer qualify for these apartments

because their salaries increase, I have what it

is called a rotary fund,” said Sister Christina. “I can

pay their first and last month rent and the security

deposit to help them move softly to the mainstream.

Then, they pay it back four months after they move

to the new place.”

Monday through Friday, dozens of people wait in

line outside La Casita to get food and clothes. Even

though this service opens at 1 p.m., a long line starts

to form in the early morning. Each family is allowed

to visit the center for clothing and food once a

month. Every day there are between 20 and 45 families,

or about 2,500 people a month, according to

Sister Christina.

Over the years, the center has expanded to a cluster

of nearby houses and a temporary building in which

services are provided.

Jacqueline Rueda is one of the 86 volunteers who

work at the center. She helps to stock the food that

is donated. A good amount of food comes from

Second Harvest Food Bank, which delivers five to

seven pallets of food each month. In addition, Sister

Christina picks up another load each week in the

center’s van. Some volunteers also bring pastries and

bread every day from Safeway and Whole Foods.

“I could not find any other volunteer service better

than this,” said Rueda, who has worked in La Casita

for the past six years. “I am very happy here because

all the people are very nice,” she said.

In another room, Michelle Kennedy, another volunteer,

sorted bags of clothes that had just come in.

The St. Francis Center provides 19,000 to 21,000

bags of clothes every year. Families visit the room

where clothes are neatly arranged and fill two bags

with whatever type of clothing they need, at no cost.

“If something is dirty, old or inappropriate, we don’t

keep it. We throw it away because we just select what

is good and usable for our families,” said Sister


St. Francis Center also has a space for gardening in

front of the house dedicated to Our Lady of

Guadalupe, the patron of the neighborhood. Twentythree

families have their own garden plot, transformed

from a formerly unused lot, where they grow

lettuce, chilies, tomatoes and other products, which

the families share.

“It is a natural garden,” said Sister Christina, who

invites other families to use the garden. “If they will

take care of their box, pull the products they planted

and keep it nice and clean, I give them the key and

they can use it whenever they want. This is a good

therapy too, because their homes are very tiny. It is

better for them to come and work in the soil,” she


St. Francis Center has a huge Christmas toy program,

which collects and distributes about 5,000







Dominican Sister Christina Heltsley

has worked in education most of her

adult life, and six years ago she decided

to start the Holy Family School in the

building next door to St. Francis Center.

The founding idea of the school was to have

a major impact on the lives of a small number

of children from low-income, immigrant

families. Twelve children, boys and girls, were

given the opportunity to have free education

from kindergarten to sixth grade.

“Some of these kids are the first persons in

their families ever to be able to read and

write,” said Sister Christina. “When I look

into their faces and see how far they have

come, and I see their dreams actually happening,

that is everything for me. I know

they are going to make it,” she said with tears

in her eyes.

new toys donated by five Catholic parishes, two

Lutheran parishes, two Presbyterian parishes, firefighters,

airport employees and others.

“A lot of miracles happen at the center,” said Sister

Christina. “Sometimes, if I need to pay a utility bill

for $200 or $300 and I don’t have it, somebody

comes and says, ‘Sister, I don’t have much money

but I will write a check for $200 or $300.’ I am

almost so used to it, that I know that it is going to

happen,” she said.

Another blessing Sister Christina is thankful for is

the corps of volunteers. “Our 86 volunteers are great

people and they have such big hearts that without

them [it] would be impossible to run the center.”

Sister Christina came to St. Francis Center after

devoting many years to education. A former teacher

and college professor, she holds a doctorate from the

University of San Francisco. She was superintendent

of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Monterey

before coming to the center. She was drawn strongly

to working directly with the poor, especially with

people who have great needs. Today, the Dominican

sister directs one of the most respected poverty relief

programs in the region.

“I love the center; this is a huge gift to the people

and a huge gift to me because I can see that they

have great hope, especially for their kids,” she said.

Looking to the future, St. Francis Center purchased

a property near the original La Casita, where it plans

to construct a new 2,600-square-foot building to

house its programs and services. The center has

raised about half of the $4 million needed for construction,

which will begin in early 2007.

For more information, call Sister Christina Heltsley

at (650) 365-7829 or visit www.stfrancisrwc.org.

Donations can be sent to St. Francis Center, 101

Buckingham Ave., Redwood City, CA 94063

Dominican Sister Susan Ostrowfki is the

teacher. She and Sister Christina are the only

full-time employees that work in the center,

everybody else volunteers.

But not only the children take classes, their

mothers do too. “The only condition for

enrollment in the six-year program is that

each child’s mother must come one day a

week to learn English and to take computers

and religion classes.” said Sister Christina.

Margarita Castañeda is so happy because her

son is getting an “extraordinary education,”

and because now she can speak English

thanks to the ESL classes she has taken in the

center. “When I came to this place for the

first time, I could not talk in English, but

now I feel confident and I am doing it very

well,” she said.

Rosa Gonzalez and Paz Salazar are two other

mothers whose kids attend the school. They

say their children are good kids and that they

are sure they are going to go to college or university

one day.

This is the last year for the original cohort of

12 children at Holy Family School. They will

go on to other schools for the seventh grade

with a strong early education foundation. In

September 2007, a new group of 12 children

will begin class.





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January 18

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Judy Buchan, Contributing Writer

Glenna Vaskelis received the Business

Woman of the Year Award from the

Redwood City–San Mateo County

Chamber of Commerce this month.

Winning awards is nothing new for Vaskelis, president

and administrator of Sequoia Hospital.

In 2005 and again in 2006, she was named one of

the Bay Area’s 100 Most Influential Women in

Business by the San Francisco Business Times. In

2004, she was recognized as one of the Most

Influential Women in Healthcare by the Silicon

Valley/San Jose Business Journal. And once again,

Vaskelis has garnered the respect of her peers by

winning the Business Woman of the Year Award

from the Chamber of Commerce and Mid-

Peninsula Bank. The award was presented at the

chamber’s Annual Dinner and Recognition

Banquet on Jan. 25 at the Hotel Sofitel.

Formerly known as the Athena Business Woman

of the Year Award, this year’s Redwood City–San

Mateo County Chamber of Commerce Business

Woman of the Year Award will present the recipient

with $1,000 from Mid-Peninsula Bank, to be

donated to a charity of her choice. Criteria for

nominees to the award remain the same: “A

woman who provides invaluable business acumen

to the local community for the purpose of stimulating

and enhancing the quality of life; demonstrates

excellence, creativity, and initiative in her

business or profession; assists other women of all

races, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds to

reach their professional potential within the business

community; and an active and supportive

participant and member in the Redwood

City–San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce.”

“Actually, I’m humbled and a bit embarrassed

about this award,” Vaskelis said as she recalled

coming to Sequoia when the hospital was “struggling

financially and hemorrhaging red ink.”

Stopping the red ink and becoming a top financial

performer took some three to four years. “I’m

very proud of what we have accomplished.”

Challenges at Sequoia have been daunting, but

certainly nothing that Vaskelis and her team can’t

handle. “I knew how to go out to find opportunities,

always with the goal of balancing good

patient care with the needs of the hospital.

Sometimes we had to postpone extra expenditures

(continued on page 22)






(continued from page 21)

in order to give our patients the best in care.”

Vaskelis has been at the helm of Sequoia Hospital

since October 1996, when Sequoia became part of

Catholic Healthcare West (CHW). Her responsibilities

include management of all operations for

the 421-bed hospital. She was responsible for the

transition of Sequoia into CHW beginning in

April 1996.

She has more than 20 years in senior leadership

roles for not-for-profit health care organizations,

including serving as the senior vice president of

operations and finance for Seton Medical Center

in Daly City from 1990 to 1996. There, she was

responsible for financial and general operations at

Seton, Seton Coastside in Moss Beach and the

San Francisco Heart Institute. She previously held

positions as senior vice president/chief financial

officer at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and the

Hospital of the Good Samaritan in Los Angeles.

The next big challenge she will oversee is the $240

million expansion slated for the hospital campus.

Included in the project will be the construction of

several new buildings and a state-mandated seismic

retrofit of the hospital structure that was built

in 1950. Specific components of the expansion

include expanded emergency room services, an

advanced cardiovascular center, a family-focused

birth center, complete medical and surgical services,

an easily accessible and welcoming hospital

entry with free valet

parking, a parking

garage, terraced front

gardens and a healing

garden with fountain.

Also slated is a new medical

office building with

physician offices, an outpatient

surgery center,

outpatient imaging and

lab services.

“We’re looking for city

approval of the environmental

impact report

this spring and expect to

break ground for the

parking garage in late

June,” Vaskelis said.

And through all this,

Vaskelis expects the hospital

to “remain fully

functional.” The first

piece has already started

with the relocation of

the MRI to the ground

floor of the hospital.

After city approvals are

received, construction

for the parking garage

will begin this summer.

New hospital construction

will start in late

2008, to be completed by

spring 2011. All seismic

projects are expected to

be completed by 2012.

Don’t doubt Vaskelis’

determination and credentials

to see the

rebuilding project though

to a successful outcome.

She is a certified public

accountant and holds a

certificate in managerial

accounting. She worked

for Arthur Young &

Company prior to going

into the health care profession.

She received a

bachelor’s degree in

accounting and management

from the University

of Alabama in

Birmingham in 1978.

While she has a lot on

her plate at the hospital,

Vaskelis is also “very

encouraged about the

direction the city is taking.

There are good

things ahead for us.”

Vaskelis and her husband, Frank, reside in Half

Moon Bay with two Maine Coon cats rescued at

the Peninsula Humane Society. They have one

daughter and two grandchildren, one in college at

age 20 and the other in graduate school at age 21.

Their hobbies include golf (“I need lessons …

quickly!”) and travel. Australia and China have

been past ports of call.

What would she tell young women today? “Work

at a profession you love, be true to yourself and

do your best.”

You go, girl.

* * * * *

In addition to Glenna Vaskelis being named

Business Woman of the Year, Sequoia Hospital

will also receive the chamber’s Golden Apple

award at the awards banquet on Jan. 25. Its Make

Time for Fitness partnership with the Redwood

City School District encourages healthy eating,

physical activity and avoidance of tobacco products.

The San Francisco Giants also partner in this

program and have worked with Sequoia to design

Make Time for Fitness walking courses on

Redwood City school campuses. These courses are

open for before- and after-school programs.




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News Briefs





With little surprise, the Board of Supervisors

unanimously named Supervisor Rose Jacobs

Gibson president for the second time in her

tenure and Supervisor Adrienne Tissier the

second in command.

Jacobs Gibson, who took over from

Supervisor Jerry Hill, thanked her peers but

is reserving most of her comments for a

State of the County address Jan. 25. Tissier,

the newest member of the board, also kept

her remarks short but did issue a press

release highlighting her accomplishments

during her second year as a supervisor,

including a pharmaceutical disposal program,

older-driver traffic safety seminars

and expansion of the Choices re-entry program

for jail inmates.

The two unanimous votes place women in

both of the board’s highest positions — a

feat no one can quite remember having

occurred before.

Board president is not a separately elected

position but cycles through the members

based on seniority and votes. The president

does not carry any more weight than the others

in terms of voting but, much like a

mayor, sets the meeting agendas and can

determine the board focus.

Jacobs Gibson last served as president in

2003, nabbing the distinction of being the

first black female to hold the spot. Jacobs

Gibson, 59, was appointed to the board in

1999 to replace Ruben Barrales as the

Fourth District representative of East Palo

Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City and the

unincorporated areas of North Fair Oaks and

Oak Knoll. Previously, she served on the

East Palo Alto City Council from 1992 to

1999, including stints as mayor in 1995 and


Gibson has indicated plans to continue

working on current issues, such as childhood

obesity and school wellness. She is also

known for her supervisory work with the

county’s Housing Endowment and Regional

Trust, which works to increase affordable

housing stock across the county through private

and public partnerships.



Redwood City firefighters contained a onealarm

fire that broke out in a large heap of

trash at a car shredding business in Redwood

City, but the smoke was visible from miles

around, a fire chief reported. The fire was

reported at Sims Metal at 699 Seaport Blvd.

in the port area of Redwood City, Fire Chief

Gerald Kohlmann reported. There were no

injuries reported, but the fire department got

calls from as far away as Oakland reporting

the smoke, Kohlmann said. The fire broke

out in a pile of flammable materials from

scrapped cars, including roof liners and

upholstery. Nothing indicates that the fire

was set intentionally, Kohlmann said. While

the firefighters were in the process of extinguishing

the flames, Kohlmann advised residents

nearby with respiratory conditions to

remain inside. Firefighters from Menlo Park

and Woodside Fire District were called to

help extinguish the fire.



A 40-year-old Peninsula woman received

the maximum sentence possible in San

Mateo County Superior Court after pleading

no contest to vehicular manslaughter

charges in connection with a 2005 car crash.

Silvia Romero, of Redwood City, was sentenced

to 12 years and four months in state

prison for her role in a November 2005 crash

in East Palo Alto that killed her boyfriend,

Larry Young, 56, of East Palo Alto, and

fatally injured her friend Lucille Carter, 37,

also of East Palo Alto. According to police,

Romero was driving her Mercedes sedan on

East Bayshore Road at about 2 a.m. on Nov.

26, 2005, when she lost control and

slammed into a telephone pole at a speed of

over 65 mph. Young, who was in the back

seat of the car and not wearing a seatbelt,

was ejected from the car and died instantly,

according to coroner’s office investigators.

Carter, who was in the front passenger seat

and also not wearing a seatbelt, was paralyzed

and left in a coma. She died as a result

of her injuries in July, according to prosecutor

Eric Hove. Young left behind seven children

and Carter a 17-year-old daughter,

Hove said. The prosecution cited a witness

report that immediately after the crash,

Romero, who was not seriously hurt but who

was on felony probation for drug possession

at the time, asked the witness not to call the

police and then fled, leaving both victims at

the scene. Romero was arrested by East Palo

Alto police about 14 hours later and was

found to have cocaine and alcohol in her

system, according to Hove. Prosecutors

were unable to prove, however, that Romero

had been intoxicated at the time of the crash,

which could have brought a life sentence if

she had been convicted by a jury, Hove said.

On Oct. 27, Romero accepted a plea agreement,

pleading no contest to two counts of

vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence

and to a special allegation of fleeing

the scene. “The only person the defendant

thought of that night was herself,” Hove said

in summing up at the sentencing hearing.

While Romero’s defense attorney portrayed

Romero as “hysterical” after the crash and

devastated by the deaths of two close

friends, Judge Craig Parsons described her

behavior as “totally callous” and “inexcusable.”

Young’s mother, Dorothy, also spoke

briefly, saying that though her son had a history

of drug problems himself, he had been

trying to recover in recent years and was her

primary source of care. Romero declined to

speak on her behalf and sat quietly as the

sentence was pronounced.



San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputies arrested

a man suspected of shooting an 18-yearold

Newark man twice over the vandalism of

a car. The shooting occurred in North Fair

Oaks in the 600 block of Stanford Avenue,

according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s

Office. Sheriff’s detectives say Marco

Carlos, 20, is responsible for the shooting.

Detectives arrested him at his mother’s

house in Redwood City and he was booked

on attempted murder charges. Earlier

Wednesday, deputies had arrived just as a

fight among 10 men was breaking up. The

deputies identified and released several of

the men and left. A couple hours later, three

of the men returned to the scene in a white

Buick and somebody inside the vehicle

began firing a handgun. Two shots hit the

victim, who was taken to an area hospital for

treatment. The victim has since been

released, according to the sheriff’s department.

The suspects fled in the Buick northbound

on Hurlingame Avenue and the vehicle

was later recovered unoccupied, the

sheriff’s office reported. The gun used in the

shooting, a .38- or .357-caliber gun, has yet

to be found. Carlos is scheduled to be

arraigned Friday on charges of attempted





San Mateo County Judge George A. Miram

recognized the court’s technology director

by awarding him the Presiding Judge’s

Service to Justice Award. Timothy Benton

was honored at the court’s annual holiday

luncheon “for his dedication and service to

justice for 17 years.” “Tim Benton embodies

the guiding principle of our court — service

to people of our county and the state,”

Miram said in a written statement.

According to Miram, Benton is best known

for his invention and development of

EZLegalFile, an interactive program that

assists in filling out forms necessary to

request or respond to papers for a variety of

legal issues. Since its inception, Miram

reported, EZLegalFile has been adopted by

40 counties in California. “It helps bring justice

into the homes of self-represented litigants

through their home computer,” Miram

said. EZLegalFile can be accessed at






(650) 368-2434

Visit our Web site




for the latest on

The Spectrum

and a complete

archive of

our past issues!








More time will be spent teaching English and math in Redwood City classrooms

starting next month after the school board unanimously approved

a district-wide curriculum revamp to bring its student achievement levels

up to state standards.

The Redwood City Elementary School District ended a four-month effort to

address the lack of student achievement. In September the district was notified by

the California Department of Education that it was a program improvement district

since it did not meet the academic proficiency requirements set by the state.

The new plan — which will begin to be phased in next month — was a collaborative

effort among community members calling for increased training for faculty

and more time teaching core subjects daily.

“This is not something we’re doing just because it’s a state and federal mandated

requirement. It’s more of an issue of what we need to do for our children in

Redwood City,” said Superintendent Jan Christensen. “We need to move forward

so all of our children can be reading at a proficient level.”

Each board member was in support of the new standards, but there was concern

about accountability down the road. Trustee Craig Baker requested a specific plan

outlining how and when progress will be checked before the next school year.

Under No Child Left Behind guidelines, a certain percentage of students must test

at a level showing academic comprehension. If the requirement is not met, the

school district has a set timeline to be completed by Dec. 1 to create an action plan

to change the district-wide curriculum, Christensen said.

The new plan calls for an increase in teacher and administrator training, including

40 hours geared toward helping English-learning students. Students will have a

minimum of 90 minutes and up to 120 minutes in reading and writing daily,

grouped by ability across the grade level. Each student will also receive grade-level

instruction in reading and writing daily. Students learning English will have 30

minutes of extra instruction in vocabulary development and sentence structure.

During this time, other students will be given 30 minutes of enrichment for additional

help in reading or writing as needed.


Many parents and even board members were concerned when the process about

sweeping changes began.

Liz Henry, the parent of a John Gill Elementary second-grader, was completely

against the changes when first announced. Now Henry hopes to create continuity

at all district schools.

The fact that we are not all comfortable to have our children attend any school

within the district ... means we need a change,” she said.

All changes would start to be phased in beginning on Feb. 1. Schools were given

the flexibility to create a unique plan built on the new principles. Many administrators

spoke in support of this detail.

“This plan is a skeleton as a starting point so 100 percent of our children can

achieve. It’s a living thing. We can change it, tweak it and improve it,” said Cheryl

Bracco, McKinley Institute of Technology principal. “All children deserve an education

that is best for them.”

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Nonprofits in Action




In addition to sheltering and finding new

homes for stray and unwanted animals

(100 percent placement for healthy dogs

and cats since 2003!), PHS/SPCA has

vital programs for people. New in 2006

and beginning with the North Fair Oaks

community, the shelter began driving its

mobile spay/neuter clinic into lowincome

neighborhoods, offering owners

free “fixes” for their pets. PHS/SPCA

also provides a free animal behavior

help line in English and Spanish. Call

(650) 340-7022, ext. 783 or 786. And

domestic abuse victims who wish to

leave their abusive situation but are

fearful of doing so because they have

pets can receive temporary sheltering

for their pets through PHS/SPCA. Call

(650) 340-7022, ext. 330.



This group is small but has a growing

membership. All members either live or

work in our community and share a common

goal of making our city a better

place to live. This club is one of over

44,000 Lions Clubs in 199 nations.

Chartered in 1966, the club has been

vigorously active helping eyesightimpaired

youth in our schools and seniors

who are hearing-impaired.

Join them for breakfast! The Lions meet

every Wednesday at Bob’s Court House

Coffee Shop, 2198 Broadway, beginning

at 7:15 a.m. Call Bill Gibbons at (650)

766-8105 for more details.



Redwood City Women’s Club meets at

the clubhouse, 149 Clinton St., the first

Thursday of each month September

through June. Social at 11:30 a.m. and

lunch at noon, followed by meeting and

program. For information call Loretta at

(650) 368-8212 or visit RWCWC.com.




The Soroptimists invite you to become a

member of Soroptmist International, the

largest service organization for business

and professional women in the world,

where “improving the lives of women

and children” has been their mission

since 1921. Soroptimists work through

service projects to advance human

rights and the status of women locally

and abroad. Soroptimist International of

South Peninsula needs and wants you

as a member. While helping women’s

and children’s causes, you will enjoy fellowship

and lasting friendships. They

meet the second Thursday of every

month. For more information, please call

their president, Maria, at (650) 366-

0668, Monday–Friday between 9 a.m.

and 5 p.m.



Nursing Mothers Counsel (NMC), a nonprofit

organization since 1955, provides

free breastfeeding education and assistance

by highly trained counselors

(moms who breastfed for at least six

months). To speak with a counselor (no

fee), call (650) 327-MILK (327-6455).

NMC also offers free breastfeeding

classes. Moms (including babies), dads,

grandmas and friends are welcome.

Free breastfeeding classes are held the

first Saturday of each month at Mills

Hospital in San Mateo from 10 a.m. to

noon. Call (650) 327-MILK (327-6455)

to RSVP.

NMC also has breast pumps and breastfeeding

supplies available for purchase

and rent. Call (650) 364-9579. If you’d

like to become a trained counselor, call

(650) 365-2713. Visit their Web site at




Peninsula Hills Women’s Club meets the

third Wednesday of each month at the

Community Activities Building, 1400

Roosevelt Ave. For more information,

call (650) 366-6371.



The Peninsula Sunrise Rotary Club was

chartered in April 1988. In the years

since that time, the club has met weekly

at 7:30 a.m. for breakfast and to hear a

speaker at the Waterfront Restaurant at

Pete’s Harbor in Redwood City. The

club, with 22 members, has frequently

been honored as an outstanding small

club by Rotary District 5150, which

includes San Mateo, San Francisco and

part of Marin counties. For more information

or to join, call Fred Wolin at (650)




The group meets the fourth Tuesday of

each month at the Sequoia District

Board Room, 480 James Ave., at 7 p.m.

All alumni and friends of Sequoia are

welcome to attend. For more information

call Nancy at (650) 592-5822, visit the

Web site at sequoiahsalumniassoc.org

or e-mail sequoiaalumni@earthlink.net.


Redwood City Rotary serves the community

by raising $60,000 or more each

year through its July Fourth car raffle to

fund college scholarships, support local

charities and provide international relief

aid. In addition, club members volunteer

at a host of local events and meet in fellowship

each Tuesday at 12:15 at the

Sequoia Club, 1695 Broadway, to hear

from a variety of interesting speakers.

For more information about joining, contact

Roland Haga at (650) 482-6300.



Looking for a dependable source of

skilled, reliable workers? Family Service

Agency of San Mateo County provides

employers with mature, ready-to-work,

experienced workers who are 55 years

and older. Employers contact the service

because they appreciate the superior

work ethic and the commitment to

quality that mature workers possess.

There are no fees for hiring candidates.

Contact Barbara Clipper at (650) 403-

4300, ext. 4368, to place your job order.

For those looking for work, Family

Service Agency provides a range of

services for those who are at least 55

years of age, including referrals for

classroom training, vocational counseling,

job referrals and on-the-job training

for qualified participants. Contact

Connie Tilles at (650) 403-4300, ext.

4371, if you are looking for work.



Join the City Talk Toastmasters to develop

communication and leadership skills.

The club meets on Wednesdays

12:30–1:30 p.m. in the Council

Chambers at City Hall, 1017 Middlefield

Road. Call Manny Rosas at (650) 780-

7468 if you would like to check out a

meeting, or just stop in. Visit www.toastmasters.org

for more information about

the Toastmasters public speaking program.



(continued on page 30)






The Veterans Memorial Senior Center,

1455 Madison Ave., provides the following

open-to-the-public activities during

January and early February.



Thursday, Jan. 18, 9 a.m. to noon

Sunset Room

Join us for this popular seminar on older

driver safety. Topics include a confidential

self-analysis of driving skills, the

importance of nutrition and exercise,

age-related changes and how to adjust

to be a safer and more alert driver. This

class is sponsored by volunteers from

the California Highway Patrol. To register,

call (650) 780-7270. Class size is

limited. There is no charge.



Wednesday, Feb. 7, 10:30 a.m.

Goldstar Room

February is National Heart Month!

Here’s a statistic for you: Heart disease

kills one in every four men and one in

three women. Now is the time to learn

how to prevent heart disease and keep

your heart healthy. This free lecture is

open to the public.



Thursday, Feb. 8, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Redwood Room

Enjoy a wonderful evening complete

with a divine meal and a live orchestra.

Great place to meet new people, dance

and enjoy the spirit of Valentine’s Day.

Reserve your tickets by calling (650)

780-7259 by Monday, Feb. 5. No tickets

sold at door.

To learn more about the Veterans

Memorial Senior Center, call (650) 780-

7270. Redwood City Parks, Recreation

and Community Services Department

provides recreational facilities and activities

for all ages and interests, and supplies

building and custodial services for

city buildings. Redwood City Parks also

operates the Veterans Memorial Senior

Center and the Fair Oaks Community

Center, providing social, educational

and cultural activities, as well as information,

referral and counseling services

to persons living in Redwood City and

neighboring communities. Redwood City

Parks is more than you think! Its Web

site is www.redwoodcity.org/parks.


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Do the math. If you have

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an IRA, 401k or other

retirement account and

you are depending on the

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market to build the nest

egg you will need to

generate a retirement

income of $5,000+ per

month, you are

competing for the Nobel

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There is a solution!




No obligation




(continued from page 29)

The Optimists invite you to become a

member of Optimist International, one of

the largest service organizations in the

world, where “Bringing Out the Best in

Kids” has been their mission for over 80

years. Whether you’re a club officer or a

club member who enjoys the fellowship

and friendship of others with a common

greater good, Optimist International

needs and wants you as a member.

The Optimist Club of Redwood City

meets every Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. at

Bob’s Court House Coffee Shop at

Middlefield and Broadway. For more

information, call their president, Steve,

at (650) 365-8089 or their secretary, Ted

Cole, at (650) 366-1392. Or come join

them for lunch to learn more about how

you can make a difference.



Since October 1956, the Woodside

Terrace A.M. Kiwanis Club and its precedents

have been devoted to community

service in Redwood City. Through the

decades, they have provided funds to

help many worthy community programs

and continue to add more community

projects. The Key Club of Sequoia High

School, sponsored by the Woodside

Terrace A.M. Kiwanis Club, was chartered

in 1994 and has been involved in

raising money and donating time and

effort to many of our programs.

The Woodside Terrace A.M. Kiwanis

Club meets every Wednesday morning

7:15–8:30 a.m. at the Waterfront

Restaurant, 1 Uccelli Blvd. (at Pete’s

Harbor). They invite you to come to their

meetings and check out the club’s Web

site at www.agencyinfo.org/kiwanis.





Hearing Loss Association is a volunteer,

international organization of hard-ofhearing

people, relatives and friends.

Hearing Loss Association is a nonprofit,

nonsectarian, educational organization

devoted to the welfare and interests of

those who cannot hear well but are committed

to participating in the hearing


A day meeting is held on the first

Monday of the month at 1:30 p.m. at the

Veterans Memorial Senior Center, 1455

Madison Ave. We provide educational

speakers and refreshments. A demonstration

of assistive devices is held on

the first Wednesday of the month at

10:30 a.m. in the second floor conference

room at the Redwood City Public

Library, 1044 Middlefield Road. Please

call Marj at (650) 593-6760 with any


Editor’s note: If you are connected with

a nonprofit organization and want your

information printed in The Spectrum,

send it to writers@spectrummagazine.net

or The Spectrum Magazine,

P.O. Box 862, Redwood City, CA 94064.

Let our community know your contributions

and maybe they will want to join





Buy a ticket for the Kiwanis Club’s second

annual Crab Cioppino Dinner to be

held Feb. 10 at the American Legion.

Complimentary wine with dinner, nohost

bar and raffle prizes.

All proceeds benefit community programs

and services, including a college

scholarship program, a computer reuse

program that benefits local students,

Special Games for special-needs youth,

a bike rodeo/safety program, annual

food and toy drives for local charities,

the Sequoia High School Key Club, a

senior tea, toiletries collection for

women in transition, Relay for Life,

neighborhood cleanup days, the Books

for Raising a Reader program and much


Tickets are on sale now but will sell out

fast. Call (650) 365-3618 and order

yours today!





(650) 368-2434

Visit our Web site at



for the latest on

The Spectrum

and a complete

archive of

our past issues!






David Amann, Special to The Spectrum

You can lose your gloves. You can lose

your keys. But you’d never lose track of

your investments, would you?

Actually, you might be surprised at just how

many people do forget about investments or

leave them behind when they move. Every

state maintains unclaimed-property offices to

deal with millions of dollars worth of stocks,

bonds, bank accounts, uncashed checks,

pensions, 401(k)s and IRAs.

To avoid losing track of your financial assets,

follow these suggestions:

Keep records of all bank accounts and investments.

It would probably take just a few minutes

for you to write up a list of all your bank

accounts and investments. And you don’t

have to go into great detail, either — just

include the type of account and where it’s

currently held. Make sure you share this list

with a family member.

Inform banks and brokers when you move or

change names. Notify your bank, broker,

401(k) administrator, insurance company and

any other financial service agency you work

with when you move or if you change your

name due to marriage or divorce.

Cash checks promptly. Whenever you

receive stock dividends or distributions from a

retirement plan, cash the checks promptly.

The longer you leave these checks lying

around, the greater the likelihood that you’ll

forget about them. Of course, in the case of

dividends, if you don’t need the income you

are probably better off by automatically reinvesting

them, as this builds the number of

shares you own,


but if you’re going to accept

the checks, take care of them right away.

Don’t give up. Even if you do lose track of

investments or bank accounts, it doesn’t

mean they are gone forever. Try to “retrace

your steps” back to where you think you might

have held your accounts. Most financial services

providers will do what they can to help

you. As an alternative, you might want to visit

the Web site of the National Association of

Unclaimed Property Administrators

(www.unclaimed.org). There are no guarantees,

but this organization can at least help

get you started in the process of finding your

missing assets.


Apart from the suggestions listed above,

there’s one more step you can take that can

potentially help you keep close tabs on your

financial assets. Specifically, you might want

to consider consolidating as many of your

accounts as possible at one financial services

institution. A full-service company can offer

you access to investments, banking services,

mortgages, credit cards — virtually any financial

vehicle you might need. With all your

account and tax statements coming from the

same place, you should find it relatively easy

to keep track of all your holdings.

Furthermore, by consolidating your assets at a

single financial institution and working with a

single financial professional who knows your

needs and goals, you may actually end up

improving your overall financial strategy.

Why? Because if you maintain several

accounts without a central focus or unifying

philosophy, you could end up with redundant

or inappropriate investments — a costly mistake.

At the same time, you could end up

paying more for a variety of services spread

out among several providers.

So, keep track of your investments, stay

organized and consider consolidating your

accounts. You work too hard building your

financial assets to let them slip away.

Editor’s note: David Amann is one of the

Redwood City community members who contributes

to The Spectrum. If you have any questions regarding

investments please send them to writers@spectrummagazine.net

or The Spectrum Magazine,

P.O. Box 862, Redwood City, CA, 94064.


OPEN TRYOUTS for GIRLS AAU Basketball Club

Dates/Times: (Please arrive 15 minutes early)

Friday, February 16th 6-8 pm

Sunday, February 18th 11am-1 pm

Friday, March 2nd 6-8pm

Sunday, March 11th 11am-1pm

Location: Red Morton Community Center

1120 Roosevelt Avenue, Redwood City, CA 94061

RCR: Renegades basketball, an established non-profit AAU Club, is seeking

basketball players who would like to play against top competition throughout the Bay

Area and who are dedicated to improving their basketball fundamentals and skills.

Playing time is earned and players will be assigned to a team based on skill level

and effort.

Teams/Eligibility: 11U team, any girl born on or after January 1, 1995

12U team, any girl born on or after January 1, 1994

13U team, any girl born on or after January 1, 1993

The child may reside anywhere in the Bay Area. Presently the team has participants

from Castro Valley, San Ramon, Fremont, Hayward , San Leandro, San Lorenzo,

Mountain View, Redwood City and other parts of the Bay Area.

For more information, please contact Steven Diaz at rcrenegades@gmail.com

and/or visit our website at www.leaguelineup.com/rcrenegades



(continued from page 9)

-town and around. Parents and youths alike

would visit the shops and stop for something else

along the way, which is how it works in successful

shopping districts.


If the downtown businesses are going to see the kind

of foot traffic that they were promised, there has got

to be an emphasis on bringing more retail shops and

services there. After all, the anchor was labeled as a

cinema/retail complex. The current restaurants are

surviving on lunch business (county employees,

mostly) but afternoons and evenings need a boost.

That is where the retail component is supposed to

come into play. Who is trying to attract those needed

businesses? As far as I can tell, no one.

Another issue the City Council has got to discuss is

the parking for and ticketing of visitors downtown.

The meters are definitely a deterrent to those choosing

between a movie at the new cinema or one at the

old theaters across the freeway.

Talk about confusion. Why haven’t the parking

meters been changed in the lot behind Powerhouse

Gym but the ones in the small lot behind City Pub

have? The new ones require more money. There is

not proper signage to explain parking procedures in

the Caltrans lot behind City Pub and there has got

to be 20 tickets issued there each day to those eating

and shopping at local businesses — many of whom I

am sure will never return. Are the fees collected from

the meters evenly matching the sales tax dollars lost

from frustrated visitors? We will never know, but it

would be something to study or at least recognize.

We have a problem. The problem is lack of planning

and execution — everyone is confused. I say, let’s

just dump the meters before visitors to town dump


City consultants have told the council that (a) a lack

of parking means success, and (b) parking is a limited

resource and should not be free. Those consultants

should look no further than Palo Alto, Menlo

Park or even San Carlos to be proven wrong.

And while I am on the subject, why aren’t the parking

enforcement officers ticketing those parking for

extended amounts of time in the nonmetered spaces

on Jefferson and Broadway? The lack of enforcement

has given employees of local businesses the opportunity

to park there during their shifts, eliminating

those spots for shoppers and diners. Also, enforcement

was strong during the first two weeks of the

cinema opening, but now you can park in the “dropoff”

spaces on Broadway without any consequences.

All of this does not make sense to me. What about


* * * * *

The California Center for Public Health Advocacy

has just issued a statement saying that 31 percent of

all Redwood City students in fifth, seventh and

ninth grades were overweight during the 2003/2004

school year. No word on whether they have lost any

weight during the past three years.

* * * * *

After six months of negotiations, teachers in the

Sequoia Union High School District (SUHSD) will

see their checkbook balances getting a little bigger

soon. The district trustees and teachers association

came to terms on issues including management and


organizational rights as well as updated hours and


The new agreement will net teachers an immediate 2

percent raise retroactive to July 2006. The agreement

will then cost the district $694,000 in

2006/2007, $1,041,000 in 2007/2008 and

$1,388,000 in 2008/2009 school years. If the local

tax projections hold true, the district will be in fine

shape. If not, your guess is as good as mine.

* * * * *

It’s become a national phenomenon and now it

seems that dance fever has hit Redwood City. Just by

looking in the windows of the Arthur Murray Dance

Studio on Broadway, you can tell that there are a lot

of potential dancers enjoying themselves. Among

those are City Manager Ed Everett and his companion,

Mary Welch; former San Mateo County Sheriff

Officer Rick Gutierrez and his wife, Tracey; and

Alex and Cherlene Wright. Hey, if they can do it,

maybe I can too. Who knows, I could be the next

Emmitt Smith!

In the dancing world, there will be what is called a

District Showcase at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in

Foster City, and none other than “Dancing With the

Stars” dancers Nick Kosovich and his partner, Lena

— they are a big deal! — will be performing there.

Call the studio at (650) 216-7501 and see how you

can attend.

* * * * *

Congratulations to Steve Krause of the Redwood

City Fire Department, who worked his last shift on

Jan. 11 and then retired after 34 years of service to

our community. Good luck!

* * * * *

Spotted here and there: Council Member Alicia

Aguirre and former Mayor Fernando Vega (not

together) at the new restaurant Flaming Fresco on

Hamilton Street. Mayor Barbara Pierce and husband,

Jerry, at The Diving Pelican Cafe. Former

Council Member Paul Sanfilipo at Bob’s Court

House Coffee Shop.

* * * * *

Redwood City’s new Police Chief Louis

Cobarruviaz was sworn into office on Thursday,

Jan. 18, and it could not have come at a better time

as the Police Officers Association (POA) and the city

reached a contract agreement. They have been working

without a contract since Sept. 1, 2005.

In the contract, which former Police Chief Carlos

Bolanos helped negotiate, the POA voted in favor of

a new three-year contract that will provide vision

and dental coverage and a raise equivalent to 8 percent,

covering one year of salary freeze. It also

adjusts the compensation formula the city uses each

year to determine whether the department is being

paid like other similarly sized cities.

The contract allows officers with 30 years experience

to get 90 percent of their pay when they retire at age

50. If the contract is retroactive to 2005 and is a

three-year contract, that means we can expect to

start this whole process over in September 2008.

As I have reported, there has been a literal standoff

between the

POA and the

city for the

past 16

months. One

might wonder

why a settlement

came so

fast in the

New Year.

Could it have

something to

do with the

fact that there

are four council

seats up for

grabs in this


election? If I

were an

incumbent running for re-election, I would not want

to be faced with constant inquires from constituents

asking why the police officers are not being properly


Regardless, let’s be optimistic and hope that this

ends or at least repairs some of the ill will that has

been going on for years between the POA, City

Council and City Manager Ed Everett.

* * * * *

There are some great nonprofit fundraisers coming

up. Check them out and support them. All you can

eat crab? I am so there.

As I was saying…



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(continued from page 7)

of the Grateful Dead is delighting

Deadheads, folkies, jam-band fans and

adventurous music lovers alike across

North America. Adam Traum has been

performing in clubs and festivals for 18

years. A versatile musician, he plays

many styles as well as multiple instruments,

including mandolin, bass and lap

steel, though he is most fluent on the


Unauthorized Rolling Stones plus

Heavy Petty

Saturday, Feb. 3, 8 p.m.

$12 adv./$14 door

Five incredible musicians from the U.K.,

New York City, Denver and San

Francisco have pooled their talents to

create “The World’s Greatest Tribute to

the World’s Greatest Rock ’n’ Roll

Band.” Their successful collective backgrounds

include Top 40 hits, nationwide

tours, countless sessions, concerts and

club dates. Together they re-create the

energy, attitude and spectacle of a real

Rolling Stones concert. Experience

what it’s like to be up close and personal

with Mick, Keith and the boys.

Heather Combs Band plus opener


Friday, Feb. 9, 8 p.m.

$14 adv./$16 door

Join the Heather Combs Band for their

only Bay Area appearance this winter.

They have been voted “Best Band of the

Bay Area” by San Francisco Magazine

and have opened for the Go-Go’s, Tom

Petty, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow, Los

Lobos, Joan Osborne, The Who, Steve

Earle, Kasey Chambers, Todd Snider

and Joan Jett, to name just a few. Loyal

followers know that the HCB loves to

play four-hour-plus shows and won’t quit

until last call. They get sweaty on stage.

They make fun of themselves. They

drink beer.

Celtic Music Fest!

Tempest plus Molly’s Revenge

Saturday, Feb. 10, 8 p.m.

$14 adv./$16 door

Based in Northern California, Tempest is

recognized as a driving force in the modern

folk-rock movement. Fusing traditional

material with high-energy rock

intensity, the band is renowned for its

dynamic and electrifying concerts. The

group’s brand-new studio CD, “The

Double-Cross,” finds the band in peak

form as it showcases inventive original

and traditional material. Tempest’s

members hail from five countries across

three continents.

Redwood City Blues Jam

Wednesday, Feb. 14, 7 p.m.

Free admission!

Join Kenny “Blue” Ray for an evening of

quality blues music from the area’s best

musicians, where audience blues musicians

are invited to “jam” on stage. The

music is real, the mood collegial and the

doors open to the community to enjoy

this uniquely American music. New: The

Jam now meets on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th

Wednesday of each month, from 7 p.m.

to 11 p.m. Bring your friends!


The Cheeseballs

Friday, Feb. 16, 9 p.m.

$18 adv./$20 door

The Cheeseballs. The name says it all:

groovy, funky, danceable fun! Just ask

the tens of thousands of fans who have

already experienced them. They will tell

you stories of standing on the bar

singing “I Will Survive” at the top of their

lungs or dancing so hard to “We Are

Family” that getting out of bed the next

day was quite an event. That’s what The

Cheeseballs do; they make you “Shake

Your Booty” like it hasn’t been shaken in



Lydia Pense & Cold Blood plus Ron


Saturday, Feb. 17, 8 p.m.

$14 adv./$16 door

After nearly 25 years, Lydia Pense and

Cold Blood have embarked on a resurgent

CD and tour project. Popular in the

mid-’70s with five albums, Pense and

Cold Blood reflect a blend of “blue-eyed

soul music” reminiscent of the Bay Area

funk music genre led by Tower of Power.

Originally signed by legendary rock

impresario Bill Graham, Cold Blood was

a mainstay at concert venues like

Winterland and the Fillmore West during

the post–“summer of love” years.

Redwood City Blues Jam

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m.

Free admission!

Join Steve Freund for an evening of

quality blues music from the area’s best

musicians, where audience blues musicians

are invited to “jam” on stage. The

music is real, the mood collegial and the

doors open to the community to enjoy

this uniquely American music. New: The

Jam now meets on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th

Wednesday of each month, from 7 p.m.

to 11 p.m. Bring your friends!

Cathie Ryan of Cherish the Ladies

Thursday, Feb. 22, 8 p.m.

$16 adv./$18 door

Irish-American Cathie Ryan, with her

crystalline vocals and insightful songwriting,

is an original and distinctive

voice in Celtic music. Since her

acclaimed seven-year tenure as lead

singer of Cherish the Ladies, the Detroitborn

Ryan has established herself as

one of Celtic music’s most popular and

enduring singer-songwriters. The


Boston Globe recently wrote,

“Cathie Ryan is a thrilling traditional

vocalist whose honey-pure soprano is

equally at home on probing original ballads

about a woman’s place in the modern


Stung: A Tribute to The Police

This Charming Band: A Tribute to The


Little Bitches: A Tribute to Weezer

Friday, Feb. 23, 8 p.m.

$12 adv./$14 door

Stung is here to fill a void we all long for

— the sound of The Police, live! This

Bay Area band has quickly made a buzz

wowing audiences at the hottest area

night clubs and events around the bay

(SF Black & White Ball, Bay to Breakers

“Footstock” Concert, Bimbo’s 365 Club)

and around the world (Holland Tribute

Band Festival). This trio of gifted musicians

has even been blessed by a sit-in

performance by Police founder/drummer

Stewart Copeland at his Beverly Hills

birthday party.

Presented by Voices of Latin Rock

Tony Lindsay plus opener TBA

Saturday, Feb. 24, 8 p.m.

$14 adv./$16 door

Grammy-winner, singer, songwriter and

producer Tony Lindsay will present his

long-awaited third album tonight at the

Little Fox. Guitar great Chris Cain and

Santana members Andy Vargas on

vocals and Karl Perazzo on percussion

have joined Lindsay in his newest effort,

lending their talents to an already classic

project. Lindsay is internationally known

as the lead singer for guitar legend

Carlos Santana and can be heard on

such hit albums as “Milagro,” “Shaman,”

“Ceremony,” “Food for Thought” and

“Super Natural,” for which he received

11 Grammys.

CD Release Party!

Welcomed by Fiddling Cricket


Laurence Juber

Sunday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m.

$18 adv./$20 door

Although an accomplished composer in

his own right, Laurence Juber has

recently gained much attention for his

fine interpretations of Beatles’ and Paul

McCartney’s music. Now he focuses on

the music of an earlier era, arranging

and playing some of Harold Arlen’s most

well-known tunes on his latest release,

“I’ve Got the World on Six Strings.”

Arlen’s songs, such as “Over the

Rainbow,” are musical icons, and many

others are true standards of the golden

era of American theater and movie






A Minute With...

What is the most important aspect of

the Housing and Human Concerns


To make sure that the underprivileged citizens

in our community are given assistance.

Should we be concerned about housing

in Redwood City?

Yes, housing is always a concern.

Is there a project you are excited about

in Redwood City’s future?

The housing projects in the downtown


What historical figure do you most identify


I don’t have one yet.

What living person do you most


My grandfather.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My mother. She has been battling an illness

since 1991 and she inspires me.

What is your most-treasured possession?

A silver cross that I keep with my Bible.

What talent would you most like to


To sing.


Jeri Richardson

Jeri Richardson was born in Prescott, Ariz., and moved to Redwood City when she was

1 week old. She is single and has a half brother, Joseph Kisner, and a half sister, Keri

Cochren. She graduated from Woodside High School in 2000 and attended the

University of San Diego for four years. She is a real estate agent with Terrace Realty,

which is owned by her grandfather Will. She was appointed to the Redwood City

Housing and Human Concerns Committee in May 2006. She also volunteers for local

4-H clubs and is on the board of directors of the Sequoia Awards.

Something no one knows about you?

Someday I want to run for Redwood City

City Council.

If you could change one thing about

yourself, what would it be?

I tend to get real emotional. I would not like

to do that so much.

What words or phrases do you most


No way.

If you could choose what to come back

as, what would it be?

As myself with the information I have

learned so far.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Having health, being comfortable financially

and surrounded by those I love.

What do you consider your greatest


At this point, the Bronze Achievement Award

for Realtors in 2005.

What is your greatest regret?

I wish I would have traveled more in college,

when I had the opportunity.

What or who is the love of your life?

My family.

What is your motto?

If it is to be, it is up to me.




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