Barry Jolette - The Spectrum Magazine - Redwood City's Monthly ...

spectrummagazine.net

Barry Jolette - The Spectrum Magazine - Redwood City's Monthly ...

A Little Nerdy

Ontiveros Named

YOUTH

of the

YEAR

County

Courthouse

Turns

GIVING TIME

&

TIME AGAIN

Barry

Jolette

He is an

Gem

Absolute

1

As I

Was

Saying…


A Solution To Regional

Traffic Congestion?

Two Million workers commute into San Francisco

and San Mateo Counties every week to local jobs. They

commute from Santa Rosa, Fairfield, Stockton, Livermore,

Gilroy and even Salinas – because there isn’t enough local

housing to accommodate them.

The traffic caused by these long distance commuters is the

main reason why our freeways and bridges are so badly

congested. These commuters are also the number one cause

of air pollution and greenhouse gases in our region.

Redevelop This Industrial Site — Put Workers Near Jobs

Redwood City is now exploring whether to redevelop the

more than 1,400-acre Redwood City Industrial Saltworks

site to permit up to 12,000 new homes to help get long

distance commuters off our freeways and bridges.

This large site presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity

to make major progress toward solving regional problems.

That’s why many major employers in the region are

supporting this smart growth, transit-oriented plan.

we can reduce regional traffic, reduce air pollution,

and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by building new

housing that will allow workers to live nearer to their

jobs. Isn’t this a solution worth considering?

You can read more about the Redwood City industrial Saltworks smart growth, transit-oriented plan by

going to www.RCSaltworks.com. Email us at info@RCSaltworks.com or call us at 650-366-0500.

Redwood City

Saltworks

Sponsored by DMB Saltworks, LLC

Follow Saltworks on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Spectrum_Ad_2_18_10.indd 1

www.SpectrumMagazine.net

2/18/10 6:04:15 PM


The Spectrum.MAR.2010

Steve Penna

Owner and Publisher

penna@spectrummagazine.net

Anne Callery

Copy Editor

writers@spectrummagazine.net

Judy Buchan

Contributing Writer

writers@spectrummagazine.net

Nicole Minieri

Contributing Writer

writers@spectrummagazine.net

James Massey

Graphic Designer

James R. Kaspar

Cover/Cover Story Photography

jkaspar@sonic.net

Valerie Harris

Internet Maintenance

Contact Information:

Phone 650-368-2434

E-mail addresses listed above

www.spectrummagazine.net

Welcome to the March 2010 edition of The Spectrum Magazine. This month we have a little bit of

everything. So sit back on the train or at the gym, restaurant or community center, at work or at home,

and enjoy our community news!

This month’s cover subject is the first to not be a current resident of Redwood City. Why was Barry

Jolette chosen to break that barrier? Contributing writer Nicole Minieri will tell why he is considered a

true “Redwood Citian.” He is someone we can all be proud to have in our community.

Publisher Steve Penna touches on the subjects of this November’s election and the list of “boring”

candidates, a letter from our county manager and notes from events and parties around town in his

column, “As I Was Saying….”

We also have stories on a Redwood City teen who was named Youth of the Year, the beginning of a

celebration for the county courthouse’s 100th birthday and an open letter from Redwood City School

District Superintendent Jan Christensen.

Along with all that, we bring you our regular features on community interest, senior activities,

information from the Redwood City School District, parties around town, news briefs, cultural and

entertainment events and the popular feature “A Minute With.” We also have a new advice column from

Russ Castle about insurance topics. We would like to thank David Amann for providing our financial

advice column for many years, and we expect it will show up again in the future.

We encourage you to support our valuable Spectrum advertisers by using their services when you are

out shopping, dining or enjoying yourself in our community with friends and family. Many of them have

special offers for you to cut out and present, including discounts on services, food or beverages, so please

take the time to look over their ads this month and use their coupons and discounts. When you visit

them, let them know you appreciate their support of our local community publication.

We thank our readers for making The Spectrum the most-read publication of our community. We invite you

to visit our Web site at www.spectrummagazine.net for up-to-the-day information on our community.

Contents

This Month’s Photo Shoot – 4

RCSD Corner – 5

“As I Was Saying...” – 6

Celebration Begins

As Courthouse Hits 100 – 9

Cultural Events – 11

Nonprofits in Action – 12

The People Speak: Letters to the Editor – 13

Redwood City’s Blessing:

May the Luck of Jolette Enfold You! – 18

Community Interest – 21

Shop Redwood City – 23

News Briefs – 24

Budget Crisis Puts

Local Academic Gains at Risk – 26

Ontiveros Named ‘Youth of the Year’ – 28

Meet Our Community-Minded

Realtors of Redwood City – 30

Fundraiser to Keep ‘Danny G’ Dancing – 31

Mayor Ira Is ‘Tapping’ Us to Be

Code Enforcement Volunteers – 31

Insurance Tips:

Checking With Your HR Department – 33

Senior Activities – 33

A Minute With Gino Gasparini – 34

The Spectrum 3


Inside The Spectrum: Cover Story Photo Shoot

This month’s cover shoot was arranged by publisher

Steve Penna through e-mail correspondence with

Connie Paniagua, who is an assistant to our cover

subject, Barry Jolette. The time that worked for

everyone was Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 2 p.m. at the

corporate headquarters of San Mateo Credit Union at

350 Convention Way.

Cover story photographer James Kaspar arrived first and waited in the

parking lot for Penna. He began taking shots of the front of the building as

Penna arrived, then both checked in with the front lobby receptionist.

Paniagua welcomed them in the bottom-floor lobby and brought them up

to the administrative offices where they were greeted by Jolette. Because

they are involved with some of the same nonprofit groups, Penna has known

Jolette for several years, so they instantly felt comfortable and exchanged

jokes. Kaspar soon joined in the fun.

The entire shoot was very lighthearted and a complete joy, with all sharing

several laughs. Stephen Tabler, vice president of marketing, joined the group

and added to the camaraderie. They continued to shoot in Jolette’s office, and

that is where the props were staged for the cover photo.

After the session in Jolette’s office was over and goodbyes had been said,

Penna and Kaspar spent a few moments with Tabler discussing SMCU’s

history, since Kaspar has been a member for approximately 35 years. The

entire shoot took about 30 minutes.

When The Spectrum goes through the process of choosing a cover subject,

we do so recognizing that the person or business must epitomize Redwood City.

Although Jolette does not live in Redwood City, he and San Mateo Credit

Union could not be more a part of our community. We are proud to tell

their story and how much they do. We salute their contributions and the

differences they make in so many residents’ lives.

For great fun and bargains join us at

Casa de Redwood’s

7th Annual Fashion Show & Luncheon

“Goodwill Hunting”

Featuring Women’s Fashions

and

Benefiting Casa de Redwood, a

affordable senior housing Project

SATURDAY, APRIL 3, 2010

CASA DE REDWOOD

7th Floor Penthouse

1280 VETERANS BLVD

REDWOOD CITY, CA

11:30-2:00

Luncheon served at noon

TICKETS: $20

FOR LUNCHEON RESERVATIONS OR

SPONSOR OPPORTUNITIES

Please call Ginny Hughes (650) 594-0783 or

Marie Amaya (650) 369-7332 or Helen Cocco (650) 368-7062

Opportunity drawing tickets: $5 each or 5 for $20

Grand Prize: Purse with $150 cash

Plus many other great prizes

www.SpectrumMagazine.net


RCSD Corner: News From the Redwood City School District

A Community That Cares About Its Schools

Redwood City students sing thanks to RCEF’s Music for Learning program

Like most public school districts in California,

the Redwood City School District is facing an

unprecedented budget crisis this year. Many positions

and programs were cut last year, and the district

expects to make deeper cuts for 2010–11. The

situation is dismal, but there is one bright spot:

the Redwood City Education Foundation (RCEF),

the only all-volunteer, nonprofit organization

that raises money for districtwide programs that

enrich education for our local students.

For the past 25 years the RCEF has reached out

to the community to raise money that provides

critical programs no longer funded by the state.

Programs made possible by the RCEF include:

Music for Learning

With partial support from the city’s Civic Cultural

Commission, the RCEF brings trained music

educators from Music for Minors to all students

in second through fourth

grade. Students acquire a core

body of knowledge and skill

appropriate for their grade

while singing and playing

percussion instruments and

recorders.

Physical Education in the

Classroom

The RCEF worked with the

district’s Wellness Committee

and its partners to develop

the FitFun Program for

Better Learning. At its

center is the FitFun Game

Guide, filled with enjoyable,

energetic physical activities

that teachers can use in the

classroom to keep students active, help them

concentrate better, and develop exercise habits

that last a lifetime.

SMART Grants

In partnership with Oracle Corp. and the Westly

Foundation, the RCEF brings innovation into the

classroom through its SMART grants for science,

math, technology, literacy and the arts. Individual

schools apply for grants to pay for a program or

need at their school. For example, fourth-grade

students may “work” as marine scientists “in the

field” for an afternoon with the Marine Science

Institute, making firsthand discoveries about

shore animals and their habitats. A school’s

computer lab may be equipped with interactive

whiteboards that allow teachers to access and

control classroom technology from the front of

the room.

Key to Excellence in Education:

Greater Community Support

“Student achievement has risen dramatically

in our local schools in the last few years,” says

Jo-Ann Sockolov, president of the RCEF. “State

education funding, however, is at an all-time low.

Our kids need our help more than ever before.”

Unlike nearby districts, which are funded

primarily by property tax revenue and

supplemented by local parcel taxes and donations,

the Redwood City School District relies almost

exclusively on state and federal funding. As a result,

up to $8,000 more per student per year is spent on

students in neighboring districts than in Redwood

City. Volunteers from the RCEF are working hard

to increase the level of local donations to our

schools. Last year the RCEF raised about $300,000,

approximately $34 per student, still considerably

less than the amount raised by neighboring

foundations, which average about $425 per student.

On April 30, the RCEF hosts its major fundraising

event of the year, Benefit for a Brighter Future.

Pacific Shores Center has donated its facility at

1100 Seaport Blvd., and Google and Wells Fargo

have signed on as sponsors. All members of the

community are invited to attend. Tickets are $75

until April 9 and $90 thereafter.

“This benefit is a golden opportunity for

individuals, small businesses, corporations and

foundations to commit to being a ‘can-do, willdo,

make-it-happen’ force that helps to build

a brighter future for our kids,” says Sockolov.

“Despite the enormous budget challenges our

district faces, every contribution does make a

difference, and we hope the community will give

what they can to keep our schools strong.”

To learn more about the event, visit www.rcef.

org/brighterfuture/.

The Spectrum 5


As I Was

Saying…

Publisher | Steve Penna

I know I made some comments last month about

the “beautification” project on El Camino Real

between Broadway and Brewster, but let me just

say: This is a clear example of government at its

worst. Disrupting traffic, practically eliminating

foot traffic, decreasing business and sales tax

revenues and lessening people’s personal incomes

all for the sake of making elected officials feel

good about making our “gateway” look beautiful.

I don’t know about you, but I feel so much

compassion for those businesses affected and

losing so much income. It is just so wrong! You

would think that maybe some government entity

would try to help those businesses with financial

compensation or provide some advertising or

marketing dollars to encourage us all to use those

businesses during this difficult time. But they

don’t, so I will.

I will admit that I do not frequent any of those

businesses on a regular basis and sure do not want

to take any dollars out of the pockets of other

businesses in our community, but let’s all of us

— yes, including you — try to use one of those

businesses during the next month to show them

our support and encouragement and that we hope

they can financially survive this “beautification”

and still be around when it is through. Times are

hard enough right now for all businesses without

having to deal with this “beautification” project

and the negative effects.

Once the “beautification” is complete, you will

see a great big celebration with elected officials

and others involved patting each other on the

back. Let’s just hope it is not in front of any more

empty storefronts.

.…

Here is a brief update on the races that will

affect Redwood City voters in this June’s and

November’s elections.

The race to fill Ira Ruskin’s 21st District state

Assembly seat will have newcomer Josh Becker

facing off against political veterans Palo Alto

Councilwoman Yoriko Kishimoto and San Mateo

County Supervisor Rich Gordon. This will be a

great race to watch if Becker runs the campaign

he needs to as the outsider and newcomer. Voters

are rightfully eating that up right now.

The race to fill Gordon’s county supervisor seat

will see at least five candidates: former County

Sheriff Don Horsley, San Carlos Councilman

Matt Grocott, Sequoia Healthcare District

www.SpectrumMagazine.net

Trustee Jack Hickey and activists Michael

Stogner and April Vargas. If no one receives

more than 50 percent of the vote in the June

primary, a runoff of the top two candidates will

be held in November. Another good race.

The race to replace retiring county Tax

Collector/Treasurer Lee Buffington could

potentially be a good one with Richard Guilbault

(president of Guilbault Asset Management),

Deputy Treasurer/Tax Collector Sandie Arnott,

former Burlingame Mayor Joe Galligan and

Dave Mandelkern, vice president of the San

Mateo County Community College District,

all announcing their campaigns for the June 8

election. Sparks are already flying in this race and

we haven’t even really begun.

When County Clerk/Assessor Warren Slocum

announced that he would retire instead of running

for re-election, current County Supervisor

Mark Church did what every office-hopping

politician should do and declared he is running to

replace him. Who cares if he will cost the county

hundreds of thousands of dollars to hold a special

election to then replace him? So far there is no

competition against him. Former Redwood City

Mayor Ira Ruskin was rumored to be a potential

candidate, but that is highly unlikely considering

he has his eyes on a Senate seat. Can you say

boring? I am not talking about the race; I am

talking about the candidate.

Stacie Nevares, a former office assistant in the

San Mateo County Coroner’s Office, declared

she will seek to unseat her former boss, Coroner

Robert Foucrault, in the June election. Talk

about a candidate who literally knows “where the

bodies are buried.”

It looks like Chief Deputy District Attorney

Steve Wagstaffe will have no competition

to fill his boss Jim Fox’s seat. Only in San

Mateo County could a high office like that go

uncontested when most likely there will not be

another chance of doing so for some 16 years.

It looks like County Sheriff Greg Munks will

skate through to another four years in office, as no

one is showing any real interest in taking him on.

Several important Superior Court judge seats

are also up, but, as expected, no one seems to be

willing to step up and make a challenge.

I have a lot of candid comments and insights

into several of these races and can’t wait to share

them with you once the candidates have all

qualified and started campaigning.

.…

The San Mateo County Community College

District is considering placing a $34 annual parcel

tax before voters on the June ballot. If they do,

the board of trustees will have to hold a public

hearing, and if they do that, it will be on March

10. I don’t care what any consultant or board

member says, if this goes before voters in June, it

will fail! The district should look at making some

across-the-board administrative salary cuts before

coming back to taxpayers again and again.

.…

The recent retirement celebration to honor

Corinne Centeno was a fantastic event attended

by a who’s who of politicos, citizens and city

staff. In attendance were council members Ian

Bain, Jeff Gee, Barbara Pierce and John

Seybert; former Mayors Dick Claire and Georgi

LaBerge; Diane Howard; County Supervisor

Rich Gordon; City Manager Peter Ingram and

former City Manager Ed Everett; Police Chief

Lou Cobarruviaz and former Chief Carlos

Bolanos; Fire Chief Jim Skinner; city staff

members Bob Bell, Chris Beth, Arnella Bibbs,

Chris Cesena, Chu Chang, Karen Chew,

Teri Chin, Jill Ekas, Ed Hernandez, Debbie

Jones-Thomas, Jane Light, Mike Lynch, Ron

Matuszak, Denise Monroe, Brian Ponty, Beth

Ross, Bruce Utecht, Pat Webb, Susan Wheeler

and Lucas Wilder; community leaders Warren

Dale, Maria Diaz-Slocum, Pete and Ginny

Hughes, Bonnie Miller, Erin Niemeyer, Tamara

Piulle, Bob Slusser, Susan Swope, Paula Uccelli,

Donna Vaillancourt, Shawn White, and Alex

and Cherlene Wright.

It was a great event and a great send-off for

an employee and resident who has been such a

hardworking part of our community. I have a hunch

we have not heard the last of her. Best of luck!

.…

San Mateo County Manager David S. Boesch

recently wrote “an open letter to the San Mateo

County community” to several newspapers and

media outlets. I still do not understand why he

wrote the letter, but let’s just go with it as a gesture

from the county to our community about giving.

In his letter he stated that “This past year has

been a difficult one for many. Unemployment is

(continued on page 32)


Get the red carpet treatment

Everything you need is here at On Broadway. A full-service branch featuring friendly

knowledgeable staff. Validated parking. Convenient late hours and we’re open on Saturdays, too!

Come see what all the fuss is about.

Get a Free Movie Ticket!

When you open your membership at the On Broadway Branch.

Broadway St.

Theatre

District

Jefferson Ave.

your local hero

When you refer a friend or family member to SMCU,

20 lunches will be donated to the Second Harvest

Food Bank of San Mateo Co.

on broadway • 830 Jefferson Ave • (650) 363-1725 • SMCU.ORG

Offer valid while supplies last. You are eligible for membership in SMCU if you live, work, worship, or study in San Mateo County. A one-time, non-refundable membership fee of $10.00

($1.00 for age 17 and under) is required to join. Federally insured by NCUA. When a referral is made for a new membership and account opening is verified, SMCU will make a contribution

to the Second Harvest Food Bank of San Mateo County within 60 days of account opening. Must complete referral card. See branch for details.

Every Woman’s

Place for Fitness

• Classes for all fitness levels

• Personal training

• Spa services

• Friendly, helpful staff

10% Off

Personal Training

Single sessions or packages

Offer good for members and non-members

Offer expires 3/31/2010

VIP Pass

5 days

FREE!

Simply bring in this

coupon to get started

650-364-9194 611 Jefferson Ave., Redwood City, CA 94063 www.everywomanhealthclub.com

The Spectrum 7


www.SpectrumMagazine.net


Celebration Begins As Courthouse Hits 100

The historic San Mateo County Courthouse hits

the century mark this summer and, to celebrate,

the San Mateo County Historical Association

recently kicked off a slate of activities to honor

the grand building.

The courthouse — recently renovated and

known for its beautiful stained-glass dome —

houses the historical museum and is even used for

courtroom settings in films.

The building and its adjacent Courthouse

Square plaza form the grand centerpiece of

downtown Redwood City, and the association

estimates tens of thousands of people enjoy it

annually.

The courthouse building first opened with a

grand celebration July 4, 1910. The historical

association began calling it home a decade ago.

The celebration kickoff on Jan. 28 included

costumed characters from the Strange Case of

Constance Flood. On Feb. 6, the Boy Scouting

exhibit was opened, commemorating 100 years

of both the courthouse and the Boy Scouts.

Remaining events include:

Saturday, March 6, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.: A

children’s craft program featuring the courthouse

building and its architecture.

Saturday, April 24, at 1 p.m.: Children’s

Edwardian Tea Party, a lesson on etiquette of the

1910s.

Sunday, May 16, from noon to 5 p.m.: Free

admission day for Honoring Our Heritage:

Immigrants Day Festival. The traditional

celebration honors the cultures that have made

San Mateo County their home. Plus, a special

salute to the courthouse as a symbol of American

citizenship.

Sunday, June 6, at 2 p.m.: The San Mateo

County Historical Association’s Annual Meeting

for members. An in-depth presentation on the

construction of the courthouse will be featured.

Friday, June 25: Special release of publication

La Peninsula, dedicated to the courthouse and

featuring articles by those who have worked in the

building, including former U.S. Supreme Court

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Sunday, July 4: Special presentations during

the Redwood City parade and opening of the

exhibit “If These Walls Could Talk.” Participation

by organizations that originally celebrated

the courthouse’s opening in 1910 and family

activities, including Fourth of July crafts with

hand-churned ice cream and distribution of a free

32-page activity book for children.

Sunday, Sept. 12, from noon to 4 p.m.:

Victorian Days at the courthouse with a special

reenactment of the Strange Case of Constance

Flood, which actually took place in Courtroom A

in 1931.

For more information visit www.historysmc.org.

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

newspaper.

In period costume, Diane Rummel prepares the

Courthouse Centennial Celebration cake inside the San

Mateo County History Museum. The museum’s 100thyear

celebration will continue throughout the year with

events and new exhibits for children and adults.

The Spectrum 9


SAN MATEO HARLEY OWNERS GROUP

6TH ANNUAL PAL POKER RIDE

Benifiting Youth of San Mateo County

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Date: May 8th, 2010

BBQ: At Sparky’s Hot Rod Garage

975 Industrial Way Suite B

Registration: 8:30-9:45am San Carlos, Ca 94070

Coffee/Donuts

Early Registration (Prior to April 23rd)

Location: Peninsula Harley

$25 per motorcycle-$30 with rider

380 Convention Way Registration after 4/23-Day of Ride

Redwood City, Ca 94063

$30 per motorcycle-$35 with rider

1 ride patch, T-Shirt, raffle ticket per bike

Ride Out: 10am Sharp

(First 250 Riders)

Name

Address

Email Address

2nd Rider’s Name

Phone Number

www.SpectrumMagazine.net


Cultural Events

‘Curtains’

Woodside High School

Performing Arts Center

March 5, 6, 12 and 13 at 8 p.m.

March 7 at 2 p.m.

Tickets available at the door or at

650-367-9750, ext. 4851

Adults $20, seniors $15, students $10

The Woodside High School Performing Arts

Department is very excited to present the

Peninsula premiere of the great big musical

comedy whodunit “Curtains.” This Tony Award–

honored original musical comedy has music and

lyrics by Broadway legends John Kander and Fred

Ebb (creators of “Chicago” and “Cabaret”) and

book and additional lyrics by Rupert Holmes.

“Curtains” is a send-up of backstage murder

mystery plots. Set in 1959 Boston, the musical

follows the fallout when the supremely untalented

star of “Robbin’ Hood of the Old West” is

murdered during her opening night curtain call.

Can a police detective who moonlights as a

musical theater fan save the show, solve the case

and maybe even find love without getting himself

killed? Come find out!

Angelica’s Bistro

863 Main St.

Downtown Redwood City

650-365-3226

Jazz Jam

Every Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Free

Hosted by Ken Elmore Jazz Quartet

Great jamming session with Ken Elmore, Dave

Weitzman, Fred Paclibon and Alan Harris. Just

bring your instrument and jam. Many of the

musicians who have performed in the past have

ended up playing at the Bell Theatre Room.

Blues Jam

Every Thursday, 7 p.m.

Free

George Schoenstein has put together an incredible

jamming session. Besides being a great time,

the Blues Jam is also a great opportunity for the

musicians to become recognized. Many of the

musicians who have performed in the past have

ended up playing at Angelica’s Bell Theatre

Room. Thank you to George Schoenstein for

bringing great blues bands to Redwood City.

Senior Live Karaoke

First and third Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free

This is a special event we are doing for our seniors.

Come and sing along. Maddaline plays your favorite

old-time songs on the piano! Call for details.

Deseo Tequila Lounge and Restaurant

851 Main St.

Downtown Redwood City

650-366-1333

Salsa Dancing

Every Wednesday

Free

Live music and salsa dancing.

Songwriters Showcase Live

Every Thursday beginning at 9 p.m.

Free

DJ plays until 1 a.m. Come enjoy dining,

entertainment and dancing with family and friends.

DJ Begins Spinning at 9 p.m.

Every Friday and Saturday

Free

Happy Hour 4–7 p.m. Drink specials and free

chips and salsa.

San Mateo County History Museum

2200 Broadway St.

Redwood City

650-299-0104

www.historysmc.org

Tue–Sun, 10–4

$2–$4; free for children 5 and under

The History Museum is housed inside the historic

1910 County Courthouse. Over 50,000 people

visit the museum each year, and the number of

local residents who hold memberships is growing.

The History Museum teaches approximately

14,000 children each year through the on- and

off-site programs. The museum houses the

research library and archives that currently hold

over 100,000 photographs, prints, books and

documents collected by the San Mateo County

Historical Association.

Ongoing Exhibits

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 building.

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 those

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 suburbs.

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. The exhibit chronicles

the entrepreneurs who made San Mateo County

internationally known.

Land of Opportunity: The Immigrant Experience

in San Mateo County. The exhibit tells the stories

of the diverse people who came to the area and

explores how different groups faced hardships and

discrimination.

Living the California Dream. The exhibit depicts

the development of the suburban culture of San

Mateo County.

Call for Artists

Art on the Square 2010

Art on the Square is a series of juried outdoor

art shows on the streets surrounding Courthouse

Square in downtown Redwood City. Shows are

held monthly from June through September and

feature fine art and fine crafts in a variety of

media at price points for every budget. Art on the

Square is looking for artists who work in painting,

glass, photography, ceramics, fiber and more.

There’s wonderful jewelry at each show, and for

those who can’t get enough of it, we’ve added

Jewelry on the Square on July 9.

Art on the Square 2010 dates:

Art on the Square with Music on the

Square: Friday, June 18

New! Jewelry on the Square with Music on

the Square: Friday, July 9

Art on the Square with the PAL Blues Festival:

Friday, July 23, and Saturday, July 24

Art on the Square with Music on the

Square: Friday, Aug. 6

Art on the Square with the Redwood

City Salsa Festival: Friday, Sept. 24, and

Saturday, Sept. 25

Monthly jurying until shows are filled. Artists can

download an application at www.redwoodcity.

org/events/Art_on_the_Square.html. Questions?

E-mail ArtontheSquare@sbcglobal.net.

The Spectrum 11


Nonprofits In Action

Advocates for Children

Advocates for Children, CASA of San Mateo

County, is actively seeking caring and consistent

adults to mentor and speak up for the best

interests of these children. Over 130 children are

waiting for someone who cares.

If you would like to become a volunteer

advocate, or just want to learn more, please attend

an orientation held in their San Mateo office. Visit

their Web site (www.AdvocatesFC.org) or call

650-212-4423 for more information.

City Talk Toastmasters

Join the City Talk Toastmasters to develop

communication and leadership skills. The club

meets 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.

CityTrees

CityTrees is a nonprofit working with the Public

Works Department to enhance and care for

Redwood City’s urban forest. They usually plant

or prune on the third Saturday of each month.

Check their Web site (www.citytrees.org) for a

listing of events, dates and how to join.

Family Connections

This nonprofit group is the only parentparticipation

preschool in San Mateo County

focusing on low-income families. Their Redwood

City classrooms offer children through age 5 and

their parents a tuition-free learning environment

that’s supportive and fun. Family Connections

parents stay involved in their children’s education

and, as a result, their children are more prepared

for kindergarten and beyond. They are always

looking for volunteers to play with the children

while moms and dads attend parent-ed classes,

organizers to help coordinate fundraisers,

and people from the business world to initiate

new corporate partnerships. Check www.

familyconnections.org for more information.

Family Service Agency of San

Mateo County

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 who are looking for work and are

at least 55 years of age, Family Service Agency

provides a range of services, 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.

www.SpectrumMagazine.net

Friends for Youth

Do you like to play video games, shoot hoops,

watch baseball games or just have fun? Then

you have what it takes to be a mentor! As a

mentor, you can hang out with a young person

like Reggie. He’s a 12-year-old who loves pizza,

baseball and cars. He lives with his grandmother

and three sisters and would love to hang out with

a guy and have fun. There are 30 boys like Reggie

waiting to be matched with a mentor like you.

Most of the boys wait more than a year to meet

their mentors.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor,

you are invited to attend a one-hour information

session in Redwood City. For upcoming

sessions, call 650-482-2871 or e-mail mentor@

friendsforyouth.org.

Funders Bookstore

If you haven’t wandered into the Funders

Bookstore, you have missed one of Redwood

City’s hidden treasures. This project is a

volunteer effort by a group of dedicated people

interested in supporting the San Mateo County

History Museum and simultaneously providing a

community bookstore for everyone’s pleasure. A

large collection of hardback first editions, trade

paperbacks, children’s books, cookbooks and

an entire room of $1 paperbacks are featured.

Bookstore hours are Tuesday through Saturday,

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is on the lower level of the

San Mateo County History Museum at 2200

Broadway, with the entrance facing Hamilton

Street. Stop by for a browse!

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit

organization that seeks to eliminate poverty

housing and homelessness from the world, and

to make decent shelter a matter of conscience

and action. Locally, the Greater San Francisco

affiliate partners with working families and the

community to build affordable ownership homes

in Redwood City. Formed through the merger of

Peninsula Habitat for Humanity and Habitat for

Humanity San Francisco in August 2008, Habitat

for Humanity Greater San Francisco provides a

unique solution to the local housing crisis and

has enabled nearly 150 families to purchase

affordable housing. Contact Jennifer Doettling,

communications director, at 650-568-7335 or

jdoettling@habitatgsf.org. Visit their Web site at

www.habitatgsf.org.

Hearing Loss Association

of the Peninsula

Hearing Loss Association is a volunteer,

international organization of hard-of-hearing

people and their relatives and friends. The

nonprofit, nonsectarian, educational organization

is devoted to the welfare and interests of those

who cannot hear well but are committed to

participating in the hearing world.

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. Educational

speakers and refreshments are provided. 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

questions.

Nursing Mothers Counsel

Nursing Mothers Counsel, 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 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 www.nursingmothers.org.

Optimist Club of Redwood City

Optimist International is one of the largest service

organizations in the world, where “bringing out

the best in kids” has been their mission for over

80 years.

The Optimist Club of Redwood City meets

every Tuesday at 12 p.m. at Alana’s Cafe, 1020

Main St. For information, visit www.optimist.

org or call President Ed Rosen at 650-366-7589 or

Membership Chair John Butterfield at 650-366-

8803. Or just come join them for lunch to learn

more about how you can make a difference to the

youth in our community.

Peninsula Hills Women’s Club

Founded in 1960, Peninsula Hills Women’s Club,

a member of the General Federation of Women’s

Clubs and the California Federation of Women’s

Clubs, is a philanthropic organization serving the

community through charitable, educational and

service programs. Meetings are held the third

Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. For additional

information, contact PHWC, P.O. Box 1394,

Redwood City, CA 94064.

Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA

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. The

shelter drives its mobile spay/neuter clinic into

low-income 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.

Peninsula Sunrise Rotary Club

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

(continues on page 16)


P.S. The People Speak: Letters to the Editor

Restoration vs. smoke and mirrors?

Dear Editor:

Media has a charter to do its best in fair and balanced reporting, but it is

up to each individual reader to ask themselves what they really believe to

be the truth in what they see and read. If you are moved by the Saltworks

Development Project, either for or against, please do not rely on statements

from Save The Bay. Nor should one rely solely on accounts coming from

DMB Associates.

DMB Associates has been very forthcoming and transparent in their

proposal for Saltworks. They have secured water rights and paid for them

so water will not be impacted in Redwood City. They have offered and will

continue to offer site visits to anyone who wants to come out and inspect the

site for themselves.

Furthermore, Save The Bay doesn’t have a plan for the Saltworks site,

yet they call for the full restoration. Apparently, this nonprofit from the

other side of the bay is rich in cash, as it must have the money to purchase

and restore the site. That’s funny, considering I just read that the Fish and

Wildlife Service just issued their Bay Recovery Plan, which has a price tag of

$1.3 billion. The article also went on to say that there is no money currently

available to restore these already publicly owned lands.

As I see it, the Saltworks proposal actually is about restoration, and I’m all

for it. All I see from Save The Bay is smoke and mirrors. Until you have an

actual plan, I suggest you focus on trying to come up with money to restore

the lands already in public ownership.

Praise Save The Bay and Menlo Park

Andrew Lomano, San Mateo resident

Dear Editor:

Cargill/DMB have been spending lavishly for three years to manipulate

the public in favor of filling the bay, and they have the audacity to claim that

“Save The Bay is trying to corrupt the process.” How about a comparison

of how much the developers have spent compared to what project opponents

have spent. Save The Bay and Menlo Park should be praised for trying to

find a solution that brings more affordable housing without sacrificing our

precious San Francisco Bay.

Atlantis 94063?

Michael Dean Hitchcock, Redwood City

Dear Editor:

Since the Redwood City City Council and their friends, Cargill, are hell bent on

filling in the bay for profit, let us call the new sunken community Atlantis.

When the water rises due to global warming, this future community will

flood like Milpitas.

What do you expect from a company like Cargill that produces bad hamburgers?

Will levees fail?

Raymond DeMattei, San Carlos

Dear Editor:

Our San Francisco Bay is the vital, defining aspect of the Bay Area, and

it has already shrunk by one-third due to filling and paving. For that reason,

Peninsula leaders should oppose any development on the Cargill salt ponds.

There should be no housing, schools or even businesses out there — behind

levees that could fail. What the community does need are sports fields and

park lands that are accessible to all. Redwood City already spelled out a plan

that includes a huge new city park, protects the port and restores most of the

salt ponds back to the bay where they belong. Why is nobody on the council

speaking up for that positive vision? They seem to prefer to make people

believe that we need to let Cargill build 12,000 homes in the bay in exchange

for a few playing fields. It’s just not true.

The levees and more will be welcomed!

Joan Parker, Portola Valley

Dear Editor:

The benefits to the community and the region from the Saltworks plan are

clear. We need more housing near jobs. We need parks and public open space

in Redwood City. We need the economic boost, the flood protection and new

transit links that would get people out of their cars and improve traffic flow

along Highway 101.

Experts have concluded that the project is not only feasible; it’s a once-in-ageneration

chance to fix long-standing problems in the city and region.

I live near the Saltworks area and very much look forward to the parks, the

levee and the restored tidal marshland.

This generation needs to get moving and make sure there are no more

delays in the plan’s formal review. It’s time to stop talking and start acting.

For the sake of our region and the next generation, let’s get this project started.

SamTrans makes things less safe

Connie Sadler, Redwood City

Dear Editor:

A gate connecting Pico Boulevard to Twin Dolphin Drive, which has

for years provided important access for bicyclists and pedestrians to the

Redwood Shores levee trail, has been closed by SamTrans. This gate closure

disrupts bicycle traffic coming from the Whipple Avenue/Shoreway bike

path into Redwood Shores. SamTrans recommends a detour out to Redwood

Shores Parkway, which it claims is safer because it does not go by the yard

entrance. Its suggested route is through the intersection that was recently

the site of a bike fatality. While there is a marked bike path on Redwood

Shores Parkway, bikers wishing to use the levee path must make two street

crossings, for which there is no bike accessible signal control. I feel much

safer riding on Pico than I do on Parkway. It seems to me that this action by

SamTrans is making the situation less safe for bikers and is interfering with

one segment of the Bay Trail bike route.

Let your opinion be heard!

Richard Bitting, Redwood City

Send your letters to letters@spectrummagazine.net or

Opinions & Letters, The Spectrum Magazine, P.O.

Box 862, Redwood City, CA 94064

Letters to the editor should be no longer than 300 words. Columns

should be no longer than 750 words. Illegibly written and

anonymous letters will not be accepted. Please include a daytime

phone number where we can reach you.

The Spectrum 13


KAINOS/PENINSULA SUNRISE ROTARY CLUB

IRISH NIGHT

AT THE VETERAN’S MEMORIAL BUILDING - 1455 MADISON AVENUE - REDWOOD CITY

SATURDAY, MARCH 13TH

TICKETS - $35 PER PERSON -

ALL INCLUSIVE

5:30 - HAPPY HOUR

BEER & WINE

SILENT AUCTION

7:00 - LIVE AUCTION &

TRADITIONAL IRISH DINNER

(VEGETARIAN OPTION WITH ADVANCE NOTICE)

MAJOR EVENT UNDERWRITER

SAN MATEO CREDIT UNION

HOSTED BY THE PENINSULA SUNRISE ROTARY CLUB

BENEFITING KAINOS HOME & TRAINING CENTER & OTHER LOCAL CHARITIES

FOR TICKETS CALL KAINOS (650) 363-2423

www.SpectrumMagazine.net


Donate Your Vehicle

650-363-2423

Proceeds support Kainos Home & Training Center

Providing quality residential, vocational and support services to developmentally

disabled adults, enabling them to become active, contributing members of the

community.

Maximum Tax Deductions – We handle paperwork

The Spectrum 15


Nonprofits In Action (Continued from page 12)

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 Brandy Navarro at 650-367-9394.

Rebuilding Together Peninsula

RTP is a Redwood City nonprofit that provides

free home repair and renovations for lowincome

families, seniors and people living with

disabilities throughout the Peninsula. RTP’s

mission is to promote independent living in safety

and warmth through volunteer partnerships

with individuals and groups in the community.

RTP is currently seeking skilled volunteers and

construction captains for its annual National

Rebuilding Day, when thousands of volunteers

and sponsors unite to rehabilitate the homes and

community facilities of our low-income neighbors

and revitalize communities across the Peninsula.

Come see how one day of your time can make a

difference in someone’s life. If you are interested

in volunteering, call 650-366-6597. For more

information, visit rebuildingtogetherpeninsula.org.

Redwood City Art Center

The Redwood City Art Center promotes creativity

and community by providing art education,

exhibitions, studio space for artists and outreach to

the local community and schools. The Art Center

has been involved with several local events,

offering fun, creative art projects for children, and

the center hopes this is just the beginning of their

involvement with the community.

For scheduling or donation, contact artreach@

redwoodcityartcenter.org. For more general

information, visit www.redwoodcityartcenter.org

or call 650-369-1823. Or visit in person at 2625

Broadway, Redwood City.

Redwood City Eagles #418

The Fraternal Order of Eagles is an international

nonprofit united in the spirit of liberty, truth,

justice and equality. They support our police,

firefighters and others who protect and serve. The

Eagles have provided support for medical centers

across the country to build and provide research

on medical conditions including heart disease,

cancer, spinal cord injuries, kidney disease, diabetes

and Alzheimer’s disease. They raise millions of

dollars every year to help handicapped kids, uplift the

aged and make life a little brighter for everyone.

They meet on the second Tuesday of each

month at the Eagles Hall, 1575 Marshall St., at 6

p.m. for a social hour and dinner meeting. They

play cards on the third Thursday and would love

to have you join them. For more information,

call President Ryan Herbst at 408-489-6582 or

Secretary David Tomatis at 650-575-3225, or

check out their Web site at www.foe418.org.

Redwood City Education Foundation

The Redwood City Education Foundation is an

all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated

to providing students in the Redwood City

School District with a strong education that lays

www.SpectrumMagazine.net

the foundation for future success. They raise

private money to provide enrichment programs

to all students in the district. Their funding is

focused on academic achievement, music and

art, and health and wellness. They are currently

seeking new board members. Board members

are responsible for attending monthly meetings,

chairing board committees, participating

in fundraising and outreach activities, and

promoting RCEF in the community. If you are

interested in the possibility of serving on the

board, please contact Adam Borison at 650-363-

7271 or vp@rcef.org. For more information on

RCEF, check out www.rcef.org.

Redwood City Orators

Toastmasters Club

Learn effortless public speaking as a beginner

or polish existing skills. Join the Redwood City

Orators Toastmasters Club, a fun, friendly,

supportive and diverse group that meets every

Friday morning from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. at St. Peter’s

Episcopal Church, 178 Clinton St. (at Brewster).

Look for their sidewalk sign or check them out at

www.rcorators.org.

Redwood City Rotary

Redwood City Rotary performs many service

projects, provides college scholarships and donates

to international relief efforts. The club meets in a

spirit of good fellowship and fun each Tuesday at

12:15 at the Sequoia Club, 1695 Broadway, to hear

speakers and plan community benefits, including

the annual July 4 raffle that raises $80,000 for

12 local charities. For more information about

joining, contact Dr. Paul R. Piccione at drpaul@

woodsidewellnesscenter.com or 650-703-5957, or

visit www.redwoodcityrotary.org.

Redwood City Seniors Softball Club

These recreational and tournament-level senior

men and women play slow-pitch softball all year

long. Membership is open to anyone at least 50

years old within the calendar year. Many of the

players are in their 60s and 70s and still going

strong. Club members play every Tuesday,

Wednesday and Thursday morning at Griffin

Field at Red Morton Community Park. For more

information or to join the club, contact Joe Kirby

at 650-366-5299 or joekirbyis@comcast.net

(include “Senior Softball Club” in the subject line).

Redwood City Sunrise Lions Club

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 eyesight-impaired 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

Founded in 1909 as a member of the General

Federation of Women’s Clubs and the California

Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Redwood City

Women’s Club will celebrate its centennial in

September. The club meets the first Thursday

of each month, September through June, at the

clubhouse at 149 Clinton St., Redwood City.

Social at 11 a.m., lunch at noon, followed by a

meeting and program. For information, call 650-

363-1266 or visit the group’s Web site at rwcwc.com.

Sequoia High School

Alumni Association

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.

Sequoia High School

Education Foundation

The Sequoia High School Education Foundation

is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving

the high school experience for all students.

Their mission is to support student success by

investing in projects and programs that will have

a substantial impact on the school community.

If you applaud and appreciate Sequoia’s rise

to academic prominence, consider a financial

contribution that will guarantee the continuation

of the programs and resources that have made

Sequoia a winning school. For more information,

go to www.sequoiahs.org.

Sequoia Stamp Club

This club was established in 1947 and invites

community members to visit. The club meets

at the Community Activities Building, 1400

Roosevelt Ave., every second and fourth Tuesday

at 7:45 p.m. There is a program every meeting and

refreshments are served. The dues are only $3

per year. Contact Hank at 650-593-7012, e-mail

sequoiastampclub@yahoo.com or visit the group’s

Web site at www.penpex.org. Sequoia Stamp Club

sponsors a free stamp show at the same location

on the first weekend in December.

Soroptimist International

of South Peninsula

The Soroptimists invite you to become a member

of Soroptmist International, the world’s largest

service organization for business and professional

women, 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. 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.

(continues on page 22)


Parties Around Town Chamber of Commerce Mixer - Wednesday, Feb. 17

Clockwise, from left: A new chamber member mixing it up. Chamber CEO Larry Buckmaster with Keith Kadera. Vice Mayor Alicia Aguirre and Virginia Balsama of El Camino

Travel. Nancy Barnhart of POS Card Systems. More chamber members sharing in the fun. Memo Morantes with City Manager Peter Ingram.

The Spectrum 17


Redwood City’s Blessing:

May the Luck of Jolette Enfold You!

By Nicole Minieri

In this day and age

when blessings

are few and far

between, Redwood

City residents can

consider themselves

blessed to have

Barry Jolette as

a community

benefactor. San

Mateo Credit Union,

of which Jolette is

president and CEO,

donates several

hundred thousand

dollars every year to

numerous community

events and programs.


“San Mateo Credit Union has for

many years played a strong role in

our communities. As a corporate

citizen with a focus on service to

our neighbors, it’s only natural

this aspect would be demonstrated

through staff volunteerism, event

underwriting, sponsorships and

simply maintaining a visible

presence,” said Jolette. “Over

the years, our staff has invested

personal time and contributions

to the American Heart Walk,

the Kainos Home and Training

Center, Rebuilding Together on

the Peninsula and One Warm

Coat.” Jolette went on to add, “I am

admittedly prejudiced, but I believe

San Mateo Credit Union is more

than a financial institution. It is

an organization that demonstrates

through its actions its belief in

‘people helping people.’ And we are

proud to be an active participant

in contributing to make our

community a better place to live.”

The lengthy list of groups and

organizations that receive financial

help from SMCU includes Better

Living for Seniors, Boys & Girls

Clubs, Redwood City’s summer

concerts in the park, the city’s

Community Builders program, the

International Latino Film Festival,

the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom

Festival, the Latino Leadership

Council, Redwood City Education

Foundation, the Redwood City

Library Foundation, Redwood City

Police Activities League, the San

Mateo Historical Association, San

Mateo County Jobs for Youth, the

Sheriff’s Office youth programs,

Woodside Terrace Kiwanis Club,

the Service League, the Redwood

City Fire Department, Little League,

the Redwood City–San Mateo

County Chamber of Commerce,

the city’s Pride and Beautification

Committee, Redwood Shores and

North Fair Oaks annual clean-up

events, Sequoia YMCA, the Sequoia

Awards and the Miss Redwood

City–Miss San Mateo County

Scholarship Organization.

Whew! But wait a minute; the

list goes on. At the corporate level,

SMCU functions as underwriter for

several annual events, such as the

Redwood City Rotary Car Raffle

fundraiser, the Blues Festival (which

benefits Redwood City PAL) and

Hometown Holidays. “These are

just a few examples of how San

Mateo Credit Union plays a defining

role in the culture of Redwood

City,” said Jolette.

This March, SMCU will be

recognized as a major donor to yet

another fun and worthy Redwood

City event. “The Irish Night is the

major fundraiser for the Peninsula

Sunrise Rotary,” said Connie

Paniagua, Jolette’s assistant. “San

Mateo Credit Union is a major

underwriter and Barry is a longtime

member of this service club. The

event raises about $30,000, which

the club then distributes to nonprofit

organizations to further their

activities in our community.” SMCU

is also a sponsor for this year’s Miss

Redwood City competition.

It is clear how privileged our

community is to have such a driving

force behind one of Redwood City’s

most successful companies. Jolette

possesses a level of compassion that

has become rare in our society, and

he has no problem spreading his

generosity around. “Barry Jolette

is a longtime supporter to our

low-income housing project, and

every year Barry’s contributions

are large,” said Ginny Hughes,

who works with the Kainos Home

and Training Center, a program

for adults with developmental

disabilities that helps them reach

their full potential in becoming

productive, active members of the

community. “He is one of the nicest,

kindest gentlemen that I have ever

met. Barry is one of our two major

sponsors and he is so instrumental

in helping us out year after year. I

cannot put into words what Barry

Jolette means to the Redwood City

community. He is an absolute gem,”

continued Hughes.

“He is not only involved in the

community, but he has been a

committed friend to the Police

Activities League. Barry Jolette

has been very good to us and we

really appreciate it,” said George

Schoenstein, who is currently chair

of the PAL Blues Festival and

owns a thriving physical therapy

practice in Redwood City. “For the

last four years, San Mateo Credit

Union has been our sponsor, and if

it weren’t for Barry, there wouldn’t

be a Blues Festival. He has given

a lot to charitable organizations.

People really like Barry because he

is very personable and has a warm

personality. He is also a leader

with the Rotary Club. People like

him make the world go around,

and without him we couldn’t do it.

He is one of the most prominent

gift-givers in the community,” said

Schoenstein.

Jolette has remained committed

to bettering Redwood City and

the surrounding community since

“I cannot put into words what Barry Jolette means to

the Redwood City community. He is an absolute gem.”

1987, when he first came on board

at SMCU as president and CEO.

Prior to that, Jolette had worked

for the National Credit Union

Administration for 19 years. He

graduated in 1965 with a degree

in business administration and

accounting from St. Norbert College

in his native Wisconsin. While still

in college, he married his wife and

became the proud father of two.

Jolette moved with his family to

Pleasanton, Calif., in 1980 after

living in such places as Michigan,

Illinois, Ohio and Washington, D.C.

When Jolette first joined SMCU,

the company had 15,700 members

with $57 million in assets. Under

his 22-year leadership, Jolette

has grown SMCU to 70,000

members with $600 million in

assets. And the list of his industry

achievements over the years is

impressive: the highest national

honor, the Herb Wegner Memorial

Award for Lifetime Achievement,

in recognition of his outstanding

dedication to credit union values;

the prestigious Leo H. Shapiro

Lifetime Achievement Award for

his continued service of excellence

in the credit union industry; the

California Credit Union League

President’s Award; the California

Credit Union League Distinguished

Service Award in 1997; and the

Unsung Hero and Silent Rotarian

Award from the Peninsula Sunrise

Rotary Club.

For two consecutive years, SMCU

has been voted one of the best

places to work in the Bay Area by

the San Francisco Business Times

and acknowledged by the Sequoia

Awards as an exceptional workplace

in Redwood City.

So, what’s a typical day like for

the good-hearted chief? “There

is no typical day, as they are all

very different,” said Jolette. “But I

usually start with the commute from

Pleasanton, arriving at my office by

7 a.m. Meetings begin at 9 a.m. and

usually last most of the morning,

(continues on next page)

Jolette with his “right hand,” Connie Paniagua


CITY OF REDWOOD CITY HOME IMPROVEMENT LOAN PROGRAM

Help keep

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Redwood City’s Blessing: May the Luck of Jolette Enfold You! (Continued from previous page)

Celebrating the opening of the Fair Oaks branch were former Mayor Jim Hartnett,

Sheriff Greg Munks, Councilwoman Rosanne Foust, Jolette and county board of education

member Memo Morantes.

except for Tuesday mornings when I have Rotary. And then there are days for

breakfast meetings supporting community organizations, or breakfast with

staff members, which I do with all staff at least once a year. And a couple of

nights each week there is some community event to attend. And some days

I squeeze in time for World Council Credit Unions, Credit Union Direct

Lending and Department of Financial Institutions. And in between is the

need to attend [to] staff issues.”

In addition to his daily responsibilities at SMCU, Jolette serves as a

delegate of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Jolette is also

chairman of the board for the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU),

which represents 59 countries around the world. “Being chairman of

WOCCU is a distinct honor, as only one person in our entire credit union

world has that privilege each year,” said Jolette.

As busy as he is in his credit union career, Jolette still finds spare time to

enjoy with his wife and his interests, which include music, theater, the Green

Bay Packers and recreational reading, “like a good book on a person who

has made a real difference in our world, like Roosevelt, Churchill, Truman

and others in history. And, more recently, a good mystery,” said Jolette. “And

after 47 years of marriage, nothing beats time for just two people, regardless

of what we do!”

Jolette certainly keeps busy operating SMCU in the business world and

impacting various events and programs in Redwood City. His personal

philosophy extends into how he manages his staff. “Live while you are living!

Life is short, so make the most of it while you can. Work hard, play hard,”

said Jolette. “Enjoy your work, as you spend more of your working hours

there [than] anyplace else, but there is more to life than work: it is called

family. Always take time to extend a helping hand to those in need. Look for

opportunities in life where you can make a difference in the lives of others!”

Indeed, Barry Jolette has made a positive change in so many lives in

Redwood City and is committed to continuing to be an active “doer”

within the community. His proven track record demonstrates how much he

truly cares for people. As we move into March, Jolette is already working

his magic to ensure that the Irish Night event will financially benefit our

community. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you, Jolette. And to everyone else,

“May the luck of Jolette enfold you!”

www.SpectrumMagazine.net


Community Interest

Foust Named to Head SAMCEDA

Gemma Announces Retirement

Rosanne Foust, vice president of

the San Mateo County Economic

Development Association, is taking

over as acting president and CEO

while Dan Cruey recovers from a

recent motorcycle accident.

Cruey stepped down effective

Dec. 31 and the board of directors

appointed Foust to fill in while the

executive search committee looks for

a full-time replacement.

Foust is current vice president,

working on issues of economic

growth, job creation, housing policy,

transportation and government reform.

She serves on the board of trustees

for the Bay Area Council Economic

Institute, chairs the San Mateo County

Transportation Authority and is deputy chair of the Redwood City–San

Mateo County Chamber of Commerce. She sits on the Redwood City City

Council and is the immediate past mayor.

Foust Is Having a Great Month, Named Person of the Year

The Redwood City–San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce named

Redwood City Councilwoman Rosanne Foust its 2009 Person of the Year,

noting her commitment to the group as she juggled duties with the city and as

then vice president of SAMCEDA.

Foust, who served as Redwood City mayor during 2009, was selected by that

year’s Chamber Chair Glenna Vaskelis, president and CEO of Sequoia Hospital.

“When you think about enthusiasm, willingness to say ‘yes’ when asked,

knowledge of the chamber organization, accomplishment, commitment and

dedication, one person’s name bubbles to the top: Rosanne Foust,” Vaskelis

said while presenting the honor during the chamber’s 12th annual dinner and

recognition banquet Jan. 28.

Foust served as deputy chair of the chamber, co-chaired the chamber

membership drive and co-chaired the annual progress seminar. She also

chaired the Program Orientation Day for Leadership Redwood City–

Belmont–San Carlos, created a venue to talk with legislators and headed up

an effort with the San Mateo County Economic Development Association to

coordinate all the individual efforts surrounding high-speed rail.

“Rosanne was instrumental in the success of so many of our chamber

programs last year and certainly exemplifies what this award is all about,”

Vaskelis said.

Sequoia Alumni Looking for a Patriot

The Sequoia High School Alumni Association is looking to honor a Purple

Patriot and is soliciting nominations for its annual Purple Patriot Award,

purple and white being Redwood City’s Sequoia High School’s official colors.

Recipients will receive a framed certificate as well as have their names

inscribed on a perpetual trophy on permanent display at the high school.

The Purple Patriot Award is an annual award instituted to honor both

individuals and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding service or

provided a significant benefit directly to Sequoia High School. Nominees may

be from Sequoia High School or the community at large.

Please indicate the nominee’s individual name or organization name and

state why the nominee should receive this award. Indicate specifically what

role the nominee played in directly providing the service or benefit to Sequoia

High School and explain in detail what the service or benefit was.

Nominations must be submitted in writing to the Sequoia High School

Alumni Association, P.O. Box 2534, Redwood City, CA 94064, or placed in the

Sequoia High School Alumni Association mailbox near the principal’s office, no

later than March 19.

Patrick Gemma, Ed.D., 60, superintendent of the 8,200-student Sequoia

Union High School District, has announced his retirement, effective June 30,

when he completes the term of his current contract.

At the board meeting on Feb. 17, trustees discussed the process for naming

Gemma’s successor.

“Dr. Gemma has been an outstanding superintendent and we are very sad

to see him go,” said Olivia Martinez, Ed.D., president of the district’s board

of trustees. “The district has achieved some significant milestones under

his leadership. During his tenure, the district passed two additional bond

measures, which has allowed us to offer students some of the best facilities

and technology anywhere. In addition, the district has recruited and retained

outstanding leaders and some of the best faculty and professional support

staff in the state.

“Dr. Gemma also led a pivotal strategic planning process for the district

that led to development of a new vision and goals for the 21st century,” she

continued. “His leadership will be missed but his legacy will continue for

many years to come.”

Gemma joined the Sequoia district in February 2003 after serving five

years as superintendent of the Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District.

Previously, he served as assistant superintendent for curriculum and

personnel in the Piedmont Unified School District, and principal and vice

principal at the high school and middle school levels. He started his career in

public education 38 years ago as a special education teacher.

Gemma, who currently holds the honor of Superintendent of the Year for

the Association of California School Administrators’ Region 5 (encompassing

all of San Mateo and San Francisco counties), is still formulating plans for his

retirement.

“I’m looking forward to rejuvenating over the summer and spending more time

with my aging father and family, reconnecting with friends and contemplating

which interests and challenges I might like to pursue next,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gemma says he is focused in the months ahead on the budget

planning cycle for 2010–11 and continued work in strengthening efforts to close

the achievement gap, possible expansion of alternative education offerings,

transition to a new student information system, and planning for upcoming

expansion of the district’s career technical education facilities and programs.

“It has been a privilege to have served the Sequoia district and the

community for the past seven years,” he said. “Our schools are such valuable

community resources, and the Sequoia district is fortunate to have an

engaged and supportive community.”

Like school districts throughout the state, the Sequoia district has faced

financial challenges for more than a year.

“Although we’re still experiencing the effects of the state budget crisis and

(continues on next page)

The Spectrum 21


Community Interest (Continued from previous page)

the struggling national economy, the Sequoia district is on solid footing —

with a sound recovery plan in place — to continue on our path to fulfilling

our 21st century vision and goals,” Gemma said.

Clinics Get Grant Expansion Money

The Sequoia Healthcare District pledged $4.3 million to help build a new

clinic in the North Fair Oaks area of unincorporated Redwood City.

The district board voted 3-1 to approve the grant request from the countyoperated

San Mateo Medical Center.

Board members Don Horsley, Kim Griffin and Katie Kane approved the

grant request while Jack Hickey voted against it. Board member Art Faro was

not in attendance.

The money will go toward consolidating three clinics the county operates

— Fair Oaks Children’s Clinic, Fair Oaks Adult Clinic and the Willow Clinic

— into one larger facility that will cost about $17 million in total including

construction. The three clinics provide services for the underinsured and

Medi-Cal patients.

The San Mateo County health system has experienced a 63 percent

increase in enrollment in the Access and Care for Everyone program,

from 12,465 to 20,362 in the past six months, said Dr. Susan Ehrlich, chief

executive officer of San Mateo Medical Center. The system has also seen a 19

percent increase in visits by working but uninsured residents who make too

much too qualify for ACE, Ehrlich said.

Increased demand has highlighted the constraints in physical capacity the

three clinics have in expanding the number of primary care appointments.

There are currently 4,100 people waiting for primary-care appointments

in the county system, with waits being up to four months or longer to get an

appointment. The emergency room at the county-run hospital has seen a 14

percent increase in visits, primarily due to the poor economy.

A larger, modern, efficient facility is proposed to be built in North Fair

Oaks that would combine the services from all three clinics.

Griffin asked how the new facility would actually bring down costs for its

patients from $255 a visit to $227 a visit.

Greater capacity would allow doctors to see more patients, while reduced

administrative costs will help bring down the costs, Ehrlich said.

The consolidation will call for the elimination of at least two full-time

employees due to redundancy.

Total space will increase from 27,500 square feet at the three current

clinics to about 36,000 square feet in the new facility. Exam rooms will increase

from 39 to 52.

Visit volume will increase from 68,989 to an estimated 91,000 visits a year,

Ehrlich said.

Sequoia Healthcare District partners with public and nonprofit community

providers to improve the health of children, youth, adults and older adults in

the southern part of San Mateo County. The district applies public funds to

major health initiatives.

Nonprofits In Action (Continued from page 16)

Sustainable San Mateo County

Established in 1992, this local nonprofit is dedicated to the long-term

health of our county’s environment, economy and social equity. Programs

include an annual report, an annual awards event with over 450 attendees,

sustainabilityhub.net, green business workshops and more. If you would

like to volunteer, contact the SSMC office at 650-638-2323 or e-mail

advocate@sustainablesanmateo.org. For more information, visit www.

sustainablesanmateo.org.

Woodside Terrace A.M. Kiwanis Club

Since October 1956, the Woodside Terrace A.M. Kiwanis Club has been

devoted to community service in Redwood City. Through the decades,

the club has provided funds to help many worthy community programs

and continues 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 programs.

The Woodside Terrace A.M. Kiwanis Club meets every Tuesday evening

6–7 p.m. at Harry’s Hofbrau, 1909 El Camino Real (one block north of

Woodside Road). They invite you to come to their meetings and check out the

club’s Web site at www.wtamkiwanis.org.

Woodside Terrace Optimist Club

This is a unique club made up of senior citizens who want to stay involved.

Most, but not all, come from the residence at Woodside Terrace. The club is

open to all of the community and provides an opportunity for seniors to be

useful. The club’s funds are raised by a card, candy and necklace sale held

on the fourth Wednesday of each month in the main lobby at 485 Woodside

Road, open to the public.

Lunches/meetings are at 12:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays

of each month in the Assisted Living Dining Room at Woodside Terrace.

Guests are welcome. Please call President Jack Murphy at 650-780-9891 or

Millie Cole at 650-366-1392 for reservations.

YES Reading

This local organization is dedicated to empowering students through literacy

and investing community members in underserved public schools. YES

Reading recruits and trains community volunteers to provide one-on-one

tutoring for elementary and middle school students reading below grade level.

YES Reading operates several reading centers on the Peninsula and in

the South Bay, including a site at Selby Lane School in Atherton. If you are

interested in becoming a reading tutor for a child who needs your help, please

call 408-945-9316 or email info@yesreading.org. Visit the YES Reading Web

site at www.yesreading.org.

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 you.

The Redwood City Community is invited to comment on the

New Downtown Precise Plan

You can help shape our Downtown’s future land use,

urban design, and development - to create a unique and

vibrant Downtown for today and the future.

• Hear an UPDATE on the Downtown Precise Plan:

Monday, March 22, 7 pm (City Council meeting)

• COMMENT on what environmental issues should be evaluated

in the Plan’s Environmental Impact Report:

Tuesday, March 30, 7 pm (Planning Commission meeting)

(Both meetings at City Hall -1017 Middlefield Road)

Written comments may be submitted from March 1 st - April 15 th . For more

information please call 780-7234 or visit redwoodcity.org/preciseplan

www.SpectrumMagazine.net


Feel Warm During Winter – Shop Redwood City!

Check out our Best of the Best selections below. Shouldn’t you make the commitment to shopping

locally today and every day? Whether you are out shopping, dining or enjoying some entertainment,

you will benefit because your sales tax dollars stay local and help us all. These businesses not only

provide excellent service but also contribute to our community.

Auto Care:

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. 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. They even

have free Wi-Fi Internet so you can work

while you wait for your vehicle to be

serviced.

Eating and Catering:

Canyon Inn – 587 Canyon Road –

The Canyon Inn has had the same

owner for over two decades and every

year it just keeps getting better. They

serve everything from hamburgers

to pizza, all kinds of sandwiches and

pastas, and they even have a South of

the Border menu! There’s a Sunday

all-you-can-eat menu and NBA games

on the big flat-screen TVs. Don’t forget

to reserve their closed patio for your

next party — it has heaters, fans and a

big-screen TV (no extra charges). Why

cook when you don’t have to? They do

catering too for any special event!”

Deseo Tequila Lounge and Restaurant – 851 Main St. – “We went there

and it was fabulous! My friends were very impressed by their food menu,

and I have to say the burger I had was tasty. They also have 21 big-screen

televisions to view sporting events and more. This place has it all! I am so

happy that Redwood City finally has such an upscale place for watching your

favorite sports team, having a drink with friends or dancing the night away.

Let’s all get out and support them!” They are hosting special events all the

time, so call for details.

Little India – 917 Main St. – “There are good restaurants. There are bad

restaurants. There are OK restaurants. Then there are those places, the magic

ones. You come back again and again because the food doesn’t just taste good

and satisfy hunger, but helps heal the heart and soul.” Senior citizens receive

$1 off and children under 12 dine at half price. www.littleindiacuisine.com.

Home Improvement:

Lewis Carpet Cleaners – 1-800-23-LEWIS – Founded in 1985, Lewis

Carpet Cleaners has grown from one small, portable machine to a company

of several employees and vans. The Lewis family works and lives in

Redwood City and is committed to our community. When choosing a

reputable company, that should make you feel secure. Ask about their

Spectrum special: Get 100 square feet of carpet cleaned for absolutely

nothing. Call today and get your home looking great.

Legal Services:

Hannig Law Firm – 2991 El Camino Real – Hannig Law Firm LLP provides

transactional and litigation expertise in a variety of areas. The professionals

at HLF are committed to knowing and meeting their clients’ needs through

long-term relationships and value-added services, and to supporting and

participating in the communities where they live and work.

Business Profile of the Month

Re:Juvenate Skincare Clinic – 1100 Laurel St., Suite F, San

Carlos – With the myriad skin care procedures and products

available today, it’s great to have a team of experts to help you

choose a customized treatment plan!

At Re:Juvenate, your skin will look its best in the shortest time

possible and with the least cost. Medical treatments include

Botox, fillers (e.g., Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm) and laser hair

removal, vein removal, brown spot removal and skin resurfacing.

A new procedure, Body by Thermage, is able to tighten and

contour loose skin in most body areas.

There’s no doubt about it; the better you look, the better you

feel. Call today for your complimentary consultation and let the

professionals at Re:Juvenate Skincare Clinic help you love the

skin you’re in! Visit www.rejuvenateskincare.net or call 650-631-5700.

Personal Improvement:

Every Woman Health Club – 611 Jefferson Ave. – This women-only,

body-positive fitness center in downtown Redwood City offers a variety of

classes, weight and cardio equipment, personal training, therapeutic massage

and skin care. Flexible pricing, with several options available for members

and nonmembers. Visit www.

everywomanhealthclub.com or call

650-364-9194 to get started.

Specialty Businesses:

Bizzarro’s Auto Auction – 2581

Spring St. – Services include auto

auctions, consignment vehicle sales,

appraisal services and even ways

to donate your vehicle to charities.

Increase your fundraising efforts with

a live auction — Bizzarro’s is your

one-stop auction team with spotters,

clerks, sample catalogs, bid numbers,

etc. Call 650-363-8055 for details on all

of their services.

Castle Insurance – 643 Bair Island

Road, #104 – Castle Insurance is

an independent insurance agency

representing a carefully selected

group of financially sound, reputable

insurance companies. They provide a

wide range of policies, from renter’s insurance to auto and more. Visit www.

insurancebycastle.com or call 650-364-3664 for a free quote.

Hector Flamenco Insurance (State Farm) – 151 Fifth Ave. – Hector

has been in the insurance business and with State Farm for 20 years. He

specializes in auto and business insurance. A local resident, he also provides

servicio en español! Visit his Web site at www.hectorflamenco.com.

Terry Finn and Madonna’s Bail Bonds – 234 Marshall St., Upstairs #3, 650-

366-9111 – Finn and Madonna’s provide bail bonds to any court jurisdiction,

jail or police agency in California and in many other states. Interested parties

representing incarcerated subjects are encouraged to contact the licensed bail

agent on duty at the above office for immediate bail bond assistance.

Saf Keep Storage – 2480 Middlefield Road – At Saf Keep, you and your

belongings are safe and secure. A friendly and reliable team is ready to assist

you with a variety of storage products and services to suit all your storage

needs. Visit www.safkeepstorage.com to see exactly what products and

services are available.

Schoenstein Physical Therapy – 363A Main St., 650-599-9482 – The

clinical approach of this independent, community-based practice focuses

on thorough physical therapy assessment, specific treatment strategies and

patient education. Individualized treatment programs are designed to help

meet patient goals of restoring function, returning to sport or occupation and

maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

St. Regal Jewelers – 850 Main St. – Listen to what customers are saying

about this fine downtown jewelry store: “This is a great jeweler! Phil, the

owner, is amazing. He crafted a ring on time and on budget. He has an incredible

eye for detail. I can’t say enough. I would never go anywhere else.” Phil has

become an expert in repair service and welcomes your “fix-it” pieces.

The Spectrum 23


News Briefs

RWC Woman Murdered

The death of a 47-year-old woman whose body was found pierced with stab

wounds in her Redwood City apartment is being treated as a homicide, a

police captain said.

Officers had responded to Alycia Williams’ home at an apartment complex

at 707 Leahy St. after a family member requested a welfare check on

Williams because she hadn’t been seen for several days, Redwood City police

Capt. Ron Matuszak said.

When they arrived, the officers found Williams dead inside her apartment,

according to Matuszak. Police believe she had been dead for more than a day.

Due to “the nature of her stab wounds,” her death has been labeled a

homicide, Matuszak said.

An autopsy was conducted on Williams, and a follow-up autopsy was

scheduled to help determine the official cause of death.

No suspects have been arrested, but Matuszak said police are focusing their

investigation on men who were familiar with Williams.

“She was living at the apartment by herself, and we understand she

associated with several men,” Matuszak said.

Because she was found dead in her apartment, Matuszak said police are

speculating that she may have known her killer.

“Most women who were killed were killed by men,” he said. “And a large

percentage are killed by people who knew them.”

However, the possibility that the suspect was a stranger has not been ruled out.

There’s no witnesses, no solid suspect information,” he said. “You

shouldn’t rule out anything.”

Not Guilty Plea in Tire Iron Attack

A man accused of attacking another with a tire iron in Redwood City because

the victim was upset he tried to have an affair with his wife pleaded not guilty.

Fortunato Lopez Martinez, 21, of East Palo Alto, is charged with numerous

felonies, including attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. In

Superior Court, Martinez pleaded not guilty to all counts.

According to prosecutors, Martinez and the 38-year-old victim had worked

together as landscapers months before the incident but had a falling out. On

more than one occasion this fall, Martinez allegedly called the man’s wife

and asked her to have a relationship. The woman told her husband, who, after

spotting Martinez on Poplar Street on a Sunday morning, confronted him and

began a physical fight.

After the victim gained the upper hand, Martinez allegedly told him he had

“just dug his own grave” and retrieved a tire iron from an apartment building

and struck the man several times in the head. The victim required 15 stitches.

Martinez surrendered to police Dec. 30. He remains in custody on no-bail status.

Attempted Gift Theft Defendants Plead Not Guilty

Two men accused of trying to steal gifts from an unincorporated Redwood

City house just before Christmas pleaded not guilty and were ordered to trial.

Oscar Roberto Gomez and Jose Luis Juarez, both 18, are charged with

burglary and robbery, and burglary, respectively. A third alleged accomplice,

Herman Mark Anthony Velez, 22, is free from custody on a $50,000 bail

bond while awaiting a preliminary hearing on his burglary charge.

According to prosecutors, on Dec. 22, a homeowner returned to find

Gomez inside his home, a Christmas tree knocked down and gifts strewn

about. Juarez reportedly served as lookout in a car outside while Velez

was in a yard shed. The homeowner threw a rock at Gomez, who allegedly

responded by knocking him down and yelling death threats. Prosecutors say

Gomez and Velez ran down the street and went to an unsuspecting neighbor’s

home, claiming car trouble and asking to borrow the phone. The neighbor

let them inside and volunteered to drive them for help because it was cold,

according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Gomez remains in custody while Juarez is free on a $50,000 bail bond.

Both return to court March 1 for a pretrial conference before beginning jury

trial March 15.

www.SpectrumMagazine.net

Judo Champ in Train Station Assault Freed

A renowned judo instructor accused, along with a friend, of beating two men

at the Menlo Park Caltrain Station after friendly “horseplay” turned serious,

is free from custody after pleading no contest to felony assault and causing

great bodily injury.

Matthew Walker, 25, of Tacoma, Wash., was sentenced to six months jail

but has credit for 188 days. He must also spend three years on supervised

probation and pay whatever restitution is ordered at a March 16 hearing. Codefendant

Robert Eugene Davis, 22, of Redwood City, did not settle his case

and is set for trial Feb. 16.

According to prosecutors, Davis and Walker began talking to the two

alleged victims Sept. 29 after Walker’s judo jacket sparked a conversation.

Walker is a renowned judo artist who recently placed in a world competition.

The two men began “horseplaying” but the game grew too rough, according

to the District Attorney’s Office.

Davis reportedly took one man’s cell phone after he tried calling police,

and both defendants allegedly attacked the other men. One man suffered

facial lacerations and a broken leg. The other was knocked unconscious and

had facial lacerations. Davis posted a $50,000 bail bond and is free from custody.

Man Who Assaulted RWC Officer Freed

The parolee facing 16 months in prison for assaulting Redwood City police

officers responding to a call for help by his mother is free from custody

because newly implemented sentencing guidelines gave him enough credit

for time served.

David Arreola Torres, 30, pleaded no contest in December to resisting a

police officer and admitted having three prior convictions in return for the

low prison term of 16 months. After asking to move up his sentencing date,

Torres was formally handed the term with credit for 528 days and released.

New state sentencing guidelines give inmates double their earned time served.

Torres returns to court March 9, however, for a hearing on restitution.

Police arrested Torres the afternoon of May 11 after responding to a call

on Buckeye Street from his mother, who said he was on drugs. Torres, who

is 6 feet 5 inches and 280 pounds, threw one officer backward, causing a

concussion, and fought with other officers. Police were unable to subdue

Torres with a baton and pepper spray. He also broke free from a WRAP

restraint but finally passed out.

After his arrest, the District Attorney’s Office reported Torres has a

lengthy drug abuse history and was under the influence of methamphetamine

and cocaine when his mother called.

Milkshake Wife Denied Parole

A Redwood City woman serving a life sentence for poisoning her husband

with an insecticide-laced milkshake and fleeing to Mexico with their son was

denied parole for the first time since her 2002 attempted murder conviction.

Elizabeth Fuentes-Ortiz, 40, was also convicted of concealing a child and

the special allegations of concealing a child, inflicting great bodily injury and

torture. On April 22, 2002, she was sent to prison for life with the possibility

of parole. Her appearance before the Board of Parole Hearings at the Valley

State Prison for Women at Chowchilla was her first, and its members deemed

her unsuitable for release for another five years.

Fuentes-Ortiz’s trial came a decade after she delivered the tainted beverage

to her then-husband, Gilbert Ortiz, at his Toys R Us workplace in Redwood City.

During the 15-day trial, she claimed she feared her husband because he

was abusive and that he raped her the night before the poisoning. After two

days of deliberations, the jury’s verdict showed they believed otherwise.

In 2004, Ortiz appealed the conviction on grounds the jury was not

instructed to consider it an act of self-defense. The three-person state Court

of Appeal unanimously rejected the argument.

The prosecutor’s questioning effectively pointed out that if she had

actually feared harm at the hands of the victim, reasonably or unreasonably,

she had access to an automobile and had the entire day to take the couple’s

(continues on next page)


News Briefs (Continued)

child and get to a place of safety,” Justice Ignazio Ruvolo wrote in the decision.

Ruvolo added that “the evidence overwhelmingly suggested that the

appellant was simply enraged.”

On March 11, 2002, Fuentes-Ortiz brought her husband the milkshake

laced with Ortho-7 insecticide. She told him it was a protein shake intended

to help him build muscle mass. Gilbert Ortiz testified that the drink tasted

“like chocolate but sour and burning.”

Ortiz fell to the ground in convulsions, slipped into a 10-day coma,

suffered multiple organ failures and a heart attack and was incommunicative.

He testified he has residual health problems from the poisoning.

While her husband was comatose, Fuentes-Ortiz gave Redwood City police

conflicting stories of where the poison originated. Once, she said a masked man

tried to kill her husband; another time, she claimed it was a suicide attempt.

By the time Ortiz could tell authorities who had given him the questionable

shake, Fuentes-Ortiz had fled to Mexico with their 2-year-old son, Jonathan.

She was profiled numerous times on the TV show “Unsolved Mysteries” over

the eight years it took FBI agents to arrest her in the Mexican state of Jalisco.

Jonathan remained missing until Fuentes-Ortiz’s mother brought him to the

county jail to visit his imprisoned mother.

Fuentes-Ortiz told the court that by poisoning her husband she meant only

to incapacitate, not kill him, to escape an abusive marriage that included

sexual abuse.

There’s no motive, no explanation for anything other than domestic violence,”

defense attorney Joseph O’Sullivan said during his closing arguments.

Prosecutors argued, though, that the murder attempt was fueled by jealousy

and anger over Ortiz’s long work hours.

The Spectrum 25


Budget Crisis Puts Local Academic Gains at Risk

A message from Jan Christensen

Test scores have risen steadily at the 17 schools

serving K–8 students in the Redwood City School

District. Enrollment is up, attendance is higher

and parents are more involved than ever before.

The Redwood City Education Foundation serves

the Peninsula, and a vast network of community

volunteers support our schools. The district and

members of its staff have received many honors

and awards in recent years.

This should be a golden time for our local schools.

But despite the tremendous progress made

in recent years, our schools now face the most

enormous challenge in several generations due to

our state’s budget crisis. Unfortunately, the programs

and staff positions that led to unprecedented gains

by our students are now being cut — not because

our school board thinks it is a good idea, but

because we simply have no other options.

During my four years as superintendent of the

Redwood City School District, unrestricted state

funding to Redwood City students has dropped by

17 percent, and the situation is expected to worsen

significantly over the next several years. We have

about the same size budget as when I joined the

district in 2006, but we are educating about 1,000

more students. Per-student funding for Redwood

City has dropped from about $5,500 per student in

2007–08 to about $4,700 in 2009–10.

Last year, we increased class sizes, reduced

library hours and eliminated or reduced important

positions and programs. About $5 million in jobs

and programs were saved by federal stimulus

funds. Now those funds have been used up, the

schools will need to make another round of severe

cuts for next year. Few options remain to reduce

the budget.

The district is planning to cut $4.7 million to

$10.6 million next year — about 10 percent to 12

percent of our unrestricted general fund. Cuts that

would have been unthinkable just a few years ago

are now under consideration: increasing all class

sizes in all grades to 31 students, shortening the

school year and reducing or eliminating popular

programs.

The Redwood City School District is not alone

in the budget problems it is facing. The vast

majority of school districts around the state are

considering similar measures, but the pain from

state budget cuts is not affecting all districts

equally. Due to California’s complicated public

school funding system, our district is surrounded

by school districts funded primarily by local

property taxes, while we rely primarily on state

aid for funding.

For example, even before the budget crisis,

the Redwood City School District received less

than half the amount of unrestricted per-student

base funding as a neighboring school district.

In 2007–08, per-student base funding plus local

support totaled under $7,000 per student in

Redwood City, but over $15,000 per student for a

neighboring district. The steep reductions in state

aid have widened the gap in education funding for

two students who may live only a mile apart from

each other. Not only is this a terrible injustice, but

over time it will lower the economic prospects of

all Californians.

Editor’s note: Community members always have the

opportunity to share their priorities and ideas. Jan

Christensen is superintendent of the Redwood City School

District. She can be reached at jchristensen@rcsdk8.net.

The Spectrum Mag AD 4/2/08 4:23 PM Page 1

Thank You

for Supporting the

Uccelli Family

Through the Years

We urge you to contribute

and support our local

non-profits who do

outstanding work in

our community.

Peter and Paula Uccelli Foundation

650-366-0922

www.SpectrumMagazine.net


The Spectrum 27


Redwood City Teen Ontiveros Named ‘Youth of the Year’


Clarisa Ontiveros grew up going to her local Boys

& Girls Club in Redwood City.

She recalled looking up to the teens

volunteering and working with her. Ontiveros

would make drawings to give to those teen mentors.

Today, the 18-year-old Sequoia High School

senior receives such drawings from the little

children she works with at the Mervin G. Morris

Clubhouse in Redwood City. Her work giving

back paid off as Ontiveros was recently named the

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula’s 2010 Youth

of the Year. Giving back is not a temporary plan

for Ontiveros, who plans to study communications

and return to help her community.

Ontiveros grew up in Redwood City. The

youngest of three children, she attended Hoover

Elementary and described herself as a little nerdy.

She always worked hard to finish work early and

help others.

After school Ontiveros would go to the Boys

& Girls Club just a couple of blocks from her

house. There was a gap in her attendance when

her family moved from the neighborhood to

downtown for a short number of years.

Ontiveros began attending Sequoia High School

and returned to the club, following a family move.

The studious youth was attracted to Sequoia for

its International Baccalaureate program. Entering

it was intimidating to Ontiveros, who was one of

the few Latinas in the program. That intimidation

subsided when Ontiveros realized everyone was

nice and the staff was supportive.

Ontiveros began volunteering at the club after

She has two classes of about 13 children, grades

first through eighth, that meet two times per

week. Ontiveros sees herself as privileged to have

the option to help these youngsters.

Ontiveros was a bit hesitant to go through

the process for the Youth of the Year since

deadlines were about the same as those for college

applications. Going for it meant Ontiveros learned

a valuable lesson: time management.

“I never took it as I need to win. I learned so

much,” she said, noting the opportunity to talk in

front of a crowd and tell her story.

As her high school experience begins to come

to an end, Ontiveros plans to attend a four-year

school to study communications in hopes of

becoming a journalist and returning to Redwood

City to somehow help the neighborhood in which

she grew up. Going to college would be another

accomplishment for Ontiveros, who would be the

first in her family to go to college.

Participating in a variety of Boys & Girls

Clubs programs have helped in that process. But

I enjoy it. When a kid struggles with math,

you help them. And they get so happy when

they get it.”

school. At 16, she was offered a job on the teen

staff. At 17, she was working with kids in the

SuccessMaker course, helping children work

on math and reading skills. She also meets with

parents to give progress reports. When Ontiveros

turned 18 last month, she was offered a parttime

position. She has her own desk and is proud

to be the youngest one at the club offered such

responsibility.

“I enjoy it. When a kid struggles with math, you

help them. And they get so happy when they get

it,” she said.

Ontiveros was quick to note that the staff at the

club, Sequoia High, her family and best friends

have all been supportive in her efforts to be

successful.

“We are so proud of Clarisa and look forward

to hearing about her bright future,” said Peter

Fortenbaugh, executive director of the Boys &

Girls Clubs of the Peninsula.

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

newspaper.

www.SpectrumMagazine.net


Vicky Costantini Presents. . .

522 Eastview Way Woodside

Completely rebuilt and expanded in 2008, this elegant, old world-style

home has 6528+/-sf of construction on a 1.4+/-acres horse property.

Main residence is 4400+/-sf, 3bd/3.5ba with large office, living room,

family room, dining room, kitchen with granite, and a billiard room.

Guest home is 730+/-sf with a full kitchen and open floor plan. The

barn is currently used as a shop. The 630+/-sf, covered porch has

ceiling fans and heaters for year round entertainment.

Offered at $3,490,000

Vicky Costantini

650.430.8425 | vcostantini@apr.com | www.vickycostantini.com

492 Summit Road Emerald Hills

Stunning, 4bd/3.5ba home with amazing street presence. High

ceiling entry is surrounded by a very elegant living room and

dining room. Character is spread all over this home from a

diamond glass window, copper-topped bay, to a room long,

built-in, bench seat. Large eat-in kitchen with top-of-the-line

appliances. This home was specially built for its owner. 3-car

garage and ample driveway. Offered at $1,999,999

1180 Crompton Road Redwood City

Absolutely gorgeous house on a quiet, tree-lined street! Built just

10 years ago. High ceiling living room with open floor plan.

Hardwood floors throughout entire house. Level backyard right

off of gourmet kitchen and family room. 900+/-sf master

bedroom with large walk-ins and huge master bath. Fenced front

yard. Offered at $1,375,000

View all of my listings and search the MLS at VickyCostantini.com

Square footage, acreage, and other information herein, has been received from one or more of a variety of different sources. Such information has not been verified by Alain Pinel Realtors. If important to buyers, buyers should conduct their own investigation.

apr.com | WOODSIDE 2930 Woodside Road

The Spectrum 29


Meet Our Community-Minded Realtors for Redwood City

Vicky Costantini

at Alain Pinel

650-430-8425 – Born and raised

in Redwood City, Vicky is known

for her honesty and availability.

She believes those qualities foster strong working

relationships with her clients. In turn, those same

clients have referred her to countless friends and

relatives. With an approach that is simple yet

effective, she treats every listing as if it is her

first, and her clients know that they will get the

very best effort as they enter into the purchase

or sale of a home. Visit her online at www.

vickycostantini.com.

Michelle Glaubert

at Coldwell Banker

650-722-1193 – Michelle has been a

full-time, top-producing Realtor since

1978. With a proven track record,

she has helped buyers achieve their dreams of home

ownership and sellers make successful moves to

their next properties. The majority of her business is

garnered through referrals from her many satisfied

clients. Living in Emerald Hills, she knows the area

well and is involved in the community. Count on

Michelle’s years of experience to guide you through

your next real estate transaction. Visit her online at

www.glaubert.com.

Jim Massey

at Keller Williams

650-207-5120 – Jim has been

active for over 30 years in business

and leadership in Redwood City.

With that involvement, he has become a Realtor

familiar with our community, and his clients feel

comfortable knowing he has that expertise and

knowledge to guide them. Visit him online at

www.jim-massey.com.

Buying or selling?

Turn to one of these experts!

www.SpectrumMagazine.net


Fundraiser to Keep ‘Danny G’ Dancing

As the stereo played the Frank Sinatra lyrics

“And that laugh that wrinkles your nose,” Danny

Giray touched his nose, a move students on stage

mimicked.

The children went on to wiggle, dance in pairs

and end with a dip and a smile.

Such moves are just a part of the two 30-minute

sessions students at John Gill Elementary School

in Redwood City spend with Giray, or Danny

G, as the kids call him. For 11 years, the dance

program has been part of John Gill. Because of

budget cuts, it’s now one of the few defined times

when students have access to physical education.

Parent donations and fundraising efforts have kept

the program in place. With further cuts hitting the

district, the program is once again in danger.

On Saturday, March 6, the Parent Teacher

Association hopes to raise most of the funds to

keep Danny G working with the children with

“Let ’em dance and sing,” a fundraiser to be held

at Domenico Wines in San Carlos. Last year, the

PTA was able to raise $50,000. This year’s goal is

$30,000. That would not fully fund the program.

In years past, the school was able to use site funds to

cover the rest of the cost, said Principal Amanda

Kemp. With the Redwood City School District

looking at up to $13.7 million in cuts, Kemp is

unsure such an allocation will be a reality next year.

“Any time with Danny is better than no time

at all,” Kemp said, noting that the program may

need to be scaled back in the fall.

Parents are working to save the program

through the fundraiser, the biggest one of the year.

The auction and dinner will be augmented by a

raffle-ticket fundraiser with $5 tickets for three

grand prizes, one of which includes four one-day

park-hopper passes to Disneyland. Organizers are

hoping to sell 1,000 tickets. They estimate the sale

is close.

It’s not just about dance. Kemp was quick to

point out the student benefits of working with

Giray. Not only do the units supplement academic

work, the kids learn confidence.

“You can tell my kids; there is not a timid bone

in one of their bodies,” she said.

With so many cuts out of the school’s hands,

holding on to the one program is a glimmer of

happiness the administration and parents hope to keep.

Younger children work with Giray two times

a week for 30 minutes, while older kids see him

once a week for an hour. On Tuesdays, children

file into the multipurpose room ready to play. The

smaller ones are visibly tired at the end of 30

minutes but end up exercising without really noticing

it. Giray works in crunches and sprints, but with

the music as a backdrop, the work goes unnoticed

by the little ones who happily follow his lead.

“I believe we’re building up self-esteem,” said

Giray, who has been working with the school for

11 years.

Building self-esteem is reinforced by mixing in

academic teaching. Giray leads the children in a

version of the ABCs that includes a slithering “I”

and a jumping “O.” But lessons get more in-depth,

like a movement work that recreates windmills,

originally choreographed a couple of years ago

and reworked by Giray because of student interest

in renewable energy.

Craig Guinasso has a son in kindergarten who

announced he would not do two things when he

started school: dance or sing. Guinasso and his wife

noticed a change of heart when their son started

moving around at home along with his younger sister.

The change was a result of access to Giray’s class.

Many students stay with dance because of

Giray, said Kemp, who noted he maintains the

students’ interest while advancing the difficulty.

“I’m hoping above all hopes to keep this

program intact,” she said.

Raffle tickets are $5 per ticket, five for $20,

12 for $40, or 30 for $100. Auction tickets are

$75. Tickets can be ordered and auction items

previewed at auction.johngillpta.org.

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

newspaper.

Danny Giray teaches dance moves to a group of students

at John Gill Elementary School in Redwood City.

Mayor Ira Is ‘Tapping’ Us to Be Code Enforcement Volunteers

Mayor Jeff Ira, seen here helping firefighter Justin

Velasquez during the annual Toy Drive, is encouraging

our community to help with code enforcement.

Redwood City is looking for a few good men —

and women.

Actually, the city is seeking anyone wanting to

help keep it clean and up to code as a volunteer

enforcement officer. The program is already under

way, having started in 2008, but the current shaky

economy, including Redwood City’s own bottom

line, sharpened the city’s desire to expand its

current roster.

“This is a great way for community members

to get involved and help supplement services that

otherwise would be delayed or deferred due to the

city’s budget problems,” said Mayor Jeff Ira.

Even if residents aren’t drawn to code

enforcement, Ira asks that they consider

volunteering in other ways, such as sports,

libraries and nonprofits.

“Everyone can and should do their part to help their

community during this tough economy,” Ira said.

Known as community preservation volunteers,

participants serve as “ambassadors” for Redwood

City’s Building and Inspection Division. The

program already has seven trained volunteers

who’ve collectively spent more than 500 hours

helping out. Now the city is looking for more.

Volunteers help enforcement staff with

community preservation projects, code enforcement

research and visual assessments. Once trained,

they ride along with Building and Inspection

Department staff members and help with specific

cases. The volunteers answer calls about abandoned

cars and cleanup of garbage and work with officers to

enforce sign ordinances. Other duties can include,

as needed, reports of graffiti and shopping carts

and preliminary investigations into non–health

and safety code violations.

Code enforcement isn’t the only place the

city uses volunteers directly for its benefit. The

downtown Volunteers in Policing program trains

people to give the police department extra eyes

and ears during events.

Both programs let volunteers take up tasks that

in turn free up precious staff time that can be

used elsewhere. While helpful, there are limits.

“Any financial savings are small and we can’t

have volunteers doing skilled labor type of work,”

said city spokesman Malcolm Smith.

Rather, Ira, in his recent State of the City

address, urged community members to serve

themselves by finding their passion and getting

involved in whatever is “tapping them on the

shoulder,” Smith said.

As a result, community will be built on a block,

a neighborhood or a larger scale, Smith said.

For more information or to sign up as a

community preservation volunteer, contact Michel

Wayne at 650-780-7357 or mwayne@redwoodcity.

org. Information on other opportunities to get

involved can be found at www.redwoodcity.org/

residents/communityopportunities.html.

The Spectrum 31


As I Was Saying…(Continued from p6)

up. Foreclosures are up. Requests for emergency food and housing assistance

are up. Many families in our community have lost the security of knowing

they can pay their bills, put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.

Yet these are not hopeless times.”

Who could not agree with that?

“Our local economy is slowly showing signs of a turnaround. And the spirit

of helping others is strong. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, ‘Life’s

most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?’”

Sounds logical to me.

He then goes on to inform us that “As an organization, San Mateo County

this year partnered with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to fund

$1 million in grants to community organizations that provide food, shelter,

health care and other needs. Our county has sponsored resource fairs to help

members of our community prepare to re-enter the job market and find social

services. Just this past month the county helped more than 3,000 families

with one-time emergency assistance funds from the American Recovery and

Reinvestment Act.”

In other words he is telling us that we, the taxpayers, funded all these

wonderful programs and events, not San Mateo County or its employees, as an

organization, as the letter would lead us to believe.

“I’m proud of the work our county government does. I’m also proud of our

collaborative network of nonprofit partners that provide so many vital services

that strengthen our communities.” … “By working together, I am confident

we can provide the resources necessary to support our families and neighbors

through these challenging times.”

Now, get this, he then encouraged all of us “During this holiday season,

[to] please consider volunteering at a charity, donating to a cause and creating

opportunities for others.”

Is he serious? I have never read anything so self-serving and misleading.

Who does he think he is, trying to encourage us to get involved? Us, the

taxpayers who gave the county the money so he can brag about how much

they do for us?

If I could suggest a different tactic for future letters, it would read something

like this: On behalf of the taxpayers of San Mateo County, we (your elected,

appointed and hired staff) are proud to inform you that we have put your hardearned

money to good use to benefit others, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I would also suggest he inform us of what personal donations he has made

and what he has done to volunteer and give back to the taxpayers of San

Mateo County. Oh, and maybe guarantee us that the county will not try to

bring any new business or sales or taxes until we know we can all pay our

bills, put food on the table and keep a roof over our heads.

Oh, he also wished “you and your family the best this holiday season.”

Same to you, David.

.…

According to officials at the Peninsula Celebration Association (PCA), they

do not have the $50,000 needed to put on the annual Fourth of July fireworks

display this year. The PCA also organizes the parade (as it has for 41 years)

and festival.

According to PCA spokesman Bob Slusser, “The PCA knew as early as

2007 that the weakening economy might put the brakes on the fireworks. The

group continued through 2008 and 2009 by using reserves and other savings,

but after last season informed the Redwood City Council that there might not

be another show.

“This is a very difficult decision for us. We scraped the money together last year

but told the council we couldn’t keep doing this,” Slusser told a local newspaper.

In case you didn’t know, the PCA is a very productive and valuable asset

to our community. They have consistently provided a great Independence

Day celebration for us year after year. But the group has gone and is still

going through some organizational challenges. Many groups go though

similar difficulties when longtime members do not relinquish or alter their

responsibilities and welcome new members to take over. They unintentionally

become exclusive instead of inclusive.

But the biggest challenge the PCA has to overcome is the impression that

they have been very uncooperative in listening to requests from community

members and business owners to move the parade and festival back to the

downtown area where it was held for some 30-plus years. After the location

had been moved during downtown construction, it was never moved back,

and local merchants have complained of lost revenues due to the lack of foot

traffic from having the event by the county parking structure and buildings.

Ultimately, the PCA is going to have to reach out to those dissatisfied to

help raise funds because they can’t look for the City Council to bail them out

and pay for the fireworks. Those funds are dwindling, and once the council

sets a precedent of helping out one nonprofit group like PCA, they will have

every other similar group in our community asking them to do the same for

their financially strapped events.

I suggest they move the parade and festival back downtown, and let’s all get

started on a community fundraising drive to continue the fireworks show. Let’s

turn this into a positive for our community and unite. How about it, PCA?

Here we go again. The Redwood City community is invited to comment on

the new downtown precise plan. Officials say that you and I can help shape

our downtown’s future land use, urban design and development — to create a

unique and vibrant downtown for today and the future.

What do we have to do? Well, first we can hear an update on the downtown

precise plan Monday, March 22, at 7 p.m. at the City Council meeting. Then,

if you want to comment on what environmental issues should be evaluated in

the plan’s environmental impact report, we can go on Tuesday, March 30, at

7 p.m. to the Planning Commission meeting. Both meetings of course are at

City Hall at 1017 Middlefield Road.

This really is an exciting process and hopefully a large portion of our

community will come out and share ideas and thoughts. Remember, you can

always watch at home on cable channel 27. For more information, call 650-

780-7234 or visit redwoodcity.org/preciseplan.

I like channel surfing, but I might just have to attend these meetings. How

often can you say you were actually a part of the future planning of what our

downtown will be? What about you?

As I was saying…

.…

.…

Care to comment on Penna’s comments?

Send your letters to: letters@spectrummagazine.

net or Opinions & Letters, The Spectrum Magazine,

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

Letters to the editor should be no longer than 300 words.

Columns should be no longer than 750 words. Illegibly

written and anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Please include a daytime phone number where we can

reach you.

www.SpectrumMagazine.net


Insurance Tips: Checking With Your HR Department

By Russ Castle, Special to The Spectrum

The human resources department

at your company is probably pretty

efficient, but no matter how wellorganized

it is, certain questions

are always worth asking yourself at

the beginning of the year.

For example, when was the last time your HR

department took steps to review your company

policies and bring them up to date with the everchanging

employment laws?

Company policies are important enough that

they are typically covered in detail during the

hiring process. However, employees often forget

or become lax with company policies over time.

Here are a few ideas that will help you and

your HR department to reinforce those policies

effectively with your staff:

Lead by example.

If you are bending the rule of a 30-minute lunch

break or using vulgar language with other

employees, it is likely that other employees are not

going to take company policies very seriously. Set

a good example and follow the rules!

Use meetings as a reminder.

You are likely to have most of your staff together

for company meetings, or at least portions of the

staff at different meetings, so use this time to

reinforce policies that you see being abused or

overlooked during the course of the work day.

Discuss before hiring.

New employees should always be adequately

informed of company policies and procedures

upon hiring. Before ending your final interview,

be sure to go over the most essential company

policies, so a new employee knows them before

the first day of work. If you have a company

handbook, make sure that everyone has an

updated and current edition.

Keep current.

Check with your attorney to ensure that your

company policy is up to date.

Have a conversation with your

insurance agent or broker.

Make sure you have the proper insurance

coverage in case a legal action is brought against

you and your company. Prudent business owners

seek to have as much knowledge as possible to

promote and protect their companies. Ignoring or

avoiding this discussion can be disastrous to your

company. Employment-related lawsuits are on the

rise, and the cost to defend claims can easily reach

$100,000 and more.

Be sure you are consistent with how you

handle each employee who does not follow the

regulations of the company. This is essential

to ensure that you do not experience any

unnecessary backlash with regard to the policies.

Editor’s note: This article was written by Russ Castle of

Castle Insurance Agency. If you have any questions regarding

your business protection, call him at 650-364-3664.

Senior Activities

The Veterans Memorial Senior

Center, 1455 Madison Ave.,

Redwood City, is providing the

following activities that are open to the

public during the month of March.

Friday Movies for Everyone

Every Friday, 1:15 p.m. (unless otherwise announced)

Come to the VMSC in March for a free featured

movie in our state-of-the-art movie theater!

March 5: “Whip It”

March 12: “My One and Only”

March 19: “The Informant”

March 26: “Old Dogs”

Healthy Aging Lecture

Thursday, March 11, 1–2 p.m.

Dr. Eric Shapira, a clinical gerontologist and

educator, will speak about healthy aging. He will

cover ways to stay healthy and independent, enjoy

life and overcome challenges associated with aging.

St. Patrick’s Lucky Irish Luncheon

Wednesday, March 17, 12–1:15 p.m.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a corned beef and

cabbage lunch and a 50/50-opportunity drawing

to complete this lucky luncheon. Please call 650-

780-7259 to reserve your tickets. Cost: $8.

AARP Driver’s Safety Course

Saturdays, March 13 and March 20, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

This course is designed especially for drivers

age 50 and over. Taking this course may help you

receive a discount from your auto insurance. You

can sign up at the VMSC front desk or by calling

650-780-7270 and pressing #2. Leave your name

and number, and a staff or volunteer will call you

back to confirm your spot. Space is limited, so

sign up early! Cost is $12 for AARP members,

$14 for nonmembers.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Thursday, March 25, 1–2 p.m.

Join Julie Forbes, Ph.D., of Kaiser Permanente

and experience for yourself how stretching and

other relaxation techniques can help you manage

symptoms of stress-related conditions, including

chronic pain, anxiety and depression.

AARP Tax Preparation

Wednesday, Feb. 3, through Wednesday, April 14

Appointment required

Service is provided for the preparation and electronic

filing of both federal and state personal income

tax returns within the scope of the AARP Tax-Aide

program. The service is free and you will receive

one-on-one attention from AARP volunteers who

are trained and certified annually in cooperation

with the IRS. Call our AARP appointment hotline

at 650-489-6023 to schedule your appointment.

SAVE THE DATE

West Bay Community Band

Spring Concert

Saturday, April 24, 7:30–9:30 p.m.

Enjoy the sounds of spring, compliments of the

West Bay Community Band! Doors will open

at 7 p.m. with a no-host wine/soda bar, and the

concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $10 at the

door. No reservations or tickets required; pay 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.

The Spectrum 33


A Minute With: Gino Gasparini

Gino Gasparini was born and raised in Redwood City. He attended Roosevelt Elementary,

Kennedy Junior High and San Carlos High School (class of 1970). After graduating, he went to

work for BFI as a residential collection employee. He stayed there for 32 years before moving

to Norcal Waste Systems, which is now Recology, six years ago.

Gino and his wife, Jenny, were married in 1986. They have four children: Andriana, 19,

Daniel, 18, Michael, 17, and Nicholas, 15.

Gino’s hobbies include hiking and skiing. He is an active member of the Police Activities

League (PAL), the Redwood City–San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce and the city’s

Pride and Beautification committee.

Currently the community affairs manager at Recology, Gino is also a team captain for the

chamber’s current membership drive.

How Irish are you?

Very Italian.

Favorite thing to do to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Every year, I have been skiing.

You love Redwood City because?

Of the people.

Whom do you most admire?

My father and mother.

What talent would you most like to have?

To be a good bocce ball player.

Something few know about you?

I was a two-time nude relay winner when I was at

San Carlos High School. Obviously I cannot run

for political office now.

What word or phrase do you most overuse?

Absolutely.

Favorite song?

“Stormy Monday” by Lee Michaels.

Favorite movie?

“My Favorite Year.”

What is your motto?

We can do it!

Anyone you got on your mind?

Always my family.

Memorable moment?

First child being born and then every other one

after that.

First word that comes to mind?

Sushi.

You still can’t believe?

Jenny has stayed with me for all these years.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Family and friends at a barbecue.

What or who is the love of your life?

Jenny.

You currently feel?

Quite content.

You are inspired by?

My mother and father.

Never late for the Theatre

when you eat at Little India.

All You Can Eat Lunch

Mon - Fri 11am - 2pm

Regular $9.95 Vegetarian $7.95

All You Can Eat Dinner

Mon - Sat 5 - 9pm

Regular $12.95 Vegetarian $10.95

Little India

Restaurant

917 Main St., Redwood City

650-361-8737 • www.littleindiacuisine.com

10 % off

with your Parking

Valadation!

• Catering

• In-House Parties

Available

• Takeout

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