Morgan Marchbanks - The Spectrum Magazine - Redwood City's ...

Morgan Marchbanks - The Spectrum Magazine - Redwood City's ...

S t a b i l i t y .

P u r p o s e .

D i s c i p l i n e .

P a s s i o n .

L e a d e r s h i p .

Morgan Marchbanks

Leaving Sequoia a better place!

Also in this issue:

Ice Cream for All! Crabs,

Corned Beef and “Stuff”

In “As I Was Saying…”

Bizzarro’s — Believing in

Redwood City in More

Ways Than One

Redwood City Saltworks is a 1,433-acre industrial site located in Redwood City

Redwood City





San Francisco Bay



The Saltworks site is similar in size to Redwood Shores or the Presidio in San Francisco.

• Salt has been produced on the site for more than 100 years.

The Saltworks site is immediately adjacent to major employment centers, like Pacific Shores

Center, Britannia Seaport Centre, and the new Stanford Medical Campus.

• Noted companies such as Dreamworks, Openwave and Protein Design Labs are located in

the Pacific Shores Center.

To learn more about the Saltworks site, please visit or call us at 650-366-0500.

Redwood City


1700 Seaport Blvd., Suite 200 | Redwood City, CA 94063

650.366.0500 | |

SW_SpectrumAd_Full.indd 1

2/19/09 3:47:46 PM

The Spectrum.MAR.09

Steve Penna

Owner and Publisher

Anne Callery

Copy Editor

Judy Buchan

Contributing Writer

Michael Erler

Contributing Writer

Nicole Minieri

Contributing Writer

James Massey

Graphic Designer

James R. Kaspar

Cover/Cover Story Photography

Valerie Harris

Internet Maintenance

Contact Information:

Phone 650-368-2434

E-mail addresses listed above

Welcome to the March issue of The Spectrum Magazine.

Last month we highlighted gang issues, which proved to be very popular with our readers and the

community. We have never before received so many e-mails, phone calls and comments on a single

issue. Ironically enough, just after our issue came out, the city staff released a report that stated concern

about gangs was the number one “social” issue among residents surveyed in Redwood City. Your positive

comments were appreciated.

In our cover story this month, contributing writer Judy Buchan profiles Sequoia High School Principal

Morgan Marchbanks. She recently announced that she will be leaving her position at the end of this

school year, and we thought it was the right time to take a look back at some of her challenges and

accomplishments throughout the years. As you will read, she is leaving quite an impressive legacy.

We are excited to bring you this month’s business profile on Bizzarro’s Auctions. This versatile business

offers many services to our community, including charity auctions, donate-your-vehicle fundraisers,

appraisal services and, of course, auto auctions. But more than all that, the owner, Frank, and his staff

are all community-minded and contribute in so many positive ways. Contributing writer Nicole Minieri

will tell you just how much they do.

Publisher Steve Penna throws out a few topics — including Miss Redwood City judging, council

candidates, crabs, corned beef and county “misinterpretations” — for our readers in his column, “As I

Was Saying….” What will you think after you read his opinions?

We also bring you our regular features on community interests, senior activities, financial advice by

David Amann, information from the Redwood City School District, parties around town, news briefs,

community cultural events and popular feature “A Minute With.”

We encourage you to support our advertisers by using their services when you are out shopping, dining

or enjoying yourself with friends and family. Many of our advertisers have special offers for you to

cut out and present, so please take the time to look over their ads this month and use their coupons and

discounts. That is what they are there for, and by using them, you show you appreciate their offers.

Thank you to all of our readers for your support. We want you to know we will keep striving to bring

you real community information worth waiting for!


This Month’s Photo Shoot – 4

RCSD Corner – 5

“As I Was Saying...” – 6

Survey Shows More Concern About

Gangs, Economy – 7

Cargill Site Comes

Before Bay Commission – 8

Cultural Events – 11

Through the Years – 14

Community Interests – 15

Morgan Marchbanks Looks

Back and Ahead – 18

Nonprofits in Action – 21

Shop Redwood City – 23

It’s Not a Job, It’s a Profession – 26

News Briefs – 30

Finance: 5 Reasons to be Bullish About

Financial Markets – 33

Senior Activities – 33

A Minute With Diana Johnson – 34

The Spectrum 3

Inside The Spectrum: Cover Story Photo Shoot

Publisher Steve Penna arranged this month’s photo shoot with Sequoia High School

Principal Morgan Marchbanks after the cover story interview was completed by

contributing writer Judy Buchan. It was one of those months when everyone and

everything was running late and deadlines were being pushed back, so the shoot was

scheduled for St. Patrick’s Day, Tuesday, March 17, at 2 p.m., a mere one-and-a-half

days after Penna and Marchbanks corresponded by e-mail.

Cover story photographer James Kaspar was waiting on the front steps of the front

entrance to the main building when Penna arrived, and the two proceeded to the

principal’s office. Once they arrived, they were greeted by Dottress Rollin, who is

Marchbank’s senior school secretary. Penna has known Rollin for several years, so

the two quickly exchanged a friendly hug and she led them into the office, where an

administrative meeting was wrapping up.

Penna first met Marchbanks when he was chairman of the Sequoia Education

Foundation and she had just been appointed principal, coming from Redwood High, so

they have a long history and demonstrated a mutual respect as they greeted each other.

Once the meeting broke, Kaspar began taking pictures in her office.

After many shots, the three went to Rollin’s outer office, where they took some

photos of the “dynamic duo,” then to the entrance hallway, the main building entrance

and finally the small vehicle pathway that leads around the front of the school. The

entire shoot took just about one hour.

Marchbanks has faced many challenges during her years at Sequoia. Her first was the

Cherokee mascot controversy. It was apparent after that resolution that she was on her

way to proving herself a strong leader for a school in transition.

The Spectrum salutes Marchbanks’ perseverance, dedication and commitment to our

students and community. Because of her efforts, many who once might not have had

the opportunity will now move on to college, trades, employment and quality lives. We

can’t wait to see what she will do when she returns!

RCSD Corner: News From the Redwood City School District

School District Libraries Provide Services Beyond Reading

The RCEF, in partnership with Oracle and the

Westly Foundation, provided $100,000 in teacher

SMART grants in the 2008–09 school year to

bring innovation into Redwood City classrooms

in the areas of science, math, technology and

the arts. The visit by Gomez was one of several

programs Hoover was able to implement as a

result of the grant money offered by the RCEF.

The visit by Elizabeth Gomez is exactly the

type of program we had in mind when we worked

with Oracle and Westly Foundation to set up the

SMART grants,” said Jo-Ann Sockolov, president

of the RCEF. “It’s exciting to see this kind of

community partnership bring new opportunities

to our students in Redwood City.”

“In the midst of

budget cuts and

our dire economy,

students still need

opportunities to think


Local artist Elizabeth Gomez works with Hoover students.

Rice looks like ants. Meatballs are like

basketballs. Beans look like spiders. Tacos look

like boats. Hot dogs are like big fat caterpillars.

Second-graders at Hoover School came up

with these analogies during a recent art workshop

with Redwood City artist and book illustrator

Elizabeth Gomez. Students were challenged to

identify their favorite food, complete the sentence

“My favorite food is like …” and then draw a

picture to illustrate the analogy.

Gomez visited Hoover to give an art lesson

to first- and second-graders, and talk with them

about how her art gets made into storybooks

for children. The focus of the lesson was not

on artistic technique as much as it was on the

imaginative process. Gomez challenged the

passions,” said Hoover Principal Amanda

Neborsky. “In the midst of budget cuts and our

dire economy, students still need opportunities

to think creatively. Students can create a work of

art with materials as simple as paper, pencil and

a few crayons, as our second-graders learned this


This was not the artist’s first visit to Hoover.

Earlier in the year, she gave children and their

families an evening presentation about how she

became an illustrator, and all pre-kindergarten

through third-graders received a free copy of

her bilingual book, “The Upside Down Boy,”

courtesy of the Sobrato Foundation and Friends of

the Redwood City Library. The teachers at Hoover

have been reading Gomez’s books to students, so

“Art can inspire students to pursue their passions.”

students to take something very familiar to

them — their favorite food — and imagine it as

something fanciful.

The student who saw beans as spiders drew a

big bowl of spiders on a table. The student who

thought meatballs looked like basketballs drew a

picture of a flower in a shoe-shaped vase shooting

a meatball into a basketball hoop centerpiece on

a table.

Gomez went on to explain how her drawings

start as doodles, then turn into a series of penciled

illustrations. “After doodling, I take the pictures

I like and do many fancy drawings, many times.”

She told students that it takes one to two years to

turn a series of drawings into a book.

“Art can inspire students to pursue their

the children participating in the art lesson were

already familiar with Gomez and her illustrations.

Hoover does not have an art teacher on staff,

so the opportunity to learn from a real artist

was a new experience for many of the students,

according to Neborsky. “Besides being a local

artist who does beautiful work, Gomez is

bilingual, and her stories and her history really

connect with many of our students who are

learning English.”

Gomez’s art lesson to first- and second-grade

students was paid for by a SMART grant from

the Redwood City Education Foundation,

a private organization that raises money

specifically for K–8 student programs at the

Redwood City School District’s 16 schools.

Hoover student creates illustration with help of local artist.

The Spectrum 5

As I Was


Publisher | Steve Penna

I recently was invited and accepted the

opportunity to be a judge for the Miss Redwood

City scholarship pageant. Let me tell you, this

event is back in our community and back in a big

way. The new organizers, Chris Cheshire and her

daughter Krista, have done a fantastic job getting

contestants and sponsors and creating a buzz

around the county again. They have really made

a superb effort in providing an opportunity for

young women to get much-needed scholarships

and life experience.

As I quickly learned, judging is a big

responsibility and should not be taken lightly —

scholarships are on the line here, and it is clearly

apparent that education is important to all the

young ladies involved.

There are a total of six judges — three

“celebrity” judges from the community and three

“official” judges who are involved in the pageant

world. They also run their own pageants in other

areas, and that makes you wonder whether they

should be judging pageants where the winners

will be competing against their title-holders in the

future. Haven’t any of these people seen the movie

“Miss Congeniality”? It is, after all, a competition.

The day starts out with breakfast and the official

interviews at 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning. We

are on a controlled timeline, so everything must

go as scheduled. Of course, one of the judges was

late and makes no excuses, telling us she overslept

because she forgot to set her alarm. Oh well, so

much for setting a good example.

We are all given instructions on the judging and

interview process and the day’s activities. We are

then shown an informational video on the pageant,

and we are ready for the first set of contestants.

There are actually three pageants in one. The

Miss Redwood City (all girls from Redwood

City), Miss San Mateo County and San Mateo

County’s Outstanding Teen (13 to 15 years old).

There are a total of 13 young ladies competing,

ranging in ages from 13 to 23 years old.

As the first group enters, I am instantly

impressed by each girl’s uniqueness, intelligence

and attractiveness. We really have some bright

young ladies in our community. The judges run off

questions, none prearranged, ranging from “What

would your friends say about you?” to “Favorite

hobbies?” “Is Miss America ready for a lesbian

title holder?” (I am sure there has been one, but we

just did not know it). “Is Barack Obama’s policy

of taking from the rich and giving to the poor

going to work?” Etc., etc.

Some of my favorite answers included “They

would say I talk too much,” “Spending Saturday

nights with my grandparents,” “Whale watching,”

“My sister is bisexual,” “My best friend is gay,” “I

worked at a wine bar, as a hostess, even though I

was not 18 years old” and “Huh?”

Almost toward the end of all the interviews

walked in my breath of fresh air — a 17-yearold

ray of sunshine who lit up the room with

a personality that could have given Alicia

Silverstone a run for her money in the movie

“Clueless.” But this girl proved to be anything but.

She was a contestant competing for the Miss San

Mateo County title. Her smile, her walk, her odd

confidence just made you want to scream, “I love

this girl!”

When asked the Obama question, she replied,

“I think it is neat and stuff,” and then looked at us

like we were supposed to know what all “stuff”

includes. Were we the ones not getting it? I could

not help but think.

We learned she was going to sing the song

“At Last” — and “not the Beyoncé version, but

the original by Etta James” — for her talent.

Impressive and “stuff.” Can’t wait.

After all the interviews were completed, we

were given a two-hour break and asked to come

back for a prepared dinner at the Lathrop House,

then on to the Cañada College Main Theatre for

the 7 p.m. pageant start.

As we entered the theater, I was instantly

impressed by the enthusiasm of the almost-soldout

audience. Many were holding signs and

posters encouraging their favorite contestants.

There were other title-holders from other pageant

areas, plus dignitaries including Vice Mayor Diane

Howard and sponsors including Redwood City

businesses American Coast Mortgage, Mayers

Jewelers, Paula Uccelli (another “celebrity” judge

along with Jackie Rice and myself), Studio S

Broadway Academy of Dance, Hannig Law Firm,

Sequoia Chiropractic Clinic, attorney William

Morris, Lourdes Carini, Bangkok Bay Thai, Key

Market, the Saddle Room, Roosevelt Nail Salon,

Wells Fargo Bank, Clean N Press, Broadway Auto

Service and Charles Carter, DDS.

As the competition began, the show was

actually entertaining to watch. There were

production numbers, a Mistress of Ceremonies

(she was good, but next year it should be someone

local, and maybe a publisher. Ha!), the farewells

by last year’s title holders and on and on.

The competition itself was divided into

categories of (1) onstage questions — one girl

named London as her favorite country — oops,

(2) swimsuit for the “Miss” contestants and fitness

clothes for the “Teens,” (3) talent — Wow! Some

great performances, and (4) evening gown.

Okay, so you are probably wondering how

the contestant I was mentioning above, who was

going to sing “At Last,” did. Let me tell you,

she nailed it. One of the best performances of

the night! It was neat and “stuff.” Her evening

gown, flawless; swimsuit, her athleticism was

perfection; her onstage question, very composed.

I hope she competes in this pageant in the future,

because I think she could win and may even be

a strong Miss California possibility — she has

that much potential. Funny how when you are in

that environment, you realize how different the

maturity is between girls just a few years apart,

but experience makes such a difference in those

few years. She finished first runner-up in the Miss

San Mateo portion.

The three girls in the Outstanding Teen

competition were so close in talent, poise and

speaking, I don’t know how we made a decision.

I could not help but think what talented and

composed young ladies they all were and what

bright futures they all have. Their parents and/or

guardians should be so proud of them all.

Who were the crowned ones? Nineteen-yearold

Anna Lisa Matias was named Miss San

Mateo County. Sandra Robles, 17, of Woodside

High School, was named Miss Redwood City.

Both women will go on to compete in the Miss

California pageant this summer. Thirteen-year-old

Elyse Vincenzi was named San Mateo County’s

Outstanding Teen. She will continue to the

California’s Outstanding Teen competition.

To be perfectly honest, I did not have Robles

high on my point sheet. There were two other

contestants whom I gave higher scores, and I did

not feel that her talent — a cheer about herself

— was up to par with the other singers, dancers

and monologues. Plus, when she was asked her

onstage question, “If you could be mayor for a

day, what would you do?” she replied, “Free ice

cream for everyone!” A cute answer, but if you

come from a high school like Woodside, with

so many social and economic issues, one would

expect a more community-oriented and concerned

(continued on page 32)

Celebrating All Things Square



Greg Mack, left to right, Yasmina Teal and Rodney McMenomy eat root beer floats out

of square glasses to celebrate Square Root Day early while at Our Common Ground in

Redwood City.

Is it hip to be square? Maybe not, but it could be lucrative.

Redwood City teacher Ron Gordon is searching for the most unique idea

that includes the most participants celebrating Square Root Day — 03/03/09.

Feb. 2, 2004, or 02/02/04, was the last such day. It will not occur again for

seven years, one month and one day on 04/04/16.

Being square can be fun, Gordon explained. “In October, I’ll turn 8

squared. And that doesn’t even sound that bad. Take the federal stimulus at

$787 billion. That’s about $887,130 squared. That sounds manageable,” he said.

The rules are simple: Be safe, be clever, have friends root for you, have fun,

think square and, of course, be square. Winners are participating for a shared

prize of $339.

Some ideas for celebration include drinking root beer in square mugs,

rooting for the underdog, eating a square meal or square dancing.

Gordon’s students at Our Common Ground — a treatment program in

Redwood City for adolescents and adults with substance abuse and addiction

problems — celebrated to demonstrate the original idea.

Rodney McMenomy, 17, was confused about the concept at first, he said

while scooping ice cream into square plastic cups. “I thought it would be boring.”

Instead, McMenomy joined with Greg Mack, Jesse McGill and Yasmina

Teal to take a few minutes and enjoy root beer floats. McGill made square

knots with rope — a skill he recently learned from Gordon.

“He’s a goofy but awesome teacher,” he said.

Teal was considering wearing a box to school to celebrate the holiday.

On the last Square Root Day, Gordon and his family chopped vegetable

roots — like carrots and beets — into squares. They then shipped the food

to Punxsutawney, Penn., for groundhog Phil. Square Root Day falls on

Groundhog Day only once in a century.

These days are like calendar comets. You wait and wait and wait and wait

for them, then they brighten up your day and — poof — they’re gone,” he said.

Contestants had a 339-hour window — between 9 p.m. Feb. 16 and 3 a.m.

March 18 — to complete or make their square entries. The entry must have

been submitted within three squared days of the March 18 deadline — in

other words, entries were due by Friday, March 27, at 3 a.m. to be considered

for the big prize.

It’s not the only number-based holiday Gordon celebrates.

Odd Day, like 01/03/05, 03/05/07 or the next one on 05/07/09, pays homage

to the rare occurrence of consecutive odd numbers in a date — an occurrence

that happens six times at the start of a century.

Gordon doesn’t encourage celebrating Even Day, however — he doesn’t

want to be held responsible for people getting even.

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

Redwood City Resident Survey Shows More Concern About Gangs, Economy

A new survey shows Redwood City residents are

largely satisfied with the quality of life in their

hometown, although concerns about the economy

and gang presence have increased, city officials


The first such survey since 2003, this document

reflects a city of 58,400 adult residents who

interact frequently with their neighbors and

enjoy their redeveloped downtown. Nine out of

10 residents are “very satisfied” or “somewhat

satisfied” with life in Redwood City.

The survey was conducted by phone during

December 2008, spokesman Malcolm Smith

said. Pollsters took efforts to ensure the

400 participants were selected at random

and represented a variety of ethnicities and


No single issue emerged as an overwhelming

problem in the city, Smith said. While the

economy topped the list of resident concerns,

only 11 percent identified it as an important

issue. Concerns about gangs received a 9 percent

response, and 7 percent of residents are concerned

about affordable housing. Smith said these results

were “not a surprise, but a confirmation.”

Prior surveys indicated concerns about

affordable housing, education and traffic

congestion. The city uses this document to gauge

where services need improvement, Smith said.

Data is cross-tabbed by respondents’ location so

city employees can detect trends. If residents from

a particular neighborhood express dissatisfaction

with sidewalks or street sweeping, for example,

the Public Works Department can work to

improve these issues.

In tough budget times, Smith said, the

document will help the city “use our resources

where they’re needed the most.” Of the eight city

services listed in the survey, disaster preparedness

and affordable housing received the lowest marks,

while the city’s efforts to draw people downtown

topped the list.

Overall, 86 percent of respondents said

their sense of community is “very strong” or

“somewhat strong.” Nine out of 10 interact with

their neighbors. Half the respondents give their

time or money to a local organization, although

80 percent of residents have never seen a city

council meeting.

The city aims to conduct surveys every few

years, Smith said, but other budget priorities

resulted in a five-year gap since the last one. He

was not sure whether the program would survive

future budget talks.

Other survey results include:

• 92 percent reported being either “very satisfied”

(59 percent) or “somewhat satisfied” (33 percent)

with the quality of life in Redwood City.

• 59 percent reported feeling a “very strong” (22

percent) or “somewhat strong” (37 percent) sense

of community, while 27 percent felt a “somewhat

weak” (22 percent) or “very weak” (5 percent)

sense of community.

The issues most frequently mentioned as

important were the economy and gangs.

• More than four out of five residents are satisfied

with city services.

• Approximately three out of four residents feel

either “very safe” (39 percent) or “somewhat safe”

(37 percent) walking downtown after dark, while

four out of five residents feel “very safe” (46

percent) or “reasonably safe” (34 percent) walking

alone after dark in their own neighborhoods.

• Only a little more than half are happy with city

staff and leaders.

The entire survey results are available online at

The Spectrum 7

Cargill Site Comes Before Bay Commission

Having triumphed over a ballot battle that could have killed development on

the former Cargill Salt site, developer DMB Associates is now turning to the

Bay Area commission whose approval it still needs.

The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission

(BCDC) must issue a permit for development of the site. Although that end

is still quite far away, DMB offered up a briefing of conceptual plans before


“At this point, any suggestions or comments can still be incorporated

within the application,” said DMB spokesman Jay Reed. “This lets us know

what they want and gives them a chance to hear background about the site and

the planning efforts.”

The briefing also provided Save The Bay Executive Director David

Lewis the chance to argue why the salt ponds should be restored rather than

developed into housing.

Lewis and other opponents addressed the commission, but Lewis did not

return a call for comment on his specific points. Lewis spearheaded the effort

to defeat development of the land during last year’s contentious election

battle, and Save The Bay Political Director Stephen Knight said he planned to

echo the sentiments.

The property is considered important in the San Francisco Bay. At one

time it was part of a plan fostered by Sen. Dianne Feinstein for the federal

government to purchase and restore endangered salt flats. That plan eventually

dropped the Redwood City salt flats from preservation and instead was to

preserve some land in the South Bay for a price tag close to $100 million.

The BCDC has jurisdiction over any development on San Francisco Bay

waters but Cargill, as successor to Leslie Salt, claims it is exempt. However,

the California Attorney General’s Office decided Cargill falls in BCDC’s

“salt pond” jurisdiction, according to Will Travis, BCDC executive director.

Historically, the commission has had authority over the entire salt pond

system of the bay but not the refining and processing facilities. The two

groups are now agreeing to disagree but working on ensuring the site’s use is

consistent with the current BCDC laws and policies.

Applicable salt pond policies include the caveats that development be

guided by maximum access to the bay without adverse effects on wildlife,

permanent dedication of some of the water surface area and providing for

resource conservation.

BCDC policy also requires every effort be made to sell the land for public

use before OK’ing development — a requirement BCDC Commissioner Rich

Gordon said is challenging.

“At the end of the day, in this climate, I don’t know where those dollars

would come from,” said Gordon, also a member of the San Mateo County

Board of Supervisors.

BCDC also tackled the need for transportation if the site is developed, even

though that issue is not in the commission’s jurisdiction, Gordon said.

“Although we cannot rule over that, it lets the developer see here’s a set of

public officials raising those concerns,” Gordon said.

DMB has committed that any plans will be fully consistent with the

commission’s bay plan policies, Travis has said. But absent any final plan,

Travis said it is impossible to predict whether it would be approved.

DMB is pushing what it calls a 50-50 plan, providing 50 percent for

wetlands restoration, recreation and open space uses and 50 percent for

mixed uses including housing. DMB accompanied its plan with a list of 10

commitments to the community, including flood control issues, creating a

transit-friendly development and ensuring the project is self-sufficient.

Reed said DMB anticipates a development plan will be submitted in the

next month, but currently nothing definitive is on the table.

Despite the absence of a development plan, the briefing was scheduled

because of the proposal’s large-scale scope, the policy issues raised and

the controversy of using the site for something other than salt production,

according to BCDC staff.

The saltworks site is a 1,433-acre parcel of land — the largest untouched

area in the Bay Area outside the Presidio in San Francisco — whose potential

development has long been debated in the community. Last year, the dispute

erupted into a full-out war between organizations like Save The Bay, Redwood

City and a smattering of grassroots groups who took no sides other than

opposing a ballot measure that would have significantly changed the city charter.

Measure W, initially known as the Open Space Vote, would have altered

the charter so voters rather than councilmembers would decide the fate of

development on land zoned open space. Proponents said the measure did not

preclude development, instead giving voters a direct input in the decision and

forcing proposed projects to be better. Opponents worried some homeowners

would be forced to ask the city as a whole for every home improvement or


In response, the Redwood City City Council proposed Measure V, which

would have changed the charter so any decisions on only the Cargill Salt land

would require a vote.

Ultimately, both failed and the issue returned to square one.

Redwood City is currently updating its general plan and recently decided to

use the current designations for the saltworks site. If DMB proposes changing

the general plan to accommodate its development proposal, the developers

will need to push a future amendment. Current estimates suggest that could

happen in 2010.

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

The Spectrum 9

Cultural Events

The Main Gallery

1018 Main St., Redwood City

At the corner of Main and

Middlefield, in the historic yellow

Victorian cottage


W–F 11–4, Sat.–Sun. 10–3, and by


Ellen Chong, “Beau Brownie”

Oil on canvas, 8” x 10”

Nina Koepcke, “Masquerade,” monotype

24” x 20” framed size, 12” x 10” image size

Two artists with many ideas come together to

present “Divergent Views” at The Main Gallery.

Painter Ellen Chong and ceramic and mixedmedia

artist Nina Koepcke will collaborate on the

show, which runs from March 25 to April 26, with

a reception on Sunday, March 29, from 2:30 to 6 p.m.

Chong paints what strikes her fancy and finds

results in colorful tangents of the imagination.

For “Divergent Views,” she gathers an eclectic

selection of images into a collective representation

of her work. A camera collection, objects on her

kitchen windowsill, local landscapes and general

paraphernalia go into the mix. Her work endeavors

to bring personality, humor and/or character into the

everyday-object scenes that she paints.

Koepcke asks the questions “Inward looking or

outward looking; what does the viewer see and

what does he or she interpret when viewing an

image? What is in front of the image and what is

behind it? How does one’s view mask or reveal

the artists’ intentions?” These are all views to

consider in new works by Koepcke and Chong.

Drawing inspiration from African Makishi

masks, Koepcke explores the idea of

masquerading in a series of monotypes and

ceramic works.

San Mateo County

History Museum

2200 Broadway St., Redwood City


Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

$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. The exhibit tells the

stories of the diverse people who came to the area

and explores how different groups faced hardships

and discrimination. It highlights the experiences

of the early immigrant groups — Chinese,

Japanese, Irish, Italians and Portuguese — in the

late 1800s.

Living the California Dream. The exhibit

depicts the development of the suburban culture

of San Mateo County.

The Celtic Tiger: The Irish Economic Miracle.

The exhibit explores how the Bay Area has

participated in Ireland’s current economic boom.

Angelica’s Bistro

863 Main St.

Downtown Redwood City


Marty Atkinson

West Coast Songwriter Celebration to Honor

Jennifer Addan

Dinner and live performance

Wednesday, April 1, 7 p.m.

Dinner starts at 6 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m.

Call 650-365-3226 for reservations

(continued on page 12)

The Spectrum 11

Cultural Events

(Angelica’s Bistro, continued from page 11)

Brett Reeves and Jason Powers

Dinner and live performance

Friday, April 3, 8 p.m.

$5 cover charge

Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m.

Red Desert Dancers

Saturday, April 11, 8 p.m.

$5 cover charge

Nancy Gilliland Trio

Dinner and dancing

Saturday, April 18, 8:30 p.m.–11:30 p.m.

$10 advance, $15 door

Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m., music starts at 8:30 p.m.

County Line Trio

Saturday, April 4, 7:30 p.m.

$20 cover charge plus dinner

Dan Schneider

Dinner plus folk, rock and country

Friday, April 10, 7:30 p.m.

$5 cover charge

Dinner starts at 6 p.m., music starts at 7:30 p.m.

Their last show was sold out! The Red Desert

Dance Company, back by popular demand, is

based in Redwood City. They bring fun, fusion

and fabulous energy to the dance floor with a

variety of props and dances ranging from candles,

swords, veils, drum solos, tribal, cabaret and

more. Winners in the local Fourth of July parade

several years in a row, they perform at a variety

of functions, including the three-day festival,

Rakassah, in Vallejo in March.

Whiskey Hill Band

Dinner and dancing

Friday, April 17, 8 p.m.–11 p.m.

$5 cover charge

Dinner starts at 6 p.m., music starts at 8 p.m.

The South City Blues Band

Dinner and dancing

Friday, April 24, 8:30 p.m.–11:30 p.m.

$10 cover charge

Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m., music starts at 8:30 p.m.

The Valerie Jay Band

“Country rock”

Dinner and dancing

Saturday, April 25, 8:30 p.m.

$5 cover charge plus dinne

Advertise With The Spectrum

Give Us a Call 650.368.2434

Donate Your Vehicle


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


Maximum Tax Deductions – We handle paperwork

The Spectrum 13



The Alhambra Theatre (Opera House)

By Darold Fredricks, Special to The Spectrum

The Alhambra ca 1890 (San Mateo County

Historical Association)

Grand opening poster (San Mateo

County Historical Association)

1906 earthquake damage Gevert and William (age 5) Plump

ca 1870

The Redwood City Democrat,

Aug. 20, 1895:

The Alhambra of Redwood City

may never rival in grandeur and

historic association the famous

place of Granada, but it will give

to the progressive dwellers in the

capital of San Mateo County all

the comforts of a modern opera

house. It is wholly in harmony with

the spirit of esthetic progress on

the Peninsula that A. Page Brown

should plan and Charles Josselyn

build an opera house worthy of the

City. The house is of the mission

type of architecture with the

blending of the Moorish. There is

a series of ornamental windows

across the front, heavy cornices

project and the tiled roof lends

poetry to the structure. The building

is to be of brick, sand finished.

Seating capacity for 800 people

will be provided. A spacious stage

and fine dressing rooms will delight

the actors and singers. Then the

auditorium is so picturesque with its

quaint timbers overhead instead of

the finished ceiling.

The desires of the young people

of Redwood City have not lacked

consideration; dancing in the

Alhambra is sure to be a delight,

for the floor is laid on lines to

make dancing agreeable. Below

will be stores and a café. Electric

lights, gas jets and fire escapes

are to be provided for the building.

Contractor Robert Brown, who built

the Burlingame Country Club, will

construct the new opera house.”

Charles Josselyn did not hold back

on his investing when building the

Alhambra Theatre. He wanted it to

be the most glamorous and dramatic

building on the San Francisco

Peninsula. He also wanted it to be a

proud partner to the courthouse just

several blocks west. Employing A.

Page Brown, one of the most famous

and well-respected architects in

California and throughout the

country, is evidence of Josselyn’s

intent to make this structure equal

to the architect’s and the owner’s

characters for grandness and beauty.

The grand opening was on the

evening of Jan. 20, 1895. The

performance was “Men and

Women” and was performed by

the troupe of T. Daniel Frawley

Company. The company had

appeared at the Columbia Theater,

in San Francisco, the Saturday night

preceding and received excellent

reviews. Redwood City turned out

in droves, purchasing all 800 of the

tickets. Grand scenery and elegant

costumes were the order of the day

for this magnificent production. A

nine-piece orchestra supplied the

music introducing the play and at

intermission. The orchestra also

played for the dance that followed

the play, making the evening a very

special social occasion. Twenty-five

percent of the gross receipts were

donated to Redwood City so the

town could purchase a grand clock,

which was placed in the new school

building across from the courthouse.

The San Francisco Chronicle

ran a long story about the grand

opening. The reporter was

obviously impressed with the

theater and the troupe, as his review

was again excellent. His prediction

for the theater was that it would be

a part of a circuit of the best in the

country. He commented especially

on the curtain drop and the painted

scenery of a Venetian setting.

The theater was more than just a

playhouse; it was a place of social

significance as well. It served as

a community gathering spot even

when no performance was planned.

The great earthquake in April

1906 did substantial but not fatal

damage to the Alhambra. The

inside was damaged, as well as the

external walls. The San Francisco

Call commented on June 10, 1906,

“It has been given out that Charles

Josselyn, after several careful

inspections, has decided to have

the Alhambra Theatre restored

and the interior of the playhouse

reconstructed along new lines. It is

designed to have the stage removed

to the rear portion of the building

and to extend the building in that

direction. The auditorium will

thus be enlarged, the long entrance

hallway dispensed with, and better

and safer entrances and exits provided.”

The theater gradually was used

less and less, and by World War

I, the only activity was a dance

company academy that was used

primarily to entertain the soldiers

training at Camp Fremont in Menlo

Park. William Plump, the son of the

well-known early pioneer Gevert

Plump, purchased the building in

the mid-1910s and opened a saloon

on the ground floor that was very

popular for quite a period of time.

The Redwood City Lodge No.

168, F. & A.M. (Free & Accepted

Masons), bought the property

in 1921. They did a great deal of

renovation and held a dedication

of their new meeting place on

Aug. 23, 1923. This is the oldest

Masonic Order on the Peninsula.

The adjoining structure, owned

by the International Order of Odd

Fellows, was given a common

facade. The internal wall structures

were changed during this period as

well. Later, a kitchen was added to

the back of the building. Many of

the old-timers will remember those

steep steps both in the front and the

back of the building.

Following a fire several years

ago, John Anagnostou decided to

restore the building to, as closely

as possible, its original appearance.

He is still looking at what would

be the best way to use the ground

floor that was the saloon. The upper

floor, however, will be again part

of the entertainment industry. We

all hope it will return to one of the

community’s favorite places to rub

shoulders and meet friends.

Editor’s note: The Alhambra

Theatre is on Main Street 60 yards

south of Broadway and has recently

been beautifully restored as an

office building and pub/restaurant.

Its mahogany front gives it all the

appearances of a place where Wyatt

Earp would have spent his hardearned

money. The restoration

process was continuing at the time

this article was written.

Community Interests

Grand Jury Says Green-Light More Red-Light Cameras

Redwood City should green-light more red-light cameras because the use of

one at the intersection of eastbound Whipple Avenue at Veterans Boulevard

increased safety in its first six months of use, according to a San Mateo

County Civil Grand Jury report.

The city installed traffic enforcement equipment at the intersection in 2007

based on five years of Redwood City Police Department data of collisions

caused by drivers running red lights. The police found that during that time,

there were 76 crashes of which 64 involved vehicles traveling eastbound on

Whipple Avenue.

The camera went live in February 2008, and in the first half-year, 527

citations were issued. There was only one collision, compared to an average

of six accidents every six months between 2001 and 2005.

While the grand jury looked favorably at the camera, it did offer some

suggestions for improvement. Signage does not include warnings for drivers

headed east, and the city should place a link on its home page offering

general information to the public about the program, the jury recommended.

The full report is available at

Governor Appoints Redwood City Resident

Marlon Evans, 34, of Redwood City, has been appointed to the Commission

on Teacher Credentialing by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Since 2006, Evans

has served as the executive director for All Stars Helping Kids. Prior to that,

he served as a director at the Knowledge Is Power Program Foundation from

2003 to 2006 and was a major gifts officer for Stanford University Office of

Medical Development from 2002 to 2003.

Evans was the assistant director of undergraduate admissions at

Stanford University from 1998 to 2001 and was a free agent with the NFL’s

Indianapolis Colts in 1998 and the Carolina Panthers in 1997. He is a member

of the Sports4Kids Bay Area Advisory Board of Directors.

Cañada College Receives $600,000 Grant

Cañada College in Redwood City has received a $600,000 grant from the

National Science Foundation that will help students majoring in fields such as

science, math and engineering.

The National Science Foundation will provide the scholarships to students

of the community college during the next five years.

The grant provides $3,000 to students eligible for trigonometry and $4,000

annually to students ready for calculus. Each student could receive as much

as $15,000 over three years.

The scholarship is open to community college students and graduating

high school students. Applicants must demonstrate financial need.

Fair Oaks Children’s Clinic Remodel Completed

The ribbon cutting ceremony and reception held at the Fair Oaks Children’s

Clinic Jan. 22 marked the completion of a major remodeling of the medical

home to more than 4,000 area children. The clinic provides health care that

includes physicals and exams, asthma care, immunizations and mental health


The $400,000 refurbishing of exam rooms was underwritten by the San

Mateo County Health Foundation, an independent community foundation

supported solely through donations and managed by a volunteer board of

directors. The San Mateo County Health Foundation raises funds to address

health care concerns facing residents of San Mateo County. Most of its

support goes to programs located at the San Mateo Medical Center and

affiliated community health clinics.

The Foundation recognized the outstanding care provided to children at

the clinic. We were pleased to do our part in making this remodel possible,”

said Lee Michelson, executive director of the foundation.

The Fair Oaks Children’s Clinic is located at 603 Laurel St. in Redwood

City on the grounds of Hoover School. Financial assistance is offered to those

who do not have insurance. For information about hours of operation and

appointments call 650-261-3710.

Five Stars for Redwood City Library

Congrats to the Redwood City Public Library, which received the coveted

“five-star rating” from the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service, a

new rating system. The honor makes the library the top-rated of its size in the

Bay Area and one of two top-rated mid-size libraries in all of California.

Rite Aid Winner From Redwood City

Christina Granato of Redwood City won first prize in Rite Aid’s “Win a Day

With Denise Austin” sweepstakes. Granato and a guest will be escaping to

the Lansdowne Resort in Lansdowne, Va., for a free three-day, two-night

luxury spa getaway, including spa treatments and a workout session with

fitness expert Denise Austin. Way to go, Christina!

Redwood City District Put New $91 Tax on Ballot

A $91 annual parcel tax would mean an estimated $2.3 million per year for

Redwood City schools if voters approve the ballot measure in June.

Faced with $4 million to $6 million in budgetary cuts, the Redwood City

School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to put a parcel tax

before residents during a special election in June. The five-year levy will

require a two-thirds yes vote to pass. School officials were optimistic the

measure could pass, but only with the support of volunteers helping spread

the word of the district’s needs.

“This is about our kids. We can save jobs and, while saving jobs, make a

better educational experience for our kids,” said Trustee Dennis McBride.

The key to success will be education, said Alisa MacAvoy, who added that

once people understand the need, they are ready to help. But first, they need

to know what the district is facing.

A $91 parcel tax, if passed, would generate $2.3 million in revenue for

five years. Currently, the district is facing $3 million in mid-year cuts and $4

million to $6 million in reductions for next year. As a result, the board voted

to release staff.

“If we don’t have people there who care about kids, our kids are not going

to get what they need. I just feel that we have to take this risk,” said board

President Shelly Masur. “We have to do something.”

Those in attendance showed excitement and support for the parcel tax prior

to the board’s vote.

For parent Ray Dawley, there were many reasons to move ahead with the

parcel tax. One major reason was that children within the elementary school

district funnel into the Sequoia Union High School District. All neighboring

districts that also go to the Sequoia district have parcel taxes and spend more

money per student, he said.

Last week, the board heard results of a 400-person phone interview

conducted by Godbe Research regarding a potential parcel tax.

Support for such a measure was at 69 percent when respondents were

initially asked about a $91 annual parcel tax. Those polled were more likely

to support a measure aimed at maintaining science programs, attracting

and retaining quality teachers, keeping school libraries and services open,

maintaining technology in classrooms, maintaining music and art programs,

continuing electives in middle schools and providing reading and math

tutoring programs for students.

After hearing information about the potential tax, support for a $91 levy

grew to 73 percent.

A 2008 survey showed similar support and resulted in a suggestion of a

five-year term.

In February, the district sent out 24,000 fliers with a survey to registered

voters within the city. The mailer was sent out in English and Spanish. The

survey was also available online. About 800 surveys were returned by mail

and 80 were conducted online. Out of the surveys returned, only 5 percent

were opposed to a parcel tax.

Redwood City previously attempted a parcel tax in 2005 but only earned

61.69 percent support.

Jefferson, San Carlos and Woodside elementary school districts all put

parcel taxes on an all-mail ballot in May.

The Spectrum 15

GREAT gifts for Mother’s and Father’s Day

Parties Around Town Kainos/Peninsula Sunrise Rotary Club Irish Night, Saturday, March 14

Top left: Attorney Ted Hannig, Councilman Ian Bain, Paula Uccelli and Marilyn Territo. Top right: Connie Guerrero, Lilia Ledezma and Nori Jabba. Bottom left: Councilman Ian

Bain, Paul and Jane Taylor, Cheri and Kevin Bondonno and Marc Manuel. Bottom middle: Rotary President Brandy Navarro and husband Danny, Cañada College soccer coach

Kurt Devlin and Jennifer. Bottom right: Mayor Rosanne Foust and Councilman Jim Hartnett with former Mayor Jack Greenalch and his wife, Barbara.

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The Spectrum 17

Changing the Face of Sequoia High:

Morgan Marchbanks Looks Back and Ahead

By Judy Buchan, Contributing Writer

S t a b i l i t y .

P u r p o s e .


P a s s i o n .


Ask Sequoia High School grads and

colleagues about Principal Morgan

Marchbanks, and you’ll hear those

words and many more.

Marchbanks is stepping down from her post

as principal at the end of the current school

year. She has been accepted into the doctorate

program at the University of California, Berkeley,

where she will work toward a doctorate degree in

educational policy and organizations research.

As she comes to the end of her career at

Sequoia, Morgan reflected on how she found

Sequoia when she became principal in 2000, how

she leaves Sequoia in 2009 and much more.

“When I was appointed to Sequoia as interim

principal in June 2000, there were multiple

issues to address, as was explained to me by

the superintendent, Dr. Jo Ann Smith, and the

district’s board of trustees,” she recalled.

She listed the challenges waiting for her when

she assumed the principal’s role. “There was the

issue of low staff morale as a consequence of the

constant turnover of principals and the lack of

consistent leadership. There was also an issue

with inconsistent handling of disciplinary matters

with students related to the constant turnover of

site leadership. There was declining enrollment

at Sequoia due to open enrollment and the

perception of Sequoia in the larger community as

a ‘failing school.’ There was the very real problem

of the low Academic Performance Index (API)

score, which was the lowest in the district and

among the lowest in the county. And, there was

the debate raging in the community and the media

about whether the Cherokee Indian should be the

school’s mascot.”

And she was off and running.

“My goals, as set by the district upon hire, were

to improve the academic performance of Sequoia

High School, reverse the trend of declining

enrollment with the implementation of the

International Baccalaureate program and facilitate

the resolution of the Cherokee mascot debate,”

Marchbanks said.

Her personal goals were equally as daunting.

The goals which I set for myself as a leader were

to retain and hire the most qualified faculty to

address the diverse needs of the Sequoia student

body, to respond to staff concern that students

could address their academic issues without first

addressing health and mental health issues, and to

prove what I have felt as a novice teacher and then

English department chair at Sequoia in the early

’90s: that it was the best school for its positive

climate, the spirit of ‘unaliyi’ (a Native American

Cherokee word) and its focus on equity and

achievement for all students.”

Did it work? Ask Lorraine Rumley, president of

the district board of trustees. “I’m glad both my

girls went through Sequoia during the Morgan

Marchbanks era,” she said. “Morgan is very

passionate about education and access for all

students, no matter their socioeconomic status,”

she continued. No roadblocks kept students from

learning, but they had to challenge themselves,

Rumley told me. The International Baccalaureate

program did not require an entrance exam, only

the willingness to work. “I am very appreciative

of Morgan’s work. She brought discipline to

Sequoia, made it a comfortable place for students

to learn and develop,” Rumley added.

Ken Rolandelli, president of the Sequoia High

School Alumni Association, agrees. “I believe

that Morgan has done nothing less than an

outstanding job at Sequoia. She brought Sequoia

from the doldrums, both in terms of academics

and morale, to a position of stature in academic

circles and in the community in which it serves.

It became obvious to me about two years ago

that Morgan would be moving on to even greater

achievement. So I am not surprised about her

leaving. I wish her the best and thank her for all

she has done. She leaves big shoes to fill, but I

believe she has set a foundation and created a

mindset where Sequoia will carry on successfully

in her absence.”

“She was great for Sequoia, providing a sense

of stability for students,” said Paul Sanfilipo,

former councilmember and chair of the alumni

association’s scholarship committee. “Sequoia’s

academic scores went up, thanks to Morgan. As

chairman of the scholarship committee, I found

Morgan to be very helpful.”

It wasn’t all smooth sailing. In November 2007,

an incident at the football game between Sequoia

and Half Moon Bay thrust Marchbanks into the

forefront of dealing with racial issues.

According to the Half Moon Bay Review,

“Students and officials at Half Moon Bay High

School have issued three written apologies in the

wake of charges of racial insults and documented

bad behavior during a football game pitting Half

Moon Bay and Sequoia high schools.

“All agree the game was marred by streakers,

that eggs were lobbed into the Sequoia section

of the stands and rocks later thrown at the team

bus as Sequoia students left the Nov. 2 game.

Allegations that someone leveled a racial epithet at at

least one Sequoia player remain under investigation.”

News coverage at the time was widespread.

Marchbanks was quoted as saying that she

received a good deal of feedback because she

responded to press queries.

“Rather than let the CCS (Central Coast

Section) investigate the matter and decide

sanctions, I, as principal, along with our student

ecords officer, the Redwood City police and our

vice principals, decided to take our own actions,”

she said at the time.

Also in 2007, the San Mateo Daily Journal

published a story on allegations of recruiting

violations and questions about two varsity

basketball players’ residency. Marchbanks

subsequently fired coach Peter Simos and

forfeited the remainder of the team’s South

Division leading season.

There was very little evidence that the students

in question lived at the address provided,”

Marchbanks told the Daily Journal. “There was

nothing that was credible that (indicated) they

lived at the address in Redwood City. There was

also admission they were riding the train (Caltrain)

two to three days a week (to get to school).”

The school decided to forfeit its final three

games of the regular season, as well as the 20

wins the Cherokees had already earned.

“Even if it was with best intentions, it is still by

definition recruiting,” she said at the time.

And there was more. Would she have done

anything differently during the Cherokee mascot

debate? “I was directed upon hire to facilitate the

resolution of the Cherokee mascot issue with a

broad-based and representative committee and

to maintain neutrality in the matter. That is what

occurred. And as I am still a district employee

who is going on leave to pursue my further

education, I feel I must maintain that promised

neutrality. So, the directive was addressed as

given by the board of trustees. Hence, I am

satisfied that I did what was directed.”

Another bubbling issue is that of cheerleader

uniforms. “First, we are exceedingly proud

to have an award-winning, nationally ranked

cheerleading team. The matter of their uniforms

during the school day has been addressed to

the mutual satisfaction of the school and the

cheerleaders’ parents. In order to address the

equity concerns brought forth by students and

faculty, the cheerleaders at Sequoia now wear

outfits during the school day on game days which

are compliant with the school dress code. In fact,

they may wear their competition uniforms with

leggings during school time. On cold days, we’ve

noticed that they wear their warm-up uniform.

During games, rallies and competitions, they

wear their uniforms, unfettered by additional leg

covering that would impede their movement. We

are quite proud of our cheerleading squad, and we

are proud of the shared decision-making process

that brought forth this resolution.”

And gangs. “There isn’t gang activity at

Sequoia per se,” Marchbanks said. “There has

never been a gang fight on campus during the

13 years that I have worked there as a teacher

or principal. There are individuals on the

campus who may be flirting with gang life

or have been involved in gang life. This is so

throughout our state and our nation. However,

Sequoia disciplinary policy and mental health

interventions we have on campus prevent any

‘gang issue’ on the Sequoia campus. I am quite

proud of the way Sequoia High School addresses

the matter with laser-like focus to campus safety

as well as the mental health issues of the students

who are being courted by older gang affiliates and

members. We work to empower students to discover

their strengths, academically and in their characters,

so the gang life doesn’t offer any attraction.”

When asked to describe her worst day at

Sequoia, she told me that “The worst days have

all been associated with addressing the fallout

from making hard decisions about matters to

which the public or the press does not have all

of the information, and the information is most

often of a nature that I cannot fully disclose. I

am the decision-maker, and those days when I

take a beating have to do with making the best

decision possible with confidential matters, so I

am unable to disclose fully all of the facts so that

the community can understand the reasons for my

actions. Those are always the hardest days.”

And the best days? “The best days are those in

which our school receives recognition for the data

which prove that we are doing the right things for

kids. Period.”

Looking back, Marchbanks saw that she

achieved her goals. “I believe that I, and the

Sequoia staff and Sequoia community, have

achieved the goals set. I cannot claim credit for

what the school has achieved; that would be

counter to my educational philosophy as a leader.

I couldn’t have gotten buy-in from the Sequoia

staff if I hadn’t incorporated their goals into my

own. Due to the reciprocity of respect and buyin

at Sequoia, we have all achieved the goals

that we set for the school. And, we have created

programs that have improved the school’s success

that were not in the vision of anyone when I

began at Sequoia. They were created out of our

examination of our weaknesses and research into

effective programs. We have created Personalized

Learning Communities at the 9th and 10th grade

levels. We are in the process of constructing a

full offering of Interest Pathways for 11th and

12th graders. We successfully installed a Teen

Resource Center and a Teen Wellness Center

that address the emotional and social issues that

students confront that impede their academic

progress when left untended.”

“I believe the data are quite clear that the situation

at Sequoia had changed immensely. We are a California

Distinguished School which has received Title I Academic

Achievement Award status.”

Is she leaving Sequoia a better place?

Absolutely. “I believe the data are quite clear that

the situation at Sequoia had changed immensely.

We are a California Distinguished School which

has received Title I Academic Achievement

Award status; this dual award was earned by

only 16 middle and high schools in the state of

California in that year, 2007. Add to that, we

have twice appeared in the last two years among

Morgan Marchbanks and school secretary Dottress Rollin

(continues on next page)

The Spectrum 19

Parties Around Town

Changing the Face of Sequoia High: Morgan Marchbanks Looks Back and Ahead

(Continued from 19)

Newsweek magazine’s top 1,200 schools in the

nation. Our International Baccalaureate (IB)

exam-passed rate of 97 percent exceeds both the

national and worldwide IB pass rates. We have

more national board–certified teachers than any

district school. And for the first time, Sequoia

has drawn in the most students who live outside

our attendance area than any other school in the

district. This is an area, as I mentioned in the

goals given to me by the board previously, where

Sequoia has consistently been dead last. That

reversal from declining enrollment to functioning

as a magnet program for outlying areas within the

district is proof positive that Sequoia’s perception

in the community has changed dramatically.

Again, the data speaks clearly as to the status of

Sequoia High School since my arrival in 2000.”

On March 20, Marchbanks will be inducted

into the San Mateo County Women’s Hall of

Fame. Hall of Fame inductees are selected by

impartial judges outside the county who make

selections without knowing the identity of

nominees. The Hall of Fame is sponsored by the

county’s Commission on the Status of Women.

Marchbanks is now set to move forward to a

new part of her life, in what else but education. “I

now have the opportunity to pursue my lifelong

dream to teach at the university level. I would be

happy to teach either teachers or administrators,

even both. And I fully intend to contribute to

the body of research that examines the effect

of equity-based policies in education and,

conversely, to expose those programs and policies

which run counter to the needs of students who

have historic and predictable patterns of academic

performance that prevented these groups from

realizing full participation in our larger society.

I hope to complete my Ph.D. in policy and

organizations research at UC Berkeley within

three to four years so that I can begin that aspect

of my career.”

“Sequoia will be losing a true leader in Morgan

Marchbanks,” said former coach Mike Mancini.

“I have had the pleasure of knowing and working

for Morgan for over 15 years. Her dedication and

commitment to excellence at Sequoia will be truly

missed. As the principal at Redeemer Lutheran

School, I have enjoyed sending our graduates to

Sequoia as part of the International Baccalaureate

program that Morgan developed. Her constant

care and concern for the school environment has

been awesome and her continued drive to make

Sequoia a better place has been noticed by many

throughout the Redwood City community. Having

been a resident of Redwood City for over 40 years,

I have enjoyed watching the positive growth that

has taken place under Morgan over her years as

administrator. I wish her God’s richest blessings

as she embarks on her new journey.”

You go, girl!

Nonprofits in Action

Advocates for Children

For as little as 10 hours a month, you could make

a lasting difference in the life of an abused and

neglected child.

Each year, 600 to 800 San Mateo County

children enter the foster care system as a result of

abuse and neglect. 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 ( 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 for more information about

the Toastmasters public speaking program.


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 ( for a

listing of events, dates and how to join.

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.

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@

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!

Hearing Loss Association of the


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


Optimist Club of Redwood City

The Optimists invite you to become a member of

Optimist International, one of the largest service

organizations in the world, where “bringing out

the best in kids” has been their mission for over

80 years. Whether you’re a club officer or a club

member who enjoys the fellowship and friendship

of others with a common greater good, Optimist

International needs you and would like you as a


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

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.

All repair work is completed during National

Rebuilding Day, an annual event that takes place

on the last Saturday of April. For this one-day

rebuilding event, thousands of volunteers and

sponsors unite to rehabilitate the homes and

community facilities of our low-income neighbors

and revitalize communities across the Peninsula.

RTP is currently seeking skilled volunteers and

construction captains. 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

(continues on page 24)

The Spectrum 21

Shop Redwood City: Now More Than Ever — Shop Redwood City

Shouldn’t you make the commitment to shopping locally? When you are shopping, dining or enjoying

some entertainment, check out our Best of the Best selections below — businesses that not only

provide excellent service but also contribute to our community. You will benefit because your sales tax

dollars stay local and help us all.

Auto Care:

Redwood General Tire – 1630 Broadway – Redwood General Tire was

founded on the principles of good customer service and quality products

at fair prices. Many satisfied customers have been with them since their

founding. 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. They now

have a free WiFi connection while

you wait for your car to be serviced.

Eating and Catering:

Angelica’s Bistro – 863 Main St. –

Located in the back of an antiques

emporium, Angelica’s Bistro feels like

it has been here since the 18th century.

Sit in a cozy alcove and listen to

romantic live music as you enjoy your

meal. Lean at the counter and order a

microbrew beer. Or sit in the garden among

fountains and sculptures for afternoon tea. Visit for

menu and live entertainment offerings.

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 have

everything from their famous hamburgers to pizzas. They also serve all kind

of sandwiches and pastas, and they even have a South of the Border menu!

They now do Sunday breakfast buffet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Don’t forget to

reserve their closed patio for your next party. They have heaters, fans and a

big screen TV (no extra charge). They do catering, too!”

Encore Performance Catering – 2992 Spring St. – No matter the

occasion, owner Dave Hyman’s catering menu goes on for eight pages of

mouthwatering suggestions for everything from casual to formal events.

Despite an entire page devoted just to warm appetizers, these are mere

suggestions, and Hyman is quick to offer additional possibilities to fit any

occasion. He also has a strong sense of community and participates in many

community-oriented events. Additionally, Hyman is proud of the fact that

his business products are nearly 100 percent recyclable, and leftovers are

contributed to St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room in Redwood City. Need a

caterer for that party or event? Call Dave at 650-365-3731 or visit his Web site


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.

Financial Institutions:

San Mateo Credit Union – Two Redwood City locations – As a memberdriven

organization, SMCU does everything possible to ensure that all

of your financial priorities are anticipated and fulfilled. Some of the more

popular offerings include free personal auto shopping assistance, membersonly

car sales, low-rate home loans and lines of credit. Contact them at 650-

363-1725 or 888 363-1725, or visit a branch for additional information. Learn

the advantages of membership banking.

Legal Services:

Business Profile of the Month

Michelle Glaubert, Realtor at Coldwell Banker – 650-722-1193

– Michelle doesn’t want to be one of the real estate agents that

pass through your life; she wants to be the only Realtor in your

life! When you work with Michelle once, she will do everything

in her power to make you want to come back to her the next

time you need real estate assistance. Since she works mainly

on referral and repeat business, that strategy must be working!

“People like my honesty and my follow-through,” says Michelle.

They know they can count on me and I absolutely refuse to let

them down.” Visit her online at

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 valueadded

services, and to supporting

and participating in the communities

where they live and work.

Personal Improvement:

Every Woman Health Club – 611

Jefferson Ave. – A women-only, bodypositive

fitness center in downtown

Redwood City. Services include

classes, weight and cardio equipment,

personal training, therapeutic massage

and skin care. Flexible pricing, with

several options available for members

and nonmembers. Visit www. or call


Re:Juvenate Skin Care – 1100 Laurel St., Suite F, San Carlos – Whether

you are seeing a Re:Juvenate clinician for acne, sun damage, skin

tightening, wrinkle reduction or laser hair removal, the process starts with a

complimentary consultation with a member of the aesthetic staff. Call 650-

631-5700 and mention The Spectrum Magazine.

Home Improvements:

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

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

of six employees and five working vans. The Lewis family works and lives

in Redwood City and is committed to our community. Ask about their

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

nothing. Call today!

Specialty Businesses:

Bizzarro’s Auto Auction – 2581 Spring St. – Owner Frank Bizzarro has

a unique business that offers auto auctions, consignment vehicle sales,

appraisal services and even ways to donate your vehicle to needing charities.

If you are thinking of holding an event with a live auction to increase your

fundraising efforts, Frank and his staff are also a one-stop auction team with

spotters, clerks, sample catalogs, bid numbers, etc. Just give Frank a call at

650-363-8055 and get details on all of their services.

Castle Insurance – 643 Bair Island Road, #104 – Castle Insurance is an

independent insurance agency. They do not work for an insurance company;

they work for their clients to ensure fair, prompt payment. They represent a

carefully selected group of financially sound, reputable insurance companies,

and they place each client’s policy with the company offering the best

coverage at a competitive price. Visit or call

650-364-3664 for a free quote.

Saf Keep Storage – 2480 Middlefield Road – What is the Saf Keep

advantage? Safe. Clean. Secure. At Saf Keep, they want you to know that you

and your belongings are safe and secure. They have a friendly and reliable

team that is ready to assist you. Saf Keep offers a variety of storage products

and services to suit all your storage needs. Visit to

see exactly what products and services are available. Compare them to other

facilities and you’ll see why their service makes the difference.

The Spectrum 23

Nonprofits in Action (Continued from page 21)

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 recently been involved with

local events such as Target Family Day events, the

Fair Oaks Middlefield event, the Pet Parade, the

Salsa Festival and more. They offered fun, creative

art projects for children who were visiting the events,

and the center hopes this is just the beginning of

their involvement with the community.

For scheduling or donation, contact artreach@ For more general

information, visit

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. The organization attempts to

make human life more desirable by lessening its

ills and promotes peace, prosperity, gladness and

hope. For more than a century, the Eagles have

had a major positive influence on our region, nation,

world and, most importantly, our communities.

It was the Eagles who pushed for the founding

of Mother’s Day. 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

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

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 For more information on

RCEF, check out

Redwood City Rotary

Redwood City Rotary performs many service

projects, provides college scholarships and

donates to international relief efforts. The

50-member 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 President Bob Doss at 650-368-3900.

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

Redwood City Women’s Club meets at the

clubhouse, 149 Clinton St., the first Thursday of

each month September through June. Social at

11:30 a.m. and lunch at noon, followed by meeting

and program. For information, visit the group’s

Web site at

Sequoia High School Alumni


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 or e-mail

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 or visit the group’s

Web site at Sequoia Stamp Club

sponsors a free stamp show at the same location

on the first weekend in December.

Soroptimist International of South


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.

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

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 Visit the YES

Reading Web site at

Editor’s note: If you are connected with a

nonprofit organization and want your information

printed in The Spectrum, send it to writers@ 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.

San Mateo





Honoring our Heritage:


FESTIVAL 2 0 0 9




S a t u r d a y,

M A Y 1 6

N O O N - 5 P M

Music & Dance Performance

Groups representing African-Americans,

Basque, Chinese, Croatians, Filipinos, Irish, Italians,

Japanese, Mexicans and Portuguese.





Food Tasting Card $ 5

Above, Mexico Vivo performing

San Mateo County History Museum

2200 Broadway Street

Redwood City, CA 94063

CONTACT: 650-299-0104 or

Thank You to our


The Spectrum 25

“It’s Not a Job, It’s a Real Profession”

By Nicole Minieri

“Going once, twice, three times, sold to the

gentleman all the way in the back of the room,”

is something you might hear being pitched by

professional auctioneer Frank Bizzarro at the

biweekly Bizzarro’s Auto Auction. The multiauction

business includes public auto auctions,

charity auction fundraisers and car donation

auctions at three Redwood City locations: at 2581

Spring St., on Edison Street and at Angelica’s

Bistro on Main Street downtown. The Spring

Street location is home to most of the auto

auctions. Bizzarro, who is fully bonded and

registered as a commercial fundraiser in the state

of California, remains at the top of his game.

Active in the auction industry since 1973, he has

sold over 43,000 cars to date.

Bizzarro was an Equity actor in New York

for a number of years in the early ’70s and

transitioned to auctions after responding to an

ad for an apprentice auctioneer in New York. He

pursued that avenue for a couple of years before

entering the wholesale perfume industry. In 1983,

Bizzarro and his wife moved to the Bay Area,

and he eased his way back into working as an

auctioneer. In 1989 he opened an antiques house,

and in 1996 he launched Bizzarro’s Auto Auction.

“It is quite enjoyable to do, especially if you like

to perform,” said Bizzarro. “There are a lot of

people in auction, but only 20 percent of them

are able to do it full time. And it is because that

20 percent find a way to make it work.” Bizzarro

most certainly has found a way to make it work,

because he has the passion, will and drive to do

so. In 2001 Bizzarro closed the antiques portion

of his business but kept building upon his charity

and auto auctioning enterprises.

Today, how Bizzarro’s Auto Auction works is

quite user-friendly. In return for selling their cars

at the auction, patrons receive a cash advance,

advertisements in newspapers and on Bizzarro’s

Web site, comprehensive detailing services

available right on the premises, DMV paperwork

processing and secured storage. Usually, more

than 100 cars are offered to the general public

at an auction. All of the autos are available for

previewing the day before the auctions, which are

held on Saturdays at 10 a.m. For those who wish

to donate their cars, boats, RVs or motorcycles in

the auction, all of the IRS and DMV paperwork

is processed for free. Vehicles are accepted

regardless of running condition, smogged or not

and with or without car titles. Parties donating

vehicles have the opportunity to select the charity

or school of their choice from among those that

Bizzarro’s Auto Auction represents.

Vehicle donation is highly encouraged and

can benefit the donor in several ways. The donor

experiences no problems in selling a used car or

truck and receives the maximum tax-deduction

benefit. Bizzarro’s also offers free pickup and

towing services for the vehicle and handles all of

the paperwork. Vehicles are then reconditioned on

an as-needed basis before being sold.

For those who wish to sell their vehicles on

consignment through Bizzarro’s public auctions,

Bizzarro’s Auctions – More Than Just Cars

that procedure is quite easy as well. Interested

parties must have proper registration and at

least two forms of ID with a matching name

and address in order to generate a valid bidder

number. The vehicle must also pass the smog

inspection. Because this is a public auction, there

are absolutely no guarantees on the vehicles, and

they are sold in “as is” condition.

In addition to the auto auction, Bizzarro also

heads Bizzarro’s Gala Event Auctions. This

branch of the business specializes in charity

fundraising auctions and is responsible for

the success of more than 100 charity events

throughout the Bay Area per year. In this forum,

Bizzarro is able to utilize his entertainment

roots and years of training as an actor. His

formal training was at the American Academy of

Dramatic Arts, and he also performed stand-up at

New York’s legendary comedy spots, such as the

Improv and Catch A Rising Star. It is Bizzarro’s

talent as an actor that gives him a leading edge

as a unique auctioneer and has made him one of

the best in the industry for 25 years. Since 1984,

Bizzarro’s has been a one-stop auction squad

at the UCSF Neiman Marcus event. We netted

$145,000.” And a statement released by the

Sequoia Hospital Foundation said, “Your team

helped make Celebrate the New Sequoia Ball and

Auction extremely successful. The event netted a

record breaking $1.2 million.”

But what makes Bizzarro and his auto auctions,

charity fundraising and car donations even more

engaging is that he does it all within Redwood

City. “We think Redwood City is great,” said

Bizzarro. “I stayed in Redwood City and have

invested in the downtown area because I believe

in it. Redwood City is still the best focal point

for any business. Not only have I invested the

business aspect here, but also have invested in

the real estate aspect. I want to continue to live

in Redwood City. And I certainly still have a

strong belief that in 10 to 15 years from now, that

Redwood City will still be the focal point of many

businesses to come.”

As for Bizzarro’s thoughts on being a frontman

in the auction scene, “It is not just a job; it’s

a real profession. The idea of working with a

live audience is very similar to doing a live

“I stayed in Redwood City and have invested in the downtown area because

I believe in it. Redwood City is still the best focal point for any business.”

for gala events and has provided exceptional

consultations and state-of-the-art technology.

The incomparable auction team is renowned

for taking auctions to the next level. Because of

Bizzarro’s appealing character as an auctioneer in

charity fundraising, he has caught both local and

national attention and has appeared repeatedly on

television and in magazines.

Bizzarro’s has worked with hundreds of

local schools and nonprofit agencies, and the

impressive roster of clients includes Sequoia

Hospital Foundation, Woodside High School,

San Francisco Zoo, March of Dimes, Menlo-

Atherton Education Foundation, San Francisco

AIDS Foundation, Junipero Serra High School,

Special Olympics, California State Parks

Foundation, Redwood City PAL and Public

Interest Clearinghouse. Most recently, Bizzarro’s

orchestrated the Fremont Opera’s Gala “Springs

in Seville” auction on Sunday, March 15. This

event featured Bizzarro as auctioneer, musical

performances by the Fremont Opera and the

Nichols Party Band, and authentic Spanish tapas.

With a full agenda always scheduled in the

calendar, Bizzarro’s Gala Event Auctions is

already booked well into 2010. Some of their

upcoming auctions include those for Immaculate

Heart Church and El Carmelo in April, Seton

School in May, Rebuilding Together Peninsula

in June, March of Dimes in October, Peninsula

Symphony in November and Mercy High School

in March 2010.

For gala events, Bizzarro’s is truly the best

in the business. Bizzarro has been praised as

“entertaining and one who will make a live

auction engaging and fun!” The Wheelchair

Foundation stated, “Your auctioneer skills

brought the highest prices at the live auction,

and you and your staff kept the pace lively and

fun.” From UCSF: “I can’t begin to thank you for

the outstanding job you did for us as auctioneer

performance on stage. And being an auctioneer

is a great place to use a lot of things that I have

learned along the way!” As to his durability as an

auctioneer, Bizzarro certainly hopes to be around

for another 25 years. Hmm… Doesn’t sound like

there will be a “curtain call” on this performance

anytime soon!

If you are interested and would like to learn

more about Frank Bizzarro, Bizzarro’s Auto

Auction and Bizzarro’s Gala Event Auctions, as

well as the services he provides through public

auctions, charity fundraisers and car donations,

please visit or call


Bizzarro (center) at a community event with Frank Bartaldo and Phil Bucher.

The Spectrum 27

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News Briefs

Assault Trial Ordered in Fatal


The 21-year-old Redwood City man arrested for

his alleged role in a fatal attack on a group of boys

who threw rocks at a vehicle carrying him will

stand trial for felony assault, a judge ruled after a

preliminary hearing.

Luis Antonio Herrera Jr., 21, has pleaded not

guilty but was held to answer on the charge after

the hearing in which the prosecution called a police

officer and detective to testify. The hearing was

held after a defense request for more time was denied.

Herrera did not stab 15-year-old Matthew

Johnson but did participate in the associated

beating, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

At approximately 1:20 a.m. Jan. 3, according

to Redwood City police, Johnson and three other

boys were throwing rocks at vehicles in the

100 block of Franklin Street. A group of males

left a red or orange compact car and reportedly

confronted the boys. The encounter turned

physical and Johnson was stabbed multiple

times. He was taken to a local hospital and later

pronounced dead.

Authorities are still looking for others involved

in the melee, including the person who did the

actual stabbing.

Herrera remains in custody in lieu of $25,000

bail and a probation violation no-bail hold. He

returns to court March 27 to enter a Superior Court

plea and set a trial date.

Redwood City Deemed AIDS

Prevention Hot Spot

Organizers of a female-targeted HIV/AIDS

screening fair said more women than expected

attended the event in Redwood City, where rates

of AIDS infection are higher than in most of San

Mateo County.

Women, who comprise 12.5 percent of reported

AIDS cases in San Mateo County, respond well

to female-specific events like the recent HIV

Awareness Health Fair for Women and Girls, said

Danielle Castro, the education and prevention

coordinator for the county’s AIDS program.

“Often times women have a hard time discussing

sexual ideas in a group with men,” she said.

Castro said women’s risk of contracting HIV or

AIDS often stems from “being on the receiving

end if it’s having sex with a man.” Events like

the health fair encourage women to be more

aggressive with “condom negotiation,” or being

empowered to require a partner to practice safe

sex, she said.

The event at the Fair Oaks Community Center

in Redwood City offered free one-on-one

counseling and HIV tests, with results available

within 20 minutes.

The fair drew 30 attendees, 17 of whom

got tested. This number exceeded Castro’s


Former Lawyer to Trial on

Embezzlement Charges

The former Redwood City attorney accused of

taking nearly $1 million from his clients through

unpaid loans and forged documents will stand

trial on seven charges of embezzlement and grand

theft, a judge ruled after a preliminary hearing on

the evidence.

After the three-hour hearing, one misdemeanor

and one felony were also dismissed against

Edward Duff Hume. Hume, 60, of Solvang, was

to return to court March 18 to enter a Superior

Court plea and set a date for trial on charges of

embezzlement by the executor of an estate, grand

theft, forgery and second-degree burglary.

Hume has already forfeited his license to

practice law, but conviction on the charges could

also hand him prison time.

While practicing law in Redwood City, Hume

allegedly took the money between July 6, 2004,

and May 2006. Hume, who was a licensed

attorney in Redwood City since 1975, represented

Frederick Helversen in the family trust. After

Helversen’s 2002 death, Hume acted as the trustee,

and prosecutors say he embezzled $824,361.28

over the course of 18 months.

In 2006, Hume allegedly asked two other clients

to loan him $100,000 for home improvements

on the condition the money was repaid by the

end of the year. Hume did not repay the funds

and is accused of presenting a forged document

to one victim’s Menlo Park bank in 2006 asking

for $6,000 from her personal account. The bank

would not honor the document after learning from

the woman she didn’t approve the transfer.

Hume resigned from the California Bar in

September 2007. The request took effect in April

and disciplinary proceedings are pending.

After his initial arrest and charges, the District

Attorney’s Office tacked on charges to more

alleged victims, although those were dropped due

to insufficient evidence.

Hume remains in custody on $500,000 bail and

must show any money posted did not come from

ill-gotten means.

Driver Guilty of Assault on


A female motorist accused of intentionally hitting

and dragging a woman in a Redwood City parking

lot after the pair argued was sentenced to five

years’ prison after pleading no contest to felony

assault and felony hit-and-run.

The plea change spared Gail Nora Mason, 54,

trial on the greater charge of attempted murder.

The District Attorney’s Office sought nine years

and eight months in state prison, but the court

countered with a straight five-year term. Mason

was immediately sentenced and receives credit

for 209 days against the term. She returns to court

April 28 for a restitution report.

Mason turned herself in to Redwood City police

Sept. 2, the day after the alleged altercation.

Mason and another woman, both transients,

already knew each other and ran into one another

in the parking lot across from discount retailer Big

Lots. The pair argued over the victim’s boyfriend,

according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Angry, the victim reportedly broke the side

mirror on Mason’s van. Mason, according to

prosecutors, drove the van directly at the woman,

who was standing in a curbed planter with her

back to the vehicle. The van struck the woman,

dragging her several feet before Mason reportedly

fled. The victim sustained compressed vertebrae

and serious lacerations.

Mason has been in custody on no-bail status.

Manager Charged With


A former general manager at a Redwood City car

dealership took $835,000 by writing himself

unauthorized checks to spend on gambling, according to

prosecutors who charged him with embezzlement.

Cesar Emilio Caceres, 34, took the money from

Putnum Lexus over a span of approximately eight

months beginning last June, said Chief Deputy

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Caceres had the office manager cut checks from

business accounts by saying they were authorized

by two of the three necessary people, Wagstaffe said.

The loss was reportedly discovered by the owner

while reviewing the auto dealership’s books. The

money was used by Caceres for gambling, said

Wagstaffe, although he did not know what type.

Calls to Putnum Lexus went unanswered.

Redwood City police arrested Caceres Feb.

26. He pleaded not guilty to the charge of felony

embezzlement and an allegation of theft of more

than $200,000. He did not waive his right to

a speedy trial. He asked for a court-appointed

attorney and was ordered back to court March 4

for a Superior Court review conference and March

9 for a preliminary hearing.

Bail was set at $850,000 and Caceres remains in


He has no prior criminal history in San Mateo

County, according to court records.

Cops Close Case on Bomb Threat

Police have given up looking for what they believe

was a jaded, laid-off employee who called in bomb

threats to a Redwood City company.

On Jan. 22, a manager or owner at NeoPost,

located at 3400 Bridge Parkway in Redwood

Shores, received repeated messages from an

unidentified caller warning him of a bomb in the

building, according to court documents.

“Steven, this is the only time I’m going to tell

you this. There’s a bomb in the building,” the man

(continues on page 32)


Save the Date!

The Service League of San Mateo County

invites you to the

23 rd Annual Community Prayer Breakfast




First Thursday in May

MAY 7, 2009

The National Day of Prayer

THURSDAY MAY 7 7:009:00 AM

Crowne Plaza Hotel

1221 Chess Drive, Foster City

Tickets $40 per person Reserve tables for 8

RSVP TO 650-364-4664 X 117

or email:


The Spectrum 31

As I Was Saying…Continued from p6

answered. But that is where maturity and experience come in.

Nonetheless, she is a very impressive young lady and will be a fantastic

representative of our community for the year to come. Robles has lived in

Redwood City most of her life. The Woodside High School senior is currently

a cheerleader (go figure) and previously played for the school’s volleyball

team. She has attended Middle College at Cañada College. The program

allows students to concurrently take high school and college level classes.

As a result, students earn college credits while in high school. Robles is in a

position to finish her general education at Cañada in a year, which is her plan.

I told you, these young ladies are very impressive, as is the pageant. Next

year, if you are asked, try to support it. It’s another way to help a student with

educational goals and “stuff.”


March is always a time when those in our community who work so hard

volunteering and trying to raise money also give it away. Here are some of the

highlights: The Sequoia Awards held their annual dinner at the Hotel Sofitel

and gave away over $142,000 in scholarships to local high school seniors. The

Peninsula Sunrise Rotary Club’s Irish Night raised over $23,000 to support

local activities and had over 125 supporters eating a lot of corned beef and

cabbage and drinking green beer. The Kiwanis Club’s “all-you-can-eat” Crab

Cioppino Night was a real treat and netted the group over $9,000 to support all

the community activities they fund. The community volunteer event Kaboom

Build was held on Saturday, March 7, at Mezes Park (the “Tank Park”) and

had over 300 community members helping to clean, paint, repair and build

new playground equipment for the entire park. It was truly an exciting event

to participate in and to watch. Could we live in a more giving community?


This November’s City Council election is getting more competitive as the

weeks go on, and we still have more than seven months to go. Here is a brief

update on some of the candidates’ activities. Candidate Janet Borgens has

gained new endorsements from Mayor Rosanne Foust, port Commissioners

Ralph Garcia and Lorianna Kastrop and former Mayor Georgi LaBerge.

Candidate Cherlene Wright has announced the endorsements of County

Sheriff Greg Munks, Undersheriff and former Redwood City Police Chief

Carlos Bolanos and Sequoia Healthcare District board member Art Faro.

Candidate John Seybert recently held his campaign kickoff party at his

Farm Hill home, and it was attended by Mayor Rosanne Foust; Council

Members Alicia Aguirre, Jim Hartnett, Diane Howard and Barbara

Pierce; planning Commissioners Jeff Gee (also a candidate) and Nancy

Radcliffe; former Mayor Jack Greenalch; former City Manager Ed Everett;

county Supervisor Rich Gordon; Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve

Wagstaffe; school board members Alisa MacAvoy, Lorraine Rumley

and Don Gibson; former school board member Chris Bohl; former county

Sheriff and Sequoia Healthcare District member Don Horsley and former

Assemblyman Ted Lempert. Also attending were business and community

leaders Marc Manuel, Steve Howard, Max Keech, David Amann, Jeri

Richardson, Paula Uccelli, Stacey Wagner, Bob Lutticken, Keith and Nina

Kadera and Jack Castle.

Candidate Kevin Bondonno is scheduled to have his kickoff event on

Sunday, March 29, at the Red Morton Community Center.

Not surprisingly, all six candidates are scheduled to attend the Chamber of

Commerce’s 40th annual Progress Seminar to be held in Monterey on April

17, 18 and 19.


Godbe Research recently announced the results of a survey they conducted

for developer David Bohannon of 400 Menlo Park residents on a project his

company is trying to get approved that includes three eight-story towers on the

east side of Highway 101 just south of Marsh Road. Sixty-five percent of the

surveyed residents said they would support the project, noting that traffic was

the main concern.

Those results have to be sweet music to the ears of the No Additional Jails

in Redwood City Coalition advocates who have suggested that area as a

potential site for a new seven-story county jail. Considering the jail would

be only one tower and have far less of a traffic impact, it seems like a perfect

match. Hey, and a survey is already paid for. What more could you ask for?


I know that you were all waiting on the edges of your seats to see what county

Supervisor Rich Gordon was going to do next, right? Well, you can sit back

now, because he has ended weeks of speculation about his political future and

formally announced his plans to run for the 21st District State Assembly seat,

trying to replace termed-out Ira Ruskin in 2010. As you may remember, I

predicted that would happen in my January column.

In declaring, he stated, “The bottom line is the state is so broken that I just

feel somebody’s got to step up and fix it.” OK, do I really need to comment on

this? Because I am sure you are thinking the same thing as I am.

Expected to be challenging Gordon for the seat will be Palo Alto

Councilwoman Yoriko Kishimoto, Foothill-De Anza Community College

District board member Hal Plotkin and possibly fellow county Supervisor Rose

Jacobs Gibson (who has not said whether she will run or not). The 21st District

includes parts of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and the city of San Jose.

It will be interesting to see if any of those candidates feel they are

egotistical or naive enough to think they can single-handedly solve the state’s

broken problems, especially if they have been part of the system for the past

12 years and “stuff.” Was that a comment or a thought?


In other 2010 election news, former county Sheriff Don Horsley, who will be

running for Gordon’s seat, has already raised an impressive $125,000 toward

his campaign, and there is really no formidable candidate who is considering

challenging him. Given his qualifications, support and respectability

throughout the county, political watchers feel there will not be anyone to step

forward and do so.

In another county supervisor seat that is already being talked about, Rose

Jacobs Gibson will not term out until 2012, but possible candidate names

have already been floating around. County Board of Education trustee Memo

Morantes is one, Redwood City Council Members Alicia Aguirre and Diane

Howard are two more, as is John Bostic from East Palo Alto, who ran

against Jacobs Gibson in last June’s election. That race is really too far out to

speculate about, but the potential candidates are interesting, and it will be fun

to watch over the next few years.


I had so much more “stuff” to write about this month, like San Mateo County

agreeing to pay $6.8 million to the U.S. government and holding no one accountable

for having to do so, and the possible end to the Joe and Roberta Carcione

lawsuit against the City of Redwood City, but I am running out of space and ink.

But then, there is always next month. Isn’t there?

As I was saying…

News Briefs: Continued from page 30

said in the first message, according to a search warrant filed by the Redwood

City Police Department.

The manager received two more calls threatening of a bomb in the building.

Each call came from a different number. The last call came from a cell phone

that was traced to a cellular phone purchased with stolen personal information.

The phone was in service for only four days, said Redwood City police Sgt.

Steve Blanc.

Police believe the bomb threat came from a former employee recently laid

off by the manager. That manager gave all departing employees his cell phone

number, Blanc said.

The company is now closed or will soon be closed. It has not received any

additional threats and the case is considered closed, Blanc said.

Finance: Five Reasons to be Bullish About Financial Markets

By David Amann, Special to The Spectrum

During a long downturn in the financial markets,

it’s hard for some people to be cheerful about their

prospects for investment success. And that’s not

surprising, because a daily diet of bad news can

take its toll on investors’ outlooks. Yet if you look

beyond the headlines, you can actually find some

reasons to believe that brighter days lie ahead.

Here are five of these potential causes for optimism:

1. Recovery may be near. The financial markets

obviously are connected to the overall U.S.

economy, so it makes sense to keep an eye on how

the economy is doing. As you know, we’ve been

in the grip of a long and painful recession, but that

may change fairly soon. In fact, the recession is

likely to end in the second half of 2009, according

to a majority of the economists surveyed by the

influential National Association for Business

Economics. And since the stock market has

historically anticipated an economic recovery

by about six months — and begun responding

favorably — now may not be the time to abandon

your long-term investment strategy. Of course,

past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

2. Market rallies can happen quickly. No one

can predict the exact moment a sustained market

rally will begin, but history has shown that rallies

can start quickly and take off sharply. Consider

this: In the first year of a recovery, investors have

recouped an average of 82 percent of what they

lost in the entire prior bear market, according

to Standard & Poor’s. And since 1932, the S&P

500 has gained an average of 46 percent in the

year after stocks have hit bottom. Keep in mind,

though, that we have experienced a largerthan-usual

drop in the market, so you shouldn’t

necessarily expect a rally to produce these results.

Still, if you are out of the market when it does rally,

you are likely to miss some of the strongest returns.

3. Low prices may mean good opportunities.

By almost any traditional measure of value,

investments are now very attractively priced.

And when prices are low, returns over the

long term tend to be higher. Keep looking for

quality investments — like other investments,

they’ve been hurt by the downturn, but if their

fundamentals are still sound, they could offer the

greatest potential for long-term rewards.

4. The Treasury and Fed are working overtime

to support the U.S. financial system. While the

problems of resuscitating our financial system

are enormous, and the solutions are not clear-cut,

the Department of the Treasury and the Federal

Reserve are working hard to support the credit

markets, boost liquidity, lower mortgage rates and

take other steps that can ultimately benefit the

economy and the investment markets.

5. Low inflation can help boost “real” returns.

Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price

Index, is currently close to zero. As an investor,

you have reason to welcome a low inflation rate,

because when inflation is high, it can erode the

“real” returns of your investments. Consequently,

you may be rewarded by investing in vehicles that,

for the moment, are producing only modest returns.

Keep the above factors in mind when you make

investment decisions. Remember, if you’re going

to help achieve your long-term goals, you will likely

need to keep investing in even the gloomiest of

markets — and, as we’ve discussed, there might be

more than a few rays of light ready to pierce the clouds.

Senior Activities

The Veterans Memorial Senior

Center, 1455 Madison Ave.,

Redwood City, provides the

following activities that are open to

the public during the month of April.

Monday Morning Movie Madness


Every Monday, 10 a.m.–noon

Come to the VMSC every Monday in April and

enjoy your classic favorites on the big screen

again! After the movie, enjoy a hearty lunch for

only $4.50. Call our lunch desk at 650-780-7259

for menu selections and reservations.

April 6: “Rebel Without A Cause”

April 13: “Jailhouse Rock”

April 20: “A Streetcar Named Desire”

April 27: “Citizen Kane”

Friday Movies for Everyone

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


Come to the VMSC in April for a free featured

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

650-780-7270 for the most current movie listing.

April 3: “Passengers”

April 10: “W.”

April 17: “What Just Happened”

April 24: “Quantum of Solace”

Earthquake Preparedness

With Kathleen Jacobi

Thursday, April 2, 1–2 p.m. Free

It’s not a matter of if, but when the next

earthquake will come, and it could be a big one.

Being prepared will be crucial to your safety and

survival. You will receive lifesaving information

and an earthquake survival kit. There will be an

opportunity to get your questions answered. Even

if you have attended one of these lectures in the

past, it never hurts to refresh your memory and

update your response plan.

“Grease” Theater Trip

Saturday, April 4, 12:30 p.m. $65

An excursion to see, hear and enjoy Time

Magazine’s 2007 pick for “No. 1 Musical of

the Year” at the Golden Gate Theatre in San

Francisco. Price includes transportation to and

from this live show. We will meet at the VMSC

at 12:30 p.m. Reservations required. Please call

Michele at 650-780-7344 to reserve your spot.

Space is very limited.

Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

With Dr. Simia McCully

Thursday, April 23, 1–2 p.m. Free

Why is it so difficult not only to lose weight,

but to keep it off? This lecture will be very

informative and helpful. Dr. McCully studied at

the world’s leading school for natural medicine,

Bastyr University. She has a private practice in

Menlo Park.

Save the date:

Mother’s Day Tribute Lunch

Friday, May 8, 12–2 p.m. $15

Join the VMSC as we pay tribute to the women in

our lives. Mothers, daughters and granddaughters

are encouraged to join us for this special

luncheon. All mothers will receive a special gift.

Individuals are also encouraged to send us photos

and stories of their mothers for a special display

in the VMSC lobby. Please contact Michele

Venneri at 650-780-7344 for lunch reservations

and/or to submit your photos and stories.

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 located at

The Spectrum 33

A Minute With: Diana Johnson

Diana Johnson was born in San Diego. She graduated from high school

and attended college there. She has a son, Kenneth, 47, and a daughter,

Lynne, 43, and eight grandchildren ranging in age from 10 to 28. She also

has one great-grandchild.

She moved to Redwood City in 1971 for a relationship that did not work

out. Her community involvement started in 1984 when she joined the

Friendly Acres (East Bayshore) Neighborhood Association.

She has worked on the Redwood City Pride and Beautification

Committee and the state organization of mobile-home parks (where she

lobbies state officials), and has lobbied for rent control in Redwood City.

Should Redwood City be proud?


The proposed development at the Cargill site is

in your backyard. Are you excited?

Yes, I am!

Still believe that rent control is needed in

Redwood City?

For mobile homes, yes.

Which living person do you most admire?

I can’t think of anyone I admire more than anyone


What is your most treasured possession?

My life.

What talent would you most like to have?

I have never wanted to be talented. I am boring.

Something few know about you?

I am very quiet at times.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Why not?

What is your greatest regret?

That I did not finish college.

What is your motto?

Let live.

Why do you get up in the morning?

’Cause it is the thing to do.

In 100 years, what will you be remembered for?

Working on mobile-home issues.

Anyone you got on your mind?


Memorable moment?

Fiftieth class reunion.

First word that comes to mind?


What or who is the love of your life?

My grandchildren.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

To be alive and well.

You currently feel?


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The Spectrum 35

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