Giving the Gift of Education
and Sharing a Hug or Two
Also in This Issue:
Election wrap-up, our next
mayor and scolding in
“As I Was Saying…”
A “Spice Girl” that makes us
The clock is back!
Learn More about the
50/50 baLanced PLan
More than three years ago the DMB Saltworks team began asking Redwood City residents for their ideas for future use of the more than
1,400-acre industrial Saltworks site. The 50/50 Balanced Plan responds to the input of over 10,000 local residents.
50% Open Space,
RecReatiOn and tidal
Fifty percent of the Saltworks site
will be dedicated to open space,
active recreation and tidal marsh
The new Bayside Park will offer
significant new Bay access and
amenities including more than 10
miles of trails, a kayak launch, water
recreation activities, interpretive
exhibits, restaurants and shops.
More than 200 acres of land will be
dedicated to new parks and recreation
facilities including a new 50+ acre
sports park complete with more
than a dozen new soccer and
Hundreds of additional acres will be
restored to tidal marshes. The 50/50
Balanced Plan will provide private
funding for all of the proposed open
space, recreation and restoration
efforts – with no new costs to
existing Redwood City taxpayers.
Fifty percent of the Saltworks site
is dedicated to a Transit-Oriented
Community of 8,000 to 12,000
homes that is anticipated to be built
over a quarter of a century.
The 50/50 Balanced Plan envisions a
permanent transit loop linking onsite
project provided infrastructure
to core centers of the City including
the CalTrain terminal, downtown
Redwood City, the proposed
ferry terminal and local
The DMB Saltworks team is
now working with several major
employers on plans to provide local
housing for some of the 40,000+
workers who commute to Redwood
City jobs every day. By reducing
the number of vehicles on the
bridges and freeways, the proposed
Saltworks community can do much
to reduce greenhouse gases and
traffic congestion in the region.
Bayside Public Access and Trails 200+ Acres of New Parks Privately Funded Restoration Sustainable, Green Community New Schools Greenhouse Gas Reductions
Please Share Your Thoughts With Us
1700 Seaport Blvd., Suite 200 | Redwood City, CA 94063
650.366.0500 | info@RCSaltworks.com | www.RCSaltworks.com
11/23/09 12:50:24 PM
Owner and Publisher
James R. Kaspar
Cover/Cover Story Photography
E-mail addresses listed above
Welcome to the December edition of The Spectrum Magazine, our last issue for 2009. We have some
great stories and features to close out the year and move you into 2010.
Our cover story this month is on a “local girl” who has risen through the ranks of the Redwood City
School District and has made a phenomenal impact on the community at and around Taft School.
Contributing writer Judy Buchan brings you the story of Michelle Griffith and her professional
accomplishments. We hope you will enjoy reading about Griffith’s “can do” attitude.
In “As I Was Saying…” publisher Steve Penna discusses the recent elections, scolds the community
for not voting and predicts who our next mayor will be. He also brags a little about the accuracy of his
We have extremely community-oriented small businesses in our city, and Saf Keep Storage is an
example of that. Read about manager Cheryl Angeles and her staff, who are involved and take the
opportunity to improve our community while providing needed services that their clients can depend on
You will also find our regular features on community interests, senior activities, financial advice,
information from the Redwood City School District, parties around town, news briefs, community
cultural events and the popular feature “A Minute With.”
Along with all that, we also have stories on the repair and relighting of the Broadway clock, the great
season Sequoia High School’s football team had, and our community Veterans Day celebration.
Now more than ever, we encourage you to support our valuable advertisers by using their services when
you are out shopping, dining or enjoying yourself with friends and family. Many of them have special
offers for you to cut out and present, including discounts on services, food and beverages, so please
take the time to look over their ads this month and use their coupons and discounts. And when you visit
our advertisers’ businesses, them let them know you appreciate their support for our local community
All of us at The Spectrum Magazine wish you the happiest of holidays and are sincerely grateful to you
for making us the most-read and most widely distributed Redwood City publication!
This Month’s Photo Shoot – 4
RCSD Corner – 5
“As I Was Saying...” – 6
Sequioa Ends Historic Season
With a Win Over Scots – 7
Saf Keep Storage Has Some Spice – 9
The People Speak: Letters to the Editor – 11
Cultural Events – 12
Community Interest – 13
Shop Redwood City – 14
Redwood City’s “Can Do” Leader:
Michelle Griffith of Taft School – 16
Lit and Accurate: The Broadway Clock
Is Telling Time Again – 23
New U.S. Citizens Sworn In at Veterans
Day Ceremony – 24
News Briefs – 27
Finance: Changing “Seasons” of Life May Require
Changes in Investment Strategy – 29
Senior Activities – 29
A Minute With Cherlene Wright – 30
The Spectrum 3
Inside The Spectrum: Cover Story Photo Shoot
This month’s cover shoot was arranged by e-mail. Publisher Steve Penna
and our cover subject, Taft School Principal Michelle Griffith, decided that
Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 10:30 a.m. on the Taft School campus would be the best
time for all.
Penna arrived first, followed by James Kaspar, who is our cover story
photographer. The two ran into Griffith in the hallway as she was speaking
with a parent and child. Penna and Griffith have known each other for several
years and quickly exchanged hugs as he introduced her to Kaspar. They then
went to Griffith’s office for the initial photos to be taken.
Griffith is an easy subject to photograph. She is photogenic, natural in her
environment and very cooperative when asked to adapt to different situations
and poses. The three talked throughout the shot and shared a few laughs as
she and Penna caught up on “who’s doing what.”
After the office shots, they all went into one of the classrooms, where
Griffith is most comfortable, around students and teachers. The cover shot
was taken there as the students rushed to give Griffith a welcoming hug.
The last shots were taken in the newly constructed outside garden. There
had been plans to photograph her in the teachers’ lounge area, but Griffith
was called away to assist a student who had a seizure. It was apparent she had
the situation under control, as firefighters and medical help soon arrived.
The entire shoot took about one hour.
In 2002, only 6.8 percent of Taft School students were at the advanced or
proficient level in English language arts. In 2009, 47.6 percent were at the
advanced or proficient level. Similarly, in 2002, 14.2 percent of students were
at the advanced or proficient level in math. In 2009, 66.6 percent of students
were at that level.
A school can achieve accomplishments like those only by working as
a team. Every team has its leader and Griffith has proven that she is a
dedicated, competent and successful one.
Knowing that Griffith is a product of the public school system and a
Redwood City native, The Spectrum salutes her. We also salute the Taft
faculty, students, parents and community for setting their standards high and
meeting them. Our community can be proud of all of them.
RCSD Corner: News From the Redwood City School District
School Families Team Up With Second Harvest to Distribute Healthy Foods
Volunteer at Taft Community School distributes sweet
potatoes delivered by Second Harvest’s monthly
During these tough economic times, many
families whose children attend Redwood City
schools struggle to keep nutritious food on the
table. Families at several local schools have
teamed up with Second Harvest Food Bank to
provide their friends and neighbors with a source
of fresh fruits and vegetables once a month.
Second Harvest sends a Produce Mobile once a
month to Hoover School, Kennedy Middle School
and Taft Community School filled with tons of
potatoes, onions, carrots and other seasonal fruits
and vegetables, and it is up to parent volunteers to
set up tables, unload the truck, hand out the food
and clean up afterwards. By one estimate, more
than 13,000 pounds of healthy food and drinks are
distributed each month at Hoover, Kennedy and Taft.
Families typically receive seven to nine items
such as potatoes, onions, carrots, sweet potatoes,
cabbage, pears and apples. The items vary depending
on what produce is in season. On a recent
distribution day at Taft, a line snaked around the
multiuse building, where the food is distributed,
with families waiting to receive produce.
Each school has a core of faithful volunteers
who show up every month to make sure the
produce gets to families who need it. The
produce distribution is coordinated by each
school’s Family Center, and about a dozen parent
volunteers are needed to make the event happen.
At each of the three schools participants report
that the Second Harvest produce distribution has
not only helped families who need nutritious food,
it has been a community builder.
“The Produce Mobile does more than provide
fruits and vegetables to households all over
the county,” said Angelica Resendez, family
engagement specialist at Hoover. “The produce
distribution has strengthened our families, our
school, our community and our relationships
with one another. It provides us with a sense of
community that these days can be very hard to find.”
Volunteers at the recent Taft event handed out
smiles and warm greetings, along with produce.
“It makes me so happy to help,” said volunteer
Luz Ramirez, who works during the day at Taft as
a yard duty attendant and volunteers at the produce
distribution to make sure her students have food
on the table. “I love to see the kids, especially the
little ones, getting good food, but it makes me sad
when there is not enough for everyone.”
Any family in the community, even those
who do not attend Hoover, Kennedy or Taft, can
sign up to receive food from the Produce Mobile
by stopping by the school’s Family Center at
least three days before the event to see if they
are eligible to sign up to receive produce. The
Produce Mobile is staggered so that produce is
available the second week of the month at Taft,
the third week of the month at Kennedy and the
fourth week of the month at Hoover. A family
can sign up for all three schools, though many
families walk to the event, so it is not possible to
participate in all three.
“The Produce Mobile was started in 2006 as a
way to get healthy foods out to folks who might
not otherwise have access to them,” said Mark
Kokoletsos of Second Harvest Food Bank. “We
are very lucky to have coordinators at the schools
to make sure school families get food. We also
want to encourage families to call 1-800-984-3663
if they need to find other sources for assistance
To sign up to participate in the Produce Mobile,
please call one the three family centers: Hoover
650-482-5925, Kennedy 650-569-3864 or Taft
Important Notice for Redwood City Library Customers:
The Downtown Redwood City Library will be
Temporarily Closed for Major Improvements
from November 30, 2009 – January 3, 2010
We’re sorry for the temporary inconvenience while we install
NEW energy-efficient heating & air conditioning and build a NEW
teen center, THREE NEW study rooms, an EXPANDED Project
READ literacy center, and an UPGRADED technology lab.
• You MAY return books to the drop box
at this library.
• Library materials from this location
can still be reserved ONLINE
• Any materials you have on “HOLD”
from this location can be picked up at
the Schaberg Branch.
Please visit your three branch libraries in
• Schaberg - 2140 Euclid Ave.
• Fair Oaks - 2510 Middlefield Rd.
• Redwood Shores - 399 Marine Pkwy.
More information: www.redwoodcity.org/library The Downtown Library is located at 1044 Middlefield Rd.
As I Was
Publisher | Steve Penna
There was an election last month in Redwood
City. Where were you? There was a total of
17 candidates in different races that voters in
Redwood City could have elected. Did you care
that they worked their hearts out to gain your
vote? Do you have kids? Did you not think it was
important enough to vote for those candidates
who would balance a budget and secure funds
to educate them? You disappointed the School
District earlier this year too, when you failed to
go vote when they needed you to help them pass a
parcel tax to help educate our children.
Do you live near Finger Avenue? Kentfield
Avenue? Costco? The salt flats? Area H? Even
though you are affected by those who are elected
to our City Council, you stayed home on Election
Day, didn’t you? Did you have something better to
do? I know we are all busy, have careers, families
and responsibilities, and want to enjoy life, but
to not take the 10 minutes to either fill out an
absentee ballot that is mailed to your home or go
to the polls? I don’t understand it on any level.
Were the candidates boring? All status quo? No
issues that interested you? Think that our leaders
are doing a great job? That your voice does not
matter because the same people always win? Just
don’t care in general about the political process?
There are 277,759 registered voters in San
Mateo County. Of those, only 77,340 voted.
That is 27.84 percent. The top vote-getter in the
Redwood City City Council race got only 5,077
votes. There are 36,300 registered voters in
Redwood City. So I am estimating that about 19
percent of those who can vote bothered to do so.
How pathetic is that!
Do you not realize that most decisions that
affect your direct quality of life are made by local
elected officials? That they want you to go to the
polls? Want your input? Better yet, if you don’t
care what they want, go vote and let them know.
But I guess you are just too complacent. You’ve
become too accustomed to having the freedom to
actually have your voice heard.
The next time you are watching television
or reading a newspaper and say “those sons-abitches,”
remember where you were on Election
Day. Then maybe next time you will make an
effort to have “those” hear your voice instead of a
widescreen or paper.
As you know, each election I make predictions
on the outcome. This season I did really well and
was off only on the High School District race. So
what were the results? In the Redwood City City
Council race I predicted that Jeff Ira and John
Seybert would be elected and they were. I did
not predict the outcome of the final seat but was
accurate in my analysis of how Jeff Gee could
and did get elected. The total tallies in the race
as we went to press were Ira 5,077 votes, Gee
4,644, Seybert 3,724, Janet Borgens 2,867 and
Cherlene Wright 2,542.
I was correct in predicting that Measure X
(Library Board) would pass. Yes had 4,353 votes
and No 2,966. Measure Y would have increased
the rates of the business tax for three consecutive
years. I predicted — though many laughed — it
would not pass. And it did not. Yes had 3,415
votes and No 4,049.
In the Sequoia Union High School District race,
I predicted that the winners should have been Virginia
Chang Kiraly and Alan Sarver. Sarver won but
Chang Kiraly did not. Chris Thomsen had 10,872
votes, Sarver 9,719 and Chang Kiraly 8,085.
In the Redwood City School District race, two
seats were up for grabs, with current President
Maria Diaz-Slocum and appointed Trustee
Hilary Paulson on the ballot, running for reelection.
Parent and local business owner Lea
Cuniberti-Duran and Jack Hickey also ran. I
was correct in predicting that Paulson and Diaz-
Slocum would win. Paulson had 5,037 votes,
Diaz-Slocum 4,658, Hickey 2,919 and Cuniberti-
So what does this all mean? First of all, the
status quo in Redwood City is still in control. With
the majority of current and former elected city
and county officials supporting and financially
contributing to the winners, it is apparent the
course our community is on will proceed full
Second, voters sent a strong message to our
City Council and City Manager Peter Ingram
that solving the current and future budget crises
will have to be done by them and not by taxing
the business community or anyone else. There is
a feeling in our community that it is time for our
council to look out for the best interests of the
taxpayers, the ones who elect them, and make sure
that any cuts needed are not made in services to
Having stated that, it is apparent that voters have
faith in the direction our council is leading us and
are confident that they will be able to make the
decisions that will keep out streets safe, services
intact and budgets stable through the next couple
of hard years. Congratulations to all the winners
and those who challenged them.
Now, who will be our next mayor? Ready for
another prediction? Those on the current council
who want it badly appear to be Barbara Pierce
and Alicia Aguirre. Pierce will not get it but
might get vice mayor if she pushes hard enough.
But I don’t think that is likely.
The issue I see with Aguirre is the fact that
she has not been vice mayor, and the question is
whether she is ready to take the gavel at a time
when we have so many difficult decisions and
issues ahead of us in the next two years. The
Cargill development, downtown and general
precise plans, budget cuts, the county jail and
various lawsuits are just a few. I would imagine
the feeling is that in all fairness she needs the
two years as vice mayor to prepare her for the
challenges. So she will get that.
That leaves current Mayor Rosanne Foust and
Ira. Whichever one wants it will get it. I would
have to go with Ira. Foust has had a challenging
two years. She has been viewed as a strong leader,
not intimidated to speak her mind, and focuses
on what she envisions our community to be while
building consensus. She does not let her detractors
affect her leadership — something we will need
in the next two years. As her term started, she was
focused and moving forward until she and the
whole city were derailed by the Carcione lawsuit,
the revision of the downtown precise plan, the
Measure W campaign, the Costco appeal and a
few other major issues and lawsuits. I think she
is entitled to a well-deserved rest from the daily
mayoral duties. But she is determined and might
just take a deep breath and say, bring it on!
Ira is just coming off a big election win, has
been in the position before and handled it with
strength. He ran in an unofficial slate with Gee
and Seybert and has the respect and support of
the other sitting council members. So getting four
votes should not be difficult. In fact, I assume
he will get all seven members’ support and go
into the next two years with a united front as our
leader. Best of luck to whoever gets the nod.
Remember in October when the San Mateo
County Board of Supervisors requested and
negotiated a new contract with SEIU union
members to forgo salary and benefit increases until
July 2010 in an effort to balance the budget and
Well, it seems they do not. As of January
2010, supervisors will each get a 5 percent salary
increase, which will raise their annual salaries to
$110,000. That does not include their $12,239
(continued on page 28)
Sequoia Ends Historic Season With Win Over Scots
The Terremere Trophy is back with the Sequoia High football team.
A year after getting whipped by their rivals, the Cherokees turned the
tables in impressive fashion, coming away with a 26-10 victory under the
portable lights at Carlmont High.
Sequoia’s wild postgame celebration showed just how much this game
meant to the players, coaching staff and fans.
“It means a lot,” said Cherokees running back Josh Lauese, who rushed
for a game-high 189 yards on 21 carries. “We waited the whole year for this
game. All the other games were a warm-up for this one. The trophy is ours
and it’s going to stay with us next year, too.”
With players like Lauese returning in 2010, Sequoia (7-3) has good reason
to feel confident. The Cherokees dusted Carlmont (3-7) with a bruising,
power running game after falling behind early. The Scots, who ended the
season on a six-game losing streak, scored on their first two possessions to
grab a quick 10-0 lead just three and a half minutes into the game.
“We waited the whole year for this game. All the other
games were a warm-up for this one. The trophy is ours
and it’s going to stay with us next year, too.”
Mike Rosenberg put Carlmont up 3-0 with an impressive 52-yard field goal,
and after Sequoia fumbled the ball on its first play from scrimmage, the Scots
capitalized six plays later on Dylan Mendiola’s 16-yard touchdown run with 8
minutes, 31 seconds left in the first quarter.
However, it was all Sequoia after that.
Carlmont never scored again, a combination of the Cherokees controlling
the clock with their run game and their ball-hawking defense suffocating the
Scots time and again. More than any team in the Peninsula Athletic League
and perhaps all of the Central Coast Section, the Cherokees say, Here’s what
we’re going to do and we dare you to stop it.
What the Cherokees do is line up in the Wildcat formation, with Lauese,
Isaias Flores or Frank Mems taking the direct snap. Then the trio — behind a
massive and physical offensive line that opens up huge running lanes — go to
work, bulldozing defenders for extra yardage time and again.
Here’s all you need to know about Sequoia’s dominance. The Cherokees
held the ball for 18:43 out of a possible 24 minutes in the second half, a good
portion of which came when they started a series with 7:45 left in the third
Amazingly, the Scots didn’t get the ball back until the fourth quarter, a
result of Sequoia going on a 14-play, 80-yard drive culminating with a 24-
yard field goal from Alan Narvaez that gave the Cherokees a 19-10 lead
seconds into the fourth quarter.
“If we take care of the ball, we’re hard to stop,” Sequoia coach Rob Poulos
said. “At times this year we were our own worst enemy. We averaged three
turnovers a game, and you can beat some teams doing that, but the good
teams will whack you if you make that many mistakes. When we didn’t turn
it over, rarely did teams stop us.”
Sequoia scored its first points on a Narvaez 32-yard field goal, then
tied things up early in the second on Mems’ sneak from a yard out. The
Cherokees took the lead for good on another Mems’ sneak — this time from
2 yards out — with 4:40 left until halftime.
Then came one of the critical moments of the game. On the ensuing series,
Carlmont marched down the field to set up a first down at the Sequoia 14-yard
line. But three runs went for 1, 1 and a loss of a yard, setting up a fourthand-7
from the 13. Scots quarterback Nick Passanisi was sacked, and the
hosts never came close to scoring again.
Sequoia, meanwhile, put an exclamation point on the win when Lauese
ran around left end for a 47-yard TD to account for the final margin with
1:38 remaining. The play capped an eight-play drive that came after Lauese
intercepted a Passanisi pass at his own 35.
Lauese was so excited afterwards that he abruptly ended an interview
with a reporter to do some more celebrating with his friends and teammates.
Flores was another catalyst to the Cherokees’ attack, finishing with 135 yards
on 18 carries before departing the game with an injury late.
Sequoia averaged 6.9 yards per carry while limiting Carlmont to only 217
yards of total offense, including a minuscule 83 in the second half. Tenshow
Streets led the Scots with seven receptions for 108 yards, and Passanisi
completed 10 of 24 passes for 139 yards. But Sequoia’s defense was simply
too tough, led by Lauese and mammoth tackle Vini Makasini (6-foot-3, 400
pounds), who batted down two passes at the line of scrimmage.
The Cherokees have shown progress the last couple of years and this
season was their breakthrough. Their seven wins represent the most in at
least a decade. Now Poulos and Co. are already thinking about next year and
the tantalizing possibilities that await.
“I wish we had the playoffs but this is a good substitute,” Poulos said. “The
guys are already thinking about next year. I love these guys because they
made it a wonderful year.”
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the Daily Journal newspaper.
Sequoia’s Josh Lauese is one of the main reasons the Terremere Trophy is back in
Redwood City. The sophomore rushed for 189 yards, including a 47-yard scoring run,
during the Cherokees’ 26-10 win over Carlmont.
The Spectrum 7
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Saf Keep Storage Has Some Spice
By Nicole Minieri, Contributing Writer
Cheryl Angeles stands in front of the Saf Keep facility
on Middlefield Road.
Her list of achievements within the Redwood
City community is impressive: Chairman of the
Board, Person of the Year, Business Woman of
the Year, Ambassador for Chamber and Chamber
Spice Girl. That’s right, “Spice Girl,” and Cheryl
Angeles brings plenty of seasoning to her current
role as a top-tier manager for Saf Keep Storage,
a thriving family-owned self-storage solution
company nestled in a visible spot adjacent to
Costco on Middlefield Road in Redwood City.
Having numerous sister locations throughout
the Golden State, the Redwood City branch has
been manned by Angeles for nearly two decades.
“I have been with Saf Keep Storage for the last
19 years, and most of my staff has remained with
me throughout the years,” said Angeles. “The
senior operations manager has been with me for
18 years, I have a supervisor that has been with
me for 15 years, and a maintenance worker who
has been with me a total of seven years. We are
like a little family. Other employees that I have
had throughout the years have been promoted on
to other managerial positions. It’s been such a
wonderful experience to watch your employees
grow and move on.”
The key to the longevity of Angeles’ dedicated,
close-knit staff is her uplifting attitude, one of
the “spices” she brings to Saf Keep Storage. “I
am a good mentor and I love helping people with
potential,” said Angeles. “I really try to inspire
them to be the best that they can be. I am easy to
get along with, yet I do have my moments like
everyone else. But I work hard, play hard and
keep it all positive because to me there is just not
enough room for any negativity.”
Managing a handful of staff is only one part of
Angeles’ overall responsibilities. She also has
to ensure that Saf Keep Storage runs efficiently,
smoothly, safely and profitably while keeping the
facility’s tenants pleased. “There are approximately
35 active tenants, and most of those tenants have
been with us for many years,” explained Angeles.
“We have landscapers, construction crews, a linen
service, interior designers, antique dealers, art
collectors, photographers, and the rest are people
from all different walks of life, which I love. I
have very interesting tenants. I just like people,
and in this business you have to really like people
in order to succeed.”
Saf Keep Storage has open access seven days a
week with convenient everyday office hours to
match. The Redwood City self-storage facility
has many appealing features for its tenants,
including superior customer service, comparable
rates, individually alarmed units, 24/7 video
surveillance, free move-in truck with rental and
drive-up units with lights, plus they sell various
supplies tailored to meet the needs of the individual
tenant. Angeles pays close attention to each of her
tenants at Saf Keep. Their complete satisfaction is
her top priority, along with consistently exceeding
storage rental expectations.
But Angeles also partners with Saf Keep to pay
close attention to the Redwood City community.
“We at Saf Keep are very community-oriented.
We certainly try to donate space whenever we
have the opportunity to do so. I’ve donated
space to the YMCA and Sequoia Hospital. Right
now we are donating space to a school because
they are in the middle of a remodel and need a
temporary storage unit,” explained Angeles. “We
donate space to the Girl Scouts so they have a
place to store their cookies. We have even had a
drive where we collected snacks, comic books,
magazines and other miscellaneous items and
shipped them out. Saf Keep Storage is not a huge
company, but we are always encouraged to do
what we can to help out the community.”
According to Angeles, the major source of
encouragement comes from her boss, the owner
of Saf Keep Storage, Ed Roach. “I love my
boss! I really enjoy working for him. He is a
fabulous man and a great role model,” exclaimed
Angeles. “And he is a fabulous person to work
for. He really cares and supports his community
and his employees.” Roach definitely makes a
difference for his employees, who in return make
a difference for his business.
Not surprisingly, Angeles has had a history of
making that same kind of “difference” in her prior
role as chairman of the board for the Redwood
City–San Mateo Chamber of Commerce in 2007.
“My motto for the year was Shop Chamber,
and Shop Chamber was a program that focused
on referring and keeping business in Redwood
City,” said Angeles. “For example, if I needed
a dry cleaner, then I would look in my chamber
book and choose a local dry cleaner who was a
member. I strived to keep business very active
within the chamber.”
“I was also an ambassador for the chamber
and have now been on the board for 12 years.
Although I am now relatively retired, I am still
on the board and active in the Presidents Club.
It’s a wonderful role to be in because I do not
have the pressure as I used to,” said Angeles.
“The chamber is just a fabulous organization
and I am still fortunate to be with a wonderful
group of people.” Angeles has made lifelong
friends through the chamber, namely other Spice
Girls. “They call us the Redwood City Spice
Girls because we are a fun, crazy bunch and do
fun things together,” said Angeles. “We go away
every year and try to do an adventure. It’s a great
time for us to unwind.”
Saf Keep Storage has added a bit of spice to
her life as well. “I met my husband my first day
on the job,” said Angeles. “My husband is a
photographer and kept all of his equipment here.
He walked into the office, but we did not like each
other at first. It actually took 10 months before we
went on our first date. We went out to lunch and
had such a nice time together. My husband and I
have been together ever since. It’s been 16 years now.”
But times have not always been nice as sugar
and spice for Angeles at Saf Keep Storage. The
recent Costco construction imposed compounding
challenges for the manager. “We hung in there. It
was tough because a majority of the construction
was over the summer, which is usually our
busiest time of the year. It did hurt us a little,”
said Angeles. “But I am definitely happy because
Costco is opened now. They are a wonderful
neighbor to have and generate a lot of traffic,
which helps us.”
Through thick and thin, Angeles is committed
to the ongoing success of her employees and
keeping the business flourishing while preserving
the company’s tradition of pampering all of
the storage tenants. And as for her thoughts on
the city that has totally captured her heart, “I
absolutely love Redwood City. It’s a city that is so
unique and diverse. I find the people of Redwood
City to be very open-minded and communityoriented.
They are always trying to make it a
different, better place to live and work.” There is
an old saying that once you get a “spice” in your
home, you have it forever, and Cheryl Angeles,
that is how Saf Keep Storage and all of Redwood
City feels about you. Here’s to another two decades!
For more information on Saf Keep Storage and
their services, you can call 650-249-4942, visit
www.safkeep.com, or visit their location at 2480
Middlefield Road in Redwood City.
The Spectrum 9
Wishing everyone a Healthy &
Happy Holiday Season!
I am a local Realtor with
over 30 years experience!
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Specializing in Redwood City/Emerald Hills properties.
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P.S. The People Speak: Letters to the Editor
Saltworks plan can benefit all
With any development plan there will be opposition and that is part of a fair
and democratic process. DMB Associates invested an enormous amount of
resources for the benefit of Redwood City before submitting a plan on the
Saltworks site. This has been a diligent process of ensuring public input
into many of the aspects of a development of this magnitude, and I have
participated in this process. Now they have submitted their plan to the City of
Redwood City for review.
Yes, any development brings challenges, such as a strain on resources,
added traffic, pollution, etc. Studies will be conducted under the city’s
management to bring these issues to the surface and discuss benefits and
impacts, and residents will be invited to participate in this process and review.
It is clear to me that we have many needs in Redwood City, including
additional housing, new open space and recreational facilities. We need
more housing near jobs so people don’t have to commute so far. I believe that
taking cars off the road and reducing commute times is one of the best things
we can do for the environment and for our quality of life.
With a concerted effort of community input and professional management
of the review process by the City of Redwood City, we will end up with a plan
that benefits all residents of Redwood City, not just one group or one need.
Robert S. Huibers, President, NAHREP of Silicon Valley
Residents will be heard on Saltworks
For the past three years, Redwood City has participated in an open process
about the future of the Saltworks site. The developer, DMB Associates, met
with community groups and individuals to listen to their ideas of how the
property could be used. Literally hundreds of people participated in these
The result was the Saltworks 50/50 Balanced Plan. It includes specific
requests from community residents, including wetlands restoration
and habitat, a sports complex, a transit link to downtown, parks, trails,
pedestrian-friendly design, recycled water and access to the bay. Forum
participants also asked for no high-rises, housing for working families instead
of luxury homes, and schools.
I am pleased that DMB engaged the community before submitting a
proposal. I am also pleased that their proposal addresses a number of
Now our city leaders are beginning to study the submitted proposal. The
developer and Redwood City are working through the established review
process. This process has checks and balances, numerous opportunities for
public input, and a complete environmental review. Residents will be heard
and well served by this process and by the smart-growth plan that will result.
As a longtime resident of Redwood City, I am grateful that our community
has a collaborative approach to development.
Georgi LaBerge, Redwood City
Residents voted to allow Saltworks to proceed
The problem with single-issue politics and organizations is that, when their
point of view has lost, they don’t have anything else to do but try to force
their will on others. The result in Redwood City, regarding the Saltworks
plan, has been a series of nasty charges being hurled at our city’s leaders, not
one of which has any basis in fact.
These groups don’t seem to care about the people who live here and raise
their families here. They only care about getting their way for their single
issue at the expense of any other needs or issues that also deserve attention.
Sorry. We settled this in the last election, when the residents of Redwood City
voted overwhelmingly to allow the Saltwork’s project to proceed.
We are a diverse community with a wide variety of needs and, fortunately,
our city leaders represent Redwood City as a whole, not just a single group
or issue. They have been willing to listen to all sides and deserve better
treatment than the ugliness coming from those single-issue detractors!
Corrin Trowbridge, Redwood City
Decide: We have got enough Saltworks information
How is it that the rest of Redwood City (and neighboring towns up and
down the Peninsula) can smell a bad idea before it’s fully cooked and we’re
forced to eat it, but the Redwood City City Council seems to have their noses
plugged? How many times does the City Council have to tell us they “need
more information” to make a decision on Cargill’s planned new city in our bay?
We’ve got reams of information, more than enough. What are they waiting
for? What is going to tell them that a city of 25,000 built below sea level
makes sense? Well, sorry, that information just doesn’t exist.
Really, what we have here is a group of people who have already made up
their minds but won’t come clean on that score. Actions speak louder than
words — here’s what the City Council has done by giving Cargill/DMB the
green light to go forward: ignored the existing open space zoning, demonized
anybody who expresses the obvious inadvisability of this plan, hired
consultants with previous ties to the developer and, worst of all, collected
paychecks from those who’ve made their support public (the mayor’s day job
with SAMCEDA is no secret).
The only explanation is that the City Council supports the project and is
unwilling to countenance its citizens’ well-documented strong opposition.
Thus they continue to toss out the red herring of “more information” and
pretend to their constituents that they’re still getting to know Cargill/DMB,
when in fact they eloped with them months ago.
Nancy Arbuckle, Redwood City
Let your opinion be heard!
Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org or
Opinions & Letters, The Spectrum Magazine, P.O.
Box 862, Redwood City, CA 94064
Letters to the editor should be no longer than 300 words.
Columns should be no longer than 750 words. Illegibly
written and anonymous letters will not be accepted.
Please include a daytime phone number where we can
The Spectrum 11
The Main Gallery
1018 Main St., Redwood City
Wed–Fri 11–4, Sat–Sun 10–3, and by appointment
“Menorahs,” hand-built ceramic, Nina Koepcke
Above left: “Fish Ornaments,” ceramic, Susan Wolf
Above right: “Blue Bird,” print, Jeannine Redon
“Winter,” photograph, Brandy Brune
Merry Art at Main
Annual Holiday Show and Sale
On Nov. 25, The Main Gallery was happy to begin its annual holiday show
and sale, with many unique and interesting gifts for your holiday shopping.
The opening reception will be on Dec. 5 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., with
refreshments and live music. The show runs through Dec. 24.
If you’re looking for a unique and special gift, be it Belinda Chlouber’s
wine-glass charms to Nina Koepcke’s Hanukkah menorahs, this is the place
to find it! Susan Wolf will have her annual porcelain fish ornaments and angel
tea-light covers, as well as some pieces she is currently working on. The
ceramic bowls, ikebana vases and traditional vases made by Doris Fischer-
Colbrie will add style and character to any room.
The top pieces of Pixie Couch’s ceramic bookmarks are all unique. Some
are seashells and some are faces; all are fired differently and none are the
same. Colorful ribbons are attached to them. She will also have ceramic
boxes and coiled, imprinted vessels.
Wooden triptychs by Ginger Slonaker, as well as Erna Metzger’s collaged
artwork, make for a special and unique artistic gift. And the winter scenes in
Brandy Brune’s photography take us to that special time of year when there
is a chill in the air but warmth in our heart! Come see these and many other
wonderful holiday items!
The Main Gallery, an artists’ cooperative with 23 members, showcases the
work of some of the best local talent in the Bay Area. The gallery is located
at 1018 Main St. at Middlefield, in the historic yellow Victorian cottage.
The gallery is open Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and
weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, please call 650-701-
1018 or visit www.themaingallery.org.
San Mateo County History Museum
2200 Broadway St., Redwood City
$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.
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
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
Land of Opportunity: The Immigrant Experience in San Mateo County.
The exhibit tells the stories of the diverse people who came to the area and
explores how different groups faced hardships and discrimination.
Living the California Dream. The exhibit depicts the development of the
suburban culture of San Mateo County.
The Celtic Tiger: The Irish Economic Miracle. The exhibit explores how the
Bay Area has participated in Ireland’s current economic boom.
Service League Is Asking for Your Help With Holiday
Sooner than we think, it will be time for the 2009 holiday season activities
sponsored by the Service League. These activities are intended to ease the
stress and disruption experienced by children and families of those in custody
during the holidays.
Your help is encouraged at these activities and behind the scenes to prepare
(e.g., organizing donations of toys and food or coordinating deliveries). These
activities are an excellent opportunity to include others who may share an
interest in the Service League’s services and programs. If you have questions
or want to help, please contact the Service League office at 650-364-4664 or
Wednesday, Dec. 9, 6:30–8:30 p.m.: Holiday Dinner, Women’s Correctional
Center. Volunteers and staff serve donated food and provide entertainment.
Thursday, Dec. 10: Childcare Party, Maguire Jail Lobby. Santa arrives with
gifts for all the children, and volunteers and staff help with refreshments and
Saturday, Dec. 12: Toy Wrap, San Mateo County Center. Based on each
child’s name, gender and age, volunteers select, wrap and tag donated toys.
The toys are distributed to the children’s caregivers from the Service League
office starting on Dec. 14.
Tuesday, Dec. 22: Pack Christmas Cookie Bags, Woodside Road Methodist
Church. Starting in the morning, volunteers fill and prepare for delivery
approximately 1,200 bags with cookies and apples, one for each inmate.
Lunch is provided for volunteers as the work continues to load the truck for
Christmas Day delivery.
Friday, Dec. 25, 7–9:30 a.m.: Deliver Christmas Cookie Bags, Men’s and
Women’s Jails. On Christmas morning, volunteers and staff deliver cookie
bags for each inmate, and those who have been blessed with vocal abilities
sing Christmas carols.
Construction Begins for ‘Grand Boulevard’ Improvements
Redwood City began construction on significant pedestrian, sidewalk and
landscape improvements, as well as a water main replacement, on El Camino
Real between Broadway and Brewster Avenue on Monday, Nov. 2.
This is Redwood City’s first step in the regional collaborative effort
involving 19 cities and two counties to transform El Camino Real into a
“Grand Boulevard” for the length of the Peninsula. Work on this project is
expected to continue through April 2010.
Redwood City has received over $1 million in grants from the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the California Mitigation and
Air Quality Improvement Program to pay for this project.
El Camino Real, Broadway and Brewster Avenue will remain open during
construction. The speed limit has been changed to 25 mph along the tenth
of a mile on El Camino Real between Broadway and Brewster Avenue.
Speed limit and construction signs will be posted, and motorists are urged
to exercise extra caution and be aware of all traffic control devices in this
area at all times. Motorists should expect various lane realignments and turn
restrictions (no left or right turns at certain points). Businesses along that
section of El Camino Real have been informed of this work, and sidewalk
access to all local businesses will be maintained throughout the length of the
Work will generally take place weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. There
may be the need for occasional night work on some portions and the
possibility of occasional weekend work.
Port Gets $11M for Jobs, Dredging
The Port of Redwood City is getting roughly 170 jobs and at least a year
of time because of $11 million in federal stimulus funds that mean faster
completion of plans to deepen it by 30 feet.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is spending $11 million in American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act money on two contracts, including one to
Manson-Dutra Joint Venture that began Oct. 19, to dredge 500,000 cubic
yards of bay-bottom sediment at the port. The goal is to dredge to the port’s
authorized depth of 30 feet. Currently, the water depth is 26.5 feet, which
means many of the commercial ships entering the port must arrive “lightloaded,”
limiting commerce, according to Michael Giari, executive director
of the port.
“At 30 feet, we’re maximizing the port’s efficiency in handling cargo
vessels, increasing the port’s potential commercial usage,” Giari said.
The dredged material will be used at the Inner Bair Island and Hamilton
Wetland Restoration Projects.
The funds not only make the full dredging possible but also speed up the
schedule by at least one year, said Corps Project Manager Joel Pliskin.
The Port of Redwood City is the only deep-water port in South San
Pierce Cleared in DUI Catastrophe
A Redwood City councilwoman accused of pushing the police department to
cancel a planned DUI checkpoint in a highly Hispanic area did not violate the
city’s charter by trying to influence events, according to the city manager.
Both City Manager Peter Ingram and Mayor Rosanne Foust consider the
matter closed, said city spokesman Malcolm Smith.
After the July 2 checkpoint in North Fair Oaks was shut down,
Councilwoman Barbara Pierce caught heat for having called Police Chief
Louis Cobarruviaz about its proximity to the Fair Oaks Community Center
at 2600 Middlefield Road. Pierce said she was responding to constituent
concerns but never directed the chief to act. Naysayers said she overstepped
Pierce e-mailed the chief after Sheryl Muñoz-Bergman, of the International
Institute of the Bay Area, contacted her about how the checkpoint would
affect the city’s relationship with the community. Pierce passed on the
comments and the department later opted to reschedule the checkpoint.
Following the brouhaha, Foust asked Ingram to investigate the situation.
In an Oct. 16 letter to Foust, Ingram said Pierce’s communication with
Cobarruviaz did not violate the city charter section prohibiting interference
between the council and the city manager, officer or department director.
Army Corps Asked to Review Cargill Plan
Developers of the former Cargill Saltworks say they are asking the U.S.
Army Corps to look at its plans for the site, but bay advocates call the
announcement nothing more than an attempt to look busy.
“They’re just trying to show momentum in a period of time when they’ve
lost momentum,” said David Lewis, executive director of Save The Bay,
which opposes development of the Redwood City land.
Lewis believes DMB is trying to gain ground after seeing the Menlo Park
City Council and Palo Alto Councilwoman Yoriko Kishimoto publicly knock
But DMB representatives say they are acting, taking the first steps toward a
federal regulatory review of their so-named 50-50 Balanced Plan.
The plan calls for 50 percent of the 1,436-acre site to be preserved for
permanent open space, public recreation and tidal marsh restoration and the
remaining half to be developed into housing, schools, parks and retail and
Whether the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has jurisdiction over the land
and must issue a permit for a use change is in question, according to both
Lewis and David Smith, vice president of regulatory affairs for DMB.
Rather than fight for months for an answer, Smith said DMB opted to go
ahead with the review, parallel to other environmental analyses by the state
and Redwood City.
“Our base position is that it is not required to satisfy the legal requirements
but we decided to move forward and let the corps evaluate the impacts to the
site,” Smith said.
The Saltworks site was issued a permit in 1940 for salt harvesting and it
has stood since. The permit is no longer necessary because DMB is looking
at development and also restoration of 400 acres of new tidal marsh habitat,
according to Smith.
Smith said DMB is starting the process now so that if the city makes
(continued on page 28)
The Spectrum 13
Shop Redwood City: It’s Holiday Time – Shop Redwood City!
Check out our Best of the Best selections below. Shouldn’t you make the commitment to shopping locally
during the holidays? When you are out shopping, dining or enjoying some entertainment, you will benefit
because your sales tax dollars stay local and help us all. These businesses not only provide excellent service
but also contribute to our community.
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 even
have free Wi-Fi Internet hookups so
you can work while you wait for your
vehicle to be serviced.
Eating and Catering:
Little India – 917 Main St. – “There
are good restaurants. There are
bad restaurants. There are okay
restaurants. Then there are those
places, the magic ones. You come
back again and again because the food
doesn’t just taste good and satisfy
hunger, but helps heal the heart and soul.”
Senior citizens receive $1 off and children under 12 dine at half price. www.
Deseo Tequila Lounge and Restaurant – 851 Main St. – “We went there
and it was fabulous! My friends were very impressed by their food menu,
and I have to say the burger I had was tasty. They also have 21 big-screen
televisions to view sporting events and more. This place has it all! I am so
happy that Redwood City finally has such an upscale place for watching your
favorite sports team, having a drink with friends or dancing the night away.
Let’s all get out and support them!” Start booking your holiday events now.
San Mateo Credit Union – Three Redwood City locations – SMCU is
member-driven and does everything possible to ensure that all of your financial
priorities are anticipated and fulfilled. Offerings include free auto-shopping
assistance, members-only car sales, low-rate home loans and lines of credit. Call
650-363-1725 or 888-363-1725 or visit a branch for additional information.
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 and get your home ready for the holidays.
Hannig Law Firm – 2991 El Camino Real – Hannig Law Firm LLP provides
transactional and litigation expertise in a variety of areas. The professionals
at HLF are committed to knowing and meeting their clients’ needs through
long-term relationships and value-added services, and to supporting and
participating in the communities where they live and work.
Every Woman Health Club – 611 Jefferson Ave. – A women-only, bodypositive
fitness center in downtown Redwood City. Services include classes,
Business Profile of the Month
Canyon Inn – 587 Canyon Road – “The Canyon Inn has had
the same owner for over two decades and every year it just
keeps getting better. They serve everything from their famous
hamburgers to pizzas, all kinds of sandwiches and pastas, and
they even have a South of the Border menu! There’s a Sunday
breakfast buffet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with NFL Ticket games on
the big flat-screen TVs. Don’t forget to reserve their closed patio
for your next party — it has heaters, fans and a big-screen TV
(no extra charges). Why cook when you don’t have to? They do
catering too for the holidays!”
weight and cardio equipment, personal training, therapeutic massage and
skin care. Flexible pricing, with several options available for members and
nonmembers. Visit www.everywomanhealthclub.com or call 650-364-9194.
Re:Juvenate Skincare Clinic – 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. Perfect timing for
a fresh look for the holidays.
Bizzarro’s Auto Auction – 2581
Spring St. – Services include auto
auctions, consignment vehicle sales,
appraisal services and even ways
to donate your vehicle to charities.
Increase your fundraising efforts with
a live auction — Bizzarro’s is your one-stop
auction team with spotters, clerks, sample catalogs, bid numbers, etc. Call 650-
363-8055 for details on all of their services.
Castle Insurance – 643 Bair Island Road, #104 – Castle Insurance
is an independent insurance agency representing a carefully selected
group of financially sound, reputable insurance companies. Visit www.
insurancebycastle.com or call 650-364-3664 for a free quote.
Terry Finn and Madonna’s Bail Bonds – 234 Marshall St., Upstairs
#3, 650-366-9111 – Finn and Madonna’s provide bail bonds to any court
jurisdiction, jail or police agency in California and in many other states.
Interested parties representing incarcerated subjects are encouraged to
contact the licensed bail agent on duty at the above office for immediate bail
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! “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 www.glaubert.com.
Saf Keep Storage – 2480 Middlefield Road – At Saf Keep, you and your
belongings are safe and secure. A friendly and reliable team is ready to assist
you with a variety of storage products and services to suit all your storage
needs. Visit www.safkeepstorage.com to see exactly what products and
services are available.
Schoenstein Physical Therapy – 363A Main St., 650-599-9482 – The
clinical approach of this independent, community-based practice focuses
on thorough physical therapy assessment, specific treatment strategies and
patient education. Individualized treatment programs are designed to help
meet patient goals of restoring function, returning to sport or occupation and
maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
St. Regal Jewelers – 850 Main St. – As you begin your holiday shopping,
listen to what customers are saying about this fine downtown jewelry store:
“This is a great jeweler! Phil, the owner, is amazing. He crafted a ring on time
and on budget. He has an incredible eye for detail. I can’t say enough. I would
never go anywhere else.”
CITY OF REDWOOD CITY: MEMBERS, CITY COUNCIL
Number to Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 43 of 43
Vote Count Percentage
JEFF IRA 5,077 26.9%
JEFF GEE 4,644 24.6%
JOHN SEYBERT 3,724 19.8%
JANET BORGENS 2,867 15.2%
CHERLENE L. WRIGHT 2,542 13.5%
Clockwise from left: Spectrum Publisher Steve Penna and Mayor
Rosanne Foust share a laugh. Jeff Ira, John Seybert and Jeff Gee
react to the positive vote count. Candidate Janet Borgens (left) with
Vice Mayor Diane Howard. Candidate Cherlene Wright keeps the
faith as results come in.
The Spectrum 15
Redwood City’s ‘Can Do’ Leader:
Michelle Griffith of Taft School
By Judy Buchan,
Memories of junior high Girl Scout meetings
came flooding back as I walked into the
multipurpose room at Taft School some 20 years
ago. Those Girl Scout meetings of the 1950s
brought to mind the great east/west divide of
Redwood City and the stereotypes perpetrated
by those who thought they knew better. No
matter, we were Girl Scouts working on our merit
badges, particularly those that rewarded patience,
understanding and good citizenship.
Although merit badges were a thing of the
past, patience and understanding were still
qualities that I needed in my first term on the
City Council. I made it a point to attend as many
neighborhood meetings as possible, to get a sense
of the problems residents faced and help work
on possible solutions. The meeting at Taft was a
homecoming for me; I reconnected with the past
as I tried to help deal with the present. The future
was nowhere in sight — yet.
But I found that the Taft neighborhood had
changed. Many of the parents in the audience
were Spanish speakers, concerned about their
children but unable to understand or communicate
without a translator. Frustration from parents and
teachers was palpable as we identified problems
and tried to figure out next steps.
“That was the beginning of the turnaround here,”
Michelle Griffith, Taft School principal, told me.
We remembered the changes that started to slowly
pull a struggling neighborhood into a community
that learned the meaning of respect and caring.
Community policing officers building
relationships with the neighborhood were an
integral part of the change, along with programs
such as Healthy Start coming to the Taft campus.
It would, however, take more, especially the
“can do” attitude of Griffith.
Born and raised in Redwood City by her
parents, Frank and Violet Frone, Griffith attended
local schools Henry Ford, Hawes and John Gill.
Her family later moved to San Carlos, where she
graduated from San Carlos High School in 1979.
She attended Cañada College, earned her teaching
credential and bachelor’s degree at San Jose State
University, and later received her master’s degree
at San Francisco State University.
Griffith currently lives in Redwood City with
her husband, Josh, who is the principal at Hawes School.
Why teaching? “I started out as a business
major,” she said, “but then I worked at the Sequoia
YMCA in youth camp programs, and I knew I
needed to work with kids.”
She started her teaching journey in Redwood
City at Taft in 1988, and she now recognizes
many parents of current students as her Taft
students from years gone by.
“Taft was a cooperative learning school,
recognizing the importance of professional
development, with supportive staff, and folks
In four years, Taft became a K–5 school, which
prompted Griffith to move to McKinley middle
school. “I really liked middle school,” but in time
the format at McKinley evolved into what is now
McKinley Institute of Technology. Griffith then
worked as a curriculum resource teacher at Roy
Cloud School for three years before assuming a
staff development position in the school district
office. She became assistant principal at Selby
Lane School, and then was named principal at
Taft in 2000.
Challenges awaited Griffith on her return to
Taft. According to former district board Trustee
Chris Bohl, “Currently, over 85 percent of
their [Taft] families are below the poverty line,
75 percent of their kids start school knowing
virtually no English, and only 5 percent of their
parents have been to college.” The school’s
Academic Performance Index (API) score was a
dismal 444, putting Taft in the lowest 10 percent
of schools in the state. In addition, there was a
large turnover of staff, and the school had five
administrators in six years.
“Stability was needed,” Griffith said.
Her staff now is “young, energetic and bright.”
Griffith told me, “We look into the issues, decide
what needs to be done, and get it done. We
develop strategies and standards for the school.
Do we believe our standards can do it? Yes!”
And the numbers bear her out.
“Michelle and her staff have dramatically
increased test scores at Taft,” said District
Superintendent Jan Christensen. “Taft’s Academic
Performance Index (API) score went from 444
in 1999 to 774 today! In 2002, 6.8 percent of Taft
students were at the advanced or proficient level
in English language arts; in 2009, 47.6 percent of
Taft students were at the advanced or proficient
level. In 2002, 14.2 percent of students were at
the advanced or proficient level in math; in 2009,
66.6 percent of students were at the advanced or
proficient level in math,” she continued.
Bohl agrees. “The enormous academic
improvement that has occurred at Taft under
Michelle’s leadership is unique in California. That
is an objective fact based on assessments of the
state of California.”
Christensen agrees. “Michelle and her staff
at Taft accomplished something very few
schools in the state have been able to do. Taft is
a kindergarten through fifth-grade school with
a high percentage of students learning English
and a high percentage of students whose families
qualify for free and reduced lunch,” she told me.
“Until August of last year, Taft had been on the
state’s Program Improvement list for more than
five years, along with 900 other schools in the
state. Last year only nine of those 900 schools
made enough improvement to be removed from
the list, and Taft was one of them!” she added.
One critical part of the Taft endeavor is
community involvement. Taft is now a community
school, with a board made up of members from
various community segments. In fact, one of the
board members is a former community police
officer from the difficult days. Parents and
community members are active in helping to meet
the needs of the school population.
“The Taft community has been very supportive.
People have faith in school,” Griffith said.
“We try to build reciprocal relationships in
the community. We understand the value of
community involvement. We always have a ‘can
do’ attitude,” she added.
Community involvement reached its zenith
last April, when some 300 volunteers from
Verbo Cristiana, New Hope Peninsula Church,
and Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, organized
by Serve The Peninsula, conducted a massive
remodeling project on the Taft campus.
Volunteers remodeled the teachers’ lounge;
reorganized the front office and parent resource
room; constructed several redwood planter boxes;
created an ADA-accessible garden with native
California plants and vegetables; organized
spring cleaning in classrooms, the library and the
playground; provided gift baskets for the staff;
painted a large mural on the front of the school
and provided a community lunch.
“Michelle has been able to leverage
“She never gives up on a student and tirelessly works so
that all Taft children have a bright and successful future.”
partnerships to bring more resources into her
school, including a thriving garden program by
Hidden Villa,” said Christensen.
A strong partnership also has developed with
the Police Activities League (PAL), and its
headquarters building is on the Taft campus. “We
have a great relationship with Dan Smith of PAL,”
Smith, current executive director of PAL,
agrees. “I have known Michelle Griffith for
approximately ten years. My experiences working
with Michelle have always been positive, even in
awkward or uncomfortable situations involving
students and parents,” Smith said. “She always
works to find a solution. Michelle truly does look
out for her students and families. The proof is
the improvement Taft School has made over in
the years in academic standings. Taft School is
involved in the community and there seems to be
a large volunteer parent group helping out at the
school,” he added.
Griffith’s “can do” approach is the foundation
for standards, strategies, reaching out and a strong
belief in her staff, her students and the Taft community.
And the praise keeps coming. “Michelle is
extremely well organized, highly focused, goal driven,
with an unlimited capacity for long, hard work,”
Bohl concluded. Griffith remembered that Bohl,
as a board member, called her periodically to
cheer her on and tell her, “I know you can do it.”
Christensen agrees. “One of the biggest myths
in education today is that schools must sacrifice
science and the arts in order to meet academic
standards set by the No Child Left Behind Act,”
she said. “Michelle Griffith has made it possible
for schools to adhere to rigorous academic
standards, close the achievement gap and do it
without sacrificing science, music and art.”
“She is an outstanding principal,” Christensen
continued. “She is a strong leader to her staff and a
strong leader among the principals in the district.
She is hardworking and tenacious, and the most
important key to her success is her belief that
every student can achieve. She never gives up
on a student and tirelessly works so that all Taft
children have a bright and successful future.
We are very fortunate to have Michelle in the
Redwood City School District,” Christensen told me.
Current board member Dennis McBride echoes
other opinions of Griffith. “The teachers have worked
extremely hard to achieve the wonderful results,” he
told me. “Michelle is magical with her students.
You can tell she cares deeply about all children.”
“What is great about Taft is you have existence
theory that all children can be successful!”
So the days of Girl Scout meetings are gone.
The days of neighborhood frustration have turned
into hope and the possibility of a better future,
thanks to long hours of hard work and the belief
that things can change for the better. It’s time for
east-side/west-side stereotypes to become things
of the past as well. In time, I suspect Michelle
Griffith will tackle them too.
We are fortunate to have her!
The Spectrum 17
REDWOOD CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT: MEMBERS, GOVERNING BOARD
Number to Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 64 of 64
Vote Count Percentage
HILARY S. PAULSON
JOHN J. “JACK” HICKEY
Top, left to right: School board winners Maria Diaz-Slocum and Hilary Paulson as results come in. Ernie Schmidt,
Arnoldo Arreola, Josie Ramirez, Councilwoman Alicia Aguirre, Lilia Ledezma, Hector Flamenco, Maribel Arreola and
Isabel Jimenez. Jeff Gee, Nori Jabba and Shawn White toast to a great campaign. Bottom: Outgoing Councilmembers
Diane Howard and Jim Hartnett congratulate council winners Gee, John Seybert and Jeff Ira.
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We urge you to contribute
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The Spectrum 19
Saturday, December 5, 2009 - 10am to 7pm
Play in the Snow!
Photos with Santa!
City Tree Lighting
Caltrain Holiday Train
11:00am - 4:00pm
11:00am - 4:00pm
throughout the day
10:00am - 4:00pm
4:30pm - 5:30pm
5:50pm - 6:00pm
arrives at 6:30pm
Movie Night at Courthouse Square
Shop early for the Holidays NOW!
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The Spectrum 21
Lit and Accurate:
The Broadway Clock Is Telling Time Again
After more than an estimated 10 years of
telling the wrong time and not being seen
at night, the “post clock” on Broadway at
Jefferson in downtown Redwood City has
been completely revived and runs on time.
The project was a labor of love between community volunteers and the City of Redwood City. The
improvements to the clock began when Joachim Groeger confirmed that the clock had been gutted and
transformed from a mechanical clock to an electrical one. The clock is currently connected to the same
electrical circuit as the Christmas lights on the Broadway street trees. The city hired Al Pacheco to do
the electrical work needed to get the clock running.
The entire project took a skilled team and several weeks to finish. John Gammon of the city’s Public
Works Services department and Groeger spent several days at the Broadway site, and some time at their
shops, cleaning and painting pieces of the clock.
Soon thereafter, Groeger discovered light bulbs inside the clock and replaced the bulbs. The clock now
lights up at night.
Groeger also bought and replaced the clock “crystals,” or shatterproof vinyl panels. He cut the
crystals to shape, removed and prepped the bezels (metallic rings), caulked the rims to the outer bezel
and reinstalled them himself. He also removed and painted the clock hands and changed the electrical
movement of the clock to set the time.
Throughout several visits to the clock (about nine), Gammon and team set up their truck and tools near
the clock. They assisted Groeger by providing a one-man bucket and lifting him up to the clock face.
During those visits Gammon also prepped and painted the entire clock.
Redevelopment project manager for the City of Redwood City Claudia Olalla praised the collaboration
in fixing the clock and stated a huge “Thank you for all involved and caring about Redwood City!” Of
Groeger she said, “You made us open our eyes and see a wonderful jewel in downtown that had been lost
“You made us open our eyes
and see a wonderful jewel
in downtown that had been
lost and neglected.”
Joachim Groeger and city staff work on the Broadway clock. Great job!
The Spectrum 23
New U.S. Citizens Sworn In at Veterans Day Ceremony
Sixty-one years ago, San Carlos resident Frank Martinez stood on the steps
of the old county courthouse in Redwood City and enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
On Veterans Day, just feet from where he signed up, he watched as six other
military members from other countries were sworn in as U.S. citizens at the
city’s Veterans Day ceremony.
Martinez, who served in the Navy until 1981, was in both the Korean
and Vietnam wars. He was a deep-sea diver and helped rescue people from
Dozens of other veterans and community members joined in reciting the
Pledge of Allegiance after each of the six members of the armed forces took
the oath of allegiance before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Field
Office Director Robin Barrett.
“I feel great,” said Alexander Leo Pummer, who was born in Canada
and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1998 to 2002, after he became a
Pummer said his time in the Marines was the best experience of his life. “I
gained a set of brothers, a second family.”
He said becoming a U.S. citizen was very important to him.
“I served to preserve the freedom Americans have,” Pummer said. “I
wanted to be able to enjoy the freedoms I served for.”
The other military members naturalized today were from Peru, Ireland,
China, Germany and Croatia. Two are still in active duty.
Congresswoman Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, spoke at the ceremony
about the importance of honoring veterans and active military members,
particularly in the wake of the recent shooting at the Ft. Hood, Texas,
military base that left 13 dead.
“No one likes going to war, and no one wants to die before their time,” she
said. “Yet millions have made those sacrifices over and over.”
She said many wounds inflicted on a soldier from going to war are often
invisible, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. She cited the story of a
young Daly City man who joined the U.S. Marines “to help people.”
When he returned from service, his family and friends noticed that
his “chipper” demeanor was gone, she said. The young man ended up
Speier concluded her speech with a message to all veterans. “Your
sacrifices will never be taken for granted,” she said. The Veterans Day
celebration was dreamed up by American Legion Post 105 Commander
Romie Bassetto, who wanted to honor war veterans and service members
in a dignified manner. Bassetto hopes the ceremony will become an annual
event. Approximately 300 people attended the event, including veterans from
World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and Iraq. Assemblyman Ira
Ruskin, D-Redwood City, former Sheriff Don Horsley, Redwood City Mayor
Rosanne Foust, Councilman Jim Hartnett and Vice Mayor Diane Howard
Martinez, whose daughter and two grandsons attended the ceremony with
him, said he helped organize the event as a member of the American Legion.
While in the Navy, in addition to serving in two major wars, he worked
for the government doing “top secret operations,” he said. He declined to
He said many people he meets are grateful for his service.
“A lot of people say they appreciate what you did,” Martinez said.
He said he doesn’t like to listen to people who are against war. “They have
their own beliefs, I don’t let them talk to me about it,” Martinez said.
He said veterans are encouraged to join the American Legion and may call
650-365-1337 for more information.
From top, left to right: Vice Mayor Diane Howard, Mayor Rosanne Foust, Police Chief
Louis Cobarruviaz and Councilman Jim Hartnett celebrate. Congresswoman Jackie
Speier (center) and Foust pose with a friend in front of a vehicle dedicated to war heroes.
California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman poses with the Martinez and Smith clan.
The Spectrum 25
for electing us to the
Redwood City Council.
10/30/09 10:44:32 AM
We look forward to serving our community WITH you!
Paid Political Advertisement, Paid for by
Friends of Jeff Ira, ID#970913
Friends of Jeff Gee for City Council 2009, 351 Montserrat Dr., Redwood City CA 94065 ID#1315847
John Seybert for Redwood City Council 2009, 3782 Jefferson Ave., Redwood City CA 94061 ID#1313963
Gang Attack Injures Two
Police in Redwood City are investigating a gangrelated
attack that left two injured, one hit with a
shovel handle and another stabbed multiple times.
Units responded to the 500 block of Buckeye
Street where two Redwood City men were
reportedly attacked by as many as four armed
suspects, according to the Redwood City Police
One victim was hit in the head with a shovel
handle and treated at the scene, police said. The
second victim was stabbed several times, once in
the neck and multiple times in the torso. He was
taken to the hospital in serious condition.
The suspects, allegedly armed with a shovel,
glass bottles and a knife or machete, were last
seen running southbound on a footbridge over
Woodside Road, according to police. They were
described as four Hispanic males between 18 and
25 years old. Two were described as about 5 feet
8 inches tall and weighing about 160 pounds. One
was wearing a red shirt and red pants; another
wore a black hoodie.
Police are investigating the incident as gangrelated.
Anyone with information regarding the attack
is encouraged to contact Redwood City police at
Man Who Shot Customers at Pizza
A 23-year-old man who had faced attempted
murder charges for shooting three customers
in front of a Redwood City pizzeria has been
sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading
no contest to lesser charges, escaping a possible
Luis Lombera was sentenced in San Mateo
County Superior Court to seven years in prison
with credit for 485 days served, Assistant District
Attorney Karen Guidotti said.
He had faced 30 years to life in prison if
convicted of attempted murder in connection with
the Sept. 10, 2008, shooting.
Lombera pleaded no contest on Sept. 22 to
being a felon in possession of a firearm and
using a firearm to inflict great bodily injury, in
exchange for the sentence, Guidotti said.
“There were significant factual issues with the
case,” she said. “We’re pleased with the resolution
of the case. We think it was a wise way to go.”
The shooting happened after Lombera and
his brother tried to enter Primo’s Pizzeria on El
Camino Real in Redwood City in the late evening
hours of Sept. 10, 2008.
A security guard stopped Lombera and his
brother from entering, claiming the two were
drunk. Lombera and his brother then had to
be forcibly removed from the pizza parlor,
Prosecutors said the brothers left but returned
half an hour later with a gun and shot at the
security guard and another worker standing in
front of the restaurant.
The bullets missed the security guard and worker but
struck three customers also standing outside. Two of
the three customers who were shot suffered great
bodily injury, according to the district attorney’s
office. All had to be hospitalized.
Lombera, who prosecutors said fired the gun
and drove the getaway car, was arrested later that
night for attempted murder.
Redwood City Teen Competent for
The former teenage ward accused of killing a
man last year after walking away from a juvenile
detention camp is competent to stand trial on
murder charges, a judge ruled.
The judicial decision is the exact opposite
conclusion reached by a trio of court-appointed
doctors who in July decided Adrian Sedano was
not able to aid in his own defense. Rather than
accept that outcome, prosecutors sought a trial
on the matter. After a four-day hearing filled
with expert testimony, Judge Robert Foiles found
Sanity is a defendant’s state of mind at the time
of an alleged crime, while competency is the
ability to aid in one’s own defense.
Foiles’ ruling means Sedano will stand trial
and face prison rather than be treated at a state
hospital. Criminal proceedings, which were on
hold pending the competency trial outcome, were
reinstated and Sedano was ordered back to court
Nov. 9 to set a preliminary hearing date.
Sedano is accused of fatally stabbing a
23-year-old Redwood City man Aug. 9, 2008,
after walking away from Camp Glenwood, a San
Mateo County honor camp in La Honda for wards
of the juvenile justice system. Although Sedano
was 16 at the time, prosecutors charged him as an
adult on charges of murder and the use of a knife.
The fatal fight allegedly started between a
group of girls at the 7-Eleven at the corner of
Hess and Woodside roads in Redwood City. The
fight continued to spark during the evening and
resulted in Sedano, co-defendant Christian Lopez
and the victim getting into an altercation in front
of an apartment complex at 551 Geneva Ave. Police
quickly obtained a search warrant for one of the
apartments. Inside, police found Sedano and Lopez
arguing with two girls from the earlier fight.
Lopez, 17, was initially charged with murder as
an adult but prosecutors lowered the charges to
assault with a deadly weapon because he didn’t
wield the knife. Lopez pleaded no contest to the
charge with no promise of a specific sentence.
However, Lopez was immediately released from
custody on his own recognizance pending a Nov.
19 sentencing hearing at which he faces up to four
Sedano remains in custody.
Pizzeria Sued for ‘Gross Amount of
The Chuck E. Cheese pizzeria in Redwood City
served a pizza with “a gross amount of human
hair baked into the crust” to an adult and child
who ate half the pie before discovering the
unexpected ingredient, according to a lawsuit
filed in San Mateo County Superior Court.
The startling find led Jason Lovio, Aracelli
Torres and a minor child to suffer and continue to
suffer severe emotional stress “including but not
limited to shock, worry and anxiety,” according
to the suit filed on their behalf by attorney Leigh
The three visited the restaurant at 2451 El Camino
Real in Redwood City on Aug. 14. After eating
approximately half the pizza, the trio reportedly
found the hair, became ill and were forced to seek
medical help, according to the lawsuit.
Herman did not return a call for comment but in
the court papers filed Oct. 23 said the customers
are seeking damages for medical bills and lost
wages on top of the emotional injuries.
The business and its employees were negligent
because they owed customers the duty “not to
prepare and serve customers food that would
cause them to become ill,” the lawsuit states.
Chuck E. Cheese corporate representatives did
not return inquires for comment.
The case is scheduled for a management
conference March 5, 2010.
Accused Car Thief Waives Hearing
The alleged car thief caught with the book
“How to Be a Successful Criminal” waived a
preliminary hearing on the evidence and heads
straight to trial on charges of vehicle theft,
possession of a stolen vehicle, second-degree
auto burglary, receiving stolen property and
misdemeanor possession of burglary tools.
Brian Winner, 29, returns to court Dec. 2 to
enter a Superior Court plea and set a trial date.
On Oct. 21, Redwood City police located
and arrested Winner after responding to a call
for a suspicious person looking into parked
cars. Winner was allegedly driving a stolen car
containing property taken from multiple victims,
including the book.
Winner remains in custody in lieu of $20,000 bail.
Residential Burglars in Custody
Two Redwood City residents are in custody
following a residential burglary on the 1500 block
of Gordon Street, according to police.
Hugo Farias-Yanez, 21, and Luis Perez, 18, were
arrested after a witness saw the two men climb
through a side window of a residence, Redwood
City police reported.
Police were called to the scene and officers
established a perimeter around the home. Shortly
after, the two men fled the home and a brief foot
pursuit ensued, according to police.
The two men were taken into custody a short
distance from the scene and were positively
identified by the witness.
The men admitted to the crime and items stolen
from the residence were recovered. The two were
booked into the San Mateo County Main Jail for
the crimes of residential burglary and resisting/
obstructing a police officer.
The Spectrum 27
As I Was Saying…(Continued from p6) Community Interest (Continued from p13)
annual car allowance and their health and dental coverage, which are covered
in full by taxpayers.
In case you don’t remember, the county has a $100 million budget deficit.
There are currently over 1,000 county employees who earn $100,000 or more.
The raises themselves are not the only issue here. I can’t really argue that
the job is worthy of such a salary. It is more about retirement benefits. Take,
for instance, Supervisor Rich Gordon, who terms out next year and will
be running for state Assembly. When salaries are increased, his retirement
benefits will be calculated at the last salary he is earning. He has already stated
he will accept the salary increase and defended it with some lame excuse
about others voting on the increase, even though he was one of those doing so.
It’s all business as usual for elected officials, even though they expect others
to make sacrifices. I am not one who totally supports union and government
high salaries — when was the last time one of them had to produce the
revenues needed to pay their salaries? — but if the salary increase goes into
effect, it is just a slap in the face to those who made sacrifices “for the team.”
Can you imagine being an in-home support-services employee and being
asked to have your salary frozen or decreased from $11.50 per hour? Then you
have to hear about this. Just not fair, is it?
I want to take this opportunity to wish our readers the happiest of holidays! I
feel so fortunate and truly blessed to have the opportunity to work with such
professional and community-minded individuals here. To get the response we
do from our readers is amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
As I was saying…
changes to the 50-50 Balanced Plan as part of its public process, amendments
can similarly be made in the federal review.
But Lewis said DMB isn’t asking for a formal review at all, instead asking
the corps what it thinks while maintaining an ability to claim it has no
In its notice of the federal assessment, DMB officials focused on the
environmental aspects of the planned tidal marsh habitats.
“We believe that this would be the largest private marsh creation effort
ever mounted on the San Francisco Bay,” Bruno said in a prepared statement.
“While government and taxpayer-funded restoration efforts continue to
struggle for funding, we are prepared to privately fund this program and to
commence restoration as soon as the 50-50 Balanced Plan is approved.”
Approval of the plan is far from a given, however.
The City Council — and candidates recently running in the November
election — all agreed the final outcome could likely stray from the current
The city recently opted against including the Cargill property in the
revamp of its general plan, deciding to visit zoning and land use issues later.
The city also hired a consultant to coordinate the review of the 50-50
Balanced Plan to make sure it is a complete proposal before moving to an
Environmental Impact Report.
Happy Holidays from The
NOTICE OF VACANCIES
Two vacancies will occur on the Redwood City Planning Commission. The
terms are for two unexpired seats. One seat expires June 30, 2010 and the
other expires June 30, 2012. The Commission regularly meets on the first and
third Tuesday of each month at 7pm, but may hold additional meetings.
Members of the Planning Commission receive no compensation and at
the time of their appointment and continuously during their incumbencies, be
residents and electors of the City. They cannot hold any other public office
or position in the City while serving as members of the Commission.
They also have an annual requirement to disclose Economic Interests.
The general objectives of the Planning Commission shall be:
• To exercise all powers and duties granted to it by ordinance or
resolution of the City Council;
• To recommend to the City Council, for adoption, a comprehensive
long-term general plan for the physical development of the City;
• To exercise such additional powers and duties as may be provided
for by such general laws of the State of California as are not in
conflict with local procedures.
• The Commission also plays a role in the administration of the City
Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Ordinance.
Please get acquainted with the Planning Commission current topics by
reading prior minutes or reviewing agendas.
The recruitment period is from November 9, 2009 until 5:00 pm
on December 7, 2009. The application is available online at the
redwoodcity.org website and paper copies are available at the Office of
the City Clerk, City Hall 1017 Middlefield Road, Redwood City.
November 23, 2009
Finance: Changing “Seasons” of Life May Require Changes in Investment Strategy
By David Amann, Special to The Spectrum
As we make the transition from autumn to winter,
you may be reminded that seasons don’t just
change on the calendar — they also change in
your life. And as you move from one season of
your life to another, you’ll find that some of your
goals may have changed. Consequently, as time
goes by, you may need to adjust your financial
strategies as well.
To illustrate the “seasonal” nature of your
investment strategies, let’s quickly go through
a typical life cycle and look at the differing
financial goals at each stage:
When you are beginning your career, you may not
have a lot of money to invest, but it’s important
to try to put away something each month. If you
have a 401(k) where you work, take advantage
of it. Your money is deducted, pretax, from your
paychecks, so it’s an easy way to start investing.
And at this stage of your life, consider investing
primarily for growth. Of course, when you
invest in growth-oriented vehicles, you typically
assume an above-average degree of risk because
the price of these investments can fluctuate greatly
over time. However, if you buy quality investments
and hold them for many years, you may be able to
overcome the “blips” along the way and benefit
from the growth prospects these vehicles can offer.
During this season of your life, things have likely
changed. Your kids may have already graduated
from college or otherwise left home, so you may
need to re-evaluate your life insurance needs.
You’re likely earning more money and have
more available to invest. This means, among
other things, that you should consider “maxing
out” on your IRA and also putting as much as
you afford into your 401(k) or other employersponsored
retirement plan. Because you may have
a decade or more until you retire, you still may
need considerable growth potential from your
investments. At the same time, though, you might
not want to invest quite as aggressively as you did
when you started out, so you may want to increase
the percentage of bonds and other fixed-income
vehicles in your portfolio.
Many people assume their expenses will
drop when they retire. And some will drop,
but others, such as health care, will increase.
Furthermore, it’s not at all unusual for people to
spend two, or even three, decades in an active
retirement, and during those years, inflation
can be a factor. Consequently, even as a retiree,
you’ll find that growth-oriented investments are
important, balanced with others that provide
income. Furthermore, you’ll want to manage the
withdrawals you take from your IRA, 401(k) or
other employer-sponsored retirement plan to help
make sure you don’t outlive your resources. At
the same time, you should consider exploring
estate-planning techniques, such as life insurance
trusts, that can help you leave the legacy you want
without burdening your heirs with heavy estate
taxes. To help you meet these needs, work with
your tax advisor and estate-planning professional.
The seasons of the year change every three
months. The seasons of your life change much
more slowly, but these changes can have a big
impact on your financial situation.
Editor’s note: This article was written by David
Amann of Edward Jones for use by The Spectrum
The Veterans Memorial Senior Center,
1455 Madison Ave., Redwood City, provides
the following activities that are open to
the public during the month of December.
Friday Movies for Everyone
Every Friday, 1:15 p.m. (unless otherwise
Come to the VMSC in December for a free
featured movie in our state-of-the-art movie
Dec. 4: “The Maiden Heist”
Dec. 11: “The Ugly Truth”
Dec. 18: “Julie & Julia”
Dec. 25: No movie (holiday)
Holiday Gift Bag Assembly
Celebrate the holiday season by helping seniors
and children in need throughout the community.
Sponsor a holiday gift bag for children of lowincome
families and seniors who are homebound
or without family by making a donation to the
Holiday Gift Giving Project at the Veterans
Memorial Senior Center. Donation envelopes and
additional information is available at 650-780-7313.
Beating Those Holiday Blues
Thursday, Dec. 10, 1–2 p.m.
We are told that the holidays are a time of joy and
happiness. But if that’s the case, how come so
many of us feel blue? This lecture will talk about
the holiday blues and provide tools for working
West Bay Community Band
Saturday, Dec. 12, 7–9 p.m.
$10 early bird reservations / $15 at door
The VMSC is happy to welcome back the West
Bay Community Band for a very special holiday
concert. Enjoy a no-host bar from 7–7:30 p.m.,
with the concert starting at promptly 7:30. To
receive the discounted price of $10, please call
650-780-7264 and your name will be placed on
our VIP Will Call List. If your name is not on the
list, your cost will be $15 at the door.
VMSC Closure Dates
The Veterans Memorial Senior Center will be
closed Thursday, Dec. 24, through Monday, Jan. 4,
for Winter Break. Sunday Bingo will be open on
Dec. 27 and Jan. 2.
SAVE THE DATE!
Free Home Repairs From
Rebuilding Together Peninsula
Wednesday, Jan. 13, 1–2 p.m.
Rebuilding Together Peninsula rehabilitates
homes and community facilities for senior, lowincome
and disabled homeowners so they can
live independently in warmth and safety. All
services are free. Learn about the program at this
Valentine’s Dinner Dance
Friday, Feb. 12, 6–10 p.m.
$20 per person
Love is in the air! Enjoy a wonderful dance with
live music compliments of the Fun After Fifty
Band! Singles and couples alike are welcome. A
three-course dinner will be served and dancing
will follow. Tickets will be available in January.
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.
The Spectrum 29
A Minute With: Cherlene Wright
Cherlene (pronounced Chair-lean) Wright was born and raised in Redwood City. She attended Garfield Elementary
and McKinley Junior High School, and graduated from Woodside High School in 1987. After that, she attended
Mills College in Oakland. She majored in English with an emphasis in creative writing. She also studied theater.
She met her husband, Alex, in 1988 at Mills College, where his father was her advisor. They are the proud
parents of twin boys Devin and Gavin, who attend Woodside High School.
Cherlene is a probation officer for San Mateo County and is also an independent Avon representative. She
ran for a seat on the City Council this past election and is the only candidate that had not yet been profiled by
The Spectrum in this section. We are honored to do so now.
She started in activism by participating in the student body strike that kept Mills an all-women’s college.
She is currently in her first term on the Housing and Human Concerns Committee and is active in the
Chamber of Commerce, Kainos Home and Training Center, PAL and the Sequoia Hospital Foundation, and
she was the past chairman of Citizens to Protect Redwood City. She is also vice chairman and co-founder of
the Teach for Your Dreams organization.
Cherlene’s hobbies include knitting, reading and volunteering.
One word to describe running for public office?
Worst thing about it?
Seeing behind the curtain.
Best thing about it?
How many people I met and the quality of those
in our community.
Which living person do you most admire?
Favorite things about the holidays?
All of it — music, weather, everything!
What talent would you most like to have?
Something few know about you?
I have a tattoo.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Dancing Queen” by ABBA.
“My Fair Lady” and “Gone With the Wind” — a
What is your motto?
Things you cannot handle?
Sympathy — don’t deal with those who are
sympathetic to me. I much prefer humor.
Anyone you got on your mind?
My family because we are preparing for a
My wedding day.
First word that comes to mind?
You still can’t believe?
I am a mother to almost-17-year-old twins who are
on the varsity football team.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Entire day with nothing to do but be with my
What or who is the love of your life?
You currently feel?
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
What you can expect from Dave Karow:
To be resourceful, tenacious and principled.
To explain choices in terms YOU can understand.
To recommend “no loan” when it makes sense to wait.
Mortgage Services Redefined for busy families seeking responsible choices.
Evening & weekend appointments available. Dave offers wholesale rates plus a flat fee.
650-743-5397 email@example.com www.rwcfunding.com
The Spectrum 31
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