Community Interest - The Spectrum Magazine - Redwood City's ...

Community Interest - The Spectrum Magazine - Redwood City's ...

A Solution To Regional

Traffic Congestion?

Two Million workers commute into San Francisco

and San Mateo Counties every week to local jobs. They

commute from Santa Rosa, Fairfield, Stockton, Livermore,

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

housing to accommodate them.

The traffic caused by these long distance commuters is the

main reason why our freeways and bridges are so badly

congested. These commuters are also the number one cause

of air pollution and greenhouse gases in our region.

Redevelop This Industrial Site — Put Workers Near Jobs

Redwood City is now exploring whether to redevelop the

more than 1,400-acre Redwood City Industrial Saltworks

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

distance commuters off our freeways and bridges.

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

to make major progress toward solving regional problems.

That’s why many major employers in the region are

supporting this smart growth, transit-oriented plan.

we can reduce regional traffic, reduce air pollution,

and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by building new

housing that will allow workers to live nearer to their

jobs. Isn’t this a solution worth considering?

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

going to Email us at or call us at 650-366-0500.

Redwood City


Sponsored by DMB Saltworks, LLC

Follow Saltworks on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Spectrum_Ad_2_18_10.indd 1

2/18/10 6:04:15 PM

The Spectrum.APR.2010

Steve Penna

Owner and Publisher

Anne Callery

Copy Editor

Judy Buchan

Contributing Writer

Nicole Minieri

Contributing Writer

James Massey

Graphic Designer

James R. Kaspar

Cover/Cover Story Photography

Valerie Harris

Internet Maintenance

Contact Information:

Phone 650-368-2434

E-mail addresses listed above

Welcome to the April 2010 edition of The Spectrum Magazine. We think we have a great issue

that will keep you reading and reading — no fooling!

This month our cover subject is not a person or business, but a community symbol. Since

1929 the Easter Cross has stood in our community as a symbol of hope, unity and peace.

Contributing writer Nicole Minieri tells about the history of that symbol, how it is maintained

and the group of individuals who are keeping it secure for all to admire.

Publisher Steve Penna is ready to discuss this June’s election, news from the downtown area, the

Miss Redwood City pageant and more in his column, “As I Was Saying….”

We also have a story on the newly crowned Miss Redwood City and our regular features on

community interest, senior activities, information from the Redwood City School District,

parties around town, news briefs, cultural and entertainment events and the popular feature “A

Minute With.” We also have for the second month an insurance advice column from Russ Castle.

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

you are out shopping, dining or enjoying yourself in our community with friends and family.

Many of them have special offers for you to cut out and present, including discounts on

services, food and beverages, so please take the time to look over their ads this month and

use their coupons and discounts. When you visit one of them, let them know you appreciate

their support of our local community publication.

We thank our readers for making The Spectrum our community’s most-read publication. We

invite you to visit our Web site at for up-to-the-day information in

our community.


This Month’s Photo Shoot – 4

RCSD Corner – 5

“As I Was Saying...” – 6

Newly Crowned Miss Redwood City

Excited to Represent – 7

There’s a Whole Lot of Shakin’

Going On at Deseo – 10

The People Speak: Letters to the Editor – 11

Cultural Events – 14

“I Love Books” Fundraiser a Success – 14

Faith, Hope and Unity

Illuminated From the Hills – 16

Community Interest – 19

Shop Redwood City – 21

News Briefs – 22

Meet Our Community-Minded

Realtors of Redwood City – 26

Insurance Tips: Choosing a PEO – 29

Senior Activities – 29

A Minute With Lilia Ledezma – 30

The Spectrum 3

Inside The Spectrum: Cover Story Photo Shoot

A view looking down on Redwood City from the Easter Cross

This month’s cover shoot was unusual for us in that cover story photographer

James Kaspar’s subject was not a person but a stationary object that has been

photographed time and time again.

The dictionary describes a photographer as a lens man, someone who takes

photographs professionally, but we all know that description is brief and does

not really explain how a talented photographer can capture a subject in a

totally different light than those who came before.

Kaspar described it this way: “It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon as

I wound my way up Jefferson Avenue and onto California Way, catching

glimpses of the Easter Cross at various clearings. Although the cross is

now surrounded by cell phone antennas and holding tanks, which partially

obstruct its view, it occurred to me that the message of the cross can still be

found in the midst of technology.”

He went on to say, “The cross is an impressive sight, bold and overseeing

the whole community.” Most in our community would agree. That is one of

the reasons our community is so special.

As Kaspar was leaving, having finished the shoot, he met a man and his two

children who were climbing to the top of the peak to the cross. Although the

man and his family now live in Foster City, he grew up in Redwood City and

wanted to show his children where he had attended Easter services as a child.

That is also what Redwood City is about. Wanting to share the experience

of living here, being here and passing that on to others. No matter what issues

divide us, and who creates those divisions, we pull together as a community

when we need to. A symbol like the Easter Cross stands above all of us and

reminds us just how unique we are.

Celebrate Redwood City today and every day.

RCSD Corner: News From the Redwood City School District

Redwood City Community Comes Together to Work for Change

Faced with another round of school budget cuts,

hundreds if not thousands of students, parents,

teachers, school principals, district administrators

and school board members gathered before school

early one morning in March to raise awareness of

the challenges facing the 17 elementary schools in

Redwood City.

“We were just so overwhelmed by the turnout

and energy at the rallies,” said Kay Louie, a Roy

Cloud and North Star parent who organized

the rallies districtwide along with Rick Hunter,

Redwood City Education Foundation (RCEF)

board member and North Star parent. “To see

everyone coming together across the district

in this way is incredibly amazing. The rallies

were brought about because of challenging

circumstances but after today’s show of support,

we strongly believe that we can harness this

energy to take action against the crisis we’re up


The districtwide rallies were organized in

less than a week’s time, with the first parent

organizing meeting held the evening of Feb. 25.

By the following Monday, Louie and Hunter

had been in touch with parents or staff at every

school, and by that Wednesday, every school had

some sort of event planned.

About 600 students, parents and staff from

Hawes and Roosevelt schools marched up and

down Roosevelt Avenue, passing each other along

the way. At Roy Cloud School, 400–600 students,

staff and parents brought in their homemade

banners and signs and marched around the school

on Jefferson Avenue and Emerald Hill Road. At

Taft Community School, students, parents and

staff had wall-to-wall signs and chanted “Save

our schools, save our students.” The Henry Ford

School community waved fliers as they walked

down Massachusetts Avenue to Woodside Road

and back. Garfield, Fair Oaks, Clifford and

Hoover attracted honks of support from cars

passing by as they rallied in the neighborhoods

surrounding their schools. North Star, McKinley

and Newcomer Academy teamed up to march on

El Camino across from Sequoia Station.

At Orion School, about 150 children, teachers

and parents got together and marched around

the school block. People chanted and sang as

they marched. Many carried signs asking state

legislators to save our schools by providing the

funds necessary to educate students.

“It was very motivating to see parents and

students actively involved in the democratic

process,” said School Board President Dennis

McBride, who marched from Hawes to Roosevelt.

“Our best hope for change is a grassroots

movement that comes from parents. The rallies

were a fabulous civics lesson for students, too.”

The Redwood City School District has cut

about $10 million over the last seven years and

expects to cut approximately $5 million to $10

million again next year from its approximately

$78 million budget. The district’s unrestricted

budget has decreased by 17 percent in the last

three years. The 2009–10 budget is about the

same size as the budget in the 2006–07 school

year, even though the district is educating 1,000

more students.

Class sizes for K–3 students increased in

2009–10, critical programs and positions were

eliminated or reduced, and the district had to

lay off staff in the middle of the year. Next year

class sizes in Redwood City could increase to

31 or more, the school year could be shortened,

instrumental music programs may be cut and

school libraries may close as a result of the

massive budget cuts facing the school district.

If you would like to learn more, the district has

posted extensive information about the budget

situation on its Web site. You can access that

information at

Advertise with The Spectrum

Call Us Today 650.368.2434

The Spectrum 5

As I Was


Publisher | Steve Penna

Since my heart surgery, I have been trying to

experience new things and take advantage of

opportunities that are presented to me — kind

of a “step out of the box” attitude, if you will.

Some experiences have been fun, enlightening,

even thrilling; some have not been so. It’s similar

to when I started The Spectrum and various

publishers and individuals said I would never

succeed at it (as you can tell, they were right). But

if I hadn’t succeeded, it would not have mattered

to me because I thought that if I tried and at least

put out the first issue, I would have succeeded.

If it did not work out, it would not mean I failed.

Candidates who run for political office can

identify with that, I am sure, as can most of you.

One such opportunity was presented to me recently

and I took it: being the master of ceremonies

(MC) for the Miss Redwood City, Miss San Mateo

County and Outstanding Teen scholarship pageants.

Usually when I am asked to be the MC at other

events, it is totally ad-libbed. I am told what is to

be accomplished for the event, who needs to be

introduced and the schedule for the event, and off

I go. The pageant was a bit different.

The night before the pageant, we had the final

rehearsal (my first) and I was given a very long

script to follow. Now, that in itself is a challenge,

but given the fact that I had to do introductions,

remember percents of categories (did you know

that the talent portion of the pageant is worth 40

percent or so of the contestant’s total score?) and

so on, it was more challenging than I had thought

it would be. But I was up for the challenge.

I went home that night after a dismal rehearsal

(people are so touchy when you mispronounce

their names) and studied and tried to memorize

as much of the script as I could take in. I was sent

an updated script in the morning, so the day was

filled with much of the same as the night before.

Special thanks to Bob Anderson, who was the

script writer and stage manager for the event —

he was great at embedding in my head the proper

pronunciation of the contestants’ names.

As the time of the big event approached, I

attended a pre-pageant gathering of friends and

family and got encouragement from all and

compliments on my tuxedo. Nice way to start

off the night. I arrived about an hour before the

starting time and before I knew it, the band was

playing and the pageant was off and rolling.

My good friend Jeff Filippi was in the band, so

seeing him on stage was comforting. In fact, as I

think of it, several of my friends were involved in

the pageant in one way or another.

As the night went on, everything seemed to

just fall into place. The contestants all did great

and were inspirations to watch. Some obviously

were better in certain areas, and they were the

ones who stood out and were rewarded with

honors. In a local pageant like this, there really

(really) are no losers. No reason for anyone to feel

embarrassed, discouraged or beaten. Much like

an overweight media publisher who is willing to

“step out of the box” with all of them and know

that we all support each other.

All in all, I think I did well, and those

commenting seemed to enjoy my “candor” and

“enthusiasm.” I represented the organizers and the

organization well (I hope). The pageant itself was

a wonderful experience for me and one I would

do again if asked. Whether they want me back or

not is a different story. If they do, maybe I can

belt out a rendition of the song “Fever” for all to

enjoy? Maybe not. But maybe?


All the races for the June primary election

have been decided, and here are the candidates

Redwood City voters will be evaluating.

First, County Sheriff Greg Munks, Controller

Tom Huening, Chief Deputy District Attorney

Steve Wagstaffe, county clerk–assessor–

recorder candidate Mark Church and county

superintendent of schools hopeful Anne

Campbell are all running unopposed and will be

doing back flips on election night. Yippie!

In the race for the 21st District Assembly seat

currently held by Ira Ruskin, the Democratic

candidates are County Supervisor Rich Gordon,

venture capitalist Josh Becker and former Palo

Alto Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto. Republican Greg

Conlon and Libertarian Ray M. Bell Jr. will wait

to see whom they will losing to in November after

the Democrat race is decided. Clearly it will be a

strong race between Gordon and Becker.

I wonder if the prospect of an additional jail

in the downtown area will become an issue,

considering that whichever candidate wins has to

do so with Redwood City votes.

The supervisor seat that will be left vacant by

Gordon has candidates San Carlos Councilman

Matt Grocott, former Sheriff and current

Sequoia Healthcare District board President Don

Horsley, coastside activist April Vargas, Sequoia

Healthcare District Trustee Jack Hickey and

Michael Stogner all vying to get 50 percent plus

one to avoid a November runoff. Horsley will win

this race, but will he be able to do so in June and

avoid a November runoff?

The race to take County Treasurer Lee

Buffington’s seat has four candidates. Former

Burlingame Mayor Joe Galligan, Deputy

Treasurer Sandie Arnott, investment advisor

Richard Guilbault and San Mateo County

Community College District Trustee Dave

Mandelkern are all running. Considering that

Galligan has positive name recognition and is the

only candidate who has a degree in accounting,

is a CPA and has a master’s degree in taxation, he

should be the candidate to beat.

The other county races are County Supervisor

Carole Groom squaring off against Daniel D.

Kaul of Belmont to retain her seat, and Coroner

Robert Foucrault, who is opposed by Stacie

Lynn Nevares, a former office assistant who

unsuccessfully challenged him once before.

Groom and Foucrault will be very hard to beat.


One issue on the June ballot that I am having a

difficult time evaluating and deciding how I am

going to vote on is Measure G, the San Mateo

Community College District (SMCCD) parcel tax.

Here is my dilemma so far. We all want to support

our educational systems, and I am sympathetic

to elementary and high school taxes because

I believe that every child has the right to basic

education and supporting that system is important.

(Do you hear that, Redwood City voters who

seem not to be able to pass any funding streams

for the elementary school district?)

However, community colleges, although

supported by my tax dollars, are not in my

opinion basic education, and I don’t know if I

want to support them any further when there are

other districts that desperately need our support.

Is it vital that we support our community colleges

beyond tax dollars? Well, we already have —

twice. Because of that, all the campuses look

amazing, provide an excellent atmosphere for

students and have updated technology and the

opportunities that come with that.

Measure G is being touted to us as a way to

provide vital funding for San Mateo County’s

three community colleges — College of San

Mateo, Skyline College and Cañada College.

Measure G is a $34 per year parcel tax.

Here are some facts that concern me: Seventy

percent of the SMCCD’s total operating expenses

are used to pay for staff and faculty salaries and

benefits, and only 38 percent of expenses go

directly to “instructional activities.” In fact, the

SMCCD has over 160 employees who make

more than $100,000 a year and approximately

135 employees making $90,000 or more per year

(and remember, that is not a full 12 months due to

vacations and breaks).

(continued on page 28)

Newly Crowned Miss Redwood City Excited to Represent

Jackie Harris grew up, like most little girls,

watching local parades.

And at the Redwood City parade, there was

always a Miss Redwood City. Harris recalled

seeing the woman representing her hometown and

thinking how neat it would be to hold that title. It

wasn’t an aspiration, really, just an observation.

That observation became a reality as the 20-yearold

was recently named Miss Redwood City.

“I’m excited to represent Redwood City,” said

Harris, a sophomore at the University of San

Diego, where she studies biology. “I think I’ll do

a good job.”

Harris was raised in Redwood City. She

attended Sacred Heart Preparatory before

beginning classes in San Diego in hopes of

becoming a cardiologist.

Although pageants were not at the forefront of

Harris’ mind, this isn’t her first title. She also held

the North Bay’s Outstanding Teen title in 2007.

A family friend, Jeri Richardson, encouraged

Harris to go for the Miss Redwood City title.

Richardson babysat Harris when she was a little girl.

“She grew up going to my pageants,” said

Richardson, adding having a crown helps further

efforts to help the community.

Richardson encouraged Harris to participate

because she’s beautiful inside and out.

“She just has something special about her that

really shows on stage,” said Richardson, who

believes Harris has a real chance at winning the

Miss California title in July.

Harris was happy to have Richardson on her

side. This time around, Harris took a more

hands-on approach to preparing for the title. An

accomplished Irish dancer, Harris worked with her

dance teacher to choreograph a more modern dance.

Harris’ platform of academic integrity makes

sense once one learns a bit more about her. She’s

a premed student with hopes of becoming a

cardiologist, an interest derived from a family

history of heart issues.

“I love doing dissections. I think it would

be really neat to be a surgeon. The heart is

fascinating,” she said.

Harris believes academic integrity is the root of

becoming a moral and ethical person later in life.

The development of ethical standards is a trait

that takes shape at a young age, before a child

even begins formal education. However, it is in

the school environment that these standards are

fostered,” she said.

Competition can lead people to make the wrong

choices, she continued, reinforcing her decision

to focus on academic integrity. As the director of

academics of associated students at her college,

Harris organized an academic excellence week,

which featured speakers discussing integrity.

The new title means Harris will be traveling

a lot in the upcoming year to keep up with

school but also meet her responsibilities as

Miss Redwood City on the Peninsula. That

responsibility comes with good news for Harris’

family — mom Kathy, dad Michael and older

sister Whitney — who will have a chance to see

her more often.

Harris is simultaneously preparing to compete

for Miss California, which will take place this


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


North Bay’s

Outstanding Teen Is a

Redwood City Girl

Also in this issue:

What’s New


Finance for New


City Sued Over

Downtown Plans

And They’re Off:

Council Race Starts

Jackie Harris as she appeared on the cover of the June 2007 Spectrum


The Spectrum 7

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Benifiting Youth of San Mateo County

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Date: May 8th, 2010

BBQ: At Sparky’s Hot Rod Garage

975 Industrial Way Suite B

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


Early Registration (Prior to April 23rd)

Location: Peninsula Harley

$25 per motorcycle-$30 with rider

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

Redwood City, Ca 94063

$30 per motorcycle-$35 with rider

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

Ride Out: 10am Sharp

(First 250 Riders)



Email Address

2nd Rider’s Name

Phone Number

The Spectrum 9

There’s a Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On at Deseo

By Nicole Minieri, Contributing Writer

Since opening in April 2009, Deseo Tequila

Lounge and Restaurant on Main Street remains

a one-of-a-kind, crème-de-la-crème dining

and dancing hot spot in the heart of downtown

Redwood City. Owned and operated by husbandand-wife

team Renato and Diane Cusimano,

this little “tequila sunrise” neighborhood

establishment offers locals a great socializing

experience without having to travel far, and the

tequila, happy hour, salsa dancing and lessons,

live DJ music, diverse crowd, cool vibe, comfy

seats, widescreen high-definition TVs, incredible

food, specialty drinks, cleanliness and sweet

customer service are the talk of the town.

But what’s even sweeter than the exceptional

service provided by the Cusimanos is the road

they traveled to Redwood City and why they

chose to take root here. “We came to Redwood

City after looking around at many different

locations around the Peninsula and South Bay and

just fell in love with the city the moment we came

here,” said Diane Cusimano. “Redwood City

absolutely waved at the top for us. We appreciated

the ethnic diversity and felt the people of this

community were ready for a type of business

and establishment like Deseo. However, why

we ultimately chose Redwood City was because

we believed and felt that because the downtown

area was in the process of being re-developed,

that it would eventually grow to be a happening

place. From day one we believed there was major

potential in this city.”

She added, “My husband and I are very serious

business owners who have been professionals

in the food and beverage business since 1987,

and we definitely did our homework, because

choosing a successful location to open up a

business is not that easy as one would think.” Part

of their homework before opening Deseo included

bringing their prior restaurant and tequila

experience to the forefront in their planning.

The Cusimanos opened Palermo’s Italian

Restaurant, their first eatery, in downtown San

Jose in May 1987 and sold it in 2005. From 1987

to 2009, they also owned and operated Italian

restaurants in Morgan Hill, Palo Alto, Menlo

Park and San Francisco. “We have actually had a

total of five Italian restaurants,” said Cusimano.

“At first we chose to open up Italian restaurants

because Renato is Italian and grew up in a big

Italian restaurant business. But my husband had

also been a tequila connoisseur for the last 10

to 12 years. He really enjoyed tequila and his

“It’s great because we draw a crowd that is definitely

mixed, with various ethnic backgrounds and ages.”

dream was to eventually open a tequila lounge.”

With a passion for tequila and 12 years of being a

successful restaurant entrepreneur under his belt,

Renato Cusimano headed south of the border and

visited various places in Mexico to learn more about

tequila. “He learned the production, the bottling

and how tequila was made,” said Cusimano.

The next step in the process for the Cusimanos

was to obtain a dance permit from the City

of Redwood City. Although dealing with city

officials was very pleasant, they initially applied

in April 2009 and their dance permit was not

granted until February of this year. “The wait for

the dance permit was long and [it was] not easy

to obtain, but the final result is it did work out

very well for us,” said Cusimano. Deseo had to

function without a dance permit for the first 10

months of business, but that obstacle did not stop

the Cusimanos from building the foundation of

their dining and dancing establishment.

Another challenge for the Cusimanos has

been staying on top financially despite the

struggling economy. “For the difficult economy

we are in right now, business has been good, but

I don’t want to say it has been great compared

to the history that we have had with our other

restaurants,” said Cusimano. “It’s been OK,

and we expect Deseo to reach a better level of

business than what we have been doing.”

In spite of the hardships that are to be expected

within a business’s first year, Deseo is still

prevailing and has become the perfect place in

Redwood City to relax, unwind, eat, drink, be

merry, mingle and have a total blast on the dance

floor within a safe environment. “It’s really nice

when people who come to Deseo say to you that

they are so happy that there is finally a nice,

upscale bar lounge in Redwood City that they

feel really comfortable in and can identify with

in their home community,” said Cusimano. “It’s

great because we draw a crowd that is definitely

mixed, with various ethnic backgrounds and ages.

We offer a variety of dancing and dance lessons

that everyone loves. We even have ’80s and disco

parties, and play hip-hop as well. We do our best

to do it all.”

The Cusimanos have been noted for expanding

their business horizons by putting their best effort

into accommodating the “likes” of different

generations. They now offer a full spectrum

of hosted parties in the dance and the banquet

areas of the restaurant, including corporate

parties, product launch parties, holiday parties,

birthdays, anniversaries, promotions and sports

events such as Super Bowl Sunday, the World

Series, Kentucky Derby, and UFC and boxing

matches. “We are open to all type of events and

would definitely love to do more of them,” said

Cusimano. “We have even done a wedding reception.

A couple got married at the County Square and

then came to our place for a wedding reception.”

Mixologist shows his talents

(continues on page 20)

Owners Renato and Diane Cusimano welcome guests

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

Save our future greatness

Dear Editor:

I am a crossing guard at Upton and Roosevelt for Roosevelt School. On

March 4, I crossed the teachers and students of Hawes and Roosevelt schools,

grades kindergarten to fifth, marching Roosevelt to Hawes and Hawes to

Roosevelt and back to be at their desks by 8 a.m.

How do you explain to children that their schools may be closed, or worse,

and that their teachers may be fired and their classes combined? In America it

is the right of every child to go to school. Children are the hope of this nation,

to be well-educated and grow up to become the ones who will put America

back on the road to greatness. Save our schools!

Saltworks plan violates regional goals

Rita Beyer, Redwood City

Dear Editor:

The Redwood City City Council seems to believe that they have a legal

mandate to complete a full analysis of the Cargill Saltworks proposal,

including an EIR, as they would other development applications. They are

dead wrong. The California Environmental Quality Act “does not apply to

projects which a public agency rejects or disapproves” (CEQA Guidelines

Sec. 15270). In other words, a public agency has the authority to reject a

proposal and forego an environmental review when a project is inconsistent

with existing land-use policies and ordinances.

Redwood City has the legal right and a clear justification to reject the

Saltworks proposal at any time because the project directly violates the

city’s existing general plan and the goals set forth by the Bay Conservation

and Development Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency to

improve sustainability of the bay. Cargill is asking Redwood City to amend

the general plan and rezone their property, and also requested that the city

abort its own general plan update process. The council agreed, thus stifling

the best approach for revising land-use decisions. An EIR is no substitute

for a city-run general plan process that fully engages public input. EIRs are

intended to inform agencies about potential environmental impacts from

proposed projects, not to justify changing land-use laws.

The Redwood City council has shown that they not only believe that

Cargill is entitled to develop the site, but that they are comfortable with

the concept of building a new city in the bay. This proposal is not like “any

other application.” That is why concerned citizens all across the Bay Area

are insisting that Redwood City reinstate its general plan update for the salt

ponds before considering any development proposals.

Furious and baffled, not impressed anymore

Daniel Ponti, Redwood City

Dear Editor:

Thank you to the 92 current and former Bay Area elected officials who

signed the letter expressing their disagreement with the massive salt ponds

development project Redwood City is reviewing.

When I moved to Redwood City 10 years ago, I was impressed with the

city’s fleet of hybrid vehicles, restoration of the historic City Hall building

and infill housing projects at Franklin and Maple streets. Now I’m furious

and baffled. The city’s own planners recently recommended that when Cargill

retired the salt ponds, some of the property be used for badly needed playing

fields and the rest incorporated into the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge.

But rather than attract business and residents to the existing downtown and

restore our precious bay lands, Redwood City is considering filling in the

salt ponds to build a competing city — at sea level, with no potable water on

site, and adding traffic to already congested freeways and roads. What made

Redwood City go so far off the environmentally sustainable track?

Mimi Campbell, Redwood City

Now behind the Cargill project

Dear Editor:

Marion McEwen (“David Lewis et al” in a letter to the editor in the March

5 edition of the Daily Journal) tells it like it is. I have listened to the ranting

and raving of the radical element of environmentalists. I have listened to the

proponents of the project. I have walked my Pomeranian hundreds of times

around Pacific Shores. I have contributed hundreds of yards of waste to the

Marsh Road dump site now known as Bedwell Bayfront Park. It is ironic that

Save The Bay chose this site for their press conference. From what I know

now, I am 100 percent behind the Cargill project.

Water is not an issue. There are copious amounts of recycled water

available to the north and south of the project. Enough, in fact, to turn

the old Marsh Road dump site into a year-round Emerald Isle with an

environmentally friendly golf course. And, some of the economic “green”

that would produce wouldn’t hurt our local economy. With a scarcity of golf

courses, golfers now travel out of the area. Cargill, do you hear me?

Why study and do any research?

Jack Hickey, Emerald Hills

Dear Editor:

If my next-door neighbor wants to turn his empty lot into a high-density

apartment complex, the impact on me would be pretty apparent. So why does

the Redwood City City Council continue to study the Cargill development?

Follow the money.

City Council to cave to outside pressure?

J. Mike Hedblom, Redwood City

Dear Editor:

I attended the Save The Bay press conference a few Thursday afternoons

ago. David Lewis and Save The Bay attempted to negate Redwood City’s

planning process a couple years ago when they put Measure W on the ballot.

The measure was an amendment to Redwood City’s charter to require a

two-thirds electorate vote on development. Redwood City voters declared

satisfaction with the existing process by defeating Measure W by a wide

margin. Now he’s at it again. This time he’s trying to pressure the Redwood

City City Council to stop the city’s democratic planning process before

the environmental impact review set to begin this summer. Lewis doesn’t

understand the City Council has not only an obligation but a responsibility to

the citizens to delve into all aspects of the proposed plan to make an educated


I tried to ask Lewis why he and the so-called “high-profile” signers of

the letter want the process stopped. Environmentalists who don’t want an

environmental review? What’s up with that? I never got an answer to my

question, since Save The Bay’s public relations lady stepped in, allowing

Lewis to scurry away to talk to reporters. I asked Menlo Park Councilwoman

Kelly Fergusson what research she did before supporting Save The Bay’s

position and I was treated to her telling me she had a lot of letters after her

name before proceeding to tell me she didn’t have to know how many twoby-fours

or two-by-sixes came from old-growth trees. Huh? You can be sure

there’ll be more press conferences and attempts to circumvent our process.

You can also be sure Redwood City’s leaders will not cave to outside pressure

and will go forward with the environmental impact review. Because that’s

what residents want.

Barb Valley, Redwood City

(continues on next page)

The Spectrum 11

P.S. The People Speak: Letters to the Editor (Continued from previous page)

Does money = elected office?

Dear Editor:

If there is one thing we learned from the financial crisis of the past two

years, it is this: Follow the money. Who profited hugely at the expense of

the rest of us? Land speculators and real estate developers. Greed buried

common sense and left us with overbuilding and foreclosures. So why is

Redwood City actively considering building 12,000 townhouses and a million

square feet of office space on irreplaceable San Francisco Bay marsh land

when the city already has housing vacancies, vacant storefronts and ample

office space? Follow the money to Cargill, the Minnesota-based owner of the

property. Cargill could sell or donate the wetlands for the benefit of all of us

who live in the area, but they chose not to. Follow the money to DMB, the

Arizona developer who stands to make a huge profit from building over one

of the few remaining San Francisco Bay wetlands. Follow the money to local

developers and builders, who will get the lucrative construction contracts. It

makes me wonder: Considering how supportive the mayor and Redwood City

City Council appear to be of the Redwood City Saltworks project, should we

follow the money to them, too?

Let your opinion be heard!

Send your letters to or

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

Box 862, Redwood City, CA 94064

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

Columns should be no longer than 750 words. Illegibly

written and anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Please include a daytime phone number where we can

reach you.

Cedric Crocker, Redwood City

City Council should move forward

Dear Editor:

Kudos to Redwood City and its consultants for such thorough review of

potential issues around the Saltworks development.

For months and months, we’ve been hearing people — without any facts

— say the plan can’t work. Now we know, as the reports say, that there are

“no insurmountable obstacles” around the most important aspects of the site,

including water and traffic.

Those reports remove any obstacles to beginning the formal review of

the plan under the California Environmental Quality Act. It is in the public

interest to conduct a formal review of the plan at local, state and federal

levels, and to have all the facts available for public review and input.

It’s time for that process to move forward, and I urge the City Council to

make sure that happens.

Garey Johnson, Redwood City

City Council encouraging developers?

Dear Editor:

Cargill Corporation wants to build housing that puts 30,000 people in peril

by building a virtual city below predicted sea level. Why is the Redwood City

City Council encouraging Cargill? Why did the City Council remove these

1,400 acres from our state-mandated general plan update process, shielding

Cargill from public oversight? This area is and has been designated open

space: Development is not allowed, except for 19 acres zoned industrial. Our

rights to determine the best and highest use for these important wetlands have

been subjugated by corporate interests. Public oversight has been eliminated

because Cargill requested it. Would this request be granted to anyone else? Is

this legal? And if it is legal, is it moral? Will no one on the City Council stand

up for what is rightfully a decision for the citizens to make? The City Council

should put this area back in the general plan update, where it belongs — free

of the influence of highly paid consultants and developers. I agree with others

that it is high time to follow the money.

Gwenythe J. Scove, Redwood City

Editor’s note: Due to the overwhelming number of letters we received this month, we are

publishing only those from Redwood City residents. However, should space allow in future

months, we will include the others. In the meantime, our readers can view all letters to the

editor on our Web site:

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The Spectrum 13

Cultural Events

The Main Gallery

1018 Main St., Redwood City


Wed.–Fri. 11–4, Sat.–Sun. 10–3, and by


“My Collection,” oil on panel, 12" x 16", 2010, by Ellen


“Ma Perkins’ Egg-beater,” dry-point print, 16" x 22",

2010, by Diana Herring

Everything Has a Story: Objects of Life

The exhibition “Everything Has a Story” features

two artists, Ellen Chong and Diana Herring, and

runs through April 25 at The Main Gallery. With

two very different approaches to art, Chong and

Herring present prints and paintings that tell

stories of everyday objects used in everyday life.

The gallery will host a reception for the artists

on Saturday, April 10, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.,

in conjunction with Redwood City’s Second

Saturday Artwalk — the first of the 2010 season.

Herring depicts animals and the human

figure in a graphic, gestural manner. Usually

a printmaker, she created works for this show

using mixed-media techniques such as collage

and printing on commercial wallpaper. Chong

does meticulous depictions of still-life subjects in

oil paint, which she refers to as “object studies.”

When, by chance, they found themselves showing

together, Chong and Herring decided to explore

their differences. Chong’s work is “object

oriented,” focused on static images, fixed in

time. Yet the paintings themselves are not static

but revive memories, so that each viewer may

bring their own narrative to the object depicted.

The “stories” that Herring develops in her work

concern the complicated relationship — the

conversation — we have with the “stuff” with

which technology has surrounded us.

Herring says, “As I played with some of Ellen’s

subjects — egg-beaters, skates, cameras — new

ideas and inspiration came to me. For example,

egg-beaters brought back memories of the radio

soap operas of my childhood ‘on the farm,’

featuring the wise, long-suffering Ma Perkins.”

Chong’s piece depicting a pair of skates became

a meditation for Herring on not only childhood

pleasures, but also modern problems such as

the difficulty of keeping up with our ever more

rapidly changing technology.

After exploring still-life objects, Herring

returned to the simplified figure in a series of

prints called “Falling Figures.” Even though the

figures are falling, they are not afraid!

To help engage the viewer in a dialogue with

their pieces, Chong and Herring have posted

“stories” about each piece of art. The artists hope

that the bits and pieces of storyline will encourage

people to think more about their work. Chong

says, “I fully intend to impart personalities into

the static objects in my paintings.”

The artists have put together a show in which

two very different approaches to art are presented,

yet common ground is readily apparent. We

should all be so lucky to be unafraid to address

our differences. Come to the opening and meet

the artists and enjoy their work. It’s a wonderful

chance to ask questions and enjoy hors d’oeuvres.

The Main Gallery, an artists’ cooperative with

22 members, showcases the work of some of the

best local talent in the Bay Area. The gallery is

located at the corner of Main and Middlefield in

the historic yellow Victorian cottage. The gallery

is open Wednesday through Friday. For more

information, hours and directions, see www. or call 650-701-1018.

‘I Love Books’

Fundraiser a Success


early 100 guests gathered

recently at the Fair

Oaks Library with one

purpose — to raise funds for

new books, English language

audiocassettes, magazines and

DVDs. Hosted by the Redwood

City Library Foundation, the event

brought special attention to the

needs of the library that serves

predominantly Latino immigrants in

the North Fair Oaks Neighborhood.

By the end of the night, more than $11,000 was

raised to go toward the foundation’s Fair Oaks

campaign. In addition, nearly $18,000 was raised

prior to the event through sponsorships by local


The recession has brought about an

increase in usage at all of our libraries, but the

increase is dramatic at the Fair Oaks Library,”

said foundation Co-President John Blake.

“Consequently, materials are in short supply”.

Proceeds of the “I Love Books” event provided

a good boost to the foundation’s campaign to

raise $250,000 for the Fair Oaks Library. In less

than a year and a half, Redwood City Library

Foundation board members have raised $135,000

for the collection. The foundation has begun to

release funds so that critical materials can be

purchased immediately.

Major sponsors of the event were Hannig

Law Firm, Pete and Paula Uccelli Foundation,

David B. and Edward C. Goodstein Foundation,

Recology, San Mateo Credit Union, Provident

Credit Union, Kaiser Permanente, Stanford

University, DMB Saltworks, Sheriff’s Youth

Foundation and Latino Council of Redwood City.

For information on how to support the Fair

Oaks Library Campaign for Books, please contact

Executive Director Georgi LaBerge at 650-780-

7045 or

Parties Around Town Rotary Club’s Irish Night — Saturday, March 13

Left to right, from top: Councilwoman Rosanne Foust and Andy Frisch share in the Irish fun. Don Horsley, Nancy Mangini, Paula Uccelli, Teresa Garcia, Marilyn Territo, Ralph Garcia

and Jerry Pierce. Ted Hannig and Sue Uccelli admire the tie. County supervisor candidate Don Horsley (third from left) with former Redwood City Mayors Jim Hartnett, Barbara

Pierce, Georgi LaBerge, Jack Greenalch, Rosanne Foust and Dick Claire. Melanie Seybert (front) with Todd and Cheri Hurst. Pat and Dick Claire prepare to do some bidding.

The Spectrum 15

Faith, Hope and Unity

Illuminated From the Hills

By Nicole Minieri, Contributing Writer

The Easter season has

become symbolic of

the Christian church’s

invitation to every

individual that no matter where they

are in their walk of life, it is never

too late to start over and give life

new meaning regardless of one’s

present circumstances. It’s a very

special time of year that signifies

faith, hope, unity and new life,

all of which is represented by the

Easter cross. The typical Easter

cross is crafted to have a simple and

quiet beauty, is approximately six

to seven feet in size and is usually

displayed in churches. However,

when exhibited on hills and

mountain tops, an Easter cross can

be as large as 94 feet in height, just

like the illuminated one on a crest in

the Emerald Hills neighborhood of

Redwood City.

The Easter Cross stands on

the western hills, the tallest point

in Redwood City,” said Michael

Lynch, president of the Easter Cross

Association, when discussing the

history of the landmark. History

has it that during the Roaring ’20s,

the Emerald Lake area of Redwood

City was developing rapidly thanks

to 30 miles of newly paved roads.

In 1929, an outdoor amphitheater

referred to as the Easter Bowl was

constructed at the peak of the hill,

and a sizeable concrete Easter cross

was erected above the high point of

that particular development.

The original Easter Cross was

built in the Emerald Lake area in

1929 and then torn down in October

of 1960 due to vandalism,” said

Lynch. In 1962, a voluntary Easter

Cross Association was formed to

raise $14,000, the total amount

needed to rebuild the cross. The

financial goal was quickly achieved

because of tremendous local

community efforts, and in March

of 1962, a new concrete cross was

brought up to Emerald Hills in

pieces and put together on site,

and then the lighting was brought

into operation. The newly restored

Easter Cross was dedicated on

April 15, 1962, Palm Sunday. “Then

there were Easter Bowl and Easter

sunrise services on that property for

a number of years, the last of which

occurred in the early 1980s. The

Easter sunrise services are no longer

held and the cross is not lit as it once

was,” added Lynch.

Although the Easter Cross

is dimly lit only sporadically

throughout the year, maintenance

of the lighting is still needed. Those

Easter Cross Association members. Standing: Jim Thompson, Vice President Bill

Bergler, Mike Harris, Jack Castle, Councilman John Seybert. Seated: President

Michael Lynch, Kathy and Ted Zamenas.

Opposite page, top left: Glenn Arvin, Rich Pellizzari and Steven Pellizzari of Pellizzari

Electric, proud community donors to the Easter Cross lighting.

lighting and electrical services are

donated by Atlas Pellizzari Electric

of Redwood City. “Bill Bergler

of the Easter Cross Association

contacted my father, Rich, about

10 years ago to help out with some

of the lighting problems, and we

went up there to access the original

lighting,” said Steve Pellizzari.

“We were also told that some of

the neighbors from the west side

were complaining that the lights

were shining into their windows.

We went to all of the neighbors to

see what they were talking about.”

The electrical team installed new

lighting with a timer. They now

visit the cross twice a year to check

that everything is working properly.

“We have donated our services

throughout the years because we

lived in Redwood City our whole

lives, and we think that the Easter

Cross is an important part of our

community, as is the Fourth of July

Parade. We are more than happy

to go up there and take care of it.

It has been a pleasure and we will

continue to do so until we cannot do

it anymore,” said Pellizzari.

The City of Redwood City

currently owns the property the

300-ton Easter Cross rests upon,

which is now surrounded by

security fences. “Security fences

have been put up around the

property of the cross because we

want to keep that area secure,” said

Lynch. Both the city and the Easter

Cross Association have agreements

with cell phone companies that have

towers on the property.

For the Easter Cross Association,

having a contract with a cell

phone company is very beneficial.

Originally, the Easter Cross

Association relied primarily on

donations from the community

to maintain and light the cross.

But now the agreements with the

cell phone companies allow the

association to be self-sufficient.

“It has worked out quite well. The

agreement that we presently have

expires in a couple of years, but it is

very likely that it will be renewable

into the distant future,” said Lynch.

However, though financing is

stable, there are absolutely no plans

to conduct Easter sunrise services

“We have donated our services throughout the years

because we lived in Redwood City our whole lives.”

on the property where the Easter

Cross stands. “There will no longer

be services at the Easter Cross

for several reasons,” said Lynch.

“First, there are a couple of water

towers that have been erected since

the Easter Cross was put up there

and that property is now private

property [owned] by the City of

Redwood City. Secondly, there is

no parking whatsoever available.

And lastly, the land has basically

gone back to its natural habitat in

regards to where the services were

conducted and where the first Easter

Bowl was located.”

The Easter sunrise services

may be defunct, but the Easter

Cross Association is still an active

organization, holding an annual

board meeting where bylaws are

discussed and board officials are

elected. The last Easter Cross board

meeting was held July 21, 2009,

and all nine active board members

were in attendance. The current list

of elected board officials includes

president Lynch, vice president

Bill Bergler, secretary Kathy

Zamenas and treasurer Patrick

Sheridan. The list of active board

members includes Bill Archibald,

Ted Zamenas, Jim Thompson, Jack

Castle, Mike and Kathy Harris

and Councilman John Seybert. A

longtime instrumental member,

Geri Mayers, passed away in 2006.

The Easter Cross Association is

always open to recruiting new

members and welcomes anyone who

has an interest to contact Lynch at

Granted, the lights do not shine

as brightly or as often as they used

to and, granted, there has been no

activity or Easter sunrise service

for nearly two decades, but the

Redwood City Easter Cross still

resonates with all things good: faith,

hope, love, peace, unity, victory and

new beginnings. It is also a constant

reminder of how truly blessed

Redwood City is as a community.

Whether you are looking up at the

Easter Cross on Easter or on any

other day of the year, remember that

it is a community symbol of unity.

Editor’s note: If you are interested in

visiting an outdoor Easter cross or want

to attend an Easter sunrise service in

the future, another nearby Easter cross

is approximately 103 feet tall and is

illuminated by spotlights totaling 48,000

watts. This Easter cross is located on

the highest geographical point on Mount

Davidson in San Francisco and is known as

the Mount Davidson Easter Cross. It is one

of the world’s tallest crosses and is owned

and maintained by the Council of Armenian-

American Organizations of Northern

California. This particular cross serves as

a memorial to those who perished in the

Armenian Genocide and to all other victims

of global atrocities such as injustice, cruelty

and genocide. Their annual Easter sunrise

service is held Easter morning and begins

promptly at 7 a.m. This Easter marked their

88th year of celebrating the event and is

considered a citywide festivity. It is only

a hop, skip and jump away from Redwood

City, so give them your support and check it

out if you can!

The Spectrum 17

Parties Around Town

Chamber Membership Drive Activities

Chamber members having fun during the drive: (L to R) Keith Kadera thinking of how to get more members. Chamber staff member Amy Buckmaster makes sure everyone plays fair.

Former Mayor Diane Howard enjoys the fun. Gino Gasparini takes a break and eats up. Nori Jabba relaxes and enjoys some Deseo chips before getting back to the drive.

Community Interest

Lianides Named Sequoia Superintendent

The Sequoia Union High School District

trustees announced the appointment of James

Lianides, Ed.D., as the new superintendent of the

8,200-student district in southern San Mateo County,

effective July 1.

Lianides, who currently serves as assistant

superintendent and chief business officer of the

Sequoia district, will succeed Superintendent Patrick

Gemma, Ed.D., who retires on June 30 after more

than seven years at the helm.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Lianides

ready to succeed Superintendent Gemma,” said

board president Olivia Martinez, Ed.D. “Dr. Lianides has a strong grasp of

the needs of the district, and he understands the critical issues — locally,

statewide and nationally. He’s also filled all the chairs over the course of his

30-year career in public education — teacher, principal, chief business officer

and superintendent.”

Immediately prior to joining the Sequoia district, Lianides served as

superintendent of the Pacifica School District.

“We are confident that Dr. Lianides will successfully leverage the momentum

gained in the past couple of years, particularly in terms of continued progress

in fulfilling the district’s 21st-century vision and five-year goals. At the same

time, he will contribute new ideas and leadership to the upward trajectory

achieved during Dr. Gemma’s tenure,” Martinez said.

Since joining the Sequoia district in 2008, Lianides has overseen the

district’s $100 million budget during California’s current fiscal crisis, the

fallout of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and other significant financial


In leading the administrative services division for the district, Lianides has

overseen construction of major capital projects, acquisition of a new student

information system, and negotiation of agreements with charter schools,

including the unique agreement reached last month with Aspire Public

Schools. Lianides has also been involved in advancement of the district’s

career technical education initiative.

There’ll be no ‘down time’ during this pivotal transition,” noted Martinez,

“which is particularly important now, with the significant challenges we

currently face. Transition to Dr. Lianides promises to be smooth, without

interruption to the ongoing work and achievements of our outstanding staff

and excellent schools.”

Lianides’ roots in the Sequoia district community date back to his childhood.

He graduated from the district’s Woodside High School, as did his own two sons.

He continues to reside with his family in Redwood City, and he is currently a

member of the Redwood City Rotary Club.

Following graduation from the University of California–Berkeley,

Lianides, who is fluent in Spanish, taught bilingual classes in Los Angeles

and Redwood City public schools and later served as principal of schools in

Half Moon Bay and Mountain View.

He joined the Pacifica School District in 1999 as chief business officer.

During his tenure in that role, he was recognized statewide as Business Services

Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators.

Lianides was named superintendent of the Pacifica School District in 2006.

That same year, he earned his doctorate in education through a joint doctoral

program in leadership for educational equity sponsored by UC Berkeley and

California State University.

The contract agreement with the new superintendent, which is currently being

negotiated, will go before the board at an open meeting in upcoming weeks.

Recology Takes Home Outstanding Business Award

Recology San Mateo County was presented with the Outstanding Business

Award at a reception held for the Redwood City Sequoia Awards, a nonprofit

organization that recognizes outstanding volunteerism in the community.

Recology, the largest employee-owned company in its industry, has a longheld

belief in giving back to the 46 communities they serve. In Redwood

City alone, Recology has participated in and helped support the Redwood

City Fourth of July parade, the Redwood City Pride and Beautification

Committee, Redwood Shores Clean Sweep Program, the Docktown Clean

Up, the Mayor’s Beautification Awards, the Fair Oaks Community Festival,

the Redwood City Summer Concert Series and the Redwood City Downtown

Business Group Hometown Holidays parade.

Accepting the award was Gino Gasparini, community affairs manager.

“This is a great honor for all of us at Recology,” remarked Gasparini.

Community service is at the core of Recology’s philosophy, and I’m proud

to accept this award on their behalf.” Gasparini also serves on the boards of

the Redwood City Police Activities League (PAL) and the Redwood City–San

Mateo County Chamber of Commerce. He has served on the Sequoia Awards

board of directors since 1995.

Also acknowledged was Outstanding Citizen Award recipient Larry

Purcell. Purcell founded the Catholic Worker House in 1975 and has

worked to serve the homeless and poor in Redwood City for 36 years. The

Outstanding Student Award and $10,000 scholarship went to Sarah Ducker

for her work with several school, volunteer and community programs.

Twenty-five high school seniors who actively volunteer in the Redwood City

community each received a $5,000 scholarship.

The Sequoia Awards is an all-volunteer organization founded by

community leaders in 1990 with a single award of $500 to one student. It

has since given more than $1 million toward the college educations of over

300 students. The organization receives donations from individuals and local

companies each year and is operated through the volunteer work of the board

of directors.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel School Annual Festival

April 30, May 1 and 2

The festival is a 30-year tradition of safe family fun, including carnival

rides, great food, live local entertainment and games. Purchase ride tickets

or single-day unlimited-ride wristbands in advance for greatest value.

Wristbands and tickets may be purchased at various Redwood City downtown

locations and at the school.

Visit or call 650-366-8817 for more information.

Nonprofit Grant Applicants Seek Health Care Funding

A record 49 nonprofit organizations have made requests totaling twice the

$2 million allocated for the Sequoia Healthcare District’s 2010–11 Caring

Community health care grant program, district CEO Lee Michelson announced.

Caring Community grants are prioritized funding in four areas of

community health — youth and school health, programs that serve basic

needs, mental health programs and those that support “healthy, active,

engaged older adults.”

Sequoia Healthcare District has provided approximately $9.5 million

in community funding to more than 100 nonprofit organizations since the

program began in 1997.

The coming year’s $2 million grant budget also is the largest in district history.

The 49 applicants have requested more than $4 million in funding, Michelson said.

A district board grant review subcommittee has been reviewing

applications and will present its recommendations to the full board for

ratification or amendment at the board’s April 7 meeting.

The Caring Community grant program subcommittee includes Sequoia

Healthcare District board members Don Horsley and Kim Griffin and five

community leaders: Pat Brown, CEO of Redwood City 2020; physician Jerry

Shefren; health consultant and Oak Knoll Elementary School Parent Teacher

Organization officer Karen How; Mental Health Association of San Mateo

County Clinical Supervisor Ruth West-Gorrin and district resident Ann Wilkinson.

Grant selection is a five-month process that begins with public solicitation

of applications each December. Grantees are due to be announced next month

and the first half-year grant payments presented at a Caring Community

reception in Belmont on June 15.

Sequoia Healthcare District supports community-based health care

(continues on next page)

The Spectrum 19

Community Interest (Continued from previous page)

initiatives in Redwood City, Atherton, Belmont, Menlo Park, Portola Valley,

San Carlos, Woodside and parts of San Mateo and Foster City, from Skyline

to the bay. It also funds Samaritan House and North Fair Oaks free clinics,

a nursing education program at Cañada College, placement of automated

external defibrillators in public places and the activities of the Sequoia

Hospital Foundation.

Queen of the Festival Scholarship Program Accepting


The Queen of the Festival scholarship program announces its fourth year

of supporting young women in furthering their higher education. Five high

school seniors will compete for the Queen title and a $5,000 scholarship. The

total amount of scholarships awarded is $12,000.

The Queen of the Festival scholarship program promotes community

service and is open to high school seniors who will be attending university.

This scholarship program is part of the Sheriff’s Youth Program Fund and will

be held in conjunction with the ninth annual North Fair Oaks Community

Festival on Aug. 22. The festival is a multicultural event sponsored by San

Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Greg Munks. He welcomes the

community to enjoy a day of free live entertainment, arts and crafts, food and

beverages, children’s rides and activities, and a festive parade.

“We are proud to sponsor university scholarships for young women in our

community. The Queen of the Festival scholarship program inspires young

people of all ages to aspire to higher education and provides positive role

models. It is a tremendous effort by the entire community,” said Munks.

The top scholarship award is $5,000 for the queen; two princesses will

receive $2,500 each and two finalists will receive $1,000 scholarships each.

Applicants must be university-bound females with excellent academic and

community service credentials and must submit a community involvement

essay. Applicants are evaluated and five outstanding finalists are selected by a

committee composed of community leaders, including co-chairs Beto Chavez

and Isabel Jimenez. The application deadline for the Queen of the Festival

scholarship is March 31 at 5 p.m.

The reigning 2009 Queen, Sindy Liliana Crisostomo (Sequoia High School

2009, UCLA 2013), will be assisting in outreach for the Queen of the Festival

scholarship program. She is available for interviews and appearances March

19–28. “Through the work I did with the Queen of the Festival scholarship

program, I realized it takes the whole community coming together to make

dreams happen,” Queen Sindy said. “I got my community to put their hand

on their heart and this has changed a youth’s life.”

For more information contact festival director Catherine Tompkison-

Graham at 650-368-2497 or visit

There’s a Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On at Deseo (Continued from page 10)

And on April 2, the Cusimanos celebrated Deseo’s first anniversary. “We

had a big one-year anniversary party,” said Cusimano. “A mariachi band, live

music, special giveaways, drink specials and great food for every palate. And

we are going to continue to celebrate big in May on Cinco de Mayo. We are

going to have live music, ethnic food, T-shirts, free samples and tequila.” So

mark your calendars and plan to attend these fun festivities that are so very

close to home.

With respect to long-term goals for Deseo, Cusimano said, “We are in this

for the long run. We hope to build a vibrant establishment [where] people can

come and enjoy good food, drinks, and socialize with family and friends,

“We are going to continue to

celebrate big in May on Cinco de

Mayo. We are going to have live

music, ethnic food, T-shirts, free

samples and tequila.”

The dancing and banquet room set to entertain.

as well as booking corporate and private events. It is really important to

us that we run a good, clean, legitimate business that can give back to the

community that supports us. And as far as downtown Redwood City goes,

we would love to see the city become more populated. There are too many

vacant buildings downtown and we all need to help put Redwood City back

on the map.” The Cusimanos wholeheartedly feel that Redwood City and

Deseo make a win-win combination and are extremely committed to making

downtown Redwood City a “movin’, shakin’ and happenin’ place.”

Sometimes the things we search for the most end up to be right in our very own

backyard. If you are looking for an awesome dining and dancing experience

well after the “tequila” sun sets, then look no further because Deseo Tequila

Lounge and Restaurant is already on our map. It’s an amazing neighborhood

joint where you can have it all under one roof. Plus, their tequila is off the

hook, and you know what they say about tequila: It’s one tequila, two tequila,

three tequila, then it’s time to hit that dance floor and shake a groove thang!

Spring Has Sprung! – Shop Redwood City!

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

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

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

provide excellent service but also contribute to our community.

Auto Care:

Personal Improvement:

Redwood General Tire – 1630 Broadway – Whether you are looking for

a new set of tires or need repair work on your vehicle, this Redwood City

institution has been providing quality vehicle services since 1957. Many

of their satisfied customers have been with them since their founding and

continue to do business with them

today. They proudly serve the third

generation of many of their first

Redwood City customers. They even

have free Wi-Fi Internet so you can

work while you wait for your vehicle

to be serviced.

Eating and Catering:

Canyon Inn – 587 Canyon Road –

The Canyon Inn has had the same

owner for over two decades and every

year it just keeps getting better. They

serve everything from hamburgers

to pizza, all kinds of sandwiches and

pastas, and they even have a South of

the Border menu! There’s a Sunday all-you-can-eat menu and NBA games on

the big flat-screen TVs. Don’t forget to reserve their closed patio for your next

party — it has heaters, fans and a big-screen TV (no extra charge). Why cook

when you don’t have to? They do catering too for any special event!”

Financial Institutions:

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

organization, SMCU does everything possible to ensure that all of

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

popular offerings include free personal auto shopping assistance, membersonly

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

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

the advantages of membership banking.

Home Improvement:

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

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

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

Redwood City and is committed to our community. When you’re choosing

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

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

nothing. Call today and get your home looking great.

Legal Services:

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

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

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

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

participating in the communities where they live and work.

Business Profile of the Month

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

Keep advantage? Safe. Clean. Secure. You’ll feel confident that

Saf Keep is the right choice for you. At Saf Keep, they want you

to know that you and your belongings are safe and secure. A

friendly and reliable team is ready to assist you. Saf Keep offers

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

needs. Visit their Web site at to see

exactly what products and services are available. Compare them to

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

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

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

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

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

and nonmembers. Visit www. or call

650-364-9194 to get started.

Specialty Businesses:

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

today and let the professionals at

Re:Juvenate Skincare Clinic help you

love the skin you’re in! Visit www. or call 650-631-


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

unique business offers auto auctions, consignment vehicle sales, appraisal

services and even ways to donate your vehicle to charity. If you are thinking

of holding an event with a live auction to increase your fundraising efforts,

Frank and his staff are also a one-stop auction team with spotters, clerks,

sample catalogs, bid numbers, etc. Just give Frank a call at 650-363-8055 and

get details on all of their services.

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

independent insurance agency representing a carefully selected group of

financially sound, reputable insurance companies. They provide a wide

range of policies, from renter’s insurance to auto and more. Visit www. or call 650-364-3664 for a free quote.

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

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

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

servicio en español! Visit his Web site at

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

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

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

representing incarcerated subjects are encouraged to contact the licensed bail

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

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

clinical approach of this independent, community-based practice focuses

on thorough physical therapy assessment, specific treatment strategies and

patient education. Individualized treatment programs are designed to help

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

maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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

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

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

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

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

The Spectrum 21

News Briefs

RWC Man Dies in Surf

Pacifica police identified 44-year-old Richard Serrano Jr. as the man who

disappeared after he went swimming near the Pacifica Municipal Pier and

never came out of the water.

Police received reports of a person needing assistance in the water off

Sharp Park Beach, about 100 yards south of Clarendon Road.

When officers arrived, two separate groups said they saw two men and a

woman on the beach who seemed to be drunk, police Capt. Dave Bertini said.

Police believe Serrano, a Redwood City resident, entered the surf and

was knocked down by several waves. He never resurfaced and has not been


One of the man’s friends swam out to look for him but couldn’t find him,

Bertini said. The two friends then walked away and told the nearby parties to

call 911.

When police arrived, they began a search and rescue operation with the

North County Fire Authority and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard sent a helicopter and two boats to comb a 45-square-mile

area, Bertini said.

The search lasted about six hours, and crews used computer models to

identify areas where a body could have gone.

Investigators have interviewed all people who were on the beach with

Serrano and determined that there is no evidence of foul play.

Gift Thieves Wrap Up Jail Deal

Two of three men who tried stealing gifts from an unincorporated Redwood

City house just before Christmas pleaded no contest to residential burglary in

return for a year in jail and three years probation.

In return, prosecutors dropped other charges against Oscar Roberto Gomez

and Jose Luis Juarez. The third alleged accomplice, Herman Mark Velez, 22,

has pleaded not guilty to burglary and is being tried separately.

Gomez and Juarez both will spend three years on supervised probation.

Gomez has credit for 126 days while Juarez, who has been free from custody

on a $50,000 bail bond, has eight days’ credit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

home, claiming car trouble and asking first to borrow the phone and then for

a ride.

The neighbor let them inside and volunteered to drive them for help

because it was cold, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Deputies arrived before they left.

Accused Stabber Claims Insanity

A 26-year-old South San Francisco man accused of stabbing a Redwood City

store clerk apparently for no reason is competent to stand trial but pleaded not

guilty by reason of insanity to attempted murder and other felony charges.

The attorney for Kenneth Norman Tuttle did not object to doctors at Napa

State Hospital finding him able to aid in his own defense and returning him

to San Mateo County for prosecution. However, after a judge reinstated

criminal proceedings against Tuttle, he entered a secondary plea of not guilty

by reason of insanity.

Sanity is a person’s mental state at the time of a crime while competency is

his or her ability to aid in the defense against criminal charges.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, on Aug. 1, 2008, Tuttle entered

the Main Street Market and, without provocation, stabbed a clerk in the side

with a kitchen knife before fleeing. The clerk was treated for a 4-inch gash.

Redwood City police tracked Tuttle to his mother’s South San Francisco

home, where they reported finding him in the midst of shaving his head.

Tuttle’s mother admitted driving her son to Redwood City that day but

said she knew nothing of the stabbing at the market. She also said her son’s

excessive drug use may have caused ongoing mental issues, according to the

District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors charged Tuttle with attempted murder, the use of a deadly

weapon and causing great bodily injury. Tuttle previously pleaded not guilty

before his attorney questioned his mental state. He was ultimately deemed

incompetent, hospitalized in March 2009 and forcibly medicated. He returned

earlier this year.

Two doctors were appointed to evaluate Tuttle in light of the insanity plea.

Their reports are due back April 23 at which time the pretrial conference and

jury trial will also be scheduled.

RWC Dad Acquitted of Child Endangerment

A Redwood City father accused of spitting at his two young sons and dipping

one’s hair in urine was acquitted of two counts of child endangerment by

jurors who deliberated under four hours.

The jury found John Jongsoon Han, 49, not guilty on both counts but he is

not completely free from the justice system.

Prosecutors alleged Han spit on his 7- and 8-year-old sons because they

were misbehaving and spit at him all the time. Han was also accused of

rubbing the younger boy’s hair in urine after he was unable to make it to the

bathroom in time. The jury rejected all charges.

Jail for 71-Year-Old Road Rager

A 71-year-old Redwood City man who allegedly pointed a gun at a motorist’s

head and threatened to kill him because his truck blocked a driveway settled

his case in return for no more than 120 days in jail.

Jimmy Leroy Isaakson was scheduled for trial on multiple felonies,

including assault with a deadly weapon, personal use of a firearm and

brandishing a weapon at a person in a motor vehicle. Instead, Isaakson

pleaded no contest in return for a four-month jail maximum. The case was

referred for a pre-sentencing report by the Probation Department.

According to prosecutors, a 68-year-old man pulled his truck up to an

employee’s residence in Redwood City and partially blocked Isaakson’s

driveway. Isaakson reportedly approached the man inside his truck and

pointed a gun at him, saying, “Move the car or I’m going to shoot you,

motherf---. I don’t like f--- Mexicans.”

After the victim said he was going to call 911, Isaakson said he was the

police, prosecutors said.

Isaakson denied having a gun but police reported finding one in a dresser

drawer at his home.

Isaakson is free from custody on a $25,000 bail bond.

Two Unclaimed RWC Lottery Tickets Worth $450,000


Two winning California State Lottery tickets purchased in Redwood City last

month and worth more than $450,000 combined remain unclaimed, lottery

officials said.

A Fantasy 5 ticket worth $187,484 was sold at the 7-Eleven store at 460

Woodside Road. Its winning numbers are 18, 10, 6, 24 and 28, according to

lottery officials.

The other ticket, a MEGA Millions ticket, matched five of the six numbers

and is worth $269,594, lottery officials said. That ticket was purchased at

Sequoia Smoke & Sundries at 1061 El Camino Real, and its winning numbers

are 45, 12, 21, 29 and 11. The MEGA number, the only number that did not

match, was 5.

Winners have 180 days from the date of the draw to claim their prizes. For

more information, visit




Help keep our homes healthy

and our neighborhoods safe.

Apply Today for a 3% Low-Interest

Home Improvement Loan.

Call (650) 780.7290 or visit


The Spectrum 23

Get the red carpet treatment

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

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

Come see what all the fuss is about.

Get a Free Movie Ticket!

When you open your membership at the On Broadway Branch.

Broadway St.



Jefferson Ave.

your local hero

When you refer a friend or family member to SMCU,

20 lunches will be donated to the Second Harvest

Food Bank of San Mateo Co.

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

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

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

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



Redwood City would like to thank the community for its patience as we

work to create a section of “Grand Boulevard” on El Camino Real. The

street, pedestrian, sidewalk, and landscape improvements will greatly

enhance this section of El Camino Real, making it more inviting and

appealing to pedestrians, motorists, and the community.

A special thanks to these businesses

for their extraordinary patience:

• Estampas Peruanas

• Gelb Music

• Sodini’s

• Secrets

• House of Humor

• Ultimate Elegance

• 1 st Republic Bank

• 1 st National Bank

• Pickled

• Formosa Bento House

• Hawaiian Drive In

• Peninsula Liquors

Redwood Smoke Shop

• La Casita Chilanga

• Carmen’s Beauty Salon

• 99 Cent Store

• Savada-Adanich


• El Camino Travel

• Sky Zone Smoke Shop

• Water main, storm drains, electrical – complete

• New curb/gutter – complete

• Wider sidewalks – complete by early April

• Major roadway work – complete by mid-April

• Medians, streetlights, new trees and landscaping, and

minor roadwork – complete by end of June

(occasional lane reconfigurations will take place)

For background and information on this project and the Grand

Boulevard program, visit

The Spectrum 25

Meet Our Community-Minded Realtors for Redwood City

Vicky Costantini

at Alain Pinel

650-430-8425 – Born and raised

in Redwood City, Vicky is known

for her honesty and availability.

She believes those qualities foster strong working

relationships with her clients. In turn, those same

clients have referred her to countless friends and

relatives. With an approach that is simple yet

effective, she treats every listing as if it is her

first, and her clients know that they will get the

very best effort as they enter into the purchase

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

Michelle Glaubert

at Coldwell Banker

650-722-1193 – Michelle has been a

full-time, top-producing Realtor since

1978. With a proven track record,

she has helped buyers achieve their dreams of home

ownership and sellers make successful moves to

their next properties. The majority of her business is

garnered through referrals from her many satisfied

clients. Living in Emerald Hills, she knows the area

well and is involved in the community. Count on

Michelle’s years of experience to guide you through

your next real estate transaction. Visit her online at

Jim Massey

at Keller Williams

650-207-5120 – Jim has been

active for over 30 years in business

and leadership in Redwood City.

With that involvement, he has become a Realtor

familiar with our community, and his clients feel

comfortable knowing he has that expertise and

knowledge to guide them. Visit him online at

Buying or selling?

Turn to one of these experts!

Every Woman’s

Place for Fitness

• Classes for all fitness levels

• Personal training

• Spa services

• Friendly, helpful staff

Upcoming Workshops

April 17 Self-Defense $20

May 2 Greek Dance FREE

May 15 Relax and Renew $30

(Restorative Yoga)

VIP Pass

5 days


Simply bring in this

coupon to get started

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

Call for


Turkish Cuisine

2399 Broadway Street

Redwood City


$15 OFF


With the purchase of 2 Entrees

plus 2 Beverages.

Valid Sun thru Thurs. Not combined with other offers.

Expires 6/15/10

ADVERTISE WITH GREAT VALUES (650) 322-8828 04-10-088 RW01-1, 2, 3, 4


Dinner: Tu, W, Th, Sun: 5-9pm

Dinner: Fri & Sat: 5-10

Lunch: Tue-Fri 11-3

Closed Monday

Member of “Open Table”

•Unanimous Top Rating:

3 out of 3 Star Rating on

KQED’s “Check Please”

• See us on

• Let us cater your

party or event

Sarma Beyti Kebab



With minimum purchase of $50

Valid for dinner only.

Valid Sun thru Thurs.

18% Gratuity added prior to discount. Expires 6/15/10

The Spectrum 27

As I Was Saying…(Continued from p6)

I question whether the trustees of the district have made all the cuts that

were needed and all the sacrifices needed before they came to us for our support.

I have not seen any mention or vote on cuts to administrative salaries, and

that should be done. One of their members, Dave Mandelkern, is running

for county treasurer, so I imagine that he would have proposed such cuts,

considering he will be making financial decisions for the entire county if elected.

If not, I guess that will help me decide whom I am voting for in that race.

So, I don’t know how I will be voting on that issue. I am going to be gathering

as much information as possible to help me decide and, if possible, I would

like your thoughts. There is a “letters to the editor” section in The Spectrum

that gives you the opportunity to voice your opinions — let’s hear some!


The Redwood City–San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce just wrapped

up its yearly membership drive, and it was a success. Of the members

participating in the drive, 52 signed up at least one new member. That is

phenomenal and the key to a successful drive. The total number of new

members signed up was 109. The winner of the March Madness Membership

Drive was the Blue Devils team with 39 new members (I was a proud team

member). Second place went to the Bruins with 31, third place to the Broncos

with 21 and fourth to the Owls with 18.

Our chamber is one of the largest in the Bay Area and its members

participate regionally in business-oriented issues. The annual Progress

Seminar will be held the weekend of April 10–11 in Monterey. The keynote

speaker will be former Congressman Tom Campbell. Talk about riveting.


A longtime Redwood City business is relocating, and it is sweet music to the

downtown area’s ears. Ralph’s Vacuum and Sewing Center will be moving

soon from its El Camino location to the 800 block of Main Street. One of the

many complaints about our downtown district is that there are not enough

retailers to attract shoppers.

Although not a large retail outlet, Ralph’s will be a great addition to the area

and to the positive revitalization of Main Street.


Our community said a fond farewell to a great guy — Michael “Geary”

Lloyd passed away on Feb. 27, a day before his 90th birthday. He and his

wife, Jerry, were married for 67 years before she passed away.

Geary was a devoted husband and proud father, grandfather, greatgrandfather

and great-great-grandfather. He was proud to be a WWII

veteran, serving as a medic in the Battle of the Bulge. Geary was a volunteer

extraordinaire, distributing donated food to anyone who expressed a need.

He worked tirelessly on many city, county, school and citizen committees,

receiving many awards for his efforts. He will always be remembered for his

smile, his kindness and his generosity. Geary also appeared as Santa on the

cover of the December 2004 edition of The Spectrum Magazine. He will be

missed by so many in our community!


The proposal for another jail in the downtown area is heating up very fast, and

it seems it will get more aggressive in the next couple of months. Here is what

is happening.

The most recent activity is the City Council’s authorization of a political

consultant (to the tune of “up to” $300,000) to begin working on a campaign

of sorts to keep the jail out of our community. One thing is for sure; Redwood

City residents do not need to be informed of why we should not want another

jail in our community. We are intelligent enough to get that. So it seems that

convincing the county sheriff and supervisors of it is the most important

aspect to concentrate on. Wouldn’t you agree?

Now, I am not a fan of the city hiring consultants — never have been, never

will be. I think, considering the high salaries and numbers of city staff, that

if one of them cannot handle the assignment, then our city manager needs to

find someone who can. I mean, I cannot imagine that not one of our city staff

is able to handle this assignment with all the data and information they have?

But that is another issue.

First, it needs to be noted that the money for the consultant is coming from

the redevelopment fund and not the general fund, which is hurting so badly.

Whether that makes a difference or not, I can’t tell you, but it makes me feel better.

At stake here is the development of our downtown area and the housing and

businesses that will increase our sales and property tax bases. According to

elected officials, developers have informed them that if another jail is built,

they will not develop. That is a great concern for all of us, considering we

will need additional revenues in years to come. Plus, we just spent millions

on a downtown precise plan (by the way, enough already, get it done!) and an

additional jail will eliminate the plans.

So the council feels that hiring a consultant is going to protect our

investment, make plans move forward and create tax income that is much

needed. What do we expect them to do, just sit back and let the county decide

what our community is going to be? If they did and a new jail was built, they

would be told they had done nothing to prevent it. So in this case, I just have

to have faith in the council and city manager that they know what is best for

us and will lead us in the right direction.

I, on the other hand, might have waited to hire a team of attorneys to fight

the additional jail, because it will in fact harm the financial progress of our

community and the redevelopment of the entire area. As one of my friends

said, I don’t think that an additional jail is the type of “housing” the City

Council was hoping for. Sit back, folks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride till the

county supervisors take up the topic in late May.

The historic Fox Theatre on Broadway in downtown Redwood City has just

been listed and is up for sale. The listing “associate” for the property is Steve

Divney with Colliers International. Colliers International is a worldwide

association of independently owned and operated companies specializing in

commercial real estate services.

For all of you who are interested, there is no listing price for the property.

Are you ready for the summer?

As I was saying…



Care to comment on Penna’s comments?

Send your letters to: letters@spectrummagazine.

net or Opinions & Letters, The Spectrum Magazine,

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

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

Columns should be no longer than 750 words. Illegibly

written and anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Please include a daytime phone number where we can

reach you.

Insurance Tips: Choosing a PEO

By Russ Castle, Special to The Spectrum

PEOs (Professional

Employer Organizations)

allow small businesses to

outsource human resource

responsibilities such as staffing,

benefits management and

payroll. With more and more

businesses joining PEOs these

days, have you considered it

for your company?

If you decide to use a PEO, you need to exercise

great care in making your decision.

I want to pass along to you a list of steps to take

in choosing a PEO. This list is courtesy of the

National Association of Professional Employer

Organizations (NAPEO), the trade group for PEOs.

1 Don’t rely on proposals and brochures

provided by a PEO. Meet the people who


will be serving you.





Check the PEO’s financial background

through public filings or from annual

reports and other information supplied

by the company. Get banking and credit

references. Ask the PEO to demonstrate

that payroll taxes and insurance premiums

have been paid.

Ask for client and professional references,

and check them!

Find out if the people on the management

staff are “certified professional employer

specialists,” a designation bestowed by


Ask how the employee benefits are funded,

whether they are fully insured or partially

self-funded. Find out whom the third-party

administrator or carrier is and if it’s licensed

by the state in which it operates, if necessary.


Review the contract carefully to make

sure the responsibilities and liabilities

are clearly spelled out, what guarantees

are provided, and what provisions exist if

either side decides to cancel the contract.

If your state requires PEOs to be licensed,

make sure the one you are considering

meets all requirements.

Please keep this list handy if you are looking at

using a PEO.

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

Castle Insurance Agency. If you have any questions regarding

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

Senior Activities

The Veterans Memorial Senior

Center, 1455 Madison Ave.,

Redwood City, is providing the

following activities that are

open to the public during the

month of April.

Friday Movies for Everyone

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

Come to the VMSC in April for a free featured

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

April 2: “Amelia”

April 9: “Sherlock Holmes”

April 16: “Couples Retreat”

April 23: “Everybody’s Fine”

April 30: “Did You Hear About

the Morgans?”

Ships & the Sea: Perspectives of a

Veteran Sea Captain

Wednesday, April 14, 1–2 p.m.


Come and hear a stirring account of life as a

seaman from mariner Ron Pass, a candid and

vivid storyteller.

The Peninsula Clef Hangers Choir

Wants to Sing for You

Saturday, April 17, 1:30–3 p.m.

VMSC Theatre

The Peninsula Clef Hangers, a 30-memberstrong

women’s choir, will entertain you with

ballads, love songs, show tunes and more. All

are recognizable, hummable, memory-provoking

songs from the past. In addition, there will be

professional performers who have generously

offered to share their talents. Cookies and light

libations to follow.

West Bay Community Band Spring


Saturday, April 24, 7:30–9:30 p.m.

VMSC Theatre

Enjoy the sounds of spring, compliments of the

West Bay Community Band! Doors will open

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

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

door. No reservations or tickets required.


VMSC Memorial Day Luncheon

Celebrating our military soldiers, past and present

Thursday, May 20, 12–1:30 p.m.

$8 per person

Honor our troops during our second annual

Memorial Day Luncheon. This BBQ luncheon

will feature special guest speakers and veterans

from various conflicts. Special patriotic music

and tributes will complete this event. Veterans

are encouraged to send us photos or stories of

their military experience for a special tribute

display. Wear your uniform for a special treat. For

reservations, please call the VMSC lunch desk at


To learn more about the Veterans Memorial

Senior Center, call 650-780-7270. Redwood City

Parks, Recreation and Community Services

Department provides recreational facilities and

activities for all ages and interests, and supplies

building and custodial services for city buildings.

Redwood City Parks also operates the Veterans

Memorial Senior Center and the Fair Oaks

Community Center, providing social, educational

and cultural activities, as well as information,

referral and counseling services to persons living

in Redwood City and neighboring communities.

Redwood City Parks is more than you think! Its

Web site is

The Spectrum 29

A Minute With: Lilia Ledezma

Lilia Ledezma was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. She moved to the United States in 1995

and to Redwood City in 1997. She attended college at Tec de Monterrey in Mexico,

where she achieved her degree in finance. Currently she works as an accounting manager.

Lilia is single and happy! Her hobbies include reading, hiking with her dogs,

entertaining with friends, movies, and tutoring and mentoring youth in math for various

local schools.

She is currently an active member of the Rotary Club, Redwood City International, the

Chamber of Commerce and the Centennial Neighborhood Association. She is also a

graduate of the CERT and PACT programs through the City of Redwood City.

Lilia is also the treasurer for the proposed ballot initiative Californians for Improved

School Funding, which is gathering signatures to qualify for the November 2010 ballot.

Why finance?

It’s my passion.

Favorite thing about Easter time?


You love Redwood City because?

Of the people and finally have roots somewhere.

Who do you most admire?

My paternal grandmother.

What talent would you most like to have?

To have emotional detachment.

Something few know about you?

Very emotional and sensitive.

What phrase do you most overuse?

“It is what it is.”

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

Favorite song?

The Rose” by Bette Midler.

Favorite movie?

The Dark Side of the Heart.”

What is your motto?

Don’t smother me.

Anyone you got on your mind?

A kid that I am tutoring — Rigo.

Memorable moment?

My university graduation.

First word that comes to mind?


You still can’t believe?

I’m 41.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being OK with where I am in life, but always

striving for more.

What or who is the love of your life?

My dogs.

You currently feel?


You are inspired by?

My own dreams.

The rain makes you?


Thank You

for Supporting the

Uccelli Family

Through the Years

We urge you to contribute

and support our local

non-profits who do

outstanding work in

our community.

Peter and Paula Uccelli Foundation


Never late for the Theatre

when you eat at Little India.

All You Can Eat Lunch

Mon - Fri 11am - 2pm

Regular $9.95 Vegetarian $7.95

All You Can Eat Dinner

Mon - Sat 5 - 9pm

Regular $12.95 Vegetarian $10.95

Little India


917 Main St., Redwood City

650-361-8737 •

10 % off

with your Parking


• Catering

• In-House Parties


• Takeout



on may 8th



The Spectrum 31








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