Thank you, Congresswoman Eshoo
Residents from Palo Alto and on the Peninsula have complained about the noise levels and the increased number of airplane flights since the rollout of the FAA’s new NextGen flight system. This system, which Congress directed the FAA to devise, requires aircraft to travel within a narrower corridor to free up airspace for commercial and military drones.
The NextGen flight system also requires pilots to descend using a continuous decrease in altitude instead of the stepped descent of the previous system. Residents say that this method increases noise as engines throttle for the descent.
Congresswoman Eshoo asked that the FAA work to improve the noise impact on the residents in the NextGen corridor.
With the entrance of Surf Air
at San Carlos Airport, a significant number of complaints have been lodged by residents from North Fair Oaks, Menlo Park and Atherton. Supervisor Don Horsley
, Atherton Councilwoman Elizabeth Lewis
and I will be meeting with the FAA and Congresswoman Eshoo to review these concerns and seek assistance from them.
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Measure A Fund Allocations
At the August 4th
Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board approved my Measure A recommendation to fund three programs in District Four. While there are many worthy community needs and priorities, I focused my allocation of Measure A dollars to fund programs that serve youth from low performing schools and under-resourced communities.
In his new book, “Our Kids,” well-known author and researcher Robert Putnam
makes the case that students in low performing schools rarely have access to enhanced services and programs like music, band, art, PE, technology clubs, camps, field trips, tutoring, or even sports unlike their counterparts in high-performing schools. After reading this, I chose to invest Measure A dollars in three programs that will support youth during the 2015-16 fiscal year.
Joan and Lewis Platt YMCA, East Palo Alto
: This program teaches young people about government and prepares them for participation in the State conventions. They learn to consider policies, to advocate for them and build coalitions to enact legislation and they do so with others. Students learn about the world through their adult mentors and through the eyes of their peers. The travel involved is a learning experience as well.
LEMO Foundation, Redwood City
: This program hooks “at-risk” kids with sports, and through the rigors of training, requires a commitment to academic growth, service learning and graduation. One hundred percent of Lemo’s participants graduate from high school and head to college. (Serves students in North Fair Oaks, Redwood City and East Palo Alto.)
Ravenswood City School District’s Parent Academy, East Palo Alto
: This program brings children and parents to school to learn—together. Parents learn how to be more involved and effective in their children’s lives. Children learn how to have a positive relationship with their parents and succeed in school.
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The most fundamental value in the military is that of, “Leave no one behind.” As a Vietnam veteran, the formation of the Veterans Commission is my way to begin work that is needed for the veterans in our county.
I was proud that our Board of Supervisors established a Veterans Commission for San Mateo County at my request. The recruitment for members is underway. The five-week application period opened on July 17th
; it will close on Friday, August 21nd
at 5:00 pm. When formed, this nine-member Commission will reflect the diversity of veterans in this county and those who provide services to them. The Board of Supervisors will appoint the nine voting members.
I am pleased to report that 69 applications have been received to date. If you are interested, please apply. There application period will close in two weeks. This commission will undertake important work.
- See more at: https://cmo.smcgov.org/blog/2015-07-15/applicants-sought-san-mateo-county-veterans-commission#sthash.pjlLRTqd.dpuf
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Eastside College Preparatory Teacher Receives Presidential Award
As an advocate of education, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Marianne Chowning-Dray, a math teacher at Eastside College Preparatory School
in East Palo Alto. Marianne recently received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
. She is one of 108 teachers in the country, and one of only two teachers from California selected for this prestigious award. Marianne teaches Algebra II/Trigonometry and BC Calculus. A panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators select the honorees for "outstanding" K-12 science and mathematics teachers following an initial selection process done at the state level according to the White House.
Marianne is a Palo Alto native and a Gunn High School graduate! San Mateo County is proud to have a nationally recognized educator with local roots teaching students in East Palo Alto! Congratulations, Marianne!
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Office of Immigrant Affairs
According to research conducted by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation
, between 2000 and 2010, San Mateo County’s immigrant population increased more than any other county in California—from 25.5 to 33.3 percent. This trend continues today. In 2010, San Mateo County ranked 4th
among counties in California and 8th
across the nation in the concentration of foreign-born residents.
We are fortunate to live in such a culturally diverse area. However, not all of our immigrants understand the law, speak the language, and know their rights or where to turn for help, if needed.
At my request, and with the full support of my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors, San Mateo County will open its first Office of Immigrant Affairs this September. I’m proud that our County has taken this important step forward to address the varied needs of our immigrant population.
To launch the Office, I convened a group of nonprofits, foundations, faith-based organizations, and county staff at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to talk about our hopes and dreams for the Office, establish priorities for the first year, and review the coordinator position description. I look forward to working with the Office of Immigrant Affairs to bridge our connection to the immigrant residents of District Four and San Mateo County.
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Parking Enforcement in NFO
The single biggest issue faced by the merchants and residents in North Fair Oaks
is the lack of parking. Abandoned vehicles, operational vehicles that stay longer than the time permits, and businesses that “borrow” public parking spaces further reduce the number of available parking spaces. To address these problems, I have directed funding to increase the Sheriff’s Office Parking Enforcement presence on Middlefield Road and in North Fair Oaks. The new parking enforcement program will begin in early September. I hope this will help ease the parking situation by ensuring that existing parking spaces are available.
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Utility Box Murals and Entrance Signs
In May, the North Fair Oaks Community Council
(NFOCC) and the North Fair Oaks Public Art Workgroup
invited local artists to transform utility boxes into works of art on the streets of North Fair Oaks and to create a design for entrance signs for North Fair Oaks.
: Designs from local student and artist, Shane Oseguera, were the preferred submissions approved by the Council. The utility boxes are located on the corner of 5th
Avenue and Middlefield Road; the corner of Middlefield Road and 8th
Avenue in front of Garfield School, and at 5th
Avenue and Semicircular Road. The box in front of Garfield School was completed with the help of young artists from the Siena Youth Center who thoroughly enjoyed the chance to participate.
: Local artist Kent Manske’s four, brightly-colored silhouette entrance signs were the preference of a community meeting and ultimately approved by the North Fair Oaks Community Council. The signs are approximately 10 feet tall and you can’t miss them! Last week the signs were installed on the eastern and western ends of 5th
Avenue and on the northern end of Middlefield Road near the Fair Oaks Community Center and on the southern end near St. Anthony’s Church.
To learn more about the work of the North Fair Oaks Public Art Workgroup or to join them, visit the Public Art webpage on www.nfoforward.org
or call Ellie Dallman, (650) 363-4084.
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Anticipating Cooley Landing's Education Center
The beautiful 9-acre Cooley Landing open space park in East Palo Alto sits on the edge of the San Francisco Bay. It includes a section of the Bay Trail and is about to open its newest addition, the Education Center. The long-awaited Education Center will serve as a place for community meetings and as an institution that preserves and enhances the area’s cultural heritage, history, and traditions. The entire project has taken more than a decade of studies, research, community discussion, plans, and construction. Watch this animated video of the Education Center https://vimeo.com/95241987
. EPA Project Engineer Vivian Ma took these photos of the Education Center last week. I look forward to the grand-opening of the Cooley Landing Education Center this fall.
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Summer Learning Programs
For the second year in a row children from North Fair Oaks and East Palo Alto participated in the San Mateo County Library’s Summer Learning Program. This intensive, fun-filled learning program combined science, math, reading, yoga, art, technology skills, and fun. They also were provided nutritious snacks and lunch! All had a great time. My wife, Maria Diaz-Slocum, was the Librarian/Instructor at the Fair Oaks Library’s “Camp Awesome.” The kids that participated in Camp Awesome were just that - awesome!
The County Library System expanded the program from five to seven of the County’s libraries this year. Libraries offering programs included: Atherton, East Palo Alto, Fair Oaks, Half Moon Bay, South San Francisco, Belle Haven and
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Coding Bootcamp at JobTrain
, one of the most successful job-retraining programs in the country, added a course to teach software coding to young adults this spring. It is a perfect example of the type of program that we need. It responds to the needs of Silicon Valley, focuses on a well-paid future for its students, and takes advantage of the corporate partners that have made our area nationally renown.
According to Nora Sobolov, Executive Director of JobTrain, “We graduated our first class from the 16-week Coding Bootcamp
on July 24th
Designers of the course, New Initiatives Manager Jennifer Overholt and Instructor Mike Shipstead, both worked for technology companies prior to coming to JobTrain. That's why the class is project-based, hands-on and run like a software company’s development team "to give the students a feel for what they would be expected to do and how the tech industry works."
According to Ms. Overholt, 80 people applied, 23 people started the class, and 20 graduated from the program. “We are very proud of the students in this program as well as the program’s graduation rate!” They only accepted applicants who hold a high school diploma or GED and displayed a certain “grit” or persistence and willingness to keep trying in their interviews.
The JobTrain graduates attended workshops and panels sponsored by technology companies and developed resumes, and online portfolios of their work--essential credentials for applying for a coding job. Learn more about the class here: http://coderbootcamp.org/
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Recology’s Volunteer Day
Nearly 75 Recology
volunteers turned out on Saturday, August 8th
to give the Fair Oaks Community Center a “spring clean” and landscaping update. This is part of their corporate commitment to the community. I want to give a shoutout to Gino Gasparini, Vice President of Marketing for Recology/San Mateo County, as well as the whole crew, for pitching in to beautify North Fair Oaks. The landscaping is beautiful. And, thank you to Recology for the many generous contributions made to worthy organizations and events during the year – including the North Fair Oaks Clean-Up Day. We appreciate all that you do!
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Sponsored Employment Program Graduation
The nonprofit, One East Palo Alto
, will graduate 60 interns and five peer mentors (college students who mentor program interns) from their Sponsored Employment Program
(SEP) on August 12th
! This program connects the hard-to-place young people in paid summer internships—often in their very first job. Young people learn invaluable job skills, earn wages for the work they perform, and gain self-respect. These jobs are an opportunity to transition to the adult world and to better understand and imagine what the future may hold. This year, the program will graduate its 1000th
summer intern. Congrats to the interns! Congrats to the mentors! Congrats to Dr. Faye McNair-Knox for her leadership in bringing jobs to the youth of East Palo Alto
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