San Mateo’s Bay Meadows development project started out of the gate slow, and it certainly hasn’t picked up much speed.The proposal to rip down the storied San Mateo horse racing track and replace it with condos, offices, parks and retail space took years to approve, even with a relatively supportive city council. Organizations formed to oppose it and a docketful of lawsuits were filed. Inveterate gamblers stood side-by-side with neighborhood leaders calling for the city to let the track be. Read More
Two out of five people living in Redwood City are Latino. But until Alicia Aguirre, only two or three had ever served on its city council, according to her research.It’s no surprise that Aguirre’s rise in local politics has Latin leaders thrilled. After six years on the city council, she was recently selected to be mayor. The term will last two years, until the next election cycle in 2014. Read More
Burlingame residents who find leaf blowers annoying may soon be annoyed just three days a week.
After one plan to limit use of the gardening machines didn’t pass muster with the City Council, a new proposal would allow the buzzing blowers to operate just one weekday, plus weekends. Read More
In San Mateo County, there are several thousand more students than there were a few years ago, but several hundred fewer teachers.
The number of full-time equivalent teaching positions in the county dropped some 18 percent between the 2008-09 and 2010-11 school years, according to data provided by the county’s Office of Education. Meanwhile, the county’s total student body kept creeping up.
Click on the photo for a graphic of the growing gap between teacher and student numbers. Read More
Forget iPhone versus Android — the telecommunications battle to watch is city councils versus cellphone towers.
One battlefield is Burlingame, where city officials are fighting off a lawsuit that would force the town to immediately accept new antennas on public property. Read More
San Francisco will host the U.S. Open golf championship in June, but the economic impact of the event may slice south toward San Mateo County.
Peninsula leaders are cheering the United States Golf Association’s decision to house nearly half its staff in Burlingame during the event, allowing San Mateo County cities to bag coveted tourism dollars. Read More
It’s normal to see big ships towering over Redwood City’s port — but they’re usually filled with bulk goods, not Champagne and caviar.
But that could change come the summer of 2013. Port leaders are exploring ways to attract mega-yachts to their harbor during the America’s Cup sailing race. It’s just one of several San Mateo County institutions seeking ways to profit off the event. Read More
The cheerleaders of the America’s Cup have promised the yacht race will bring in more than $1 billion of economic activity to the region. But Bob Schwenke would be satisfied with just $25,000 of that windfall.
“It hasn’t created any economic activity for me yet, but it’s still a little bit early,” he said. Read More
Gay rights advocates still haven’t made a decision about whether to take gay marriage back to California voters.
After 2008’s Proposition 8 outlawed same-sex marriage in California, there was immediate talk of returning the issue to the ballot to reverse it in 2010. However, gay community leaders ultimately decided to wait until 2012, to watch how a legal battle over the proposition would proceed, and give them more time to garner resources and support. Read More
The Mavericks surf contest has had a few major wipeouts in the last few years, but it looks like the contest is back on its board and trying for another set of waves.Tonight the San Mateo County Harbor District is expected to approve a permit application by a newly formed organization, Mavericks Invitational Inc., to organize and operate this year’s big-wave surf contest near Half Moon Bay. The new group is a combined effort of two separate parties that had earlier planned to submit competing applications. Read More
Four years after a container ship sideswiped the Bay Bridge, ripping open and spilling 53,000 gallons of fuel into San Francisco Bay, the people responsible for the spill have agreed to pay up.
Nearly a dozen local, state and federal agencies, and some local nonprofits, will be paid $44.4 million for the cost of responding to the spill and to continue restoration work in the Bay. Read More
As 78-year-old Doris Dull was walking down to the wide cavity in the ground left by the gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno last year, her longtime neighbor Carol Piunti called out to her.
“Go shovel!” Piunti said. “It’s really good. It’s closure.” Read More
San Francisco spends more money on government than it did a decade ago, but that government employs fewer people. Public safety spending is a smaller portion of the total budget than ever. And The City’s debt has shot up in just the past few years.
Until recently, that kind of historical, comparative information about where our public money goes might have required some serious data mining. But a nonprofit run by Stanford students and alumni has created a new Web interface that makes it a few clicks away. Read More
Although child-welfare experts say that taking kids away from parents often does more harm than good — even in cases of neglect or abuse — San Francisco apparently puts kids in foster care more than almost any other California county once poverty is accounted for.
Not only that, but San Francisco repeatedly places the same children in foster care, suffering the highest rate of foster care recidivism of any large county in the state. Read More
Headlines have screamed “PG&E, PG&E, PG&E” in the year since the fatal San Bruno pipeline explosion, but the utility company is not the only entity that runs pipelines carrying hazardous materials under our feet.There are nearly 6,000 miles of pipeline operated by private companies and public utilities that carry liquid petroleum products across the state’s mountains, valleys, towns and cities. Read More