Our Lyngso Garden Materials speaker discussed how simple changes to our gardens can make a huge impact on our environment. The relationship between plants and soil is a living community, and all of the organisms in soil play an important role in soil health and our own health. We learned so much, including how fertilizers actually eliminate life in the soil. Rather, grass cycling and applying compost two times a year is the best thing for a lawn. Or choose to get rid of you lawn and go with native plants, which don’t require chemical fertilizers or additional irrigation every week.
Climate Reality Leader & BHNA Board member Belinda Chlouber showed a short movie about the Paris COP21 Conference, where 196 countries reached a historic agreement to stop global warming. We learned about the biggest sources of greenhouse omissions, and saw examples additional global warming issues throughout the world. For more information on this, visit https://www.climaterealityproject.org/.
By BHNA Board Member Rod Linhares attended & reports:
A primary topic was the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The purpose of
establishing a new Treatment Plant is to upgrade San Mateo’s wastewater collection system, which would be accomplished in three ways: replacing aging infrastructure and facilities, meeting current and future regulatory requirements and ensuring wet weather capacity, and protecting the Bay. Additional education for the entire city and corresponding discussion will be forthcoming.
Following the Wastewater Plant presentation, there was a very brief discussion on Measure AA, the Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Measure. A flyer that opposed the measure was circulated, too.
A SMUHA letter to the City was read regarding proposed changes to the Poplar Creek golf course, expressing the need for recreational amenities in San Mateo, and SMUHA’s desire to be involved in discussions concerning potential golf course alterations. SMUHA representatives endorsed the letter, and it was submitted
Poplar Creek has become the focus of new city discussions involving its future. Last month, the San Mateo United Homeowners Association sent a letter to City Hall asking that it “…be preserved as recreational green space for all future generations to enjoy.” Mayor Goethals responded that there is significant debt attached to that space, but he appreciates the concern. In regard to the future, he noted, “Each of us must participate in this process to make Poplar Creek the best possible space for the community and our kids.”
Poplar Creek is showing its community value with the recently opened 18-hole, American FootGolf course, located on the front nine holes. Fun for groups or families, FootGolf is a game combining the skills of soccer & golf, using a No. 5 soccer ball with 21-inch holes. FootGolf is open at Poplar daily after 4pm. for groups of up to 6 people at $16 per person on weekdays, and $19 on weekends. Kids 17 & under play every day for just $10. No cleats allowed. Golf carts may be rented for $20. Bring your own ball or rent one for $3 on a first come basis. For more info, check out www.poplarcreekgolf.com or call 650-522-4653.
Last month, we reported on San Mateo’s $1 billion price tag for our wastewater treatment upgrades, which will require a sewer tax increase of 9% each year for homeowners to help fund.
This month, we introduce both sides of the 20 year, $25 million annual funding MEASURE AA is asking taxpayers for. Measure AA, the San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Measure, is a proposal that will be on the June 2016 ballot of nine Bay Area counties:
AGAINST: We all care about the Bay, but Measure AA is not about saving the Bay. Measure AA gives a blank check to politicians, & allows its board to increase the tax with a majority vote at will over 20 years. This measure is taxation without representation & has no transparency. Never before have 9 counties been under one tax; a recipe for inequity & unfairness. We already pay federal taxes for the Army Corps of Engineers to steward shoreline/wetlands, so ask, “How many governing special authorities does it take to do the same job?” The list of beneficiaries clamoring for the passage of Measure AA is endless, including tech companies. Last month, their agendized grant guidelines allowed for “grant awards to public and private entities,” which include but are not limited to owners and operators of shoreline parcels in the San Francisco Bay Area, and include federal, state, local and nonprofit entities. Measure AA’s ‘solution’ is not feasible with no coordinated efforts to accomplish its promises. Yet they are spending $2-5 million to get your vote. The public is best served if control stays local.
Vote NO on Measure AA. More info at: http://stopaa.org/about/
FOR: In June, voters in all 9 Bay Area counties will vote. The “Clean and Healthy Bay Ballot Measure,” would raise at least $500 million over 20 years to fund critical Bay restoration and flood protection projects. This measure needs 2/3 of Bay Area voters behind it. Measure AA will fund wetlands restoration projects around the Bay that will expand habitats to increase wildlife populations, reduce Bay Pollution, enhance public shoreline access, and protect shoreline communities from flooding. Save The Bay has the chance to work with groups and individuals with whom we may not regularly work and with whom we do not always agree. This includes business groups, organized labor, and a wide array of elected officials and community leaders in a large geographic area. Projects will be prioritized based on their positive impact on the San Francisco Bay as a whole, with provisions to ensure that projects will be funded in each of the Bay Area’s nine counties. These funds would help complete large-scale restoration projects like the ones at Sears Point, Bair Island and the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project.
Vote YES on Measure AA. More info at: http://www.savesfbay.org/MeasureAA
Public Works is continuing their bi-weekly neighborhood traffic forums to gather suggestions from the community. The neighborhood west of Alameda de las Pulgas will have its meeting on April 14th from 7-9 p.m. at Hillsdale High School. The neighborhood east of Alameda met on March 10th. Their concerns were speeding, spill-over parking from the Medical Center (on 39th Avenue), and backups on Hwys. 92 and 101 (causing cars to cut through the neighborhood). You can also send in your concerns using this link: https://www.peakdemocracy.com/portals/237/Forum_682/Issue_3455.
Do you ever avoid going to downtown San Mateo because it is so hard to find a spot to park in our quickly growing city? Help is here! SanMateo.ParkingGuide.com provides downtown customers with information they need to find that elusive parking spot! It also features a portal to pay for parking tickets and will soon accommodate online sales of monthly downtown parking permits. Further, it highlights the city’s nine public parking garages and surface lots, and provides other info including locations of electric vehicle (EV) chargers, downtown parking zones, weekend parking, holiday parking schedules, and a how–to-guide for using downtown pay stations.
With the new north-end Hillsdale Mall development, residents living on and around 30th Avenue expressed concern over impacts where that street meets the mall property. They went so far as to submit a petition to the City Council asking that this end of 30th be closed to through traffic.
BHNA contacted mall reps and were supplied with a “Condition of Approval” for the project addressing this item.
Here is how it reads:
“The 30th Avenue driveway shall be closed to vehicular traffic at 6 pm each business day and shall be opened at the start of business hours the following day…Six months after occupancy of 90% of the project’s square footage, a traffic report detailing 30th Avenues traffic counts and resultant traffic impacts shall be prepared by the City’s traffic consultant. This study may be initiated earlier if traffic conditions so warrant…This report shall be published and made public. Notices of the report’s availability shall be mailed to those within the same mailing radius as the shopping center application, and to all interested parties. A City Council Member, within 10 days of the publication of the report, may call for review of the report at a City Council public hearing. Based on the report’s findings and the City Council’s review, additional traffic control measures may be taken, including, but not limited to closure of the 30th Avenue driveway.”
After numerous date changes by our city, the Bridgepointe Rink Citizens Group urges area residents to join them in attending the April 18th San Mateo City Council meeting, to show your support for the Council to vote against the land use change put forth by the real estate development firm which owns the property (and seeks to replace the rink with retail). The building owner closed the rink June 1, 2013, leaving hundreds of young athletes out in the cold.
This Council decision is to come on the heels of Belmont Iceland’s announcement that it will close its doors, leaving Bridgepointe as one of the last rinks on the peninsula. The San Mateo Planning Commission already voted unanimously 5-0 to deny the developer’s request, and now it’s up to the City Council. Community activists are calling for local politicians to uphold the community benefit of an operating ice rink where Olympians Kristi Yamaguchi, Brian Boitano and Debi Thomas once trained.
Plan to attend:
San Mateo City Hall, 330 W. 20th Street, San Mateo, CA on Monday, April 18th at 7:00 P.M.
Happy Earth Month! Let’s talk dirt and climate. Did you know soil is alive? Most of the life that lives in the soil is extremely beneficial and so tiny we can’t see them. Learn what lives in the soil, why it’s so important, and how to grow and protect it. The BHNA welcomes Theresa Lyngso from Lyngso Garden Materials to understand how simple changes to our gardens can make a huge impact. Also speaking is new Boardmember Belinda Chlouber, a trained Climate Reality Leader via Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. Belinda traveled to France last year for the Paris Climate Conference, and will share her knowledge about Global Warming, including its impacts and solutions specific to our area. Belinda will also share some of her artwork dedicated to the subject.