Be Seen Keepin’ it Clean – A North Fair Oaks Community Project

May 30, 2013

The North Fair Oaks Community Council and Supervisor Warren Slocum are co-sponsoring a special neighborhood clean-up event this Saturday, June 1 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Everyone is welcome. This event is a wonderful way to bring people together, tackle a problem, and strengthen that sense of community pride. CleanUp_English

Volunteers will gather at 9 a.m. at the Fair Oaks Community Center, 2600 Middlefield Road, to receive supplies, instructions, maps and assignments.

Among the participants will be the North Fair Oaks Youth Group, the Fair Oaks Beautification Association, the Peninsula Covenant Church, St. Anthony’s Church, the Bay Area Gardener’s Association, the Boys and Girls Club, the CARON (Community Alliance to Revitalize Our Neighborhood) Program, Taft Elementary, Garfield Elementary, Hoover Elementary, Fair Oaks Elementary School and Hawes Elementary School students.  (Students have the opportunity to earn community service credits by participating. )

CleanUp_SpanishA special beautification project has been earmarked for the Fair Oaks Elementary School.  Two community gardens will be cleaned, the soil will be augmented and the Bay Area Gardeners will make a presentation on the seasonal gardening opportunities including helpful tips.  A week later, on Saturday, June 8, the volunteers from the Gardener’s Association and parents from Fair Oaks Elementary will come back and plant a summer garden.

El Grullense, a local tacqueria chain, has agreed to sponsor lunch for the active volunteers who participate in the clean-up event.   For information or to volunteer, contact Irving Torres at (650) 353-4570 or send an e-mail to him at

Superior Court Appoints New Chief Probation Officer

May 23, 2013

Court Cites Experience, Enthusiasm and Leadership Skills 

The Superior Court today announced the appointment of John T. Keene, Jr. as San Mateo County Chief Probation Officer.

John Keene, Jr.

John Keene, Jr.

Keene has more than 20 years of experience in law enforcement and probation and since 1998 has served in the Alameda County Probation Department, most recently as Deputy Chief.

Robert D. Foiles, San Mateo County Chief Presiding Judge, announced the appointment following Keene’s selection by Superior Court judges.

“Chief Keene brings a wealth of experience to San Mateo County,” Judge Foiles said. “He has served as a police officer and a probation officer so he has that street-level knowledge. In addition he has proven himself as a skilled leader as a deputy chief. We believe he is the right fit for San Mateo County.”

Judge Foiles added, “His selection represents a collaborative process between the county and the court that included county input at all levels.”

Keene will succeed Calvin Remington, who has served as Acting Chief Probation Officer since January. His first day will be Monday, June 10.

Keene holds a law degree from the Southern University Law Center and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern University. He worked as a police officer and investigator for the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections from 1993 to 1996.

After completing his law degree, Keene began his service with Alameda County in 1998 as a probation officer. He has worked in juvenile and adult institutions, among other assignments, and has served as Deputy Chief since 2010.

As Chief in San Mateo County, Keene will play a lead role in Public Safety Realignment, the 2011 state law that shifted supervision responsibility over certain low-level offenders from the state to county probation departments.

Judge Foiles said Keene’s enthusiasm to tackle a tough challenge posed by reductions in state funding and support were among the key reasons why the Superior Court selected him.

“Where others see problems it’s clear that Chief Keene sees opportunities,” Judge Foiles said. “He has a true enthusiasm for how a probation department contributes to the safety of a community by providing proven programs so that probationers can get the assistance they need to succeed.”

Keene said he looks forward to working with the Court, Sheriff’s Office, Health System, Human Services Agency and community partners to reduce recidivism and improve public safety.

“I believe in data-driving performance and that data can tell you when a program is working and when it is not,” he said. “My goal has always been to constantly look at what’s working based on the evidence and provide those services to the community.”

As Chief, Keene will oversee approximately 400 employees and a budget of $75 million. He will earn $170,456 annually and receive an automobile allowance of $12,012 annually as he is on call 24/7.

Media Contact: Marshall Wilson 650-363-4153

Meetings Set for District Lines Advisory Committee

May 20, 2013

A committee that will review the boundaries of San Mateo County’s supervisorial districts and possibly recommend changes will hold its first meeting June 6 in San Mateo.

Four additional meetings are also scheduled: June 15 in Half Moon Bay; June 18 in Daly City; June 25 in East Palo Alto; and July 11 in Millbrae. Details are below.

The Board of Supervisors created the nine-member boundary adjustment committee after voters changed the County Charter in November. The change requires that only voters within a district can elect a supervisor who lives in that same district to represent them. Under the prior system voters countywide elected all five supervisors.

Print out a flier.

With heightened interest in district-based elections, the Board of Supervisors tasked the committee with hearing public comment, studying current and potential boundaries and recommending possible adjustments.

The kick-off meeting will be held Thursday, June 6, at 6:30 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, 725 Monte Diablo Ave., San Mateo.

The committee and public will receive a report from a demographer and then learn how to use an online mapping tool to review the current boundaries and draw possible districts. The committee will also receive public comment.

Four additional meetings will be held throughout the county. These are:

·         Saturday, June 15, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Cunha Intermediate School Library, 600 Church Street, Half Moon Bay

·         Tuesday, June 18, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., War Memorial Community Center, 6655 Mission Street, Daly City

·         Tuesday, June 25, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., East Palo Alto Council Chambers, 2415 University Ave., East Palo Alto

·         Thursday, July 11, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Millbrae Community Center, 477 Lincoln Circle, Millbrae

At the final meeting in Millbrae, it is anticipated the committee will consider possible draft boundary changes. An additional five meetings will be held in late summer to present possible draft changes to the public for comment before any recommendation is presented to the full Board of Supervisors.

Under State election law, districts must be approximately equal in population. In establishing the boundaries of the districts the Board of Supervisors may give consideration to the following factors: (a) topography, (b) geography, (c) cohesiveness, contiguity, integrity, and compactness of territory, and (d) community of interests of the districts.”

The committee members chosen by the Board are: Supervisors Adrienne J. Tissier and Warren Slocum; Gonzalo “Sal” Torres, a Daly City Council Member; Laura Martinez, an East Palo Alto Council Member; and public members: Hayden Lee of Millbrae; Raymond Lee of San Mateo; Barbara Arietta of Pacifica; William Nack of Menlo Park; and Rebecca Ayson of Daly City.

Each public member resides in one of the five current districts.

Additional information about the process will be posted at under “Supervisorial District Lines Advisory Committee.”

Media Contact:

Marshall Wilson, San Mateo County Communications Director

650-363-4153 or


County Prepares for Major Quake; Disaster Preparedness Day is Saturday, June 8

May 15, 2013

Today San Mateo County and partner agencies practiced responding to a major earthquake on the San Andreas Fault.

The scenario involved a strong quake striking a few miles outside the Golden Gate, rupturing the San Andreas Fault for hundreds of

Our Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services, Human Services Agency, Health System and numerous other departments came together in a command center near the Hall of Justice in Redwood City — the scenario called for the command center to be staged outdoors, away from buildings. The drill was part of a larger statewide drill called Golden Guardian.

In a major quake you and your family could be on your own for several days. Learn how to prepare at San Mateo County’s Disaster Preparedness Day on Saturday, June 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the San Mateo Event Center. Arrive before 11 a.m. and get free parking and free admission to the San Mateo County Fair for your whole family.

Support “Jobs for Youth” at Fundraising Breakfast

May 8, 2013

Please consider attending the 31st annual Jobs for Youth Fundraising Breakfast on Thursday, May 23, at the Foster City Crowne Plaza Hotel.logo_JFY

Emmett Carson, the CEO and President of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, is the guest speaker.

Jobs for Youth is a year-round program designed to help young people develop their job search skills. The program provides employment services to all youth between the ages of 14 to 21 years old at no cost to them or to employers. The program is sponsored by the County of San Mateo and partner agencies.

The Jobs for Youth Fundraising Breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. Tickets are $45 per person or $400 for a table of 10.

The Crowne Plaza is located at 1221 Chess Drive, Foster City.

For reservations or questions, contact Ruby Thomas at 650-802-3371 or

Learn more by reading the Jobs for Youth flier.

Former Burlingame City Manager to Serve as Interim Parks Director

May 7, 2013

Jim Nantell, the former City Manager of Burlingame, has been appointed as interim Director of the Parks Department.

Nantell will oversee the transition of Parks from a division of the Public Works Department to a stand-alone department.

Hikers enjoy a day on the trail

Hikers enjoy a day on the trail

Nantell has served in many executive public agency positions, including directing the City of San Mateo Parks and Recreation Department. He holds a Masters Degree in Parks and Recreation Management from San Francisco State University.

Nantell begin work as the Interim Parks Director on May 8, 2013 and continue with the County until the permanent director is in place, which we expect will be in the late fall.

For details read the Parks Staff Report presented at the Tuesday, May 7, meeting of the Board of Supervisors.

San Mateo County operates 17 separate parks, three regional trails and numerous other county and local trails encompassing 15,680 acres. They are located throughout the County and represent a wide variety of natural settings including a coastside marine reserve, a bayside recreational area, coastal mountain woodland areas, and urban sites.

Outdoor Events this Weekend with Streets Alive! Parks Alive!

May 2, 2013

Enjoy any number of fun and free outdoor events this weekend with Streets Alive! Parks Alive!main_header2

On Saturday, May 4, you can enjoy a bike rodeo in Belmont or fly a kite in Menlo Park. Take a hike on a beautiful stretch of coast or ride your bike as part of Bicycle Sunday on May 5.

Farmers markets. A Polynesian dance festival. Zumba. Kickball. Streets Alive! Parks Alive! has it all.

You will find events taking place this year from Daly City to Menlo Park and from the bay to the coast. Find the full calendar of events.

Find out more at or “Like” Streets Alive! Parks Alive! on Facebook. Have a question, call the office of San Mateo County Supervisor Carole Groom at 650-363-4568.

Streets Alive! Parks Alive! is an annual event that celebrates San Mateo County’s parks and public spaces.



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