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The Lagonian - October 2012

The Lagonian - October 2012

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Published by: TheLagonian on Oct 03, 2012
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October 2012Circulation 20,500
Foster City News
Facebook.com/TheLagonianLagonian.comFree Delivery To ResidentsVol. III Issue II
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Local Halloween ShoppingComplete Election GuideLocal art & food
7 & 8
“New, really unique neighborhood”
Talks begin for design of Foster City ‘town center’ on 15 acres
See our deal inside!
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Developers conveyed theirexcitement about a project that isexpected to bring senior housingand boutique-style shops to thecenter of town even as Foster
City ofcials continued to express
reservations about major aspects of the development.The Foster City Council and FosterCity Planning Commission held a joint meeting on Sept. 20, seating all
10 ofcials, and discussed the rst
conceptual site plans for the 15-acressince setting down business terms with a development team earlier this year.Last October, the City Council chosea developer for the site, Foster City Community Partners, which consistsof Urban Community Partners, TheNew Home Company, Merrill Gardens,and Mid Peninsula Housing Coalition.Business terms for the development were approved in February.The 15-acre site is located at thecurrently-vacant plot of land betweenFoster City Blvd. and Shell Blvd. nextto the Foster City Library—it has beenthe site of various proposals over the years, including a controversial highschool plan in 2006 and a failed seniorhousing project in 2008. Amid news that aSan Francisco man wasdiagnosed with West Nile virus in late September,local authoritiesannounced that a FosterCity bird was one of fourin the county this summerthat tested positive for the virus.So far in 2012, four dead birds have tested positivefor West Nile virus,announced the San MateoThe school board hasn’t
ofcially approved plans
to replace BowditchMiddle School with anew, modern campus that
includes fth graders, but
at an Oct. 18 meeting theschool board is scheduledto approve an architect who will come up with apreliminary design for theproject. A citizen committeecalled SCORE, which was
Bowditch could get preliminaryarchitect this month
By Alexa Hemken
West Nile virus found in deadbird in Foster City
By Alexa Hemken
CONT’D: See “15 acres,” page 3CONT’D: See“Bowditch,” page 2
By Alexa Hemken
CONT’D: See “WestNile,” page 2
County Mosquito and Vector Control District onSept. 26.That includes a red-shouldered hawk in Woodside in June, andin August, a mourningdove in Half MoonBay, a common ravenin Redwood City and adouble-crested cormorantin Foster City. Also this year, 12 other birds and three squirrels,including a house sparrow in Foster City, testedpositive for low-level WestNile virus infections, but“these are not consideredindicative of recent virusactivity,” said the MVCD. A San Francisco man was diagnosed with WestNile virus in August,
the rst locally acquired
human case reported inthe city since 2005, health
ofcials said on Sept. 25.
The most recent design plan for the 15-acre site. More public hearings will be held as the project moves forward.
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LibraryCity HallPJCCAssisted seniorlivingOceoverretailTownsquareCluboverretailAfordable seniorhousing over retail
made up of residents and business owners, madetwo recommendations in August to the San Mateo-Foster City School DistrictBoard of Trustees for waysto relieve overcrowding inFoster City.One solution was to
The Lagonian • October 2012
 About Te Lagonian
The Lagonian is a monthly, independent newspaperreporting on Foster City and local issues.
Please address letters to the editor by e-mail to letters@lagonian.com. Regular mail should be addressed to The Lagonian, P.O. Box 4669, FosterCity, CA 94404. Letters must not exceed 150 words
and must include the author’s rst and last name
and city of residence.
For information about advertisingcontact ads@lagonian.com. For pricing information,please visit www.lagonian.com/about.shtml.
 Free delivery:
If you are not receiving a copy of The Lagonian in the mail or if you would like to buthave an address outside of the 94404 zip code, call(650) 455-6312 or e-mail info@lagonian.com toarrange for newspaper delivery. The Lagonian canalso provide a news stand and regular delivery to businesses.
Candyce Amaya
, Lifestyle Columnistcandyce@lagonian.com
 Alexa Hemken
, Editor & Publisher
(650) 455-6312 • alexa@lagonian.com
 Alex Chen, Karen Chee,Juhie Desai, Elyse Dixon, Kevin Huo,Kay ZhangCarolyn T. Liu
, Food Criticcarolyn@lagonian.com
Sophia Ho
, Arts & Theater Criticsophia@lagonian.com
Leslie Chang
, Managing Editorleslie@lagonian.com
39 years of serviceOpen Year Round6:45am - 6pm Monday thru Friday
Ages 2 years to 6 years
Pre-Kindergarten Readiness
Transitional Kindergarten Program
Toilet Training
State Lic #414000357
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1064 F Shell Blvd., Foster City (Charter Square Shopping Center)
Between my two sons, they have attended the school or over fve years.When my frst son went to kindergarten, he seemed well ahead o other kidsin reading and math. It was always a delight to see their art work and otherprojects they did during the day ater we picked them up in the evening. Mostimportant, the sta is very riendly and really cares about the kids. –Vijay B.
The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approveda contract to hand over the lot beside Werder Pier—butnot the pier itself—for public use.On Sept. 25, the supervisors approved transferring theproperty to Foster City—currently, it is fenced off butmaintenance costs the county $30,000 annually.The city is calling the area Werder Park, said Parksand Recreation Director Kevin Miller at a Sept. 15Planning Commission meeting, to avoid confusion thatdevelopment on the site will include the currently off-
limits shing pier.
Earlier this year, the City Council approved $25,000for a conceptual design of the site. A six month publicinput process for the site could start January, said Miller.The city is looking to develop the site to includepublic uses or concessions, but nothing commercial. Forexample, improved bathroom facilities or bike rentals forlevee users.Commissioner Dan Dyckman said the “price was right”for the plot of land and “strongly encouraged” the city toapprove its acquisition.
The shing pier has not been used since 1996 when
it was closed to the public and utilized as an equipment
City on track to receive 2.6-acre Werder Pier lot
staging area by the state for seismic retrot of the present
San Mateo Bridge. It has remained closed to the publicdue to the liability associated with the aging structure.The City Council is scheduled to adopt it in October.
By Alexa Hemken
CONT’D from pg. 1
‘West Nile’
CONT’D from pg. 1
Your Ad Here!
E-mail ads@lagonian.com for more info
The patient, who isrecovering at home, hadnot recently traveledoutside the Bay Area,suggesting that hecontracted the virussomewhere in the region,according to the SanFrancisco Department of Public Health.In San Mateo County,there have not beenreported cases in humanssince a non-fatal case in2007, said Robyn Shaw,spokesperson for the SanMateo County HealthSystem.Nationally, 2012 has been one of the worst years on record for the virus since it arrived in theUnited States 13 years ago,according to the Centersfor Disease Control. As of Sept. 25, a total3,545 cases of WestNile virus disease werereported in people,including 147 deaths. Just
over half were classied as
neuroinvasive diseases.The virus is not spreadfrom person to person ordead animal to human,rather, people contract itthrough mosquito bites.People over age 50and those with weakenedimmune systems areparticularly vulnerableto the virus. Anyone whohas a fever and headachefor more than seven daysmay have the virus and isadvised to seek treatment.Homeowners canarrange for mosquitoinspections by calling(650) 344-8592.
Those who nd a dead
 bird are urged to notify the state of California by calling (877) WNV-BIRD.
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implement an AM/PMKindergarten schedulein the short-term andthe second was to teardown Bowditch MiddleSchool and rebuild its
campus with fth and
sixth graders separatedfrom seventh and eighthgraders.Superintendent CynthiaSimms has outlined apublic outreach timetablefor the Bowditch proposal.Simms will proposeher timeline at an Oct. 4meeting—it calls for twomore citizen committees,made up of SCOREmembers, educators andparents. They would
present their ndings in
February with tentativeschool board approval inMarch.One committee willfocus on he exteriordesign of the school andthe other on the kind of programming that willtake place.The superintendent’stimeline may play into a bond measure that waspostponed three times inthe span of a year and may  be placed on the ballot inNov. 2013.“If that’s the right designand people are supportiveof it, that would be part of,hopefully, a bond,” saidSimms. A Bowditch teardownis expected to cost around$65 million, according toschool district consultants.The bond would generate$130 million in revenuesfor projects in both SanMateo and Foster City.Simms also said theschool board will discusshiring an architect toreview the district’sfacilities master plan, which could helpdetermine which projectsare in most need of funding.Simms has visited otherlocal middle schools,including two in San
Carlos, that have fth to
eighth graders.
Werder Pier lot may soon be Foster City’s property.
October 2012 • The Lagonian
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Foster City Public Works director retiring 
Ray Towne, Foster City's Public Worksdirector for seven years, will retire in
December and city ofcials hope to
recruit someone for the position by the year's end.Towne has been in the engineeringprofession for 40 years, including in theprivate sector as an engineer assignedto work on Foster City commercial andresidential developments starting in themid-80s."Foster City is such a uniquecommunity," said Towne in a statementin late Sept., adding that "it has beena pleasure" to lead his departmentand have a hand in shaping the city'scharacter.
City seeks veterans to be honored onmemorial wall project
Foster City ofcials are searching
for current or former residents or city employees to be honored on the VeteransHonor Wall for $250.
The Veterans Honor Wall─a four-
foot-tall, 50-foot-long cement wall and
a nearby 30-foot-tall ag pole─has been
approved to be constructed at Leo J.Ryan Memorial Park and is expectedto be completed by Memorial Day 2013next May.The city announced in Sept. that itis seeking eligible participants to beginapplying at the Recreation Center at 650Shell Blvd., Foster City. A nameplate dedication requiresa $250 donation, which ensures thenameplate in perpetuity.Nominees must be current orformer residents of Foster City or city employees.The City Council approved by a 3-2 vote to use $50,000 in city funds forthe project, with Councilman CharlieBronitsky and Mayor Art Kieselopposing it on the grounds that it was
scally irresponsible during a time of  budget decits.
For more information, contact KevinMiller at (650) 286-3388 or kmiller@fostercity.org.Towne said in the statement that oneof the highlights of his timein Foster City was receivinga copy of the book Images of 
 America─Foster City from
T. Jack Foster Jr., one of thecity's original developers, with the inscription, "Foster City looks
great─keep up the good work."
In 1999, Towne was hired as a city engineer and in 2005 became the Public Works director.In his current role, Towne oversees anoperating budget of $17 million and 33employees in the water, sewer, lagoonand streets divisions.Towne said upon retirement that hehopes to relax for a few months beforetraveling with his wife.
By Alexa Hemken
By Alexa Hemken
‘15 acres’
CONT’D from pg. 1 A rendering of the project.
 An ofcial name
for the project will bedetermined this fall withCouncil approval, said aspokesman for The New Home Company.Foster City’s planningchief, Curtis Banks,kicked off the meeting by describing the designprocess as the “fun part”of the project.
Developers ‘excited’about project
City ofcials and
developers at the meetingmade it a point to proclaimtheir excitement for theproject, with landscapearchitect Joe Runco,managing principal atSWA Group, describing itas a “new, really uniqueneighborhood” for FosterCity.The plans presented atthe meeting have changed
since they were rst
 brought to the Council—for instance, the locationof some of the land usesand the movement of thetown square from thecenter of the developmentto the Foster City Boulevard side.Changes also includea reduction in for-saleresidential units from200 to 196; an addition of assisted and independentliving from 138 to 152; anaddition of retail spacefrom 30,000 to 35,600and an addition of about25,000 square feet of 
ofce space.
The project is gearedtoward people age 55 orolder.
Retail, Shell Blvd.edge at the center of concerns
“I don’t see therelationship betweenShell Blvd. and all ourassets,” said PlanningCommissioner Noemi Avram, referring to thehousing units lining thatside of the development.She said many city- wide events are heldnear Shell Blvd at Leo J.Ryan Memorial Park—the annual BowditchMiddle School graduationceremony, the PolynesianFestival, the Arts and Wine Festival and Fourthof July festivities, to namea few.There’s frequently spillover at those eventsand Shell Blvd. is a publicarena for the city, said Avram.“The condos havegreat views for privateenjoyment,” said Avram.“That’s great, but not atthe expense of having a wall instead of havingpermeability.”Planning CommissionerBob Werden wasdisappointed at the lack 
of owering plum trees,
of which he is a long-timeadvocate.“The tree pulls thecity together,” he said.Flowering Plums havepink blossoms in thespring and their leavesturn deep burgundy in thesummer.Councilman CharlieBronitksy advocatedfor incorporating solaras part of the project as well as drought-resistant vegetation. Although severalCouncilmembers andPlanning Commissionersexpressed concernsabout the success of theretail part of the project,Councilman Herb Perezoffered the most detailedobservations.Perez said he was“cautiously optimistic,” but said the retailcompany chosen by thedeveloper “should haveskin in the game.”“This is a very romanticsales pitch,” said Perez.He said entertainmentand food would be moresuccessful over storesselling consumer goods.

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