Monthly Archives

February 2016

25th Avenue, Local Business

Create a More Vibrant 25th Avenue

Share your ideas! Participate in 25th Avenue’s Pop-up Forum and Open House.

Stop by 25th Avenue throughout the day on Tuesday, March 1st to share your ideas for creating a more vibrant commercial area. The San Mateo community is invited to participate in two events that will generate ideas about ways to enhance this neighborhood commercial area.

The first is a pop-up activity taking place in front of Reach and Teach from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. An Open House will follow that evening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lighthouse Room located in the administrative offices of the First Presbyterian Church. Those participating will have the opportunity to learn more about the 25th Avenue Improvement Initiative, provide their ideas to improve the aesthetic and economic vibrancy of the area, and gain a better understanding of the PG&E Undergrounding Project as well as a potential streetscape improvement project.

“These two events are a way for the community to connect in a casual, low-key environment. It’s an opportunity where neighbors and businesses can easily interact with one another while sharing ideas about ways to improve and bring more activity to the commercial area,” says Matt Bronson, San Mateo Assistant City Manager. “We are looking forward to hearing from the broader 25th Avenue community.”

The 25th Avenue Improvement Initiative formed last August in response to the PG&E utility undergrounding project and interest from local business groups as well as 25th Avenue businesses and residents to identify a process for improving the commercial neighborhood, engaging the broader 25th Avenue community, and creating consistent communication channels during construction. For more information, please visit

Community, Housing

Renting in San Mateo County

Live Streaming Town Hall: Tonight, February 22 – 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Renting in San Mateo County is becoming increasingly more difficult. Stories similar to today’s SF Gate headline, Burlingame woman, 97,  evicted after 66-years, are all too common. San Mateo County is amongst the most expensive places to live in the nation, and with skyrocketing rents, neighbors are squeezed out of the area.

Congresswoman, Jackie Speier has heard too many of these heartbreaking stories and is hosting a town hall discussion that will provide renters with an opportunity to share their stories with city and county officials. While those attending are invited to share their experiences, it also provides an opportunity to collaborate and begin to identify solutions.

San Mateo Mayor, Joe Goethals, Councilmember, Rick Bonilla, and Housing Manager, Sandy Council join County Supervisor, Dave Pine as well as ten other cities in San Mateo County including Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Carlos, and South San Francisco, in tonight’s discussion.

The City of San Mateo has started a similar discussion within its own community by recently convening a housing task force that is considering topics around housing affordability. Tonight’s meeting encourages a broader county-wide conversation that is a reminder that all communities are impacted by the increasing cost of living in this area.

Tonight’s forum is striking a nerve with many throughout the County, so much that the event is at a capacity. To make it more widely available, the City of San Mateo is proud to sponsor the live streaming on PenTV. Watch it live tonight from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. 

Congresswoman Speier is looking forward to having a productive conversation about this difficult topic. If you are not able to participate in person, please tune into the conversation online or by watching on Comcast 26, Wave 27, or AT&T Uverse 99. Please share your comments or ideas to this blog post.

Daily Commute
Community, Public Works

Neighborhood Traffic Forums

San Mateo Public Works Department tackles traffic one neighborhood at a time.

Neighborhood Traffic Forum

Public Works Director, Brad Underwood talks to neighbors about neighborhood traffic

Former CBS Evening News Anchor, Dan Rather once said, “Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn’t block traffic.” Unfortunately, for San Mateo traffic is blocked. And it’s not just blocked in one or two spots; all residents have examples from their neighborhood where they’ve noticed traffic worsening, speeding in residential areas, cutting through neighborhoods, the list goes on.

The recipe for traffic in San Mateo is well known: take a surging local economy, add a shortage of housing on the peninsula, mix in underused/under-developed public transportation, and finish off with a society that prefers traveling by car. While it is necessary to address many of these issues at a regional level, the City of San Mateo decided in the fall of 2015 to be a leader in the Bay Area by confronting traffic head-on at the local level. To that end, the City of San Mateo created the Neighborhood Traffic Forums. Other cities along the peninsula are carefully watching and asking city officials to give tips and feedback on how things go because other cities want to replicate what San Mateo is pioneering.

Hayward Park

Hayward Park neighbors share their concerns about neighborhood traffic.

This forum series represents an ambitious effort by city officials. The plan is to hold ten neighborhood meetings on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month from January to May. City officials are encouraging residents to share any and all ideas and suggestions that relate to traffic. The purpose of these ten meetings is for neighbors to begin a conversation about the traffic challenges within their neighborhood and find common ground for the solutions they would like to see.

So far, the City has held three meetings and Public Works Director, Brad Underwood, feels they have been successful. Over 170 people have attended thus far and generated over 400 ideas for solving traffic in San Mateo. Many residents have similar ideas yet in many cases present conflicting ideas for solving traffic. One example of this is in the Fiesta Gardens neighborhood. Some residents would prefer to see direct access to the neighborhood from Saratoga Dr. as a way to improve traffic while others are adamant that additional openings would cause more problems. One of the challenges in future meetings will be for residents to work towards agreement on what they want for their neighborhood.

We have seven more to go and invite anyone interested to attend the meeting relevant to their neighborhood.

Miss California at one of San Mateo's events
Community, Community Events

San Mateo Events Update

February 10 – 17

Come out and have some fun at events happening in San Mateo this week! Make some crafts to gear up for Valentine’s Day, or take your special someone to the comedy show at Kingfish. Check out this sampling of events and don’t forget to take a peek at our events calendar for more exciting happenings.

Crafts with the A Team: Tween Valentine’s Day Craft Afternoon

Thursday, February 11th 3:30pm – 5:00pmValentine's Day craft

Tweens are invited to come make Valentine’s Day crafts at the downtown library. These crafts will make perfect gifts for family, friends, and of course your Valentine. Refreshments will be provided and there is no cost to participate.

Traffic Forum #3: San Mateo High School Cafeteria

Thursday, February 11th 7:00pm – 9:00pm

The City of San Mateo Public Works department is hosting community outreach forums to identify and help solve traffic issues within San Mateo neighborhoods. At the forums there will be a presentation about the state of traffic followed by participants breaking into groups to discuss problems and solutions for the traffic in their neighborhood. Come join in the conversation with your community.

Yellow cauliflowerCollege of San Mateo Farmer’s Market

Saturday, February 13th 9:00am – 1:00pm

The College of San Mateo hosts the best farmers’ market on the peninsula! Stop by and see just why this market has earned this reputation while doing your weekly grocery shopping.

Valentine’s Day Card Creation

Saturday, February 13th 11:00am – 2:00pm

All ages are welcome to make a Valentine’s Day card at the downtown library. Bring your family and have a fun afternoon crafting together. There is no cost to participate and materials will be provided.

Kingfish Comedy Show Kingfish comedy show poster

Saturday, February 13th 7:00pm – 11:00pm

Larry “Bubbles” Brown is coming to San Mateo! This comedy star seen on The Late Show will be preforming right in downtown San Mateo along with the hilarious Chad Opitz, Bryant Hicks, and Nicole Calasich. Tickets are $12, be sure to get them early as seats are limited. Enjoy some good laughs and great food at Kingfish Restaurant!

Connect with us on Facebook and let us know what you did in San Mateo this week. Also, subscribe to this blog to get events and articles about what’s going on in San Mateo sent directly to you. Have a happy Valentine’s Day!

PLEASE NOTE: We strive to ensure all events listed here are accurate and up-to-date. However, event dates, times, locations, and other details are subject to change without prior notice. Therefore, we recommend you contact the specific event organizer to confirm details. Thank you for visiting!

City Council, Community, Downtown

San Mateo State of City Address

San Mateo. In the Age of the City.

Mayor Joe Goethals presented San Mateo’s State of City Address: San Mateo In the Age of the City, on January 22nd during the San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce’s Good Morning San Mateo breakfast. The Mayor began his presentation by posing the following question: “Why is there now such a focus on cities?”

Cities are where people want to live.

It’s where jobs, schools, services, and day-to-day activities are concentrated. Approximately 50% of the U.S. population resides in cities or major metropolitan areas such as the Bay Area, Manhattan, Seattle, Miami, and Chicago. Additionally, half of the GDP (gross domestic product) for our country is generated in these concentrated metropolitan areas. Residents of these cities and San Mateo look to local government to provide the needed services, infrastructure, recreation activities, public safety, and policy decisions to ensure that local needs are being met. Cities are where we can make a difference.

The Billion Dollar Corridor

Billion Dollar CorridorThe Bay Area and San Mateo is experiencing significant growth since the recovery from the recession. The fifty mile stretch between San Francisco and San Jose, which some refer to as the “billion dollar corridor,” has a concentration of companies which provide jobs and generate a great deal of revenue. We are fortunate to be surrounded by these companies, but the overall strength of our economy also puts a great deal of stress on our infrastructure and makes it extremely expensive to live here.

This additional growth and the influx of wealth created in our region is placing growing demand for city services. The issues we must address are more complex than ever before. San Mateo is taking strides to develop recommendations, policies, and programs to support the need for affordable housing, infrastructure improvements; strategies to address traffic, and programs that will create a more sustainable community. San Mateo is fortunate to have a highly engaged community, talented city staff, and relationships that extend throughout the region and state. Collaboration and looking to the community to find solutions is one of the attributes that makes San Mateo a great community, and we consistently use this approach when solving our most demanding challenges.

2016 City Priorities

In 2016, a Housing Taskforce is focused on developing recommendations to address affordable housing. The former redevelopment properties are part of this equation and are being considered as possible opportunities for additional housing opportunities as well. In addition, the Public Works Department has initiated Neighborhood Traffic Forums that are generating discussions to address traffic concerns, one neighborhood at a time, throughout our community. The forums launched in January and will continue until the end of May.

Measure S has given the city a “shot in the arm” to make significant investments in our services and infrastructure. A citizens oversight committee will form to provide oversight on how Measure S funds can be spent. Paved streets, flood improvements, improvements to parks and recreation facilities, and increased public safety are some of the ways Measure S funds can be used to strengthen our community for future generations.

As highlighted in the Mayor’s State of the City address, the City is tackling a number of initiatives that will continue to make San Mateo a great community. Please visit the City’s YouTube Channel to view the Mayor’s State of the City Address and hear his ideas.

Community Events

The celebration begins on Super Bowl Saturday!

Attend the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Game at College of San Mateo.

Super Bowl Saturday is only three days away! Are you attending San Mateo’s big game? The Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team (WWAFT) plays at College of San Mateo on Saturday, February 6th, matching up veterans that have lost limbs in Afghanistan or Iraq with more than 40 NFL Alumni. Join the San Mateo community as these modern-day warriors face-off at the 50-yard line.

“Saturday, February 6th will be a poignant moment in San Mateo,” says Joe Goethals, San Mateo Mayor. “The Wounded Warrior Amputee football game showcases the very best of our community. We are honored to host this game; show our support and gratitude to the brave men and women on the field, and welcome guests from around the world to our city.”

Safety is a priority on Super Bowl Saturday

To provide a safe environment for the public and expedite entry into College Heights Stadium at CSM, WWAFT, the City, and College have implemented a policy limiting the size and type of bags allowed into the stadium; they will also conduct random bag checks and will have a presence at each entry gate. For this event, attendees are requested to carry bags that are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and not exceeding a size of 12″x6″x12″ into the stadium. For more information about safety procedures visit CSM’s event page.

Pre-Game Mix and Mingle

During the game, interact with NFL players and veterans. Get free autographs, take photos, and participate in a raffle for a chance to win autographed NFL memorabilia such as jerseys, helmets, and footballs from the Niners, Raiders, and other teams.

The City of San Mateo and College of San Mateo are proud to host the Wounded Warrior Amputee football game, presented by Humana and the Military Benefit Association. For more information and tickets, please visit CSM’s website or The Bay Area Sports Network will broadcast the game starting with pre-game activity at 11:15. It can be viewed online at

All proceeds from the game benefit the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team and disabled veteran initiatives in the Bay Area. Please consider making a donation during the game or by visiting the Wounded Warrior Amputee website.

Art on the Manpower building
Community, Community Events, Downtown

San Mateo Hosts First Friday’s

First Friday’s are popular community events hosted all over the country on the first Friday of each month, typically in a city’s art district, for attendees to experience and celebrate unique local art. While San Mateo does not have a designated art district, it is lucky enough to have this event hosted right in its own downtown.

First Friday’s are free and feature live music, dancing, jewelry and crafted goods from local vendors, a food truck and of course art from downtown San Mateo’s own merchants.Music preformers at a San Mateo event

The Shop at Flywheel Press first brought this event to San Mateo a few years ago and it has since grown to include other downtown shops and places of art including Claremont Art Studios, Peninsula Art Studios, Neologian Art Gallery, Scribble Me Happy, and Arts Unity Movement.

This month Philz Coffee will host a community pop-up photo gallery sponsored by Bay Meadows.

Grab a cup of coffee and peruse through the 100 finalists of the Fame by Frame photo contest. These photographs were taken throughout 2015 by community members to represent what they love about San Mateo. Participate in a live vote at Philz to decide who will be the $500 grand prize winner.  This event begins at 6:00 p.m. this Friday, February 5th, and the first 100 folks to attend will receive a coupon for Philz!

Downtown banner on the street post at B Street and BaldwinAfter enjoying San Mateo’s local art, relax downtown and grab a bite and one of San Mateo’s exceptional restaurants. If you need some inspiration on where to go, check out San Mateo Best Food to learn all about the delectable choices San Mateo has to offer.

Don’t forget – First Friday’s happen every month! Check out our event calendar to never miss out on this or other lively events taking place throughout San Mateo.