Monthly Archives

May 2016

PRIDE SMC Flyer Header
Community, Community Events

Full of PRIDE: San Mateo County’s 4th Annual PRIDE Celebration

San Mateo Insider welcomes guest blogger, Lauren Szyper, Co-Chair at San Mateo County LGBTQQI2S PRIDE Initiative.

SMC Pride Celebration_Central ParkOn behalf of the San Mateo County PRIDE Initiative, I’m thrilled to announce our fourth annual LGBTQ Pride Celebration on June 4, 2016 from 11:00am to 5:00pm!  Held every June at San Mateo Central Park, PRIDE continues to grow and we are enthusiastic about the County’s response.

Last year, we heard that many people appreciated the ability to celebrate locally rather than having to travel outside the county. We are committed to creating an opportunity for often isolated LGBTQ communities to come together in San Mateo County. San Mateo County is so large and has so many opportunities that many people’s paths never cross. PRIDE helps to break down barriers between us and provides a space to meet new friends, embrace diversity, and celebrate what makes our County such a great place to call home.

>> RSVP online <<

SMC Pride_Fashion ShowMarking the fourth annual event, San Mateo County is showing our commitment to supporting LGBTQ communities and creating a county that welcomes all people. The theme of this year’s PRIDE celebration is “PRIDE without Borders: Embracing Culture and Diversity.” The PRIDE Initiative selected this theme to emphasize the importance of recognizing how culture, race, sexual orientation, and gender identity overlap and affect our community.

We have a fun lineup of entertainment for people of all ages, including music from DJ Char, the rhythms of Sistahs of the Drum, and punk band Muñecas. We also have our queer fashion show by THÚY Custom Clothier, and so much more.

More and more organizations are eager to show their support by sponsoring and tabling at PRIDE. This year, more resource booths, local art, vendors, and food trucks will also be available in addition to a kid space.

SMC Pride_Vendor TablesWe are grateful for our generous sponsors: Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, AAA, San Francisco Federal Credit Union, Hilton Worldwide, Congregational Church of San Mateo, Lakin Spears, LLP Attorneys at Law, Community Overcoming Relational Abuse, Kaiser Permanente, and many other important supporters as well as our radio sponsors 95.7 The Game, 96.5 KOIT, R&B 102.9 KBLX, 98.5K Fox, and Q102.1.

Please come out and support this year’s celebration of LGBTQ diversity and bring all of your family and friends.

>> Sign Up: PRIDE Celebration, June 4th <<

Get Involved

For more information about Pride and to participate as a contributor or to volunteer, visit Follow the latest festival details on Facebook.

The Pride Initiative is working with the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (PCRC) in support of the annual Pride Celebration. For more information about PCRC or to make a donation to the Pride Celebration, please visit and choose “Pride Initiative (SMC Pride Event)” under “Select a designation.”

Please Note: This is not a City of San Mateo-sponsored event. 

About San Mateo County PRIDE Initiative

PRIDE Initiative SMCEstablished in 2007, the San Mateo County PRIDE Initiative is led by the San Mateo County Health System’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Office of Diversity and Equity, and is supported by the San Mateo County LGBTQ Commission.

The PRIDE Initiative’s mission is to foster an inclusive environment based on equality and parity for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and two-spirit (LGBTQQI2S) communities of San Mateo County.

Community, Community Development, Parks and Recreation

Last Chance to Buy a Brick Along the Beresford Path

This is your LAST CHANCE to Buy-a-Brick along the new Beresford Path, and have your dedication unveiled at the Grand Re-Opening Celebration this Summer 2016! If you or anyone you know were considering donating a brick, NOW is the time to do so.

>> Click to Order Your Beresford Brick Online <<

brick pathway_beresford

Click to Buy-a-Brick Online! Deadline is Mon, May 23 at 12noon.

The 23-year-old playground at Beresford Park has served our community well, but needed a renovation. The City of San Mateo and the San Mateo City Parks and Recreation Foundation are currently under construction at Beresford Park (slated to re-open in mid-July 2016). Improvements include renovating the playground, surrounding pathways and landscaping.

You can donate to this cause, as well as purchase a Pathway Brick for $250. These paver bricks are 12-inches x 6-inches and you’re allowed 3 lines of 23 characters per line (including spaces and punctuation).

The deadline to submit your donation and dedication is Monday, May 23rd, at 12:00 noon.

>> Donate Today! <<

Beresford Park Slated to Re-Open July 2016

Landscape architect's rendition of plans for Beresford Park

Landscape architect’s rendition of plans for Beresford Park

Construction on the new playground area began in September 2015 and is slated to re-open in mid-July 2016.

The playground renovation will include many fun new attractions for children including tower slides, net bridges, climbing walls, pendulum swings, a crawl tunnel, spinners, monkey bars and more. Landscape improvements include a commemorative brick walkway thanks to donors who supported the playground renovation.

As of April 1st, the underground storm drains and pipes have been installed. The concrete curbs, pathways, rock work and landscaping are complete and the adult fitness equipment has been put in place.

We await the arrival of the engraved commemorative bricks, benches and play equipment in the upcoming weeks and will work as swiftly as possible to re-open this much loved community park.

Downtown, Parking

Online Parking Permit System Launches June 1st

Go Online Rather Than Wait In Line!

On June 1st, the City of San Mateo will launch the online sale of monthly downtown parking permits. The system, available at will open to the public on May 23rd providing extra time to pre-register, create an account, and begin the process of purchasing a monthly parking permit before the system opens on June 1st.

The transition to an online parking system is the result of the Downtown Parking Management Plan adopted by the San Mateo City Council in 2014. The management plan identifies online permit sales as a method to streamline the permit process and make them more convenient to purchase.

Orange in the downtown core encourages parking turnover making it easier for customers to find a spot. Green along the perimeter provides more options for all-day parking.

Color-Coded Map of Downtown Core Parking Zones.

Along with the switch to online sales, the permit system will transition from a quarterly downtown parking permit to a monthly permit tied to a specific facility. Additionally, the pricing for a monthly permit is based on the location of the garage and its proximity to the downtown core. For instance, those wanting to park within the downtown core at the Central Garage will pay $80 for the monthly permit. Garages located further from the core including the 2nd and El Camino Garage, Main Street Garage, Transit Center Garage, and Tennis Court Garage at Central Park are $50 per month. While the surface parking lots at 4th and Claremont and 5th and Claremont, as well as on-street parking along Railroad Avenue between 5th and 9th Avenues,  are $30 per month.

“The new pricing structure is similar to the recent rate changes to on-street parking,” says Matt Bronson, Assistant City Manager. “Last July we began charging a higher amount in the higher demand area of the downtown core and charging a lower amount in the periphery. This change encourages customers to park further out and provides better utilization of existing spaces. We expect this same behavior to occur as the parking permit program gets underway.”


With the Parkmobile app, you can enjoy convenient, cashless parking in Downtown San Mateo.

The City of San Mateo has partnered with Parkmobile to provide the online parking permit system. Parkmobile is the leading provider for on-demand and prepaid mobile payments for on- and off-street parking. Their services have been adopted in more than 2,000 locations, including 35 of the top 100 cities in the U.S. by millions of registered users.

“Parkmobile is pleased to power the San Mateo online permit system,” says Jon Ziglar, CEO of Parkmobile. “We hope to add an enhanced level of convenience to all permit holders and make the parking experience even easier.”

Customers can visit the Parkmobile Help Center for step-by-step instructions and frequently asked questions (FAQs). In addition to the online Help Center, San Mateo permit holders will be provided with a customer support phone number and email address later this month. Both the City and Parkmobile are dedicated to making the transition to the new system as smooth as possible!

The city began implementing the Parking Management Plan last summer by introducing the new color-coded parking zones and establishing parking rates based on demand and location. The changes to the parking permit program bring added convenience to downtown customers, makes it easier to manage and administer, and continues the transition to demand and location based parking. The city is also exploring technologies that will simplify the parking experience and will soon introduce mobile pay to downtown customers.

“Putting parking permit sales online is an important step to modernize the program and make it more convenient for downtown customers,” says Ann Fienman, Executive Director of the Downtown San Mateo Association. “It’s exciting to see the recommendations of the Parking Management Plan come to fruition. Using technology to better manage parking is great for downtown.”

San Mateo Bikeshare
Community, Sustainability

Hop A Ride On San Mateo Bay Bikes

San Mateo bikeshare rolls into town just in time for Bike to Work Day!

San Mateo Bay Bikes

Sign up for Bay Bikes at and receive a $5.00 discount using promo code PROMO5. Once registered, start using
Bay Bikes – it’s a fun new, way to get around San Mateo!

Bay Bikes, San Mateo’s innovative new city bikeshare pilot, launches this Thursday on Bay Area Bike to Work Day. Look for 50 blue Dutch-style bikes parked at 11 stations around town (map).

The bikes are available 24/7 and can be ridden throughout San Mateo, giving residents and commuters a sustainable and healthy way to run errands, get to work, or visit friends.

Bay Bike hubs are located near Caltrain stations and major employment centers, but riders may lock bikes to regular racks anywhere in San Mateo.

The pilot uses “smart bikes” as opposed to the “smart hub” system used by most other bikeshares—including Bay Area Bike Share—that require bikes to be checked out and returned to a docking station. The technology for locating, renting, releasing and locking a Bay Bike lives on the bike, not the bike rack, giving riders flexibility when it comes time to park.

“I love these bikes because I have the option of locking them anywhere in the City instead of bringing it back to a station. It really gives me the flexibility to ride where I want when I want,” stated Ken Chin, a bikeshare rider.

With Bay Bikes, riders can lock to any regular sidewalk rack if they decide to make a stop during their reservation, to grab a coffee or sandwich, or can leave the bikes at a “non-hub” location once they arrive at their destination for a small fee.

The pilot is a partnership between the City of San Mateo, Social Bicycles (SoBi)—bikeshare pioneers with 20+ successful programs worldwide, and Bikes Make Life Better, a San Francisco-based company that helps large organizations enhance transportation, sustainability, and wellness through innovative bike programs.

Bay Bikes makes cycling and alternative transportation options more accessible throughout San Mateo. People may use them for traveling short distances, running errands, and quickly getting around town. The new bike share program supports goals to expand San Mateo’s bicycle network while encouraging ridership from Caltrain stations and employment hubs located along the transit corridor. The program will also help the San Mateo community stay active, lead a more sustainable lifestyle, and make cycling an integral part of daily life.

“We are proud to pioneer this innovative new bike share system. San Mateo is taking on the leadership role for this program, and we hope that our neighboring cities will join us in creating a regional network,” stated San Mateo Mayor, Joe Goethals.

Give Bay Bikes a try – it’s easy!

  • Simply register and pick a plan for either $15 a month, which includes one hour of use per day or $5 per hour as a pay-as-you-go rate.
  • Find and reserve a bike using the site, mobile app, or by entering an account number and pin on the bike’s keypad.
  • Unlock the bike and start pedaling!
  • Relock the bike at a convenient hub location free of charge or at any regular bike rack inside the system area for a small fee.

Check out the video tutorial for more on how these bikes work, and visit for pilot details.

The City of San Mateo, Social Bicycles, and Bikes Make Life Better are excited to partner on this innovative new bikeshare and hope to see the Bay Bikes system adopted by neighboring communities soon.

Community, Community Events, Downtown

San Mateo Innovation Week 2016

Celebrating Local Innovative Talent in Technology and Beyond.

San Mateo Innovation Week, taking place from May 16th through 20th at the San Mateo Main Library, returns for its third year to highlight a vast representation of entrepreneurs, technologists, and rising stars in industries ranging from virtual reality, fashion, food, art, and race relations. This dynamic week showcases San Mateo as a hub of creativity and fertile ground for entrepreneurs to nurture their next venture.

While start-up and tech companies make headlines on a daily basis and are credited with the lion’s share of innovation, there are many other businesses and talented individuals throughout San Mateo that add to our pool of local, innovative talent.

“It’s exciting that this year’s Innovation Week features entrepreneurs, students, and individuals that go beyond technology,” says Alicia Petrakis, local entrepreneur, restauranteur, and President of the San Mateo EDGE (Economic Development Growth Enterprise). “This year’s event truly highlights the ways creativity and innovation is harnessed across industries.”

San Mateo Innovation Week 2015. Edmoto receives the Visionary Hero Award for innovative contributions to education.

San Mateo Innovation Week 2015. Edmoto receives the Visionary Hero Award for innovative contributions to education.

Innovation Week kicks–off on Monday, May 16th with the San Mateo Visionary Hero Awards, an annual award established by the EDGE that recognizes firms, organizations, and individuals who have made substantial contributions to the development of San Mateo as a center for start-ups and entrepreneurial innovation. The EDGE will present a San Mateo Visionary Hero Award to Emergence Capital for their investment in next generation enterprise technology and Tile for helping people keep track of everyday items.

The rest of the events taking place throughout Innovation Week focus on art, technology, and San Mateo’s spirit of innovation in all sectors. Step into the world of virtual reality from 2:00 to 5:30 PM on Monday, May 16th. An alluring lead into the awards ceremony explores the way virtual reality is being used to enhance our ability to perceive the world around us. Meet the creative minds that are integrating virtual technology into education, training, video games, and urban design.

Delight in local food and fashion on Wednesday, May 18th with a fashion show, featuring Ricochet Wearable Art and local designer Jill Pillot while sampling innovative appetizers from local restaurants.

Rising stars showoff and demonstrate science and technology projects in last year's student competition.

Rising stars showoff and demonstrate science and technology projects in last year’s student competition.

On Thursday, May 19th students from Aragon High School, DTech High School, and Nueva School participate in the Youth In Innovation Evening. Students’ STEAM projects will be on display and two rising stars from each school will present their projects to the audience and compete in a STEAM Competition.

On Friday, May 20th join in an invigorating conversation about race relations in our communities. Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (PCRC) brings together leading experts on race relations that challenge and encourage all of us to think differently about the ways we communicate and understand race and diversity.

Innovation Week closes Friday evening with a Tech on the Deck networking reception at Hero City at Draper University where participants and the San Mateo community can network and share ideas with like-minded individuals.

San Mateo Innovation Week is sponsored by the EDGE, the City of San Mateo, the San Mateo Public Library, and Maker Faire. For more information about the line-up of events, please visit Most events, except where noted, take place at the San Mateo Main Library. Please register for events using Eventbrite. There are fees for some of this year’s events.

“This year’s Innovation Week features a fantastic line-up of local talent, creative minds, and leading technologists,” says San Mateo Mayor, Joe Goethals. “San Mateo is fortunate to have a high caliber of entrepreneurs that can keep our community at the forefront of innovation and continuously explore what’s next.”