September 28, 2005


I made two trips at different times of the day, through Burlingame Avenue. The trash cans, particularly by Wraps and Gap area were just overflowing with junk, and a couple of homeless were sorting through the cans to see what was useful. This really seems like a solvable problem, either more trash recepticles, or more pick-ups, eh? Of all the list of issues we have, this is a no-brainer.


Just imagine the trash if all the stores on the Avenue were occupied! Does BFI do the Avenue, too?

I have recently talked to several store owners on Burlingame Ave. and the overriding issue they talk about is their rent increases. I have been told of doubling, tripling and quadrupling rents in the last TWO years. Wonder why the face of the Ave. is changing and there is so much brown paper covering windows?--that's it.


Rising rents should balance out at some point though. Rents rise too high, stores move out, empty space - rents go down - stores move in. Transition time for Burlingame Ave indeed while the market dynamics work themselves out...

... and customers go to other towns and may never return.

Just ask those cash/credit card weilding teenagers.

Ricardo Ortiz

Without a clear vision for downtown and the unresolved issue of Safeway, why would anyone invest in setting up shop with sky high rents? Lets set our agenda and move forward. Only then will retailers feel that it is a good investment. No more bickering! Lets solve the puzzle and lets all get moving. If we dig in our heels and wait we will miss some good opportunities to make Burlingame a better place. We need vision without too much passion in the next council. We need clear intentions not muddled with difficult family issues or views so strong that they will drown everyone else out. Of the field out there, Rosalie O'Mahony stands out as the best candidate to provide a steady hand, a vision and an objective view.

just looking

You're kidding, right? Her newest nickname in town is The Weathervane.

Ricardo Ortiz

I expected a strong response but I thought it would include facts not just adolescent name calling. I assume this nickname? is in reference to her ability to look at both sides of the issues. I am sure it raises eyebrows at those camps where the trenches are dug so deep from past battles that they are unable to take an objective approach.


Broadway has plenty of empty stores (at much lower rents than Burlingame Ave) and is losing train service, yet you still say 'Alleluia to Broadway'!??

Ricardo, I agree with you completely regarding what needs to happen in Burlingame. Honestly, all the contempt and name-calling on this site does little to enhance the candidacies of those most closely associated with it.

Rich Grogan


As for ROM, I will not be voting for her, because I, still, have that vivid memory where ROM attempted to stick the knife in the DBID's back (to coin your words). After she and Da Mayor? met with the DBID and reviewed the books and knew there were not any improprieties; ROM had the internal fortitude to wave her pink piece of paper, during the council meeting, in the air and indicated she had all of the facts. The fact was she knew the answers before hand, she knew there wasn't anything improper with the DBID books, and she was just grandstanding. I did not and do not believe she was honest with her demonstration. Then, least we forget, there was her GRAND flip-flop on the crossing guard issue. It is my opinion O'Mahony's answers are predicted on which way the political wind is blowing and what serves her interest best, damn Burlingame!

On the train issue, I have to say that apathy had something to do with it. It is true that the merchants tried hard to save that station, but where were all the people affected, when those meetings in San Carlos took place? I saw Rosalie and Joe representing the city, but it would have been far more impressive to see lots of folks expressing their concerns about closure. Such was the case with the Bellarmine (excuse the spelling, if incorrect) kids who showed up in force, and basically saved that station. I was disappointed that we couldn't show more unity on this one., perhaps it would have made a difference. The shuttle just isn't the same as having a real station. In the meanwhile, because of the bullets, I feel we are no longer getting the good service we used to, on shorter runs, from even the Burlingame Avenue station. It seems on this that we are going backwards, or?


I heard on KCBS this morning poverty levels in Santa Clara county are rising drastically and now include every area of the county - Saratoga, Los Gatos - all over. They say the housing, cost of living and layoffs are responsible.

DBID wasted a bunch of money -
$30000 on tree lighting
$17000 back to city
$12000 on website
$6000 on website logo
more money went to admin fees than to advertising.

Ricardo and JL are right. Alleluia ended around the turn of the century. Things aren't looking so peachy after two hurricanes and the Iraq war. But this area always seems rebound.

JL - I am an optimist and I think just two new businesses riding into town is something to celebrate especially when those businesses arrive on Broadway. New businesses are good for the street, good for the surrounding businesses and good for us residents. So many businesses have hit the dust recently and this is good news!

Which are the other empty stores in Broadway? If you mean the old Bank building, that too will soon be morphing into a new restaurant so that is a total of THREE! THREE! THREE!

Mrs. Keighran ("a candidate most closely associated" to Broadway) and volunteers did something constructive with their Broadway survey and have started the ball rolling.

Ricardo, what should we be doing? What should Mahoney be doing? What can we do?

Ricardo Ortiz

Although I strongly support Rosalie and I am active in her campaign, I do not speak for her on any issue. These are my personal opinions and in some cases they are very different than my dear calculus professor.

OK then...Rich: I am sorry that that one single issue will stop you from voting for Rosalie. Maybe you should take her many years of service into consideration and weigh them against her opponents' before you completely write her off.

Fiona: I think the most important thing we should do is resolve the Safeway issue. Once this is done, merchants will have a clear signal as to the direction of the towm. Think about it; if you are gettin ready to set up shop at the Fox Mall, the Safeway project will have huge implications when it comes to foot traffic in that area. One proposal will reduce it and the other will increase it dramatically. This is huge! Everything else in the area will be affected. People talk about Howard Ave. improvements but I wouldn't spend a penny on designs until I know what the major anchor in the are will look like. Uncertainty is the biggest enemy of an investor. The rest of the plan should pick up from there. A Ionscu-type developement will call for a very different approach to the original Safeway proposal. 'nough said...back to work.


Jen, you hit the nail on the head: few people besides the merchants cared if Broadway train service got shut down, and that's precisely the problem...Broadway isn't much of a destination. That's why threads like this bashing Burlingame Ave and praising Broadway are ridiculous. I guarantee you that many people would've been up in arms if they tried to shut down Burlingame Ave service instead of Broadway.


JL, nobody is bashing Burlingame Avenue but recognizing that there are some problems on "The Ave". Why shouldn't a Broadway business owner be excited about two new additions to Broadway? It will help her town and may even help her business. When new stores roll into - and NOT out of the Avenue - lets parteeeee!

Empty stores send a big message to other prospective business owners, parking discourages some prospective shoppers and there needs to be some improvement on the cleanliness on the streets. All legitimate concerns and all fixable, don't you think?

Hey, we are all one town with two/three different parts. Different and similar problems that can and should be fixed by strong leadership on council et al.


On Rosalie --

Regarding Rosalie and a vision for Burlingame -- hasn't Rosalie been on Council for some 16 or so years?

As residents (and voters) are we supposed to now believe that Rosalie has suddenly been struck by lightning and has some grand vision for the city? What has her vision for Burlingame been for the past 16 years? Is it coincidental that she thinks we need a vision because it's election season or because she heard the other candidates talking about it?

More importantly, let's assume Rosalie is looking to serve her constituents and the city -- if this is the case, then what is her vision? While I've heard one or two other candidates talking specifically about what they want Burlingame to look like down the road, I haven't heard anything specific from Rosalie other than the words "vision plan" appearing on her brochure.


Who could forget when newly elected Mrs. Nagel brought up the word "vision" for our downtown? The rolling of eyes from certain councilmembers would have made a teenager proud! Those councilmembers have now jumped on that vision train.

Thanks for the link to the Pet Parade website because there are alot more photos courtesy of Photographer Mark Hundley.

I particularly like the one called "Burlingame Style". Great!

Cheryl Enright


You have been told many times in this forum that your information on the DBID expenses is completely incorrect yet you continue to repeat these lies.

First the website cost less than $5000 for design, content management system, implementation, ISP and domain registration and one years support. We had bids as high as $45,000.

Second the DBID did not spend $6000 for a logo. The DBID purchased a complete marketing plan, including a logo, letterhead, newsletter design and various marketing options,

The tree lighting ceremony did not cost $30,000. The DBID spent $ 28,000 on the entire Holiday Open House event, which includes the Stanford marching Band, sleigh train rides and, all the other activities. We receive $20,000 from the Chamber for this event (from our Art Jazz on the Avenue) so it only costs the DBID $8000.00.

You and any others are always welcome to come to my office and we can go over every item in the books.

Please let this rest. I am extremely tired of reading about the inaccuracies. We are a great group of dedicated volunteers all working very hard to help Burlingame businesses and our community. Maybe you don't share the same vision.

Thank you.

Cheryl Enright
President -Advisory Board
Downtown Burlingame BID


I got the numbers right off the quicken books.


$10,500.00 Adopt-a-planter Donations
$20,000.00 Holiday Open House rec'd from City
$131,425.00 DBID rec'd from Businesses

$161,925.00 Total


$27,203.00 Spent on Holiday Open House
$19,026.30 Crescent Creative - Web/Marketing/Comm
$17,000.00 To City for Collections Shutttle
$5,825.91 Adopt-a-planter
$5,320.25 Advertising
$4,839.24 Admin Costs
$995.01 Art Jazz Festival

$80,209.71 Total

I'm sorry Cheryl outside of the adopt-a-planter program which could run off donations I don't see benefits to the Burlingame Ave businesses. The $6,000.00 is listed as logo development, etc. The numbers have changed since I looked in June but nothing major. Other than the website shows a cost of $5,680.00 but there is another fee of $5,494.84 for member communications what is that for?

The trash cans are still overflowing this morning. It is almost like they took a week off. To resolve this would be helpful to the Burlingame Ave business owners.


Fred, you must be going insane with all this DBID stuff. Why not use your energy and get involved, volunteer and help them out - it would be more productive, more constructive and good for all your nervous energy and angst!


I'm told I'm completely incorrect and full of inaccuracies, I provide the facts and I am told I am insane, nervous and full of angst. I love this town. I really do.


I think what he was trying to say is that you seem obsessed with the DBID. You have gone on and on and on about it. We get it ... you are ticked about a silly website, a silly logo, crescentcreative, etcetera, etcetera.

Get over it Fred. The horse is dead!


Why not ask those who been bitchin Galligan all these years to shut up as well? Keep bloggin Fred! I enjoy reading your post AVday!!!


They cant take the heat Fred. Dont stop.

Ray Park

You rock Fred!!!

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