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October 27, 2005



Thank you so much, Fiona, for always making it so easy for the rest of us to access the local news. I appreciate all your efforts in reprinting the articles from the daily newspapers! You're the best!


Do you all hear the ticking time bomb? You guys got a lot of confidence. You would think things were on an upswing. I feel for whatever council ends up running the show.

Better hope they don't lower the mortgage deduction, that will end the party quick.

Fred what did you think about the kids questions? What did you think about the candidates?

As far as upswing, I have always felt that on the day our toxic councilmember exitted himself, Burlingame has been on an upswing and will continue to swing upwards to a new high in Burlingame politics!


How much will wireless internet access cost the city? Won't it bother you when you can't track people by their IP or will you track them by computer ID?

Do the children really just want a new Safeway or are they as well willing to hold out till Safeway leaves?

Actually the kids had a very good question about Safeway because they compared the Menlo Park Safeway and ours. The MP buiding is going from big to smaller which is the opposite to ours. Mrs. Keighran because of her Planning Commission experience was able to explain why the Burlingame Safeway was turned down. ROMMY also said -and I quote - Safeway was "inflexible and unable to bend" so perhaps the students learned a valuable lesson that with good leadership and flexibility we would all have a new Safeway!


I'd be willing to bet that most of the kids care anything much about the Safeway, one way or the other. They hang out at the Oak Grove market and the donut shop. They also have enough money,(most of them), that they can afford deli sandwiches at CJ's or Sams on a daily basis. I went to an interesting seminar with the police liasion at BHS where begged parents NOT to give the kids $20 pocket money every day for a school lunch. He said that a lunch costs $3-$5, that one needs not wonder what happens to the other $15 per day. It adds up. Most of the kids are not hurting, thus the discrepancy between the haves and the have nots.

Also, if I back up a few blogs, Fred, you must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Your sarcastic remarks to Fiona are on the rude side. I may not always agree with Fiona, either, but she does a great service to all of us here, letting us know what is going on in and around town.


By the way, I was very surprised at that which was NOT asked: teen center. Either there was not enough time to ask it, or it simply is not age appropriate for teenagers, many who can already drive. Again, the issue of true need has to be addressed. If we're talking "community center", then if one ever does get built, it may not need all the bells and whistles for older teens as was previously assumed. Perhaps true need exists at the middle school level, and it should not take the place of true parental supervision as presence, as Sir Paul alluded to in his very eloquent summary.

Paul Prendiville

Jen,I am honoured by my new title you have bestowed upon me .Thankyou so much.

I was hoping that the teen center would be a question because I would love one of the candidates to have asked the students - with a show of hands - whether they would like a teen center. At a candidate's meeting this week, a young student was asked what she would like and she said coffee and chairs (and maybe computers too)!


Jenn, that first Fred comment that you call sarcastic and mean was not made by me. It's somebody (wonder who?) using my name.

Nobody wants to address the cost of establishing WiFi throughout town?


The parameters of WiFi were partially addressed last night by the two incumbents but they didn't get into the cost figures in their one minute answers. Perhaps city staff could give us a quick report on the status of the work they mentioned.

I wish we had a recording of Lembi's answer to the question. Unfortunately for him, he went first and couldn't bring himself to admit he didn't know what WiFi was. He managed to fill the minute anyway!


The student votes from the BHS Mock elections are as follows:

Baylock 35
Keighran 27
Condon 25
Root 17
O'Mahony 8
Andersen 7
Prendiville 2

Cohen 28
Lembi 12


Fake Fred, go away.

Now, on the MP store, the given problem is completely different than ours. Not long ago, a few lengthy articles were written, I think in the Merc, about the positive way the MP store came out (after 5 years work).

In Menlo Park, the Safeway had wanted to use a defunct Rite Aid and mall complex. It was huge, taken all together, I think around 100K, so for the neighbors, who abutt the property on the back (the front is right on El Camino), the issue was to shrink the extant defunct structure to a reasonable size. For Safeway, that wasn't such an issue. Normally they don't run stores in the 100K range. So the shrinkage of an already extant structure, and the contruction of a wall of some sort, to separate the neighborhood directly behind the Safeway, was the goal. Apparently, the issue started out very badly, just as ours did.

BUT, (now here is the difference), the MP council ordered Safeway and the neighborhood to go away and not come back until they had come to a satisfactory (for both sides) solution. Five years later (just a few months ago) this occurred, and the project was stamped by MP for approval.

The 67K proposal that has been nixed didn't take seriously any comments from the Planning Commissioners, neighbors, or Councilmembers. If you have listened to any of the forums (doubtful), you will see that in the meanwhile, 8.5 candidates publically recognize that Safeway has not been forthcoming in this process. The reason is clear for anyone who has been paying attention. While Mary Janney was on the Council, the corporation had three votes on which to count, regardless of what the Planning Commissioners said or thought.

When Terry was elected, that was no longer the case.

It is also a myth that the MP store happened quickly. It didn't. However, the big difference was the strong direction from the Council, not to come back until the differences were resolved.


PS Thanks KRN for the tab!


Excuse my typo ("publicly")


So the proposed Burlingame store was 67,000 square feet? How big is the Menlo Park store going to be?


It will be 70K; A full 30K less than the extant Rite Aid/Mall structure. Mostly it sounds as if the residents were pleased with how the store will handle truck deliveries, and also a wall of some sort. (In their case, because it abuts a residential neighborhood, they wanted a physical barrier.)


Paul, you needed a microphone, more than anyone, last night. The moderator mentioned that, had she known of your quiet presence, she would have switched the seating so that you'd be on the end next to the microphone! Your speech was good at the end, but only a handful of people heard it. Maybe you could write it out and blog it here?!


So the Menlo Park store which shares a lot with a residential complex would be 3,000 square feet larger than the proposed Burlingame store that is on a huge lot and does not share it with anyone.


You completely missed the point.

Fake Fred

I wasn't being sarcastic....I really think Fiona should be thanked for all her efforts in keeping the rest of us informed. I used Fred's name because I thought I would help his reputation along -- demonstrating that even Fred can be gracious and give thanks where thanks is due. Come on, Real Fred, give us a surprise sometime!


Menlo Park store - 70,000 square feet and approved

Burlingame store - 67,000 square feet and denied


I have never called Fiona or anyone else an insult to Burlingame. She can't say the same.


Jen/Fiona -

Mr Mills, whose class put on the debate, indicated that the question about the teen center was rejected by the students themselves. So indeed they did consider the question and word was that they had absolutely no interest in a teen center and therefore didn't even want to discuss it. Pretty consistent with what we're hearing from teens 14 and up.


Try this:
Menlo Park Council: 'Go figure it out between yourselves and don't come back until you've got an acceptable solution for everyone.'

Would this have worked here? Maybe. At least negotiations wouldn't have been one-sided. Safeway has only been a sincere negotiator when they knew there was no other way.

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