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October 25, 2005

Comments

Jen

Very strange that both articles seem to vary so much on the detail. Clear to me is that we need to beef up our own police dept., particularly for extra patrols on Friday and Sat.

Matilda

I agree 100%, but it costs money. Any ideas where the city can cut back to afford the extra officers?

Patrick Jensen

I am not sure what police resources go into policing the budding nightlife that has sprung up on Burlingame Avenue in the last 5 years, but we could continue to demand or get stricter on enforcement with these clubs (ie: asking for a greater contribution to the safety and security of the downtown area) which might in turn free up some officers for other activities...

Resident

Seems like a meeting between interested residents , BHS reps, and a City Council member and Chief of Police might make sense to discuss these issues: overall staffing levels; HS event details; night-club details; downtown late evening patrols; gang concerns.

Ricardo Ortiz

Many of the issues have to do with young people from other communities (ie. San Mateo, Millbrae and San Bruno). How about a meeting with the Sheriff and these other police depts.. This in not a Burlingame problem and the solution does not rest with our PD. This is time for cooperation among cities not for isolation.

fred

San Mateo Co. recently established a county-wide gang task force unit.

Carole

This is a Burlingame problem. They are here.People keep thinking 'Not in Burlingame''but we are in the middle and very vulnerable.

fred

It's an everywhere problem.

Ricardo Ortiz

What I meant to say was that it is not only in Burlingame and the solution is not with Burlingame alone. Every incident described has to do with young men coming from other communities. There are gang problems all the way down the Peninsula and as Fred described above, the Sheriff department has prevention programs. All I'm saying is we are not alone and we need to work with our neighbors.

Carole

Well lets consider this to be a wake up call.

Jen

I'd like a closer look given to the nightclub scene. Obviously these individuals are coming here because there is, indeed, something to do. I've started hearing about problems even earlier in the evenings, with people hanging out, waiting until they open. So it is a wake-up call. I think there should be more ability of the police to make sure that the dance-clubs are not catalysts for bad activity. I love that we have night activities, but if it's going to make the streets unsafe for the people, I'm wondering if it's worth it. At a certain point, other people won't want to go out at night, or will worry about their kids being out.

I remember a lot was written about Blush before it opened, that their nightclub down south had what now appear to be similar problems. The owners claimed it wouldn't happen here, but it looks as if it has. It probably started with FA and those problems were allowed to persist way too long. I cannot help but make the nightclub link, and close proximately to the areas where there have been problems. Blush opened about 1.5-2 years ago.

Thank goodness we don't have BART bringing even more people in from out of the area. As far as merging with Millbrae, all this should be factored in to the mix.

Well, maybe the San Mateo Task Force is working for them, and the gangs are moving north to Burlingame because of our lack of same. Just like the homeless in SF that didn't go for the Care not Cash program - they go somewhere that will accept them. Are we accepting the gangs through lack of focus? It's a great questions for the Civics Forum.

fred

Jenn, you are talking about closing an entire group of businesses. The bar scene in Burlingame is more than a few years old. The problems associated with it have been around for over fifty years. Fighting in the street is not new to Burlingame. Gangs have been in the area for a long time, too. Recently they seem to be growing all over the place. The problem seems to me the police force needs more resources.

The kid getting chased down and stabbed outside the football game is terrible - but the bar scene and the police department are not to blame.

Weren't there problems with Starbucks years ago and they had a security guy standing outside. There were some residents who were scared to walk past Starbucks because of the hordes of people standing outside. Does the security guy still patrol that corner? I would hate to see businesses turned away (agree with you Fred!) and maybe the nightclub businesses should help more with "security" in and in front of their businesses?

Resident

Again to code enforcement-knowledgeable folks, but don't some of those conditional use permits -- i.e. late night alcohol, clubs, etc. require security detail on-scene? Not sure, but Blush and others may indeed already have security on-scene. If broader gang problem, then likely too significant to be handled by one security detail however...

I don't think the issues at the business/bar scene are the same as the gang issues elsewhere. Two different issues. The bar issues seem to be drunk and disorderly. The gang issues are territory and drugs.

Gus, any input?

Jen

Fred, did I say those businesses should be shut down? Please, don't put words in my mouth. I think they have exasperated something that was already spinning out of control. I agree that there have always been brawls. But the gang stuff is somewhat new, and I do think that it is linked to the dance clubs and night time activities. The same is true of the area around the cinema in SM. There is a difference between bars, and dance clubs, so I've been told. It is the dance clubs that attract people into the late evening. The activities then spread into the street. I've heard about the FA problems almost since they opened. All I'm saying is that if we choose to make nightlife a priority in town, we need to have the manpower/police power to handle whatever negatives it brings along. Look at the police patroling in SM. They are literally everywhere., so there is a "safe" feeling and a presence.

I personally would use a heavier hand over the clubs and shut them down early if their patrons get rowdy too often. It shouldn't be that difficult to pinpoint. With the horrible incident with gangs last weekend, it seems that there may be many hotheads running around with gang allegances. That's there own problem. However as soon as it overflows onto or near school grounds, there needs to be stricter control over who, exactly, is using our facilities. It's nice to be open to everyone, but then they need to follow our rules, not rule our town.

Annamarie

I heard that the gangs were San Bruno and San Mateo vying for the drug turf in the middle; Burlingame High. We might not be the problem, but we are certainly caught in the middle, and an innocent bystander will get hurt. Make sure your kids do not leave the stadium once they go in, until everyone else has started exiting the game.

fred

From Jenn - "I love that we have night activities, but if it's going to make the streets unsafe for the people, I'm wondering if it's worth it"

Gang activity on the peninsula (and in Burlingame) is not new, not by a longshot. Don't blame the bars, don't blame outsiders. It is part of living near a city. You can't shut it down or keep it out. It can be dealt with but not by closing down business or trying to prevent people from coming to our town.

You can't build a moat around Burlingame. Even if you try to keep people out all you are managing to do is ruin something that makes this city great. I am dumbfounded that you have made a leap that a stabbing means we shouldn't combine services with Millbrae. Perhaps it is fear that makes you want to close off the outside world from this town, but that isn't a logical solution.

fred

Better solution - Welcome people from out of town, collect greater revenues and hire more police. Also work with neighboring communities to minimize gang activities (ie: share services).

Resident

Fred - isn't there already a moat around the Bayshore part of Burlingame?

fred

Resident don't forget about the one on the other side of 280.

My point being it would be hard to get it up Trousdale and Barriohlet. But I did keep the option open with the phrase 'even if you try'.

Jen

On the same page of the Times, there is an article titled "Police to enforce youth curfew," and it refers to East Palo Alto. They will fully enforce the 11pm-6am curfew for those under 18 (except in cases work/emergency related.

Jen, I still do not think it's the gangs causing issues at a place like Blush. It's just not their style. These are street folk that care more to prey on teenagers with money for drugs than the many corporate style men preying on young girls at clubs.

I think there are two separate and distinct serious issues that need addressing. Both involve police and money to fund them.

To clarify the my two issues: gangs in the streets with violence/drugs and access to our underage children, and night/dance clubs with drunk/disorderly conduct amongst adults.

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