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September 20, 2013



Wow, Fred, you aren't a happy camper these days--a "too narrow" Burlingame Avenue, parallel parking woes, sinking sidewalk pavers, the USPO and even complaints about a museum you've evidently never cared to visit (nor volunteer, I might add).

Throughout Burlingame's long past, there have been those who cared enough about our heritage to speak up and change the course of our history. Cathy Baylock is one of those individuals. Russ Cohen is another. There have been others, too, most are long gone. If there hadn't been, Burlingame would be a completely different place-- few to no trees, no historic downtown, and no station, just to name a few.

Go back and read papers from the 1930s and 40s about plans from the business community (from which I gather you come) to reface ("modernize") all the buildings, and "straighten" Burlingame Avenue to the eastside by eliminating the station, or the 1960s plan for a semi-covered downtown pedestrian mall emulating Hillsdale, or more recently, an enormous Disneylandesque Safeway backing Primrose; or the nearly realized 'standard' Caltrain station platform 'upgrade', replete with ugly shelters, chain link fencing and freeway plants, for which this city nearly settled just a few years ago.

What about that full freeway interchange at Peninsula that you envision, bordering the Lyon and Hoag neighborhood, that calls for "land grabs" you purport to abhor. Oh..that's right-- the latest project plans would 'only' demolish apartments and a bunch of businesses over the border in San Mateo, so maybe that's okay by you.

Yep, the Burlingame according to "Fred" would look a lot more like the dismal one described above, than the much sought after, unique city that Burlingame has become. Thank goodness for those driven by passion, not by politics or personal gain, who have cared enough to speak up, then, and now.

- "Ethel"


The historical museum is open only 30 hours a year. That is a misuse of that property. A cafe, a beer garden, anything would be more utilitarian than being open 10 Sundays for three hours ten times a year. I can see everything fine through the windows the other 8,730 hours per year.

The hold-up for the train station was never the look, they would have given in to the aesthetics anytime the city wanted. The hold-up was the ridiculous notion that pedestrians had to be able to walk through the middle of the station instead of around the barriers. Caltrain threatened to go over the city's head and take the rail needs to the state and federal level to get what they needed.

A full Peninsula overpass could have been built taking only two parking spaces. It would have took traffic off Poplar, a winding, small street with three schools on it. You guys basically killed any development of the drive-ins site and any economic gain we could have had from the south end of the bayshore, maybe forever.

If you guys really cared about trees besides politicizing one named Tom, there would be a canopy group in Burlingame, the Eucalyptus would be cabled to increase their lifetime, the city would have a reforestation plan.

Read the papers from the '30s? You're killing me, Ethel.


ps: I have no political gains opposing Russ Cohen, I just don't think he was a good council person and I don't think anything has changed. As far as personal gain, how am I gaining personally opposing the Grosvenor project? I just think it's a bad idea.

If you really put passion above personal or political gain, you would want the freeway overpass away from Poplar and the three schools located there. I once saw two children almost run over crossing Poplar going to school.

been here forever

Well stated Jennifer. You too, Russ. You have my note by the way. I think you are the best for this town by a long shot. Keep up the good work.

Old Guy

I don't think those kinds of businesses are allowed there otherwise the group that owns the station would have certainly gone for the higher rent tenant.

What this discussion really shows is how much more involved Cohen has been than any of the others. We can't even find a thing to disagree on with any of them because they are all unknowns aside from some irrelevant school volunteerism.


'Don't want to waste time "debating" with someone who has always hidden behind a pseudonym--but I do want to correct more misinformation:

I know you want that interchange really badly, but....
there was never, ever a plan for a full interchange that simply involved the taking of only 2 parking spots -- that is simply false and you have stated that too many times. I wonder why you are deliberately misleading people.

Regarding the station property:

The station has a covenant on it that restricts the kind of activity you have listed, including restaurant. The Broadway station, however, does not have this restriction, but has remained empty for quite some time, as you know.

The Historical Society regularly hosts groups of youngsters cub scout / brownie troops in the main station museum and on the grounds, including 3rd grade passport tours for public and private schools each spring, usually during the week. Again, all volunteer. This is in addition to other groups that ask for tours and those who have won tours we offer at school auctions and for other service groups.

The museum is just one aspect of the Historical Society, though a critical piece and longterm goal that Russ Cohen pulled off working with several different entities and volunteers who helped rehabilitate the interior to the degree permitted by the covenant. Additionally, volunteers, including Russ, spend literally thousands of hours in and out of the archives each year: filing, cataloguing and researching, preparing exhibits and giving speeches and presentations--all activities that have been ongoing since 1975.

For an event last Saturday we prepared and exhibited historical materials celebrating McKinley School's Centennial, and this Sunday is another event, Paint Burlingame-- again, all volunteer for the good and education of the community.

Contrary to what you have stated, I've known Russ for about 20 years, and he can work with just about anyone, even the most disagreeable.

If you decide to come out from your mask, Fred, I'm sure he'll chat with you, too, and if in fact, you actually do have an interest, I will personally give you a tour of our museum and/or archive.



my guess is cohen, keighran and brownrigg will win.... id really like to see schingal win as he is practical and will mix things up...

since keighran and others will get tons of votes automatically I suggest everyone vote for schingal and throwaway votes to nirmala and ?, this will keep votes away from keighran and brownrigg... not into politics and not sure if this makes sense (voting for someone you know won't win to take votes away from the top candiadtes)

Account Deleted

This is an information page on the city's website, with Form 700's and declarative statements for each of the candidates:



hillsider, alittlebird, been here forever, old guy, anson burlingame and on and on and on. What about the one lady that used many names like Jim and Rosaline? I'm the problem behind a name because I oppose Russ Cohen. Simple as that.

The interchange required removing two parking spots, I got that directly from a city official. The problem was always traffic in Lyon/Hoag but that could have been mitigated just like they do in Palo Alto. Doesn't really affect my business other than the loss of businesses on the 20 year vacant drive-ins site and the surrounding area. It's a moot point now it's been built were stuck with what we got. Caltrains is going to electrify at grade and supposedly the only crossing will be Broadway, all other crossings wlll be closed.

The cubs scouts and students coming by the museum, if I had ever seen that I would include that. Seen students going to the post office, Washington Park, Pez museum. I've seen the candy store open more often than the museum and that's privately held and not open to the public.

I will let it go, I've made my point, and it does serve a purpose and there are some very dedicated members in the Historical Society who deserve everyone's respect.

I figured the "Cohen core" since they are no longer called the CBB would bullet point their ballots for him. Voting only once for Russ Cohen and no one else. Of course, that's not enough to get the job done. I like how Willy slyly asks for voters to just randomly pick candidates. That couldn't aid bullet voting could it?

I do agree, Willy, Schinagl's resume was very interesting.


First off, call me weird, but I saw the debate and found it refreshing that Russ Cohen actually answered the questions with opinions and proposed solutions. And if he had no opinion on the matter, he just stated so...such a novelty! What is the deal with politicians skirting questions or trying not to say anything wrong, let alone the public actually thinking this is acceptable behavior. This is a job interview folks and you hire someone who thinks represents your views.

I initially liked where Schinagl was coming from, but just saying you're opposed to everything that the current council is for without offering any real solutions is no recipe for getting elected. Much better to articulate an alternative to "just say no". Understand its tough with one minute responses (pretty silly format too), but still.

Nirmala Bandrapalli needs to redirect her enthusiasm for superlatives and actually study the issues and render opinions supported by logic rather than vacuous feel good statements.

Think people are giving Alexander Kent way too much heat for being a "real estate developer" when he actually focuses on schools and other public institutions. Our current city government is replete with real and direct conflicts in real estate building, sales, architecture, etc. While all completely legal, some of these people's livelihoods are 100% dependent upon keeping the machine oiled by virtue of holding a public office/commission, and guess what, those people happen to be the most pro-development/density/ etc. Peceimer on the other hand being in large commercial property development, very different story and that raises an eyebrow or two.

I see guys like Steve Duncan and I'm really glad we live in a democracy that would allow people like him who care about the community to run for office. He needs to get up to speed on the issues and have real opinions with real solutions, but I admire the courage for him getting up there and speaking his mind, the guy seemed pretty genuine despite the obvious shortcomings.

These debates, if you can call them that, were not a good format allowing for one minute responses and was probably due to so many running for office. But at least it allowed people to quickly rule out the obvious weak links and focus on those with at least cursory knowledge of the issues.


Loss of just two parking spots?! Really?......'must have been the same "official" in San Mateo who worked on the 7 Eleven project. Burlingame officials wouldn't have told you that because it is not anywhere close to factual.

The project is far from dead, in fact some infrastructure elements were already placed in the ground about 6 or so years ago during construction of current structure. As far as I can recall, a full interchange is currently being studied with a regional grant of some sort.

But no matter how you slice and dice it, the "tight diamond" variants all are very destructive to property and businesses, not to mention the quality of life in Lyon and Hoag. I hope the candidate whom 'you all' support does some homework on this issue, too.

By the way, bullet voting (in which I personally do not participate) is probably about equal in all camps, Fred.


I got that straight from a city official who would know, asked twice to make sure. They could mitigate traffic concerns in the Lyon/Hoag area but I see that fact is ignored. The interchange isn't about putting traffic into that area, there are ways to make it right, again look at Palo Alto, they keep traffic where they want it. I imagine the interchange will happpen at some point, it's too logical. But then again, local politics is quite often driven by 'passion' instead of logic.


Who is the City official, Fred.

At least a dozen buildings (residential and business), including about two dozen businesses would be affected (eliminated). Not much of a neighborhood left when you do that, and fair chance of blight, but since you don't live in L&H, you don't care.

Regarding traffic mitigation, Lyon and Hoag has been top of the list for traffic calming for about 12 years. Show me the money, Fred. 'Not coming from Caltrans anytime soon. So, Burlingame would be on the hook.

As you know, Burlingame is working on other priorities, like a future parking structure and community center. It all gets down to money. PA has more of it, evidently.


Who is Mr. Shingle?


The city official was Desi Arnaz, City Band Leader. It was the case before the construction began, now it takes a lot more to do it. If it was done back then Caltrans would have paid for the traffic mitigation just like Caltrain paid for the station upgrades. Now that fish is off the hook, maybe it could be snared again.


Yeah, I figured it was Ricky, he should have stuck to music.


Ahh, ahh, ahh, ahh, ahh! No really Jennifer, the offcial who told me no longer works for Burlingame, but that doesn't shorten the list too much.

Funny Man

Just got my sample ballot in the mail. Are you kidding me? Do I care that a 40 year old man had a "3.6/4.0 GPA when in college and grad school? At 40???? Who even remembers what GPA they had, especially when you are 40?????
Then we have the candidate who states her occupation as "Mayor." Um, what is your occupation when it is not your TURN to be mayor. You act like you are ELECTED mayor. That is so not the case. And you have kids, but don't seem to think that the Burlingame Schools are good enough for you.
The candidate who lists himself as a businessman has a wonderfully informative statement, which lists his experience, his priorities and his background.
Then we have the candidate listed as "store clerk." He tells us of his education as well and that he has family that has "lived and died here." So that makes him a viable candidate? Another is a "Mother and Entrepreneur." What? Being a mother makes you a viable candidate? I know plenty of mothers who are not only terrible mothers, but would be terrible council people. Biochemistry is her MS degree. What does that have to do with Burlingame politics?
There is the candidate who is a "business association executive director." It seems he loves Burlingame and wants to maintain the "beauty and quality of life. I think we all want to live in a beautiful place.
Another has "RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP is ESSENTIAL" and I gather he thinks we do not have council people who are responsible, because we are "headed in the wrong direction." Guess we need to turn the city so it faces a different direction?
The candidate who is listed as an "Investor/Advisor to Entrepreneurs" might be able to give advice to the "Mother and Entrepreneur" candidate, although he writes very well and had kids in our schools and "strives for civility and and open approach." I like that idea.
Another was inspired the "Daly City Campaign" and "spoke up at a council meeting." Way to go.
So, choose your candidates. The statements are pretty darn funny.


Funny Man, though you are certainly correct that none of those titles/ professions guarantee the candidate will be a good council person, "Mother" is no less of a title.

Give me a break. It's a job where you don't get to turn off the lights and 'call it a day' when you want, either.

A mother has to do much more multi-tasking than you give credit for--and many of the "jobs" listed above for the men are ones mothers have to do daily without fanfare. There are plenty of people (men and women) with poor parenting skills, but that is another issue, entirely.


I think the "store clerk" also mentioned he was an attorney and worked at Oracle and for the City of San Francisco. I could be wrong, it was in the candidate intros from the forum. Current occupation can be misleading label sometimes.

Funny Man

Didn't mean to get you all up in arms on the "mother" job. I wholeheartedly agree with you that mothering/fathering is a tough job. My point was, isn't there anything else you can say about yourself that would lend people to think that maybe you have something to offer to the council? Being a mother doesn't necessarily mean you will be perceived as the candidate for which the reader will cast his or her vote. That is all. I have never seen "mother" listed as an occupation for somebody running for public office and we have plenty of women in office!!!


From the original post that starts this thread:

Robert Schinagl also surprised me. He listed himself as a store clerk on the ballot, but noted a long career in senior roles at Security Pacific Bank and Oracle followed by law school and a law enforcement career. Who knew?

Just a small reminder.

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