Almanac

News - January 9, 2013

Briefs: Menlo Park council resumes business

by Sandy Brundage

Fresh off the holiday break, the Menlo Park City Council meets Tuesday, Jan. 8, to consider community funding, the housing plan update, flood planning and the "Belle Haven visioning process consultant selection," among other items.

The council voted in September to hire a consultant to plan a process of community engagement for the Belle Haven neighborhood. Six companies applied; a committee of city staff and two Belle Haven residents — Jim Cebrian and Michelle Tate — are recommending that the city hire Moore Iacofano Goltsman Inc.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at the Menlo Park Civic Center at 701 Laurel St.

SamTrans launches rideshare program

SamTrans is testing an 18-month fleet-sharing pilot project for member organizations, such as Caltrain and Readi-Wheels, thanks to a combination of grants and matching funds.

The program that allows members to sign up for service, then search types and sizes of available vehicles to rent at rates lower than commercial rental services, according to a press release.

Go to peninsulafleetshare.com to learn more.

New employment rules take effect

New laws went into effect on Jan. 1 for California employers, according to the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce. Changes include revisions to pregnancy disability and disability discrimination and accommodation regulations.

The chamber said other significant changes for 2013 include anti-discrimination protections, employee access to personnel records and employer access to personal social media accounts. Some changes relate specifically to certain industries such as temporary services employers. Unless specified, the list of new legislation went into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Go to tinyurl.com/a7srvwc for a list of changes.

Downtown projects

Menlo Park wants your opinion on two proposed downtown projects.

First, city staff requests feedback from business and property owners about replacing the irrigation system along Santa Cruz Avenue. In October the City Council rejected an initial bid as too expensive because of the night work required; the new proposal would let the contractor work during the day as long as traffic is not blocked and no more than one block of parking gets closed off at a time, according to the city. The project goes out to bid in January with construction likely to begin in the spring.

Next, the city is planning the next phase of tree planting along El Camino Real, this time in the medians and along sidewalks from Santa Cruz to Middle avenues. The existing crepe myrtle trees would be replaced with London planetrees. The project will likely go out for bid in February. Business owners will be contacted individually about trees on the sidewalk outside their properties.

To comment, contact Assistant Public Works Director Ruben Niņo at rnino@menlopark.org or 330-6780 by Jan. 18.

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