Briefs: TV commercials to get quieterGood news for anyone who's ever dozed off during a television show, only to be blasted awake by an advertisement: Congress has passed legislation that would require television marketers to turn down the volume on commercials to the same level as regular programming, thanks to a bill sponsored by Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Menlo Park.
"TV programs use a variety of sound levels to build dramatic effect. But advertisements have been neither subtle nor nuanced," Rep. Eshoo said in a statement. "My bill reduces commercial volume, allowing them to only be as loud as the decibel level of regular programming. Consumers will no longer have to experience being blasted at. It's a simple fix to a huge nuisance."
President Barack Obama is expected to sign the legislation, which would make it law.
Advertisers must comply with the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act within one year.
Flu shot clinics
County vaccine clinics are offering drop-in flu shots and nasal vaccines this month. Two locations will serve Menlo Park.
The Belle Haven Clinic at 100 Terminal Ave. will give vaccinations on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. through Wednesday, Dec. 1.
The other location is the dining room at St. Anthony's Church at 3500 Middlefield Road, on Wednesday, Dec. 22, from 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Visit smhealth.org or call 573-3927 for more information.
Holiday parking now in effect
Shoppers may find it easier to browse for gifts in downtown Menlo Park without getting a parking ticket. The police department has now extended the time limit from two to three hours in all of the city's parking plazas except for the lot behind Draeger's, which remains at two hours.
Street parking still has a one-hour time limit unless otherwise posted. Holiday parking hours end on Monday, Jan. 3, 2011. Call 330-6308 for more information.
Wrap around the world
Who wouldn't want a present wrapped with a topographic map? The U.S. Geological Survey office at 345 Middlefield Road in Menlo Park is giving away outdated maps for people to use as gift wrap this holiday season.
The 24-inch by 30-inch maps are available through Thursday, Dec. 23. Call 688-6327 for more information.