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Community briefs: missing teen found, wildfires contained and more

A sign on the door of a classroom reads "ROOM IS ALREADY DISINFECTED DO NOT ENTER PLEASE 3-19-2020" at Encinal Elementary School in Atherton on July 28. State officials have launched an online hub intended for school staff and parents to find guidance and resources on the state's planned resumption of in-person classes. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Missing teen found

Wynne Lee, a Menlo Park 14-year-old who was reported missing on Jan. 11, was found by Detective Barker of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, according to a Jan. 18 announcement on Twitter from the Sheriff's Office.

Former councilwoman to step down from BAWSCA board

Former Menlo Park City Council member Kirsten Keith announced the evening of Jan. 20 that she planned to step down from her seat on the board of the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency.

Kirsten Keith. Courtesy Scott R. Kline.

During the council's reorganization meeting on Dec. 15, when council members pick which boards and committees they plan to represent, council members said they favored asking Keith to resign and instead placing a current council member in the seat. They agreed to ask Keith to resign, and place councilman Ray Mueller in the seat with Vice Mayor Betsy Nash as the alternate. They also asked that whoever take the seat commit to step down whenever he or she is no longer on the City Council. Mueller agreed to those terms.

Mayor Drew Combs said in an interview that he favored having a current council member in the seat because it would offer the council more visibility into the pertinent issues facing the regional water board.

Before Keith's Jan. 20 announcement, it appeared for a short time that she planned not to step down from the seat. However, when asked about her plans, she said in an email that it was the first she'd heard from the city about the City Council's decision to install a current council member in the seat.

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"I am happy to step aside so that a current council member may serve on this important board," she said.

The board was set to meet at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 21. Access the agenda here.

Wind-driven wildfires contained in San Mateo County

Cal Fire's CZU unit, which covers San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, responded to at least 10 vegetation wildfires that broke out in the Santa Cruz Mountains in those counties on Jan. 18 and 19, the unit announced.

The North Butano Fire, located south of Loma Mar, burned 10 acres and was 95% contained as of Jan. 20, according to Cal Fire. The China Grade Fire, located northwest of Boulder Creek in Santa Cruz County, had burned 20 acres and was 100% contained on Jan. 19. The Panther Ridge Fire, located north of Boulder Creek in Santa Cruz County, had burned 25 acres and was 75% contained as of the morning of Jan. 20. The Fanning Fire, located east of Ben Lomond in Santa Cruz County, had burned 18 acres and was 95% contained as of the evening of Jan. 19, according to Cal Fire.

Canada College to host 'Latino Thought Makers' discussion

Canada College is set to host a Jan. 28 conversation with Dr. Cornel West and Rick Najera, a comedian, writer, director and speaker whose show, "Latino Thought Makers," offers interviews with Latino leaders and diverse community leaders. West is a well-known speaker and philosopher and a professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University.

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The discussion will be held on Zoom at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28. Go to is.gd/latinothought1 to register.

Affordable housing project to start construction in 2021

A project in the works to rebuild and expand affordable apartments for families at the Menlo Gateway Apartments is set to start construction in June this year, according to an update from Jan Lindenthal, chief real estate development officer of MidPen Housing, a nonprofit housing developer. The project, located along the 1300 block of Willow Road in Menlo Park, is set to expand the number of apartments from 82 to 140. It complements the Sequoia Belle Haven apartments, which were rebuilt and expanded first to provide affordable housing specifically for seniors.

Tenants at the current apartments will receive relocation benefits and assistance while the new apartments are under construction and will get first priority to return.

The project is set to be completed in March 2023, Lindenthal said.

Input sought on county transportation

San Mateo County's City/County Association of Governments, also known as C/CAG, is updating community-based transportation plans for the area of southeastern San Mateo County including North Fair Oaks, Belle Haven and some areas of Menlo Park west of U.S. 101, East Palo Alto and parts of Redwood City.

People who want to give input or offer suggestions for how to improve transportation for low-income residents, the disabled, senior citizens, people without vehicles or those who are disadvantaged can access the English survey at is.gd/engtransposurvey and the Spanish survey at is.gd/spantransposurvey.

– Kate Bradshaw

State launches website for school reopening info

State officials have launched an online hub intended for school staff and parents to find guidance and resources on the state's planned resumption of in-person classes, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Jan. 14.

Governor Gavin Newsom. Courtesy Office of Governor Gavin Newsom.

The website, schools.covid19.ca.gov, allows school staff and parents to report coronavirus-related health and safety concerns and access resources about the state's education-related public health directives and on-campus coronavirus testing.

"Learning is non-negotiable, and getting our kids and staff back into the classroom safely will help us continue turning the corner on this pandemic," Newsom said in a statement.

The website will accompany the state's $2 billion Safe Schools for All plan, which Newsom outlined in December and will focus on reopening schools in February for students in transitional kindergarten through second grade and progressing into higher grades later into the spring.

The funding will support testing of school staff and students, personal protective equipment, contact tracing and vaccinations.

Newsom asked the state Legislature to preemptively allocate the $2 billion before the end of the month to ensure the reopening plan proceeds smoothly.

Many schools across the state have resumed in-person classes in recent months in some form or for certain groups like special-needs students.

As of November, schools in 41 counties were holding in-person classes to some extent, according to Newsom, while schools in the remaining 17 were mostly holding classes online.

– Bay City News Service

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Community briefs: missing teen found, wildfires contained and more

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Sat, Jan 23, 2021, 8:06 am
Updated: Thu, Jan 28, 2021, 11:01 am

Wynne Lee, a Menlo Park 14-year-old who was reported missing on Jan. 11, was found by Detective Barker of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, according to a Jan. 18 announcement on Twitter from the Sheriff's Office.

Former Menlo Park City Council member Kirsten Keith announced the evening of Jan. 20 that she planned to step down from her seat on the board of the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency.

During the council's reorganization meeting on Dec. 15, when council members pick which boards and committees they plan to represent, council members said they favored asking Keith to resign and instead placing a current council member in the seat. They agreed to ask Keith to resign, and place councilman Ray Mueller in the seat with Vice Mayor Betsy Nash as the alternate. They also asked that whoever take the seat commit to step down whenever he or she is no longer on the City Council. Mueller agreed to those terms.

Mayor Drew Combs said in an interview that he favored having a current council member in the seat because it would offer the council more visibility into the pertinent issues facing the regional water board.

Before Keith's Jan. 20 announcement, it appeared for a short time that she planned not to step down from the seat. However, when asked about her plans, she said in an email that it was the first she'd heard from the city about the City Council's decision to install a current council member in the seat.

"I am happy to step aside so that a current council member may serve on this important board," she said.

The board was set to meet at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 21. Access the agenda here.

Cal Fire's CZU unit, which covers San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, responded to at least 10 vegetation wildfires that broke out in the Santa Cruz Mountains in those counties on Jan. 18 and 19, the unit announced.

The North Butano Fire, located south of Loma Mar, burned 10 acres and was 95% contained as of Jan. 20, according to Cal Fire. The China Grade Fire, located northwest of Boulder Creek in Santa Cruz County, had burned 20 acres and was 100% contained on Jan. 19. The Panther Ridge Fire, located north of Boulder Creek in Santa Cruz County, had burned 25 acres and was 75% contained as of the morning of Jan. 20. The Fanning Fire, located east of Ben Lomond in Santa Cruz County, had burned 18 acres and was 95% contained as of the evening of Jan. 19, according to Cal Fire.

Canada College is set to host a Jan. 28 conversation with Dr. Cornel West and Rick Najera, a comedian, writer, director and speaker whose show, "Latino Thought Makers," offers interviews with Latino leaders and diverse community leaders. West is a well-known speaker and philosopher and a professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University.

The discussion will be held on Zoom at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28. Go to is.gd/latinothought1 to register.

A project in the works to rebuild and expand affordable apartments for families at the Menlo Gateway Apartments is set to start construction in June this year, according to an update from Jan Lindenthal, chief real estate development officer of MidPen Housing, a nonprofit housing developer. The project, located along the 1300 block of Willow Road in Menlo Park, is set to expand the number of apartments from 82 to 140. It complements the Sequoia Belle Haven apartments, which were rebuilt and expanded first to provide affordable housing specifically for seniors.

Tenants at the current apartments will receive relocation benefits and assistance while the new apartments are under construction and will get first priority to return.

The project is set to be completed in March 2023, Lindenthal said.

San Mateo County's City/County Association of Governments, also known as C/CAG, is updating community-based transportation plans for the area of southeastern San Mateo County including North Fair Oaks, Belle Haven and some areas of Menlo Park west of U.S. 101, East Palo Alto and parts of Redwood City.

People who want to give input or offer suggestions for how to improve transportation for low-income residents, the disabled, senior citizens, people without vehicles or those who are disadvantaged can access the English survey at is.gd/engtransposurvey and the Spanish survey at is.gd/spantransposurvey.

– Kate Bradshaw

State officials have launched an online hub intended for school staff and parents to find guidance and resources on the state's planned resumption of in-person classes, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Jan. 14.

The website, schools.covid19.ca.gov, allows school staff and parents to report coronavirus-related health and safety concerns and access resources about the state's education-related public health directives and on-campus coronavirus testing.

"Learning is non-negotiable, and getting our kids and staff back into the classroom safely will help us continue turning the corner on this pandemic," Newsom said in a statement.

The website will accompany the state's $2 billion Safe Schools for All plan, which Newsom outlined in December and will focus on reopening schools in February for students in transitional kindergarten through second grade and progressing into higher grades later into the spring.

The funding will support testing of school staff and students, personal protective equipment, contact tracing and vaccinations.

Newsom asked the state Legislature to preemptively allocate the $2 billion before the end of the month to ensure the reopening plan proceeds smoothly.

Many schools across the state have resumed in-person classes in recent months in some form or for certain groups like special-needs students.

As of November, schools in 41 counties were holding in-person classes to some extent, according to Newsom, while schools in the remaining 17 were mostly holding classes online.

– Bay City News Service

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