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Community briefs: Local teens create productivity app, represent state in Senate program

Also, COVID relief grant applications open, blood donations needed, free bus rides to vaccine sites

Sathvik Nori, a senior at Menlo-Atherton High School, will be one of two teens to represent California in the 59th annual United States Senate Youth Program this year. Photo by Michelle Le

Atherton teen to represent state in Senate Youth Program

Sathvik Nori, a senior at Menlo-Atherton High School, will be one of two teens to represent California in the 59th annual United States Senate Youth Program this year.

Nori was selected for his leadership skills, remarkable commitment to his school and community and scholastic achievement in this highly competitive program, according to a Feb. 16 state Department of Education press release.

Nori is the only high school student and youngest commissioner on the San Mateo Juvenile Justice Commission. He also serves as the student trustee for the Sequoia Union High School District governing board, is president of the superintendent's advisory council, chair of the San Mateo Youth Commission and is editor in chief of his school's newspaper, the M-A Chronicle.

A nationally ranked debater and captain of the school debate team, he advocates for teen awareness and equity issues for diverse groups to be well-represented in politics.

Nori was selected as one out of 10 student leaders from over 1,000 candidates to participate in an Iraqi-Youth Exchange Program to expand civic engagement and intercultural communication. He hopes to explore majors in public policy or political science followed by a graduate degree in law to focus on progressive justice reforms.

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The Senate program provides an annual opportunity for students to gain an in-depth view of the U.S. Senate and the federal government overall. He will participate this year in Washington Week Online from March 14 to 18.

Nori will also receive a $10,000 scholarship.

High school students develop app

Students from TIDE Academy in Menlo Park and The Nueva School in San Mateo have developed a productivity and task management app called Condution.

The students spent 10 months developing the app, said Michah Robinson, a TIDE student.

"We were fed up with the insanely pricy and complicated task management apps in the market, so after doing some research, we decided to take matters into our own hands and create an open-source task management app and share it with the community!" he said in an email.

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Blood donors are needed as local hospitals face a shortage. File photo by Veronica Weber.

Blood donations needed

Blood centers already in need of donations due to the COVID-19 pandemic face more shortages due to severe winter weather around the country.

Local hospitals rely on a national supply of blood, which is facing a shortage due to severe winter weather in much of the country, according to officials with the Stanford Blood Center, which faces a critical need for all blood types, especially O-positive.

Stanford Blood Center has locations in Mountain View, Menlo Park and Campbell.

"O-positive is the most frequently-needed blood type for patients and, as of today, we only have about a two-day supply," said Dr. Suchi Pandey, the center's chief medical officer. "Our current collections of O-positive cannot sustain our support of our regular hospital partners as well as additional hospitals in critical need right now, so we need your help in the coming days."

Appointments to donate blood can be scheduled online at various sites around the Bay Area, including the Stanford Blood Center at stanfordbloodcenter.org or by calling (888) 723-7831 for same-day appointments; the American Red Cross at redcross.org and Vitalant here.

COVID relief grant application window now open for restaurants, breweries and wineries

Qualifying restaurants, wineries and breweries in San Mateo County can now apply for COVID-19 relief grants of up to $10,000.

The county opened the grant application Monday at noon. The online application is available here.

Grants will help qualifying applicants pay employees, cover rent and cover the cost of health and safety modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board of Supervisors voted on Jan. 26 to establish the Restaurant, Brewery and Winery Relief Program, which has $2.384 million of available funding.

The board allocated $1 million toward the fund, matching a $1 million donation from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. An additional $384,000 came from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

To be eligible, applying restaurants, breweries and wineries must have a "brick and mortar" location in the county and must have been operating before Mar. 11. Full eligibility information is available on the grant website.

The online application portal will remain open for two weeks until Mar. 8. Then applications will be reviewed and grants will be awarded based on a lottery system.

People can email questions to [email protected]

San Mateo County continues to provide COVID-19 relief to individuals and other businesses. Visit the SMC Strong website at smcstrong.org for information on other funding.

Grand jury applicants sought

San Mateo County is seeking residents to serve on its Civil Grand Jury for the next term, which runs from July 1 to June 30, 2022.

Those eligible include anyone who has been a resident of San Mateo County for more than one year, is a U.S. citizen at least 18 years old, of ordinary intelligence, sound judgment and good character, with sufficient knowledge of the English language and who is not an elected public official.

Applications can be obtained here, by phone at 650-261-5066, or by writing to the following address: Grand Jury Clerk, Court ExecutiveOffice, 400 County Center, Redwood City, CA 94063.

Seven arrested for furnishing alcohol to minors

The Menlo Park Police Department and agents from California's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control arrested and cited seven people for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors and other related crimes in the vicinity of Menlo Park on Feb. 23.

The police department and agents from the alcoholic beverage control department target adults who buy alcohol for minors using a program called a "decoy shoulder tap," according to a Feb. 24 announcement from the police department.

During these operations, a supervised minor will approach adults outside of a liquor or convenience store and ask them to buy him or her some alcohol, while indicating in some way that he or she is underage and cannot buy it.

If the adults agree to buy the alcohol, they are arrested and cited.

The penalty is a minimum fine of $1,000 and 24 hours of community service.

The program is funded through a grant from the state department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, which is part of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.

SamTrans offering free rides to vaccine sites

Starting Feb. 25, SamTrans, the San Mateo County Transportation District, will provide free transit rides to COVID-19 vaccination sites for people living in San Mateo County, the transit agency announced Feb. 23.

The service is through existing bus routes, and people who are interested in the free bus ride should let the bus operator know as soon as they board the bus.

Passengers should plan to show proof of their appointment or a vaccination card, and fare will not be required.

For the county's Redi-Wheels and Redi-Coast paratransit services, riders should indicate that they will be traveling to the vaccination site at the time they book their reservations.

“As a public agency, it is important to provide our communities with transit-friendly options to vaccination sites that will help ensure equitable access in San Mateo County, especially for vulnerable communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” said Charles Stone, chair of the SamTrans Board of Directors, in a prepared statement.

Environmental documents released for Menlo Portal development proposal

The city of Menlo Park has released the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Menlo Portal development project, a proposal to build 335 apartments, office space and childcare space at 115 Independence Drive and 104 to 110 Constitution Drive.

The development, proposed by Greystar, would include a seven-story apartment building and a three-story commercial building with a total of about 35,000 square feet of office space on the top two levels and 1,600 square feet of child care space. Both structures would have above-ground parking garages incorporated into the buildings.

Under city ordinances, about 48 of the housing units would be for rent below market rate, and the developer planned to make an additional 15 available for below market rate rent if permitted to build all 335 units proposed, according to the project webpage.

The Draft EIR reports that the analyses conducted did not identify any significant and unavoidable environmental impacts from the proposed project.

The deadline to comment on the report is April 12. Written comments should be submitted by email to Contract Principal Planner Payal Bhagat at [email protected], or by letter to Payal Bhagat, Contract Principal Planner, Community Development, 701 Laurel St., Menlo Park, CA 94025.

The Planning Commission is set to hold a public hearing on the Draft EIR and a study session for the proposed project via GoToWebinar or Zoom, on Monday, March 22. People may provide oral comments on the draft EIR then.

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— Bay City News, Angela Swartz and Kate Bradshaw

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Community briefs: Local teens create productivity app, represent state in Senate program

Also, COVID relief grant applications open, blood donations needed, free bus rides to vaccine sites

Uploaded: Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 1:33 pm

Sathvik Nori, a senior at Menlo-Atherton High School, will be one of two teens to represent California in the 59th annual United States Senate Youth Program this year.

Nori was selected for his leadership skills, remarkable commitment to his school and community and scholastic achievement in this highly competitive program, according to a Feb. 16 state Department of Education press release.

Nori is the only high school student and youngest commissioner on the San Mateo Juvenile Justice Commission. He also serves as the student trustee for the Sequoia Union High School District governing board, is president of the superintendent's advisory council, chair of the San Mateo Youth Commission and is editor in chief of his school's newspaper, the M-A Chronicle.

A nationally ranked debater and captain of the school debate team, he advocates for teen awareness and equity issues for diverse groups to be well-represented in politics.

Nori was selected as one out of 10 student leaders from over 1,000 candidates to participate in an Iraqi-Youth Exchange Program to expand civic engagement and intercultural communication. He hopes to explore majors in public policy or political science followed by a graduate degree in law to focus on progressive justice reforms.

The Senate program provides an annual opportunity for students to gain an in-depth view of the U.S. Senate and the federal government overall. He will participate this year in Washington Week Online from March 14 to 18.

Nori will also receive a $10,000 scholarship.

Students from TIDE Academy in Menlo Park and The Nueva School in San Mateo have developed a productivity and task management app called Condution.

The students spent 10 months developing the app, said Michah Robinson, a TIDE student.

"We were fed up with the insanely pricy and complicated task management apps in the market, so after doing some research, we decided to take matters into our own hands and create an open-source task management app and share it with the community!" he said in an email.

Download the app here.

Blood centers already in need of donations due to the COVID-19 pandemic face more shortages due to severe winter weather around the country.

Local hospitals rely on a national supply of blood, which is facing a shortage due to severe winter weather in much of the country, according to officials with the Stanford Blood Center, which faces a critical need for all blood types, especially O-positive.

Stanford Blood Center has locations in Mountain View, Menlo Park and Campbell.

"O-positive is the most frequently-needed blood type for patients and, as of today, we only have about a two-day supply," said Dr. Suchi Pandey, the center's chief medical officer. "Our current collections of O-positive cannot sustain our support of our regular hospital partners as well as additional hospitals in critical need right now, so we need your help in the coming days."

Appointments to donate blood can be scheduled online at various sites around the Bay Area, including the Stanford Blood Center at stanfordbloodcenter.org or by calling (888) 723-7831 for same-day appointments; the American Red Cross at redcross.org and Vitalant here.

Qualifying restaurants, wineries and breweries in San Mateo County can now apply for COVID-19 relief grants of up to $10,000.

The county opened the grant application Monday at noon. The online application is available here.

Grants will help qualifying applicants pay employees, cover rent and cover the cost of health and safety modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board of Supervisors voted on Jan. 26 to establish the Restaurant, Brewery and Winery Relief Program, which has $2.384 million of available funding.

The board allocated $1 million toward the fund, matching a $1 million donation from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. An additional $384,000 came from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

To be eligible, applying restaurants, breweries and wineries must have a "brick and mortar" location in the county and must have been operating before Mar. 11. Full eligibility information is available on the grant website.

The online application portal will remain open for two weeks until Mar. 8. Then applications will be reviewed and grants will be awarded based on a lottery system.

People can email questions to [email protected]

San Mateo County continues to provide COVID-19 relief to individuals and other businesses. Visit the SMC Strong website at smcstrong.org for information on other funding.

San Mateo County is seeking residents to serve on its Civil Grand Jury for the next term, which runs from July 1 to June 30, 2022.

Those eligible include anyone who has been a resident of San Mateo County for more than one year, is a U.S. citizen at least 18 years old, of ordinary intelligence, sound judgment and good character, with sufficient knowledge of the English language and who is not an elected public official.

Applications can be obtained here, by phone at 650-261-5066, or by writing to the following address: Grand Jury Clerk, Court ExecutiveOffice, 400 County Center, Redwood City, CA 94063.

The Menlo Park Police Department and agents from California's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control arrested and cited seven people for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors and other related crimes in the vicinity of Menlo Park on Feb. 23.

The police department and agents from the alcoholic beverage control department target adults who buy alcohol for minors using a program called a "decoy shoulder tap," according to a Feb. 24 announcement from the police department.

During these operations, a supervised minor will approach adults outside of a liquor or convenience store and ask them to buy him or her some alcohol, while indicating in some way that he or she is underage and cannot buy it.

If the adults agree to buy the alcohol, they are arrested and cited.

The penalty is a minimum fine of $1,000 and 24 hours of community service.

The program is funded through a grant from the state department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, which is part of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.

Starting Feb. 25, SamTrans, the San Mateo County Transportation District, will provide free transit rides to COVID-19 vaccination sites for people living in San Mateo County, the transit agency announced Feb. 23.

The service is through existing bus routes, and people who are interested in the free bus ride should let the bus operator know as soon as they board the bus.

Passengers should plan to show proof of their appointment or a vaccination card, and fare will not be required.

For the county's Redi-Wheels and Redi-Coast paratransit services, riders should indicate that they will be traveling to the vaccination site at the time they book their reservations.

“As a public agency, it is important to provide our communities with transit-friendly options to vaccination sites that will help ensure equitable access in San Mateo County, especially for vulnerable communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” said Charles Stone, chair of the SamTrans Board of Directors, in a prepared statement.

The city of Menlo Park has released the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Menlo Portal development project, a proposal to build 335 apartments, office space and childcare space at 115 Independence Drive and 104 to 110 Constitution Drive.

The development, proposed by Greystar, would include a seven-story apartment building and a three-story commercial building with a total of about 35,000 square feet of office space on the top two levels and 1,600 square feet of child care space. Both structures would have above-ground parking garages incorporated into the buildings.

Under city ordinances, about 48 of the housing units would be for rent below market rate, and the developer planned to make an additional 15 available for below market rate rent if permitted to build all 335 units proposed, according to the project webpage.

The Draft EIR reports that the analyses conducted did not identify any significant and unavoidable environmental impacts from the proposed project.

The deadline to comment on the report is April 12. Written comments should be submitted by email to Contract Principal Planner Payal Bhagat at [email protected], or by letter to Payal Bhagat, Contract Principal Planner, Community Development, 701 Laurel St., Menlo Park, CA 94025.

The Planning Commission is set to hold a public hearing on the Draft EIR and a study session for the proposed project via GoToWebinar or Zoom, on Monday, March 22. People may provide oral comments on the draft EIR then.

— Bay City News, Angela Swartz and Kate Bradshaw

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