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Community briefs: Free concert in Portola Valley, Caltrain expands service

Also: Menlo Park staff win raises, Woodside seeks horse-themed art

Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) has put out a call for artists to submit horse-themed artworks for an in-person and virtual exhibition of art celebrating the horse. The show will kick off WHOA!'s Day of the Horse weekend, taking place Oct. 8-10 in Woodside. The deadline to submit art is Sept. 7.Courtesy WHOA!

WHOA! seeks equestrian artwork for Day of the Horse art show

The Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) is inviting artists to celebrate the beauty of all things equine. The organization has put out a call for artists to submit works to its juried show of horse-themed art that will kick off the association's annual Day of the Horse weekend in mid-October.

The exhibition, called Art of the Horse, is open to all artists, and all ages, with two shows: works by adult artists and a youth art show for artists 18 and under.

An artists' reception is planned for Oct. 8, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Woodside Village Church, with refreshments, live music and awards for artists. Some works from the young artists' show will also be chosen for WHOA!'s 2022 calendar of equestrian art.

The pieces submitted for jurying must be original work that celebrates the horse and may be paintings, drawings, photography, mixed media, sculpture, miniatures or jewelry. Artists are asked to submit two to three pieces. The deadline to submit works is Sept. 7, with the entry fee set at $15 per artist.

The in-person Art of the Horse show will take place throughout the Day of the Horse weekend, Oct. 8-10. The adults' show will also be viewable online through Nov. 8. Artists can choose to donate works to an online silent auction new for this year that will raise funds for WHOA!'s equestrian programs in San Mateo County.

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The Day of the Horse weekend features a progressive trail ride on Woodside's town trails, with riders encouraged to dress in costumes inspired by this year's "Oktoberfest" theme, and a horse fair, where artists have the option to rent an exhibition booth.

For more information, go here or email [email protected]

Summer concert in Portola Valley

On Thursday, Aug. 26, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. after Portola Valley's farmers market the band Windy Hill is performing at the Town Center.

Windy Hill, featuring Portola Valley native Ryan Breen on banjo and vocals, is a four-piece bluegrass band.

"While the band is steeped in the traditional style, they've cultivated their own distinct bluegrass sound," according to the town newsletter. "The balance between their love for classic bluegrass and keenness for exploring fresh musical ideas defines their style and approach, and makes them a fan-favorite for music lovers of all types."

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Bring lawn chairs, a blanket and a picnic. Masks are required for those who aren't vaccinated.

More information can be found here.

Environmental, social and racial justice panel

A discussion featuring San Mateo County community leaders who work daily at the intersection of environmental, social and racial justice will take place on Thursday, Aug. 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Zoom. It is being hosted by the San Mateo County Office of Sustainability.

Register and find more information here.

Caltrain to boost service beyond pre-pandemic levels

Beginning Monday, Aug. 30, Caltrain will increase its service to the highest level it has ever been.

In addition to running 104 trains per weekday, including hourly all-stop trains and baby bullet express trains, Caltrain will discount all non-go pass fares by 50% during September.

During peak commuting hours from 6 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m., there will be four trains per hour. Weekend service will be identical, rather than separate Saturday and Sunday schedules, with two additional round trips added to the morning and late evening.

Under the new timetable, the majority of connections at the Millbrae Transit Center will be between eight and 15 minutes.

The increase in service is due to post-pandemic ridership increase, with weekday ridership often exceeding 12% of pre-pandemic levels and 40% on the weekends.

Menlo Park city staff raises approved

The Menlo Park City Council voted unanimously Aug. 17 to approve 3% raises for the city's AFSCME and SEIU labor units starting July 1, 2022.

The agreement also offers each employee a lump sum payment of $2,000 each after the contract is approved in 2021 and in the pay period after July 1, 2022, interim Human Resources Manager Kristen Strubbe told the City Council.

In addition, the city agrees to increase contributions to the units' "flexible benefits" plans in 2022 and 2023 based on the increase in the consumer price index, which generally rises between 2% and 4% each year.

The agreement is expected to cost the city a total of $809,000 for the SEIU Local 521 members and $330,000 for the AFSCME Local 829 members, or a total of $1.139 million over the life of the contracts.

In addition, the city plans to complete a total compensation survey of the units by the end of October 2022 and to renew an allowance that gives unit members 34 floating holiday hours each year, according to Strubbe.

Peninsula Clean Energy expands EV rebate program

Peninsula Clean Energy, San Mateo County's official electricity provider, announced Aug. 10 it is expanding its used electric vehicle rebate program.

Eligible county residents could receive up to $4,000 in rebates to purchase a used electric vehicle.

The amount of the rebate depends on a resident's income level and whether the vehicle is a hybrid or fully electric.

All county residents could receive rebates starting at $700 for a plug-in hybrid and up to $1,000 for a fully electric vehicle.

Income-qualified residents, such as those participating in CalFresh, Clipper START or other assistance programs, can receive rebates of up to $3,700 for plug-in hybrids or $4,000 for fully electric vehicles.

The rebate only applies to used electric vehicles, which must be 8 years old or newer and which cost no more than $25,000 before the rebates.

Income-qualified residents in San Mateo County can combine Peninsula Clean Energy rebates with other regional and state programs.

The used electric vehicle rebate program is a partnership with GRID Alternatives Bay Area, a nonprofit that provides clean energy programs.

To be eligible for a rebate, residents must preapply online before purchasing a used electric vehicle. The preapplication is available here.

Once the application is approved, qualifying residents can purchase vehicles at a participating local car dealership. A list of participating dealerships is available online.

More information on the program is available here.

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Community briefs: Free concert in Portola Valley, Caltrain expands service

Also: Menlo Park staff win raises, Woodside seeks horse-themed art

Uploaded: Fri, Aug 20, 2021, 6:17 pm

WHOA! seeks equestrian artwork for Day of the Horse art show

The Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA!) is inviting artists to celebrate the beauty of all things equine. The organization has put out a call for artists to submit works to its juried show of horse-themed art that will kick off the association's annual Day of the Horse weekend in mid-October.

The exhibition, called Art of the Horse, is open to all artists, and all ages, with two shows: works by adult artists and a youth art show for artists 18 and under.

An artists' reception is planned for Oct. 8, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Woodside Village Church, with refreshments, live music and awards for artists. Some works from the young artists' show will also be chosen for WHOA!'s 2022 calendar of equestrian art.

The pieces submitted for jurying must be original work that celebrates the horse and may be paintings, drawings, photography, mixed media, sculpture, miniatures or jewelry. Artists are asked to submit two to three pieces. The deadline to submit works is Sept. 7, with the entry fee set at $15 per artist.

The in-person Art of the Horse show will take place throughout the Day of the Horse weekend, Oct. 8-10. The adults' show will also be viewable online through Nov. 8. Artists can choose to donate works to an online silent auction new for this year that will raise funds for WHOA!'s equestrian programs in San Mateo County.

The Day of the Horse weekend features a progressive trail ride on Woodside's town trails, with riders encouraged to dress in costumes inspired by this year's "Oktoberfest" theme, and a horse fair, where artists have the option to rent an exhibition booth.

For more information, go here or email [email protected]

Summer concert in Portola Valley

On Thursday, Aug. 26, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. after Portola Valley's farmers market the band Windy Hill is performing at the Town Center.

Windy Hill, featuring Portola Valley native Ryan Breen on banjo and vocals, is a four-piece bluegrass band.

"While the band is steeped in the traditional style, they've cultivated their own distinct bluegrass sound," according to the town newsletter. "The balance between their love for classic bluegrass and keenness for exploring fresh musical ideas defines their style and approach, and makes them a fan-favorite for music lovers of all types."

Bring lawn chairs, a blanket and a picnic. Masks are required for those who aren't vaccinated.

More information can be found here.

Environmental, social and racial justice panel

A discussion featuring San Mateo County community leaders who work daily at the intersection of environmental, social and racial justice will take place on Thursday, Aug. 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Zoom. It is being hosted by the San Mateo County Office of Sustainability.

Register and find more information here.

Caltrain to boost service beyond pre-pandemic levels

Beginning Monday, Aug. 30, Caltrain will increase its service to the highest level it has ever been.

In addition to running 104 trains per weekday, including hourly all-stop trains and baby bullet express trains, Caltrain will discount all non-go pass fares by 50% during September.

During peak commuting hours from 6 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m., there will be four trains per hour. Weekend service will be identical, rather than separate Saturday and Sunday schedules, with two additional round trips added to the morning and late evening.

Under the new timetable, the majority of connections at the Millbrae Transit Center will be between eight and 15 minutes.

The increase in service is due to post-pandemic ridership increase, with weekday ridership often exceeding 12% of pre-pandemic levels and 40% on the weekends.

Menlo Park city staff raises approved

The Menlo Park City Council voted unanimously Aug. 17 to approve 3% raises for the city's AFSCME and SEIU labor units starting July 1, 2022.

The agreement also offers each employee a lump sum payment of $2,000 each after the contract is approved in 2021 and in the pay period after July 1, 2022, interim Human Resources Manager Kristen Strubbe told the City Council.

In addition, the city agrees to increase contributions to the units' "flexible benefits" plans in 2022 and 2023 based on the increase in the consumer price index, which generally rises between 2% and 4% each year.

The agreement is expected to cost the city a total of $809,000 for the SEIU Local 521 members and $330,000 for the AFSCME Local 829 members, or a total of $1.139 million over the life of the contracts.

In addition, the city plans to complete a total compensation survey of the units by the end of October 2022 and to renew an allowance that gives unit members 34 floating holiday hours each year, according to Strubbe.

Peninsula Clean Energy expands EV rebate program

Peninsula Clean Energy, San Mateo County's official electricity provider, announced Aug. 10 it is expanding its used electric vehicle rebate program.

Eligible county residents could receive up to $4,000 in rebates to purchase a used electric vehicle.

The amount of the rebate depends on a resident's income level and whether the vehicle is a hybrid or fully electric.

All county residents could receive rebates starting at $700 for a plug-in hybrid and up to $1,000 for a fully electric vehicle.

Income-qualified residents, such as those participating in CalFresh, Clipper START or other assistance programs, can receive rebates of up to $3,700 for plug-in hybrids or $4,000 for fully electric vehicles.

The rebate only applies to used electric vehicles, which must be 8 years old or newer and which cost no more than $25,000 before the rebates.

Income-qualified residents in San Mateo County can combine Peninsula Clean Energy rebates with other regional and state programs.

The used electric vehicle rebate program is a partnership with GRID Alternatives Bay Area, a nonprofit that provides clean energy programs.

To be eligible for a rebate, residents must preapply online before purchasing a used electric vehicle. The preapplication is available here.

Once the application is approved, qualifying residents can purchase vehicles at a participating local car dealership. A list of participating dealerships is available online.

More information on the program is available here.

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