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Redwood City E-News
Building a Great Community Together

Issue #17 ~ December, 2004
(Back to index of all issues)

Happy Holidays from the Staff and Council of Redwood City!


Season of Lights – Brightening the Community of Redwood City

Many homes and businesses show their holiday spirit with festive lights and displays during the holiday season. This year, the City is bringing the community together by providing online maps and a listing of many of these brightly-decorated buildings so that people can share the holiday joy by visiting and enjoying these wonderful celebrations of the season, throughout our City.

It’s called the “Season of Lights” and by visiting, you can click on specific neighborhood areas and link to a list of homes and other buildings decorated and lit-up by their holiday-spirited owners. Print the list, visit a different neighborhood each evening, wander through winter wonderlands, holiday displays, and the brightly colored lights that herald the holidays, and share the joy and spectacle of Redwood City’s “Season of Lights.”

You can share your holiday decorations with others! Add your address to the “Season of Lights” online list of holiday-decorated buildings and homes! Just go to

Perfect for families, the Season of Lights helps to kindle the holiday spirit and brings people together to share their civic pride as they celebrate the holidays. Redwood City’s “Season of Lights” provides an opportunity for our residents and businesses to create community through the excitement of beautifying homes, apartments, businesses, and storefronts during the holiday season. The program was developed by the City’s Pride and Beautification Committee, and is aimed at inspiring people to not only “brighten the community” by decorating with lights during the holidays, but also to bring people together in the holiday spirit as they enjoy these decorations throughout the community.

Join Community Builders

Last year the City, with a generous grant from the Peninsula Community Foundation, produced the acclaimed “Community Builders” program. This is a six-session series available to about 100 participants interested in learning how to better build a great community here in Redwood City. The program features internationally-known speakers, authors, and presenters sharing their insights, knowledge, experience, and advice on the subject of Community Building.

The City will be providing this program once again, beginning in January. If you’re interested in participating, please mark the dates on your calendar now – January 11; January 27; February 10; February 24; March 8; and March 15. All sessions are from 6 until 9 pm, and include dinner.

This will be the last time the City will sponsor Community Builders, and your final opportunity to participate in this remarkable program. Be a part of something that will bring a greater sense of community to Redwood City by joining Community Builders. Click here to Join Community Builders– or call 780-7305 for details.

Celebrate with Hometown Holidays on December 4

Celebrate the holidays with a very special family event co-sponsored by Peninsula Sunrise Rotary Club, the Redwood City Downtown Business Group, the Redwood City Civic Cultural Commission and the Redwood City Redevelopment Agency. Come downtown for a variety of free family-oriented activities including a SNOW PLAY LOT, CHILDRENS PARADE AND FIREWORKS. Musical entertainment and other fun activities will be happening throughout the day.

It all takes place at various locations in downtown Redwood City. Maps of scheduled events are available at the Main Library, the San Mateo County Historical Museum, near the Old Courthouse Dome, at The Kastrop Group Architects ( 1101 Main St.) and Mayers Jewelers at Hamilton and Broadway.

Or, click here for all the details.

Redwood City PAL Holiday Toy Drive

For over 16 years, Redwood City PAL’s Christmas Toy and Book Drive has brought the holiday spirit right to the doorstep of many needy families in our community. In conjunction with the Police Officers Association and Firefighters Association, and with a great deal of help from the Fair Oaks Community Center and a corps of volunteers, this annual event has become a welcome tradition in Redwood City.

This is a great opportunity to help bring a smile to a child's holiday season. Donations of toys and books may be made at any collection barrel, or at City Hall, the Police Department, the Main Library, or any fire station. Equally important are the volunteer efforts and contributions of people and businesses in our community. Individuals that would like to make a monetary donation, businesses that would like a collection barrel, or anyone wishing more information may contact Officer Rasmussen at the number above.

Two “wrapping parties” are scheduled: Thursday, December 9 and Monday, December 13, both at 6:00 pm, at 430 Broadway (The old Excite at Home building.) Drop-in volunteers are welcome. Volunteers are also needed to pick up food, toys, and books, put together family packages, load up Santa’s ‘sleigh,’ actually help with home delivery, and more.

The PAL Christmas Toy and Book Drive is a wonderful way to build community, by helping others in need. With your help, this can be the “best Christmas ever!” for many needy kids.

Yellow Ribbon RWC Supports Our Armed Forces Far From Home During Holidays

Earlier this year, the City Council of Redwood City officially ‘adopted’ Headquarters Company (HHC) 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in order to help give comfort and support to our overseas armed forces.

During the holidays, our people overseas particularly need our support and good thoughts, and YellowRibbonRWC was formed to do just that. Go to to see what the Redwood City community is doing to support our armed forces overseas.

During this holiday season, YellowRibbonRWC is challenging the residents and businesses of Redwood City to put up yellow ribbons for the month of December, to help show our support for our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and moms and dads serving our country in the armed forces overseas.

This weekend at the Hometown Holidays event downtown, YellowRibbonRWC will be near the snow lot, giving away yellow ribbons for people to wear, collecting goods in a collection bin (such as winter gloves) to be sent overseas this month, and staffing a table for kids (and grown-ups!) to make cards or write letters to help bring a little piece of home to our overseas armed forces. YellowRibbonRWC will also have car magnets and pins available, and will accept donations.

Downtown Retail-Cinema Taking Shape

It’s impossible to miss that steel beams and columns are popping up all over at the future site of the downtown retail-cinema complex. After much anticipation following a worldwide shortage of steel, our steel began arriving mid-October, and construction of the building frame is now fully underway. Click here to see the view from the webcam!

We’re beginning to see the size and shape of Redwood City’s new retail-cinema complex, as the steel beams and columns trace the building’s height and outline. Two large cranes will raise and place the beams and columns. The first crane arrived mid-November and is positioned on the lower level of the parking garage in the “big hole”. Given its enormous size, it was delivered in sections and assembled on-site. The second crane, arriving in early December, will remain on the street, and move slowly around the perimeter of the construction site, matching the path of steel placement.

The steel placement follows a pattern of 14 sections, beginning near the corner of Broadway and Jefferson, then moving down Broadway to Middlefield, and working back and forth across the site. At each section, steel will be installed from the concrete slab at the bottom to the top of the building height. You can expect temporary street or lane closures for a few weeks along portions of Broadway and Jefferson, while the second crane is positioned on these streets to facilitate the work. Thanks for your patience!

Community Meeting on General Plan Update –
December 14

The sixth public workshop on the City’s General Plan update is scheduled for Tuesday, December 14, 2004 at 7:30 pm, at the YMCA located at 1445 Hudson Street in Redwood City. It’s an opportunity for the community to be directly involved in defining and creating a plan for the future of Redwood City.

At this meeting, as in the other general plan meetings, we’ll be asking some key questions about the future of the City – What do you like about your City? What needs to be improved? What do you want your neighborhood and your community to look like in 10 years? What kind of community do you want your children to have in the future? How should the City address housing, transportation, development, and other issues?

For this workshop, free child care (ages 3 and up only; call for required reservations) and refreshments are provided, and all attendees receive a $10 coupon for use toward any Parks and Recreation Department class or program.

More information is available at, by calling 650-780-7234, or by emailing

Help Protect our Creeks and Streams During Rainy Season

An unfortunate side-effect of our rainfall is that it generates an upsurge in water pollution as trash and other pollutants that accumulate during the dry season flow through Bay Area watersheds and into storm drains and waterways.

Runoff from our streets, sidewalks, parking lots, and other man-made surfaces goes into storm drains and waterways, sweeping up litter and debris in its path. During storms trash, organic matter, and automotive pollutants are primary sources of pollution that threaten water quality and wildlife in our local watersheds.

Storms flush large amounts of pollutants down Bay Area watersheds causing erosion, destroying habitat, depleting oxygen levels, and poisoning fish. Most people don't realize that even leaves and grass clippings carried into creeks with rainy weather can disrupt the ecological health of our waterways. Our irreplaceable watersheds and waterways are necessary to support habitat for plants and animals, and they provide drinking water for people and wildlife.

The good news is that reducing such runoff pollution during the rainy season is preventable. Here is a list of 6 things residents can do to make a difference in their watershed:

  • Set an example for others by not littering; if you do see litter, pick it up and put it in a trash can.
  • Carry a litterbag in your car or bicycle.
  • Keep trash containers covered securely to prevent wind or animals from spreading litter.
  • Keep leaves and yard clippings picked up around your home and recycle as green waste.
  • Regularly maintain your vehicle to avoid auto fluid leaks that build-up on roadway surfaces.
  • Organize or join in the cleanup of a neighborhood, creek, estuary, or wetland.

Redwood City Public Works further asks residents if they see leaves and/or debris covering catch basins to please rake them up and place them on the planting strip or pile on the sidewalk away from the catch basin so that they don’t fall back into the gutter causing clogged drains.

For information on reducing storm water runoff, visit or call Redwood City Public Works Services at 780-7464.

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