Climate Magazine – April 2020 Edition

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P u b l i c a t i o n

Feature: Three Remarkable Lives Spotlight: A New "A" Team Ovation: The Sequoia Awards History: Chase Littlejohn


Backyard farming Is for the Birds

all russ i c e a i Sppeciavvigru S ona ragee ronoveera o r CCo CCov

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. Franklin D. Roosevelt



This month’s Climate has presented one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced since the magazine launched nearly five years ago: Given the dire predictions that have been made about the lethality of the coronavirus and its rapid spread, Climate’s editorial team reckoned that by the time people were reading this issue, the local health care system could well be overwhelmed with sick and dying patients. We vigorously debated whether to even publish an issue that might seem tone deaf and frivolous. Second, with the “shelter in place” restrictions, many of the spots where Climate is usually delivered are closed, and people aren’t going to work. Obviously, we decided to go ahead with the April issue—but for the first time, it’s not in print. We hope new readers may discover the magazine online, and it’s our intention to return to print for the May issue. No one can predict the future –and let’s hope that the cancellations and precautions that all of us are taking have an effect in slowing down the virus. The role Climate plays in informing, educating, entertaining and giving voice to the community was important before the virus and still is. Continuing to publish provides continuity and context for the troubled days ahead: Our community has come through challenges before, and a magazine whose sole focus is on telling our own story can’t really take a timeout in bad times. A prime example is the story on this year’s Sequoia Awards winners, who missed out on being celebrated the way they always are—at a banquet which had to be cancelled because of the virus. Climate is honored to recognize their accomplishments. We are so pleased, as well, to be able to bring to our readers insights on a potential vaccine from a bona fide resident expert, Dr. Henry I. Miller. The Redwood City resident’s guest column appears on page 37—with our thanks. This month’s feature also provides the long-view perspective on the contributions three people made to Redwood City, important enough to have parks named after them. One of them is Dove Beeger Park, named for the powerhouse woman who deserves so much credit for Sequoia Hospital being here for 70 years—including in the time of COVID-19. Their lives demonstrate that there is an immortality to all of our actions, and that can be inspiring. Nancy Mangini introduces us to two new city staffers who will be focusing on development-related issues. And with Easter just around the corner, asking Nori Jabba of Redwood City to write about the backyard chicken boomlet seems eggs-actly apropos. She knows whereof she writes, having become a backyard chicken farmer four years ago when her daughter’s boyfriend planned an elaborate “promposal” that involved three baby chicks. Her daughter said “yes” to both the prom and keeping the chicks.

Janet McGovern, Editor April 2020 ·


TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S •


Three Remarkable Lives


Backyard Chickens


SPOTLIG HT The New "A" Team


The Sequoia Awards

28 AROUND TOWN ���������20 HISTORY......................26 MICRO CLIMATE...........27 COVID-19....................34

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CLIMATE M A G A Z I N E Publisher

S.F. Bay Media Group Editor

Janet McGovern Creative Director

Jim Kirkland Contributing Writers

Janet McGovern Nancy Mangini Nori Jabba Mark Simon Jim Clifford Dr. Henry I. Miller Seth Rosenblatt Charles Stone Photographer

Jim Kirkland Editorial Board

Janet McGovern Jim Kirkland Adam Alberti Advisory Board

Dee Eva Jason Galisatus Connie Guerrero Matt Larsen Dennis Logie Clem Molony Barb Valley CLIMATE magazine is a monthly publication by S.F. Bay Media Group, a California Corporation. Entire contents ©2020 by S.F. Bay Media Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use in any manner without permission is strictly prohibited. CLIMATE is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork. CLIMATE offices are located at 303 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City, CA 94065. Printed in the U.S.A.

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April 2020 ·


F E AT U R E •

Three Remarkable Lives By Janet McGovern

It’s meant to recognize people whose lives without a shadow of a doubt mattered, individuals who made such a mark on Redwood City that anyone would understand about a park being named in their honor. Morris Stulsaft, the developer who reshaped a large area of Redwood City after World War II. Dove Beeger, a woman determined to get a hospital built. And George Garrett Jr., a narcotics cop who was heading out for lunch with his team one day but died instead in the line of duty. Who were they? Today, not particularly informative signposts mark the entrances of the namesake parks: Stulsaft Park in the Farm Hills area, Dove Beeger Park across from Sequoia Hospital, and Garrett’s memorial

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F E AT U R E •

Rooted in Memory Through Redwood City Parks

park off Canyon Road. A laminated write-up about Sgt. Garrett tacked onto the sign attempts to tell his story, which visitors may pause to read on the way to the playground and the picnic tables. Ten Redwood City parks bear the names of notable people, though parks aren’t cemeteries or shrines. Still, looking back is instructive, not just for shedding light on the lives of three singular individuals who mattered once. The unavoidable takeaway from these quite different stories is that decades after their lives ended, their impact—with sometimes surprising offshoots—has never ceased. They continue to matter.

Children play in George L. Garrett Park

April 2020 ·


F E AT U R E •

Morris Stulsaft A 1963 Redwood City Tribune profile of “Prime Movers” is worth quoting in full. “Everybody knew Simon Monserrat Mezes,” it begins. “He practically created Redwood City. And he wanted everybody to know it, hopefully naming the place Mezesville. “Today, Mezes is all but forgotten. “Hardly anybody knows Morris Stulsaft. He practically created the Redwood City we see around us. And his name is borne only by Stulsaft Park. “Today Stulsaft, still known only by a few, is becoming a legend in spite of himself.” The story by Tribune writer Michael J. Kiernan went on to list what a man known only vaguely as a developer had done with the 1,000 acres he developed in Redwood City. Homes for 15,000 on former ranches in the western part of the city; the Woodside and Roosevelt Plaza shopping areas; two Broadway markets and two bowling alleys; the start-up Ampex Corp.’s first big building; land for a chemical company; Kaiser Permanente’s first clinic; and the 107-acre Redwood Industrial Tract. Sometimes he sold; sometimes he built. A native of Warsaw and the son of a shoemaker, Stulsaft stopped school in the fifth grade. He apprenticed as a plumber and in the space of a few years built up the largest plumbing supply firm in the West. That business led him into building and construction in San Francisco and beyond. President of Land Development and Investment Co., Stulsaft did residential, industrial and business development all around California. Other projects included a 45-acre shopping center in San Jose, 2,000 acres around Lake Tahoe, and sites from San Francisco and Oakland to Santa Cruz, according to Kiernan. Stulsaft had come to Redwood City in 1944 to buy some former ranchland in the

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Reg McGovern photo, courtesy Janet McGovern

Developer Morris Stulsaft is pictured in his Montgomery Street office in this 1963 photo.

undeveloped westside of the city plus a former airport property on Broadway and land that fronts on lower Broadway. He subdivided the residential tract, provided at cost the sites for three schools and sold off parts to several residential developers, among them Andres Oddstad. “The land cost him $400 an acre,” the 1963 story noted. “Average price today: $10,000 an acre. Today the area, between Woodside Road and Alameda de las Pulgas and the two shopping centers, is a regular little city, with churches and schools. Stulsaft first developed the Redwood Terrace No. 1 duplexes, as well as a 25-home stretch on Adams Street and 45 homes north of Fifth Avenue.” Stulsaft told writer Kiernan that he had been attracted to Redwood City initially because it had a good labor pool and a harbor that someday would prove to be real asset. A planning commissioner interviewed for the story said the city had at first demanded that Stulsaft donate a two-acre parcel around Massachusetts Avenue and Sussex Way for a park as a condition of development. He offered as a trade 30-plus acres of canyon area west of Alameda that became today’s 42-acre Stulsaft Park, the city’s biggest park. Oddstad Homes, de-

velopers of the Farm Hill subdivision, later added acreage. Childrens’ Benefactor The story says Stulsaft was married but divorced. He had no children, but Nat Landes, an engineer who worked on many of his projects, said Stulsaft was always giving money away quietly to youth-related activities and children’s homes. Landes, who in later years was a mayor of Woodside, attributed Stulsaft’s success to his ability to pick good people to work with. He gave them full trust and authority, but if they failed to deliver, Stulsaft “ceases to do business with you,” Landes said. “That’s it. No recourse.” Stulsaft had been in poor health for several years before he died in 1965 at the age of 82 after a fall from the window of his apartment in San Francisco. Five months before he died, he and a 55-year-old former secretary got married in his hospital room. After the multimillionaire financier’s death, an estate battle ensued. According to newspaper accounts, his widow claimed that his relatives had attempted to stop the marriage and during his illness exerted undue influence over his will. Her attorney said she’d first been bequeathed $200,000 but it was cut to $50,000 shortly before his

F E AT U R E •

Photo credit Grass Roots Ecology

Young people get an opportunity to participate in the upkeep and restoration work at Stulsaft Park through educational programs operated by Grass Roots Ecology.

Although Stulsaft Park had been donated to the city in 1952, the kind of park it would be took years to decide. The Lions Club proposed that it should be a “children’s fairyland” with space for 500 cars. That idea fizzled. death. Fighting to uphold the will were Stulsaft’s three sisters, other relatives and friends and the Morris Stulsaft Foundation. About four months later, another purported will surfaced which left the widow the sole heir. According to a 1968 Tribune story, a settlement was reached among the disputing parties giving the widow $3 million, with the remaining heirs, including the charitable organization, receiving the remaining $8 million. Established in 1953, the Morris Stulsaft Foundation has continued to exist and awards grants in keeping with its mission directed at the well-being of Bay Area children and youth in need. From 1995 to 2015 alone, some 2,450 grants totaling nearly $25 million have been made to youth-serving organizations, according to the founda-

tion’s website. Representatives there did not respond to requests for an interview. Planning the Park Although Stulsaft Park had been donated to the city in 1952, the kind of park it would be took years to decide. The Lions Club proposed that it should be a “children’s fairyland” with space for 500 cars. That idea fizzled. Ultimately, in 1957 a master plan for a “natural” park more in keeping with the wilderness contours was chosen, allowing for scenic hiking and picnicking. Carl Britschgi, a city councilman who later became a state assemblyman, led the fight on the council to maintain it as close to possible in its natural state. Amenities were added incrementally over the years. Stulsaft is unique among city parks in being more like an open space preserve

than a neighborhood park. Secluded and obscure, it became a management problem in the 1980s and neighbors complained about rowdies drinking and vandalizing the park at night. The solution then was to close an entrance gate. The park which Stulsaft donated almost 70 years ago doesn’t have the gang problems it once did, and allowing dogs off-leash in certain areas may be part of the reason why, says Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director Chris Beth. With its playground, picnic area, extensive hiking trails, and youth summer camp program, Stulsaft Park, Beth says, “is certainly I would say a very active park.” A contract ranger who provides “extra eyes” four days a week helps ensure that the rules are being followed. Stulsaft would likely be pleased about a program called Grass Roots Ecology, which engages and educates the public to restore local ecosystems and organizes events at the park, including a recent volunteer day in partnership with Park Champions that brought out 50 people. These events, says Christina Blebea of Grass Roots Ecology, run the gamut of “bioblitzes,” hikes, field trips, water quality monitoring and habitat restoration. High schoolers can also participate as “Stulsaft Stewards,” showing up once a week for 10 weeks each semester to learn about the environment and restore habitat. Another program lets high school classes test the water quality of the creek by looking at macroinvertebrates. As for future improvements, Beth would like to focus on restoration of creek banks, repairing old rock retaining walls and removing crumbling rocks around former cinnabar mines at the park. His staff is also looking at providing better creek crossings and adding a greater variety of nature walks. “We are encouraging ways to show the unique ecology of the park,” he says, “which is pretty cool.”

April 2020 ·


F E AT U R E •

Dove Beeger Dove Beeger’s name claims a small, halfmoon-shaped park on Whipple Avenue, but she and her husband would have been justified seeking naming rights to the hospital across the street. No one was more responsible than Dove Beeger for spearheading the drive during the 1930s and ‘40s to get the community on board behind the need for Sequoia Hospital. When the vacant 12 acres where it was to be built was under contract for housing development, Dove and her husband, Henry, stepped in. The newly formed Sequoia Hospital District didn’t have enough money, so the Beegers bought the site, held onto it and then turned it over to the hospital for the same price they paid for it. “It was purely that they found there was a need,” says granddaughter Cynthia Beeger of Menlo Park. “They wanted to hold that as a place saver.” They just had “a genuine interest in their community,” she adds. “They were good people.” The Beegers were a prominent pioneer family when Dove Hart married into it in 1923. Her future husband’s father, Henry Beeger, was a German immigrant who bought a small Redwood City tannery in 1880 and in just 10 years, expanded it from three employees to 20. Generous and warm-hearted, Beeger’s sudden passing in 1898 not only shocked the community, it left his widow, Mary, with six children to feed and Beeger Tannery to run. Henry Beeger Jr. was just seven years old when his German-born mother took charge of the tannery, which was located off El Camino Real, where Towne Ford is today. A gifted athlete, Henry Beeger Jr. played baseball and football at Sequoia High School and is listed in Stanford University’s Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1918, he met his future wife, who grew up on a ranch in the Salinas area, at a street dance for servicemen in Redwood City. The first

12 · CLIMATE · April 2020

Courtesy of the Beeger family

Dove Beeger (portrait)

“It was purely that they found there was a need,” says granddaughter Cynthia Beeger of Menlo Park. “They wanted to hold that as a place saver.” They just had “a genuine interest in their community,” she adds. “They were good people.” person from San Ardo to go to college, Dove Hart had already graduated from the University of California/Berkeley with a degree in bacteriology and was working at Mills Hospital in San Mateo as a laboratory technician. A charismatic outdoorsman who was successful in several businesses and owned property downtown, Henry was the youngest person ever elected to the City Council, serving from 1922 to 1934. When neither of his sons was interested in the family tanning business, he decided to close it in 1948. There was no point for a

man to continue a business until the day he dies, Beeger liked to tell people, because “you can’t take it with you and it interfered with my hunting and fishing.” His wife used to join him at their duck shack in Fremont, regularly bagging the limit. Both were expert trap shooters. After Dove and Henry married, she built a laboratory in her home so she could continue her work as San Mateo County’s milk inspector while being a homemaker and raising sons Bill and Jack. Her interest in health convinced her that another hospital was needed between the ones in San Mateo and Palo Alto, and she worked first with a group of women in 1938 who shared that conviction. In the 1940s, she chaired a Chamber of Commerce committee that really got the ball rolling and eventually led to the creation of the Sequoia Hospital District, which was overwhelmingly approved by the voters in 1946. Saving the Site The site chosen for the hospital had already been purchased by contractor David Holder for subdivision. He and his wife agreed to sell it to the district at no profit but set an April 1, 1947, deadline. The hospital couldn’t come up with the necessary $50,000, so the Beegers put up the money anonymously, holding the property in trust until a hospital bond issue passed. Dove Beeger, who went on to serve as hospital vice president among more than a dozen volunteer activities, was named Redwood City’s Outstanding Citizen in 1946. She died of a heart attack in 1964 at the age of 72; her husband 11 years later at age 84. Her grandchildren remember her as a strong, stern figure who made them behave. “The impression she made on me as a 10-year-old boy is in my DNA,” says grandson Jim Beeger, a former planning commissioner who now lives in Oregon. “Years later I still hold what my grand-

Reg McGovern photo, courtesy Janet McGovern

Reg McGovern photo, courtesy Janet McGovern

Henry Beeger, shown here in 1963, was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed duck hunting.

mother told me to heart.” Whatever she might say, “I knew there’s a lesson there somewhere.” The hospital, which opened in 1950, is a source of pride for the Beeger family. Granddaughters Cynthia Beeger and Barbara Beeger-Kanner of San Carlos were candy stripers; Barbara retired last year after 36 years as a Sequoia Hospital nurse. Fifteen Beeger descendants have been born at Sequoia, the most recent one of Dove’s great-granddaughters. Cynthia, Barbara and youngest sister, Diana Kadash of Redwood City, were little girls in fancy dresses and gloves in attendance the day Dove Beeger Park was dedicated in 1963. Four families donated portions of their lots to make the park space more uniform. Renovated about six years ago, the neighborhood park is a place where kids can play, but hospital employees and other visitors can also spend quiet time. “My son was very sick and he was at Sequoia a couple of years ago as a patient,” Kadash recalls. “And I got such peace just going over there and walking and sitting. So I think of it more that way. I didn’t really go to it when I was younger, but I really found it a source of comfort when he was a patient.”

F E AT U R E •

Dove Beeger Park was created on the half-moon-shaped parcel to the left of Sequoia Hospital, shown in this 1950 air view.

George L. Garrett Jr. It was payday, a Friday, and the four officers in Redwood City’s vice, intelligence and narcotics unit who had gathered back at the police station were heading out for lunch. “George said it had been a good week and everybody had been working hard, so he would buy lunch,” Ron Brooks recalls of that May day in 1981. A young cop, he looked up to George Garrett Jr., a well-liked, brash and fearless sergeant who headed the unit. “He was kind of larger than life to me. He was like the kind of cop I wanted to be.” Then came the broadcast of a robbery at the Bank of America branch on El Camino Real, in the area where the Yumi Yogurt building is today. False alarms at banks were common, but Garrett said, “Hey, it’s right around the corner. Let’s go.” That, Brooks says, “was typical of George. Work always came first. Mission always came first.” The tragedy that unfolded 39 years ago was a wrenching event, not just for those like Brooks who followed the sergeant into the bank, but for the police department and the whole community. The bank robber, a career criminal named Raleigh Porche, 36, a denizen of the Sausalito Yacht Harbor, had already amassed $150,000 in two previous bank jobs to further his goal of bankrolling

a return to the marijuana smuggling business, according to Brooks. Garrett and the undercover narcotics officers entered the bank through two different doors. Garrett walked up to a bank official’s desk, unaware that the welldressed man sitting next to her was the bank robber. Garrett identified himself and Porche reached for his gun. Garrett pushed the bank manager aside but in the ensuing fight with Porche, Garrett was shot in the head and in the chest. Det. Dale Switzer, who was right behind him, immediately opened fire, killing Porche. Another undercover cop, Bob Peelle, burst through the doors of the bank going for help. In the rapidly unfolding action, he was mistaken for the bank robber, was wounded by “friendly fire” but recovered. A Shared Grief Garrett died on the way to Sequoia Hospital, the first Redwood City police officer to lose his life in the line of duty since Herman Fleishman died in 1939 after a hot pursuit. The shock radiated out from Garrett’s family and friends to the whole city. He and his wife, Kathy, were eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child. Four nights before, the dad-to-be—an imposing broad-shouldered man with a big personality—had joined his wife at a coed baby April 2020 ·


14 · CLIMATE · April 2020

do life. She really didn’t have the option of falling apart.”

Photo courtesy Redwood City Police Department

shower, wearing a baby bonnet on his bushy hair. Officers rallied around the sudden widow. Lacking an official chaplain or even a procedure for in-the-line-of-death funerals, Sgt. Richard Morton, a former Marine, says Chief George Bold assigned him the task. Marines are big on ceremonies, Morton, 85, says. “I guess I just kind of fell back on that.” Some 2,000 people attended the standing-room-only memorial service at St. Pius Catholic Church, which was piped outside. Other sergeants managed traffic —including more than 100 motorcycle cops and a horse guard from the San Francisco Police Department—and myriad other tasks. A graveside service followed. “The fire department and their wives volunteered to take on the reception,” Morton says, “and we fed 3,000 people at Red Morton Park.” Store owners called to donate food. “Everybody wanted to help. It was a beautiful thing for this city.” Within months, the community contributed nearly $57,000 to a fund for Garrett’s family. Fellow cops and sheriffs’ deputies organized a donkey baseball fundraiser. The City Council wanted to do more and, as had been done for Officer Fleishman, elected to dedicate a park in the fallen officer’s honor. The 6.9-acre Canyon Park, at the end of Glenwood Avenue, was renamed George L. Garrett Memorial Park in July 1981. (Beth, the parks department head, says Garrett Park is due for refurbishment; he hopes to begin soliciting neighborhood input by the end of the year.) Nineteen days after her husband’s death, Kathy Garrett gave birth to baby Nicole at Sequoia Hospital. Being a police widow was “not something she really dwelled on,” says Nicole Garrett Burg, now 38 and the mother of 6- and 4-year-old sons. “She told me multiple times that she was so thankful that she had a baby…because it forced her to get up every day and put her shoes on and just

F E AT U R E •

George Garrett Jr.

Garrett and the undercover narcotics officers entered the bank through two different doors. Garrett walked up to a bank official’s desk, unaware that the well-dressed man sitting next to her was the bank robber. Garrett identified himself and Porche reached for his gun. Garrett pushed the bank manager aside but in the ensuing fight with Porche, Garrett was shot in the head and in the chest.

Helping Other Widows After a few years, Kathy remarried and had a second daughter, and the family relocated to Folsom. She got into leadership positions with the Northern California chapter of an organization that wasn’t around when she lost George, Concerns of Police Survivors, or C.O.P.S. In 1998, when Millbrae Police Officer David Chetcuti was fatally shot on U.S. 101 aiding another officer, Kathy reached out to his widow, Gail. The two women became close friends, united in their work supporting families of slain officers. Both women died of cancer a few months apart in 2004. “My mom had that relationship with a lot of local widows,” Burg says. “… She was very positive and fun and allowed them to kind of be okay with their feelings but also see that life goes forward and things will be okay.” Kathy never took for granted the support she received from Redwood City and law enforcement friends. Says Burg: “That’s not always how it is other places, and she knew that.” Though she teaches high school English, Burg remains connected to law enforcement. She also got involved in C.O.P.S. and served on its national board. Burg met her future brother-in-law, whose dad had also been killed in the line of duty, at a C.O.P.S summer camp and introduced him to her sister. Today he’s a K-9 officer in Roseville. Nicole’s husband, Matt Burg, is a Department of Homeland Security special agent whose work will soon relocate the family from Nebraska to Washington, D.C. Brooks, who credits Garrett with influencing him to devote his 38-year career to drug enforcement, had lost touch with Kathy and Nicole but ran into them years ago at a C.O.P.S. conference. Nicole was a student at Santa Clara University and wanted to go to the nation’s capital. Brooks helped her get an internship with

• a congressional committee on criminal justice and drug policy. “When I got to know Nicole as a young woman, it finally dawned on me that even though she never knew her dad,” Brooks says, “the loss was nonetheless the same. In fact, it might have been worse because it was always (a question of) ‘What would it have been like to have grown up with my dad, to have him as a mentor figure in my life?’” Several years ago, then-Police Chief JR Gamez began a tradition of honoring fallen officers annually on the anniversary of their deaths. In 2015, Burg and her family were flown out to receive a posthumous medal of valor. The fact that officers pause to remember her dad every year and that there’s a park named for him, “those are things that make me feel proud to share with my own children.” Burg has often thought how easily May 8, 1981, could have been different. George and his team were supposed to be at lunch.

F E AT U R E •

Photo courtesy Redwood City Police Department

Nicole Garrett Burg was invited to the Redwood City Police Department’s Medal of Valor ceremony in 2015 honoring her father. With her, left to right, are Deputy Chief of Police Gary Kirby, then-Police Chief JR Gamez and Ron Brooks.

Kathy had a medical appointment that day and she told him not to come. George’s death was right before Mother’s Day, and Burg still has the card that he’d bought, which was in a paper bag in his car. “I’m married to a law enforcement officer,” she says. “It can happen anytime.”

Although her husband works at a desk, “he still encounters situations that are very dangerous. It’s part of that life and I think every police wife and family somehow compartmentalizes that, and then it’s the thing that you hope never happens. “ C


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16 · CLIMATE · April 2020



Something to Crow About Backyard chicken farming is taking off all over the Bay Area By Nori Jabba

Backyard chicken farming is on the rise locally and for many good reasons. Chickens provide eggs as well as the opportunity to spend time outdoors, learn about the basics of life, and participate in the farm-to-table and sustainability movements. Ken and Lucy Brock, who own Peninsula Feed Store in Redwood City, know just how popular backyard chicken farming has become. The store near Whipple Avenue sells food, treats, supplies, full-grown hens and baby chicks. It also serves as a rescue center for roosters (roosters over the age of four months are not permitted in Redwood City due to noise issues). "


e have about 1,000 customers from all over the Bay Area buying feed regularly,” Lucy Brock says. The store also partners with public and private local schools to supply classrooms with baby chicks for children to learn firsthand about raising chickens, as well as where their food comes from. “Chickens have become popular pets for families, and especially for tech workers, who enjoy spending time with them (and eating fresh eggs) after long hours at Silicon Valley startups,” Ken Brock adds. “It’s a kind of life-balance therapy.” People raise backyard chickens for a variety of reasons. Some grew up on a ranch or farm; for oth-

ers, it is part of their culture. Many want to provide their own food or participate in sustainable food production. Parents often want to teach their children about nature. “I love chickens,” says Margo Callard a personal assistant who lives in Redwood City’s Mount Carmel neighborhood. She became enamored with backyard chicken farming after visits with her son to Hidden Villa Farm. “They’re happy little things. The fresh eggs are wonderful, and I like knowing that the food source comes directly from my backyard.” Many find the avian hobby fun or therapeutic. Eduardo Sagrero, who works at Peninsula Feed Store, believes “chickens can teach us a lot about the value of April 2020 ·


• living a simple life ... (to) get up with the sun. Go to sleep with the moon. Enjoy life’s little treats, get sunshine and fresh air, play, and always be aware of your surroundings.” Sagrero’s grandmother gave him a hen when he was four years old and he has raised chickens ever since. P.A. Moore, a retiree living in Redwood City’s Central neighborhood, has been teaching classes on backyard chicken farming for 10 years through the city’s parks and recreation department. The most common question she hears is, “How much work is it to have chickens?" Chickens and Eggs In fact, Moore says, owning chickens is “easier than having a dog or cat and takes only about five minutes a day. It’s the prep work before one acquires their hens that takes the time and money,” she explains. Moore considers chickens “perfect creatures.” That’s because “they produce eggs that would otherwise go to waste, we eat them, the shells go back into the garden as compost, the garden produces greens and food for both us and the chickens. It’s the perfect cycle.” Moore shared ownership of her chickens with the couple next door until they moved. The coop was in Moore’s yard and the chickens would have “free range” time in her neighbor’s yard during the day, slipping through a small opening cut in the fence for the hens to access the yard and large lawn. The neighbors split the costs, henhouse cleaning, and the eggs. Raising chickens offers tangible health benefits. San Carlos resident Victoria Kaempf, an attorney, finds that spending time with her chickens lowers her blood pressure: “I feel peaceful when I am near them. Caring for them is rewarding and fulfilling.” According to the Feed Store’s Sagrero, one of the most popular breeds for

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Backyard chicken instructor P.A. Moore

“They produce eggs that would otherwise go to waste, we eat them, the shells go back into the garden as compost, the garden produces greens and food for both us and the chickens. It’s the perfect cycle.” local backyard farmers is the French Black Copper Maran. These docile birds have beautiful black, dark green, brown and copper-colored feathers. Their largeto extra-large eggs are a rich chocolate brown color. The Marans look just like the chickens on popular French dinnerware and serving dishes. Other popular breeds include Rhode Island Reds, Orpingtons, Silkies, and Americaunas. Certain breeds are referred to as “Easter Eggers.” They have recessive genes which result in beautifully colored eggs in different shades between green and blue from the same bird. These breeds are prevalent for backyard chicken farming. Also popular, bantams are smaller, talkative birds which lay relatively small eggs. For some backyard chicken farmers, hens are pets and are treated to table scraps, cuddles and baby talk. Moore’s

hens, on the other hand, “have to earn their keep.” She raises chickens for their eggs, sharing surplus eggs with neighbors and friends, and she likes knowing exactly where her food comes from. Sagrero believes it is fine to spoil chickens with love and affection, but “giving them too much people-food results in birds that become picky and won’t eat their feed. Occasional treats, like yogurt, greens, raisins, and worms are fine as long as they don’t replace their feed.” Homeschooled Chicks Redwood City resident Carol Cross considers her chickens part of her family. Peaches, her all-white Easter Egger, has been with her for nine years and still lays beautiful blue-green eggs. “Chickens are delightful, curious, busy, and industrious creatures that set a good example for humans.” Cross says. The retired elementary school teacher became a backyard chicken farmer after bringing home baby chicks from her classroom. A chicken named “Nervous” was with the family until her son was in high school. “He was very attached to her,” Cross recalls. Beloved as chickens may be, letting them in the house is a bad idea because of the risk of spreading salmonella and mites to humans. The Brocks remind people who come to the store to see baby chicks that raising chickens is a multi-year commitment; the birds can live nine to 12 years if well cared for. It’s also important to know how to manage sick or injured birds and to find a local veterinarian who will see chickens. Redwood City residents, Jeff Pathman who works in the tech industry; and his wife Yuning Pathman, who is in commercial real estate; know this all too well. Their seven-week-old Brown Leghorn, named John Ellenbogen, broke her leg in an unfortunate accident. Luckily, the Pathmans

• were able to take her to Wildwood Veterinary Hospital in Redwood City, where the doting veterinarian put a cast on the wounded chicken’s tiny leg. Fortunately, she fully recovered. Backyard farmers have fun with names for their hens. John Ellenbogen’s name is in honor of a friend who wanted to have a chicken named after him. Dotty, Buffy, Betsy, Ryan Boughey, Gu Lau Lau, Minnie, Pia, Chicker, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Julia are just a few of the names of chickens in Redwood City backyards. Some owners can’t tell their chickens apart or prefer to view them as farm animals, so they go unnamed. According to the Feed Store’s Ken Brock, one of the mistakes new backyard chicken farmers make is not taking adequate precautions regarding “the three R’s:” raccoons, rats, and raptors. Sagrero recommends that chicken owners supervise any time spent outside of coops and enclosed areas, or runs (called free-range time), especially for younger, smaller hens, called pullets, and locking all hens in their enclosures at dusk. Providing adequate enclosed space for them really helps. The Pathmans are among owners who built their own coops and runs. Pre-manufactured coops are often small, hard to clean, and not always rodent/predator proof. Several backyard farmers have elaborate custom 10-by-six-foot enclosures, or they give their hens plenty of space to scratch, roam and roost. Kaempf converted an outgrown play structure, enclosing it with chicken wire and adding a door and nesting box. Dealing with adventurous birds is a challenge. At 10 months, one of Callard’s hens started flying over the fence to the neighbor’s yard. Staff at Peninsula Feed Store gently clipped one of the chicken’s wings. (Trimming one wing doesn’t hurt but will disrupt a bird’s balance when it tries to fly. The feathers grow back relative-


Right: Eduardo Sagrero, operations manager and poultry specialist at Peninsula Feed Store, holds an exotic Blue Sumatra rooster.

Below: Backyard chickens produce eggs that are more colorful and nutritious than those sold commercially. The color varies by breed and can range from blue and green to brown.

ly quickly, and the birds generally outgrow the behavior.) In a chicken coop, a natural pecking order develops. “It’s a peck-or-be-pecked world,” Cross explains, “and, just like humans, chickens each have their own personality.” Certain breeds are known for their gentle personalities, like Orpingtons. Alternative Pets The Pathmans decided to become backyard chicken farmers after taking Moore’s class. “We wanted to have a pet but also have one that provided extra value, like food in the form of eggs,” Jeff says. The couple ordered their chickens from Ideal Poultry in Texas. “They were shipped to us in two-day mail, and the

Post Office does a good job of calling immediately when they arrive,” Jeff adds. “I then drove over to the Post Office on Broadway and asked for the loudest package they had! The lady laughed and said, ‘You must be here for the package with the chicks inside’.” Backyard chicken farmers interviewed for this story all share how much they enjoy taking care of their flocks. Cross is surprised that in all the years she has raised chickens, she has never gotten tired of watching and being with them. Moore still can’t believe how much dust they create with all their scratching, which they do for most of the day. Kaempf enjoys the personalities of her hens, most of them sweet and docile, and is surprised by how much she has grown to love them. Backyard chicken farming is a multiyear commitment that offers plenty of rewards, farm-fresh food, and a sense of community with other local backyard farmers. Moore’s philosophy in life is “LTL:” Learn something new, teach it, then leave it and move on to something else. It’s been 10 years since she started raising chickens and teaching others about it, and she has no plans to stop. C April 2020 ·



Downtown Redwood City Goes Dark

Climate’s Creative Director Jim Kirkland took a stroll downtown March 17—St. Patrick’s Day—which should have been overflowing with happy crowds. Instead, the streets were virtually deserted, the only restaurants open being for takeout only. It was a stark reminder of the lifestyle changes the coronavirus has introduced to the whole Bay Area. As the marquee of the Fox Theatre reminded people, “Stay Healthy and Flatten That Curve!”

Right: takeout bags await pickup at Sakura's.

Top: a lone diner carries her dinner home.

California Youth Symphony Presents Festival Concert Cañada College hosted the California Youth Symphony on March 1, with three orchestras performing: the Associate Orchestra, Wind Symphony and Intermediate Ensemble. The concert marked the Youth Symphony's 68th season since its founding in 1952. CYS has grown from a single orchestra to 7 ensembles involving over 500 young musicians from over 100 Bay Area schools. The organization has earned a reputation for excellence and innovation, including being the first youth organization ever to tour overseas, winning prizes at international competitions. CYS has also helped initiate and organize numerous collaborations in the Bay Area involving both local and international ensembles. Right: Conductor Pete Nowlen leads the Wind Symphony.

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Chamber of Commerce Goes to Sacramento

The morning after the arrival of Daylight Saving Time, a group of about 30 people was up bright and early March 9 for the Redwood City-San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce’s annual legislative capitol bus tour. The daylong trip gave the chamber group an opportunity to tour the Capitol building, learn about the building’s history and view portraits of the state’s governors. The visitors got to meet and ask questions of their representatives, including State Senator Jerry Hill and As-

semblymen Marc Berman, Kevin Mullin and Phil Ting. The elected officials spoke about several hot-button concerns, including homelessness, education funding, ways to increase the housing supply and the unfolding Coronavirus response. After a “photo opportunity” on the floor of the Assembly chamber, the Chamber group had lunch at The Sutter Club. Rich Gordon, a former San Mateo County Supervisor and State Assemblyman who is now President and CEO of the California

Forestry Association, moderated a panel on lobbying. Speakers included Cliff Costa, director of government affairs for the California New Car Dealers Association; Emily Pappas, a partner in her own firm; and Craig Swaim, deputy director of state relations for Bayer Corp. All three said legislators and their staffs look to lobbyists for honest, reliable input on proposed legislation. Recalling his years in the legislature, Gordon agreed: “If someone came and gave me bad information, they were gone.”

Top right: The group gets a view from the gallery of the Assembly chamber. Right: Assemblymen Marc Berman, Phil Ting and Kevin Mullin take questions.

Left: The group poses for a photo on the Assembly floor with Senator Jerry Hill, Assemblymen Kevin Mullin and Marc Berman.

Right: Luncheon speakers were lobbyists Craig Swaim, Emily Pappas and Cliff Costa.

April 2020 ·


22 · CLIMATE · April 2020



Redwood City Has a

New “A” Team in Housing and Development By Nancy Mangini

Anyone living in Redwood City just 20 ago, would never have imagined what the city derisively called “Deadwood City” is today. The city is at the epicenter of one of the fastest growing economies on the planet where the lure of high-paying Silicon Valley jobs has brought a flood of hightech workers to the once sleepy community. As a result, Redwood City has become a vibrant, thriving place to visit, live and work. Theaters, restaurants, national retail chains, and transit-facing housing alongside technology startups now dominate an expanding downtown footprint.

April 2020 ·


• The Downtown Precise Plan adopted in 2012 kickstarted the development that gave new life to the city, though it has also left many longtime residents seriously questioning the nature and quality of life of their transformed city, as well as what more growth might mean. City leaders are embarking on the next stage of planning for the downtown area, and of the three areas of community concern — housing, transportation and children—housing clearly is the top priority, according to Mayor Diane Howard. “When you look at the imbalance between area jobs and our capacity to house new workers, it’s clear we’ve created an abundance of good-paying jobs here,” she said. The question is where are all the workers going to live. It’s a very real problem for people trying to find a place to live, but city government is feeling a lot of pressure too from Sacramento, including mandates to dramatically ratchet up the number of housing units being produced. Since 1969, local agencies have been given target numbers to meet anticipated housing needs, something they’ve routinely failed to deliver, although Redwood City has come closer than most in recent years. Recently, Howard attended a meeting of the regional Association of Bay Area Governments where there was talk of tripling the current number, which isn’t even being met now. The requirements are issued every eight years and new ones are due at the end of this year, hence the urgency. Against that backdrop, as well as the need to plan for residential and economic growth, Redwood City has added two new employees to its staff who have proven records of success in their fields of expertise: Mark Muenzer, director of community development and transportation and, Housing Leadership Manager Alin Lancaster.

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Mark Muenzer

“Everyone has their own truths and expectations. It’s my job to move the conversation forward by listening to all sides and find the common themes that will enable collaboration.” Muenzer spent the first 20 years of his career as a city planner in and around the Chicago area, starting in the small town of Countryside, Illinois. He spent the next 15 years working for the City of Chicago, where he served as Development and Project Manager for 77 different neighborhoods. From there, he moved on to a position in Evanston, located near Northwestern University, where he managed the building, planning, and transportation needs of the mid-sized Chicago suburb. Throughout his life, Meunzer always felt he would be “at home” in the West with its welcoming culture and growing diversity. So at the age of 47, he accepted a community development position with the City of Menlo Park.

When Redwood City’s Community Development Director Aaron Aknin left his post to become a private sector consultant in January 2019, the City Council approved the creation of two new positions to replace and expand the role he had filled: One would oversee all new development and transportation proposals that came before the city, the second would concentrate primarily on the housing element of the City plan. When Meunzer heard about the new position opening up in Redwood City, he took a trip to the city by Caltrain and was impressed by the “sense of place” that Courthouse Square provided, a value he’d learned in Illinois. Thinking that the vibrant, diverse, and aesthetically pleasing public area was reflective of the community’s overall environment, he applied and joined the city staff last August as Development and Transportation Director. A passionate advocate for public transportation, Meunzer says the ability to commute on Caltrain from his apartment in downtown San Jose to the new job in Redwood City helped cement his decision. “I look forward to working with the council and the community at large to create a new Central Redwood City Plan that meets everyone’s objectives, particularly in the areas of transit-oriented development,” Meunzer said. One of the first tests of that plan came before the City Council in late February: a large, multi-use redevelopment proposal for Sequoia Station and the Caltrain corridor. Meunzer found himself in the not-unfamiliar position of mediator between opposing stakeholders. Business and transportation advocates pushed for immediate action by the City Council to enable the project to go forward, while housing advocates demanded time to study and submit substantial

• project revisions to reduce the current job/ housing imbalance. Meunzer offered a third alternative, an accelerated community visioning program so that residents would have more opportunity to make their views heard before the City Council revisits the proposal in the fall. In addition to the Sequoia Station project, Meunzer is overseeing the Greystar development proposal known as the South Main Mixed-Use Project, located at 1601 El Camino Real near the Woodside Road overpass and at 1304 El Camino Real, across from Sequoia Station. Unlike the Sequoia Station proposal, which was unveiled fairly recently, the South Main Mixed-Use proposal has been in the works since January 2018. The developer has made substantial modifications to the original proposal as a result of community meetings. They include changes to reduce Greystar’s office space, increase affordable housing and open space, and improve transportation and pedestrian features. In spite of the changes, the most recent meeting, held Feb. 26, still featured heated arguments by opposing stakeholders. Muenzer seems unfazed being at the center of the passionate exchanges that can often roil development proposals. “Everyone has their own truths and expectations,” he said. “It’s my job to move the conversation forward by listening to all sides and find the common themes that will enable collaboration.” To highlight the importance of housing issues in the city, the newly created position of Housing Leadership Manager was moved from its previous position within the Community Development Department into the City Manager’s office. Lancaster was appointed to the job in January. Originally from the tiny town of Weaverville in Northern California, she received


Alin Lancaster

Lancaster believes that while active comunity engagement and visioning will be important, maintaining flexibility in developing housing solutions will be equally important as policies will need to be dynamic enough to address constantly changing economic realities. an undergraduate degree in Community and Regional Development from the University of California at Davis and moved to the Bay Area to work for the City of South San Francisco. In 2015, she accepted a position as the Housing and Community Development Manager for the City of Union City where she led a 15-member taskforce that drafted and implemented a rent mediation and just-cause eviction ordinance. Over eight years in government work, Lancaster has worked extensively with city councils, residents, and community stakeholders to

address the growing housing crisis facing cities throughout the region. “I’m passionate about housing for all,” said Lancaster, “(and I) look forward to creating policies and programs to support housing stability for everyone.” Several housing projects are already in production in Redwood City, such as the Main Street Project being built by ROEM Development, the Arroyo Green Project being built by MidPen Housing, and the 612 Jefferson Project being built by Habitat for Humanity. Lancaster will also oversee projects that have been approved but have not yet broken ground such as the Sobrato-MidPen Project known as Broadway Plaza, located between 1401 Broadway and 2201 Bay Road. Taken together, these projects promise to produce a combined 382 affordable and 400 market-rate new residential units in the city. Lancaster believes that while active comunity engagement and visioning will be important, maintaining flexibility in developing housing solutions will be equally important as policies will need to be dynamic enough to address constantly changing economic realities. Mayor Howard hopes to enlist Lancaster’s policy expertise to help the City Council develop new, innovative solutions to address the rapidly growing need for more housing in Redwood City. C

April 2020 ·


H I S T O R• YC b L IyM JAi m T E C• l i f f o r d •

Naturalist Chase Littlejohn Hunted for Adventure A columnist for the long defunct Redwood City Tribune wrote decades ago that hometown hero Chase Littlejohn’s life “reads like a fascinating fiction story.” Unquestioned when the accolade was penned, Littlejohn might be a target of animal rights activists today for hunting, killing and stuffing animals. “This zoologist, taxidermist, hunter and collector had enough fascinating experiences in his 88 years of lifetime to keep a fiction writer with material for many intriguing stories,” columnist Otto Tallent concluded. It would be difficult to disagree with that summation. Among other exploits, Littlejohn, who was born in Redwood City in 1855 and died in 1943, was a hunter from earliest boyhood. According to a family history, he hunted birds and eggs in the forests and marshes on the Peninsula where he “developed a taste for the naturalist’s life.” At 18, he shipped out on a schooner and went to the Japanese Kurile Islands, part of the then-booming trade in sea otters, whose pure jet-black skins were then the height of fashion. The pelts sold for as much as $1,250 each. As a taxidermist, Littlejohn prepared around 2,500 exhibits for educational institutions as well as hundreds of others for private homes. According to the family history privately published in 1976, the stuffed birds and animals were at one time exhibited at such prestigious institutions as the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park and Stanford University. The history is quite frank about the bloody killings of otters as well as the dangers of hunting: “The sleek fourfoot animals were cornered in packs and

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shot head-on from boats to the disgust of conservationists and animal lovers; then dragged behind the ship.” The account goes on to say that “75 schooners a season might ply the trade. Several were lost every year to storms and reefs.” Littlejohn lived to tell about the wreck of a ship he was on off the coast of Mexico in 1890 while headed for the Galapagos Islands. The vessel ran aground and the cabin filled with water. Littlejohn held onto a rope hanging from a mast until the ship was pushed closer to shore where the crew escaped to safety. Four years later he traveled to the Alaskan Peninsula for the Smithsonian Institution, a journey that brought back birds, eggs and nests. In 1909 the San Francisco Sunday Call ran a vivid profile of Littlejohn which included this summation: “A hunter of rare and unusual game, Chase Littlejohn has bagged sea otters in Japan, big game in Alaska and strange birds everywhere.” Littlejohn’s adventures read like chapters out of a Jack London book. For

instance, he and three other people went to the Aleutian Peninsula in 1880 where they survived for three years in a nomadic life that saw them build sod dugouts with four-foot-thick walls and thatched roofs made of wild grass. “There they lived, by all accounts happily and cozily enough, by hunting, fishing and trading and fighting off the occasional bear,” the family history recorded. In 1942, with great fanfare, Littlejohn’s taxidermy collection was presented to Sequoia High School. After a long stay at the Redwood City high school, the collection had several homes. Sherry Chen of San Mateo‘s CuriOdyssey (formerly known as the Coyote Point Museum for Environmental Education) researched the matter and discovered that in 1955 the collection had gone to the San Mateo County Junior Museum, a forerunner of CuriOdyssey. From there it moved to the University of California at Davis in 2014. “We indeed have several specimens from Chase Littlejohn in our holdings,” confirmed Andrew Engilis, curator of the Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology at UC Davis, adding that some specimens may have ended up at other institutions, including UC Berkeley. The family history by David Littlejohn posed the question whether Chase Littlejohn “seriously advanced” the frontiers of ornithological science. David’s conclusion was: “I have no idea, but I expect he enjoyed himself.” C Note from the editor: No animals were harmed in the writing of this column.

M I C R O C L I M AT E •

What Comes After—When the Show Mustn’t Go On The coronavirus has hit the arts community like a neutron bomb, and 55-year-old Broadway by the Bay is among the nonprofits that are reeling. BBB had a production of “The Sound of Music” ready to roll March 15 but had to cancel the full run. The theater company had shelled out for the production costs but was unable to realize the income, which would also seed its next musical. BBB asked ticket holders to donate back the value, or better yet, make a donation. Executive Director Alicia Jeffrey says the next production, “9 to 5,” is “unlikely” to go forward in June given that financial hit and the uncertainty about when the coronavirus shutdown will be over. The summer educational program will also be heavily impacted. “Currently all of our production plans are on hold because to us there’s no point in trying to plan because we have no idea what the future holds,” she says. Many of the theater group’s patrons are in the older, at-risk age bracket and their behavior may change too, perhaps feeling uncomfortable being in close quarters. Based at the Fox Theatre since 2011, Broadway by the Bay is the only major musical theater company between San Francisco and San Jose producing fullscale musical productions using local talents. Asked if the coronavirus might spell its end, Jeffrey responds, “I would hate to think that this is the end of it, and I don’t think any of us have any intention of it being the end. But the way that we present or produce theater may be different for a while as we try to get our bearings with this new landscape.” Unfortunately, Jeffrey adds, society doesn’t prioritize the arts but ironically, “now that everyone is quarantined at home the thing that they need to get through their days is art.”

On the last day before closing, Redwood City’s libraries were limited to 50 people at a time, and monitors at the entrances managed the lines. Library Director Derek Wolfgram says big stacks of childrens’ books were going out the door. Book drops are now closed, and the due date has been extended to June 30. In a typical month, 100,000 items are checked out, but Wolfgram doesn’t know how many will be coming back when the coronavirus sequester is over. Staffers will be deluged with materials to check in, assuming people don’t wait until June 30. The virus supposedly lasts three days on plastic and most library books and DVDs have plastic coverings, so librarians in protective gear may have to clean them before they can go back on the shelves. Seems like there must be a way to bring some of those suspect books back for a three-day detox while the libraries are in lockdown. Meanwhile, the downtown library’s rooftop bee colony is doing fine, Wolfgram says, although they don’t do very well at social distancing.

That notion wasn’t lost on library patrons, who stockpiled books and DVDs to get through the coronavirus hibernation.

During the coronavirus shutdown, excuses for putting off certain tidying-up projects don’t hold up so well, which is a

good reason to heed an unusual request from the volunteers who maintain and landscape Union Cemetery. Their plans are to be out during the spring weeding, pruning and neatening up so visitors to the Civil War-era cemetery located next to Woodside Road can truly enjoy the park when roses start to bloom. Back in the 1980s and ‘90s, many of the original headstones and markers disappeared, according to board member Kathy Klebe of the Historic Union Cemetery Association. Why? The cemetery was quite a disheveled mess then, and perhaps families took the markers for safekeeping. Perhaps they just thought it would be cool to own a headstone from the 1880s. Whatever the reason, the board would like them returned for reinstallation—no questions asked. If anyone unearths a mysterious fragment and wonders if it might have come from the cemetery, they can reach out to kathy@ And an update on an update: Climate’s history columnist Jim Clifford has told the story of the building at Redwood Shores that housed radio station KGEI, “the voice from home” for GI’s in the Pacific during World War II. KGEI’s call letters had been covered up until recently, when they were restored while the building, which is now owned by Silicon Valley Clean Water, was being repainted. Dee Eva, who is active in local history, contacted Maggie Coleman, regent of the Gaspar de Portola Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, about donating a plaque telling the history of the building and KGEI. One in bronze will cost $2,000 to $2,500, and a Go Fund Me campaign has been started to seek donations. Go to to chip in. C

April 2020 ·


O VA T I O N •

Giving Back:

Sequoia Awards Recognizes the Best of Our Student Volunteers

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O VA T I O N •

By Mark Simon

One high school student began working in Africa with refugees and victims of exploitation. Another became a fixture of friendliness and support at the Veteran’s Hospital in Palo Alto. Still another started a middle school tennis program. Another began a program to teach students how to cook, and another started her own tutoring and mental health counseling program. These are just a handful of the moving and inspiring stories from this year’s group of Sequoia Awards winners and scholarship recipients.


or nearly 30 years, Sequoia Awards has been honoring high school seniors from Redwood City for their voluntary contributions to our community. Founded in 1990 by a group of community leaders led by Pete and Paula Uccelli, Sequoia Awards has grown from a single $500 scholarship to this year’s 24 winners, who will receive a combined $176,500 toward their college dreams and ambitions. The award is based entirely on the students’ volunteer activities – neither academics nor athletics are taken into ac-

count. Since 1990, more than $2 million in scholarship funds has been distributed by Sequoia Awards. The highlight of the Sequoia Awards program is an annual dinner at which the students are recognized individually for their achievements and dedication to serving our community. The signature moment of the event is when each student is called up to the stage and stands in the spotlight for a few moments in front of family, friends, mentors and fellow students while their achievements are described. Sequoia Awards also recognizes an outstanding

member of the Redwood City community whose volunteer efforts embody the vision of the organization and demonstrate to the students that voluntarism can and should continue into adulthood. As has been the case with so many community events, Sequoia Awards was forced to cancel its annual dinner, scheduled for mid-March at the Marriott San Mateo Hotel. “This is a decision none of us wanted to make and we kept holding out hope we could hold our event,” said Sequoia Awards Board Chair Jim Lianides. “These April 2020 ·


• students and our outstanding individual work so hard to help their community and this is the night we get to honor them, their mentors and their families. It is a highlight for everyone involved, a deeply moving night, and it is a disappointment that health concerns forced us to cancel.” The cancellation does nothing to diminish the achievements of these young men and women or to dim the bright light of charity, kindness and generosity that characterizes their work and the spirit and mission of Sequoia Awards. And it is possible to celebrate this year’s winners with the generous help of the publisher and editors of Climate Magazine, who have donated the space for this story and to put on display the name and photo of each winner. This year’s top award, Outstanding Student, goes to Maria Casique, who will be graduating from Sequoia High School through the Cañada Middle College program. She will receive the top scholarship of $25,000. In the seventh grade, Maria began struggling with depression and anorexia nervosa. By the eighth grade, “I had mentally checked out. … I couldn’t retain information, became distracted and felt hopeless and stopped eating and lost weight,” she said. In treatment for five months, Maria became determined not to fall behind in school. She succeeded, largely through her own initiative, and that left her determined to “combat the lack of academic resources available to younger students.” She began by volunteering at Project Read, but that wasn’t enough. She started an after-school tutoring center at her former middle school so she “could have a bigger effect by serving more students.” The program became the Connect Tutoring Center and by her junior year, Maria had recruited classmates as additional tutors. They provide one-on-one tutoring and mentoring “and we serve as role models who are succeeding in advanced STEM classes.” She found a location for the pro-

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O VA T I O N •

Maria Casique Outstanding Student Award Sequoia High School / Cañada Middle College

gram, and then she raised funds for a mental health pop-up devoted to the issues facing teens. “Not many with similar background as mine – mental health struggles, first-generation, low-income, Latina – make it as far as I have, and volunteering motivated me to continue to fight my eating disorder and to voice my battle to the community to change perspectives on mental health, education and identity,” Maria said. Maria will go to college to study neuroscience and, eventually, head to medical school with the goal of becoming a neurosurgeon. The winner of the Outstanding Individual is Annette Soby, whose three decades of volunteerism have touched the Redwood City community broadly and deeply. She has been a volunteer at Kainos Home and Training Center for more than 25 years, starting as a mentor to Kainos clients, an activity she continues. Some years ago, she expanded into speech therapy, using her training as a speech pathologist to teach improved enunciation and expand-

ed vocabulary to build the confidence of countless clients seeking a mainstream life. At Peninsula Covenant Church, Soby has provided speech therapy and counseling, has been a mentor to new parents, served as a Sunday School teacher and a leader of the church’s Christmas choir. Through PCC she has traveled to China to teach English to children. Numerous times, she has hosted travelers from China, The Congo and Japan, providing them space in her home. She teaches Sunday school at Kainos, serves refreshments to members of the Hearing Loss Association of Redwood City, participates in a women’s Bible Study Fellowship, tutors students in the local school districts and advises parents of children with special needs. Every fall, she leads a drive to collect blankets, coats, hats and socks to donate to the homeless through Streetlife Ministries. And she tutors hard-of-hearing students at Project Read. In addition to an award, Soby will be given a stipend to donate to a charity of her choice. C

Annette Soby Outstanding Individual

O VA T I O N •

Noelia Arteaga Woodside High School Sponsor: Greystar Development

Rachel.Amir Chatman Carlmont High School Sponsor: San Mateo Credit Union

Maria Chavez Sequoia High School Sponsor: BKF Engineers

Jasmine Esquivel Sequoia High School Sponsor: The Sobrato Organization

Michelle Estrada Sequoia High School Sponsors: W.L. Butler Construction/Windy Hill PV

Parinaz Khosravi Sacred Heart Preparatory Sponsor: Alice W. Coghlan RN

Tea Leiro Kings Academy Sponsor: The Crittenden Family

Annika Lin Carlmont High School Sponsor: Dostart Development

Nikhitha Nair Woodside High School Sponsor: Lift Leadership

Danial Sajuan Sequoia High School Sponsor: Lyngso Garden Materials, Inc.

Sandra Landa Sanchez Sequoia High School Sponsors: San Mateo County Sheriffs Activities League In memory of Pete Liebengood

Jenna Teterin Carlmont High School Sponsors: Bank of America/ Merrill Lynch

Alejandro Torres Sacred Heart Preparatory Sponsors: W.L. Butler Construction/Redwood City Police Officers Association

Anna DeVitis Castilleja School Sponsor: Hannig Law LLP

Jaylin Zamora Duarte Woodside High School Sponsors: Sequoia Hospital-Dignity Health/Heritage Bank

Nicole Cruz Mariche Sequoia High Schoo Sponsors: DPR Construction/ Welch-Everett Family Trust

Isabella Mattioli Carlmont High School Sponsor: Nintendo of America

Leslie Zaragoza Sequoia High School Sponsor: Black Mountain Properties, LLC

Paulina Arguello Castilleja School Sponsors: Oracle Corporation/ Sims Metal Management

Luis Cruz Woodside High School Sponsors: Facebook Inc./ Stanford University

America Nava Sequoia High School Sponsors: Danford Fisher Hannig Foundation/The Franceschini Family

Lizettte Barragan Cervantes Woodside High School Sponsors: Chan Zuckerberg Initiative/Kaiser Permanente

Eduardo Hinojosa Woodside High School/ Cañada Middle College Sponsors: Uccelli Foundation/ Recology San Mateo County

April 2020 ·


C L I M AT E •

Redwood City’s 4th of July Parade a Coronavirus Victim By Janet McGovern Redwood City’s 4th of July parade— an 80-year community tradition interrupted only once, by World War II—has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The board of the Peninsula Celebration Association, the volunteer group which organizes the annual parade and festival downtown, says it made the decision in consultation with the city not to go forward with the event. “The health, safety and well-being of everyone involved in the event is paramount,” the PCA said in a statement. The PCA has sponsored and presented an Independence Day celebration featuring a parade since 1939, and a post-event festival became an added feature in the 1980s. The tradition has been broken only one year, during the war. PCA President Bob Anderson said cancelling the parade was a difficult decision which the majority of the board supported, though it was not unanimous. The planning that needs to be done would be happening when people are supposed to be sheltering in place, and even after people return to work, mass gatherings may still be discouraged, he said. Board members wanted to be proactive because other groups are already thinking of entering units or floats. “We didn’t want to have people work on their projects and then have it cancelled later,” he said. There was also a concern about encouraging other groups to gather together “because they should social distance from each other.” Cancelling the parade “was the last thing all of us wanted to do because this is what we do,” Anderson said. “Everybody on the board who does this, we work yearround and we’ve been doing this for years.

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It’s part of who we are and it was definitely a difficult decision and we figured it’s the right time to make it.” The focus now, he said, is on making the 2021 parade “an even bigger and better event.” PCA Vice President Regina Kipp said the uncertainty about how long the coronavirus emergency will last made it difficult to do the necessary advance planning. “We don’t know what’s going on with the pandemic and a lot of the decisions that we have to make have to be done early,” she said. “So rather than wait until the last minute, we decided to just go ahead and cancel.” Porta-potties, for example, have to be ordered now. Insurance has to be secured, permits received and contracts made with vendors. It’s unknown how social distance parameters will affect the way the units have to line up, or if the people will have

to be spaced apart lining up at food concessions. And it’s unknown whether by July people will still be too concerned about congregating to go to the parade. “When you listen on television to what they’re saying, this is going to go on for quite a number of weeks,” Kipp said. “…It’s not like you can keep a sixfoot distance when you’re lined up along the parade route.” The city is responsible for putting on the fireworks show. Chris Beth, who heads Redwood City’s parks and recreation department, said the city’s fireworks vendor says many communities are postponing shows until next year. In light of the cancellation of the parade, Beth imagines that the city will skip fireworks until next year but “we’ll have to consider this at a later date.” C

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April 2020 ·


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A Tough Business Becomes a Lot Tougher By Seth Rosenblatt For the last decade or so, it has been a running joke among San Carlans that inevitably every clothing store and antique shop on Laurel Street – the city’s main downtown retail artery – would eventually close up and be replaced by a new restaurant or wine bar. San Carlos, like many cities in the Midpeninsula including Redwood City, San Mateo, and Burlingame, has witnessed a renaissance in its culinary scene with a volume and variety that rivals many major cities. With a population of only around 30,000, San Carlos has nearly 120 eating and drinking establishments, with cuisines as diverse as Afghan, Burmese, Creole, Hawaiian, and Georgian. The town also hosts five wineries and three breweries. Redwood City has similarly transformed particularly in the downtown corridor. Until very recently, both cities’ downtowns buzzed until the late evening on almost every night of the week. In some of the more popular spots, it was impossible to find a table without a reservation even on a Tuesday night! Full streets and packed restaurants testified to the fact that we love going out to eat. According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant business employs 10 percent of the overall U.S. workforce. Locally, some of the most often heard complaints of residents were about downtown traffic and parking challenges, side effects of this robust culinary and economic activity. However, even in relatively “normal” times, running a restaurant is a tough business. Selling perishable products at low margins, high staff turnover, high rent, managing social media engagement, and consumer whims all make this a business not for the faint of heart. According to USA Today, the average lifespan of a restaurant

34 · CLIMATE · April 2020

Seth Rosenblatt

"In this crisis, we must prioritize the safety of ourselves and others. However, we should remember that a healthy restaurant ecosystem is vital to both the livability of our cities as well as the livelihood of many of our neighbors." is five years with some estimating that 90 percent of all new restaurants fail within their first year. In 2019, San Carlos saw more than 10 percent of the restaurants turn over. And this is in normal times! We are not now in normal times. No corner of the world has been unaffected by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, and naturally our first concern should be the health and safety of our family, friends, neighbors, and everyone across the globe. But in taking the necessary measures to “flatten the curve” of potential infections, our local

and state governments have ordered all of us to “shelter-in-place” to minimize human-to-human contact and only leave our homes for “essential business.” One of the allowed activities is securing food, whether from a grocery store or a restaurant via takeout or delivery. This doesn’t mean business as usual for our local restaurants: Adding to the normal challenges of running a restaurant is figuring out how to balance the safety of their employees and customers with the very existential threat of reducing or suspending their business for an indefinite period of time. Additionally, some restaurants have reported some interruption in their supply chain in getting meat or other ingredients. In San Carlos, approximately 30 percent of all restaurants are part of larger chains or have multiple locations, which means a vast majority are run by small business owners whose livelihood, and that of their employees, is at serious risk during this pandemic. Restaurants have responded in different ways to the crisis. In San Carlos, about a third of restaurants have closed completely out of an abundance of caution or the inability to financially or logistically make a takeout/delivery business work. The website of Hawaiian restaurant Noelani’s states: “This pandemic is to be taken seriously and it’s our responsibility to make sure that our employees and patrons are kept safe.” In a recent post, the management of the popular Town restaurant said it was trying to bring back some staff to do takeout service. The company has created a GoFundMe page (the Avenir Family Meal Fund) to try to cover the cost of labor and goods and provide daily meals for hundreds of affected staff.

• A few places are taking a “wait and see” approach to see if they can generate sufficient business, however the majority are trying to stay open until normalcy returns. To do so, some have shortened their hours, modified their menus, or changed the protocols for how food is handled and exchanged with the customer to be consistent with “social distancing.” For example, Jersey Joe’s says it will deliver your order to your parked vehicle, and many fast food restaurants are relying on their drive-through lanes. Others are expanding their takeout and delivery options. Even though bars must close, Devil’s Canyon Brewery will allow you to pick up bottles or cans of beer or have them delivered to your home, and Domenico Winery will place your to-go bag of wine and food on their outdoor patio tables. An unscientific study done by driving down Laurel Street demonstrated an inevitable imbalance – some open restaurants had no activity while others had substantial queues (exacerbated by customers keeping their distance from each other), so the state of our local restaurant industry remains fluid. A piece of positive news could be the trend – started long before the current crisis – of the increasing popularity of online food delivery services, such as DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates, Uber Eats, and This industry has been growing at double-digit rates for the last few years, and according to Forbes, is on track to be a $200 billion business by 2025. Although these services have historically been more popular with younger diners, one can imagine the current crisis will cause older folks like myself to dive into that pool. Many of our local restaurants use one or more of these delivery services, so hopefully they can serve as a financial backstop for many of them. It’s interesting to note that Uber Eats alone saw a 10-fold increase in

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the number of self-serve signups by restaurants between March 12 and 19 versus a normal week. In this crisis, we must prioritize the safety of ourselves and others. However, we should remember that a healthy restaurant ecosystem is vital to both the livability of our cities as well as the livelihood of many of our neighbors. There are a number of resources to find out which restaurants are open, but keep in mind that many restaurants have not updated their websites. The best bet is to call to check on a restaurant’s status, if it has a special menu, and whether it has delivery options. Taking a trip downtown to pick up food after being cooped at home for most of the day is the closest that many of us will get to an outing, but delivery services are a great option too. If you really are worried about

getting food from a restaurant, you can always buy some gift cards for future visits once this crisis ends. Every little bit will both help our community and break up the inevitable monotony of the rotation of dishes that you probably cook at home. It’s hard to know when things may go back to “normal,” but even in these times we can still take advantage of the unique culinary landscape with which we are blessed. C San Carlos resident Seth Rosenblatt is a 23-year-resident of The City of Good Living who began a food blog more than a year ago about the local restaurant scene called—appropriately— The principal in his own firm, Rosenblatt is a technology executive, writer and consultant and also served eight years on the San Carlos School Board.

What’s open for takeout in San Carlos during the lockdown? San Carlos Avenue • Tamari • Starbucks • King Chuan • Blue Line 600 Block Laurel Street • Lunch Box • House of Bagels • Siamese Kitchen • SusieCakes • Number 5 Kitchen • Patxi’s • Peet’s • Rangoon Ruby 700 Block Laurel Street • Nick the Greek • Sakura • Stamp Bar & Grill • Plantation Coffee 800 Block Laurel Street • Shiki Bistro • Crepe Stop1 • Starbucks • Boba Guys • LuLu’s • Yan’s Garden • 888 Ristorante • Broiler Express

1100-1800 Laurel Street • New Flower Drum • New Canton • Pazzo • Panda Dumpling • Sandwich Spot • Amazing Wok • Fina’s Cafe • The Toss • Johnston’s Saltbox • 3 Pigs BBQ Holly Street • El Maguey • Emelina’s Peruvian • Pho Vinh • Aya Sushi • El Charrito Industrial Road • In-N-Out Burger • Marsha’s Lunchbox • Chipotle • Jamba Juice • Starbucks • Wingstop • Domenico Winery Old County Road • Delicious Crepes Café • Emergency BBQ4 • Papachay Coffee

Washington Street • Devil’s Canyon El Camino Real • Jersey Joe’s • Kaya BBQ & Tofu • Omelette House2 • Kabul Afghan • McDonald’s • Dunkin’ Donuts • Taco Bell • CreoLa • Sirayvah Organic Thai • San Carlos Bar & Grill • Rita’s Italian Ice • Subway • Mountain Mike’s • Rustic House3 • Pho 82 • Jack in the Box • Round Table • New York Pizza • iGuey Taqueria • Mints & Honey • Mediterranean Delite • Baskin-Robbins • Office Bar & Grill • Carl’s Jr Skyway Road • Burger King • Izzy’s

This list is subject to change so be sure to call to check the current status April 2020 ·


Redwood City restaurants are still open for take-out, delivery, or both

List courtesy of the Redwood City-San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce, which tries to keep its listing as up-to-date as possible and advises people to contact the restaurant to confirm service hours. AhiSushi Hibachi 1784 Broadway · 369-2299 ·

Mistral Restaurant & Bar 370-6 Bridge Pkwy.· 802-9222 ·

Alhambra Irish House 831 Main St · 366-4366 ·

Nam Vietnamese Brasserie 917 Main Street · 393-5515 ·

Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria 226 Redwood Shores Pkwy. · 654-3333

Nikko’s Mexican Grill 408 El Camino Real · 599-9383 Oh Baby Sushi 2139 Roosevelt Ave. · 366-1688 ·

Angelica’s 863 Main Street · 679-8184

Old Port Lobster Shack 20 Woodside Plaza · 366-2400 ·

Bangkok Bay Thai Cuisine 825 El Camino Real · 365-5369

Orenchi Ramen 2432 Broadway · 537–9494 ·

Bravo Taqueria 980 Woodside Rd · 364-3511

Pizza My Heart 831 Middlefield Rd · 361-1010 ·

Broadway Masala 2397 Broadway · 369-9000 · Canyon Inn 587 Canyon Rd · 369-1646 Chipotle 861 Middlefield Rd · 216-9325 · Coffeebar 2020 Broadway · 779–0466 · Colombo's Woodside Deli 1453 Woodside Rd · 369-4235 · Coupa Café 695 Main Street · 741-0676 · Crouching Tiger 2644 Broadway · 298-8881 Cyclismo Cafe 871 Middlefield Rd · 362-3970 · Domenico Winery 1697 Industrial Rd, San Carlos · 593-2335

Prima Deli 2115 Roosevelt Ave. · 367-8553 Frida’s Colibri 820 Veterans Blvd., Suite B · 364-7848 Ghostwood Beer (online orders only) 965 Brewster Avenue · 503-8763 · Go Fish Poke Bar 823 Hamilton St · 260-2066 ·

Higuma Japanese Restaurant 504 El Camino Real · 650) 369-3240 ·

Stacks 314 El Camino Real · 482-2850 ·

Hom Korean Kitchen 2639 Broadway · 273-5858

Tacos El Grullense #1 1243 Middlefield Rd · 364-4320

Kasa Indian 2086 Broadway · 362-4599 ·

The Sandwich Spot 2420 Broadway · 299-1300 ·

Kemuri 2616 Broadway · 275-7653 ·

Thomas Fogarty Winery 19501 Skyline Blvd. 851-6777 ·

Erik’s Deli 400 Walnut Street · 364-1717

Las Chiquitas 1798 Broadway · 679-8259

Five Guys 801 Middlefield Rd · 364-3101 ·

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Sakura Teppanyaki & Sushi 2198 Broadway · 368-0800 · Sancho’s Taqueria 3205 Oak Knoll Dr. · 364-8226 ·

La Viga 1772 Broadway · 679-8141 ·

Falafel Tazah 256 Redwood Shores Parkway · 622-9983

Redwood Grill 356 Woodside Rd· 363-9343 ·

Harry’s Hofbrau 1909 El Camino Real · 366-3733 ·

Donato Enoteca 1041 Middlefield Rd · 701-1000 ·

Falafel and Things 2766 Bay Rd, Redwood City 975 Veterans Blvd · (510) 361-6207

Ranzan 921 Main Street · 362-3660 ·

Mademoiselle Collete 2401 Broadway · 250-2919

Villa Lucia’s 1725 Woodside Rd 365-3811 · Vino Santo Bistro 2030 Broadway · 780-0793 · Vitality Bowls 835 Middlefield Rd · 568-1779 ·

Main & Elm 150 Elm St · 368-3430 ·

Yat Sing 38 Woodside Plaza · 368-8889 ·

Margaritas 2098 Broadway · 701-0709 ·

Yokohama Japanese Bistro 2050 Broadway · 298-9011 ·

Milagros 1099 Middlefield Rd · 369-4730 ·

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A Coronavirus Vaccine to Stop the Pandemic? Don’t Count On It. By Dr. Henry Miller, M.S., M.D. As the outbreak of coronavirus SARSCoV-2 (with the disease it causes designated COVID-19) accelerates, with cases now found on every continent except Antarctica, there is intense interest in the development of a vaccine. Several U.S. drugmakers have begun working on them, independently or with the National Institutes of Health. The media are hungry for claims about vaccines — the more extravagant, the better. This was reported by Fox Business: "We were able to rapidly construct our vaccine in a matter of about three hours once we had the DNA sequence from the virus available because of the power of our DNA medicine platform," Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio's [a Pennsylvania-based company] president and CEO, told FOX Business. "Our goal is to start phase one human testing in the U.S. early this summer." The claims have become even more fantastic. From Fox News: A group of Texas scientists claims to have created a vaccine to prevent the coronavirus and, according to the CEO of the Houston-based engineering company, it could be approved and available to the public by the end of the year. Once researchers have a candidate vaccine, the regulators at the Food and Drug Administration get into the act. And that's a significant obstacle. Dr. Antony Fauci, the long-time director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and prominent member of the federal coronavirus task force said: "Let me make sure you get the . . . information. A

Dr. Henry Miller, M.S., M.D.

vaccine that you make and start testing in a year is not a vaccine that's deployable." Dr. Fauci knows well the vicissitudes of vaccine development, testing, and approval, including the FDA's significant role in a debacle surrounding a vaccine against swine flu virus almost a half century ago. Of the 45 million people vaccinated against the swine flu in 1976, 450 developed a serious adverse reaction — the rare, paralytic Guillain-Barré syndrome. What made the situation even more unfortunate (for regulators) is that the predicted epidemic never materialized, so the vaccine wasn't needed. Once burned, twice shy, the old saying goes. Regulators have a long memory, so the FDA's regulation of vaccines is especially conservative (read: defensive). The bar has been very high for approval of vaccines that would be administered to large numbers of healthy people. For example, before approval, the first rotavirus vaccine (RotaTeq) was tested on 72,000 healthy infants; the first human papilloma virus vaccine (Gardasil) on more than 24,000 people; and the newest shingles vaccine (Shingrix) on about 29,000 subjects. The agency was woefully slow, lagging behind other countries, in approving the first vaccine against

meningococcus B, a life-threatening bacterial infection. Just planning and getting clinical trials of that magnitude under way would be a major undertaking — recruiting medical practitioners and research institutions and obtaining permission from local Institutional Review Boards, to say nothing of actually producing sufficient vaccine (under stringent Good Manufacturing Practices conditions) for the trials. Then comes the accumulation, organization, and analysis of the data, first by the sponsors of the vaccine, then by regulators. Moreover, to demonstrate efficacy — the ability of the vaccine to actually prevent the coronavirus infection — the trials would need to be done in places where the disease is occurring in relatively large numbers. However, the medical communities in those countries, such as China, Italy, and Spain, are trying just to survive the pandemic, rather than to organize elaborate clinical trials. And by the way, the SARS vaccine mentioned above was never commercialized. The outbreak faded away, as a result of international cooperation and strict, tried-and-true public health measures such as isolation, quarantine, and contact tracing. A coronavirus vaccine in the foreseeable future? In spite of the rosy predictions by politicians and pundits, don't count on it.

C Henry Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, is a Senior Fellow at the Pacific Research Institute. He was the founding director of the FDA's Office of Biotechnology. This column appears with permission from the National Review, where it was originally published.

April 2020 ·


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A Guest Perspective on Adapting to a Changed World By Charles Stone

Over the course of what feels like months but, in reality, has been just a few weeks, our lives have been rearranged in a way that previously seemed unimaginable. As we adapt to our new normal, we’ll all be pondering how best to handle things. With that in mind, I’ve spent some time this week thinking about the “dos and don’ts” of life in the evolving coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis era. DO find good information sources and read them carefully. Two of the best I’ve found over the last few weeks are San Mateo County’s coronavirus webpage ( and the San Mateo County Economic Development Association’s Business/ Worker Resource webpage ( The county’s 2-1-1 telephone line is another excellent resource. DON’T blindly follow/post/retweet/share information unless you’ve carefully confirmed that it’s accurate. Expertise and qualifications matter. Following advice from those unqualified to give it can be deadly right now. DO wash your hands, often and thoroughly for at least 30 seconds. Don’t know what 30 seconds feels like? Say, “At this point in my life, I should probably be able to figure out when 30 seconds has elapsed” six times. DON’T touch your face. As we’ve all recently realized, apparently we touch our faces around 16 times an hour. It’s hard, but try to avoid it as much as humanly possible. DO stay home. Seriously. No joke. We know the kids/teens will be getting on your last nerve (and vice-versa.) As I read recently, “Your grandparents were called to serve in war. You're being asked to sit on your couch. You can do this.” DON’T leave home unless you need to for an essential purpose like grocery shopping, picking up medication, or for medical reasons. A reminder that “essential” means, “absolutely necessary” or “extremely important.” Yes, you can still go for a walk or jog. DO shop as you normally would (remember the six-feet rule.) The virus has not affected the supply chain. Toilet paper aisles are barren simply because folks overreacted initially and hoarded. DON’T overbuy and hoard. Kudos to local stores like Costco, Safeway, and many others who have implemented rules to ensure a steady supply of basic items of necessity. DO support businesses still open in your community as much as you can. Order delivery/take-out from local restaurants. Need some tools/supplies for all those “to-do” list items you never seem to get to but now, all of a sudden, have plenty of time for? It’s a great time to patronize your local hardware store.

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DON’T eat inside a restaurant and if you see one offering dinein, call your local police department’s non-emergency line and let them know. If you’re picking up food, don’t forget the six-feet rule. DO get some exercise. Go for walks in areas of your neighborhood you can access without driving. Go for a run, jog, walk or a bike ride. Just make absolutely sure you maintain six feet of distance between you and others when you do. DON’T leave your neighborhood to get exercise. Don’t drive to the beach, your favorite trail, or your favorite park. The idea here is to keep people from aggregating together at attractions like this. DO be aware that due to some appallingly bad decisions by high-ranking federal officials about how to refer to coronavirus, our friends and neighbors of Asian ancestry are vulnerable to some truly awful behavior. If you see someone being harassed or assaulted, call the police immediately and try to help if you can safely do so. This is San Mateo County; we do not and we will not tolerate racially or ethnically motivated crimes of hate. DON’T let fear or appallingly bad decisions by high ranking federal officials about how to refer to coronavirus confuse you. This virus and the COVID-19 disease it causes knows no borders and doesn’t care what your ethnicity or race is. DO follow the Golden Rule. If you find yourself wondering how you should handle a situation, just remember to treat everyone as you would like to be treated. It’s really that simple. Speaking of which, I’ve fielded a ton of calls and emails over the last two weeks from people wondering how they can help. I recommend two things: 1) sign up to be a volunteer through the county at and 2) donate as much as you can to the SMCStrong Fund at Every dollar raised will stay in the county to help individuals/families, small businesses, and nonprofits suffering from the negative impacts of the crisis. Charles Stone is the Vice-Mayor of the City of Belmont, the Chair of the San Mateo County Library Joint Powers Agency, and serves on the Caltrain and SamTrans Board of Directors. The thoughts and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the positions of any organization he is affiliated with.



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