Its been almost one year since Open Access data base has been replaced with an indisputable inferior software program. The question is what is the cost of the new software that gave the public less access? And why was open access replaced at all?
This is a Great Question, “Why aren’t communities throughout the entire Bay Area being mandated to do this?”
Guest perspective: Foster City levee issue May 22, 2017, 05:00 AM By Linda Koelling
The city of Foster City is confronted with upgrading sections of the levee to bring the current structure into Federal Emergency Management Agency compliance. The claim by FEMA is that a change in the sea wall or levee height is necessary to protect the city from flooding from future speculated storm surges. The correction is mandatory or the homeowners of Foster City will risk classification as being in a designated FEMA flood zone and required to pay flood insurance.
A recent guest perspective in the Daily Journal by T. Jack Foster questions the timing of this requirement. He states that Foster City’s lagoon system was designed to take care of excess water due to storm surges if they were ever to occur. Every winter the Public Works Department reduces the level of the lagoons to contain any excess rain or storm surge so the lagoon pumping system can move any excess water back into the Bay. The lagoon system was designed and well thought out to take care of any excess water incursion into the city both now and into the future.
Our levees are accredited for the 100-year flood level requirement. According to Mr. Foster’s guest perspective, the speculated rate of increase of Bay waters is calculated to be 1 inch per decade. Therefore the need to deal with concerns of water surge or sea level rise is years away if ever. So what are the real facts behind the need to comply with the very high cost to each of the citizens of Foster City for raising the levee now? What other Bayfront communities are being faced with this mandate to spend potentially $75 million or more.
Our city has withstood earthquakes when others thought we would sink into the Bay; we withstood recent high rain conditions without flooding when other nearby cities were not so lucky. My point is that Foster City is very well designed and maintained, and the lagoon systems and pumping capacities are not being taken into account by FEMA in calculating their worst-case, 100-year scenarios.
If FEMA were not enough to deal with, the Bay Conservation Development Commission, an agency created to protect the Bay, decided to get into the act. In addition to the calculation of storm surge possibilities by FEMA, BCDC has calculated that a sea rise for 2050 and 2100 will require that the city begin building a sea wall around our city now.
Interested citizens should look at the artist renderings of the solutions pending for Foster City. I think you will be appalled at the potential for this new enclosure of our city from the Bay waters. Why aren’t communities throughout the entire Bay Area being mandated to do this? Wouldn’t it make sense that the sea rise they have calculated also involve neighboring waterfront communities?
I believe there are important questions that need to be answered before we are bullied by FEMA or BCDC to meet a requirement that has little to no basis in currently collected data to support any immediate need to spend an enormous amount of money.
In 2011, as mayor, I received a letter indicating that regional governing bodies like BCDC were considering plans for the Bay Area that would significantly curtail city and county control over land use decisions in communities like ours. I saw at that time the drawings of a projected “great wall” around the entire Bay Area to protect against the anticipated sea level rise of epic proportions in a time far into the future.
It’s time the people recognize that these regional governing bodies composed of special districts, joint powers authorities, etc., lack the checks and balances of our government system and few people know who these non-elected board members are who make these broad stroked decisions. Little by little these regional boards and agencies have continued to amass power to usurp local control.
The residents of Foster City are faced with a hefty cost if we are strong-armed into moving forward with this project demanded by FEMA and now BCDC. City officials should ask more questions and provide the citizens of Foster City more answers. In particular, who funds this unfunded mandate? Should it be entirely on the backs of the residents? Should funding come from grants from the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority whom voters gave additional property tax money to for the next 25 years to save the Bay?
The residents of Foster City need to know the answers to these questions before writing the check for something that none of us will be able to prove whether we needed to do this now or not.
Linda Koelling is the former mayor of Foster City.
Here is the Letter by T. Jack Foster.
|OP-ED: Is Foster City really in danger of floods?|
|May 02, 2017, 05:00 AM By T. Jack Foster|
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is requiring Foster City to spend $75 million to raise their levees so that the city won’t be declared a flood zone. Such a designation would make it necessary for homes in Foster City with mortgages insured by a federal agency to acquire flood insurance. I’ve seen nothing that tells me how many such homes there are, but I would venture that there are very few. I’ve also seen nothing regarding the cost of the insurance. Since Foster City has been well-protected from floods by a system that has proved itself for over 50 years, I can’t imagine that such insurance is very expensive. So raising the levees would only save a few people from paying that insurance, at the cost of $75 million from homeowners.
Flooding has been the single biggest issue impacting the infrastructure of the city since the beginning. Not because of flooding from the Bay, since the levees have been in place since 1900. Rather, the problem was that the levees helped to trap the rainwater that fell on the land. The county’s engineer was concerned enough that he suggested the fill of the land should be raised high enough that rainwater would drain directly into the Bay. Aside from the economics of this idea, it was physically impossible. The soft underlying soil would not be able to support the weight of the fill.
The solution that was finally implemented was the lagoon system, which collects the rainwater, which then pumps out to the Bay when needed during rainy seasons. The holding basin of the system can hold over an inch of rain, though the pumps work as the rain falls.
This is the system which exists in FEMA’s so-called “flood zone.” FEMA’s fear comes from a potential rise in water levels of the Bay. At its current rate of increase, about 1 inch per decade, the need to deal with this matter is years away. When we do need to deal with it, it will be at high tide only, and only in small quantities of water. This water will run into the storm drain system and into the lagoon, where the pumping system will take care of excess water. Certainly, it is possible that this system can be overwhelmed by too much water. Good notice of this will be provided as the issue evolves, and we can raise the levees at that time, with a better view of the extent of the work needed.
T. Jack Foster Jr., along with his father and brothers, developed Foster City
San Mateo County’s Biggest Misconduct Case. Former Deputy Juan P. Lopez has just switched attorneys. Tony Serra has replaced Stuart Hanlon.
The reason I call this the biggest Misconduct case is it involves, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office and County Counsel Office all conspiring to harm Juan P. Lopez.
It has been almost 3 years since District Attorney told the public Juan Lopez was involved in smuggling a cell phone and drugs to a gang member in his jail cell. To this day there is NO EVIDENCE of that being true.
Advisory: UPDATED Media Release – CHP Officers involved in Fatal Shooting of Suspect resulting in Traffic Shut Down – Additional Details
Dear Michael Stogner,
MEDIA AND COMMUNITY UPDATE – Saturday, April 29 – 1pm
San Mateo Police Department
Investigators from all three agencies worked through the night to thoroughly process the scene, obtain multiple statements, and sort through much additional evidence and investigative information. We are able to provide the following additional information, which is all that is available at this time:
Just after 5:30pm, CHP Officers encountered an armed adult male suspect on northbound US101 at SR92. Three officers fired at the suspect, fatally wounding him. None of the officers were injured. San Mateo Police Department assisted by investigating the suspect’s criminal actions leading up to the shooting, and the San Mateo County DA’s Office responded to investigate the legality of the officers actions. CHP was on scene and handled the administrative investigation of their officers’ response. All three investigations are being conducted independently, but are occurring simultaneously.
The immense and complex ensuing crime scene and investigation left no option but to close down this portion of US101, for the safety of investigators and motorists. The hours-long crime scene investigation involved numerous pieces of evidence scattered over a wide swath of US101. The scene was meticulously documented by expert personnel in order to provide a clear three-dimensional picture to all three investigating agencies. This created significant traffic impacts until the reopening of US101 just before 1am Saturday morning.
Based on the investigation to date, including original reports to CHP and independent witness information, it is clear that this incident was originally reported as a traffic collision, and updated to include reports of one of the involved parties being armed.
CHP Officers arrived to find the suspect brandishing a firearm (handgun). Independent witnesses confirm CHP Officers made significant efforts to de-escalate the suspects behavior, order him to drop the firearm, and attempt to negotiate with the suspect. These significant efforts were unsuccessful, and CHP Officers, faced with immediate safety concerns for themselves, witnesses at the scene, and heavy vehicular traffic at rush hour, fired at the suspect, fatally wounding him.
It should be noted that CHP Officers at the scene and responding SMPD Officers immediately made efforts to render first aid to the suspect following the shooting, as fire and medics raced to the scene.
Investigation determined that CHP interrupted the suspect as he was in the process of an armed carjacking of the vehicle and driver involved in the original reported collision. The victim (second vehicle driver) is a 55 year-old woman from the east bay. She was uninjured beyond a complaint of pain from the vehicle collision.
The identity of the suspect in this case is still unavailable, as the Coroner’s Office continues to complete their investigation and notification process.
According to the Yes on K. Neighbors for Affordability and Quality of Life with major funding by Seton Medical Center and MidPen Housing Corp. FPPC#1387689 flyer.
County of San Mateo Measure K
To ensure San Mateo County Quality of life by retaining/improving critical facilities/services such as: Providing affordable homes for Seniors.
Where do Seniors apply? Not online on the County’s website, Why?
Do you just have to be a Senior?
Who is the contact person responsible for the applications? What is the qualification process?
I asked Supervisor Dave Pine these questions, He referred me to Michelle Durand Chief Spokesperson for San Mateo County, she answered
“The County does not have a waiting list for affordable housing.”
Here is a list of hoops to jump through.
Affordable Senior Housing
How to Find Affordable Senior Housing in San Mateo County
You may be eligible for affordable senior housing if you are at least 62 years old (or almost 62), can live independently, and are on a fixed income or have an annual income that is no more than 80% of the current Area Median Income.
1) Get a Complete List of Affordable Senior Housing
Find the list of “Affordable Rental Housing” from the Department of Housing (DOH) and look for developments that are listed as senior housing.
2) Expect to Join Waiting Lists
Because there is not enough affordable housing for all the seniors in the County, you may need to join waiting lists instead of finding housing immediately. You may join as many waiting lists as you want, however, the more lists you join, the higher the chance that you will find something sooner rather than later.
3) Make Lots of Phone Calls
- Using the list of affordable housing in the County, call the contacts (usually the property manager) for senior housing developments that you are interested in to find out about their eligibility requirements and waiting lists.
- Call affordable housing developers who have senior developments in San Mateo County. Ask them if they have any open waiting lists at their existing properties; ask if they are building any new projects that will be accepting applications in the future; also ask about joining their “keep informed” list for future projects.
- Call city housing staff to ask if they know of any new senior developments in their city that might be accepting applications in the future; also ask if it is possible to be put on a “keep informed” list for future projects.
4) Consider other Options
- Housing Authority Programs – The Department of Housing home page (www.smchousing.org) contains the most up to date information. Visit often to find out waiting list information or other housing opportunities.
- Shared Housing – One of the programs funded by DOH is a home-sharing program through HIP Housing that matches home providers that have an extra room or a separate unit available to a home seeker who is looking for a place to live. Click here for more information on the home sharing program.
San Mateo County Deputy District Attorney Melissa Mckowan charged with 2 counts of Dishonesty. Not the first time
The State Bar of California has charged her with 2 counts of Dishonesty
Update: Yesterday May 15, 2017 3:00PM was first Settlement Conference next Settlement Conference is set for June 5, 2017
Trial Dates are July 5,6 & 7, 2017