4th of July San Mateo County

June 29, 2012

Looking for a place to watch the fireworks on the 4th of July in San Mateo County? Check out:

Foster City Fourth of July Celebration. Music, food and beverages, a parade, dog show, pancake breakfast and arts and crafts. 8 a.m.-9:45 p.m. Fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m. Leo J. Ryan Park, Shell Boulevard and East Hillsdale Boulevard. www.fostercity.org.

Redwood City Independence Day Festival and Fireworks. Arts and crafts, food and beverages, kids’ activities, carnival, 9 a.m., Broadway and Hamilton streets. Parade begins at 10 a.m. at Marshall and Winslow streets. Fireworks will begin about 9:15 p.m. www.parade.org.

English: Fireworks on the Fourth of July

English: Fireworks on the Fourth of July (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Housing Market Snapshot

June 3, 2012

An update on our current market counties in the Bay Area.

I hope you will find the following snapshot of local Real Estate inventory interesting. The table represents aggregated values based on MLS data for the specified date.

Housing Inventory Snapshot May 31, 2012
  Average List Price Median List Price Average Days On Market
Santa Clara County, CA
Single Family under $1M $615,884 $608,000 46
Single Family over $1M $2,425,837 $1,799,950 53
Condo/Townhome under $600K $376,989 $379,000 45
Condo/Townhome over $600K $809,957 $729,000 42
San Mateo County, CA
Single Family under $1M $645,934 $650,000 49
Single Family over $1M $3,879,677 $2,295,000 71
Condo/Townhome under $600K $418,477 $445,000 52
Condo/Townhome over $600K $908,239 $785,000 73
Santa Cruz County, CA
Single Family under $1M $598,361 $624,900 73
Single Family over $1M $2,134,907 $1,649,000 101
Condo/Townhome under $600K $338,777 $299,000 129
Condo/Townhome over $600K $904,200 $748,000 96
Monterey County, CA
Single Family under $1M $511,519 $469,000 78
Single Family over $1M $3,197,835 $2,249,000 121
Condo/Townhome under $600K $353,144 $375,000 82
Condo/Townhome over $600K $882,316 $825,000 85
Alameda County, CA
Single Family under $1M $476,432 $450,000 58
Single Family over $1M $1,818,848 $1,400,000 69
Condo/Townhome under $600K $293,270 $273,100 63
Condo/Townhome over $600K $778,781 $720,000 46
Contra Costa County, CA
Single Family under $1M $429,936 $350,000 57
Single Family over $1M $2,031,242 $1,575,000 93
Condo/Townhome under $600K $229,259 $185,000 62
Condo/Townhome over $600K N/A** N/A** N/A**
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Hot Harvest Nights in San Carlos

May 2, 2012

I am glad to say that we are at the time of year again when our “Hot Harvest Nights” starts.

Every Thursday night, May 3rd through September 13th, 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Downtown San Carlos.

The market features 50 to 60 booths set up in the middle of the street which will be closed to trafficThis will be a chance to stroll, meet your friends and have a leisurely night enjoying the finest San Carlos has to offer. Shops and restaurants on Laurel Street will stay open late for this all-community activity. Don’t miss out!

I have enclosed some information that might be useful for you.


( Schedule of City Departments & Council Members – 2012 Hot Harvest Nights (Acrobat File, 71.5 kb) )

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Earth Day Free Compost San Carlos

April 21, 2012

The San Carlos and Recology San Mateo County invite San Carlos residents to the San Carlos Compost Giveaway on Earth Day.  Each resident is welcome to take up to 5 gallons of nutrient rich compost to enrich their gardens. This will be just in time for all of our vegetable gardens out there.

The event is for San Carlos residents only – no commercial gardeners, please. Bring proof of residence.  And remember, it’s BYOB – bring your own bags and buckets.

See you there!

Sunday, April 22, 2012 – from 9am to Noon
Highlands Park, Tennis Courts Parking Lot
2600 Melendy Drive

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San Carlos Bomb Squade Disabled Detonators

March 31, 2012

Bay City News wrote: A San Mateo County sheriff’s bomb squad removed dozens of detonators and two pounds of explosive detonation cord from a business complex in San Carlos on Tuesday.

More than 50 commercial-grade detonators were discovered, along with the detonation cord, in a storage area in the 900 block of Washington Street at 1:05 p.m..  Bomb squad technicians separated the detonators from the cord, which is manufactured from highly explosive plastics.

The explosives were taken to a remote location and rendered safe.

Investigators believe the bomb-making equipment had been collected from the home of a retired commercial explosive blaster who recently died. I am glad to know that San Carlos Bomb Squad was on top of things. Well, you never know what you will find when someone dies. What a way to make a living!!!

Official seal of County of San Mateo

Official seal of County of San Mateo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Alpine Inn and Historic Landmark (History of)

February 25, 2012

I frequently visit the Alpine Inn where a close friend of mine that I used to fly with for TWA works there. Geri Alexander is the owner’s daughter. People always ask about the history and I think that Steve did a great job with this article.  It is a lengthy read but if your interested in the Alpine Inn, here is the article.
Casa de Tableta was built in 1850 and used as ...

Image via Wikipedia

The Alpine Inn is one of the oldest businesses on the Peninsula, dating from a time when the local residents felt squeezed by the burgeoning population of foreign-born newcomers.
Nearly 150 years after it first opened for business, the Alpine Inn in Portola Valley continues to attract customers to the roadhouse/beer garden on the banks of Los Trancos Creek, at the corner of Alpine and Arastradero roads. And some customers still arrive on horseback.
In the 1850s, disappointed gold seekers began settling in the Santa Clara Valley to farm the fertile land. The earlier settlers, the Californios, felt displaced and outnumbered by the newcomers with their foreign customs and new form of government.
Many of the Californios withdrew from the valley and found refuge in remote areas such as Half Moon Bay and Portola Valley. Felix Buelna, a former alcalde (mayor) of San Jose, settled on 95 acres of Maximo Martinez’ Rancho de Corte de Madera in 1852. He soon opened a casa de tableta, a gambling house, where his fellow Californios could play cards, enjoying each’s company with their beverages of choice. Buelna’s roadhouse was established at the intersection of Arastradero Road and Alpine Road, then known as the Old Spanish Trail and a major route from the Santa Clara Valley to the coast communities of San Gregorio and Pescadero.
Business was good but Buelna’s gambling was not so good, and he sold the roadhouse to William Stanton, a Menlo Park coachman, reputedly to cover his losses in a poker game.
For the next century, ownership or proprietorship of the Alpine Inn would change numerous times, often with changes in ethnic flavor and with changes in the name of the roadhouse on Alpine Road.
In 1870 an Englishman, William Tate Philpott, leased the roadhouse for five years before Stanton resumed management, when it became known as Stanton’s Saloon. When Stanton died in a railroad accident, his family leased the business to F. Rodriguez Crovello, known to his customers as “Black Chapete.” The short, plump bartender with his black handlebar mustache was popular with his growing clientele of locals and construction workers who were building the new Stanford University.
When Stanford opened in 1891, the students soon discovered the liquid refreshments at Black Chapete’s, a welcoming change from “dry” Palo Alto. University officials pressured San Mateo County officials about the saloon operating near the university and its young, impressionable students. But county officials did nothing–as saloon keepers and related interests dominated San Mateo County politics, maintaining a very “wet” atmosphere throughout the county.
When the notoriously “wet” town of Mayfield incorporated in 1903, one of the first acts of the town trustees was to declare the town “dry,” thus forcing the closure of the 23 saloons in town. Charlie Wright, one of the former Mayfield saloon owners, began a partnership with Crovello at the Alpine roadhouse.
Soon thereafter Charles Schenkel took over management of the roadhouse and renamed it the “Wunder.” With the new name came a German flavor, but Schenkel’s proprietorship did not last nearly as long as the new name.
In 1907, Portola Valley farmer Walter Jelich bought Schenkel’s lease and continued the saloon’s operation. Stanford President David Starr Jordan took advantage of the change of ownership to protest the saloon’s presence to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. He complained that the establishment had “the reputation of being vile even for a roadhouse” and that it was a “disgrace to San Mateo County.”
But the Board of Supervisors again failed to share the Stanford viewpoint of and granted Jelich a liquor license before they even listened to Jordan’s plea. Jelich’s attorney responded that Jordan and the other Santa Clara County protestants should “missionize at home before crossing the creek.” As is the case with many protest efforts, the publicity only increased the popularity of the saloon. Local ranchers, farm workers and draymen continued to patronize the establishment, but it was Stanford students that made it a profitable business for more than 70 years.
In 1909 the State of California passed a law prohibiting the sale of liquor within 1 1/2 miles of schools and universities, including Stanford. This resulted in the closure of 14 saloons in Menlo Park, but left the Alpine Road establishment unaffected–it was just outside the new limit. With much of the competition banned, the saloon’s business boomed.
During World War I, the U.S. Army’s Camp Fremont in Menlo Park created a dry zone surrounding the camp. But this dry zone also did not extend to the roadhouse, and the soldiers joined the locals and the students in enjoying the liquid refreshments supplied there.
By 1911, saloonkeeper Chapete, then an old man, was living at the County’s “poor farm” and all interests in the saloon had passed to Julius Schenkel, the brother of Charles.
Then came Prohibition: the Volstead Act of 1919. Saloons closed nationwide as the nation became legally “dry.” For the next 13 years, rum runners and speakeasies were sources of alcoholic beverages.
Illegal liquor activity in San Mateo County was notorious, reflecting the sentiment of many of its residents. Numerous shipments of illegal liquor were smuggled into the county along the long coastline.
The Alpine Road establishment was renamed “Schenkel’s Picnic Park” and encouraged San Franciscans to come down to visit and enjoy the countryside. Advertised non-alcoholic beverages were sold, but more potent beverages were reputedly available to those in the know.
When prohibition ended in 1933, Stanford students exuberantly returned and Schenkel retired, the lease passing to Enrico Rossotti. Rossotti eventually purchased the property from the Stanton family and ran the popular establishment until 1956. Mr. and Mrs. Rossotti’s business became more than a saloon with the addition of burgers and similar grill food, popular with the crowds that often swelled enormously on Stanford home football gamedays. Alumni and families began to frequent the establishment in greater numbers.
Don Horther and John Alexander took over the roadhouse in 1956 and renamed it the “Alpine Inn Beer Garden”–but patrons today continue to refer to it as “Rossotti’s” or even more casually as “Zott’s.”
The clientele has changed over the years. Stanford students no longer dominate as they did for so many years. Like the Californios before them, the students have been replaced by new groups of beer-loving customers.
The saloon and its outdoor beer garden are populated by Silicon Valley workers out for a burger and beer at lunch under the trees. After work, the parking lot fills with expensive sports cars and luxury vehicles. On weekends, bicyclists, motorcyclists and occasionally horse riders pull off the road or trail to enjoy the pleasures of the Alpine Inn.
Located at 3915 Alpine Inn
Steve Staiger is the City of Palo Alto historian and a staff member at the main library.
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Don’t Know Where to Turn? Call 211

February 17, 2012

If you or anyone you know needs food, housing, health care or other services, just call 211 from any phone.

The toll-free number connects callers to people who can link them to services. It’s a one-stop referral service with a mission to connect people with the help they need. The service is new to San Mateo County.

To provide the service, San Mateo County and the Community Information Project have teamed up with United Way of the Bay Area

211 is confidential and available 24 hours a day in more than 150 languages.

Problem dialing 211? Call 800-273-6222 (TTY 415-808-4440 or 711)

Visit 211bayarea.org for more information about 211 services throughout San Mateo County and the entire Bay Area.

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Statistics for Single Family Residences & Condos San Mateo County

December 27, 2011

Click on Single Family Nov. Report for your November update on the listings, sales, current inventory, etc… in San Mateo County. This is the most current report until January.  For Condos and Townhomes click on Condo Report Nov. 2011. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.


A very basic map of San Mateo County in California

Image via Wikipedia

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Bethlehem A.D. in Redwood City

December 21, 2011

Bethlehem A.D. starts tonight on Middlefield in Redwood City. Bring the family for a walk thru the set of this remarkable scene. Makes you think about the true meaning of Christmas. You won’t be disappointed!

Dec. 21, 22 and 23 from 6 – 9:30. Rain or shine. Free

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Redwood City Street of Lights

December 17, 2011

If you want an enjoyable drive through Redwood City, please see Topaz Street. I also found Dewey Street to be great. Maybe, it is just because the street uses all the homes nationalities for their decorations. Very fun!

Come and see 411 Topax, that really surprises us with their tremendous display. We all appreciate all the Christmas Spirit!


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