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“Which San Carlos School Boundary is This Home In?”

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The Second-Most Asked Question.

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about the most commonly asked question you’re likely to hear at an open house.  Today, we’ll discuss the second-most likely question:  Which San Carlos schools does this home go to?    This seems logical, since our excellent school district is one of the primary reasons that people move here in the first place.   So one would expect that an agent who is listing a home in San Carlos should have this information at their fingertips, no?  But I was touring a house in San Carlos couple of weeks ago that was listed by an out-of-town agent, and I couldn’t resist the temptation to ask her that very question — to which I got a blank stare in return.   Oops :-(

Finding out which elementary school, middle school, and ultimately which high school your home is zoned for is relatively easy, if you know where to look.  But I’ll make it absurdly easy right now by giving you all of that information below!

  • San Carlos Elementary and Middle School Boundaries.   The San Carlos School District recently revised their website to include an entire page on school boundaries.   There’s an updated list you can download that has a street-by-street outline of the district Here is that list:  San Carlos School District Boundaries.
  • High School Boundaries.   When San Carlos closed its own high school in 1982, the high school boundary in San Carlos was split between Carlmont High School and Sequoia High School, with the majority of homes being zoned for the latter.   Since there’s no easy map to read that defines the boundary, the best way for you to determine which high school a particular home is zoned for is to visit this link on the Sequoia Union High School District website – just enter the street name and it will tell you which of the two high schools you are destined for:  Sequoia Union High School District Boundaries.

The Obvious Disclaimers.

I would be remiss without relaying a couple of disclaimers to the above information.  First, just because your home is located within a certain San Carlos School boundary does not guarantee that you will get into that particular school.  If that school is impacted, there is a whole placement process that the District applies to determine who gets in.

On the converse side, you don’t necessarily have to go to the school that your home is zoned for.  If there’s space in a school across town that you’d like to attend, you *may* be accommodated if there is space available.  It’s up to the District to make that call.   Same goes with the high school — even though most of San Carlos is within the Sequoia High School boundary, many families have successfully applied for intra-district transfers to attend Carlmont (again, this is based on available space.)    Sequoia High School is rapidly gaining favor among San Carlos families, but that’s a story for a different post.

So now you have school scoop.    And no — there’s no excuse for a listing agent in San Carlos not knowing this information.

 

 
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San Carlos Highlands Park All-Weather Field Set to Re-Open..

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March 5 Grand Opening.

This Saturday March 5 marks a date that many in San Carlos thought might never happen — and for some, a date they hoped would never happen.  But after a decade of public hearings, legal wranglings, and vocal demonstrations,  the resurfacing of Highlands Park with all-weather turf is finally complete, and the new field is set to re-open with a Grand Opening Ceremony this coming Saturday March 5.   Festivities start at 10:00 AM.  For more information, download the flyer here:  Highlands Synthetic Turf Field Opening_March 5 2011

When Highlands field re-opens, it will be the only municipal park on the west coast that has a synthetic surface that utilizes an organic fill-system for cushioning, as opposed to to the tiny rubber bits that you see in the older style field, according to the supplier.   That at least make the field a bit more eco-friendly.

So come out to the field and get ready to PLAY BALL!
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Standalone Fire Department Still an Option for San Carlos.

February 26, 2011 Living in San Carlos 5 Comments
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Few Choices.

With the number of choices for providing fire service to San Carlos dwindling as the October dissolution of the Belmont-San Carlos Fire JPA looms nearer, the option of having a standalone fire department in San Carlos is once again on the table, according to this article in the Mercury News.   When the County of San Mateo effectively blocked the option of extending its contract with CalFire to cover San Carlos, it left Redwood City as the only interested suitor to provide fire services to the City of Good Living.  And like any good governing body, the City Council of San Carlos wants more than one option to consider, especially for a critical service such as this.

Supporting a standalone fire department is a costly proposition, as San Carlos and many other communities on the Peninsula have determined.  It will likely take a restructuring of the fire organization, or some method of increasing revenue (or both) to make it an economically sustainable model.  And that has been a tall order to fill lately in San Carlos.

Is a County-Wide Fire Department in Our Future?

San Carlos is not alone in its struggle to find an economically feasible method for providing fire services to its community.    Even the City of Belmont recently analyzed their own budget and came to the conclusion that they won’t have the funds to support their own standalone fire department –  despite the fact that they already have a dedicated stream of funding from their general budget.   And there isn’t a day that goes by that you don’t hear about some other Peninsula community that’s fighting the exact same budget battle.

With more Peninsula communities seriously considering the path that San Carlos chose to provide police service through the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department, the question begs to be asked:  Should we have a true San Mateo County Fire Department? (i.e. not one that’s simply contracted out through another entity such as CalFire.)

The economies of scale would be remarkable for an an arrangement like this.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Centralized County Dispatch.   That’s already in place today.
  • Reduced Administrative Overhead.   No need for 20+ fire chiefs in a streamlined organization.
  • Buying Power.   If the County standardizes on fire fighting equipment, it would have much more buying power than each municipality would on its own.
  • Boundary Drop.   In theory, this arrangement should make it easier to manage calls that extend across city boundaries, since there’s only one organization to coordinate.

Obviously, this option is much more simple in theory.  The reality is that such an arrangement would be incredibly complicated to create with so many communities involved.  But if the Sheriff’s Department model is so successful for small communities like San Carlos, you have to think a similar model for fire services isn’t too far behind.

 

 
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Controversial Cell Tower Approved in San Carlos.

February 23, 2011 Living in San Carlos 1 Comment
cell-tower

Second Time A Charm for T-Mobile.

Nearly a year and a half after a similar proposal in San Carlos fell flat, T-Mobile was able to get a conditional use permit granted for the installation of a cell-phone tower in the San Carlos hills.   According to this article in Mercury News, the planning commission last night approved the installation of a cell tower on the property of California Water Service at 882 Heather Drive.

In October 2009, T-Mobile attempted to get towers installed at 3 different locations in San Carlos, only to withdraw the permit applications after significant  opposition from residents in those neighborhoods.    The carrier appears to have learned from the previous exercise, as it was able to secure the conditional use permit for this location, despite a signed petition by neighbors and strong opposition that was voiced by residents at the planning commission meeting.  According to the article, opponents to the plan will appeal the decision to the City Council.
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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San Carlos School Parcel Tax Has a Name: Measure A.

MeasureA

Mail-Only Election in Spring

The much-discussed parcel tax will directly aid the San Carlos School District now has an official name:  Measure A.    You’ll recall that after much internal discussion within the School Board, public hearings, and even the use of a paid consultant to gauge the favor of San Carlos homeowners,  the District opted for a special election that, if successful, will essentially continue the $111 per household annual assessment that is set to expire this year.   This additional funding is critical in maintaining programs and staffing levels in our elementary and middle schools.

Need More Info?

There’s a very informative website that was created by the supporters of Measure A that answers questions about where the funding goes and details about the upcoming ballot:  SupportStrongSchools.com.   You’ll certainly be seeing and hearing more about Measure A as the ballot date draws nearer.
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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San Carlos Residents Face Higher Garbage Rates.

February 14, 2011 Living in San Carlos 2 Comments
Recology Carts

How Much Higher is the Question.

One of the topics at tonight’s San Carlos City Council Meeting is to discuss how to address the proposed rate increase for garbage and recycle collection in San Carlos.  When the South Bayside Waste Management Authority (aka Rethink Waste) switched collection companies from Allied Waste to Recology at the beginning of this year, it ushered in a higher cost structure to go along with those newfangled collection bins.

According to this article in today’s Daily Journal, the rate hike in San Carlos may range between 11 and 13.2% this year alone.  The increase in cost is attributed to a variety of factors, ranging from Recology’s higher cost for providing waste collection services to paying off carry-over debt from the previous contract with Allied Waste.   While a potential 13.2% increase is not trivial, it’s not the highest rate increase being proposed by Rethink Waste — other cities on the Peninsula face increases ranging from 9% all the way up to 39%.

At tonight’s City Council Meeting, which starts at 7 PM in the Council Chambers at the San Carlos City Hall, the Council will likely set a hearing for April 11 to solicit public input on the increase.
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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Rethink Waste Announces Video Contest Finalists.

February 11, 2011 Living in San Carlos No Comments
RethinkWaste

SmartCart Video Contest.

A few weeks ago, Rethink Waste (aka South Bayside Waste Management Authority) launched a public relations campaign to raise the public awareness of their new SmartCart recycling program.   As part of this campaign, they came up with a very creative idea of having a video contest where kids could create and submit a short video about the benefits of recycling using the new SmartCarts that were issued to every household this year.

The contest yielded scores of amazingly good videos that were submitted to Rethink Waste, and they had the unenviable task of whittling the list down to the top 12 videos.  Here’s my favorite:

– of course, this happens to be my son’s video (it’s video #5, by the way, in case you are voting …. hint, hint), so forgive my moment of impartiality and subliminal advertising ;-)

Vote for Your Favorite Videos.

All 12 of  the video finalists are posted posted here:  Rethink Waste Video Contest.     Check out all of these amazingly well done and very creative videos, and vote for your favorites (#5) — note that you can vote for more than one favorite, too.   The top two vote-getters (#5) will get a really cool prize that I can’t seem to recall right at the moment.  Voting ends next Wednesday February 16, and the winners will be announced the next day.

Nice work, everyone!
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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Bullpen in San Carlos: The “Godfather” of Laurel Street Deli’s.

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The Incumbent.

There was a ton of excitement when The Sandwich Spot opened its doors in the southern section of Laurel Street last year, and for good reason — White Oaks and southern San Carlos was sorely in need of a good deli to balance out the plethora of restaurants along the northern stretch.    But throughout all of the hype, one special deli kept plugging away with its signature sandwiches and lightning-fast service:  Bullpen Deli, located at 603 Laurel Street.

Bullpen opened a number of years ago in this ideal spot near the corner of San Carlos Avenue and Laurel Street, which is just around the corner from Sneaker’s Pub & Grill, which is operated by the same owners.   But as many restauranteurs in San Carlos have discovered, great location doesn’t guarantee success with the San Carlos crowd.  You have to deliver the goods — and Bullpen delivers…fast.

Generous Sandwiches, Great Service.

We have been going to Bullpen for years,  and I can’t decide if it’s the excellent quality of the sandwiches (the Godfather is a must) or the outstanding service that keeps drawing us back.  Geronimo has become almost legendary with the regulars with his ability to whip up a masterpiece of a sandwich almost before you get to the front of the line to pay for it.    Here are a couple of typical responses from Yelp about the service from that pretty much sums up the experience:

…But the thing that keeps me coming back to this place is not the food, actually.  It’s this little game that I play.  If there is no one else in line, I try to place my order and pay, BEFORE my sandwich is done.  I always lose.  Seriously.  The sandwich guy is amazingly fast.

…They need to rename this place “Fastest Deli Imaginable”    Seriously…they make your order in front of you, and it is ready before your credit card has even been fully swiped.  The bread and the meat are fresh, and you get your sandwich so quickly, you’re left with plenty of time on your lunch break to stroll down Laurel and stop into one of the many cute shops.

That’s Geronimo in a nutshell.  And he manages to keep up with the latest sports conversation while he’s whipping up your order.  Go figure.

The only rap on the place from readers seems to be that it’s a tad on the expensive side, and that there’s not enough seating there to sit and enjoy your sandwich.  But that’s fine with us — we always take ours to go, and if there indeed is a premium for their sandwiches, it’s worth it in my book.
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Are you ready to step up to the most comprehensive data available about the San Carlos Real Estate market? Then subscribe to the White Oaks Blog for free by clicking here. Be sure to follow the White Oaks Blog on Facebook at https://Facebook.com/WhiteOaksBlog , and on Twitter @WhiteOaksBlog.
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