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My Breakfast House

Check Out “My Breakfast House”

Maybe it’s the just the Midwest in my DNA, but I am a big fan of simple breakfast diners that are low on the frills but high on quality food that’s affordable.  Throw in great service, and it makes going out to breakfast FUN, as it should be.   Downtown San Carlos has become synonymous with the chic restaurants and bars that have popped up on Laurel Street over the past decade, but I feel we have been sorely missing a true family breakfast spot (especially since the demise of Vic’s on San Carlos  Avenue) where you feel equally comfortable in your Saturday sweats or your Monday business suit.

Well, I’m happy to report that such a place does exist in San Carlos:  My Breakfast House, at 1137 Laurel Street.

You Won’t Leave Hungry.

My Breakfast House recently took over the spot that was once occupied by Big Joe’s.  It’s on one of those parts of Laurel where you can drive by it a thousand times and never see it.   But once you check it out, you’ll be glad you did.

The food is awesome, as the reviews in Yelp will attest to.  I had an omelette that was cooked to perfection, and was almost too big to eat ( but I managed, though.)  Many of the reviews rave about their french toast, which I can’t wait to try on my next visit.  The menu is extensive and the service is friendly and attentive, which is important for a breakfast diner.   Breakfast isn’t usually a social meal like dinner — people generally want to get in, eat, and get on with their day.

The decor is about as low frills as you can get, which is absolutely perfect in my book.  They even have a kids room, so the parent’s can actually eat their breakfast at a normal pace.  Like I said, it’s a throwback to the old Midwest diner, and it makes going out to breakfast fun and stress free.   It’s a welcome addition to downtown San Carlos.

So check out My Breakfast House, and support a great little San Carlos restaurant.
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San Carlos School District Mulls Extending Parcel Tax.

School apple

Measure D Set to Expire.

If you were to take close look at your property tax bill (who ever does this?), you’d notice that there’s there’s the equivalent of a $188 per parcel assessment that is earmarked for San Carlos School District.  This assessment is actually the sum total of two different school parcel tax measures that were passed by San Carlos voters:  Measure B, which is a six-year $78 per parcel tax that was passed in 2009, and Measure D, a eight-year $78 assessment that was approved back in 2003.   With cost of living adjustments, the Measure D contribution now stands at about $110.

With Measure D set to expire in 2011, the San Carlos School District is strongly considering a special spring ballot measure aimed at rescuing the nearly $1M annual revenue flow that will be lost when Measure D ends.

“More of the Same”

The San Carlos School District Board has been carefully examining avenues for replacing this lost revenue.  They even hired a consultant to conduct a phone survey of select San Carlos homeowners to assess their support on a new tax measure.  San Carlos School District board member Seth Rosenblatt does an excellent job on his blog detailing the results of the phone poll as well as the other factors the board needed to consider as they contemplate moving ahead with a tax measure, so I won’t take up space repeating it here.

With the benefit of knowledge of how other parcel tax measures have failed in San Carlos in recent history, the School District appears to be favoring a “more of the same” approach with a proposed $111 per year assessment (with no annual increase) that they will vote on in their January 27th meeting.  The idea here is that homeowners simply continue to pay the same assessment that they have already been paying in their tax bill for the past 8 years, as opposed to the idea of digging deeper into their pockets.

While the District could undoubtedly use even more funds, this conservative approach was a very prudent decision and should greatly increase the chances of this measure passing in the spring.

Poll:  How Will You Vote?

Should the board decide to move forward with a ballot measure for a $111 annual school parcel tax assessment, which seems very likely, how will you vote?  Look for the poll in the right sidebar of the blog and register your opinion!
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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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The Sheriff’s Department in San Carlos: Two Months Later.

January 11, 2011 Living in San Carlos 3 Comments
Sheriff

Checking In.

It was just over two months ago that the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department took over responsibility for police service in San Carlos.  To many who live in San Carlos, that event almost seemed like a non-event.  Some people that I talked with about the transfer of service weren’t even aware that the change had finally taken place.   That perception, in the eyes of the City Council,  must be great news.  It’s exactly what they were hoping for — the same (or better) service, and a savings of $2M annually.

Last week, Michelle Durand wrote an excellent article about how the transformation is taking place within the Sheriff’s Department’s San Carlos Bureau.   It sounds as if the change has been overwhelmingly positive internally, and there’s even talk about bringing back programs that have been shuttered years ago due to ongoing budget cuts.  That’s all very good.

What Do You Think?

So.. the City Council seems happy with the change in service, and the Sheriff’s Department has welcomed the new responsibility with open arms.   But what about the citizens of San Carlos?   What is your perception of the police service in San Carlos now that the Sheriff’s Department took over the helm?  Have you noticed a difference in visibility or service since the change?  Are you seeing more police presence?  Or less?  Or no difference?

I’m not sure if I can chalk this up to my heightened awareness, but it seems to me that police presence has actually increased since the change — especially in two areas:   Traffic enforcement, and parking enforcement.  The meter maids seem to be patrolling downtown again with fanatical efficiency, and I’ve noticed quite a bit more emphasis on traffic enforcement — both in enforcing speed limit laws, and cracking down on “California stops” at some of the busier intersections.

I have even seen the deep resources of the Sheriff’s Department at work at a recent “altercation” outside of one of San Carlos’ more popular night spots.   In addition to the normal efficient response, they were now able to back-fill with units from the Sheriff’s canine unit — something that was only a luxury before.

So what do you think of the change?   Register your thought in the new poll in the right sidebar of the blog, or leave a comment below.
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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 to (finally) Get a Peet’s Coffee.

Peetsmug

Old Blockbuster Location.

Two good things happened in one announcement at last night’s City Council meeting.   By mid-2011, San Carlos residents who are fans of Peet’s Coffee & Tea will no longer have to go outside the city limits to get their fix.   Peet’s has already signed a lease to occupy the long-vacant store front at the corner of Cherry and Laurel Streets that used to be home to Blockbuster Video store.   It’s no secret that Peet’s has been looking for a long time to set up shop in San Carlos, and different rumors swirled around about where they might land.   The most recent was that they would occupy some of the ground-floor retail space at the new 1001 Laurel condo complex.

So Peet’s coffee lovers will finally get their own San Carlos location, and Laurel Street finally rids itself of a long-standing vacant store-front.  That’s a win-win for that corner.  But there are some who will bemoan the arrival of yet another coffee house in downtown San Carlos.

Too Much Coffee?

When the second Starbucks location opened a few years ago on Laurel near the corner of Arroyo Avenue, there was some public backlash that Laurel street was becoming saturated in coffee….so to speak.  With Starbucks now flanking both ends of Laurel Street, the belief was that it would spell the end for the few independent coffee shops left on Laurel.

Certainly, the coffee shop that will likely feel the most pressure from the arrival of Peet’s Coffee won’t be Starbucks.  It will be the Plantation Coffee Roastery — which unfortunately is located right across the street from the new home of Peet’s.    But coffee drinkers are a funny lot (I know, I’m one of them.)  They tend to be extremely brand-loyal, even more so than beer drinkers.   Fans of Peet’s stick with Peet’s; same goes with Starbucks.

I think this phenomenon will ultimately protect Plantation from the arrival of a chain coffee shop right across the street.   They have a very die-hard following,  some of which are our own police officers and at least one San Carlos City Council member.      Plantation has survived (and even thrived) despite the arrival of 3 Starbucks stores, so they should be OK when Peet’s ultimately arrives.

But let’s not leave that to chance.  Celebrate our breadth and diversity of coffee shops by welcoming Peet’s to the neighborhood, and by supporting our small, local shop too.
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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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Sutter Health to Move Forward With San Carlos Outpatient Clinic.

PAMFSutter

But Hospital Still on Hold.

The San Francisco Business Times reported today that the Board of Directors at Sutter Health has given the go-ahead to build an outpatient clinic and 1,000 space parking structure at the San Carlos location that was originally slated to be the site for their new hospital.  You’ll recall that Sutter put the hospital plans on hold last year, citing a general weakness in the economy.   According to the article, the full-scale hospital plan remains on hold despite the approval to move ahead with the clinic.

The approved construction calls for an outpatient and urgent care center, offices for 120 physicians, the parking structure, an on-site lab, and diagnostic and testing services.  Construction is slated to begin in January of 2011.   For the complete article, click here:   Sutter Health OKs building San Carlos clinic, postpones hospital again | San Francisco Business Times
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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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Laurel Street Gets a New Stop Sign.

December 8, 2010 Living in San Carlos 4 Comments
stop_sign

So What?

Slow day on the blog when I have to write about a new stop sign being installed in San Carlos?   Actually, no.  There are a couple of reasons why the new stop sign on Laurel Street at Belmont Avenue newsworthy. First of all, it’s a darn good idea. This intersection is right behind Walgreen’s and Trader Joe’s, and it’s  tough to cross Laurel at this intersection in a car, let alone on foot.   With all of the pedestrian traffic that these stores draw from the White Oaks neighborhood,  a safe place to cross Laurel Street was desperately overdue.

Now, the hard part will be to not blow through the new stop sign as you drive down Laurel.  Hey, old habits die hard… >>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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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 District Announces Major Reorganization.

scsd

Principals, Vice Principals on the Move.

San Carlos School  Superintendent Dr. Craig Baker announced today a wide ranging reorganization of the San Carlos School District Administration that will result in the change of the top parking spots at three schools in the District.   The details of the reorganization are outlined on the district website, but the net result is that Central Middle School, Tierra Linda Middle School, and Arundel Elementary will all have different Principals and Vice Principals as of January 3, 2011.

That’s a pretty significant re-org…especially in the middle of the school year.

Keeping It “In-House”.

It appears that this reorganization has been accomplished by moving existing resources from within the district, as opposed to bringing in personnel from the outside.  So you’ll recognize the names of the new top administrators when you see them.  In addition, a new position titled Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability has been created, and will filled by one of the aforementioned principals.

Curious?  Click here to find out who the new school leaders will be:  San Carlos School District Reorganization.
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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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Renovation in the Works for Burton Park?

burton-park-playground

Permanent Stage, Bocce Ball Court.

According to Michelle Durand’s column this morning in the Daily Journal, another upgrade to Burton Park in San Carlos could be in the works.  Plans for the construction of a permanent stage, a bocce ball court, and a much-needed upgrade to the basketball courts are in the preliminary stages of discussion.  The City Council has already given the green light to the concept — now all that’s needed is the money (isn’t that the case with everything in life?)

The San Carlos Park and Recreation Foundation quarterbacked the fundraising effort for the first wave of upgrades to Burton, which added a whole new playground structure and water park.   Look for them to play the lead role again in raising the nearly $500,000 (or more) that will be needed to make this vision a reality.    I’m sure that our local San Carlos businesses will selflessly chip in again, as they have always done in the past.

For more information, check out Michelle’s article in the DJ:  Burton Park Ready For Big Makeover.
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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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