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The 2010 San Carlos Art & Wine Faire is This Weekend.

20th Anniversary Edition.

This coming weekend, the northern section of Laurel Street in downtown San Carlos will be transformed into one big party that’s thinly disguised as an Art and Wine Faire.    Running on both Saturday and Sunday from 10AM – 5:30PM, the San Carlos Art & Wine Faire has become one of the more popular gatherings of its kind on the Peninsula, and it usually draws some pretty large crowds.  And with the weather forecast showing sunny and mid 70′s for both days, this weekend should be no different.

This weekend’s faire marks the 20th year that the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce has been hosting this great event.   So between your soccer games and watching the Blue Angels at Fleet Week, be sure to take a stroll through the Art & Wine Faire this weekend.    Support your local businesses while you’re down there having fun, too!
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San Francisco: “The Miniature City”.

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‘Frisco…

This post has absolutely nothing to do with San Carlos real estate.  Well, almost nothing…except maybe for the fact that many people who now live in San Carlos came here from what is my second favorite city in the world… San Francisco.   I ran across this video while reading one of my favorite sites about my second-favorite city– CaliberSF.    I wrote a post about Caliber a few months back — it’s an amazing photo blog that uses San Francisco as a backdrop for the incredible skills of four photographers.

Check out this amazing time-lapse video of the City by the Bay.   It’s a good reminder of  how lucky we are to live so close to such a great city…

San Francisco: The Miniature City from MINIMUS on Vimeo.
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Dollar Tree Opens Its Doors in San Carlos.

Grand Opening.

Just a few short months after getting the conditional-use permit approved by the City of San Carlos, the Dollar Tree store that stands where Hollywood Video once did opened their doors to the public today.   This store is so new that their corporate website doesn’t even show it yet.  Oops!  But check the store out.  It’s a clean, well-stocked place with lots of useful stuff for .. you guessed it… $1.

There was some mixed feeling posted on this site when it was first announced that Dollar Tree was coming to San Carlos.  But give the place a chance.  I know the one in Belmont is busy all the time, and the City of Good Living can use every dollar of tax revenue it can get right now.   The new Dollar Tree Store is located at 1121 Old County Road in San Carlos in the Home Depot parking lot.
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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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Recology Rolls Out New Carts to San Carlos Today.

September 28, 2010 Living in San Carlos 22 Comments
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New Carts, No Bins.

When you get home from work today, you’re likely to find a little present in your front yard.  No, the neighbor’s dog didn’t make another deposit on your lawn, but the folks at Recology were certainly busy today delivering the new garbage and recycle “carts” to a good portion of the flats in San Carlos in anticipation of taking over the collection service in San Carlos on January 1, 2011.    According to the original schedule that I published a few weeks ago, this means that they’re about 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule in delivering the carts.    Uh oh, maybe that’s grounds for a strike…

Got Garbage?

One thing you’ll notice right away is the size of the wheeled black garbage cart.   The standard issue from Recology is a 32 gallon garbage cart, which probably looks dinky next to your existing can.   With a family of 5 who does an excellent job of diverting as much stuff as possible into the recycle bins, I know that this little cart still won’t be big enough for us.   No sweat — if you need a bigger cart, Recology offers 64 gallon and 96 gallon service carts too.  Simply call their customer service line at 650-595-3900 and request one of the bigger ones.   Note that they haven’t yet determined what the weekly premium will be for the larger carts — that info will published in a letter that will be going out to residents in the upcoming weeks. >>> Click Here to Read the Full Post
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San Carlos Makes PG&E’s “Top 100″ List of High-Risk Gas Pipelines.

September 20, 2010 Living in San Carlos 4 Comments

List Released.

As promised, PG&E today release the “Top 100″ list of natural gas transition pipelines that they deem to be at the highest risk, whether it’s due to proximity of construction areas, possible corrosion or wear, or because of the possibility of earth movement.  According to the report, the transmission line that runs through San Carlos made this list, although there was not a specific condition that was identified for its inclusion.

The area of pipeline in question is a 105 foot segment in the vicinity of Brittan Avenue and El Camino Real.   According to the report, here is a very vague description of why it made the list:

“PG&E is conducting an engineering review of the design materials of 105 feet of pipe near Brittan Ave and El Camino Real in San Carlos. Based on this review, PG&E will determine whether any repair or replacement action is warranted.”

Hmmm.  Sounds pretty vague.

What Kind of Pipeline is in San Carlos?

As far as the type and nature of the pipeline that runs parallel to Brittan Avenue in San Carlos, one of the residents of White Oaks contacted PG&E today, and this is what they were told:

It is a “standard” 20″ pipeline (the San Bruno line was a 30″ line).  This is a distribution line.  These range from 12″ to 20″ and is what our home services tap off of.  The San Bruno line was a transmission line, hence much larger and under more pressure. The one near us was built in 2 sections in 1947 and 1955.

The conference that was scheduled to take place between PG&E and Mayor Randy Royce was delayed until tomorrow to enable PG&E to compile the list and release it to the public today.  Perhaps after tomorrow’s meeting more details will be forthcoming.   If you’re interested in seeing the top 100 list, click here.

Update 9/21:

The meeting between PG&E and San Carlos officials has now taken place.  Here is a good recap of the meeting from ABC 7 News:

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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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Where is the Natural Gas Pipeline in San Carlos?

September 18, 2010 Living in San Carlos 2 Comments

The Big Question.

Last week’s tragic natural gas explosion and fire in San Bruno has served as a wake-up call for municipalities and residents alike all along the Peninsula.   While the utilities are now scrambling to assess the condition and potential risk of the maze of gas pipelines that snake under our cities, residents suddenly have a heightened awareness of something they took for granted only 2 weeks ago.

This leads to the obvious question that’s on the mind of many San Carlos residents:  Where is the main natural gas pipeline in San Carlos?

The Map:

Natural Gas Pipeline in San Carlos

Natural Gas Pipeline in San Carlos

(map courtesy of the White Oaks Neighborhood Watch)

That’s a bit of an eye-opener, isn’t it?

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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 San Bruno Fire: A Textbook Example of How Mutual Aid Works..

September 16, 2010 Living in San Carlos No Comments

A Coordinated, Rapid Response.

The tragic fire in San Bruno last week served as a perfect example of how an incident of this magnitude can quickly overwhelm the emergency resources of a small community such as San Bruno, or any other city on the Peninsula for that matter.   In anticipation large-scale emergencies, the fire departments of every city in San Mateo County work very closely with Cal-Fire and the Office of Emergency Services to develop and hone a rapid mutual aid response to assist the community in need.   You’ve seen it in action in the past few years, as strike teams from San Mateo County have been mobilized on very short notice to help battle wildfires in Southern California and other parts of the state.  It’s an amazing logistical “machine” that is the byproduct of countless hours of planning, and tons of practice.

This past week, it was San Mateo County’s hour of need.  And the response was very impressive.

Immediate Assistance.

It became evident right away to first-responders of this incident that a massive mutual aid response would be needed.   Below is an excerpt from an email that Douglas Fry, Fire Chief for the Belmont-San Carlos Fire Department, submitted to the San Carlos City Council.  It’s an amazing account of how quickly the team was able to mobilize critical resources in a time of dire need (reprinted with permission from the San Carlos City Council.)

‘Last night at 6:15 pm a 30” high pressure gas line exploded in the hills of San Bruno between San Bruno Avenue and Sneath Lane just east of Highway 35.  As you have all seen was a spectacular fire that burned for several hours.  I arrived at about 6:45 pm to assist with the command functions at the scene.  Some 38 houses were destroyed and 7-10 significantly damaged and several at this time are in a varying state of damage.  This was a 6 alarm event plus 7 Strike Teams (5 apparatus each) were sent to the scene – some 40 engines,  5 trucks and over 20 Chief Officers  were at the scene of this fire until approximately 8:00 this morning when we rotated crews.  We were at draw down for apparatus for several hours last night and several agencies including ours up staffed additional equipment to help the system.    At this time there are several injuries 12 at this time 4 of which were firefighters at the scene and they were transported to local hospitals for treatment.  Currently there are 4 fatalities with more expected.  Some 55 residents self transported themselves to area hospitals for treatment – at least one victim was air lifted to the local burn center for treatment – burns over 80% of her body.

We received two strike teams of engines from Alameda County (10 engines and 2 Battalion Chiefs)

We received one task force of equipment from San Francisco Fire (mixture of 4 engines and 1 truck) plus the foam unit from SFO.

We received four strike teams and one hand crew from Cal Fire in addition to  air support as well until dark. (20 engines and 40 personnel for the hand crew)

We received two OES CAL EMA Strike Teams from the Bay area as well (10 more engines and Strike Team Leaders.

Over the years we have sent lots of equipment out of San Mateo County to assist other jurisdictions – this time we were the recipient.  What a great system we have; to move that type of equipment in such a short amount of time.

In addition the department moved Truck 13 to Station 21 in San Mateo and they ran several calls from San Bruno to San Carlos in the move and cover plan.

BC Gaffney and Captain Way responded to Tanforan Shopping center to set up a staging area for the apparatus to respond to.  They were at that location from 8:00 pm last night until noon today.  Haz Mat 13 is at the scene monitoring the air to insure safety for the crews at the scene.  This event will be going on for several days and I anticipate as the weather warms up – call volume will increase.

I will be heading back up to the scene to assist with the Fire Mutual Aid aspect of the event.  As of this writing details are still sketchy, but I will tell you that San Mateo County has a fire response system that is second to none.

Douglas Fry
Fire Chief
Belmont-San Carlos Fire Dept.’

We Are in Good Hands.

Two things that I take from that amazing account of this tragedy.  First, in spite of all of the distractions that come with the budget discussions and talk of dissolution of the Belmont-San Carlos Fire Department, Chief Fry is extremely dedicated to this organization and is very proud of his whole team and the response that his team provided, as he should be.

Second, it’s very comforting to know that this type of response exists in our area.   In the unfortunate event that San Carlos should ever have to deal with a tragedy of this magnitude, it’s nice to know that help will be on the way… and fast.
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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 2010 API Scores.

San Carlos School District Shines…

Once again, the San Carlos School District showed why it has made San Carlos the destination of choice for families with school-aged children.  The district came through with stellar API scores in the latest round of testing.  Some interesting fluctuations in the Brittan Acres scores, and a huge up-tick for Heather Elementary. But regardless of these scores, you absolutely can’t go wrong with any of the schools in San Carlos.   Anyone who has been through the program at any San Carlos school will tell you that there’s so much more to the whole experience that’s not captured by a test score.

Here are the latest scores, and the comparison to last year:

API Met Growth Target
2010 Growth 2009 Base 2009-10 Growth Target 2009-10 Growth School-
wide
All Subgroups Both Schoolwide
and Subgroups








SAN CARLOS ELEMENTARY 899 896 D 3
Elementary Schools
Arundel Elementary 922 917 A 5 Yes Yes Yes
Brittan Acres Elementary 870 907 A -37 Yes Yes Yes
Heather Elementary 921 861 A 60 Yes Yes Yes
San Carlos Charter Learning Center 907 898 A 9 Yes Yes Yes
White Oaks Elementary 932 913 A 19 Yes Yes Yes
Middle Schools
Central Middle 874 872 A 2 Yes Yes Yes
Tierra Linda Middle 919 917 A 2 Yes Yes Yes

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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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