Tag Archives: Redwood City

Redwood City mayor visits Summit Prep journalists

EDITOR’S NOTE: On Friday, Sept. 6, Redwood City Mayor Ian Bain came to Summit Preparatory Charter High School for a press conference to answer student journalists’ questions about his role in the community.

Ian Bain introduces the importance of local politics in Redwood City

By Jovani Contreras, Fabiana Munoz and Rosie Esteverena 

Staff Writers

Ian Bain believes that local politics are one of the most important facets of government. 

Mayor Bain started his Sept. 6 press conference at Summit Prep with a long, but informative introduction; he told of his perseverance and of his campaigns that failed for years before he was finally able to sit on the council to the point of maxing out his terms.

Mayor Bain wanted students to know he had dedicated his life to being a public servant.

However, his most important point in this was the relevancy of local politics in our day-to-day lives. The government is an essential part of how things function seamlessly, and Mayor Bain believes that much more work is done on a local level than any other.

The Redwood City mayor expressed how cardinal it is to get involved in the community being that council decisions greatly impact the daily lives of people in the city. He had a lot to say about the role local politics plays the city.

Mayor Bain said, “The laws we make here locally — even the court house events — that impacts your life, and I wish more people understood that and would get involved.”

Mayor Bain’s changes in his 18 years on the council included: making great strides in the beautification of Redwood City, implementing a public dog park and leading environmental initiatives resulting in a 22% decrease in electricity since 2005.

These changes have affected the Redwood City community greatly as far as helping beautify the city and improve the quality of life for its citizens. Mayor Bain said, “When Redwood City is nice, beautiful and welcoming, think of me.”

Mayor Bain is very proud of his achievements and the effect they have had on Redwood City, and he has further plans to better Redwood City and the lives of those living in it.

Mayor Bain has created a “respectful tone for local government.” He said, “I hope you learn to love Redwood City as much as I love Redwood City.”

 Mayor Bain works to better the community 

By Victor Aguilar, Cristina Ramirez, Salette Vazquez and Jorge Zamora 

Staff Writers

Redwood City Mayor Ian Bain reminisced about the days of bowling alleys, roller rinks and mini golf and hoped to bring family recreation back to the city.

On Sept. 6, Mayor Ian Bain came to the journalism class at Summit Prep to discuss things that are happening in the community of Redwood City.

As the mayor said in the press conference, he wants to “bring back family recreation.”

He said he wants to bring more entertainment to Redwood City, as there is zero to none right now for kids and adults to do in the community.

The mayor talked about many places that have been taken down. For example, the roller rink in Redwood City. The roller rink was taken down on Sept. 30, 2017; it was loved by many people. It was so loved by people that the mayor has teased that “they’re in talks with a roller rink operator.” He mentioned to not get people’s hope to get up, but it is a sign of change that the talks are happening in the first place.

When asked the question, “How would you improve Redwood City?” one of the places he mentioned taking his kids to was a place called Malibu Grand Prix. This place was always a mainstay in Redwood City, as it was open for 35 years. The thing is though, as mentioned in the Mercury News, it had to close down since of the rising cost.

The bowling alley, as known as Mel’s Bowl, was open for 40 years before being demolished for a 141-unit apartment. It was a staple of Redwood City, as many people that grew up around the area have said that “was the place that started my bowling obsession”

Mayor Bain has already began making changes to the city with the building of the Main Street Dog Agility Park. He was very proud of his work and even said that whenever he drives past the park and sees dogs playing he feels proud. One of the others ways Redwood City has improved is with connecting families through the events in downtown Redwood City. There are many events there, such as the Salsa Festival that lets people enjoy the culture and the setting of Redwood City.

Mayor Bain wants to reinvent areas of Redwood City that were there before to make them feel like a more family environment, where people can engage more with their community.

Ian Bain cares about Redwood City

By Morgan Dundas, Nina Gonzalez and Elizandra Zelaya

Staff Writers

Redwood City’s Mayor Ian Bain came to visit Summit Preparatory High School to spark dialogue with the students of the Multimedia Political Journalism class. He spoke about everything from housing prices to bringing back the famous roller rink to the community.

Mayor Bain engages with the community to form a genuine connection with the people he’s overseeing. He cares about helping others, which pushes him to do the best he can to make sure the people’s wants and needs are satisfied. 

Mayor Bain accomplished building the important court plaza, which stands for a large space for everyone in the community to gather and connect, regardless of someone’s race, religion, or sexual orientation. This area can be found near Redwood City’s downtown, which holds a special place in the community’s hearts.

Mayor Bain is also responsible for building the newest dog park on Main Street. He is grateful for the opportunity to complete this project and is satisfied with the work he has done. Driving by the park every day and witnessing everyone enjoying downtime with their family and friends, in turn bringing together the community, brings a smile to his face.

The mayor’s early drive for politics came from a connection to the young group in his community in which he can see himself and is proud to stand as an inspiration for many.

Mayor Bain is also proud to have helped a local group to get a street light near their home because there were many complaints of disrespect to the street due to the darkness. According to the mayor, one complaint said, “I come out every morning, and I find trash, slurpee cups, used condoms; it’s disgusting.” 

Mayor Bain followed up by stating how he “made a few phone calls and was able to find the status of the street light, and a year later I got an email from him saying, ‘Hey the street light just went in, it looks great, all my neighbors are thrilled, thank you so much for helping us.’ Those are the kinds of things that really keep me going.”

Mayor Bain makes sure he has open arms to everyone, he makes everyone feel safe and welcome to the community.  He said, “I talked about diversity and how we expect it here. We don’t report people who are in the country without documentation.”

Redwood City has a 32% Spanish speaking rate versus the national average of 13%, highlighting the diversity in which Redwood City holds

Mayor Bain shows a lot of intense eagerness and enjoyment toward the projects he has completed throughout the city and is more eager to start planning the new ideas he has to add to the city. He hopes that this will bring more entertainment and attraction to Redwood City.

The mayor is trying to add some new attractions to the city, such as a new roller rink and a bowling alley. He is trying to restore some of Redwood City’s attractions due to the roller rink closing down along with other attractions.

Redwood City Mayor Ian Bain talks about gun control

By Giselle Maldonado, Hannah Murrieta and Yoeli Romero

Staff Writers

Lately gun control has been a heated issue because of all the shootings that have happened in the past year. The Redwood City Mayor Ian Bain visited Summit Prep to talk about a variety of topics surrounding the city as well as larger problems.

Gun violence is a common topic discussed in politics. Even though people usually talk about it on a national level, Mayor Ian Bain, a local politician had a lot to say about it.

The mayor believes that gun violence is a major issue and some things need to be done to stop it. Responding to a question about the walkouts, the mayor said that “we need a new president … because the one we have currently doesn’t do anything about gun violence.”

More than ever, young people like Summit Prep students have had opinions on gun control. Students from schools all over the Bay protested.

According to Summit News, on March 14, 2018, students from Summit Prep, Everest, and many more from the Sequoia District joined the walkout from 10 to 10:17 to pay respects to the 17 victims. When the students arrived at the downtown area, Redwood City Vice Mayor Diane Howard gave a speech to support the students for their safe and encouraging protest. Afterwards, the students continued to yell out their chants one last time.

On March 24, 2018 students from all over the United States walked to prevent gun violence. The March for Our Lives movement started by students to advocate for sensible gun reform.

Students are willing to take a stand against gun control since it is such a big issue in the United States. So many lives have been affected by this issue, so students are trying to make a change to make our communities a safer place. 

Many people, including Mayor Bain, agree that changes need to be made to our current gun control policy. Although there are restrictions, it seems that the policies are not preventing gun violence. According to CNN, there has been about 22 school shootings so far in 2019. 

Locals jump into the Redwood City basketball community

By Jesus De La Rosa, Garrett Kelly and Max Livingston

Staff Writers

Basketball in the Redwood City community is a major part of daily life. We went around Redwood City and discussed with locals how basketball has helped the community and how basketball has changed their lives.

We interviewed many passionate people and asked them the question: How has basketball changed you as a person in your community?

The first person we interviewed was Elliot Reidy, a resident of Redwood City for 18 years. Reidy is currently in college and is enrolled at Skyline College. Reidy had a tough childhood, and basketball was a way to get out of ghetto. As Reidy got older, he realized he has a true talent for basketball. This year Reidy will be a redshirt freshman for the Skyline College basketball team.

Alexander Kasali is in high school and really likes playing on the team at Carlmont. He likes doing it because he can make friends, and it also keeps him in shape so that he is healthy. Kasali enjoys the game because it is a competitive game that also makes him connect with people.

Ryan Ferguson is in school at San Mateo High. Every weekend Ferguson goes to courts here in Redwood City to look for some pickup games. Places like Red Morton, the YMCA and the newly donated KD Court at Hoover Park are always filled with hoopers that just want to hoop.

Donovan Washington is a basketball coach who used to play in high school and college. He said that he really likes to coach and that it brings a new perspective to the game of basketball. Mr. Washington said he really understands what his coaches were saying when he was a kid.

Jovany Soria, a long-time resident of Redwood City, said basketball has helped him a lot as a person. He has created new friendships on the court that will last a lifetime. Also, Mr. Soria said it’s good to get some cardio and workout a bit through basketball.

Chuck Kremesec has been playing basketball for a long time now, and he really thinks it has helped him as a person. It has gotten him through tough times and has made him a better person. Kremesec likes going to the YMCA to play pickup on the weekends. He likes the community because he can meet new people and have fun.

In conclusion, we learned many new stories. While each story is unique, they all have the same overall message: basketball is a big part of the Redwood City community.

Here is the video:

Citizens of Redwood City struggle with gentrification

By Seann Brick, Alexis Pereznegron, Michael Pissani and Marvin Varela

Staff Writers 

The people of Redwood City struggle to pay rent because it is not adjustable to their wages. With larger companies moving into Redwood City, residents face the downside of gentrification. The average rent costs about $3,144, according to an article from Rent Jungle.

In the Berkeley Blog, City and Regional Planning Professor Karen Chapple said, “Since 1980, the share of households burdened by housing costs (defined as households paying 35 percent or more of their income towards housing) has increased dramatically. Currently, almost half of low-income households in Redwood City live in neighborhoods at risk of or already experiencing displacement and gentrification pressures, many near downtown.”

More people are starting to realize the negative effects of gentrification in the community. According to an article in The Stanford Daily, “Rodriguez said she became aware of the issues surrounding gentrification through volunteering at a high school in Redwood City when she heard students discussing the rapid rate at which rent was increasing. She plans to explore proposals to present to University administrators to minimize the expansion’s adverse effects.” 

The article goes on to state that “according to research from the University of California at Berkeley and Los Angeles, an influx of affluent residents to the Bay Area has contributed to rent hikes and the resulting displacement of low-income residents in the last decade. In Silicon Valley in particular, the expansion of tech companies has contributed further to the gentrification of surrounding suburbs, including Redwood City, much of which is undergoing moderate displacement.”

Different people who work or live in Redwood City shared stories about living in such an expensive area.

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Manager of Sigona’s, Gloria Gandolfo, puts back items from the checkout counter.

Gloria Gandolfo, who is the manager at Sigona’s Farmers Market in Redwood City on Middlefield Road, said she and her workers struggle to pay off rent because the cost here is unfair and does not fit their wages. “It’s tough on us because we rent here, so our rent has been raised. As a business, we
struggle with that, and our employees also struggle to pay rent.”

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Andrea Peña helps a customer with groceries at the counter of La Estrellita.

Another worker in Redwood City, Andrea Peña (who works at La Estrellita), said, “La solución es mudarse a otro estado donde el alquiler sea más asequible,” which means the solution is to move to another state where rent is affordable because here it is not.

Amy Shinshiro, an employee at Vitality Bowls, said, “I’m lucky that my mom got to buy a house back when it was much cheaper. I see gentrification affecting the community in a negative way, and I definitely empathize with these people. I know that our community is developing and becoming more tech-oriented, but it is really sad to see people pushed out, especially if they lived there a long time. My dad lives in an apartment, and he’s going through that, and it’s really sad to see that happening.”

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Amy Shinshiro works inside the kitchen of Vitality Bowls.

Ms. Shinshiro thinks the solution is to just lower the rent price: “I’m mixed about it because as much as I want us to develop and become more advanced, it’s not fair to the people who established their roots here a long time ago.”

Jarod Zalesny, who works at Pet Food Express, said he does not agree with the high prices because he is seeing a lot of traffic and also apartments being taken down for companies or just made more expensive. He added, “It’s more difficult to live here with all this construction going around.”

Mr. Zalesny provided a similar belief to Ms. Shinshiro when saying, “The solution to gentrification is to make housing more affordable to the community.”

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Jarod Zalesny works at the register in Pet Food Express, located in Sequoia Station.

The problem is that the cost of rent is not fit for workers’ wages and they struggle to pay. The solution that people have raised is to make the cost of rent suitable for their paychecks so they won’t struggle. 

In an article published by the Berkeley Political Review, Jack Foley stated, “Major cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles have already passed legislation bringing their cities to $15 per hour well in advance of the 2022 deadline but both of these cities did so before SB 3 was passed.”

Plans have been made for the minimum wage in California to be $15 per hour to keep local residents in this area. Supporters argue that a minimum wage of $15 will allow the average worker to have access to affordable housing and other basic necessities.

Residents of Redwood City could continue to struggle with rising rents. Rent Jungle stated, “As of December 2017, average rent for an apartment in Redwood City, CA is $3144 which is a 2.77% increase from last year when the average rent was $3057, and a 0.73% decrease from last month when the average rent was $3167. One bedroom apartments in Redwood City rent for $2787 a month on average (a 3.66% increase from last year) and two bedroom apartment rents average $3566 (a 2.75% increase from last year).” 

As shown in the chart below, other sources found even higher rent prices in the local community:

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This graph from Trulia.com shows the rent prices in Redwood City from 2016-17.

 

Food builds community

By Jon Garvin, Kai Lock, Ethan Sheppy, Skylar Peters and Malia Vaea

Staff Writers

Walking through Redwood City, you notice a bunch of smiling faces, people quickly getting from place to place, and, most importantly, many restaurants that have become a staple in the local community. These local restaurants have become a major factor in allowing Redwood City to come together as a community.

We decided to spotlight local restaurants in the city’s bustling downtown. We interviewed workers at restaurants such as Teaquation, Quinto Sol, Cafe la Tartine, Cyclismo Cafe and Green Leaf Bistro to answer the question: How have local Redwood City restaurants established themselves and built a community around their food?

Workers offered various perspectives on how difficult it was to build a community and different strategies for reaching out to the customers. For example, the manager of Quinto Sol, Jose Martinez, said he didn’t face many problems in building a community and that “the whole city welcomed us really well.”

Though building a sense of community around a local business can seem like a fun job, there are many struggles that come with the task. Restaurants can face many different types of obstacles related to community needs.

The co-owner of Cyclismo Cafe, Jihan Bayyari, had a lot to say about the difficulties she’s faced while working at her restaurant. Restaurants can face these difficulties because they try very hard to respond to customer feedback and constantly try to improve their sense of community.  

The manager of Green Leaf Bistro, Betty Gayez, has faced some problems involving the food. She stated, “For sure, I’d say not a crazy amount of struggle, but you have people coming in that are allergic to this and that and this and you have to make sure that we take care of these little things. We work on the products more and more so that next time we do work on a new menu, or update it, we make sure that these items are taken care of.”

Different restaurants also help host or contribute to various types of events. Mr. Martinez said that Quinto Sol impacts the community by “helping with every single thing that there is, like things at the plaza, with the community like Dia de Los Muertos and other festivities.”

Ms. Bayyari stated, “We host lots of different events. So everything from a community hike, we do a bike ride; we do bike swap meets; we do a paint night once a month. So hosting different community events is what makes people come and start to meet each other.”

Mercedes Mapua, the owner of Teaquation, has done different things with the community as well, such as working with non-profits. Ms. Mapua also added, “We’ve worked with a school as well. We have yet to [do] one this year yet, but hopefully soon. Definitely want to connect with the Redwood locals.”

After interviewing five local restaurants, we noticed how much pride and love they have for their community. They contribute in all the ways they can and help build the sense of community in Redwood City immensely. They positively affect our community by helping bring more and more people together. Together they build unity and pride within our city.

To experience the five different restaurants mentioned, check out our video here:

Click here to see a story map with all the featured restaurants.

 

Teen Advisory Board gives local teens a voice in their community

By Kenneth John Catimbang, Kristian Bekele and Micah Tam

Staff Writers

In media and society, teenagers are often portrayed as lazy, defiant or disruptive (the list goes on.) However, there’s a group of teenagers in Redwood City who challenge that exact idea.

Once a month, the Teen Advisory Board meets up at the Red Morton Community Center. Teenagers from all over the Redwood City area come together to talk about community problems and methods to help better the local area.

Students from various high schools throughout Redwood City are a part of this organization. In these meetings, a broad theme is applied, such as community service, which in the past has meant helping out at parades and other events happening around the city.

At the Nov. 1 meeting, the main focus was on the environment. The students brainstormed ideas ranging from neighborhood trash pickups to raising money to donate to a nonprofit charity that sends water to developing countries.

After sharing ideas, the board agreed on plans to help the local elementary and middle schools grow gardens on site. In executing this project, the local youth will be educated about healthy living and maintaining a home-grown diet.

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Co-director of the Teen Advisory Board Emma Hernandez

The Teen Advisory Board was created with the purpose of building a bridge between Redwood City officials and local teenagers. According to Emma Hernandez, co-director of the board, “When you see teens … there’s a negative aspect to them. When you bridge that gap, it helps any city see that teens care. You guys are the voice of the city [and] make a very big impact.”

When asked about the main goal of the board Ms. Hernandez said, “[To] build the teens with the community. Hear the teens’ voices. Listening to the teens and what they want as opposed to just guessing.”

The Teen Advisory Board does just that. Teen participants have voiced that it builds their own character while giving them the opportunity to volunteer and voice their opinions.

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President of TAB and Sequoia High School senior Sara Osorio

President of the Teen Advisory Board and senior at Sequoia High School Sara Osorio described how being a part of TAB changed her when she said, “I’ve always been very shy. Because I’ve been president it’s given me the opportunity to branch out and be a leader. I want everyone to feel welcome and comfortable with sharing their ideas.”

Osorio went on to explain how TAB defines and actively participates in her community. “Being the voice for our community. Because I don’t think everyone is represented. What better people to ask but teens because we’re the future.”

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Summit Prep senior Tyler Sheppy

Summit Prep senior and TAB participant Tyler Sheppy summarized his view on Teen Advisory Board by saying, “It really shows teenagers in our community because it shows we want to make the environment and community a better place.”

If you’re interested in joining the Teen Advisory Board, visit this website to start your application today.

Below is a slideshow of pictures from the Nov. 1 meeting of the Teen Advisory Board:

 

 

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