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Menlo Park Updates

Jul 15

Peach Fruit Fly treatments taking place in parts of eastern Menlo Park

Posted on July 15, 2019 at 6:13 pm by Peter Ibrahim

On July 9, 2019, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) issued a notice in our area about Peach Fruit Flies (Bactrocera zonata) - an invasive fruit fly that if established, could result in adverse impacts on native plants and produce.

The Peach Fruit Fly can damage more than 50 types of fruits and vegetables making the produce unfit for consumption. While fruit flies and other invasive species that threaten California’s crops and natural environment are sometimes detected in agricultural areas, the vast majority are found in urban and suburban communities.

CDFA detected the insects in Palo Alto and identified a treatment area that extends into parts of eastern Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. The portions of Menlo Park affected will generally be in the area east of Menalto Avenue between San Francisquito Creek and O’Keefe Street, and east of Willow Road between O’Keefe Street and U.S. 101.

The eradication treatments began Thursday, July 11, with crews placing “bait stations” amounting to a splatter of a waxy, time-released biological solution. The photo below shows a “bait station” example that could be visible after treatment.

The active ingredient is Spinosad, is a natural product of a type of soil bacteria, which combines the effectiveness of synthetic products with the benefits of a biological insect pest control. View the Frequently Asked Questions about Spinosad (English | Spanish).

Currently, the CDFA has no plans to treat on private residences. The “bait stations” will only be placed on street trees, light poles and similar elevated and publicly-inaccessible surfaces, in the right of way.

For more information, please visit the CFDA Peach Fruit Fly webpage or call the San Mateo County Agriculture Commissioner’s office at 650-363-4700.

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Jul 15

2019 Bay Area Spare the Air summer smog season is well underway

Posted on July 15, 2019 at 6:11 pm by Peter Ibrahim

The millions of cars on our roadways each day remain the largest source of smog pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area. The Spare the Air campaign encourages Bay Area residents to drive less and look for ways to share, shorten or change their commutes to help reduce smog, traffic and gridlock in the region.

The campaign is meant to inform people about the dangerous effects of air pollution on health and ask residents to drive less to reduce pollution when a Spare the Air alert is issued. Between May–October, residents are encouraged to pay attention to daily air quality forecasts and make adjustments to their day’s activities when the pollution levels become high.
 
A Spare the Air alert will be issued when ground-level ozone (smog) is forecast to meet or exceed 126 on the Air Quality Index (AQI) with higher AQI numbers meaning there is a more pollution and a greater health risk.

“In 2018, the Bay Area experienced some of the worst air quality ever recorded,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. “With climate change driving more extreme weather triggering smog and supercharging wildfires, it is more important than ever that we reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases by carpooling, taking public transit, walking and biking instead of driving alone.”

Bay Area employees are encouraged to check with their human resources office to learn what commuter benefits are available to them through their employer. The Bay Area Commuter Benefits program requires all employers in the Air District’s jurisdiction with 50 or more full-time employees to offer commuter benefits to their workers. 

During the warmer weather months, Spare the Air Alerts are issued when smog, or ozone pollution, is forecast to reach unhealthy levels. Ozone can cause throat irritation, congestion and chest pain. It can trigger asthma, inflame the lining of the lungs and worsen bronchitis and emphysema. Ozone pollution is particularly harmful for young children, seniors and those with respiratory and heart conditions. When a Spare the Air Alert is called, limit outdoor exercise in the late afternoon when ozone concentrations are highest.

Know when a Spare the Air Alert is in effect:
• Via text alerts by texting the word “START” to 817-57
• By connecting with Spare the Air on Facebook or Twitter
• On the www.sparetheair.org website
• By calling 1-800-HELP-AIR
• By signing up for AirAlerts

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Jul 15

High Speed Rail Authority sets dates for upcoming community meetings

Posted on July 15, 2019 at 6:08 pm by Peter Ibrahim

The next round of the California High Speed Rail Authority’s Community Working Group (CWG) meetings have been announced. This round of meetings is especially significant, as it will focus on sharing and discussing the staff recommended state preferred alternative for the San Jose to San Francisco and San Jose to Merced project sections. 

The meetings schedule includes:

San Mateo County CWG
Wednesday, July 24, 2019, 6–8 p.m.
Burlingame Library
480 Primrose Road
Burlingame, CA 94010

San Jose CWG
Tuesday, July 16, 2019, 6–8 p.m.
Leininger Center (Okayama Room)
1300 Senter Road
San Jose, CA 95112

San Francisco CWG
Monday, July 22, 2019, 6–8 p.m.
Bay Area Metro Center, Yerba Buena Room
375 Beale St.
San Francisco, CA 94105

San Mateo County Open House
Monday, August 19, 2019, 5–8 p.m.
Sequoia High School
1201 Brewster Ave.
Redwood City, CA 94062

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is responsible for planning, designing, building and operating the first high-speed rail system in the nation. California high-speed rail (HSR) is proposed to run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds capable of exceeding 200 miles per hour. The system is planned to eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations. Within the San Francisco to San Jose section, HSR trains are proposed to travel at speeds up to 110 mph with up to four trains per hour. The HSR system will use the Caltrain alignment from San Jose to San Francisco under a blended system concept.

There are currently two alternatives under consideration for the San Francisco to San Jose section, Alternative A that proposes no additional passing tracks throughout the project section and Alternative B that proposes additional passing tracks from San Mateo to Redwood City. It is anticipated that the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board will select a preferred alternative by the end of 2019. The Draft Environmental Impact Report/Statement is expected to be released in spring 2020.

For more information about the project, please visit the California High-Speed Rail Authority webpage.

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