Menlo Park, a Tree City USA community, is a quiet yet vibrant city of pleasant, tree-lined neighborhoods and friendly people.
123 Indpendence Drive project rendering
123 Indpendence Drive project rendering

On January 8, the city released the Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the proposed 123 Independence Drive project, located at 119–127 Independence Drive, 1205 Chrysler Drive and 130 Constitution Drive. The NOP is part of the environmental review process and identifies that an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be prepared for the proposed project.

Members of the public are encouraged to review the NOP and participate in the upcoming January 25, 2021, Planning Commission meeting, to provide comments at the EIR scoping session. The comment review period is happening now through Monday, February 8, 2021. Written comments must be submitted no later than 5 p.m., …

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As part of the 62 trees for Menlo Park program and the Pierce Road Sidewalk project, the City partnered with the nonprofit Canopy, to plant over 40 new trees in the Belle Haven neighborhood. On December 19, 2020, Canopy and City staff, along with local volunteers, planted over a dozen trees along Pierce Road.

Trees are a vital part of our urban landscape and provide multiple environmental, health, social and economic benefits for residents, businesses and visitors. They improve air and water quality, provide habitat value, attract tourists and impart a distinct character to our city.

Another tree planting event will take place in the coming months. Trees will be provided at no cost and residents are responsible for watering the trees in front of their homes. …

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Dead end water mains are often found at the end of cul-de-sac streets and older neighborhoods. Dead end water mains do not provide enough flow to keep water fresh and chlorine levels presents. Due to this fact, water distribution crew has a preventative maintenance cycle set up for flushing dead end water mains to ensure high water quality and acceptable chlorine residual.

Currently water mains are being flushed on Menalto Avenue in the Willows and on Branner Drive off Sand Hill Road. The process of flushing these water mains may cause some side effects such as brown water. …

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The City of Menlo Park and Menlo-Atherton High School thank the community for their recent, generous bike donations to the school’s bike club. As a result of the Menlo Park Safe Routes to School newsletter, the M-A on the Move bike club has received several donations from residents.

According to James Nelson, a teacher at Menlo-Atherton High School, these donations are the lifeblood of the program. Mr. Nelson started the bike club at the school to allow students to develop valuable skills and have access to bikes.

These donations have enabled the club to fulfill its priorities to give safe and reliable bikes to students. When students or faculty members receive a bike from the club, Mr. Nelson aims to give a bike that nearly needs no maintenance. All of the donations received in the last few months have been enormously appreciated. Bikes that aren’t safe or reliable to donate, all parts are used or recycled. …

The California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program provides micro grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to eligible small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 and the related health and safety restrictions.

On November 30, 2020, Governor Newsom and the California Legislature announced the allocation of $500 million to the program to be administered by the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA) at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

Who is eligible?

A small business or small nonprofit must satisfy the following criteria to be eligible to receive a grant award:

  1. Must meet the definition of an “eligible small business.” An “eligible small business” means (i) a “small business” (sole proprietor, independent contractor, 1099 work and or registered “for-profit” business entity (e.g., C-corporation, S-corporation, limited liability company, partnership) that has yearly gross revenue of $2.5 million or less (but at least $1,000 in yearly gross revenue) based on most recently filed tax return) or (ii) a “small nonprofit” (registered 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) nonprofit entity having yearly gross revenue of $2.5 million or less (but at least $1,000 in yearly gross revenue) based on most recently filed Form…

Overnight parking enforcement will resume at 2 a.m., Sunday, January 3, 2021. At that time, enforcement of the overnight parking ordinance will continue by parking officers. Overnight parking permits can be purchased online or at the Police Department. All parked vehicles without a parking permit will receive a courtesy warning.

The City of Menlo Park suspends residential overnight parking enforcement over the holidays to shift some resources to help deter crime. Please remember not to leave purchases, laptops, wallets, purses and other items visible in your vehicles, which can be a target for criminals.

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The year 2020 has been a year like no other we have experienced. The pandemic has forced the cancellation of some of our most cherished community events. Traditionally crowds would gather at Fremont Park for the annual Tree Lighting festivities, but with the COVID-19 cases surging across the country, in California, and in San Mateo County, city leaders still wanted provide some of the special decorations that help brighten our spirits.

The City Council approved lighting the Fremont Park tree near Santa Cruz Avenue downtown, as well as those outside the Belle Haven Youth Center, to bring some holiday cheer to our community. You can admire the lights every evening and into the New Year.

If there is a problem, the Social Security Administration will mail you a letter with your Social Security number. Generally, they will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with them. The latest scam trick using robocall or live callers has increased. Fraudsters pretend to be government employees and claim there is identity theft or another problem with one’s Social Security number, account or benefits.

Scammers may threaten arrest or other legal action, or may offer to increase benefits, protect assets or resolve identity theft. …

Drive electric and save! Peninsula Clean Energy is providing first-time EV buyers in San Mateo County a rebate on the purchase of a new electric car, now through December 31, 2020.

Why make the switch? Electric vehicles generally cost about half as much to run, have lower maintenance costs, and emit 25x less emissions than gasoline powered cars! Are you still not sure? Peninsula Clean Energy is also providing residents the opportunity to experience driving an EV with a $200 rebate toward the rental of an EV and assistance in setting up at-home or at-dealership test drives.

If you live in San Mateo County and purchase your first EV, Peninsula Clean Energy will offer you a $700 rebate for new plug-in hybrid electric vehicles or a $1,000 rebate for new all-battery electric vehicles. This rebate is only available for eligible EVs purchased from October 1st through December 31st. …

Each one of us can do our part to make sure that our online lives are safe and secure. That’s what Cybersecurity Awareness Month is all about! Cybersecurity Awareness Month was created as a collaborative effort to ensure everyone has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.

Each October focuses on different themes addressing specific challenges and identifying opportunities. The theme this year is “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.” Everyone can do their part by:

Implementing stronger security practices

Raising community awareness

Educating vulnerable audiences or training employees

The first three months of 2020 saw a 20 percent increase in cyber fraud as cybercriminals took advantage of the global pandemic. Let’s all do our part and learn about cybersecurity, so that we don’t fall victim to cyber fraud. …

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