Snapshot en Español
Photo Credit: Bernadette Sullivan, City Manager’s Office
Last Quiz Question
Congrats to Dan Fost! They were the first to answer our Snapshot quiz. The Gerstle and Sloss families owned an estate on San Rafael Avenue that later became Gerstle Park, where the neighborhood gets its name. Thanks for reading Snapshot! Scroll down to see this edition’s quiz and be the first to answer.
San Rafael City News
The City Council will meet on Monday, February 5th, 2024 at 6:00 p.m.
The City Council will hold a closed session starting at 5:00 p.m.
Regular City Council Meeting (6:00 p.m. *Note new regular start time)
Municipal Code Updates: Gender Neutral Language
The City Council will consider an ordinance amending the San Rafael Municipal Code to replace gender-specific language with gender-neutral terms throughout. This initiative aligns with California state laws promoting gender inclusivity and the City’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. The proposed changes involve substituting gendered pronouns, for example, ‘he’ and ‘she,’ with the gender-neutral ‘they’ and replacing gender-specific terms such as ‘fireman,’ ‘policeman,’ ‘chairman,’ and ‘councilmen’ with gender-neutral equivalents.
Police Advisory and Accountability Committee Bylaws
The City Council will review and consider adopting bylaws for the Police Advisory and Accountability Committee (PAAC), which were discussed by the PAAC members at their last public meeting on January 17th. These proposed bylaws are in alignment with the direction the City Council provided to staff when the PAAC was established in June of 2023. At that time, the City Council asked City staff to collaborate and co-create the bylaws with the Committee.. City staff drafted the bylaws and based on the community input gathered during outreach in 2022 and 2023 while ensuring alignment with the City of San Rafael’s Rules and Procedures for Boards, Commissions, and Committees (BCCs). Feedback received by the PAAC was incorporated into the revised version of the bylaws that will be presented to the City Council on Monday night.
Black History Month Proclamation
February is Black History Month in the United States, a month specifically dedicated to acknowledging, honoring, and celebrating the contributions and accomplishments of Black Americans throughout history across all facets of life. These accomplishments are all the more remarkable as they have and continue to be achieved despite a legacy of slavery and institutionalized racism targeting Black Americans in our country. The San Rafael City Council will consider adopting a resolution proclaiming February a month-long celebration of Black History Month.
Terra Linda Fuel Tanker Incident
On January 16th, a gasoline tanker overturned on Northgate Drive near Manuel Freitas Parkway due to a suspension failure, resulting in approximately 1,000 gallons of spilled product. Firefighters contained the spill and luckily there were no injuries or other vehicles involved. The City of San Rafael and Marin County Environmental Health and Hazardous Material specialists continued the cleanup and response efforts. Environmental contractors have also been involved in mitigating the environmental impact. The cleanup is ongoing; however, the smell of gas may persist. Regular air quality measurements will be conducted to ensure public safety. Residents and businesses are advised to keep windows closed and limit outdoor time if the smell is bothersome. Temporary lane closures and cleanup efforts may be observed in the area, so please allow for extra travel time. Drivers should use caution to protect responders working in the area. For more information, visit here.
PG&E Contributes $55 Million to Expand REACH Program, Providing More Support to Income-Eligible Customers on Energy Bills
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has pledged $55 million to bolster the Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help (REACH) program, aiming to provide crucial support to income-eligible households in 2024. The funding will be rolled out in two phases. The first phase will double the maximum bill credit for California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) enrolled or eligible households, raising it from $500 to $1,000, as part of PG&E’s dedication to offering tangible relief during energy crises. Eligible applicants must have an active PG&E residential account with a past due balance not exceeding $2,000, meet specific income guidelines, have received a shutoff notice or have a past due balance, and have not received REACH funding in the past year. The Dollar Energy Fund will manage the funds and interested PG&E customers can apply online or seek assistance through designated agencies. For additional information, www.pge.com/news.
Introducing the San Rafael Early Childhood Education Center at Short School
San Rafael City Schools (SRCS) is excited to announce the opening of the San Rafael Early Childhood Education Center at Short School for the 2024-25 school year in collaboration with Community Action Marin (CAM). This new facility, located at 35 Marin Street will cater primarily to 3-4-year-old children and house various programs. It will serve as the long-term home for the Laurel Dell Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program, providing increased access to general education opportunities. Additionally, it will host the District’s Early Intervention Preschool Program, temporarily accommodate two Venetia Valley Transitional Kindergarten classes for the 2024-25 school year due to construction and become the permanent location for four preschool classes operated by CAM. This expansion aims to support the growing TK program, promoting language-rich and joyful classrooms for early childhood education.
Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District Newsletter
Prepare to face the winter months with confidence by heeding the advice of the Sonoma Marin Mosquito Vector Control Board in their latest newsletter, “Rat-astrophe Avoided: Winter Edition! How to Keep Those Sneaky Squeakers Out and Enjoy a Rodent-Free Zone.” Read their article here to maintain a warm, rodent-free sanctuary throughout the season.
Inaugural Downtown San Rafael Chinese New Year Celebration Dragon Hunt
Join the Downtown San Rafael Business Improvement District in celebrating the Year of the Dragon with the “Dragon Hunt & Word Scramble Challenge”! Several businesses in Downtown San Rafael will display vibrant window paintings reflecting the Chinese New Year spirit, each hiding a hidden letter. Collect all the letters, unscramble them to reveal a themed word or phrase, and submit your entry for a chance to win a $100 gift basket. The celebration runs from February 3rd to February 29th, with winners announced on March 1st. Come join the festivities, admire the artwork, and welcome the Year of the Dragon in Downtown San Rafael!
2024 Business License Renewal
Business owners with active licenses expiring December 31st, 2023, are reminded that the deadline to renew their license is February 15th, 2024. The City accepts cash, checks, money orders, and most major credit cards. Licenses may be renewed online via credit card or through eCheck. If you have questions about business licenses, please contact the Business License Tax Division at (415) 485-3051 or BLRenewal@cityofsanrafael.org.
TALES OF THE CITY- COMPLETION OF THE THIRD STREET PROJECT
On Friday, January 11th, the City of San Rafael celebrated the successful completion of the extensive 20-month Third Street Improvement Project, a collaborative effort involving utility companies, the City, and private projects. This $20.8 million project, which began construction in March 2022 and was funded in part by TAM’s Measures A and AA funds as well as a Federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) grant of $1.6 million, has significantly enhanced the safety, infrastructure, and traffic flow along one of the City’s vital thoroughfares. The project, spanning from Grand Avenue to Second Street, delivered improved bike lanes, walking paths, safer parking options for residents, rehabilitated pavement, fixed sidewalks, and upgraded curb ramps for better accessibility. This completion is expected to alleviate traffic congestion, enhance safety for all travelers, and ensure the continued functionality of this crucial corridor.
LAST CITY COUNCIL MEETING on January 16th, 2024
At the January 16th City Council meeting, the City Council:
- Held a closed session conference with legal counsel;
- Heard City Manager and Councilmember reports;
- Approved the consent calendar;
- Approved a resolution authorizing new rates to be collected by Marin Sanitary Service;
- Heard a special presentation on the Age Friendly San Rafael Community Partnership Update;
- Held open time for public expression.
City Council meetings are held every first and third Monday of the month, at 6:00 p.m. City Council meetings that fall on a holiday are rescheduled for the following Tuesday.
2nd Friday Art Walk
Friday, February 9th, 5:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.- Downtown Artworks, 1337 Fourth Street
Discover the artistic heartbeat of San Rafael at Art Works Downtown’s 2nd Friday Art Walk. Step into a world of creativity and inspiration as our downtown streets transform into a vibrant showcase of local artistry. Whether you’re a seasoned art aficionado or just seeking a delightful evening out, the San Rafael Art Works Downtown 2nd Friday Art Walk invites you to explore, connect, and revel in the beauty of artistic expression right in the heart of our City.
King Tide Day
Saturday, February 10th, 9:00 a.m. Albert J. Boro Community Center, 50 Canal St. San Rafael
Join the City of San Rafael for King Tide Day! In partnership with the Canal Alliance, Canal Arts, UC Berkeley, and Marin Audubon, the City is hosting a public event dedicated to increasing awareness of San Rafael’s vulnerability to sea level rise. Using community science methods, we’ll assemble teams along the shoreline to measure and document the King Tides. Be a part of the effort to comprehend and address the impact of these remarkable tides on our community. To participate, register here.
Fe-BREW-ary in Downtown San Rafael
Multiple days throughout the month of February
FeBREWary is Downtown San Rafael’s official month-long celebration of local craft beer, featuring beer tastings, tours, tap takeovers, and special limited-edition releases of craft beers at our amazing local breweries, tap rooms, and pubs. Click here for a list of dates and locations.
SMART is your ticket to celebrating FeBREWary. To learn more about SMART fares and schedules during FeBREWary, please click here.
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