Staff and volunteers from the SF/Marin Food Bank are cheerful in the rain during the weekly food distribution site at Pickleweed Park. There are currently at least 10 weekly food distribution sites throughout the City of San Rafael serving an average of about 3,000 households a week.
Photo Credit: Jill Tokutomi
Last Quiz Question
Shout out to William Little for being the first to correctly answer the last Snapshot Quiz question! The photo featured was of one of San Rafael’s many trailheads, the Wintergreen Trailhead in Terra Linda. Have you been? Congratulations William and thanks for being a Snapshot subscriber!
Scroll down for this week’s quiz and be the first to answer.
San Rafael City News
Chief Spiller to Take Oath of Office
In a recent press release, Chief David Spiller said, “San Rafael is a wonderful, supportive community and I am eager to be a part of this very special place.” We are eager as well, and excited to welcome Chief Spiller to San Rafael. You are invited to join his swearing–in ceremony on Monday, March 15th when he takes his oath of office during the San Rafael City Council meeting. Chief Spiller will begin his new post in San Rafael as the Chief of Police the following day on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. Welcome Chief Spiller.
Annual Community Development Block Grant Funding Available
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is a federally-funded program that provides funding for housing, community facilities, and human services. This grant provides San Rafael funds to be divided between these services to improve our community.
Most recently, San Rafael received special CARES Act CDBG funding that supported the following:
- Emergency assistance to qualified households in San Rafael in need of rental assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Small Business Support for businesses most impacted by COVID-19
On Monday evening, the City Council will hear a staff recommendation for how to allocate the annual CDBG project funding for the FY 2021-22 CDBG program year. If approved by the City Council, those recommendations will be shared with the Marin County Board of Supervisors.
Negotiation Process for Proposed Mixed-Use Development
The City of San Rafael began working with Goldstone Management, Inc. in late 2019 to negotiate a proposed Disposition and Development Agreement where Goldstone Management would acquire the City-owned public parking garage located near the southeast intersection of Third Street and Lootens Place and redevelop it along with certain adjacent parcels into a mixed-use residential and retail development. The agreement with Goldstone Management was extended after the Coronavirus pandemic impacted negotiations. On Monday evening, the City Council will consider adopting a resolution extending this agreement for an additional three months to allow for a thorough negotiation process.
101 Northbound Central San Rafael Off-Ramp Construction Project
After nearly a century of serving motorists, the bridge structure at the 101 Northbound Central San Rafael off-ramp is ready to be replaced. On Monday evening, Caltrans will provide an informational report on this project, detailing their plans to remove and replace the existing bridge with an upgraded, seismically reinforced bridge. Our San Rafael Public Works Department has been working with Caltrans to incorporate a second right turn lane on the exit approaching Second Street (there is currently only one). This will significantly improve the flow of traffic heading east.
This major project will call for Caltrans to schedule three non-consecutive weekend closures, the first of which is scheduled to begin at 10:00 pm, March 19th through 5:00 am, March 22nd. During this time the off-ramp will be closed to all traffic.
Don’t Let the Rain Fool You: A Drought is Here and it’s Time to Conserve
With the exception of the last couple of days, warmer, drier weather has moved us into the early stages of drought. In fact, 2020 was the second-driest year in 90 years. We entered March with reservoir storage levels at 56% capacity. We typically see an average of about 90% for this time of year. The Marin Municipal Water District will be providing a special presentation to the City Council Monday evening on the status of water resources and conditions. The presentation will focus on the current drought and conservation measures that are planned for this coming year.
Dining Under the Lights to Returns TODAY!
Last summer, the San Rafael Downtown Business Improvement District partnered with the City of San Rafael to launch Dining Under the Lights, an on-street, socially distanced dining experience. The program was spearheaded as a way to support our local restaurants and help people get back to work.
Starting March 11, Fourth Street will be closed from Lincoln Avenue to D Street and from Shaver Street to G Street on Thursday and Friday nights from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm for the Dining Under the Lights program. During the event, eastbound/westbound traffic is advised to use Second Street, Third Street, Fifth Avenue, and Mission Avenue. Northbound/southbound traffic can use Lincoln Avenue, E Street, and H Street.
As of now, the program will continue every Thursday and Friday night in spring and summer 2021, but is subject to change from local health orders. Please be respectful of these establishments and the COVID-19 protocol they have in place. Masks are required except while you are eating, keep your distance from others, and practice good hygiene through hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer. Please support our restaurants and happy dining!
Looking for Something to Read?
San Rafael Public Library is still open and operating curbside service! Looking for your new favorite book? Did you know that Mayor Kate Colin is an avid reader? She compiled a list of some of her favorite books. Check-out something from her eclectic list today!
Apply to Serve on Marin’s Commission on Aging
The Commission on Aging helps promote the dignity, independence, and quality of life of older persons through advocacy, information, programs, and services. If you’re interested, you could be San Rafael’s next representative on the Marin County Commission on Aging!
Eligibility: adults over 18, persons of color, and persons with fluent language capabilities in Spanish, Vietnamese, or Farsi are highly encouraged to apply.
TAM Bike Survey – Bike Parking, Bike Sharing, and Mobility Hubs
Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) needs your input! They’re looking for potential bike parking locations near SMART stations in Marin and Sonoma counties for a new 300 electric bike sharing system. Please participate in this short survey to help us determine where mobility hubs should be placed within your community.
The survey will be open through Friday, March 19, 2021 but early feedback is encouraged. Input from the survey will be used in addition to technical analysis to determine locations for the initial system roll out and potential future phases. This pilot program is funded through the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to provide bike sharing at and around SMART stations in the cities of Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma, Novato, San Rafael, and Larkspur.
Take Action on Climate Change in Your Home: Join Resilient Neighborhoods
Michelle Meyers knows the power of change through community. A resident of Contempo Marin, Meyers joined Resilient Neighborhoods to cut her carbon footprint and contribute to the health of the planet. What she found was a deep satisfaction and an increase in her quality of life. Read about our March Climate Role Model and learn about what Resilient Neighborhoods is all about. Join a Climate Action Team by signing up to participate in the free workshop series.
Workshop Dates & Times
- Thursday Series begins March 25 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
- Wednesday Series begins March 31 from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Free Tax Preparation at San Rafael Community Center
AARP Foundation’s tax-prep program has adapted to the pandemic with low- and no-contact options. The nationwide tax help program is aimed at people 50 and older and those who have low to moderate incomes, but Tax-Aide is open to anyone free of charge. San Rafael AARP volunteers began preparing taxes on February 23 at the San Rafael Community Center and will continue on Tuesdays and Fridays until mid-April. This year, appointments are required.
TALES OF THE CITY— Public Safety Center Wins International Award
Congratulations to our Department of Public Works (DPW) for winning an American Public Works Association (APWA) award for the San Rafael Public Safety Center! DPW took this award home for the Northern California Small Cities and Rural Communities Award under the “Structures” category. APWA is an international professional association of public works agencies. This awards ceremony was for all public works entities who are dedicated to providing high quality public works goods and services for their community.
Special thanks to Senior Civil Engineer, April Miller, for promoting this opportunity for us to apply and a BIG shout–out to the Public Safety Center project management team, Faby Guillen and JC Agcaoili, and to DPW’s Facilities team, Omar Garcia, Michael Reiser, and Anthoney Heaven for their dedication and work on this project.
Moreover, the building, designed by Mary McGrath Architects and constructed by Alten Construction Company, received LEED Gold Certification, just like Fire Stations 52 and 57. This reaffirms the City’s commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness. Congrats again to the DPW team and the City’s designers and contractors for their work on this project!
OVERVIEW OF LAST COUNCIL MEETING on March 1st
Due to Executive Order N-29-20, we can no longer offer an in-person meeting location for the community to attend public meetings. We are offering two remote ways to participate: watching on YouTube or calling in from your phone.
At the March 1, 2021 regular City Council Meeting, the Council:
- Approved consent calendar items.
- Heard an informational report on the Age-Friendly San Rafael Strategic Action Plan.
- Heard a public hearing and approved the first reading of an ordinance entitled, “Relocation Assistance in Opportunity Zones”.
- Revised the City Council committee appointments for 2021.
City Council meetings are held every first and third Monday of the month. City Council meetings that fall on a holiday are rescheduled for the following Tuesday.
San Rafael Public Library – “Book to Action”
Starting this month, The San Rafael Public Library is kicking-off “Book to Action,” a communitywide program from the California Center for the Book to Read/Discuss/Act during the Spring. The programming is centered around the Book The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. We will be hosting two book discussions and a number of online programs around the issues this book brings up: race identity, transgender identity, colorism, passing, among others.
Keep an eye out for upcoming programming around these themes for community members of all ages. Start off by attending the first of two books club discussions on the Vanishing Half, or participating in the 21-Day Race and Equity Challenge.
Third Street Corridor Projects Virtual Community Meeting – March 24
When: Wednesday March 24 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
What: Third Street Construction Process and Q&A
Where: Zoom (please register in advance)
The design for the Third Street Rehabilitation and Third Street Safety projects are moving into the final stage. Construction on both projects is anticipated to begin in summer 2021. The City is hosting a virtual public meeting for the Third Street Corridor Projects to discuss the construction process and impacts to the community. This meeting will also provide a brief overview of the project and goals, including a review of the proposed street lighting.
Emergency Preparedness Class, March 31st
When: March 31 at 7:30 PM;
Where: Zoom (register online)
Be Red Cross Ready is an emergency preparedness presentation typically presented in-person to audiences age 14 & up. We have adapted it to a virtual format to ensure communities continue to learn this critical information amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The program features actionable lessons focused on building an act fast emergency kit, home fire prevention and safety, and information about other local hazards (earthquakes and wildfires)
Falkirk Art Gallery—Cornelia Nevitt
A member of many art groups around the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Terra Linda Ceramic Artists, Cornelia Nevitt’s abundant work is introspective and imaginative and reflects her own inner world. She draws her inspiration from human figures and environment and from nature. Cornelia’s work is unique and highly diversified in styles and techniques. This is a show not to be missed and it takes place in the lovely and historic Falkirk Cultural Center.
March 5th – April 2nd
- Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
- Wednesdays & Fridays from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Please wear a mask, maintain social distancing and practice proper hand hygiene while viewing the galleries. We look forward to seeing you.
Name this park and its location!