• An whistleblower protection amendment by U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, was approved for H.R. 4923, the $34 billion Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2015. The amendment stipulates that the funds not be used to violate contractor whistleblower protection laws, according to Speier’s office.
The amendment clarifies that the Department of Energy must protect non-federal employees from whistleblower retaliation. Nondisclosure agreements between federal contractors and their employees have prevented them from reporting on all wrongdoing in the workplace on all types of waste, fraud, and abuse, including sexual assault and theft of government funds, according to Speier’s office.
• South San Francisco is hosting an open house 6 p.m.-8 p.m. July 24 at the former Ford dealership showroom located at 315 Airport Blvd. in South San Francisco to provide information about the draft downtown plan, which will provide a blueprint for future changes and improvements in the downtown. This plan will be a guide for future developments within one half mile of the South San Francisco Caltrain Station over the next 20 years.
Stop in to view maps, renderings and schematic drawings from the plan and learn about the goals of the plan as well as upcoming meetings.
• The Belmont City Council voted Tuesday to increase its sewer rates 14.5 percent over the next two years to help pay for nearly $45 million in deferred utility system maintenance and set aside operating reserves. The average resident can expect to pay about $692 this year, a $54 increase from the previous year.
• The San Carlos City Council will consider allowing Pacific Gas and Electric to temporarily increase the pressure of Line 147 up to 365 pounds per square inch to allow in-line testing. The testing had been scheduled for 2015 but was pushed up to 2014 after the city last year declared a state of emergency based on safety concerns over the line which runs through a busy section of San Carlos.
The City Council meets 7 p.m. Monday, July 14 at City Hall, 600 Elm St., San Carlos.
• The Foster City Council will discuss and vote on updating its smoking ordinance at a meeting Monday, July 21. The council has held several study sessions to consider amendments and its current proposal includes prohibiting smoking in parks, apartment buildings, city streets and events, at restaurants with outdoor seating areas and creating a 50-foot-bufferzone around entrances to any retail or commercial space. The proposal gives Waterfront Pizza, which offers hookah smoking at 50 percent of its outdoor seating area, a three-year exemption. The meeting is 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 620 Foster City Blvd.