It is with considerable reluctance that I mention the new athletic facility at Cañada College in Redwood City is now fully open to the public. It is, in a word, spectacular.
The facility has been open for several weeks on a limited basis for swimming and some activities, and even longer for Cañada athletes. The “soft” opening has meant a delightfully small number of users, hence my reluctance.
It is ridiculously spacious, filled with an abundant array of top-notch workout equipment and the two pools are among the nicest I have ever seen. They offer a sweeping view of the mid-Peninsula.
Much has been said, and will continue to be said, about Ron Galatolo, the former San Mateo County Community College chancellor now facing criminal accusations of misuse of district funds. I do not know where this mess will end up. Galatolo was bold and brash and assertive and he certainly liked to bend the rules to his desired outcome. I find it hard to believe he broke the law and, in particular, that he did so to his own benefit.
But whatever the outcome, it is an inescapable fact that he was the greatest builder in the history of the district. Under Galatolo’s watch, the three campuses have undergone phenomenal modernization, including new athletic facilities and a revolutionary teacher housing program.
NOTES: Galatolo’s brashness extended to campaigning for the reelection of a trustee, the late Tom Mohr, against incumbent Richard Holober. Holober is running unopposed for his sixth term on the board. … It is downright weird, not to mention risky, for a board-appointed official to actively campaign for a board member, as Galatolo did. Or maybe not. That is exactly what Diego Ochoa, San Mateo-Foster City School District superintendent, is doing in support of one of the district’s trustees — Noelia Corzo, who is running for the Board of Supervisors in District 2. In March, April and June, Ochoa made three donations totaling more than $1,000 to Corzo’s campaign. On May 26, the trustees, including Corzo, voted to give Ochoa a raise and a new four-year contract. … The San Carlos Rotary tried to schedule a panel appearance between Menlo Park Councilmember Ray Mueller and San Carlos Councilmember Laura Parmer-Lohan, who are running for supervisor in District 3. Parmer-Lohan told the Rotarians she was unavailable on the date proposed by Mueller. Then, she said she would prefer that they each appear separately and the Rotarians, being an accommodating bunch, said OK. So, no debate, just appearances.
QUOTES: I went to a Democratic unity luncheon the other day and a fight broke out.
Julie Diaz Waters, director of Local Government and Community Relations for California Life Sciences, the lobbying arm of the South San Francisco-centric world biotech industry, was a sponsor of the event, and sponsors were invited to speak to the crowd of party activists. Waters used her time to rip into Measure DD, the South City measure that levies a parcel tax to pay for citywide preschool for children 2-5 years. It also raises pay for early care workers by 230%. In the words of the DD campaign website, “Simple: we’ll make South City’s biggest corporations pay their fair share.”
Waters, who represents big and small South City biotech firms, said the plan has “a lot of damaging line items that were not considered when the measure was written. … It’s not what it set out to be.” And, she added, it is going to drive some small companies, including health care centers, out of business.
Also at the luncheon was South San Francisco Councilmember James Coleman, a principal author of DD, and he was granted equal time to defend the measure. “The community came together to write this measure,” he said. The parcel tax is a “modest fee on the biggest corporations. It’s not affecting small businesses, it’s not affecting homeowners.” Opponents “are significantly misrepresenting the intentions of this measure.”
MORE QUOTES: The main speaker at the luncheon was Supervisor Carole Groom, who is termed out this year, and she offered this observation a largely progressive crowd eager for change: “Change is incremental. Change is slow.” The luncheon was on Women’s Equality Day and Groom, the lone woman on the Board of Supervisors, said, “We can take out papers like anybody else, we can knock on doors, get elected and do good stuff.”
DUST MOTES: There is no actual proposal yet, but most of the Peninsula’s top officeholders, including U.S. representatives Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo, state Sen. Josh Becker and Assemblymembers Kevin Mullin and Marc Berman, have endorsed Fixin’ San Mateo County’s drive for a civilian oversight panel of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.
Mark Simon is a veteran journalist, whose career included 15 years as an executive at SamTrans and Caltrain. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.