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Bill Owens' Public Art Reception

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Click here to view a photo album from Wednesday's Artist Reception with Mr. Owens.

Invitation for Bill Owens Art Reception

Bill Owens is an American photographer, photojournalist, brewer, and editor living in Hayward, California.  Born in 1938, Owens first became interested in photography while working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica.  On his return to the United States in 1966, he enrolled in a visual anthropology course at San Francisco State University and began taking pictures.  

The black and white images you see in this exhibit were all shot in 1967 and 1968 by Bill Owens as part of a photo essay he completed as part of his studies at SFSU.  Through a friend with a family home in Brisbane, Mr. Owens discovered this city, a place with marked boundaries and a rich community life.  For nine months he visited Brisbane at least once a week, recording the places, people, and events that made Brisbane a special place. 

Following his work in Brisbane, Mr. Owens worked as a news photographer for the Livermore Independent.  From Monday to Friday he worked in 35mm, recording the town’s goings-on, and on Saturdays he shot his personal images with a Pentax 6x7 and a Brooks Veriwide 6x9.  While in Livermore, he completed the book Suburbia, published in 1973 and whose photographs have since been exhibited in museums and galleries in Europe and North America and become the classic photographic description of the American suburban dream.  Some of his subjects were people he had photographed for the Independent; some were relatives and friends; some were people who responded to the advertisements Owens placed, looking for people who would be amenable to being photographed at home.  Mr. Owens respected the liberation that many suburbanites felt, and their determination to build better lives.  A copy Suburbia will also be on display as part of the exhibit.

Mr. Owens’ Suburbia sold a staggering 50,000 copies in three editions the year it was published.  It has since been recognized as one of the 101 most important photography books of the twentieth century.  Owens went on to produce two more books, Our Kind of People (1975) and Working: I Do It For The Money (1977), and he received numerous awards and accolades.  Mr. Owens’ pieces have been featured in the Museum of Modern Art and he is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (1976) and two National Endowment for the Arts grants. 

In 1982, Mr. Owen founded the highly successful Buffalo Bill's Brewery in Hayward, California, one of the nation’s first Brew Pubs which he operated until he sold it in 1994.  From 1993 to 1995 Mr. Owens published BEER the magazine.  He went on to found The American Distilling Institute (ADI), the oldest and largest organization of small batch, independently owned distillers in the United States which he continues to lead and cultivate.

The full-color photographs in the exhibit were shot by Mr. Owens in 2001, when he returned to Brisbane to complete a new photo essay of Brisbane to document the community as it was in the summer of 2001.  This was also the year of the City’s 40th Anniversary, where many of these photographs were displayed at the event itself.  He took photos of historic locations in Central Brisbane, as well as the new neighborhoods on the Ridge and the commercial/industrial areas of Crocker Park and Sierra Point.

We are indebted to Mr. Owens for capturing these scenes and sights of the Brisbane Community, and are excited to celebrate his 80th Birthday with him when he returns yet again to the City of Stars on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 for an Artist Reception from 4-6pm.  The collection will be available to view that evening until 8pm and will remain up in City Hall until mid-October.  We wish Mr. Owens a very happy and joyous 80th Birthday this year!!

Another Platinum Spotlight Award for Brisbane

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Mayor Clarke Conway and City Manager Clay Holstine proudly accepted the award on behalf of the City from Institute for Local Government Interim Executive Director Corrie Manning.

The City of Brisbane received its third Beacon Program award today, September 13, 2018, at a special reception during the League of California Cities’ Annual Conference in Long Beach.

The Beacon Program is sponsored by the Institute for Local Government and the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative.  This program honors local efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, to save energy, and the adoption of policies that promote sustainability.

For 2018, the City is honored to receive a Platinum Level Beacon Spotlight Award recognizing a 32% reduction in the agency GHG reduction area.  Previous honors include a 2015 overall Gold Level Beacon Award, recognizing significant accomplishments in all five award areas (Agency Energy Savings, Agency Natural Gas Savings, Agency Greenhouse Gas Reductions, Community Greenhouse Gas Reductions, and Sustainability Best Practices), and a 2016 Platinum Spotlight Award for Sustainability Best Practices.

These awards demonstrate the City of Brisbane’s ongoing commitment to lowering the environmental impact of our activities, and to preserving natural habitat for the benefit of current and future generations. 

City Website Maintenance

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The City of Brisbane will be doing some site maintenance and upgrades this weekend to our website.  The site may be down for a short time, probably less than an hour.  The site will look the same after the upgrade but if you notice something wrong please let us know via our Contact Form or sending an email to ccheung@brisbaneca.org.  Thank you!


NB Sierra Point Pkwy Offramp Closed 9/10

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You may have noticed the orange detour signs that have recently been posted along Northbound 101.  Caltrans has determined that the Sierra Point Parkway Offramp, which they maintain, is one of 9 "bridge" locations or offramps in San Mateo County along Hwy 1, 101, and 280 that require deck treatment in order to seal off cracks on the bridge deck and as a result, extend its life.  Before treatment can be done, the existing traffic stripes need to be removed, followed by the offramp being cleaned, and the treatment applied.  Permanent striping will then be installed.

The Sierra Point Parkway Offramp will be closed on 9/10, 9/25 and 9/26 between 8pm - 6am in order for this work to be performed.  The detour is for motorists to continue at NB101, exit at Candlestick Park, get back onto SB101, and then exit Sierra Point Parkway.  A Ramp Closure sign will also be placed on the offramp itself with the dates and times of the closure.  Thank you for your patience as Caltrans completes this work!

Caltrain Electrification Project

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At last night's City Council Meeting, Caltrain Government and Community Relations Officer, Brent Tietjen, provided an overview of the Caltrain Electrification Project. 

The first set of activities will be tree pruning and foundation installation, followed by pole installation.  There are no trees planned for removal in the City of Brisbane. Additionally, starting in October, there will be weekend work on the tunnels in San Francisco which will require 24 weekend shutdowns of train service north of Bayshore Station, with supplemental bus service provided by SamTrans; a "bus bridge" will be provided from Bayshore Station to 4th and King and 22nd Street stations.

Caltrain has conducted foundation potholing in years past leading up to where the project is today.  Potholing will resume in December 2018 and last approximately 3-4 months.  In his presentation, Brent indicated that crews will utilize acoustical blankets on the louder equipment and position lights away from homes.  To view Brent's full slide deck, please click here.

Caltrain encourages the public to stay up-to-date as their Electrification Project progresses along.  Sign up for their weekly updates, or connect with them on social media (Facebook or Twitter).  For more information, please visit the project's website, www.CalMod.org.  Any questions about the project can be directed to CalMod@caltrain.com or the dedicated line for construction: (650) 399-9659 / (800) 660-4287 (Toll Free).

Note: this work is different from

Caltrain's Positive Train Control (PTC) Project - an advanced signal system that will equip the corridor with federally-mandated technology that will improve safety and increase reliability and operating performance.  However, it all falls under the umbrella of the Caltrain Electrification Project.  A separate project hotline and email address have been set up for the PTC Project - Hotline: (650) 508-7726 |  Email: PTC@caltrain.com