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re: mosquito fogging

From: Curtin, Clay J <"Curtin,>
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2014 16:53:57 -0700

Hi Cherie,

Thank you for contacting the City. There have been several residents who were concerned with the recent ground fogging by the San Mateo County Mosquito & Vector Control District.

In case you missed the report to City Council on August 19th (www.menlopark.org/DocumentCenter/View/4953) we did share the Mosquito District’s public notice as widely as possible. Although the Mosquito District is the responsible agency, the City of Menlo Park wants to assist in broadening awareness for this important information.

I wanted to share some information about the process and how the City responded after being notified by the Mosquito District.

1st Fogging: August 11th
The District first detected West Nile Virus in adult mosquitoes in Menlo Park on August 6th. Shortly before noon on Friday, August 8, 2014, the City received a press release from the District announcing the truck-mounted mosquito fogging scheduled for Monday, August 11th starting at 9:00 pm. Upon receipt of the District’s press release, the City shared the information with residents via multiple channels including the City website, news release delivered via email to subscribers, and on social media services including Nixle, Nextdoor, Facebook, and Twitter. This occurred within one hour and was in an effort to augment the District’s noticing and provide the information to the broadest possible audience. On Monday, August 11th, the City sent another reminder notice via the City’s website, news release delivered via email to subscribers and social media. Then, on Thursday, August 14th, after the fogging and follow-up tests were completed, the District sent a press release that was also shared by the City whic
h announced the successful reduction in the adult mosquito population (86% reduction) and that post-fogging testing showed no new instances of the West Nile Virus.

During this 1st fogging, the City used all of the following notification tools except the Blackboard Connect service. In total, the audience for this mosquito fogging notice was 18,174 subscriptions.

City of Menlo Park News (via email) – 1,524 subscribers

Facebook – 1,099 total subscribers

Twitter – 4,886 subscribers

Nixle – 1,213 subscribers

Nextdoor – 9,452 subscribers

Blackboard Connect – 13,739 subscribers

2nd Fogging: September 2nd
This time, the District notified us on Friday, August 29th, about West Nile Virus-positive mosquitoes found in the industrial part of northeast Menlo Park near Haven Avenue and Bayfront Expressway. Again the City utilized the same tools as before, except this time the Nextdoor notice was targeted for the neighborhood that was being sprayed and we did utilize the Blackboard Connect service, which included automated reverse phone calls. The total audience for this notice was approximately 22,581 subscriptions.

In each instance the City shared the information from the Mosquito District as quickly as possible. This included the press release information, a map of the area to be fogged, and contact information for the Mosquito District staff in case there are questions from the public.

In response to questions asked during the City Council meetings on August 19th and 26th, the District has now improved their website to include frequently asked questions, information on the products used for the mosquito fogging, and a way to sign-up for their notifications. The FAQs specifically address the process and pesticide questions that were raised by Menlo Park Councilmembers and residents. These can all be viewed on the District website at www.smcmad.org.

We will continue to support the District’s efforts to provide timely and informative notifications to the public about the Mosquito District’s future operations in Menlo Park.

If you would like to talk about this further or if I can be of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Clay Curtin
Assistant to the City Manager
City of Menlo Park
(650) 353-2350

---------- Original message ----------
From: Cherie Zaslawsky <cherzz_at_(domainremoved)
Date: Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Subject: mosquito fogging
To: city.council_at_(domainremoved)

Dear City Council Members,
When Palo Alto seeks to notify residents and the surrounding communities about something that concerns us all, they use a voicemail system. I’ve received such voicemails about relevant matters several times in recent years.
I believe that is a far more effective way to reach people than sending out emails when notifying people of a hazardous situation, or emergency, etc. Though emails are better than nothing.
Speaking of which, the city didn't even use Nextdoor Menlo Park to notify residents about the recent spraying of much of West Menlo with a toxic pesticide to kill mosquitoes. We were never notified by the city.
This happened in summer when people keep their windows open at night. People with pets would have brought them inside. Families with babies and/or frail elderly folks might have spent the night elsewhere. All of us would have closed our windows.
Why were we not notified this was planned?
Why were we not given the day and times of the spraying?
Why did the city only send out an email to residents a day or two later, after the fact!
Cherie Zaslawsky
Received on Fri Sep 05 2014 - 16:49:58 PDT

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