Nov 23

Support local businesses this Small Business Saturday

Posted on November 23, 2020 at 5:40 pm by Clay Curtin

It is usually the big shopping day after Thanksgiving that gets all the publicity, but let’s remember Small Business Saturday, November 28!

This holiday season looks a bit different – and it's likely going to be a tough one for small businesses. This season, it is more important than ever to support our local businesses and shop safely. Check out small businesses in Menlo Park on the Shop Small Map

Local businesses are the cornerstone of a strong community. Menlo Park supports Small Business Saturday, a national campaign to celebrate local entrepreneurs, showing residents across the nation that you can find that special gift at the shop. If you cannot leave your house, many small businesses have taken this time to put their shop online. Search for or call your favorite shop to see what they offer.

To help support this initiative and make the term Small Business Saturday as popular as Black Friday, we are asking you to join millions of Americans to shop small at your favorite local stores. This year marks the tenth Small Business Saturday and serves as the annual celebration of America’s small business community.

When we all shop small, we make a huge impact in our community. Studies estimate that 78 cents of every dollar spent locally returns to the local economy (as compared to 1 percent when you shop out of town or online). Need to shop for the upcoming holidays? Try shopping local instead!

Nov 23

Menlo Park announces funds available for affordable housing

Posted on November 23, 2020 at 4:32 pm by Clay Curtin

To encourage the development of affordable housing, the City of Menlo Park announces the availability of funds for affordable housing projects. Approximately $10 million in below market rate housing funds are available under this Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) to support the preservation or production of permanent affordable housing.

The funding is intended to fill the financing gap between the projected total development costs and other available funding sources. Qualified developers of affordable housing who meet the NOFA qualifications are encouraged to submit proposals. Interested parties may submit as an individual entity and/or may collaborate with other entities, so long as the collective group meets the NOFA requirements. Funding will be awarded by the City Council on a competitive basis to those projects that are most successful in addressing the City’s affordable housing needs. 

Eligible projects include preservation of existing affordable housing, acquisition or new construction of permanent affordable rental or ownership housing for extremely low, very low and low-income households. 

You can download the NOFA application packet and submit your completed application before the 5 p.m., Friday, January 22, 2021, deadline.

For more information, please contact Deputy Community Development Director Rhonda Coffman.

Nov 23

Dispelling misinformation about the flu vaccine and getting facts

Posted on November 23, 2020 at 12:28 pm by Clay Curtin

Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever this year to protect yourself and the people around you from flu, and to help reduce the strain on health care systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have ever had the flu, you know how sick you can become. There seems to be no shortage of misinformation when it comes to dealing with the flu and the flu shot. 
  1. Can a flu vaccine give you flu?
    No, flu vaccines cannot cause flu illness.

  2. Are any of the available flu vaccines recommended over the others?
    There are many vaccine options to choose from like getting the vaccine through a needle or a nasal spray, there is no preference for any one of these over the other. If you have questions about which vaccine is best for you, talk to your doctor or other health care professional.

  3. Is it better to get sick with flu than to get a flu vaccine?
    No. Flu can be a serious disease, particularly among young children, older adults and people with certain chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes. Any flu infection can carry a risk of serious complications, hospitalization or death, even among otherwise healthy children and adults. Therefore, being vaccinated is a safer choice than risking illness to obtain immune protection.

  4. Do I really need a flu vaccine every year?
    Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. A person’s immune protection from the flu vaccine declines over time and flu viruses are constantly changing, so the vaccine updated yearly as needed based on which influenza viruses are making people sick.

  5. Can vaccinating someone twice provide added immunity?
    In adults, studies have not shown a benefit from getting more than one dose of vaccine during the same influenza season.

  6. Is it true that getting a flu vaccine can make you more susceptible to other respiratory viruses?
    Experts do not believe flu vaccines make people more susceptible to other respiratory infections.

  7. Does a flu vaccination increase your risk of getting COVID-19?
    There is no evidence that getting a flu vaccination increases your risk of getting sick from a coronavirus, like the one that causes COVID-19.

  8. Why do some people not feel well after getting a seasonal flu vaccine?
    Some people report having mild side effects after flu vaccination. The most common side effects from flu shots are soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling where at the injection site. Low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches also may occur. If these reactions occur, they usually begin soon after vaccination and last 1-2 days.

  9. Side effects from the nasal spray flu vaccine may include runny nose, wheezing, headache, vomiting, muscle aches, fever, sore throat and cough. If these problems occur, they usually begin soon after vaccination and are mild and short-lived. The most common reactions people have to flu vaccines are considerably less severe than the symptoms caused by actual flu illness.

  10. What about serious reactions to flu vaccine?
    Serious allergic reactions to flu vaccines are very rare. If they do occur, it is usually within a few minutes to a few hours after vaccination. While these reactions can be life-threatening, effective treatments are available.
The flu is a good example of how medical myths can get in the way of good medical care. When it's flu season, take the necessary steps to stay healthy. That includes separating fact from myth.

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.