Of the

San Mateo Council of the Blind


February 2003                                    Vol. 4 No. 2  



President's Message

By Frank Welte

This is the third of a series of messages in which I explain specific ways that SMCB’s committees will serve our community. I am continuing to staff committees, and I will report on the make-up of committees as soon as possible.


The mission of the San Mateo Council of the Blind is to improve the quality of life for blind and vision impaired residents of San Mateo County. The Outreach Committee fulfills this mission by, in cooperation with other agencies and organizations, developing and implementing programs to serve specific segments of the blind community, such as blind children and students, vision impaired job seekers, and seniors coping with vision loss.


If you have experience in blindness work or other aspects of social services, or you just want to make a positive impact on the lives of other vision impaired people, you can contribute to the work of the Outreach Committee.


As I write this message I am scrambling to book the speaker for our March meeting, along with tying up other loose ends prior to my flying to Pittsburgh to attend the winter meetings of the American Council of the Blind. These meetings will give me new ideas and information that I will bring back to our community. In my role as a chapter liaison from the Membership Committee of the California Council of the Blind, I will also be able to share this information with several other local groups in Northern and Central California.


Our annual candy sale fundraiser is under way. With your help on this project we will raise the funds that will allow us to extend our reach further

Into our local communities.


Coming Events

Saturday, February 22, 2003, 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, bowling outing, AMF Redwood Lanes, 2580 El Camino Real, Redwood City, CA.

Saturday, March 1, 2003, 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM, SMCB meeting, A.P. Gianini Branch, Bank of America, El Camino Real & 3rd Ave., San Mateo, CA.

Speaker: TBA

Saturday, March 8, 2003, Northern California Retinitis Pigmentosa Support Group meeting. For more information Contact Lynda Johnson at (650) 345-7970.

Saturday, March 15, 2003, 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM, Silicon Valley Council of the Blind meeting, Monte Vista Terrace

Apartments, 1101 Grant Road, Mountain View. For more information contact Roger Petersen (650) 969-1688.

Thursday, March 20, 2003, 10:30 Am to 12:00 PM, SMCB board meeting, Depot Café next to the San Carlos Caltrain station.

Saturday, March 22, 2003, 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, bowling outing.


For more information about these events contact Frank Welte, (650) 508-8329, E-mail: fwelte @


To submit items for this newsletter, call Phil Kutner: Editor

At 650-349-6946 or send E-mail to [email protected]



Caltrain To More Strictly Enforce $3.00 Surcharge

Submitted by Matt Sieger, Samtrans/Caltrain Accessibility


In preparation for the Proof of Payment Program (POP), beginning June 1, Caltrain will tighten its enforcement of the $3 onboard fee for those who do not buy their tickets prior to boarding the train. There will continue to be an exception for those customers who are unable to purchase their ticket before boarding the train because of a disability. These customers will not be charged the additional $3, however, as of June 1, the customer must have an evident disability (such as a cane or guide dog) or proof of disability (RTC card, Medicare Card, DMV Placard I.D. card). Currently, it is sufficient for the customer with a disability to simply tell the conductor that he has a disability. As of June 1, the disability must be evident or the customer must have the necessary proof.


We are doing this to prepare all our customers (and our conductors) for the implementation of the POP program in September. We want non-disabled customers to realize that they will be cited if they don't have a ticket. We also want customers who do have disabilities to realize that they will be cited (if they don't have a ticket) unless they have an evident disability or proof of disability.


We encourage all disabled Caltrain riders to obtain an RTC card or other qualifying proof of disability prior to June 1 if their disability is not evident. Even if their disability is evident, disabled riders may want to obtain an RTC card anyway, as it eliminates the possibility of any dispute as to whether they have a disability. Contact San Francisco MUNI, Samtrans or VTA for information about obtaining and turning in applications.

Philip Kutner                                                             Free Matter

1128 Tanglewood Way                                             for the Blind

San Mateo, CA 94403