By Will Reisman, @WillReisman

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VTA Honors Heroic Bus Operator: Thomas Dominguez, a 17-year veteran with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority has been honored for his heroic actions that helped save the life of a stricken bus passenger. Back in January, a female passenger approached Dominguez with her hands on her neck, indicating to him that she was choking. While the bus was stopped, Dominguez applied the Heimlich Maneuver to the woman, dislodging the blockage and freeing her up to breathe. Minutes later, emergency responders arrived, and the woman was cleared to leave in full health (but not after giving Dominguez a big hug.) For his bravery and quick-thinking, Dominguez was given a tribute by the VTA Board of Directors at the agency’s meeting last Thursday night.

Get a History Lesson (and Gossip About Downton Abbey): As the explosive popularity of the PBS show (a phrase not often written, I should add) has illustrated, people cannot get enough of England’s aristocratic past. Fortunately for Downton Abbey fans, the San Mateo Public Library will be hosting an illustrated lecture on Saturday, titled “Historical, Cultural, and Social Links from Jane Austen to Downton Abbey.” The event, convened by Dr. DiAnn Ellis and taking place at 12:30 p.m., will look at the Regency and Edwardian eras, which connected the books written by Austen to the time period when Downton Abbey takes place. For history buffs who plan on taking mass transit to the lecture, Caltrain’s weekend schedule offers hourly service and the San Mateo Station is just a 10-minute walk from the library. Additionally, SamTrans’ Route ECR provides direct service to the library.

Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day in SF: For the 165th time, San Francisco will be the scene for annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival.  The festival, held at San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza and kicking off at 10 a.m., will feature traditional food and drink selections, arts and crafts exhibitors, children’s rides and information booths representing Irish non-profit organizations. The parade kicks off at 11:30 a.m. and will wind through downtown San Francisco. Attendees coming from the Peninsula can take Caltrain to the San Francisco Station and transfer to Muni’s N-Judah light-rail line for a direct trip to the Civic Center plaza.

Closures Coming for Highway 101 as Part of Interchange Project: Motorists travelling on Highway 101 should be prepared for road closures over the next two weekends as part of the Highway 101/Broadway Interchange Project in Burlingame. Caltrans will be demolishing an existing bridge highway as part of the project, and as a result, Highway 101 will be closed in the southbound direction from 1 a.m. – 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The following weekend, Highway 101 will be closed in the northbound direction, between midnight and 6 a.m. Traffic will be detoured to local streets, so delays and congestion are likely to occur. Travelers are being advised to plan ahead to avoid the construction, which will take place between the old Broadway overcrossing and the new overcrossing.

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