Monday, March 2, 2015

Yellow fever mosquitoes found in San Mateo County, recently in Menlo Park


San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District Press Release, 2/19/15.

Aedes aegypti.jpg
Aedes Aegypti adult mosquito,
aka: yellow fever mosquito
"Invasive Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes present in San Mateo County."  "San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District continues to detect invasive Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in San Mateo County. This species was most recently found on January 27th, 2015 in areas of Menlo Park.

Aedes aegypti is not native to San Mateo County. It is a small, day-biting mosquito that prefers to feed on humans.   This mosquito is capable of transmitting several viruses, including dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. While these viruses are not currently transmitted in San Mateo County, they are periodically introduced by international travelers. In the presence of a large population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, a single case of one of these diseases has the potential to become an epidemic.

....  The Aedes aegypti mosquito lays its eggs just above the water surface in small containers, such as flower pots, plant saucers, pet bowls, bottles, and bird baths. As these mosquitoes can breed in amounts of water as small as a bottle cap, residents are reminded to survey their property and immediately eliminate all standing water.   

Residents experiencing mosquito bites during the day should report them to the San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District."  For more information, read more.

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Aedes Aegypti mosquito larva
Reference -  Wikipedia/Aedes Aegypti mosquito. "The yellow fever mosquito  Aedes aegypti, ... can be recognized by white markings on its legs and a marking in the form of a lyre on the thorax."  Note photographs from this Wikipedia article. 

Related newspaper articleMercury News/Peninsula/Reah Mahbubani, Staff Writer, 2/28/15. "Yellow fever mosquitoes found in Menlo Park." .... "The mosquito can lay eggs just above the surface of water in flower pots, pet bowls, bottles and bird baths. Even a bottle cap is fair game, the district adds, reminding residents to check their properties and discard all sources of standing water. Other precautionary measures include adding screens to doors and windows, reporting neglected swimming pools, using insect repellents and wearing long-sleeved shirts and full-length pants when outside." 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Pacifica Resource Center 40th year


Pacifica Tribune letters to the Editor, 2/24/15,  "PRC is turning 40" by Jane Nahass.
Image result for pictures in the sand
PRC safety net assistance in our city

"Editor:  As a new board member I feel fortunate to be part of the Pacifica Resource Center. Having worked with the PRC while I was a caseworker for the Salvation Army, I saw firsthand how they helped Pacifica residents I referred to them who needed assistance.

Image result for pictures in the sand
40th Anniversary
I'm especially excited, because this year is PRC's 40th Anniversary. We're finding great ways to celebrate each month, including our 5th tax season, which started this month. As an Earn It, Keep It, Save It (EKS) and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site, our volunteers are certified to prepare no-cost income tax returns for taxpayers with incomes under $53,000 in 2014. Last year, we prepared taxes for 111 households, helping them get over $140,000 in refunds and saving them over $25,000 in tax preparation fees. Appointments are available Wednesdays 3-7p through April 23rd and one Saturday per month.

Just as our tax season ends, we'll celebrate our 4 decades of service to Pacifica at our biggest event of the year — the PRC's 40th Anniversary Stroll at Rockaway Beach on Sunday, April 26th. Because the PRC couldn't exist without the support of the community, we want YOU to be part of the celebration! We look forward to seeing you at the Stroll on April 26th. Save the date! Details to follow soon. For more information or updates about our other 40th anniversary events, visit our website, www.pacresourcecenter.org, find us on Facebook, or call the PRC at (650)738-7470."

Note:  Jane Nahass is a PRC Advisory Board Member.  Photographs:  "Love heart in the sand" from Lovepitu.  Three stick figures, "Lines in the sand" by Katrina Kimport from UCSF/Ansirh blog.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

County and City moving forward with solar, a sunny choice


Pacifica Tribune letters to the Editor, 2/24/15, "Applaud Planner" by Dan B. Underhill.

Image result for solar picture
80% effective on foggy days
"Editor:  I want to applaud the work of Assistant Planner Christian Murdock, and County Supervisors Carole Groom & Dave Pine for their work on the Community Choice Aggregation program and Mayor Karen Ervin, Council Member John Keener and any others for their support. It sounds like an excellent idea. 

I live on Paloma Avenue near Oceana High School on the southwestern slope of Milagra Ridge. The cuts that were made to accommodate that High School are pretty close to the optimal thirty degrees used for solar collection. A south facing gets the maximum sunlight over the year and a west facing gets the most valuable (peak hours) sunlight so this is some really prime real estate for solar collection that is already disturbed, from an environmental perspective, and it is not in use. 

The city already has a history of collaboration with Oceana High School and the Jefferson Union High School District on the Jean Brink Swimming Pool so cooperation on saving the planet might be a natural extension of that. Many home and/or business owners in town are in a position to catch some rays, with rooftop solar, for the cause as well. I read that solar is twenty percent less effective in fog or overcast which tells me that it is eighty percent effective even on foggy days. That sounds pretty good to me."


Posted by Kathy Meeh

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sierra mountains get lots of snow last few days


Image result for Squaw valley snow picture
Next, finding our way out of here.
San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate/Hamed Aleaziz, 2/28/15.  "Storm drops welcome snow on Sierra resorts."

....  "Squaw Valley received 27 inches and Alpine Meadows recorded 25 inches of snow since early Friday, she said.  ....  Elsewhere, Kingvale received 9.5 inches, Donner Peak recorded 13 inches, and Northstar resort had up to 9 inches of fresh snowfall, said Courtney Obergfell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento. The Sierra was expected to receive another 2 to 5 inches of snow above 5,000 feet Saturday, with an additional inch or 2 predicted for Sunday morning, she said.

.... Bay Area rainfall totals are expected to be light, with less than a half inch of rain predicted. .... after a slight chance of scattered showers Monday and Tuesday, the forecast calls for dry weather throughout the week." Read more, includes 13 slides.


Note photograph from Squaw Valley Snowfall tracker.  

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Planning Commission meeting cancellation, Monday 3/2/15


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Memo: City of Daly City to Pacifica, hello?
Planning Commission Cancellation Notice, pdf pages 1.

"Notice is hereby given that the regularly scheduled meeting of the Planning Commission of March 2, 2015 has been cancelled.

Tina Wehrmeister, Interim Planning Director, 2/23/15 "

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Note graphic not so funny cartoon from Clean up City of St Augustine, FL. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Economic forecast, Spring 2015


Becon Economics, Spring 2015, "U.S. Forecast:  Nation to be economic powerhouse in 2015."

"Domestic Demand: Across the U.S., increased business spending, rising incomes, cheaper oil prices, and low interest rates will all help push national GDP growth into the 3% range in 2015.

Frothy Financial Markets? Although the markets are beginning to trend in a ‘frothy’ direction, none of the numbers suggest a significant misalignment at the moment.

Interest Rates Hold In Place: The Fed has little reason to "even consider" raising short-term interest rates. Beacon Economics does not expect any movement on rates until the end of the year at the earliest.

Consumers Not Moved By Gas Prices: Falling prices at the pump have not boosted U.S. consumer spending growth. The average U.S. household will save $700 to $900 this year due to price declines but consumers will move slowly to increase spending as they wait to see how permanent the changes will be."

Related news article -  Business Insider/Miles Udland, 2/27/15, "America's fourth quarter could've been worse." ".... The second estimate for Q4 GDP showed the economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.2%, down from the first estimate for 2.6% growth. ....  For all of 2014, the economy grew by 2.4% compared to growth of 2.2% in 2013."  Referenced source:  Bureau of Economic Analysis, US Department of Commerce News Release, 2/27/15, pdf pages 16.

Related GDP information Investopedia/Staff, "What is GDP and Why is it so important?" "The gross domestic product (GDP) is one the primary indicators used to gauge the health of a country's economy. It represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period - you can think of it as the size of the economy. Usually, GDP is expressed as a comparison to the previous quarter or year. For example, if the year-to-year GDP is up 3%, this is thought to mean that the economy has grown by 3% over the last year."

CNBC/Mark Koba, 11/3/11, "Gross Domestic Product:  CNBC explains." "What is nominal GDP and what is real GDP?" ..."... nominal GDP does not take into account inflation, and real GDP does. But it is an important distinction because this is why some GDP reports get revised..... "How does the GDP affect the average citizen?" "When the economy is healthy, there is usually low unemployment and wage increases, as businesses demand labor to meet the growing economy. However, if the GDP growth rate is speeding up too fast, the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates to stem inflation—or the rising of prices for good and services. That could mean loans for cars and homes would be more expensive. Businesses too would find the cost of borrowing for expansion and hiring to be on the rise. If GDP is slowing down, or is negative, it can lead to fears of a recession which means layoffs and unemployment and declining business revenues and consumer spending. The GDP report is also a way to look at which sectors of the economy are growing and which are declining. It can also help gear workers toward training in those sectors that are growing" 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Friday, February 27, 2015

Palmetto Avenue Business District


Image result for Palmetto Avenue business district, Pacifica, CA picture
There was a fund to develop Palmetto
Pacifica Tribune/Horace Hinshaw, Editor, 2/24/15. "This is the way I see it.."  From public comments at City Council Goal Setting, 2/20/15, Palmetto Avenue Business owner.

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Palmetto on life support 20 years
"Rita Anderson of In the Attic questioned the councilmembers on the Palmetto Avenue project, saying, "I have owned two businesses on Palmetto Avenue for the last 10 years and have listened to the promise of redevelopment of Palmetto for close to 20 years now. Palmetto is the lost street of Pacifica; it was supposed to have been redeveloped as a historic district. We would like to know when, because we have suffered lost business since construction began. There are no signs on the highway to indicate a business district. I call it the lost street because it's the street vehicles exit onto when trying to find how to get somewhere else."

Rita Anderson, along with four other attendees questioned the sign ordinance, said that taking away sandwich-type sign boards, which are placed in front of their stores, is hurting business. Coourtney Conlon, representing the Chamber, added, "Several of our members, as well as other businesses throughout Pacifica are very upset over the recently enforced sign ordinance. I've checked with my colleagues throughout the county, and yes, all cities have sign ordinances. So, what the Chamber wants to do is to explore options by talking to some of those cities and see how they've handled the ordinance. We then would make a proposal to the City to open up dialogue on how to make our city more business friendly and at the same time make the city in compliance with the sign ordinance."  Read article.

Image result for Palmetto Avenue business district, Pacifica, CA picture
Worried about signs, wake up Pacifica
Related development article The Examiner/Brendan P. Bartholomew, 1/20/15, "Pacifica pushes forward in plan for mixed-use project at former wastewater treatment site."  .... "For the project to move forward, the city must rezone the property -- which sits in the coastal zone -- from public use to mixed use, and it must receive the approval of the California Coastal Commission. According to commission enforcement program supervisor Nancy Cave, the commission recently responded in writing to a city request for input regarding the Beach Boulevard project proposal.  ....  Councilman Mike O'Neil said he's in favor of the development, partly because it could provide the city with about $500,000 in annual revenues."   

Relate business organization view to visitors - Pacifica Chamber of Commerce/Visit Pacifica. "The natural beauty and unparalleled serenity of Pacifica has beckoned travelers to this coastal gem for more than 100 years. Located just 15 minutes south of San Francisco, Pacifica feels worlds away from the most vibrant, international communities on the West Coast, yet is easily accessible from Highway 1. Its rich cultural heritage and bohemian-esque personality make it an original destination worth uncovering.  The natural beauty and unparalled serenity of Pacifica has beckoned travelers to this coastal gem for more than 100 years.  Pacifica feels worlds away from the most vibrant, international communities on the on the West Coast, yet is easily accessible from Highway 1.  Its rich cultural heritage and bohemian-esque personality makes it an original destination worth uncovering."

The natural beauty and unparalleled serenity of Pacifica has beckoned travelers to this coastal gem for more than 100 years. Located just 15 minutes south of San Francisco, Pacifica feels worlds away from the most vibrant, international communities on the West Coast, yet is easily accessible from Highway 1. Its rich cultural heritage and bohemian-esque personality make it an original destination worth uncovering. - See more at: http://www.visitpacifica.com/#sthash.cW4K748E.dpuf
Related City Council venue-  Fix Pacifica reprint article, City Council Goal Setting Study Session Agenda, 2/20/15 and 2/21/15.

Note photographs.  Ambulance from  ABC 7 News, 2/8/15.  Old waste water treatment plant from the related Examiner article. Sign by Todd Bray (artist) from Pacifica Riptide, 7/22/11. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Thursday, February 26, 2015

City Council Goals, 2015

Image result for Pacifica quarry photograph
Big elephants in the room bypassed.
Build the quarry, widening Highway 1
at the 1.3 mile traffic bottleneck.

Pacifica Tribune/Jane Northrop, Staff Writer, 2/24/15.  "City staff and council set goals."

Among the main goals, "Maintain fiscal sustainability -- finish the general plan update, work on economic development, hire an economic development manager, hear small business issues, create a business plan for Palmetto Avenue, complete the Palmetto Avenue streetscape and the Beach Boulevard development with a new library, establish a 10 percent reserve fund and an emergency reserve fund, work with the Chamber of Commerce to increase tourism, enhance grant opportunities."

From public comments.  "Tom Clifford said he thought the planning department and economic development department should work together often." And, "have a planning subcommittee work on affordable housing," he suggested."   Read article.

Note comment from Tom Clifford not covered in the Tribune article:  "I also suggested that the Planning Commission and the Economic Development Committee form a joint sub-committee on how Planning & E.D.C. can ease the way for new business to get started and old businesses to grow." (From the comment section of this article, 2/26/15, 4:44 p.m.). Thanks Tom!

Note photograph by Bob Pilgrim from Pacifica (Anti) quarry Organization, "No on L campaign." 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Uber business shark bit customer


NBC News/South Bay/Jean Elle, 2/26/15. "South Bay passenger frustrated over $452 Uber Fare."
Image result for Sharks at Levi's Stadium picture
Uber business flaw, ouch!

Image result for Sharks at Levi's Stadium picture
San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings,
Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara
"A South Bay man is asking ride-sharing service Uber to reduce his fare after he was charged $452 for a 30-minute, 12-mile ride. 

Rafael Hernandez, a San Jose, California, resident, used the Uber service Saturday after the San Jose Sharks game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. He said he opted for Uber, knowing surge pricing was in effect, due to the light rail being overcrowded.

....  "I would recommend to not use Uber at big event because that's what I did -- and I learned the hard way," Hernandez said."   Read more, includes 2:17 minute video. 

Related Sharks game.  Mercury News/David Pollak, 2/21/15, "Kings edge Sharks at Levi's Stadium." .... "With a sellout crowd of 70,205 fans cramming Levi's Stadium for Northern California's first outdoor NHL game, the Sharks dropped a 2-1 decision to the Los Angeles Kings in a game that was instrumental for San Jose's playoff hopes."  San Jose Mercury News/Sports/David Pollak, 2/20/15, "San Jose Sharks awed by Levi's Stadium setting."  

Related Uber San Jose.  Uber.com,  Yelp/Uber.   

Note photographs Levi's Stadium by Ray Hartjen from Sports Out West; sign from Silicon Valley Live.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

San Mateo County may try to improve life for everyone


The Daily News/San Mateo County/Bill Silverfarb, 2/24/15. "Budget outlines lofty goals: San Mateo County Manager John Maltbie has initiative to end homelessness."

"San Mateo County Manager John Maltbie wants to invent a future where homelessness ends, children read at grade level and every foster child goes to college.

Image result for better future picture
Good year for a better future
....  Maltbie sat down with the Daily Journal Monday to discuss the goals he says the county can achieve by 2020 in light of a budget surplus of more than $366 million out of a $1.5 billion general fund budget. The county mandates that 10 percent of the budget is put into reserve but that number is now closer to 20 percent.  ....  The Board of Supervisors has already started to study a living wage ordinance and Maltbie is recommending the board also study a rent stabilization ordinance.

 With a relatively low homeless population of about 1,800 in the county, Maltbie said the resources are available to put them in housing or provide them with the skills needed to succeed in life.  Many homeless in the county, he said, are the working poor who are not unemployed. .... Maltbie uses Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote, “the best way to predict the future is to invent it,” to reflect his own thoughts and to inspire the board toward action."   Read article.  The article includes relevant County budget detail.

Note photograph by Murdo Macleod from The Guardian, UK.  Related - Boston Globe/Lloyd Young, "Chinese New Year 2015", "The Chinese Lunar New Year began Feb. 19 ushering in the Year of the Sheep, according to the Chinese zodiac."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

GGNRA master management plan, Montara


Half Moon Bay Review/Mark Noack, 2/19/15.  "New plan envisions changes for Rancho Corral de Tierra, GGNRA management plan sets out vision for parks."

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More from the local GGNRA
open space takeover, and
the Agency's future speak potential
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What?
"The Golden Gate National Recreation Area last week unveiled a new general management plan, a master playbook of its vision for the portfolio of parks.

.... Under its preferred plan, the federal park system anticipates it could spend up to $6.4 million on improvements to Rancho Corral. The agency’s top projects include about $3.6 million in upgrades to develop a better trail system through the landscape as well as improving the existing horse ranches.   

....  The GGNRA staff also included other alternatives, most of which scaled back the modifications to the Rancho Corral property. One plan focused on preserving the coastal habitat and called for removing all four horse ranches from the property and converting fire roads into trails. Another plan — the “no-action” alternative — would keep limited public access for hiking and horseback riding. ....  The general management plan did not address the rules on dog walking, an issue that has generated huge public interest.  Read more.


Note photographs: Rancho Coral de Tierra trail sign (bicycling, horseback riding, no dogs, no off terrain or other motorized vehicles) by Bill Bechtel from Half Moon Bay Review, 411/13. Otter from Science Blogs. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sea level rise, Pedro Point Community Association Forum, Sunday, March 1, 2015


Image result for sealevel rise picture
Pedro Point hotel got built, but
no worries, we still get our park. 
Pacifica Tribune/Meetings, 2/18/15, "Community Forum on sea level rise and Pacifica infrastructure projects."

"Sunday, March 1, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Pedro Point Firehouse, 1227 Danmann Avenue.

The Pedro Point Community Association hosts Pacifica City Councilmen Mike O'Neill and John Keener in a special community presentation about topics that impact the local community (open to the public).  

Impact of sea level rise on future development in Pacifica: San Pedro Creek widening at Pedro Point; Retention basin front of Linda Mar; proposed Caltrans Highway 1 widening project; Beach Blvd property; Old waste water treatment plant/Palmetto Avenue streetscaping project;  Library project. 

No cost to attend, open to the public. Space is limited, please arrive early to ensure seating."

Photograph from Every Life Secure, Emergency preparedness blog. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Local man has perfect job


Pacifica Tribune print version/Jean Bartlett/Bartlett's column, 2/18/15.  "Asked at Donut Time in the Linda Mar Shopping Center."  Two who responded the question below were 1) a lineman, and 2) a six year old girl.

Image result for lineman high voltage picture
My perfect job
"What job would you love to have?

Adam Escamilla. 'I have the perfect job now.  I am a lineman, high voltage.  I like the adventure of it. It's always a challenge and it's something different every day.  I work with a diverse group of people, including helicopter pilots.'

Ava, age 6.  'I would like to be a ballerina. I have taken ballet, and I liked it.'"

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Related - 664 Freedom blog, "High power-lineman, a high risk occupation." This new electrical power work is more hazardous than telegraph or telephone work because of the risk of electrocution.  Linemen may perform a number of tasks associated with power lines, including installation or replacement of  capacitor banks, distribution transformers on poles, insulators, fuses, etc.  ....  Such work is often done from helicopters and is considered a highly specialized area of line work; few linemen have the special training to perform it."  Note helicopter and linemen photograph from this related article.

Posted by Kathy Meeh