Thursday, July 24, 2014

Finding a way to pay for a new library, Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay Review/Mark Noack, 7/24/14.  "Library dream comes closer to reality. City reviews initial plans for building."

Funding a city library is not complicated, choice of:
Vote A:  2/3 votes, "general obligation" bond, property tax;
Vote B:  1/2 + 1 votes, "lease revenue" bond, general fund
The long-sought dream to build a larger library came a little closer to reality this week as planners showcased conceptual designs to detail how it would look and feel. The question for city leaders now comes down to how to pay up to $26 million for the new facility. Financial experts hired by the city advised elected leaders that issuing bonds would be a necessary step to afford the upfront costs of a new building. San Mateo County has promised to cover about half the costs of a new building, but the city would still need additional revenues to cover its portion.

Gary Kitahata, a finance consultant hired by the city, suggested the city’s best option would be to bring a bond measure before voters. A general obligation bond measure would require two-thirds approval from voters, and local residents would essentially be agreeing to add on a new charge to their property tax bill. On the plus side, the bonds had the lowest interest rate and were the most equitable of all funding mechanisms.

... The alternative was to issue lease revenue bonds, which the council could issue on their own through a majority vote. This would draw money from the general fund, but it would end up costing the city about 20 percent more in interest over the life of the bonds. General obligation bond would have the lowest interest rate, but it would require two-thirds approval from city residents."  Read more.

Note photograph from UMAMI MART, (a food and drink report).

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Bedroom community waking up, Millbrae

The Daily Journal (San Mateo County), Angela Swartz, 7/24/14.  "Millbrae city manager gets salary bump:  officials say $43K raise is long-awaited, Marcia Raines is 'critical' to city's growth."

Good morning, Millbrae!
"Although one councilmember was against a nearly $43,000 raise and $20,000 bonus given to the Millbrae city manager, the supermajority of members believe the raise is well-deserved and is in line with what she was promised from the get-go. Councilman Reuben Holober was the one vote against the 22 percent boost in Marcia Raines’ pay from $192,996 to $235,800 following her performance review.

 ....  The City Council did show some concern when its 2014-15 budget was approved in June, with some worrying that the city is not bringing in enough profit. That’s with approximately $23 million in revenue and about $26 million in expenditures. Mayor Wayne Lee said this is the very reason why Raines needs to stay.....  The important thing right now is to invest in increasing our revenues and Marcia is critical to our investment strategy.”

 ....  “The City Council recognized the city manager’s leadership in: strengthening the city’s financial condition, effecting regional cost effective partnerships in the areas of law enforcement and fire services, driving and fostering economic development opportunities, expanding recreational programs and addressing infrastructure deficiencies of the city,” the report stated. “The city felt it was critical to continue the progress achieved to date under the successful leadership of the city manager and considered the difficulty and cost to replace her with a person of comparable experience and knowledge.”

....  The report also notes that she will become the president of the City Manager’s Department in the League of California Cities Association in September.  ....In other city news, the city has hired Chip Taylor as its new Public Works director and Deborah Nelson as the new Community Development director. Steve Toler, former assistant city manager in Foster City, is being added to Millbrae staff as an assistant city manager.    Read more.

Note photograph from California Watch.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Man dies at beach in Half Moon Bay - what were they thinking?

Half Moon Bay Review/Mark Noack, 7/21/14.  "Man who died in beach cave-in ID'ed."

Francis Beach, Half Moon Bay
Eemergency crew workers and volunteers try to rescue a man who died after being trapped in the sand at Francis Beach in Half Moon Bay, Calif., July 21,
Too late to save a man
who dug a hole that collapsed.
A San Lorenzo man died on Monday afternoon at Francis State Beach after a tunnel he was digging in the sand collapsed and buried him. The 26-year-old man was at the beach with a group of friends and family and working to dig a hole estimated to be eight to 10 feet down in the sand, according to emergency responders. The tunnel was wide enough to fit inside, and it was dug at an angle into the slope of the sand dune. Around 5:20 p.m., the sides of the tunnel caved in and trapped him under a mound of sand. No one else reportedly was in the hole when it collapsed.

.... Although uncommon, life-threatening incidents involving sand cave-ins have been reported along other California beaches. In 2008, a cave carved into the side of a sand dune at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz collapsed on three boys who were playing nearby. One of the boys died in the incident. Similar incidents have also occurred at other part of the state, but this is the first instance on the San Mateo County coast, according to state parks officials."   Read article.

Related articles -   The Daily Journal (San Mateo County), Staff, 7/23/14.   "The Daily Journal/Staff, 7/23/14.  "Man dies on beach after being buried alive:  Half Moon Bay Visitor get trapped in 10-foot-deep hole."  ....  "The victim, identified by the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office as Adam Jay Pye, of San Lorenzo, had been digging angled tunnels in the sand with friends or family members, said Capt. Jonathan Cox with the Cal Fire Coastside Protection District. ....  The hole was dug about 10 to 15 feet from the waterline near a campground just north of Kelly Beach, Cox said. ....  Firefighters are also reminding residents to be aware of hidden dangers at the beach. People should stay back from cliffs, use caution when swimming in big surf and not dig too deeply in the sand, Cox said."

San Mateo Times/Erin Ivie, 7/22/14.  "Half Moon Bay:  Man dies after being buried by sand at Francis Beach."   "The man was spending time with family friends at a spot just off the RV park where he and another young woman dug two large, diagonal holes about 10 feet deep, then tried to connect them to make a tunnel, Cox said. While officials could not immediately say what caused the tunnel to collapse, Cox said the tide was about six to 10 feet away and that no water infiltrated the hole. ... While beachgoers are continually urged to exercise caution near cliffs and to avoid swimming in big surf, Cox urged residents to avoid digging holes too deep in the sand. Hidden dangers of the beach do not only exist by sea, Cox said, and as Monday's tragedy demonstrated, sand can be just as unwieldy the tides. "The sand had just engulfed this young man -- he was standing up straight, like a soldier with his hands to his sides," Frey recalled. "He was buried alive. He was buried alive in that hole that he dug."

Note photographs.  Francis Beach from California's best; rescue attempt by Dean Coppola from the Half Moon Bay Review article above.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Linda Mar Boulevard median beautification project

Pacifica Tribune, 7/22/24.  Linda Mar Boulevard -- keep Pacifica Beautiful ribbon cutting."

NCCWD Board adopts the first median
Visions Seaside Spa adopts a median,
so does Mike Durkin, Realtor,
so does Coastside Community Church
"After several months of planning, preparing and planting, the Beautification Advisory Committee along with the city's Public Works Department and sponsors celebrated the completion of the Linda Mar Boulevard median strip beautification project with a ribbon cutting. The beautification project is part of the Keep Pacifica Beautiful program being implemented by the Beautification Advisory Committee. Special guests at the ribbon cutting were the project sponsors including business owners Susan Vellone of Visions Seaside Spa and Mike Durkin of ReMax Star Properties, along with the North Coast County Water District and members of the Coastside Community Church.

....  The "Keep Pacifica Beautiful" campaign is part of the city's beautification plan to beautify 22 sites throughout the community that are available for adoption by community groups, businesses and individuals. Adopting groups work with the Beautification Advisory Committee to design and plant the site and are responsible for funding the project and maintaining the site for two years. For details about adopting a beautification site contact the Beautification Advisory Committee at 355-0805 or Aren Clark in the Public Works Department at 738-7360."   Read article.

Related -  Pacifica Tribune, 2/11/14. "NCCWD and City of Pacifica beautify Linda Mar Boulevard Median."  "North Coast County Water District Board members and staff joined the City's Public Works Department and members of the Beautification Advisory Committee to transform the first median on Linda Mar Blvd. into a drought tolerant, low maintenance garden as part of the City's Keep Pacifica Beautiful program. The median was adopted by NCCWD and designated a drought-tolerant demonstration project as part of the District's on-going water conversation efforts."  

Pacifica Tribune/Ginny Jaquith, 3/25/14. "Visions Seaside Spa adopts Linda Mar Median."   Susan Vellone, owner of Visions Seaside Spa, has become the first Pacifica business to adopt a beautification project as part of the Keep Pacifica Beautiful campaign being implemented by the City's Beautification Advisory Committee.  "This is a great way for my business to invest in our community. Beautifying the entrance to Linda Mar Boulevard gives residents and tourists a great feeling about our community and says that we care," commented Vellone when asked about her decision to adopt the median.  The median was initially prepared with compost and mulch and planted with drought tolerant California natives and Mediterranean climate plants with a focus on conserving energy and water consumption and requiring low maintenance. The medians are being planted in partnership with the City's Public Works Department due to their high volume traffic location."  

Note photographs:  NCCWD (4 shovels) from Pacifica Tribune, 2/11/14; Visions Seaside team (2 shovels) from Pacifica Tribune 3/25/14. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Life beyond pyrotechnics

Take the pledge to give-up fireworks:
so much trouble, worth it? 
San Mateo County Times/Erin Ivie, 7/22/14. "Pacifica man gets probation for possessing hoard of illegal bombs, explosive materials."

 ....  "Marc Ormando was arrested by San Francisco police March 6 after a months-long investigation into an explosives incident at a North Beach nightclub corridor, San Francisco police Sgt. Danielle Newman said. ....  prosecutor Kari Gannam said the evidence against Ormando indicated he had no nefarious intent when it came to his explosives. ....

"He is a pyrotechnic buff who attends conferences throughout the country to learn how the explosives could be used for special effects for fireworks shows, music videos, etc.," San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. He noted that the defense submitted multiple letters from community members discussing fireworks shows he put on for neighborhood kids.

....   Marc Ormando was convicted in San Mateo County court and sentenced to only three years supervised probation.  He was released from jail and ordered to go through counseling; possess no weapons, ammunition or fireworks; and pay upwards of $100,000 to have the explosives removed from his home."   Read article. 

Note:  Photograph from  Linda Mar Veterinary Hospital, "Pets and Fireworks." 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Fruit recall where some of you shop out of town-- (you know who you are)

Feel sick just looking at this salad?
The Daily Journal/Bay City News, 7/22/14.  "Fruit sold at Costco, Trader Joe's recalled."

Good, unless contaminated
"A California packing company is recalling whole fruit sold through Costco, Trader Joe’s and other retailers after possibly harmful bacteria may have contaminated their produce, the company announced Saturday. No illnesses related to the potentially contaminated peaches, nectarines, plums and pluots have been reported, but the Wawona Packing Company of Cutler issued the recall after internal company testing indicated the potential for infection.

Listeria infection can cause high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea in healthy people and can be fatal in young children, elderly people and people with weakened immune systems. It can also cause miscarriage and stillbirths in pregnant women. 

....  Anyone who purchased the fruit at the store should throw it out and not eat it, the company said."   Read more.

ReferenceUS Department of Health and Human Services, 7/19/14:  Recall Press Release.  "Wawona Packing Company takes precautionary step to voluntarily recalling fresh, whole peaches, plums, nectarines, and pluots because of possible health risk." See press release for more detail.

Note photographs:  Peach, plumb and nectarine from Organic authority; fruit salad from

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Monday, July 21, 2014

Traffic month coastside, 10 days to go, good luck!

Hello, its me again
Half Moon Bay Review/Mark Noack, 7/18/14.  "Nearly 200 tickets written in traffic crackdown."

Who cares if you're age 2, you're done
"Two-dozen extra police officers on Wednesday were out patrolling the streets from Half Moon Bay up through Pacifica as part of a special effort to clamp down on traffic violations. At the end of the day, officers handed out nearly 200 traffic citations to drivers.

The hefty police presence came as part of the San Mateo County Saturation Traffic Enforcement Program, a grant-funded collaboration between police agencies to make a show of force on the rules of the road in different parts of the Peninsula. Each month, the partnership focused on a different area, and July was the Coastside’s turn, explained Burlingame Police Cpl. Brett Murphy. Making a concerted police effort had a real effect on drivers, he said. “When you go in and do deployment for a month, you see a real change in people’s driving behavior,” he said. “It’s not just about enforcement. It’s about education — and enforcement."   Read article.
"Hasta la vista"

Related -   2014.  Everything South City, 7/19/14, from a South San Francisco Police Department Media Release. "As part of its on going efforts to increase traffic safety, officers from the South San Francisco Police Department flooded the streets on Friday and Saturday July18th and 19th looking for speeders. .... Officers issued a total of 141 citations over the two-day crack down." 

Reference - 2013.  Nixle, from San Mateo County Chielf ans Sheriff Association. San Mateo County Saturation Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP).  "Last month’s deployment in Pacifica, San Bruno, and South San Francisco consisted of twenty-one officers from numerous San Mateo County agencies, and resulted in over 200 citations for unsafe driving behavior. This emphasis on correcting unsafe driving habits will remain the goal throughout the June enforcement action in Foster City, San Mateo, Hillsborough, and Burlingame."  Also see Everything South City, 6/12, 2013.

Note photographs.  Toddler in peddle car by Keyth Mishaw from Daily Mail, UK,7/21/14. $4 speeding ticket.  Officer at driver window from Auto, how stuff works.  Ticketing officer from Aol Autos, "How to fight a speeding ticket"; related -  SpanishDict, "Hasta la vista" meaning.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Reminder Planning Commission tonight, Monday July 21, 2014

Planning Commission  meetings are open to the public and are held at City Council Chambers, 2212 Beach Boulevard, 2nd floor.  Or, view on local television, schedule Pacificcoast.TV, (formerly pct Or possibly try to view on PCTV live feed, expect commercial interruptions. The meeting begins at 7 p.m., or shortly there following.  

Planning Commission Agenda, 7/21/14 (pdf pages 7).    
Planning Commission Agenda Fix Pacifica article.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stores closing to make way for development: Centennial Village Project includes housing, shopping, offices

At El Camino Real at Spruce Avenue, in South San Francisco, stands an old strip center that long ago was the White Front Department Store, a kind of 1960s Walmart that had everything, and it's own gas station.  The White Front chain makes an interesting chapter in retail history. (  I remember when they had the grand opening of the South San Francisco White Front, it was a big deal, the whole family went and there were big crowds there.   Just a few years later, the White Front went out of business, replaced by the Treasury and some other stores, and now its going to get torn down for new retail and many apartments, to be called, "Centennial Village".  By the looks of the drawing in the article, we'll certainly try to visit, it looks like it will be a happening place!   Can this happen here in Pacifica with one of our underperforming shopping centers?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mayor's State of the City address already happened. Were you there?

From the Pacifica Tribune, not electronically printed. "Mayor talks at Democrats meeting", Saturday, July 19, 2014, 9:30 am.   Yep, I missed posting this meeting in advance.

Mayor Mary Ann Nihart speaking at
Democrats meeting, then new Mayor, 1/15/11
Notification of the Mayor's State of the City address to the Democrats Club appeared in the Pacifica Tribune "Community Notepad" in the print only edition.  Mayor Nihart's "State of the City" address could be important all Pacificans.  If you attended this meeting, and recall significant issues Mayor Nihart addressed, please share them with us in the comments section of this article. 

"Pacifica Mayor Mary Ann Nihart will discuss the State of the City at the next monthly meeting (July 19, 2014) at the Pacifica-Daly City Democrats.

Mayor Nihart will also swear in the newly elected Executive Board of Judy Heldberg, President, Joan Putz, first vice president, Therese Dyer, second vice president, Connie Menefee and Patricia Kremer, co-treasurers and Sheila Hansen, secretary.  The meeting began at 9:30 a.m., in the rear banquet room of Sharp Park Restaurant."

Related 2011 meeting - Mary Ann Nihart, new Mayor 1/15/11, Speaking to the Democrats, 1/15/11, video 7:57 minutes; and continuation closing video (5), 7:20 minutes.  Introduction by Barbara Arietta President, video by Jack Waldbewohner, Board Member.  Note:  photograph and other continuing meeting videos, same location.

General blog Note:  Please advise of any club, city, events, articles or other information you want posted on Fix Pacifica-- that is your invitation, and your contribution to the ongoing success of this community blog.  Advisement on Fix Pacifica blog upper left:  "Send your submission, along with your name, to"  If you want a picture posted with the article (possibly including a caption), please send that too.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Ace robbery, police arrest two of four, its early

We got you! Two down, two to go
Linda Mar Ace Hardware,
a good place to shop, not rob (duh)
San Jose Mercury News/Bay City News Service/Crime and Courts, 7/19/14.  "Pacifica: two of four hardware store robbers arrested." 

Two suspects involved in a strong-arm robbery in Pacifica on Wednesday have been arrested, police said. 

Gustavo Paludeti, 19, of Belmont, and Nolan Lydon, 19, of Redwood City, were both booked into the San Mateo County Main Jail on felony charges of robbery, conspiracy and burglary. The two are suspected to be a part of a group of four men who entered an Ace Hardware store at 560 San Pedro Ave. around 5:30 p.m. (Friday, 7/18/14).   Read more.

Reference - Linda Mar ACE Home Center,  photograph from "About".   Related - Yelp/ACE Hardware.  Yelp, Ace Hardware/Nursery. 

Note photographs:  Linda Mar Ace Hardware from their website above;  police car from Vista de Nada. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Friday, July 18, 2014

Planning Commission meeting, Monday, July 21, 2014

Planning Commission  meetings are open to the public and are held at City Council Chambers, 2212 Beach Boulevard, 2nd floor.  Or, view on local television, schedule Pacificcoast.TV, (formerly pct Or possibly try to view on PCTV live feed, expect commercial interruptions. The meeting begins at 7 p.m., or shortly there following.  

Planning Commission Agenda, 7/21/14 (pdf pages 7). 

"Public Hearing:  Use permit (UP-304-140, Site Development permit (PSD-787-14), and Variance (PV-511-14).

Construction of a one-story single family dwelling, 4,000 square feet with an attached garage on a vacant lot of 8.6 acres at 650 Corona Drive (APN 022-210-080).

Recommended CEQA status:  Exempt.  Proposed Action:  Approved as conditioned for Use Permit and Site Development Permit.  Recommended Denial of Variance."

Related  Map, 650 Corona Drive.   650 Corona Drive is at the end of the road.  See Roberts Road at Fassler Ave Flyer (pdf pages 5). "10 fully approved lots for sale. Property highlights:  green project, gorgeous white water ocean views. Harmony@ 1, Cassidy/Turley/BT Commercial. Corona Drive, APN 022-210-080, 8.6 acres, no roads/utilities, rough terrain.

Note photographs of nearby properties:  716 Corona Drive, see 1 of 2 from Hotpads listings; and 716 Alta Vista Drive from Zillow. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Tourism, visit Pacifica beaches

San Francisco Chronicle/Tom Stienstra, 7/12/14.  "Sunday drive/Pacifica 5 Beaches." 

"What you'll see: In a span of 5 miles of coast at Pacifica, you can access the most diverse stretch of beaches in Northern California. They range from the remote and quiet (Mussel Rock) to popular Linda Mar (surfing, water sports) with Mori Point (great views), Pacifica Pier and Sharp Park (fishing, crabbing), and Rockaway Beach (easy access) in between.

Parking is not free, promotes a clean, safe beach,
and buy a taco (1% revenue for the city)
Surfing is free, look out for other boards and sharks
.... Linda Mar/Pacifica State Beach: You'll find a large swath of beach set in a protected bay. Popular for surfing, water play and suntans. Surfing often is good at the central break, and fishing for perch (south end) or striped bass (north end) can provide hope; the best fishing comes at the tide changes. Beach walks can span miles and are linked to a trail to the north that extends to Rockaway. How to get there: From the junction of Highway 1 and I-280 in Daly City, take Highway 1 south and drive 6.7 miles to Linda Mar and the entrance to Pacifica State Beach on the right. Additional parking is available at Crespi Parking Lot on the east side of Highway 1 at corner of Crespi Drive (adjacent to Pacifica Community Center).

 ....  Contacts: Linda Mar/Pacifica State Beach, operated by the City of Pacifica, (650) 738-7381,; Pacifica Visitor Center, (650) 355-4122,; Coastside No. 2 Bait and Tackle, (650) 359-9790; Mori Point, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Presidio Visitor Center, (415) 561-4323,"     Read Article.

Note photographs:  surfers from  Travels with Lucy.  Linda Mar parking lot/Taco Bell picture from Jaunted.

Posted by Kathy Meeh