Friday, September 19, 2014

Cleanup Day is national, state, regional and local, Saturday, 9/20/14

Volunteer effort. In California
sponsored by the CA Coastal Commission
The Daily Journal/Samantha Weigel, 9/19/14. "Lending the state a helping hand:  San Mateo County's 30th annual Coastal Cleanup Day is Saturday."

"Thousands of volunteers will gather at more than 30 sites in San Mateo County Saturday to lend a hand in preserving the state’s natural resources during the 30th annual Coastal Cleanup Day.

A nationwide event, California alone will have cleanup events at more than 850 sites on beaches, bays, rivers, creeks, parks, roads and highways. Sponsored by the California Coastal Commission, Saturday’s cleanup is anticipated to deploy tens of thousands of volunteers who will remove close to a million pounds of litter, said Eben Schwartz, marine debris program manager for the Coastal Commission.

The 30th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day is Saturday, Sept. 20 at locations across the state. Many of the events are 9 a.m.-noon.   Read more.

Local reference - Coastal Cleanup day, 2014.  Note photograph of Ocean Beach Clean Up, 5/4/13 from SF Fun Cheap.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Thousands to take to shores for Coastal Cleanup Day


Tens of thousands of volunteers around the state and on the Peninsula will descend upon local beaches, San Francisco Bay shorelines and inland waterways on Saturday morning to participate in the 30th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day.

Beginning at 9 a.m., participants will scour the areas until noon, removing debris and litter from 850 sites across California, 30 of which are in San Mateo County.

During last year's event, the volunteers removed about 750,000 pounds of trash from around the state, approximately 25,000 pounds of which came from San Mateo County sites.

San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program spokesman Matt Fabry said that while municipalities have reduced environmental impacts by enacting plastic bag and Styrofoam food container bans, as well as installing filters to catch trash in local waterways, the annual cleanup event is still crucial.

Plastic litter that is commonly retrieved during the cleanups does not biodegrade, but breaks down into small pellets that absorb toxins and are then eaten by marine wildlife, he noted. According to the California Department of Public Health, seafood caught in San Francisco Bay has been shown to contain such toxins, which include polychlorinated biphenyls.

Pacifica is one community that has earned a reputation for hosting some of the largest cleanups in the region in recent years, with last year's event drawing between 1,000 and 1,300 volunteers, according to San Mateo County Health System spokeswoman Robyn Thaw. The turnout at Ryder Park in San Mateo may rival those numbers, as that location saw about 1,000 voluznteers last year, Thaw noted.


Submitted by Brendan Bartholomew

Finding ways to fund city infrastructure projects, Burlingame city council

By contrast, our city council
may add another special presentation
to the meeting agenda. 
The Daily Journal/Angela Swartz, 9/18/14.  "Officials discuss moving City Hall:  Burlingame working on infrastructure projects, public/private partnerships one option for financing." 

"Moving Burlingame’s City Hall is one option being discussed while city officials determine how to tackle unfunded infrastructure needs that add up to approximately $100 million. There are 11 unfunded infrastructure projects. ....  Funding is one of the number one concerns for council. Aside from public/private partnerships, financing options include debt financing, a pay-as-you-go approach, tax revenue increases such as parcel taxes, utility user taxes, sales tax increases or a business license ordinance overall and various bonds.

.... “We do have a proposal to build the city a parking structure for free; we could explore that approach.” One developer approached the city during a study session and said if the city gave him two parking lots, he would then build a parking structure and mixed-use project on another parcel, Terry Nagel (Vice Mayor) said. There are a lot of variables on deciding how to finance and choose which projects to prioritize, Nagel said. ....  One way of keeping this momentum going is to put out a request for proposals for the City Hall and a parking structure, City Manager Lisa Goldman said."   Read article.

Note graphic from The Guardian global development professionals network.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fog Fest and Fandango, 2014

San Mateo County Times/Carolyn Livengood, Columnist.  "29th annual Pacific Coast Fog Fest planned."

Traffic, parking, and fun
"The 29th annual Pacific Coast Fog Fest, which celebrates the city of Pacifica's community and the local nonprofit organizations that benefit from the two-day festival, will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 27-28 along Palmetto Avenue in Pacifica. The festival will include: three stages of  live music, more than 200 arts and crafts booths, great food, family fun, and a kid's fun zone, parade, fog jog, photo contest display, and sand-sculpting contest." Activities from September 19th, for schedule  Read article. 

Related - Pacifica Tribune, 9/9/14. "Get set for Fog Fest Fandango!" "Today, the Fog Fest Fandango is back in the hands of the Fog Fest Organizing Group and this year, in coordination with the Pacifica Moose Lodge, will host the event at the lodge. The date is set for Saturday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. 

This year dance the night away to the live sounds of the Wall of Blues. Mazzetti's Bakery will provide a special Fog Fest dessert, plus lots of scrumptious hors d'oeuvres will be served. A "Pacification Basket," with items donated by local businesses worth over $800, will be raffled. Special to attendees, pre-sales of 2014 Fog Fest T-shirts and glassware!
Tickets are $20 and available at the Pacifica Moose Lodge, 776 Bradford Way or at the Pacifica Chamber of Commerce, 225 Rockaway Beach Ave. #1. For more information call 650-355-8200."  Read more.

Reference Pacific Coast Fog Fest, 9/27-9/28, 2014. "Ten in the morning to six pm along Palmetto Avenue in Pacifica.  Admission is free!"  Bring money though, you'll need it. There are wonderful slides of the event on this website. 

Pacifica Tribune/Shirlee Gibbs/Special, 9/9/14.  "History of the Fog Fest." ".... The Fog Fest began in the 1980's as a public relations mechanism. Terry Pimsleur, a professional event promoter, who helped create the concept of the Fog Fest, was hired in a partnership with the City.  Eventually this partnership was terminated and the City of Pacifica sponsored the festival through 1993. The City was losing money on the festival and decided to jettison the event as they ruled it was not a good way to spend tax revenues. John Fearing, publisher of the Pacifica Tribune, wished to see the Fog Fest survive, not to change the concept, but to enhance community identity, bring tourist dollars to local businesses, and to provide a venue for local nonprofit organizations to make money. He scheduled a meeting of community activists to determine if the event could be rescued. With seed money donated from the Pacific Lions Club, Rotary Club and Moose Lodge, John guided us through months of negotiations with the City." 

Note graphic - 29th Annual Pacific Coast Fog Fest 2014 from an announcement on Twitter.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Family of woman fatally shot by deputy alleges negligence; deputies receiving training for mental health emergencies

When San Mateo County sheriff's Deputy Menh Trieu shot and killed Yanira Serrano-Garcia in June as the mentally ill teen approached him brandishing a knife, he acted lawfully, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

While no criminal charges will be filed against the deputy, 18-year-old Serrano-Garcia's family has sued the county, alleging negligence and civil-rights violations. Sheriff's Office officials say they want all their deputies to complete a training program on handling incidents involving persons with mental illness that could prevent similar tragedies, but it may be a long time before all personnel have received the training.

The June 3 shooting occurred after Tony Serrano-Garcia phoned 911 requesting medical intervention for his sister, Yanira, saying her schizophrenia was causing her to act erratically. When Trieu approached the family's Half Moon Bay apartment, a knife-wielding Yanira Serrano-Garcia chased the deputy 157 feet before he fatally shot her, according to Wagstaffe's investigation.

Although Wagstaffe determined that Trieu acted in justifiable self-defense and within Sheriff's Office policy, the district attorney noted that his conclusion would be inadmissible in the pending civil suit.
The family's attorney, Arnoldo Casillas, claims negligence was a factor before Trieu arrived at the scene. Casillas claims the emergency dispatcher who fielded Tony Serrano-Garcia's call was a trainee, and that a recording of the call reveals somebody was whispering questions to the dispatcher while he spoke to the brother.


Submitted by Brendan Bartholomew

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Democrats water shortage/climate meeting follow-up, and coming meeting, Saturday, 9/20/14

Pacifica Tribune/News Briefs/Joan Putz, 9/17/14.  "News from Pacifica/Daly City Democrats,"
Linda Mar State Beach in 10 years,
on a good day, without the

"At the Pacifica/Daly City Democrats meeting on August 16, Joshua Cosgrove delivered excellent advice and a thorough summation of the North Coast County Water District's (NCCWD) plan to help us survive the current drought. All of us need to be water conservation ambassadors. Climate change and population growth affect our water usage. It is predicted that temperatures will increase 3-5 degrees in the next 10 years. This means less snowfall. Snow packs will melt earlier. It is expected that 12 million more people will be living in California in the next 30 years. With more people in the state of California, there will be an increase in demand for water. Thus, we must have sustainable policies."  Read more. 

Related - Announcement of the next meeting from the above article.  "The next meeting of the Pacifica/Daly City Democrats is Saturday, September 20 at the Sharp Park Golf Course Restaurant. The featured speaker is David Buruto, chair of the San Mateo County Democrats Central Committee (SMCDCC). Doors open at 9 a.m. The meeting starts at 9:45 a.m. Breakfast is available for $12, continental breakfast is $6. This meeting is open to the public. You do not need to be a member of the club to attend. RSVP Joan Putz at" 

Note photograph by David Levene taken at a Juhu beach, Mumbai, India, from The Guardian/Environment Blog/Andrew Simms, UK, 7/3/13. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

City Council candidate positions on some city issues, 2014

I'm not coming to Pacifica next, for real
Pacifica Tribune/Jane Northrop/Staff, 9/16/14.  "Election 2014, City Council candidates voice their opinions. Seven candidates vie for three seats on November ballot."

Vote for fixing Main Street, forget no street
Candidates:  John Keener, Victor Spano, Eric Ruchames, Sue Digre, Matt Dougherty, Therese Dyer, Mike O'Neill.

Questions include:  City budget cuts, new city General Plan, City's role in Highway 1 widening, describe yourself.

Knock your self out.  The Q&A article is long, with no filtered comparisons or analysis.   Read article.

Related Smart voter, list of candidates with some information.

Note: photographs:  "Toronto Mayor Rob Ford withdraws re-election bid", article from ABC 7, 9/12/14.  Happy election candidate supporters from Orange Juice Blog. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Past city councilmember Jim Vreeland has apparently died

From  Pacifica Riptide. "On October 4, Pedro Point Surf Club honors the life of the late Jim Vreeland. Vreeland served 15 years on the Pacifica City Council, and is remembered for his work to protect and improve the city's natural environment and outdoors recreation, especially the beaches and trails." No further details at this time.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Business and Community PAC supports our Main Street voice

Pacifica Tribune, Letters to the editor, 9/9/14.  "This Election-- Better Decisions" by Jim Wagner, Chair, Pacifica BACPAC.

City Council candidates forum, 9/23/14.
Let's hear about Highway 1 safety improvement,
Beach Blvd project/Palmetto Avenue rejuvenation,
and supporting our schools
"Editor:  On September 1, the Pacifica Chamber of Commerce ended their involvement in the Chamber of Commerce Business and Community Political Action Committee. The new Pacifica Business and Community Political Action Committee, operating independent of the Chamber of Commerce, will take the lead in advocacy for our businesses and community. Pacifica  BACPAC is strongly aligned with the core beliefs of the Chamber of Commerce. A strong business/community relationship improves our town and builds a stronger community.

This city would benefit by
a whole lot more "Main Street",
and a whole lot less "let it rot".
Pacifica BACPAC will be a moderate voice in our community's ongoing important discussions including Highway 1 safety improvement, the Beach Blvd. project, Palmetto Ave rejuvenation, so we have a real Main Street, and support of our schools. There is a large, hard working, silent majority in town that has lacked a strong voice in the direction Pacifica takes. We intend to listen to that voice and make sure that those who make the decisions, and allocate scarce resources, know Pacifica deserves to be heard.

Pacifica BACPAC will be sponsoring a candidates forum, along with San Mateo County Association of Realtors on September 23 at the Council Chambers from 6:30-8:30 p.m. We invite all to come and listen to our city council candidates address pressing issues of the day. Pacifica BACPAC will also be hosting meet and greets with our elected officials from state and county office. These are not fund raisers and are designed so that individuals can have some "face time" with our elected officials to express their concerns or thanks for the hard work the officials perform. We are currently working on a schedule to invite our State Assemblyman, Kevin Mullin, to come speak with us.

The Pacifica Business and Community PAC looks forward to working with many of you in the future. Our board is comprised of proven community and business leaders deeply committed to a better and more vibrant Pacifica. Hoping to see you at the Sept. 23 council forum."  

Related Fix Pacifica reprint - Pacifica Tribune, 9/9/14,"Candidates forums coming up."  You may want to attend this city council candidates' forum in person next Tuesday, 9/23/14, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm, City Council Chambers, 2212 Beach Blvd.  Pacific Coast TV 26 will tape the event for future viewing. (Tape and time advisement from Jim Wagner).
Note photographs, panoramic city coastal view (Pedro Point looking north) from Trip Advisor; WWII lookout from Distance Calculator: Pacifica to Modesto.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Wider highway, better drivers - way to go!

Look Mom, no hands!
If these self-driving cars survive Los Angeles freeways, in the future, they should be just fine on our widened highway 1. 

San Mateo Times/Associated Press/Justin Prichard, 9/16/14.  "California licenses handful of self-driving cars, most from Google."

"LOS ANGELES -- Computer-driven cars have been testing their skills on California roads for more than four years -- but until now, the Department of Motor Vehicles wasn't sure just how many were rolling around.  That changed Tuesday, when the agency issued testing permits that allowed three companies to dispatch 29 vehicles onto freeways and into neighborhoods -- with a human behind the wheel in case the onboard computers make a bad decision. These may be the cars of the future, but for now they represent a tiny fraction of California's approximately 32 million registered vehicles. 

With California's testing rules in effect, the DMV is drafting regulations that will govern self-driving cars once they are ready for the general public. Those rules, which the DMV must finish by year's end, will untie knotty issues such as whether a person needs to be in the vehicle at all."   Read article.

And your car went to work
without you again...
Related articles:  Regulations ABC News/Associated Press/Justin Pritchard, Los Angeles, 9/16/14. "Self-driving cars now need a permit in California."  "... Google alone is closing in on 1 million miles. The technology giant has bet heavily on the vehicles, which navigate using sophisticated sensors and detailed maps. Finally, government rules are catching up.  In 2012, the California Legislature directed the DMV to regulate the emerging technology. Rules that the agency first proposed in January went into effect Tuesday."  

Engineer's viewTED, 2011, video 4: 14 minutes. "Sebastian Thrun helped build Googles' amazing driverless car, powered by a very personal quest to save lives and reduce traffic accidents. Jawdropping video shows the DARPA Challenge-winning car motoring through busy city traffic with no one behind the wheel, and dramatic test drive footage from TED2011 demonstrates how fast the thing can really go. .... Sebastian Thrun, Engineer is the director of the Stanford Artifical Intelligence Lab and is working, through robotics, to change the way we understand the world."  

 Current state of the technology.  San Jose Mercury News/Gary Richards, 5/13/14, includes video,"Test-driving Googles's driverless car: Look, Mom, no hands." "Google's robotic cars start as standard vehicles but each packs about $150,000 in equipment, including a $70,000 radarlike Lidar system, with a laser on the roof and enough cameras and high-tech gizmos inside to make any Silicon Valley techie envious. ...The car made a few abrupt moves into left-turn lanes. And once it shuddered at another turn when a nearby bus seemed to confuse the onboard computers. "It's not perfection yet," said Google's Nick Munley, but he said it's safer than a car with a driver at the wheel."

Note photographs:  Look Mom no hands! from  No driver by John Green/Bay Area News Group, from the related San Jose Mercury News article, 5/13/14, includes video.

Posted by Kathy Meeh