Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to free speech!!


That is what I just said to myself after trying use my log on for Brent Platers ego inflating website I had signed up a while back under my real name and email address. I wanted the opportunity to comment on his false claims about the Sharp Park Golf Course and the people who support it. Well now, it appears that Brent does not like to be challenged about his mis-leasding statements, mis-truths and propaganda on all things environmental, especially Sharp Park. When using my log on it says "you have banned from this site and we think you know why".
What a crock of Frog Crap!!!!! Brent, why is it you don't allow yourself to be challenged? Has John Maybury been twisting your ear about us evil golfers? This is so typical of the extreme far left. Well, enough said. Brent, I invite you to come over to Fix Pacifica where you can say your piece without being edited or excluded.

Will the last business to leave Pacifica please turn out the lights?

Advertisement in the Pacifica Tribune, March 31, 2010. Another "success" of City Council's "Our Environment is our Economy" business development strategy.

Posted by Steve Sinai

Jackie Speier Earmark for Police Dispatch Consolidation, North San Mateo County

Looks like Pacifica Five-0 and South SF Five-0 are going to try to merge parts of their PD's to save some Five-0 dough. Daly City, Colma and San Bruno Five-0's may consolidate with Pacifica and SSF Five-0's later.

Posted by Steve Sinai

Dangerous surf at Pacifica beach claims another victim, officials to put up new signs

By Joshua Melvin
San Mateo County Times
Updated: 03/30/2010 11:22:43 PM PDT

City officials plan to put up strongly worded warning signs on a beach that has been the site of three drowning deaths since the end of January — a beach referred to as the "people eater" by one resident Tuesday.

The San Mateo County coroner's office is working to identify the body of a man that washed ashore in Pacifica on Tuesday morning. But Coroner Robert Foucrault said it's too early to tell whether it is that of Redwood City resident Richard Serrano Jr., 44, who disappeared in the waters off Sharp Park Beach on March 18.

Pacifica City Manger Steve Rhodes said the new signs will be similar to those posted at San Francisco beaches warning visitors that people have drowned there. The signs, which should be up by the end of the week, come in response to a recent string of deaths that have served as a reminder of the danger that exists at coastal beaches, which are subject to strong currents and pounding waves.

Pacifica resident Joe Ettore, who was reading near Pacifica Pier on Tuesday morning, said he spends a lot of time at Sharp Park Beach and knows it's dangerous. The 44-year-old, who has worked as a crab fisher in the Bering Sea, said he frequently sees people get knocked down and pulled under by waves. He added that one of the most dangerous spots is a couple of hundred yards south of the pier.

"I call it the people eater," he said. "A lot of people lose their lives here."


Posted by Steve Sinai

Hoofing it with the hippies


Take a Hike 2010

County Program Encourages Residents to Discover County Parks
Saturday, April 3, San Andreas/Crystal Springs Regional Trail

You are invited to Take a Hike 2010. This series of hikes will take participants on guided tours of a County park each month.

Just bring water and dress in layers and comfortable shoes; we’ll supply the beauty and fresh air courtesy of our San Mateo County parks.

The first hike is on Saturday April 3, at 9 a.m. at the San Andreas Trail in San Bruno, which connects with Sawyer Camp Trail in the south.

Future hikes will be at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Huddart County Park, San Bruno Mountain and other lovely parks throughout our county (see below). If you’ve ever talked about increasing your fitness level, spending more time with the family or learning about local history-Take A Hike!

More information...

Posted by Steve Sinai

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What Happened to the Endangered Delta Smelt?

Obama Buys Two More Democratic Votes 

From the National Republican Congressional Committee:


Code Red Moves Cardoza and Costa to “Yes” Votes on Gov’t Healthcare Takeover After Water Deal

Is this Another Backroom Deal to Force Obama’s Bill Down the American People’s Throats?March 17, 2010

As a vote approaches on Obama and Pelosi’s government takeover of healthcare, Code Red is now considering two supposedly “undecided” California Democrats, Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa, to now be “yes” votes.

The U.S. Department of Interior announced yesterday that it is increasing water allocations for the Central Valley of California, a region that depends on these water allocations to support local agriculture and jobs. The region has recently been starved for water and as a result unemployment has soared.  Not surprisingly, Cardoza and Costa had a hand in the announcement:

“Typically, Reclamation would release the March allocation update around March 22nd, but moved up the announcement at the urging of Senators Feinstein and Boxer, and Congressmen Costa and Cardoza.”(“Interior Announces Increased Water Supply Allocations in California,” U.S. Department of Interior news release, 3/16/10)

Will Cardoza and Costa come clean about this apparent backroom deal for their votes? Of course they won’t.

And Mr. Gibbs will call anyone suggesting such a thing “very silly.”

Original article...

Submitted by Kathleen Rogan

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bernie Sifry's Widdle Boy

I was watching the PBS NewsHour (which I suppose makes me a COMMIE!!), and in a report about how the White House is using the internet, Bernie's widdle boy Micah was interviewed. He shows up at about the 6-minute mark of the video.

Posted by Steve Sinai

ACORN Files for Bankruptcy

I read the article you posted about ACORN's bankruptcy and I think you'll find this video relevant:

The video relates to the article because it includes multiple sources that offer different viewpoints on ACORN
and its reasons for bankruptcy. In particular, the video supports the article's statements about ACORN's reputation and demise. I hope you'll consider embedding the video in your post.

Submitted by Lauren Brenton

Silicon Valley firms slip in workplace rankings

Say "Hello Socialism"


Monday, March 29, 2010 (SF Chronicle)
Silicon Valley firms slip in workplace rankings
Ryan Flinn, Bloomberg News

Talk about bad timing: Within weeks of being named the best place to work
last year, NetApp Inc. announced plans to cut about 6 percent of its

It was February 2009, during the worst days of the recession. Customers
had slashed their budgets, leaving the company with no choice but to
eliminate jobs, NetApp said at the time.

NetApp's woes may have signaled the end of Silicon Valley's dominance of
the best-workplace rankings. When the list came out this year, the
Sunnyvale data-storage company dropped to No. 7. And for the first time
since 2006, the three top companies were outside the region.

No. 1 is SAS Institute Inc. in Cary, N.C. It's never had layoffs for
economic reasons, according to Fortune magazine, which publishes the list.

Job cuts are just one of the reasons behind Silicon Valley's diminished
appeal: Shrinking paychecks, less generous perks and the high cost of
housing can make the area a harder sell for workers.

"I've been doing this for 22 years, and this is the worst I've seen in
Silicon Valley," said John Rosica, head of the San Jose office of
Management Recruiters International.


Submitted by Kathleen Rogan

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Inner Editor: Copyediting/Proofreading Workshops

Let's face it. Some people here need this. (Including me.)

Do you have an eagle eye? Do you correct your family, friends, and colleagues when they make mistakes in English? If so, you might have inherited good grammar genes, i.e., genetic predisposition. Or you might be a conscientious, hardworking student of the language. Whatever the case, here is your chance to learn how to make a living as a copy editor or proofreader. This Saturday afternoon noncredit class offers career tips and lively discussion. Instructor John Maybury is an experienced writer and editor, working in the Bay Area since the days of typewriters and carbon paper. GOOFBUSTER
Saturday, April 10, Foothill-De Anza College, Community Education Short Courses, 408-864-8817 

Saturday, April 17, College of Marin, Community Education, 415-485-9368

NEXT FALL TBA: College of San Mateo, Community Education

Posted by Steve Sinai

-- John and I were discussing the nuances of transitive vs. intransitive verbs, and it reminded me of the classes he offered.

Pacifica Woman Swept Out To Sea, Drowns

Mar 28, 2010 5:27 pm US/Pacific

PACIFICA (BCN) ― A 44-year-old woman died after being swept underwater by a wave at Sharp Park Beach in Pacifica Sunday afternoon, according to police.

Shortly before 1:45 p.m., Pacifica police officers and members of the North County Fire Department responded to a report of a possible drowning Arriving officers found the woman floating face down in the water about 35 feet from shore, Pacifica police said.

The victim was pulled from the water by two members of the fire department. She was taken to Seton Medical Center and pronounced dead a short time later, according to police.

Read more from KPIX

Posted by Steve Sinai

Stolen Harley


On Thursday, March 25th, between 10AM and 2PM, someone decided that they needed my motorcycle more than I did. After kicking in my front door, they proceeded downstairs to my garage, opened the garage door and proceeded to load my bike onto a truck. I'm assuming they loaded it onto something else because the battery was dead and someone might notice the Homer Harley coasting down the street not making any noise. I live back in Park Pacifica on a "quiet" street. Those of us that feel we're safe, think again. It's recession time and creative ways of making a buck are rearing their ugly heads.

I've owned this bike since1997, bought it new, and went through the  customizing renovation. It is a 1997 custom Dyna Wide-Glide. If you see Homer in your neighborhood please call the Pacifica Police at 738-7314 and let them know. I'm betting this bike is still in town for a variety of reasons.

Jim Wagner

The Coffee Party USA - a rational non-partisan alternative to the Tea Party

No Tea for for this small business owner (video)

How the Coffee Party USA began 3/13/10, Annabel Park (video)
C-span the Coffee Party USA forum 3/27/10, comment (video)
Completing your personal view profile, introduction (video)
Register and complete your personal view profile

COFFEE PARTY MISSION STATEMENT: The Coffee Party Movement gives voice to Americans who want to see cooperation in government. We recognize that the federal government is not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges that we face as Americans. As voters and grassroots volunteers, we will support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them.

We are ordinary people with honor working to improve social and cultural change in America through peaceful methodology, recognizing that government is part of the solution and our only apparatus for collective decision making and action. No "pitch forks". This is the Coffee Party USA summary as I see it, some of us may want to be involved.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Complete your census form yet?

Not so complicated was it? Maybe next time, they'll send us an email, and save several billion dollars.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Underground utility wires - no money

During a Winter storm this year a Pacifica woman could have died as the result of a fallen live overhead utility wire. She was savvy enough to stay in her car and use her cell phone to call 911 for help. There was no "save the people" outcry at that time. Another overhead wire hazard has become apparent in Vallemar where urban trees are threatened and in conflict with power lines. In this case Canary Island palms trees apparently were planted in 1906, and have a potential lifetime of 300 years.

Pacific Parks, Beaches, and Recreation Commission, Tuesday (3/23/10) voted to remove 3 of 11 palm trees, and this issue will also come back to city council for their approval. Bad urban planning? That was the charge from one citizen. There was no city in 1906. Another charge was PG&E should underground these utility wires? No, the responsibility for undergrounding city wires is that of a city. As usual this city claims "no money" and defaults its responsibility. A neighborhood would need to pay for utility wires undergrounding if agreed upon by the neighborhood. Meantime, significant economic development to maintain and improve our city infrastructure continues to be defeated by some of the same people who are defending Vallemar trees.

There is a children's book collection fund raiser rally on Sunday, March 28, 12 noon to 2 pm at the corner of Reina del Mar and Nataqua and a donation website for those interested. Full article

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Friday, March 26, 2010

Java with Jerry, Half Moon Bay

Please join State Assemblymember Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, for a cup of coffee and conversation.  Bring your ideas, questions and concerns about legislative issues affecting the community.  Coffee will be provided by Jerry Hill at no taxpayer expense.

Java with Jerry
Thursday, April 1
7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Moonside Bakery & Cafe
604 Main Street, Half Moon Bay
(Located in La Piazza)

You are welcome to sit down and stay a while or just drop in for a brief chat. No appointment is necessary.
For more information, visit or call Assemblymember Hill’s District Office at (650) 349-1900.

Posted by Steve Sinai

Of major concern in Pacifica - should Pacifica have a "city tree"?

Why doesn't someone trim this Coast Live Oak tree? Oh, I forgot the city has "no money" and no plan to get money. How about naming a manicured and trimmed tree after the city cleans-up its economic act? Will that happen on the watch of this city council? They've had 8 years, you figure it out.

From the Tribune 3/5/2010....Does Pacifica have trees? You bet we do. And we ought to take good care of them, too. They provide us with beauty, protect us from the sun and wind, add value to our homes, and provide habitat for critters. All good things. Can they be dangerous, messy, and detract from our homes' value? Yes again. Therefore, it's a good idea to know something about these trees and shrubs before we plant them, prune them, or remove them. We have many trees that are native to the area and some other species that have been introduced. They can all be very beneficial or incredibly destructive, depending on individual characteristics and the care, or lack of, that they receive over the course of time. A tree properly selected and properly located and cared for will bring years of enjoyment and added value to your home and your neighbors' homes. The very same tree — poorly located or poorly pruned — can cause distress and/or detract from your property's value. So, let's get to know some of the trees that surround us, both native and introduced, And, if you intend to try out a new species, please, do a bit of simple research first for the benefit of all of us. Here are a few that we will all recognize and some more that I hope you will all find interesting.For suggestions or comments on a preferred city tree please contact,

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Solve California's budget problems

You think you're so smart? Then try the Next10 California Budget Challenge

Posted by Steve Sinai

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Public Forum on Coastal Erosion

Came across this post in the March 24 Pacifica Tribune page 4c:
"This Saturday March 27 Pacificans are invited to a Coastal Erosion Forum at 2 pm at the Sharp Park Library on Hilton.
This is the first in an educational series free to the public on various topics. Parking is available on the street during library hours. Guests include USGS emeritus geologist Monty Hampton and environmental hydrologist and civil engineer Bob Battalio. Moderating the forum will be Brenda Goeden of BCDC. The forum is the creation of Sue Digre, a credentialed California State licensed teacher."
I'm assuming folks interested in fixing Pacifica might be interested in this event.

Sharon Smoliarz

The latest from Stephen Frank's California Political News and Views

Submitted by Kathleen Rogan

"Enough is enough", the "violence" (promoted by Glenn Beck and others) must stop

The uneasy view from Republican National Leadership

And, why hasn't the government yet stepped-in on these beyond "free speech" (really suggestive threats) violations?

House Majority Whip Eric Cantor, right, said a bullet was shot through the window of his office in Richmond, Virginia.

Rep. Eric Cantor, the number two Republican in the House of Representatives, said Thursday that a bullet had been shot through a window at his district office in Richmond, Virginia. He also said he had received threatening messages. He said he would not publicly release the messages out of concern that doing so would only incite further violence.

He also accused Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland - a member of the Democratic House leadership - of "fanning the flames" of violence by using threats that have been made against Democratic members "as political weapons." "Enough is enough," Cantor said. "It has to stop."

More than 10 Democrats have reported trouble since the weekend health care vote, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, told reporters on Wednesday.Windows have been smashed at Democratic offices in at least three states, and federal agents are investigating whether a cut gas line at the home of a Virginia congressman's brother was related to the lawmaker's yes vote. Democratic congressional leaders have demanded Republicans join them in condemning a spate of threats and vandalism that has followed Sunday's vote on a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. health care system.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

First National Bank to close Eureka Square branch; other business owners concerned about lease renewals

Updated: 03/25/2010 06:03:54 AM PDT

First National Bank will close its Eureka Square branch Friday, June 25, after failing to successfully negotiate acceptable lease terms with the property manager.

Tom McGraw, Chief Executive Officer of First National Bank, said the bank branch that opened in 1963 will be consolidated with the bank's Linda Mar Shopping Center branch. The consolidation is due to the property manager, Biagini Properties, asking the bank to pay a "significant" increase in rent, he said, but declined to say exactly how much. McGraw learned about Biagini's proposed increase about a year before the lease expired.

"It was much more than we could afford for the size of the branch. With the increase in rent and our increase in health benefits costs, it didn't pencil out," he said. "We have a whole series of processes we have to do to get notifications to our regulators and customers in advance. When the offer appeared to be etched in stone, we went before the board and we decided that the most prudent thing to do was to find another place in the north end of town."

After a search yielded nothing acceptable, McGraw said the board decided to consolidate bank services in the newly remodeled and expanded Linda Mar branch, where the bank was able to successfully negotiate a favorable lease.

First National is, however, working with Biagini to lease a location in Eureka Square for a full service ATM in an access-controlled room.

"Mr. Biagini was probably willing to rethink his offer but we had put the wheels in motion and it would not have been practical for us to grind to a halt," McGraw said.

Tom Biagini, president of Biagini Properties, said he offered the bank a new lease at the same rent it had been paying.

"The bank is not vacating because of the change in the rent. It is just downsizing. They decided they didn't need a whole branch in the north end," Biagini said.

But McGraw said bank officials tried very hard to accommodate its north-end customers, some of whom would prefer not to travel to the south end of town. He said he expects to work out a favorable lease for the ATM.


Posted by Steve Sinai

Pacifica World News & Review

I thought this site was Fix Pacifica not World News & Review.

This site is going off into the ditch far away from the original purpose. Ideas and plans to fix Pacifica!!

Submitted by Jim Alex

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Next US Government Priority - Overhaul Financial Regulations

WASHINGTON — Buoyed by passage of landmark health care legislation, the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress said Wednesday that an overhaul of financial regulations was the next legislative priority. The legislation appeared to be gaining momentum, as two crucial Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and Bob Corker of Tennessee, said they expected the overhaul to pass this year even though they had concerns about some of its provisions.

Doesn't Republican leadership strategy remind you of "Road Runner and Coyote"?

In their dream, hopefully not the final episode

More like the backlash nightmare episode

Meantime..........Greetings from the party of NO, Senate Republicans Block health care hearings. "For the second consecutive day, Senate Republicans angry over the health care legislation blocked Senate committees from meeting on Wednesday, including an Armed Services Committee session that top officers stationed in Hawaii and Korea had traveled to Washington to attend. Showing their pique over the Senate’s plunging ahead with an expedited process to consider changes in the newly enacted health care law, Senate Republicans refused to allow panels to meet after 2 p.m."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Wealth Inequity and Medical Care Reform

A reminder about health care improvement again

5% of people control 90% of wealth in the United States. Or, a more favorable United States wealth distribution study: as of 2007 (article updated 2/2010) 20% of the people have 85% of the total net worth, and 20% of the people have 93% of the financial wealth.

New York Times article 3/23/2010....For all the political and economic uncertainties about health reform, at least one thing seems clear: The bill that President Obama signed on Tuesday is the federal government’s biggest attack on economic inequality since inequality began rising more than three decades ago. Over most of that period, government policy and market forces have been moving in the same direction, both increasing inequality. The pretax incomes of the wealthy have soared since the late 1970s, while their tax rates have fallen more than rates for the middle class and poor. Full article

Posted by Kathy Meeh

More Hitler Health Care Hell From the Far Right

Hitler reacts to passing of US Health Care Reform - March 21 2010,

Prior Hitler discovers Republicans have no ideas


Posted by Kathy Meeh


Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Sydney. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed in a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

Word gets around about Heidi's "drink now, pay later" marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Sydney.

By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Heidi's gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic Vice President at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets, and increases Heidi's borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets. Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics.

Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar. He so informs Heidi.

Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations, she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Heidi's bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the various BOND securities. They find they are now faced with not only having to write off her bad debt but also with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine supplier claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, and her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar, no-strings attached cash infusion from their cronies in Government. The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who have never been in Heidi's bar.

Now, do you understand???  Sound familiar?

Submitted by Jim Wagner

Cluttered accident in waiting

Is it just me?

I have noticed for years and have been remiss at reporting
the condition that are neighborhood sidewalks are left after
debris collection day. Most of the 35 gal. cans are replaced
directly in the middle of the walkway after collection,
not to mention the recycle bins. Sounds trivial? Maybe not.

Here's one example for a Linda Mar Neighborhood.
On Montezuma street which is directly behind and east of the
Linda Mar shopping center, you will find all day Monday
both stretches of sidewalk almost completely blocked by these
empty cans until you reach the corner handicap access ironic.

Why the concern? It can be dangerous for pedestrians, but
especially for the elderly and handicapped who trek along this route
to the stores... They have to leave the sidewalk and
many times are forced out onto the street. This is just an appeal
for common sense....please replace the cans at curbside in a safe place!

I contacted the city clerk, who is supposed to pass my concern to the council.
The city has already passed the ball to Recology, who responded to my request,
w/ a hard copy letter contradicting itself but saying to endure this situation
for the 12 hour window where these cans may remain.

I bring my appeal here, seeking advice, since Recology and the city council
have bigger issues to deal with on their time and our dime.

Frank Krumenaker
Linda Mar

New law would fine parents

March 24, 2010, 03:56 AM By Heather Murtagh Daily Journal Staff

Youth on the coast are advocating a different approach to curbing under-age drinking: Hold the parents responsible.

On Monday, the Pacifica City Council supported an idea generated by local teenagers to draft a social host ordinance. Such a measure would hold adults responsible for underage drinking in their home, regardless whether the adults are home when the drinking occurs. Local teens hope by fining the adults, rather than going after the youth, will create a more informed, more involved adult population ultimately curbing the underage behavior. A draft ordinance will be brought back before the council at a future meeting.

“I’m proud that our students are willing to focus on the roots of the problem and all the potential consequences. That youth have written a long-lasting policy is amazing,” Richard Boitano, associate superintendent for education for the Jefferson Unified High School District said in a prepared statement.

Young leaders from the Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol youth council, known as CMCA, a program through the Youth Leadership Institute, presented the idea to Pacifica elected officials Monday evening. Drinking issues have been of concern to Pacifica after two teens were killed in a car crash in 2005

Oceana High School seniors Natasha Smith and Theo Smith, no relation, were both suggested to the group by teachers during their sophomore year. Both had experiences in some way relating to alcohol and hopes of making some change locally. The group has worked for three years leading to its proposal for a fine-based policy.

A peer-led survey found approximately four out of five young people in Pacifica and Daly City (84.4 percent) saw other youth drink alcohol at their home or someone else’s home, normally when adults are not home, according to the YLI Youth Access Survey in 2009.

Natasha Smith was surprised at how honest people were about the survey.“In a sense I was shocked at the number of youth who knew someone who drank. It’s a high percentage of people. But at the same time, I know a lot of people. So it didn’t really shock me,” she said.


Posted by Steve Sinai

Don't fergit! Highway 1 closing Wednesday between 10 AM and 2 PM

Michael Cabanatuan Saturday, March 20, 2010

Highway 1 will close Wednesday for emergency work at Devil's Slide, which is living up to its name with several recent rockslides.

Caltrans will close the highway between Linda Mar Boulevard in Pacifica and the former Chart House restaurant near Gray Whale Cove between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. so that workers can stabilize the hillside in the area where the new Devil's Slide bridges have been built just north of where tunnels are being excavated.

While the highway - the only direct link between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay - is closed, Caltrans crews will also pick up litter, trim vegetation, clear drains and make other minor repairs, said spokesman Bob Haus.

Drivers heading north are advised to take Highway 92 east, Interstate 280 north, Highway 35 north, then turn left on Sharp Park Road. Drivers headed south from Pacifica are advised to go north to Sharp Park Road, turn east, take Highway 35 south to I-280 south, and Highway 92 west.

Read more:

Posted by Steve Sinai

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Republican tallywhackers

This is the kind of thing I don't want anyone sending in to the blog, as it undercuts the "family values" we're trying to promote.

Posted by a disgusted Steve Sinai

Map of Universal Health Care

Universal health care around the world (as of December 2009).
       Single-payer universal health care (16)      Public universal health care through other means (51)      No universal health care or no data   Posted by Steve Sinai

California State Democratic Party Local Delegate Endorsements



Barbara Arietta
Democratic State Party Region 4 Conference Secretary

In Burlingame, CA on Sunday March 21, 2010 Delegates from the Democratic State Party's Region Four unanimously endorsed Assemblymembers Fiona Ma (12AD), Tom Ammiano (13AD), Jerry Hill (19AD); State Senator Leland Yee (8th SD); Congressmember Nancy Pelosi (8CD) and Congressmember Jackie Speier (12CD) to continue in their respective offices. The results of Sunday's voting will be delivered to the State Democratic Party at the Democratic State Convention in Los Angeles next  month at the Party's annual convention, which will be making endorsements for the November election.

Two of the candidates announced recent achievements in their political careers. San Francisco County Assemblymember Fiona Ma (12AD) announced that she has just been made Speaker Pro Tem and San Mateo County Assembly Jerry Hill (19th AD) revealed that on Friday evening, March 19, he was elected Chair of the Democratic Caucus.

All of the candidates, except Congressmembers Nancy Pelosi and Jackie Speier, appeared at the Pre-Endorsement Conference to make a presentation to the Conference Delegates. Both Congressmembers were detained in Washington. D.C. because of the need to vote on the new Healthcare Reform Bill, which followed only a few hours after the Conference adjourned.

In spite of not being able to be there in person, Congressmember Jackie Speier called in to the Conference and waited on the phone as the Delegates were being called to cast their votes by a voice roll call being taken by Conference Secretary Barbara Arietta from Pacifica . After the Congressmember cast her vote she asked to be put on speakerphone to thank all those 12th Congressional District Delegates who voted for her. "I wish to thank all of you for taking the time to give me your votes. I am honored to serve you and San Mateo County."

Prior to Speier's voice vote by phone, Mark Nogales a Field Representative from Speier's San Mateo office told the assembled audience that Speier has said that the 12th District in San Mateo County has the best ethnic diversity and best educated in the country. He stated that Speier has worked very hard to obtain both financial protection and consumer protection for the public.

Shortly upon the heels of the ending of the Conference, Congressmember Speier, along with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi found themselves casting their votes on the passage of the historic health insurance reform legislation.

"I have never been more honored to be in public service than I am right now. Seventy-five (75) years after the passage of the Social Security Act and 35 years after the passage of Medicare, I am proud to stand with the American people on the right side of history. President Theordore Roosevelt said, 'Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain and difficulty', Speier said. "There is no doubt that this effort was worth doing and that for every American, access to quality helath insurance is certainly worth having."

Speier continued to state that while those in Congress have had to face difficulties and expended great effort to see this through, the real pain in the debate was borne by the millions of Americans, whose health care fight isn't one of words, but rather, of life and death. The Congressmember commended the President, Speaker Pelosi and the House leadership for standing firm amid the most hateful and malicious rhetoric that Speier has ever experienced in all of her time in public service.

"The shameful campaigns of fear-mongering and ridiculous conspiracy theories are over and the American people have won. Soon, we will live in a country where the diagnosis of a serious illness will not mean the loss of your home, where losing your job will not mean the loss of medical care, and where those suffering with AIDS, cancer and chronic diseases can focus their energies on getting well, not fighting with their insurance companies," Speier said.

 "This bill does not do all that I hoped it would. But the struggle to ensure the health and well-being of American families is not going to be solved with one piece of legislation or one session of Congress," Speier continued."What we have passed tonight is a strong foundation upon which we can build a more equitable and accessible health care system for all Americans.

Posted by Steve Sinai

Stephen Frank's California Political News and Views

Submitted by Kathleen Rogan

Monday, March 22, 2010

ACORN Busts-A-Nut and Folds. A Victory for God and America.

CHICAGO – The once mighty community activist group ACORN announced Monday it is folding amid falling revenues — six months after video footage emerged showing some of its workers giving tax tips to conservative activists posing as a pimp and prostitute.

"It's really declining revenue in the face of a series of attacks from partisan operatives and right-wing activists that have taken away our ability to raise the resources we need," ACORN spokesman Kevin Whelan said.

Several of its largest affiliates, including ACORN New York and ACORN California, broke away this year and changed their names in a bid to ditch the tarnished image of their parent organization and restore revenue that ran dry in the wake of the video scandal.

ACORN's financial situation and reputation went into free fall within days of the videos' release in September. Congress reacted by yanking ACORN's federal funding, private donors held back cash and scores of ACORN offices closed.

Earlier this month, a U.S. judge reiterated an earlier ruling that the federal law blacklisting ACORN and groups allied with it was unconstitutional because it singled them out. But that didn't mean any money would be automatically be restored.

Bertha Lewis, the CEO of ACORN, which stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, alluded to financial hardships in a weekend statement as the group's board prepared to deliberate by phone.

"ACORN has faced a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded right wing attacks that are unprecedented since the McCarthy era," she said. "The videos were a manufactured, sensational story that led to rush to judgment and an unconstitutional act by Congress."

ACORN's board decided to close remaining state affiliates and field offices by April 1 because of falling revenues, with some national operations will continue operating for at least several weeks before shutting for good, Whelan said Monday.

For years, ACORN could draw on 400,000 members to lobby for liberal causes, such as raising the minimum wage or adopting universal health care. ACORN was arguably most successful at registering hundreds of thousands of low-income voters, though that mission was dogged by fraud allegations, including that some workers submitted forms signed by 'Mickey Mouse' or other cartoon characters.

Original AP story

Posted by Steve Sinai

The Dog was mad cause he didn't have a dog park!!!!!

Dog Chews Up Police Car, Lands in Doggie Jail

A dog in Chattanooga, Tenn. who chomped on a police car like a giant chew toy, flattening two tires and ripping off the fiberglass front fender, is behind bars at a local animal shelter, reports the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The pit-bull mix, named Winston, is waiting to hear his fate, to be decided at a hearing on March 25.

The story, which "sounds funny if you're not in the middle of it," says one person familiar with the case, began on Sunday afternoon. Officer Clayton Holmes of the Chattanooga Police Department was sitting in his patrol car "running radar," when he felt the car shaking and got out to investigate, reports the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Officer Rebecca Rayval tells Paw Nation that Holmes "saw a dog chewing on one of the car's tires. The dog was apparently very aggressive."

Officer Holmes fired pepper spray at the dog, but it only moved from tearing up the tire to tearing up the front fender. "The dog had a hold of the front bumper and Officer Holmes used the Taser on him, which stopped the dog for about three seconds," Officer Rayval says. "But the dog ripped the Taser probes out of his skin and went back to chewing on the bumper."

When a second police officer arrived in his car, the dog flattened its tire too, says Officer Rayval. Winston also chewed the tires on two cars that drove by trying to get through the area, says Karen Walsh, executive director at the McKamey Animal Center, speaking to Paw Nation.

"It was awful. Thankfully nobody got hurt," Winston's owner, Nancy Emerling, tells Paw Nation about learning of the incident. "I think amazing restraint was shown by the officers in not shooting him."

Emerling has had Winston since he was a stray puppy who wandered onto the property at Mann Welding, a family-run business, in October 2007. "He was just a little guy, just a couple of months old," says Emerling. She named the puppy Winston because "he kind of reminded me of Winston Churchill," she says.

Winston lived at the fenced-in property, staying in an enclosed outdoor pen with another dog. "He's not a guard dog, he's penned up," says Emerling. "He's just a stray dog that we took in. He's a sweet dog and has never been aggressive towards people. He doesn't like a lot of noises, like the lawnmower or leaf blower. It just drives him crazy."

The best that Emerling can piece together, "something happened that upset the dog enough to break out through the chain link fence." Winston chewed through the strap on the gate, rammed into the gate until he bent the latch and got out of his pen, Emerling tells Paw Nation. Then he ran around the fenced property, across a creek and out to the road where the police car was next door.

Winston was impounded by animal control officers and Emerling was issued a citation for possessing a "potentially dangerous animal," a legal term defined by a city ordinance and the dog is being held as a "potentially dangerous dog."

The next step will be for a judge to rule in the case and if things go in Winston's favor, hopefully, a new home to be found for the dog as well.

"We would love to have Winston back," says Emerling, "but we cannot take responsibility of him doing something like this again."
But Emerling received a surprise offer earlier this week from someone who wants to adopt Winston: None other than Officer Holmes, who first encountered the dog chewing up his police car.

"Officer Holmes doesn't want the dog put down," confirms Officer Rayval. "He has talked to Nancy [Emerling] and she has agreed. It would be good for the dog to be out in the country." Officer Holmes has a large farm outside the city of Chattanooga and it would "be the best thing for Winston to get to go be a dog and run and be happy," says Emerling.

That, however, will be up to Judge Sherry Paty, who is scheduled to hear the case next week. "We're trying to treat this as a normal 'potentially dangerous dog' case, but it's not normal," says Walsh. "We've never had a dog attack a car before. And no one's ever asked to adopt a potentially dangerous dog."

"He has displayed no overtly aggressive behavior since he's been here," says Walsh, adding that some dogs will throw themselves at the bars, which Winston has not done. But neither has he seemed particularly happy. "No, he hasn't wagged his tail," says Walsh. "He's just here. He's noncommittal and that's okay. We're not his people

Submitted by Jim Alex


The Washington Post babbled again today about Obama inheriting a huge deficit from Bush, blah blah blah.  Amazingly enough, a lot of people swallow this nonsense.

So once more, I'll try a short civics lesson.
Budgets do not come from the White House.  They come from Congress, and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democratic Party.  They controlled the budget process for FY 2008 and FY 2009, as well as FY 2010 and FY 2011.  In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases.  For FY 2009, though, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office.  At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the FY 2009 budgets.

And where was Barack Obama during this time?  He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete FY 2009.

Let's remember what the deficits looked like during that period:
If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the FY 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets.  That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending.  After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets.  If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself.

In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is:  I inherited a deficit that I voted for and then I voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20th.

That’s the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth….!

Submitted by Kathleen Rogan

Health care passes, and the world doesn't end

It's actually sunny this morning. With all the hysteria, who'd a thunk it?

Posted by Steve Sinai

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Acorn on Brink of Bankruptcy, Officials Say

  • group Acorn, battered politically from the right and suffering from mismanagement along with a severe loss of government and other funds, is on the verge of filing for bankruptcy, officials of the group said Friday. 
Bertha Lewis, Acorn's chief executive, blamed “relentless, well-funded right-wing attacks” reminiscent of the McCarthy era. 

Acorn is holding a teleconference this weekend to discuss plans for a bankruptcy filing, two officials of the group said. They asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the news media.
Over the last six months, at least 15 of the group’s 30 state chapters have disbanded and have no plans of re-forming, Acorn officials said. The California and New York chapters, two of the largest, have severed their ties to the national group and have independently reconstituted themselves with new names. Several other state groups are also re-forming outside the Acorn umbrella, and will not be affected if the national organization files for bankruptcy.
This week, the Maryland chapter announced that it would not reopen its offices, which were shuttered in September in the wake of a widely publicized series of video recordings made by two conservative activists, posing as a prostitute and a pimp, who secretly filmed Acorn workers providing them tax advice. In the videos, Acorn workers told one of the activists, James E. O’Keefe III, how to hide prostitution activities from the authorities and avoid taxes, raising no objections to his proposed criminal activities.
After the activists’ videos came to light and swiftly became fodder for 24-hour cable news coverage, private donations from foundations to Acorn all but evaporated and the federal government quickly distanced itself from the group.
The Census Bureau ended its partnership with the organization for this year’s census, the Internal Revenue Service dropped Acorn from its Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program, and Congress voted to cut off all grants to the group.
A network that once included more than 1,000 grass-roots groups, Acorn, which stands for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, was created in 1970 and has fought for liberal causes like raising the minimum wage, registering the poor to vote, stopping predatory lending and expanding affordable housing. The organization helped roughly 150,000 lower-income families prepare their tax returns and obtain $190 million in tax refunds between 2004 and 2009, Acorn officials said.
But long before the activist videos delivered what may become the final blow, the organization was dogged for years by financial problems and accusations of fraud. In the summer of 2008, infighting erupted over embezzlement of Acorn funds by the brother of the organization’s founder. Some chapters were also found to have submitted voter application forms with incorrect information on them during the lead-up to the 2008 presidential election, leading to blistering charges from conservative organizations linking Acorn’s errors to the Obama campaign.
“That 20-minute video ruined 40 years of good work,” said Sonja Merchant-Jones, former co-chairwoman of Acorn’s Maryland chapter. “But if the organization had confronted its own internal problems, it might not have been taken down so easily.”
The national organization’s housing affiliate, long one of the best-financed offshoots, has been hit especially hard. The group, which changed its name to the Affordable Housing Centers of America this year, now has 17 offices, down from 29 a year ago. The housing group’s annual budget has dropped to $6 million this year, down from $24 million last year.
Some of Acorn’s state chapters have tried to remake themselves in recent months.
Calls to Acorn’s New York City offices, for example, are now met with a recording that says: “Acorn is not providing services in New York. If you’re interested in hearing from local organizations with similar purposes, please press zero.”
The New York chapter has been replaced by a new group, called New York Communities for Change, whose Web site promotes many of Acorn’s goals and many of whose staff and community members are the same.
In Pittsburgh, Acorn officials said they were trying to continue work while they decided whether to stay with the national organization or form a new one. Maryellen Hayden, the volunteer director of Allegheny County’s Acorn, said the group was continuing to counsel people facing foreclosure and had recently sent two buses with dozens of members to Washington to rally for the Democratic health care bill.
Many former Acorn staff members and beneficiaries of its work say that while the group was its own worst enemy in many ways, it was also one of the most consistent advocates for the poor. Acorn’s sudden demise, supporters say, has left a vacuum in services for communities that used to rely on it for free advice on employment, tax and loan matters.
In Prince George’s County, Md., the Rev. Gloria Swieringa said she owed her home to Acorn. Ms. Swieringa, 72, who is blind, said her mortgage payment was $1,100 per month, more than she could afford on her fixed income of about $1,500 a month, until Acorn stepped in.
After she tried unsuccessfully to persuade her mortgage company to lower her rate or readjust her loan, Acorn workers began writing letters, making calls and contacting the news media on her behalf. Last May, the company relented and lowered her monthly payments to $771 per month.
“That’s what I know Acorn for,” Ms. Swieringa said. “And that’s why it’s just awful for it to disappear.”
But other supporters have grown disenchanted. Rick Tingling-Clemmons, 66, a teacher in Washington, was an enthusiastic dues-paying member, but soured on the organization over the reports of embezzlement and dropped his affiliation last year. By the time the scandal over the videotaped employees erupted, he was already done with Acorn, he said, and he now believes it needs to reinvent itself with a new mission and a new name.
“We get better, all of us, after we make mistakes that we learn from,” he said. “It’s from those mistakes that we learn and we get smarter. I think the people in Acorn will get smarter.”
Bertha Lewis, the chief executive of Acorn, said in an e-mail message that her organization’s problems were the result of “a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded right-wing attacks” reminiscent of the McCarthy era.
“Our effective work empowering African-American and low-income voters made us a target,” she said. “And the videos were a manufactured, sensational story that led to a rush to judgment and an unconstitutional act by Congress.”
In the month after the videos were released, Acorn commissioned an internal audit by a former attorney general of Massachusetts, Scott Harshbarger. His report, released in December, said the employees portrayed in the videos had not engaged in any illegal activity. Last month, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office completed an investigation of the Acorn employees there who appeared in the video and concluded that they had not taken part in any criminality.
Nonetheless, the damage had been done. Republicans and conservatives attacked the group, in part because the group’s registration efforts typically signed up voters who were believed to support Democrats. Those critics saw the videos as evidence of Acorn’s corruption.
Darrell Issa of California, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, described Acorn at a December hearing as a “criminal organization” working hand-in-glove with the Obama administration. In February, committee Republicans released a report saying that Acorn “exploits the poor and vulnerable” for political gain.
A federal district court judge in New York ruled in December that the Congressional ban on funding for the group was unconstitutional. This month, the same judge barred federal officials from enforcing it, but no federal money is flowing to the organization while the government appeals the ruling.
In January, Mr. O’Keefe and three other men were arrested in New Orleans and accused of trying to tamper with the office telephone system of Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana.
Mr. O’Keefe has denied the charges and said the group was trying to investigate complaints that constituents calling Ms. Landrieu’s office could not get through to criticize her support of a health care overhaul bill.

Theo Emery contributed reporting from Washington.

Submitted by Jim Alex

Our Turn: Fix the Highway 1 commute hassle

Jim Wagner and Mark Stechbart
(The Hawaiian Shirt Twins.)

How many times have we all been stuck in the Highway 1 traffic jam that extends to Linda Mar beach or up past the golf course? Miss a plane flight, a business appointment or are your kids late for school? We all have lost a lot of time stuck on Rt. 1.

That's going to change after years of talk. CalTrans and the City of Pacifica are moving forward on fixing the Rt. 1 traffic jam that exists between Fassler Avenue and Vallemar.

Fixing this bottleneck will save everyone in Linda Mar, Pedro Point and Rockaway 10-15 minutes each day, 78 hours a year. Almost two full weeks.

Could you use those two weeks you waste sitting on Highway 1 doing something else? We think a Rt. 1 solution makes good sense.

The major cause of the traffic delay are cars turning off Rt. 1 into Vallemar and turning off Fassler onto Highway 1. That stops the north-south traffic flow.

These unacceptable delays block emergency vehicles and increases the commute hassle factor.

The solution is common sense: widen the road appropriately and double the turning lanes, particularly into Vallemar, so twice the number of cars can turn per signal.

We must remember, we are the traffic! Every single one of us in a single occupant car is the traffic. Add to this mix Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Montara, Moss Beach and the expected increase when the tunnel is finished in two years.

The funding is set up to pay for this because Pacifica voters increased the sales tax we all pay 1/2 cent in 2004. 
You might remember the Nov. 2004 Measure A one-half cent sales tax campaign.

Then-Mayor Jim Vreeland was featured on the campaign mailer as well as 100 percent of the Council (Vreeland, Lancelle, Digre, DeJarnatt, Hinton) endorsing infrastructure improvements that included highway improvements.

In Pacifica, Measure A passed overwhelmingly 11,767 vs. 3,831 (75 percent majority) indicating the voters really expect progress to be made.

The rest of the funding comes from gas taxes (which we all pay for) and federal dollars.

The Pacifica School District (elementary district) passed a resolution supporting a Rt. 1 fix.

If Pacifica does not use this money, it will be given to some other town. Pacifica voters' expectations of traffic improvements will be ignored.

Some opponents to fixing Rt. 1 have decided we should all ride buses. Or change the start time for Vallemar and Cabrillo schools. Or make parents pay for school buses for those schools. We think that is unfair and unreasonable.

We have the Measure A money. We all pay the 1/2 cent sales tax add-on. We use it, or we lose it. The traffic is coming anyway. We're not going to stop the completion of the tunnels.

The same cooperative problem solving that enabled the Devil's Slide tunnels to be built can be applied to Rt. 1.

Fixing Rt. 1 will offer us the same traffic and safety improvements as did the tunnel. As a community we cannot allow any more delay to a reasonable Rt. 1 solution.

This not the time to throw up our hands. We must reach an agreement because the entire southern part of Pacifica plus South Coast residents are counting on us.

Without a Rt. 1 solution, we all will remain stuck in traffic, creating pollution, delays and missed appointments. Emergency vehicles will remain delayed. Nerves frazzled. A bad situation all around.

Do you want to save those 78 hours currently spent sitting in traffic? Reduce the hassle factor? Support the Rt 1 traffic solution today.

Posted by Steve Sinai