Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Measure V Hurts Families

The Measure V cell phone and land line tax is a bad idea. It’s too expensive; hurts families, and with a $1.8 million dollar city surplus, not needed. It's a blank check for City Council. The City rushed this thing and did a real sloppy, inaccurate job.

One of the five city council members, who voted to place Measure V on the ballot, checked in last week in a column in this paper to explain why Council needed V. The column read like all the other campaign rhetoric coming out of the pro tax camp. Their high priced campaign consultant could not have written a better column. Claims of inaccurate facts by the no tax side are as empty as the "facts" the tax group bring forward.

Let’s see, they claim that Measure V amends the 1983 PG&E gas and electric tax. Amends! Nice word for “adds another tax”. A 60% increase! It is true that in the 1983 version seniors received an exemption. What they do not point out is that in the 1983 version, low and very low income residents also got the exemption. This low income protection was left out of the current cell phone tax because whoever authored this was sloppy and the ordinance was poorly vetted, or the omission was deliberate. Why would the proponents of this tax crow about helping the low-income Resource Center while at the same time agreeing to tax those least able to afford it! Unconscionable.

This measure is way too complicated. Council will appoint an Advisory Committee to monitor the proceeds of this tax. The budget for 2013-2014 has 75 pages of tables and descriptions. Good luck to the committee. Steve Rhodes made note at the first council meeting where this tax was discussed in late June that an oversight committee could not really monitor anything. As the ordinance itself says “Proceeds of the tax imposed by this section shall be deposited in the (unrestricted) general fund of the City and be available for any legal purpose”. (Sec.3-11A.04 G) The money can be spent for anything this council, or any future council, wishes. Finally, here's the real ordinance statement on the advisory committee: " ensure the tax revenue authorized by this chapter is expended within the city" Just how are they going to manage that?  Does this end contracting with out of town vendors? Another example of how poorly written the tax measure is.
The pro tax advocates make a lot of claims about the tax cost. Let’s take a look at some of these. This tax may raise $1,075,000. Now where did that number come from? Turns out it was made up. We did a public document request asking for analysis and sources for this number. THERE WASN’T ANY! They could have plugged any number in there. Our bet is their consultant told them that’s a good low-ball number to deliver to the public. $6 dollars a month is being bandied about as a cost. Once again, a public document request was made. Amazingly we received the same answer back as our previous request. There is no support for that claim, other than their consultant told them it was a number that would not scare your average voter. You notice a pattern! We urge a NO vote because we believe this tax will actually be higher than touted and hurt families with children. We all know that most of our kids have cell phones of their own. We also know that it is us, the parents that are paying for them. We fear that this tax could approach several hundred dollars a year.
On June 10, 2013, council declared the budget balanced and a 1.8 million dollar reserve. Less than 30 days later, City Manager Rhodes (now a lame duck city manager) declared doom and gloom. Pacifica will now have a deficit next year which will extend over the next 4 years, he reported. Guess what the supporting analysis showed? Yep, you’re right, Mr. Rhodes made those statements with no staff report, no supporting numbers, no projections. These numbers were used to justify a phony fiscal state of emergency for our city and further justify putting a tax initiative on the ballot. Transparent? Doubt it.
Every three or four years Council cries “wolf” and wants a new tax. This poorly written and vetted tax increase is no different. The City’s own documents, approved by Council, show the largest surplus in five years, a balanced budget, and all programs are funded. Measure V is a bad idea all around. Vote NO. 

Submitted by Jim Wagner & Mark Stechbart

Pacifica Blood Drive, Saturday, November 9th 8 AM-Noon

Pacifica Community

Saturday, November 9th       8:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Lodge Hall -
776 Bradford St, Pacifica, CA 94044

Breakfast will be served to all donors courtesy of Mizpah Members!

Appointment Link

Thank you for being a blood donor!

You are one of the few in our community who take the time to freely give a part of yourself so that others may live!

We know it is not always convenient to donate blood but without your donation, people in our community would not have been able to receive the blood they so desperately needed:
Infant boy
14 year old girl
66 year old male
3 month old baby boy
Infant girl
11 year old girl
38 year old female
58 year old male
46 year old female
Infant baby boy
Ventricular dysfunction given 1 pint O-
Autoimmune hemolytic anemia given 16 pints O+
Prostate cancer given 8 pints A+
Myocarditis given 2 pints O-
Heart defect give 7 pints B+
Leukemia given 8 pints O+
Seizure disorder given 29 pints O+
Large hematoma given 12 pints A-
Melanoma given 24 pints A+
Respiratory distress given 1 pint O-
While blood can be stored for 42 days, most blood we collect is transfused to patients within a week at one of 50 Bay Area hospitals.
As we approach the critical winter holiday period, our blood supply is beginning to decrease. Please make an appointment to donate at the above event.
Your generosity is greatly appreciated by all at the blood center and our hospitals!

If you have been told previously by us or another blood center that you should never donate blood, please disregard this message. If you recently made a blood donation, or if you have already scheduled an appointment to donate blood, please accept our thanks on behalf of the patients whose lives you may have touched.

To donate blood you must be at least 16 years old, weigh 110 lbs. and be in good health.
Blood Centers of the Pacific
270 Masonic Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118
Posted by Steve Sinai

Be careful out there, and have a safe Halloween

Pacifica Tribune, 10/30/13.  "Halloween safety tips from the Pacifica Police Department."

"With Halloween tomorrow, the Pacifica Police Department would like to remind our citizens of some safety tips to consider to promote a happy, safe Halloween: 

Happy Halloween !
Instruct your children to bring all candy home before eating it so that you can carefully inspect it for tampering.  Children shouldn't snack while they're out trick-or-treating before parents have a chance to inspect the goodies. To help prevent children from munching, give them a snack or light meal before they go -- don't send them out on an empty stomach.

Tell children not to accept -- and, especially, not to eat -- anything that isn't commercially wrapped. Throw out candy or treats that are homemade, unwrapped or if they appear to have been tampered with (pinholes in wrappers, torn wrappers, etc.)  Parents of young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys. Wash all fresh fruit thoroughly, inspect for holes, including small punctures, and cut open before allowing children to eat it.

Wear reflective material and carry a flashlight when walking at night. Drive carefully, and be prepared for the high number of pedestrians that will be out during the evening hours. If going to an adult Halloween party, make sure that you don't drink and drive. Use a designated driver if alcoholic beverages are being consumed.

As always, the Pacifica Police Department encourages citizens to contact the department by dialing 911 or 650-738-7314 to report suspicious activity. The men and women of the Pacifica Police Department wish our citizens a happy, safe Halloween."

Related - Center for environmental health.  Note:  graphic from this article. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Monday, October 28, 2013

Measure V Debate Play-by-Play

By Barbara Arietta
Special to the Pacifica Tribune

It was a “full house” in the rear Banquet Room of the Sharp Park Golf Course Restaurant on Saturday morning, October 19th. Upwards of 80  enthusiastic attendees, almost 30 more than the 52 anticipated, surprisingly appeared at the door to attend the Pacifica-Daly City Democrats “Great Debate of 2013” , thereby forcing the restaurant to keep setting up table after table, in order to accommodate the burgeoning crowd that had come to hear the “No on V” supporters square off against the “Yes on V” supporters.

And, in keeping with what has come to be known as true Pacifica fashion, opposing opinions in the room were flying fast and furious as to whom would be the morning’s debate winner.

A quick scan of the audience revealed the presence of members from Pacifica’s City Council, the Pacifica Resource Center, and the Pacifica Police Department, in addition to  representatives from Pacifica’s business community, Chamber of Commerce, and the San Mateo County Association of Realtors (SAMCAR), as well as several other individuals from various city committees, commissions and local organizations.

The meeting’s attendance was a “melting pot” of demographics:  employed and unemployed, young and not so young, professional and blue-collared, newly arrived residents and long-term residents, Democrats and non-Democrats, all with the one common link to each other being the fact that they were all Pacificans and that they all had an interest in what the morning debaters would reveal to them about the upside and downside of Measure V.

Debaters in the “Great Debate of 2013” for the “Yes on V” side included campaign manager,

Kalimah Salahudin and City Council member, Karen Ervin. Representatives for the “No on V” side were Pacifica mortgage broker, Jim Wagner and Pacifica resident Mark Stechbart, both members of the Committee Against Higher Utility Taxes.

The Moderator of “The Great Debate of 2013” was Barbara Arietta, President of the Pacifica-Daly City Democrats.

Both teams were  advised by the Moderator that they did not have to take the full time allotted for the opening remarks, questions and closing remarks. If they could answer the questions in a shorter time frame, they were encouraged to so, in order to answer as many questions as possible. However, during the course of the morning’s debate, and in the heat of the responses, both teams elected to take the full time allowed, thus reducing the number of questions addressed.

At the end of the “Great Debate of 2013,” the Pacifica members of the Pacifica-Daly City Democrats, having heard both sides of the arguments, voted by a margin of slightly over  2-1 to endorse “ Yes on Measure V “.

And, as the meeting attendees exited the Sharp Park Restaurant’s Banquet Room at the conclusion of the debate, one attendee exclaimed to her colleagues,” this debate was a true example of Democracy in action!”


Submitted by Jim Wagner

Pacifica Police to Coordinate "Map Your Neighborhood Program"

Daniel Steidle
Administrative/Investigative Services Division
2075  Coast Highway
Pacifica, CA 94044
650-738-7320 (Desk)
650-355-1172 (Fax)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

City Council meeting, Monday, October 28, 2013

Attend in person, 2212 Beach Boulevard, 2nd floor.  Or, view on local channel 26, also live internet feed,  The meeting begins at 7pm, or shortly there following.  City council updates and archives are available on the City website.

City Council meeting agenda, 10/28/13.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Saturday, October 26, 2013

BART workers recession proof, and got their pay raise

And may they never strike again.

San Jose Mercury News/public employee pension news/Mike Rosenberg and Daniel J. Willis, Staff Writers, 10/26/13.  "BART raises follow similar pay bumps for Bay Area workers, especially in government."
During BART's high-profile labor negotiations, much of the public anger was focused on union workers' demands for extra pay when they already make some of the highest average salaries in the state.

But it turns out the raises they received reflect the wage bumps that other Bay Area government employees already got in the last few years, according to an analysis by this newspaper of payroll data provided by more than 300 local public agencies. And the BART raises were only slightly more than the pay increases private sector workers received.   Read article.

Note:  Photograph from Latinos post.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pacifica Index, Utility Users Tax, Measure V

           APacifica Index  caption

"This is a general repository of all City and community information related to the upcoming UUT ballot measure, Measure V.  
If you wish to add any materials, please email."

With permission from Chris Fogel, Editor & Publisher 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Martin's Beach private property rights prevail until the appeal

Martin's Beach win for private property rights
Win for people not mucking up the environment

Half Moon Bay Review/Mark Noack, 10/24/13.  "Judge rules against public access for Martin's Beach."

The billionaire owners of Martin’s Beach are within their rights to bar the public from accessing the shoreline, according to a ruling announced Thursday morning by a San Mateo County Superior Court judge.  

The decision by Judge Gerald Buchwald indicated that private-property rights ultimately trumped arguments that the public was entitled to access the beach under the state constitution.

It was the first full-fledged judicial analysis of the coastal-access questions centered on the beach. For months, dozens of visitors have been hopping a locked gate at the entrance to Martin’s Beach, and San Mateo County law enforcement officials say it was unclear whether the act constituted trespassing.    Read article.

Related - Fix Pacifica Martin's Beach reprint articles, "Search this blog".    Note:  photograph from Half Moon Bay Review,  file, 7/26/12.

Posted by Kathy Meeh