Monday, February 29, 2016

City library advisory committee being formed

Pacifica Tribune/Ester Harris, Correspondent, 2/24/16.  "Proposed library still on city's radar. Some express concerns over site's possible exposure to coastal erosion over time."

.... "Julie Finklang, the manager for Pacifica libraries, said 'There is a lot of misinformation being spread through blogs and social media regarding the new library site.' 
Image result for planned Pacifica, CA  library picture
There went the Beach Blvd library!
I learned that on Riptide, it's true.
Library will be on Palmetto Ave?
Coastal Commission approves,
and seawall is getting fixed? No...

Image result for Pacifica library conceptual design picture
1 City library only, 2 floors,
underground garage, modern.
County funds a portion, and we
fund the balance through a tax.
.... ... Lorie Tinfow said the Coastal Commission is well aware of the elements of the full project and is in support of it. While the Commission still needs to review the entire project before final approval, Tinfow said the City received a letter dated Nov. 20, 2015 from California Coastal Commission District Manager Nancy Cave that states, '…. I write today to express our support for inclusion of a public library as part of the Beach Boulevard Redevelopment Project.'  ....  The new library is planned to be constructed on the corner of Palmetto Ave. and Montecito Ave., across the street from the current Sharp Park library. It is a block away from the ocean and is included as part of the development of City property located at 2212 Beach Blvd.

.... ... Eric Ruchames (member of the Pacifica Library Foundation) stressed the importance for people to understand this project has been in progress for years and years. “It’s not just something the City is trying to slip through,” he added.

Plans for the new library are moving forward. Finklang said the City is working on putting together a library advisory committee. They are currently seeking applicants interested in facilitating plans to move forward with the new library. Five applicants will be selected to serve on the committee. People may obtain applications at both the Sharp Park library and Sanchez library as well as at City Hall."   Read article.

Reference, planning.  City of Pacifica, the new Pacifica library, "City Council votes for next planning steps..."  "At the meeting held on November 23, 2015, the City Council voted unanimously to take the next steps toward realizing the vision for a new library in Pacifica.  Those steps include: Hiring an architect to complete the next phase of library design known as “schematic design”; Recognizing that a new tax measure to generate new revenue will be needed to construct the library; Hiring experts to determine and measure community support for a tax; and Appropriating sufficient funding to match funds available from San Mateo County for library planning and design activities. 

Related, video. Pacifica Currents, 7/14/12, "A new library for Pacifica", Video 28:30 minutes.  "Pacific Currents host Steve Johnson interviews guests Pacifica Libraries Manager Thom Ball and Pacifica Library Foundation Board Member Eric Ruchames about a new library for Pacifica."  The Group 4 Architecture conceptual design and discussion begins about 10 minutes into the video.  Pacifica Library Foundation. 

Note photograph.  Beach Blvd by Cheyenne Brockett from Pacifica Tribune/Jane Northrop, 1/20/16,"Seawall collapses near Pacifica Pier." Graphic face page  image from Group 4 Architecture. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Urban GGNRA, clean-up your poop!

San Francisco Examiner/Sally Stephens, 2/28/16.  "A flawed process rigged from the start."

Image result for GGNRA dog picture
Lone human walking your dogs
Image result for dogs on GGNRA land pictures
Just us ready to run, and have fun
"I used to think of the National Park Service as good guys. Not any more. Over the past decades, NPS staff in the Bay Area have run roughshod over local concerns, repeatedly lied to the community and presided over an incredibly biased, unfair public process.

Last week, Park Service announced a new rule outlining where you can walk with a dog in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. No matter what you think about the issue, you should be appalled at the way NPS developed the rule.  ....  The Boards of Supervisors of all three counties with GGNRA land — San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo — have gone on record opposing the plan that doesn’t consider impacts on city parks if thousands of people with dogs are forced out of the GGNRA.

A year ago, I went with a group to Washington, D.C. to talk with Congress about our concerns with the Park Service. Every member of Congress or staffer with whom we talked — both Republicans and Democrats — had their own stories of major problems with NPS and the agency’s heavy handedness with local communities.  There’s a culture deeply entrenched within the Park Service that encourages its unelected bureaucrats to make management decisions with little respect for public input, and then impose those decisions on the park or recreation area, without regard for how they impact surrounding communities.

The GGNRA, created to bring more people to nature, is now forcing large numbers of people out. Dog groups have participated in this decades-long process in good faith, only to find the process was rigged from the start.  For more information on the draft rule, go to"   Read more. 
Sally Stephens is an animal, park, and neighborhood activist who lives in the West of Twin Peaks area.  

Related.  From the SF Dog article link: "Save Our Recreation has put up a new petition, directed at House Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Jared Huffman opposing the GGNRA's proposed dog rule. Sign it now!  Get Your Friends to Sign It!  Share on Facebook and other social media!

Note photographs. Happy dogs from Moonstone Archive/Flickr, Bay Nature/Heather Mack, 4/2/13,"Do the Presidio's new dog walking rules go far enough?"  Man walking dogs from San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate/Mike Kepka, 4/13/14, "Wild West for dog wranglers drawing to a close?" 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Veterans Resource Event, March 10, Skyline College

Skyline College is proud to host a campus and community wide Veterans Resource Event at Skyline College on Thursday, March 10th.  The event is FREE and open to all San Mateo County Community College District students, faculty, staff and local community members. It is also open to the general public. The event will connect attendees with support services geared towards veterans and dependents from around the Bay Area.
The event features:
·         A resource fair including 30+ community veterans support agencies and Skyline College campus programs.
·         Access to several drop-in workshop rooms with onsite VA Healthcare enrollment opportunities and individualized career development counseling.
·         Veterans’ representatives from top transfer schools to discuss their programs and address admissions inquiries. 
For additional information about this event, please contact Gina Ciardella, Program Services Coordinator for the Veterans Resource Center at
Submitted by Jim Wagner

Saturday, February 27, 2016

GGNRA plans to further restrict dogs in Bay Area urban parkland

Contra Costa Times/Bay City News Service, "Dog owners howling over proposed rules for Golden Gate National Recreation Area."

...."Dog owners, however, say the plan represents a massive reduction from the current amount of access and ignores the input from both Bay Area residents and elected officials. 

Image result for Dogs on GGNRA land pictures
I'm a nice dog
Image result for Dogs on GGNRA land pictures
Enjoying a dog's life
....  Elected officials in San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties, all of which contain parts of the recreation area, and at the state and federal levels have voiced opposition to the proposed regulations. 

....  The proposed rule for dog management is open for public comment from today through April 25 at Public meetings will be held in San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties, and comments can also be submitted by mail to Superintendent, GGNRA, Dog Management Proposed Rules, Building 201, Fort Mason, San Francisco CA 94123."   Read article. 

Related article.  KQED News/Spencer Michels, 2/25/16, "Critics Send Up a Howl Over Proposed GGNRA Dog Rules."  "The GGNRA averages nearly 18 million visitors a year. Meyer contends they expect to see habitat that fosters birds and wildlife, and they want to hike, take photos and do a variety of things “that are not compatible with free-running dogs.” Dog owners, including some staunch environmentalists, take a different view.  Huey Johnson was chief of California’s Resources Agency during Jerry Brown’s first stint as governor and was, like Meyer, in on the founding of the GGNRA. Now head of Marin’s Resource Renewal Institute, Johnson says the National Park Service has it all wrong and isn’t able “to handle the urban park concept.” He thinks the park service is administering the GGNRA like it does the other 407 parks in the national park system, when in fact it is completely different. In general, the National Park Service allows dogs only in developed areas and only if they’re on-leash. ....  Now it is close to the end of the process, and even though the proposed areas where dogs can run free have been reduced, the park superintendent says the GGNRA is the only location in the entire National Parks system that allows any off-leash dog walking. That evenhanded approach doesn’t convince the dog owners, who are used to letting their pets roam free at Fort Funston, Crissy Field and Muir Beach. So this fight isn’t over yet. The rules announced Tuesday are open for public comment until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on April 25. Only then will park officials tweak the regulations — and make them final. 

Reference.  Federal Register, "Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park Service, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Dog Management. A proposed rule by the National Park Services, 2/24/16." "Summary.   The National Park Service proposes to amend its special regulations for Golden Gate National Recreation Area regarding dog walking. The rule would apply to 22 locations within the park and would designate areas within these locations for on-leash and regulated (i.e., voice and sight control) off-leash dog walking. Areas in these 22 locations that are not designated as open to dogs would be closed to dogs, except for service animals in accordance with National Park Service regulations. The rule would modify and, in some circumstances, relax the National Park System-wide pet regulations for these 22 locations. To the extent not modified by this rule, dog walking in all NPS-managed areas within the park would continue to be regulated under National Park System-wide pet regulations."

Note photographs.Brown dogs by Sally Stephens, Baywoof, 6/1/15, "GGNRA update: new dog restrictions imminent." Brown and black dogs by Sally Stephens, Bay Woof, 10/1/13, "New GGNRA plan still bans dogs from most lands."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Friday, February 26, 2016

Affordable housing crisis in our City

Pacifica Tribune/Letters to the Editor, 2/24/16. "Tribune Kudos" by Jim Wagner

Image result for affordable housing picture
"We need to address the housing
issue as a community." (Jim Wagner)
"I was happy to read the editorial from the Pacifica Tribune. It’s been a long time since the paper has checked in editorially on important issues in Pacifica. With a sleek new look to the paper it appears that we will also get a more engaged viewpoint.

Image result for affordable housing picture
Let's move forward
with affordable housing
The editorial is spot on. We have created our own housing crisis over the last 40 years. We need to address the housing issue as a community. They say nothing ever stays static but Pacifica appears to be the exception. We haven’t added population and, in fact, our population has shrunk. We need smart, affordable housing.

The Tribune calls for affordable housing as one of the few things government can actually facilitate. I agree. We have areas that would support affordable (or, workforce) housing. The Pacifica School District is in the process of exploring the Oddstad site as a possible candidate for housing. Our community college district has had great success in providing their teachers and employees with affordable housing on site at the College of San Mateo. They have a proven, sustainable, model that Pacifica’s leadership should be encouraged to explore more thoroughly.

Once again, I would like to give kudos to the Tribune for wading in on such an important issue as affordable housing. We have many challenges ahead of us and if we have a local paper that cares enough to get involved, well, that’s good news for all of us who desire open and honest discussion."

Submitted by Jim Wagner
Note:  The referenced Pacifica Tribune Editorial, "'Yes to affordable housing, 'No' to Pacifica rent control", appeared in the print version of the  Pacifica Tribune, 2/10/16. "Give the Pacifica City Council credit. It tackled the hard question of affordable housing this month and gave it common-sense consideration without giving in to its draconian, look-a-like issue: Rent control. .... Rent control is one giant step in the wrong direction for the long-term economic health of Pacifica."

Note graphic from The City of Titusville, Florida, "Affordable housing"; photograph from The City of Calgary, "Learn about affordable housing."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Water Sampling Team Volunteers Needed

Help protect San Mateo County beach users by sampling beach, creek, and bay waters.

Submitted by Alan Clarkson-Dodds

Reminder City Council goal setting study sessions, 2/26 and 2/27, 2016

Image result for goal setting picture
Impossible can happen when planned
City of Pacifica/City Council Agenda, "Council retreat and goal setting session."

Location:  Pacifica Police Station, 2075 Coast Highway, Pacifica.

Time:  Friday, 2/26/16. 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.  And, Saturday, 2/27/16. 8:00 a.m.- 5 p.m.

If you're interested in attending some of these sessions-- at City Council meeting 2/22/16, City Manager Lorie Tinfow mentioned that the Saturday session, 2/27/16, would likely be more productive for the public.

Note photograph/graphic from Meeting professionals international.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Leland Yee sentenced to 5 years

The Daily Journal/Associated Press, 2/24/16. "Leland Yee, former Caliofornia state senator, sentenced in racketeering case."

Image result for Leland Yee picture
Leland Yee made some
mistakes. Going away for awhile.
"SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge sentenced former California state senator Leland Yee on Wednesday to five years in prison after he acknowledged in a plea deal that he accepted thousands of dollars in bribes and discussed helping an undercover FBI agent buy automatic weapons from the Philippines.

....  Yee's attorneys had called for no more than five years and three months behind bars, saying Yee had a history of public service and his wife was ill. Yee, 67, told the judge before sentencing that he had accepted responsibility for his crimes and wanted to take care of his disabled wife. ... " Breyer ordered him to surrender in 30 days. Yee and his attorney declined comment outside the courtroom.

....  Yee acknowledged accepting $11,000 in exchange for setting up a meeting with another state senator, $10,000 for recommending someone for a grant, and $6,800 for providing a certificate on California State Senate letterhead honoring the Ghee Kung Tong. He also acknowledged that he discussed helping an undercover FBI agent buy automatic weapons from the Philippines that were intended to be brought to the U.S. for distribution. ....

.... The probe also snared Raymond 'Shrimp Boy' Chow, a flamboyant leader of a Chinese fraternal organization — the Ghee Kung Tong. ....  Prosecutors say Chow and some other members of the fraternal group engaged in drug trafficking, money laundering and the sale of stolen cigarettes and top-shelf liquors. The case against Chow was largely the work of an undercover FBI agent who posed for years as a foul-mouthed East Coast businessman with mafia ties."  Read more.

Note photograph.  Going away by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images from Huffington Post/Politics, 3/31/14.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Martin's Beach public access road saga continues, $30 million

San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate/Peter Fimrite, 2/22/16."Vinod Khosla wants $30 million for Martins Beach access."

Image result for Martins Beach
Public access across my land,
$30 million. Why not? Liability, etc.
Image result for Martins Beach
Beautiful sunset
Image result for Martins Beach
Current public access
Image result for Martins Beach
Nice road
.... "Vinod Khosla, a venture capitalist who co-founded Sun Microsystems, said in a letter to the State Lands Commission that an easement leading over his property in San Mateo County to the beach would cost California about $30 million, not including the enormous additional costs for road repairs, annual operations and maintenance.  Khosla’s lawyer, Dori Yob, offered the estimate in a letter submitted Feb. 3 to the state Court of Appeal, which is handling one of several lawsuits over the 89-acre property.

“The $30 million figure is rather amusing,” said Gary Redenbacher, a lawyer for Friends of Martins Beach--- which says the state Constitution makes all beaches public property. “  He bought 89 acres for $32 million and is asking for $30 million for an easement over a road that is 2,500 feet long. That’s approximately 1 acre.”

....  The seashore tussle is about Khosla’s refusal to allow access across a 49-acre parcel, including the road and beach, and another 39.5-acre parcel that includes coastal cliffs. There are 45 leased cabins on the property. Khosla closed the only public access gate in September 2010, citing the high cost of maintenance and liability insurance. ....  The year was up Dec. 31. Lucchesi said the lands commission will continue to try to reach an agreement, but that 'at some point the State Lands Commission will have to decide whether to proceed with eminent domain.'"

Related article.  New York Times/Christine Hauser, 2/23/16, "Mogul seeks $30 million from /California to give Beach access." .... "The case has generated years of protests as it wound its way through state courts, where two lawsuits aim to force Mr. Khosla, who does not live on the property, to let the public back in."
Note photographs.  Martin's beach sunset from Jody Parker Photography  Leap over fence by Robert Galbraith/Reuters from New York Daily News, 3/15/13. Vinod Khosla by Peter DaSilva from Los Angeles Times, 9/24/14.  Road from Surfer Today.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Our City coastal storm damage, grant funding may fix


Pacifica Tribune/Jane Northrop/Staff Writer, 2/17/16. "Storm damage hits $29 million. City approves emergency repair funding.

Image result for Pacifica coastal storm damage picture
Looks like nothing. Nothing, but $29 million.
Pacifica Pier damage repair is separate, and
currently on hold, along with other coastal damage.

"City Council approved $450,000 in emergency funding for stabilizing repairs to the damaged portion of the seawall last Monday. .... This is a stop-gap measure to return it to pre-storm condition short of completely rebuilding it, which could cost as much as $2 million, said Van Ocampo, director of public works. 


'The County Office of Emergency Services (OES) surveyed 105 feet of damage, but right now we are just repairing the breach,' Ocampo said. 'We are moving boulders into the area, adding sandbags and putting in reinforcements.' OES sent a statement of damages to Governor Jerry Brown that seeks $29 million in grant funding to repair storm-related damage in Pacifica. That request includes replacing the entire seawall.


....  The initial estimate to repair damage on the Pacifica pier is $31,000. Repairs for the Milagra watershed outfall are estimated to cost $1.2 million. Those other repair projects have been put on hold, City Manager Lorie Tinfow said."   Read article.


Related article.  ABC 7 news/El Nino/Amy Hollyfield, 2/5/16, "Pacifica residents on edge after second sinkhole opens," includes videos.  ....The city of Pacifica has asked the state for some emergency money but on Monday will also ask the city council for some emergency funds as well. .... The city council has a goal-planning session set for the end of February and the city manager plans to ask the council to start telling her what they want her to do to start making plans to save the city.  Note photograph the related ABC 7 news article.


Posted by Kathy Meeh