Friday, September 10, 2010

From Julie and Mary Ann about San Bruno

Compassion and passion run deep in our community.  These two emotions often lead us to want to jump in and take action.  What the residents of the Glenview Fire in San Bruno need most are our prayers and our dollars.  Relevant information can be found at a link on our City’s webpage at

The Red Cross will accept money donated to a designated fund for the “San Bruno Fire.”  They may be contacted at 1800-RED-CROSS.  If you wish to volunteer, go to Volunteer Center at  No more blood is needed at this time, but next week blood will be needed to replenish supplies.  Blood Centers may be found at  The Council of Cities for San Mateo County is also organizing a fund raising effort for which more information will be forthcoming.

As we focus on this tragedy, it is important to also remember our first responders.  The Pacifica Firefighters and Pacifica Police along with other Pacifica City staff have been among the many who have once again demonstrated their tireless dedication to the well-being of our communities.  Participating on the frontlines and in the Command Center, they worked through the night.  Please join us in offering our deepest gratitude and heart felt appreciation for their efforts.  May our prayers for their safety always be answered.

Finally, this disaster reminds us all that we can never be too prepared.  "Disaster Preparedness Day" in San Mateo County is September 18th at 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, 10 AM to 2 PM.  Admission is free.  Come prepare your family for fire, earthquakes, and floods.  Prepare your evacuation plans, learn first aid and CPR, put together your emergency kits, and more.  Spend time with staff from the Office of Emergency Services from San Mateo County and many first responders.  Then, do what we all put off - get prepared!  And, let's hope we never need those preparations but are very thankful we have them.
All our best,
Mayor Pro-tem Mary Ann Nihart and
Council member Julie Lancelle


Steve Sinai said...

I did the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training at the police department last year, and the city's always looking for new CERT volunteers. If something similar to the San Bruno fire happened in Pacifica, CERT members would likely be very valuable.

(We never did figure out if it's a breath mint or a candy mint.)

todd bray said...

Steve, publish the contact for Cert Training, I'll go do it. And this episode brings home the circumstances of big corporations having more rights than citizens. Corporations can have their charters pulled unincorporating them. It seems the only way to change this bean counting culture is to take away their corporation toy.

Steve Sinai said...

Todd, I believe Pacifica just finished up a round of training for CERT, and hasn't scheduled the next round. They seem to do it a couple of times a year.

San Mateo County CERT FAQ

CERT Overview

The two guys running the program in Pacifica are
Mike Blagrove:
Capt. Fernando Realyvasquez:

Scotty said...

Todd, take your own advice and choose your fights. Using a tragedy like this to push some anti-business political agenda seems inappropriate.

Kathy Meeh said...

Scotty, our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragedy-- nevertheless, I am going to continue somewhat along the lines of Todd's financial comments.

Todd, if I understand what your are saying (in what seems to be lashing-out at PG&E), and we believe at this point there may have been maintenance negligence that caused this disaster. We pay the regulated utilities bill, and possible short-cuts should not happened. But, would an individual collective do better? Small town political interest promoting their own agendas? In this city the WWTP management, or defunct biodiesel plant attachment to our WWTP might be an example of that management. The water district management might be another, some people are unhappy with that and would prefer a larger jurisdiction.

The memory of PG&E potential infrastructure shortcomings, use of money and politics do come to mind: the recent Spring ballot measure to exclude competition promoted by PG&E, the "smart meter" change-over (some of which are defective). My memory goes back to the nuclear plant PG&E build on an earthquake fault near San Luis Obispo which was ultimately abandoned.

San Bruno residents insurance claims will be paid by the big insurance companies who have the money and built-in reserves to do that. Assuming the liability is that of PG&E, the claims payment will revert back to PG&E. PG&E may carry big company liability re-insurance to off-set some of that direct cost, including lawsuits. Needless to say our utilities cost will be going up.

Human lives are impacted and ruined for ever. Following the major Berkeley fire (20 years ago(?) beyond all the physical damage, there were years of psychological damage (current status unknown). I saw a sampling of that in my health insurance business, even multiple years later.

A portion of homeowners or renter insurance helps off-set housing displacement and legal expense. Those who have paid-off mortgages and not continued homeowner insurance or renters who have not elected renter insurance may have more problems dealing with claims, legal and financial issues.

PG&E has posted the following message on their website: "Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by the explosion and fire in San Bruno. The priority right now is to help make the area safe. We have crews on the scene and are working with emergency officials. Though a cause has yet to be determined, we know that a PG&E gas transmission line was ruptured. If it is ultimately determined that we were responsible for the cause of the incident, we will take accountability. Meanwhile, we are working with the Red Cross to provide emergency shelter for those in need. Anyone in need of assistance or shelter can contact the Red Cross at 1-888-443-5722 (888-4-HELP-BAY). Learn more."

todd bray said...

Scotty, you don't read very much do you? And maybe you can post as yourself... ?

Scotty said...

Ad hominem (Latin: "to the man"), also known as argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to link the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise. The ad hominem is a classic logical fallacy.

Anonymous said...

In the news early this morning, channel 4, they said this pipe was borred and laid in 1948. Blaming P.G. & E. is not going to help anyone. Two Million miles of pipe, that could go around the earth several times, is laid underneath America's ground. Another area (pipe inspection) that is clearly not regulated. How could it? Where the pipe blew, was an area that was sautered together, welding markings all around.

Our whole infrastructure is completely falling apart. Just look around. Blame yourself.

todd bray said...

So it's not reading that is the issue for you Scotty, but reading comprehension. Scotty, I don't like my posts being misrepresented. The issue for me is culpability. Corporations that strategize in the board room and implement policies that they know are going to lead at some point to massive trauma and loss of life should be unincorporated. It's not an anti business agenda in any way shape or form. It's an anti criminal enterprise agenda. So next time maybe you could take the time to read a post of mine before wagging your finger?

Lionel Emde said...

The latest from AP:

"SAN BRUNO, Calif. – The section of gas pipeline that ruptured and exploded in a suburban San Francisco neighborhood, killing four and injuring nearly 60 others, was ranked as high risk because it ran through a highly populated area, state and federal authorities said Saturday."

"The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration classified the 30-inch diameter transmission line, which ran for about a mile and a half near Greig's home (in San Bruno), as a "high consequence area" requiring more stringent inspections called integrity assessments, agency spokeswoman Julia Valentine said. Nationwide, only about 7 percent of gas lines have that classification, she said."

Now I'm not going to jump to conclusions, but I wouldn't want to be a P.G.&E. official if this investigation turns up stuff.

Kathy Meeh said...

"I wouldn't want to be a P.G.&E. official if this investigation turns up stuff."

Thanks Linonel, and here's a 1 hour ago update from the Los Angeles Times: 7 dead, 6 missing.

"Although residents reported smelling gas in the days before the explosion, Johns said the utility had combed through two-thirds of the consumer calls received the week before the blast and found no record of any such complaints. Nor, he said, was there a record of crews responding to the area."

The burst pipeline, which had been installed in 1956, was not uncommonly old, experts said. "Just like with an old airplane, the key is maintenance," said Christopher Hart, vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board."

I'm not a Doctor, but it sounds like nameless "Observer" @6:32 may need a laxative.

Anonymous said...

Horrific catastrophe for sure. PG&E is going to lose as they should. Employees will suffer because of this. New hires may be laid off, some will be fired, reputations ruined. This is not over, the crisis is just beginning. The PG&E person could be your neighbor, friend, family member. Someone always has to be blamed and held responsible, it makes everyone feel better. When in reality it is just a horrible accident, one where no sane person would wish to happen. Horrible.