Thursday, March 31, 2011

Terra Nova Booster Club "Tiger Scramble" Golf Tournament

Sunday, May 15 at Sharp Park Golf Course. Benefits Terra Nova's Men's & Women's After School Sports.

Posted by Steve Sinai

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fix corporate taxes to increase competitiveness

an improved USA government economic tax strategy

USA Today "Editorial Opinion" 3/30/11.   The top federal corporate tax rate is 35%. But don't tell that to General Electric. It paid zero taxes on $4.2 billion in domestic income last year. In fact, GE is the largest of 10 publicly traded companies that paid no federal taxes for three years running, despite being profitable in each of those three years, according to an analysis by Standard & Poor's

OPPOSING VIEW: Don't cut corporate tax rates.  Welcome to the wacky world of corporate taxes. These days, how much a company pays depends in large part on whether it sees tax avoidance as a line of business. The lunacy of corporate tax rates is not that they are too high, as many business groups argue, or too low, as many liberal groups say, but that the tax code is hopelessly complex and subject to change through lobbying and political contributions.

The fact that some companies pay zero while many others pay close to the full 35% shows how badly broken the code is. It was simplified in 1986 after years of bipartisan effort. But since then, it has grown to the point where it encourages companies to get into certain businesses merely as tax shelters and to view their lobbying arms as profit centers. Which is why President Obama has joined with a number of business leaders and a few lawmakers of each party in calling for a fresh overhaul. The idea, as Obama outlined in his State of the Union address, is to lower the tax rate and make up the cost by closing many of the loopholes that have sprung up.

To overcome Republican anti-tax orthodoxy, any reform almost certainly will have to be revenue-neutral, as was the case with the 1986 reform, which passed despite a widespread perception that it didn't stand a chance. Some Republicans, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, of Virginia, are pushing the idea of a temporary tax holiday on corporate profits hoarded overseas to avoid taxes, a rerun of a tactic used in 2004. Periodic tax breaks such as this one might be popular with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And they are a good way for lawmakers to raise money. But they add uncertainty and instability to the code, which is contrary to the cause of simplification.

Some liberal groups, meanwhile, are pushing for the elimination of loopholes without the reduction of rates. They point to the dwindling portion of tax revenue that comes from corporate taxes and express moral indignation at companies like GE not paying any taxes.

Corporate tax receipts certainly have dropped. In the 1960s, they accounted for about a quarter of all tax receipts, while amounting to less than 10% now. But the reality is that all taxes are ultimately paid by individuals. The shareholders and owners of companies pay corporate taxes indirectly in form of smaller dividends and depressed stock valuations. Consumers pay through price increases. Rather than turning the debate on corporate taxes into the same tired struggle of the rich against everyone else, it should focus on making U.S. companies more competitive. Those companies now have the choice between paying some of the highest rates in the world or devising tax avoidance schemes, both of which move investment abroad and take their attention away from producing great goods and services. For that reason, the emphasis should be on tax simplification. Debates about social justice can be had on other occasions.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Pacifica Chamber of Commerce Reaffirms Support for Golf Course

...and asks City Council to do the same.

Submitted by Jim Wagner

Pacifica Five-0 confined to Pacifica

Sheriff's Office favored to pick up Half Moon Bay policing
Updated: 03/28/2011 10:49:39 PM PDT

There may be a new sheriff in town.

The city staff is recommending that the City Council focus on a proposal by the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office to take over police services in Half Moon Bay -- and reject a competing bid by Pacifica police -- when it considers the issue at a special community meeting Saturday.

The least expensive option proposed by the county would save Half Moon Bay more than $1.2 million and consolidate services with the Sheriff's Office. The city desperately needs to cut costs to remain solvent in light of lawsuit payments, escalating personnel costs and a dwindling reserve.

A staff report lays out the city's rationale for choosing the county instead of Pacifica. Not surprisingly, lower costs top the list, along with the fact that the Sheriff's Office already has a presence on the coast. It patrols the mid-coast area and Skyline Boulevard.

Half Moon Bay City Councilman John Muller was quick to point out Monday that the council will have final say on the matter at the public meeting, which is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Adcock Community Center on Kelly Avenue. But Pacifica City Manager Steve Rhodes said he's been told his city's police bid is out of the running.

"I expected it," Rhodes said. "The county's proposal saved them more money."


Posted by Steve Sinai

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Be prepared for when the Big One hits

March 29, 2011

Dear Friends,

The massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan are reminders for Californians to prepare for the next earthquake here. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there is a 63% chance that the San Francisco region will be hit with a 6.7 or higher earthquake in the next 30 years.

When emergencies happen - whether they are extreme storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, or floods - being prepared is the key to mitigating injuries and damage that are likely to follow. If you don’t already have an emergency preparedness plan, you need to make one.

Here are several steps to help prepare:

  • Be Informed – By understanding the potential emergencies and risks that could happen, you can prepare appropriately and take action to reduce a future loss.
  • Get a Kit – It is best to think about the necessities for survival: food, water and cash. For a basic survival kit, be sure to have non-perishable food, clean water, flashlights, batteries, warm clothing, a first aid kit, available cash, matches, and a wrench to turn off utilities. A complete list is available at the site of the American Red Cross under its “Preparing and Getting Trained” tab.
  • Make a Plan – Emergencies strike at any time, so it is critical to devise a plan that ensures your family can contact one another, how you will meet, and what should be done in different situations. Distribute an emergency information card among family members with basic information that outlines where you will meet and people to contact if disaster strikes.
Retrofitting your home can dramatically reduce damages from an earthquake, saving both lives and money. Even a moderate quake can topple chimneys and push homes off of foundations. To determine if a contractor is licensed and bonded you can go to the Contractors State License Board and use the link “check the status.

Purchasing earthquake insurance can give you financial assistance to pay for damages. An interactive survey of homeowner insurance and earthquake insurance premiums is available at: A list of all homeowners and earthquake insurers is also available on the same website. Most homeowner insurers also participate in the federal flood insurance program. If appropriate for your personal circumstances, you can reduce your flood and earthquake insurance costs by buying structure coverage and skipping the coverage for contents.

Protect yourself by being prepared for emergencies. The San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency provide valuable information. I encourage you to visit these sites. The websites of many local fire departments offer more information about emergency preparedness plans. Contact my office if I can provide further assistance. Being prepared is the key to surviving, and recovering from, a disaster or emergency.

Click here to download more extensive preparedness information.

All the best,


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Immediate earthquake preparedness

Quick tips and update for survival 

Circulating email.  "Think again" about the current circulating email that recommends the "triangle of life" method of dropping next to a larger object such as a table, couch, bed, car, etc., rather than dropping under such an object to cover and hold.  The reason "drop, cover and hold on" works better in developed countries is because most of our building structures do not collapse. 

California Earthquake Country Alliance website. "OFFICIAL RESCUE TEAMS from the U.S. and other countries who have searched for trapped people in collapsed structures around the world, as well as emergency managers, researchers, and school safety advocates, all agree that "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" is the appropriate action to reduce injury and death during earthquakes. Methods like standing in a doorway, running outside, and "triangle of life" method are considered dangerous and are not recommended.  ....every unsecured object around you could topple, fall, or become airborne, potentially causing serious injury. This is why you must learn to immediately protect yourself after the first jolt... don't wait to see if the earthquake shaking will be strong!"   See the website for more detail. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Protest? What Protest?

by Lionel Emde
By now most Pacifica property owners have received notice of a new sewer rate increase from the city. It's another increase at a bad time for most homeowners as the plethora of assessments/fees/taxes/rate increases demanded of them continues unabated.
In an article for Pacifica Riptide last year I detailed how poorly written last year's notice was in regards to a property owner protesting the increase, or even understanding the notice:
This year's notice features a further deterioration of public information on it as "Instructions on filing a written protest can be found on the City website or at City Hall." is not anywhere to be found on the notice. So if one were clairvoyant, one would know that the city of Pacifica's Web site has the staff report on the proposed sewer rate increase and that one can scroll to page 8 to find the relevant rules for protesting.
Fortunately, there is an easier way this year if you wish to protest. Fix Pacifica has a protest form that this writer composed after carefully reviewing page 8.
Just download, print and send it in:

Do You Hate Taxes?

Submitted by Mike O'Neill

Saturday, March 26, 2011

San Mateo County Supervisor District 1 Candidate's Forum

Hosted by Bay Area Youth Summit, 3/19/11

The Bay Area Youth Summit forum includes video comments from county supervisor candidates Gina Papan and Richard Holober. No other candidate videos for this forum were available. If you have limited time, check-out the introduction and question 2 first. The human equality and conservation questions are agreed.   

Pressing county issues, and reasons for running for office
  Meet the candidates".  (7:45 minutes).  
Question 2  Can you identify 3 instances where the county can save money, without cutting viable programs?  (7:44 minutes).

uman equality and conservation issues
Question 1
If elected, how will you push for a pro-equality agenda and what is your stance on Proposition 8?  (7:08 minutes).
Question 3  How will you decrease the county's carbon footprint? Can you provide 3 examples?  (7:22 minutes).

References, and candidate websites
Candidate ballot information: 
League of Women Voters of CA. Candidate who can win with websites:  Richard Holober.  Terry NagelGina Papan.  David Pine. Candidates who are running, some good ideas, but zero chance of winning:   Demetrios Nikas.  Michael Stogner.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Save Sharp Park Fundraiser - April 28, 6 PM, Sharp Park Golf Clubhouse

San Francisco Public Golf Alliance Friends:

The activists have sued to close golf operations at Sharp Park.
The lawsuit was filed March 2 in Federal Court in San Francisco.

Read all about it in the attached articles from the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner, dated March 3 and 6:

and in the Public Golf Alliance Press Release, dated March 21, which is downloadable by clicking here.

The Public Golf Alliance will be fighting to save the course. We need your help.
Come to our rally and fundraiser April 28 at 6:00 p.m. at the Sharp Park Golf Clubhouse.
Save the date, bring five of your friends, and RSVP for the rally, and volunteer to help the cause at:

Thank you!

The San Francisco Public Golf Alliance
Submitted by Richard Harris

Feds: Parks scientists erred in oyster farm study

Posted by Steve Sinai

SF Chronicle story on Sharp Park

Posted by Steve Sinai

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sewer Rate Hike Protest Form

by Lionel Emde

I'm tired of this
Sick and tired of being squeezed like a turnip?

Want to show the city what you think about the sewer rate hike coming up?

Here's a form to fill out and send in if you wish to protest:

Share this with friends and family who may not be computer-savvy.

Print them out for wider distribution, and have fun, boys and girls!

Coffee w/ Len Stone City Councilman

Saturday 26th 9am-11:00am
Salada Café
220 Paloma Ave, Pacifica

Stop by to discuss what is important to you, ask questions or just say hi.

Submitted by Len Stone

Sharp Park Lawsuit: Ken Venturi Urges San Francisco to Save MacKenzie's Historic Golf Links

235 Montgomery St., #400, San Francisco, CA. 94104 * 415-392-5431, ext. 2054 *

March 21, 2011



SAN FRANCISCO, CA. A lawsuit to enjoin golf operations at Sharp Park Golf Course, filed March 2 in Federal Court here1, is the latest threat to the landmark 80-year-old Alister MacKenzie-designed public links.

And 1964 U.S. Open Champion Ken Venturi, honorary chairman of the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance, is fighting to save the historic course. “It is unthinkable that San Francisco would seriously contemplate destroying Alister MacKenzie’s masterwork,” says Venturi, a San Francisco native who learned his golf at Sharp Park and the city’s other public courses. “So I urge my friends and fellow golfers to preserve Dr. MacKenzie’s legacy, and defend it with your time, your money, and your passion. Do not let anybody destroy Sharp Park.”2

Designated an at-risk nationally-significant cultural landscape by the Washington D.C.-based Cultural Landscape Foundation3, Sharp Park is a San Francisco municipal course located in that city’s southern coastal suburb of Pacifica, in San Mateo County. Opened in 1932, the popular, reasonably-priced course is one of only a handful of public courses in the world—-and the only public seaside links--designed by Dr. MacKenzie, acclaimed as one of history’s greatest golf architects.4 

Since 2008, environmentalist groups led by the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) have campaigned to force San Francisco to close the golf course and convert it to a nature sanctuary for the endangered San Francisco garter snake and California red-legged frog. "Nobody in San Francisco cares about Sharp Park,” says attorney Brent Plater, who has spearheaded the campaign for CBD and its spinoff group, Wild Equity Institute. “If that golf course were to fall into the ocean tomorrow, nobody would blink an eye.”5 

Ken Venturi could not disagree more. “Sharp Park is a great course of the old school... a seaside course that connects golfers to the Scottish public course roots of the game,” Venturi says. “It is Dr. MacKenzie’s great gift to the American public golfer.”6 

To Mr. Plater’s apparent surprise, a whole lot of people agree with Venturi. A broad coalition of multi-ethnic public golfers7,8, senior citizens9, preservation advocates10, organized labor11, civic organizations12, the Pacifica City Council13, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors14, state and world golf organizations15, 12th District Congresswoman Jackie Speier16, and the Editorial Board of the San Francisco Chronicle17 are calling for preservation of the 18-hole Sharp Park course. 

The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department in April, 2009 adopted a Sharp Park Endangered Species Compliance Plan18, specifying organic and other eco-friendly golf course maintenance practices. It seems to be working, because so far in 2011, Sharp Park has recorded a record-high crop of new red-legged frog eggs.18 

In 2009, the Recreation and Park Department retained the preeminent frog and snake scientist at Sharp Park to develop a plan coordinating with ongoing habitat enhancement at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s adjacent Mori Point park.  After a six-month study, consulting biologist Karen Swaim and project director Tetra-Tech Inc. concluded that retaining and modifying the 18-hole golf course was not only compatible with enhanced frog and snake habitat20, but also several million dollars less expensive than turning the property into an exclusive frog and snake sanctuary.21,22 

In December, 2009, after extensive public hearings, the Recreation and Park Department’s citizens' advisory committee recommended23--and the Park Commissioners adopted24--a compromise plan to improve natural habitat, while keeping the golf course open. The plan won the support of the Sierra Club chapter in San Mateo County 25, and is currently undergoing environmental review, which is not expected to be complete until late 2011 or early 2012. 

In June and July, 2010, CBD and its allies pressed their case in the San Francisco Supervisors’ annual budget hearings. But after several public hearings, the Supervisors, too, rejected CBD’s anti-golf campaign.2 

In October, 2010 and January, 2011, over objections from CBD and its allies, the San Francisco Public Utilities and Recreation and Park Commissions gave final approvals to an $8 million recycled water irrigation project for Sharp Park Golf Course.27  Groundbreaking was held in February, 2011, and construction is now underway. Also in February, 2011, a “working group” comprised of representatives of the cities of San Francisco and Pacifica, San Mateo County, and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, reached mutual agreement that a plan could be developed to retain the 18-hole golf course, while protecting the frogs and snakes.28,29 

Following this string of political set-backs, CBD and Wild Equity on March 2, 2011 filed their lawsuit in Federal Court in San Francisco,30 asking the Court to order a halt to golf and maintenance activities at Sharp Park.31 Among other things, the Complaint alleges that fairway mowers, fertilizers, gopher traps, flood control pumping, and golf carts kill protected frogs and snakes, in violation of the Endangered Species Act. CBD has been making similar claims since 2008. No trial date is set. A former CBD staff lawyer and founder of Wild Equity, Mr. Plater is identified on the Complaint as the Plaintiffs’ attorney.

“The lawsuit rehashes the narrow and unreasonable claims of golf opponents who have not yet acknowledged the valid interests of historic preservation, working-class golfers, local businesses, neighbors, and the governmental bodies that have considered all sides of the public debate and are looking for a win/win solution,” says Sharp Park Business Women’s Club member and Public Golf Alliance spokeswoman Lauren Barr. “When all the facts are considered, we expect that CBD’s lawsuit will have no more success closing the golf course than their political efforts.”

Sharp Park is the most affordable 18-hole golf course in the San Francisco Bay Area.32 So it is a key to Bay Area public golf, according to San Francisco favorite son Venturi. “Without the public courses, golf becomes inaccessible,” he says. “Without them, the game shrivels and dies.”

“Reasonably-priced public golf for all different kinds of people can and should coexist with the frogs, snakes, and nature, as they have all coexisted at Sharp Park for decades,” Venturi says. Golfers are optimists. Venturi thinks the Court will agree.

# # # #


Richard Harris
415-290-5718 (cell)

Bo Links
415-509-4133 (cell)

1 San Francisco Chronicle, “Sharp Park Sued Over Red Legged Frog,”

3 Cultural Landscape Foundation, Washington, D.C., July, 2009:

4 MacKenzie designed several of the world’s most famous courses, including Augusta National (home of the annual Masters Tournament), Cypress Point Club, and Australia’s Royal Melbourne. See Footnote 3, above.

5 San Francisco Weekly, “Bleeding Green,” June 2, 2010:

6 Letter, Ken Venturi, Oct. 12, 2009: See Footnote 2, above.

7 Rochelle Metcalfe, “I Heard That,” Beyond Chron (Tenderloin Housing Clinic), June 30, 2010:

8 Sharp Park’s diverse golfers speak for themselves in the following videos:

9 Letter, John Major, Sons in Retirement, June 2, 2009:

10 Cultural Landscape Foundation, Washington, D.C.: See Footnote 3, above.
Laborers’ Union Local 261, Testimony of Zac Salem, Chair, Golf Committee, to Board of Supervisors’ Govt. Audit & Oversight Committee, Dec. 16, 2009, S.F. Govt. TV, at 2:17:30:

12 Pacifica Chamber of Commerce, undated letter from Don Eagleston, CEO:

13 City of Pacifica, Resolution of City Council, December 10, 2007:

14 County of San Mateo, Resolution of Board of Supervisors, December 18, 2007:

15 California Alliance for Golf, letter, September 28, 2009:
World Golf Foundation, letter, July 23, 2009:
Alister MacKenzie Society of Great Britain and Ireland, letter, April 28, 2009:

16 Congresswoman Jackie Speier, 12th U.S. Congressional District, Press Release, November 9, 2009:

17 San Francisco Chronicle editorial, September 3, 2009:

ABC TV Channel 7 News, March 4, 2011, “San Francisco Sued Over Red-legged Frog” (quoting Recreation and Park Department Natural Areas Coordinator Lisa Wayne):

20 Public hearing testimony of consulting biologist Karen Swain, at Board of Supervisors Government Audit and Oversight Committee, Dec. 16, 2009:
Sharp Park Conceptual Restoration Alternatives Report, November, 2009, Tetra Tech, Inc., at pp. 3-5, 52-55, and Tables 4 and 5.

22 By contrast, an “essential concept” of the alternate plan advocated by CBD and Wild Equity to close the golf course, calls for over- or under-passing the 150-yard-wide Highway One and frontage roads where they bisect the course, so that frogs and snakes could migrate from the ocean to the hills east of the golf course. Conceptual Ecosystem Restoration Plan and Feasibility Assessment: Laguna Salada, Pacifica, CA., Prepared for Wild Equity Institute, Center for Biological Diversity, by ESA PWA, Feb. 9, 2011, pp. 26-27 at pgh. 6.1, and pp. 36-37 at pgh. 6.7. A link to that report is found on Wild Equity’s press release: The plan’s authors did not provide design, feasibility, or cost estimates for their freeway modification ideas, other than referring to the Doyle Drive project, currently undergoing reconstruction to connect San Francisco to the Golden Gate Bridge. Id., at pp. 29-30. Doyle Drive cost estimates exceed $1 Billion.
23 PROSAC, Resolutions [Nos. 1 and 2], adopted by votes of 14-1 and 13-2 on Dec. 1, 2009, submitted to Rec & Park Commission on Dec. 3, 2009:

24 San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission Resolution No. 0912-018,
Agenda Item No. 11, adopted by unanimous 6-0 vote, December 17, 2009:

25 Testimony of Merrill Bobele, co-chair, Coastal Issues Committee, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club, to SF Board of Supervisors’ Govt. Audit & Oversight Committee, Dec. 16, 2009, S.F. Govt. TV, at 3:11:37:

26 Pacifica Riptide, July 21, 2010, “SF Supervisors Spare Sharp Park Golf Course”:

27 San Mateo County Times, “Sharp Park Recycled Water Project Gets Green Light,” January 24, 2011:

28 San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, Press Release, “A Vision for Sharp Park Comes into Focus,” Feb. 23, 2011:

29 Sharp Park Working Group Statement and List of Findings, Feb. 23, 2011 (at finding h):

30 Wild Equity Institute, Center for Biological Diversity, et Al. vs. City and County of San Francisco, et Al., U.S. District Court, N.D.Cal., No. CV 11-0958LB, Complaint filed March 2, 2011:

31 Although listed among a handful of environmental groups as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, the Sierra Club in a March 3, 2011 letter from Deputy Executive Director Bruce Hamilton, clarified its position: “... the Sierra Club has not specifically endorsed removal of the golf course. Saving the animals’ habitat may require the city to remove the golf course, or the city may find a way to run the facility while protecting the habitat. We will be satisfied with whichever course of action truly ensures the survival of these important species.” Pacifica Riptide, March 3, 2011, “Sierra Club Clarifies its Position on Sharp Park”:

32 The prime-time weekend greens fees of $28 for San Francisco and Pacifica residents and $41 for non-residents, is less than half the fees at two of the three other public 18-hole courses in San Mateo County, whose 2009 population was 719,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sharp Park Internment and more from Pacifica Historical Society

Sharp Park Detention Center

Thanks to the Pacifica Historical Society for all their work on a subject that intrigues me no end.
Jim Wagner

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Environmental Lawsuits - More Profitable Work Than Corporate M&A?

From nationalforestlawblog on February 5, 2010 at 10:17 AM
Henry Lamb of the Canada Free Press has this outstanding article that shows how the U.S. taxpayers have paid over $4.7 BILLION to environmental groups and their lawyers to sue the government over the past five years. The records show evidence of double, triple, and quadruple billing by attorneys representing environmental groups at rates up to $650 per hour. That's double what corporate lawyers charge and as much or more than most Manhattan superlawyers charge.

The article is so good, I'm posting the entire text.

Corruption, collusion, or legal thievery By Henry Lamb Tuesday, February 2, 2010 

In 2008, the Forest Service issued a land use plan that environmental organizations didn't like. The Earthjustice Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit on behalf of four environmental groups. The suit took 15 months. The bill to the federal government from Earthjustice was $279,711.40. The Western Environmental Law Center filed another lawsuit challenging the same land use plan. They represented 15 environmental groups and sent the government a bill for $199,830.65. These two outfits claim that seven attorneys spent more than 930 hours (working full time, that's 116 days), at rates between $300 and $650 per hour. That's good work if you can get it.

Think that's bad? Read on. In September of last year, the Wildearth Guardians sued the Federal Emergency Management Agency, asking the court to prohibit FEMA from issuing flood insurance to private citizens on 52,535 structures that may lie within the range of an endangered species. The group could not sue individual land owners unless they could prove that the structure caused the death or "harm" to any endangered species. 

This suit is designed to block the use of privately owned land, and to collect a handsome fee from the government for doing it. The government keeps no record of these "environmental" lawsuits. Payments, however, are made from a single budget line item called the "Judgment Fund." The Budd-Falen Law firm in Cheyenne, Wyoming has done a yeoman's job in researching payments made from this fund to environmental organizations. 

200310,595 payments madeTotal paid: $1, 081,328,420
20048,161 payments madeTotal paid:  $800,450,029
20057,794 payments madeTotal paid:  $1,074,131,007
20068.736 Payments madeTotal Paid:  $697,968,132
20076,595 Payments madeTotal paid: 1,062,387,142

During these five years, tax dollars have funded environmental groups to the tune of $4.7 billion dollars in attorney fees alone. Another $1.6 million was paid between 2003 and 2005 from the Equal Access to Justice Act. These funds come directly from the agency that loses the suit. This doesn't begin to include all the direct grants and contracts that are awarded to dozens of environmental groups. A closer look at the nature of these lawsuits is also instructive. Between 2000 and 2009, the Western Watershed Project filed at least 91 lawsuits and 31 appeals. They were awarded more than $1,150,528 for such things as failing to list certain grass species as "endangered," and failure to waive photocopy fees for mass document requests. During the same period, the Center for Biological Diversity filed at least 409 lawsuits and 165 appeals. They didn't win all the cases, of course, they just cluttered the courts and walked away with $941,332, for such things as Endangered Species Act (ESA) challenges for failure to list the killer whale, a butterfly and an earthworm as "endangered."

These lawsuits are not confined to western environmental organizations. The Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the National Wildlife Federation have filed a total of 2,034 cases. These lawsuits are often based on alleged procedural wrong doing, rather than on substance. An example of what the greens call "strategic litigation" is the petition entered by the Wildearth Guardians to list 206 species as endangered. At the same time, the Center for Biological Diversity entered a petition for 225 species to be listed as endangered. There is no earthly way the EPA can issue a finding on 431 species within the 90 days required by law.

This is another classic example of the Cloward-Pivin strategy that seeks to demolish a system by overwhelming it. In this case, it is an extremely profitable enterprise for environmental organizations. It is way past time that Congress put an end to this corporate welfare. Many of these environmental organizations boast assets and income in multiple millions, and pay their executives salaries greater than the CEOs of most for-profit corporations. The president of the Environmental Defense Fund, for example, takes home a total of $496,000 per year. The president of the World Wildlife Fund takes home $486,000. These organizations represent what appears to be the worst kind of corruption or collusion, but apparently, it is legal. To the people who pay the taxes, it looks a lot like legal thievery. 

The people who believe that environmental groups can do no wrong - are wrong; flat wrong. Environmental groups are the worst kind of corporate welfare, feeding at the government trough while doing everything possible to put brakes on economic development. These groups then have the audacity to beg for public donations, claiming to be the only salvation for the future of the planet. Hogwash! Congress should immediately launch a thorough investigation of every environmental organization that has applied for legal fees or federal payments of any kind, to assure the tax payers that their money is not being frittered away just to line the pockets of those who run the wealthy green groups.

Posted by Steve Sinai 
(Thanks Sharon)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Internet Explorer 9

It's been reported and confirmed that using Internet Explorer 9 with this site results in problems with comments.

It'll probably take the folks who run Blogger a week or two to tweak their software to work with IE 9.

Posted by Steve Sinai

Friday, March 18, 2011

Don't Fergit - Pacifica Democrats and Coastside Democrats Candidate's Forum March 19th


  • Richard Holober, Board President- San Mateo Community College District/Consumer Advocate
  • Terry Nagel, Mayor of Burlingame/Nonprofit Manager
  • Demetrios Nikas, Retired
  • Gina Papan, Deputy Attorney General/Millbrae Councilwoman;
  • Dave Pine, San Mateo Union High School District Trustee/businessman 
  • Michael Stogner, businessman.

WHAT:  Supervisorial Candidate's Forum - District One: District One includes western San Mateo, Hillsborough, Burlingame, Millbrae, San Bruno, South San Francisco east of El Camino Real and the unincorporated areas of Burlingame Hills, Highlands/Baywood Park and San Francisco International Airport. (All San Mateo County Supervisors vote on issues pertaining to every District in the County, not just their own, which makes it very important for coastside residents to know who each supervisor is  and for what they stand.)

WHEN: Saturday, March 19, 2011        9:30 a.m.- 11.30 a.m.

WHERE: Sharp Park Golf Course Restaurant, Banquet Room

WHY:  The District One spot has been vacated by Mark Church, who left to become the Chief Elections Officer and Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder of San Mateo County. An all-mail election is set for May 3.

All Pacifica Democrats meetings are open to the general public. It is not necessary to be a club member or even a Democrat to attend. A full breakfast is served for $12.00; Continental Breakfast - $6.00; Coffee only- $3.00. Doors open at 9:00a.m. Seating is between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Meeting runs 9:30a.m.-11:30 a.m. For more info or to RSVP please call 415-246-0775 or email:  

Submitted by Barbara Arietta