Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Supervisor Don Horsley schedules Coastside Office Hours

‘Donuts with Don’

San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley will be holding Coastside office hours in upcoming weeks at various places in the county in order to provide opportunities for constituents to personally discuss their concerns with him.  

On Friday, June 3, Supervisor Horsley will be at the Sheriff’s Office substation, 500 California Street, Moss Beach, from 10 a.m. until noon.  The supervisor encourages you to drop by, but if you would like to make an appointment, please contact his staff at (650) 363-4569.

On Friday, June 17, Supervisor Horsley will be at the Sheriff’s Office substation, 500 California Street, Moss Beach, from 10 a.m. until noon.

On Friday, June 24, Supervisor Horsley will be holding office hours from 10 a.m. until noon at the Puente de la Costa Sur office, 620 North Street, in Pescadero.

On Friday, July 1, Supervisor Horsley will be at the Sheriff’s Office substation, 500 California Street, Moss Beach, from 10 a.m. until noon.

On Friday, July 8, Supervisor Horsley will be at the Oceana Market Community Room, upstairs at Oceana Market, Eureka Square Shopping Center, Pacifica 

On Friday, July 15, Supervisor Horsley will be at the Sheriff’s Office substation, 500 California Street, Moss Beach, from 10 a.m. until noon

On Friday, July 29, Supervisor Horsley will be at the Sheriff’s Office substation, 500 California Street, Moss Beach, from 10 a.m. until noon. 

Future dates and locations for Supervisor Horsley’s Coastside Office Hours will be announced on a monthly basis.

Chris HunterChief Legislative Aide
Office of San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley
Hall of Justice and Records
400 County Center
Redwood City, CA 94063-1662

Tel. (650) 599-1024
Fax. (650) 363-1856

Rand McNally votes

So the voting has ended (unless Rand McNally extends the voting period again,) and in the "Most Beautiful" town category, Pacifica finished 1st with 478 votes. Coral Gables, Fla. finished 2nd with 344 votes.


Posted by Steve Sinai

Monday, May 30, 2011

Derelict apartment complex in San Bruno may finally be rebuilt

Updated: 05/30/2011 09:50:19 PM PDT

SAN BRUNO -- At its first meeting in June, the City Council will consider giving the owners of the long-abandoned Treetop Apartments six more months to get construction started.

It's the last thing neighbors want to hear, having lived with the derelict buildings at the intersection of Skyline Boulevard and Sharp Park Road since 2005. They've had a front-row seat to the broken windows, dumped TV sets and chain-link fence that surrounds the site.

"I've heard this story before," said Julie Rossovich, 42, who has owned her house on nearby Summit Road since 1993.

Mayor Jim Ruane said this is the last delay, however, and that work will start by September.

"This is it, you can bank on it," Ruane said. "They have to get their financing first."

Ruane was referring to Denver-based Apartment Investment and Management Co., or Aimco, which has owned the 308-unit collection of buildings since 2001. The company is in the final stages of securing funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the project to completely overhaul the property, which will cost as much as $60 million.

Construction crews have started doing earthmoving work. Workers are clearing away contaminated dirt left behind by a gas station that used to sit at the corner.


Posted by Steve Sinai

Jackie Speier - Keynote Speaker- "The Truth About Social Security" Public Forum - June 11th - San Mateo Main Library

Why is America's Social Security system under attack? Do many of those who call for its reform secretly mean to eliminate it?
Is it true that Social Security is not solvent and must be changed drastically?

On Saturday, June 11, the answers to those questions and others will be discussed when San Mateo County Democracy for America (SMCDFA),
with co-sponsors Pacifica Democrats, Peninsula Democratic Coalition, the San Mateo County Democratic Party, and the National Committee

To Preserve Social Security and Medicare host a public forum,"The Truth About Social Security". The event will take place between 1:00PM and
3:00PM in the Oak Room of the San Mateo Main Library, 55 W. Third Ave in San Mateo.
The forum's panel of distinguished experts includes:

  • Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CD-12), Keynote Speaker, and a leader in the battle in
    Washington to protect Social Security,

  • Katie Johnson, Grassroots Manager, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, an organization
    that through it candidate endorsements, campaign contributions and grassroots activities strongly opposes the privatization of Social Security
  • Jodie Reid, Executive Director/Activist, California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA), which is building a statewide network of hundreds of organizations
    educating and informing both the public and elected officials about issues that affect the wellbeing of California's older adults

The panel will explain how Social Security can be saved, while debunking the myths and lies and demystifying the Social Security debate currently underway
in Washington, DC, and across the country. Forum attendees will learn how to ensure that their opinions are heard, as the battle to protect and preserve
Social Security wages on.

Admission is free. Space is limited. Light refreshments included. For further information, please contact Barbara Arietta at barietta@hotmail.com or Ellyn O'Toole
at tatateeta@comcast.net.


EVENT: "The Truth About Social Security" Public Forum

DATE: Saturday, June 11th

LOCATION: San Mateo Main Library, 55 West 3rd Ave., San Mateo

TIME: 1:00PM - 3:00PM

Submitted by Barbara Arietta

Postponement of Public Hearing

Postponement of Meetings of the 7/11 Advisory Committee Meeting

The Public Hearing scheduled for Tuesday, May 31st by the 7/11 Advisory Committee, Pacifica School District is postponed.  The purpose of the Public Hearing is to  obtain  community  feedback  in  order  to  make  a recommendation  to  the  Pacifica  School  District  Board  of  Trustees  with  regards  to  the  possibility  of  declaring the  following  properties  surplus:    

Oddstad  School  –APR  023672600  ‐‐ 930  Oddstad  Blvd.  

Pitto  Ranch  Lot  –APN  023255120  (property  located  between  1459  and  1465  Perez  Drive)  

The Pacifica School District will do a formal posting of the rescheduled Public Hearing and exceed the posting requirements by advertising in the following media:   The Pacifica Tribune, Pacifica Riptide, Fix Pacifica, and Pacifica Patch.  

Submitted by Mike O'Neill

New Environmentalism vs. Pacifica's Old Environmentalism

Keeping San Francisco from becoming a forest of skyscrapers once dominated conversations about development in The City. Opposition to such “Manhattanization” was a platform that environmentalists, neighborhood groups and outright foes of development used to block construction projects.

But times have changed.

The onset of global climate change and the automobile-dependent sprawl that helped create it have forced developers, planners, urbanists and even environmentalists to rethink the future of a city facing significant population increases but almost no room left for horizontal expansion.

Past rejection of density propelled the growth of suburbs and the carbon emissions of longer car commutes. But today’s dominant paradigm favors dense, transit-oriented infill developments that encourage walkable access to schools, stores and services.

The transformation of the South of Market neighborhood and the creation of Mission Bay are two prominent examples of such development. More recently, even bigger projects have begun moving through The City’s approval pipeline.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2011/05/new-politics-dense-development#ixzz1NohEUKjv

Posted by Steve Sinai

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pacifica Islander football player shot

Former Lincoln High School football standout David Henderson was in stable but critical condition Saturday afternoon at San Francisco General Hospital after he sustained a gunshot wound to the head Thursday in the Bayview neighborhood.

The coach for the semi-pro Pacifica Islanders — where Henderson had been playing in recent months — said the team is reeling from the incident.

“Football is no longer an issue right now,” said Tom Piccolotti, Islanders coach and general manager, whose team has the weekend off before finishing the regular season next week. “We’re more concerned about David and his family.”

Piccolotti said Henderson was on life support, surrounded by family at the hospital.

San Francisco police reported Friday morning that a man in his 20s had been shot at about noon Thursday in the 1400 block of Kirkwood Avenue, but they did not release the victim’s name.

Posted by Steve Sinai

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Barbara Streisand Malibu land compound gift takes an unintended trail

I'm waiting for the day the battles start in Pacifica!

When Barbra Streisand donated her 20.5-acre compound that includes four residences in the Malibu hills to the state 18 years ago, she envisioned it being used as a think tank for the advanced study of ecosystem management.  It didn't work out that way. Instead, the residences have been converted into the executive offices of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, plans for additional uses are tied up in a lawsuit, Streisand's name has been removed from the property at her request, and the use of the land has become a source of escalating friction between the park agency and its Malibu neighbors.  And last week Gov. Jerry Brown stepped into the fray by citing the property in his May budget revision as a potential example of state-owned land that could be sold if it is determined to have "no state programmatic use."

As it exists today, the park is blocked to the public by a locked gate and is used only by agency staff and by special groups by reservation. A plan that includes broader uses, such as overnight camping for disabled persons, hiking trails and day-use picnicking, was approved last year by the California Coastal Commission, but that decision has been challenged in court by neighbors.  Brown's suggestion that the compound be sold has triggered a flurry of reaction, with park proponents launching a "Don't Sell Ramirez Canyon" video on Facebook and YouTube, a coalition of conservation groups firing off a letter to legislative budget-writers calling the idea "shortsighted," and a neighborhood group launching a lobbying effort to promote the sale for what it calls "compelling public policy reasons."  Read more Ventura County Star 5/26/11.

"Don't sell Ramirez Canyon Park, video 5/25/11, 3:45 minutes
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, small article, Ramirez Canyon Park background.
Malibu Patch 5/16/11, "Ramirez Park for Sale?

Submitted by Jim Wagner  

Don't Fergit: Vote for Pacifica

Hi everyone

We have stayed in the hunt all week, in the First Annual Rand McNally/USA Today "Best of the Road" Contest.  Nothing like the voting of last weekend, but we maintained a steady climb.  In the overall "Best Town," we held on to second place 175 votes behind Clarksville, TN with a military base they have swept the "Most Patriotic" category.  We remain in the lead by approximately 120 votes for "Most Beautiful."  right behind us is Coral Gables, FL for which votes continue to accumulate at about the same rate.  Some people are voting for Pacifica as "Most Friendly" but we will probably not catch the top vote for Friendliest in which Walla Walla, WA has 258 and we only have 21.  At one point we had a shot at "Most Fun" but since it is our third category it does not show up on the Town page for Pacifica and so people miss it.  To vote for Pacifica as "Most Fun" you actually must search for Pacifica in that category.  Vacaville has pulled ahead at 94 votes while we have 5.  We can continue to vote until May 30th and we need to push hard this weekend.  Get your friends to vote!  Send this out to your email list.  Get out of town people to vote for Pacifica! I still think in the next three days we could take it all!

Let's also focus on the Best Places.  Most of these have only a few votes.  You can vote for each of the categories so there is no reason we could not take most of the categories in which we have a nomination.  If you have already voted, thank you!!!  Even if you have voted for Pacifica, sign back on and vote for Best Places.  
In the Best Places categories, we have the following places and businesses nominated:

Best BBQ - Gorilla BBQ is in the lead with 13 votes

Best Fishing Spot - Pacifica Pier is in Second Place with 7 votes.  The top vote getter has only 8

Best National/State Park - GGNRA has 2 votes, the top has only 11

Best Beach - Linda Mar Beach - we have 4, the top vote getter has 12

Some of the other Best Places have only a few votes so feel free to nominate other businesses and places in Pacifica.  The more categories we take the more likely we will be a stop on the First Annual Rand McNally/USA Today Road Trip.  We want Pacifica featured widely so get your friends and family out to vote!  Tell the Business owners you have voted for them!

To vote:  Sign on to www.bestoftheroad.com, register, and then write a short review to vote.  Remember:  If you are visiting the site for the first time, you must register an email address before you vote.  They need a working email to send you the link so you can sign in.  I know they are collecting working email addresses but most of us have an address for junk mail and you can also opt out of receiving emails from them.

This is a great opportunity to showcase Pacifica so please please please vote for any of the places mentioned today!  Let's show our hometown pride!   Thru May 30th, let's vote for Pacifica!

Have a great weekend!
Mary Ann

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Comments Problems

Blogmaster's Update: These should be showing up now. I ended up changing the gadget that displays recent comments, so it will look a little different.

It looks like there are some problems with the Recent Comments section.

Hopefully the people at blogger.com can work this out in the next few hours.

Posted by Steve Sinai

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Economist Magazine: Red tape in California

Beware of the yogurt

HOMA DASHTAKI and her family came to America from Iran in 1984 and settled in a neighbourhood of Orange County, California favoured by fellow Zoroastrians. The Dashtakis are the kind of immigrants who give California its vibrancy. Ms Dashtaki’s father brought with him a tradition from the old country: the secret of making fantastically good yogurt, the sort that has foodies fighting one another as they throng California’s farmers’ markets. So Ms Dashtaki, spotting a marketing opportunity in her father’s magnificent facial hair, called their little venture “The White Moustache” and prepared to become that all-American immigrant archetype: the entrepreneur.

Alas, after three months of operating (for about $300 in revenues a week, and no profit at all), she encountered that other American tradition, red tape (after the red bands that used to hold bundles of bureaucratic papers together in the old days). For although she had spent a year getting the required permits from Orange County, she had, it turned out, yet to make the acquaintance of the “milk and dairy food safety branch” of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). On a Saturday morning in March, Ms Dashtaki got a call and was told to shut down or risk prosecution.


Posted by Steve Sinai

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

County talks economic development, including biotech

The San Mateo Daily Journal 5/21/11.  "San Mateo County can lure new business and retain the companies already here by taking a page from areas that already found success by streamlining the permit process, creating industry hubs like the biotech center in South San Francisco and removing obstacles like overlapping requirements, according to a cross-section of officials brainstorming a regional economic strategy.
Sometimes a simply thank you doesn’t hurt, either.  Rosanne Foust, president of the San Mateo County Economic Development Association, recalled how the Redwood City Council on which she also sits, acknowledged two local companies lauded by Forbes’ top 100 places to work. The effort was free but made the businesses realize they were welcome, she said.  Small gestures like that were among the ideas shared Friday by those who gathered as part of RoCKET — Resources Connecting Knowledge, Economics and Technology — an effort spearheaded by county Supervisor Don Horsley to promote economic development. 

Horsley ran for office last year on a platform that included finding ways to lure new business and associated revenue to the county, using biotech as a strong example. Cities, the county and even the state are faced with stiff economic challenges, he said.  “It seems to be the best way out of that is economic development,” he said.  As LinkedIn showed Thursday in its initial public offering, Horsley said, there are a lot of small companies poised for development. San Mateo County ought to be the place they want to call home, he added.  Horsley assembled several individuals with that experience, including South San Francisco Mayor Kevin Mullin, former assemblyman Gene Mullin, BayBio Chief Operating Officer Jeremy Leffler and Burlingame Economic Development Specialist Patricia Love.

Drawing on her experience helping a life science company expand in Burlingame, Love said even companies located outside her city are a win for all when they reside in San Mateo County. The city can’t give companies incentives like huge tax breaks but they can tackle the small issues, she said — removing big trucks from the street so the area appears more research-oriented than industrial, fixing unreliable shuttle times for employees who rely on the mode of transportation and performing checks of buildings and plans before a formal application is submitted.  Jim Eggemeyer, the county community development director, agreed that early assistance is crucial as is establishing a single point person and being available.

Even established companies are constantly at risk of pulling up roots for better business climates in other states and countries, said Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, who chairs the Assembly Select Committee on Biotechnology. “The challenge that we have here is we’re under attack,” he said, citing Genentech’s manufacturing plant in Oregon and calls by the Texas governor to California companies.

South San Francisco, the largest local example of an industry-specific area, drew Genentech in the late ’70s because the former Industrial City had a large amount of vacant space and “we were cheap,” Gene Mullin recalled. The City Council also had to decide if they were willing to take a chance on the future, he said.  The question for it, he said, was “Do we want to have whatever the hell genetic engineering is in our city?”  The city is again involved in large-scale redevelopment by working with Shorenstein Properties LLC and SKS Investments to revamp Oyster Point. When done, the project will include two million new square feet accommodating up to 6,000 jobs. Investment in infrastructure, education and the business climate is what helps draw economic development, Kevin Mullin said.  Experienced staff, like those in the Planning Department, also help.  “When something comes across the counter, they speak the language,” he said.

San Mateo County has a lot of economic gems even if they aren’t widely known, Foust said. For instance, 14 of the top 100 fastest-growing companies in the Bay Area, 12 of the largest software companies in the Bay Area, six of the top 25 digital entertainment companies in the Bay Area and seven of the top 25 venture capital clean tech companies in the Bay Area are in San Mateo County, Foust said.The next step is more meetings, hopefully with federal stakeholders like congressional representatives Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo, Horsley said."

Submitted by Jim Wagner

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pacifica School District Public Hearing

Submitted by Mike O'Neill

Jerry Hill Fundraiser

Submitted by Shari Rubin 
RSVP: 415-413-0240x102 

Pacifica City Council Meeting tonight, Monday, 5/23/11

Agenda link (79 pages), includes items considered (first 3 pages).

Of interest to me, you may find the same or other items of interest to you.
Consent (pass through) Calendar

item 5, WWTP:  consulting agreement with Redone Robotics/ICOMMM, Inc., collections and asset management software. 
Public hearings
Item 6.  Recology of the Coast rate increase.
Item 7.  Capital Improvement program.
Item 8.  Gas and Electric Utility Users' Tax (UUT)
Consideration (public comment)
Item 9.  Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), "Dog Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement", action item.
Redevelopment Agency
Item 2.  Operating and capital budget for the redevelopment agency, 2011-2012.

Note:  the dog picture may be a little unfair.  Mostly the GGNRA is advocating for dogs on leash, but some of us know dogs need areas to run, socialize, roam and play.  Its an advanced evolutionary attitude:  mammal issues are at least as important as those of reptiles (endangered or not).  

Posted by Kathy Meeh 

Mayor's Walk

Hi everyone

Supervisor Don Horsley will be joining me for the Mayor's Walk in the Pedro Point Shopping area.  It would be great to have a nice turn out.  We will meet in front of High Tide at noon.  Hope to see you all there.

Mary Ann

www.bestoftheroad.com - voting extended until May 30th

Hi everyone and thanks for voting for Pacifica if you have done so already.  If not then you still have time!  Rand McNally/USA Today have decided to extend the voting for best small towns until May 30th.  In some ways this is not good since we are so far ahead in the "Most Beautiful" category right now and in other ways it gives us time to make our town even more attractive by trying to get most votes over all as well as some of the places we have and wish to honor.  You can vote for more than one place!  As a strategy, it seems best to vote for as many things Pacifica as possible.  

We have been reaching about 100 per day over the weekend.  Right now we are only about 150 votes behind the overall leader for smalls towns which is Clarksville, TN.  We could easily take the "Most Fun" Town also focusing on hiking, surfing, etc.  We are not only trying to have Rand McNally feature us and USA Today write about us, but we want the Road Rally to stop here as well.  

Some of you have been having trouble signing on this page.  Make sure you have cleared your internet history first.  Then go to the registration page at  https://www.bestoftheroad.com/register.do  Register a working email address on the left-hand side of the page.  Wait until they send you an email and then you can sign on.  Of course they are collecting emails, but you can opt out of allowing them to send things to you.  

You can only vote for our town in one category so make sure we are still 100 votes ahead of Coral Gables in the "Most Beautiful" category, and if so vote for Pacifica as "Most Fun" instead.  There are not as many votes in that category and we could take it too.  Go after it all you surfers!  After that we have nominated Gorilla BBQ for "Best BBQ" make sure to vote for them.  Also "Best Fishing Spot" - Pacifica Pier.  Feel free to nominate in other categories this week and get people to vote for places in Pacifica as well.

Everyone has been doing great - we just have to keep it up for one more week!  We now have thru May 30th so forward this to friends, family, people all over and get them to VOTE for Pacifica!

Thanks so much for all you did this weekend!
Now we have time to do even more!  Forward this to everyone you know!  Talk to the, convince them, vote for Pacifica!

All my Best 
Mary Ann
Submitted by Mary Ann Nihart

Sunday, May 22, 2011

www.bestoftheroad.com - only one day to go!!! Please Vote today! and pass this on

*Blogmaster Update: Voting ends Monday, May 23 at 11 PM Pacific Time. As of 9:45 PM Sunday, we are currently in 1st place in the "Most Beautiful" category. Pacifica has 370 votes to 2nd place Coral Gables, Florida's 262 votes. This is not the time to let up. We have Coral Gables down, so now it's time to step on their throats!!

Thank you to everyone who has voted!  

We are doing great!  At last check we are 48 votes ahead of Coral Gables FL for "Most Beautiful" and we have to stay there to be #1 in the "Most Beautiful" category...so keep voting today!  They put it on their City Website, but we are doing better.  We are sending this out to everyone we know and look what has happened in a day - yesterday we reached over one hundred votes in just one day - we are surging at the correct time.  Today we need to keep it up!  Let's keep the most beautiful title and since we have a couple of votes in the "Most Fun" category and the top vote getter only has 45 votes lets try for that category as well, focusing on surfing, hiking, biking, etc.  We are way behind in Most Friendly so let's not dilute our vote.  

Remember:  we only have until tomorrow, May 23rd
Sign on to www.bestoftheroad.com, register an email address and then write a review, but before you pick the category to vote in make sure we are 50 ahead in the "Most Beautiful" and if we are then start voting in the "Most Friendly." The more we win the more likely they are to feature us in the Rand McNally Atlas and an article in USA Today.  

This is about the image of our city, this is about advertising!  Let's keep it up and win two categories!

Good luck today
Mary Ann

Submitted by Mary Ann Nihart

Saturday, May 21, 2011

More Economic Solutions from City Hall

Update on the existing business utilities tax (because without a vote, they can). 

The following was copied from the Pacifica Tribune newspaper, 5/18/11, page 4S, easy to miss. 

"Any business located in Pacifica, which has an annual PG&E bill of $7,500 or more, can save on the City's 6.5 percent Utility Users Tax by paying a $500 lump sum to the City by June 3, 2011.  That business service address will then be exempted from any additional Utility Users' Tax for the 2011-2012 tax year.

The ordinance authorizing the tax provides for a maximum charge of $500 per business service address.  To take advantage of this provision, the appropriate exemption form must be submitted to the City's Finance Department by 1:30pm on June 3.  Applications for Exemption from Business Utility Users' Tax are available at the City Finance Department, City Hall, 170 Santa Maria Avenue, or by calling 738-7392. "

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Vote for Pacifica - TODAY!!

UPDATE: We're currently in 1st place in the "Most Beautiful" category. As of 5:36 PM Saturday, we have 252 votes, while 2nd place Coral Gables, Fla. has 237 votes.

For those of you who do not know, I have entered Pacifica in the Best of the Road contest and road rally sponsored by Rand McNally and USA Today.  On the website  www.bestoftheroad.com, you can register an email address, click the box to avoid more spam and then write a review for Pacifica. If you have already voted - THANK YOU!  Right now we are entered in three categories, but we have taken over number two as of last night in the "Most Beautiful" category.  Coral Gables FL is number one and they are voting as you read this email.  They are only about 40 votes ahead of us.  We moved up yesterday and I think we can move up today.  Voting closes May 23rd so we only have the weekend!

We are still number five in overall votes but oh so close to taking over third.  We are only a few votes behind Walla Walla, WA and Baker City, OR.  I think we can take them!

Why do we want to do this?  It is free exposure for our city, plus if the judges choose us as a stop we get the Road Rally here in July AND we have pictures of our community in the Rand McNally Atlas and of course a write up in USA Today.  Number of votes and enthusiasm are some of the characteristics!

Let's do something together as a community.  Get all your friends together this weekend and VOTE for PACIFICA!  Let's win the Most Beautiful town under 50,000 in America!
We have only today and Sunday left to vote!

Join me at www.bestoftheroad.com - you must register an email address before you can vote.  Sometimes you have to refresh the page or come back if too many people are voting.  The page is a little finicky so keep trying
Let's be number one!

All my best
Mary Ann
Submitted by Mary Ann Nihart

SF Chronicle Letter to the Editor - Giving away the family jewels.

For regular readers this is going to be a bit repetitive. You've seen something similar from me here before. But since it made the cut with the local fish wrap, you get to see it again:

San Francisco Chronicle - Letters to the Editor - May 21, 2011

Give away a civic jewel?

"John Avalos is really advocating giving Sharp Park away to the federal government ("Hitting the rough," City Insider, May 19)?

This is political suicide, or should be.

Where else in the world could a politician run for mayor on a platform of giving away 400 acres of incredibly valuable and beautiful coastal park land that contributes millions in revenue to the city and belongs to the people of that city?

Sharp Park is a unique gem that belongs to the people of San Francisco. We choose to share our park with the entire Bay Area and the world.

The 80-acre golf course was designed and built by Alister MacKenzie, the game's most important architect. The 400-acre park itself was landscaped by John McLaren, the godfather of San Francisco parks. The park was a gift to the city in 1917 and represents a historic legacy entrusted to the people of San Francisco. The park and golf course are important historic landmarks by any standard.

This civic jewel of a park is a treasure that is our common San Francisco heritage and is a legacy for us to leave to future generations of San Franciscans.

Unless some clueless politician manages to give it away."

Mike Wallach, San Francisco

More on Wannabe-Mayor Avalos and the rally that motivated my letter linked here.

"The only reason for the existence of golf and other games is that they promote the health, pleasure, and even the prosperity of the community... With the exception of ignorant politicians who, with a few notable exceptions, appear to desire to tax golf course and playing fields out of existence, most people know that golf and other games promote the health and happiness of the community..."
- Alister MacKenzie - The Spirit of St. Andrew - 1933

cross-posted at MW Mobile Blog

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Nite of Stars PCT Fundraiser

Submitted by Mike O'Neill

Mike's disclosure:  I am one of the honorees and they do not have to sit at my table!

Huge HMB lobbying expense

Little cities spend big on lobbyists

By Malcolm Maclachlan | 05/19/11 12:00 AM PST  Capitol Weekly
On April 2, the city of Half Moon Bay voted to disband their police force in a cost-cutting measure and contract with the county sheriff. Savings: about $500,000 a year.

In 2008 and the first six months of 2009, Half Moon Bay lobbied hard — and failed — for bills designed to help bail out the cash-strapped city. The lobbying bill: $1,047,531.

In other words, the city gambled big on a way to get out of well-publicized financial troubles — and cost themselves about a year of wiggle room in the process. To put the amount they spent by this city of 11,234 in perspective, nearby San Francisco, with a population of 805,000, spent $1.4 million on lobbying over the same period. Los Angeles, population $3.8 million, spent $2 million. That’s $93 per person in Half Moon Bay, $1.74 per capita in SF, and 53 cents in LA.


Submitted by Mark Stechbart

Vote for Pacifica

Hi everyone - If you have voted thanks - but please remind others to vote!!! 
Please please please vote for our town!  We have only 5 3 days left!  and need at least 200 votes!!! 

Vote for Pacifica here!! 

We have 57 votes which seems to be good but Baker City, OR has 149, Walla Walla, WA with 128 and Franklin, TN with 90 something are all ahead of us - can you believe it? 

There are a couple of others ahead of us but not alot.  We have a great chance! 

Some people have had trouble voting.  When you sign on go to the home page.  You have to register an email address - most of us have one for this purpose.  They want your birthday but of course well... 

They just need a working email address.  They are measuring number of votes and enthusiasm!!!! 

If we win - we are included in their Rand McNally/USA TOday road Rally plus our pictures will be included in their map! 

Let's all jump in and VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!  Put Pacifica in the Rally!!! and on the MAP! 

Mary Ann 

Update: Latest tally in the "Most Beautiful" category with 3 days left - Baker City, Oregon has 151 votes; Coral Gables, Florida has 132 votes; and Pacifica is third with 113 votes. 

Submitted by Mary Ann Nihart

You are invited: California Coastal Commission Topic at Pacifica Democrats May 21st Breakfast

How much do you know about the California Coastal Commission? Did you know that there are 75 coastal cities and counties that have divided their coastal zone jurisdictions into separate geographic segments, resulting in some 128 Local Coastal Programs along the 1100 miles of coastal California? Do you know what these Local Coastal Programs do? Want to learn more? Well, here's your chance...

On Saturday, May 21st, T.D. Gossett will address the Pacifica Democrats at their monthly breakfast meeting, which is held between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. in the Banquet Room of the Sharp Park Golf Course Restaurant (Hwy 1 and Sharp Park Blvd) in Pacifica. His Saturday morning talk will focus on the California Coastal Commission, its mission, the staff and Commissioners, processes, past and ongoing litigations, and what people can do to get more involved.

Previously retired from a 45  year career working as a Program Manager for the US Army, the Air Force and the Department of Defense, Gossett is currently a consultant for the aerospace industry. Gossett moved to what he refers to as the "magical and mystical" coast of Moss Beach in 1998 with his artist wife, Bee. After moving to the coast, he became involved in many local issues and helped found two non-profit educational groups, whose primary issues have been on infrastructure, social equity, the environment, and property rights. His focus has been to educate the public regarding their private property rights, as well as their constitutional rights.

Gossett promises that his briefing about the California Coastal Commission will be fun, entertaining and educational. The presentation will also include current information on the details of Pacifica's Local Coastal endeavors, along with an update of the Midcoast Local Coastal Plan.

All Pacifica Democrats meetings are open to the general public. You do not need to be either a Democrat or a club member to attend. A full breakfast is offered for $12; continental breakfast - $6; coffee only - $3. Doors open at 9:00 a.m. Seating is between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Meeting runs from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. To RSVP, please contact the Pacifica Democrats president at barietta@hotmail.com.

Submitted by Barbara Arietta

San Fran golf group challenges environmental lawsuit over famed public course

The dispute over the fate of northern California’s historic Sharp Park Golf Course took a noteworthy turn today with a move by the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance to legally intervene in the case. Filing its Motion to Intervene at U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the Alliance asserts that Bay Area golfers “have legally protectable interests in their use and enjoyment of Sharp Park.”

Earlier this year, environmental advocacy groups - including the Sierra Club - sued the city, along with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and other officials, to shut the 80-year-old municipal course in the name of protecting endangered snake and frog species. But the Public Golf Alliance, with nearly 4,500 members, says no one has been looking out for the rights of Bay Area golfers who have made the links-style course an area landmark.

Renowned for its design by legendary architect Alister MacKenzie, and spectacular natural surroundings, Sharp Park is modestly priced to attract golfers of all levels from throughout the region.   Among the course’s frequent users are public high school teams, the Chinatown YMCA, various senior center golf teams, and other players.

Law firm Morrison & Foerster is representing the SFPGA. Please see below for more information on the controversy surrounding Sharp Park and the new development with the SFPGA’s motion to intervene in the lawsuit.

If you’d like to hear more, we can put you in touch with Morrison & Foerster’s Chris Carr. The lead attorney on the case, Mr. Carr chairs the firm’s Environment and Energy Group and co-chairs its Cleantech Group.
James Bourne 212-262-7470 jimbournenyc@aol.com
Robin Brassner 212-262-7472 rbrassnernyc@gmail.com

Contact: Eileen King 212 336-4309 eking@mofo.com

San Francisco Public Golf Alliance Moves to Intervene in Lawsuit Against Sharp Park Golf Course, Joining City and Mayor as Defendants
SAN FRANCISCO (May 19, 2011) – The nonprofit San Francisco Public Golf Alliance (SFPGA) today filed a motion to intervene in an ongoing lawsuit against Sharp Park Golf Course, seeking to join the City and County of San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee, and Recreation and Park Department  Director Phil Ginsburg in defending the historic golf course from threatened closure.
Morrison & Foerster filed the motion in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, in San Francisco. The SFPGA represents a highly diverse group of Bay Area golfers, who “have legally protectable interests in their use and enjoyment of Sharp Park” that “cannot be adequately represented by any existing party” to the lawsuit.
Environmental advocacy groups led by the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity and the Wild Equity Institute, filed suit on March 2, seeking to shut down the historic, 79-year-old seaside course in the name of protecting a frog and snake listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.  The Sierra Club joined the suit for the limited purpose of protecting the animals, without specifically calling for closure of the golf course.
The SFPGA’s petition is based on supporting declarations from a diverse cast, including:  Carole Groom, President of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors; Kari Lee, Executive Director of the San Francisco Chinatown YMCA; Riley Jameison, a 90-year-old African-American golf pioneer and retired California Highway Patrol employee who for 20 years has hosted an annual tournament at Sharp Park benefitting San Francisco’s Western Addition Seniors Services Center; Julius Yap, coach of the men’s and women’s high school golf teams at San Francisco’s St. Ignatius Prep; Julie Lancelle, the recent-past Mayor of Pacifica; Herb Lee, a 78-year-old retired San Francisco police officer; and San Francisco favorite son and United States Open Champion Ken Venturi.
Created in 2007, the 4,500-member SFPGA contends that extensive studies undertaken by the City and County of San Francisco and others demonstrate that continued golf at Sharp Park “is compatible with protection of the San Francisco garter snake and California red-legged frog,” the species at the center of the lawsuit.  The SFPGA points to recent studies undertaken by City and County officials demonstrating that “it is not only possible, but very feasible” to accommodate golfers and the two species in an improved Sharp Park environment.
Sharp Park’s modest greens’ fees, classic design, and spectacular scenery attract a diverse range of golfers from throughout the Bay Area, including public high school boys’ and girls’ golf teams, and  fundraising golf tournaments for a wide variety of  civic, business, and political organizations.
“Other public 18-hole courses in San Francisco and northern San Mateo County are either too expensive, too busy, or too hilly for the profile of low-income, racially diverse, juniors and seniors at Sharp Park,” said SFPGA spokeswoman and Sharp Park Women’s Club member Lauren Barr.  “It is imperative that we preserve this historic public jewel. For nearly 80 years Sharp Park has served as an important recreational outlet and gathering-place for people of all economic means in our region.”
Legendary British golf course architect Alister MacKenzie designed Sharp Park, which remains one of the few public courses he created. U.S. Open Champion Ken Venturi, the Honorary Chairman of the SFPGA, calls Sharp Park “Alister MacKenzie’s great gift to the American public golfer.”  The Course opened in 1932, 15 years after the land was turned over to the City on the condition that it be used “only for a public park, or public playground.”
Chris Carr, an environmental and land use partner at Morrison & Foerster, said, “This is an historically important course that upholds the best tradition of public access. Most golf courses with the heritage and location of Sharp Park would be exclusive private clubs and available to only a narrow sliver of the population. The Alliance is committed to the conservation of protected species while adhering to the original vision of Sharp Park as a course for everyone.”
Mr. Carr, chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Environment and Energy practice group and co-chair of its Cleantech group, regularly handles matters involving the federal Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and their California counterparts.  Morrison & Foerster has a long history of supporting environmental causes in the Bay Area.‬‪
A hearing on the SFPGA’s Motion to Intervene will be held on June 24, before Federal Judge Susan Illston of the San Francisco Division of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
About the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance: A 4,500-plus-member, volunteer, non-profit public-interest organization supporting San Francisco-area public golf, and dedicated to preserving affordable, environmentally-friendly public golf. www/sfpublicgolf.com/
ABOUT MOFO.We are Morrison & Foerster — a global firm of exceptional credentials.  Our clients include some of the largest financial institutions, investment banks, Fortune 100, technology and life science companies.  We’ve been included on The American Lawyer’s A-List for seven straight years, and Fortune named us one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.”  Our lawyers are committed to achieving innovative and business-minded results for our clients, while preserving the differences that make us stronger.  This is MoFo.

Submitted by Robin Brassner

it's all over Saturday May 21

forget garbage, let's talk about something real important:

rapture a-comin'!  no reason to pay your speeding tickets! Light show should be fantastic....


 that paragon of thoughtful reporting--Fox--says it all....


The End of the World As We Know It? Prediction of Saturday "Rapture" is Fuel for Faithful, Doubters

Published May 19, 2011

RALEIGH, North Carolina -- For some, it's Judgment Day. For others, it's party time.
A loosely organized Christian movement has spread the word around the globe that Jesus Christ will return to earth on Saturday to gather the faithful into heaven. While the Christian mainstream isn't buying it, many other skeptics are milking it.
A Facebook page titled "Post rapture looting" offers this invitation: "When everyone is gone and god's not looking, we need to pick up some sweet stereo equipment and maybe some new furniture for the mansion we're going to squat in." By Wednesday afternoon, more than 175,000 people indicated they would be "attending" the "public event."
The prediction is also being mocked in the comic strip "Doonesbury" and has inspired "Rapture parties" to celebrate what hosts expect will be the failure of the world to come to an end.
In the Army town of Fayetteville, N.C., the local chapter of the American Humanist Association has turned the event into a two-day extravaganza, with a Saturday night party followed by a day-after concert.

Submitted by Mark "Sure to be Left Behind" Stechbart

Build on the coast-- if you live long enough

Or with next generation in mind, and the cost, ouch!
1985 to 2011, Pacific Ridge project reduced from 220 to 63 homes, approved but not ready to build yet.  

Half Moon Bay Review 5/18/11, "Pacific Ridge section wins city approval".  Half Moon Bay leaders signed off on the first section of the long-delayed Pacific Ridge project on Tuesday night, an action that would create space for as many as 19 new houses at the end of Terrace Avenue.  The newly approved subdivision would be the first phase of a larger 63-home project that the company Ailanto Properites has been seeking to build for 25 years.  "It's been a long journey for us, and it's very gratifying to pass this milestone," said Ailanto spokesman John Ward. "This was the culmination of a public process that took many twists and turns in the road."

Purchased by Ailanto in 1985, the 115 acres at Pacific Ridge has a long history of setbacks in gaining development approval from local and state agencies. Ailanto owner Albert Fong originally sought to construct 220 homes on the property, but that goal was waylaid for about a decade when the city enforced a sewer moratorium, halting all new construction.
After the moratorium was lifted in 1999, Ailanto Properties argued that city officials were illegally blocking the housing development. The company filed a lawsuit against the city, and eventually agreed to settle for the rights to build a scaled-back development with only 63 homes. That 2004 deal won over many opponents, particularly because it preserved more than three-quarters of the Pacific Ridge property as open space.
The Pacific Ridge project received approvals from the California Coastal Commission in late 2008, but it faced a sudden change in the housing market. Speaking for Ailanto, Ward said his company could begin installing utilities later this year. For the actual home construction, Ward said his company would still need to submit plans to the city Planning Commission and modify its approvals with the Coastal Commission.But Ward said he wasn't sure when homes would actually be built."That's a business decision that has to take into account the market for homes. It's something we're not prepared to answer," he said. "But the (Fong) family is committed to seeing this through."

Additional reference:
  The Loma Prietan newsletter May/June, 2004.

Posted by Kathy Meeh