Thursday, May 31, 2012

Parcel tax funding of county and city services

This city receives 17% of parcel taxes paid, but utilizes 39% (2.3x more than is received). That looks like an imbalance to me. It seems like city General Fund reliance on these property taxes should be more like 17%.
Where Your Taxes Go 
San San Mateo County Tax Collector, "Where your taxes go" 

"As a property owner of San Mateo County you may have wondered how your tax dollars are distributed. The chart shows the distribution of the one percent ad valorem tax (a tax based on the assessed value of the property).

As can be seen, schools receive the largest portion, 45% of your tax dollars. 

The county receives 22% and provides health, welfare, human services and criminal justice programs with its portion.  

Cities receive 17% and provide fire, police, and other community services.  

Special districts, such as Flood Control and Sequoia Hospital, provide other services to the community with the 9% they receive.  

Redevelopment agencies receive 7%.  

Although schools continue to receive the largest portion of your tax dollars, changes in state law have reduced their portion."  

Pacifica  General Fund, 2011-12, print page 1 to read.   Note: Pacifica revenue received from property taxes is $10.2 million, or 39% of this city's General Fund budget.  Thanks for your research and comment,  Anon 5/31/12, 12:06 am, see recall update article, 5/29/12.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Sharp Park Celebrates 80 Years!



Thanks to the dozens of volunteers from Sharp Park Business Women's Golf Club, Sharp Park Golf Club, and San Francisco Public Golf Alliance, whose hard work made the Sharp Park 80th Anniversary Tournament and Celebration on May 19 such a resounding success!

2.  See the SF Public Golf Alliance Press Release: Golf Gods smile upon Sharp Park on May 19.

3. For photos of the May 19 Tournament at Sharp Park, see the SF Public Golf Alliance Facebook page:

5. Sharp Park gets national press coverage in Sports Illustrated, Golfweek magazines and here.

Get Involved:  Help Save Alister MacKenzie's Sharp Park!

Donations are greatly appreciated. To donate, please visit our website: Donations Page

 We are on Twitter (@SFPublicGolf), Facebook and our website
Contact us at
Submitted by Richard Harris

Giving you a voice - go for it

Complaint, Anonymous didn't pass the evidence test.
Pacifica Tribune, 5/22/12.  Editorial from Elaine Larsen, Tribune Editor and Publisher, "The Pacifica Tribune:  "Giving you a voice."  Printed in its entirety, with permission from Elaine Larsen.

"As I've been telling you all lately, I've been living and working in this town for 25 years. And trying my best to give everyone a voice in this newspaper, whether it be running submitted articles about boy scouts or sorority sisters, or printing guest columns. I completely believe in an open-door policy when it comes to a community newspaper. There's practically nothing I won't print unless it's libelous.

So here's another offer.  Many people have told me over the years that they love to read the Letters to the Editor and even have their own complaints and suggestions about this or that. But they are afraid to send in their letters for any number of reasons. For example, a local business person who fears retribution from potential customers. A citizen who doesn't like to put their name "out there" for fear they will be attacked in print.

Complaint, Anonymous did pass the evidence test.
Well, I completely understand that. And here's what I'm willing to do. Email me your gripes, concerns and issues, complete with some research on your part. And if I confirm your findings and agree...I will editorialize myself. But, the challenge to all of you is this: you must provide me with some real information or at least a basis for your complaint. So do your homework. And I need to know who you are and how to contact you for consultation although I promise to keep you anonymous in the paper. And let's keep it to local Pacifica issues. Bottom line: I'm willing to make sure the Pacifica Tribune is Giving You a Voice."  -- Elaine Larsen (

Support the Pacifica Tribune, our community print newspaper.  Getting a subscription,  supporting local businesses and advertising when needed may be the best ways to do that. 

Note:  Clarification of  Editorial vs. Op Ed: -  Wikipedia description:  "An op-ed, abbreviated from opposite the editorial page[1] (though often mistaken for opinion-editorial), is a newspaper article that expresses the opinions of a named writer who is usually unaffiliated with the newspaper's editorial board. These are different from editorials, which are usually unsigned and written by editorial board members." 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

San Carlos to replace council member with an interim

Similar to the Pacifica, San Carlos will replace one (1) city council member with an interim.  San Carlos city council also has five (5) members. 

San Mateo Daily Journal/Michelle Durand, 5/30/12. "San Carlos council will fill vacancy in fall 2013."

Ah ha, interim city council member

"The four-member San Carlos City Council unanimously agreed last night to fill a mid-term vacancy with a November 2013 election and appoint an interim member with the caveat they are asked not to run for the following regular term.

The decision was a compromise for all four members who deadlocked at two previous meetings with half the council holding out for a November 2013 election without the request not to run and the other two adamant about holding a special election this fall. Rather than let the choice default to November 2013 by not reaching a majority decision, the councilmembers quickly agreed to the solution suggested by Mayor Matt Grocott. Although Grocott said he felt even more strongly that an election sooner than later was best, he proposed waiting as long as candidates could be held to a “gentleman’s agreement” about the next term."   Read Article.

Related - San Carlos City Council webpage. "Mission Statement The City of San Carlos provides high quality services and facilities in a fiscally sustainable, responsive and friendly manner to foster a safe and healthy community.  Vision Statement By 2017, San Carlos will be a vibrant family and business friendly community admired as a great place to live, learn, work and play."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Getting through our city economic mess

Pacifica Tribune, Letters to the Editor, 5/30/12.  "Bravery" by Bob Hutchinson

"City Council, can you hear me now?"
"Editor: I just re-subscribed to the Tribune thanks to my mother-in-law's generous birthday gift. Thanks, Rosie!

I had let my subscription lapse because I just wasn't seeing serious coverage of Pacifica's serious problems. But then two weeks ago Elaine Larsen did a piece about why Sue Digre's mantra "the environment is our economy" is a failure. Bravo, Elaine. This is the kind of news coverage and editorial we need in a time when this city is facing possible bankruptcy.

Ten-plus years of Sue Digre is about all Pacifica can take. Thanks to her and her buddies, Jim Vreeland and Pete DeJarnett and their anti-business, anti-development policies we are in deep deep do-do. Can you smell it?

It also took courage for Elaine to say that many of our budget problems relate to burdensome union contracts. If we are going to get through this mess we're going to have to be honest as to what is really pushing us towards insolvency.

Thank you again for your bravery, Elaine."

Posted by Kathy Meeh        

Electing ciy council members must be about the city staying solvent

 Pacifica Tribune, Letters-to-the-Editor, 5/29/12.  "State of denial" by Gil Anda

"Editor: Without knowing the actual breakdown of tax revenue from all of the businesses in Pacifica, it would be hard to tell conclusively whether tourism is our 'biggest private business' or whether it's the supermarkets and auto repair shops. What's really irresponsible is to obstruct other businesses and development with the vague pretense that our 'ecology is our economy' and all we have to do is 'market' it.
Another nice day on a sandy beach in Pacifica

It has now been a decade since that 'marketing' campaign was started and the city is now within a few years of running out of money. I don't expect the writer of last week's letter to change her beliefs, but I think the rest of us need to wake up and smell the coffee or we will run out of money.

And we need to wake up to the reality that running out of money may mean the closure of the many things that we value in this city, such as the Resource Center, the libraries, etc. We also need to wake up to the fact that being green costs money. Other things that cost money are maintaining our infrastructure so that we don't pollute and keeping our parks open and staffed.

There's more at stake this time than who gets elected and who doesn't. This time it's about the city staying solvent.

reprinted  as an article on Fix Pacifica, 5/11/12. Within the week following, there were several related articles responding to that slogan.  

Posted by Kathy Meeh

How a city makes money and loses money

Question #1:  How does a city make money?  Results from asking google.   

Three (3) immediate answers without a forensic review of this city's balance sheet.

"Even I can see this."
Wiki answer.  "Cities typically make money from taxes and fees charged to residents, businesses, and visitors in the city. Some such examples are parking fines, sales taxes, dog & cat licenses, business licenses, liquor licenses, and city vehicle registration (if applicable). Cities also receive a portion of property taxes."

 Yahoo best answer (chosen by voters).  "Property taxes are the primary source along with fees and fines and of course the counties, state, and federal government usually via the state give them money. Most property taxes go to pay for the schools, at least where I live that is where most of the money goes by far." 

We knew that!  Its common sense.  And the answers seems to agree with our city revenue and property tax (or shall we say the lack there of). 

Question #2:  Does a city lose money on its residents?  Not found.  Reasonably, if a city (or shall we say a city council) is foolish,  it could be true. 

Question #3:  Does a city lose money from lack of development?   The only quick answers I found included such articles as:  Financial Daily Record (Business and Law in Jacksonville, FL), "City audit: JEDC lacking in oversight" and  The Africa water project,"Ending poverty begins with clean water".

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


PACIFICA, CA:  The Golf Gods provided clear skies, warm temperatures, and mild sea breezes.  Immortal golf architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie designed the playing field.  And 300-plus golfers, Pacifica residents, and golf and community leaders gathered on Saturday, May 19 to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of MacKenzie’s Sharp Park with a tournament at the venerable public links.  The course is located in this beachside suburb, 10 miles south of San Francisco’s Olympic Club, host of the 2012 U.S. Open Golf Championship.

        “It was a great day,” said Pacifica resident, Sharp Park Women’s Club member, and tournament organizer Lisa Villasenor.  “It was like a birthday party for a dear old friend:  you throw a party to show your love and to celebrate their life.” 

        The May 19 event commemorated Sharp Park’s opening in Spring, 1932, and was hosted by the Pacifica Historical Society, Pacifica Chamber of Commerce, Sharp Park Men’s and Women’s Golf Clubs, and the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance, whose Honorary Chairman, 1964 U.S. Open winner Ken Venturi, calls Sharp Park “Alister MacKenzie’s great gift to the American public golfer.”   

           The National Trust for Historic Preservation designates May as National Preservation Month.  Sharp Park is officially declared an “historical resource” by both San Francisco and Pacifica, and by a Resolution of the California Legislature, dated May 19, 2012 and authored by Assemblyman Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) and State Senator Dr. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco).  That Resolution “encourage[s] the residents of San Francisco and San Mateo counties to participate in efforts to preserve the historic Sharp Park Golf Course.” 
        PING, the golf manufacturer founded in San Mateo County in the early 1960’s, was the lead sponsor.  PING spokesman Alan Solheim told the post-golf crowd how he and his brother, current PING president John Solheim, assembled the first PING putters with their father, company founder Karsten Solheim, in the garage of the family home in nearby Redwood City.  Other sponsors included the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, the Northern and Southern California Golf Associations, the Fry’ Open, and Golf Mart.  The festivities were attended by several San Francisco and San Mateo County political figures, two dozen high school, college, and First Tee junior golfers, and golf notables including Northern California Golf Association Executive Director Lyn Nelson and leading architect and MacKenzie authority Tom Doak.  The program was emceed by golf writer and KNBR Radio host Brian Murphy.

        The golfing highlight of the day was a hole-in-one by Larry Abella, of the NetSuite team, on Sharp Park’s toughest hole, the 190-yard uphill Par-3 Fifth Hole.  Closest-to-the-pin contests were won by San Francisco dentist Weyland Lum, and Palo Alto’s Nancy Anderson.  

         Faces in the crowd included San Franciscan Clarence Bryant, a retired Federal Aviation Agency engineer, who in 1955 at Sharp Park played in the inaugural tournament of the Western States Golf Association, one of the country’s oldest and largest African-American golfing societies.  “Sharp Park is The People’s Course,” Bryant said.  “It has a wonderful tradition of being inviting and affordable to people of every culture, income, and walk of life.  We need places like this.  We need to keep Sharp Park open.”

        The 80th Anniversary Tournament was a fundraiser for the golfers’ fight to preserve the historic course.  In recent years, Sharp Park has been under attack from environmental activists, who in February, 2011 brought suit in Federal Court in San Francisco to close the course, claiming that golf kills endangered frogs and snakes.  In April, 2012, Federal Judge Susan Illston denied the environmentalists’ motion for summary judgment, and instead issued an order staying the litigation, pending completion of a study and Biological Opinion from the Federal Fish & Wildlife Agency’s Sacramento Office.  That report is due by mid-September, 2012. 

      (For a copy of the California State Assembly Resolution, see:


Richard Harris:  415-290-5718;
Bo Links:  415-393-8099;

Submitted by Richard Harris

Reminder City Council meeting tonight, Tuesday May 29, 2012

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

Fix Pacifica article, includes with quick view of the Agenda.

City Council (DeJarnatt, Digre) recall update - from the flea market

Pacifica Tribune/Letters-to-the-Editor, 5/22/12.  "Council recall" by Therese Dyer

Recall City Council Booth...
"Editor:  It's amazing what you can learn at a flea market. I reserved a spot a few weeks ago at White Field to collect signatures for the upcoming recall against two of our councilmembers, Pete DeJarnatt and Sue Digre, and this is what I have learned. We have a lot of new residents some have lived here only one year, I on the other hand, have lived here for 51 years so I had a lot of knowledge to share with them.

They went on to thank me and signed the petition.  There were also some young students not able to vote and not from this area, but I was enlightened that the younger generation was taking so much interest. Then there were those who eagerly signed the petition because they either had personal negative feedback and were fed up period. And then there were those who read the Pacifica Tribune or watched Channel 26 and were equally fed up with the lack of development and continued loss of revenue.

There were those who were upset with the appointment of a former councilperson who was previously recalled who was absent at last Monday's city council meeting so once again the Oddstad Assisted living development was continued to the June 11 meeting, I'd suggest that everyone be there to support this project as it will bring in up to $1 million in permits plus taxes and create jobs. Besides, it is a much-needed service since a great portion of citizens are senior.We already have three senior centers here with no assisted living complex. 

The number of people who attend the City Council meetings make the difference. An example was the 72 people who showed up in support of the Resource Center. I can't emphasize how important your presence. Make a point to put this on your calender and be there if you want to make a difference. You can also make a difference by signing our petitions, despite the fact they have set us back by six weeks with nit-picking the signatures, making us take down our sign on private property and trying to derail us from getting signatures at the Senior Center. I believe in my constitutional rights and so should you. The recall is going forward. Thank you to those that are already gathering signatures and those of you who already signed. 

Editor's Note: When the Tribune made inquiries, both the City Manager and Ginny Jaquith informed us that when she was first appointed, Jaquith was up front that she already had prior, unchangeable travel plans for that particular Council meeting night so staff had ample opportunity to inform the Assisted Living project folks well in advance of the continuance."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Recall is as American as "apple pie"

.... except, a lot more expensive to make, and more effort to bake.  

Recalling State and Local Officials,  State of CA official document, revised 2007, 30 pages.

Got stars - its American
Introduction, first paragraph:  "Recall is the power of the voters to remove elected officials before their terms expire.  It has been a fundamental part of our government system since 1911 and has been used by voters to express their dissatisfaction with their elected representatives.

.... Page 14.  A "local officer" is defined as an elective officer of a city, county, school district, community college district, or special district, or a judge of a superior or municipal court. (11001, 11004). ....  "Electoral jurisdiction" is the area where the voters reside who are qualified to vote for the office of the officer sought to be recalled.  (322).

.... Page 21.  Filing of Petition - deadline.  F (4). 120 days if the electoral jurisdiction has less than 50,000 registered voters but at least 10,000."  ....  All of the required "Proponents" of a recall must be registered voters in the electoral jurisdiction of the officer they seek to recall. (11005).  (Proponents are those individuals who initiate the recall proceedings and have control of the circulation of and obtaining signatures to the recall petition)."

Want to help Therese and those gathering petition signatures to recall Councilmembers Sue Digre and Pete DeJarnatt?  Contact, or call (650) 355-9568.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Proposition 29 cigarette tax increase on the June 5, 2012 ballot

aka:  Smoking the public that smokes. 
 Not cool, way too expensive

San Mateo Daily Journal/Melanie Lindow, 5/28/12.  "Proposition aims to add a $1 a pack tax to cigarettes."

"The total tax on cigarettes would amount to $1.87 per pack, and opponents see the tax increase as funding a cause that is not the priority amongst many other financial problems in the state. Proponents, however, believe the funding is needed to support current research and prevention programs.

... The new tax revenue would distribute three-fourths towards cancer research and the remaining toward tobacco control programs, said Gibbs. Tobacco control programs include the anti-tobacco advertising campaigns and education in schools about the consequences of using tobacco, created by the California Department of Public Health."  Read Article.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Measures T, U and X tax increases on the June 5, 2012 ballot

Affects SFO airport and unincorporated San Mateo County (coastside).
Welcome to San Francisco International Airport

San Francisco Chronicle/Carolyn Jones, 5/27/12.  "San Mateo County tax measures aimed as SFO."

"....  three tax measures aimed at airport businesses, including an 8 percent tax on parking.  (Short term and long term parking airport or private lots).

....  add a 2.5 percent tax on car rentals, increasing the overall tax rate on SFO rentals - collected by San Francisco, the state and other agencies - to 24.71 percent, among the highest in the country, according to tourism officials.

.... raise the hotel tax from 10 to 12 percent
Measures T, U and X on the June 5 ballot would raise $13 million for county coffers, almost halving the $28 million deficit."   Read Article.  

Note.  Proposed tax increases:  Measure T (vehicle rentals) 2.5%; Measure U (lodging) 2%; Measure X (parking facility) 8%. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Monday, May 28, 2012

Proud Pacifica organization honoring our Servicemen all year

Pacifica Military Moms (Dads and Friends) is an all year round effort....  their website indicates two local service men (Angelo Zawaydeh and Keith Moore) are deceased (posted there 5/3/07).
Moms organization

"Proud to be an American" Pacifica Military Moms organization. Full gallery of pictures of our Pacifica service members. Background website music includes the song lyrics below.  The The website is currently under construction, but includes 50 entry pictures, click through for more.   

"Proud to be an American", Artist: Lee Greenwood  
"If tomorrow all the things were gone, I’d worked for all my life. And I had to start again, with just my children and my wife. I’d thank my lucky stars, to be livin here today. ‘ Cause the flag still stands for freedom, and they can’t take that away. And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I wont forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today. ‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee. Across the plains of Texas, From sea to shining sea. From Detroit down to Houston, and New York to L.A. Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say. That I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I wont forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.And I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today. ‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA.And I’m proud to be and American, where at least I know I’m free. And I wont forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.  And I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today. Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA."
Keith Moore - rest in peace
Angelo Zawaydeh -rest in peace

Related  - CNN, 5/26/12 "Remembering the Fallen."  "We say those words more frequently now -- when we see men and women in uniform at the airport, when we accept a paper poppy from a veteran at the supermarket, when we sit next to a member of the military at a ballgame. Thank you for your service.  It's a nice gesture, true, but small. We say it, but then most of us go back to the rest of our lives. It's a volunteer military these days, after all; we don't have to serve, and we don't have to remember."  Read article, view pictures.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial day weekend, where's the sunshine?

You expected a Memorial Day weekend with sunshine for your picnic?   

Cloudy, cold weather.  You expected a Memorial Day weekend with sunshine for your picnic?  Could be worse. (weather anywhere) promises Pacifica will reach 62 degrees mostly sunshine today.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Memorial Day weekend picnic tips for pets

"North Country Gazette, 5/25/12.  "Memorial Day Picnic Tips for Pets" Nothing says Memorial Day weekend like driving to the mountains or the beach for an old-fashioned barbecue or picnic. But with these carefree days comes an increased risk for illness or injury for our furry pals.

The ASPCA recommends keeping your pet indoors as much as possible during outdoor parties. From toxic foods to fire hazards, our animals are exposed to all sorts of unusual things during Memorial Day weekend, and your pet is counting on you to keep him safe."  Read Article.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day, May 28, 2012, a prayer for lasting peace

History.  "Memorial Day". "Memorial Day, an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.", "Memorial Day".

Proclamation from the President of the United States, 5/25/12. "Our Nation endures and thrives because of the devotion of our men and women in uniform, who, from generation to generation, carry a burden heavier than any we may ever know. On Memorial Day, we honor those who have borne conflict's greatest cost, mourn where the wounds of war are fresh, and p
ray for a just, lasting peace..... 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 28, 2012, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer. I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day." ....  The White House, President Barack Obama, "Presidential Proclamation - Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2012."  Read the full proclamation.

Related -  Huffington Post, Memorial Day Photos around the country, 5/30/11, includes ventage military aircraft  video video, 3:34 minutes.  CBS News photo gallery.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

San Mateo county - National campaigning and one local race

A few days off work in Washington brings-in national campaigning.

Everyone loves the Bay Area for campaign money
"President Obama arrives in Bay Area for two-day fundraising trip." Mercury News Media Center, 5/23/12.  "President Barack Obama arrived in the Bay Area on Wednesday evening for another lucrative Silicon Valley campaign fundraising trip. "Redwood City lays out the welcome mat for Obama"  Palo Alto Daily News/Bonnie Eslintger, 5/23/12. "Several hundred people gathered Wednesday afternoon in downtown Redwood City hoping to catch a glimpse of President Barack Obama's evening arrival for a campaign event at the Fox Theater."

"Speaker Boehner makes surprise stop in HMB"Half Moon Bay Review/Mark Noack, 5/25/12. "The Ohio congressman swept through Half Moon Bay for dinner earlier this week while coming out to the Peninsula on a fundraising tour. Boehner was in the area to speak at a $1,000-a-plate dinner in Woodside to raise money for his upcoming re-election campaign." 
"Hill and Lieber stand out in 13th Senate District campaign",  Silicon Valley Mercury News/Aaron Kinney,5/25/12. "In years past Jerry Hill and Sally Lieber would have been fighting desperately by now to knock each other out of the 13th Senate District race, with the winner of next month's primary all but guaranteed a general election victory over token Republican opposition."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

California - Mercury contamination in fish off-shore

Mercury News reporting mercury news......

San Mateo County Times/Aaron Kinney, 5/25/12, "New study details mercury contamination in California sport fish."  

  Public fish tank-- I'm not your "taste of Leopard Shark".
"New findings from the first statewide study of contaminants in fish caught off the California coast show that methylmercury, a toxin that damages the nervous system of humans, was found in high concentrations in more than a third of the locations that researchers sampled.

The report, released Tuesday by the state's water quality agency, yields new information for anglers and consumers on which species of fish tend to accumulate the substance. It also indicated that older, predatory fish have higher levels of methylmercury regardless of where they're caught.

Seven species popular with recreational fishermen had high concentrations of methylmercury: leopard sharks, brown smoothhound sharks, spiny dogfish, copper rockfish, rosy rockfish, china rockfish and striped bass, the report stated, so children and pregnant women should not eat them." Read Article.

Related - CA Fish and Game,  marine ecosystems, and habitat management, includes a regulations map.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Friday, May 25, 2012

Taste of Pacifica

Submitted by Jim Wagner -- who adds that it's an event where everyone mingles and lies to each other.

City Council meeting, Tuesday May 29, 2012

Attend in person, 2212 Beach Boulevard, 2nd floor.  Or, view on local channel 26, also live internet feed,  The meeting begins at 7pm, or shortly there following.  City Council updates on City website.
The sewer lawsuits should help fix this

A.  Closed session - None
B.  Open session (7:00 pm)
Consent Calendar (pass through)
1.    Approval of cash disbursements.
2.    Approval of Minutes (meeting of 5/14/12).
3.    Linda Mar Pump Station Modification Project, solicit proposals from qualified engineers (PS&E).
4.    Sealed Bids for the Collection System Projects Pacific Avenue Mainline, advertise for,  (Fund 34).
5.    Completion for the Collection System Projects (Bower Road) resolution, release retention monies.
6.    Disposal of certain obsolete City documents and papers, resolution.
7.    Sewer charges, revise and increase, amend ordinance (Chapter 6, Title t, section 6-6.404, 6-6.406).
8.    Labor negotiation firm (Industrial Employers and Distributors Association (IEDA), contract for 5/1/12 to 5/1/13, not to exceed $2,542 per month.
9.    Collection System Capacity Improvement Projects (Palmetto mainline capacity upgrade), award to Stoloski & Gonzalez, Inc., $305,170, total cost $366,200.  
 Special presentation - Preservation Month
 Public Hearing
10.  Capital Improvement Program of the City of Pacifica, 2012-2017, consistent with the General Plan resolution.
11.   User Fees and changes to Administrative Policy #2, fee modification.
12.  Rate of the Gas and Electric Utility Users' Tax (no action unless lowering the existing rate).
13.  City Council Mission Statement, accomplishments and goals/objectives.  Review discuss.
14.  Financing the First Phase of the Wastewater System Capital Improvements, restructure existing 2001B Bonds, proceed with a private placement process.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Summer Swim Signups Start May 29

Summer Registration for 2012 is Happening Now
We have lots of summer camps for kids and lots of new options for adults as well as the old favorites. And...Summer registration for swim lessons starts Tuesday, May 29!
Please note that we have changed the names of our swim classes. If you have any questions regarding the new class format, please call the Brink Pool at 650-738-7460.
Three places to sign up:
  • online at
  • come into the Parks, Beaches and Recreation office at 1810 Francisco Blvd. The office hours are Monday-Thurs. 8:30am to 5pm, Wednesday nights until 7:30pm and Friday 8:30am to 1:30pm. Please note we are closed from 12:30 - 1:30, Mon-Thurs.
  • Sign up at the Brink Pool, 401 Paloma during swim hours. Call the pool at 650-738-7460.  
Check out all of our classes at the above website. You can also view a copy of the current PLAY activities guide at that website.
Also, don't miss the City of Pacifica's website for current events. Check it out at:
As always, if you have any questions, call Parks, Beaches and Recreation at 650-738-7381. 
Thank you,
Parks, Beaches and Recreation Staff

Pacifica Parks, Beaches, and Recreation
170 Santa Maria Avenue
Pacifica, CA, US

Posted by Steve Sinai

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Vallejo, Calif., once bankrupt, is now a model for cities in an age of austerity

By , Published: May 23

VALLEJO, CALIF. — The first couple of years were ugly. After this working-class port city became the largest in America to declare bankruptcy in 2008, crime and prostitution surged as the police force was thinned by 40 percent. Firehouses were shuttered, and funding for libraries and senior centers was slashed. Foreclosures multiplied and home prices plummeted.

But then this city of 116,000 began to reinvent itself. It started using technology to fill personnel gaps, rallying residents to volunteer to provide public services and offering local voters the chance to decide how money would be spent — in return for an increase in the sales tax. For the first time in five years, the city expects to have enough money to do such things as fill potholes, clear weeds, trim trees and repair tennis courts.

The nation’s cities are weak links in the U.S. economy and, if they collapse in large numbers, it could knock the country’s recovery off course. Cuts at the federal level are being pushed down to the states, which in turn are passing the problems to their cities.

The strains are especially great in California, which was at the epicenter of the housing market meltdown and the deep recession that followed. Even before revenue slowed, the state was facing unique constraints on public finances because its laws make it difficult to raise taxes.

The dire conditions, however, have made California a laboratory for how to run cities in an age of austerity.
Declaring bankruptcy used to be a last resort for cities, not only because it would cripple their ability to borrow for years to come but because of the blow to their reputation. But that attitude has started to change as more cities have found themselves facing fiscal catastrophe; bankruptcy offers an opportunity to start over with a clean slate.

At least three California cities — Stockton, Mammoth Lakes and Montebello — have declared that they are exploring the option. And at least 100 of the state’s 482 cities are on track to face a similar predicament by the end of the year, according to Barbara O’Connor, a professor at California State University at Sacramento.


Submitted by Lionel Emde

San Mateo County will improve Princeton by the Sea

Will our city improve?  Princeton will.  Maybe the need to develop areas of  Pacifica will just go away if  we continue to chant "our environment is our economy"..."our environment is our economy"... 

Half Moon Bay Review/Mark Noack, 5/24/12. "County meets to discuss Princeton facelift."

Princeton by the Sea Harbor
'No one argues that Princeton faces problems, but finding the right solution for the community was the big debate at a Wednesday night Midcoast Community Council meeting.

But what exactly this forthcoming plan will mean for Princeton remains to be seen. As they begin drafting a new master plan for the area, county officials say their priorities are to protect the longstanding fishing roots of the area while creating more opportunities for coastal recreation and new businesses. The new plans would also clamp down on the blight and crime problems associated with the commercial storage yards in the area.

This would all be accomplished by updating the area’s zoning maps and establishing a new set of local policies, said Steve Monowitz, deputy planning director. Before that happens, the county would first need commission several studies to analyze the area’s traffic, environmental constraints, infrastructure and shoreline. Monowitz said he would seek funding for the studies in July, with the goal to produce full-scale plans by 2014."  Read Article.

Posted by Kathy Meeh 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ian Butler is San Mateo County "Health Hero for April, 2012"

"For his work against "styrozilla," and for all his efforts to clean up the Coastside, the San Mateo County Health System named Butler a Health Hero last month.  Pacifica Tribune/Jane Northrop, 5/22/12.  "Pacifican Ian Butler earned county's Health Hero award for cleaning up 60-pound block of Styrofoam and more."   Read Article. 

Ian carrying giant block of styrofoam on his back
Best not to be a friend of Ian's?
From San Mateo County Health System, 4/2012, "Man Against "Styrozilla".  "Ian Butler removed a 60-lb block of styrofoam on Pacifica's shore...and that's just one of the many things he's done to clean up our coast.  For many years, Pacifica resident Ian Butler has been working to clean up the County's coast. As a member of the Pacifica Beach Coalition and a board member of Pacifica's Environmental Family, he is a passionate advocate for making San Mateo County a healthier place to live.

"Several years ago I discovered the most polluted beach in the county and decided to take on the task of cleaning it up," he said. "What started as a one-time project turned into a life-long passion, and I have been cleaning it up a few times a week ever since."
When he was cleaning up Pacifica's shores this week, he struck styrofoam. And we're not just talking about a few restaurant take-out containers or popcorn peanuts - we're talking about what Ian calls "Styrozilla," a 60-pound block of styrofoam, surrounded by thousands of particles that were floating in the water and littering the beach. Ian called up two of his friends to help haul "Styrozilla" up the cliff before it polluted the beach even more.
Ian Butler, picture from Pacifica Riptide.

Though "Styrozilla" has been removed from San Mateo County's shores, the work of making San Mateo County a healthy environment has just begun. For Ian, this is just one of many things he's done to protect and clean up the coast over the years, and he hopes to see others get more involved.

"My feeling is that if everyone took on a project of their own we could make our world far less polluted," Ian said. "The project has been far more rewarding than I ever could have imagined - I even discovered a mammoth fossil while picking up litter there once!"  Read More.
Related article -  Remember "Nurdle Beach? Coastsider 2/27/10. Ian has been cleaning-up the beach for a long time.
Definition - Styrofoam is a trade name for polystyrene, Earth Resource Foundation.
Recent styrofoam clean-up articleSanta Cruz Sentinel. 3/30/12. "Dan Haifley, Our Ocean Backyard:  Why do these surfers chase Styrofoam?

Posted by Kathy Meeh