Thursday, November 29, 2012

Update: December 3 Hearing Postponed

Dear Public Golf Alliance Members: 
Please attend, Monday, Dec. 3, 1 p.m. at SF City Hall, Room 250 (the Supervisors' Legislative Chamber at top of the grand staircase), the continued public hearing by the Land Use Committee on the most recent Anti-Sharp Park Golf resolution, sponsored by Supervisor Olague.    Members of the Land Use Committee are:  Supervisors Eric Mar, Scott Weiner, and Malia Cohen.
The Olague Resolution  (see text of the Resolution here)   would sever Sharp Park from the ongoing Natural Areas Environmental Impact Report process,  and require San Francisco to start over with its Sharp Park planning.   What a waste!  The City has better uses for its limited financial resources.
This will continue the Land Use Committee public hearing that began Nov. 19.  If you haven't yet, please send an e-mail to Committee members, and send us a copy; we will collect the e-mails and deliver hard copies to the Committee at the public meeting.   Be certain to put your own home address and phone number on your e-mail comment. See a draft of such an e-mail, below.  But use your own words.   
RSVP:  Please let us know if you will be able to attend.  We will meet you outside the Supervisors' chambers at 12:40 p.m.  Circulate this to your friends, and bring 2 friends to the hearing.  Thanks.   Save Sharp Park!
Thank you.
San Francisco Public Golf Alliance
Richard Harris 
Sample E-Mail 
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Land Use and Economic Development Committee
Supervisor Eric Mar
Supervisor Scott Weiner
Supervisor Malia Cohen
Re:  Please Vote No on Resolution to Sever Sharp Park from the Natural Areas EIR
File No. 120619
Land Use Committee Hearing December 3 , 2012
Dear Supervisors,
            I support the San Francisco Rec & Park Department's plan to save the historic and popular Sharp Park Golf Course, while at the same time protecting the environment by recovering frog and snake habitat in the golf course's wetlands. 
             I urge you to vote "No" on the Sharp Park resolution, File No. 120619, which would require the City's Rec & Park and Planning Departments to start over on the Environmental Review process for the City's Sharp Park plan.   This would mean a colossal waste of more than 4 years of public time, money, and effort that has gone into the Sharp Park plan.  We cannot afford such public waste.     
            For these reasons, I respectfully request your "No" vote on File No. 120619.
Yours truly,
[your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address]
cc:    Mayor Ed Lee                      
        President of the Board David Chiu
        Supervisor Sean Elsbernd     
        Clerk of the Board of Supervisors

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


A group of local and regional leaders gathered Tuesday morning, November 13th, to meet and speak with our new Assemblyman Kevin Mullin. The event was graciously hosted by Nick’s Restaurant and sponsored by Recology of the Coast. The Pacifica Chamber of Commerce thanks both for their unending generosity,

Kevin took the opportunity to speak to the coming year and the challenges that face California and the local communities. He anticipates much will be accomplished with the new legislature being seated. Kevin sees opportunities to move forward in a bi-partisan goal to put California back on solid fiscal ground.

The Chamber of Commerce looks forward to more opportunities to invite Kevin to visit Pacifica and work with the Chamber on strengthening our business community.

Jim Wagner
Government Affairs Committee
Pacifica Chamber of Commerce 

From left to right: Karen Ervin, City Council elect; Kevin Mullin, State Assemblyman elect; Len Stone, Mayor Pro Tem.

From left to right: Len Stone, Mayor Pro Tem; Don Horsley, County Supervisor 3rd District; Mike O’Neill, City Council elect; Keith Irish, Associate Superintendent of Education/Jefferson Union High School District; Frank Vella, Commercial Realtor; Karen Ervin, City Council elect; Courtney Conlon, CEO Pacifica Chamber of Commerce; Michele Velez, Government Affairs Chairperson/California Association of Mortgage Professionals; Mike Ervin, Senior Mortgage Banker.

From left to right: James Keller, Interim President/Canada College; Kevin Mullin, State Assemblyman elect; Wendy Tukloff, Pacifica School District; Bill Meyerhoff, Vice President/Pacifica Chamber of Commerce; Susan Vaterlaus, Past President San Mateo County Association of Realtors; Len Stone, Mayor Pro Tem.

From left to right: Frank Vella, Commercial Realtor; Karen Ervin, City Council elect; Michelle Velez, Government Affairs Chairperson/California Association of Mortgage Professionals; Courtney Conlon, CEO Pacifica Chamber Commerce; Christine Stahl, Realtor; Mike Ervin, Senior Mortgage Banker; Chris Porter, General Manager/Recology of the Coast; Richard Harris, SF Golf Alliance; Eric Ruchames, Library Foundation.

City council meeting of November 26, 2012 follow-up report

Pacifica Index "the Blue Papers." Pacifica Index featured story

"Trash Talking"
Follow-up report of City Council meeting, November 26, 2012

With permission from Chris Fogel, Editor & Publisher 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Half Moon Bay considers outsourcing their Planning Department

The Eco-NIMBY factor, another view, another city. 

The Daily Journal/Staff, 11/27/12.  "Half Moon Bay may outsource planning." 

Tourism alone does not pay the bills, default we do
"Half Moon Bay’s Planning Department may be dismantled in favor of contracting out the service, if the council follows a consultant’s recommendation. Matrix Consulting Group prepared a report the City Council will consider tonight that recommends a reduction in staff from its current three employees since the workload for the department has dropped off considerably in recent years. The number of permits issued has almost halved since 2008, according to the report.

  Expensive weeds
....  The report indicates Half Moon Bay only needs 1.33 full-time planners. Although the department technically has a planning director, associate planner and an administrative assistant, only the associate planner position is currently filled. Three contract planners currently assist the department with backlog of work.  The Matrix report recommends eliminating the department’s administrative assistant position since that employee has been on leave for some time. In the report, the position is described as a “luxury.” 

The city already outsources its police department to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and administrative services for its Parks and Recreation Department to San Carlos.   ....The 86-page report also recommends the city update its general plan, portions of which are outdated."   Read more.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Monday, November 26, 2012

San Mateo County Supervisor Carole Groom appointed to Coastal Commission

Submitted by -
Chris Hunter
Chief of Staff
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

City council meeting tonight, Monday, November 26, 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 and archives are available on the City website.

City of Pacifica - City Council Agenda, 11/26/12.  

Fix Pacifica reprint article -  City Council agenda article, 11/26/12.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

What Peninsula city councils are doing this week

Highlights of peninsula city council meetings look rather familiar this week. Not much going on there it seems.

Palo Alto Daily News/Staff Report, 11/23/12. "On the Docket"
Look outside Pacifica city council, here

"San Carlos - Monday.  The council is scheduled to select a mayor and vice mayor and to receive a report on the city government's greenhouse gas emissions. 

Menlo Park - Tuesday.  The council is scheduled to discuss the possibility of installing solar panels at four city facilities and to review the status of a potential plastic bags ban. 

Atherton - Wednesday.  The council is scheduled to review reports on a potential traffic signal at Selby Lane and El Camino Real and on a proposed joint powers agreement with the San Mateo County Library.

Portola Valley - Wednesday. At this special meeting, the council is scheduled to interview and appoint members to the town's Planning Commission and the Architectural and Site Control Commission. 

Los Altos - Thursday.  The city council is scheduled to hold a study session with its representatives on the Los Altos School District superintendent's enrollment growth task force."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Sunday, November 25, 2012

One year appointed San Francisco Supervisor steps down January 8, 2013

Sharp Park Golf hearing date is December 3, 2012.  The hearing is the result of a "start over" environmental review amendment introduced by Supervisor Christina Olague

Keep this classic golf course
San Francisco Chronicle, Heather Knight, 11/24/12.  "Supervisor Olague eager for low-key life."

"They say every cloud has a silver lining, and Supervisor Christina Olague sees some big ones in her bruising election day loss: Come January, it'll be no more City Hall, no more mayor's office and no more media criticizing her every move.

Christina Olague glad to be leaving
....  Less than a year ago, Olague was the progressive president of the Planning Commission who'd surprised some of her political allies by chairing a committee to persuade Ed Lee, a moderate, to run for a four-year term as mayor. 

....  Olague spent 2012 alternately irking her progressive base or the Lee camp. She shocked the mayor's office last month with her vote to reinstate Mirkarimi as sheriff despite his guilty plea to a misdemeanor related to bruising his wife. A few weeks later, Olague was trounced in the District Five election by the more moderate London Breed, who will be sworn in Jan. 8.

Olague described the year as akin to walking through a forest with people hiding behind trees with daggers on her left and her right."   Read article.

Fore .....
Related Fix Pacifica Articles  - ".. Keep Sharp Park, SF Sharp Park Supervisor's meeting...11/19/12..."  by Steve Sinai, 11/18/12. "Please remember, Plater's champions in SF City Hall have been "Bruiser" Ross Mirkarimi, losing SF Mayoral candidate John Avalos, and unelected Supervisor Christina Olague, who just lost her bid to keep her seat. A bunch of winners, huh?" 

Embedded the article is a link to a "Wild Equity Institute" statement:  "We think Phil Ginsburg is jamming this unrelated, indefensible project into a separate environmental review document for one reason only: he knows that standing on its own no reasonable legislator would ever condone it. Supervisor Olague agrees, and that’s why she’s introduced legislation that will order the Recreation and Park Department to segregate the golf course plan out of the Natural Areas environmental review document, so that each project can stand or fall on their own merits."  Hearing update to December 3, 2012.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Holiday blues already? It may be age related evolution

Forbes/David DiSalvo, Science, technology contributor, , 11/23/12. "Study:  Humans aren't the only apes that have a midlife crisis."

Withdrawal, frustration, sadness — all are considered hallmarks of the human midlife crisis. Until now, the collection of factors cited as bringing on the angst have included societal and economic pressures that exert psychological forces strong enough to bend our lives into the famous U-shaped curve of happiness.

What was he thinking?
But research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences could drastically alter those assumptions by bringing another no-less-ominous factor to the table: biology.  It seems our cousins the great apes also experience midlife crises, and they don’t need the allure of a new Lexus or hair transplants to get them there.

....  The results of these and other questions were analyzed and composite well-being scores were plotted along the apes’ life spans.  As it turns out, they also have a distinctive U-shaped curve, and it looks a lot like ours...  Read Article.

 Related - San Francisco Chronicle/Science/Associated Press/Vanessa Woods, 11/19/12. "Midlife crisis in apes, too, study finds." "Captive bonobos, chimps and orangutans show the same low emotional ebb at midlife as do humans....Several studies have concluded that happiness in human adults tends to follow a certain course between ages 20 and 70: It starts high and declines over the years to reach a low point in the late 40s, then turns around and rises to another peak at 70."  Read Article.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Saturday, November 24, 2012

We should all be using solar energy, but there may be some downside

The article is about solar energy, the cost and effectiveness of solar energy. About residential users going green. About thieves stealing solar panels to power illegal marijuana operations in rural areas. About police apprehending these thieves. Articles carry multiple topic forums for conversation. And all of this relates to each of us in some important way, while living in Pacifica or not.

San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press, Russel Contreras, 11/23/12. "Authorities:  Marijuana growers using solar power."

Oops,  one panel missing
Solar powered marijuana
Theft of one solar panel, $17,000
" llegal marijuana growers are increasingly using solar power to operate large-scale operations in an attempt to remain off the grid and avoid detection from law enforcement agents, authorities said. In isolated regions of the country, law enforcement agencies say they are finding more growers going green and trying to be self-sufficient by drawing power directly from the sun.
I'm going to get all of you

In California's Napa Valley, wineries and vineyards two years ago reported a rash of solar panel thefts that authorities believe were linked to a ring that sold the panels to illegal growers.  The heists prompted stepped up enforcement from the Napa Valley Sheriff's Department who increased night patrols and strings, said Deputy Sheriff Jon Thompson.

"Here we had folks trying to do the right thing and go green and they were getting hit," said Thompson. "It hurt, especially when it's $17,000 a panel." A string eventually nabbed three men who Thompson said were part of a ring that resold the panels. "It's hard to say for sure but we think they were going directly to growers," said Thompson."   Read article.

 Posted by Kathy Meeh

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cull Pedro Point headlands, give a "tree" a Christmas

Pacifica Land Trust event takes place Sunday, November 26, 2012, 10 AM to 2 PM.

Charlie Brown does not come with the tree
San Mateo County Times/Aaron Kinney, 11/23/12.  "Find your Charlie Brown tree in Pacifica."

"PACIFICA -- Fans of Charles Schulz can pay homage to "A Charlie Brown Christmas" on Sunday by hiking a windswept promontory overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

The Pacifica Land Trust is holding its third annual Christmas tree hunt at the Pedro Point Headlands. The event lends quirky holiday cheer to an environmental project: removing young non-native Monterey pines from the headlands, which volunteers are restoring to native coastal scrub. The spindly evergreens resemble Charlie Brown's droopy little tree from the "Peanuts" holiday classic. 

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Visitors are asked to arrive no later than 1:30 p.m. at the parking lot outside Castle Kitchen & Bath at 520 San Pedro Ave. Warm clothes and sturdy shoes are recommended."   Read article. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

California Coastal Commission, 40 years of Happy Birthdays

The Daily Journal (San Mateo County), Samantha Weigel, 11/23/12. "Coastal Commission marks 40 years."
Celebrating CA Coastal Commission 40 years

"This month, the California Coastal Commission is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Proposition 20, the statewide initiative that created the environmental protection agency that provides development and planning oversight to preserve California’s 840 miles of coastline.

The voter initiative led to the 1976 passage of the California Coastal Act, which imparts restrictions and planning options for coastal developers.

Did you remember the parking meter?
Over the years, the commission has ensured public access to the six-mile coast side trail in Half Moon Bay and will be deciding the city of  Pacifica’s request to implement beachside parking meters. The commission has also been working in conjunction with Caltrans for more than 15 years to create the San Mateo County Highway 1 tunnel that will avoid the strip of coast known as Devil’s Slide.

The Coastal Act coalesced the previously separate entities with one body providing consistent coastal regulation. Its mission is to ensure public access to the coast and enhance protection for coastal resources such as habitats and wetlands, sensitive plants, animals, agriculture and scenic rural landscapes. 

The Coastal Commission is responsible for implementing Coastal Act policies and does so through partnerships between state and local governments. The Coastal Commission is made up of approximately 112 staff members and 12 appointed commissioners, Christie said."   Read Article.  

Reference California Coastal Commission.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

High voter turn out for San Mateo County elections

The Daily Journal (San Mateo County), Michelle Durand, 11/22/12.  "County voter turnout hits 20 year high."

San Mateo County, 11/6/12
"Just less than 80 percent of registered San Mateo County voters turned out for the recent presidential election, marking participation not seen in two decades which local elections officials attribute to the national prediction that President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were in a virtual tie days before Nov. 6.

....  As the county finished its final tally of the ballots, Church said San Mateo County was on track to fall just short of the 1992 total when 81.05 percent of registered voters participated."   

....  Of the total, 32.98 percent of the ballots were cast at precincts, .97 percent were in early voting and 45.88 percent were absentee.  Read article.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Crescent City preparing to withstand a once in 50 year tsunami

Heads up West Coast communities.  Pacifica has tsunami zones, plus that high tide land erosion problem.  

The Seattle Times local news/Associated Press, Jeff Barnard, 11/22/12.  "California city building 'tsunami-resistant' port."

"A tsunami watch doesn't mean go watch the tsunami,"  *
kind of tsunami expected to hit once every 50 years - the same kind that hit in 2011, when the highest surge in the boat basin measured 8.1 feet (2.5 meters) and currents were estimated at 22 feet (6.7 meters) per second.

....  Crescent City was not the only West Coast port slammed by the tsunami, which was generated by a magnitude-9.0 earthquake in Japan. The waves ripped apart docks and sank boats in Santa Cruz, California, and did similar damage in Brookings, Oregon, just north of Crescent City. But their geographical location doesn't make them as vulnerable to multiple tsunamis.

....  Construction has been marked by one delay after another. Government funding was slow, and a custom-built drill bit for installing the extra-strength pilings deep in bedrock broke. So authorities switched to installing temporary docks the old-fashioned way, by pounding in the pilings, to get them through the winter. Many of the 60 commercial fishing boats based in Crescent City are still mooring in the outer harbor. Others have to make do without water or electricity.

The March 2011 tsunami was a wake-up call for communities up and down the West Coast. Many improved tsunami evacuation plans and held mock evacuations. But some experts say the West Coast is still not taking the threat seriously enough. "Many ports on the West Coast are in denial as to their tsunami hazard," said Costas Synolakis, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Tsunami Research Center at the University of Southern California."  Read article.

Related -  Huffington Post, 3/13/2011 "Crescent City struggles to deal with Tsynami aftermath."  * Note: the above photograph and caption are from the Huffington Post article.

Related Fix Pacifica reprint articles - Associated Bay Area Governments workship, 11/14/12.  And  Climate Change.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving for two turkeys en route to Mount Vernon

Happy Thanksgiving to you too, enjoy the day!

The Sacramento Bee/Associated Press/Matthew Daly, 11/21/12.  "Obama pardons Thanksgiving turkey."

Read more here:
Turkey pardoned by President Barack Obama
Cobbler and Gobbler pardoned in 2012 
President Barack Obama pardoned two turkeys in an annual Thanksgiving rite on Wednesday, saying he wanted to offer the birds a second chance."They say life is all abo ut second chances, and this November I couldn't agree more with that sentiment," a smiling Obama said in one of several lighthearted references to his re-election this month to a second term.

Cobbler, the newly designated national turkey, and his alternate, Gobbler, received a reprieve. ....  Obama noted that Cobbler and Gobbler were selected by the American people, who cast their votes for the national Thanksgiving turkey on the White House Facebook page.
Turkey pardoned by President Bill Clinton

Turkey pardoned by President Ronald Reagan
....  "Congratulations, Cobbler. You're going to have a great life," Obama said. The 19-week-old , 40-pound turkeys are from Rockingham County, Va. They will live at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate, along with last year's birds,
Liberty and Peace.  Thanks to the American people, "the only cobbler anyone's eating this Thanksgiving will come with a side of ice cream," Obama said.

Read more here:

Read more here:
President John F. Kennedy spared a Thanksgiving turkey in 1963, but the practice did not become a formal White House tradition until President George H.W. Bush granted a "presidential pardon" to a turkey in 1989."   Read article.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sharp Park Hearing Update

Info from Richard Harris of the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance -

The hearing was continued to Dec. 3. The Supervisors asked that representatives from the City Attorney's Office and the Rec & Park Department be there Dec. 3 to answer questions from the Supervisors.  At that Dec. 3 meeting, Mar said, the Committee will accept public testimony on the issue.  

Posted by Steve Sinai

Paul's Turn

I wouldn’t call it a “mandate”, but Pacifica voters certainly expect the next City Council to do something about our perilous financial position and long-term structural problems. And that Council will have, for the first time in many years, a decisive majority with an energetic, pragmatic outlook and a clearly expressed desire to tackle those problems. This will be a Council majority that truly understands and encourages sensible economic development. And, perhaps more importantly, a majority unburdened with the ideological baggage of the past.

          Newly-elected councilmember Karen Ervin is a veteran of the Financing City Services Task Force (among many other civic responsibilities) and is well acquainted with our fiscal predicament. This experience, on top of her other impressive credentials, may account for her position as the election’s leading vote-getter.

          Mike O’Neill, the other first-time councilmember, has worked for years to help balance the books and support the development of our public schools. He’s a dynamic, hard-working, and creative problem-solver.

          The new councilmembers share a firm commitment to the improvement of our community, evidenced by years of civic involvement. Both are ready, and deserving, to take a seat on the dais, and they bring with them a fresh perspective, energy and expertise. Pacifica has chosen wisely.

          Mary Ann Nihart, who was returned for another well-earned four-year term, requires no introduction to the readers of this paper. The almost intimidating level of her intelligence is gracefully balanced by the depth of her understanding. Throw in the work ethic of a farm-girl and you’ve got one of the finest and most effective local representatives I’ve ever encountered.

          These three will join Len Stone, the upcoming Mayor, and Sue Digre, the longest-serving councilmember, when the new Council is sworn-in at their first meeting of the New Year.

          Nihart and Ervin out-polled Sue Vellone for the two available full-term, four-year council seats. O’Neill bested Vic Spano, Rich Campbell and quasi-candidate Gary Mondfrans for the single two-year seat. (I’ve been reliably informed that, despite appearances, council positions are not gender-specific; there are no designated “girls” seats and “boys” seats. It just happened to work out that way this time.)

 Sue Vellone and Vic Spano, both worthy candidates, were also committed to a business-friendly, developmental agenda, which seems to be the wave of the future around here, and both had respectable showings in the polls. Rich Campbell, an EPA attorney presently serving on the Planning Commission, came in third, behind both O’Neill and Spano, in the race for the two-year seat. Campbell had received the blessing of the Sierra Club, which would not seem to be as consequential as it has been in the past.

The new Council will take office saddled with high expectations. They have serious, long-standing problems to deal with, and the solutions cannot infringe on those environmental qualities that have made Pacifica the unique coastal community it is today.  A way must be found to pay for the breathtaking beauty we enjoy every day, a workable, equable and sustainable balance between the economy and the environment. Given that prerequisite, all options should be on the table.

Whatever the new Council does, they must do it with more transparency than formerly. Closed-door discussions, while sometimes required by law, always promote suspicion and distrust. I can understand the sensitivity of, for instance, union negotiations, but Council should also understand the public’s vested, and intense, interest in these matters. We’re the ones who are eventually paying the bills. Keep us informed. And there should be no more foolishness like “attorney-client privilege” covering up a publically funded report.

All of the candidates, successful or not, deserve our gratitude and respect for undertaking a long, grueling, disruptive and expensive ordeal. For those whose tallies fell a few votes short of the mark, take heart; we still need your civic contributions, your energy and ideas and experience. And the next election is only two short years away.

Thanks are also due to Ginny Jaquith, who volunteered to serve out a vacated seat, and did so in her eminently classy and competent fashion.

My heartiest congratulations to those candidates who won a seat on the Council, and my commiseration for the difficulties you are sure to face. Remember you have the support of a substantial portion of the community; we want you to succeed. Now it’s time to get to work. There’s a lot to be done.

Submitted by Paul Slavin

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Different ideas for controlling erosion of Pacifica's coast floated at workshop

Updated:   11/20/2012 05:03:47 PM PS

Terms such as "managed retreat" and "beach nourishment" became talking points last Wednesday at a workshop attended by Pacificans and residents of neighboring communities who came out to express their opinions about how to manage erosion problems on the coast.

A study organized by the Estuary Partnership in conjunction with the Association of Bay Area Governments is being done to see how coastal erosion can be controlled. Pacifica is part of the so-called San Francisco Littoral Cell study, which focuses on the stretch of coast from here all the way up to San Francisco.

The idea is to plan for sediment management over the next 50 years, taking into account current conditions as well as projected sea level rise and extraordinary events such as a 100-year storm.

Bob Battalio, principal engineer on the study, examined Pacifica's problem spots, including the seawall at Sharp Park that abuts the golf course. He explained how, in years past, that section of Sharp Park beach was wider before the seawall was constructed.

"Are we going to armor our shores and lose beaches?" he asked, showing a cartoon drawing of a sad child forced to walk on rocks instead of sand.

Battalio said the best approach for that section would be a managed retreat, in which the seawall is allowed to fail so the beach eventually can restore itself.

Linda Mar Beach is a perfect example of a managed retreat because some structures were removed there, enabling the
beach to widen.

Bill McGlochlin , a member of the Surfrider Foundation, said the group would support any plan that protects the beaches as much as possible.

Ideas offered included beach nourishment, which involves trucking large quantities of sand that is redeposited out at sea. It has the effect of reducing the wave action on shore


Posted by Steve Sinai

Faster emergency response saves lives, County funds highway 1 widening

Marilyn Peters reminds us of  the importance of emergency vehicles getting through traffic.  A time delay in first responders getting to their home made saving Marilyn's husband impossible.  In 2002 one of the benefits of building the quarry (Measure E) would have been to provide a fire station in Vallemar. Had there been a Fire Station in Vallemar Marilyn's husband might  have lived.

Pacifica Tribune  Letters to the Editor, 10/30/12.  "Save lives by widening Highway 1" by Marilyn A. Peters
Stalled traffic and nothing for Pacifica are like peanut butter and jelly.

"Editor: I gather Mr. Bohner (Letters, Oct. 17) has never had anyone close to him die while waiting for an emergency vehicle to respond to his Vallemar home. Vallemar is one of the areas in Pacifica that can have a longer response time than other parts of the city. My husband died on the garage floor while waiting for the fire department to arrive, and it was not during the commute hour. I was told by the city manager that I shouldn't be surprised at the delay due to my location.
Mr. Bohner is not a firefighter and has no clue about time-delayed responses the fire department encounters when responding to emergency calls that require traveling on Highway 1. Traffic not only backs up during the commute hour but also at various other times during the day. Correcting the timing of the signal would improve traffic flow but not solve the problem.

Something definitely needs to be done to alleviate the traffic congestion on Highway 1. It could save a life."

Related update -  Pacifica Patch/Stacie Chan, 10/12/12. "Pacifica receives $7.5M for transportation projects".The San Mateo County Transportation Authority on Oct. 4 granted Pacifica $4 million for Highway 1 traffic congestion relief and $3.5 million to widen San Pedro Creek. Pacifica’s two projects received the fourth highest total amount of funding amongst 27 applications from various cities and agencies in the count. The funds will go toward widening the existing four-lane Highway-1 to six lanes between Fassler Avenue and Reina Del Mar. An additional $3.5 million will widen San Pedro Creek under the new bridge to eliminate flood hazards. A bike and pedestrian path will be added to the new bridge. Note:  Photo by Brendan P Batholomew

Peanut butter and jelly with white bread, yum, yum, but not good enough
Related - Prior Fix Pacifica reprint highway 1 widening articles. Note: the recent highway 1 opposition Letter of 10/17/12, expressed by Hal Bohner, is not included because the Pacifica Tribune did not include the 10/17/12 Letters to the Editor on their website."

Related opposition - Daily Journal, 10/18/12, "Pacifica residents: Don't widen highway 1"

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bay area one month trial diesel/algae biofuel began last week

The Daily Journal (San Mateo)/The Associated Press, 11/15/12. "Bay Area drivers first with algae biofuel."

"Drivers in the San Francisco Bay Area have become the first motorists in the nation to fill up their gas tanks with an algae-based biofuel. The fuel, known as Biodiesel B20, went on sale Tuesday at gas stations in Berkeley, Oakland, Redwood City and San Jose as part of a month-long pilot program. 
"Algae biodiesel - tremendous potential for next-generation green energy."

Biodiesel B20 is made from 20 percent algae and 80 percent petroleum, and can be used by any vehicle that runs on diesel. Advocates say it is the first in a wave of clean fuel to hit the marketplace.

....   The fuel’s algae was grown by South San Francisco-based Solazyme Inc.and already has been used in trials by the military and industrial companies. 

It was sold for about $4.25 a gallon at the Redwood City station, about the same as the average price for diesel fuel in California. Officials say a decision will be made on whether to continue offering the biofuel after the pilot project."  Read article.

Reference - South San Francisco-based Solazyme, Inc. . Fuels "Global demand for alternative fuels is expanding due to population growth, increased attention to energy security, and environmental policy mandates. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency set 2011 renewable fuel standards volume requirements at 1.35 billion gallons of advanced biofuels. And the U.S. Navy's goal is to operate at least 50 percent of its fleet on clean renewable fuel sources by 2020. Achieving this objective will require a significant use of biofuels. There's also a growing market for tailored oils to compete against other biofuel sources, such as soy oil in Brazil and rapeseed oil in Europe."

Related - Algae biodiesel graph and statement from Partha Das Sharma's weblog, "Keeping world environment safer and greener."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Automation is coming to a Golden Gate Bridge near you

San Francisco Chronicle/Transportation/Neil J. Riley, 11/16/12.  "Golden Gate Bridge delays all-electronic toll switch." 

License plate billing, no more toll booth
Hiking across the bridge, still free
....  "The new all-electronic toll system was scheduled to be up and running alongside the old-fashioned method in December, with computers and cameras taking over in February. But both those dates will be pushed back a month because more testing is needed to ensure that bridge workers can cross over for free and the disabled receive a discount on the $6 toll, said Mary Currie, spokeswoman for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. 
Biking across the bridge, still free
Hitchhiking, bad idea
....  In addition to Fas-Trak, less-frequent bridge users can set up a license-plate account or make a one-time payment, which can either be done online or at payment locations being set up in retail stores around the Bay Area. License-plate accounts deduct the toll after the bridge is crossed and don’t require a pre-paid balance, and one-time payments can be made before or after crossing the bridge.    

The move to all-electronic tolling was approved in 2011 in an effort to both ease congestion and close a projected $89 million, five-year shortfall. Currie said implementation will cost $3.2 million but eliminating toll workers will save the district $19 million over an eight-year period. Even mailing drivers a bill for not paying would cost less at 67 cents per transaction than using a person to collect a toll at 83 cents per transaction.  

   Of the 28 toll workers who will lose their jobs, half have already retired or were transferred to other positions with the district. Currie said the district is working on a separation package for the remaining 14." 

Reference -  Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, "Frequently asked questions about Golden Gate Bridge Conversion to all electronic tolling (AET)

Posted by Kathy Meeh
With us being the first bridge in the country switching to all-electronic tolling, all eyes are on us and it's really important that system functionality is operating perfectly," she said. "Our board of directors doesn't want us flipping that switch any sooner than when functionality is fully tested and everything is ready to go."

Read more:
With us being the first bridge in the country switching to all-electronic tolling, all eyes are on us and it's really important that system functionality is operating perfectly," she said. "Our board of directors doesn't want us flipping that switch any sooner than when functionality is fully tested and everything is ready to go."

Read more: