Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Underregulated second amendment rights, and another criminal

Aka:  dumb human endangers his own family. including his child.

Really bad idea when the gun is real
San Mateo County Times/Joshua Melvin, 4/30/13.  "Peninsula gun raid turns up over a dozen weapons, 10,000 bullets, police say."

"FOSTER CITY -- Police seized a cache of assault rifles, ammunition and handguns, including one weapon stashed in a 3-year-old child's bedroom, from a man suspected of illegally selling guns from his home, authorities said.

After buying an AK-47 assault rifle and a Thompson gun as well as high capacity magazines and 1,000 rounds of ammunition from him in a parking area at his home on Thursday, undercover police arrested Steve Bowman, 40, said San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force Cmdr. John Munsey.  A search of his Foster City home on the 100 block of Rock Harbor Lane turned up a loaded handgun in the bedroom of Bowman's 3-year-old child, Munsey said. Police also raided a property tied to Bowman on the 3000 block of Cabrillo Street in San Francisco and found two more assault rifles, a rifle, 12 handguns and about 10,000 rounds of ammunition.  

He was booked into the San Mateo County jail on suspicion of illegal gun sales and child endangerment, said Munsey. He was released on $150,000 bail and is due in San Mateo County Superior Court on May 28 if charges are filed, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said."  

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Monday, April 29, 2013

Three abalone divers died off the Sonoma coast this weekend

One man who died was a Pacifican, identified as retired firefighter Cedric Collett.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat/Randi Rossmann, 4/29/13. "Three Bay Area abalone divers die in North Coast drownings."
Attempt to save Kenneth Liu, Sunday morning

"Three abalone divers who died this weekend off of the North Coast were all Bay Area men. The triple deaths were the first of this year's abalone season in the region and the worst total in less than 24 hours in recent law enforcement memory.

A diver who drowned Sunday morning in rough water off of a Fort Bragg beach was 50-year-old Henry Choy of San Bruno, said Mendocino County Deputy Coroner Scott Polma Monday. The other Sunday victim was Kenneth Liu, 36, of San Francisco, said the Sonoma County Coroner's Office Monday. Liu died while diving off of Fisk Mill Cove. Retired Pacifica firefighter Cedric Collett, 66, died Saturday afternoon while diving for abalone off of a Sea Ranch beach."   Read article.  Note:  Photograph from this article.

Related -  San Mateo County Times/Associated Press, 4/29/13. "Retired Pacifica firefighter one of 3 divers killed over weekend off Northern California coast."  "SANTA ROSA-- Three abalone (ab-ah-LOH'-nee) divers, including one from Pacifica, were killed in separate accidents over the weekend in Northern California, where powerful rip currents were reported.  The Press Democrat reports a very low tide drew divers to the beaches looking for sea snails. The body of a 66-year-old retired Pacifica firefighter was found Saturday afternoon off Sonoma County's Shell Beach.

On Sunday morning, several divers helped pull a 36-year-old San Francisco man to shore after he got caught in a rip tide off nearby Salt Point State Park. He couldn't be revived.  Several hours later, a diver was found dead north of Fort Bragg. A Sonoma County sheriff's sergeant says the man was found about 15 feet below the water and might have been snagged in rocks."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Pacifica government meetings this week, the calendar is lite

City calendar this week, April 29 through May 3, 2013

Monday, April 29.     Fireworks Task Force Meeting  

Tuesday, April 30.     No meetings 

Wednesday, May 1, not shown on the city calendar.   City Council budget study session, City Council chambers, 2212 Beach Blvd, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  The meeting is televised on PCT 26. Notification of this meeting came from Jim Wagner, confirmed by Kathy O'Connell, City Clerk.  

Thursday, May 2.       No meetings

Friday, May 3.             No meetings   

Posted by Kathy Meeh

San Mateo peninsula government meetings this week

The following information is from  Palo Alto Daily News/Peninsula, Staff, 4/26/13, "On the Docket,"  These are San Mateo County peninsula government meetings for the week April 29 through May 2, 2013. For more detail view the link.

Monday, April 29
San Carlos2+2 Joint City/School Committee to discuss traffic improvements; potential partnerships for facilities, parks and schools; potential sharing of the corporation yard; and a possible school partnership with SamTrans.
Future ABAG and MTC Pacifica quarry master plan

Tuesday, April 30
Atherton.  Community Center Advisory Committee is scheduled to select a chair and vice chair and to choose a project architect for the civic center master plan.
Los Altos. City Council and its commissions are to review council's priorities and accomplishments 2012-13, and priorities for 2013-14. 
Menlo Park. City Council is to receive a consultant's organizational review of the police department and a quarterly assessment of the city's general fund operations. 
Mountain View. City Council is to receive the fiscal year 2013-14 narrative budget report, as well as discuss operating models for the Performing Arts Center.  

Wednesday, May 1
Palo Alto.  Historic Resources Board to hold a public hearing on an application for an extensive proposed redesign of a Colonial Revival residence at 329 Lincoln Ave.
Palo Alto.  Utilities Advisory Commission is to discuss the future role of fiber optics in the city, as well as the proposed operating and capital budgets for fiscal year 2014.
Palo Alto.  Planning and Transportation Commission is to hold a public hearing on the city's response to Plan Bay Area* and a related environmental impact report.

Thursday, May 2
Palo Alto.  Architectural Review Board is scheduled to conduct a preliminary review of plans to build a four-story mixed building with three stories of underground parking on a 19,563-square-foot lot at 2755 El Camino Real.

* Plan Bay Area.  25 year ABAG and MTC "One Bay Area Plan".  And the push back concerns:  David Price, Palo Alto Daily Editor interview with Barbara Simpson, KGO radio, published 4/25/13, 39:54 minutes.  Plan Bay Area is the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and  Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) State partnership master plan to provide low income/affordable housing and central transportation projects which will affect the entire 9 Bay Area counties.  

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Longest serving San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Leo Padreddii dies

Leo Padreddii' died 4/17/13.  His replacement will likely be by appointment.  

 "The San Mateo County Harbor Commission is set to decide how to fill a vacant board seat next week following the death of Commissioner Leo Padreddii. The four commissioners will decide on May 1 whether to appoint a replacement, defer that decision to the county Board of Supervisors, or to schedule a special election. Harbor staff has recommended the commission make an appointment.  Harbor Commission President Jim Tucker estimated a special election could cost the district $300,000 to $400,000, making it an unappealing option"  Half Moon Bay Review/Mark Noack, 4/25/13.  "Harbor staff suggests appointing Padreddii replacement."  Read article. 

Harbor Commissioner Leo Padreddii
"Veteran San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Leo Padreddii died the morning of April 17, ending a life of civic service. He was 83 years old. Just re-elected to his fourth term in November, Padreddii was the longest-serving harbor commissioner. He was first appointed to the harbor board in 1995 to fill a vacancy following the death of an elected commissioner. After joining, he never left, and the harbor district became the capstone of his life of public service. Padreddii was born in South San Francisco and lived his entire life there. His parents settled in the Peninsula city after leaving their hometown of Lucca, Italy."  Half Moon Bay Review/Mark Noack, 4/25/13.  "Longtime harbor commissioner Padreddii dies, 83-year old wore many hats.Read article. 

"Padreddii helped establish ferry and water taxi services at Oyster Point/Marina Park and wanted to see it expanded to Redwood City.  The lifelong South San Francisco resident spent more 30 years of public service, including four years on the South San Francisco City Council when it planned and developed Oyster Point. He was intensively involved in the initial development and helped draft the joint powers agreement between the city and harbor for its administration. Padreddii also served nine years on the South San Francisco school board, served on the San Mateo County Fair Board and had 32 years of city and state law enforcement experience including FBI training at the California Highway Patrol Academy and as an Alcoholic Beverage Control investigator." Half Moon Bay Patch/Christa Bigue, 4/20/13.  "San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Leo Padreddii dies."  Read article.  Note:  Photograph from this article, by Christa Bigue.

Reference -  San Mateo County Harbor District.  "The San Mateo County Harbor District, which runs Pillar Point Harbor in Princeton and Oyster Point Marina/Park in South San Francisco, was created by a County election in 1933. It was originally formed to build a harbor at Redwood City, but the Great Depression intervened."  We vote in San Mateo County on Harbor Board Commissioners.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Methane emissions, don't blame fracking

San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press, 4/28/12.  "EPA methane report further divides fracking camps."

And don't blame me alone for global warming
"The Environmental Protection Agency has dramatically lowered its estimate of how much of a potent heat-trapping gas leaks during natural gas production, in a shift with major implications for a debate that has divided environmentalists: Does the recent boom in fracking help or hurt the fight against climate change?

.... The new EPA data is "kind of an earthquake" in the debate over drilling, said Michael Shellenberger, the president of the Breakthrough Institute, an environmental group based in Oakland, Calif. "This is great news for anybody concerned about the climate and strong proof that existing technologies can be deployed to reduce methane leaks."

.... The new EPA figures still show natural gas operations as the leading source of methane emissions in the U.S., at about 145 million metric tons in 2011. The next biggest source was enteric fermentation, scientific jargon for belches from cows and other animals, at 137 million metric tons. Landfills were the third-biggest source, at 103 million metric tons. ...  But the EPA estimates that all the sources of methane combined still account for only 9 percent of greenhouse gases, even taking into account methane's more potent heat-trapping."   Read article.    

Related - Fix Pacifica reprint articles - Fracking.  Note:  photo/graphic from JamLeslie blog. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Rising oceans, larger populations, shortage of water on the land

San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press/U-T San Diego, 4/27/13. "San Diego moving ahead on recycled water program."

drink recycled water
Recent poll, 73% in northern CA say YUCK!
"SAN DIEGO (AP) — The nation's eighth-largest city is moving ahead with efforts to use recycled wastewater for drinking supplies — a project that critics had long blasted as "toilet to tap."
Yeah, what's your criteria, cat?

U-T San Diego says the City Council last week voted to pursue plans for a recycling plant that would purify 15 million gallons of city wastewater daily. A 22-mile pipeline would bring it to a reservoir for mixing with other water.  A final vote is expected in about a year and the plant could take another decade to build.

A million-gallon-a-day demonstration project has been online for two years. In a recent poll, 73 percent of those surveyed favored the process.  Authorities say easing safety concerns coupled with worries about water shortages and rising rates may have helped change public opinion."

Note photograph/graphics:  Tap from Rainyharvest.co.za, 10/29/12, cat from  Life is savage blog.  

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Dream Machines this weekend

Eddie Andreini, aerobatics pilot
Nothing but blue skies...
US 8 Dirtboat
The Pacific Coast Dream Machines  event is today and tomorrow, April 27-28, 2013, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

From the website if you're interested, look for directions and the schedule of Dream Machines events.  Expect Highway 1 traveling between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay to be slow even with the new tunnel.

And "about the event":  "Half Moon Bay's Awe-Inspiring Festival of Magnificent Machines. A Mesmerizing Array Of Motorized Mechanical Marvels, Jaw-Dropping Military Flyovers, Supersonic Land Speed Record Streamliners, Ultra-Thrilling Aircraft Rides, Military Vehicle Blank Gun Firings and Mock Battle Re-enactments Headline 'The Coolest Show On Earth'."   

Note:  The photographs are also from the website.  

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Friday, April 26, 2013

Some fees in California hang around past their departure date

The Sacramento Bee/State Politics/Jim Sanders, 4/26/13, " 'Temporary' California fees live on"

.---Meet "Tax" and "Fee"--
"Thirteen of 21 fees received extensions, cumulatively raising more than $70 million annually for programs ranging from a missing persons database to an effort to fight auto insurance fraud.  

Unlike general taxes paid by nearly all Californians, fees are targeted assessments to people who participate or benefit from a state program for the purpose of funding that service. 

Perhaps the oddest Capitol trail left by a single fee involved five bills over the past decade to raise millions for California courts. .... The $40 court fee, for example, began as a charge to support court security but now can be spent on court operations.  ....  A fee on steelhead fishermen to restore and protect that trout population was extended in 2011 for the fourth time since its inception in 1991. The annual fee, initially $3.15 but now $7.05, has been given yet another date for expiration: July 2017."

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/25/5372569/temporary-california-fees-live.html#storylink=cpy

Jack Pitney, political science professor at Claremont McKenna College, said state government was mired in  budget crisis for years so "it's not surprising that most of the fees remain in place." Pitney said fees represent a logical way to support state services by targeting only users, not all families.  Read article.

Note:  the unrelated photograph is from What Culture! 

Posted by Kathy Meeh.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/25/5372569/temporary-california-fees-live.html#storylink=cpy

Redwood trees will make a difference in protecting our earth from carbon

Redwood trees are easy to grow in Pacifica, but you probably don't want them near your house.  

Good project for GGNRA mountain property
San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press, 4/22/13.  "Copemish, Mich--  A team led by a nurseryman from northern Michigan and his sons has raced against time for two decades, snipping branches from some of the world's biggest and most durable trees with plans to produce clones that could restore ancient forests and help fight climate change.

Now comes the most ambitious phase of the quest: getting the new trees into the ground. Ceremonial plantings of two dozen clones from California's mighty coastal redwoods were slated Monday - Earth Day - in seven nations: Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Germany and the United States.

....  "This is a first step toward mass production," said David Milarch, co-founder of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, a nonprofit group spearheading the project. "We need to reforest the planet; it's imperative. To do that, it just makes sense to use the largest, oldest, most iconic trees that ever lived."  ....  In recent years, they have focused on towering sequoias and redwoods, considering them best suited to absorb massive volumes of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas primarily responsible for climate change."   Read article.   

Related - Exploring the Eel River Valley website, "The Redwood Forest, big deal", Zeke Wiggleworth, Mercury News (not dated), includes 6:17 minute video. Photograph from this article by Jon Von Neumann.  

Posted by Kathy Meeh

San Jose police union pension reduction for new officers is complete

Not complete, existing officers want their pay and raises restored.

Silicon Valley Mercury News/John Woolfolk, 4/25/13.  "San Jose, officers settle dispute over new police officer pensions."

  Better deal in Pacifica, safer too
"SAN JOSE -- San Jose and its police union struck a deal on reducing pensions for new officers late Thursday, ending a months-long battle over efforts to cut costly retirement benefits at least for future city cops. ....  City correspondence with the officers' union showed the two sides agreed on the basics of a new-officer pension plan. It would raise the minimum age for full retirement benefits from 50 to 60 and lower benefit formulas. The maximum pension would be 65 percent of pay instead of 90 percent, with cost-of-living increases capped at 1.5 percent instead of the current 3 percent.

....  San Jose officials have yet to reach an agreement with firefighters on new-hire pensions, and the city is asking a judge to compel arbitration.

The city and police still are scheduled for arbitration starting May 6 at City Hall on renewing the police officers' contract. The officers are seeking to restore 10-percent pay cuts and additional raises, while the city is seeking limited raises. The two sides have chosen retired Judge John A. Flaherty as the neutral arbitrator."    Read article.    

Note:  photograph from an unrelated Examiner.com article.  

Posted by Kathy Meeh 

Planning Commission applicant consideration, here's the notice again with application

Notice from the City/Kathy O'Connell, City Clerk, posted in the Pacifica Tribune, 4/24/13. If you're interested, please submit your completed application. 

City of Pacifica Notice of Recruitment

The City of Pacifica is recruiting citizens to serve on the Planning Commission.  The deadline for applications is Wednesday, May  15, 2013 AT 5:00 p.m.  Applications are available on the City's website at  www.cityofpacifica.org, the City Clerk's Office (650) 738-7307, or the City Manager's Office (650) 738-7301.

Kathy O'Connell, City Clerk
Dated: April 12, 2013

Reference -  Online City Commissions and Committees application.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Labor trend first quarter, San Francisco Bay Area

Beacon Economics, 4/25/13, The Regional Outlook, San Francisco.  "Employment Trendsetting Continues In SF"

Labor trend:  employment up, unemployment down 
"The labor market in the San Francisco metropolitan division (MD) continues to be the state’s job recovery trendsetter. Total nonfarm employment in the San Francisco MD is actually higher now than it was prior to the Great Recession, making it the only large job center in California to accomplish such a feat. Arguably, the area is no longer in recovery mode but simply in an economic expansion.

During the last quarter of 2012, more than 9,000 workers were added to nonfarm payrolls in the San Francisco MD, representing a 1% increase. This increase is one of the strongest among large economic regions. Over the past 12 months (February 2012 to February 2013) total nonfarm employment increased by 3.5%, or more than 34,000 jobs. Solid employment growth since the end of the Great Recession is one of the reasons why the San Francisco MD boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state (6%).

Over the past year, all private industry sectors in San Francisco added to their payrolls, although the Government sector decreased its workforce by a few hundred positions. The Professional and Business Services sector continues to be one of the leading job creators, increasing its payrolls by 6.2%, or more than 13,600 jobs during the past 12 months. Information Technology also posted a solid gain of 5.8%, or 2,600 jobs. Another good sign for the local economy is the increase in Construction employment: Compared to the same period last year, the Construction sector grew by 7%, or 2,400 jobs. This increase in jobs reflects robust activity in the real estate markets.

Over the longer term, Beacon Economics expects nonfarm employment in the San Francisco MD to grow at a slower pace of around 1.5% per year over the next several years."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Just another guy with 2nd ammendment rights - Alert!

This criminal could wander over the hill.  If you see this guy in Pacifica, give our police a call, 911 should be good enough.

San Mateo County Times/Joshua Melvin, 4/25/13. "Robber's mustache peels off during Peninsula holdup, police say."

Without the mustache, looks like anyone you've seen?
"BURLINGAME -- An armed robber who turned up at a bank Wednesday with a fake mustache and dreadlocks apparently used his disguise for nothing.   

Though he passed a note to a clerk at the Bank of America at 400 El Camino Real demanding cash around 1:25 p.m., he ran off before he got any, Burlingame police Sgt. Don Shepley said.

Police released surveillance photos Thursday showing his hair, which may have been a wig, and phony mustache, which started falling off mid-robbery.  Authorities haven't tracked down the suspect, who walked into the bank and passed a "threatening" note to the teller, Shepley said. He also lifted his shirt, which revealed the butt of a handgun stuck in his waistband.

The clerk was taking her time gathering the money when a co-worker approached her and urged her to hand over the cash. At that point the robber ran off, police said.  The robber was a white man in 50s who was about 6 feet tall and skinny. He wore a green stocking cap, glasses and a plaid shirt. He was last seen running east on Chapin Avenue.  Anyone with information can call Burlingame police at 650-777-4100. 

Reference Pacifica police.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Pacifica Index, basic Beach Parking questions with answers

Pacifica Index featured article section

Pacifica Index

    With permission from Chris Fogel, Editor & Publisher

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Highway congestion, more understanding

Is there a highway congestion bottleneck problem in Pacifica, or is it that the rest of us just imagine it Alec? The clock will not be turned back.  

Ah, the old days in Pacifica.  What's a car?
 "Editor:  When we moved to Pacifica in 1977 there were two car dealerships, more than a few drug stores, dry cleaners, at least two auto parts stores, shoe repair shops, all the small businesses that provide services and vitality to neighborhoods. This was about 10 years after the aptly nicknamed Highway 1 ditch was completed.

"Until the mid-1960s, when the Highway 1 freeway ditch was built through Pacifica, Highway 1 was Pacifica's main street, and Sharp Park was a contiguous community, roughly the geographic center of what is now Pacifica.

Palmetto Avenue, which was Old County Road way back when, is at best a side street now. Highway 1 serves as a barrier between the two halves of Pacifica," Lionel Emde, Pacifica Riptide, Feb. 17 2009.
We all know what's happened to those businesses. I firmly believe some were lost due to the freeway ditch but also know that some were lost to over-the-hill development (Serramonte Shopping Center) and other economic factors, i.e. changing shopping/business trends.

Now some want to extend the freeway -- OK widen Rt 1 -- even farther south, further dividing our town in two. This would not be good for Pacifica. It would be good for some residents, enabling them to save, let's see, maybe 5 to 10 minutes getting to and from work. I know you all say it takes too long to get through the lights in Pacifica. Widening Rt. 1 will not make that go away. It will just take a few minutes off of that time because there will always be that bottleneck when three lanes go back to two. I'm making assumptions here -- someone with the tools should study that.

Another issue is the ability of emergency vehicles to get through. Do you think three lanes instead of two will automatically cause drivers to pay attention and be aware of the sirens and lights on these vehicles? The biggest problem that I see (often) is that drivers are oblivious and simply don't make way for emergency vehicles when they come up from behind. Take out the earbuds, get off the phone, turn down the radio, look in the rear view mirror every 10 seconds and pay attention to the driving when you're driving."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Beach parking, more understanding

Our readers will likely help you understand the coming beach parking policies, Bob. And good luck submitting your resume for ranger.

Pacifica Tribune, 4/23/13, Letters to the Editor.  "Beach parking" by Bob Spence

"Editor:  Please help me correct any misunderstandings I may have regarding the article on City Council's plan for beach parking. As I understand it, they want to spend $60,000 to purchase three digital pay stations at the Pacifica State Beach and the community center. If parking placards will be issued to members of Seniors in Action, does that include beach access? I saw nothing mentioned about a cost for handicap spaces in any location.

Yep, finding Ohlone Indian remains may be your job
The article states that this will generate an estimated $308,809 in revenue with an estimated cost of $379,000, leaving an annual loss of $70,191 but less than half our current costs of $160,000. If these figures are correct and the pay stations are a one-time purchase we will have $219,000 left to hire two additional park rangers. The highest salary for a park ranger is $63,180 a year (or three for $189,540) plus benefits. Where does the rest of the money go and what services will the rangers provide beyond parking enforcement? I have lived in Linda Mar for over 30 years and the only time I remember seeing a ranger was recently, when a sailboat grounded itself off shore. Of course, everyone showed up that day, so no clue as to if that was the Pacifica ranger. 

In the interest of reducing city costs, I am submitting my name to be a city employee as a Pacifica State Beach Parking Attendant. I will decline any health or pension benefits but in lieu of same, will accept six weeks of vacation plus holidays per year. This will keep the job and the spending local and at only $37.50 per hour or $78,000 annually, it would be less than a fully benefitted rangers salary. I will even supply my own uniform."

Reference - Pacifica Tribune/Jane Northrop/Staff, 4/16/13. "Paid parking at Pacifica state beach and community center passed." "City Council approved last Monday a long in the works plan to implement paid parking at the beach. The Pacifica State Beach parking lot and the parking lot at the front of the community center will soon have digital pay stations. The new charges -- $3 for less than four hours, $6 for four hours or more and $50 for an annual parking permit -- will go into effect July 12. The machines will accept debit and credit cards as well as cash."     Related - Fix Pacifica article reprints.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Dog park problems and possible solutions

Pacifica Tribune/Jane Northrop, Staff, 4/23/13.  "PB&R Commission approves dog park changes as concessions to neighbors."

So much permanent open space transferred outside Pacifica interferes with city civic planning.  Finding space for a dog park that will not cause conflict with neighborhood tranquility is another example.  Would GGNRA consider donating some land back to Pacifica?

I'm your best friend, give me a place to run free
From last week's city Parks,Beaches & Recreation (PB&R) Commission meeting, with study sessions to follow.

....  "The commissioners agreed to pay $4,500 for an irrigation system to water the surfaces of the dog park. Neighbors had been complaining of dust flying into their yards. They also agreed to hire a soundproofing consultant to evaluate potentially putting in soundproof fencing to shield the neighbors from the noise in the park. The consultant will cost $450.  
Sunday outside the dog park

They also agreed to have a city staff member, instead of a neighbor, open and close the park. And they changed the dates the park is open. In addition to Tuesdays, the park will now be closed on Sundays. The commissioners agreed to revisit when the dog park will be open again in six months. 

....  "I think we can come up with a good balance in the reduced hours," said Commissioner Cindy Abbott. "But I'd like to look at an alternate location not close to this one, but to accommodate other users. That would alleviate the problems here. Also, revisit the use of Sharp Park beach as an off leash area."    Read article. 

Reference -    City of Pacifica, PB&RDepartment, Agendas and Minutes. Meeting of  4/17/13, Agenda item, 8.  The minutes from the 4/17/13 meeting are not yet available. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Government analysis on how consumers invest and spend their money

Like the senator says, "this is a little creepy"!  1984 took a little longer to get here.  (Jim Wagner)

California Association of Mortgage Professionals/Elizabeth Ecker, 4/23/13,  "CFPB defends consumer research, Senator says it's 'creepy'"

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray today came under scrutiny from the Senate Banking Committee as to how much research into consumers’ finances is “too much.”

"I'm watching you watching him," not the groom, the money.
Saying the research was becoming “downright creepy,” Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) expressed concern over too much delving into the finances of Americans. “People are going to worry about this fed agency collecting data on you, me…paying off a mortgage, paying credit card bills; I think it’s uncomfortable,” Johanns said.

Cordray defended the research indicating it is necessary to understand consumer behaviors before writing rules about the financial products they use.  “Big data is the cutting edge of research and analysis in every field that involves analytics,” Cordray said. “Every company is gathering and crunching as much data as they can.”

The questions followed a Bloomberg report last week indicating the agency would spend $20 million on independent contracts to collect data on 10 million consumers.  “You want us to write rules,” Cordray said. “If we dont’ have the data and information, we can’t do that.”

The panel continued to press the CFPB chief on the level of research into the consumers the agency protects. One mechanism the CFPB has used to compile information is a consumer complaint database that spans mortgage complaints and reverse mortgage complaints more specifically. A mortgage database is also under way as an initiative of the CFPB launched this year.

“It seems there is a big question as to how the government should be involved in big data,” said Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). The bureau, which has become the subject of ongoing scrutiny due to its leadership structure and the recess appointment of Cordray as director stressed the need for the bureau’s actions and future efforts toward enforcement as well as education.  “We’re going to be much more aggressive,” he said. “We have to make available the tools to people to better manage their finances. We don’t want to have a society where people make decisions and come to our “tell your story” line and talk about how they regret their decision.”

Submitted by Jim Wagner

Posted by Kathy Meeh

City council budget meeting tonight CANCELLED

City council budget meeting tonight 6 pm,  CANCELLED.   City memo.

Prior Fix Pacifica Article, scheduled meeting notation.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Plastic recycle numbers guide

But I'm already recycled

Quick plastic recycle number guide from the Eco Village Green website, article by Joe Barrios, 4/1/09.  "What do the plastic recycling numbers mean?"

Plastic #1:     Clear.  Most disposable soda and water bottles (not for multiple use though).
Plastic #2:     Opaque.  Most milk jugs, detergent bottles, juice bottles, butter tubs, and toiletries bottles.
Plastic #3:     Food wrap, bottles for cooking oil near heat, and plumbing pipes.
Plastic #4:     Grocery bags, some food wraps, squeezable bottles, and bread bags.
Plastic #5:     Wide neck containers, opaque water bottles, medicine bottles, ketchup and syrup bottles, and straws.
Plastic #6:    Polystyrene, or Styrofoam.  Disposable containers and packaging, disposable plates and cups.
Plastic #7:    A variety of modern plastics, other food or drink containers, i-pods, cases. 

.... ".. Plastics #2, #4 and #5 are generally considered safe. Plastic #1 is safe too but should not be re-used due to the risk of growing bacteria.

Any other plastic should be used with extreme caution, especially around food or drink. The risk is even greater when heating food. For microwaving in particular, remember that microwave safe containers aren’t necessarily healthy. They just won’t melt. In general, it’s better to avoid microwaving plastic entirely and stick to glass."  Read article.

Related - The Daily Green, a consumer's guide to green from Good Housekeeping.com.  Quicken Loans.com, "Plastic recycling, what do those numbers mean," Krissy Schwab, 9/18/12.  And of course local  recycling information:  Recology of the Coast.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Almost every city in San Mateo County will join the plastic carryout bag ban

Recyclable carryout plastic bags exists. Some San Jose stores have them, cost is 10 cents per bag.  But, living on the coast, considering some of these plastic bags end up in the Pacific ocean, we may not be offered that alternative.    

CBS, channel 5, 4/22/13.  "12 San Mateo county cities enact plastic bag bans on Earth Day." 

SAN MATEO COUNTY (CBS SF) — A dozen San Mateo County cities celebrated Earth Day on Monday by implementing plastic bag bans.

Bring your own recyclable plastic bag?
Grocery stores, retail shops and pharmacies in 12 Peninsula cities and unincorporated areas throughout San Mateo County will no longer use plastic bags as of today (4/22/13), county Director of Environmental Health  Dean Peterson said.

....  Daly City is among the dozen cities joining San Mateo County in implementing plastic bag bans Monday. The other cities are Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Colma, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Menlo Park, Pacifica, Portola Valley, San Bruno and South San Francisco, according to the county.  Four other cities—East Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Carlos and San Mateo—have similar bans in the works. Millbrae already has a plastic bag ban in place." Read article,  includes embedded video, 3:14 minutes." 

Related - San Mateo County Times, 4/17/13.  "....  The laws aim to encourage the use of reusable bags, which county officials say are better for the environment. If shoppers don't bring reusable bags, retailers are required to offer them paper bags -- for 10 cents each. After Jan. 1, 2015, each paper bag will cost customers a quarter. The law applies to grocery and convenience stores, pharmacies and other shops, but not to restaurants. Plastic bags for produce, meats, bulk foods and prescription medicines still will be used.  ....  Woodside is the only one of San Mateo County's 20 cities that has resisted jumping on the bandwagon. Although council members have discussed it several times, they didn't vote on a ban in February after disagreeing about whether customers should be charged for paper bags.

Related - to the contrary. Recycled plastic.com, (marketplace for plastic scrap, plastic recyclers, recycling centers), "Reusable cotton bags are not eco-friendly." "According to a government sponsored research done in 2008, Life Cycle Assessment of Supermarket Carrier Bags by Dr. Chris Edwards and Jonna Meyhoff Fry, cotton bags need to be used 131 times before it has the same environmental impact as its plastic counterpart!"  Photograph above from this website article.
Posted by Kathy Meeh

Monday, April 22, 2013

Did you notice the carryout plastic bag ban began today, April 22, 2013

It finally happened.  Today, 4/22/13, is the beginning of the ban on carryout plastic bags in Pacifica. 

Don't worry.  Vegetable and fruit plastic bags that contain your produce and keep such items clean are still available in the markets. 

Related Fix Pacifica reprint articles Pacifica Tribune, 4/16/13, "City bans plastic carryout bags on Monday."  And other related articles. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Did you notice Earth Day is today April 22, 2013

The Earth Day theme outside Pacifica is "The Face of Climate Change"

The Christian Science Monitor/Focus/Pete Spotts, 4/22/13.  "On Earth Day 2013, a planetary report card on global warming."
Aurora borealis or northern lights

"Planetary carbon dioxide concentrations are the highest they've been in the past 800,000 years, an ignominious milestone for Earth Day 2013. Still, the world is making some progress toward addressing global warming.

The aurora borealis appeared just north of a snow-covered Canada in this image taken from the International Space Station last year. On Earth Day 2013, organizers have focused on global warming as a top issue."

Earth Day observances began in 1970.   "Since that first Earth Day, the air over major cities is cleaner. ....  The improvements have come with "yes, but ..." as other environmental challenges have elbowed their way to the fore. But for the most part, tools are in place to deal with them.

....  Most climate scientists trace global warming to the relatively rapid buildup of atmospheric CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels long sequestered deep underground."   Read article, 3 pages.   Note: the NASA file photograph is from the article.

Reference - Earth Day Network Organization, "Today is Earth Day! Over one billion people in 192 countries are participating from London to Sao Paolo, Seoul to Babylon City, New Delhi to New York, Rome to Cairo; people everywhere are taking action in their communities and helping depict The Face of Climate Change".   Read More. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

City council meeting, tonight, Monday, April 22, 2013

Attend in person, 2212 Beach Boulevard, 2nd floor.  Or, view on local channel 26, also live internet feed, pct26.com.  The meeting begins at 7pm, or shortly there following.  City council updates and archives are available on the City website.

City Council Agenda, 4/22/13

Fix Pacifica City Council Agenda 4/22/13 article.

Note:  The city calendar indicates there will also be a City Council Budget Study Session, Wednesday, 4/24/13, from 6:00 PM to  8:00 PM.  The location is City Council Chambers, 12 12 Beach Boulevard.  The PCT 26 calendar indicates this budget session will be televised. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Civic squabble behind Burlingame repurchase of Hoover Elementary School

The main argument against restoring this once appreciated elementary school is increased traffic.  Traffic sounds like an existing Vallemar school site problem in this city.  Our Pacifica solution: add a couple access and exit traffic lanes by widening highway 1. Now everyone is happy, right?

San Mateo County Times/John Horgan, 4/17/13.  "John Horgan:  Times sure have changed in one Burlingame neighborhood."

Back in the late 1970s, the Burlingame Elementary School District was in a heap of trouble. Its enrollment was declining quickly and, as a dire result, its operating budget was in serious jeopardy.  

To address both critical, related issues, district officials made the difficult call to shut down three elementary schools, nearly half the district total. (Pershing had been shuttered some years earlier and converted into the district's then headquarters.)

You can imagine the uproar that ensued. All three schools slated for the chopping block -- Coolidge, Hoover and Roosevelt -- had their outspoken supporters. Parents were angry.  The tony Hoover community was particularly upset. The most isolated school of the three, Hoover, located in the western hills near the boundary with Hillsborough, was eventually sold to a religious organization. 

Now, more than a generation later, Hoover is scheduled to be born again. The district repurchased the school site and intends to reopen its renovated classrooms within two years to accommodate a growing enrollment. 

Ironically, many in the Hoover attendance area aren't happy. They view its impending reincarnation as a mistake. One of their main arguments against the decision involves an expected increase in traffic congestion. There is even litigation involved. Goodness, how times (and attitudes) change. If there are any of the Hoover families left from that contentious period during the Carter administration, they must be shaking their heads in stunned wonderment. Whatever happened to the vocal desire to maintain that cherished neighborhood academic institution?  Read more.  There are other topics and reflections in this weeks article as well.

Related -  Hoover Elementary School, Burlingame Elementary School District.  The photograph is from this linked website courtesy of the Burlingame Historical Society.  Note:  John Horgan's opinion articles are printed one time per week on Thursdays. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

In an emergency, timing may mean "everything"

San Mateo County Times/Joshua Melvin, 4/21/13. " Hiker tumbles down Pacifica cliff."

Hi there, I like sitting on a cliff ledge too.
"PACIFICA -- Firefighters rescued a hiker Saturday who was trapped after tumbling about 15 feet down a cliff at Linda Mar beach, authorities said. 

The rescuers rushed to the south end of the beach around 5:25 p.m. and had to work quickly because the tide was coming up, said Clyde Preston of the North County Fire Authority. But the rescue went well and the hiker, whose name wasn't released, suffered only minor injuries.

The hiker didn't have to go to the hospital. Authorities didn't say why the hiker fell."  

Note:  This photograph by SooozhyQ, and more of Pacifica beach life from Flickriver.com. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Saturday, April 20, 2013

City Manager Search Survey, want a better city?

Please complete the following City Manager Search Survey,  though City Sponsored "Survey Monkey". After explaining to this "survey monkey" that I want a strong City Manager who will continue the work of Steve Rhodes (our current City Manager),  and move this city forward with economic development, I feel so much better. 

We count, complete the survey
I feel so much better after voicing my opinion that the City Manager candidate should have strong leadership qualities, and rebuff those who work against city economic progress and highway improvement.  By now we do know that "community" consensus is overrated, don't we? 

By completing this "survey monkey", YOU are sending YOUR message to the City Manager Search. The survey takes up to 10 minutes if you're slow, thoughtful, or angry about low level city progress. The city needs a future.  Alternatively, you may be sure the NIMBY circuit has already completed this survey with their "we want nothing" comments. Do better, lets get a transformative City Manager, one who will stand-up to criticism, and expedite needed city development.  Also, ask your friends to complete this survey, doing so may be important in choosing the best candidate.

Note:  Photograph from  Monkey World.

Posted by Kathy Meeh