Saturday, August 31, 2013

Walk or run on trails at your own risk

San Mateo County Times/Joshua Melvin, 8/29/13.  "Latest attack on Peninsula running trail ends in arrest."

Way to go, travel with friends on trails,
take your cell phone, and wear your name tag
"SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO -- Police said a teen was arrested Thursday for assaulting and robbing a Berkeley woman on a running trail, the latest in a series of attacks on the secluded path.  The suspect grabbed the 52-year-old woman from behind and put his hand over her mouth as she walked along Centennial Way Trail in South San Francisco around 10 a.m. The woman fell to the ground when the suspect grabbed her purse and struck her head, causing minor injures, South San Francisco police said.

.... Police have not reported arrested in the three previous cases. However, Thursday they took into custody 18-year-old Bernardo Lopez Arteaga of South San Francisco on suspicion of attacking the Berkeley woman, police said. Police said a witness was able to describe the suspect and the car he escaped in, which led officers to pulling over and arresting Arteaga.  Anyone with information about the cases can call South San Francisco police at 650-877-8900."   Read more. 

Note:  unrelated photograph from KRQE 13 Albuquerque. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Clothes logo branding in the City of San Carlos, not

Daily News/Bonnie Eslinger, 8/27/13.  "San Carlos council doesn't entertain 'team apparel' idea."

Try Pacifica after the UUT passes

....  "The San Carlos City Council on Monday didn't even vote on a proposal to spend up to $25,900 to buy T-shirts, polo shirts, jackets, caps, umbrellas and golf balls all branded with a city logo.  "I think what happened is the whole council got a number of emails from the public saying, 'This is a stupid idea,'" Council Member Matt Grocott said in an interview Tuesday.

....  Staff had proposed three options, with the investments ranging from $9,500 to $25,900. Under the most expensive option, all council members, commissioners and city employees -- totalling about 190 -- would have scored the full gamut of logo-inscribed clothes and accessories. Read more.

Related Daily Journal (San Mateo County), Michelle Durand, 8/23/13. "Clothes call:  San Carlos considering team apparel." "If clothes do make the man — or woman — San Carlos employees and officials may be made over into an even more unified team. .... Ongoing annual costs for new hires and officials wouldn’t be more than $4,200.  ..... The city-themed clothing would not be a mandated uniform but simply a piece of clothing to be worn as the owner chooses, particularly when representing the city at regional meetings or local events such as Hometown Days." 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Friday, August 30, 2013

Labor Day weekend fun - San Francisco Bay Area activities, 2013

End of Summer,
soon begin Fall,
our Summer
San Francisco  Labor Day, the official federal holiday better known as the unofficial end of summer, is September 2, 2013. 

Because thousands of Bay Area folks have decamped to Burning Man in the Nevada desert, the three-day holiday weekend in San Francisco is relatively empty and tranquil, with laid-back events and activities to match. 

Even the extreme sailing of this summer’s America’s Cup goes into a Labor-Day lull: Young sailors compete in 45-foot catamarans to win Red Bull Youth America’s Cup (September 1-4), while the real America’s Cup finale doesn’t launch until Sept. 7. 

Keep in mind that the long weekend includes the first Sunday of the month, when general admission to the Asian Art Museum and to the Oakland Museum of California is free.  

Related -  Also see San Francisco Chronicle  for San Francisco and Bay Area activities.

Note:  photograph from from the McManus Lab, UCSF, "Living in San Francisco."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Labor Day weekend fun - Kings Mountain Art Fair, August 31, September 1st and 2nd, 2013

Art among the Kings Mountain redwood trees
San Jose Mercury News/Aaron Kinney, 8/28/13.  "Kings Mountain Art Fair -- old-fashioned, fun and bigger than ever-- turns 50."

".... From those humble beginnings, the event has grown to become one of California's pre-eminent art fairs and the cultural axis of Kings Mountain, a sprinkling of homes atop a redwood-bristled ridge dividing bayside San Mateo County and the rural coast. The gala pays for vital public services, subsidizing the Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade and supplementing the budget of the local elementary school, and fosters bonds of friendship among the villagers.

The fair moved in 1965 to a redwood grove off Skyline Boulevard donated by the wealthy Phleger family, according to Woodruff. Volunteers worked every weekend for several years to erect the rustic, mansard-roofed building that now serves as both the fire brigade's headquarters and a community center.  These days the fair, which drew about 9,000 visitors last year, pays for more than 95 percent of the brigade's roughly $50,000 annual budget. It is critical for secluded Kings Mountain to have its own fire department, residents say. In the event of a major fire, they won't have to wait for help to arrive from 2,000 feet below."   Read article.

Reference -  Kings Mountain Art Fair.  50th-anniversary.  Dates:  Saturday, August 31; Sunday, September 1; and Monday, September 2.  Fair booths open from 10 a.m to 5 p.m.; breakfast served from 8:00 a.m to 10:30 a.m.daily.  

Kings Mountain Art Fair Location:  Kings Mountain Community Center and Firehouse, 13889 Skyline Blvd.  Parking: Along Skyline Boulevard. Free shuttles run 1 mile in either direction of the fairgrounds.  Admission: Free.

Note:  photograph from past Coast Views Magazine.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Labor Day weekend fun - Millbrae Art & Wine Festival, August 31, September 1st, 2013

You're here, I just can't find you
The Daily Journal (San Mateo County), Angela Swartz, 8/30/13.  "Bungee, zip or waterball at Millbrae Art & Wine."

"In its 43rd year, the admission-free Millbrae Art & Wine Festival is coming this weekend, running Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“This is a really long-held tradition and an event people really look forward to every year, said Beeman. “It’s a world-class festival with exceptional music and a great variety of food. It’s a great place to bring your appetite and is basically Millbrae’s Mardi Gras.”

IThe festival runs on Broadway (one block west of El Camino Real) between Victoria and Meadow Glen avenues. A free round-trip shuttle service will be available from the Millbrae BART/Caltrain station every 20 minutes.   Read article.

Reference -  Milbrae Art and Wine Festival, 2013.    Note:  Photograph from Millbrae Chamber of Commerce.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Off-leash dog recreation at the south end of Sharp Park beach, why not?

Pacifica Tribune Letters to the Editor, 8/27/13. "Beach use" by Leah Conroy

Surfing at Linda Mar Beach, Pacifica
Happiness is being off-leash
....  "Michael Perez promptly responded to my late July letter with confidence about the public benefits our city should anticipate from these changes. He eagerly invites participation in other, key discussions and meetings about our open space and beaches such as Sharp Park re: possible off-leash area). This could be an ideal beach for officially sanctioned, dog exercise (other than the tide-limited, Esplanade Beach and POOCH-sponsored, dog park). There is a signifi

cantly large, natural slope between the tidal zone (potential off-leash zone) and lagoon berm, separating different visitors. The south end of Sharp Park Beach is also a special wildlife resting zone for two species of tern during the summer. Respectful promotion and awareness of this seasonal bird would enhance the community image of wild, open space while preserving a spirit of public recreation. Simply setting seasonal limits on traffic near the bird's legendary, favorite spot would spare the tern from urban stress.

Every small enhancement of Sharp Park gems like the pier and beach promenade improvement projects, impacts our local economy greatly. I sincerely hope meeting attendees seriously consider and vote in favor of Sharp Park Beach for off-leash dog exercise. It will attract many people to our friendly, natural coastal community for years to come."    Read more.

Related -  The Travelers Way, "Outdoor adventure in Pacifica, California" by Mary Jo Manzanares, editor-in-chief, 4/29/13.  "Pacifica, a beach-front community just 10 minutes south of San Francisco, is a charming town and recreational playground. It’s a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts, featuring everything from world-class surfing, mountain biking and hiking to fishing, scuba diving and hang gliding. Offering great leisure time activities, at an easily accessed destination, Pacifica sometimes gets overlooked in the vacation planning."  Note:  photograph from this article. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Expanded tax

I hear the city is trying to add a 6.5% tax to my cell and house phones and it might cost me $175 a year or more. As a single mom I would vote against this tax.
We already pay enough taxes in Pacifica and I don't like the fact that the city spent $60,000 of our money on this campaign without even asking us. They waste far too much money on studies costing us over 20 million dollars. And council bought themselves all iPads costing tax payers over $10,000 so far. Tell me, why do they all need iPads in little Pacifica?
I would like to ask the pro tax people if they care about single moms like me or many other people on budgets trying to get by? The city has a 1.5 million dollar surplus so why are they trying to take more of my money?
I'm voting NO on measure V, we have enough taxes already.
Julie Mattos
Sharp Park

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pacifica Five-O Narcotic Arrest Press Release

Narcotics arrest on 900 block of Serena Dr. Arrested at the scene was Edson Redmond, a 37 year old
Pacifica resident.

Daniel Steidle
Administrative/Investigative Services Division
2075  Coast Highway
Pacifica, CA 94044
650-738-7320 (Desk)
650-355-1172 (Fax)

Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure V

  • Don't be deceived - THIS IS A 60% TAX INCREASE

  • Pacifica has a balanced budget, a $1.4 million surplus, and enough money to pay for consultants, conduct voter surveys, send us campaign mailers and call a costly special election.

  • Growing our tax base, not new taxes, is a better way to meet revenue needs.

  • Don't overlook all the tax overrides we already pay on our property tax bills.

  • This tax hits just residents and exempts visitors and is unfair.

  • $500 yearly cap for businesses. No cap for residents.

  • Exempting based solely on age while the truly needy are forced to pay is unjust.

  • Seniors - you are not automatically exempted - You have to submit paperwork to apply.

  • This is a new tax on an essential safety service - your phone.

  • None of the proposed revenue is guaranteed to go for any of the lovely programs that Pacifica cites as its reasons for raising our taxes.

  • The supposed independent oversight committee's only real job would be to watch tax monies disappear into the City's General Fund. Council will spend the money as it chooses.

  • The eight year duration of this tax is too long. Then they'll want it extended forever. There's no temporary tax.

  • Pacifica will never make overdue economies as long as it thinks the voters can be fooled into  taxing ourselves more.


Submitted by Jim Wagner

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Proposed San Mateo County Budget, Fiscal Year 2013-14

The Daily Journal (San Mateo County), Journal Staff Report, 8/27/13. "San Mateo County releases budget."

Bigger County budget this year, better times.
Even so, 10 % smaller than 5 years ago
"San Mateo County’s $2.1 billion budget for fiscal year 2013-14 is an increase from the previous year, adds more than 100 new positions and reflects significant investments in capital projects and initiatives shelved during the economic downturn dating from five years ago, according to the County Manager’s Office.

....  The pending new county jail scheduled to open in 2015 and federal health care reform account for millions of dollars in budgetary changes and dozens of new county positions. Those two items alone make up the majority of 112 new positions in 2013-14 followed by 42 the following year. 

 ....  “By making wise decisions over the past five years we have avoided the drastic service cutbacks faced by many public organizations,” County Manager John Maltbie said in a prepared st

atement. “Now with the rebounding economy we are positioned to invest wisely in securing a stable and prosperous future for our residents.  Read article.

Related - San Mateo County Newsroom, "San Mateo County releases balanced budget (FY 2013-14):  Hearings start September 16th."   "The overall level of staffing is still approximately 10 percent less than five years ago.  The most significant changes to the budget include:
  • $97.8 million in FY 2013-14 and $60.2 million in FY 2014-15 for the construction of the Maple Street Correctional Center.
  • $62 million, over two years, for other capital improvement projects, including taking over the former Devil’s Slide section of Highway 1 from Caltrans to turn it into a park, replacing the Skylonda Fire Station, and various facility and infrastructure projects, including roads, utilities and airports.
  • $50 million in FY 2013-14 and $10 million in FY 2014-15 for additional pension contributions to begin the accelerated pay down of the County’s unfunded pension liability.
  • $26.4 million in FY 2013-14 and $27.9 million in FY 2014-15 for major IT initiatives, including payroll system replacement; upgrades to the County’s network, Criminal Justice Information system and radio system; and web redesign.
  • $13.4 million to build more affordable housing and construct and/or renovate emergency shelters
  • A reorganization that reestablishes the Parks Department as a separate department."   
Reference San Mateo County Budget, FY 2013-14.   Note: Photo/graphic from  Bubblews, "Save money and spend wisely."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Community park effort gone, what happened?

The non-profit and San Mateo County management could do nothing to prevent this land sale?

Half Moon Bay Review/Mark Noack, 8/27/13.  "Moss Beach Park sold at auction."

Moss Beach lost its children's park
" ....  The former landowner of the park, the nonprofit Coastside Preservation and Recreation Inc., was delinquent in its property tax payments, according to the San Mateo County Tax Collector records.  ....

....  Miramar resident Neil Merrilees, one of the organizers who helped build the playground, believed from talking to county officials that the property was bought by a developer for about $100,000. 

....  One of the only children’s playgrounds on the Midcoast, the park had a storied history as a recreation space built and paid for by the local families. Starting in 2004, the Coastside Preservation group held fundraisers and volunteer workdays to establish the property as a formal playground.  ....  News of the property’s sale came as a shock to both volunteers and county officials. ... "   Read article. 

Reference -  Every Beach Park.  "A free community-built park that kids of all ages will enjoy.  Includes sandboxes, swings, slides and much more.  If you've driven here from a distance, take kids here before you drive home and you'll be sure to have a quiet ride."  Photograph from this article. 

Update Half Moon Bay Review/Mark Noack, 8/29/13. “The county doesn’t just reverse transactions unless there’s a good faith basis,” he said. “This may, in fact, be one of those circumstances.” If the sale was reversed, the Pacifica buyer would receive a refund. But the park would still be considered in default for more than $8,000 in property taxes. County attorneys also are investigating the 1975 deed to the property, uncovered Thursday by Half Moon Bay resident John Charles Ullom. The deed transferred ownership of the land to the Coastside Preservation group on the condition that it be used for “park, recreation and community service purposes for the general public, forever…” The document could mean the new buyer is prohibited from developing the land, Beier said."

Update - Half Moon Bay Review/Staff, 8/30/13.  "During a meeting I held with the Tax Collector’s Office and County Counsel this morning, the Tax Collector’s Office agreed to cancel the sale provided that the outstanding property tax, amounting to $8,035.79, is paid in full by September 16. With just over two weeks to collect these funds, it may be tight but I know that together we can do it."

Update - Half Moon Bay Review/Mark Noack, 8/30/13. "Park supporters have pointed out that the sale never would have gone forward if the county had informed the Midcoast community in advance. A spokeswoman with the County Tax Collector’s Office said her office followed standard protocol, publishing notice in the San Mateo County Times and sending a letter to the nonprofit’s last address on file. However, the Coastside Preservation’s last address, a Moss Beach P.O. Box, was no longer in use. --- In his letter, Horsley pointed out that the community and county would need to hastily find ways to raise money to pay this bill. He announced a new meeting to discuss the park, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Sept. 4. at the Farallone View Elementary School."

Posted by Kathy Meeh