Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Years, be careful and try not to be too crazy

The Daily Journal (San Mateo County), "Off the Beat" Michelle Durand Tuesday Column, 12/30/14. "Drinking is for the birds."

Where's everybody?
"Think you and your friends do some drunken tweeting after a few too many appletinis?

You’ve gotten nothing, it seems, on a bunch of real bird brains. No, seriously. Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University fed a bunch of zebra finches alcohol-spiked juice to learn more about how adult beverages impact human speech. Much like a crazed girls night out with the radio cranked up or hung heavy with peer pressure to karaoke “I Will Survive,” the buzzed birds slurred their songs. Specifically, according to the findings, some of the syllables were less intelligible than others and their songs grew quieter over time, not unlike those happy drinkers who slide into la la land after one too many toasts. What the researchers can’t tell yet is if the birds themselves know they and their feathery pals sound different, too.

This unique experiment proves two things. First, as often stated in this column space, scientists and researchers can get paid to study just about anything. The rest of us are apparently lacking in creativity if we can’t figure out something to “study” in the name of science and grant money. And two, my dog is obviously not the only animal to sneak a drink when the opportunity arises."   Read article.

Note:  cartoon by Patrick McDonnell "MUTTS" comic strip from Comics Kingdom.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Monday, December 29, 2014

Fix to State retirement spending may be borrow from Prop 2

San Francisco Chronicle/Melody Gutierrez, 12/27/14.  "Jerry Brown plans to take on state's retiree health debt."

Not sustainable State/government
retirement system, who knew?
"SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown plans to tackle the state’s unfunded retiree health costs in his budget proposal next month in hopes of reducing a fast-growing obligation that ballooned by $7 billion in just the past year, a spokesman for his finance department said. California has promised $72 billion more in health and dental benefits to current and retired state workers than the state has set aside, a liability that grew 11 percent from 2013, according to a recent report by the state controller’s office.   ....  Outgoing Controller John Chiang likened the state’s system to continually paying the minimum amount on a credit card as the balance and interest soar.

....  Some have speculated that Brown may turn to the recently passed Proposition 2, which sets aside money to reduce the state’s debt. Reducing retirement liabilities has been on Brown’s agenda lately, with the governor signing legislation two years ago that increased the retirement age and required employees to pay at least half of their pension costs. ....  In June, Brown and lawmakers approved a spending plan that stabilizes the teachers’ retirement fund by making up an estimated shortfall of $74 billion over the next three decades."  Read article.

Reference -  CA General Election 11/4/14, Proposition 2,"State Budget. Budget Stabilization Account. Legislative Constitutional Amendment. Put on the ballot by the Legislature." "Requires annual transfer of state general fund revenues to budget stabilization account."  "Requires half the revenues be used to repay state debts. Limits use of remaining funds to emergencies or budget deficits. Fiscal Impact: Long-term state savings from faster payment of existing debts. Different levels of state budget reserves, depending on economy and decisions by elected officials. Smaller local reserves for some school districts."  Ballotpedia:  "Election results, Yes, 4,831,045, 69.12%; No 2,158,004, 30.88%."

Related article San Jose Mercury News/Sharon Noguchi, 10/13/14. "Proposition 2 beefs up California budget reserve, but its effect on education funding is dubious."  Good work Sharon!

Note: graphic from Jezebel.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Reminder vote for the businesses which were good to you

Last chance to vote for
your favorite local businesses

Fix Pacifica article reprint,  Pacifica Tribune, 12/2/14, "Vote for your favorite business in Tribune Best of Pacifica 2015 contest."

.... "Vote for the business that treated you the best in 2014.  The deadline to file an online ballot (or for a printed ballot to be received at the Tribune office ) is Wednesday, Dec. 31 by noon. Voters are limited to one ballot online or in print (not both). You must enter responses in at least 10 categories for your ballot count." 

Note:  The print version of this ballot states"Voters must vote for at least 50% of the categories to count":  40 categories, so that would be 20 categories.  Vote for at least 20 businesses.   Its fun, and good for the businesses who have served you well in this city.  Vote on line here.

"Please list your name, phone number and e-mail address so we can contact you if we have a question. We will not sell your information to third parties.  THANKS FOR VOTING!"

Note:  photograph from PR Watch. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

City calendar, December 28, 2014 - January 3, 2015

City of Pacifica calendar.    No meetings.

Note photograph/graphic from The Stephen Talkhouse.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Remembering Denny's, a place to eat, and meet

30 years, always open 
Pacifica Tribune/Horace Hinshaw, Editor-in-chief, 12/23/14. "This is the way I see it..."

"We've heard the rumor for months of Denny's closing. It finally happened last week. For more than 30 years the restaurant graced the corner of Linda Mar Blvd and the Cabrillo Highway, a place where Pacificans not only came to eat, but where you would find people meeting regularly to discuss business.

There was always a booth toward the back of the restaurant where you could gather to talk. It was especially good for early morning meetings or after a long night meeting, where you went to unwind before heading home. The late hours made it convenient for the night owls. It was a popular place for teenagers following a sporting event or dance.

Various reasons have been heard for the closing, the most likely is a lease issue. Phone calls to Kimco Realty, the landlord for the property, have not been returned. There is no positive information on what business might occupy the property. I'd vote for a family-style restaurant.Read more.

Note:  Denny's Pacifica, info USA photograph from City-data.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Coastal Commission staff weighs in on Beach Boulevard proposal

The city's planning director heard back from the California Coastal Commission on the city's proposed development on Beach Boulevard, most recently on Nov. 26 in a lengthy letter.

The city is taking the lead on securing all necessary permits and environmental evaluations for a city-proposed development that would include a boutique hotel, restaurants, retail shops, residential units, parking and the new city library on the site of the former wastewater treatment plant and City Council chambers in Sharp Park.

The city presented the project to the Coastal Commission in an application filed in March. Since then, there have been several letters and meetings between city staff and commission staff.

In official planning terms presented in the application, the city proposes a land use plan amendment by changing the designation of the 3.5 acre parcel from public facilities to mixed use. It also proposes the demolition of existing businesses, grading and the construction of new buildings, streets and landscaping. Coastal Commission staff, through several letters sent to the city, expressed concern about the amount of public benefit provided by the proposed development, its visual impacts, a lack of analysis of project alternatives, the potential coastal and geotechnical hazards and potential water quality impacts.

The latest letter dated Nov. 26 also serves as a working draft of suggested modifications, meant to be a starting point in discussions with the city about the proposal, wrote Stephanie Rexing, Coastal Program Analyst, the author of the letter.


Posted by Steve Sinai

(Letter submitted by Jim Wagner)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Planning Commission Housing Element study session

NIMBIES cry we can do nothing. Fortunately we must do 413 housing units (or or change zoning to agricultural).

ABAG message to Pacifica NIMBIES
Pacifica Tribune/Jane Northrop, 12/24/14.  "Planning Commissioners address housing needs and potential building sites."

....  "The last report goes up to 2014, so it's time to do it again for the next eight years. The plan estimates, and this was a bone of contention for several speakers, that Pacifica will need 413 housing units across a variety of income levels -- 60 extremely low income, 61 very low income, 68 low income, 70 moderate income and 154 above moderate income. Those numbers are based on population growth data generated by the Association of Bay Area Governments. It represents a 138 unit increase over the last report. It also represents a population that is aging. Planning Commissioner Jeffrey Cooper noted about half of the number of units is a carryover from last year.

....  The report, which identifies areas that could be developed, does not automatically lead to any projects. In addition, future developers could choose alternative locations.  .... Murdock said he expected to get another draft of the Housing Element back to the Planning Commission by February or March. It will require a City Council hearing for final adoption before it goes back to the state for final certification."   Read article.

Reference -  Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG).  "ABAG was created by local governments to meet their planning and research needs related to land use, environmental and water resource protection, disaster resilience, energy efficiency and hazardous waste mitigation, and to provide risk management, financial services and staff training to local counties, cities and towns."

Planning Commission Study Session, 12/15/14, announcement and report (Fix Pacifica reprint article).  Pacific Coast TV, channel 26, You tube video, 96 minutes.

Note photograph from Stratford Charter politics blog.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Highway 1 is alway busy and dangerous, Half Moon Bay

In Pacifica, Highway 1 widening (1.3 miles) will be a welcome safety improvement, except from NIMBY anti-progress spinners of course.

CBS San Francisco Bay Area, 5 KPIX, 12/24/14. "3 hurt when postal service truck crashes with vehicle on Highway 1 near Half Moon Bay."
Crash closes roadway
Mail truck collided with a Subaru automobile
"HALF MOON BAY (CBS SF) — Three people were hospitalized after a U.S. Postal Service truck collided with another vehicle on state Highway 1 near Half Moon Bay late Wednesday morning (12/24/14), a California Highway Patrol officer said.
The crash was reported shortly before 11:40 a.m. on Highway 1 near Medio Avenue just north of Half Moon Bay, according to the CHP.

A USPS truck was traveling south on the highway and somehow collided with a dark gray Subaru traveling north, CHP Officer Amelia Jack said.
The male driver in the postal truck and a male and female in the Subaru were all taken by medical helicopter to Stanford Hospital to be treated for major injuries, including a head wound to the postal worker, Jack said. The postal truck came to rest blocking the highway in both directions, Jack said. The vehicles were eventually cleared from the roadway and all lanes were reopened at about 1:10 p.m., according to the CHP." .CBS SF Bay Area, KPIX 5.

RelatedHalf Moon Bay Review, 12/24/14. .... "The crash was categorized as a “major injury” accident and involved an overturned vehicle, according to a California Highway Patrol log of the incident. There was a U.S. Postal Service van on its side and authorities had called for a postal inspector to visit the scene."  Note:  photograph of accident by Mark Foyer from this article.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Spindrift Theatre presents Annie Jr,"the perfect holiday family show"

"Annie, Jr.", a Spindrift School of Performing Arts production
Pacifica Tribune/Jean Bartlett/Features Correspondent, 12/23/14.  "The sun shines on SSPA's 'Annie Jr.'

"Wonderfully monstrous villains (Miss Hannigan, orphanage matron, her brother Rooster Hannigan, professional hooligan, and Rooster's gal pal Lily St. Regis), a vulnerable, hopeful and personality-plus young orphan (Annie), a self-made, gruff billionaire with a heart of gold (Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks), the self-made billionaire's classy secretary who always gets the big picture (Grace Farrell), and a bunch of gritty and loveable orphaned girls — all come together in the Spindrift School of Performing Arts' thoroughly delightful presentation of the rags-to-riches story "Annie Jr.," currently on the main stage of the Spindrift Theater. "

....  If you go:  What: SSPA presents the family musical "Annie Jr." Dates: December 27 through January 4. Evening performances (7 p.m.): Saturday, December 27; Friday, January 2; and Saturday, January 3. Matinee performances (2 p.m.): Saturday, December 27; Sunday, December 28; Tuesday, December 30; Wednesday, December 31; Thursday, January 1; Friday, January 2; Saturday, January 3; and Sunday, January 4. Where: 1050 Crespi Drive, Pacifica.  Tickets: $15. Call 650-738-8648.  Visit: www.spindriftschool.org.Read more.   Note:  the photograph is from the Spindrift School of Performing Arts link.  

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Holiday story for Zeus the pit bull, a home found him

The Examiner/Bay City News, "Zeus the pit bull finds home after two years at San Mateo County SPCA, 12/24/14. 

"A dog sheltered at the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA for more than two years went home with a Hayward couple Sunday, the organization’s officials have announced.

Claire Karoly Ard and Criss Ard took home a pit bull named Zeus after looking for a dog to adopt for more than a year. The Ard’s have a resident cat and wanted to be sure the dog they adopted would be a good match, according to humane society officials. The humane society recently learned that Zeus was good with cats.

.... Zeus waited longer than any other dog to be adopted since the PHS & SPCA opened the Tom and Annette Lantos Center for Compassion in 2011, according to society officials. On average, dogs were getting adopted from the PHS & SPCA three weeks after being made available for adoption. Zeus came into the care of the society in September 2012. His age and breed contributed to his long wait, society officials said."   Read more.

Note:  yes Grumpy Cat is back, photograph from Cat memes.com.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Something new for Christmas, and more

PHOTO: Newborn babies fit nicely into Christmas stockings and hats at the Magee-Womens Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Going home soon
ABC News/Good Morning America/Sydney Lupkin/12/24/14.  "Holiday newborns go home in Christmas stockings."

"Some of the best Christmas gifts fit in stockings and babies born around the holidays are no exception.That's why babies born at Magee-Women's Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (PA) get special stockings if they're in the hospital on Christmas Day. 

Parents spending their first Christmas at UPMC get the stockings and hand-knit red hats as keepsakes. Magee nurses have been organizing the event for several years, and they give away dozens of tiny hats each holiday season."

Note article photograph from Magee-Women's Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh, Medical Center, (PA).

Related - News collection of everything you may ever want to know about Christmas this year and past.  Huffington Post/Christmas.  

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Everyday holiday thoughts

Be happy, every day is special
Be kind to each other
Pacifica Tribune/"Bartlett's Bullets"/Jean Bartlett, 12/23/14.  "Asked all over Pacifica.  What should people do all year long; not just through the holidays?" 

Christian Cuneo - "Be happy and always make every day a special day, not just Christmas."

Allan Amber - "Be kind to each other."   

Note photographics:  Tree from Grammarly blog; heart candies from City Hyd/Shivani Singh blog.

Read more.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays from Kim Jon-un

San Francisco Chronicle, 12/21/14. "Mike Myers played Dr. Evil on Saturday Night Live to talk about the Sony Hack Watch Now!"
Strategic partnership formed to foil USA media

I ate Grumpy Cat
"In the show's cold open, Dr. Evil (played by beloved SNL alum Mike Myers) from the Austin Powers series interrupted "A Very Somber Christmas With Sam Smith" to talk about the headline-making leak that has distributed the personal information, emails, and salaries of thousands of Sony employees.  While stroking a fake hairless cat — aka Mr. Bigglesworth — and wearing his signature Dr. Evil costume and makeup, Myers began, "I've preempted this program because I'm furious that Sony Pictures and North Korea have given evil a bad name."

.....   Dr. Evil went on to throw in some jabs at North Korea, which has been linked to the hack, "Let's start with you, North Korea. You're one of the most evil countries in the world and your act of war is to kill a movie? It's easy to kill a movie. Just move it to January… Why pick on Sony? They haven't had a hit since the Walkman." Read more, includes embedded hulu videos from the skits, be sure to catch the second video too.

Related  - CNN/Greg Botelho, 12/23/14.  "With internet still spotty, how might North Korea respond?" "The timing of North Korea's latest Internet issues makes them significant. They come days after the U.S. government blamed Pyongyang for being behind the hacking of Sony Pictures over that company's production of "The Interview" -- a comedy depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un -- as well as threats against anyone who dared watch the movie."

Note photographs:  Dr. Evil from  98 Rock/Justin Schlegel. Kim Joh-un from the Daily Racing Rag.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Rare 70th wedding anniversary, Atherton

The Almanac News/Michael Fabstein (son-in-law to Rema and Joe Cotton), 12/21/14. "Atherton couple celebrates 70th anniversary."

Happy holidays Rema and Joe Cotton,
to all celebrating 70th wedding anniversaries!
"On Dec. 22, 1944, a young man named Joe Cotton asked Rema Nelson to marry him. Recently returned to the states from being shot down over Greece in World War II, and spending three harrowing months evading the Nazis, Mr. Cotton was ready for a challenge of a more domestic sort.

Platinum wedding anniversary? Inside the box. 
They eloped from their native Indiana to Kentucky, where it was legal for the 15-year-old Miss Nelson to wed the 22-year-old Joe Cotton. When they returned home, and told their parents, Rema's father said to his daughter, "You'd better make this stick." 

Indeed they have. Monday, Dec. 22, marked the 70th wedding anniversary for Joe and Rema Cotton, who have lived in Atherton since 1971. .... Now, at ages 92 and 85, Joe and Rema face considerable medical hurdles. But their love grows richer every year."  Read article.

Related -  Planning the Perfect Wedding Day, "PLATINUM - 70th wedding anniversary gift ideas (or iron and smokey quartz gemstone).  "A 70th wedding anniversary is a rare event indeed. It’s a remarkable event involving great genetics and not little bit of luck to have both husband and wife surviving well into their nineties and still hanging in there. It is therefore no surprise that a 70th anniversary is usually publicised in the press with well wishers paying their respects from all corners."   

Note photograph for Rema and Joe Cotton from the Almanac article.  Festive celebration photograph from Touville Hotel, isle of Wight, UK.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Monday, December 22, 2014

Chamber of Commerce, community events calendar this week

Chamber of Commerce Community Events Calendar near future, or Full Annual Calendar.

Weatherman said sunshine.
Whatta ya think, snow this week?
Monday, December 22.  Meditation Group/Bruce Tassi and Amy Hanley/Florey's Book Co., 7:30 pm-9:00 pm.

Tuesday, December 23. Drop in food program (bread, pastry), Pacifica Resource Center, see Calendar, 1:30 pm-2:30 pm.

Wednesday, December 24.
1) Introducing Ocean Yoga Childcare, 8:30 am-12:30 pm. 2) Family harvest for families with children under 18, Pacifica Resource Center, see Calendar, 3:00 pm-4:45 pm. 3) "Singles" family harvest for households without children under 18, Pacifica Resource Center, see Calendar, 4:45 pm-5:15 pm.

Thursday, December 25.  Intro to essential oils, Ocean Yoga/Jessica Kino, 5:00 pm-6:00 pm.

Friday, December 26. Arts/Crafts: Fiber Fridays (fabrics), Florey's Book Co., 6 pm-8 pm.

Saturday, December 27. 1) Mussel Rock clean up, Pacifica Beach Coalition, 9:00 am-11:00 am. 2) Poetry (featured poets, open mic. to share poems) at Florey's Book Co., Florey's Book Co., 7:30 pm-9:30 pm.

Note:  Graphic from  Marin Grass Roots (Leadership Institute)

Posted by Kathy Meeh
Monday Dec 22, 2014
Monday Meditation Group ... read more
- See more at: http://business.pacificachamber.com/events#sthash.UmHESChU.dpuf