Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Vote YES for City Council Candidate Victor Spano, 2014

Victor Spano has expertise in economic development.
He is smart, reasonable, energetic, and personable.
"Who's going to fix Pacifica?" by Robert Hutchinson 

NO Eric Ruchames
"Eric not only supported the sneaky failed tax on our phones last year, He was a leader in fighting for it's passage. Eric signed the ballot argument in favor of the phone tax, donated $250 of his own money, and as President of the Police Union gave $1500 more. It's understandable why all the city employee labor unions are supporting him now.

NO John Keener
John's admits his only reason for running is to stop the needed safety fix of highway one. Why? He says he doesn't think it will work. Even though all the experts say we need this widening and it will greatly improve traffic & safety, Keener knows better than all of them. He has no experience and has done nothing civically for Pacifica. No volunteering, no committees, no campaigning, not even a letter to the editor.

YES On Victor Spano
I saw Victor work harder than anyone to defeat the phone tax and save you money. Thanks in part to Victor the tax failed by more than 60%. But more importantly Victor has the experience we need to get out of our economic crisis. As Pacifica Economic Development Committee Chair Victor worked on the Economic Development Strategy. Victor worked on many of the projects you see along Junipero Serra, like In N Out Burger, Hampton Inn and many restaurants. Victor wants to bring responsible, environmentally sensitive "smart growth" to Pacifica so we can finally Fix Pacifica."
YES, Victor Spano is the right guy for city council.

Reference - City Council Candidate Victor Spano, 2014 website.  Facebook. Linked in.

Resume from Victor Spano's Linked In summary: "Community Activities in the Scenic Coastal / Hillside City of Pacifica, near San Francisco:   President - Elect of Pacifica Rotary Club; Pacific Coast Fogfest Board Member, Contests and Sponsorships; Member Pacifica Chamber of Commerce; Former chair of Pacifica Economic Development Committee and currently a candidate for Pacifica City Council.  Please visit my campaign website: victorspano.com and learn about City of Pacifica at cityofpacifica.org. Endorsed by the San Mateo County Association of Realtors (SAMCAR).

University of Southern California, School of Urban and Regional Planning / Public Administration.  Real Estate / Economic Development: Hands on: Retail, Office, Hotel, Multi-Family, Single Family and Mixed Use, entire development cycle from acquisition to occupancy. 20 years experience in local government. Open to new opportunities." 

Note photograph of Victor Spano from Pacifica Patch.  Graphic voting check mark from Smoke free Wisconsin, 9/3/10, "Find out which candidates share your values."   This article is also scheduled to appear in the Pacifica Tribune letters to the editor, 10/2/14. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ripped on Riptide by those who started a "food fight" on Fix

Pacifica Riptide/Ian Butler, Riptide Correspondent, 9/29/14."Opinion: Fix Pacifica shows its true colors."

Ian Butler has accelerated his rant from the "Past city councilmember Jim Vreeland has apparently died" blog article reprint 9/16/14, back to Pacifica Riptide.

In his visit here, Ian still thinks he is immune from following a few simple rules of civility posted on Fix Pacifica blog, namely:  "People may comment anonymously, but any comments that degenerate into 1) personal attacks against individual blog participants; 2) incomprehensible gibberish; or 3) attempts to turn conversations into grade-school playground brawls, will be removed."  These rules are listed on the upper left side of this blog.

Any apology should be coming from those who unnecessarily and artificially created a "food fight" on the article of their hero, deceased former city councilmember Jim Vreeland. Yet the drama continues, how respectful is that?

Jim Vreeland had many years on city council to help this city achieve a balanced city economy.  He and others had a different vision.  All those economic opportunities were purposely squandered.  We continue to live with the consequences.

Note: graphic from Cheezburger.

Posted by Kathy Meeh 

Shopping center proposal to expand, include residential, Foster City

The Daily Journal, 9/27/14.  "Government Watch/City government."

Waterfront property fun and function
Solid shopping center identifier
"The Foster City Council will hold a special meeting 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13 to discuss the proposed redevelopment of the existing Edgewater Place Shopping Center to a mixed-use development including approximately 59,000 square feet of retail space and approximately 150 residences, including townhouses and flats, on Edgewater Boulevard between Beach Park Boulevard and Port Royal Avenue in Neighborhood Eight.  .... The meeting will be held in the City Council Chambers, 620 Foster City Blvd. (adjacent to City Hall) and will also be televised on FCTV, Channel 27."  Read more. 

Related City of Foster City press release. -  Edgewater Place Shopping Center redevelopment.  "The purposes of this development project preliminary review meeting are:  To introduce the proposed project concept to the City Council and the public;  To give the City Council and the neighborhood's residents

Enough parking, convenient shops
an opportunity to provide feedback on the project during the conceptual stage; To give the neighborhood a very early opportunity to become a part of the planning and design review process; To maximize opportunities for meaningful public discussion of development projects, at the earliest feasible time, for the guidance of the public, project proponents and City decision makers."  

Edgewater Place Shopping Center, "The community shopping center features on-of-a-kind shops and boutiques, which offers the finest selections of gift items, along with a wide range of service business. Arrive early and sample a variety of international cuisines and the centers many services. Smaller service stores are supported by large national retailers creating a large draw from both the local area and the region." Shops and restaurants page.

Note photographs:  Edgewater Place marker from Cooking Papa Foster City.  Waterfront restaurants from Foster City blog/Jim Mink. Stores and parking from Edgewater Place Shopping Center, related above. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

City calendar this week, 9/29/14 - 10/6/14

City event calendar.  No meetings this week.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Smart cities are moving up their commercial height limits and building green

Pacifica:  population density is waiting
in line for barbeque, or driving our only
highway through Vallemar/Rockaway.

San Francisco Chronicle/John King, Staff, 9/27/14.  "These development measures are really anti-growth."

It’s election time in the Bay Area, which means ballot initiatives designed to undercut development plans are already in the works. But there’s another way to look at this year’s crop: as confirmation of an ongoing cultural shift in favor of tall buildings and mixed-use neighborhoods with access to transit outside the region’s largest cities.

Vote to improve Pacifica
economic development.
Status quo or less = poor,
  a proven substandard city.
 ....  “We’re starting to see a separation between the traditional anti-growth crowd — 'We want to keep our small-town nature. We want to drive our cars’ — and the other crowd that says, 'We want to have transit-oriented growth and an active downtown, but we want it to be perfect,’” said Madsen, whose organization opposes Berkeley's Measure R as “misguided.”  Where Berkeley’s measure allows taller buildings as long as they’re a utopian shade of green, Menlo Park voters are being asked to change the rules to allow a procession of buildings resembling nothing so much as a row of gap teeth — by intent.

....  The vision emerging is more complex — and, in the long run, more compelling. There’s a hint of this evolution in San Bruno, a city of 44,000 between Millbrae and South San Francisco where a 1977 ordinance capped heights at three stories or 50 feet without voter approval.  November’s Measure N would allow 90-foot buildings around the city’s Caltrain station and increase heights by 20 feet along El Camino Real and 15 feet along San Bruno Avenue. These aren’t towers by any stretch, but they acknowledge a need for housing beyond single-family homes..... “Whether people love the idea of density or not, they’re starting to grasp the benefits that can come from transit-friendly neighborhoods,” Madsen said. “The more we can get away from the fear factor, the better.”  Read article.

Related - Berkeley, CA - Measure R initiative ordinance amending downtown zoning provisions and creating civic center historic district overlay zone,  Ballot Question, revised 2014.  Prior Measure R, 2012.  Berkeleside yes, no opinion.

San Bruno  Measure N, economic enhancement initiative, increase height limits. Greenbelt Alliance, urges a "yes" vote.  "As with other Peninsula cities, San Bruno continues to recover economically. While things look brighter, the city must plan for the future. For several years, the City has engaged in a collaborative, inclusive, and transparent process focused on growing the local economy, generating new city revenue without taxing our citizens, while improving downtown and major transit corridors. The City has adopted a visionary plan for new homes, jobs, and shops in its downtown that will make the community a great place for decades to come." 

Note graphic button from Cafe press.  Photograph from Barbeque1 blog.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

State settles redevelopment payback, Belmont

The Daily Journal/Samantha Weigel, 9/26/14.  "City to settle case over redevelopment agency:  Belmont's lawsuit reduces payment to state from $1.33 million to $256,000.

A redevelopment agency existed here too.
What did Pacifica payback to the State,
while not developing anything?
After years of negotiations and a lawsuit against the state, the city of Belmont agreed to settle its dispute on how much it owed for the 2012 dissolution of its redevelopment agency that helped fund the Highway 101 pedestrian overpass, street improvements, the acquisition of its City Hall site and other projects. 

Belmont’s lawsuit, filed in August 2013 against state’s Department of Finance, the San Mateo County Controller’s Office and others, ultimately reduced the city’s payment to $256,000, Belmont City Attorney Scott Rennie said.  It was an arduous but successful process starting in May 2013 when the state initially ordered Belmont turn over $2.4 million its redevelopment agency had collected, Rennie said.

The city was able to reduce that to $1.33 million through a statutory process and through its lawsuit ultimately will turn over $256,000, Rennie said. The struggle is the funds the state is demanding had already been spent on contractors, supplies, employee compensation and expenses related to redevelopment projects; meaning, the city will have to reach into its general fund to pay the state back, Rennie said. The city anticipates making the $256,000 payment Monday, Rennie said.  Read article.

Note photograph from Coastsider, 8/17/06. "Backgrounder:  the quarry vote in Pacifica."  This article includes a quarry property transition timeline from 1983 though August, 2006. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Two sides to environmental issues

Pacifica Tribune/Letters to the Editor, 9/23/14.  "Environmental Issues" by James Doran, Retired Pacifica Firefighter

Public safety, widen highway 1 through two intersections
"Editor:  Unfortunately for me, I am a lot older now. I have seen so many environmental issues come and go. I have always worried about our environment and done what I can for it. Let me tell you a couple of stories that happened recently.

Most mornings I walk my dogs on the levee west of the golf course. I watched the city of San Francisco put up about a $40,000 fence between the levee and the course. They had a biologist there every day to make sure no rodent hole or something else was disturbed. (I have played golf there for 55 years and never saw a frog or snake.) I would bring kibble and throw it up in the air on the levee and watch the ravens catch it.  One day a woman came up to me and told me not to feed the ravens because they were enemies of the hawks. So I said, "Don't hawks also eat red legged frogs and snakes?" No answer.

We can't hear you
The other day a polite and dedicated college student came to my door asking for donations to stop fracking because they are drilling underground several hundred feet looking for natural gas and oil. I said "isn't this the answer to our energy problem and we can finally get out of the Middle East?" I said also that I don't want any more Americans dying because we need their oil and we are spending a trillion dollars on troops and weapons. He left.

My long winded point is there are two sides to every environmental issue. I have tried to address the main issue with Highway 1 as a public safety issue before. It is nearly impossible to get north or south during commute hours for police, fire and ambulances. Environmentally, there are hundreds of cars and trucks burning needless fuel adding to our carbon footprint and polluting east Rockaway and Vallemar. Also, the stress and anxiety of lost productive time.

Like I said, look at the other side of this problem and how it's affecting us. It seems that Judge Weiner is a reasonable person. Let's see how this works out." 

Note photograph from Venitism blog, 4/28/14, "Green mumbo jumbo and environmental orthodoxies."  The Denver Post/Live, 6/4/14, "Denver morning commute," Joel Hillan, 6/4/14, 5:48 AM. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Friday, September 26, 2014

Victor's Fog Fest Hydration Station

Come one, come all, to the 29th Annual Fogfest, brought to you by the Fog Fest Organizing Committee, and a cast of hundreds of community volunteers.

I'll be there in the parade, at my booth, and out and about.  On Sunday come visit the Pacifica Rotary Club beer and wine booth!   I have a limited supply of these water bottles, we'll be giving them out while supplies last.

Submitted by Victor Spano

Reminder Fog Fest this weekend, September 27 and September 28, 2014

Pacific Coast Fog Fest
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Reminder Fog Fest this weekend.  Pacific Coast Fog Festival Weekend, Saturday, September 27th, and Sunday, September 28th.

"The Fog Fest kicks off Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with the Discover Pacifica Parade and marching band competition.  Then stay and enjoy our arts and crafts booths, food and beverage booths, musical entertainment, family fun fest and a variety of other activities. 

Please Note: Pets are not allowed at the festival.  Please be kind to your animals and leave them at home. We appreciate your cooperation. Fog Fest Organizing Group, (FFOG).

The Fog Fest is proud to be a Green Event, providing recycling through our generous sponsor Recology of the Coast. Please ride a bike, we provide free secured bike parking at the South end of the festival grounds."

Related - Fix Pacifica reprint articles,"Fog Fest and Fandango, 2014."    Note photograph from Reverbnation.

Posted by Kathy Meeh