Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pacifica Mayor Karen Ervin to Visit Rotary Evening Meeting for "State of the City"

By Ginny Jaquith

Mayor Karen Ervin will present a ‘State of the City’ address to the Rotary Club of Pacifica at its Tuesday evening meeting on Tuesday, April 7th starting at 6:30pm at Sharp Park Restaurant at the Sharp Park Golf Course. Rotary, a morning breakfast club, now meets the first Tuesday evening of the month to provide an opportunity for those who cannot make the early morning weekly meetings to benefit from the fellowship and community service experiences that Pacifica Rotarians enjoy.

Mayor Ervin will present the City Council’s recently developed goals for the future of the city, the current budget and financial situation and, review past accomplishments and focus on the upcoming issues the city will be addressing. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the community and its future direction. Time is always set aside for questions from the audience.

Interested individuals are invited to attend the meeting, meet the Mayor and learn more about the work of the Rotary Club of Pacifica. Dinner is $20 and coffee is $5. RSVP by calling President Linda Jonas at 650-438-4848.Rotary International promotes fellowship and performs service for the local and international communities. We also welcome guests to visit Rotary any other Tuesday morning for our breakfast meeting from 7:15am to 8:30am at Sharp Park Restaurant. Delicious breakfasts are available for $15 and coffee for $5 at our meetings. Visit www.rotaryclubofpacifica.com or Facebook.com/PacificaRotary or call 650-438-4848 for further information.

Submitted by Victor Spano

Half Moon Bay Budget budget discussion

The Daily Journal/Samantha Weigel, 3/30/15. "Budget looking up for Half Moon Bay."  

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Downtown VRBO Residence Hotel
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Budget reality...  got it!
Despite the narrow failure of a measure to extend a sales tax increase in the last election, Half Moon Bay officials report the city is in strong financial footing enabling them to increase staff and plan the construction of a long-awaited new library.

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Downtown Main Street
The City Council discussed the preliminary 2015-2016 budget this month and set priorities that include continuing to proactively plan for infrastructure improvements, hire two new full-time employees and increase outreach opportunities to the Hispanic community. ....  Highlights of the city’s more than $14 million budget include having fully funded pension liabilities for city employees, a solid rainy day fund and a projected increase in hotel and property taxes. 

....  The city is in the midst of a multi-million dollar street repaving program and must continue to set aside funds to deal with miles of sewers and storm water infrastructure in need of regular maintenance, Deputy City Manager Alex Khojikian said. .... The city will continue to set aside reserves that account for a 30 percent of expenditures and $1.5 million toward the Main Street Bridge. Ruddock said she’s concerned that Mayor Marina Fraser expressed doubt about that amount being enough to fund improvements or replacement of the aging 100-year-old bridge, the fate of which was the topic of two ballot measures in the June election. ....  The City Council is scheduled to adopt the final 2015-2016 budget at a meeting June 2."   Read more.

Reference -  Half Moon Bay City Data.  Note Half Moon Bay photographs:  Downtown building, VRBO Residence; "Rose Colored Glasses 2"by Renonevada from Deviant Art; Main Street, Wikimedia Commons. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Monday, March 30, 2015

CA Coastal Trail, Pillar Point Bluff, El Granada

Peninsula Open Space Trust, 3/20/15. "Pillar Point purchase expands California Coastal Trail."

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Scenic open space view of Air Force Tracking Station
"(Palo Alto, Calif.)—Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) announced its purchase yesterday of 21 acres along Pillar Point Bluff in El Granada. POST previously purchased adjacent Pillar Point Bluff properties in 2004 (119 acres), 2007 (4 acres) and 2008 (17 acres), and transferred them to San Mateo County in 2011. The new property sits between two of these parcels, and will complete the segment of the California Coastal Trail that runs along the bluff.

....  Pillar Point Bluff is known for its spectacular views of the ocean and reefs of the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve below. The property is characterized by coastal scrub and coastal terrace prairie. It is provides habitat to the threatened California red-legged frog and the endangered San Francisco garter snake, and may be a nesting site for raptors.  POST is working with San Mateo County Parks to transfer property ownership to them later this year. ....

The Pillar Point Bluff area was originally part of the 12,000-acre Rancho Corral de Tierra, which was divided into three separate land grants in the 1800s. From 2001-2003, POST worked to protect the 4,262-acre Rancho Corral de Tierra property that lies east of Highway 1, and transferred most of it to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 2011. Development plans had been drawn up for both the Rancho Corral de Tierra land and the Pillar Point properties before POST stepped in to save the land."  Read more.

Related articlesSan Mateo Patch/Renee Schiavone, Staff, 3/25/15. "Nonprofit's land purchase helps complete California Coastal Trail.  The Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) purchased the land along Pillar Point Bluff."  Fix Pacifica reprint article, Mercury News/Julia Scott, 8/16/11, "San Mateo County buys Pillar Point Bluff from open space group."  Coastsider/Barry Parr, 8/14/08, POST breaks ground for new and improved trails at Pillar Point Bluff."   

Note Pillar Point Air Force Tracking Station, Moss Beach photograph from San Mateo County Parks Department.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Next Door, our City email, 1 year later

 Pacifica Tribune/Horace Hinshaw, Editor, 3/10/15. "This is the way I see it..."

Next Door social network."It's been a year since the City implemented Next Door, a website where announcements, information and alerts are posted by the City. Have you wonder how effective this social medium has been?

I pretty much follow Next Door religiously, interested in seeing what information is being posted. Sometimes I even get leads on a suggested story for the Tribune. Mostly, however, I notice that it's being used similar to Craigslist where people can post items for sale or needing to purchase, or even looking for a babysitter. It was invaluable during the storms we experienced earlier this year. The Police Department often has posts that affect us, i.e., traffic jams, weather issues, unusual activity in a neighborhood. You even get to know your neighbors as they join the neighborhood website."

ReferenceNext Door, Pacifica, CA.

Related article - Slate.com/Seth Stevenson, "Won't you be my neighbor". "Tech entrepreneur Nirav Tolia noticed that we increasingly seem to prefer rubbing elbows online—instead of in real places where real elbows might really rub—and saw a business opportunity. In late 2010, he created a service called Nextdoor. It's a social network that attempts to webify the original social network: the neighborhood. There are now Nextdoor sites in more than 6,500 communities in 49 states (not clear what's up with those anti-communitarian South Dakotans). All of them were launched by regular folks who sought a way to connect with their neighbors, but didn't want to ring doorbells or make small talk in the elevator." (2 page article). 

Note: graphic is identified as a "screengrap via Next Door" from the Slate article.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

City Council Closed Session, Monday, March 30, 2015 - notice only

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City Council Closed Session meeting, Monday, March 30, 2015, 6:00 pm to 8 pm, here.  There is no information, the meeting is not public.
Reference, Closed Session meeting regulations - League of California Cities. "Open & Pulic IV: a guide to the Ralph M. Brown Act, 2nd edition, revised July 2110." Closed Sessions, Chapter 5, pages 35-42:  Litigation, Real Estate negotiations, public employment, labor negotiations, etc. There may or may not be a follow-up report at the next City Council meeting, depending upon findings, the need for a completed item to move forward, or a resolution. 

Note graphic from Fly on the wall productions, "indexed video documentation".

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Ah, memory detail seems not to be very good

... and may be related to our ongoing City progress struggles.

Science Daily/University of CA, Los Angeles, CA, "We don't notice much of what we see: 85 college students tried to draw the Apple logo from memory; 84 failed." 

Which is the Apple logo?
Don't peak at the answer in advance.
"Summary:  Of 85 UCLA undergraduate students, only one correctly recalled the Apple logo when asked to draw it on a blank sheet of paper, psychologists found. Fewer than half correctly
identified the logo when shown several options.  Among the participants were 52 Apple users, 10 PC users and 23 students who used both Apple and PC products -- but the findings did not differ between Apple and PC users.

....  In the new study, participants were asked how well they would be able to draw the Apple logo before being asked to draw it. "There was a striking discrepancy between participants' confidence prior to drawing the logo and how well they performed on the task," Castel said. "People's memory, even for extremely common objects, is much poorer than they believe it to be."  Read more, and should you take this alternative linked test, there are 12 apples logos to choose from (complicated)!

Reference - You promise not to peak until after you chose.   Answer:  Here,  CNN/Holden Frith, Special, 10/7/11. "Unraveling the tale behind the Apple logo."

Note graphic from Adam Blake, Meenely Nazian, Alan Castel, UCLA Psychology Department. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Pacificans Care Casino Night posponed to the Fall

Pacifica Tribune/Jane Northrop, Staff Writer, 3/24/15.  "Pacificans Care denied gaming permit for Casino Night."

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Win-win!  But you lose this time.
 ....  Casino Night, an event sponsored by Pacificans Care and a fundraiser for that group, was denied a permit this year by the state Bureau of Gaming Control. Co-president Ginny Jaquith learned the way the organization gives tickets for gambling winnings is not allowed per California penal code. The poker tournament at Casino Night is still legal, just not the gambling games -- black jack, roulette and craps, she said."When you pass out tickets, you give prizes and that's not allowed," Jaquith said. "It was a shock.

....  In a statement, Pacificans Care board of directors wrote, "The decision to postpone Casino Night was based on notification from the Bureau of Gambling Control that we needed to modify our games and prizes. The board decided it made more sense to restructure the event so that it continues to be the fun, high quality, fundraiser it has been for the last seven years. Pacificans Care apologies to our many supporters for this change of events, but looks forward to a new, improved and exciting Casino Night event this fall. Refunds will be made to those who have already purchased their tickets.  Read article.

Related, initial announcement article, 2015 - Pacifica Tribune, 2/17/15, "Pacificans Care sets Casino Night." "This year's celebration of the Roaring Twenties turns Casino Night into a win-win for you and the community," commented Bruce Banco, Pacificans Care co-President and Chair of the Casino Night gala. "Proceeds from the event support social services in Pacifica including the Youth Service Bureau, Pacifica Resource Center, Pacifica Senior Services and Pacifica Child Care." 

Related, 3rd Annual Event article, 2010 Inside Bay Area/Pacifica Tribune/Jean Bartlett,Correspondent, 4/29/10. "It's a Win-Win! Pacificans Care Casino Night" "Fundraising is work — well, not for the attendees — but who says you can't have a lot of fun doing it? Which is exactly the story behind Pacificans Care's third annual Casino Night Fundraiser at Visions Seaside Spa..."

Reference -  Pacificans Care, "Locals helping locals".

Note:  photograph by Ginny Jaquith from the 2010 article. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Downton Abbey last season 2016, the drama is over

Time Magazine/Entertainment/Television/Tessa Berenson, 3/26/15. "Downton Abbey will end after Season 6."

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Hurray, this soap opera is almost done!
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Entire cast, including the dog

"The hit British period drama is closing its doors.Time to put away your teacups and scones: the coming sixth season of Downton Abbey will be its last. “We wanted to close the doors of Downton Abbey when it felt right and natural for the storylines to come together and when the show was still being enjoyed so much by its fans,” executive producer Gareth Neame said in a press release Thursday. “We can promise a final season full of all the usual drama and intrigue, but with the added excitement of discovering how and where they all end up.  


----  Downton Abbey is the most nominated British show in Emmy history, according to ITV, with 51 nominations. The series will air its final episode in the United Kingdom on Christmas Day, and is likely to be shown in the United States in early 2016. But that might not be the very last of it – a Downton movie could happen after the show ends. “[A movie is] definitely something we’re contemplating, it would be great fun to do,” Neame said, according to Entertainment Weekly."   Read more.


Note photograph/graphic: The entire Downton Abbey TV series cast PBS/Masterpiece programs, "Slideshow: Downton Abbey Season 5 first look".   Highclere Castle AKA Downton Abbey from Everyday is a Holedayz blog, 9/20/12. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh