I just learned that City Council candidate Victor Spano left a message on BJ Nathanson's voicemail (above) threatening to sue her for slander for her letter to the editor in the October 22 Pacifica Tribune. This is highly inappropriate. You can't run for office and threaten to sue anyone who criticizes you. A lively, open debate on the candidates is the foundation of the democratic process. Here is BJ's letter; see if you can spot the slanderous part (hint: there isn't one):
Editor: Victor Spano's slogan is "Fix Pacifica." It's on his signs and his website. He was even handing out water bottles that said "Fix Pacifica" on them at the Fog Fest. For those unfamiliar with it, Fix Pacifica is a local blog that for years has spewed hateful attacks on anyone with whom they disagree, and no one has been a victim of those attacks more than the late Jim Vreeland. In the week after Jim passed away, while the rest of us were paying our respects, Fix Pacifica was posting dozens of inappropriately negative comments, denigrating Jim's name and legacy. Blog moderator Kathy Meeh not only allowed the comments to be posted, she herself made some of the worst ones, and then censored most of the comments that dared to call for restraint and civility. (In a tortuous twist of absurdity, she censored comments that rightly accused her of censoring comments, while allowing comments that accused rival blog Pacifica Riptide of censoring comments.) This is the same Kathy Meeh who is the second endorser listed on Victor Spano's website. It is one thing to be endorsed BY Fix Pacifica, but Victor's campaign appears to be an endorsement OF Fix Pacifica. He will not be getting my vote." (BJ Nathanson, former Pacifica Planning Commissioner and Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commissioner)
Dan Underhill: "Just a Reminder Not to Forget Your Vector, Mister" (blockprint)
Alan Firestone: "Spring and Summer 2014" (oil)
Art Guild of Pacifica “56th Annual Members Exhibition” is open until November 16. 55th Annual award winners Leah De Nola, Thomas A. Ekkens, Alan Firestone, and Dan Underhill, whose work is featured in the Main Gallery, give an Artists’ Talk on Sunday, November 16 at 4 p.m.
Also on November 16, visit Sanchez Studio Artists Open Studios from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sanchez Art Center is at 1220 Linda Mar Boulevard and is on the SamTrans FLX bus line. After opening night, galleries are open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. and by appointment. For membership information, visit artguildofpacifica.org.
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"Thanks for maintaining the best blog in Pacifica." (John Keener)
In the November 4 election, three council seats are up for grabs, with two incumbents (Mike O'Neill, Sue Digre) and five challengers (John Keener, Matt Dougherty, Victor Spano, Eric Ruchames, and Therese Dyer) in the race. Councilman Len Stone is not running for re-election.
We encourage everyone to register to vote and then cast a ballot by mail or in person. Study the candidates and their campaigns issues, then vote for the three who best represent your interests.
In our opinion, the most important issues in Pacifica are Highway 1 widening and broken city finances. If you have been paying attention (Pacifica Riptide, Pacifica Index, candidate forums, and Jane Northrop's coverage in the Pacifica Tribune), only John Keener, Sue Digre, and Matt Dougherty clearly oppose widening Highway 1 and favor fixing city finances.
Victor Spano focuses on traffic issues in northern Pacifica (Skyline and Fairmont), where most of his constituency lives, but he has indicated openness to public hearings or forums on highway widening. He also accepted our suggestion to do a public-service trashbucket challenge with the Pacifica Beach Coalition.
Mainstream political heavyweights endorse Eric Ruchames, and he seems to be a nice guy, but we don't know him personally, and most important, we don't know where he stands on key issues. He hasn't said much of anything on issues we care about. Mike O'Neill and Therese Dyer favor highway widening, so nothing more need be said about them.
Please click the Comments link below this post and join the conversation. If this is your first time on Riptide, click the About link on our right sidebar to see our Terms of Service.
Isn't it about time for this little community blog to have its own cartoons? We have some seriously good writers and photographers contributing to Riptide, but we have never had our own cartoonists. So come on, people, put on your thinking caps, get out your old Rapidograph pens, and start drawing for Riptide. Click the "Email Me" link on our right sidebar when you are ready to get published. You won't make a dime, but you will be famous in your own lifetime.
Caltrans' San Pedro Creek bridge replacement project is going into hibernation to spare migrating steelhead and wandering red-legged frogs during the winter rainy season (ho ho ho), but the wildly unpopular detour past Pedro Point shopping center will continue to slow traffic flow and frustrate motorists for at least another year, and possibly into 2016. Bridge work resumes April 2015. (Source: Jane Northrop, Pacifica Tribune)
I read BJ Nathanson's letter to the Pacifica Tribune (October 22), and she points out that both of you have gone out of your way to name Kathy Meeh as one of your endorsements within your official campaign literature.
In addition, Mr. Spano, you've gone so far as to adopt the name of the blog that Ms. Meeh co-manages, Fix Pacifica, as your central campaign slogan, and you have proudly referenced this connection on your Facebook site.
Kathy Meeh is co-administrator of the Fix Pacifica blog and has, with the unfortunate passing of former City Council member Jim Vreeland, posted inflammatory comments such as:
"This article is a story from Riptide about deceased Jim Vreeland, and they don't seem to want to talk about him, (and really, neither do we)."
"And, again, how much respect do you expect for someone dead or alive that works, or worked, so hard to bankrupt this city."
"My personal opinion is that Vreeland was kind of a smooth, smiley faced rat."
Sadly, there are many, many more comments proffered by Ms. Meeh in a similar tone about a great number of subjects posted on her blog. I think it can safely be said that her voice is not one of moderation or respect.
QUESTIONS FOR EACH OF YOU:
1. Why do you list Kathy Meeh among your endorsements?
2. What are your thoughts about Kathy Meeh's opinions as expressed on her blog -- was it precisely the nature of her opinions that caused you to seek her endorsement?
3. Do you approve or disapprove of the general attitude and tone of Fix Pacifica, the blog that Kathy Meeh co-manages?
Psychiatrists are now writing books on the lack of empathy found in our society/culture among younger folks overly connected to new technologies, but apparently still alive and well among those of us who experienced life before technology.
I speak of Kathy Meeh and the hateful comments by her and others on her Fix Pacifica blog. Strangely, City Council candidates Mike O'Neill and Victor Spano have been endorsed by her and would appear to share her hateful opinions.
Pacifica is a microcosm of what is ailing our larger community. We have had City Councils unable or unwilling to make any definite moves in any direction, much less right ones, concerning the plight of small businesses, preferring to cater to Big Money from out of town ready to exploit any and all opportunities—namely, multimillion-dollar homes none of us can afford to live in and horrors such as the proposed highway-widening project, which many in town are fighting hard to stop.
These things do not encourage the tax base needed to keep Pacifica viable. They encourage outside money and its inevitable influence to decide for us what we want and need.
I recently had a conversation with someone who owns a small cafe in town and he was very passionate about his plight. I had to do some fast talking about why the highway widening is a bad idea and how it won't help him at all. His desperation and exasperation with City Hall were moving.
Three council candidates (Keener, Digre, and Dougherty) have taken a firm stand on a controversial issue—the highway widening—which is amazing in itself, and it gives me hope that these same three will take action on other important issues facing Pacifica.
Building Bigger and More requires Bigger and More of everything else to support it, which in turn can move things in exactly the wrong direction for sustained growth and quality of life here. Small businesses CAN survive with local support, with some creativity on their part, and with a supportive local government that gives a damn.
Then we would not need a wider highway, outside money, bigger homes, and less open space, and it also would not mean that our economy remains stagnant. This place is unique. Its uniqueness needs to be understood and developed, not covered over with concrete and unchecked development.
Join our online conversation. Click the Comments link below each post to speak your mind. Responsible free speech happens here on Pacifica Riptide: no censorship, no hidden agendas, no corporate backstabbers, just good community journalism.
GGNRA Get-Together, Tuesday, October 28 from 4 to 7 p.m., General's Residence, 1 Fort Mason, San Francisco. Project-specific presentation about captive rearing of coho salmon beginning at 5:30 p.m. Information also available on projects in San Mateo County, such as Sneath Lane Trailhead, Mori Point Accessibility Improvements, Phleger Skyline Trail, and Rancho Corral de Tierra. To find out other ways to get involved with GGNRA, please click here