Things to do, places to go, people to see
The annual Fog Fest Photo Contest, coordinated by Sanchez Art Center, is accepting photo entries. For $10 an individual may submit up to two framed photos. There are no restrictions on residency, geographic content, or age. There are three division categories to enter: Division 1 Color, Division 2 Black & White, and Division 3 “Fog” (color or b/w). Cash prizes awarded in each division: 1st Place $60, 2nd Place $35, 3rd Place $20, and a special judges certificate for Best of Show. Best of all? All award winners are invited to participate in a group show in the East Wing Gallery at Sanchez Art Center, January 16 to February 15, 2015. The judges are Alan Grinberg and Edwin Hacking, both past winners. All entrants’ photos are on display Fog Fest weekend at Duggan’s Art Corner, Palmetto Avenue and San Jose Avenue. Dropoff locations are Sanchez Art Center, 1220 Linda Mar Boulevard from 1 to 5 p.m. (Friday through Sunday), and Pacifica Chamber of Commerce, 225 Rockaway Beach Avenue #1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday). Information on rules and registration:
City of Pacifica Senior Services bargain-priced indoor rummage sales, Wednesday, September 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Thursday, September 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Pacifica Community Center, Highway 1 at Crespi. Both days feature the ever-popular $2 room -- everything you can fit in a supermarket-style grocery bag for $2. The rummage sales consist entirely of donated, reusable items priced very low. All proceeds support Senior Services. For information, call 738-7384.
In the upcoming election, Pacificans vote for three open City Council seats. A new council could stop the Calera Parkway Project (aka widening Highway 1). A new council could hire consultants to look into alternatives like roadbed sensors and synchronized traffic lights that would be a lot cheaper than widening the road. A new council could hold public hearings. The current council majority has done none of these things. Attend the council candidate forums (see below) and ask candidates where they stand on highway widening.
Thursday, September 18 from 7:30 to 9 a.m., Nick’s Restaurant, Rockaway, hosted by Pacifica Chamber of Commerce
Tuesday, September 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., City Council Chambers, Sharp Park, hosted by San Mateo County Association of Realtors (SAMCAR) & Pacifica Business and Community Political Action Committee (PBCPAC)
Saturday, October 4 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., City Council Chambers, Sharp Park, hosted by American Association of University Women (AAUW)
Wednesday, October 8 from 7 to 9 p.m., City Council Chambers, Sharp Park, hosted by Pacifica's Environmental Family (PEF). Candidates express their vision on environmental issues that affect our community, including sea level rise, proposed widening of Highway 1, and Pacifica’s Climate Action Plan. Candidates are invited to fill out an online survey with questions from Pacifica’s environmental organizations. Their answers will be posted on the PEF website for the public. PCT tapes and airs the forum. PEF is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit fiscal sponsor to several local volunteer projects (PacificasEnvironmentalFamily.org).
Saturday, October 18 from 9 to 11:30 a.m., Sharp Park Golf Course Restaurant, hosted by Pacifica-Daly City Democrats.
Every subway rider that’s ever schlepped massive bags to JFK on the A train, or juggled holiday shopping on a packed 4 train, raise a glass to this man. He was spotted maneuvering dozens of balloons onto the 1 train at Chambers Street Wednesday afternoon. Success! And his fellow passengers were typically unbothered.
Photos: Gisele Regatao/WNYC
So many questions remain unanswered. How did he get the balloons into the subway station? What if he has to make deliveries on the A train at rush hour? We’ll never know, but the commuters of New York stand in awe.
"Thanks for maintaining the best blog in Pacifica." (John Keener)
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I'm John Keener, Ph.D., research biochemist, small-business owner, and medical writer, now retired. My wife and I have lived in Pacifica for seven years. We were attracted to Pacifica by its many hiking trails, open spaces, and beautiful coastline.
I've made the Highway 1 widening plan the centerpiece of my campaign for Pacifica City Council. The 1.3-mile Caltrans project from the Fassler/Rockaway intersection to just north of the Vallemar intersection would add an additional lane in each direction to the existing four-lane highway.
In doing so, the proposed project would more than double the width of the roadway, from 64 feet to 144 feet, 12 feet wider than a typical eight-lane interstate freeway. Caltrans must acquire all or part of 27 parcels, including residential and business, to accommodate the increased highway footprint. Mature cypress trees lining the existing highway would be removed, and retaining walls up to 22 feet tall would be needed to stabilize cuts into hillsides.
I oppose the widening project because it wouldn't work to reduce traffic congestion during peak commute hours. This is because, at either end of the project, three lanes would merge back to the original two lanes in each direction, causing traffic jams. Other Caltrans widening projects have resulted in similar problems, notably in Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties.
Funded mostly by San Mateo County Measure A funds derived from a half-cent surcharge on sales tax within the county, the current price tag of the Highway 1 widening proposal is estimated at $55 million. I question the use of taxpayer funds without adequate public input. Comments on the Environmental Impact Reports for the widening project that were inconsistent with Caltrans’ vision were rejected.
Caltrans approved its Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) in August 2013. At this point, the decision on widening Highway 1 is a yes or no vote — no modifications are permitted to Caltrans' plan without starting over.
The major hurdle before construction could begin is a formal request by Pacifica City Council to the San Mateo County Transportation Authority for the $55 million needed to fund the project. I think such a request is a waste of taxpayer money on a design that won't alleviate congestion and is out of scale with community needs.
So I oppose funding the Caltrans plan. Instead, I support opening the process to the public and exploring alternative solutions that would effectively reduce traffic congestion on the Highway 1 corridor.
I'm running for one of three open seats on Pacifica City Council in November. More information about my positions on the highway widening and other issues may be found on my campaign website:
(press release) There’s a bill on the Governor’s desk that has HUGE impacts to how Californians get around their communities. AB 1447 by Assembly member Waldron (San Diego County) merely clarifies that traffic signal synchronization projects can qualify for Cap and Trade auction revenues as part of sustainable infrastructure projects.
Why is this so important? Because traffic light synchronization WORKS. And California needs MORE of it. And Cap and Trade funds can fund these projects and make them a reality.
Los Angeles did as much traffic light syncing as they could with the funding they had and saw dramatic impacts on traffic flow and less of the nasty emissions from idling cars. Salinas even did it on 5 intersections and saw a difference.
No one wants to sit in traffic. No one. We have the technology to make traffic move smoother. Caltrans supports synchronization. Anyone sitting at any traffic light or in gridlock would happily tell the Governor to sign this bill.
Even the environmentalists have said this is a good idea, their only hesitation is that they prefer people to be frustrated in cars so they will bike everywhere -- a lovely idea -- but while we are still using cars, let's make them MOVE.
Assemblywoman Waldron welcomes phone calls on this topic. She is available to chat. Call or email me to be set up with her.
Below is more info than you want or need, but it’s my job to include it. Below you will find (1) a list of supporters -- there’s someone from your region who will tell you why this is so important; (2) the letter Waldron sent Governor Brown asking for his signature; (3) a press release on the bill; and (4) some highlights from coverage of the recently released traffic study in California.
Press Secretary | Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway | Amanda.Fulkerson@asm.ca.gov | p. 916.319.2026 | c. 916-307.8332 | State Capitol - Room 3104
(1) The following vocal supporters who know Californians want out of traffic: PHA Transportation Consultants, Econolite Group Inc. TJKM Transportation Consultants, Institute of Transportation Engineers Inc. City of Belmont, City of Monterey, City of Sacramento, City of Fairfield, City of Dublin, City of Clovis, City of Albany, Automobile club of Southern California, ADVANTEK consulting engineers, CA Trucking Association, San Mateo County Transit Authority, Automobile Club of Southern California, Sempra Energy utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric, and SoCalGas
(2) September 8, 2014
The Honorable Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
Governor, State of California
California State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Governor Brown:
I respectfully request your signature on AB 1447, joint-authored by Assembly member V. Manuel Perez. AB 1447 is permissive and merely clarifies that traffic signal synchronization projects can qualify for Cap and Trade auction revenues as part of sustainable infrastructure projects.
Reasons to support AB 1447:
· Proven technology to reduce substantial (hundreds to thousands of tons) of GHG annually
· Traffic signal synchronization is retrofitting existing intersections (both local streets and CALTRANS intersections) which benefit inner cities and poorer neighborhoods where higher traffic congestion occurs.
· CALTRANS and local jurisdictions don’t have the resources to implement – this bill would help make these investments possible by clarifying that it is eligible for funding.
· Currently, Traffic Signal Synchronization is broad in statute and is a proven mechanism that can be implemented fairly quickly with measurable results to communities statewide. The Strategic Growth Council still makes the funding decisions.
· AB 1447 coincides with the Governor's Sustainable Communities Plan
· The City of Los Angeles recently completed its efforts to synchronize all of its 4,500 traffic lights using funding which is no longer available. Then- Mayor Villaraigosa estimated it will reduce GHG emissions by roughly 1 million metric tons.
· Salinas synchronized 5 intersections and realized a savings of 15.8 tons of GHG emissions in one year
· Traffic Signal Synchronization is a proven mechanism to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which is what AB 32 funds were intended for.
· AB 1447 also does not have a direct fiscal impact and is merely an eligible option. It greatly benefits older cities and underserved communities.
I thank you for your consideration of AB 1447, and respectfully request your support to sign Assembly Bill 1447. Expanding these programs is a win-win because it will have a positive impact on our environment and our economy by cutting back on air pollution and reducing commute times for Californians.
Assemblymember, 75th District
(3) Press Release -- SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, today announced that her bill to curb vehicle emissions and reduce traffic congestion across the state through traffic light synchronization programming passed the Legislature with bipartisan support and now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
“Traffic synchronization programs have been remarkably successful in reducing millions of metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Waldron. “Expanding these programs is a win-win because it will have a positive impact on our environment by cutting back on air pollution and reducing commute times for Californians.”
Waldron’s legislation, Assembly Bill 1447, makes traffic synchronization programs eligible for funding through the Greenhouse Gas Emission Fund. This would allow for Traffic Signal Synchronization to be implemented more broadly throughout the state while cutting back on the harmful greenhouse gasses from idling vehicles.
California’s driving population is continually growing, resulting in excessive traffic on roadways. An unfortunate result from the overpopulated roads is an increase in fuel consumption and air contamination. When traffic light synchronization was implemented in Orange County, congestion decreased and reduced stops by 41%, travel time by 22%, and fuel consumption by 12%. In Salinas, 15.8 tons of hydrocarbon emissions were reduced in one year alone, saving $1,722,152 annually. Los Angeles, which used Proposition 1B funds to synchronize most of its signals, will also reduce air emissions by over 1 million metrics.
AB1447 was supported by the California Trucking Association, the Automobile Club of California, numerous California cities, including Albany, Belmont, Clovis, Dublin, Fairfield, Monterey, Sacramento, and many other groups.
(4) The Road Information Program (TRIP) released a report summarizing staggering costs to drivers in California. Here are the take-aways from the San Jose Mercury News on the report:
California drivers pay a staggering $44 billion a year in extra car costs because of traffic jams that seemingly grow worse by the day, spreading potholes and outdated roads and bridges, according to a national highway advocacy group.
Some Bay Area drivers fork over as much as $2,200 a year, according to a report released Thursday by The Road Information Program, or TRIP...
...In 2006, state voters approved a multibillion-dollar bond for transportation fixes, and in 2009 stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided $3.9 billion to pay for paving and repairing 18,000 miles of freeways and highways from Redding to San Diego...
...Will Kempton, executive director of Transportation California and a former Caltrans director, said most state freeways opened five decades ago and have exceeded their 40-year-old life span."Our transportation system is simply worn out," he said.
Full Story Here
Press Secretary | Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway | Amanda.Fulkerson@asm.ca.gov | p. 916.319.2026 | c. 916-307.8332 | State Capitol - Room 3104
City of Pacifica bets $20,000 on spending $583,000 for the Colt trail property.
By Lionel Emde, Riptide Correspondent
Pacifica City Council voted 4-1 on September 8 to speculate with taxpayer monies. Item #8 on the council agenda was a proposed option/purchase deal for David Colt's property that the city has wanted to buy for at least the past 10 years to complete the Pedro Point Headlands Trail.
Councilmembers Len Stone and Karen Ervin negotiated the deal with Colt, who has already agreed to its terms. Because of real estate negotiations being allowed in closed session under the Brown Act, this deal had no public scrutiny before the council meeting.
But there is one slight problem. The staff report reveals the obvious: "As (the) Council is aware, funds for the purchase price are not currently on hand." Not on hand, indeed. City staff and a forensic CPA hired for the purpose are trying to track down $4 million in missing city funds. Even before the $4 million surprise, the budget wasn't in great shape.
So here's the city's gamble: To obtain the property from Colt, the city promises to pay an option of $15,000 for nine months from the signing of the deal to amass the funds to pay for it. The purchase price is $583,000, with the option amounts applicable to the purchase price if the deal is completed in time. If, in nine months, the deal isn't done, the city pays another $5,000 for an additional six months to complete the deal. If that time is not sufficient, the city forfeits the $20K to Colt, and the taxpayers lose again.
It's reasonable to say that a functioning trail system would be of value to both locals and tourists. To speculate with taxpayer money when the city is laid bare by fiscal mismanagement of some years' duration seems a bit odd, if not pushing the limit. It's also important to remember that this is buying only the land, which is not improved for public use.
In justifying the proposed agreement with Colt, the staff report offers this hopeful scenario:
"… the 15 month option period is designed to give the City time to explore the possibility of contributions from San Mateo County, the Pacifica Land Trust and others with interest in trail development toward the purchase price. In addition, under a previous agreement with the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, the City will receive $360,000 in reimbursement funds related to the purchase of land from the Tronoff family (also to complete the trail) and this purchase once it’s complete. These funds from the SMCTA could be applied to the purchase price. Any remaining balance could be made up from other sources such as Excess ERAF in 2015, if received."
So it would seem that ERAF funds, which the new city manager has wisely and strictly classified as one-time-only funds, might be used to put the deal over the top. They were used this year to fund the Resource Center on a one-time-only basis. The SMCTA money ($360,000) is also put toward another property of unknown purchase price, so we don't know how much of that would actually apply to this deal.
A City Council facing a budget crisis needs to answer a few questions for the public before pushing ahead with this expenditure:
A. What are the details of the $360,000 SMCTA reimbursement, and exactly how much would go toward the Colt property purchase?
B. How much funding has already been identified, not just speculated on, from other sources such as Pacifica Land Trust, San Mateo County, etc.?
C. What funding sources have been identified for improvements to the property, as more unimproved land in the city's ownership means more financial obligations?
The public is owed transparency, and lots of it, after this closed negotiating process.
Sanchez Art Center’s sixth annual 50|50 Show, with 67 artists selected by juror Jack Fischer, is open. Each artist has created 50 small artworks in 50 days, for an exhibit of more than 3,000 affordable pieces. Sanchez Art Center, 1220 Linda Mar Boulevard, Pacifica. Gallery hours: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. or by appointment. Information: 650-355-1894
By Carolyn Jones, SF Chronicle, SF Gate Blog
An endangered Eastern Pacific green sea turtle, normally found in Mexico, the Galapagos and other warm climes, was recently snagged by salmon fishermen outside the Golden Gate. The turtle, about 2,000 miles off course, was either lost or just exploring new turf, scientists said.
The fishermen took a few pictures of the gentle, 150-pound beast, and — after removing the hook from its underbelly and determining that the turtle seemed unharmed — tossed it back in the ocean and it swam away.
“We see leatherback sea turtles all the time, but we knew this wasn’t a leatherback,” said Roger Thomas, skipper of the Salty Lady fishing boat. “We didn’t know what it was.”
Thomas sent the pictures to scientists at the Turtle Island Restoration Network in Marin, who determined that the visiting creature was a very rare, and very far-flung, green sea turtle.
It was the first they had seen around here, they said.
“That’s really an unusual sighting,” said Todd Steiner, director of the Turtle Island Restoration Network. “But with the warmer water, it’s not surprising that we’re seeing animals venture further north.”
The turtle, found on Sept. 6, looked to either be an adolescent male or a small female, although gauging the age, and sometimes gender, of sea turtles is an inexact science. They tend to live longer than the biologists studying them. The only thing scientists know for sure is that some sea turtles don’t reach sexual maturity until age 50.
Green sea turtles normally live in the Pacific’s warmer latitudes. Their numbers are dwindling because of development along the beaches they use to nest, and because they sometimes become snared in industrial fishing nets and drown.
Climate change has also affected the ancient reptiles. Because temperature determines their gender when they hatch, females vastly outnumber males these days. And the warmer ocean currents tend to take the turtles places they’re not accustomed to going, such as San FranciscoBay.
Water temperatures around the Golden Gate this month are about 65 degrees, about five degrees higher than normal and possibly harkening an El Nino, Steiner said.
The green sea turtle isn’t the only unusual visitor Thomas has seen lately. He’s spotted red-footed and brown boobies at the Farallones, plus some warm-weather albatross.
“We’re seeing all kinds of things,” he said.
Opening its 12th season at Quarry Cove Art Gallery, Pacifica Art Connection’s latest exhibit "Nature and Nurture" is a treat in contrasting styles and media. The walls display paintings from Anita Green and photographs by Chuck Evans. In the Sculpture Bay are hand-thrown clay creations by Cindy Chan. Each artist features works demonstrating the duality of the exhibit’s theme, even sometimes in the same piece.
Green’s paintings include a dreamscape titled “Flight” that alludes to the advantages of staying safe and taking that leap of faith. In contrast, "Santa Ana Winds" with strong deep reds and black swirls alludes to the natural power of those winds.
Evans’ works range from the timeless wonder of trees in his pieces titled “Endurance” and “Hope” to the joy and playfulness of young animals and to those moments of what water can do as it approaches shore.
A favorite grouping of Chan’s sculptures is the conversation between “Blue Curves” and two birds. Her figurines are a delight and are filled with many details deserving a long, intimate look.
This exhibit truly exhibits how our lives are filled with moments of "Nature and Nurture" if we just take the time to look and appreciate them.
There is a reception on Saturday, September 20 from 2 to 4 p.m., where you can meet the artists. If you can’t make that, Quarry Cove Art Gallery, 225 Rockaway Beach Avenue (between Avani Salon and the Visitor Center), is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
CLT volunteers stop and admire the Pilarcitos Creek corridor in Half Moon Bay
Join Coastside Land Trust and 60,000 other Californians as we come together to clean up our state's beaches and waterways during the 30th annual Coastal Cleanup Day. On Saturday, September 20 from 9am–Noon, volunteers from across the state will collectively remove hundreds of thousands of pounds of trash and recyclables from our water ecosystems.
Coastside Land Trust will focus its efforts on Pilarcitos Creek in Half Moon Bay. Pilarcitos Creek starts its course in the Santa Cruz Mountains, descends west through Pilarcitos Canyon and the heart of Half Moon Bay, before discharging into the Pacific Ocean at Half Moon Bay State Beach. Coastside Land Trust holds a number of conservation easements along the creek and actively restores the riparian habitat of these protected lands.
When: Saturday, September 20 from 10am–noon
Where: Meet at Oak Avenue Park, off Pilarcitos Ave in Half Moon Bay.
What to bring: Trash tongs, sturdy shoes, layers, sun protection
Details: Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult, light refreshments offered, check in at 9:45am
ONGOING AND UPCOMING
Purissima Old Town Site Habitat Restoration Workday: Saturday, September 27, 10-noon. Join us at the Purissima Old Town Site as we continue to restore the property in preparation for its public debut. Made possible by a grant from the State Coastal Conservancy, this will be the third of four habitat restoration workdays on the parcel. We will focus on removing invasive plants and maintaining a small foot trail leading to a meadow. Wear sturdy shoes, layers, and sun protection. Bring gloves and buckets.
"California Agriculture" Art Show open through October 24. You are invited to celebrate California's amazing agricultural, scenic and cultural heritage as interpreted by local artists. Please visit our gallery during this exhibit at 788 Main St., Half Moon Bay. All art is for sale. Gallery hours: Thursday & Friday 11am–2pm, and Sundays 10am-2pm, or call to make an appointment.
788 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
The Coastside Land Trust is dedicated to the preservation, protection and enhancement of the open space environment, including the natural, scenic, recreational, cultural, historical, and agricultural resources of Half Moon Bay and the San Mateo County coast for present and future generations.
Pacifica Performances presents cabaret with Meg Mackay and Billy Philadelphia, Saturday, September 20 at 7:30 p.m., Mildred Owen Hall, 1220 Linda Mar Blvd., Pacifica, in the building with the colorful mural. Meg and Billy have been making music together for 25 years. Bay Area audiences love Meg's sultry contralto voice and Billy's lively piano playing. This show titled "Two of a Kind" includes songs from Broadway, film, and the Great American Songbook, plus unexpected, seldom-heard tunes. Tickets are on sale at the door starting 30 minutes before the show, or in advance at http://www.pacificaperformances.org by Friday, 12 noon the weekend of the show. Seats for six or more can be reserved with Visa or MasterCard by calling 650.355.1882 by Friday, 12 noon. Admission: $20 General; $17 Seniors and Students under 25 with current ID; $15 Members; $12 Senior and Student Members; Youths under 18 are free. Doors open 30 minutes before the show. For more information or a schedule, call 650.355.1882 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Mildred Owen Hall is wheelchair accessible.