With an important election coming up, and one candidate even adopting "Fix Pacifica" as his motto, some citizens who had written off the FixPacifica blog as too negative may be tempted to give it a second chance. Recent developments would suggest otherwise.
Over the years, no one has been treated more harshly on the site than Jim Vreeland, so when news broke of Jim’s passing, I checked FixPacifica to see if it was capable of showing respect for the departed. On the first day, things looked promising, with a total of nine comments, all perfectly appropriate, but on the second day things went off the rails. Not only were there several anonymous comments attacking Jim, but FixPacifica moderator Kathy Meeh joined in the attacks.
That’s bad enough, but then she went a step further and began deleting comments that asked for restraint (or as she put it, sent to "spam jail"). Then she began deleting comments that accused her of deleting comments, all the while insisting that all of the deleted comments were so over the top that they simply had to be deleted.
I had a hard time believing that the deleted comments could possibly be more offensive than the ones that were allowed, so I asked FixPacifica blogmaster Steve Sinai to make them public. To his credit, he allowed them to be posted, and they reveal a rare glimpse behind the curtain of FixPacifica.
In all, 16 comments were deleted, none that could be considered inappropriate in any way. The only reason they could possibly have been deleted was because Kathy disagreed with them. And this is a site that says at the top of the home page: “Unlike some other Pacifica blogs, FixPacifica won’t bury viewpoints that we disagree with.”
That is an obvious reference to Pacifica Riptide, probably because editor and publisher John Maybury has the decency not to publish the very type of negative attack that was promoted on FixPacifica.
The role of a moderator is to “moderate” the discussion, that is, to rein in the most extreme factions and keep the discussion civil. When the moderator is making the most inflammatory comments, while censoring calls for restraint, a civilized discussion is impossible. (To date, Kathy has not apologized for anything she has said or deleted.)
Therefore, I urge caution when visiting FixPacifica, and if you submit any comments that Kathy might disagree with, keep a copy, and if it’s deleted, send it to blogmaster Steve Sinai (firstname.lastname@example.org), who can be reasonable, and to me (email@example.com), just in case. The full thread is here:
But be warned: It is a rather unpleasant read. My apologies to the Vreeland family for extending this unfortunate discussion, but I believe that allowing such attacks to go unchecked would tarnish his legacy.
At Pacifica Sanchez Library Garden, we dedicated two raised beds to potatoes this past growing season. See link below showing that potatoes can be part of a balanced diet. We harvested 77 pounds of potatoes (above) and donated them to Pacifica Resource Center). Our dedicated volunteer David Reuttiger (below) is our Master Gardener. Nutritious Spuds
State and local agencies responding to an anticipated rise in sea levels in California will be required to submit monthly reports to a public database under a new bill that has become law.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed Assembly Bill 2516 as he prepared to address the United Nations Climate Summit in New York.
Authored by Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, the bill establishes a statewide online database focusing on sea-level rise planning that will be overseen by the California Natural Resources Agency. The database, which is believed to be the first of its kind, is intended to serve as a resource for cities and counties across the state to utilize data collected by other communities and share methods for how to adequately prepare for rising sea levels.
"California has produced an abundance of sea-level rise planning information, but lacks a consolidated location for this information," Gordon said. "AB 2516 creates an accessible, centrally located tool for local and state governments to share information and coordinate their efforts, allowing us to be far more efficient in our work to address the growing threat of sea-level rise."
The legislation was initiated as a result of work conducted by the Select Committee on Sea Level Rise and the California Economy, which Gordon chairs. After receiving testimony from scientists and stakeholders at a series of hearings, the committee issued a comprehensive report, which urges Californians to prepare for the seas to rise by an average of 3 feet during this century.
The report additionally cited that California is "woefully unprepared" for the challenge of accelerating sea-level rise and could potentially lose billions of dollars in revenue due to related impacts.
"Sea-level rise is already happening," Gordon warned. "This legislation enables California to become a national model for sea-level rise planning and continue to lead the country in addressing climate change."
According to Gordon, information such as studies, modeling, inundation maps and cost-benefit analyses will now be readily available for communities through the new database.
"Thanks for maintaining the best blog in Pacifica."(John Keener)
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I dream that this giant wooden horse comes to our poor village, bringing inside it great riches for those who believe in Horse Power. Boy oh boy, what a big surprise! This could save our poor village! We would be so lucky if the wooden horse came here. Let's all dream about it and make it happen. Just say YES!
City of Pacifica Senior Services bargain-priced indoor rummage sale, Wednesday, October 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pacifica Community Center, Crespi at Highway 1. This week's sale features ART & LITERATURE. Community Center rummage sales consist entirely of donated reusable items priced very low. All proceeds from the sales support Senior Services. For more information, call 650-738-7384.
As you probably know, I'm running for one of three seats on Pacifica City Council in November. I've made opposition to the widening of Highway 1 the centerpiece of my campaign. The 1.3-mile Caltrans project from Rockaway to just north of Vallemar would add an additional lane in each direction to the existing four-lane highway.
In doing so, Highway 1 would become wider than an eight-lane freeway, like I-280 through Millbrae. 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 is estimated at $55 million.
I am opposed because the widening project won't work to reduce traffic congestion during peak commute hours, and it would make commuting a nightmare during construction. At either end of the project, three lanes would merge down to the original two lanes in each direction, causing bottlenecks and mini-traffic jams. Other Caltrans widening projects have resulted in similar problems, notably in Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties.
To me, the Caltrans widening plan is a waste of taxpayer money. Once it is defeated, we could ask for funds for projects we really need, like alternatives to the widening of Highway 1, and repairing our poorly maintained city streets.
During my precinct walking and knocking on doors, I've heard from many folks that they distrust city government. Some don't seem surprised that $4 million in city money is unaccounted for. Others wonder what I intend to do about it. In addition to the audit that the city manager is initiating, I would hold budget forums in plain English, so that we all know where the city's money is coming from, and where it is going.
The city will probably be about $2.5 million to $3.5 million short of balancing next year's budget. This is a problem distinct from the missing $4 million. How can we make up this shortfall?
New or expanded businesses are often touted as the way to save Pacifica's city finances. But sales taxes are only about 3 percent of our total tax revenue. So, while I welcome new or increased business, especially ones that save our residents trips "over the hill," the sales taxes they collect are not a large part of the budget.
I don't expect any new tax measures to pass, based on the fact that the past three such measures were handily defeated by the voters. So the city most likely will have to reduce spending to balance the budget next year.
The public must be involved in decisions about how to get city finances under control, hence the budget forums. Whatever the final result, it is important that the process be an open one, with citizen participation. If you agree, then vote for me, John Keener, in November.
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.
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.
According to Canadian developer Sonora Shores* (say what?), Pacifica's scruffy surfer overlook Roberts Road (between Fassler and Crespi) is to become home to something mysteriously branded as Harmony Estates. How's that grab ya?
*Note to the geographically challenged: Sonora is 145 miles east of Pacifica and not on the shores of any body of water that we know of.
Regarding your “Forget Widening, Sync Traffic Lights” post, I agree that the traffic signal at Reina del Mar is the major problem for the traffic buildup on northbound Highway 1 in the morning. A friend and I like to walk the beach trail from Linda Mar to Vallemar, and every day we see the same thing: parents driving south on Highway 1 to take their children to Vallemar School.
Instead of waiting in the left-turn lane at Reina del Mar, many turn right into the quarry, make a U-turn to head east, put the car in park, get out of the car and push the button on the traffic signal intended for pedestrians wanting to cross the highway.
Then these parents get back in the car, knowing that the light will be extra long, giving them and the cars behind them plenty of time to cross the highway. This action lengthens the signal for northbound cars, thus causing an even bigger backup on northbound Highway 1.
One day we even saw a father in a two-door car stop, climb into the backseat to release two children from their car seats. His two children ran to the signal and pushed the button, ran back to the car, and he re-buckled their car seats and waited for the signal to change. We have seen other cars stop and send older children over to push the button. I don't think widening the highway is the answer if there still is a signal at Vallemar.
The bridge replacement on Highway 1 at Linda Mar also is causing major traffic jams and delays. What sort of traffic problems will the highway widening project cause and for how long? Two years? Three years? A more reasonable answer would be to build a frontage road for emergency vehicles on the west side of Highway 1. The old KFC/Boston Bill’s building is empty and Lovey's Tea Shop knew of the future road project when the building was leased.
Fortunately for me, I have no need to be on Highway 1 in the morning, but I feel for the drivers who drive this route every morning. Most of the traffic is caused by parents or students driving to school. Everyone knows that when school is not in session, there is no traffic problem. During winter and spring breaks and summer vacation, traffic is practically nonexistent.