Sanchez Art Center’s sixth annual 50|50 Show, with 67 artists selected by juror Jack Fischer, is now open. Each artist has created 50 small artworks in 50 days, for an exhibit of more than 3,000 affordable pieces. Sanchez Art Center is at 1220 Linda Mar Boulevard, Pacifica. Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. or by appointment. Information: 650-355-1894, www.sanchezartcenter.org.
Volunteers Restore Native Habitat at Purissima Old Town Site, July 2014
Purissima Old Town Site Habitat Restoration Workday #2. Join Coastside Land Trust (CLT) Saturday, August 23 from 10 a.m. to noon at 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 second of four habitat restoration workdays on the parcel. Work will focus on removing invasive plants and maintaining a small foot trail leading to a meadow. Wear long sleeves, pants, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, and bring gloves and buckets. All ages welcome; under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the corner of Verde Road and Highway 1 (same turn as Elkus Ranch), approximately one mile south of the Half Moon Bay city limits.
Coastside Land Trust's Ongoing & Upcoming Events
"California Agriculture" Art Exhibit. Open now through October 24. Gallery hours are Thurs. & Fri. 11am–2pm, and Sun. 10am-2pm, or call to make an appointment. Our gallery is at 788 Main St., Half Moon Bay.
Native Plants For Sale. $5 for one gallon pots. Available plants include Hummingbird Sage, Coyote Bush, Wild Rose, White Yarrow, Strawberry, Sagebrush and more.
Please call 650-726-5056, email us at email@example.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for up to the minute announcements.
CoastsideLandTrust.org 788 Main Street, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 650-726-5056
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.
California Senate Sends Jerry Hill’s Martins Beach Bill to the Governor; SB 968 Calls for Negotiations to Begin with Silicon Valley Billionaire to Restore Public Access to the Beach
SACRAMENTO -- The California Senate today sent to the governor Senator Jerry Hill’s legislation to require the State Lands Commission to enter into negotiations with Silicon Valley billionaire and Martins Beach property owner Vinod Khosla for one year, in an effort to re-open the beach near Half Moon Bay to the public. In 2010, two years after Khosla’s purchase of beachfront land, his property manager closed the gate to the only road leading to Martins Beach and put up a sign reading, “Beach closed, keep out.” Since then Californians have been unable to access a beach they've enjoyed for generations.
The grassroots movement to re-open the road has attracted national attention, focusing on the rights of Californians to beach access. Senate Bill 968 by Hill, D-San Mateo/Santa Clara Counties, does not mandate use of eminent domain. But if signed by the governor, it would mandate negotiations for a year as an attempt to reach a positive outcome for all parties.
The bill, which the Senate passed on a bipartisan 23-9 vote, does not interfere with current court battles that could take years to resolve, but is designed to provide the public access to the beach in the near term.
For more than a century, the road to Martins Beach was owned by the Denney family, which charged visitors a fee for access and parking at the beach. After the gate on the road to the beach was closed, a group of protesters known as the Martins 5 was arrested for bypassing the gate, walking down the road to the beach and going surfing.
After charges were dropped by the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office, a lawsuit to restore public access was filed by a group called the Friends of Martin’s Beach. The plaintiffs based their claim on the public trust doctrine and Article 10, Section 4, of the state constitution, which prevents property owners from excluding access to public bodies of water.
Last October, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Gerald Buchwald ruled that the constitution’s provisions do not apply to the beach because ownership of the beach was decreed by a document that predated the California constitution. The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican War and guaranteed that the United States would uphold the property rights of Mexican citizens., had granted 200 acres to Santa Clara Valley settler Jose Antonio Alviso, including the Martins Beach parcels. Judge Buchwald ruled that the land grant took precedence over the public trust doctrine in the state constitution.
Buchwald’s decision – which is being appealed – didn’t outlaw public access to the beach, but because the only way for the public to get there now is from the ocean, it had the same practical effect.
Meanwhile, the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection of the world’s oceans and beaches, has been pressing its own lawsuit against Khosla based primarily on the California Coastal Act.
Water sampling of beaches, creeks, and lagoons is conducted by a combination of county staff and citizen volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering to assist in the collection of water samples from your favorite beaches, please email Greg Smith at GJSMith@smcgov.org or Kate Elgin at firstname.lastname@example.org of County Environmental Health or call 650-372-6200. County staff will provide training and needed equipment and supplies for the sampling. Sampling is done every Monday morning, and volunteers drop samples at convenient locations in either Half Moon Bay or Pacifica for transport by county staff to the Public Health Laboratory for analysis.
Pacificans for a Scenic Coast uses CEQA law to challenge Caltrans Highway 1 Widening EIR
In August 2013, Pacificans for a Scenic Coast (PSC) filed suit against Caltrans under the California Environmental Quality Act. On August 22, Judge Marie Weiner heard that lawsuit in county court and continues the hearing on Friday, August 29.
The suit challenges the adequacy of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Highway 1 widening project. The suit contends: the project was not adequately described at the time of the EIR, the project is out of scale with Pacifica’s scenic nature, the EIR contains contradictory information on impacts on threatened species, and the EIR does not adequately address adverse impacts of the project.
A PSC spokesman says, “Caltrans has approved a project that will more than double the width of the existing roadway, and encase the highway in 9- to 22-foot-high retaining walls. Pedestrians and bicyclists crossing from west to east or east to west would be challenged in crossing such a wide roadway, which as proposed is completely out of scale for a community the size of Pacifica. There were only two alternatives considered by Caltrans, big and bigger. Bigger was Caltrans’ preferred alternative.”
Pacifica Performances presents the Farallon Quintet, Saturday, August 23 at 7:30 p.m., Mildred Owen Hall, 1220 Linda Mar Blvd., Pacifica, in the building with the colorful mural. Acting as one of the only professional chamber music ensembles whose repertoire is focused exclusively on the clarinet quintet—string quartet plus clarinet—the Farallon Quintet performs the beloved classics, coupled with rarely heard works and new music by living composers. Joining them is a guest violist. Tickets are on sale at the door starting 30 minutes before the show. Admission: $20 General; $17 Seniors and Students under 25 with current ID; $15 Members; $12 Senior and Students 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 email@example.com. Mildred Owen Hall is wheelchair accessible.
"The newest 12Z GFS develops a major hurricane off the west coast of Mexico and moves it quickly north/northwestward up the Pacific coastline, eventually approaching the California coast at tropical storm strength and making landfall near the Bay Area as a weakening tropical depression/remnant low (on Day 11). Remember: this remains quite unlikely to pan out exactly as depicted! However, there are increasing signs that some sort of East Pacific remnant moisture/energy event is possible in California by the end of the month."
"Thanks for maintaining the best blog in Pacifica."(John Keener)
Our sponsors may offer you a discount or a special deal. Just tell them, "I saw your ad on Riptide." We appreciate our good friends' generous support since our 2007 launch. You can help, too. Click to ask how. Also, please click the ads and shop the Amazon link on our right sidebar—we get commissions. THANK YOU.
Currently, Highway 1 is 64 feet wide as it passes the quarry area*: Caltrans states that the average eight-lane freeway is 132 feet wide**. This is the width of Interstate 280, including all lanes and shoulders, as you pass through Millbrae at Crystal Springs: Caltrans' plan for Pacifica is to expand Highway 1 as it passes the quarry area to a width of 144 feet*: In other words, Caltrans intends to expand Highway 1 in Pacifica, from Rockaway to Vallemar, to a width that is 12 feet wider than that of an eight-lane freeway.
Highway 1 (currently) = 64 feet wide
I-280 at Crystal Springs (8-lane freeway, average width) = 132 feet wide
The 6th Annual Chili Cook-Off is Sunday, August 24 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Old Pedro Point Firehouse. Taste award-winning chili, hear good music, and rub elbows with your neighbors and fellow Pacificans. Ten or more contestants battle it out for the best chili in Pacifica. Each contestant makes approximately eight quarts of chili, but some make much more in hopes of wooing the crowd and judges. Notable past winners are Gorilla Barbeque, Ash's Vallemar Station, and Surf Spot. Proceeds help maintain the firehouse, but it's not about the money—it's about good food good company, and having great time! If you are interested in joining the contest, please call Bruce or Cherie Ferry at 650-557-1491 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an entry form.
On July 14, Pacifica City Council passed a weakened Climate Action Plan (CAP).
The Pacifica Climate Committee, a local citizens group working on climate change issues, lobbied the city to start working on a plan in 2009. The council appointed a task force in 2010 that worked for two years to develop the plan. After much effort, the plan has strong goals but is rather weak in what it asks the city to do.
The Pacifica Climate Committee hopes that the city will follow through and begin work to achieve the goals set out in the plan. The city should appoint a staff person in charge of implementation as promised at the council meeting, when it cut the dedicated half-time staff person that the plan originally called for. Council should take quick action on near-term measures in the plan.
The CAP calls for a 35 percent reduction in Pacifica’s greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2020, and 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050, which is consistent with State of California targets. These are very ambitious goals. Pacifica’s plan calls for encouraging new development to be near transit, improving walking and biking infrastructure (e.g., safe routes to schools, bike lanes), setting a waste diversion goal of 75 percent away from the landfill by 2020 and zero waste by 2030, and supporting state law requiring commercial recycling. The plan also calls for improving public transit but without any specific measures.
Originally, the CAP called for residential and commercial energy efficiency ordinances that would have required sellers or buyers to make basic energy efficiency improvements to homes and commercial buildings when they were sold. This part of the plan was cut by council due to opposition primarily from real estate interests, most notably the San Mateo County Association of Realtors (SAMCAR).
While Council supported the ambitious goals set out in the CAP, it appears that that the current plan will not actually achieve those goals. In a July 14, 2014 letter to the city’s Associate Planner Lee Diaz, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) staff commented that the plan, as currently written, is not strong enough to reach those targets.
BAAQMD staff also questioned various inconsistencies in the CAP and criticized the methodology the city’s consultant used to calculate some of the projected emissions reductions. For example, staff commented, estimated reductions from adoption of a water conservation ordinance were “grossly overestimated,” and other estimates were similarly flawed.
BAAQMD staff strongly recommended (among other things) that the city should reinstate the residential and commercial energy conservation ordinances to ensure that short- and long-term goals of the CAP will be met.
In another peculiar exchange, council member Karen Ervin asked whether the city could encourage the adoption of residential solar energy by lowering solar permit fees. Planning Director George White responded that the city had investigated this and determined that Pacifica’s solar permit fee is already among the lowest in the area. But according to a study done by the Sierra Club, Pacifica’s $335 solar permit fee is the second-highest fee in San Mateo County, second only to Daly City's. Pacifica’s permit fee is well above the $257 average for Northern California cities. We hope council can be persuaded to lower solar permit fees in the future.