Florey's Books at 2120 Palmetto in Pacifica presents award-winning author A.R. Silverberry's new book Wyndano's Cloak. Discover the magic of Wyndano’s Cloak: Jen has settled into a peaceful life when a terrifying event awakens old fears of being homeless and alone, of a danger horrible enough to destroy her family and shatter her world forever. She is certain that Naryfel, a shadowy figure from her past, has returned and is concentrating the full force of her hate on Jen’s family. But how will she strike? A knife in the dark? An attack from her legions? Or with the dark arts and twisted creatures she commands with sinister cunning. Wyndano’s Cloak may be Jen’s only hope. If she can only trust that she has what it takes to use it. A tale of madness, friendship, and courage, Wyndano’s Cloak reveals the transformative power of love and forgiveness, and the terrible consequences of denying who you really are. Book trailer:
Read an excerpt and learn about the author here: SILVERBERRY
In Pacifica City Council chambers June 22, an informative, scripted, and controlled meeting was held on the proposed widening of Highway 1. The San Mateo County Transportation Authority (SMCTA) presented information on its long-standing plan to widen Highway 1 from four to six lanes between the Fassler/Rockaway Beach and Reina del Mar intersections.
The preferred alternative plans, according to SMCTA consulting engineers, actually widen to eight lanes at the Rockaway Beach intersection, including two turn lanes. Many alternatives were listed on one sheet of paper for the first time, and visual diagrams of various alternatives were papered on the walls of the room.
Estimated commute time saved in building this "parkway" is five to seven minutes. The term "freeway" was mistakenly used several times by the moderator, an accomplished public outreach consultant. It didn’t fit the script and a public official was heard to mutter from the back of the room, "It’s not a freeway!"
A key question from the audience (on a form read by the moderator—no town hall style here, thank you) asked about Pacifica City Council’s responsibility in the coming process: What is council's role and how will it influence the process? SMCTA’s Joe Hurley replied that it was "too early to ask that question" but ultimately said that no formal requirement of the council is needed.
Public comment on the Calera Parkway Project closes July 22. Mail comments to SMCTA, P.O. Box 3006, San Carlos, CA 94070; fax to 650-508-7938; or email to email@example.com (put "SR1/Calera Parkway" in subject line).
When it comes to stopping the Highway 1 widening project (construction of a six-lane road between Vallemar and Rockaway), only one option is left: Three City Council members need to vote NO and send a letter to the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (SMCTA) informing it that the city no longer sponsors this project. But there is a catch, a $1.3 million catch. In an earlier contract between Pacifica and SMCTA, an agreement was made that gave the city control over design of the project, and SMCTA fronted the money, stipulating that it would be repaid if the project were never built. This $1.3 million repayment has been cited as the main reason for council not to vote down this project, which begs the question, "Why not ask the SMCTA board to alter the contract to forgive the repayment?" My litmus test this November for council candidates will be this one single issue. It's way past time to end this nonsense.
The owners of the apartment buildings perched on a crumbling Coastside cliff may have found a way to come up with the money to keep their structures safe from demolition and, for a time, Mother Nature. The owners on Esplanade Avenue are looking at using a little-known state rule that allows communities threatened by landslides, earthquakes or other geologic catastrophes to set up a collective that can apply for federal and state money but, more importantly, can raise cash by selling bonds, officials and owners said Thursday. That money could be used for the multimillion-dollar project to bolster the cliff, erosion of which forced the evacuation of the buildings at 320 and 330 Esplanade. The decision to have residents leave came because city officials and engineers could no longer guarantee their safety after massive chunks of the bluff disappeared into the Pacific Ocean. In both cases, renters had to find new lodging in a hurry, though some had anticipated the problems and chosen to leave. This may be the last and best hope for the owners, who have struggled to come to an agreement on and find the money for a long-term fix to erosion that is eating away the ground beneath the apartments. The emergence of this new possibility, known as a Geologic Hazard Abatement District, comes as options dwindle and time runs out. On Thursday, the city of Pacifica gave Millard Tong, the owner of buildings at 310 and 320 Esplanade, an extra 30 days to come up with a plan to save his apartments at 320 Esplanade, which have sat vacant since being evacuated in April, said Pacifica building official Doug Rider. The city had set a June 17 deadline for Tong to come up with a plan but granted an extension because he is working to secure financing through his insurance company, Rider said. The city is pushing for quick action on the structures in an effort to avoid having derelict buildings that could attract trouble. In addition to doubts about whether the Esplanade Avenue bluff, which is essentially compressed sand, can be permanently shored up, there are also questions over the challenges of bringing all the owners together. An abatement district must be authorized by 10 percent of property owners within its boundaries, and all owners within it have to a pay an annual charge, according to the California Association of Geologic Hazard Districts. That money goes to improvements or to repay bonds. Farshid Samsami, who owns 330 Esplanade, said a coalition of his neighbors support the idea. The process of founding the district has begun and could be complete in three to six months. "If we can get this going quickly enough, I think all the neighbors and all the buildings can be saved," he said. "I'm very, very, very positive about this." The district is a rare bright spot in the saga of the crumbling cliffs, which has already resulted in one lawsuit. The company working to buttress the cliffs, Engineered Soil Repairs, is suing Tong, accusing him of not paying $1.8 million in construction bills. The company installed boulders at the foot of the cliff to keep heavy surf and tides from tearing away more of the bluff. Tong's representative, Mike Jones, said he has not seen the lawsuit and can't comment on it. But, he added, "The plaintiff would be well served to engage the best legal counsel that they can."
During Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month in June, one nonprofit is renewing its effort to inform LGBT older adults in San Mateo County of a free resource that helps them stand proud and overcome prejudice. Family Service Agency of San Mateo County, a San Mateo-based nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children, families and older adults, provides free peer counseling to LGBT older adults age 55-plus through its groundbreaking Senior Peer Counseling Program. Launched in 2008, the Senior Peer Counseling Program trains volunteers to provide free one-on-one and group peer counseling to older adults in the LGBT community who struggle with a unique set of challenges particular to their sexual orientation and gender identity. The program—which serves the LGBT community and other clients in English and also provides counseling in Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin and Tagalog—is on the cusp of renewing a one-year, $283,140 contract from San Mateo County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Division to continue through June 2011. As such, the Senior Peer Counseling Program is seeking LGBT clients to benefit from the counseling, as well as volunteers to serve them.
Family Service is seeking volunteers age 50-plus who are caring individuals to serve as peer counselors for the program’s LGBT component. Volunteers will serve older adults living in San Mateo County, should have access to a reliable car, and should be willing to make a one-year commitment. Following volunteer training sessions, peer counseling takes place at a mutually agreeable location for the counselor and client. To volunteer, please contact Geri Lustenberg at 650-403-4300, x4389 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To qualify to receive free counseling through Family Service’s Senior Peer Counseling Program, LGBT older adults must reside in San Mateo County and be 55 years or older. Both individual and group therapy sessions are available. Family Service Agency of San Mateo County is a private nonprofit organization that for 60 years has helped Peninsula children, families and older adults transform their lives through the provision of programs and services including: child development and education; supervised family visitation and exchange; older worker employment and training; support services for older adults; and family loans. Nearly 20,000 people in need are assisted annually. For more information, please call 650-403-4300 or visit http://www.familyserviceagency.org/
As up to 60,000 barrels of oil continue to spew into the Gulf of Mexico every day, BP plays PR games. But one group of gulf residents is not amused. The Brevard County Manatees of the Florida State League (minor-league baseball) protest by refusing to use the traditional abbreviation BP for batting practice, instead calling it "hitting rehearsal."