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May 2011

Dog Dazed: POOCH Party Scores Again

Thanks to POOCH President Beverly Kingsbury for inviting me back to judge the Dog Daze contests again this year. I had a blast seeing all the cutest, best-costumed, best-kissing, and most-lookalike dogs and owners. (We won't talk about little Chachi, who apparently didn't like my cologne, and snapped at me. Oh well, you can't win 'em all.) Anyway, Dog Daze had another nice turnout at Frontierland Park, with agility exercises, K-9 police dog demonstrations, canine product and service booths, barbecue, and a general air of friendliness—lots of sniffing, a little barking, and no fighting.




Florey's Books: The Leadfeather Syndrome

Pacifica author Arnold D. Gardner's new novel The Leadfeather Syndrome is available at Florey's Books on Palmetto across from the Pacifica Library. About the book: Michael Greer’s career as a journeyman private investigator takes on a promising cushy outlook when his assignment takes him to eastern Long Island’s North Fork, the resort and sporting playground where he’s slated to delve into the case of a local auto dealer who’s been officially reported missing along with an imposing chunk of pledged bonding company funds. Almost at once, Greer’s undertaking takes on an awesome dimension when the missing dealer's terrified girlfriend turns out to be an incomparable beauty who’s been directed to seek his help in uncovering possible lethal circumstances related to her boyfriend’s disappearance. P.I. Greer finds himself drawn into a nightmare of intrigue and assassination in uncovering the perpetrators in current and past murder scenes and manages his own survival by outmatching his adversaries in smarts and nerve. Greer's romantic involvement with two beautiful women closely aligned to the story’s events almost ends in his undoing as did a like affair in the immediate postwar days of his youth. But in love, as in the ordeals of war, he learns to live with the fateful outcome of his fortunes, and his intimate knowledge of the wisdom of Shakespeare helps him find words for it.

About the author: The Leadfeather Syndrome is the first published work by WWII combat veteran Arnold D. Gardner, an American educator and business executive who fought throughout the Italian campaign and afterward lived and worked in Italy. He and his Italian war bride Diana lived for many years among the splendid eastern towns and villages of Long Island's North Fork. Mr. Gardner's native roots go back to the scenic country areas along the northern borders of New York state.

Florey's Book Co.
2120 Palmetto Ave.
Pacifica, CA 94044
(650) 355-8811
open every day, 10am-6pm

Bay Nature on the Air

Now in its fifth year on public television, Bay Nature's short video series Bay Nature on the Air has enlightened audiences around the region with its entertaining and insightful glimpses of the natural world of Northern California. On Monday, May 9, Rohnert Park-based KRCB-TV will release four new videos in the series to Public Broadcasting Service affiliate stations around the region. These new spots celebrate several common but often misunderstood inhabitants of the Bay Area's parklands and open spaces: tarantulas, western fence lizards, western rattlesnakes, and turkey vultures.
Bay Nature on the Air is a series of two-and-a-half-minute interstitial spots (airing between full-length programs) that highlight the incredible variety of flora and fauna around us. Each of the new videos is hosted by beloved Bay Area naturalist Michael Ellis, and offers a fascinating snapshot of these local creatures' habits and habitats. In "Teetering Turkey Vultures," for example, viewers will learn a quick shortcut for distinguishing a soaring turkey vulture from a hawk. (Hint: It's in the title of the video!)
A frequent contributor to KQED-FM's Perspectives series and proprietor of international tour company Footloose Forays, host Ellis combines irreverent humor with encyclopedic knowledge to give us insight into the lives of these wild "next door neighbors." The series was inspired by award-winning, Berkeley-based quarterly magazine Bay Nature, which recently celebrated a successful first decade of publication. Serving as a gateway to the natural world of the Bay Area, Bay Nature is dedicated to "bringing Bay Area residents closer to the remarkable and incredibly diverse natural world that surrounds us right here where we live," says publisher and co-founder David Loeb.
The new Bay Nature on the Air spots, along with the 10 previous videos in the series, were produced by San Francisco-based BaciPix, and directed by Rick Bacigalupi. All the videos are also available for viewing anytime on Bay Nature's nature portal website (JUST CLICK HERE) and on YouTube. The website also features listings of nature-related events around the region and hundreds of articles on local nature and environment.

Pacifica's Petit Prince Evan: New Pilot Projects

We were at the Half Moon Bay Dream Machines show and here are my photos:

My dad got the air-to-air photos, but I got almost all the rest. Here are two little videos he shot when he was flying in the back seat of an SN-J:

He was not happy about the dust spots in the videos.

Our next air show will be Hollister, which will be great this year!


Pacifica Tribune: Hometown Weekly

The Pacifica Tribune has been an integral part of the community for more than 50 years, and has proven itself over and over as one of the main ways Pacificans learn about local news and events. I am proud to have been part of the Tribune for 24 years, and now head a team of hardworking colleagues who truly love this newspaper and community.

While the newspaper industry faces many challenges, the Tribune is lucky to have the loyalty and support of readers and local businesspeople who appreciate the way our newspaper can bring the community together.

This past year we’ve made several improvements to the newspaper and launched some fun, new contests and features to get even more people involved. The “Where is Edwin” contest is gaining in popularity as people try to guess local photographer Edwin Hacking’s “mystery spots” around town for a chance to win a free gourmet sandwich from Colombo’s Deli. Readers participate in our online polls and answer questions posed by Jean Bartlett in her popular front-page feature “Bartlett’s Bullets.”

We’re excited this week to launch a new contest for local merchants. People can fill out a form at participating businesses to purchase a one-year subscription for themselves or as a gift. For every 30 new subscriptions, merchants win a half-page, full-color ad in the Tribune. New subscribers are entered into a raffle for a chance to win vouchers for a free family four-pack of Oakland A’s baseball tickets to a 2011 game. Our current subscribers also have a chance to win A’s tickets. Every week, a selected number of home delivery newspapers will contain a hidden “Pacifica Tribune” stamp. Bring your stamped paper to the Tribune and we’ll enter your name in the raffle drawing.

The Tribune also is bringing back its popular business pages, spotlighting shopping areas in town – Rockaway Beach, Quarry Cove, Palmetto, Park Mall, and our neighbors down the coast. Every month a different business is featured with a story and photo.

Our online followers can catch breaking news posted daily on our PACIFICA TRIBUNE  website and linked to our Pacifica Tribune Facebook page, and then read even more details in our very next print edition. We encourage readers to visit our Facebook page and post comments, which we also publish for our print readers.

The Tribune strives to bring Pacificans a variety of news, including community happenings, fundraisers, sports, education, politics, and more. We’ve expanded our popular Police Beat column and now post it and letters to the editor online. Let us know what you like to read in your Pacifica Tribune. We want to hear from you.



Keepers: French Civilians Celebrate Third Landing

P1020723 U.S. Consul (Bordeaux) Joel Maybury (second from right) joins a ceremony commemorating the 66th anniversary of the French landing on the island of Oleron in World War II. The so-called “third landing” by Allied Forces was supported by American artillery. The men and women who maintain American military Jeeps and other GI equipment are all French and very proud to own these pieces of history.

Hill's Bill: Get Paid to Dump Your Gas Guzzler


Sacramento – Low-income Californians can now receive $1,500 for retiring their smog-belching vehicles – a $500 increase that was made possible through legislation by Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D- San Mateo. Assembly Bill 787 -- signed last year by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and implemented April 28 by the state Bureau of Automotive Repair – funds the increase in vehicle retirement by reducing the amount the state provides motorists to fix vehicles that fail a smog check.

Until AB787 was implemented, all income earners received up to $500 from the state to repair vehicles that failed a smog check.  The new legislation limits financial assistance to Californians whose income level is below 225 percent of the federal poverty level, about $50,000 for a family of four. The Air Resources Board estimates that 75 percent of vehicular pollution in California is caused by just 25 percent of the oldest vehicles within the state.  The goal of the state’s vehicle retirement program is to retire these high-polluting vehicles.  In order for a vehicle to qualify for the state’s vehicle retirement program it must have failed a smog check.

“The goal of this legislation was to get high-polluting cars off the road and clean the air,” Hill said. “By reducing the amount of money we give to high-income earners to repair their cars and increasing the amount we give to low-income earners to retire their vehicles, we’ll save the state money while reducing a greater amount of pollution.” It’s estimated that the state will save over $4 million annually by excluding high-income earners from the smog check repair assistance program.  

To access information on how to retire their vehicle, residents are encouraged to visit the Bureau of Automotive Repair’s website at In addition, another new program available to Californians allows drivers to receive up to $975 each to pay for testing, diagnosis and repair of vehicles that fail the smog check due to a $20 million grant from the Reformulated Gasoline Settlement Fund, a pool of money from the settlement of an antitrust class action lawsuit filed against Union Oil Co. of California and Unocal Corp. The program, called Vehicle Repair, Retirement and Replacement for Motorists, or VRRRM, is intended to improve fuel efficiency and air quality. Information on this program is available at

Pine Wins, High School Parcel Tax Loses

Dave Pine won the open San Mateo Board of Supervisors seat in official results:
Completed Precincts: 549 of 549
Dave Pine 23,856
Richard Holober 22,300
Gina Papan 21,796
Terry Nagel 8,683
Michael Stogner 6,269
Demetrios Nikas 2,870
Measure C, the high school parcel tax, went down to defeat, with a decline in support from last November. A much lower vote total this year was in evidence:
Completed Precincts: 92 of 92
Vote Count    Percentage
YES    7,983    59.5%
NO    5,432    40.5%
Last year's election results were:
Yes: 21,146 (65.83%)
No: 10,975 (34.17%)