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 (email@example.com), who can be reasonable, and to me (firstname.lastname@example.org), 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.
Join our online conversation. Click the Comments link below each post to speak your mind. Responsible free speech happens here on Pacifica Riptide: no censorship, no hidden agendas, no corporate backstabbers, just good community journalism.
Next time you're shopping around town, take note if you encounter any paid signature gatherers collecting signatures to repeal the state bag bill. The plastic industry has put in more than $1 million for this effort, and we are already hearing reports that some signature gatherers are "sharing" false and inaccurate information about what the referendum actually does!
Here's what you can do: Listen to their arguments neutrally and respectfully. The more time you spend with them, the less time they have to get signatures from someone else. Note the store, location, time and date, and any information they are sharing. Report it by clicking this link.
Sign up here to support the campaign and please forward this message to your friends. Thanks in advance for all your help.
Mark Murray, Executive Director, Californians Against Waste
I'm a longtime resident of Pacifica. Fog Fest 2014 was awesome, but I feel like I have a (sober) post-hangover. Two days after Fog Fest, plastic tie-wraps still litter Palmetto Street -- dropped on the ground by tent crews closing down on Sunday night.
I watched late Sunday evening as bipedal street cleaners tried to sweep up in the dark (without headlamps), and then on Monday the gas-fueled street sweepers were out in full force, but not to be seen on Palmetto.
At this point, about a third of the thousands of plastic tie-wraps are being broken up (some carried away by car tires) and finding their way into our storm drains and down to the ocean.
I noted this today, and wanted to recognize North Coast County Water District employee Matt, who said he would put in a call to city services. I'm simply seeking a sustainable and prosperous Pacifica!
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
On September 21, a huge crowd attended the Jim Vreeland memorial and paddle-out. Many spoke passionately, not only of Jim's contributions to the city, especially the renovated beach that was his sanctuary, but also of his warmth and generosity as a human being. There was laughter and stories were shared, and by the end, nary a dry eye was to be seen. As his wife Lauri put it, "Jim couldn't have asked for a better send-off!" And our community couldn't have asked for a better citizen. Thanks, Jim, thanks for everything.
Pacificans are mourning the loss of former City Council member Jim Vreeland, who served 15 years on the council and is remembered for his work to protect the city's natural environment and outdoors recreation, especially the beaches and trails. Jim always took the high road, and I believe his spirit lives on in Pacifica. Please click the Comments link below this post to submit your memories of Jim for our archives.
As promised at the memorial service, here is a link for the memorial fund for Jim's family. Lauri will use the money for the boys' education. James is 13 and Scott is only 8, so we want to raise as much as we can. We are doing the fundraising online because of the ease in tracking the money and getting it to Lauri, but also the ease in donating. Here is the link:
Thanks so much for attending the memorial service. I know that Lauri really appreciated the turnout. Lauri has a rough road ahead, but I hope we raise enough to make it a little easier. Thanks in advance for anything you can contribute. And please share this with others!
In this terrible drought, why waste precious water on ice bucket challenges? Here is a trash bucket challenge that can make a difference.
Pick up a bucket of trash in 24 hours (or take a little longer if needed), then make a donation to the Pacifica Beach Coalition (PBC) to help its beach cleanup and restoration work (click the link below). Challenge your friends and family to do likewise.
By answering the trash bucket challenge, you can help save the beaches, the ocean, and marine wildlife. Only you can stop the flow of litter into our creeks, where it goes down to pollute the ocean. Record your trash bucket challenge by clicking the blue bag at Pacifica Beach Coalition
(left to right) Kate Symonds, Margaret Goodale, and Ranger Nelle Lyons on Linda Mar State Beach
By Ian Butler, Riptide Correspondent
In this slow news cycle, with PCT in disarray as it upgrades to the 21st century, here is a new Wavelength episode to hold you over. It documents the installation of the snowy plover fencing at Linda Mar State Beach, and shines a light on the 20-year struggle to protect these threatened shorebirds. Click for Video
UPDATE: The vehicle in question below is gone from the parking lot as of August 26, apparently either towed away by the police or removed by the owner. George Tano, who originally made the complaint, is pleased that somebody paid attention.
GEORGE TANO'S ORIGINAL POST: I'm a Pacifica resident who enjoys fishing at the pier and walking along the beach at Sharp Park golf course that takes me up the stairs to the top of Mori Point. I often go to the pier to fish or walk to Mori Point, but lately I have noticed that parking at the pier has been getting tougher.
I have also noticed this RV parked at the lot for the past two months or maybe more. Pacifica Police tagged it for towing if the vehicle was not moved by August 1. The date has come and gone, the notice blown away by the wind, and the RV still parked in the same place as of August 8. The RV has weeds growing under it. It's so dusty you can't see inside it, and people have used it as a restroom. The smell at times gets overwhelming.
The City of Pacifica has a 72-hour parking limit on city streets and parking lots. Even the beach parking lot by the RV center is starting to look like a dumpsite, with TVs, boat trailers, and trucks filled with junk. What is the City of Pacifica going to do about all these illegally parked vehicles?”
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 email@example.com 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.
A Pacifican has generously donated a collection of some 200 foreign coins to the Pacifica Senior Services rummage sale, which we have sorted by country. We don't know if any of these coins are worth much more than face value, although many date from the 1950s and 1960s. We seek a coin hobbyist to examine these coins and identify those, if any, that could generate $5 or more through an eBay auction, in return for a percentage of the total net sales. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Bauman here. Some friends and I (we call ourselves the P-Town Punks) got together June 28 at Pacifica Moose Lodge to host our first annual liars dice tourney to benefit the Pacifica National Little League. It was a great success! We raised $40,000. And we had a great time. We got contributions from NorCal Surf Shop, Ash's Vallemar Station, Sharp Park Golf Course, Gorilla Barbeque, Nick's of Rockaway Beach, John the Sign Guy t-shirts, and the Bauman family donating two tickets to two different Giants games. All in all, it was a great time and Moose Lodge donated the use of its hall for the cause. Next year will come all too soon, so practice your little white lies!
Photo above: $400 check from the proceeds of the tourney. Rick Bauman (left) with Bill Hooper, vice president of Pacifica National Little League.