I notice on the Nextdoor website that the City of Pacifica and the Pacifica Police Department have opted not to enable Nextdoor readers to comment about their posts.
All I would ask them to do is not to send us messages that we (a) already know, (b) don't already know but don't need to know, and (c) don't already know but easily could figure out.
And what's funny is that the city doesn't see anything wrong with that. It says in its opening post, without the slightest hint of irony: "Initially the City will focus in on one-way communication..."
Y'know, the more I think about it, I'm really opposed to the City of Pacifica intruding on our Nextdoor website. It's really isn't in the spirit of Nextdoor. The County of San Mateo has a perfectly good notification system that doesn't involve hitching its wagon to anyone else's. Apparently the City of Pacifica is unable to do the same. If you disagree, just wait for those emails about "Safe Driving Week" and, worse, subtle messaging when city resources and salaries are on the line.
Daly City’s City Council has passed a resolution to call on the state legislature and governor to ban clearcut logging in California, making it the first city in San Mateo County and the wider Bay Area, and the second city in the state, to pass the resolution. The City of Davis has passed a similar resolution. The resolution highlights negative impacts of clearcutting on climate and water.
Daly City’s Water Department offers free water-saving devices, rebates, and school programs for residents, commercial users, and students. The city also has a climate action plan to reduce its carbon footprint.
“I am delighted to partner with the Sierra Club in making sure that the governor and the California legislature take immediate action to prohibit industrial clearcut logging in the forests of California,” said David Canepa, mayor of Daly City. “I am also proud that Daly City is the first city in the Bay Area to demonstrate such leadership.”
A growing movement of communities, environmental groups, and fishermen's alliances is calling on the governor and state legislature to end clearcutting in California and to ensure that logging in California is done in a way that will preserve and protect fish, wildlife, forests, streams, and carbon sequestration.
Clearcutting is an ecologically destructive form of logging in which nearly all native vegetation is removed, soils are deep-ripped, and herbicides are applied across the landscape. It harms water quality and wildlife habitat, and exacerbates climate change. It replaces diverse forests with tree farms that can have a higher risk of catching fire. Timber can be harvested using a less destructive method known as selective logging (see top photo above), which involves carefully planned removal of some trees while leaving the overall forest intact.
What happens in the forests – especially in the Sierra Nevada – is important to Bay Area cities. Some 60 percent of Bay Area water is stored in and filtered through Sierra forest watersheds, and 15 percent comes from the forested Santa Cruz Mountains. At least 15 percent of California’s carbon dioxide emissions are sequestered by California forests, and clearcutting both reduces the amount of carbon that forests can retain, and releases excess greenhouse gases.
Caltrans' proposed highway widening known as the Calera Parkway Project between Rockaway and Vallemar is a little bit more complicated than just adding a third lane northbound and southbound.
The project, as currently proposed, would add a center meridian nearly three lanes wide by itself, and would require further infrastructure to allow the project to be built over what is now thin air: things like a small causeway built over wetlands and up to 30-foot-tall retaining walls along most of the project length, again to allow for the extra lanes and center meridian to be poured and leveled in what is now nothing, just thin air.
If, like me, you need a visual aid to understand just how wide all of this roadway construction would be, get out a piece of construction paper and do a little origami fold right down the center of the paper, folding it in half long ways. The folded piece of paper represents the current width of Highway 1. Now unfold the paper and that represents the width of the proposed project.
And if you want to take it a step further, go to a vantage point that allows you to see along the highway. Hold up your folded origami highway to match the current width. Then, keeping the paper in the same spot, simply unfold it to the width the highway would be after being widened. Shocking, isn't it? Shocking to see so clearly just what sort of gigantic impact the project would have if, through our inaction, we allow it to be built.
Caltrain passengers now have access to the new grade-separated, elevated San Bruno Station. Since 2010, passengers have used a temporary boarding platform on Huntington Avenue near Sylvan Avenue. March 31 was the last day of service at that site, with the new station open a half-mile to the north at 833 San Mateo Avenue at San Bruno Avenue. Caltrain continues on the same schedule at the new station.
In May, Caltrain plans a community celebration in Posey Park to mark completion of the grade separation project, with local vendors and activities, speeches, and refreshments.
The $155 million grade separation project elevated Caltrain tracks at three separate crossings in San Bruno. The grade-separated crossings improve safety conditions for both pedestrians and motorists, while also easing traffic congestion to and from Highway 101.
The San Mateo County Transportation Authority provided $92.5 million for the safety improvement project, with the remaining funding coming from state and federal sources.
Jenifer Mendler posted the following comment on Riptide to announce the March 29 candlelight vigil for Errol Chang of Pacifica. (Chang was shot and killed last week by police after he stabbed a Daly City SWAT officer who was attempting to subdue Chang after a six-hour standoff at the Chang family home in Pedro Point.):
"This incident is such a tragedy. Errol was a good friend to our family and many close friends. My brother grew up with Errol. ... Hopefully we can bring light to the situation and changes will be made when dealing with people who have mental health issues."
Sanchez Art Center announces an open call for artists for its sixth annual 50|50 Show, juried by Jack Fischer of Jack Fischer Gallery, San Francisco. The exhibit runs August 22 through September 28. Entry deadline is Tuesday, May 13, 11 p.m. PST. Entry is online only, via CallForEntry.org (also known as CaFÉ).
Dedicated Pacificans for Highway 1 Alternatives (PH1A) members rallied in the rain March 29 to oppose Caltrans' Highway 1 widening plan and ask City Council to pursue alternatives. PH1A volunteers have been engaging the public all over town, finding overwhelming opposition to highway widening. PH1A's petition reads:
“To the Pacifica City Council: The Caltrans plan to widen Highway 1 is not good for Pacifica. It will cause more problems than it will solve. I support pursuing a combination of alternatives that can improve traffic congestion on Highway 1 and that will be less damaging to Pacifica.”
PH1A opposes the current Caltrans plan for a number of reasons: It is vague and does not address the need for safe pedestrian crossings. It does not have good bicycle lanes. It calls for huge retaining walls and does not rule out the possibility of sound walls blocking coastal views. In short, it would destroy some of Pacifica’s unique natural scenery and quality of life.
Moreover, the plan seems destined not to reduce traffic in the long range but to increase it, since four lanes would go to six lanes and then back to four – permanent bottlenecks on either end. Increased traffic during years of construction would generate more congestion, as well as air and noise pollution. Most likely, it would never lead to shortened traffic jams after that multiyear process.
PH1A has been organizing for more than a year to get Pacifica City Council to hold public hearings on Caltrans' plan. So far the city has not acted, and the plan is moving forward, with Caltrans taking the lead. PH1A also wants council to hire a traffic consultant to investigate best alternatives for Pacifica.
PH1A has suggested synchronization of traffic lights, more resources for school carpooling and shuttle buses, better public transportation, and other alternatives for pedestrians and bicycles, which are more likely to reduce traffic and be less invasive and disruptive for Pacificans and other coastsiders who use Highway 1.