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February 2009

The Pooper Scooper: How New Sales Tax Plays

Just to get a sense of how the proposed 1 percent (1 cent) city sales tax might affect the city's budget, below is a copy of Pacifica's current 2008/2009 budget. The current budget is almost $48 million, and the fire assessment tax brings in about $1 million. The Pooper Scooper guesstimates that, if passed, the proposed sales tax will bring in $1.2 million to $1.3 million to replace the money lost after the fire assessment tax expires this year. You can find more-detailed Pacifica budget information for fiscal year 2008/2009 at CITY BUDGET



Pacifica's Les Nessman Reports: 1 Percent Sales Tax Goes to Voters May 19

Here's the latest poop on the sales tax: The final outcome of Friday night's special sales tax meeting is that on May 19 Pacificans will vote thumbs up or thumbs down on a 1 percent (1 cent) sales tax, with a seven-year sunset. The original mail-in voting deadline of June 2 was changed to May 19 because it's the same day as the California special election.

STEVE SINAI, THE POOPER SCOOPER ("Pacifica's answer to Les Nessman")

Clark Natwick sent this Les Nessman bio from the Internet: Les was the newsman on WKRP in Cincinnati. Check out the Les Nessman Memorial TURKEY DROP. Les always felt slighted that he lacked a real office, and had to make do with a cube in the bullpen. So he made imaginary walls. He laid out tape on the floor showing, as he put it, ”where walls should be,” and had a break in the tape for the door. If people did not approach him through that ”door,” well, Les considered it rude. In fact, he is used to illustrate bad network security in LES LIVES: ”The news announcer of that radio station, Les Nessman, didn’t have a private office and couldn’t get one, so Les established his office perimeter with masking tape applied to the carpet. He got annoyed when someone walked through the ’wall’ instead of waiting at the ’door’ until invited in. To Les, his policy was sufficient. There are organizations today that likewise have policies that do not match reality and, so prescribe methods that are insufficient, while like Les Nessman, thinking – or pretending – that they are sufficient.”

Endangered Species: Calif. Fish & Game Wardens

The Wardens Association has given a copy of my documentary DVD ENDANGERED SPECIES: CALIFORNIA FISH & GAME WARDENS to every state assemblyman and senator with a copy of this letter (click Download WARDENS). California fish & game wardens have been given a  two-days-a-month furlough, and 45 percent of them have received layoff letters. If that goes through, the existing warden force will be down to 100 in the field. We can hang up a sign at the border: "Poachers Welcome!"

James Swan, Ph.D.
CEO, Snow Goose Productions
P.O. Box 2460
Mill Valley, CA 94942
(415) 383-5064
(415) 383-8210 fax


Remembering Bonnie Cornelius

I am responding to Reinier Nissen's inquiry regarding a car accident death in the 80s or 90s. I believe he is talking about my friend, Bonnie Cornelius, who died a few days after a car she was a passenger in struck a tree. It was a tragic loss because she was only 15. Over the years, many signs have been placed on the tree that she hit. I personally placed one a few years ago, with her younger brother Wes, who was visiting Pacifica. The signs come and go, but the scar created by the impact of the car will remain as long as the tree still stands. Thankfully, that treacherous road is closed now and can be accessed only on foot. If you come upon the tree, say a prayer for Bonnie and hope that such a tragedy doesn't befall any other family.  


Very likely the San Pedro Road death you mention is that of Bonnie Cornelius. I was a student at Terra Nova then, and she was in a class with me, though we didn't really know each other. Relatively early in the fall that year (1977), she was a passenger in a car driven by another student in the same class, and they were on their way to or from a pizza place in Pedro Point.  (Of course, the road went through then.) She was in a coma for a while before she died.


Northern Light Surprise; Satellite Debris Update


SATELLITE DEBRIS UPDATE AND SURPRISE NORTHERN LIGHTS DISPLAY: US Strategic Command is still cataloguing debris from the February 10 collision of Iridium 33 and Kosmos 2251 over northern Siberia. Orbits have been measured for more than 350 fragments. Check today's edition of SPACE WEATHER for maps showing how the debris has scattered in the space around Earth. Also check out the gallery of Northern Lights on SPACE WEATHER (one example shown above).