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December 2009

November 2009

C'mon, Baby, Let's Do the Twist

In the San Francisco Chronicle (Nov. 26) "Bandwidth" review of White Pee, bandleader Michael Boul says  the band's name means "the stream of life." Here is the opening paragraph of the review, presented without further comment: "This quartet's eldritch sounds are hard to pin down. Guitar, percussion and knob twists emit abstract oscillations that range from unexpected abrasive noise to ambient drone. The band's music sounds shapeless—with nominal structure and no apparent breaks defining songs. White Pee plays with one's expectations: The listener is hypnotized by the meditative quality of minimal, elongated synth whispers, and then startled by a jarring, resistant guitar growl."

Roast Turkey Aroma Signals Economic Recovery

I just got home from my annual Thanksgiving bike ride around Linda Mar, and based on admittedly subjective data (my nose), I can report that this year more homes are roasting turkeys and baking pies than in the past few years. It smells wonderful out there!

But I have a question for the Oxymoron Department at Ford Motor Company: How can a car named Freestyle also be Limited?

And so now it is time for me to go in search of my own Inner Stuffing, after which I plan to play Scrabble all night long. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


Reverse Psychology: Unhealthy Holiday Eating

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy . Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.
10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.
Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Baye Slams SF Plan for Sharp Park Golf Course

San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department just spent five months with three consultants to study Sharp Park Golf Course and produce a report, which will not pass peer review, according to ecologist Peter Baye, who says the report's flaws are "...  severe enough to make the wetland conclusions and recommendations of the report unreliable and misleading for any coastal land use planning or environmental restoration planning decisions by either the City of San Francisco, or adjacent landowners (National Park Service), particularly for long-term planning. ..." Baye says the report describes a process that will result in the sure death of red-legged frogs and their predator, the San Francisco garter snake. Click the link to download Baye's full response: Download SFPRD Sharp Park Alts Report Baye comments 111709

Gorilla Barbeque Goes Ape: Queue Up for 'Cue

As other restaurants and takeout spots sit empty in Pacifica, one joint is jumping: Gorilla Barbeque. Almost every weekend the line of customers waiting to order smoky ribs, chicken, and pulled pork stretches out the door, down the stairs, and across the parking lot. This has become a true commercial phenomenon. Ever since a cable TV food show featured Gorilla, the little barbecue biz inside an old caboose has been a huge hit. Apparently, the viral effect of Internet buzz (including Yelp postings) and television notoriety have combined to form a perfect storm for Gorilla. Way to go, Gorilla. May your mojo spread to other local businesses.



Pacifica Youths Clean Beaches, Plant Trees

ur very own famous Girl Scout troop 1471 was featured on KTVU (Channel 2) cleaning Linda Mar Beach for Coastal Cleanup Day. It was a terrific segment for the Eco-Company show about high school students.  Also on the show with them was info about the Pacific Gyre, the Earth Day co-founder, and a brilliant piece on plastics by 4-H students in Alameda. Find all of the links at
, including one about Pacifican Laura Webber and her Million Trees Project, and probably the best video about plastic that I have ever seen: A Plastic Predicament! 

Lynn Adams, President, Pacifica Beach Coalition

"Engaging community, building community, helping a special place, helping the world."

Public Hearing on Sharp Park Golf Course


Richard Harris, SF Public Golf Alliance, 415-392-5431, ext. 203


PRO RESTORATION: Tell RPD Commissioners to Return Public Process to the Sharp Park Discussion. Thoughtful planning and assessment of our recreation and natural habitat choices for Sharp Park, combined with robust public engagement, will ultimately lead to more sustainable and appropriate park management. With the release of the recent Tetra Tech report Sharp Park Conceptual Restoration Alternatives Report  ( more information on management actions is available than ever before for the site. Sharp Park was placed on the November 19 RPD Commission Meeting agenda as an action item. The Recreation and Park Department's haste to move forward with a management recommendation is circumventing the public's ability to access, digest, and comment on this newly aggregated information. We urge you to take action! Email the RPD Commissioners to let them know you want them to wait to take action on Sharp Park until there has been adequate opportunity for public and stakeholder dialog on the issue. Send email now!

NPC is advocating for the Department to hold a community and stakeholder meeting to vet the report and provide input to the Commission prior to taking action on this item. It is not acceptable to skip the public process out of a sense of urgency to get across a planning finish line. The ultimate result for Sharp Park, once funded, will stand for many years. Adequate public input belongs in this planning process.

From a member of the Parks Recreation and Open Space Advisory Committee (PROSAC): No matter how people feel about the debate over the future of Sharp Park, this is outrageous. PROSAC, the supposed citizen's advisory committee on all matters having to do with Parks and Open Space, has not had a chance to discuss the report. (The November PROSAC meeting was held on the 4th; the report came out on the 6th.)  PROSAC has had numerous presentations related to Sharp Park, and has spent much time and effort gathering material so that there could be a meaningful discussion when the time came. Now PROSAC is to be completely bypassed? Why the unseemly haste?

US Navy Super Carrier John C. Stennis Receives 9-11 Memorial Plaque Created in Pacifica

Stennis Memorial Plaque


Commanders of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis have received a 9-11 memorial plaque that contains fragments of the World Trade Center. The plaque was created in Pacifica.

The small shards of reddish granite and concrete were originally collected at Ground Zero by Joe Levins of Vericlaim Inc., in San Francisco. Within days of the World Trade Center tragedy, Levins' company had rushed him to New York to serve as the insurance industry’s lead claims adjuster at the disaster site. While going about his responsibilities there, he scooped up a sack of broken rocks from the rubble at his feet. He carried these home to San Francisco and gave them to his daughter, Jennifer Kretschmer of Pacifica. She marked each piece “WTC – 9/11/01” and offered them as keepsakes to local active-duty service members through the Pacifica Military Mothers club. One of those recipients was Navy LT Mike Hall of Pacifica. For several years, his family carefully stored the fragments away, hoping to eventually identify a place where the precious relics could be permanently displayed and appreciated.

The answer was revealed last summer. LT Hall was stationed aboard the 97,000-ton nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, home ported in Bremerton, Washington. The ship’s commanders were generous in allowing civilian family members to tour the ship, and the Hall family made several visits to see the vessel. After observing the spirit and work ethic of the 5,000-member crew, the Hall family decided to offer the fragments to the Stennis commanders. The next step was to figure out how to present the fragments in a meaningful way. The pieces were small, irregularly shaped, and similar in appearance to common backyard rocks. Therefore, some form of verifiable documentation was also important.

For ideas, LT Hall’s parents Dave and Kathy Hall consulted Lionel Emde of Periwinkle Framing in Pacifica, whose company once framed a piece of the Berlin Wall. Emde created a finished display that was striking and somber. The elements included a Department of Defense photograph of Ground Zero, the fragments set inside a shadow opening and a brass plate with the words “Never Forget.” He selected a matte material with the texture of black crepe fabric associated with the period of national mourning for Abraham Lincoln. A simple black frame encased the arrangement. A written statement detailing the story and chain of custody of the fragments was attached to the back, with photographs of Joe Levins at Ground Zero as well as his Vericlaim company business card. 

LT Hall (second from left in photo above) presented the 9-11 memorial display to the Stennis commanders on his last day before departing the ship for his next assignment. Captain Joseph W. Kuzmick, Captain Michael Wettlaufer, and Command Master Chief Joseph L. Powers (left to right in photo above) expressed their appreciation and announced that the piece will be on permanent display in the ship’s museum. It will hang alongside an American flag found at Ground Zero by a New York City police officer who was also a Navy reservist.

LT Hall is a graduate of Terra Nova High School in Pacifica and the U.S. Naval Academy. He was a 1999 California Boys State Delegate sponsored by American Legion Post 238. Later this month he will deploy to Bahrain.






Shine Hair Studio Opens on Palmetto

IMG_6774ed (Small)

My name is Sarah Johnson, owner of Shine Hair Studio, a new hair salon in Pacifica. This past Friday the 13th, the Chamber of Commerce came out and did a ribbon-cutting ceremony for me, and the Pacifica Tribune came out to cover it. My salon is new, but I am not new to the business. I have been a licensed cosmetologist since 1995. I had been working in the same salon here in Pacifica for the past 10 years, and finally decided it was time to venture out on my own. I offer haircuts, color, hi lites, up-do's, etc. Shine Hair Studio is at 1517 Palmetto Avenue, Suite 2, in Sharp Park.

Sarah Johnson

Opinion: Afghan War Losing in the Polls

It's time to stop pretending that our leaders are taking us in the direction we wish to go. The Brits have it right. According to the latest poll reported in The Independent (U.K.) newspaper, 71 percent of Britons polled want to get out of Afghanistan. And the majority of Americans don't want this war in Afghanistan, either. When will the leaders follow the people?




Riptide Scoop: Feds Blow Up Bag of Poop

John Webb, our Humboldt connection, passes along this story he heard from a friend on the Russian River: "A Jenner resident rides her horse to the Jenner Post Office early each morning to pick up her mail. She has become embroiled in an ongoing dispute with another resident over her use of a public parking space in front of the P.O. Her horse often relieves itself in the parking space. One recent morning, the aggrieved gentleman had had enough of the horse poop in the parking space. He placed the smelly mess in a bag with a note on it inside the P.O. A county sheriff's deputy investigated the bag of poop and decided that he had better play it safe and call it in as a possible terrorist attack on the P.O. One never knows what evils might lurk in a bag of horse poop. The California Highway Patrol was called in. After looking askance at this obviously deadly booby trap, CHP decided to alert the Feds at Homeland Security. The Feds sent the bomb squad from San Francisco to Jenner. After all the experts were consulted and ultrasensitive X-ray equipment failed to indicate the presence of horse poop, the Feds took the next step and exploded the bag with their own explosive device in front of the P.O., which got sprayed with horse manure. After half a day and $40,000 of taxpayers' money, the Feds officially determined that it was indeed horse poop!



Shari Bookstaff: When Life Throws You Lemons...


Jim Wagner says, "I had the good fortune to take Environmental Oceanography from Shari at Skyline College during the spring 2006 semester. The whole time she was teaching the class she was battling vertigo and not understanding why she was feeling dizzy. She was a trouper and finished the semester. She's a tremendous asset to our community and a committed environmentalist. She's back at Skyline working. A testament to her courage. I would highly recommend her book. I made sure it was on my kids' Christmas list—to buy for me!"

PublishAmerica is proud to announce the recent release of Shari Snitovsky Bookstaff's new book When Life Throws You Lemons...Make Cranberry Juice! Here's what the author says about the book: "When my kids were learning to walk, I remember walking behind them, ready to catch them if they stumbled backward. I never dreamed that thirteen years later my kids would be walking behind me, ready to catch me if I stumble backward. I was 42 years old when I was diagnosed with a benign, operable brain tumor in July 2006. Doctors predicted a short hospital stay followed by a speedy recovery. Complications arose, giving me lifelong obstacles that I never could have prepared for. A divorced mother of two beautiful, talented, wonderful children, I had high hopes for a bright and happy future. I tried online dating, which got me a few cups of coffee, but no real dates. A couple of dating disasters later, my dating karma was beginning to change when my brain tumor was diagnosed. My life since that fateful day has been focused on regaining basic human functions: breathing, swallowing, walking, etc. I am working again, and trying to be a good mother to my two beautiful, talented, wonderful children. Putting a positive spin on life's disasters doesn't always work, but looking for, and accepting, positive things in spite of life's disasters works. Instead of making lemonade out of lemons, I add life's sweet sugar and cranberries to my lemons. This makes life much more palatable."

We are offering you an opportunity to secure your personal copy of Shari Snitovsky’s exceptional book today. Please click here:
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