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June 21, 2010

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"Pedophile" is pretty specific and quite impossible to disprove if anyone were to take it seriously. I think you are leaning pretty heavily on Todd's reputation and good nature. I also think anonymous posting encourages insincerity, sock puppets, and astroturfing. Now that the court has made clear that corporate money is equal to freedom of speech, and lies are equal to truth, we should be ever more vigilant about who says what to whom.

Steve says, "If someone repeatedly came onto the blog and made a criminal accusation, then I would probably remove the comments."

On your blog I've been accused of pedophilia (which is a felony) repeatedly by the same person. So if you are serious about your editorial stand, you should by your own rules and remove those posts.

Steve, California civil codes 44, 45, and 46 have all been violated by your blog to me personally. Your admission here and on your blog show a clear disregard and even encouragement to foster and escalate the lies, attacks, and damage.

You can't take the "it's not me" stand anymore. You have drawn a line in the sand here that gives you no protection.

I don't think many people would say that the highway doesn't back up at commute/school times.

It's not a matter of wanting "nothing." It's that what's on offer is a horrific overkill.
I will be very interested to see the rejected alternatives, because the answer may lie within them.

The problem for our City Council is: How do you slow down the train if all it's bringing is a six-lane freeway? Are they going to have the choice of alternatives, or are the transportation agencies simply going home with their ball if we won't give in to the game as offered?

I'm sorry to say that's the distinct impression I'm getting. I hope people show up to this meeting.

Jim, I'm not a lawyer either, but I did some research a few months ago on how much liability blogs had when it came to things like defamation of character. I came across a small number of cases where blogs were sued successfully, but my impression was that occasional, rare insults like "so-and-so is a serial killer" or "child molester" weren't worthy of a court's time.

If someone repeatedly came onto the blog and made a criminal accusation, then I would probably remove the comments. We had a case in the past where someone accused a couple of local realtors of criminal behavior, and when asked for evidence, he wasn't able to provide any. I added a comment right below the original article, saying something like "there's no evidence anything illegal happened," which caused the person who put the post up in the first place to remove the whole thing.

My main problem with the personal insults is that it quashes debate, and it's simply rude.

Like everyone else, Pacifica is low on funds. Pacifica can renegotiate the payout of $1.3 million over a longer time frame. Spending $50 million doesn't make sense when a simple "Right turn only at Vallemar from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m." sign would work just as well.

Peter:

SMCTA has 90 days to bill the city after the city says "no thanks." There is no reason not to think the TA board would not forgive this expense to save the tens of millions of dollars it would otherwise spend on further studies, designs, permits, and court costs.

To laden opponents who had nothing to do with taking on the responsibility of this 2000 agreement is silly thinking. City staff, TA staff, City Council, and TA board are much better situated to find a no-cost resolution to all this wasteful spending.


Steve, I am not a lawyer, but I think you may be responsible for allowing posts on your blog that tarnish people's reputations (defamation of character). Some posts have gone so far beyond the line that it's disturbing. Luckily, John Maybury will not allow such behavior here on Riptide.

"Go to the Vallemar intersection and press the crosswalk buttons, as you guys did during the Measure L campaign."

You must know that most anti-L voters didn't do that, and it is unlikely that very many of us at all would approve of anyone doing so. If that isn't obvious to you, I would suggest that it might be a personal problem.

Hey, Pete, a suggestion on another way to make a point for those who want nothing. Go to the Vallemar intersection and press the crosswalk buttons, as you guys did during the Measure L campaign. Back up traffic, then explain to them why the highway shouldn't be fixed.

If it's true that if the city stops the Highway 1 widening project, it will have to pay back $1.3 million, then the responsible thing for opponents of the widening project to do is find some other way of stopping the project that is not a city action.

Todd, I don't filter what goes on Fix Pacifica. I just set the blog up, and I'll post submissions when people don't know how to do it themselves. Beyond that, I'm just another Pacifica blowhard who participates along with everyone else. It was never meant to be a moderated blog.

I get blasted all the time over there, but even then I won't remove the comments. Believe me, I get very annoyed with all the insults and name-calling on Fix Pacifica. It makes my side look like childish boors, and nobody's going to entrust the running of the city to people like that.

If the $1.3 million is the sole determinant in the City Council's decision on allowing the building of a six-lane freeway between Rockaway and Vallemar, it would be totally irresponsible on its part.
I hope it is not.

Wow, you guys are missing it. Over on Steve's blog "Fix Pacifica.Nag" there is all kinds of fun at my expense. Steve-o, really, man--allowing me to be called a fat bastard pedophile by an anonymous poster?

Toddster, your point about SMCTA and San Mateo County being different agencies is irrelevant. SMCTA distributes Measure A funds, which are provided by a countywide, half-cent sales tax. County residents approved Measure A with the understanding that the money collected is to be used on transportation projects, not as gifts to general funds of financially mismanaged cities.

Mr. Simon:

Thank you for participating in this thread. Your above comment was distributed long ago. But you may have forgotten the phone conversation we had a day or so later where you retracted the above reassurance and said you had misspoken and that indeed the City of Pacifica would be responsible for the amounts spent from the contract dated April 3, 2000. I refer specifically to page 2, paragraph 1.4, Termination:

"City may at any time terminate the Project by giving written notice to Authority of its election to do so provided that upon such termination City shall promptly reimburse Authority for all monies advanced and costs incurred by Authority in connection with the Project and indemnify Authority from and against any and all losses, claims, liabilities, costs and expenses arising from said termination. Upon such termination City shall so reimburse Authority within 90 days of Authority's submission to City of a detailed statement of such advances and costs."

I respectfully ask you as the Transportation Authority's public face to clarify further because during our phone conversation after your above email you did recant and did inform me the city was still responsible to repay the money advanced from the April 3, 2000 contract.

Mr. Bray needs to explain the logic behind his assumption of county generosity. If the SMCTA rewrote the contract a la Bray, every town in the county would be subsidizing Pacifica. How do you think that's going to go over in San Carlos, a city experiencing its own fiscal morass? Or any of the other cash-strapped cities? Try this little exercise, sit back and think how we would respond if, say, Belmont, wanted the TA (or pick any county entity) to just say, "Ah, forget about paying us back for your ineptitude in getting anything done, we'll just spread the cost out. The other cities won't mind."
Yeah, right!

I'm a little confused. The last time you mentioned this issue, SMCTA sent you an e-mail saying that Pacifica was not obligated to pay a cent if they killed the project. Here's your earlier post from March 7.

THIS JUST IN FROM SMCTA RE PACIFICA'S RESPONSIBILITY TO REPAY MONEY TO SMCTA. ACCORDING TO THIS EMAIL, THE COUNCIL CAN KILL THE PROJECT AND NOT PAY BACK A DIME OF THE $1.2 MILLION FROM A FEW YEARS AGO.

Dear Mr. Bray,

I don’t know if you have heard back from Steve, but your information is incorrect. The City of Pacifica is not obligated to repay the funds expended thus far on the Calera Parkway project. No reimbursement is required or expected.

Further, in discussing this e-mail with Mr. Hurley, it appears your exchange with him on this issue or the “game of chicken” resulted in a miscommunication.

No such game is being played by this agency nor did he say anything that was intended to give you that impression.

We apologize for the confusion.

I would request that this e-mail response be provided to your list of CC’s.

Thank you.

Mark Simon
Executive Officer for Public Affairs
San Mateo County Transit District
SamTrans

Dear sweet innocent Steve-0, the SMCTA and the County of San Mateo are two completely different governmental agencies with separate and independent revenue sources.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Welcome to the club, Steve. Now Todd calls both of us sweet and innocent. If only he knew our dark side!)

Given the financial constraints the county is under, why would anyone think it would let Pacifica keep the $1.3 million? What's the justification?

This is taking from the public commons. I expect Kathy Jana to complain about this.

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