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November 2010

Senator Leland Yee Denounces Tea Party's "Repulsive, Extremist" California Ballot Initiative

Senator Leland Yee (Democrat-San Francisco/San Mateo/Pacifica) issued the following statement in response to a Belmont man’s proposed ballot initiative to enact a California law similar to Arizona’s controversial immigration statute. Yee’s Senate District includes Belmont:
“Once again, local tea party activists want to push a xenophobic initiative on our community that would devastate California. Unfortunately, this is not the first time they have turned to the obscene use of race-baiting as a means to promote their cause. Last year, they employed anti-Semitic posters for their events and now they are going down a similar path in an attempt to strike fear within immigrant communities. In order to advance their repulsive and extremist objectives, the sponsors are trying to leverage our current economic situation to foment resentment against undocumented immigrants. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, it is important that these incendiary acts do not go unchallenged. If this initiative qualifies for the ballot, we will fight to ensure that the people of California vote it down and send a very clear message that such bigoted policies are unacceptable in our state.”

Coyote Behavior and Peaceful Coexistence with Humans and Dogs

(Janet Kessler wrote the following for Jake Sigg's Nature News—get a free subscription by emailing We who hike Pacifica's trails know that coyotes live among us, and we often hear their spine-tingling serenades at night.)

By becoming aware of coyote behavior and needs, you can become part of the solution to make coexistence work. Coexistence means sharing the environment amicably. Peaceful coexistence entails a constant process. At our homes, it means not leaving out food that will entice coyotes into our yards or our garbage, and not leaving pets unattended. In the parks, it means not threatening coyotes by getting too close, or making them uncomfortable as a result of excessive dog activity. The solution is restraining our dogs when coyotes are out and about, keeping dogs and coyotes from communicating visually or through body language by moving on, keeping our dogs calm. We canʼt control the behavior of coyotes, but we can minimize their instinct to react to our dogs. Almost all coyote behavior toward dogs is a reaction to dog behavior: from being chased, to antagonistic communication, to territorial invasion.

Coyotes don't tolerate interloper coyotes. Although they might benignly allow a mellow fellow to pass through their areas, all coyotes with more than a little bit of energy (and little if any respect) are seen as possible threats to resident coyotes. Dogs may be seen as interloper coyotes—they should pass through uneventfully and calmly. Coexistence entails keeping coyotes as naturally wild as possible. Of course, coyotes will get used to dogs and humans in an urban park setting, but the goal is to minimize any interaction between them. NEVER feed or attempt to tame a coyote, and, if possible, keep your dogs from interacting on all levels with coyotes by keeping your distance and a sense of removal; this can be done by restraining our dogs, and moving on. Be aware of these observed coyote behaviors in San Francisco parks:

—When chased, coyotes, especially alpha coyotes, become upset and may chase back, bark, or even nip to move the dog away and warn it.

—Coyotes remember every chase incident and are prepared the next time—more ready to defend.

—Coyotes like it calm in their territories—best to move active dog play elsewhere,

—Coyotes enjoy “watching” dogs being walked; they have a need to know what is going on.

—Visual communication and body language can sometimes be antagonistic between dogs and coyotes; this is why we need to keep distance between the two by restraining dogs and moving on.

—During pupping season, beginning in about March, coyotes become especially protective.

Maybe you have come across a coyote that seems friendly—your dog and the coyote wag their tails and sniff each other at both ends—all seems pleasant and safe and happy. But you need to know that every coyote reacts differently—and you will not know until after the fact. Alpha coyotes will be protective, not only of themselves, but also of other members of their packs. They could run to the defense of this friendly pack member. This is why it is best to follow the guidelines, even if your personal experience suggests otherwise. Injured animals may behave aggressively. Please report injured animals to the humane society or ASPCA animal shelter.

Sarah Palin for Dummies: 4 Gaffes in 48 Hours


(Photo: Michael Dineen/AP)

Sarah Palin told Glenn Beck: "This speaks to a bigger picture here that certainly scares me in terms of our national security policy. But obviously we've gotta stand with our North Korean allies.")

"I don't think the majority of Americans want to put up with the blue-bloods -- and I want to say it will (sic) all due respect because I love the Bushes -- the blue bloods who want to pick and chose (sic) their winners instead of allowing competition."

"I don't want to be speculated about -- whether I'm gonna run or not -- if all it does is kind of gin up controversy and superficial, ridiculous items to talk about, as we've seen in the last couple of weeks, and get people distracted from the important issues that Americans need to be discussing as we go into the 2012 election ..."

"I want to help clean up the state that is so sorry today of journalism. And I have a communications degree. I studied journalism, who, what, where, when, and why of reporting."

(collected by newshound Gary Hanauer)

Someone Is Guilty of Crimes Against Nature

First, someone cut down dozens of trees in Golden Gate Park. Then someone drove a car around the park's golf course, tearing up the greens. And someone poisoned thousands of honeybees in their beehives. Now someone has killed one of the mute swans in the pond in front of the Palace of Fine Arts. It's a long way from the Summer of Love. Monsters now walk the streets of the cool, gray city called San Francisco.

County Planning Commission Approves Big Wave


The San Mateo County Planning Commission approved the Big Wave development at a meeting today in a 3-2 vote. After considering the revised traffic report, the commission approved not only the Big Wave Environmental Impact Report but a Coastal Development Permit, 20-year development agreement, and other provisions required to approve the project. The project is appealable to the Board of Supervisors and the Coastal Commission.

Pacifican Pooh-Poohs

Today I was barred from posting comments on a new website sponsored by AOL that provides topical entertainment news and commentary on Pacifica and the surrounding Peninsula. The site is called PATCH PACIFICA. At issue were libelous posts by two fellows accusing me of inappropriate behavior toward some teenage girls back in 2006 during the election season, something that never, ever happened. I let the editor of the site know that I considered the comments libelous and asked him to remove them. He replied he would forward my concerns to his legal department. Meantime, the AOL website put up a new explanation of what AOL considers to be the site's function. As the libelous remarks were not removed, I commented that he and the site support defamation and libel. Here is his reply: "I've sent your concerns and your comments, including the one you left this morning, to our legal counsel. I'm waiting on them to see how we will respond. Until that time I'm disabling your ability to comment on stories. I will let you know if and when you're allowed to comment on the site again." I'm still laughing myself silly. AOL can keep its site, libel and all.


Court Ruling: Emde Lawsuit vs. City Can Go Ahead

KRAUSE, KALFAYAN, BENINK & SLAVENS, LLP, Announces Court Ruling Allowing Lawsuit Against the City of Pacifica Alleging Proposition 218 Violations to Move Forward
SAN DIEGO, November 22, 2010—At a hearing on November 19, 2010, the Honorable Gerald J. Buchwald of the Superior Court for the County of San Mateo refused to dismiss a lawsuit against the City of Pacifica and Recology of the Coast, a contractor hired by Pacifica to collect refuse for Pacifica’s residents. In the suit, Pacifica resident Lionel Emde claims that Pacifica and Recology are violating Proposition 218, the "Right to Vote on Taxes Act." Proposition 218 requires affected property owners to receive a notice of a hearing and a right to protest rate increases. It also prohibits local governments from collecting fees beyond that which is necessary to operate the service. Emde alleges that the defendants are violating both aspects. For example, Pacifica generates four different types of fees from the contract with Recology which Emde alleges is deposited into Pacifica’s general fund rather than for the operation of the refuse services. And residents have no right to protest rate increases. Pacifica and Recology argued that because it contracts with a private entity to perform the refuse collection services, Proposition 218’s mandates do not apply. There is scant legal authority regarding Proposition 218’s application in the context of public-private contracts for property-related services and thus, Judge Buchwald’s ruling represents a significant victory for rate-payers in Pacifica. No trial date has been set.

About Krause Kalfayan Benink & Slavens, LLP.: KKBS is a boutique law firm in San Diego, California representing consumers, rate-payers, shareholders, and businesses in individual and class action litigation. If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions concerning the lawsuit or rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact attorneys for plaintiff, Eric J. Benink at Krause, Kalfayan, Benink & Slavens, LLP, 625 Broadway, Suite 635, San Diego, CA 92101, telephone 619-232-0331, website