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July 2011

Fisherman Catches and Releases Shark Near Pacifica Pier

By Lori Preuitt, NBC Bay Area, July 21: A Bay Area fisherman has a good fish story to tell this week, and this one is more believable than most because it comes with a photo. Andres Mendivil says he was fishing for striper around 8 p.m. Wednesday when he snagged what he thinks was a great white shark. The catch happened about 100 yards south of the Pacifica Pier. Mendivil says a crowd gathered around to see the shark, which was about 4 feet long and between 40-50 pounds. He snapped off a few photos and then released the shark back into the ocean to the delight of the crowd who he says cheered seeing it frolic in the waves back out to sea.

A spokeswoman for the California Department of Fish and Game confirmed that great white sharks do in fact live and swim along the coast and could make it to the shoreline looking for fish to eat. But that is where this fish tale gets a little fishy. We sent the photo of the shark to Carrie Wilson at Fish & Game who showed it around. People in her office determined the fish here is a salmon shark and not a great white because of the shape of the teeth and its size. Plus, they say great whites are already four feet long at birth. Wilson also cautioned that great white sharks are illegal to take or posses and anglers who do catch them, even accidentally, can be cited for holding the animal for even a short amount of time out of the water. If you catch one, you are supposed to leave it in the water and release it immediately. Wilson said one additional thing about the photo. She said it is dangerous to hold a shark in your hands because a healthy shark is very strong and could easily bite as it defended itself. She added that this particular shark was probably close to death or it would have fought back more and not allowed itself to be held.

As American As ... Apple Has More Cash on Hand Than the U.S.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Forget about Starbucks. Now we have iBucks.), July 30

Though it was founded 200 years after the United States, Apple has more cash in the bank than the world's largest economy. As the BBC pointed out Friday, the latest figures from the Treasury Department reveal the nation has an operating cash balance of $73.7 billion. Apple has $76.4 billion of cash on hand, according to its latest financial results.

If Washington fails to extend the nation's debt limit of $14.3 trillion by Tuesday, the federal government might be unable to write checks to pay its obligations while also putting at risk its AAA credit rating. Apple, on the other hand, recently
reported that revenue for its just-ended quarter soared 82 percent and profits rocketed 125 percent. While the Cupertino company impresses the world with its iPhones and iPads, Washington embarrasses the world's oldest democracy with nonstop bickering over how to solve the nation's debt.

"If Apple can do no wrong, the United States can do no right," quipped long-time Silicon Valley tech analyst Rob Enderle. "This kind of behavior just wouldn't be acceptable in a public company." Of course, the assets of the nation far exceed those of Apple, whose market capitalization of some $362 billion makes it the world's second most valuable company.

Still, imagine if the functions of the federal government were run like Apple: their efficient ease-of-use, not to mention stylish appearance, would inspire love and admiration around the globe. But just about any profitable company in the United
States is led by managers who seem to be more efficient and responsible than those pulling the levers of power in Washington, Enderle said.

However, there are some things the U.S. government can do that Apple can't. "The U.S. government can print money," Enderle observed. "If Apple actually printed cash, it would get into some trouble."

Pacifica's Petit Prince: Pilot Projects 7/29/11

I hope you're all having a great summer! I sure am! Here is a video Best of the Bay did about Pacific Coast Dream Machines. The video with Eddie Andreini in the Stearman was done with my dad's GoPro cameras!


Also, the PBS TV show History Detectives did a new episode July 26 and my website was in it! 


They're doing a story on a TDR-1 propeller and they are supposed to show something about my website interview in it! I haven't see the episode yet, but I like the show a lot!


There is a really cool Reno Air Race video that just came out and I got to watch it and review it. Also see links to YouTube excerpts. 



Opinion: Bright Blue Bins Blight Beautiful Pacifica

I have a love/hate relationship with Recology's garbage/recycling/composting system instituted a year ago. I love the three-bin system. It works well. But I hate the bright blue recycling bins.

I don't know who chose that bright blue color; it probably can be seen from outer space. Maybe it was so the recycling collector could find the bins in the fog. Other communities have soft earth tones that do not stick out like sore thumbs. Our bright blue bins have become a visual blight on our community, not just on recycling days but also because many people can't or won't put the bins away and they sit outside all week long. Does this happen in Hillsborough? Did the bright blue bins cause us to lose the "Most Beautiful Town" contest? They couldn't have helped.

I am one of those who who can't get all three bins in my garage. I live on a hillside and my side yards are all steep downhill, so I keep the least conspicuous bin alongside my porch and put bushy plants beside it to make it a little less obvious. 

There is no way Recology will replace the bins, but what about the ones that sit out all week and make Pacifica look like a shantytown? Some people do not have
the space because they can't even get their cars in their overstuffed garages. Other people have physical problems that prevent them from moving the bins in and out. And there are those who are just lazy or don't care.

I wish somebody had thought this through beforehand.


Became a Fall Fellow for Obama

I'm the national training director at Obama for America. My job is to develop the programs and resources our staff and volunteers use to teach others how to grow this campaign in their communities. I'm writing because you or someone you know might want to be among a group of people who will play the leading role in our grassroots strategy this fall. They're called our fall fellows.

By now you've probably heard of our summer organizers program, through which more than 1,500 full-time volunteer organizers have stepped up as the next generation of leaders in this movement. These folks have been the focus and the heart of our movement all summer, and though each and every one of them will remain a part of this organization, their time as Summer Organizers ends next month.

The job of fall fellows is to pick their work up and carry it forward into the months to come. Our fall fellows are going to engage new volunteers on front porches and over the phones. They'll register new voters and develop relationships with other organizers and supporters on campuses and in communities. The people selected will be on the front lines of the most important work we do as a campaign: bringing people together at the local level. Apply to be a fall fellow right now -- or pass this message along to someone else you think would be great:

Organizing is tough work. I started out as an organizing intern in Iowa in 2007, and I can tell you firsthand that the hours can be long, often extending late into the evening and over the weekend. But this will be one of the most rewarding and inspiring things you'll ever do. It's through organizing that I've met some of my closest friends and learned the skills I use in my job every day.

So even if you're not in a position to join us part- or full-time in the months to come, I really hope you'll forward this message to someone you know who might be. This kind of organizing isn't just how we plan to win this election. It's a reflection of the kind of politics that we believe in -- the kind the President himself practiced as a young organizer working with communities devastated by factory closings in Chicago.

No experience is required -- you might be a veteran organizer or a first-time volunteer. And if you happen to be a college student, you can work with your school to earn credit through this program. Bottom line: No matter how old you are or where you come from, it's not too often you get a chance to do something like this. Apply now to be one of our fall fellows -- or share this message with someone you think might be interested:

Sara El-Amine
National Training Director
Obama for America

Pacifica, California Cleaned Up for Rand McNally's "Most Beautiful," but Sandpoint, Idaho Really Cleaned Up

The Rand McNally Road Crew came to Pacifica on July 11 and 12 to compare us with five other communities for Most Beautiful Town. We did not win first place, but we were a runner-up. Please join us in our ongoing efforts to protect our natural resources here in Beautiful Pacifica.

Pacifica Beach Coalition
650.355.1668 Office
415.309.5856 Cell


Published Thursday, Jul. 21, 2011 SKOKIE, Ill., July 21, 2011 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Rand McNally, in collaboration with its exclusive media sponsor USA TODAY, crowned the first five winning towns the Best of the Road® in its inauguralsearchat the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Annual Convention in New Orleans. The winning towns will be highlighted on and in the 2013 Rand McNally Road Atlas, as well as on USA TODAY's Travel site.

Narrowed down from more than 600 submissions, 30 top towns in five categories --- Most Beautiful, Most Patriotic, Friendliest, Most Fun, and Best for Food --- were selected for review during the inaugural Best of the Road Rally. Equipped with brand-new Saab vehicles and Rand McNally RVND navigation devices, five teams of amateur travelers completed a three-week cross-country road trip, for a combined 25,000 miles traveled, personally visiting the six top towns in their assigned category.

To showcase their journey and share town experiences, the teams posted photos, videos and blog posts on, Facebook and Twitter. During a presentation of their "traveler's journals" on July 14 in Los Angeles, each team consulted with the judges panel to determine which town would be crowned the winner in their category. The winners are:

MOST BEAUTIFUL: Sandpoint, ID–reviewed by The McNavigators, who said the unofficial motto is "enjoy the great outdoors, connect with friends and keep life simple."

MOST PATRIOTIC: Rapid City, SD –reviewed by Captain and Clark, who described the town as "a place where people from across the world and country can learn about America's past, become inspired by its present, and find hope in its future."

FRIENDLIEST:  Walla Walla, WA – reviewed by Gone with the Wynns, whodescribed it as "a town so nice they named it twice; a culturally diverse small town with happy faces everywhere you go."

MOST FUN: Glenwood Springs, CO– reviewed by TraveleingJules and TravelingJoan, who dubbed the town "a mountain of fun and an adventure capital, with endless ways to get your adrenaline pumping."

BEST FOR FOOD:  Lafayette, LA– reviewed by The Fun Finders who learned the true taste of Cajun food to be "flavorful, not hot or spicy" and that after a meal, the best dessert is "Cajun dancing."

"Each of the top 30 towns truly provided an unforgettable experience during the Best of the Road Rally and it was hard to narrow it down to just one winner in each category," said Dave Muscatel, CEO of Rand McNally. "We're grateful to the residents of the finalist towns and their fans for showing tremendous enthusiasm and support in our inaugural search."  

The winning towns were presented by Rand McNally and USA TODAY to an audience of attendees at the convention's "Industry Spotlight" seminar. Destination Marketing Association International served as a promotional sponsor for the inaugural Best of the Road Rally, along with Saab Cars North America, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, Fleetwood RV and Shell.

The winning team from the Best of the Road Rally, Gone With the Wynns, was announced on Friday, July 15 during a finale ceremony at The Americana at Brand in Los Angeles. At the ceremony, the duo was awarded the title as well as a $10,000 check and a 2011 Saab 9-4X.

For more information on Best of the Road contest, visit and

About the Best of the Road®Rand McNally has earned the reputation as a trusted source in maps, directions and travel content with its best-selling Road Atlas and annual Best of the Road onlineguide.  Its celebration of the Great American Road Trip has given way to an online guide of the Best of the Road and features top attractions in more than 20 categories --- from the Best Beach to the Best BBQ.   This year, Rand McNally is revving up, in collaboration with USA TODAY, for an all-new the Best of the Road search with content created by travelers online and published in the 2013 Rand McNally Road Atlas. For more information about the Best of the Road, visit

Linda Mar: Beach Visitors




Elegant Terns on Linda Mar Beach: This species is regular in summer on Sharp Park Beach farther north, but it's unusual to find them on Linda Mr Beach. There had been a Caspian Tern with them, but it flew off before I began taking photos.

The birds with the black markings on the back and wings (not illustrated in many field guides) are juveniles, born this season, and the other birds are adults. You can see that the bills of the juveniles are noticeably shorter than those of the adults. In breeding plumage, the adults have a black forecrown, then their forecrown gradually turns white over the summer.

Some 90-97 percent of the world's population of this species nests on Isla Rasa in the Gulf of California, along with Heermann's Gulls. Like Heermann's Gulls, the terns disperse northward along the California coast after their breeding season is over.

Elegant Terns, like other terns, are fish eaters, and it apparently takes awhile for young birds to acquire the necessary fishing skills for them to become independent. As a result, the juveniles and attending adults migrate together, with the adults continuing to feed the young birds through the summer. If you observe them for a while on the beach, you can see the young birds begging food from their parents. When begging, their head is lowered, their back is arched, and they make soft, high-pitched calls, very different from their normal loud, raspy "chi-vek" calls.