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April 2014

Petition: Alternatives to Widening Highway 1

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Pacificans for Highway 1 Alternatives (PH1A) presented its petition to Pacifica City Council on April 28. The petition reads:

"Caltrans' plan to widen Highway 1 is not good for Pacifica. It will cause more problems than it will solve. I support pursuing a combination of alternatives that can improve traffic congestion on Highway 1 and that will be less damaging to Pacifica."

Sign the Petition


Pacifica Needs Growth Management

By Hal Bohner, Special to Riptide

The proposed new General Plan is badly flawed. It actually encourages more housing. That’s unbelievable! We need to put the brakes on new housing, not encourage more.

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the new General Plan clearly shows that if more housing is built, traffic will just get much worse. Here are a few examples, with LOS indicating Level of Service. LOS E means bad and LOS F means really bad.

(1) The intersection of Highway 35 and Hickey Boulevard is now at LOS E, with a delay of 65 seconds.  By 2035, with proposed new construction, it will be at LOS F, with traffic delay twice what it is now.

(2) The intersection of Reina del Mar and Highway 1 is now at LOS F, with a delay of 175 seconds. By 2035, it still will be at LOS F, with slightly less (140 seconds) delay even if the Calera Parkway Project is built.

(3) The intersection of Fassler and Highway 1 is now at LOS F, with a delay of 93 seconds. By 2035, it still will be at LOS F, with slightly less delay (73 seconds) even if the Calera Parkway Project is built.

(4) The intersection of Linda Mar Boulevard and Highway 1 is now at LOS E, with a delay of 65 seconds. By 2035, it will be at LOS F, with a delay of 83 seconds. The Calera Parkway Project would not improve traffic at that intersection whatsoever.

You don’t need to take my word for it. Read it in Table 3.2-5 of the General Plan DEIR at page 3.2-24. This situation could be improved by growth management. Many cities include growth management in their general plans. Pacifica should do it, too. We just need the political will. For more on this, please read my blog:

Blogger Flogs Police Log

Were the gophers wearing helmets as required by law?
1/5/14, 16:28, Welfare Check, 140105133. Occurred on Palmetto Av, Pacifica. RPX ON THE LINE, RAMBLING ABOUT GOPHER HOLES IN HER GRANDKIDS YARD AND RIDING HER SCOOTER. Disposition: Log Note Only.

Some people show off photos of their kids, others take pictures of their horse blankets.
1/6/14, 10:26, Dist Neighbors, 140106090. Occurred on Danmann Av, Pacifica. ONGOING PROBLEM OVER PARKING. TODAY THE NEIGHBOR BLEW DIRT (WITH A LEAF BLOWER) ALL OVER THE RP'S HORSE BLANKET. SHE HAS PICTURES. Disposition: Abated/Advised.

Perhaps the dog was hard of hearing?
1/11/14, 11:27, Dist Others, 140111069. Occurred at Milagra Dr/Miller Av, Pacifica. Male subj yelling at his dog and other people passing by heard only. Disposition: Gone On Arrival.

3/2/14, 09:22, Citizen Assist, 140302069. Occurred on Inverness Dr, Pacifica. Rp would like to know if he is allowed to put mouse traps on his property to keep neighbor dogs from going to the bathroom on his lawn. Disposition: Abated/Advised.

Hello, is this the Fun Police? I’d like to report a crime!
13:09, Muni Code Violation, 140302096. Occurred on Mason Dr, Pacifica. GROUP OF JX'S SELLING HOME MADE CUPCAKES & JUICE - RPX ADVS NOW CAUSING TRAFFIC BACKUP. Disposition: Unfounded.

Whoever can remove this sword shall be crowned King of Pacifica!
4/7/14, 19:07, Property Incident, 140407243. Occurred at San Pedro Terrace Rd/Peralta Rd, Pacifica. NEAR THE NURSING HM WHERE THEY WERE DOING THE SEWER WORK // IN THE GRASS AREA, RP SAW A 2FT LONG SWORD ON THE FLOOR.

A crappy time was had by all.
4/20/14, 09:05, Citizen Assist, 140420069. Occurred on Cabrillo Hwy., Pacifica. Subj locked inside the restroom in the parking lot. Disposition: Abated/Advised.

A member of the notorious “49ers Gang” threatens to smoke a cigarette.
4/23/14, 15:49, Dist Juveniles, 140423154. Occurred on Linda Mar Bl/Cabrillo Hwy., Pacifica. 7 male teens bm's and hms wearing mostly red near the laundry mat and hallmark store rp thinks they might be up to gang activity rp heard one say they are going to bust one out. Disposition: Gone On Arrival.

Tip: Bring the number for the Pacifica Police with you on vacation in case the mood strikes.

You can pick your feet, but you can’t always pick your parking spots.
4/26/14, 13:24, Suspicious Vehicle, 140426132. Occurred at Sheila Ln/View Wy, Pacifica. Ama in a blue car, keeps driving around and then parking for an hour or so -- he is picking at his feet now inside the car. Disposition: Checks Ok.

Okay, Putin is REALLY getting out of hand!
4/27/14, 12:58, Suspicious Circumstances, 140427115. Occurred on Old County Rd., Pacifica. Old army jeep greenish tannish driver/wma 35-40 yrs 6'2 drove into lot looks like there was some kind of machine gun looking thing mounted on the back. Disposition: Canceled.

(Chris Fogel flogs and blogs Pacifica Police logs for Pacifica Riptide.)

Tuolumne River Trust Protects Our Drinking Water

From Peter Drekmeier: I'm writing today to ask for your support to help protect and restore the Tuolumne River, the primary source of water for many of us, and a waterway of great ecological and recreational importance. I hope you will sponsor my participation in Paddle to the Sea. Please visit my page at

The Tuolumne River needs us today more than ever. The drought is putting tremendous pressure on government agencies to relax protections for water quality and endangered species. We need to make sure our hard-won victories are preserved.

97% of the Rim Fire burned through the Tuolumne River watershed. We need to make sure the Recovery Plan places an equal value on ecosystem restoration as it does on salvage logging. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be released in the next few weeks, and the Tuolumne River Trust (TRT) will be heavily engaged in making sure it's based on sound science.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) relicensing of Don Pedro Dam (the largest on the Tuolumne) is moving forward. Last year TRT convinced FERC to require a license for La Grange Dam, two miles downstream of Don Pedro, which is important because the Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts (which own and operate both) have argued that Don Pedro doesn't block fish passage because fish can't make it past La Grange. TRT is holding them accountable for the poor environmental conditions they have created.

The State Water Board will be releasing an updated environmental document for the Bay Delta Water Quality Control Plan sometime this spring. Word has it they might increase unimpaired instream flow requirements on rivers such as the Tuolumne to 40% or more, which would be a huge improvement. We need to encourage them to stand strong, especially under pressure from the drought.

Water conservation, efficiency, and recycled water are key to balancing the needs of humans with those of other species that depend on the Tuolumne. In the SFPUC service territory, where 2.6 million people depend on the Tuolumne, we have reduced water consumption by 15% over the past seven years. This has created a healthy buffer against the drought, and serves as a good example to others. We must continue to use our precious water more efficiently.

I'm proud to work for the Tuolumne River Trust, which I believe is one of the most effective environmental groups in the region. Our strength comes from supporters like you! Please help us continue to be as effective as possible my sponsoring my participation in Paddle to the Sea at

Chang Family Seeks Evidence: Videos, Photos, Eyewitnesses

Message from Matt Chang: The family of Errol Chang requests the help of neighbors and citizens who were at the scene on the day Errol was murdered. We saw many people capturing events that unfolded that day with personal cameras and cell phones. If you have any photos, video footage, or eyewitness accounts from that day, we ask that you please contact our attorney Russell A. Robinson (see contact info below) with any information you have. We are obviously devastated by the loss of our Errol, and we seek your help to bring justice. Thank you.

Law Office of Russell A. Robinson
345 Grove Street, 1st Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102

Gypsy Hill's Slippery Slope @ Pacifica Planning Commission

Proposed Project

In all my years on the Pacifica Planning Commission, I never saw a more useless map (click link above to see project proposal). Therefore, I have added a third page, highlighting as best I could figure out (having seen the dog-and-pony-show drawings presented to us earlier) to make it more readable. It bears no resemblance to what we were shown, so some of the highlighting is guesswork.

Reading the first page, you get some numbers in absolute contradiction to the neighbor-friendly drawings shown to us quite some time ago: 16 houses on the ridge, not five or six. Farther down Gypsy Hill Road, 10 more houses; then even farther down, 16 below-market homes (required by law to include affordable housing). A "paper road" would have to be paved.

This is a grossly larger development than we were originally presented with, and in my personal opinion, the intent was to placate the neighbors into thinking this was no big deal so there would be no opposition. One of the “selling” points to our community was that the Campagnas themselves would be the architects, with their intimate respect for the community and environment. 

Here is the truth, which I have heard directly from an inside source: The Campagnas do not have the money to develop this project. They hope to get all permits in place so they can sell to some outside company that will obviously build it to make a profit. Adamo Campagna would like to be the architect, but there is nothing to say that this would happen or what that would really mean, anyway.

Another glitch in the plan is that the required noticing area does not include the people on the hillside across the valley of Brighton (e.g., Talbot), who would be the most visually impacted, but because of the code, are not required to be noticed.

Additionally, there is the reality of a history of mudslides on this hill. Because we have had no hard winters in a long time, that may have faded into recent memory. But at the top of Brighton (under Grace’s Vista Point) is a very steep, bare hillside, which has repeatedly slid in wet winters.

After the recent disastrous news from Washington state, where a massive mudslide occurred where they knew mudslides had occurred in the past, how dare we put people at risk? For those on Brighton, whose backyards face the steep hill but have so far been protected by the dense vegetation, what will excavation do to the stability of the hill? The proposed houses are large and set somewhat downhill, dug into the hillside; the extent of excavation required is of major concern.

I’m not even going to go into the various species of wildlife that live here, including many varieties of birds in particular, at the risk of being labeled some kind of environmental extremist.

If any of this matters to you, please talk to City Council and the Planning Commission. Now is not the time for apathy.

BJ Nathanson, Former Pacifica Planning Commissioner

Surfbirds of Linda Mar Beach



I photographed these surfbirds at the north end of Linda Mar Beach. The top two photos show the birds foraging, uncharacteristically, on the sandy beach. The third photo shows one in its more typical rocky shore habitat. All of these birds are about two-thirds through their molt into breeding plumage. The one on the rocks is almost perfectly camouflaged against the backdrop of aggregating anemones. 

Paul Donahue