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September 2015

August 2015

Slurpee Alert: 7-Eleven Plan for Dave & Lou's

7-Eleven's plan for 505 Linda Mar Boulevard (Dave & Lou's Valero station) would raze the existing building and build the convenience store parallel to Highway 1, with zero setback from the sidewalk, drastically reducing driver visibility turning onto Highway 1 and reducing ocean views of 26 nearby homes and mountain views of 36 nearby homes.

Listed site features include:
1. No setbacks (distance between building and property line)
2. Site would require use permits for sale of alcohol and 24-hour operation.
3. Location would be northwest corner of the lot. This location would give greater visibility and accessibility to pedestrian traffic.
4. New canopy should be raised to accommodate truck route.

(courtesy of

Rockaway Quarry Development Back in Play

Photo 1 By Peter Loeb, Special to Riptide

Have you noticed heavy equipment operating recently in Rockaway Quarry? A new developer for the quarry is having his land planning and reclamation consultant take soil samples. It seems that the geotechnical report done many years ago can't be found, so they have to do it all over again.  

Project manager John Zentner (click link below for his team bios) has met with city staff, City Council members, and other community members. (I met with him August 25 and we walked the quarry site.) Zentner says he has talked with California Coastal Commission (CCC) staff and city staff about the geotechnical work, and says he did not need a permit.

Meanwhile, a concerned citizen contacted a CCC staff member, who said Zentner will be asked to submit a detailed work plan before any more work is done. The backhoe continued digging through August 25, so geotechnical work may be largely finished by the time the work plan is delivered.

Zentner says his first objective is to clean up the collapsed culvert blocking the wetlands at the end of the old quarry road. The culvert will be cleared, allowing the wetlands to flow.

The next stage will be completing the required quarry reclamation plan. This will require permits and coordinating with a number of agencies. It will involve a lot of earthmoving. Once the reclamation plan is done, the site will be ready to be developed.

Ideas for development and locations are general at this point, but they include a resort-style hotel with cabins on the area known as The Pad, a commercial area adjacent to the Rockaway Beach neighborhood, and an apartment building in an undetermined location. The general development concept is for the center of the quarry land to be restored wetlands.

Zentner Team Bios

From Swaim Report

City to Contract Out Building Division Services

The City of Pacifica has been studying proposals from qualified firms that wish to provide building division services in cooperation with the city Planning & Building Department. Apropos, the League of Women Voters (LWV) has created Best Practice guidelines for privatizing government services (avoiding conflict of interest is a major point):

Best Practice

Shell's Bells: Oil's Well That Ends Well

Ms. Pickard
The Cosmic Association for Promoting Radical Atmospheric Transformation (CAPRAT) is proud to present its Oil International Lady of the Year (OILY) Award to Royal Dutch Shell's executive vice president for the Arctic, Ann Pickard. Described by Fortune magazine as “the bravest woman in oil and one of the 50 most powerful women in business,” Pickard first achieved fame as Shell’s regional executive vice president for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Various oil-spill experts have asserted that Shell Gas & Oil set the record for spilling the most oil in the Niger Delta. But Shell was quick to point out that any spills that may have occurred were unintentional and a result of factors beyond Pickard's control of the Nigerian government, and should not be considered a reflection on her bravery or lack thereof.

Now that Pickard has finished her good work in the Niger Delta, and after a quick stint as country chair of Shell in Australia, she has been made responsible for the company's Arctic exploration efforts around the globe. Regarding exploiting carbon resources in the Arctic, Pickard gushed, “For one thing, we’ve learned a lot from our successes and a lot from our setbacks. Among these setbacks in Alaska, as you’re aware, were delays with an oil containment system, issues with one drilling rig, and the grounding of another. Although we have addressed all of these situations, they marred the achievements of our 2012 season in Alaska.”

Pickard's positively Pollyannaish attitude has earned her CAPRAT's prestigious OILY Woman of the Year Award. We wish her continued success, and as they say in the oil business, “It's oil over now!”
CAPRAT is a wholly owned subsidiary of The People's Think Tank and no members of its executive council are on the board of any of the Seven Sisters. CAPRAT's motto is: “Free the carbon and free it now!”

Pacifica Coastside Museum Open for Business

DSCN1666  DSCN1669

DSCN1683Above: museum displays and gala opening on August 22 ( photos).

Mitch Reid reports: "The exhibit I put together and that was curated by Pat Kremer is called From the Twists and Turns of Devil's Slide to the Light at the End of the Tunnel (see photos below). It is a timeline from 1879 to the present, spread out over 18 feet. One of the pictures in the exhibit shows Andrew Leone's Wave Tunnel Portal design." The museum is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m.

PCHM Devils Slide Tunnel exhibit pic 1

PCHM Devils Slide Tunnel exhibit pic 2

PCHM Devils Slide Tunnel exhibit pic 3

SRO Crowd @ Fair-Housing Meeting

About 75 people attended SFOA/PIA's "High Cost of Housing" event at St. Peter's Church on August 23. Several Pacifica Skies Estates renters and fellow Pacificans heard a Daly City teacher who can't afford a rent increase, a senior tenant whose landlord dictates where his furniture goes, and a senior tenant with Parkinson's syndrome whose landlord requires him to add his caregiver to his lease.

SFOP summed up the problem with the slide (above): 114,000 new jobs added in San Mateo County with only 8,000 rental units added. Independent of partners and families that usually accompany new employees, new housing stock would accommodate only 1/14th of new employees.

Email for more information and to get on the fair-housing mailing list.

The Pacifica Skies Estates matter comes before City Council on Monday, September 14, the same night as the appeal of the proposed Fairmont 7-Eleven at 700 Hickey Boulevard.

(Graphic and story by

Beyond Barbed Wires: A Distant Dawn

VoD image
In 1962 the border war between India and China changed many lives forever. Many Chinese residents living near the Indian border were taken from their homes without warning and put into internment camp Deoli 1,000 miles away in the Rajasthan desert. The war lasted one month, but Deoli remained open for more than five years. 

Photo-journalist Rafeeq Ellias' film Beyond Barbed Wires: A Distant Dawn documents the stories of several ex-internees as they tell their stories after a silence of more than 50 years. The project is in postproduction and funds raised will be used for postproduction, travel to festivals, and film distribution.

Help Deoli internment camp survivors be heard. Crowdfunding is a democratic way to support the fundraising needs of your community. Make a contribution today! View on

@VoicesofDeoli at "Please help us spread the word for "Beyond Barbed Wires" by Rafeeq Ellias at

Voices of Deoli: stories, news, views, information about the people who were interned in Deoli Camp in 1962.


Opinion: Free Recycled Water Costs Too Much

Pacifica's North Coast County Water District (NCCWD) will soon offer 100 gallons of recycled water, free for the taking – well, sort of free. Like most recycling programs, this program is a futile, feel-good gesture. If you have a couple of hours to spare, a half-ton truck, a tank, a pump, and a half-gallon of gas, you can get up to 36 cents' worth of water. In addition to the environmental damage that gas creates, this is a lousy use of your time. Instead, use the water on the golf course and playing fields, and turn the rest into drinking water. And while we’re banging on about the city and political correctness, where are the numbers for the beach parking meters and sewage treatment solar system?

Al Miller

Pedro Point

Pacifica Jack Cheese: The Better Cheddar

PAC_PHS_pacifica_jack_cheeseAntiquarian Kathleen Manning of the Pacifica Historical Society (PHS) has discovered in an old cookbook that the original recipe for jack cheese may have been created at the Mori family restaurant on Mori Point around 1880, then hijacked to Jacks Ranch in Monterey, where the versatile semisoft cheese took on the name Monterey Jack.

PHS is selling Pacifica Jack, a local version of the cheese, for $8 a pound at its brand-new Pacifica Coastside Museum, which held its gala opening August 22 in the former Little Brown Church in Sharp Park. 

Reports "Pacifica Jack has a firm, almost Brie-like texture with an extra-sharp, white-cheddar bite. At just under refrigerator temperature, when rubbed between thumb and forefinger, it smears rather than crumbles, and the three kids we taste-tested it on loved it. Use it anywhere you'd want a cheddar with a lower melting point or even anywhere you previously might have used Gruyere."

(Photo courtesy of; story courtesy of Pacifica Tribune and

Nostalgia Alert: Dan's Motel of Moss Beach

By Jerry Ross Barrish, Special to Riptide

This is for folks who either remember or are curious about Dan's Motel in Moss Beach. The picturesque motel, torn down in the 1980s, is the setting of my film by the same name, which screened recently at the Roxie cinema in San Francisco. Below, see Sam Whiting’s 2001 essay on beach motels, including Dan's Motel.
Vintage Views: Beachfront motels offer a slice of Americana, by Sam Whiting, Sunday, June 3, 2001

Motorists discover a tinge of seedy romance in driving the Bay Area coast, looking for the word MOTEL on the side of a weathered old building. Pull in, bang a bell and the owner or manager comes out of the back room, where he lives, maybe with a yapper dog for security. Price is negotiable, depending on availability, time of night and how much the manager likes the customer. Throw some 20s on the counter and get a key on a plastic tag for return by mail, along with directions to a wheezing ice machine.

People in road novels stay at motels and the ones at the beach add the drama of breaking surf. A beach motel is different from your typical roadside inn: An authentic beach motel means no chains, lodges or resorts, and the only conference center is the car, trying to close the deal. Bed yes, breakfast no. A true motel wouldn't want to encourage morning mingling among its guests. A communal hot tub is acceptable but you won't get a plush terry cloth robe to wear to it. A thin gym towel is more likely, along with a too-thin blanket beneath a too-thick bedspread.

A room with at least a sliver of a view of the beach is ideal, but this criterion is waived if the windows are crusted in salt, or if the beach motel was there before the condo that blocks its view. Beach motels never had the expensive real estate. They tend to be bunched together against the wind and dirty sand blowing across the highway into the ice plant. 

The standard was Dan's Motel in Moss Beach. "It was all stucco, painted white with turquoise window trim. The rooms had really bad paneling and pea-green carpeting," recalls bail bondsman and artist Jerry Barrish, who made a film called Dan's Motel.

"It was a set-designer's dream. You couldn't make it any sleazier if you tried," says Barrish, who lived next to Dan's for 10 years, until it was torn down in the 1980s, breaking the filmmaker's heart.

 Beachfront Motels