Coastside Fire Protection District, Board of Directors meeting, August 27, 2014

The full agenda can be found by clicking here.

The Board of Directors of the Coastside Fire Protection District met this past Wednesday–Montara Fog videotaped the meeting on behalf on the Board.

CFPD holds the copyright to this video but desires that it be widely disseminated. Therefore, they are granting permission for its use (including use by the news media) as long as proper attribution is given. Attribution can take the form of, for example, the text “Video courtesy of CFPD” located next to the video or at a visible place within an article. That’s it. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Montara Fog.

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San Mateo County Poet Laureate launches poetry awareness campaign

Caroline Goodwin, San Mateo’s Poet Laureate and resident of Montara, is launching a poetry awareness campaign. The text of the press release follows the graphic.

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PRESS RELEASE

San Mateo County Poet Laureate Caroline Goodwin

to launch “Poetry Is” Campaign with a Poetry Contest

(Redwood City, CA)  - As part of her official duties, San Mateo County’s first Poet Laureate Caroline Goodwin will launch “Poetry Is”, a campaign to increase awareness of San Mateo County cities, towns and neighborhoods through the power of the spoken word. “Poetry Is” will kick-off with a poetry contest, open to poets of all ages who live in San Mateo County, and culminate in a celebration of poetry on the evening of October 30 at the Belmont Library.  The San Mateo County Library is a partner in this campaign.

“Our Poet Laureate Caroline Goodwin is hard at work in our community – elevating interest in poetry and the literary arts into the fabric of San Mateo County.  The “Poetry Is” campaign is a unique way to celebrate the beauty of our County through the eyes of our residents – young and old alike!” said San Mateo County Supervisor Warren Slocum, Co-Chair of the Poet Laureate Advisory Committee.

“A poem can show life lived in a particular environment, bringing the reader into the physical space surrounding the poet through imagery and illuminating the poet’s vision through both sound and sense,” noted Poet Laureate Caroline Goodwin.  “I am interested in experiencing the many individual voices that are living and writing throughout our beautiful County. My hope is that the Poetry Is campaign will be a way to showcase our poetry of place and allow for many different voices to come together and be heard.”

Poems can be submitted during the month of September to Poet Laureate Caroline Goodwin – instructions are on the San Mateo County Poet Laureate website at http://sanmateocountypoet.org/poetry-is/.  Poems may be in any form, in any language or combination of languages and up to 40 lines in length using the name of the city or town in which the poet resides in the title of the poem – giving readers a sense of “place” and its uniqueness.  A selection committee of poets will judge the poetry and invite several poets to participate in readings at the “Poetry Is” celebration to be held on the evening October 30th at the Belmont Library.  “Poetry Is” flyers (attached) will be posted in libraries and in schools throughout the County.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors created the honorary post of Poet Laureate in April 2013. The San Mateo County Poet Laureate Advisory Committee was formed and co-chaired by San Mateo County Supervisors Warren Slocum and Carole Groom.

Caroline Goodwin began her two-year post as Poet Laureate on January 1, 2014.  Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Goodwin, apoet, writer and professor, moved to San Mateo County in 1999 to attend Stanford as a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry. She is a professor at the California College of the Arts and teaches in both the MFA Writing and undergraduate Writing and Literature programs; she also teaches workshops through the Stanford Writer’s Studio. Goodwin earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She is an avid poet with a variety of published poems as well as her recent collection of poems, Trapline.  Caroline Goodwin resides in Montara with her husband Nick and two daughters.

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California Senate passes Martin’s Beach legislation, bill goes to Governor Brown

A bill seeking to force Martin’s Beach’s secretive owner, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, to negotiate to open a public right of way through his property to the ocean has passed both the California Assembly and the Senate and is headed to Governor Brown. Brown has twelve days to approve the bill.

The bill, SB968, was sponsored by Senator Jerry Hill.

Khosla secretly purchased the property in 2008 and blocked public access to the beach, despite California law which makes beaches public property. When Khosla’s identity was finally revealed many people were confused since Khosla had built a international reputation as an environmentally friendly investor. (Khosla has recently been criticized for his lack of success, and perhaps outright arrogance, in the energy sector. See a January 60 Minutes for one example as well as the written rebuttal from Khosla.)

In addition to the legislation, a lawsuit brought by the Surfrider Foundation is moving forward, supported by San Mateo County and the Coastal Commission.

Read more at the San Jose Mercury NewsSan Mateo Daily Journal and at SFGate.

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High school teacher adds YouTube, social media duties

Press Release-New Communication Tool

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Document: County planning department’s presentation slides on Big Wave development

These are the PowerPoint slides used by San Mateo County planner Camille Leung in her presentation to the San Mateo Planning Commission Wednesday morning and to the Midcoast Community Council later that same day. I contacted Leung, asking for a copy of her slides but she declined to send them to me directly, saying only that she would try to make them available on the web “hopefully early next week.” I questioned why she couldn’t just send them to me me electronically right away since they were already on her computer in electronic form, pointing out that the short comment period was underway, but I received no response. Instead, I obtained this document from another source.

Comments on this document are due September 2nd. The County is giving the citizens of the Coastside only a 30-day “courtesy” comment period.

(Correction: Leung’s presentation Wednesday morning was to the San Mateo Planning Commission, not the Board of Supervisors. Thanks to a reader for the correction.)

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County quietly fast-tracks Big Wave for approval, construction to begin in 2015

Despite overwhelming, perhaps record-setting, public opposition to its previous incarnation the Big Wave development project in Moss Beach has been quietly fast-tracked by the county planning department for approval. A planning commission vote has been scheduled for October 22 and the comment period for the final project draft is already two weeks into its 30-day “courtesy” review period.

Construction on the new version of the project, with only about ten percent less square footage than before but reconfigured into fewer buildings and a smaller overall footprint, is scheduled to begin in 2015.

There appears to be little chance of stopping the project or making significant changes.

The San Mateo County Planning and Building Department has in the past demonstrated such strong support for the project that it was often difficult to tell the difference between county staffers and project applicants. The Board of Supervisors will be unable to vote against a project they unanimously voted for in its last go-round, when the project was bigger and presented even greater environmental concerns. And it is unlikely that the Coastal Commission will once again sink the project since, according to Scott Holmes, Big Wave’s architect and planner, the new configuration of the project essentially conforms to the changes requested by the Committee for Green Foothills, a powerful opponent of the project when it was last before the Commission.

County planner Camille Leung, in a presentation to the MidCoast Community Council this evening, described the project in largely the same terms as in 2011, with some reductions in size and changes in configuration. Some of the project’s least believable claims have been rectified. For example, water will now be supplied by MWSD rather than wells or a desalination plant.

But blatant make-believe remains in the form of the traffic study, which finds that the five hundred plus sparking spaces won’t do anything much to traffic congestion coming out of the harbor area that a roundabout (at Cypress) won’t fix. According to Leung, the traffic consultants won’t be available to answer questions from the public directly prior the day of the planning commission vote because of their expensive hourly rates. Neither she nor Scott Holmes were able to explain the traffic study methodology or to offer detailed responses to criticisms of that report.

Readers who are interested in seeing the project proposal can find the documentation at the County’s web site: https://planning.smcgov.org/big-wave-north-parcel-alternative-project

You can send your comments on the proposal to project planner Camille Leung at cleung@smcgov.org

The comment deadline is September 2nd. Comments will be taken after the September 2nd deadline but they will not receive a response from the county. Comments received before the deadline will not receive an individual response but will instead be grouped with similar comments to which the county will offer a general response.

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Patridge will not seek reelection to Half Moon Bay City Council

Naomi Patridge, the long serving member of the Half Moon Bay City Council and widely considered the key “old guard” politician in the city will not be running again for office this November. Though no announcement has been made the deadline for incumbents to file to take part in the upcoming election has passed without Patridge filing papers.

Patridge has been a force in city government for a generation. Her upcoming absence from the city council marks an opportunity for other incumbents or newcomers to play a larger role.

The City has been rocked for years by devastating lawsuits and a chronic pattern of bad decision-making which has eroded confidence in the city’s leadership even among Patridge’s political base. The recent Main Street Bridge controversy is seen by opponents and supporters of the “old guard” alike to be a possible turning point in the political future of Half Moon Bay.

Two incumbents, Rick Kowalczyk and Allan Alifano, both relative newcomers to the local political scene who elected in 2009, did file the necessary paperwork to run for reelection in November.

There are three seats open out of a total of five seats.

Although the deadline for incumbents to file has passed the deadline for non-incumbents has been extended to the close of business this coming Wednesday, August 13th.

Don Prestosz has filed papers with a number of others “pulling papers,” which indicates an interest in running. As of this writing those pulling papers are Deborah Ruddock, Luciano Arruda, David Eblovi, Kimberly Levin, Rick Hernandez, Doreen Gerrity, and Harvey Rarback.

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Student photo show at Darin Boville Gallery in HMB, Saturday 12-4

A student show curated by a student!

Join us this Saturday for a new show at the Darin Boville Gallery—photographs by three local graduating high school students curated by Nicole Collins, also a Half Moon Bay High School student. Nicole, and the photographers she selected, are on their way to college but before they go we’re holding a show of their work.

The informal opening will run 12:00 to 4:00, Saturday, August 9, and we’ll have light refreshments.

The student works will be for sale at very reasonable prices—the gallery will donate mat board and matting and framing services and all of the proceeds will go to the students.

It’s our way of encouraging young people to think more seriously about art. Stop by for a few minutes and show your support!

The Darin Boville Gallery is located in Half Moon Bay on Route 92, just inside the city limits. Look for the red dinosaurs and pull in.

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Photo by 19-year-old Devin Atsatt of Half Moon Bay.

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El Granada teacher selected to be new principal

Press Release-Ladd

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Comparison of old Big Wave vs new Big Wave

The County has provided a table which highlights some of the differences between the old Big Wave proposal (defeated in 2012) and the new, revised proposal. The bumper sticker version is that the project has been shrunk by about 10% and largely shifted over to the north part of the project property. The number of buildings and footprint has been reduced but even with the reductions this is a very large project–its overall square footage remains well over a quarter million square feet.

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