CUSD reverses course, schools are now closed on Thursday


Due to significant changes in the storm predictions for tomorrow, I have made the decision to close all CUSD schools. A robo-call to student families has been initiated and we have activated our employee emergency phone tree.

Teachers and classroom support staff, including yard supervisors, do not need to report to school tomorrow. I am asking that school and district office staff, support and administrative, report to work, as well as all custodians and maintenance grounds personnel. However, if you believe the weather conditions make it too dangerous to come to work, please stay at home. Office support staff will be able to be released as soon as we can verify that all students that come to school have been safely reunited with their families.

Schools will re-open on Friday as the bulk of storm will be out of our area by early evening tomorrow. Please check with your school or department supervisor if you have any questions.

Thank you and be safe.

Tony Roehrick, Ed.D.
Cabrillo Unified School District

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CUSD to attempt to keep schools open on Thursday, fallback plan unclear

Despite warnings of one of the strongest storms to reach the Coastside in years, the Cabrillo Unified School District has decided to attempt to keep schools open on Thursday. Pacifica Schools announced that they will close for the storm earlier today.

In a robo-call Wednesday at 7:00 pm, John Corry, the district Superintendent of Personnel/Pupil Services vowed to keep a close watch on weather conditions and warned that the school might have to close at some point during the day Thursday if conditions warranted.

Given that a strong storm might entail significant power outages both at the school and at the student’s homes it was unclear how the school might send that news to parents and how parents might receive such an announcement.

In his robo-call Corry suggested that parents listen to a local radio station. I wasn’t able to write down the call sign of the station that Corry mentioned but presumably it was KHMB, the local station run by Jim Henderson.

Unfortunately, Corry said that the Internet version of the radio broadcast, for reasons that are unclear, would not be able to carry the closure message. Only the over-the-air version of the broadcast, at AM 1710, would have the message.

The robo-call did not indicate how parents might access such a broadcast when not in their cars-—radios outside of those installed in automobiles have become uncommon in recent years.

Techniques students driving home on their own might use to navigate fallen trees, flooded areas, and downed power lines were not outlined in the call.

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County warns of large winter storm, sandbags available at four Coastside locations


WINTER STORM WARNING: A large winter storm is expected to make landfall on the San Mateo County Coast sometime late Wednesday night into Thursday morning and continue for about 24 hours. Heavy rain and strong winds are forecast. Secure any items that could be blown by high winds. Prepare by having extra flashlight batteries in the event of power outages. Have food and water on hand. Be alert for mudslides, and wires and trees down when driving.

Sandbags are available at the following Coastside locations:

Princeton Corporation Yard, 203 Cornell Ave
Half Moon Bay, Train Depot, 110 Higgins Canyon Rd
Pescadero High School, Butano Cut-off
La Honda Corporation Yard, 59 Entrada Rd

Visit the following websites for additional preparedness information: click on Homeland, then Area Office of Emergency Services

Please share this information with friends and neighbors who may not subscribe to SMC Alerts, and encourage them to sign up.

This message will be updated in 24 hours with fresh forecast information.

ADVERTENCIA DE TORMENTA INVERNAL: Una gran tormenta invernal llegara en la costa del Condado de San Mateo tarde en la noche del miercoles o la manana temprana del jueves, y coninuara por unas 24 horas aproximadamente. Traera mucha lluvia y vientos fuertes. Asegure los objetos ligeros contra el viento. Obtiene baterias extras para las linternas, y asegurarse que tenga agua y comida suficiente.

Tenga cuidado por arboles y cables caidos cuando estan manejando. Pueden obtener bolsas de arena en estas locaciones:

Princeton Corporation Yard, 203 Cornell Ave
Half Moon Bay, Train Depot, 110 Higgins Canyon Rd
Pescadero High School, Butano Cut-off
La Honda Corporation Yard, 59 Entrada Rd

Visiten estos sitios para mas informacion: marque Homeland, y entonces Area Office of Emergency Services

Por favor, comparten esta informacion con sus amigos y vecinos que no reciben los SMC Alerts, y pidenlos a suscribir.

Mandaremos otro mensaje entre 24 horas con neuva informacion de la tormenta.

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High winds, heavy rain, possible flooding forecast for Wednesday night and Thursday

The National Weather Service is forecasting nasty conditions starting Wednesday night and continuing into Thursday.

The forecast includes heavy rain—“an inch and a half to three inches for most urban areas for the San Francisco peninsula and Monterey Bay region…and up to 8 inches for the coastal ranges”—and high winds—“of 20 to 30 mph with gusts well over 40 mph for urban locations. Winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts well over 60 mph for higher elevation locations.”

With the saturated soil expect downed trees and power outages and well as large waves. Mud slides are possible.

You can monitor updates at:

Weather Underground

National Weather Service

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Coastside Fire Protection District, Board of Director’s Meeting, December 3, 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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Judge tells Khosla to quit stalling and open Martins Beach gate

Despite losing the Martins Beach lawsuit five months ago—in which billionaire Vinod Khosla claimed that a treaty with Mexico made prior to California Statehood gave him to right to block access to the beach after he purchased the surrounding property—he has kept the gate closed.

Now the judge has clarified her ruling in a final judgement, ordering the gate open.

Khosla had attempted to keep the gate closed after the initial ruling claiming that he was waiting to be ordered to do so by the California Coastal Commission.

SFGate has the full story but the Mercury News has the better headline.

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Keet Nerhan plans to add a 4000 sq foot banquet hall to harbor hotel, county staff supports the project

Out back at the Oceana Hotel they host weddings in a big white tent. Keet Nerhan, the owner of the hotel and a powerful local developer, wants to build a permanent structure there for events, with soundproofing to keep the neighbors happy.

You can read the county planning department staff’s description of the project and the rationale behind their support at:

The Planning Commission will meet on December 10th to vote on the project.

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 11.05.07 PM

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Election Update: Bernardo widens lead over Tucker

The newest election count update, posted today at 4:30 pm, shows Robert Bernardo increasing his lead over Jim Tucker. Both are incumbents. Bernardo’s tally grew from 43,273 from Wednesday afternoon to 47,199 today and Tucker’s grew from 43,068 to 46,897. The gap increased from 205 votes Wednesday to 302 votes today. There still may be thousands of uncounted votes so the race is not yet concluded. The final vote count 9and the next update) is scheduled for Tuesday at 4:30.

Nicole David, the top vote getter in that race, increased her lead over the contested second place position with her current vote total now at 64,817. In this most recent update she increased her lead from 11,029 to 17,618, a gain of 6,589 votes.

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SMC Daily Journal: Bernardo seems to have won harbor seat

The San Mateo County Journal is reporting that though there are still over 20,000 votes to count the race for the third seat on the Harbor District Board of Commissioners seems to have been won by Robert Bernardo, an starting outcome since on election night Tucker had the most vote and was presumed the winner. Many of those missing votes will be reported on today at 4:30 pm with the remainder due to be posted by the County next Tuesday.

Tucker seems to agree with the San Mateo County Journal’s assessment of the likely outcome. Bernardo is less certain.

From the Journal’s article:

Tucker:“Honestly, it’s OK. Now it’s time to move on to something else. [I] did [my] 16 years, [I] did 12 years with Daly City [Council]. If I put a positive spin on it, I’ve done my public service, now it’s time for the next group to come in,” Tucker said.

Bernardo: “I’m at a loss for words because in all my years in being involved in politics, I’ve never seen anything like this before. This is they type of stuff you read about,” Bernardo said. “I’m not making an assumption that we’re going to win, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I do want to just thank my family and supporters.”

Speaking with Montara Fog, Bernardo seemed as surprised as anyone and vowed that should the final numbers go against him he would not ask for a recall. “I do not plan to ask for a recount because I don’t think it’s necessary. Plus, I don’t want to waste the county workers’ time on counting and recounting ballots. I fully intend to respect whatever the final vote tally will be.”

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A place unlike any other place

[I wrote this sort essay as a sort of thank you to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. It’s a difficult thing…how do you maintain public safety at an event with no structure, no leaders, and with everyone in disguise? This year they hit it just right. Visible but not overbearing. A part of the community. Thanks for a great Halloween.]

I arrived in the Bay Area on July 26, 2004 after a month-long, meandering cross-country trip from the East Coast. Once we were here one of the first major tasks was to buy a house. But where?

My agent, based in Burlingame, showed me houses all over the Peninsula. We looked and looked. Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City, South City, Pacifica, on and on. We looked in Half Moon Bay. Nothing was quite right. Looking through the listings on my own one day I saw an ad for a house in a place called Montara. We had never been there but went the next day.

I liked what I saw. At last a place that didn’t look like every other place. At last a place that looked like it had evolved over time rather than being chosen out of a catalogue by some aesthetically challenged developer and then built all in one day. It was near the ocean. I would be able to walk out my door and know immediately that after moving nearly three thousand miles that I wasn’t in Idaho or Maryland, or Ohio.

We didn’t buy that particular house but we bought another soon after. And though we bought near the height of the last housing bubble I quickly came to realize that I would have paid more if I had really understood how wonderful—how magical—Montara really is.

I had anti-buyer’s remorse.

The first thing I noticed wasn’t the dark skies, where on a good night you can see the Milky Way. It wasn’t the hiking on Montara Mountain, which I do almost every night. It wasn’t even having a beach to yourself on most any weekday. The first magical thing I discovered about Montara was the costumes. Oh, and the candy.

You see, we got the keys to the house on October 31st. We had heard, of course, of the “big” Halloween from locals—but we were moving from a more urban area and thought “how big could it possibly be?” Montara is a tiny little dot. Then night came on and we went out. The roads were filled with people, all dressed up. Houses not just elaborately decorated but designations to experience—A Witches House with a hundred intricately carved pumpkins, a sort of circus, a haunted ship, several walk-though haunted houses. Of all the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people out that night my wife and I were the only two adults not wearing a costume.

I love were I live. I love Montara. Every day is special, every night is special, and Halloween may be the most special of them all.

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